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New Mural By Jay Hudson on 7th Street

It’s no secret the Bicycle Space supports local street art. Before moving to their current location on 7th street, a beautiful photo/mural adorned the side of their I Street store. Once they moved to 7th street, they partnered with DCMurals and led bicycle tours around the city revisiting some of its best publicly funded street art pieces. So it’s no surprise to see a bold and colorful mural by Jay Hudson pop up on the boarded up storefront of their upcoming storage/office space on 7th street (next door to The Passenger).

Current image of the mural

What do you think of this temporary addition to the local street art scene?
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“Sexy” Safeway Upgrades to Premium Store Status

I’m not sure anyone still calls it the “Sexy Safeway” but if you are like me and you shop regularly at the “Sexy” Safeway on 5th and K, you may have noticed a few changes. The biggest physical change being the disappearance of the nut bar. Let’s be honest, it’s not a big loss. The nut bar was a waste of space and was never staffed so I’m sure the folks over at PQLiving will not be grieving long.

Safeway Nutbar gone - although signage still lingers above

I’m sure they’ll be happy to know though that Safeway will be adding more cashiers (hurray!) and other services as it transitions from being a regular Safeway to a “Premium” store. Or a “Super Sexy” Safeway if you like. The changes, including the addition of a “fruit cutter” who will cut fresh fruits for you in the store (because, you know, we can’t figure out how to cut our own fruits?) and an upgraded dairy section will roll out over the next few months. Stay tuned as we learn more about what our local Safeway has in store (pun intended) for us!

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Celebrate National High Five Day at Mandu

If people randomly try to high five you this Thursday, don’t freak out. April 18th, 2013 is National High Five Day and it’s all for a good cause: to help raise money for five cancer research centers nationwide. So high five!

National High Five Day sounds like a holiday slash fundraiser a bunch of college dudes would come up with. And that’s pretty much what happened. It was invented in 2002 by a group of friends at the University of Virginia. One of the students involved was Danny Lee, whom you might know as the co-owner of Mandu. So after you’re done high fiving your colleagues and random people on the metro, head to Mandu on K Street and give the awesome bartenders there a high five as well. In exchange, they’ll give you an even better happy hour than usual (and the happy hour at Mandu is pretty awesome to start with), with extended hours through closing and a special $5 menu that will include will include sojutinis, dumplings, chicken wings, seafood pancakes and Korean tacos. Even better… 50% of the proceeds from that menu will go to cancer charities. Double high five. But that’s not it, 100% of sales from a special “high five” cocktail (made with Yujacha, Hendrick’s, muddled cucumber and lime) will also go to charity. Now that sounds like $10 well spent to me… high five to that!

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D.C. by the Book Launch Party

The nation’s capital has served as the backdrop for many books, particularly non-fiction work on current events and biographies. But not only… our streets, monuments and landmarks have been featured in many fiction novels as well. These novels set in D.C. are the focus of a new interactive digital project that attempts to map out the literary fabric of the city.
D.C. By The Book is the brainchild of Tony Ross, a D.C. native and administrative librarian for neighborhood libraries with the D.C. public library system. The website is officially launching this Wednesday, March 27th (6-8PM) at the Busboys and Poets on 5th & K. Laptop “exploration stations” will let people try out the interactive maps as well as upload content from their own reads. Mark Athitakis will MC the evening, which will feature several  authors who have used the district as a backdrop in their novels, including Thomas Mallon (Watergate), Ann McLaughlin (The House on Q Street) and Adam McKible (who found EC Williams’ lost Harlem renaissance novel When Washington Was in Vogue.)

Do you have a favourite novel set in the district? Please do share in the comments…

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All Things Considered… We’ll Miss NPR

It finally happened… after close to two decades in the neighborhood, NPR is moving on a newer, shinier (and bigger) headquarter in nearby NoMa. Moving vans were spotted throughout the week at both NPR’s old and new headquarters. This is it. NPR is leaving us behind…

New NPR headquarters at 1111 N Capitol Street

The move was announced back in 2008 and it took just a little over 3 years to complete the new 1111 North Capitol Street NE building. NPR had been a part of the Mount Vernon Triangle landscape since 1994, long before new condos and apartment buildings turned our neighborhood into an attractive investment destination. As the media organization’s popularity (and audience) grew, so did it staff, eventually outgrowing their 635 Massachusetts Avenue NW HQ. With staff spread out in 3 different building, NPR set out to find a new home that could accommodate all 767 of its employees as well as visitors. If you’re curious to check it out, public tours are expected to resume in June.

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Pop Into Hogo for Your Morning Cup of Joe

Good news for coffee aficionados! Throughout the month of March April (updated), there’s a new (and slightly unexpected spot) for you to get your caffeine fix: Hogo. As of today, the rum-centric bar will be turning into a coffee shop every morning thanks to Chris Vigilante and his team.

After taking over Mr. Yogato near Logan Circle and Biergarten Haus on H Street, the local roaster is popping-up in the Mount Vernon Triangle area.  The partnership between Vigilante Coffee and Hogo came out of Chris’ genuine admiration in the work that Derek Brown and his team had done to elevate the cocktail to culinary status here in D.C. and the hope that the same can be achieved with coffee. In addition to a full espresso and Japanese pour-over bar, Vigilante Coffee will offer patrons free wifi so they can hang out all morning with Steve Zissou and Zombie Elvis every weekday morning from 7AM to 2PM. They will also be able to enjoy some baked goods from Whisked with their wifi and coffee. Jenna Huntsberger, who had already provided quiches for Chris’ pop-up at Mr. Yogato, will be providing locally baked pastries to go with the locally roasted coffee. This time she is expanding her offerings to include cookies (including Nutella milk cookies… reason enough to go right?), scones and quiches.

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Paradise in a Parking Lot?

Local resident and blogger FrenchTwistDC offers her abbreviated review of the NY Ave Beach Bar below. For her full posting visit this link.


The Triangle is definitely not just parking lots anymore… the parking lots have turned to condos and high end apartment buildings. And a beach! In what has to be the most creative use of an empty parking lot, Tom Brown, co-owner of The Passenger, has covered an underused asphalt area with 70 tons of sands (from Ocean City we hear… so kind of locally sourced right?) and opened the most anticipated outdoor bar of the summer. The New York Avenue Beach Bar officially opened Friday night, with Mayor Gray cutting the ceremonial ribbon (and sticking around for a few rounds of corn hole) and over 700 people showed up for $10 rum cocktails and lukewarm canned beer ($5-6 each). That was definitely more than the owners expected or were prepared for ;-)

Mayor Gray playing corn hole - picture courtesy Vlasta Hakes

[Editor's note: Joni Mitchell once sang "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." Does the Beach Bar mean we've come full circle?]

The decor was Corona heavy but they didn't carry Corona beer on opening night

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City Vista Chipotle

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opening of the Chipotle on 5th between K and L streets and it sounds like I won’t have to wait much longer. The City Vista Chipotle could open as early as Tuesday, September 12th, which would be perfect timing for Mount Vernon residents to participate in the popular burrito restaurant chain’s Farm-To-School fundraiser on September 14th.

The deal for Wednesday is simple: that evening, between 5:30 and 7:30 pm, 50% of all sales at all Washington, DC-area Chipotle restaurants will be donated to the D.C. Farm to School Network at Arcadia. All you have to do is go to Chipotle, nom on some tasty barbacoa burrito, carnitas crunchy tacos, or chips and guac’ and you will help support efforts to connect DC schoolchildren with where their food comes from.

You’ll also help support D.C. Farm-to-School Week, which, by the way, is just around the corner (October 3-7th, 2012.) Sounds like a win-win to me! And just in case the City Vista Chipotle does not open on time for Wednesday, you can always walk to Chipotle in Chinatown or go to any other Chipotle in the city.

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This post was contributed by Mount Vernon Triangle resident and blogger FrenchtwistDC.

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Bake for Japan Sale at Busboys and Poets

Come treat your sweet tooth & help Japan…all at one event!

Some of our favorite bakeries, restaurants, and other businesses are hosting a nation-wide bake sale this weekend, with some sweet treats made by some of the most talented professional and amateur bakers around. Word on the street is that DC’s event will have sweets from the newest cupcake food truck (Cupcake Buggy) and Sprinkles cupcakes as well as… from you, if you would like to participate!

Professional and amateurs bakers, cooks, artists and musicians are coming together around food to make something big happen at the 5th street Busboys and Poets this Saturday, April 2nd. If you would like to participate, you can either bake something or come and eat something! All proceeds collected will go to Peace Winds Japan, a Japanese NGO dedicated to the support of people in distress, threatened by conflict, poverty, or other turmoil. The organization is currently providing emergency relief to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan.

Baked goods will be accepted from 8:30-10am at Busboys and Poets. You do not have to be a professional baker but you do have to deliver your treats with a complete list of ingredients as well as a name for the item. If possible, baked goods should be individually wrapped. Japanese themed treats, such as green tea flavoured items or mochi are more than welcomed! If you want more information or plan to participate as a baker, please email Joelle at dcbakesale4japan@gmail.com and don’t forget to spread the word on twitter with the hashtag #bakesale4japan.

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This post was contributed by Mount Vernon Triangle resident and blogger FrenchtwistDC.

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More Public Art Coming to Mount Vernon

This entry is crossposted at FrenchTwistDC.com.

By now we’ve all seen or heard about David Black’s Lift Off on the corner of 5th and K. As we’ve mentioned, public art displays are part of the Mount Vernon Triangle master plan to reclaim the urban arena as a livable space. Well, the D.C. Office of Planning also has plans for New York Avenue and is teaming up with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District and  and other agencies to bring Niki de Saint Phalle’s whimsical and colorful sculpture to the otherwise grey and un-noteworthy corridor between 13th and 9th Streets, N.W.

SOURCE: | Laris Karklis/The Washington Post - February 24, 2010

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