I-395 Air Rights hits approval setback

Liz Fisher of the Washington Examiner reports that the DC Zoning Commission has rejected the latest plans for the I-395 Development PUD. The commission took issue with the project’s retail plan and massive building sizes, saying the 2-million-square-foot development seemed “more like a fortress for workers and residents than a destination”.

Aerial Rendering of proposed north block of Center Place (as of Dec '10)

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Weekend Unwinding

Happy Friday everyone! It looks like we might have another snow-filled weekend ahead of us! Here is what is going on in the neighborhood and surrounding areas.


  • Feeling a little nostalgic for last year’s Snowmeggadon? Check out Ernesto Santalla’s Symmetries Exhibit at The Longview Gallery (Longview Gallery)
  • Mandu is open for business! Did anyone else attend the soft opening last weekend? (Mandu)
  • Happy Chinese New Year! Ping Pong Dim Sum has added some new items to the menu to celebrate the year of the Rabbit. (Citystream)
  • On Monday night, head over to Birch and Barley for their Beer Belly dinner – guests can enjoy a 5 course menu of the best bellies out there (from fish to lamb). Dinner is $76/person, which includes beer pairings.  (Birch&Barley)
  • The 2011 Washington Auto Show begins a 10 day run at the Convention Center from January 28th to February 6th. The event features the latest in automobiles and celebrity appearances from Chris Cooley, Snooki and D.C. United players (Washington Auto Show).

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Underground Market at Kushi this Sunday

This Sunday January 30th from 12-5pm the Grey DC group will be holding an underground Farmer’s Market at Kushi (465 K Street NW). The event has a $2 admission fee and requires a waiver to be signed before entry. The band Frau Eva will provide entertainment.

Why the Waiver?

The DC Grey Farmers Market is a private membership club that serves as an incubator for small food vendors who can’t yet afford to be licensed. By registering you are signing up for the club and signing a waiver that says you are aware that there may be products that have been made in a kitchen that has not been inspected by the health department.

The list of vendors includes: The Seasonal Pantry, Dre’s, The Gourmet Cherry, Gavin and Friends, Cunningham Farms, Guerilla Yoga DC, Zachari’s, Smokin’ Somethin’ BBQ, DE(vi)LISH! Confections, Holy Hell Pepper Sauce, White House Meats and of course Kushi.

Grey Markets plans to hold 3 events per year.

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Buddha Bar Launches Sunday Night LGBT Series

Starting Sunday, January 30, 2011, Buddha Bar at 455 Mass will host weekly “Somewhere Over The Rainbow Sundays,” celebrating DC’s sophisticated LGBT community. Dance the night away to some of the hottest local and international DJs at the most fabulous Sunday night affair in town.

This weekly soiree will offer Buddha-Bar DC’s standard Happy Hour menu from 9 pm to 11 pm, including $6 Signature Cocktails, $5 wine by the glass, $5 mixed drinks, $3 domestic beers and $4 Dos Equis. The restaurant’s delicious dinner menu will also be extended until 12 am.

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MVSNA Vacant Property Survey

The Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association (MVSNA) has conducted their own Vacant Property survey. The preliminary results are now available online and open for public comment. Once the MVSNA feels the list is complete and vetted they will forward onto DCRA.

Vacant property at 925 5th Street NW owned by Tony Cheng

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Urban Grit

A friend and I were discussing NYC in planning a March trip. One subject that came up in discussing the energy in Manhattan was Urban Grit. We both appreciate  a little grit although I’m perhaps a little more particular on what grit I think brings something to the table in a good way than she is.

What are your thoughts on Urban Grit?

Do you like a little "Urban Grit"?

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I’ve started a discussion two lists of Good and Bad Urban Grit below. Feel free to debate or add to the lists in the comments.


  • Graffiti Art, Guerilla Art or Murals - not gang signs of course. Art such as the Guerilla art on the 400 Block of NY Ave.
  • Old Weathered Brick or Cobblestones
  • Water Towers on top of old buildings
  • Some Industrial Character – personally I’d find a view of railyards, shipping cranes or old brick warehouses more interesting than the sterile Washington Monument. (Albeit not great for resale)


  • Trash/Litter everywhere – litter everywhere sucks. I’m also not a fan of the fact all the Chinatown NYC trash collection is done on the curb of the streets. Think mounds of black trash bags on the sidewalk.
  • Odor – Dowisetrepla or otherwise
  • Chain Link fences
  • Prostitutes
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