Thursday, January 28, 2010

Intersections Art Festival at the Atlas: Feb. 19- March 7

The Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St) will host three weekends of multidisciplinary arts between February 19th-March 7th. There will be at least 35 performances of dance, music and drama at affordable prices.

Check out Jen Demayo's comprehensive post on this exciting festival for The Hill is Home and the Washington Post preview of Grammy-nominee Christon "Christylez" Bacon.

There's lots more info at Intersections blog and the schedule is available here.

Washingtonian: Great Dates features H Street venues

The February Washingtonian features 150 great dates around Washington and highlights the following great date spots on H Street:

Rock & Roll Hotel as the place to Rock Out to an Indie Band

Palace of Wonders as the place to Escape Buttoned-Down Washington

H Street Country Club for Practice Putting Indoors

I'd add upstairs at Sova for a couples glasses of wine or craft cocktails on a comfortable couch overlooking H St as another excellent option.

Erica Riccardelli's Orchestrated Misbehavior opening at Evolve Urban Arts (1375 Maryland Ave)

Evolve Urban Arts Project Presents
Erica Riccardelli: Orchestrated Misbehavior
February 6, 2010 – March 27, 2010
Opening reception: February 13, 4-7pm

The Evolve Urban Arts Project (located in the Pierce School Lofts at 1375 Maryland Ave) is pleased to sponsor the first solo exhibition in the Washington, DC area of photographer Erica Riccardelli (MFA, 2004).

The genesis of Orchestrated Misbehavior stems from Ms. Riccardelli’s penchant for carefully arranging her pictorial components into fanciful tableaux vivants. Born in Germany, this self-described “army brat” spent most of her formative years transferring between her father’s multiple postings throughout the U.S. On the long car rides spent driving from one “home” to another “home”, she passed time by gazing at the landscape whirring by, imagining herself as a princess, or a damsel imbued with magical powers. These childhood fantasies now provide her adult mind with intellectual opportunities to bring disjointed memories, fantasies and hair-brained ideas to a fruition captured on film. With a self-described “fondness for the absurd”, Ms. Riccardelli inserts herself into engaging juxtapositions that simultaneously reflect her dark humor and romantic aesthetic.
This exhibition includes images from two ongoing series of work. Migration is a Promise posits that species’ biological impulse to migrate creates a form of order in an often chaotic world – a form of order which “promises” the continuation of life. To investigate this behavior, the artist began her own migration, traveling into the forest where she becomes the protagonist in ritualized performances caught on film. The second series, Petite Mort/e, examines the subtle ironies in language used to describe human biological processes involved in both the beginning and end of life. Petite mort (“little death”) is a French phrase used to describe the physical and mental characteristics of an orgasm. Here Riccardelli toys with the idea that the moment of orgasm, like the moment of death, is an instant when we slip away from conscious reality. Using a smattering of props, a 4x5 view camera and her own body as a corpse, she creates staged, post-mortem images of women passed( or petite morte) in scenes ranging from made-for-TV dramatics to darkly humorous.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 1 – 4pm. Other times are available through appointment.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Link roundup

DCist peeks inside the soon-to-open Capital City Diner (1050 Bladensberg)
Brightest Young Things also provides a host of photos of the beautiful space.

Boogie Babes announced an event on Friday at 10:30 am at Sova (1359 H St) with Groovy Nate and his guitar and puppets.

District of Sound touts the Rock & Roll Hotel (1353 H St) as "an icon and an institution for live music in Washington, DC."

Washington Post features tonight's H Street Karaoke Competition finals at Rock & Roll Hotel as an editors' pick. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 and is free. $500 prize for the winner.

Capitol Fine Wine and Spirit NOW OPEN at 415 H St

Capitol Fine Wine and Spirit opened earlier this week at 415 H St.

If you haven't stopped by yet, you should. It has been completely renovated inside and is gorgeous. The owner and his brother are still working on their offerings, but have a good selection of reasonably priced wines available (think Mark West Pinot Noir, Altos Las Hormigas Malbec, other varied $10-15 bottles you wont find at a grocery store), as well as a small stock of spirits and beers. They are welcoming suggestions for what beer, wines and spirits they should offer, so if you don't see a bottle or your favorite beer available, leave a note in the journal at the checkout counter with what you are interested in and they'll look into stocking that in the weeks ahead.

The initial impression is generally quite favorable, based mostly on appearance and good intentions. The beer selection needs improvement as it is small and there are few microbrews or international offerings of note, but to their credit they seem genuinely interested in offering what people express interest in, so it will be incumbent upon us to visit and let them know what else they should stock to ensure that we come back and support them. They are awaiting delivery of their credit machine, so be prepared to pay with cash in case that doesn't happen immediately.

In other news, Toyland (421 H St) is doing a soft opening for the neighborhood this weekend and was open last night. Currently, it's a cash bar with a good selection of bottled beer and wines. They are well stocked on liquor as well. No food yet, but they anticipate adding that and opening up the second floor once they've been open for a while and finish renovating it. They wont officially open for a couple weeks, but the neighborhood is invited to stop by for a preview tonight, as many people did last night.

With Ethiopic's opening at (401 H St) in the next couple months and another new venue opening soon thereafter (stay tuned) joining Sidamo, Bikram Yoga, Fitness Together, and Nouveau Fleur (500 H St), the 400 block of H St is suddenly becoming one of the best developed blocks on H.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

WP reviews Constant State of Panic (at H St Playhouse through 1/31)

They seem to like the production, if not as much the lead actor's performance in it.

The show runs at the H Street Playhouse (1365 H St) through January 31. Purchase tickets here.

Another shorter review from is reproduced below.

It's a newer theater in town but Madcap Players is presenting a laugh riot comedy "CONSTANT STATE OF PANIC" (To 1/31) by Patrick Gabridge which is a don't miss in these times of earthquakes, severe weather and other theatrical mishaps. It is a story of a paranoic man who sees threats even from germs on water coolers in the office...the part is masterfully played by Paul McLane who has amazing comedy timing on stage. Equally adept at comedy is Tori Miller who plays a screamingly funny bible pusher as we only see her eyes through the letter drop slot and a tv newswoman whose life is spent in accusatory mania. The two actors engage in a all-hell's-loose roll around the floor combat that is screamingly a riot. Carleen R.Troy plays the confused wife and Aidan Hughes plays a government agent who too often swallow the end of their sentences or use the wrong word stress so they lose a lot of potential humor...but they do have dollops of "funniness" along the way. The story line is totally family clean and it reminds one of older comedies like "Seven Year Itch" or "The Tender Trap" that current audiences keep pleading for to get away from stage perversity. There is no doubt that director Gary Raymond Fry, Jr. is a magnificent director of comedy with so many funny details in turns of action or of script. Probably the award winner however are the set designers Beth Baldwin and Jon Boags who had to have characters appear on stage from unlikely places throughout the show. This is a highly recommended evening of fun in the often sorely missed on our stages. (Reviewed by Bob Anthony)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Link roundup

Frozen Tropics notes the opening of Capitol Hill Fine Wine & Liquors (421 H St) and endorsed Drew Ronnenberg for ANC6A-02's February 11 special election

ANC6A announces that the special election for that seat will be held on February 11, at 7 pm at Miner Elementary (601 15th St NE).

Kyra at the Hill is Home is concerned that Taylor may have regressed since opening its second location. Others tout its new pork/broccoli rabe sandwich as one of the best in town.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Liberty Tree clears hurdle, expected to open soon

Liberty Tree (1016 H St) reached a voluntary agreement with ANC6A, which allows its ABRA application to move forward without protest, clearing the largest hurdle to the opening of this much-anticipated brick oven pizza and seafood venue. As part of the accord with ANC6A, Liberty Tree agreed to restrict the size and hours of its summer garden in hopes of limiting any potential impact on surrounding home owners.

Graig Glufling who helped launch the original Matchbox and learned to cook under some of Washington’s top chefs (including, Jeff Bubin at Vidalia, David Craig at the Tabard Inn, and Morou at Signatures) will be the chef at Liberty Tree.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Souk seeks liquor license

Souk (1208 H St) serves great mediterranean/middle eastern fare, but to date has only been able to offer soft drinks to accompany their delicious hummus, grape leaves, falafel, and kebobs. They recently applied for a liquor license to allow them to serve alcoholic beverages with your meal. If all goes well, they should have more beverage options to choose from later this Spring.

New Leadership elected for ANC6A

With the recent resignation of Chairman Joe Fengler from ANC6A (SMD-02), the ANC elected a new slate of leaders last night.

Chair: Kelvin Robinson (SMD-08)
Vice Chair: Mary Beatty (SMD-05)
Treasurer: Nick Alberti (SMD-04)
Secretary: Raphael Marshall (SMD-01)

Commissioner Robinson previously served as Chief of Staff to then-Mayor Williams from 2001-2004. Within the ANC, Robinson has been best known for his leadership on the Public Safety Committee. ANC6A was described as the best ANC in the city during Fengler's stewardship, so Robinson has big shoes to fill.

The election to fill Fengler's seat as ANC6A-02 Commissioner will be held at the Commission's next meeting on February 12 at Miner Elementary School (601 15th St NE). All residents of that district are encouraged to attend the meeting to cast their ballot in this important election. ANC6A-02 runs from H Street between 8th and 12th Streets south to E Street, and also covers between 12th and 13th Streets from H Street south to G Street.

ANC Economic Development and Zoning Committee Chairman Drew Ronnenberg and PSA-102 Co-Coordinator Bobby Pittman are running to succede Fengler. Fengler has endorsed Ronnenberg noting that he has "put in untold hours over the past years to support many of the key development projects and zoning issues championed by ANC 6A" and "is the best qualified candidate running."

UPDATE: Details on the election are now available on the ANC website here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Arts Openings this Saturday and new area arts blog

Jeremy Kost: Anyone Other Than Me ....
Taylor Baldwin: Living Fossil
Matthew Sutton: Sounds a Grown Man Should Not Make

Opens at Conner Contempory Art (1358 Florida Ave), Saturday, January 16: 6-8pm

Kost performance - 9pm
@ Capitol Skyline (video lounge)
hosted by Mera and Jennifer Rubell. rsvp essential

The show runs January 16 – March 6, 2010. The opening night reception is this Saturday, January 16th from 6 to 8pm at Conner Contemporary Art with the artists in attendance.

Jeremy Kost performance + after-party at The Rubell Family's Capitol Skyline Hotel (video lounge),
January 16th: 9pm –until. Hosted by Mera and Jennifer Rubell. rsvp essential.

Also opening Saturday night: Industry Gallery (1358 Florida Ave, 2nd floor) celebrates their Grand Opening with the first US solo show of NY-based artist Shlomo Harush and his functional pieces of sculptural art made from stainless steel and aluminum. Check out the write-up in the Washington Post and in the New York Times.

For more information on the arts scene, check out East City Art, the new blog from Studio H owner, Phil Hutinet. ECA will provide original articles about all the art events ranging from classes, interviews and openings in the H St and surrounding areas.

Studio H is also on facebook.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coming Soon -- (Lots of) Development

To date, most of the revitalization of H Street has been limited to small businesses, bars, restaurants, art galleries, and home renovations up and down the cooridor. Over the course of the next 2-3 years, there is a remarkable amount of more significant development coming.

H Street Connection Redevelopment (800-900 blks of H St - South side)
52,000 square feet of retail, 100 commercial parking spaces for use by patrons of H St businesses and another 60 for the several new retail outlets that will be on the first level of the building, which will have 384 residential units on remaining floors. H Street facade will look like a series of row houses and 8th, H, and 10th Street will start out at four stories high with a step back and roof deck patio with the building reaching a meximum of eight stories at its core. Just working its way through the final negotiated details before going before ANC6A for approval.

Washington Real Estate Partners Project (600 blk of H St - South side)
Mixed-use project that includes 234 residential units, 500 parking spaces and ground-floor retail.

Steuart Develop. Apts & Grocery Store (300 blk of H St - North side)
Recently-modified plans for a planned-unit development, the building will have 212 apartments, and 270 parking spots. The building height will reach 75 feet. This project will feature a grocery store as its residential anchor.

Capitol Place (200 blk of H St - South side)
Dreyfus Development's mixed use project with over 400,000 sq ft of retail, 300 condos, 380 parking spaces. The building will be several stories high at 2nd & H Sts, but will gradually scale back to row house heights of 45-55 ft as it reaches 3rd St to the east and G St to the south.

Union Place - Loree Grand (200 blk of K St - North side)
Will house 30 artists in residence at 3rd & K Sts NE and will include over 200 residential units, a roof garden, a courtyard, a gym and ground floor retail with occupancy in March or April.

Also, just off H Street:

Capitol Hill Condos: The Station (old police station) (525 9th Street)
Design approved by ANC6A in September, targeted completion by end of 2010 with construction starting in February.

Capitol Hill Condos: Engine House (old firehouse) (1341 Maryland Ave)
Design approved by ANC6A in September, targeted completion by end of 2010 with construction starting in February.

Arboretum Place (1600 Maryland Ave)

Link roundup

DC Modern Luxury reports on the array of recently-opened art gallerys who have decided to locate along the H Street cooridor.

The Hill is Home interviews ANC6C Commissioner Ryan Velasco who shares his enthusiasm for the coming streetcars and redevelopment of the H Street Connection.

The Washington Post gets excited about Constant State of Panic which opens tonight at the H Street Playhouse (1365 H St) and the DJ at Hometown Sounds this Saturday (and the third one of every month) at the Argonaut (1433 H St).

Frozen Tropics reports that the Argonaut has added Southern Fried Chicken night on Thursdays to their already fantastic list of specials, including Thursday night neighborhood night, which was absolutely packed last week.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

$20 for $45 gift certificate to Rock & Roll Hotel via Living Social today

Rock & Roll Hotel (1353 H St) is today's deal of the day at Living Social. For $20, you get $45 worth of concerts, beer, burgers, Monday night ping pong, Friday night spelling bee or kaoroke competition championship.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What else do we still need on H Street?

The January Hill Rag, includes a piece by Elise Bernard in which she interview a variety of H Street community leaders about their hopes and expectations for what 2010 will bring.

We already know that there will be a ton of additional openings from more bars to sit down restaurants to a highly-regarded pie place on the east end (Dangerously Delicious will be first, but Biergarten Haus and Liberty Tree are close behind. Hopefully we will also see The Star & Shamrock, Vendetta and Drew before long). We also know that an Ethiopian restaurant, a high-end wine and spirits place, a grocery store, and a couple major mixed use residential/retail buildings are in the works on the 200-300-400, 600, and 800-900 blocks over the next year or two.

In the Hill Rag piece, Anwar Saleem of H Street Main Street shares that a pet store has been scouting locations on the 500 block of H and expresses his hope that we will eventually have a bike shop and a gym. So if we have a grocery store and a pet shop coming, what else are we does H Street still really need to add?

High on our list is a nice wine bar/restaurant in the model of Cork. Sova is a nice spot to grab a glass of wine, but doesn't quite fit the bill and many of our other spots are really beer-centric places. A nice gym and grocery would also be fantastic.

So what other types of establishments do we want to come to H Street in 2010 and beyond?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Joe Fengler endorses Drew Ronneberg for ANC6A-02

As you might have heard, Drew Ronneberg is running for the seat on the Commission that I resigned from last month. His opponent is Mr. Robert "Bobby" Pittman. I have known Drew for over five years as he has been the resident volunteer chair of ANC 6A’s Economic Development Committee. He has put in untold hours over the past years to support many of the key development projects and zoning issues championed by ANC 6A. I think he is the best qualified candidate running and will continue to work hard for ANC 6A. This election has been discussed on the local Frozen Tropics blog. You can read the various comments from that blog here -

This election, unlike regular elections, will be conducted at the February 11, ANC 6A meeting which starts at 7pm (Miner Elementary School located at 610 15th Street, NE). Essentially, any registered voter who shows up will be able to cast a ballot. The ballots will be counted and the candidate with the most votes will be declared the winner.

I have valued your support over the past few years and I am asking that you support Drew in his election bid for Commissioner. Your support is critical as this race will really be a grass roots turn-out-the-vote campaign. For example, if everyone on this e-mail can bring a dozen registered voters to the election on February 11, Drew will have an excellent chance of being your next ANC Commissioner

Friday, January 8, 2010

Constant State of Panic opens at H Street Playhouse Wednesday

Madcap Players presents the world premiere of Constant State of Panic Wednesday, January 13 at the H Street Playhouse (1365 H St). Performances will run Thursdays-Sundays through the end of the month.

Madcap Players is proud to present the world premiere of Constant State of Panic, a new play by award-winning writer Patrick Gabridge. This darkly comic love story follows two people trying to stay together, despite the insanity of the world around them—Dave is afraid of everything, and Sonia is afraid of nothing other than losing her husband. A fresh, new play with a surprising surreal style, Panic takes a twisted look at a couple struggling to survive in a society that thrives on fear. Lines between reality and fantasy blur as we tumble through the looking glass of this paranoid Bush-era Wonderland. A strong ensemble piece that’s wacky, thought-provoking and sweet, Panic is a perfect fit for the DC audience.

Call 800.494.TIXS (800.494.8497) or visit to reserve tickets.

Discount PWYC tickets are available for opening night.

RnR Hotel launches weekly Friday night buzzed spelling bee tonight

The Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St) launches their weekly Friday night buzzed spelling bee event tonight at 7 pm. Buy a beer, buy a shot, spell a word. First place gets a $60 bar tab, $30 for second place. Featured by the Washington Post as an editor's pick as one of the best events this weekend.

Disclaimer: Nichole at TheHillisHome is already laying claim to the first place prize.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2nd Annual H Street Karaoke Competition underway; finals at R&R 1/26

The opening rounds of the Second Annual H Street Karoke competion began last night at Sticky Rice (1224 H St) and continue tonight at Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar (1104 H St). Additional rounds will be held each of the next two Tuesdays at Sticky Rice and Wednesday, January 20 at Little Miss Whiskey's. The finalists from each night's competition will meet at Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St) on Tuesday, January 26 to crown this year's champions.

Also, tonight Rock and Roll Hotel continues their Ping Pong launch with free ping pong starting at 6pm. They will continue to offer Ping Pong every Monday with no charge through the end of the month.

Stick Rice holds regularly-scheduled karaoke nights every Wednesday, while Little Miss Whiskey hosts Kostume Karaoke the first and third Wednesday of every month.

WaPo recommends: Taylor's new roast pork sandwich

From today's Food Section, the Washington Post loves the Pattison Avenue, the new roast pork sandwich at Taylor (1116 H St).

This looks and sounds delicious. Has anyone tried it? Does it measure up to the Philly originals?

(photo by James Thresher for WP)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ANC6A-02 special election set for February 11, 7 pm

ANC6A-02 will hold a special election to fill the seat of recently resigned Commissioner and Commission Chair Joe Fengler at the regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, February 11, 2009, at 7pm.

ANC Economic Development and Zoning Committee Chair Drew Ronneberg and PSA 102 Co-Coordinator Bobby Pittman are both running. Ronnenberg has been the lead in running the neighborhood negotiations with coming H Street Connection mixed use redevelopment, while Pittman and Joe Englert recently helped coordinate with a reimburseable detail between MPD and businesses along the entertainment district end of H St.

The ANC6A-02 district runs along the south side of H Street from 8th Street out to 13th Street with E Street as the southern border.

"Azul" opens at Studio H Saturday, January 9, 6-9 pm

"Azul" a photo exhibit by Capitol Hill's own Geoff Ault opens Saturday at Studio H (408a H St).

Geoff Ault is an artist whose work is an assortment of dream-quality images. His work touches on the abstract and sensual side of the human experience.
Ault is a long time resident of Capitol Hill and is currently serving on the Capitol Hill Art League Steering Committee.

Ault uses film cameras, toy cameras, digital cameras and a flat bed scanner in his work and digitally manipulates the images to create various "dream-like" effects. 'Azul' features photographs from Gregg Friedberg and Andrei Vishnyakov and and will run through January 31.