Only in DC

Originally uploaded by thetejon

Saw this on our block of Harvard today. Fancy BMW 745, polished, heavy tint on the windows, Maryland tags, parked in front of a RPP Zone 1 Only sign. The sign, if you don’t click through to read, says, “POLICE – Official business”. I have no idea if this is a legitimate thing, or something the guy printed on his computer, but clearly parking enforcement decided to ticket him and let the DMV sort it out.

Early night at Room 11

It was unofficial baby night at Room 11 last night. We took the kid and met up with some friends who have a son in her daycare class. We went at 5, right when they opened, and sat outside on the porch. By the time we left around 7pm (The kid was well on her way to turning into a pumpkin), there were no less than a half dozen children under 2 on the porch. Most of the patrons, save one couple in the corner, found the children delightful. Our little monkey, for example, was making friends by pushing her chair around the porch after she finished eating. and flirting with the guys at the next table. I like Room 11. I should have written down what I drank. I had a Chilean carmenere that was really good. I had never heard of that grape before I tried the Montes Cab/Carmenere blend (A fantastic bottle, btw), then my mom bought me a bottle of Root: 1 (Another great bottle). And now it’s one of my favorite grapes. I also had a malbec that was good. They sell wine by the glass, starting at $6. Most of the glasses are $8-9. They have a very Belgian beer selection, which is not really my thing, but I think the beers are good for the many of you who do like Belgians. They had two beers on tap, also. I forget what they were, but I remember approving. We ate a meat plate and a cheese plate, both good, and the wife and I split a cheese panini which was pleasant. The service was good. Our waiter was friendly and easy-going and pretty attentive. He made some good suggestions on the meats and cheeses, since I’d never heard of most of it, and couldn’t pronounce any of it. The porch had a very “neighborhood” feel to it. A self-selected, limited slice of the neighborhood, but still a neighborhood. The couple we were with brought their dog, and he waited outside the fence until we finished. At least three or four people stopped to pet him as they walked down Lamont Street. It’s a pleasantly busy intersection – enough traffic to be interesting to watch, but not enough to disturb the atmosphere. So, go check it out. We’ll definitely be back.

Restaurant review – The Uptowner

I’m always a little uncomfortable calling a place without any tables to speak of a “restaurant”, but that’s not the point, here. I got lunch from the Uptowner, the new sandwich place just north of Columbia Heights Metro. I got a club wrap and a bag of BBQ soy chips. It was kind of expensive – about $9 – but the food was good. They have some vegetarian options, which is rare, and the guy behind the counter was quite pleasant. The layout is a little funny – you order in one room, and go next door to pick it up. I didn’t immediately see next door, and was worried that the sandwiches were going to be pre-wrapped and shipped from somewhere, but they’re made fresh next door. Anyway, I’ll go back at some point. I apologize to Julia’s Empanadas, where I planned to go, but the construction makes it very difficult to actually get to Julia’s. Maybe next time.

Columbia Heights is nothing but hipsters?

This Washington Post article has been pissing off tons of locals. It basically says that everyone in Columbia Heights sucks, we spend all our time at Target, and we’re smug because we don’t live in Mount Pleasant. I’ve been wanting to post something about it, but no matter how many times I read the article, I just can’t seem to get that worked up over it. I mean, I do go to Target a lot. I like Target. It’s a great place to buy cheap clothes for the kid, kitty litter, veggie burgers, box wine . . . But I guess the article doesn’t quite hit that close to home. I have been accused of being smug about where I live, but that was in relation to Ballston. I’m glad I don’t live in Ballston – not that it’s a bad place to live, it’s just not what we were looking for. And Mount Pleasant? I like Mount Pleasant. When we outgrow our place, that’s probably the first place we’re going to look. And Wonderland references are lost on me – I’ve been maybe a half dozen times, it’s a cool bar, but it’s not my hangout. We’re much more likely to sit out on the porch at Commonwealth and drink Twisted Thistles and order a cheese plate. The article was a little annoying, I admit. It took a small group of Columbia Heights residents and made sweeping generalizations about everyone here. It didn’t really offer any insight, and I don’t think it got the generalizations right. But I just don’t care. If the article had been about the roads around Target, that would have been a different story – whoever thought the traffic patterns around DCUSA could hold up to the volume of cars and pedestrians there are now was totally insane.

Doing a little gardening

Originally uploaded by thetejon

Up until this afternoon, it could have been argued that I lived in a dentist’s office. The front yard, such as it is, was clearly designed by someone who didn’t want to offend anyone. Unfortunately for him, I was offended. What are those grass-bush-things? They’re ugly. Especially after they got a little brown over the winter, and then they started growing again this spring. They looked terrible. I’ve been saying I wanted to replace them with something else pretty much since we moved in over two years ago. Today, I put my sweat where my mouth is. The wife, the kid, and I went to Garden District and got plants and mulch and a little spade. They were quite helpful there.

Originally uploaded by thetejon

We picked out a rose bush, some blue flowers, another bush that should flower late in the summer, and some marigolds. I don’t remember all the details, but I know I had a marigold garden when I was about four years old. I’m sure I did most of the upkeep work. In my opinion, clearly unbiased, it looks amazing. We’ll have to wait and see if anyone else in the building acknowledges my genius. One already told me it looked good, but he ran into me while I was cleaning up, so he pretty much had to say nice things. It remains to be seen if anyone else will do it unprompted. Luckily for me, a much improved garden is its own reward.

Has Columbia Heights turned a corner?

The wife and kid and I went to D’Vines yesterday to get beer for the Celtics game (Probably should have gotten more considering the end result). Out in front of the Columbia Heights Metro were beggars from Greenpeace! While avoiding eye contact as much as possible, the wife and I were secretly thrilled that these organized panhandlers had branched out from the fancy spots like the P St Whole Foods to come to our neighborhood. Of course, now I’d like them to go away. I don’t like being accosted for my wallet every time I go near DCUSA.