Showing posts from June, 2016

370 Key Conrad Hotel Breaks Ground

Excavation work has begun on the Conrad Hotel site at City Center DC. The Hilton brand hotel is slated to open in 2018 with 370 rooms and 70,000 square feet of retail. Tiffany & Co. will likely be one of the retail stores at the hotel, which is the latest piece of the City Center DC development, already known for extravagant and pricey branded retail. Conrad will comprise half of the lot that is bound by I Street NW, 10th Street, New York Ave, and 9th Street. The entrance will be located on the New York Ave side.
Yesterday I looked for bookings on a random weekend (November 4th and 5th) at the Conrad Hotels in Miami, New York, and Chicago. Non-discounted rooms were as low as $299 per night in Miami, $329 in New York, and $395 in Chicago. I would expect DC prices to be in line with New York and Chicago.

Interesting note: Hilton was one of the bidders to convert the Old Post Office from institutional use to commercial building. It proposed a luxury hotel for that site, but lost out…

Mary Church Terrell Honored at Old Hecht's Building

Mary Eliza Church Terrell's lifespan bridged several important chapters in American history; the Civil War (born in 1863), Reconstruction, Women's Suffrage, double World Wars, the Great Depression, and the modern Civil Rights era (died in 1954). Terrell was a teacher and principal in DC (at a school that eventually become Dunbar), served on the school board here, founded the National Association of Colored Women, helped found the NAACP, fought segregation as a member of the AAUW, and became one of the most important voices and strategists for the women's suffrage movement, especially for black women. 
Part of Terrell's work in DC was her push to desegregate a Hecht's store lunch counter at 7th and F NW (and Murphy's, and actually all retail stores). Her work eventually paid off. Hecht's changed their discriminatory practices and the District later outlawed the racial segregation of public spaces. In the broader scheme, the U.S. Supreme court issued the Oli…

Fare Well Opens Today on H Street

Fare Well, the all-vegan bakery, diner, and bar opens today at 406 H St NE. The much anticipated project from the owner of Columbia Heights' Sticky Fingers has been percolating for quite a while and is finally ready for its close-up.
Fare Well joins the "vegan summer" along the X2 route, with openings of Shouk and HipCity Veg in recent months. Shouk, HipCity, and Fare Well serve only plant-based meals; no meat, no dairy, no eggs.
City Paper and Washington Post offered great previews of Fare Well and the official menu can be found here. Highlights for me are breakfast-all-day, southern fried seitan, and the caramelized onion & garlic potato knish. Sounds awesome! This is just a 20 minute walk or so from Carver Langston, so I could see a few weekend brunches or dinner-on-the-way-home-from work visits at some point.
Fare Well will initially be open Wednesday through Sunday, but has plans to operate seven days a week. It opens today at 8:00 AM.

Waiting for Streetcar


Volunteer Opportunity: Collective Action for Safe Spaces

Sometimes you want to support a cause, or a specific organization, or just want to help where help is needed. But, giving $$$ isn't always possible. I know that's true for me. I'm on an educational advisory board, a non-profit board (Collective Action for Safe Spaces!), and a fundraising committee for my high school. I love giving time and money to all three, but in all honestly, the time part is sometimes easier to manage.
Volunteering and contributing time are great ways to stay active and engaged in issues you want to affect while helping organizations and collectives whose work you believe in. Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) is recruiting volunteers next week at a social on U St NW. Check in on the event page here.
CASS has a powerfully simple vision: Empowering the DC Metro area to build a community free from public sexual harassment and assault.
Yes, the issue is local. Working to stop sexual harassment and sex crimes on Metro
Yes, the issue is global. The …

All Vegan HipCity Veg Opens in Penn Quarter

Phila-based HipCity Veg opens in Penn Quarter/Chinatown today. The all-vegan, fast casual restaurant is located at 712 7th St NW between G and H Streets. HipCity comes just months after the demise of another all-vegan, fast casual style restaurant, Native Foods Cafe. They are alike on the surface, but not really. Native Foods may be becoming a cautionary tale of expanding too fast, and too vast. HipCity has just three stores, with two in Philadelphia and, now, one in DC. Their approach appears to be a bit more focused and measured. The menu is simple and that's a plus. The dishes are distinctive enough to provide variety, but the limited nature --just nine "main" dishes, mostly sandwiches-- means the focus can be on execution, consistency, and moving customers through the line during the busy Penn Quarter lunch block. That's so key. It's great to have a top notch menu, but most workers in PQ are looking to grab lunch and move along while minimizing time in line …

1701 H Signage Up on Benning Road

New signage has appeared advertising a new residential tower in Caver Langston. 1701 H Street is a planned 180 unit building with retail that will exist at the corner of 17th St and Benning Rd NE. This is across 17th St from Hechinger Mall and about halfway between the Starburst Plaza and 19th Street DC Streetcar stations.
The developers seemingly want to capitalize on an association with "H Street," or the Atlas District, which is nearby. I'd have little to say about this if most of the building didn't front on 17th Street and Benning Road. Even then, this was really much ado about nothing until I read this recent, and somewhat infuriating interview, including this gem. For many years, Scott says, there was only Foggy Bottom and the West End, Georgetown and the upper Northwest. “And you had poverty everywhere else,” he says. “DC, for the first time, is developing neighborhoods and subcultures.” [David Hubler, “Why the Developer Building Buzzard Point's First Mixe…