Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CityCenter DC Apartments

We've been keeping an eye on CityCenter developments (it's hard not to - you can see the cranes from every quadrant of town!) and today we noticed the residences' website had gotten a substantial upgrade.

You can go peruse the floorplans - 1 BRs start in the $400,000s and 2 BRs in the $700,000s.

We had earlier been told that they'd be asking $800-$900 per square foot, but even assuming the very high end of the given price estimates, CityCenter seems to have considerably backed down to, at most, $725 per square foot for 1 BRs and about $630 for 2BRs.  This does not appear to be incredibly out of line with our recent Zillow survey, indicating Penn Quarter condos were getting between $530 and $690.

The 216 condos will have an array of amenities as expected, but frankly we were somewhat underwhelmed - no pool, simply a "water feature," and a very small gym.  Aside from the fire pit, there's nothing terribly novel.  Perhaps the apartment building (which we believe is separate and will eventually be serviced by another, separate website) will offer more and share?
Fire Pit
"Water Feature"

As for the retail area below, there's been little news regarding prospective retail tenants, there's been little news recently, though we're still harboring hopes for Eataly.  We did learn, however, that CityCenter will be getting "dramatic, interactive fountains that adapt to the number of visitors near by... creating a striking show all the while."

Wiseguy Pizza Looking for Pizza Snobs

Wiseguys NY Pizza has plans to open in the Mass Court building at 3rd and H NW "around September," but first they're looking for 100 "pizza snobs" to judge their pizza.

You can plead your case on their Facebook page to get a judging spot - you could win a wood fired pizza oven (maybe your condo will let you put it on the roof?) or free pizza.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pop-Up Goodwill

Edited, Goodwill Pop-up Shop
A pop-up from Goodwill and Gensler, a global architecture and design firm called "Edited for Goodwill" is coming to the Pepco Edison Place Art Gallery (8th and G NW) at the end of this week.  On August 1-3 from noon to 7p, they'll be shilling a "great selection of vintage and contemporary fashions at bargain prices."

No word if they'll also be accepting donations at this location.

12p UPDATE:  Yes, Goodwill will accept donations at this location.

Gallery Place Shooting

A shooting occurred this morning at about 5:30am at 6th and F NW.

We have very few details, except that police found one man suffering from a gunshot wound. He has been taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Further, per MPD information, we believe the case has already been closed, implying the gunman has been found.

The area was closed for about three hours following the crime to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, but has since reopened.

10am UPDATE:  According to the Washington Post, the victim and the shooter are one and the same:
"The fight broke out about 5:30 a.m. inside a McDonald's in the 600 block of F St. NW, police said, and may have spilled out onto the street.  A police spokeswoman said one of the men had a gun and that he accidentally shot himself in the leg."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pi Food Truck Puts the Brakes On

In more food truck news, Pi Food Truck announced today that July 31st will be the last day of the pizza truck's operation.

The brick and mortar operation will not be affected.  According to their release, the "DC restaurant is far exceeding [their] expectations," and so they plan to "double-down on [their success]" here and with other full-service locations.

Mike Isabella's Food Truck

Perhaps following in Pepe's footsteps, Mike Isabella will be hopping on the food truck bandwagon.

Bad news: it's for just one day (tomorrow, Wednesday the 25th).
Good news: eating at it will be free.

Isabella, citing the high demand at Graffiato, wants to "bring Graffiato to people all over D.C.," but it won't be a functional food truck: instead it will be samples of popular dishes that were pre-made in-house at Graffiato.

Want to check it out?   Here's the schedule
  • 8a - Dupont - Q St NW btw 20th and Connecticut;
  • 11a - Union Station - Mass Ave and F Street NW;
  • 1p - Franklin Park - 14th and K NW;
  • 4:45p - Farragut North - K btw 17th and Connecticut;
  • 6:30p - National Mall - 10th and Constitution.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Increased security at Regal Gallery Place

Following the tragic shooting in Colorado in the early morning hours, USAToday reports that Regal Gallery Place has been searching bags of moviegoers today.

However, one reader emailed us to say Regal has been searching bags even before the incident -- though to look for smuggling of snacks and drinks, not firearms.

AIDS Memorial Quilt

The AIDS Memorial Quilt is touring the Capitol tomorrow through July 25th.  During this time, 35,200 panels will be displayed in over fifty places around the city.

View Quilt 2012 in a larger map

The National Building Museum has a spectacular showing of the quilt in their Great Hall.  The Museum is open 10-5 seven days a week (11-5 on Sundays).

Owly Images

Mount Vernon Triangle Roundup

Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association - MVNSA
Two brief news items for our friends just east of here...

  • Next Tuesday, July 24th, there will be a happy hour at Tel-Veh for "neighbors from Madrigal Lofts, The Sonata, 555 Mass, City Vista and other residential buildings for a laugh with new friends and to try wines you've never heard of."
  • Via Downtown DC Kids, Walker Jones Elementary, which serves Mount Vernon Triangle and parts of Chinatown, is hosting a detailed information session at Busboys and Poets on Tuesday, August 21st.  Frances Evangelista, Dean of Students, will be on hand to inform interested parents about the diverse opportunities available to incoming children.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

MPD Needs Your Help

Did you witness a crime at 7th and H around 3:20am on June 5th?  Or, do you recognize any of the individuals in the video below? From the MPD:
The Metropolitan Police Department seeks the public's assistance in identifying individuals depicted in a surveillance video just prior to a violent attack on a passerby.  The subjects are depicted at a bus stop at the intersection of 7th and H Streets, NW, at approximately 3:20 AM on Tuesday, June 5, 2012.  Subsequent to the attack, the individuals are pictured standing on the sidewalk on the north side of H Street, near its intersection with 6th Street, NW.
If you are able to identify any of the individuals depicted in this video or have information about the incident or are aware of other crimes committed by these individuals, do not take action but please contact police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to 50411.

We know that these occurrences happen far too frequently - as we reported last week, there are an average of three crimes in Penn Quarter/Chinatown every day.  Community involvement is a great tool to help combat crimes such as this one: take a quick look at the video to see if you can help.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Parks and Rec Shooting in Penn Quarter

The NBC sitcom Parks and Rec has plans to be in the neighborhood this week - according to the DC Film Office, they'll be "filming the season opener of the TV show.  Scenes will feature the characters touring DC and talking about relationships."  Fans of the show will know that one of the main characters took a job in DC at the end of last season.  At the very least, we believe Amy Poehler and Adam Scott will be here.

The characters' tour includes quite a bit of the District and the crew will be here through Friday (see the full list here), but here's a quick Leslie Knope spotting guide for Penn Quarter.  Keep your eyes out, PQ Insiders, and send us pics if you spot them!

  • Thursday, 9:30a-4p: 6th Street between Penn and Constitution
  • Friday, 5a-11p:  8th Street between F and D; D Street between 7th and 9th; E Street between 12th and 13th; 

Shake Shack Coming?

Prince of Petworth has some "scuttlebutt" that Shake Shack will be moving into the Spy Museum Cafe space at 9th and F.  If true, this would be the District's third location - the first two are in Dupont and at Nats Park.

This is particularly interesting since The Malrite Company, which owns the Spy Museum, dissolved their restaurant-owning subsidiary, Stir Food Group, last month when closing Zola, Potenza, and Zola Wine & Kitchen.  We confirmed that Malrite intended to get out of the restaurant industry, and by handing over the operations of the Spy Museum Cafe to Shake Shack, they would do just that.

PQ Bodega Needs Funding

Last month, we mentioned that the Penn Quarter Bodega had plans to roll out a mobile food truck.  Per their updated website, they are 30% of the way to that goal, and only 7% of the way towards opening the brick and mortar store.  So, they're asking for your help.

You can become a sponsor of the Bodega - donations of $250 through $5000 will get you different levels of recognition, which you can check out below.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Screen on the Green Tonight

Tonight at sundown (8:31p tonight), beloved Screen on the Green returns to the National Mall.  Bring a blanket and head over between 7th and 12th Streets for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  

Enter the trivia contest today before 5p and you'll be entered to win dinner for 4 from Hill Country, a $25 tab to Iron Horse, or $25 to The Daily Rider Bike Shop.

The President in Penn Quarter Tonight

Tonight the President will be at the Verizon Center watching the US National Basketball team take on Brazil in an exhibition game before the Olympics begin later this month.

Of course, also in the neighborhood will be Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Andrew Iguodala, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams, along with Coach K.

After 6pm today, 6th Street NW will be closed between F and H Streets.

If you have tickets, the map below is from the Verizon Center and advises guests who have a valid pass to the Verizon Center parking garage to use G Street NW for access.  Parking passes will be checked and cars will be screened at 5th and G.
suites- garage directions G St v2

If you don't, we advise trying to get home/stay home early tonight - the increased security will surely cause a back up all around Penn Quarter.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Metro's Talent Show

In what we originally thought was a joke, Metro sent a press release entitled "Metro holds talent auditions."  Though we hoped auditions would be for their often abysmal social media presence, their repair schedule, or frequently surly operators, those hopes were dashed.   Instead, Metro is seeking performers:
"MetroPerforms! invites local performers of all genres - singers, dancers, musicians, poets and more - to showcase their talents at select Metrorail station entrances.  In addition, for the first time, artists selected for MetroPerforms! will be invited to perform at the Music on the Mall program, developed by Metro in cooperation with the National Park Service and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton."
Auditions will be next Tuesday, July 17th from 5-7p at Metro headquarters here in Penn Quarter - 600 5th Street NW on a first-come first-serve basis, so get there early.

Riders, you'll see the winners from July to September at Metro stations all over the region.  

Celebrating Bastille Day

Your batons!
Yes, the Fourth of July is over, but that doesn't mean you should stop celebrating.

Join Paul in their 2nd annual Baguette Relay Race tomorrow, July 14th - racers (divided into teams of five) will speedwalk around the Navy Memorial and hand off their baguette to their next teammate.  All members of the winning team get a $25 gift card to Paul.

If the free delicacies haven't intrigued you, maybe this will: last year the race attracted tons of people, including women in French maid costumes!  Lest you think it's for adults only: fear not - the kids race starts at 10:30a, followed by the adults race at 11a.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Opening Night at Del Frisco Grill

It's opening night at Del Frisco Grill, and the red carpet is out!

The restaurant posted this picture on twitter:

Market's Birthday Today!

FreshFarm Markets are celebrating their 15th birthday today, and naturally Penn Quarter is getting in on the action.  From 3-7 today you can get all of the normal delicacies, plus some "market swag," and maybe some carrot cake if you're lucky.  The big celebration will be this Sunday in Dupont.

Plus, Chef Orlando from Station 4 will be on hand doing a cooking demo today at 4p.

Happy birthday, FreshFarm!  We wish you many more.

Chinatown Has the Highest Number of Crimes in the District

When you think of notoriously crime-ridden neighborhoods in DC, do you immediately think of your own?  You may need to think again: Chinatown has the highest number of crimes in all of DC (and yes, that includes Penn Quarter): 1018 from July 2011 to July 2012.

This map, created by Sarah Hank, breaks down crimes by area.  If you zoom into our area you can get all of the details.

The most perpetrated crime was theft, followed by theft from auto and then robbery.  As compared to last year, crime rate increased by 6.5%.  You can look at MPD's definitions of these crimes here.

We'll use this as a reminder to our readers to stay vigilant and to stay safe.  Over the past year we've reported on some notable crimes here in Penn Quarter, but these stats prove that two thefts occur every day in our neighborhood.  Also: if you witness a crime or have information regarding one, call the police at (202) 727-9099, (888) 919-CRIME, or text the tip line by messaging 50411.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Penn Quarter to Get a Theatrical Sichuan Restaurant?

An article in the Washington Post implies that an authentic Sichuan restaurant, Ba Guo Bu Yi, is looking to sign a lease and open within the year - and possibly in Penn Quarter.  Originally the restaurant had it's sights on Chinatown, but didn't want to be "stigmatized as a cheap Chinese restaurant."
Ba Guo Bu Yi's Chinese Logo
Indeed - Ba Guo Bu Yi is not your typical Chinese restaurant.
"Each location is large, usually two stories, and serves not only authentic Sichuan cuisine but also authentic Sichuan culture on stage, including the so-called 'face-changing' performances from Sichuan opera," according to the Post.
In thinking about a large, two story space, we wonder if ESPN Zone would be too big at 25,000 square feet.  Or if the old SoHo space at 9th and E has a basement.  Any other ideas, readers?

Celebrity Sighting

Crooner Seal was spotted at the new Leica store on F Street.  According to Seal's Flickr page (where you can see a picture of Seal in Penn Quarter), he was there to "pick up some bits 'n bobs."  He performed at Wolf Trap last night, which explains why he was in the 'hood.

Check out this video of Seal chatting about photography with Leica:

Leica Portrait: Seal from Leica Camera on Vimeo.

EyeFit Vision Center Coming to Chinatown

Another new tenant for Sixth Street is on the way - thanks to a reader for this photo, we know that Eyefit Vision Center is coming soon to 777 6th Street (between G and H).  Eyefit seems to have a pretty substantial presence in Maryland, with locations in Columbia, Dundalk and Bel Air, but we believe this will be the first location in the District.

Protein Bar to Open Next Month

We've heard from the folks at Protein Bar that they'll be opening in August.  They've made quick work of the build out and we're excited to have them.  Check out menus from their Chicago-based locations here.

Another Restaurant Closed

Again thanks go to one of our amazing readers for the tip that the Quiznos on 5th Street between G & H has closed.  Sad to see them go - we always found the proprietors to be incredibly friendly there.

Still craving a Quiznos sammie?  You can find them at 7th and I NW, The Shops at National Place, and Union Station still. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Downtown Neighborhood Association Meeting Tonight

Stop by the Calvary Baptist Church tonight from 6:30-8p for the Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting.

President Nanette Paris will be on hand to talk about the revised legislation proposed for the Verizon Center signage, and what position the DNA has taken on the legislation. If you're interested, you can also read why PQInsider supports the new jumbotrons.

Maria Lopes, Community Outreach Coordinator for the I-395 Air Rights Tunnel Project will attend as well, to give an update on the project.

Finally, the PSA 102 representatives from the MPD will discuss crime and neighborhood safety issues.

One final note: the DNA will be recessing in August; their next meeting will be in September.

White Apron to Open Soon

White Apron, a new specialty sandwich store has just put up some signage at its new location at 11th between E and Pennsylvania.  As far as we can tell, this is the first instance of this restaurant, and it doesn't yet have a web presence.  From the signage, the sandwich shop will have a Mediterranean flare, serving "creamy-smooth hummus," "garlic-punchy bean paste," and "cool, tangy tzatziki."  It's "coming soon," but we'll be watching for a date certain.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Gelato Pop Up

LivingSocial has brought Dolci Gelato in house this week at 918 F Street.  From 3-8p all this week you can grab an array of flavors (or tweet your requests using the hashtag #918FSt).  Today's flavors include ginger, Thai coconut lemongrass, mango agave, and more.
Next week Suga Mama Sweets will be popping up in the space - and more is expected to round out LivingSocial's Frozen Treat Month.   Yum!

Del Frisco's Grille Set to Open This Weekend

Del Frisco's Grille is now accepting reservations for their Saturday opening.  Urban Daddy got a look at the space - to us it looks very much like a more casual Charlie Palmer - huge glass encased wine racks (with more than 5,000 bottles), large banquettes and red leather chairs.  We're most excited about their 100 seat patio, particularly now that the heat wave has passed.  One PQ Insider has been to DFG's New York location and is already craving the crabcakes.  See you there!

Penn Social Opening

As we reported, Riot Act's "second act" as Penn Social has begun and is now open for business.  Thrillist has some pictures of the new space, which has been somewhat retooled to make room for the District Karaoke league space (upstairs) and the pool tables, bocce courts, shuffleboard tables, skeeball machines, cornhole and shuffleboard courts.

Stop by this Saturday (the 14th) at 8p for their grand opening party.

What's to Become of America Eats?

America Eats had its swan song last week, and with Minibar moving to the old Zola Wine and Kitchen space, Andres' outpost on 8th Street is now dormant.

It may not be forever, though - Rob Wilder, the CEO of ThinkFood Group, tweeted that there may be more in the works:
We'll be watching for any developments.