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Last-Minute Ideas for Halloween on the Hill

Pumpkins (Photo via Flicrk/teo)

If you’re still undecided on how to celebrate Halloween tonight, don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of some options. There are activities on the Hill for adult goblins, little boys and ghouls, and even holiday-loving hounds.

Hilloween — Eastern Market, the D.C. Public Library and Capitol Hill Arts Workshop teamed up for plenty of Hilloween activities from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., including hay rides, a moon bounce, carousel rides and face painting. There are treat bags and candy for the kids. The event will take place along 7th Street SE.

Ghostly Drive-In — Union Market (1309 5th St. NE) will show “Ghostbusters” as its final drive-in movie of the season. The movie starts at 8 p.m., but bring the kids early for face painting, pumpkin decorating and trick-or-treating.

H Street NE Trick-or-Treat — Businesses on the west end of H Street NE have collaborated to make a kid-friendly trick-or-treat environment. Kids get candy, and their adult chaperones can get treats, too. Participating businesses include
Driftwood Kitchen (400 H St. NE), Boundary Road (414 H St. NE), Cirque du Rouge (416 H St. NE), Big Board (421 H St. NE), Micho’s (500 H St. NE), Le Grenier (502 H St. NE), Metro Mutts (508 H St. NE) and D.C. Harvest (517 H St. NE).

Thriller on H Street NE — Joy of Motion Dance will host a performance by the Thriller Workshop dancers. Sign up for the $30 workshop from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. to learn all the moves to the iconic “Thriller” dance routine. Dancers will be released onto H Street NE for a performance under the marquee at the Atlas Performing Arts Center around 10 p.m.

‘Psycho’ Screening — The Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market (550 Penn St. NE) has two screenings tonight of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Psycho.” Both the 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. showings cost $11 per person. Attendees will get goodie bags from Chef Spike Mendelsohn, with treats like chocolate bacon and sushi popcorn.

Howl-O-Ween — Today and tomorrow, the Washington Humane Society will have scarily low adoption fees. Stop by either location (1201 New York Ave. NE or 7319 Georgia Ave. NW) to pick up a dog for $31 or a cat for $10.

Halloween Fright Night — Join the fun at Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club (1103 Bladensburg Rd. NE), where it’s $15 to get in and $70 for open bar. There will be several DJs, and costumes are required.

Gravensteen’s Haunted House — This haunted house at 50 Florida Ave. NE is considered the largest and scariest in the D.C. area. Tickets are available online for visits today and tomorrow .

GraveYards at Yards Park — Tomorrow (Saturday) from 6 to 10 p.m., Yards Park will transform into a spooky playground celebrating Day of the Dead. The free experience includes live music, street performers, fortune tellers, face painters, a beer garden and a celebrity graveyard.


Bike Lane Extension Coming Near Union Station

Bike lane on a street near Eastern MarketThe District Department of Transportation is planning to start extending a bike lane in Northeast before winter hits, and two other upgrades are in the works.

A two-way protected bike lane will be installed on 1st Street NE between G Street NE and Massachusetts Avenue NE starting in late November, DDOT bicycle program specialist Mike Goodno said.

The new section just west of Union Station is expected to take six months to complete and will extend the 1st Street NE lane installed in May.

“It will be one long network,” Goodno said.

A protected bike lane extension on M Street NE from 1st Street NE to the Metropolitan Branch Trail near Delaware Avenue NE is pending approval, the DDOT rep said.

A lane extension crossing the National Mall is also pending approval. That project would create a lane on 4th Street SW between School Street SW (near the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station) and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.


Report: Imani Temple Could Be Converted Into 7 Residential Units

Imani Temple (Photo via Flickr/Elvert Barnes)

Reuse plans are moving forward for the historic church just east of Stanton Park.

A developer is seeking to convert Imani Temple at 611 Maryland Ave. NE and an adjacent row house into seven residential units, ANC 6C Commissioner Mark Eckenwiler told Hill Now.

Morningstar Community Development, LLC will present its plans at the Nov. 5 meeting of the ANC 6C Planning, Zoning, and Environment Committee, of which Eckenwiler is the chair. The firm is seeking approval for its plans from the city’s Historic Preservation Review Board, Eckenwiler said.

The church is “unquestionably a significant structure in the Historic District,” said Eckenwiler, whose committee will review planned window replacements in the church.

Morningstar did not respond to multiple inquiries about the project.

Founded by Archbishop George A. Stallings, Jr. in 1990, the Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation bought the former Methodist Church in 1994.

Stallings announced in 2012 that the congregation would move to Prince George’s County, and listed the church for sale for $5.8 million. City tax records show the congregation still owns the building.

The archbishop did not respond to an inquiry.

Photo via Flickr/Elvert Barnes

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Developers Present Senior Housing Plans for Boys and Girls Club Building

Dantes Partners' rendering for redevelopment of the Eastern Branch Boys and Girls Club Building

Three separate plans for senior citizen housing in the former Eastern Branch Boys and Girls Club building were presented to Hill East residents Thursday night.

Representatives for two developers and a national nonprofit said they’re preparing bids to the city for the redevelopment of the 31,000-square-foot facility at 261 17th St. SE, two blocks west of the Stadium-Armory Metro station.

The first plan presented to the Hill East Task Force of ANC 6B would create a white, two-story addition on the reddish brick building, said Corey Powell, senior vice president of development for Dantes Partners.

“The intent is to preserve the existing building and simply add to it,” Powell said about the design (pictured) to create 49 units plus community space.

Dantes Partners’ development would cost more than $6 million to build and would be financed through federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Powell said. Renters would pay about $1,000 per month.

Dantes Partners has created other city housing for seniors, including the fully occupied Hodge on 7th building at 7th and P streets NW.

The second plan, from Century Associates, would create 24 to 30 larger units for seniors. The project would not add additional stories, company president Joel Kelty said.

“I think the scale of the building is perfect for the neighborhood,” he said.

The larger units would appeal to seniors who live in Hill townhouses now but need one-story homes.

“They’ve got a lot of stuff and they don’t want to give that up,” said Kelty, who owns the CrossFit DC building at 1365 H St. NE and the 1101 Convenience Mart building at 1101 H St. NE.

The Century project — which would include children’s activity space — would be privately financed. Kelty declined to give projected dollar amounts for construction or resident rent.

The third plan presented at the pre-Halloween meeting in the Historic Congressional Cemetery chapel would create 39 units of senior housing, plus community space and offices for a nonprofit.

Mai Fernandez, a Ward 6 resident and the executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, said her organization wants to house seniors and help them cope with crime.

The think tank and training organization would teach seniors how to avoid becoming victims, Fernandez said. The group is seeking to partner with a developer, and is working with an architect and a development consultant. NCVC is seeking tax credits for the project, Fernandez said.

The NCVC development sets aside 3,000 square feet of community space that would double as space for the organization’s trainings.

The Boys and Girls Club was closed in August 2007 because of rising costs and low enrollment, officials told The Washington Post that year. The city bought the building plus two Boys and Girls Clubs in Columbia Heights and Georgetown for $20 million total, but later declared the building to be surplus property.

Bids are due to the city on Nov. 20 and will be subject to public comment.


Woman Sexually Assaulted Near Bladensburg Road on Thursday

Police carA woman walking on 16th Street NE was sexually assaulted on Thursday by a man with a tattoo of a cross on his face, police said.

The woman was walking on the 1100 block of 16th Street NE about 12:15 a.m. Thursday when she was approached by a man. He sexually assaulted and robbed her, police said.

The suspect’s face tattoo is on his right cheek, police said. He is in his 30s, has short hair and a medium complexion, and stands about 5-foot-6, according to police. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie, black pants and black shoes.

Anyone who has information regarding this case should call police at (202) 727-9099. Additionally, information may be submitted by text message to 50411. D.C. Crime Solvers currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for an assault committed in the District of Columbia.


Morning Rundown

Woman running on M Street SEEataly Coming to Massachusetts Avenue — A location of the high-end Italian store and restaurant Eataly, owned by chef Mario Batali, will open at 200 Massachusetts Ave. NW, the project’s developer said. [Washington City Paper]

Reservation 13 Development Proposal — Plans for a mixed-use retail and residential development near the Stadium-Armory Metro are expected to go before City Council in December. [District Source]

Bluejacket by the Numbers — Bluejacket has produced 115 varieties of beer in its first year. The brewery will celebrate its one-year anniversary this weekend. [Eater]

Pop-Up Building Angering Hill Residents — Some locals are upset that the city allowed a 10th Street SE resident to build a two-story building in the yard of his Historic District home. [WJLA 7]

Southwest Playground Cleanup — Southwest residents who maintain the playground at 3rd and I streets SW are looking for volunteers to help clean up on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. [Southwest Playground Project]


Building-Size Murals Going Up in NoMa

NoMa is becoming a little more colorful, thanks to artists working on three new murals.

For the past couple weeks, artists have been painting murals on the sides of three buildings: 51 N St. NE, 1300 1st St. NE and 33 New York Ave. NE. The N Street Mural Project is a collaboration between the National Harbor gallery Art Whino and The JBG Companies. The project was created to improve and revitalize spaces before they are redeveloped, the gallery’s website says.

Art Whino selected the three artists — Momo, Kyle Hughes-Odgers and Rubin — based, in part, on their production of art with geometric designs. The artists needed to be creative with working with unconventional spaces, since the buildings have numerous angles instead of just flat surfaces.

Video shows Hughes-Odgers and his wife putting up one of the three works.

Viewers can walk to all three murals in a short time, as they’re all within about a block of each other.

The murals are expected to be finished by next Thursday, Nov. 6.


H Is for Hype: H Street NE Real Estate Tips

Gordon James Realty banner

This biweekly sponsored column is written by the experts at Gordon James Realty, a D.C.-based property management company that specializes in managing condos, single-family homes and multi-family properties in the metro region. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

Nearly 46 years ago, the H Street NE Corridor in Northeast Washington, D.C. wasn’t ablaze with funky night clubs, eclectic art galleries or mixed-use lofts. Parts of the street had literally erupted into flames. In the wake Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on April 4, 1968, protestors took to the street, igniting fires, looting businesses and damaging storefronts.

When the upheaval settled, vacant properties and dismal stretches of urban blight remained on H Street until the mid-2000s. Then, on the heels of the redevelopment of the iconic Atlas Performing Arts Theater, construction on a new streetcar line and the opening of nightlife mainstays like The Argonaut, Smith Commons and the Rock & Roll Hotel, the community began to make some headway. Now, with the H Street NE streetcar in its final testing phase and an inked lease agreement for a new Whole Foods on H Street between 6th and 7th streets, this corridor has gone from budding urban dwelling to a neighborhood in the throes of a renaissance.

Here is what you should know if you lease out your property on or near H Street, or are looking to buy:

The cat is out of the bag, but there is still opportunity. Like any up-and-coming area with character from a gritty historic past and a promising score of unique dining and entertainment options, H Street was bound to become a bit of a media darling. Opinion columns discuss its gentrification, lifestyle blogs praise its hot spots, Gawker equated it to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, and President Obama even dined there on his 2012 campaign trail. But no matter how hipster-friendly and en vogue H Street has become, it’s not an over-saturated market — demand to live there is still high. This is good news for property owners, as Urban Turf reported that prices for condos, townhouses and detached homes increased from 2012 to 2013, and the National Association of Realtors projected a 6 percent increase in 2014.

If you already rent your property, you should look into raising rent to accommodate demand. If you are deciding whether to invest in a property, consider H Street and other areas of Northeast Washington. As progress continues in the H Street Corridor and the D.C. Streetcar starts shuttling people from H Street between the Metro stops at Union Station and Benning Road, development will spill over into other neighborhoods in the Northeast quadrant, like Trinidad, Brookland, Tuxton Circle and Fort Totten.

Keep up with recent developments and advertise a lifestyle. If you are trying to fill a vacancy, remain aware of new businesses and modes of public transportation springing up. The first phase of the D.C. streetcar will run from Union Station along H Street to the Benning Road Metro stop. This 2.3-mile route will effectively provide H Street residents with an easy, convenient way to access the Metro. Area residents will not only be able to enjoy a hip, walkable urban lifestyle on H Street, they will be able to go anywhere in D.C without having to take a car or taxi. It’s important to stress local attractions and transportation options in your property listing so potential tenants will understand their new digs come with a highly sought-after lifestyle that can include a one-of-a-kind night out at the H Street Country Club, dinner with ethnic cuisine or even just a simple trip to Whole Foods.

The buzz about H Street hasn’t quite reached a fever pitch, but once the streetcar begins service and slated developments start to take shape, demand will rise higher and property prices will increase. Start assessing your rent or consider investing before you miss out on the H Street revival.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HillNow.com.


H Street NE Streetcar Blocks Traffic After Car Stalls in Streetcar Lane

Update at 2:40 p.m. — The streetcar blocked traffic at 10th and H streets NE because a car stalled in the streetcar lane, a District Department of Transportation spokesman said. 

Earlier — An H Street NE streetcar being tested on the thoroughfare was stalled Thursday afternoon and temporarily blocked traffic at 10th Street NE, according to reports.

The streetcar appeared broken down in the middle of the intersection at about 12:50 p.m., DCist editor Sarah Anne Hughes reported.

“Streetcar stuck IN FRONT OF its own office and the tow truck can’t move the car,” Twitter user @_christopher wrote minutes later.

The car and streetcar were cleared by 2 p.m., local business owners said.


‘Go West Beer Fest’ Announced for Eastern Market

Beer on an outdoor patio

(Updated at 10:25 a.m. Friday, Oct. 31) Don’t be surprised if Eastern Market feels a little more rugged on Friday, Nov. 14.

The state societies of six western states will co-host their annual Go West Beer Fest that night.

Revelers will enjoy beer, wine and food from the Northwest, including Big Sky Brewing’s Moose Drool brown ale and its Trout Slayer wheat ale.

The event will take place in the North Hall of Eastern Market, at 225 7th St. SE, from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and can be bought through the participating state societies. The event is co-sponsored by the state societies of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Targeted at transplants from the Pacific Northwest, the festival will have a capacity of 730 people this year. The party has been hosted on and off since 2007, and it sold out quickly last year, organizers said.

Attendees must be 21 or older.


Intoxicated Driver Sparks Police Chase Toward Capitol Building

Police car light(Updated at 12:00 p.m.) An intoxicated, unlicensed driver ran over another man’s legs on Pennsylvania Avenue this week and led police on a wild car chase toward the Capitol, police said.

Police arrested Luis Miguel Ferraz, 39, on Tuesday night on charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving, police said Thursday morning.

The mayhem began when police received a call Tuesday night about a kidnapping in progress, police said.

When officers tried to make a traffic stop about 7:25 p.m. at 2nd Street SE and Pennsylvania Avenue SE, a male passenger tried to get out of the car. Ferraz sped forward, crushed his passenger’s legs and raced toward the Capitol, police said.

Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Capitol Police officers stopped Ferraz at 1st Street NE and Maryland Avenue NE about 10 minutes later, police said.

“The totality of the suspect’s conduct manifested extreme indifference to human life when the suspect intentionally and knowingly engaged in conduct which created grave risk of severe bodily injury to the complainant,” Officer Araz Alali, a police spokesman, said.

Ferraz, an Alexandria resident, was hit with six charges: driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug, operating a vehicle while impaired, leaving after a collision that caused personal injury, aggravated reckless driving, reckless driving and driving without a permit.

He was arraigned Wednesday and released on conditions that he undergo alcohol testing and treatment, report to the Pretrial Services Agency and refrain from driving after drinking alcohol, court records show.

Ferraz is due in court Nov. 18. His lawyer did not immediately respond to an inquiry.


Morning Rundown

U.S. Supreme Court

The Search for Relisha Rudd — The search for the 9-year-old who went missing in March continued on Wednesday, her ninth birthday. Relisha Rudd was staying at the D.C. General shelter with her mother and siblings. [DCist]

New Wine Shop Near Potomac Avenue Metro Station — Pipetown Traders, a wine and craft beer shop, is set to open on Pennsylvania Avenue SE at 14th Street NE on Friday. [The Hill Is Home]

L Street NE Underpass Upgrades — The WashCycle questions whether L Street NE underpass changes to add public art will serve cyclists and pedestrians. [WashCycle]

Free Turkey-Frying on Barracks Row — The 8th Street SE restaurant Medium Rare will fry turkeys for free on Thanksgiving morning. “We’re going to save people from burning down their house or going to the emergency room,” company founder Mark Bucher said. [Roll Call]


Free Halloween Photo Booth Returning to Lincoln Park Block

Taylor Kiessig and his son Max (Photo courtesy of Ryan Lovin)

What costs as much as candy and makes trick-or-treaters smile even more?

A Halloween photo booth, Hill resident Ryan Lovin says.

After Lovin and his wife Swapna moved onto Massachusetts Avenue SE two years ago, they were “amazed at the sheer number of trick-or-treaters,” he said. So, the tax attorney and amateur photographer decided to try something different last Halloween.

He created a Halloween photo booth by renting lights and setting up a backdrop in his front yard. In just a few hours, he took about 450 pictures of more than 600 people.

“Renting the equipment was the same price as getting candy, and it was definitely a lot more fun,” he said Tuesday.

The Lovins will set up the free photo booth in front of their house again on Friday. Trick-or-treaters can look out for it starting at 5 p.m., on Massachusetts Avenue between 13th and East Capitol streets SE.

People who smile (or scowl) for the camera will be able to instantly see their photos on a laptop. The images will then be posted to Flickr, where they can be downloaded for free.

“I was afraid people last year would just walk by our lawn,” Lovin said. “But it really took off. There was quite a line.”


Hill Pet of the Week: Meeko

Metro Mutts

Meet Meeko, the Hill Pet of the Week. He’s a 3-month-old toy Papillon who loves fall leaves and is “suffering from big dog syndrome.” Here’s what else his owner, Chelsea, said about him:

He is a fearless little man. Gives kisses for days and learned very early on it’s better to kiss the small kids, for they always have leftovers on their faces! Meeko already has formed an awesome sleep schedule. He’s usually falling asleep standing by 8:30 p.m. But up bright and early every day around 5:45 a.m. for his morning walk.

He is the purest form of joy. There isn’t a person in the world who could look at him and not smile — from his tiny little paws to his cute bandit face. He sure brings a lot of love to our block of the Hill.

Want your pet to be considered for Hill Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least three horizontal photos of your pet.

Each week’s winner receives a gift bag of dog or cat treats from Metro Mutts, along with 100 Metro Mutts Reward Points. Known for “What dogs and cats want. What owners need,” Metro Mutts specializes in products and services for passionate pet owners. Now offering individualized dog walking, pet sitting and cat care from two store locations on Capitol Hill, on Barracks Row and on H Street NE. Learn more at www.metromuttsdc.com.

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Ward 6 Residents Support Bowser, Oppose ‘Redskins,’ Poll Says

Poll Results (Photo via Washington City Paper)Most Ward 6 residents who participated in a poll sponsored by Washington City Paper and “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” said they support Muriel Bowser for mayor and find the Washington Redskins’ name offensive.

Some Ward 6 data from the results released Wednesday afternoon:

Mayoral Candidate: 44 percent of respondents said they will vote for Muriel Bowser for mayor. David Catania came in with 42 percent.

Washington Redskins: 61 percent of respondents said they found the team name offensive and disparaging to Native Americans.

Marijuana Legalization: 45 percent of respondents supported the legalization of marijuana. 42 percent opposed it.

Mayor Vincent Gray: 29 percent of respondents said they thought Gray should be indicted after his term is over. 26 percent said to indict him sooner.

Homeless shelters: 40 percent of respondents said they would support a homeless shelter being opened nearby.

Olympics: 46 precent of respondents said they oppose D.C. hosting the 2024 games.

Residency: 55 percent of respondents said they’ve lived in D.C. for more than 20 years.

Nearly 600 people citywide participated in the poll conducted Oct. 22-22 by Public Policy Polling, the paper said. The margin of error is 4 percentage points, and higher for questions that received lower numbers of responses.

To see full poll results, click here.


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