Unit block of I Street SE (Photo via Google Maps)A Hill Now story about an armed robbery at a McDonald’s on the unit block of I Street SE sparked a debate last night over how to identify this chunk of the District.

In our piece, we wrote that the area is in Navy Yard. We’ve traditionally called the area in Southeast D.C. bounded by the Anacostia River, South Capitol Street and the Southeast Freeway as Navy Yard. We refer to the Navy instillation in the area as the Washington Navy Yard.

Although the unit block of I Street SE is at the edge of this area, it fits within these boundaries.

NBC Washington reporter Tom Sherwood released these tweets shortly after we published our story, unleashing a torrent of comments on whether this block is in Navy Yard and whether Navy Yard is even a real neighborhood name:

We’re no strangers to debates about neighborhood names at Local News Now, the parent company of Hill Now. At one of our other websites, Borderstan, which covers a large swath of Northwest D.C., we looked at whether “North End Shaw” is a valid neighborhood name.

Unlike North End Shaw, Navy Yard as a neighborhood name has been around long enough that a neighborhood association and The Washington Post, Washington City Paper and other local news publications use the moniker. This week, for example, DCist, used Navy Yard to describe the neighborhood that is the focus of local blogger Jacqueline Dupree, who runs JDLand.

Instead of Navy Yard, we’ve heard at least part of the neighborhood called Near Southeast, Old City I and Capitol Riverfront.

What do you call the unit block of I Street SE? You can weigh in through the poll and in the comments.

Photo via Google Maps


18-year-old Shepherd Norman skates at the park near 2nd Street SE

CSX tunnel construction is about to become a real bummer for skateboarders.

The latest phase of work to reconstruct the Virginia Avenue SE train tunnel will limit skaters’ access to the ad hoc skate park under the Southeast Freeway near 2nd Street SE.

When workers are on the job, access to the area will be limited, the company said. A CSX representative wasn’t immediately available to elaborate.

Part of the street art-covered skate park, which is not an official D.C. or federal park, ultimately will be demolished as part of the reconstruction work, according to CSX. But the company said it intends to replace the recreation space.

A timeline for the demolition and restoration of the park wasn’t immediately clear.

On Monday afternoon, a few skateboarders were tearing around the park, which has rails and half-pipes. They said they were disappointed to hear about the changes coming to the park.

Capitol Hill resident Anthony Piscioneri, 37, said he likes the friendly community of skateboarders he has found at the park since he started skating there four months ago.

“It sucks,” Piscioneri said of the changes on the way. “There’s not too many places you’re allowed to skate in D.C.”

Shepherd Norman, 18, who regularly drives in from Woodbridge, Va., to skate at the park, said the space is “so special” to him. But he said he understands that CSX needs room for its construction work.

“I hate to hear that,” Norman said. “But they got to do what they got to do.”


Morning Rundown

Potomac Avenue

Local Ice Cream Company Criticized for ‘Bangkok Brothel’ Flavor — The Union Kitchen-based company Milk Cult apologized for naming a vegan coconut milk ice cream Bangkok Brothel. The advocacy group People Against Rape Culture shamed the company online for “praising” sex trafficking. Milk Cult won’t change the name but will donate a portion of proceeds to prostitution-related nonprofits. [Washington City Paper]

Union Station Development PlansThe New York Times delved into the future of Union Station, showing renderings for the 14-acre project with new retail, residential units, offices and hotel rooms. [New York Times]

Humane Society Coming to Near Southeast — The Washington Humane Society bought the vacant former Exxon site at 11th and M streets SE. [JDLand]

Capitol Building Gossip App — Congressional staffers can now use an anonymous gossip app called Cloakroam, which works only in the Capitol building. “Capitol Hill feels a lot like a college, with thousands of twenty-somethings all working on the same campus, eating in cafeterias and taking summer recesses,” TechCrunch wrote. [TechCrunch]


The Near Southeast block that’s home to Bluejacket, Willie’s Brew & Que and Nando’s Peri-Peri was burglarized this weekend.

A burglar struck a restaurant on the 300 block of Tingey Street SE about 5 a.m. Sunday, police said this morning. Surveillance video shows a man entering a building through a back door.

The thief made off with alcohol and an iPod, police said in an update.

Anyone who can identify this individual or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at 202-727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s text tip line at 50411. Crime Solvers of Washington, DC 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 a crime committed in the District of Columbia. Your assistance is appreciated by your community.

Video via MPD


(Updated at 9:55 a.m. Monday) The owners of Bardo Brewpub on Bladensburg Road want to turn unused land in Navy Yard into a “deluxe” waterfront beer garden with food trucks, a dog park and outdoor movies.

In a three-minute video narrated by their mascot Bardawg, Bardo announced last night that they’re aiming to raise $200,00 in the next month to create a “BeerDisneyLand” at 25 Potomac Ave. SE, just south of Nationals Park.

“Same old Bardo fun, now on two acres of Anacostia riverfront property — 100,000 square feet of fun,” a voice says in video of the owners’ Australian cattle dog roaming the development site. “New, shiny stainless steel brewery tanks. Biggest dog park in the city … Outdoor movies, as always, this time projected on a floating screen in the river.”Bardo development map (Image courtesy of Bardo)

Donors to Bardo’s Indiegogo campaign will receive Groupon-style discounts on beer once the business opens. For $20, a donor will receive four pints of beer. For $1,000, donors get “a hunnert pitchers of beer” for a party at the beer garden.

Representatives from Bardo presented the initial concept to ANC 6D earlier this month, as JDLand reported. The business was pitched as an interim use on an MRP Realty development site.

Bardo could operate on the lot for a minimum of five years, owner Andrew Stewart said in an update.

Video via Vimeo/Bill Stewart; map image courtesy of Bardo


Morning Rundown

L'Enfant Plaza

Update on Charter School Stabbing — The student attacked at Options Public Charter School on E Street NE was slashed with a box cutter by a fellow student, police told Hill Now.

Hill Coffee Shop Shut Down by Tax Office — The 621 Pennsylvania Ave. SE cafe Pound the Hill was closed the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue. They’re expected to reopen this afternoon. [Capitol Hill Corner]

Housing and Retail Planned Near Nationals Park — More permits have been issued for Ballpark Square, the residential, retail and hotel complex planned on the 1200 block of 1st St. SE, near the Navy Yard Metro station. [Washington Business Journal]

School Lottery Results — Round 1 school lottery results have been posted. [MySchoolDC]

H Street NE Restaurants Back the Streetcar — District Cuisine spoke with a dozen restaurateurs on H Street NE about their hopes for the streetcar line. [District Cuisine]


The Korean fried chicken restaurant with a cult following will serve game day eats soon in Navy Yard.

Bonchon is aiming to open near the start of Major League Baseball season, co-owner Tom An said today as workers put the finishing touches on the restaurant and interviewed future staff.

“We’re going to do as much as we can to practice before Opening Day,” An said, declining to provide the exact opening date of Bonchon’s first restaurant in the District.

Job postings to craigslist say the 1015 Half St. SE restaurant will open next week, just before the Nationals’ home opener game Monday, April 6.

Bonchon serves fried chicken and beer in the Korean chimek tradition, An explained for the uninitiated.

“It’s double-fried, crispy, saucy and hand-glazed,” he said.

The kitchen of the 140-seat restaurant will stay open late on game days, until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and later on weekends. A happy hour 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday is in the works.

Bonchon will serve 16 beers on tap, including local brews from DC Brau, Port City Brewing Company and Devils Backbone Brewing Company.

Outdoor seating may be available soon. Bonchon is applying for permission to have 60 to 80 seats just north and east of the building, An said.

Food photos via Facebook/Bonchon Chicken


Crime tape (Photo via Flickr/nullvalue)(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) A block of M Street SE in Navy Yard was closed for more than an hour today as police responded to a report of a suspicious package.

The package was reported about 11:25 a.m. on the 400 block of M Street SE, a police spokeswoman said early this afternoon. The entire block, which is home to Harris Teeter, was closed to traffic in both directions.

The block was reopened by 12:55 p.m., police said. Information of what officers found was not immediately available.


Median rents (Image via Zumper.comThe District had the country’s fourth costliest rentals in the country last month, with Navy Yard among the top 10 most expensive rental markets in D.C.

The neighborhood categorized as “Southwest Ballpark – Navy Yard” had a median rent of $2,104 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in February, making it the ninth costliest neighborhood for rentals in D.C., according to a new report from rental website Zumper. The estimated rent there was $104 more than the city-wide median of $2,000.

Navy Yard beat out the median one-bedroom rent for “H Street – NoMa,” which was $2,089,” and for Capitol Hill, which was $1,795.

At $2,600, Georgetown has the highest median rent for one-bedroom apartments in D.C., the report by the San Francisco-based startup says. Woodridge-Fort Lincoln has the lowest, at $1,050. Overall, only Boston, New York and San Francisco have higher rents than the District.

The report came a day before the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute released a study that shows almost half of the District’s affordable housing disappeared between 2002 and 2013. The supply of apartments that cost less than $800 per month dropped from 60,000 in 2002 to just 33,000 in 2013.

“The loss of affordable housing threatens the physical and mental health of families, makes it harder for adults to find and keep a job, creates instability for children, [making] it hard to focus at school, and leaves thousands at risk of homelessness at any given moment,” DCFPI policy analyst Wes Rivers wrote in the study.

Image via Zumper.com


Morning Rundown

Canal Park ice rink

Beer Garden Near Nationals Park? — A developer will pitch a plan to ANC 6D to create a waterfront “brew garden” and neighborhood park just south of Nationals Park. The beer garden would be temporary, in advance of construction of a residential, retail, hotel and office complex. [JDLand]

Affordable Housing in Ward 6 — Capitol Hill Corner explains who may be able to live in planned affordable housing units in the Hine school redevelopment and the Eastern Branch Boys and Girls Club redevelopment. [Capitol Hill Corner]

Eastern Market Cooking Demonstration Backstory — Chef Jonathan Bardzik is starting his fifth season of cooking demonstrations at Eastern Market. Every week in his home kitchen, he tests and tastes the recipes he’ll teach. [Hill Rag]

Capitol Hill Memoirist Dies — Writer Mary Z. Gray died in late January at age 96. She wrote about growing up over a funeral parlor on East Capitol Street, seeing wagons and gas street lamps. [Washington Post]


Polar bear swim (Photo via Twitter/gotovan)If you want more wintertime partial nudity after Cupid’s Undie Run, you’ll have a chance this week.

The Canal Park ice rink will host its first annual Polar Bear Skate on Friday night — to benefit veterans’ families. Skaters are asked to wear bathing suits, beach attire and “their own polar bear ideas,” according to information released by the Canal Park Development Association.

A portion of the proceeds for the event scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. will benefit the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS. The Arlington-based nonprofit provides 24-hour support to people grieving the death of a loved one who served in the military.

The first 25 “Polar Bears” will receive a pair of sunglasses to match their summertime attire, CPDA said. The event is a take on “polar bear swim” events where participants sprint into freezing water.

Tickets to the Polar Bear Skate at 202 M St. SE cost $9 for adults, and $8 for children, seniors and members of the military. Skate rental costs an additional $4 per person.

Photo via Twitter/gotovan


Trapeze school (Photo via Trapeze School New York - Washington DC/Rich Riggins)The trapeze school in Near Southeast will pack up its nets and move west.

The previously announced move of Trapeze School New York – Washington DC will occur this fall, instructor and spokeswoman Laura Wooster said in an update. The school now at 4th and Tingey streets SE will decamp two blocks west to N Street and New Jersey Avenue SE. There, students will be able to try classes in flying trapeze, static trapeze, trampoline and silks, in which performers pose from dangling pieces of fabric.

“We are excited to remain a part of the The Yards community in the Capitol Riverfront, and cannot wait to show our current and future students a brand-new school facility, featuring indoor and outdoor flying trapeze rigs,” Wooster said by email.

The school’s current home is the future site of a 10-floor condo building with 130 units, JDLand reported.

Photo via Trapeze School New York – Washington DC/Rich Riggins


Stadium rendering (Photo via DC United Soccer)Advocates for Southwest, Navy Yard and Near Southeast have a final agreement with D.C. United on how the team will work to benefit the community.

A day after D.C. Council gave final approval for the stadium at Buzzard Point, the team and the local nonprofit the Near Southeast/Southwest Community Benefits Coordinating Council announced this morning (Thursday) that a community benefits agreement is complete.

The team will continue to teach soccer at Amidon-Bowen Elementary, give D.C. United soccer camp scholarships to local youth and work on identifying top local players, the announcement said.

Felicia Couts, CBCC coordinator, praised the deal.

“CBCC is pleased about this agreement and [the] resulting partnership with D.C. United for the residents of ANC 6D,” she said in a statement. “This [agreement] is an example of community benefits done the right way, with a focus on the needs of our community, and an enforcement component to ensure its provisions are carried out over the long term.”

D.C. United and the CBCC also agreed on the creation of meeting rooms in the stadium for community use, participation in a summer jobs program and the creation of opportunities for small businesses and nonprofits.

The benefits will be available for the next 30 years to people who live in the neighborhoods covered by ANC 6D as of its 2013 boundaries, Couts said at a community meeting earlier this month.

The two parties will meet regularly to ensure the agreement is being enacted, the announcement said.

“D.C. United has been steadfastly committed to the District since its inception, and this agreement builds on that legacy,” D.C. United Managing General Partner Jason Levien said in the statement. “Both the team and the Southwest neighborhood are poised to flourish with this long-term agreement in place.”

The team and the CBCC did not immediately respond to requests for additional information on the terms of the deal.

Photo via D.C. United


D.C. United Stadium (Photo via D.C. United)(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) The D.C. United Stadium deal approved by the D. C. Council last week included a package of benefits for people who live in the neighborhood, and more benefits are being finalized now.

D.C. United and the Near Southeast/Southwest Community Benefits Coordinating Council are ironing out additional concessions, CBCC Coordinator Felicia Couts said last night (Monday) at a community meeting.

The benefits will tentatively provide 24 summer jobs for youth, 25 day camp passes for youth, free community meeting space, match tickets for Jefferson Middle School students and more, Couts said.

“Due in large part to our advocacy, we were able to get community benefits for Southwest,” she said about CBCC, the nonprofit that started working on a deal with team owners this summer.

The benefits will be available for the next 30 years to people who live in the neighborhoods covered by ANC 6D as of its 2013 boundaries. These include Southwest, Navy Yard and Near Southeast.

The benefits deal will be legally binding and an enforcement committee will make sure it’s applied, Couts said. The committee will be made up of representatives from CBCC and D.C. United.

The deal should be finalized within days, D.C. United communications director Craig Stouffer said today.

The community benefits included in the stadium deal approved by the District Council were $4.9 million for the Convention Center-Southwest Waterfront Circulator route, $250,000 for renovation and programming at the Randall Recreation Center and $121,000 for a workforce intermediary program to help locals get jobs in construction, retail and hospitality.

Photo via D.C. United


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