Developers of The Bard in Southwest File Plans for Seven Story Building in Southwest, Neighbors Protest — Developers behind The Bard, a mixed-use high-rise planned for 501 I Street SW, have submitted plans, but some neighbors say they haven’t taken their complaints seriously. [Hill Rag]
Actress Margaret Colin Talks About ‘The City of Conversation,’ Now Playing at Arena Stage — Margaret Colin, the star of “The City of Conversation,” a play currently showing at Arena Stage, sat down with WTOP’s Jason Fraley to chat about the play. [WTOP]
RFK Parking Lot Still Full of Very Dirty Snow From Blizzard — DC Water posted photos on Tuesday of snow that was moved to an RFK Stadium parking lot after the recent blizzard, showing how pollutants are collected along with the snow. [Washington Post]
A Look Inside the Senate Subway System — Untapped Cities got a special tour of the private subway system that connects the U.S. Capitol to Senate office buildings. [Untapped Cities]
(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) Roads around the Rayburn House Office Building in the Capitol South area were closed for about 30 minutes this afternoon as U.S. Capitol Police investigated a suspicious vehicle in the area.
Police determined that the car was not dangerous and reopened the streets about 3 p.m.
The vehicle was reportedly parked near the intersection of Delaware Avenue SW and D Street SW. Police closed D Street SW between South Capitol Street and Washington Avenue SW and Washington Avenue SW between South Capitol Street and Independence Avenue SW about 2:25 p.m.
USCP reports a Suspicious vehicle at Delaware Ave at D St SW
*D St Btwn South Capitol St & Washington Ave SW
— DC Police Traffic (@DCPoliceTraffic) February 4, 2016
The Rayburn House Office Building contains offices for multiple members of the U.S. House of Representatives and is located near the Capitol South Metro station.
Photo via Flickr/nullvalue
Winter storm Jonas/Snowzilla/Gorf has moved up the East Coast and left the Capitol Hill area with sunny weather and plenty of snow to deal with. H Street Weather Geek measured just over 22 inches of total snow in the H Street corridor area.
This morning, Mayor Muriel Bowser held a press conference to ask pedestrians and cars to stay off roads as the District Department of Transportation begins to clear streets. She also announced that D.C. Public Schools will be closed tomorrow as the cleanup continues.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will make an announcement about Metrorail and bus service this afternoon, but is not expected to resume service until tomorrow morning at the earliest.
Because Metro remains closed, Ice Yards at The Yards, which was slated to take place today, has been pushed to next Saturday.
As Capitol Hill area residents emerge from their snow bunkers to shovel, restock or sled, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of the snow in the area:
Pitch In to Dig Out
At her press conference this morning, Bowser once again urged residents and businesses to clear sidewalks in their area to keep pedestrians safely off the streets.
Bowser also renewed calls for residents to volunteer to help their neighbors dig out by joining the DC Resident Snow Team and clearing sidewalks for seniors and neighbors with disabilities.
Residents can also call 202-727-7925 to find out if there is someone nearby who needs help clearing their sidewalk.
The Metropolitan Police Department warned drivers today that officers will be ticketing cars that obstruct snow clean up efforts.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier also warned those who must drive that they cannot “save” their parking space after they’ve left.
— Public Safety in DC (@SafeDC) January 23, 2016
Have Some Fun
Between the shoveling and the parking tickets, it’s important to remember to have fun in the snow too.
Plenty of children (and adults) made their way to the U.S. Capitol this morning and yesterday to experience the first year of legal snowing on the Capitol grounds.
Judging by the tracks and footprints in the snow, plenty of Hill area residents sled free at the Capitol this year. Tim Krepp, the leader of last year’s #SledFreeOrDie protest that defied the ban by sledding at the Capitol even noted that the ban being lifted may have made the Capitol too mainstream for his band of sledding pioneers.
No one sleds there any more. It's too crowded. pic.twitter.com/VW054AEqW0
— Tim Krepp (@timkrepp) January 24, 2016
For those more interested in throwing snow than gliding on it, a massive snowball fight is being organized between 1 and 2 at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill.
— philabroad (@philabroad) January 23, 2016
Many Capitol Hill area businesses will be opening their doors today for diners and shoppers eager to shake off the cabin fever. Here are opening’s we’ve seen so far. Know other places that are open today? Let us know is the comments!
- Metro Mutts at 508 H St. NE is open today
- Sona Creamery at Eastern Market will open at 1 with a limited menu and full bar
- Garrison restaurant at 524 8th St. SE is open
- DCanter Wines at 545 8th St. SE is open from noon-6 p.m. with a mulled wine tasting from 1-4 p.m.
- Sally’s Middle Name at 1320 H St. NE opened for brunch at 10 a.m.
- Argonaut at 1433 H St. NE opened for brunch at 10 a.m.
- Peregrinbe Espresso at Eastern Market is open until 4 p.m. today
- Boundary Road at 414 H St. NE opened for brunch at 11:30 a.m. and will stay open for dinner at 5:30 p.m.
- Granville Moore’s at 1238 H St. NE opened at 11 a.m. for brunch and mussels
- Uni Bistro at 403 H St. NE is open today
- Po Boy Jim at 709 H St. NE opened at noon
- Hanks On The Hill at 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE opened at noon with a limited menu and a $10 mix & match bottomless drink special
- Ebenezers Coffeehouse at 201 F St. NE is open until 4 p.m.
- Bluejacket at 300 Tingey St. SE will open at 1:30 p.m. today with a full bar and a limited food menu
- Agua 301 restaurant at 301 Water St. SE will open at 3 p.m. with a happy hour from 3:30-7 p.m.
- The Big Board at 421 H St. NE opened at noon with a full menu
- Barrel restaurant at 613 Pennsylvania Ave. SE is open for brunch
Video via H St. Weather Geek
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 12, 2016
Tonight, President Obama will deliver the final State of the Union address of his presidency at the U.S. Capitol. Roads around the Capitol will be closed, but plenty of bars and restaurants nearby will be open for viewing parties complete with games and drink specials. Here’s where to catch the speech in the Capitol Hill area:
201 Massachusetts Ave. NE
The 201 bar and the Washington Examiner have teamed up to host State of the Union bingo, with prizes for winners. The Washington Examiner will even pick up the tab for your first drink.
1245 H St. NE
Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen will be watching the speech from the second floor bar at H Street eatery Smith Commons.
201 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Union Pub will play the Cloture Club’s official drinking game during the speech, with rules including “Every time Obama says ‘allies,’ swap your drink with a friend and cheers” and ‘If ‘ISIS is contained’ is said, you have to drink one when no one is watching.”
713 8th St. SE
Make a political statement with your order at Molly Malone’s which will be offering red and blue jell-o shots at its watch party.
Man Who Landed Gyrocopter at Capitol Wants to Run For Congress — Douglas Hughes, a man charged with landing a gyrocopter on the U.S. Capitol grounds is considering running for congress in his home state of Florida. [DCist]
Condos Coming to Former Capitol Hill Church — The former Way of the Cross Church of Christ church at 9th and D streets NE is being converted into condos. [PoPville]
Playtime Project for Children at D.C. General Needs Donations to Reach 2016 Goal — The Playtime Project, a group that works with children at D.C. General homeless shelter is collecting donations to buy school supplies and toys for children at the shelter. [Hill Rag]
The young and the young-at-heart on Capitol Hill won rare bipartisan support in Congress for their right to sled at the U.S. Capitol.
Even though the weather lately has been more appropriate for sunbathing than sledding, Congress added language into an omnibus spending bill urging the Capitol Police to allow sledding at the Capitol this winter, Roll Call reported.
Last winter, many families participated in an act of civil disobedience by sledding down the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, despite an official ban.
The spending bill passed by Congress doesn’t directly instruct the Capitol Police to lift the ban, but does urge them to look the other way when sledders take to the hill this winter.
Capitol Hill Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in the Capitol Hill area. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out our event submission form.
For more events, be sure to check out our event calendar.
Magic & Miracles Benefit
Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St. NE)
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Join WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi and community leadfers at the 8th annual Magic & Miracles benefit for Ready, Willing and Working, a group that provides job training and opportunities to formerly homeless and incarcerated individuals. Tickets can be purchased online.
U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting
U.S. Capitol West Front
Time: 5 p.m.
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be lit by the Speaker of the House during a ceremony on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
Author Talk: Collecting Shakespeare
Riverby Books (417 East Capitol St. SE)
Time: 6 p.m.
The newly-reopened Riverby Books on Capitol Hill will host Stephen H. Grant, author of “Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger.”
24th Annual Parade of Lights
The Wharf (690 Water St. SW)
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Join us at The Wharf for a magical night of merriment on the Potomac River. Now in its 24th year, the annual Parade of Lights kicks off at the docks of Old Town Alexandria and concludes at the District’s Southwest waterfront.
Digital Estate Planning
Southeast Library (403 7th St. SE)
Time: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Learn what happens to your digital assets after death, and how you can create and protect the priceless memories on your computer, phone, social media accounts, and email.
PARCEL Market at Canal Park
Canal Park (202 M St. SE)
Time: 12-6 p.m.
Named the “Christmas future of holiday markets” by Washington Post Express in 2014, PARCEL Market will light up Canal Park’s three blocks with holiday cheer among the 10,000 square-foot ice rink, cozy fire pits, interactive art installations, and a festive showcase of DC’s emerging talent in retail, food, art, and musical entertainment.
Deck the North Hall Holiday Celebration
Eastern Market (225 7th St. SE)
Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Eastern Market is Hosting the ‘Deck the North Hall – Holiday Celebration’ every Sunday starting from November 29 to December 20. This Sunday enjoy cookie decorating, ornament making, gift wrapping and holiday music.
The Holidays in Concert
Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian Church (1357 East Capitol St. SE)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
The 257th Army Band, “The Band of the Nation’s Capital” presents The Holidays in Concert, a seasonal mix of classical and popular holiday favorites. Featured groups from the 257th Army Band include the Concert Band, Brigadier Brass, the Capital Woodwind Quintet, and the Capital Messengers. The concert is free and open to the general public; no tickets will be issued. For more information, visit http://hcschurch.org/ or call 202-685-8646. Donations of non-perishable food items to Holy Comforter’s pantry are most welcome.
Photo via Facebook/ The Wharf DC
7-11 to Replace S&J Liquor and 15th Street Dry Cleaners on Massachusetts and Independence Avenues SE — Two longtime businesses on the 1500 block of Massachusetts Avenue SE will close Nov. 30 to make room for a new 7-11. [Hill Rag]
Seven-Story Residential Building Planned for Benning Road on Northeast Capitol Hill — Developers presented plans for a seven-story residential building with 250-300 units, a dog park and a gym on the 1600 block of Benning Road NE near Starburst Plaza. [Urban Turf]
Capitol Christmas Tree Arrives on National Mall — The National Christmas Tree has arrived at the U.S. Capitol and will be set in place today. [Fox 5]
Man Who Flew Gyrocopter Onto U.S. Capitol Lawn Plans to Plead Guilty — A man who landed a gyrocopter outside the U.S. Capitol in April plans to plead guilty to operating the gyrocopter without a license, according to his lawyer. [WUSA 9]
Taste of H Set to Raise Funds for Wilson Elementary School on Sunday — Residents will get a chance to sample food and drinks from 15 H Street NE restaurants while raising money for a Capitol Hill school at Taste of H on Sunday. [Hill Now]
H Street Gallery to Host Live Music and Gallery Opening Reception Tonight — Gallery O on H at 1354 H St. NE will hold a reception from 7-10 p.m. tonight for the opening of new exhibit Trouble Makers: The Struggle featuring visual artist Lusi Peralta Del Valle and musician W. Ellington Felton. [Frozen Tropics]
This year’s game, the seventh charity game held between the Capitol Police and the people they usually protect, will be held at Watkins Recreation Field at 420 12th St. SE at 7 p.m.
The charity match was first held in 2005 as a way to raise money for the Capitol Police Memorial Fund, which benefits the families of Capitol Police officers who have died in the line of duty. This year, in addition to the Capitol Police Memorial Fund, proceeds from the game will also go to Our Military Kids, which provides grants to children of military personnel and A Advantage 4 Kids, a charity that serves families in need in the District.
The U.S. Capitol Police team, the Guards, have won four of the past six matches while the Mean Machine, a team comprised of congressmen and former NFL players, have won one, with one game ending in a tie. The Mean Machine is coached by former NFL players John Booty and Ken Harvey.
Though the game is a friendly two-hand touch match, Booty said that doesn’t mean it isn’t competitive.
“We know the Capitol Police want to keep that trophy,” he said. “And we want to help Congress get the trophy back.” Booty said he has been leading the congressmen in practices on the National Mall at 7 a.m.
Other former NFL players who will play alongside Republican and Democrat congressmen include Shawn Springs, Gary Clark and Herschel Walker. Donna Wilkinson, who plays for the DC Divas in the Women’s Football Alliance will also play for the Mean Machine.
Before the game, the former NFL players will help lead a clinic held by USA Football, a national youth football organization. At the clinic, which is slated to run from 5:45-6:45 p.m., area children will get the chance to practice football drills and conditioning with the former players. Attendees are asked to register for the clinic by emailing [email protected].
DeSean Jackson, wide receiver for the Washington NFL team, will conduct the coin toss before the game, and Hall of Fame running back John Riggins will serve as an honorary captain for the Mean Machine.
Tickets for the game can be purchased for $10 online or at the game.
Photo via CongressionalFootballGame.org
Parents, Students Complain of Harsh Discipline at Capitol Hill School — Parents of students at John Tyler Elementary School on Capitol Hill have claimed that a third grade teacher at the school has a history of excessive punishment. [Fox 5]
Development in Southwest Disturbs the Peace at District’s Only Houseboat Community — Residents of the Gangplank Marina in Southwest, the only houseboat community in D.C., said that development at The Wharf has made their quiet corner of the city louder and made their future at the site uncertain. [Washington Post]
Man Arrested for Bathing in Fountain at Library of Congress — A man was arrested for indecent exposure after he was caught bathing in the fountain outside of the Library of Congress last week. [NBC Washington]
D.C. Fountains Ranked by Potability of Water — Several fountains near the U.S. Capitol got high marks when Stuck in DC taste-tested public fountains and reflecting pools around the District. The Southwest Duck Pond did not fare so well. [Stuck in DC]
(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) Thousands of Capitol Hill residents and visitors descended on the U.S. Capitol grounds this morning to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.
Monks, nuns, families and curious onlookers in the neighborhood mingled with activists, Vatican City flag vendors and police with few, if any, major problems.
Most of crowd was on and around the Capitol’s West Lawn, where they needed tickets to watch a live broadcast of the pontiff’s address to Congress and see Francis outside of the Fiat he has used in D.C. But about two dozen people without tickets lined up along barricades near Constitution and Delaware avenues NE to see the pope drive by.
Adrienne Umansky and Amy Shilo, retirees who live on Capitol Hill, arrived outside the Russell Senate Office Building just before Francis entered the Capitol complex and saw him wave from his motorcade.
Although they’re Jewish, Umansky and Shilo said they’re Francis supporters.
“I think this is a wonderful way to usher in the new year,” Shilo said, referring to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year celebrated last week.
On the West Lawn, people cheered as Francis spoke to Congress and appeared on the House speaker’s balcony outside.
“I’m so grateful for your presence here,” he said in Spanish to the crowd, NBC Washington reported. “The most important ones here are children.”
He added: “I ask you please to send good wishes my way.”
Between Union Station and the Capitol, a handful of vendors sold Francis buttons, scarves, posters and Vatican City flags.
Tony, who declined to give his last name, was hawking buttons and scarves for $5 a piece.
“For a side job, it helps,” he said.
Not far away from him, an environmental activist sang, “Cook organic, not the planet,” members of the Jews for Jesus organization held a banner for their group and passersby posed for pictures with a large “Flat Francis” cardboard cutout.
Not everyone visiting Capitol Hill was here for the pope, however.
Gary Macaulay, a retiree from Traverse City, Mich., was in D.C. this week with his wife to see the Smithsonian museums and other area sights, not Francis.
“If we had known the pope was here, we probably wouldn’t have come today,” he said.
Photo of pope’s Fiat courtesy of Joshua Paz; photo of crowds watching Francis via Twitter/DC Archdiocese
U.S. Capitol Workers Hope Pope’s Visit Will Help Push for Higher Wages — A group of federal contract workers, including 60 U.S. Capitol workers, are hoping that Pope Francis’ message of economic equality will help their push for higher wages. [Roll Call]
H Street Corridor Eatery Celebrates 10 Years With Party on Saturday — The Argonaut restaurant on H Street NE is celebrating 10 years in business with a party Saturday afternoon that will include live music, free giveaways and the unveiling of a new house beer. [Frozen Tropics]
Student Artwork at Hine School Construction to Be Unveiled Tuesday — Art made by students from 27 Capitol Hill schools will be displayed along the outer fence of the Hine School development near Eastern Market starting Tuesday. [The Hill is Home]
Public Meeting Planned for Virginia Avenue SE Streetscape Restoration — The District Department of Transportation will join ANC 6B and 6D members to host a public meeting for feedback on how Virginia Avenue SE will be restored after the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project is completed. [Hill Rag]
Road closures, transit changes and extra security are set to arrive in the Capitol Hill area this week when Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the District.
Locals near Capitol Hill are expected to feel the effects of the pope’s visit most strongly on Thursday, when he is slated to speak to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol.
Here’s how his trip will affect the Capitol Hill area:
- A ticketed event is scheduled to view a live video feed of the pope’s 10 a.m. address to Congress from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Attendees also might catch a glimpse of Francis outside, but should check the list of prohibited items.
- No public, non-ticketed viewing areas are available on the U.S. Capitol grounds or the National Mall.
- The U.S. Capitol will close to the public at 5 p.m. Tuesday and remain closed for the duration of the pope’s visit.
- All streets within a three-block radius of the U.S. Capitol will be closed from midnight to noon on Thursday.
- Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd and 1st streets NW and Maryland Avenue SW between 1st and 3rd streets SW will both be closed from 5 p.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. Thursday.
- Louisiana Avenue NW between Columbus Circle and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington Avenue SW between South Capitol Street and Independence Avenue SW, and East Capitol Street between 2nd and 1st streets SE and NE will be closed between midnight and 4 p.m. Thursday.
- Metro will increase service during afternoons and evenings. Metro does not have the capacity to increase service during rush hours and expects trains to be very crowded at those times.
- Bicycles and large coolers won’t be allowed on Metro trains Wednesday or Thursday.
- Bags, packages and containers may be searched at Metro stations.
- There is no scheduled track work on any lines during the pope’s visit.
- Updated information will be made available online.
- D3 bus will not operate on Wednesday or Thursday.
- X2 will not go further downtown than Gallery Place from 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to 2 p.m. Thursday.
- 30N and 30S will not run between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle from 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday.
- 32 and 36 only will operate from Southeast to 12th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW from 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday.
- 39 only will operate between Naylor Road and 6th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW.
- A9, P17, P19 and W13 only will run between Southeast D.C. and L’Enfant Plaza.
- X1 only will operate between Benning Road NE and 6th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW.
- The National Mall route will not operate at all on Wednesday or Thursday.
- Buses on the Union Station-Navy Yard route will detour to avoid road closures near the Capitol. Buses going to Navy Yard will take Massachusetts Avenue NW to 4th Street NW to Pennsylvania Avenue SW, where it will resume its normal route. Buses going to Union Station will take Pennsylvania Avenue SW to 6th Street SW to Massachusetts Avenue NW, where it will resume its normal route.
- Buses on the Georgetown-Union Station, Potomac Avenue-Skyland and Union Station-Navy Yard routes will all operate every 15 minutes from noon to the end of the day Wednesday.
- Street sweeping has been suspended on Wednesday and Thursday on the 200 block of East Capitol Street and the 200 to 300 blocks of Massachusetts Avenue NE.
- All other parking restrictions and street sweeping schedules will be enforced as usual.
- D.C. public schools all will be open for the entirety of the Pope’s visit. But school officials warn that road closures and crowds may affect transportation to and from school and said parents can contact the Parent Resource Center at 202-576-5000 for transportation-related questions during the pope’s visit.
- Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy will close Wednesday.
- Center City Public Charter Schools won’t hold classes Wednesday.
Washington is already preparing for increased traffic and road closures during Pope Francis’ visit on Sept. 22, but some Hill-area residents will also encounter unrelated road closures over the next few weeks.
September is a popular month in the District for street festivals and races, and with them come closed roads throughout the city. District police have released traffic advisories this weekend for Southwest and Navy Yard, and parts of the H Street corridor will close next weekend for the H Street Festival.
Here is a guide to all the upcoming road closures in the Capitol Hill area, including closures planned for the Pope’s visit:
- On Saturday morning, 2nd Street NE between C and D streets will be closed until noon for scheduled water main repairs, according to a spokesperson with D.C. Water
- Also on Saturday, the Light the Way 5K will take place in the Navy Yard area starting at 9 a.m. No roads will be closed for the race, but D.C. Police are warning drivers that a large number of people will be using sidewalks and crosswalks throughout the area around Nationals Park and the Navy Yard Metro Station.
- On Sunday, roads in Southwest near the National Mall, Tidal Basin and Hains Point will close between about 7 a.m. and about 1:30 p.m. for the Nation’s Triathlon
- The H Street Festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 19 on H Street NE between 4th and 14th streets NE. Police have not yet announced when roads will be closed, but the festival is expected to run from noon to 7 p.m., and the road will likely be closed before and after the festival for set-up and take-down.
Pope Francis will be in the District Sept. 22-24. Most of the road closures are concentrated near the Pope’s planned stops at the White House, the U.S. Capitol, several churches and Catholic University. Here are the closures in the Capitol:
- Maryland Avenue SW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW will be closed between 3rd and 1st streets SW from 5 p.m. Sept. 23 to 4 p.m. Sept. 24
- All roads within two blocks of the Capitol building will be closed all day Wednesday, Sept. 23.
- Metro trains will operate on usual schedules, with no track work scheduled during the visit.
- Metro is still shifting bus routes around security plans. Information on changes to individual routes will be posted online as it becomes available.
- Information on traffic and public transportation related to the Pope’s visit is available online.