The District, The Features

She Loves DC: Kaya Henderson – Interim Chancellor, DCPS

Kaya Henderson, Interim Chancellor of DCPS
Photo courtesy of DCPS

Yesterday afternoon, we had the chance to sit down with DCPS Interim Superintendent Kaya Henderson to talk about her new position within the school system, what she loves about DC, and what her goals are as the new interim superintendent of the city schools.

You graduated from Georgetown, you have a bachelors in foreign service, in diplomacy if you will, when did you decide that Education was what you were looking for?

Kaya: When I went to Georgetown, I thought like most folks in the school of foreign service, I wanted to change the world. The world being a big place, I had traveled a ton when I was growing up and I was fascinated by what was going on in lots of other places in the world.  In the course of my four years, as my friends were headed off to farflung places to help other people, it became pretty clear to me that there was something weird about going to Latin America or Africa or Asia to help other people, I felt there were significant needs here.

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Business and Money, News, Night Life, The Daily Feed, WTF?!

PEPCO Continues to Suck

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

According to a tipster, readers on South Capitol and 2nd St SW may be without power from 8pm to 7:30am tonight due to transformer repairs in the area.  This is all well and good, except that PEPCO neglected to notify customers in the neighborhood that they would be without lights or AC, this evening. The reader that reported this saw some PEPCO repairmen in the area and asked them what was going on.  They informed her of the maintenance work and she called the power company, who was kind enough to inform her that her house would be affected. After a search around PEPCO’s website and an odyssey through their multiple, automated and impenetrable customer support lines, I can find no listing of scheduled outages or maintenance.  This means that customers are not being notified that their service will be interrupted. But then again, why should PEPCO have to tell you peons about that kind of stuff.  It’s not like anyone needs power, or anything.

The Daily Feed

Hill and Go Seek!

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Bikes + scavenger hunt + Capitol Hill + potential to win awesome prizes = ridiculously fun Saturday?  If you think so, sign up for Hill and Go Seek this Saturday evening at 5 PM.  For $20, teams of two cyclists can compete by visiting points of interest and performing tasks at checkpoints.  Points are awarded for speed, checkpoints completed, and creativity, and the winning teams will be announced at the after-party at the H Street Country Club.  Prizes include Nationals tickets, t-shirts, WABA and Capital Bikeshare memberships, and gift certificates to various Capitol Hill restaurants.  You can register online now, or show up as early as 3 PM on Saturday to sign up.

Interviews, The Features

They Love DC: The Guys of Matchbox & Ted’s Bulletin


You love Matchbox’s pizza, you go there religiously for brunch (hello sticky buns!) and you’re a big fan of the mini burgers. But what if I told you Matchbox isn’t the only place around town these days? The four owners behind Matchbox have teamed up to open Barrack Row’s newest hot spot, Ted’s BULLETIN. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, BULLETIN is a classic joint with a bit of style—complete with savory homemade food and a friendly, neighborhood atmosphere to provide relief from today’s time-congested lifestyle. BULLETIN offers homecookin’ with clever names, like Walk of Shame Breakfast Burrito, Nana’s Beer Biscuits and Gravy, the Green Green Salad of Home with Green Goddess Dressing, or home-style Meatloaf with Mingo County Ketchup Glaze with a “Big As Ya Head” Twice Baked Potato or Mac and Four Cheese with Andouille on the side.

I was able to chat with partners Perry Smith, Drew Kim, and Mark and Ty Neal, who took on the challenge of answering the They Love DC interview jointly.

Katie: How long have you lived in the DC area?
Them: All four partners moved to DC in the summer of 2002. Partner Perry Smith grew up in the area and attended B-CC High School.

What is the best thing about DC, in your opinion?
First, we all agree–the people–so many different people come to DC year in and year out and it’s great to see so many new faces. The energy is awesome, and you don’t see a lot of folks sitting still, they are always doing things!

What would you change about DC if you could?
Find some money to improve snow removal! We always get hit hard every few years but then get lulled by a couple of mild winters and forget how bad it can be! Continue reading

History, News, The Daily Feed, The Hill, WTF?!

Smallest House in DC for Rent

Photo courtesy of
‘Real Estate For Sale Signs’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Do you ever feel like your pad is just a bit too large? Maybe you’re the type that doesn’t really like a space of their own.  Well, you’re in luck because DC’s smallest (unofficially) house is currently on the market.  For just over $1000/mo, you can enjoy all that this Capitol Hill home’s 252 square feet has to offer. The house is comes complete with a kitchenette, bathroom and backyard that’s actually larger than the interior. Frankly, though, it looks a little silly in between the neighboring normal sized houses, but I suppose that’s part of the charm.  So, if you’re the type of person searching for a unique little (emphasis on little) home, DC has the answer.  Isn’t there a tiny house in Georgetown, too?  I wonder which is smaller.

The Daily Feed, The Hill

Star and Shamrock Opens to Fulfill Both Your Irish Pub And Kosher Deli Needs

Photo courtesy of
‘monkey toes and shamrocks.’
courtesy of ‘paperâ��kaleidoscope’

Perhaps there has been a moment in these last few weeks when you’ve though, “Where in this fair town can I grab both a pint of Guinness at a nice pub as well as a bowl of Matzo Ball soup?” Sure, there are more than a fair share of Irish bars in most of the District neighborhoods; similarly, while maybe a little more challenging to find, there is good deli somewhere that will quench your thirst for some Jewish penicillin. Tackling both at the same time? Definitely a challenge.

The good news is that your quest will no longer take multiple visits, thanks to the The Star and The Shamrock Tavern and Deli, H. St’s newest addition. The menu reads like that of a New York deli – fresh sandwiches on rye bread, knishes, wursts and Chicken Liver – with the added joy of a full Irish beer list to meet your pub drinking needs. Like any good kosher deli, you can grab a Doc Brown’s Soda with your Reuben, or you could pick from any of 12 drafts and 22 bottled beers (including the wonderfully punny He’brew line).

Whether you haunt the pub circuit or just want a little taste of that New York deli tradition, it sounds like you can’t go wrong at Star and Shamrock.

(via Thrillist)

Downtown, The Daily Feed

Snow Fort Sublet on Capitol Hill! Turn Key!

Capitol Hill Snow Fort on Craigslist
Snow Fort from

Ok, this is just hilarious. I know we’ve been covering a LOT of snow related “news” lately, but sometimes you just find something that demands postage. Half the interwebz have seen our post on the Big DC Condom Shortage of 2010 from earlier and this just fits right in with the lighter side of this #snowdiculous winter.

Want to live on the Hill? Tired of living in a tiny studio apartment in DC because you can’t afford a full 1 bedroom? Always wanted your own doorman to get the door for you when your hands are full of groceries from the local ‘Teeter? Tired of paying extra for wifi? Oh wow have we found the place for you.

$140 1BR Affordable Snow Fort Sublet In Capitol Hill

Take advantage of the never ending blizzard! This move-in ready apartment is as cool as it gets. (What? There were no puns.) By the way, this would be so much more hip than living in Columbia Heights these days.

The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Belga Cafe

Photo courtesy of
‘Brunch at Belga Cafe’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

You guys, I’m torn here. On one hand, I genuinely like Belga Cafe. On the other hand, I’m unimpressed by Belga. Here’s the thing – whenever you say “I’m going to Belga” to someone they all oooh and ahhh. It’s got a fantastic reputation, and some of the food lives up to that reputation. But some of the food is worse than what I’d find on the line at the local Holiday Inn breakfast buffet. It’s a conundrum. But let me explain…

Belga Cafe is situated on 8th Street in the heart of Barracks Row. It’s a great location with foot traffic from Eastern Market and the surrounding neighborhoods and shops. Belga has a small but cozy patio, the outdoor seating complete with table cloths, and a slightly cramped long interior dining room. The kitchen is quasi-open, and the bar is usually full of diners. The place has a neighborhood feel, though I would say it’s known throughout the city as a brunch destination. And unfortunately, brunch is where I get tripped up with Belga. Continue reading

Downtown, Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Momoyama

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘lorigoldberg’

Momoyama defines off the beaten path. It couldn’t be any more off the beaten path unless it were literally down an actual dirt road. It is not. But it is tucked back in this really weird city block on the Senate side of the Capitol on second street near 395. But boy, is it worth seeking out. It is some great sushi.

A converted rowhome, with a tiny dining space, it seats maybe thirty maximum. The sushi is rolled up front by two sushi masters grabbing rice from a bowl between them, cutting fish and drizzling sauces. The prices are super cheap, and the service is great. I love everything about Momoyama, it feels like my own little sushi corner of the world. Continue reading

The Daily Feed, The Hill

Eastern Market Reopens!

Eastern Market.JPG

When a fire decimated the inside of Eastern Market early in the morning of April 30th, 2007, the city lost one of its own best monuments. Built in 1871, architected by Adolf Cluss, Eastern Market was the city’s first enclosed produce markets, a supermarket before Giant, Safeway or Magruder’s were even a twinkle in their founders’ eyes. After 26 months of restoration and renovation, Eastern Market reopened today, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Mayor Fenty, Congresswoman Norton, Council Chairman Gray, Council members David Catania, Tommy Wells and Kwame Brown, and former Council member Sharon Ambrose.

The new interior of Eastern Market features all of the 2007 vendors, from Canales Meats to Calomiris & Sons fruits. The $22M renovation also features, to the relief and delight of all, Air Conditioning and Restrooms. Chief among the renovations, though, is a full fire sprinkler and alarm system designed to minimize damage and alert the authorities.

We’ll have a bigger feature on Eastern Market this afternoon in the 3pm Feature slot.

Fun & Games, People, The Daily Feed

DC Bocce Summer Registration Opens Soon

Photo courtesy of
‘Bocce balls’
courtesy of ‘hurricanemaine’

Some of us just aren’t hardcore enough for kickball. Seriously, I’ve heard some nightmare stories about overly-serious and competitive teams kicking half-inflated balls in the heat of a DC afternoon, and all that sounds miserable to me. I’m just not that kind of girl. So what is a girl like me to do for her summer recreation?

I’m thinking I want a sport without all that running, and possibly a sport that I can play beer-in-hand. Well, lazy sport lovers unite, DC Bocce League is my new best friend. Registration for the summer league opens June 22nd, and they’ve just introduced a new night and new playing locations.

With team names like Don’t Stop Boccelievin, Big Bocce Bitchslap, Organized De-Bocce-ry and Step Off Biocce, there are plenty of puns to go around. Get yours.

Food and Drink, The Features, The Hill, We Love Food

We Love Food: Taqueria Nacional

Photo courtesy of
‘Taquira Nacional’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

The first step to healing, is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, people, here is my admission: I am addicted to Taqueria Nacional. Its draw to me is more powerful than Potbelly’s was when I used to work near 17th & L (best Potbelly’s location ever) and those of you who know me know that I adore Potbelly’s. I will forgo any lunch I’ve brought to work faster than you can say “Hey Katie, wanna go to Taqui…” I’ll dash out of conference calls, I’ll leave my boss in a lurch, I’ll do pretty much anything for a pork taco from Taqueria Nacional in the middle of the day. So this We Love Food? This one is personal, cause I’m a regular. A regular with an addiction.

Taqueria Nacional opened in 2007 amidst a flurry of rumors (it’s in an alley, it’s only a takeout window, it only has tacos) in the foodie scene. Clearly we did not have Twitter to quickly spread the truth, and it took a while for everyone to get on the same page – but here it is: Taqueria Nacional is tucked away behind Johnny’s the Half Shell, in the corner of the courtyard of the CSPAN building. It hides as a little standing-room-only takeout shop with a line that usually reaches halfway across the courtyard. Ann Cashion and John Fulchino are behind this little taco place, which bodes well for the new Mexican fare at H Street Country Club (Cashion’s new venture), and the standards are high. The tacos are five bites of heaven, the salads are fresh with high quality lettuce, the agua frescas are creative, and my stomach cheers at the thought of the fried yucca. Continue reading

Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, The District, The Features, Where We Live

Where We Live: Capitol Hill

Photo courtesy of
‘The Shape of Colors in DC’
courtesy of ‘Gen Jones (Gen-esis Photography)’

This week we’ll be looking at the Capitol Hill neighborhood. This neighborhood could probably be called the largest in DC, since essentially anything east of the Capitol, north/west of the Anacostia River, and south of Union Station is generally known as Capitol Hill.  The area is home to so many great places, from Eastern Market to Barracks Row to Union Station, and it also has some of the best historic architecture in the city.

History: The hill that the Capitol sits on was originally called Jenkins Hill (or was it?).  Pierre L’Enfant decided that it would be a good location for the “Congress House”, and before you knew it, it became the center of residential development in our fair city.  Because it was so close to the Capitol, congressmen lived in Capitol Hill boarding houses, and because it was so close to the Navy Yard, it was also home to craftsmen and laborers.  The neighborhood continued to grow throughout the nineteenth century, and many historic rowhouses in the area date from this era.  It was mostly a mixed-income neighborhood for the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  However, the fringes of Capitol Hill were hit hard by drugs in the 1980s, and as recently as 2000 crime was out of control in Hill East (if you get a chance, check out Jim Myers’ description of that time in The Atlantic).  Most of the area has bounced back, and Capitol Hill is now the city’s largest historic district and one of the city’s greatest neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Character:  The neighborhood is certainly one of the District’s most diverse.  You’ve got empty-nesters, long-time residents, recent college grads, families with small children, and Hill staffers all mixed together in a few square miles.  Hill East resident Shaun says, “My fiance and I live in a condo that’s home to Georgetown law students, Hill staffers and a retired woman who’s lived at our intersection for so long, she remembers when the new condo around the corner was a crack house.” Historic rowhouses make up the majority of the housing in the area, with a few apartment buildings and condominiums throughout the area.  Commercial development is mostly located along Pennsylvania Avenue, 8th Street SE (Barracks Row), and around Metro stations.  The area is quite pleasant to walk around, with brick sidewalks and mature trees and beautiful views of the Capitol.

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The Daily Feed, The Hill

Summer House Being Renovated?

Summer House Renovation

My favorite feature of the US Capitol Grounds, The Summer House, is currently fenced off and filled with scaffolding, plywood, and other construction paraphernalia. It appears a restoration or renovation is in progress, probably in tandem with other preparations on the grounds for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Here’s hoping it’s open again by next summer; it’s a wonderful spot to relax and get a bit wet, if you know what I mean.*

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Crime & Punishment, The Daily Feed, The Hill

Stabbing on Capitol Hill

The Hill East and MPD-1D mailing lists are abuzz with the alarming news from Capitol Hill of a woman sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times by a burglar late Monday night.

According to the account of a neighbor who came to help, the victim came home to an intruder in her house, and ran into a bathroom to call 911. He attempted to rape her, she fought back with punches, and he stabbed her 17 times before fleeing. The woman managed to crawl outside where neighbors helped her and called police. While all this was happening, the victim’s housemates were asleep upstairs. The intruder may have gotten in through an unlocked kitchen window.

According to MPD First District Commander David Kamperin, “the investigation is still ongoing, and the victim is recovering in a local hospital. The only lookout we have at this time is for a black male wearing light colored pants and a black hooded sweatshirt. Anyone who may have seen an individual fitting this description is encouraged to call our tip line 888-919-CRIME or text to 50-411.”

A friend tells me the victim suffered kidney damage and collapse of both lungs, but is recovering.

Entertainment, The Hill, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Romeo & Juliet, Redux

Taffety Punk's Romeo & Juliet, photo by Teresa Castracane

Rahaleh Nassri (Romeo) and Kelsey Grouge (Juliet), photo by Teresa Castracane

Taffety Punk Theatre Company sure has guts. The marketing for their all-female “answer” to Shakespeare Theatre Company’s all-male production of Romeo & Juliet had me instantly intrigued: “An hour shorter, a fraction of the cost, and 100% more women. We will totally crush them!” Really, with that kind of chutzpah shown by director Lise Bruneau, how could I not go? And only $10 bucks!

I wasn’t disappointed.

This is a very stripped down production that manages within limited budget and extremely tight space constraints to hit most of the passion points of the play. It’s like watching “The Outsiders” do Shakespeare, using very contemporary speech patterns and body language that help to freshly illuminate the text.

Two outstanding performances in this vein are Rahaleh Nassri as Romeo and Kimberly Gilbert as Mercutio. I swear every time Nassri came on, I thought I heard Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Possess Your Heart” – so perfectly did she embody that particular style of hipster boy the girls have a crush on. Oh, he may start out as a bit of a player, but once he’s hooked he’s yours forever. It’s a brilliant bit of naturalistic acting and she’s completely believable as a lovestruck teen. Continue reading