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Category Archives: Amenities

Todd Gray’s Watershed opens – and gives a nod to Eckington

Beating Engine Company 12 (a.k.a. “EC-12″; “Firehouse”) out of the gate, Todd Gray (of the wonderful Equinox restaurant) has opened the neighborhood’s first upscale restaurant.  Watershed bills itself as “a neighborhood gathering place featuring nationally acclaimed Chef Todd Gray’s homage to the regions of the Eastern Seaboard with his signature modern and approachable culinary interpretations of coastal dining.”

Eckington Punch

Eckington Punch

My wife ate lunch outside on their patio yesterday and could not resist getting the “Eckington Punch”–a cocktail that will have daily alterations.

See the “Restaurants” page for more info, such as food offerings, hours and a note about bringing your dog…

Capital Bikeshare comes to Eckington

Tomorrow, D.C. and Arlington will launch the largest “bikeshare” program in the U.S. with over 1,100 bikes and 114 stations.

As I tweeted Friday, one close location (with 15 docks) is at Constitution Square in front of the upcoming Harris Teeter–the corner of M and 1st Streets NE.

According to the Capital Bikeshare station map, Eckington will get its own station in front of the XM building on Eckington Place near the intersection of Harry Thomas Way.

UPDATE 9/20 – The website has a map of planned October installations of new stations.  There are indeed 2 in Eckington:  @ the XM building and @ Big Bear Cafe.

Visit the website for pricing information, but essentially, you first become a member and then pay fees based on your usage:

Membership Fee
One Day (24 hrs) $5
30 Day $25
Annual $75
$50 special introductory offer!
Usage Fees
0-30 minutes FREE
31-60 minutes +$1.50
61-90 minutes +$3.00
Each additional 30 minutes +$6.00

This service is meant as a transit–Point A to Point B–option.  You grab a bike, ride to another Bikeshare Station and park it.

For example, let’s say you want to grab Chipotle at Union Station.  If you have a Capital Bikeshare membership, you can grab a bike at the Eckington station, ride 6 minutes to the Union Station Bikeshare Station and park it, get your burrito, grab a bike from the same station and ride back to the Eckington station and park it.  This trip would not incur any usage fees.

30 minutes is a sufficient amount of time to get to almost anywhere in the District from our neighborhood–this is a great add to the city and Eckington.

NoMa Summer Screen Festival – opens tonight

Posted on

The third annual NoMa Summer Screen–a free, weekly, outdoor film series–begins tonight and runs through July 28th.  This year’s theme is “The Future is Now.”  Bring your lawn chairs, blankets coolers and/or grab some fare at the scene–local BBQ by Smokin’ Somethin’, popcorn and Italian ice.  There will also be music by Fatback.

Subtitles provided (which is a thoughtful nod to a large segment of our extended neighborhood, Gallaudet University).

Directions from Eckington/Edgewood/Brookland:  Take the Metropolitan Branch Trail south to L Street stairs, turn left and walk 1 block (or south to M Street ramp, turn right and bike to 2nd Street, turn right and bike to L Street).

NoMa Summer Screen
Wednesdays – 7 pm (movies start at 9 pm)

L Street NE, Between 2nd & 3rd
(grass lot east of new apartments)

May 12 Spaceballs In this classic Mel Brooks comedy, Lone Starr must stop Lord Dark Helmet from stealing Planet Druidia’s air supply. NR
May 19 WALL-E FAMILY NIGHT: In this futuristic Pixar film, a friendly waste-collecting robot embarks on a space journey that will decide the fate of mankind. G
May 26 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure Two dim-witted teens struggle to prepare a historical presentation with the help of a time machine in this 1989 comedy. PG
June 2 Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn Admiral Kirk’s mid-life crisis is interrupted by the return of an old enemy looking for revenge. PG
June 9 Donnie Darko A teenager (Jake Gyllenhaal) lost in time is plagued by visions that manipulate him to commit a series of crimes. R
June 16 Back to the Future 17-year-old Marty McFly got home early last night; 30 years early. PG
June 23 The Fifth Element In the colorful future, cab driver Bruce Willis unwittingly joins the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay. PG-13
June 30 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial He is afraid. He is totally alone. He is 3 million light-years from home. PG
July 7 Sleeper* A Woody Allen love story about two people who hate each other…200 years in the future. PG
July 14 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star in this wildly imaginative love story: a couple erases their memories of each other, only to discover what they had in the beginning. R
July 21 Logan’s Run In this 1976 sci-fi classic, an idyllic future has one major drawback: Life must end at 30. PG
July 28 Groundhog Day A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again. PG

Chipotle coming to NoMa and Union Station

As I twittered yesterday, Chipotle is coming to NoMa–specifically Union Station’s West Hall.  Thanks to the Metropolitan Branch Trail, this is a quick bike ride from Eckington–less than 1.5 miles and only 1 traffic light (K Street & 2nd St NE) and 1 stop sign (L Street & 2nd St NE).

6 minutes away from your burrito.

View directions via the Metropolitan Branch Trail

Chipotle in Union Station's West Hall

Metropolitan Branch Trail – notes about final design

The Metropolitan Branch Trail section from Brookland to Edgewood to Eckington to NoMa is almost complete–substantial completion is due by April 30th.

First layer of asphalt was placed on the Trail section south of R Street a few days ago–the second and final layer will be placed this Monday, April 19th (users of the Trail take note). the end of the week of April 19th-23 or the following week.  The formwork for the concrete cap on the retaining wall north of T Street is almost finished–the concrete will then be poured and the Trail can be paved soon afterward.

Today, I talked with the external inspector of the project and learned some tidbits about the final design:

  • There will be no fence south of R Street due to property issues with Pepco–this means, however, that people will be able to access the Trail along the northern edge of the Pepco building (as long as the fence along Harry Thomas Way remains torn down).
  • DDOT has determined that they will leave the current opening in the fence east of the shopping center to allow people to continue the dangerous practice of crossing the train tracks to and from the Rhodes Island Avenue Metrorail station.  This will be closed when the pedestrian bridge is built next year.
  • Striping of the Trail will most likely include dedicated bike lanes
  • An emergency callbox and one or two more solar light posts will be installed on the Trail just south of the New York Avenue bridge
  • Most work, including the street entrances to the Trail, will be completed by April 30th and the Trail will be “officially” open to the public

Costco coming to NE Washington

This has been in the rumor mill for some time, but today, Mayor Fenty will be having a press conference to announce that Costco will be opening its first store in the District.  The press conference is to be at Fort Lincoln Drive NE and 33 Place NE, just off of South Dakota Avenue–the presumed location of the store.

Once opened, Eckingtonians will be 6-7 minutes away from the Costco–perfect for those already addicted as well as the new diaper-needing new parents who keep moving here.

View Map & Directions

Metropolitan Branch Trail Update – Pedestrian bridge and other work

WMATA has approved DDOT’s planned design of the pedestrian bridge that will connect the Metropolitan Branch Trail with the Rhode Island Ave./Brentwood Metro station.  Completion of the bridge is slated for fall 2011.

The real question is what happens when the Trail’s fence is installed in the next month or so, preventing people from crossing the railroad tracks on their way to and fro the Metro station.

In other Trail update news, feverish work continues as it appears FMCC will have to complete the majority of work by the April 30th deadline.  Yesterday, solar light posts were installed on the section of Trail south of R Street, while final grading continued on the same section.  Steel pilings and retaining wall work continued on the section north of T Street.  Several more trees were planted, along with numerous bush plants, at the S Street entrance.

The Metropolitan Branch Trail project page on the DDOT website has been modified.  It appears that while the final completion date has been bumped back to June 22, the majority of the Trail work–including the remaining asphalt paving–will be completed by April 30th.  The work scheduled for completion after this date should not interfere with the full use of the Trail.

NoMa news: Harris Teeter in 2010; Potbelly’s

DCMud brings news from the Constitution Square development adjacent to the New York Ave./Florida Ave Metro Station.

Evidently, signed-leases continue to mount, despite the economic malaise among most commercial real estate, and construction of the exterior is almost complete.

Two new restaurants—Potbelly’s and Constitution Café—will join another coffee house, Tynan Coffee & Tea. Also signed is Georgetown Valet dry cleaners and TD Bank.

Perhaps the biggest news to Eckingtonians is the suggestion by Harris Teeter itself that the grocery store may open as early as November 2010.

Metropolitan Branch Trail – construction update

As Fall settles in, the progress of the Metropolitan Branch Trail construction could be viewed as a half-full/half-empty depending on the observer:

  • Asphalt has been placed from the Franklin St/8th St northern terminus down to mbt-southern_solar_lightsthe Rhode Island Ave overpass; and from T St down to just before R Street,  but,
  • The gap from Rhode Island to T St appears to be waiting on significant grading work necessary to account for large drop-off on the western shoulder of the Trail.
  • Solar light-posts have been installed along the paved sections (and should be working at night already), but,
  • No fencing has been erected (save the small section down the 8th St ramp) to discourage vandalism and squatting.  Broken bottles are starting to crop up along the paved sections and homeless storage is appearing along the Trail.
  • Access paths have been partially constructed at 8th St, S Street and T Street, but,
  • R Street and V Street access paths have yet to begun.  The pedestrian bridge that connects the Trail to the Rhode Island Ave Metro Station is more than a year away.
  • Finally, the Trail nearing a milestone (a fenced, paved path from Franklin St to R Street), but,
  • The segment from R Street to just under the New York Ave overpass may not be completed until the Spring.  This would mean the Trail will continue to not connect to any Metro Station and require users (after taken a large detour around Pepco and FedEx property) to still cross the Florida Ave/New York Ave intersection.

Franklin St/8th St access path

Franklin St/8th St access path

The last bullet-point is the most critical issue.  It must be noted that DDOT has been working hard to move this impasse created by WMATA and has hinted (not promised) that the segment could be completed this November.  They have also indicated their interest in completing the Trail as soon as possible by suggesting that the cold weather may not prevent completion of this short segment (assuming WMATA delivers their paperwork) since the asphalt is being produced just a few blocks away at Fort Myer Construction’s plant–allowing it to be delivered plenty hot for its placement.

Thanks goes to DDOT for devoting such efforts to a project that is tiny, in terms of monetary values, for their overall portfolio, yet extremely large, in terms of its value to our community.

Subway restaurant – opening soon

Sign is up, and their website confirms it–someone is opening a Subway franchise near the corner of Florida Ave and North Capitol St NW (just next to the corner liquor store–convenient for those who like hard liquor with their sandwich):

1540 North Capitol Street NW
Washington DC 20002


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