courtesy of of drewsaunders (Flickr)

Tonight, presumptive mayor Vince Gray continues his town hall meetings in Ward 1. The meeting is at 6:30 at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, 1100 Harvard St. in Columbia Heights.

Video of the Meridian Hill snowball fight! Also check out more photos of U street on my Flickr photostream.

UPDATE: The event has been moved to next Saturday, the 20th. More info here.

ReadySetDC and No Kings Collective are hosting a pop-up gallery in a newly refurbished row house in Columbia Heights, and the show is called Activation 2719. Snow permitting, the opening party for the gallery will be this NEXT Saturday February 20th from 6-11, featuring Tim “Con” Conlon, Decoy, James Walker, Emily Green Liddle, Bryan Rojsuontikul, Diana Cruz, Batool AlShomran, Aniekan Udofia as well as No Kings Collective themselves Brandon Hill Francisco Esteban, and Peter Chang. What’s really cool about this show is it’s curated by the artists, which is a rare event.

The opening night will have a bar, food provided by Commonwealth Gastropub, and music by DJ Fleg, DJ Tom Lim, Sheena Alexis, DJ Phil Real, DJ Smudge, and Bull Fight Academy.

There’s no price of admission but you do need to RSVP by 3 pm today to go to opening night. Otherwise the gallery is open Fridays Noon–8 pm and Saturdays 10am – 5pm through March 6ththe 27th.

Around 4 am Saturday, there was a robbery and stabbing in Columbia Heights, at Fairmont and 11th street. MPD says that two females were robbed by two males, at which time the females fled from the scene and “obtained assistance from several citizens” (um, why weren’t you calling 911 instead?). Then, these “citizens” confronted the two men who robbed these women, and one of the suspects had a knife and stabbed one of the “citizens” in the chest. The victim is in stable condition.

With the limited information that MPD released, I originally questioned these people’s actions. I apologize if I offended anyone. The only point I wanted to make was: a crime gets committed, you call 911. It’s dangerous to confront individuals that just committed a crime, especially one of like a robbery.

I don’t know what to make of this, but Josue Pena, the man who was arrested in the murder of Oscar Fuentes, was found dead in his jail cell. Various news reports are saying he was found hung, and that the official cause of death was cardiac arrest from asphyxiation. Pena’s death is under investigation.

The community really needed a quick arrest with this murder. WaPo is reporting 26-year-old Josue Pena of Hyattsville was arrested at 6 am this morning. This is good news but you can’t help but think it’s not going to bring Oscar Fuentes back.

DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier also noted that there is no indication that the murder was gang related, though she did acknowledge that the suspect is a known associate of MS-13.

You know, this is enough. MPD is reporting a child was shot and fatally wounded at 1400 Columbia Road last night. I certainly heard all of the helicopters starting around 10 pm. I knew something bad had happened. This is horrible.

Jim Graham has more information:

“Just before 10 PM, a nine year old boy was shot dead in the presumed safety of his apartment at 1433 Columbia Road. At this time, it appears that there was some kind of fight in the hallway, shots were fired, one of which entered the apartment and killed this boy. I have the name of the boy (who happens to be Latino) but I am not releasing it since I do not know whether the entire family has been notified.

Chief Lanier and Mayor Fenty–who were both on the scene– stated that there are persons in custody.”

I guess that’s good at least? Before I even saw this I could figure it was crossfire that this kid was caught in. I am so disgusted.

UPDATE: Three persons of interest were questioned in relation to the murder, but MPD has announced no arrest, says WaPo.

UDPATE 2: The child has been identified as Oscar Fuentes. His family said that the locks on the apartment building’s front door had been broken for months. The family also believes MS 13 might have been involved in the shooting.

Pho from Pho 14

Pho from Pho 14

mmmm, I love pho (and yes, it’s pronounced fuh – think about how many restaurants are called Pho King and you’ll get the inside joke). It’s a perfect antidote to the cold day, congested chest, the Vietnamese version of chicken noodle soup (and better, in my opinion). So I considered it a personally travesty that until last week, I had never been to the pho restaurant in Columbia Heights, Pho 14, especially considering it opened back in April.

I tried going a few weeks ago on a Wednesday around 8, and was surprised to see the line was out the door. Ended up at Pete’s Apizza and all was right. But when I saw they were open for lunch, and I had a Friday off on a cold day, off to get pho I went. Now, while I am very fond of pho, I’m no pho expert. However, a half-Vietnamese friend of mine (who shares my love of Four Sisters) likes Pho 14 and says he drops in often. So I liked their pho, it’s all in the broth as everyone says, and I loved the complexity of theirs (I also added a good amount of siracha sauce and some hoisin as well).

Bahn mi

Bahn mi

We also ordered a banh mi heo nuong platter and barely touched it, not because it was bad but because you forget how filling a big bowl of pho is. So, the next day I had my banh mi with grilled pork, and it was wonderful, a little spicy, nice and crunchy from the vegetables, and a lovely tang from the pork.

And of course, one of the best parts about pho restaurants is the price. You pay less than $10 for a huge bowl of pho, $2 for a pot of tea. Pho 14 is a great first date spot as well. And, they do takeout. So if I’m not the only one left in the area that hadn’t been, you reader, you go too.

MPD is reporting there was a shooting at 11th and Clifton last night. The victim is in serious condition at the hospital. There isn’t much more information other than that, but I will continue to update as more comes out.


Insipired Yoga, closing

It is with a sad heart that I write this, as Inspired Yoga had become my yoga home in my 2+ years in the area, but Inspired Yoga announced today that it will be closing at the end of November. Owner Kyra, with Michael, will leave to travel in Vietnam, teaching yoga, and eventually relocate to LA to be closer with one of their favorite teachers, Saul David Raye.

After Inspired Yoga had moved to their current location at the Josephine Butler Center in September, they had to cut their schedule because of the location’s restrictions. While beautiful, the space isn’t quite a yoga studio, and I had hoped the location was temporary until they found something more suitable and permanent. They have existed in Adams Morgan, U street, and now Columbia Heights for 8 years. They have had over 6,000 students. It’s a sad day for yoga in DC, but I wish Kyra and Michael the best. Namaste.

And, now that it seems that I’m going to need to find a new studio, does anyone have any recommendations for the U street area? I’m looking for a practice that is challenging, yet relaxing and soothing, hotter yoga would be nice but not required. Teachers that really let you focus on your breath. Any recommendations?