Hi readers, apologies for the lack of posts the past week – other things have gotten in the way. Prince of Petworth has some news for the 1500 block of U Street – first the sad: RCKNDY, ┬áthe home decor store, has closed. I can’t say I’d ever shopped there but I was glad to have it in the neighborhood.

Continuing the trend of the block being a fashion destination, Match Clothing will be opening at 1526 U Street. The building used to house a hair braiding business. Match Clothing seems like a pretty nice clothing boutique, but right now the website is pretty bare so hard to say the price range of the clothes they sell and where they come from.

Cork & Fork signage up

This makes me believe that the wine/food store will be coming soon. We heard about Cork & Fork coming back in July 0f 2009 and hoped to open in December, so I would hope that they open soon.

Go Mama Go! (courtesy of NCinDC)

Well this really is sad news. Go Mama Go!, the eclectic arts and gifts store on 14th street near S, is closing after nearly 10 years on the block. Go Mama Go! was truly a pioneer of our neighborhood, one of the first stores to open on a stretch of pawn shops, car dealerships, and empty/abandoned storefronts. The owner, Noi Chudnoff, who died in 2007, really was an ambassador for the neighborhood, a champion of gay rights, a lover of the arts.

The store continued on after Noi’s death, but in a press release (via Borderstan) the current owner of the store, Jonathan Chudnoff, her husband, explained that after Noi died and because of the economic downturn in general, the store was closing. They will be having a going out of business sale through January, and close some time in February or March, until the building owner finds a new tenant.

How sad, please visit Go Mama Go! before they close, and tell them how much they’ve meant for the neighborhood and how much they’ll be missed.

Apologies for the lack of pictures, but I saw this morning that there were a number of construction vehicles working at the empty lot that used to be the Nehemiah Shopping Center on 14th street between Belmont and Clifton. Last we knew, this lot was going to become a condo building with some retail on the first floor. They seemed to be ripping up the concrete from the old parking lot this morning. Good to see movement on this empty lot, and I’ll update with pictures if they’re still doing work tonight.

Pink November's new location

Pink November's new location

Guess I’m stating the obvious, but I went into Pink November’s new location on U street the other day, hoping to get the scoop about their new location and perhaps do some shopping. However, I quickly realized I could afford… nothing. The cheapest item I could find was a pretty boring T-shirt for $92, most of the dresses were in the $250 to $400 range and the most expensive was nearly $1000. OK, no shopping for me, but what about the new location?

I went on a weekday afternoon, and I knew it would be empty. I was hoping, though, that I would be able to talk to whomever was working there. However, the whole 15 minutes I spent in the store subtly trying to get the woman’s attention, she was on the phone ignoring me. So, Pink November: still unaffordable and now sort of unfriendly. I don’t want to knock any local businesses, I want to support them, but I think it would behove them to at least greet their customers as they enter and leave the store, especially when it’s empty.

Other blogs have done a better job covering the various construction projects that are headed to the U street area than I have. Here’s a quick round-up of all of the projects:

It’s very interesting to see all of this construction in the neighborhood. My question is: will the declining economy allow for these projects to be finished when they would like to? Or will we see more half-renovated/half-constructed properties as funding for construction falls out.

Didn’t have my camera with me, but I noticed that Pink November has reopened in a storefront on 16th and U. They seemed to have had their grand reopening yesterday, as they had plenty of pink balloons to mark the occasion. I tried going on their website to find more information, but it appears to either be not working, or gone. I’m glad they were able to find a new place to open on U street, I always enjoyed walking by their old storefront and drooling at pretty dresses that I couldn’t afford.

Construction permit

Construction permit

Walking by the other day, I noticed some guys in the old Pink November store on 13th and U doing something construction related. On closer inspection, the owners of the building, Robey Real Estate Enterprises (they don’t seem to have a website), have obtained a permit to do internal demolition for future renovation. This is good news, I think, and while I have no idea what the owners will use the space for, it’s good to see progress on an empty storefront on U street.