H Street Life

Neighbors enjoy a pre-garden tour social in Trinidad

Sally’s Middle Name Aims to Give Vegetables Their Due

Sally’s Middle Name, 1320 H Street NE, opens this month with an assortment of small plates and a wish to put our vegetable friends on more equal footing with their animal protein brethren. They are currently scheduled to open June 3, but have made sure to whet the appetites of their neighbors by hosting a pop-up tasting at Boundary Road and a Mother’s Day brunch at Toki Underground. Sally’s will feature a menu that changes daily based on local and seasonal ingredients. Look for menu items like the roasted carrots with cumin, coriander, cider, and sherry vinegar, or poached sablefish with escabeche.

Head upstairs and you’ll find their second floor lifestyle and home goods boutique, Akae (http://www.akaedc.com), that sells everything from handmade ceramic dishes, clothing, and custom stationary to reimagined furniture and household accent items.

Summer Outdoor Movie Season Returns

Warmer temperatures mean the return of outdoor movie screenings. Our neighborhood is blessed with two such series, NoMa Summer Screen and Union Market Drive-In. Summer Screen is a 13 week series that runs every Wednesday night and features films centered around this year’s theme, “Dance, Dance, Dance.” Kicking off in late May, the film series screens its last flick August 19th. You can catch favorites like Strictly Ballroom, Flashdance, and Singing in the Rain. As always, there will be plenty of food trucks to feed the hungry crowds. Please note that they have a new location this year (http://www.nomabid.org/noma-summer-screen, 1005 First Street NE) that is asphalt, so you should make plans to bring folding chairs. As in past years, you are free to bring Frisbees, blankets, and coolers. All films in this free series include subtitles. No tickets are required, but show up early to get a good spot.

Only a few blocks away you’ll find the Union Market Drive-In (http://unionmarketdc.com, 1309 5th Street NE), which will screen a film every Friday night in June. This year’s theme is Flashback and the line-up includes: Jurassic Park, Pretty Woman, Space Jam, and Beverly Hills Cop. Tickets can be purchased online (http://umdrivein.ticketleap.com/summer15) for those who wish to watch from their cars. Admission is free for those who sit in the outdoor picnic area (no ticket is needed for walk-ups, but show up early to ensure you get a seat). A portion of ticket sales will go to benefit the Trinidad neighborhood DCPS school, Wheatley Education Campus. Patrons can either tune in through a car radio or listen over the market’s loud speakers. 

The DC Rollergirls will be on hand to deliver snacks and drinks on wheels. In addition, all 40 Union Market vendors will remain open to serve you. Cinephiles craving a salty-sweet mashup will enjoy complimentary Shinola Cola and popcorn throughout the evening. 

The Annual Trinidad Neighborhood Garden Tour Draws a Crowd

The popular Annual Trinidad Neighborhood Garden Tour once again brought a large group eager to mingle with neighbors and visit local gardens. Mixed in with the neighbors were newcomers with a general curiosity about the area. This year’s free tour featured eight scheduled stops and kicked off with the traditional pre-tour brunch garden social.

Free Rooftop Yoga at Maketto

If you needed yet another reason to check out H Street NE’s new addition Maketto (http://maketto1351.com, 1351 H Street NE), you’ve got it in the form of free yoga sessions. They take place every Sunday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Classes come via Love Supreme Yoga (http://www.lovesupremeyoga.com). Reward yourself post-yoga with some Asian street food. Just remember to bring your own mat.

Jimmy Valentine’s Celebrates Eight Years on Bladensburg Road NE

It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Heart’s Club (http://www.jimmyvalentineslhc.com, 1103 Bladensburg Road NE) welcomed its first patrons, but the tiny tavern recently celebrated its birthday with a Labor Day weekend party featuring DJs and carefree revelers. Back in 2007, that stretch of Bladensburg Road didn’t boast a lot in terms of food- or drink-oriented businesses. Jimmy’s opened up in a space once home to Liberty Income Tax. Bladensburg Road between Mount Olivet and Florida can still feel a bit desolate, but Jimmy’s has since been joined by a Denny’s, W. S. Jenks & Son Hardware, Mother Rucker’s Subs, and Bardo Brewery, all of which draw visitors to the strip.

Despite its tough location, Jimmy’s has continued to draw loyal crowds over the years, as well as those interested in seeking out something a bit different and off the beaten path. The bar regularly hosts DJ nights, as well as very popular Halloween and New Year’s Eve parties. For years the bar kept a very low profile and you had to know the exact address if you hoped to find it. These days it’s easier to spot due to the murals that adorn the building. But Jimmy’s has cultivated a bit of an underground vibe since it opened. In 2011, Playboy Magazine dubbed the tavern one of “America’s greatest late-night bars.” It was the only District establishment to make the list.

Although plenty of neighbors have told me over the years that they didn’t even know there was a bar at that location, Jimmy’s has made efforts to embrace its neighborhood, including hosting an annual fundraiser to support youth activities in the Trinidad Neighborhood that owner Mark Thorp calls home.

W. S. Jenks & Son Adds Sunday and Evening Hours

Local hardware store W. S. Jenks & Son (http://www.wsjenks.com, 910 Bladensburg Road NE) boasts all manner of items any homeowner (or renter) might need, but until recently their limited hours made it hard for many to patronize the store. In response to neighborhood demand, they recently made a decision to expand their evening hours and to open on Sundays (Monday-Friday 7:30 – 7, Saturdays 9 - 5 , and Sundays 10 - 4).

For more on what’s abuzz on, and around, H Street NE, you can visit my blog http://frozentropics.blogspot.com. You can send me tips or questions at elise.bernard@gmail.com.

Jimmy Valentine’s celebrates eight years on Bladensburg Road NE
Union Market’s Drive-In series features films screened directly onto the Union Market building. Photo: Joy Asico

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