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                                                                                                                 Erik Cekan (age 6) struts his stuff on the catwalk.
                                                                                                           Modelling for Spoiled and Rotten Kids Boutique and Spa.

                                                        H Street Festival Rocks
                                                              article and photos by Jen DeMayo

F    all is festival time here is the nation’s capital. It’s a time when neighbor-
     hoods and towns in the Metropolitan region invite outsiders in to sample
local flavors, talent and sights while enjoying the changing weather.
                                                                                       the sidewalk in front of their 1224 storefront and served lunch outside while
                                                                                       giving patrons the chance to showcase their talents with karaoke.
                                                                                           The H Street Community Market, the organization attempting bring a
     And moon-bounces. And face-painting. I believe these activities are man-          cooperative market to the area, was educating visitors about their efforts. The
datory at any and all festivals regardless of location. Food on-a-stick should also    group also provided mini-massages for a small donation, but sadly, by the time
be available for full festival impact.                                                 I was able to get away, the masseuse was packing up her chair.
     The H Street Festival and Bazaar has in past years had a bit of an identity           With a more streamlined number of vendors in the streets, the festival nev-
problem. The majority of vendors and exhibitors were not from the neighbor-            er felt overly crowded as in years past. This year there was a greater emphasis
hood. This year H Street neighbor Leonard Howell offered to assist H Street             on the arts, highlighting that the eastern end of H Street is a destination for
Main Street with the organization and planning of the festival.                        culture and entertainment as well as food and drink.
     “It’s important to retain a local focus.” Howelll said. “I really wanted to see       There were three stages, two music stages at either end of the festival and a
all the new restaurants out there showcasing what they do.”                            third runway-style stage in the center of the festival area. This stage was home
     This year’s festival attempted to highlight the many businesses that have         to dance troupes based at Joy of Motion at the Atlas and to several fashion
recently opened and are bringing people to H Street. Although the festival was         shows that ran throughout the day. There was even a “model tent” where models
held in the 1200-1400 blocks of H Street, in what is known as the Atlas Dis-           could be seen having makeup done before they hit the runway.
trict, businesses from around the strip had a presence. Sidamo Coffee and Tea,              Khadijah Bronson, owner of Spoiled and Rotten Kids Boutique & Spa
from the 400 block of H, was on hand with samples of their in-house roasted            at 1204 H St. NE, organized a fashion show to show off her shop’s snazzy
coffees. The recently reopened Napa 1015 served up grilled offerings reminis-            duds for kids. Twenty-five kids trotted down the runway. The “models” were
cent of their Thursday evening Mexican specials. Sticky Rice set up tables on          as young as 15 months old and as old as 10. The older kids were clearly

72 ★ HillRag | October 2008
                                                                                 WHY CALL US?
enjoying the chance to sashay in         those streetcars are still in the
                                                                                 • 59 combined years of real
seriously cool clothes while the         District Department of Transpor-          estate sales experience
teeniest ones were just so unbear-       tation’s plans for H, they are not      • Over 1500 homes sold over the
ably cute. Bronson did a great job       going to be rolling past our front
                                                                                   length of our careers
picking out outfits to suit each          doors anytime soon. Those cars are
child’s look. My two boys were           part of a much larger streetscape
invited to be in the show, and it        improvement project that has been
                                                                                 And, most importantly,
was evident that the super-cool          planned for the street since 2001.      • 95% of our business comes                           Let our Experience
stylish outfits impacted the way          DDOT plans to widen sidewalks,            from satisfied buyers and sellers
they held themselves. Perhaps            plant trees and improve the visual                                                           and Proven Success
they are ready for something be-         elements of the street while also
sides the t-shirt and shorts combo       making it more pedestrian friend-       www.pettietubbs.com                                        work for you!
they wear every day? First, let me       ly. Since a Metro stop is not any-
see if those outfits are washable...      where in the plans for the street,
      H Street is currently home to      the less expensive trolley concept
a few art galleries and will soon        has been brought back to life in
boast more at the eastern edge of        order to better connect the street
the strip. To highlight the visual       with the Red Line Metro stop at
arts’ presence on the strip, there       Union Station.
was a folk art tent by the soon-to-           The streetscape project has
open Gallery O owned by festival         been “about to start in a few
sponsors Steve Hessler and Dolly         months” for as long as I have
Vehlow. There was also what is           been working on H Street. It was
known as an Art Car in the street        part of the city’s overall plan for
– art cars are automobiles that have     the revitalization of the street.
been transformed into art although       This overlay has dedicated the
there is debate as to whether or not     200-500 blocks as residential, the
they need to be drivable art. This       central blocks as commercial and
particular car did not seem street       the 1200-1500 blocks for arts and
worthy as the windshield was cov-        entertainment, a process that has                             202-741-1770 / 202-741-1786
ered with things like baby doll          been happening with vary degrees
heads that spun around. Creepy           of speed and success.
AND very cool. The artist’s state-            It seems as if the actual work        Jeanne Harrison & Phil Guire
ment educated viewers on the his-        on the street is really and truly
                                         set to begin Oct. 1. The construc-
                                                                                  Neighborhood Friends
tory of both the work and the art-
ist. I learned that the artist is NOT    tion contract has been awarded to                    – Friends of the Neighborhood
a hippy. Good to know.                   Capital Paving, the company cur-         Making the real estate process accessible,
      As someone who has been            rently working on the Benning
                                         Road, Bladensburg Road, Florida                      painless and (in most cases) fun.
operating an information table on
behalf of the Atlas for the past few     Avenue and H Street Starburst
festivals, I was able to see that this   Project. The work will begin in the
year the event drew attendees from       300-700 stretch of the street on
far beyond the neighborhood. We          the north side. Each segment
asked folks to sign up for our mail-     should take three to six months
ing list and found addresses from        depending upon various factors
around the city and the surround-        such as weather. The work will
ing suburbs. While it was not as         continue in three- to six-block
widely advertised as in years past,      increments along the north side
the festival did make the radar of       until it reaches the Starburst. The                                                      Don't hesitate to contact us about any real
the in-the-know Daily Candy, a           crews will then return to the south                                                                 estate questions that you have.
daily e-mail newsletter that tips its    side of H and repeat the process.
                                         They are saying the whole thing
                                                                                                                                         JEANNE HARRISON
reader off to the cool things around
town. The editors deemed the H           could take 36 months.
                                              A DDOT representative will
Street Festival as THE event for
that weekend, which to me is an          be attending the next ANC 6A
indicator that the neighborhood is       meeting at Miner Elementary on
truly the hippest place in town.         Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. to discuss the proj-                                                                jharrison@cbmove.com
                                         ect and to answer questions about

On the H Horizon
    You may have heard a little ru-
                                         the project. Should be an interest-
                                         ing evening...                                                                                             PHIL GUIRE
                                                                                    Licensed in
mor that there is a streetcar com-        Jen DeMayo is the communications           DC & VA
ing to H Street; it’s been buzzed        director of the Atlas Performing Arts
about for years now. While, yes,         Center. ★
                                                                                                                                                 capitalcommunitynews.com ★ 73