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-
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
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- firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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