Big Changes Afoot at Dumbarton Oaks Park

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In 2011, the Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy was formed. The organization, inspired in part by the successful Central Park Conversancy, seeks to restore the magnificent park back to its original state as conceived by the legendary Beatrix Farrand.

Three years on, and the group has begun to display significant progress towards that goal. GM took a walking tour last week with the conservancy’s outreach director, Lindsey Milstein, and learned a great deal about what has been done, and what’s in store.

There are hugely ambitious plans for the park. But the immediate challenge-and one that threads through most of the the discussions of the park-is that presented by the invasive plants that have a foothold throughout the park.

The bulk of the visible progress against this challenge can be seen just past the park’s gate at the bottom of Lover’s Lane. As you can see above, great swaths of brush have been cleared on the hillside below Dumbarton Oaks gardens. Those tubular shapes on the hillside will remain and the plants and vegetation will grow up and over them, giving the slope ridges. This will be both attractive and prevent further erosion.

Planted among the tubes are saplings of native trees, which will eventually replace the invasive Norway maples that were reduced to stumps. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Call Me Issac Leon.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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Book Hill

Book Hill

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This is No Way to Handle Liquor Licensing

Photo curtesy of the City Paper.

The Washington City Paper reported earlier this week on the scene you see above: people camping out trying to snag a liquor license for Georgetown. As Perry Stein writes:

Yeroushalmie, a developer in D.C., is camping outside the government building in hope of snagging a coveted Georgetown liquor license. The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration announced last month that it would be accepting applications this Thursday at 8:30 a.m. for a tavern and three restaurant liquor licenses. This is only the second time in almost 20 years, according to ABRA spokeswoman Jessie Cornelius, that a tavern license has become available in Georgetown.

Yeroushalmie pitched his $39 Walmart tent on Tuesday around 8 p.m. He needs a license for a high-end sushi restaurant he’s planning to open in a building he already owns along Wisconsin Avenue

GM predicted this last month when the city announced the release of the licenses. GM analogized to a gold rush, but it appears the more apt metaphor would be Led Zeppelin tickets.

This ridiculous first-come-first-served policy has the potential to lead to the exact same failure the last series of license releases led to: nothing. As GM wrote earlier, of the seven new licenses issued last time, five ended up going to establishments that either never opened or have since closed (or simply stopped using their license).

GM suggested already that one answer is to simply remove the moratorium just on M St. It appears that the economics might rule out new restaurants on M St. right now, but the moratorium certainly isn’t helping to keep restaurants opening on M St.

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Daniel Lobo.

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3200 block of P St.

3200 block of P St.

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Long Time ANC Rep Charlie Eason Passes Away

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GM yesterday heard the sad news that former ANC rep Charlie Eason passed away over the weekend. As GM wrote last November, Charlie stepped down from the ANC after he moved to a home on the Chesapeake Bay. He had been struggling with a long term illness and had grown visibly weaker over the past year.

As GM wrote last fall, during Charlie’s farewell address to the ANC he contemplated his new bayside life and said his plans were to sit at the end of his pier, watch for crabs, and read some good books. GM sincerely hopes that in his final months, Charlie was afforded such transcendent pleasures. Continue reading

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