Or “Venez aux Dos Gringos!”  How about “來到英美人士!”?  (That’s Chinese, if it’s wrong blame babelfish, not me.)  

If you understood any of the above beckonings, then you speak a foreign language.  Good for you, you smart, worldly person.  And guess what?  This Saturday (and every Saturday), you have a chance to practice that language with other Mt. Pleasant residents. 

Dos Gringos is hosting what they call an Intercambio, an informal get together where attendees can practice their Spanish, French, Chinese, or Vietnamese, the main four languages spoken in Mt. Pleasant.  The restaurant managers will put us into groups by language, give us a topic, sell us fantastic sandwiches, and let the converstation fly. 

Don’t worry if you only speak a little bit of a language.  This is completely informal, so no one will make fun of you (to your face).  The multi-lingual fun starts at 6pm and lasts as long as you’d like to stay.  Come join us this Saturday so I can ask all of you how you are in Spanish (since that’s pretty much all I can remember) and Courtney can dust off her semi-fluent “I lived in Paris for a semester” French.    

Intercambio at Dos Gringos
Saturday, July 19, 6-9pm
3116 Mt. Pleasant Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010

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DCist and The Examiner are reporting a surge in rapes in the District that MPD is now attributing to one offender.  In the latest in a series of four similar cases, a woman was raped in her home in Mt. Pleasant.  On Thursday around 4am, a young Hispanic man broke into her home on 18th and Park Road, the woman reported, raped her and stole some of her belongings.

Though this case may not be related to the previous three, the police see strong enough similarities to consider the possibility of a serial rapist.  The reports of these three earlier rapes occured on May 16, May 25, and June 26.  In each case, the man broke into the woman’s home in the early morning hours.  None of the women report having known their attacker, which makes this offender especially dangerous. 

This attacker is still on the loose, so please, be safe.  The women are not aware of exactly how the intruder entered their homes, so it is important, despite the nice weather, to keep doors and windows locked, particularly at night.

It was a beautiful Saturday night in Lamont Park, where community members gathered to enjoy a night of local business fun, music, games, and Shrek, all brought to you by Mt. Pleasant Mainstreet.  Volunteers from Think Local First (a GREAT organization we’ll tell you about in more detail at a later date) were on hand to educate consumers about the benefits of supporting local businesses.  July happens to be “Independents Month,” a time for community members to pledge their support by buying local whenever possible, so the Think Local First gang was busy campaigning away for their great cause.  

Father/son jazz duo Franko Jazz provided musical entertainment before the movie.  The movie, despite earlier advertisements, ended up being in English with Spanish subtitles instead of vice-versa, but we’re not complaining.  We were a little worried about some of the funnier inuedo getting lost in translation.  The crowd, young and old, heartily enjoyed both the music and the movie.  (Of course! Who doesn’t love Shrek?  Or teenage jazz drummers??) 

Missed this one?  Don’t worry!  Join us for the next film in the series, The Goonies (in English with Spanish subtitiles) at 9pm on August 9th.  (Don’t worry, e-friends, we’ll remind you again closer to the date.)

Note: Sadly, we don’t have any pictures of Films in the Park.  Do you?  Send them our way and we promise to give you a very special, Local Business-related prize we have yet to decide upon. 

I started salivating this morning when I received the email with the list of all of the delectable deliciousness that will be available at the Mt. Pleasant Farmer’s Market Saturday morning.


This week there are too many good fruits and veggies to count: peaches, raspberries, blueberries, arugla, plums, cucumbers, eggplants, apricots, the list goes on. Also, lots of good herbs, eggs, free-range pork products, as well as breads from locally-owned Breadline.

Stop by the manager’s booth to get a taste of gooseberries! They’ve promised me you’ll be a convert. I’m waiting to be convinced as I thought gooseberries were something that only existed in Willy Wonka. Additionally, if you were disappointed last week when you couldn’t buy feta, yogurt and chocolate pudding at Keswick Creamery, don’t worry, they are back this week.

From here on out, every Friday morning (okay, okay I know I’m late today), I’ll post my picks for the Lamont Park Farmer’s Market. I can’t wait for the whole array of produce, meat, bread and cheese I’ll be purchasing at Saturday’s market.

C’mon on out, meet your neighbors, buy local and celebrate the summer sun.

Meet you there! Save some okra for me!! (and yes, if you want to make me that recipe, I will marry you and restore your historic home in Mt. P)

Mt. Pleasant Farmer’s Market
Lamont Park
9:00am-1:00pm

Delicious.

Delicious.

While chains aren’t necessarily my thing, who can pass up a free coke slurpee??

Thanks to BYT and We Love DC for alerting me to the fact that I can drink frozen high fructose corn syrup to my heart’s content today.

7-Eleven
3146 Mount Pleasant St. NW
Washington, DC 20010
Open all the time

I’ve been perusing the Mt. Pleasant Transportation Study for a couple of weeks now, trying to summarize the almost 90 page report into something cogent to write about.  Never did I think that a tragedy would illustrate the importance of discussion about one particular section of the study: pedestrian and bicycle safety.

As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, 22-year-old Mt. Pleasant resident Alice Swanson was killed while biking to work Tuesday morning.  In the aftermath of such an untimely death, it is impossible not to think about the pedestrian and bicycle conditions in the city, to consider what could have happened differently to prevent Alice’s death, and to determine what can be done to make our streets safer in the future.

Mt. Pleasant, especially the 16th Street corridor, is a high traffic area for both cyclists and pedestrians.  According to the study, more than 600 pedestrians an hour traverse Irving Street during peak times and an average of 30-50 bicyclists an hour cruise down 16th Steet.  This kind of traffic certainly makes The Mount a high risk area for pedestrian/bicycle crashes. 

According to this illustration provided by the study, 15 crashes occured between pedestrians/cyclists and cars between 2004 and 2006.  That number doesn’t seem terribly high, but the study points out that this data takes into account only those crashes that were reported, so generally minor ones aren’t included.  This data also fails to take into account “conflicts” defined by the study as a “pedestrian, bicyclist, or driver taking evasive action to avoid a collision.”  In other words, there are certainly numerous near-misses that are unaccounted for.

The study does offer some solutions.  The fact that 14th Street has a bicycle lane north of Newton Street and 16th Steet does not, despite the significantly higher cycling traffic on 16th Street, is discussed in detail.  The report suggests that either the city add a bike lane to 16th Street or that bikers utilize the 14th Street lane for increased safety.  The Washington Area Bicyclist Association agrees.  It is one of the association’s top priorities to greatly increase the number of bike lanes throughout the city and they provide bike-safe routes to destinations across the region.

The city, by collecting data like the Mt. Pleasant Transportation Study, seems to understand the gravity of the problem and is taking steps to fix problem areas.  Until then, be safe.  Use the 14th Street bike lane if at all possible; it’s just two blocks out of your way.  Of course, wear your helmet and keep your eyes open to potential problem spots so that we can avoid losing another Mt. Pleasant resident in another horrible accident.

Never too early to start thinking about the weekend is what I say…

This weekend, on Saturday, July 12, Mt. Pleasant Main Street will be showing Shrek in Spanish with English subtitles as part of their Films in the Park summer series. The movie will be shown in, you guessed it, Lamont Park (same place as the Mt. Pleasant Farmer’s Market).

The movie will begin at 9:00pm, but don’t miss the Independent Business Celebration beforehand at 7:00pm. (If you can’t tell already, independent business is something we celebrate everyday here at Climbing the Mount.) What is this celebration all about? From our friends over at the Main Street offices: “How well do you know Mt. Pleasant? Play “Buy Local Bingo” and test your knowledge of the local businesses on Mt. Pleasant Street. Win prizes from Dos Gringos, Boveda Tribes and more! Bingo starts at 7:30pm!” Bingo?? I’m in!

Also, if you’re looking to volunteer (and I know some of you are judging from our poll), Main Street is still looking for some help setting up before the movie and cleaning up after the movie, as well as for some volunteers to work a table during the Farmer’s Market that morning. If you’re interested in volunteering, email Karen at karen@mtpmainstreet.org.

Mt. Pleasant Main Street Presents Films in the Park
Lamont Park
7:00pm- Independent Business Celebration
7:30pm- Bingo!
9:00pm- Shrek (Spanish w/English Subtitles)

Keep an eye out down the road for a new roof deck at Marx Cafe. We spoke to one of the owners, Haris Dallas, who told us that permits are in the works. Once those permits are in place (which, unfortunately, could take up to a year), Haris assures us that the deck can be built in as little as 3 weeks. Waiting around aside, this is really exciting news! Finally!! A venue for al fresco dining on The Mount (besides, of course, Dos Gringos and the two tables outside Heller’s). We’ll keep and eye on the permit process and be sure to let you know when deck plans progress further.

Oh, and while we were there investigating the roof deck rumor, we (of course) ate. At the suggestion of our reader, Jess, we ordered the saganaki, a Greek dish where cheese is flambeéd tableside. It was incredible (we do love you more now, Jess, just like we knew we would). We also ordered the fried calamari (they also have grilled) which was only, frankly, middling. We really enjoyed the caprese salad (though it was described as including red peppers and had none) and the eggplant rollatini (eggplant both stuffed with and covered in, what else, cheese).

The place was quite packed for a Tuesday night, and the overwhelmed bartender gave us slightly slow service at first that improved steadily during our meal. The cafe also has a different special or event each night of the week, like 1/2 price wine on Mondays and open mic on both Mondays and Tuesdays. Check out their website to see a full list of specials and events.

Marx Cafe
3203 Mount Pleasant St. NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-518-7600
Monday-Thursday: 5pm-2:30am
Saturday: 11am-2:30am (Brunch 11am-3pm)
Sunday: 11am-1:30am (Brunch 11am-3pm)

Has anyone noticed the water bubbling up from the street on Park Road recently? The Department of Public Works is remedying the issue as we speak. A DPW employee informed me that a leaky water valve was causing a hydrant to leak, which created the ongoing flood in the street.

The sidewalk and part of the street has been temporarily removed on Park Road between 16th and Mt. Pleasant Streets and, consequently, that block of Park Road has been closed to facilitate the repairs. The road will likely be closed until 10pm tonight.

At the behest of our reader, Erin (Thanks, Erin, keep up the great suggestions!), Courtney and I headed over to Bancroft Elementary this morning to investigate the garden plots that have been constructed there. The gardens lie on the east side of the school’s property, on Mt. Pleasant St. just north of Newton St.

Graves? No! GARDENS!!

Graves? No! GARDENS!!

Unfortunately, though, the gardens are not for community cultivation. They were built solely for the benefit of Bancroft Elementary students, who will use the plots to learn to grow plants and vegetables. The Bancroft secretary I spoke to said that the children are very excited about the opportunity. The venture will certainly also benefit the community as a whole, improving the landscape and aesthetic around the elementary school.

The project is spearheaded by community volunteer Iris Rothman, the woman who is also credited with bringing American University students to Bancroft to volunteer during the University’s Freshman Service Experience, a week-long volunteer program that introduces new students to the city while strengthening their sense of community in their new home. I haven’t been able to speak to Rothman about the gardens yet, but stay turned. I will update you, Internet, as soon as I am able.

UPDATE: Turns out that these plots ARE for community use!  Thanks to Devon for letting us know.  The kids’ gardens are on the west side of the school; these are on the east.  So some of us aren’t that great at the compass rose, back off.  I will try to get in touch with the leader of the Mt. Pleasant Community Garden (that’s right, it has a name) to find out how anyone who wants to can get involved!

Our Email

Please email us tips about what's going on in the neighborhood, questions you have about Mt. P, and pictures to post on our blog! We love Mt. Pleasant, but obviously are not experts, so we'd love your help and we'd love to hear from you. climbingthemount@ gmail.com