A fun Open Mic night at Boundary Stone turned tragic in early February as Daniel Olaya was struck by a vehicle after exiting the premises. The community is mourning the loss of the 35-year-old sound engineer from Bowie, who left behind a three-year-old son.
Friends with him that night reported that, as they left the tavern, a dark SUV went flying down the street, prompting them to shout at the car to slow down. The driver proceeded to make threats as the group walked away toward the LeDroit Park neighborhood. The driver then followed the group, revving the engine and striking Olaya before fleeing the scene. Olaya was pronounced dead later in the hospital.
Looking for footage of Olaya’s last night, his cousin Anabel reached out to Boundary Stone for anything they might have. “I hadn’t heard of the accident,” explains general manager Colleen Gillespie. “So I was floored when she told me what happened, and my heart just broke for her and her family. We spoke for a long time about Danny, whom I recognized from his picture but had never interacted with, and his love for music and the community.”
Anabel explained that a Go Fund Me campaign was started for Olaya’s family, and Gillespie knew Boundary Stone had to get involved and help. Usually, Open Mic has drink deals of $5 drafts, but for the Open Mic following Olaya’s death the crew at the Stone decided to charge full-price drafts and donate a percentage of sales as well as allowing guests to add donations to their tabs.
“The Open Mic community at Boundary Stone is a very close one, explains Gillespie. “And for us as a neighborhood bar, it’s so important to take care of one another and help in whatever capacity we can.”
A Neighborhood in a Thousand Words
Capturing the spirit of a neighborhood in a photo is no easy feat, but that was the task that was set to the North Capitol Main Street community in advance of its latest annual-report release and meeting. The meeting became an event unto itself, called the I<3 North Cap Photo Contest. The winner is displayed on the cover of this month’s Mid-City.
The contest invited everyone, from professional photographers to those with a creative spirit, to submit their favorite captures of the neighborhood and the moments that make life there so special. The top eight photos were chosen and displayed, gallery style, at the North Capitol Main Street annual meeting at Anxo Cidery and Pinxtos Bar.
The judges were Kristi Maiselman, executive director of Cultural DC; Yuh Wen Lin, board chair at North Capitol Main Street Inc.; Steven Cummings, a local artist, and this reporter. The grand prize winner, “North Capitol Street Crossing” by Thomas Cluderay, received a cash prize, and NCMS will use the photo in multiple 2019 promotions. Additionally, the top three photos will be “giangantified” in a large fence art installation at the corner of North Capitol Street and Florida Avenue, to be seen by the thousands who pass by every day.
“The I<3 North Cap event and our NCMS annual meeting at Anxo this year represent a key goal that North Capitol Main Street has for our corridor: to engage small businesses and community members to support the continued economic vitality of our neighborhoods,” explains judge and NCMS board chair Lin. I’m thrilled that we have the opportunity to showcase the uniqueness of our corridor … and now we have some award-winning photographs to show off to others, too!”
Winning photographer Thomas Cluderay, originally from North Carolina, has been living in DC for more than a decade now, currently just off 17th Street in Dupont Circle. An attorney for a nonprofit group by day, by night he’s an avid photographer, backpacker and traveler. A lot of his photography features outdoor landscapes and street shots, especially DC neighborhoods.
“When people think about Washington, DC,” explains Cluderay, “certainly outside of the Beltway, they’re likely to conjure up images of the Mall, our monuments and the Capitol Dome. But there’s so much more here. There’s a deep, beautiful richness to the District that we as Washingtonians get to experience every day.” He finds the winning photo especially compelling because “it captures everyday life in the neighborhood, just a woman out with her dog, but it also features the neighborhood’s namesake street in the background with classic DC row homes beyond that.”
Taylor Barden Golden is a real estate agent with the Stokes Group at McEnearney Associates Inc. A former Hill staffer, Taylor lives in Brentwood with her husband, two dogs and a cat. She’s always on the lookout for new places to explore and ways to spend time outside. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org; @rtaylorb.