Shaw Streets

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Dignitaries cut the ribbon to reopen Kennedy Recreation Center. Photo: Pleasant Mann

Kennedy Recreation Center Reopens

On Monday morning, April 15, Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Thennie Freeman, Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto and other dignitaries gathered with Shaw residents to celebrate the reopening of the Kennedy Recreation Center, which had been closed for months for renovations. The reopened center has revamped electrical and ventilation systems, an upgraded front desk and kitchen, new flooring in the gymnasium, a set of washers and dryers and a new recording studio.

Director Freeman noted that the recreation center will serve as DPR’s hub for its Roving Leader program. Councilmember Pinto welcomed the reopening of the center and thanked neighborhood leaders, such as the Friends of the Kennedy Playground, who led to its improvement. She also noted that the addition of the recording studio came after a request of the community. After the speeches, the Kennedy Recreation Center was opened to the community to enjoy refreshments and inspect its new features.

Central Shaw Neighborhood Association Meets on Public Safety

The Central Shaw Neighborhood Association (CSNA) met on the night of April 15 at the Watha T. Daniel Library to discuss the state of public safety in the area. There had been a series of car break-ins along Q Street, along with a shooting incident at Seventh and P streets that concerned residents. CSNA invited Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto to discuss these issues.

CSNA president Lesly McNitt started by outlining how the residents had built up the community and how they hoped to maintain it. Then she introduced Councilmember Pinto, who asked the attendees to introduce themselves and outline some of their issues. There were concerns that the neighborhood was starting to see the return of unsavory activities like auto break-ins, public drug use, poorly maintained properties and a proliferation of rats. Pinto said that her top priority was public safety, given her position as chair of the DC Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. That priority is followed by the effort to produce more affordable housing. She noted that when she took office, Ward 2 had the largest number of homeless encampments in the city, largely because the ward was considered the safest in the District. Pinto has worked to provide more housing vouchers for people on the streets. Safe and affordable transit is also a priority. Support for women and girls is Pinto’s final major priority.

In terms of public safety, Pinto started by discussing what was needed from the various agencies in the public safety cluster as well as residents. This led to her Secure DC omnibus law aimed to prevent crime, hold perpetrators accountable and improve coordination among government agencies. In Shaw, she is working on the problem of vacant and blighted properties. The District is also resuming a program to subsidize trash compactors near restaurants to reduce the amount of rubbish attracting rats.

Shaw residents fan out for the Mayor’s Spring Clean-Up. Photo: Pleasant Mann

Shaw Spring Clean-Up

Shaw residents assembled in front of the Kennedy Recreation Center on Saturday morning, April 27, to participate in Mayor Bowser’s citywide Annual Spring Clean-Up. The clean-up commemorates Earth Day, and the Kennedy Recreation Center was the headquarters for the event in Ward 2. Shaw Main Streets was the community partner for the event. Volunteers went throughout the neighborhood, picking up trash and delivering it to a waiting Department of Public Works truck.

Shaw Restaurants Dominate RAMMY Nominations

The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington has announced the nominees for its RAMMY awards for excellence in the hospitality industry, with Shaw restaurants continuing to crowd the list.

Three Shaw restaurants are nominated for Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: Causa/Amazonia, Oyster Oyster and The Dabney. Petite Cerise is nominated for New Restaurant of the Year, while Georgian restaurant Supra is up for the Casual Restaurant of the Year award. Amazonia is among nominees for the Cocktail Program of the Year, Tallboy for the Beer Program of the Year and Lulu’s Winegarden for Wine Program of the Year.

The individuals nominated for RAMMY awards include Ria Montes of Estuary restaurant, at the Conrad Hotel, for Rising Culinary Star of the Year. Kristen Wilson of Causa is a nominee for Employee of the Year, while Janice McLean of Estuary is nominated for Manager of the Year. There will have to be a battle between Carlos Degado of Causa/Amazonia and Jeremiah Langhorne of The Dabney for the prestigious title of Chef of the Year.

There are also categories where the public can vote for their favorites. Shaw residents will be able to vote for Lulu’s Winegarden as their Favorite Gathering Place, Andy’s Pizza for Favorite Fast Bites spot and Your Only Friend as the Hottest Sandwich Spot in town.

The RAMMY winners will be announced at the RAMW Awards Gala at the Washington Convention Center on Sunday, July 21. Tickets are available for sale at www.TheRAMMYS.org.

In other award news, the New York Times just put out its list of “The 25 Best Restaurants in Washington D.C. Right Now.” Shaw standout The Dabney, celebrated plant-based spot Oyster Oyster and the recently opened vegetable-focused Mita made the top 25 list.

Eat.Drink.Shaw. Scheduled for June 19

Shaw Main Streets will hold its annual food and beverage showcase fundraiser, Eat.Drink.Shaw., on Wednesday evening, June 19, at the Howard Theater. Eat.Drink.Shaw showcases the neighborhood’s world-renowned restaurants and bars to show off what they do best. This year, at least 20 Shaw restaurants will offer unlimited food and drink for two and one-half hours. Hundreds of foodies and cocktail lovers will attend the ticketed event. For more information, visit www.eatdrinkshaw.com