Near Southeast DC: Past News Items - Aug 08, 2008
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3 Blog Posts

Youth River Sports Day at the Boathouses, Aug. 23
Aug 8, 2008 2:06 PM
The Anacostia Community Boathouse Association is having its second Youth River Sports Day on Saturday, Aug. 23 from 10 am to 2 pm, at their boathouses nestled between the 11th Street Bridges spans (1115 O Street, SE). The 10 member organizations of the ACBA are banding together to help teach kids (and grownups) how to paddle in outrigger canoes and dragon boats and how to row in big training barges--or you can just take a slow tour of the Anacostia River. The events are free, though the ACBA does ask you to register so they know how many people are coming. If you want more background on the boathouse operations at O Street, there's now an interesting history page on the ACBA web site.
(If you want to receive day-before reminders about this event, or other events in the neighborhood, sign up for the JDLand Twitter feed. In addition to reminders and random thoughts, JDLand twitter readers get an added bonus: they knew a few hours ago that I was going to be posting about this today--it's like a sneak preview for the blog.)

The Drag Queens of Near Southeast
Aug 8, 2008 11:30 AM
The Sunday Washington Post magazine has a long story about the drag queens who for years called the clubs of Near Southeast home. It talks about how things used to be at the clubs, and the difficulties the clubs (and the queens) have had finding a new home since the wave of ballpark development closed places like Club 55 (above left, on what's now the north side of the Velocity block) and Ziegfield's (above right, now home to shallow right field).
Here's some quotes from a conversation with Carl Rizzi, who long performed at Club 55 as "Mame Dennis": "He is still holding out hope that the Dicksons can find a place to reopen Club 55, so that they will again have a permanent home. He faults the gay community for being caught so flat-footed; they took for granted that they'd always have Southeast, he says. 'I guess we never in our wildest imagination thought anyone would tear that down because it was such an undesirable area.' The city benefits from having a ballpark, says Rizzi, 'and that's all well and good. But [a long-standing gay community] was all torn down and torn apart and scattered, and we had no place to go and no help.' " The online version of the story has an accompanying video about Rizzi and the clubs.

Onyx Opening Monday? And Other Quick Links
Aug 8, 2008 9:46 AM
A few quick hits to start the day:
* DCMud says that Onyx on First is opening Monday (so my post earlier this week on it looking close to opening wasn't too far off). I'm trying to confirm, but haven't heard back yet. UPDATE: They tell me that yes, they're opening Monday.
* The Fredericksburg (Va.) Free Lance-Star has a nice piece on one of the tour guides at Nationals Park. (Didn't know that there's ballpark tours? Find out more here.)
* The Examiner reports on allegations by DC auditors of an ethics violation by former Anacostia Waterfront Corporation chief Andrew Altman back in 2005, having to do with the AWC signing a contract with a real estate services company that listed Altman as a reference.
* Interest in JDLand reaches Brazil. (Thank heavens for Babelfish's Portuguese-to-English translator.)
* The Nationals have announced that they have donated more than 10,000 tickets to August games at the ballpark to local community and civic groups, as part of MLB's "Commissioner's Initiative for Kids" program. Southwest's King Greenleaf Recreation Center was one of the recipients.

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