City Market Opens

Corcoran neighborhood has a newly opened international market store on the newly refurbished corner of Lake Street and Cedar Avenue. Mohamed Ahmed and his family run the City Market there. I arrived on a hot, rainy Saturday and was graciously greeted by Mohamed and his daughter Hany. Both Hany and her sister Suad work in the store. Suad handles marketing and works most weekdays. Continue Reading

Firefly coffee bistro coming soon

It won’t be long before Corcoran residents have a new coffee shop to frequent, a place to call their own. Actually, the term “coffee shop” doesn’t adequately describe the new Firefly Coffee Bistro opening at 3445 Cedar Avenue South, just a couple doors down from the Corcoran Neighborhood Office next to the Susan Hensel Gallery. With many years of food service experience between them, owners Channa Tastsides and Troy Lerch are excited to share the friendly conversations, great food, and cozy inviting ambience with the Corcoran neighborhood they are known for at their Lake Nokomis location. Featuring locally roasted Fair-trade coffee and Sebastian Joe’s award winning ice cream, combined with Channa’s coffee expertise and Troy’s culinary creativity, the menu will include something for everyone…even vegetarians. Along with an extensive list of espresso drinks, coffee and other beverages, they will offer a variety of breakfast items, salads, panini sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts. Continue Reading

Home tour to take place October 27

Shortly after they acquired their multistory, center-hall colonial house on Chelmsford Avenue, the Van Hecke family faced a harrowing dilemma. John, the husband and father, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a wasting disease that eventually forces its victims into a wheelchair. Their new home, with its many steps, was exactly the opposite of what the doctor might have ordered for a man who would soon find himself too tired to walk upstairs. “We spent a fair amount of time agonizing if we should move to a one-story house in the suburbs,” said John’s wife, Betsy. The suburbs, that is, where the houses are as low and flat as Betsy’s tone of voice when she considers the lack of attraction that suburban life held for the young family. Continue Reading

Many tools to update Heights aging housing stock

Columbia Heights is attacking its aging housing stock from two fronts. Recently, city development staff unveiled a 10-year housing maintenance plan that includes new and continuing programs, partnerships and money for home improvement or new construction. Meanwhile, the fire department has been working on updating the city’s 19-year old Housing Maintenance Code to include commercial as well as residential property. The department will present the new code to the Columbia Heights City Council for approval Oct. 22. Continue Reading

A slice of Northeast life at St. Maron’s A Touch of Lebanon

Red, green, and white balloons marked the site of the 16th annual Touch of Lebanon Festival at St. Maron Catholic Church. Saint Maron Church is a tan stone structure on University Avenue NE just south of Broadway Street, and Sept. 29-30 it hosted a festival to celebrate the parish’s Lebanese roots. The church opens up on Cedars Hall, where large tables are set up, and in the center of the room groups of people sit around eating and talking. Continue Reading

Farmers’ Market Manager Will Leave, Market to Hire

After four years as the manager of the Midtown Farmers’ Market, Joanna Stone has announced she will be leaving. Joanna plans to continue working through the end of the 2007 market season and into early December to ensure a smooth transition to the new market manager. Joanna says, “I’ll see you all at the market next year—as a shopper with a canvas bag instead of as a manager with a clipboard.” The Midtown Farmers’ Market seeks a creative, self-motivated person with strong leadership and organizational skills for a full time position as Market Manager. Continue Reading

Colossal Café: Big on Natural

Some restaurants brag about the organic ingredients they use in their cuisine. Others boast how everything is prepared on-site. The Colossal Café, located at 1839 E. 42nd St., does both.The name “Colossal Café” for this tiny eatery reflects its owner’s sense of humor. The Colossal Café is open Wednesday through Sunday, 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Phone: 729-5766. Owner Bess Giannakakis revels in creating delicious and healthful meals from scratch that use only the most seasonal and best ingredients available. Continue Reading

What Is “Affordable Housing”?

SENA’s Phase II Neighborhood Revitalization Program plan includes money for educating the neighborhood about affordable housing issues. The staff of SENA News will periodically use the newsletter to do that, either with informative articles such as the following or with invited articles from people involved in those issues. When SENA conducted a survey about three years ago, one of the top reasons that respondents gave for choosing to live in the Standish and Ericsson neighborhoods was that the housing was affordable. But what does “affordable” mean? According to economists, housing is “affordable” it if costs no more than 30% of a family’s income. Continue Reading