Why Numi Yoga is a Route 1 Game-Changer

University Park resident Kelsey Starr opened Numi Yoga in College Park after seeing how successful yoga studios were in two other university towns where she lived: Ann Arbor, MI and Champaign, IL.

The yoga studio at 4513 College Ave. opened two years ago this month and is centrally located for students at the University of Maryland.

But it’s also become a frequent partner with other businesses along the Route 1 corridor in an effort to attract members of the community who aren’t affiliated with the university.

“I think college towns are places where a lot of diverse ideas and humans get to cross paths,” Starr told the Hyattsville Wire. “I love the cross-pollination we can have on one another in the community, and I think yoga studios are places where this can happen.”

Yoga has taken off in recent years along the Route 1 corridor, with Bikram Hot Yoga in Riverdale Park, Yoga Space and Love Yoga Studio in Hyattsville, and at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier. OpenBarre Studios, not far from Numi, also incorporates elements of yoga in its barre program.

But Numi Yoga’s approach offers a sense of community along with the workout.

Among other things, Numi Yoga runs a book club where participants read books like the Bhagavad Gita, offers infant massage classes and even has a Numi Yoga Teacher Training Institute as registered with the Yoga School with Yoga Alliance.

And it has already partnered with MilkBoy ArtHouse on after-work “Pints + Poses” events featuring an hour of yoga followed by drink specials, held a “Yoga at the Farm” event at Mount Rainier’s New Brooklyn Farms and has even partnered with Riverdale Park Station offering free yoga sessions in Bear Square.

That kind of outreach helped it win “best yoga shop” in the Hyattsville Wire’s 2017 reader poll and  “best locally owned shop” in the 2018 poll.

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Will Route 1 Keep Its New Electric Bikes?

Commuters along the Route 1 corridor will soon learn whether more electric bikes are in their future.

Since September, Capital Bikeshare stations at the Shoppes at Arts District Hyattsville and Riverdale Park Station have offered CaBi Plus, an e-bike pilot program that ends this month.

The two e-bikes were part of 80 offered throughout the system, as part of an effort by the bike-sharing program to remain competitive with new electric scooters and other personal transportation options.

E-bikes have grown in popularity in recent years because they make biking less of an athletic challenge and more accessible to the disabled and older commuters. Along the Route 1 corridor, they also make climbing big hills less sweaty.

The future of the pilot program isn’t yet clear. But Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation spokeswoman Paulette Jones told the Hyattsville Wire that some users reported that they’ve shortened their commute using the e-bikes.

“Bikeshare supports on-going efforts to expand bicycle infrastructure and increase opportunities for residents and visitors to utilize an important transportation option,” she said.

She added that the bikeshare system will add more stations in Prince George’s County in 2019.

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Inside College Park’s Upcoming WeWork

College Park Maryland WeWork

The new WeWork location in College Park is slated to open Saturday, Dec. 1.

The Hyattsville Wire got a sneak preview of the 16,500-square-foot coworking space at 7761 Diamondback Dr., right around the corner from the Hotel at the University of Maryland.

The building, which will house 300 desks, private offices and conference rooms and common areas, is designed to be open and airy, with glass walls that reduce noise while letting exterior light in.

The two-floor building will feature the usual amenities, such as free high-end coffee, tea and fruit water, and it will be dog-friendly.

Meantime, the university and Capital One are putting the finishing touches on an ultramodern 7,500-square-foot tech incubator across the street in the garage of the hotel, which will open on Nov. 20.

The two new workspaces will be accessible to campus as well as an upcoming stop on the Purple Line, providing easy transportation to the College Park Metro station and the university’s business-focused Discovery District, a 150-acre research park.

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New Hyattsville Library Breaks Ground Nov. 19

Image courtesy of Grimm + Parker

Hyattsville’s new public library will hold an official groundbreaking at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, at 6530 Adelphi Road in Hyattsville.

Located on the same lot as the old library, the new 40,000-square-foot building will be one story, with parking underneath, according to Heather Jackson, area manager for Hyattsville and other libraries in Prince George’s County.

The building will have centralized desk services and fewer segmented areas in order to create easier access for the disabled and make it feel more welcoming in general, Jackson told the Hyattsville Wire.

The old library will be completely torn down, since that would be cheaper than trying to update the electrical issues and other outdated parts, she said. One part that will be saved: the landmark “flying saucer,” which will be moved to a courtyard.

“The design maximizes green space at a prominent intersection and incorporates the relocated, iconic flying-saucer canopy from the previous facility,” the architects, Grimm + Parker, note on their website. “It will continue to serve as a local landmark for years to come.”

The library will also feature a green roof with solar panels; a dedicated children’s area with drawbridge, moat and castle walls; study rooms; public meeting rooms; a tech lab and outdoor reading areas with a garden.

Construction is expected to take two years. In the meantime, library services are being provided in a temporary location across from the movie theater at University Town Center.

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The Wild Anacostias: Route 1’s Zydeco Band

Over 30 years of hosting Mardi Gras parties led Joe Atkins of Mount Rainier to start the Wild Anacostias.

The Zydeco band began in 2013 with just a few of Atkins lifelong friends. Today, it has 15 members, mostly local, who play brass instruments, the saxophone, drums and guitar. The band has all female vocals, including a member who sings in French.

“The core of the band is people I’ve known forever, people I know from going out and dancing, people I’ve jammed with over the years,” said Atkins. “It sort of grew out of these Mardi Gras parties I’d throw at my house, so we put together a pick-up band.”

Atkins started hosting Mardi Gras parties in law school after several trips to Louisiana in college. He grew up loving classic rock, but his taste for blues and Cajun music developed from his trips south and his experiences at Zydeco dances on the East Coast.

“I wanted to go out and learn how to dance and tons of bands were always coming up from Louisiana,” said Atkins. “It’s a huge Zydeco, Cajun dance scene up and down the East Coast. I really came to it as a listener and a dancer more than a player.”

Atkins continued hosting parties after moving to the Mount Rainier area in 2009. In 2013, the party turned into a parade.

“We got people together who play the horn and drums, and we just did it one year and just thought we’d see how it goes,” said Atkins. “It was kind of a big hit after that, so we decided to formalize it and turn it into a real band.”

The group performs at local American Legions and Veteran of Foreign War halls as well as  festivals along the Route 1 corridor including the Hyattsville Arts & Ales and College Park Day. 

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College Park Gets Its First Spinning Studio

Photo courtesy of Posh Cycling & Fitness.

The Route 1 corridor’s fitness studio trends shows no signs of slowing, as a new indoor cycling and fitness studio is scheduled to open this Monday in College Park.

Posh Cycling & Fitness, which will officially open on Nov. 5., at 9925 Rhode Island Ave., just south of the Beltway, bills itself as the first official spinning studio in College Park and Prince George’s County.

Although centered on cycling, Posh also offers classes on virtual spinning, yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Bounce, Bolly X, kickboxing and belly dancing.

The studio is aimed at students and faculty at the University of Maryland, but it also features classes for children and seniors.

Among fitness studios along the corridor, it joins Gold’s Gym at Riverdale Park StationCrossFit Hyattsville, LA Fitness at Prince George’s Plaza, Planet Fitness at the Mall at Prince George’s, iLoveKickboxing studio at University Town Center and an upcoming Orangetheory in College Park.

On the yoga side, it joins Yoga Space and Love Yoga Studio in Hyattsville, Bikram Yoga Riverdale, Open Barre Studios and Numi Yoga in College Park and Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier.

As we’ve noted, the fitness trend along the Route 1 corridor is being driven by real estate and commercial needs as well as the favorable demographics, especially of a college town.

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Prince George’s First Distillery in Nearly 100 Years

The upcoming opening of Sangfroid Distilling has brought new attention to the Route 1 corridor renaissance.

As the locally owned brandy and gin distillery prepares to open its doors next month at 5130 Baltimore Ave in Hyattsville, D.C. area news outlets have written about it, in part because it would be the first distillery in Prince George’s County since Prohibition, nearly 100 years ago.

It’s part of a broader comeback for spirits in Maryland, which was known for its rye whiskey and rum during colonial times and was the fifth-highest producer of alcohol before Prohibition.

Already, WTOP, WAMU, the Prince George’s Sentinel, the Washington Business Journal, Eater D.C. and DCist have taken note of the new distillery, and more stories should be coming once it officially opens.

This kind of attention is good news for Sangfroid as well as some nearby businesses, especially Vigilante Coffee, Streetcar 82 Brewing Co., Franklins, Pizzeria Paradiso, Pyramid Atlantic Art CenterMaryland Meadworks and Tanglewood Works, since D.C. residents who make the trek to Hyattsville to sample pear brandy are likely to stick around for other activities.

Tanglewood Works owner Sue Older-Mondeel told the Hyattsville Wire recently that for her and other businesses in Hyattsville to really take off, they’ll need that kind of D.C. foot traffic.

The area already has the critical mass to make a fun afternoon for a visitor, and the lure of a new distillery seems like it’s going to be a draw.

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Why Hyattsville Might Rename Magruder Park

The city of Hyattsville is considering renaming its most notable park in part due to a racist element of its past.

Earlier this year, Stuart Eisenberg, executive director of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, wrote in the Hyattsville Life & Times that the 1927 deed transferring a portion of the parkland to the city included a restrictive covenant:

“IN TRUST NEVERTHELESS to hold said land as a public recreation park and playground to be known as WILLIAM PINKNEY MAGRUDER PARK, for the Caucasian inhabitants only of the said town of Hyattsville,” and, “… to issue permits permitting persons of the Caucasian race, not inhabitants of said town.”

Hillary and Annie Willis, who expanded the park in 1944, put similar restrictions on it.

The park is hardly unique. As we’ve noted, homes in University Park came with restrictive covenants which barred them from being rented or sold to non-whites, as did homes in Hyattsville’s historic district. Eisenberg has found similar restrictions in the former Concordia Lutheran School and the nearby Clearwood Subdivision. The covenants were once common throughout D.C. as well.

The Supreme Court ruled restrictive covenants unconstitutional in 1948, and they were later explicitly barred by Congress in 1968.

The renaming appears to have some momentum behind it. The Hyattsville Preservation Association intends to make a formal proposal to rename the park, a move that has drawn support on the city’s online forum, Speak Up HVL, and the Hope in Hyattsville email listserv. Councilman Joseph Solomon backs the move as well.

Still, the renaming would require time, energy and money, and without a concerted effort to push it, the city may decide its easier to just leave it. For now, there’s also no clear alternative name, although “The Jim Henson Park”, or some variation of that, would be an easy sell.

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SeoulSpice to Open in College Park on Nov. 5

SeoulSpice will open in College Park at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5.

The fast-casual chain, which serves organic Korean food, will open in the Terrapin Row apartment complex at 4200 Guilford Dr., in a 2,000-square-foot space next to the Amazon store.

SeoulSpice dishes are made with house-made marinades, organic tofu and local chicken. It will offer several forms of Korean comfort food from korritos, a Korean-style sushi burrito, to street tacos, and the menu is 100 percent gluten-free.

College Park is SeoulSpice’s third location in the greater D.C. area. In 2016, SeoulSpice debuted in NoMa, not far from Gallaudet University, followed by its location in Tenleytown, near American University, which opened in November of last year.

Area Manager Conor O’Reilly told the Hyattsville Wire that all three locations are college areas, a key part of their customer base, but the College Park location will be open later, closing at 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and at midnight Thursday through Saturday.

“We find that college students value healthy food, and we consider ourselves to serve the food of the future,” he said.

SeoulSpice joins Kangnam BBQ on Baltimore Avenue, which specializes in Korean barbecue made on tabletop grills.

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Ramen and Hibachi Shop Opens in College Park

Qù Japan College Park ramen hibachi

The latest addition to College Park’s rapidly diversifying restaurant scene: a fast-casual ramen and hibachi shop.

Replacing a now-closed pizza place next to Nando’s at 7406 Baltimore Ave., Qù Japan follows the now-familiar formula for turning international cuisine into the next Chipotle-like fast casual chain.

In this case, your hibachi protein options include calamari and crabmeat in addition to beef, chicken and shrimp, and your vegetables include Chinese cabbage, pineapple and bean sprouts alongside broccoli, carrots and mushrooms.

While ramen is best known in the U.S. as a super-fast and super-cheap dorm-room dinner, in Japan it’s something like barbecue in Texas — a simple, popular dish whose flavor showcases the skill of the chef.

The options for ramen include the classics: tonkatsu pork cutlets, tofu, fish cakes, bok-choy and a boiled egg, or just a simple shrimp and bean sprout noodle soup.

Qù Japan is the latest Asian restaurant to open in College Park, joining Japanese restaurants Kiyoko and Hanami; Chinese/Taiwanese restaurants Northwest ChineseIvy Noodles and Ten RenKung Fu and Ten Asian Food Hall bubble tea shops; Aroy Thai; and Vietnamese restaurants Pho Thom, Pho D’Lite and The Red Boat.

Still to come: SeoulSpice Korean, Poki District poke and Gong Cha Taiwanese bubble tea.

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