Georgetown Observer, Dec. 14, 2011

The Pie Sisters: Allison, Erin and Cat Blakely hold a coconut cream pie in their new M Street store.
Photo by Robert Devaney
The Pie Sisters: Allison, Erin and Cat Blakely hold a coconut cream pie in their new M Street store.

Mayor Asks for Town-Gown Peace

Georgetown University held its annual “Holiday Open House” Dec. 7 in Healy Hall’s Riggs Library, where neighbors, business and community leader and university officials gathered for conversation, refreshments and music. Among them was Mayor Vincent Gray, who had visions of streetcars, a GU-GWU basketball game and town-gown peace in his head.

University president John DeGioia introduced Mayor Gray to the crowd in the grand, multi-storied room which one guest described as something out of “Harry Potter.” Gray commended associate vice president Linda Greenan and Brenda Atkinson-Willoughby of Georgetown’s external relations office and mentioned Georgetown’s hot town-gown issue, the 10-year campus plan under consideration by the District’s zoning commission. “Can you imagine working on one every year?” asked Gray. As for working on disagreements about it, he added: “I would not say it’s delightful. You will get to a conclusion.”

Gray envisions the District becoming a leader in high technology, he said, as well as using the collective minds of the universities in D.C. As if needing to clarify, he said: “I have no intention in taxing universities.”After touting new rail routes in the city, Gray said, “We ought to bring streetcars back to Georgetown. We already have the tracks.” One more item on Gray’s wish list: a basketball game between Georgetown University and his alma mater George Washington University (the college teams do not play each other).

Pie Sisters on M Street Plans to Open Dec. 20

Hold on to your pie pans; the gas line has been connected at last.

Pie Sisters is ready to open its first store at 3423 M St., N.W., on Dec. 20, just in time for Hanukkah and Christmas and Kwanzaa, too. With ovens, coolers and counter ready for action, Allison, Cat and Erin Blakely will feed the town’s new taste for pies, sweet, creamy and fruity -- and a few savory ones, too. “The word is spreadiang,” Allison said. “People are excited. They have been so nice.”

Bakers and businesswomen, the Blakely sisters hail from Great Falls, Va., two having gone to Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington and also played college basketball. Allison worked at the State Department and finance section of NBC in New York; Erin at BCBG Max Azria. Cat still works at the State Department. They are parishioners of St. John’s Church on O Street.

Already known around town for their pies for weddings and social and charitable events, the Blakely trio said they chose the site because of its closeness to Georgetown University and its visibility - you can’t miss it turning off Key Bridge from Virginia - and that “the location is not too small and not too big.” Erin added: “We’ve had Georgetown students contact us for part-time jobs.”

The shop will sell pies in three sizes, the hand-held “cuppie,” seven-inch and nine-inch, and flavors include apple caramel crunch, pecan, key lime and banana, coconut or chocolate cream.

They will also be offering gluten-free pies for the first time. The big pie can cost up to $35, but return the glass plate for $5 off next purchase - which appears irresistible. The sisters are also checking out chicken pot pie and BBQ pie recipes. There will also be chairs and tables in front for about 20 with a coffee counter as well.

Bank St.’s First Electric Car Charging Station

Get free energy for your electric or plug-in hybrid car for three months, while you shop or visit friends. Sponsored by Eastbanc and Jamestown developers, the electric station is within a Bank Street PMI garage - at 3307 M Street, N.W. After three months, a charge for your car will cost less than $2.00.

(This is the town’s first public spot for electric car chargers; Georgetown University has had two for a few months.)

The car’s specific connection is to a SemaConnect’s ChargePro with Level 2 (240 VAC/30 amps); it can charge electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles with a J1772 inlet.

Boathouse plans to Get Fresh Look by Park Service

Now that the Georgetown Waterfront Park is completed, the National Park Service has turned its attention to another old riverside dream: a new boathouse on the Potomac River.

Specifically, according to the NPS, it is “examining the feasibility of implementing a non-motorized boathouse zone within the District of Columbia along the Potomac River waterfront upstream of the Georgetown Waterfront Park.

“The project area includes the waterfront land from immediately upstream of the Georgetown Waterfront Park at 34th Street, to approximately 1,200 feet upstream of Key Bridge, including federal properties north of Water Street / K Street. The purpose of this study is to identify specific ways NPS can enhance access to the river for user groups, and complement the riverside experiences provided by the Georgetown Waterfront Park, part of Rock Creek Park, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Through this feasibility study, NPS will be studying what structures and facilities can potentially be accommodated within this non-motorized boathouse zone (project area). The study will look at potential scenarios related to the waterfront that are consistent with the necessary and appropriate uses for this zone. This study will lay the groundwork for future decision-making regarding

“(1) further planning and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)/National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) compliance as necessary to implement the non-motorized boathouse zone; and

“(2) potential development/improvement of NPS facilities.”

The feasibility study will be completed next summer after discussions with key stakeholders. Then, the study will go before the public in autumn 2012. Among the key stakeholders along the shoreline: Georgetown University, which has lobbied for a boathouse for years.

Currently, according to the NPS, “there are existing facilities within the non-motorized boathouse zone, including the Washington Canoe Club, Jack’s Boathouse, and the Potomac Boat Club. There is also riverfront green space and a site historically occupied by Dempsey’s Boathouse, which washed away in a flood in the 1930s.”

The Park Service held an informational meeting and open house Dec. 13 to talk about the study and answer questions at Washington Harbour.

Iraq’s Maliki Stops by G.U.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited Georgetown University Dec. 13 to meet with its president John DeGioia along with school deans and faculty members.

As the U.S. withdraws its last troops from Iraq by Dec. 31, Al-Maliki flew to Washington to confer with President Barack Obama Dec. 12. Al-Maliki’s drive-by held up traffic near the university’s Canal Road entrance.

No press was allowed at the meeting, according to the campus media, and much of Healy and Copley Lawns was cordoned off for security reasons.

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