Going Out Group

Mural Tour of Mt. Vernon Square, Shaw, LeDroit Park, Park View, Columbia Heights, U Street Corridor! – eWheel Going Out Group

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Hey adventurers, it’s time to dive into our FIRST tour of the year and discover the vibrant art scene DC has to offer!

Did you know that DC boasts approximately 150 awe-inspiring murals? Join us as we delve into this artistic wonderland and uncover some of its hidden treasures!

What’s in store for you: (1) Exclusive swag – every attendee who RSVPs and joins us on the tour will receive a unique swag item, and guess what? It’s a different surprise on each tour! (2) Exciting raffle – stay till the end of our ride, and you might just snag a fantastic raffle item as a token of our appreciation for your company!

Calling all riders: Whether you’re a seasoned rider or joining us for the first time, everyone is welcome! And if you don’t have your own e-wheel, fret not! You can easily rent one through popular micromobility apps like Lime, Bird, Spin, Lyft, Veo, or Capital Bikeshare. With options like e-scooters or e-bikes, you’re all set to join in the fun! Capital Bikeshare offers an e-bike Day Pass option that will end up costing an estimated $25 – $30 for our tour length ($8 day pass + a discounted rate of $0.10 per minute) (as of the date of this event announcement). Join us for some or all of the tour! See the “eWheel Rental” section of the event posting for full details.

Riders from previous tours, I’ve missed seeing some of you, come join us again!: Adolphus, Adrian, Aian Neil, Aiden, Alejandra, Ali, Alina, Alphonso, Amelia, André, Anibal, Arturo, Ben, Benen, Benicio, Bird, Bob, Brandon, Brooke, Chad, Chris, Christina, Clarissa, Claudia, Connor, CY, Daniel, Dave, Declan, Denis, Diane, Dilraj, Don, Ecca, Edwin, Ekaagar, Eli, Emmanuelle, Erwin, Gary, Gav, Geoff, Greg, Francis, Haitao, Heather, James, Jan, Janis, Janovah, Jason, Jeff, Jenna, Jennifer, Jeremy, Jessica, Joe, John, Johnny, Jonathan, Kevin, Kris, Lam, Laura, Lauren, LeRoy, Loren, Lori, Lutalo, Maggee, Mark, Mayu, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Mikel, Nancy, Nathalie, Nick, Olga, Paul, Phil, Rakesh, Rahul, Raul, Raymond, Ricardo, Richard, Riley, Rob, Robert, Rodney, Ron, Saphal, Sasha, Sean, Sergey, Shelly, Steven, Tim, Zobair, and Zoltan.

Our route: We’ll embark on a captivating journey through the Mt. Vernon Square, Shaw, LeDroit Park, Park View, Columbia Heights, and U Street Corridor neighborhoods. Along the way, we’ll pause for photo-ops, marvel at stunning murals, explore charming neighborhoods, and soak in the rich history and culture that our city has to offer!

What to expect: (1) Insightful narration – as we ride, I’ll share fascinating stories and insights about each mural we encounter. Get ready to uncover the hidden gems and untold tales of our beloved city! (2) Easy riding – our route is designed with 90% bike lanes, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey for all. While we aim to ride together, we’ll adapt to the pace of the group and ensure everyone has a fantastic time!

(Overview)

We’ll meet up at the Mt. Vernon Square Metro at 2pm. We’ll start by riding west on M Street NW for ~500 feet, at 2:30pm. When we arrive at 9th Street NW (1 block), we’ll make a right and travel north for ~0.6 miles.

(Right on 9th Street NW)

Along the way we’ll come across the Shaw Community mural (3 blocks, P Street NW, right-hand side). Led by Byron Peck and hand-painted by members of City Arts DC in 2008, the Shaw Community mural is one of two murals that didn’t use aerosol painting techniques; rather, the artists used a German mineral paint that looks like liquid glass and is designed to last 100 years. This mural combines history with modernity, as oval portraits of Langston Hughes and Carter Woodson are placed amidst scenes of the block’s renovation. Langston Hughes, born in 1901, was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. One of the earliest innovators of the literary art form called jazz poetry, He is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. Carter Woodson, born in 1875, was an American historian, author, and journalist. Called the “father of black history,” in 1926, he launched the celebration of “Negro History Week,” the precursor of Black History Month. The positive reactions from community members reflect the success of Murals DC and the potential that these murals have to light up a community.

(Shaw Community Mural)

When we arrive at S Street NW (3 blocks), we’ll turn right and ride east for ~600 feet.

(Turn right on S Street NW)

Almost immediately, we’ll come across the Checkmate mural (1/2 block, 9th Street NW, left-hand side). Created in 2011 by artist Richard Coleman from Bethesda MD, the Checkmate mural is painted on the side of the old Capital Pool Checkers Club building. Founded in the 1980s by a group of dedicated players looking to create a more formal community, the organization has evolved as DC has evolved. Pool checkers is a little different from the straight checkers most people grew up playing. In pool checkers, all the pieces can jump forward and backward, and kings can traverse the entire diagonal. “You move like a bishop,” Tal Roberts, the group’s president says. “That has opened the game up and made it much more exciting.” The club was located here in the Shaw neighborhood for over 40 years, before moving in 2021 to its new Adams Morgan location. Since the move, they’ve also added chess to their list of games. But some things never change: their commitment to the community, their passion for the game, and their friendships with each other.

(Checkmate Mural)

When we arrive at 7th Street NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn left and head north ~0.1 miles. Once we reach T Street NW (1 block), we’ll turn right and travel east for ~150 feet.

(Left on 7th Street NW, right on T Street NW)

Right away, we’ll stop by the From DC to the World mural (1/2 block, 7th Street NW, left-hand side). The mural “From DC to the World,” painted by Cita Sadeli “Chelove” in 2016, is located in a formerly graffiti-plagued alley, across from what was once a famous pool hall that inspired “Duke” Elllington. The mural features portraits of several DC natives: legendary singer / actress Pearl Bailey, composer Duke Ellington, rappers Wale (WAH-lay) and Oddisee, and R&B vocalist Kelela (kuh-luh-lah). The mural also includes a nod to some of DC’s beloved GoGo musicians. “This mural is all about honoring DC icons and recognizing future legends,” said Chelove. Cita is passionate about presenting images from society’s esoteric subcultures and marginalized communities. She is also drawn to celebrating local neighborhoods, weaving iconic images of the past and present into colorful and vibrant pieces. Her work often urges the viewer to examine the past – a place or culture’s roots and beginnings.

(From DC to the World Mural)

From here, we’ll ride west on T Street NW for ~150 feet. When we reach 7th Street NW (1/2 block), we’ll turn right and travel north for ~0.3 miles. 7th Street NW will quickly change names to Georgia Avenue NW.

(Travel west on T Street NW, right on 7th Street NW)

When we reach Bryant Street NW (4 blocks), we’ll turn right and ride east for ~0.2 miles. When we arrive at 4th Street NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel north for ~0.4 miles. 4th Street NW will turn into 5th Street NW. We’ll continue on 5th Street NW for another ~0.3 miles.

(Turn right on Bryant Street NW, turn left on 4th Street NW)

When we arrive at Hobart Place NW (5 blocks), we’ll turn right and travel east for ~135 feet. When we reach Warder Street NW (1 block), we’ll turn left and ride north for ~0.6 miles.

(Turn right on Hobart Place NW, left on Warder Street NW)

Along the way, we’ll come across the Doors of Perception mural (10 blocks, Quebec Place NW, right-hand side). Created in 2014, the Doors of Perception mural can be spotted on the Rock Creek Market convenience store, which closed in 2023. The series of multicolored doors is meant to symbolize doors of opportunity. The artist Juan Pineda is a DC-based graffiti and visual artist whose distinct style, a blend of urban-contemporary street art and traditions, can be spotted in unique murals in the Maryland and Washington, DC area. His work has earned him numerous awards including the Proclamation Award from the City of Hyattsville. Pineda was also recognized by the Washington Post for restoring the first and only remaining Latino mural in Washington DC. Pineda works closely with non-profit organizations, both consulting and volunteering for causes related to culture and the arts.

(Doors of Perception Mural)

Warder Street NW will immediately turn into 7th Street NW. We’ll continue on 7th Street NW for ~0.1 miles. When we reach Randolph Street NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn left and ride west for ~0.6 miles.

(Turn left on Randolph Street NW)

Along the way, we’ll come across the My DC mural (7 blocks, 14th Street NW, right-hand side). Students from the DC Urban Arts Academy worked with artist Tim Conlon and the group Words, Beats & Life to create this mural for the Murals DC project. Titled “My DC,” this mural is representative of the two visions of DC from the perspective of its residents. It shows how the city is not just a place of monuments but also one of thriving traditional neighborhoods full of and businesses and families. It evokes a sense of pride that the residents experience living in our nation’s capital. Tim Conlon is an artist living and working between Los Angeles and Washington. He grew up just south of D.C. and is best known for large-scale murals, graffiti art, sculpture and works on canvas. He was one of two aerosol artists featured in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s 2008 exhibition, RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture.

(My DC Mural)

Next, we’ll turn left on 14th Street NW (0 blocks) and travel south for ~0.1 miles. When we arrive at Spring Road NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn left and ride southeast for ~0.2 miles. When we reach 13th Street NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn right and go south for ~0.1 miles.

(Turn left on Spring Street NW, turn right on 13th Street NW)

Along the way, we’ll come across the Tin-Can Telephone mural (1/2 block, Spring Road NW, left-hand side). The Tin-Can Telephone mural created in 2014 by Berlin, Germany based (but DC raised) artist James Bullough for Murals DC is tucked into a Columbia Heights narrow alley. An organization called Words Beats Life, uses the 4 elements of hip hop, to reach out to the youth of Washington DC and get them involved in the arts. These young adults were onsite with Bullough every day helping to paint the mural and also posed as models for the artwork itself. The result is this colorful mural featuring realistic renderings of children playing in the city and a young boy screeching into a tin-can telephone. The characters are the stars—full of expression and beautifully rendered—and the bold geometric shapes that intersect their bodies add contemporary graphic style to the realism.

(Tin-Can Telephone Mural)

When we reach Otis Place NW (1/2 block), we’ll turn right and ride west for ~0.2 miles. Once we arrive at 14th Street NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel south for ~0.6 miles.

(Turn right on Otis Place NW, turn left on 14th Street NW)

When we arrive at Girard Street NW (8 blocks), we’ll turn right and travel west for ~0.2 miles. Once we reach 15th Street NW (1 block), we’ll turn left and ride south for ~250 feet.

(Turn left on Girard Street NW, turn left on 15th Street NW)

Next, we’ll come across the Art in Bloom mural (1/2 block, Fuller Street NW, left-hand side). The Art in Bloom mural was created by student artists in 2007. Located on the side of Hi Market convenience store, it was a result of the pilot program for the Murals DC project. Modeled after a murals program in Philadelphia and initiated in 2007 by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, this particular mural was one of only two that was commissioned and completed during Mural DC pilot program year. A 1994 New York Times article highlighted the importance of the art form in the city: Alex Simpson, then assistant director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, told the paper, “Murals provide a public service and add to the community. You find that the people raise a hue and cry if you try to take them away.” That mindset continues today, with countless organizations sponsoring murals across the city. These murals provide artists with an opportunity to make visible the unseen or underrepresented parts of the city: its history, its values, and its identity.

(Art in Bloom Mural)

From here, we’ll reverse course and ride north for ~0.1 miles. Once we reach Harvard Street NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn right and travel east for ~0.2 miles. When we arrive at 14th Street NW (1 block), we’ll turn right and ride south for ~0.7 miles.

(Travel north on 15th Street NW, turn right on Harvard Street NW, turn right on 14th Street NW)

When we arrive at U Street NW (7 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel 175 feet.

(Turn left on U Street NW)

We’ll next come across the Afro-Colombian Mural: Currulao y Desplazamiento mural (1/2 block, 14th Street NW, right-hand side). Created in 2009, the Afro-Colombian mural is a public mural that celebrates the Afro-Colombian culture of the District and increases public awareness about the widespread displacement and other human rights violations related to the ongoing armed conflict in Colombia. The mural was made by the internationally recognized muralist Joel Bergner and his organization Action Ashé! Global Art & Social Action Initiative. Bergner collaborated with many D.C. Afro-Colombian community members who had fled Colombia to seek asylum status in the US, and sought their guidance in how to best illustrate the grave human rights situation in that country. The size of the woman in the mural and the people underneath her portray the importance of Afro-Colombian traditions and culture. The colors are strong, warm, intriguing and welcoming. The encouraging images are in a paradox with the depiction of the Colombian paramilitary, with people running from these forces.

(Afro-Colombian Mural: Currulao y Desplazamiento Mural)

We’ll continue south in the alley Nap Turn Way travel south for ~475 feet. When we reach T Street NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn left and ride for ~0.4 miles.

(Go south in alley Nap Turner Way, turn left on T Street NW)

When we arrive at 9th Street NW (4 blocks), we’ll turn right and travel ~0.7 miles.

(Turn right on 9th Street NW)

When we reach M Street NW, we’ll turn left and go east for ~500 feet back to the Mt. Vernon Square Metro (1 block, 9th Street, right-hand side).

(Turn left on M Street NW)

Let’s make memories together! Can’t wait to explore DC’s artistic wonders with you all. Also, please help spread the word of our group and the tour. I look forward to seeing you there!

– J.T.

METRO & PARKING

We’ll meet at Mt. Vernon Square Metro (Green, Yellow lines). Other nearby Metro stops include Chinatown (Green, Red, Yellow lines) and McPherson Square (Blue, Orange, Silver). I suggest taking Metro / taxi / ride-share services if you can. I also recommend using wmata.com for travel planning. Don’t forget to account for Metro, traffic, and parking delays. If you are driving, you will need to find street parking or a garage. For Sunday events, street parking is typically free in DC. I recommend using parkopedia.com for garage parking planning.

EWHEEL RENTAL

Don’t own an e-wheel? You can rent one (e-scooter, e-bike) using a micromobility app (e.g. Lime, Bird, Spin, Lyft, Veo, Capital Bikeshare). Capital Bikeshare offers an e-bike Day Pass option that will end up costing an estimated $25 – $30 for our tour length ($8 day pass + a discounted rate of $0.10 per minute); Lime also offers Day Pass options (as of the date of this event announcement). Since the tours are free, the cost is significantly less than a comparable Segway tour (that uses older technology). Join us for some or all of the tour! If you plan to rent an e-wheel, some members have run out of charge in the past. Please try to find one with as full of a charge as possible.

DONATIONS

Our events our FREE! Full transparency tho, it costs me roughly $550 annually to run the group (~$200 of which are Meetup fees alone; other costs include website fees, swag items, GPS tracker app subscription fees to produce tour videos, etc.). I also spend roughly 40 person-hours to put together each tour (finding interesting spots to visit, mapping out a route, creating a detailed tour description, doing a dry-run, hosting the tour itself, uploading pictures, creating a video of the tour, etc.). If you like what we’re doing, you can support the eWheel Going Out Group by donating any amount you feel comfortable (click the “Donate Now” button on the Meetup event page). A couple of notes: (1) The “tip” part of the donation is optional and 100% of it goes to Meetup and Pledge (payment processor), not me. You can bypass that amount by clicking “Enter custom tip” and zeroing it out. (2) While it’s nice to know who’s contributing and helping the group out, you have the option to donate anonymously by withholding your name and email. Ideally, I’d like

DRESS

Please dress appropriately for the weather. For those with problems having their feet go numb or tired during long rides, I recommend wearing shoes with a stiff and flat sole.

RIDING ETIQUETTE / RULES

Since e-wheels are relatively new technology, please be as courteous as possible to other pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. Based on personal experience (I’ve been riding daily since 2015), I’ve noticed some general good practices and rules to follow. 1) ALWAYS give pedestrians the right of way. 2) When riding on a narrow sidewalk, and you’re coming up behind a pedestrian and you need to pass them, either a) wait until there’s an opening, or b) clear your throat and say “excuse me” or “on your left” in a *gentle* manner (I’ve noticed people tend to get startled / surprised when they see and hear a tall figure behind them on a wheel) before passing them. 3) SLOW DOWN to a pedestrian’s walking pace (until you are completely clear of them) whenever approaching or passing (whichever direction they are walking). Only after passing a pedestrian for a little distance is it a good idea to go faster than walking pace. Whatever you do, please do NOT wiz by them. 4) Thank the pedestrian as you are passing. 5) Slow down as you are going around a turn (whether there are other pedestrians in sight or not) with a lot of bushes or other obstacles next to the sidewalk, as they can be coming from the other end of the turn (and not be visible initially). 6) Ride single file whenever pedestrians are around (on the sidewalk), or cars are around (in the bike lane). 7) Dismount when in the official memorial areas, such as the FDR Memorial (it’s the law). 8) Please stay behind me since I know the route and may be turning left or right at any time.

RIDING SKILL

For the safety of others and ourselves, we will all be required to be able to: (1) comfortably balance on the wheel while riding straight and turning left or right (2) ride at a snail’s pace and (3) start and stop comfortably without the need to hold onto any wall, post, or similar structure.

LEGALITY

People have asked me questions regarding the laws pertaining to riding our e-wheels in the DC metro area. I did a lot of research before purchasing my e-wheel to ensure I could make use of it. In short, they are generally considered Personal Mobility Devices or Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device. (1) Virginia: “An electric personal assistive mobility device or motorized skateboard or foot-scooter may be operated on any highway with a maximum speed limit of twenty-five miles per hour or less. An electric personal assistive mobility device shall only operate on any highway authorized by this section if a sidewalk is not provided along such highway…” See link here. (2) Washington DC: “Personal Mobility Device (“PMD”) means a motorized propulsion device designed to transport one person, OR a self-balancing, two non-tandem wheeled device, designed to transport only one person with an electric propulsion system. Permitted on Sidewalk – Yes, except PMDs are generally not permitted on sidewalk space in the Central Business District. Permitted on Bike Lanes – Yes.” See link here. (3) Maryland: “‘Bicycle’ means […] an electric low speed scooter […]” and “has the rights and is subject to the restrictions applicable to pedestrians […]: (i) on a sidewalk or sidewalk area; or (ii) in or through a crosswalk[…]. At an intersection, a person […] is subject to all traffic control signals […].” See link here and here. “Green” devices for the win!

RAIN

If there’s a greater than a 35% chance of rain, we’ll cancel or reschedule. Having hosted over 1000 events since 2007, when the percentage chance of rain is below 35% at the event start time for the location’s zip code, I’ve observed that 95% of the time, we’ll get no rain. I’ll post an update to the top of the event posting by 11:30am on the day of the event, and also send an email out to the yes RSVPs.

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