Village Victuals

In the midst of a grisly recession with a tight grip on Georgetown, it’s nice to know we have a few fine eateries that are still setting up shop. Take a walk to one of these restaurants, freshly opened — or nearly there — and eager to please. Il Canale — 1063 31st Street In a city where pizza is an art and the competition is stiff, our first impression of this new Italian gem was, well, we were impressed. Have a look at this new addition to 31st St., serving the gamut of gourmet pizza and other Italian delights. Puro Cafe — 1529 Wisconsin Ave. Puro has been in the works since early last fall, finally opening in January 2010. The patisserie has gathered to itself all the finer accoutrements of modern Europe: uber-modern decor, cozy, quaint lounging and some of the best muffins, croissants and sweets you’ll find in Georgetown. Morso and Morso Express — 3277 M Street The flagship wing of the Turkish eatery, headed up by Chef Ed Witt, won’t open until April, but kebab junkies can get in on the action as early as March 22, when the next-door Morso Express will begin serving its more casual fare of flatbread and shish kebabs. Crepe Amour — 3291 M Street Sri Suku and Surag Gopi set up shop in the space once occupied by Amma Vegetarian Kitchen, naming their project Crepe Amour and offering a rich menu filled with crepes for both dinner and dessert (their sweet crepe menu is particularly impressive). We tried a Da Vinci crepe recently — filled with pesto, chicken and tomatoes — and left feeling stuffed and happy. Don’t miss it. Serendipity 3 - 3150 M Street As we noted above, the New York frozen dairy craze will soon arrive at the lonely corner on M and Wisconsin. What’s got the Yankees so abuzz over a dessert joint? Well, besides its long list of celebrity patrons and appearance in a handful of Hollywood flicks, the restaurant boasts a thickset menu of sundaes, “frrrozen” drinks and, if you’re the type to wait on dessert, a long list of crepes, burgers and foot-long hot dogs. Look out, Georgetown. [gallery ids="99066,99067" nav="thumbs"]

Future bright for M29, serendipitous for Nathans

Georgetown’s newest retail addition, M29, invited us for a peek at the new place last week in the wake of their grand opening on March 1. The shop, operating under the auspices of the Four Seasons Hotel and labeled a “lifestyle store,” is touted by the owners as the first of its kind in Georgetown. The idea? Eschew any sort of theme or niche and offer up a wide breadth of artisan clothing, accessories, games and knickknacks from which customers can pick and choose. “It’s meant to be an experience,” says Allyson Wilder, who manages the store’s retail inventory. Actually, scratch that: inventory’s not the word. In fact, the shop carries no backroom stock of any kind — the items on sale, everything from Moyna handbags to Stewart Stand cufflinks to John Derian’s delicate decoupage, are on display in their entirety, and when they’re gone, well, they’re gone. It’s part of a shrewd business plan that both discourages customers from passing up on an item they might never see again, and instantly adds value and cachet to wares that quite often are one of a kind. The trademark concept behind M29, though, is that everything in the store — save perhaps the walls and windows — is up for grabs. Customers can buy up a swath of handmade ceramicware and, if they like, the table it sits on. Named for the intersection where it stands, M29 is distinctly Washington, offering its visitors an industrial, minimalist feel, naturally lit by floor-to-ceiling windows stamped with a rash of cherry blossoms. The store imports items from artisan craftsmen, designers and artists hand picked by Director of Retail Deborah Bush, whose years in the design industry — and the Rolodex to go with it — have afforded her a keen sense of what residents in an affluent, artistic neighborhood might like. So far, she boasts a roster of 35 designers, none of which are local, the idea being to refresh the Georgetown art scene with crafts it won’t find anywhere else. Experience, indeed. Also: It’s been confirmed: Nathans, which has stood gutted and boarded up since the iconic Georgetown restaurant closed last July, will be the new site of Stephen Bruce’s Serendipity 3, a New York-based upscale ice cream parlor famous for its frozen hot chocolate and patronage by Andy Warhol. The effort to bring in the shop was spearheaded by local restaurant owners Rodrigo Garcia and Britt Swan, who signed a contract last Thursday, according to local blogger Kate Michael. Serendipity 3, known in New York’s Upper East Side as one of the most visited corners in the city, could make its debut on M and Wisconsin as early as spring 2010. [gallery ids="99068,99069,99070,99071" nav="thumbs"]

Evans chats up neighbors, ANC

  -At last week’s ANC 2E meeting, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, always in every place and with little time to spare, managed to pencil in a few minutes to speak to the neighborhood he calls home. The genial Evans, who lives on Georgetown’s P Street, is known for speaking best at the more casual forums he participates in, and at a weekday evening community meeting, he proved as animated as ever. As chair of the council’s finance committee, his principal concern is the city’s budget, which he deemed “the most pressing issue today.” Evans was optimistic about the city’s financial prospect in what otherwise are gloomy economic times — going so far as to call it “one of the strongest financial entities in America, state, county or city” — but admitted even D.C. is facing considerable budget shortfalls that will need shoring up if the District is to balance out its finances. He reported a $17 million budget shortfall in the last quarter of fiscal year 2009. The councilmember diverged onto a variety of topics both of his own choosing and brought up by audience members. He reaffirmed his mission to overhaul Georgetown’s infrastructure, citing his efforts in the mid-’90s to standardize the neighborhood’s sidewalks, which etched their way through the historical avenues in everything from brick to plain dirt. And despite high-profile projects like the trolley rail rehabilitation and P Street traffic experiments, he said the neighborhood’s infrastructure on the whole needs improvement. One audience member delved further into the budgetary question, with specific regard to the city’s education system, which is making headlines in recent months over Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s firing of 450 teachers, her subsequent gaffes about the incident and general grumbling of constituents over unpopular school and administration changes (of which Georgetown’s Hardy Middle School was one). Evans, who generally favors the Fenty-Rhee education policy, conceded a slight measure of frustration over the school system’s continual requests for additional funding. “The school system, even with Michelle Rhee in charge, never fails to ask for more money next year than they did this year,” he said. A quarter of the District budget — $1.5 billion — is currently devoted to the school system. Educational funding was frozen last year at the behest of Evans, an effort to control the city’s expenses. Evans had also earned the umbrage of neighbors during the February blizzard, who lightly accused him of using his position to secure the priority clearing of his home street. He joked with the audience about the rumors being true to incite a little comic relief, before quickly explaining that P Street is the site of several major bus routes. Crime declining Lieutenant John Hedgecock of the Metro Police Department gave his monthly crime update, and despite several recent mugging incidents, was happy to report crime in Georgetown overall was down 29 percent from last year. He called attention to a string of iPhone robberies — 14 in the past three months — where the devices are simply snatched from a victim’s hands while speaking on the phone. Hedgecock advised residents to remain vigilant and guard their valuable items and electronics. He also mentioned a sexual assault occurring the day before on 35th and T Streets, but could offer few details at the time. An investigation is ongoing. Thanks for asking, DDOT The ANC and a majority of residents applauded the recent test of four-way stop signs at the intersections of 33rd, 34th and Q Streets, which they deemed a vast aesthetic and functional improvement over the stop lights that once controlled traffic there. Less popular was DDOT’s decision to actually replace these lights with stop signs — without first obtaining the ANC’s approval. One neighbor said he was “appalled” at the agency’s skirting of the commission’s weigh-in. ANC Chairman Ron Lewis, in whose district the intersections reside, expressed similar concerns, but said the decision to replace the lights was still the right one. Lewis had personally monitored rush-hour traffic at the intersections every day for the past four weeks. The commission unanimously passed a retroactive statement supporting the stoplight switch, with a small provision requesting that DDOT consult the ANC, you know, beforehand. The Outlaw Philly Pizza Commissioner Bill Starrels gave a markedly exasperated update on the Philly Pizza saga, which, despite what appeared to be final decision handed down by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory affairs, appears to still be in its death throes. We reported last issue that the pizza parlor, despite receiving an order to cease operation, was continuing to sling its saturated slices to partiers under curtailed hours. Starrels said he expected the city to crack down on the establishment with fines and a restraining order, but a D.C. Superior Court hearing slated for March 8 was postponed after the judge recused himself from the case, citing a personal bias. “Apparently there’s more money in pizza than we originally thought,” Starrels quipped. Stay tuned.

The Birth of the Computer, in Georgetown

Washingtonians may be surprised to know that the first computers were invented right here in Georgetown, and if you go to 1054 31st Street (now Canal Square), you will find a plaque marking the place where Herman Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine Company was located at the turn of the last century. It all started when the federal government ran into problems taking the national census in 1880. The process took too long and was full of mistakes. So in 1886, the U.S. Census Office decided to hold a contest to see who could come up with a better system. Herman Hollerith would have seemed an unlikely winner of such a contest when he was in grade school in Buffalo, NY. He had such a hard time in school that he used to hide from his teacher. His German immigrant parents took him out of school and got him a tutor, and this helped him realize his amazing potential. He entered college at the age of 15 and got a degree in mining engineering at the age of 19. Eventually, he got a doctorate from Columbia University, where he wrote his thesis about a very special invention of his, an electric tabulating machine. He got the idea from his girlfriend’s father, who told him about the French jacquard weaving machines which were set up with punch cards to automatically weave intricate repetitive patterns. Hollerith created his own punch card system of tabulation, and got a patent for the invention in 1889. When he entered the census office contest, his sample census took a fraction of the time of his nearest competitor. So instead of seven and a half years to do the U.S. census, Hollerith finished the initial count in six weeks, with the final tabulations completed in two and a half years. Better yet, he saved the government $5,000,000, which was a huge sum at that time. In 1896, Hollerith started the Tabulating Machine Company. The first factory employed mostly women, who worked on their individual tabulators in a large open room. These women were called “computers,” because that was their job description. Hollerith’s business thrived, and his machines were sold to countries around the world for census taking. His fortunes grew, too, and he built a grand mansion in Georgetown at 1617 29th Street, overlooking the Potomac River. By the way, the home, which stayed in the family for 80 years, was on the market recently for $22,000,000. While his magical machine was a big success, other innovators came up with similar inventions. He merged his company to diversify and broaden its hold on a diminishing market. When Herman retired in 1921, his successor, who happened to be a marketing ace, merged the company again and changed its name to International Business Machines. Yes, that’s IBM, otherwise known as Big Blue. And so, our own Herman Hollerith, the child who couldn’t spell in elementary school, went on to become the father of the modern computer, an invention that has made a revolutionary impact on the way we live and work.

Twilight for Philly Pizza?

Like something from a bad horror flick, it was the neighborhood pariah-turned-villain that just kept coming back from the dead. But on March 10, it looked — lest we jinx ourselves — as if Philly Pizza, or at least the ranch-drizzled pizza slinger as we knew it, may finally have been laid to rest for good. Dust was settling. Neighbors gathered around the restaurant’s drawn shutters to offer up contented smiles, ANC commissioners shook hands, a few students skulked at the crowd’s fringes. Even the mayor made an appearance, opting for a chance to commend the efficacy of the neighborhood constituency. And to take a little credit himself, of course. “We always do our best work hand in hand with the community,” Fenty said in triumph from his portable lectern, erected before the dark, curtained windows of the pizza parlor that was. At his side were District Attorney General Peter Nickles and DCRA Director Linda Argo, both of whom led their own rah-rah sessions. Nickles said the administration worked closely with District regulation agencies throughout the ordeal to ensure Philly was held strictly to tenets of its operating license. “This administration is both sensitive to the community and we are persistent,” he said. Argo was a little more hard-nosed. “If you think the neighbors are going to back down, you’re probably going to end up on the wrong end of the deal,” she said, clearly aiming her comments at Philly owner Mehmet Kocak, who was not present at the gathering. Philly P’s had vexed residents of Potomac Street for almost a year since it moved in next to Georgetown Cupcake’s former store. Neighbors said patrons, out for a late-night (or early-morning) snack after a night out, routinely thronged around the pizza joint well into the morning hours on weekends, violating noise ordinances and littering on residents’ property. They allege that Kocak was less than cooperative when they voiced their concerns. Georgetown BID operations director John Wiebenson agreed. “We encourage all business owners to follow all rules and regulations,” he said, adding that the BID attempted several times to reach out to Kocak, with little success. “It was disappointing when [Philly] wouldn’t use us as a resource.” Fenty took the time to recognize ANC Commissioners Bill Starrels and Ed Solomon, Martin Sullivan, the attorney representing the license revocation effort, and a handful of neighbors who led the charge against what Fenty called “a nuisance business.” After all, it had been a long road uphill. The day before, a District superior court upheld a Board of Zoning Adjustment decision made last month to close the Potomac Street pizza joint permanently, on the grounds that it was operating chiefly as a carry-out vendor, a violation of its sit-in restaurant license. That BZA ruling was itself an upholding of a similar order by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs made in November. At the time, Philly received a stay on the cessation order until a BZA ruling could be made. From then on, the issue would undergo a roller coaster ride of appeals and postponements, and when the BZA handed down its final decision, Kocak simply ignored it and kept his restaurant open under reduced hours. Increasingly panicked neighbors and ANC commissioners appealed to the superior court system, but even that route was fraught with pitfalls — on the day of the hearing, the judge recused himself from the case, citing a personal bias. That was just days before the court finally managed to rule that Kocak’s defiance of a District order could render him in contempt of court. The Philly owner quickly capitulated and closed his doors. Kocak reportedly is applying for a new license from DCRA. His attorney could not be reached for comment. Starrels, who represents the single-member district where the showdown occurred, was pleased with the mayor’s personal interest and intervention in the case. The pair shook hands amid a swarm of shutter clicks. “This is an example that the city works,” he said. “We have rules, regulations.” The commissioner led Fenty around the side of the Philly building to show him a jury-rigged ventilation system on the roof, another point of contention with neighbors now under scrutiny by the Old Georgetown Board. “On a scale of five, this was a five, on the bad side,” Starrels said. Neighbors who came to watch the public dressing-down were satisfied the outcome. Wolf Wittke, who, with his wife, was one of the most vocal neighbors on the issue, said the DCRA voted unanimously in favor of revocation, a clear indication the issue was cut and dried. “It’s good to see the city and Georgetown community come together to defy a property and nuisance to the neighborhood,” he said. Another neighbor simply was glad it was over, that justice had been served. “You always have to be able to integrate into the community, even if it’s a hassle,” she said.

Powell gets Pythagorean at Dumbarton House

  -On March 15, the Citizens Association of Georgetown gathered to talk a little classical architecture at Q Street’s Dumbarton House, itself a beautiful specimen of neo-classical building techniques. The point? To show and tell listeners how the iconic houses of Georgetown, now themselves becoming historical artifacts, owe much of their design to the olive-skinned, near-mythical cultures a half world away and over two millennia gone past. The keynote speaker for the evening was Claudia Powell, who heads up her own eponymously named interior design firm after steeping herself in the fundamentals of ancient architecture at New York’s Institute of Classical Architecture. She lamented the sharp departure of modern architectural education from the tried and true classical methods, and was eager to give Georgetowners a crash course in building buildings, as the Greeks saw it. Powell first discussed the concept of the golden ratio — which, for the record, is 1 to 1.618 — a proportion found so often in nature that Greek mathematicians, from Pythagoras to Euclid, thought it auspicious enough to use in human constructions. The ratio is found throughout classical architecture. She went on to point out the finer subtleties of the three Greek columns — the stocky, stoic Doric type, the stately, majestic Ionic style and the florid Corinthian variety — as well as the strange decorative sculpture adorning joints and molding (acanthus leaves, teeth and lambs’ tongues were all favorites with the Greeks). So, what have flowers of stone to do with Georgetown? As Powell explained, the Federal style borrows heavily from the classical tradition, and as the mecca of early American architecture, it’s tough to walk around Georgetown without seeing your share of columns, friezes and stone ornamentation. The latter is especially prevalent in Dumbarton House — Powell pointed to several examples of gadrooning, a convex, gourd-shaped style of ornamentation, and light fixtures incorporating urns of fire, a staple decoration among ancient structures. Looks like history has visited the village yet again.

Look out, Ritz-Carlton: Capella Comes to Georgetown

Capella Hotels and Resorts, founded by Horst Shulze, a former exec at Ritz-Carlton, recently announced plans for a new addition to their swank network of hotels right here in Georgetown. The Washington Business Journal reported the hotel group will renovate the five-story American Trial Lawyers Association building at 1050 31st Street. The finished project, called Capella Georgetown, will feature 48 rooms, a restaurant and rooftop pool. Expect a grand opening in January 2012.

Gray Announces Candidacy

Vincent Gray has entered the building. And what an entrance it was. After months of tentative, cryptic headlines, whispers across the blogosphere and hopeful speculation among the city’s disillusioned voters, the uncertainty surrounding the District’s 2010 mayoral race has reached its final denouement: Vincent Gray will indeed run against Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary on Sept. 14, which, given the District’s stalwart record as a blue constituency, is likely to be the only race anyone pays attention to. Gray made his “announcement,” of sorts, when he stopped by the Reeves Municipal Center March 30 to submit the candidacy forms for his campaign. Word had leaked out hours beforehand, and what normally would have been a dull administrative task morphed into an impromptu rally for the city council’s sitting chairman. With an electrified crowd milling inside, Gray slipped onto the scene conspicuously, irresistibly late, allowing time for a small mob of journalists, well-wishers, old supporters and disgruntled Fentyites to gather, cordoned off by police, and teased by Gray staffers clad in trench coats and armed with coy answers to questions about the upcoming campaign. The affable but often stiff Gray, known as a catalyzing force on the council, has long criticized the Fenty administration, particularly on its education policy. The enmity reached a head last fall when Gray and other councilmembers skewered public schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, a Fenty appointee, at a hearing designed to scrutinize her laying off of 450 teachers after hiring nearly double that number the preceding summer. At the hearing, a visibly upset Gray catalogued the incident as an attempt by the executive branch to supersede the council in order to push through what was deemed underhanded educational reform. At that time, speculation about his run for mayor was already circulating among commentators. Afterward, it seemed all but a given. Which made the chairman’s silence about his intentions throughout the winter all the more confusing. When he did step forward, though, no one seemed to mind the months of indecision. Gray, strolling up in a pressed suit and boyish grin, was met with a storm of cheers and shutter clicks, handshakes and kisses. As he weaved his way upstairs to submit his campaign papers, he stopped several times to exchange words with supportive voters, waved to catcallers on a balcony above and spoke noncommittally to the swarm of microphones pressed before him. It was democracy at work again. Outside, he had only a few words to say, but still took time to pose with a line of supporters holding placards sporting the slogans “One City” and “Vince” — a sign the stodgy council chairman was, perhaps, giving his image a hip makeover. Gray said he was “absolutely delighted” to enter the race. “I am a native Washingtonian. I am a graduate of the public schools. I absolutely love this city … and we will talk about ways we can do better throughout this campaign,” he said. With that, he was gone, but a gaggle of constituents stayed behind, chattering excitedly, looking a little stunned at the tumult. Most were there because of grievances against the current administration. One union worker with the Building Trades Council said Gray was “more reasonable” and “friendly to labor.” A Ward 8 resident was more blunt: “The current mayor is only helping out those who are fortunate. Right now we need to help out everyone.” Traversing through the crowd, the Fenty bashing continued. It was clear Gray, if he couldn’t yet raise the money, could at least yoke a few extra votes. Karen Perry, who chairs Tenleytown’s ANC 3F, said the city needs “more than a photo-op mayor.” Tom Smith, chairman of Ward 3’s Democratic committee, agreed. “This election is critically important to the future of the city,” he said. “This city needs new leadership.”

The Cherry Trees of Washington

While traveling in Japan in the 1880s, writer and socialite Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore was impressed with how the magnificent flowering cherry trees were regarded as sacred in Japanese society. Much taken with their beauty, she started her one-woman campaign with the Japanese government to send some of these trees to Washington, D.C., to be planted along the Potomac River. It took 30 years and many mishaps, some of which reached the level of breaches in diplomacy, before her dream was realized. After Eliza got things started, negotiations between Japan and the U.S. ensued and kept faltering, until First Lady Helen Taft heard about it. Mrs. Taft had lived in Japan when her husband was president of the Philippine Commission, and she responded immediately to Eliza Scidmore’s letter suggesting that cherry trees would beautify the riverfront. Helen Taft was the same person who once described Washington as “a mosquito-infested swamp and a rendezvous for tramps and criminals,” so she was anxious to do what she could to improve the looks of the capital city. Ninety trees were immediately planted, but these were found to be the wrong variety and they were dug up and taken away. Then, in 1909, a shipment of 2000 trees arrived as a gift from the government of Japan. However, when the Department of Agriculture inspected the trees, they found them to be disease-infested and the president himself ordered the whole shipment to be burned. An exchange of letters followed, with the Japanese ambassador apologizing for the terrible mistake. Next, a wealthy Japanese doctor stepped forward and offered to personally pay for cherry trees to be sent to Washington in the name of the city of Tokyo. The second shipment of trees came from Japan, and this time they were specially grafted to be disease-free. The 3,020 trees were planted along the banks of the Tidal Basin, and they became an instant success. Fifty years later, when Lady Bird Johnson began establishing mini-parks and flower gardens around the city, the Japanese government gave President and Mrs. Johnson another gift of 3,800 trees, which were planted on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The trees have had their ups and downs. In 1938, during construction of the Jefferson Memorial, workers started to clear some of the trees for the construction site, and an angry group of women protested by chaining themselves to the trees to stop them from being destroyed. The government intervened and promised to replace any trees that had to come down. These trees are high maintenance, too. Some only last about 50 years, so the government is constantly replanting to make up for the ones that die. Then, the giant snowstorms of this past February wreaked havoc by breaking limbs and demolishing whole trees. But, the clean up went quickly and all is well again as we once more celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival, a hometown favorite and huge tourist attraction. Back in 1912, when those historic 3,020 trees were planted by the new Japanese ambassador’s wife, Viscountess Chinda, and Helen Taft, the ambassador had proclaimed on his way from Japan to Washington that, “Almost all the world is at peace today, and will be at peace for thousands of tomorrows. War has had its day.” However, his prediction proved to be quite the opposite and, during World War II, our government took to calling the flowering trees “Oriental” instead of Japanese. But beauty makes a strong statement, and the cherry trees, or Sakura, as they are called in Japan, represent both rebirth and the fragile nature of existence — welcomed symbolism and a humbling reminder in our nation’s capital. Head to the Tidal Basin and National Mall for the National Cherry Blossom Festival through April 11. Visit for more information. [gallery ids="99101,99102,99103" nav="thumbs"]

April 2010 ANC Update

At the ANC 2E’s March 30 meeting, the news was unsettling: crime is on the rise in Georgetown in recent weeks. In the month of March, the neighborhood experienced a rash of five robberies, along with 11 burglaries across the Metro Police Department’s second district. One mugging victim, Erwin Kalvelagen, even required hospitalization after being tackled and kicked repeatedly on Georgetown’s R Street the morning of March 29. While on a walk just a block from his house, Kalvelagen says he passed by an SUV surrounded by men in the early hours of the morning before he was immediately jumped from behind. The robbers made off with his wallet and managed to purchase quite the pantryful of groceries before his credit cards were canceled. Other than a black eye, Kalvalegan was released from the hospital none the worse for wear. A neighbor even mailed his driver’s license to him after finding it close by the crime scene. MPD Lieutenant John Hedgecock said the second district police are responding to what he termed an “uptick” in neighborhood crime, partnering with Georgetown University’s police force and broadcasting crime reports over the opt-in text message and email alert system (sign up at Hedgecock said the usual advisories for residents stand: lock doors, remove valuables from cars, be vigilant when walking the neighborhood after dark and use 911 for any suspicious activity. + DDOT project manager Mohammed Khalid stopped by to update the commission and neighbors on the trolley tracks project, which will rehabilitate the pockmarked and crevassed surfaces of West Georgetown’s O and P Streets while preserving the aesthetic of the historic streetcar tracks. Khalid said work will begin this summer on the tracks between 35th and 37th Streets and will progress all the way to Wisconsin Avenue during the 18-month project. Residents can expect construction Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In a resolution, the commission said it “enthusiastically supports” the project, while recommending minor logistical changes to ease traffic through construction areas. + Neighbors got the lowdown from Safeway’s Craig Muckle on the reopening of Wisconsin Avenue’s Social Safeway. Muckle reaffirmed the scheduled May 6 opening, and after a little mutual back-patting with commissioners, confirmed the store’s voluntary agreement, which allows for beer and wine sales over extended hours (9 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week) and a 24-hour pharmacy. The company is also reporting the new store will be the “greenest grocery store in town,” citing the building’s LEED certification, drip irrigation system and reflective roof membrane. Take that, Whole Foods. + Also reviewed were signing and façade plans for gourmet pizza peddler Il Canale and the forthcoming UGG retail outlet. Commissioners approved a subtle backlit logo sign proposed by the Australian furry boot seller, but nixed a blade sign that would hang outside the store. Also approved was a metal awning design for Il Canale, which is seeking to clean up the previous owner’s sloppy exterior pastiche of design elements.