Brookalnd NE Washington DCHappy Turkey Day!

Here at the Bridge, we have a lot to be thankful for. In the years that we have lived in Brookland we have made friends with amazing neighbors. We are thankful for the long time businesses and institutions in the neighborhood, as well as the new, and for groups like the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association, Garden Club, Greater Brookland LGBTs, and Ward 5 Happy Hour, that provide networks that enrich our community.

Lastly, many thanks to you-our awesome readers!!


Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Many thanks to reader Katie for passing along the following information about this neighborhood tradition:

The Catholic University of America and the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music will celebrate the 25th annual Christmas Concert for Charity on Friday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Sponsored jointly by the University and the Basilica, the concert benefits a different charity each year.

This year, a freewill offering will be taken for the Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation, which raises money to support a highly regarded infant and maternity hospital located 500 yards from the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem.

Monsignor Walter R. Rossi, rector of the basilica, said the hospital “stands as a beacon of hope for women, children and families throughout the Holy Land.”

“For 25 years, the National Shrine and The Catholic University of America have collaborated in producing the Christmas Concert for Charity,” he said. “I am pleased that for this 25th anniversary concert, we have chosen the Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation as the beneficiary of the concert.

“The Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation raises funds to support the hospital, which provides urgent medical care to help the poorest of the poor throughout the Holy Land without regard to religion, nationality, or financial ability,” he said.

“Given the continued unrest and the many injured and displaced because of war in the very land in which our Lord walked, designating the Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation as the beneficiary of this year’s 25th Anniversary Christmas Concert is a small collaboration in working toward healing and peace for peoples in the Holy Land.”

The first portion of the concert features the Choir of the Basilica, conducted by Peter Latona, director of music. The second half will feature the CUA Chamber Choir, University Singers, University Chorus, and the CUA Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leo Nestor, Justine Bayard Ward Professor and director of choral studies and the Institute of Sacred Music.

As in the past 14 years, the concert will feature the premiere of a new work by a CUA student or faculty member. This year’s performance features the premiere of “Nativity” by Jeff Cortazzo, a doctoral student from Palmerton, Pa.

“Nativity” is the first two movements of what will eventually be a full cantata focusing on the birth of Christ. Cortazzo drew the texts from the gospels of John and Luke.

“I believe the bible is the word of God, every single word, so to handle that is a very daunting task,” he said.

Other works performed at the concert will include:

•       Music composed as the Catholic faith came to the Americas:
•       The Peruvian processional hymn, “Hanacpachap Cussicuinin,” the earliest published polyphonic work in the New World
•       Manuel de Sumaya’s “¡Albricias mortales! que viene la aurora” for the Cathedral of Mexico City, performed by faculty and alumni soloists

•       A set of three works to pray for peace:
•       Francis Poulenc’s “Priez pour paix”
•       From Joseph Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai, “Agnus Dei … Dona Nobis Pacem”
•       Franz Xaver Gruber’s “Silent Night,” in a setting by Leo Nestor

•       Sussex Carol’s “On Christmas Night All Christians Sing”
•       Jan Sandström’s “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”
•       The premiere of Leo Nestor’s “I Sing of a Maiden”
•       Max Reger’s “Mariä Wiegenlied”
•       “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
•       George Frideric Handel’s “Hallelujah” in Mozart’s orchestration

Admission is free, and early seating is recommended.

Free parking is available at the Basilica Harewood Road parking lot. For more information on the concert, visit


Photo courtesy of DC Public Schools.

Photo courtesy of DC Public Schools.

We recently learned that the ribbon cutting for the new Brookland Middle School will be in December. Check out the school’s blog for lots of photos of the nearly completed school. Looks like a wonderful place to learn.


community forklift your thrift store for home improvement

Photo courtesy of Community Forklift

One of our favorite home improvement destinations is Community Forklift, located near Hyattsville MD. Community Forklift is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to reduce landfill waste by salvaging building materials. While it is not in Brookland, let alone DC, we thought their Black Friday and Small Business Saturday events would be of interest to readers since it’s not too far and sounds like a lot of fun! Anyone working to maintain the original character of their home or simply fond of antique and re-purposed items would enjoy a visit.

From 10am -6pm on Nov. 28 & 29, stop by the reuse center to check out upcycled gifts from local artists, and help decorate a community tree. There will free craft workshops for all ages, music from DJ One Heart and pictures with Santa Claus (see the full schedule below). The warehouse is a bit chilly, so make sure to bundle up – but there will be free hot cider and cookies to keep you warm! Check out the info below from Ruthie from Community Forklift:

Many crafters and artists come to the Forklift to find inspiration and supplies. Throughout Green Friday and Small Business Saturday, a variety of local artists will be here to offer their wares, and show you how they create their amazing pieces!

DIY CRAFT AREA FOR ALL AGES (12pm – 4pm Fri. & Sat.)
We’ll have a free craft area open for children and adults on 12pm – 4pm on Friday and Saturday so that you can make tree ornaments or tile coasters. They make great stocking stuffers! On Friday from 12pm – 4pm, bring the whole family to make image transfer t-shirts with ‘Arts on a Roll’, an arts initiative through the Prince George’s County Parks and Planning Department ($5 per t-shirt).

5th ANNUAL MISTLETOE MARKET (10am – 6pm Fri. & Sat.)
Find great gifts for friends and family, made by local artists! All gifts are made with reclaimed, upcycled, or other eco-friendly materials. Gifts for sale include jewelry, textiles and clothing, beauty care, mosaics, stationary, wall art, candles, toys, housewares and more.

MEET SANTA (12pm – 2pm Fri.)
Santa Claus often stops by Community Forklift to shop. “I can find vintage wood-carving tools at the Forklift, and they’re a lot sturdier than modern hand tools” reports Mr. Claus. “So when the staff asked if I could stop by their party, I was happy to help.” Santa will be at the warehouse from 12-2pm on Friday, and photos will be available afterwards on the Forklift’s Facebook page.

Community Forklift is about a 15 minute drive to 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston MD 20781.


Nathan at Brookland's Franciscan Monastery. Photo Courtesy of the Washington Post and WildCraft/Nathan Zeender.

Nathan at Brookland’s Franciscan Monastery. Photo Courtesy of the Washington Post and WildCraft/Nathan Zeender.

Some readers may remember when we posted a story two years ago on Nathan Zeender, a Brookland based artisan beer brewer . At that time, he was looking to open a brewpub, which he did, just over a year ago called Right Proper Beer Company. The popular restaurant is located in the Shaw neighborhood. We got rumblings that Right Proper would be moving their brewing operations to Brookland from this Washington Post article a couple of weeks ago, that stated:

Right Proper Brewing, reports owner Thor Cheston, has secured a location in Brookland for setting up a second brewery, one that will keg and bottle for off-site sales.

Now we have gotten word from multiple sources that Nathan really is bringing his brewing operation to his home neighborhood and opening up at 920 Girard St NE! Awesome! We will bring you more details as they become available, and hopefully catch up with Nathan for a quote or two. Keep up with Right Proper at their Facebook page or their Twittter feed.


Hartke Theatre. Photo courtesy of

Hartke Theatre. Photo courtesy of

Thanks to reader Jessica for passing along the following info:

The National Ballet, a 66 year old company based in the Washington DC area, will be performing “The Nutcracker” at the Hartke Theatre, Catholic University:

Known for high artistic quality and outstanding dramatic performances, The National Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” has been entertaining audiences for many years.  Exciting dancers from around the world dazzle the audience with their performances while the children display charm and skill in their many antics at the Christmas party.

The National Ballet Company will perform the full length ballet.  Tickets are available online at where they can be printed after purchase, or by calling 301 218-9822.  Discounts for schools, seniors, military, and groups are available for all performances.

Performance Schedule:
Dec. 5: 10:30 AM
Dec. 6:  2:30 PM and 7:00 PM
Dec. 7:  2:30 PM
Dec. 8:  10:30 AM
Dec. 9:  10:30 AM

Hartke Theatre is located on Catholic University’s campus at 3801 Harewood Road, N.E.


Weekend East City Event Round Up: Fantastic Voyage Edition

November 20, 2014

We are pleased to bring you East City Art‘s Weekend Event Round Up. East City Art is a blog founded by editor Phil Hutinet in January, 2010, which documents the myriad of artistic activities happening in the Northeast and Southeast quadrants of the city. Congrats to East City Art for winning City Paper’s Best Arts Blog of 2014! […]

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Brookland Bootcamp And Free Yoga Classes Bring Fitness Options To The Neighborhood

November 19, 2014

One of the complaints we hear about the neighborhood is the lack of gyms and fitness options nearby. So,we thought readers would like to know about two classes located at the Edgewood Arts Building on 8th Street (3415 8th St NE). Brookland Bootcamp is held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6:30 am. The cost […]

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Artjamz Now Open At Monroe Street Market Arts Walk- Awaiting Liquor License

November 18, 2014

Artjamz is a really cool concept- combining an open art studio where anyone can drop in and create art with a bar-lounge. Readers may be familiar with the studio from their super popular Dupont Circle location. On Saturday November 8th, their new location at Monroe Street Market had its soft launch. They have applied for […]

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Save The Date – 3rd Annual Brookland Toys For Tots Event

November 17, 2014

Neighbors Mike and Patrick have been hosting a toy drive benefiting Toys for Tots that has grown into a neighborhood tradition. The first year they hosted it from their home  and soon realized that it was too large of an event and moved it to the Brookland Arts Space Lofts last year. Now in its third year, […]

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