Casey Trees

Casey Trees

In early August we wrote about a project to bury a portion of the above ground power line system in DC (see this Washington Post article). Brookland residents will be affected as we are slated to be one of the first areas to be undergrounded. Unfortunately the city and Pepco only plan on burying selected power lines, so the poles and other lines will remain. If you want to weigh in on this plan, there is still time to submit written comments to the DC Public Service Commission until September 15 2014. Brookland based Casey Trees will be hosting an informative  webinar on the topic this Wednesday September 3rd at noon. Here are the details from their website:

As part of a $1 billion proposal called DC PLUG, the District and Pepco want to bury the worst-performing power lines in the city.

 Find out what this means for the trees in your neighborhood during our live webinar: DC PLUG: Burying Lines, Raising Questions

 This 30 minute webinar will provide you with the latest information and tools to speak out at the last public hearing on D.C.’s undergrounding project.

 We’ll go over:

  • Why the city doesn’t want to bury all of the overhead wires
  • Which lines will be buried and which will remain above ground
  • The benefits for and risks to trees if power lines are buried
  • Find out what impact this may have on your neighborhood’s street trees

Bring your questions and we will answer them live during the webinar!


Maisie Hughes, Director of Planning + Design
Emily Oaksford, Planning Associate
Suraj K. Sazawal, Advocacy Associate

For more details and to register for the webinar – click here.


A wonderful surprise waited us in front of SCRAP DC a few days ago. We were greeted by a wonderfully decorated robot. After closer inspection it turned out that it is not just a robot that looks very cool, but it actually is a little library.

I contacted the team at SCRAP DC and learned that local artist Marcelle Fozard initiated the creation of the robot library. Marcelle’s work can be seen in Studio #15 at the Arts Walk of the Monroe Street Market.

Little Libraries are a wonderful opportunity to install creative art on our streets, and to bring  books to the children in our neighborhood. They can borrow a book(s) on an honor basis, as well as add books to the library. The Robot though is not the first, and from what we understand will not be the last, little library in the Brookland community. Here is one that was installed a while ago on Kearney Street:

The Reading Railroad on Kearney Street

The Reading Railroad on Kearney Street

Marcelle described the creative process building the Robot to us:  the big yellow box  arrived from a “man cave” in Ellicott City, Maryland.  The big guy needed some robot feet so Marcelle headed over to True Value Hardware on 12th street to get some advice. She wanted us to be sure to send a “big thanks to all the smart guys at True Value, especially my friend and fellow reggae fan, Lion”. While under construction at the Studio, lots of kids took interest in the robot and asked when it is going to be finished. Before going to his new home in front of SCRAP DC, the robot stopped by the weaving ladies and a final spiff up was added by Heather, Jules, JJ and the other wonderful SCRAP DC volunteers. 

Marcelle also sent us some pictures that show the transformation of the newspaper box to a robot. SCRAP DC (and the robot) is located at 12th and Irving Streets, NE.


Earlier this week, the long awaited Starbuck’s at the Monroe Street Market development opened its doors. Check out this Tweet from Monroe Street Market, indicating that the store will start serving a full menu today.

In other Monroe Street Market development news, we are happy to report that the Busboys and Poets got their “tenant layout” license. This license is issued by DCRA and basically approves the layout of interior space for tenants in new or existing commercial buildings. From the Washington Business Journal:

625 Monroe St. NE: Tenant layout for the planned Busboys and Poets at theBozzuto Group’s Monroe Street Market in Brookland. The 7,400-square-foot restaurant, to be located in the Cornerstone building, will seat 238. It will be D.C.’s sixth Busboys and Poets, from entrepreneur and former mayoral candidate Andy Shallal, a graduate of nearby Catholic University.


Dance Place Grand Re-Opening Events

by Shani on August 27, 2014

Dance Place has been an artistic anchor in our community for over 25 years. A couple of years ago, Dance Place President Carla Perlo told us about a major renovation plan for the Dance Place building and facilities.
Dance Place Rendering with Janney sculpture
Now, just a couple of  weeks shy of the Grand Re-Opening celebrations starting September 6, we connected with Carolyn Kamrath, Communications Director for Dance Place, to learn more about this big project, which is just one part of the Moving Forward Campaign. From the Dance Place website: “The Campaign has the following three aspects: expansion and renovation of the main facility, program enhancement and the establishment of a building and cash reserve to improve the financial underpinning of the organization that will sustain the spirit of creativity for the next thirty years.”
Why did Dance Place decide to undertake this project?
Dance Place moved to Brookland in 1986 and renovated a large warehouse into a theater and office spaces. Since then there have been no major renovations and the building has been well used and well loved for 28 years! After all that time, we were ready to elevate our building to the same high quality level as our programming and ensure that the building would be ready for another 30 years of audiences, artists, young people and neighbors.
Tell us about the re-model. Will the updated facilities allow you to do new/additional programs?
The entire building was re-done as part of the renovations! We made major upgrades to the theater in terms of technical capacity, an enclosed tech booth and new comfortable seating; the lobby was completely redesigned to be more open and includes a new Box Office and cafe/bar area; we doubled the size of our backstage dressing room and then added a new dance studio on the 2nd floor above the dressing room; and finally we expanded our office space on the 2nd floor. Already this summer we’ve been enjoying the added space for our summer camp, which includes 50 campers and 23 teenage Junior Staff members! We look forward to using the new studio this Fall for added classes, rehearsal space for artists, and as a green room for weekend performances so that dancers can warm up. And our tech team is thrilled to have more tools for showcasing weekend performances through enhanced lighting and sound equipment.
This project has been in the works for a number of years – how did it finally come together?
When Artspace Projects Inc. was looking for a site in DC to build their artist lofts, the DC Department of Housing and Community Development connected their team with Dance Place, suggesting Brookland as an ideal site. Originally the plan was to build one large campus across our two properties that would encompass Dance Place’s theater and studios, as well as having live/work units above for artists. Upon further research it was not possible to build across the alley way between our two buildings, so we split the projects into two distinct phases: Artspace developed their Lofts with support from Dance Place in rallying the community and connecting them to DC artists; and now Dance Place completed our own renovations, making a more unified campus between our two organizations. Dance Place is grateful to the many foundations, corporations, government entities and individual donors who have supported our Moving Forward Capital Campaign and made our renovations a reality! Thanks to our supporters, we have raised $3.7 of our $5 million goal. We are continuing to raise funds to complete construction costs, enhance programming and increase building/operational reserves. To make a contribution to the Moving Forward Campaign, visit
How can neighbors support this community asset?
Join us! From our free Art on 8th programming on the Monroe St. Market Arts Walk to our classes and performances, you can be a part of the Dance Place family. As Brookland grows and new neighbors move in, we hope long time residents will be the first to recommend Dance Place to new residents. We appreciate our neighbors serving as connectors and advocates for us – if you have suggestions for partnerships, funding opportunities or programming ideas, please always feel free to discuss with a Dance Place staff member.
What are the best ways for the community to keep track of Dance Place events?
Keep track of Dance Place by:
  • Signing up for our email list at
  • Grabbing our monthly events postcard in the Dance Place lobby
  • Connecting to us on social media: and


Here is a line-up of the events that take place during the Grand Re-Opening Celebration Week:

September 6 – 13, 2014

Join us to celebrate the new and improved Dance Place!

Be In Brookland / Community Open House
Saturday, September 6 from 10am – 10pm

Free classes, performances and tours throughout the day at locations up and down 8th St NE in Brookland – Dance Place, Brookland Artspace Lofts, Edgewood Arts Center, Studio 21 and the Arts Walk at Monroe St. Market! End the night with an energetic dance party at Dance Place led by DC Casineros. Visit for event schedule.

Tickets: Free classes and outdoor activities. $15 Cuban Dance Social.


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Wednesday, September 10 from 4pm – 6pm

Join us as we officially inaugurate our renovated space and celebrate 28 years as a cultural anchor in Brookland.


Gala Celebration & Performance

Saturday, September 13 from 6:30pm – 11pm

Celebrate our re-opening with a party and performance that highlights our diverse programming and beautifully renovated space. Featuring Baakari Wilder with live jazz by Herb Spice & the Cinnamonstix, Coyaba Women & Youth Drum Ensemble, PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER and a collaborative piece choreographed by Shannon Quinn and Sylvia Soumah for ReVision dance company and Coyaba Dance Theater. Plus a new commissioned work choreographed by Dance Place’s Co-Director Deborah Riley in honor of Howard and Geraldine Polinger.

Tickets $150 ($125 tax deductible donation)
Individual Sponsorships $400 ($300 tax deductible donation)


Just cuz...

Just cuz…

About a year ago, we responded to reader requests and started a community calender. It started off ok, but clearly wasn’t great. Over time it got more difficult for us to keep it up to date and then one day the app stopped working. So we are giving it another try. Check out our new event listing and community calendar on the right hand column of the blog. A few folks asked us for a calendar that interfaces with Google calendar, and this one is supposed to. We just started loading it up with events, give us a little time and we’ll have it all set up – and please feel free to give us feedback on it – AND let us know what kind of events you would like on the calendar. Hope you like this updated feature!


Kids enjoying Noyes Park

Kids enjoying Noyes Park

First off, we would like to congratulate the Friends of Noyes Park for recently becoming a certified non profit  organization – way to go! We wanted to share their latest effort to keep the park ship shape with you:

The Friends of Noyes Park (FoNP) cordially invite all residents that frequent, use, and visit Noyes Park to help maintain it litter free. Join us monthly, on the SECOND SATURDAY of each month, from 10 AM to 1 PM, to clean the park up and ensure that children and neighbors of all ages can enjoy a trash-free environment. Lend a hand, meet others in the community that care about the park, and do your part to help contribute to Noyes Park’s success.

Mark your calendars and save the date for all these upcoming clean-up dates:

Saturday, September 13th from 10 AM to 1 PM
Saturday, October 11th from 10 AM to 1 PM
Saturday, November 8th from 10 AM to 1 PM
Saturday, December 13th from 10 AM to 1 PM

Trash bags and gloves will be provided.


Brookland In Photos – Neighborhood Transformation

August 23, 2014

It’s been a while since we did a “Brookland in Photos” post. Actually too long. When we started the blog over two years ago (!!) one of the driving concepts behind it is that we saw the neighborhood transforming before our eyes (for better, or for worse), and we felt a need to document that. […]

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Angelika Popup Brings ‘Micro Cinema’ to NE DC

August 22, 2014

In June, the  Angelika “pop up’ theater sprang into action near Union Market. We thought readers who are unaware of this local venue would be interested in checking it out. The  three screen ‘micro cinema’ has been a huge ht in New York City and now it brings its mix of specialty film programming and unique […]

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Franciscan Monastery Seeking Volunteer Concierges

August 21, 2014

Many thanks to the Monastery for reaching out to us about the following volunteer opportunity: The historic Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land of America in Brookland is seeking volunteer concierges to welcome visitors from the region and world to the church, shrines, gardens and meeting rooms. Concierges may assist at the welcome desk or […]

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Third Thursday Returns To The Arts Walk With Live Music Tomorrow

August 20, 2014

CulturalDC, a nonprofit that promotes the arts, organizes “Third Thursday Open Studios,” at the studios at the Monroe Street Market Arts Walk. This month’s event will take place on Thursday August 21st from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Every month most of the studios are open and hosting workshops, exhibits, crafts for sale and more. This time […]

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