Image courtesy of CUA's School of Music

Image courtesy of CUA’s School of Music

The 6th Annual Washington International Piano Festival (WIPF), will be held on the campus of Catholic University (and at two performances at the Kennedy Center downtown). The festival will take place from July 27 to August 3rd and will feature performances, master classes, and lectures by guest artists and young musicians from around the world.  All events will be open to the public. From the Catholic U/WIPF press release:

This year’s festival will include:
John O’Conor, Sunday, July 27, 7:30 p.m., Ward Recital Hall
Chongxiao Liu and Wei Gong Piano Duo, Monday, July 28, 7:30 p.m., Ward Recital Hall
Ralitza Patcheva, Wednesday, July 30, 7:30 p.m., Ward Recital Hall
Yoshio Hamano, Thursday, July 31, 7:30 p.m., Ward Recital Hall
Santiago Rodriguez, Sunday, Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m., Ward Recital Hall

John O’Conor, Monday, July 28, 10 a.m. to noon, Ward Recital Hall
Round table discussion, “Getting a Piano Degree in the United States,” Wednesday, July 30, 11 a.m. to noon, John Paul Hall
Douglas Humpherys, Friday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m. to noon, Ward Recital Hall
Santiago Rodriguez, Saturday, Aug. 2, 10 a.m. to noon, Ward Recital Hall

Young pianist showcase concerts, featuring prizewinners of international, national, regional, and local competitions, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, July 27 to 30, 6:45 p.m., Ward Recital Hall
Auditions for The Catholic University of America First Annual Piano Competition, Tuesday, July 29, 7 to 10 p.m., Ward Recital Hall
Adult pianist showcase concert, featuring adult pianists participating in the festival, Thursday, July 31, 6:45 p.m.
Concerts of selected 2014 WIPF participants, including both solo and piano ensemble music from WIPF participants, Friday, Aug. 1, and Saturday, Aug. 2, 6 p.m., John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Millennium Stage. Admission is free and concerts will be webcast online at
Award ceremony and concert, featuring The Catholic University of America Piano Competition winners, Sunday, Aug. 3, 3:15 p.m., Ward Recital Hall
Closing concert of the 2014 WIPF participants, Sunday, Aug. 3, 11 a.m., Ward Recital Hall.

Ticket prices for each day (except free admission as noted) are $20 for adults; $10 for seniors and students; and free admission for CUA students with valid student ID. Tickets to all events can be purchased at the door or reserved by emailing


ANC 5B04 Commissioner Carolyn Steptoe needs no introduction to our regular readers. Here is one of the latest of multiple stories we covered about Ms. Steptoe and our ongoing neighborhood saga regarding Freedom of Information Act compliance and ANC 5B. We learned tonight that Steptoe is moving on and vacating her seat as ANC Commissioner.

Carolyn Steptoe (left) with some of her fellow ANC 5B Commissioners in 2013.

Commissioner Steptoe just shared the following  message via email.
Dear 5B04 Community –
In keeping with my commitment to the 5B04 community, I wish to pass along this information.
After 16 blessed years in my Lawrence Street (Brookland) home – a lovely environment I purchased as a single, young professional – I have decided to sell my home.  I will remain in my D.C. hometown, but will live in upper, upper N.W. (16th Street  – the inimitable “Gold Coast.” )  Like many Washingtonians, yes, I do sing The Jefferson’s theme song in association w/the prospect of living on The Gold Coast… lol!
Anyway, my new home will be 2 blocks from Walter Reed.  It is also but a few blocks from Rock Creek Park and Silver Spring.  As most know, the Gold Coast is a very quiet, tree-lined and long-standing residential neighborhood.
I anticipate finalizing (prayerfully) all my relocation matters soon; several weeks anyway.  Once everything is finalized, I shall then relinquish my 5B04 SMD commissioner seat since, at that point, I shall neither be a 5B04 resident nor a resident of Ward 5.
I wanted to share this with you so you may know, until my formal transition out of our 5B04 community, you may contact me anytime should you need assistance.   Until such time, I shall continue to be in the 5B04 community and work as the elected 5B04 commissioner.  Although ANC 5B is on summer break, I can be reached on 202-321-3860.  You may also send me an email at
Please know it remains my honor to serve my community and enjoy my neighbors.  Blessings and happy summer to all!
Very kind regards,
Commissioner Carolyn C. Steptoe
Single Member District 5B04
Vice Chairperson, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5B

(202) 321-3860/ANC cell
(202) 636-8191/home
(pardon typos, etc.)


In March of this year the Washington Post reported that the ambitious plan to underground main power lines in the District would go underway this year. Based on information from Pepco President and Chief Executive Joseph M. Rigby quoted in the article, some of Brookland’s “feeder” power lines are scheduled to be buried among the first of the three year plan:

In the first year, work is planned in the following neighborhoods: American University Park, Spring Valley and Chevy Chase in Ward 3; Brightwood, Crestwood and Takoma in Ward 4; Michigan Park and Brookland in Ward 5; Marshall Heights, Benning Heights and Hillcrest in Ward 7; and Anacostia, Fairlawn, Congress Heights and Washington Highlands in Ward 8.

PSC and Pepco have scheduled a community hearing for Ward 5 residents for this coming Thursday. See the following details:

July 24, 2014 – 6:00 p.m.

UDC/Bertie Backus School

5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE

Washington, DC 20017

(Ward 5)

Further details are available on the PSC website.


Those who wish to testify at the community hearings should contact the Commission Secretary by the close of business three (3) business days prior to the date of the hearing by calling (202) 626-5150.  Representatives of organizations shall be permitted a maximum of five (5) minutes for oral presentations.  Individuals shall be permitted a maximum of three (3) minutes for oral presentations.  If an organization or an individual is unable to offer comments at the community hearings, written statements may be submitted to the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, 1333 H Street, NW, Suite 200, West Tower, Washington D.C. 20005.

Any person who is deaf or hearing-impaired, and cannot readily understand or communicate in spoken English, and persons with disabilities who need special accommodations in order to participate in the hearing, must contact the Commission Secretary by close of seven (7) business days prior to the date of the hearing.  Persons who wish to testify in Spanish, Chinese, Amharic, or Korean must also contact the Commission Secretary by close of business three (3) business days before the day of the hearing.  The number to call to request special accommodations and interpretation services is (202) 626-5150.

Bertie Backus: 5171 S. Dakota Ave. NE (near the Fort Totten Metro station on the Red, Yellow, and Green lines)
The first location provided by the DC Council in 2009 is the renovated Backus school – home to UDC-CC’s practical nursingnursing assistant, and home health aide programs and the architectural engineeringfashion merchandising andconstruction management degree programs. Continued expansion is planned.

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Photo courtesy of Potomac Pastry's Facebook Page.

Photo courtesy of Potomac Pastry’s Facebook Page.

We were delighted to learn that a new homegrown business, Potomac Pastry, launched here in Brookland just one month ago.  One of the frequent complaints I hear about our neighborhood is that it is difficult to find high quality local baked goods such as birthday cakes. Well, the wait is over! We caught up with chef and owner Jamila Minniks to find out more about this great new addition to the neighborhood.

Jamila has been baking all of her life, and began learning French pastry techniques about six years ago.  She says “at first, I thought of it as a hobby.  If you can be full on obsessed with a hobby, that is.  I ordered every obscure cookbook that I could find, brushed up on my French, and thought “if I could just learn to make a perfect croissant, I’d be happy.”  Little did I know that I would still be on that journey six years later, and the journey has been all of the fun.” Right now Potomac Pastry does not have a “bricks and mortar” storefront, but her delicious goods are not hard to find. You can place orders for her pastries and desserts via phone, email or through her website and she is selling at the Tuesday Brookland Farmer’s Market*. She says “Michael and Ester from Licking Creek Springs Farm were so welcoming to our little shop, and we are so thrilled to be there!”  You can also find Potomac Pastry Tuesday through Sunday at Zeke’s Coffee on Rhode Island Ave**. She provided the pastries for a coffee pairing event there on July 12th, and they sold out very quickly, check out the Tweet from Zeke’s:

Photo courtesy of Potomac Pastry' Facebook Page

Photo courtesy of Potomac Pastry’s Facebook Page

I asked Jamila why she chose Brookland to base her business, and she said “about two years ago, I began dreaming about opening my own little pastry shop in Brookland.  We are Brooklanders (her, her Boyfriend and dog), and it was just the perfect fit for us.  So I began the long process of developing a business plan, conducting viability analyses, and recruiting a team of tasters.  My dream is to be a great Brookland pastry shop…I want to build something that we can be proud of right here in our own neighborhood.” Well that sounds awesome! I am not surprised to hear from Jamila that “the response from Brookland has been amazing!…I am constantly humbled by the outpouring of support that we’ve received.  People seem genuinely happy to see us becoming a part of the neighborhood.  I even have a few customers who are vying for us to open a physical space close to where they live so that they can visit us regularly!  I’m so thrilled to have the chance to open something special right here in the neighborhood.”

Jamila’s last word: “At the end of the day, I love doing this because I love making pastries, and because those pastries that I love so dearly seem to make people happy.” We are delighted to have Potomac Pastry in the neighborhood and wish Jamila the best of luck with her new business!
Keep up with Potomac Pastry though Facebook, Twitter, and their website.
Phone: 202.864.9627
Email: jamila(at)potomacpastry(dot)com
*The Brookland Farmer’s Market takes place every Tuesday afternoon from Spring – Fall under the Drew Bridge by the Brookland Metro Stop.
**Zeke’s Coffee of DC is located at 2300 Rhode Island Avenue NE.

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Photo Courtesy of Monroe Street Market's Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of B&N’s CUA Facebook Page

Many thanks to Morgan from the Barnes & Noble College location at Catholic U for letting us know about the grand opening of the long awaited Barnes and Noble store at the Monroe Street Market development. When we broke the story about the Barnes and Noble/Starbucks in August 2012, many neighbors rightfully acknowledged it as a huge turning point for our area, and a kick start to investment and development in Brookland. Here is the announcement:

Come celebrate the newest installment of Brookland’s up-and-coming Monroe Street Market community– Barnes & Noble College Booksellers at The Catholic University of America. No longer solely a home to textbooks and CUA spirit gear, the new store boasts an expanded title selection of fiction, non-fiction, reference, and children’s books; a cafe serving Starbucks coffee, ready-to-go sandwiches, and baked goods; and indoor and outdoor seating in the lovely neighborhood of Brookland.

  • The grand opening celebration will occur on July 28, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 625 Monroe Street NE, Washington, DC 20017. The festivities will include an author event with Fox News anchor Bret Baier, live music, raffles, samples from our new cafe, and a promotional sale. At noon, Bret Baier, chief political anchor for Fox and anchor of “Special Report with Bret Baier,” will talk about his new book, Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love, a behind-the-scenes look at his family’s life as they face their eldest son Paul’s fight with pediatric cardiac disease.
  • In conjunction with the opening day festivities, we will be hosting a children’s book reading featuring the Catholic University mascot, Red the Cardinal, who will welcome the children’s book section of the new Barnes & Noble. Red’s Reading will occur on July 30th at 11:30 a.m. 
  • On Friday August 1st, the final event of what is sure to be a fantastic inaugural week, will be a live concert from Pop Culture Strings at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, and to RSVP for the grand opening events, check out the B&N at the Catholic University Facebook page.


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!

Weekend East City Event Round Up: Interact and Create Edition

Thursday, July 17 – Saturday, July 19

Transformer – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

This weekend, Thursday through Saturday, Amy Hughes Braden, FlatFile artist, creates collages and drawings in Transformer and turns the space into a working studio. She invites visitors to interact and create with her throughout the weekend. For more information about FlatFile Summer Socials, click here.

Transformer is located at 1404 P Street, NW.

Saturday, July 19

CHAW – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

CHAW hosts a series of Sumi-e Workshops to teach the art of Chinese ink wash bamboo painting. Classes will be held this July and August, with each week focusing on a new theme. Click here for more information about registering.

CHAW is located at 545 7th St., SE.

Brookland – 1:30 p.m.

Curious about street art? Artist Rajan Sedalia will be teaching classes on Saturdays through July 19. Learn about graffiti art, painting, airbrushing, cartoons, comics, color and abstract forms. All skill levels are welcome. Be sure to email for class availability. To read more about classes, click here.

Locations to be announced.

CHAL – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Stop by CHAL and vote for your favorite photos of decorative cabbages by Nancy Freeman. The Caggabe Art & Scarf Invitational asks visitors to choose the winners, which will be turned into gallery-quality work and then into limited-edition scarves. For details on this event, click here.

CHAL is located at 545 7th St., SE.

The Brentwood Arts Exchange – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Brentwood Art Exchange presents the culmination of Project America’s Next Top Master Artist this Saturday. After making it through the previous rounds, the winner will be announced at the Grand Finale and awarded a cash prize and a solo exhibition. To see more about the finalists and this event, click here.

The Brentwood Arts Exchange is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood.
RandallScottProjects – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

RandallScottProjects hosts an opening reception for Untitled no. 4. The exhibit shows the work of six featured artists: Avi Gupta, Rania Hassan, Abby Martin, Craig Roper, Hillary Werth, and Jessica Van Brakle. To read more about this opening, click here.

Jess Oros is the Production Manager of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook by following them on Twitteror click here to sign up for their newsletter.


Dwight Mosley/Taft Fields To Get $1.5 Million Renovation

July 17, 2014

Many thanks to reader and great neighbor Debee for passing along the wonderful news about a new playground renovation coming to the neighborhood. The Dwight Mosley/Taft grounds will undergo a $1.5 Million overhaul. The planned upgrades include artificial turf  and natural grass areas, lights, field goals, backstop fencing, resurfacing of basketball courts, bleachers and resurfaced track. Check […]

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Menkiti’s ‘Brookland Movie Night Under The Stars’ Continues Thursday

July 16, 2014

The Menkiti Group   continues to treat the community to outdoor movie nights under the stars. This is just a friendly reminder that there will be another installment in the series this Thursday, July 17th. The  movie night will be at the Howard Divinity School front lawn (1400 Shepherd St NE). All are welcome to come picnic as early as 6:00, with […]

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Drive In Movies Return To Union Market Starting This Friday

July 16, 2014

Last summer, nearby Union Market hosted a drive in movie series that was very popular. This summer we are happy to see that they are doing it again. The movies begin at 8:30PM and are free to attend, but there is a $10 parking fee. Last year there was a lawn area that was free […]

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Wild Hand Workspace Presents Kelly Hughes, Opening Reception This Thursday

July 15, 2014

Wild Hand Workspace is a studio at Monroe Street Market shared by photographer/curator Victoria Milko and Panda Head‘s Morgan Hungerford West. The studio regularly hosts events, workshops, art shows, and pop-ups. One of their exciting new announcements is the presentation of work by artist Kelly Hughes. From Wild Hand Workspace: Wild Hand Workspace is excited to present Chromatic Transmissions, a solo show […]

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