All posts by Shani

Upon moving to Brookland about 8 years ago, Shani jumped into civic life, having been treasurer for the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association and lending her web development skills to the Greater Brookland Garden Club. Shani was also the unofficial coordinator of Brookland's LGBT monthly activities for 6 years. You can often find Shani and her wife Astrid watering the trees on 12th St. NE and walking their dog Frida around the neighborhood. Shani is an artist, owner of SCH Fine Arts, and an IT professional.

Large Development Projects Moving Forward In Nearby NoMa

Market Terminal development, image courtesy of R2L Architects

We thought neighbors would appreciate an update on some of the large development projects happening in the nearby NoMa neighborhood. We recently learned from an article in the Washington Business Journal that the recent purchase of a 98,000-square-foot warehouse property for $56.5 million will clear the way for the Market Terminal development. The land purchased is a couple of blocks west of Union Market and bordered by the Metro tracks, Florida Avenue NE and Morse Street NE. From the article:

Market Terminal is approved for more than 1,100 multifamily units, 52,000 square feet of retail, office and a hotel.

In another Washington Business Journal article, we learned that another large NoMa development has chosen a hotel and that construction will begin this year:

The 204-room boutique hotel will be only the fourth to carry The James brand. It will serve as the hotel component of the 780,000-square-foot Armature Works project, a mixed-use development to include a 465-unit apartment building, a 170-unit condominium building, outdoor public spaces and 42,000 square feet of street-level retail. 

Between these and other developments in the NoMa area, it seems like we will barely recognize the place in a few years.

Catholic University Announces Plans For New $6 Million Dining Hall

Image courtesy of the Catholic University of America

Yesterday Catholic University announced that it received an anonymous $6 million gift which will go towards the creation of a new student dining hall. From CUA’s  website:

The gift is a critical investment that will enable Catholic University to ease crowding, expand food options, and improve the entirety of the student life experience. Envisioned as a dramatic, sun-filled, and welcoming open area more than double the size of the current facilities, the new dining hall will provide a contemporary space with display cooking, ample seating, informal student gathering space, and a prime location near first year housing.

The project is in the planning stages, and CUA is currently looking for an architect. If all goes according to plan, the new dining hall will  open in 2020.

Cupid’s Lounge Sip And Paint Soiree’ At Tastemakers On February 4th

Lots of neighbors are curious about the type of venue Tastemakers will turn out to be. Readers may remember that the new food hall/ incubator opened  in late December with their first food stand, Captain Cookie, which sells ice cream, cookies, and features an “edible cookie dough bar”. The last time we were there, a number of other food stands were near completion. So, we thought neighbors would be interested in one of their first events. From the event page:

Bubbles & Bourbon with Drinks by Doug presents the Cupid’s Lounge: A Sip and Paint Soiree’ at Tastemakers
Indulge in unlimited cocktails made with love from your friendly neighborhood bartender, bubbly networking with Marcia, and paint-your-wine-glass masterpiece with Imagine Meek.

Tickets are $45 and the event takes place Sunday, February 4th from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Tastemakers is located at 2800 10th Street NE (corner of 10th and Franklin).

Brookland Annual Kid’s Clothing Swap Coming Up February 3rd

Photo courtesy of the Menkiti Group

Have your kids out-grown a bunch of clothes that are now clogging up your closets? Do you dread spending a ton of money on some new clothes for them that they will just outgrow soon anyway? Then  this event is for you. From the event page:

Please bring your gently-worn clothing to the Menkiti Group office (3401 8th Street NE) starting now until February 2nd!!!

Porch Pickups are BACK! Send us an email ( or to let us know that you need your clothes picked up from your porch. Please provide name and address of pickup.

We’ll assemble and organize all donations, and then welcome you back on Saturday, February 2nd from 10am – 12pm to pick out new threads for your children.

Are you expecting? Please come by and get started on your infant wardrobe! No donation of clothing or money required.

Did you JUST donate those old clothes but can still use the next size up? Come anyway! Nobody will be turned away. And any leftover clothing will be donated to a local charity.

Accepting gently used maternity, infant, and kids clothing.

RIA Porchfest – Save The Date And Call For Volunteers, Performers And Hosts

Image courtesy of Rhode Island Avenue Main Street

Porch Fest is an annual event organized by the good folks at Rhode Island Ave NE Main Street. The event transforms neighborhood porches and stoops into stages for an afternoon of free performances and community based fun. This year’s Porch Fest will be taking place Saturday April 14 from 2-6 pm . If  you are, or know of any performers, they are currently lining up participants as well as folks willing to lend their porch and volunteers. From the Porch Fest page:

Registration for Performers, Porch Owners and Volunteers is NOW OPEN!


District Space Offers Neighbors A Discount On Upcoming Pop-Up Event

Previous Event at District Space

Brooklanders who haven’t had the chance to check out District Space yet have an extra incentive to do so, a 15% discount off of their upcoming event starting this weekend. The pop up event from 1 Ounce or 2 Cocktail Club will run this and next weekend and the discount applies to the earlier (6PM-8PM) seatings on Friday, 1/19 and Friday, 1/26.  Owner Elan Bar told us “I’d love it if we could get more neighborhood folks through the door. If readers put “BROOKLANDFAM” in the notes section on the checkout page, they’ll receive a refund 15% of their total ticket purchase within 24-hours.” Reserve your spot via the event page here. Now, about the pop event itself, it is:

…a custom-crafted cocktail experience, featuring 5 original drinks with a light bite food accompaniment prepared by Chef Johanna Hellrigl (Johanna’s Table and XII by Johanna).

For this edition, the nice boys want to show that you don’t have to choose between having great beer and great cocktails. Featuring local Flying Dog beers, these aren’t “beer cocktails”; these are cocktails that highlight how beer can be incorporated thoughtfully and tastefully (pun intended!) into mixed drinks. From fortified beer to warm you on a blustery winter evening, to stout beer turned into a cordial as an homage, the drinks will both delight and force you to rethink even a basic boilermaker.

District Space is located at 3522 12th Street NE. Keep up with them via their Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Langdon Dog Park Meeting – Get Involved!

Logo Courtesy Of Langdon Dog Park Association

Brookland dog lovers are lucky to have Langdon Dog Park so close to our neighborhood. While it is one of the largest dog parks in DC, users complain that  they often find the park empty. This sort of negates one of the benefits of bringing your pooch to the park, the social interaction that well-adjusted dogs need. My opinion is that the only way to resolve this is for folks to get involved. Now is the perfect time as the Langdon Dog Park Association is having their first membership meeting of 2018. From a community message:

If you’re a dog owner or friend of dogs, please join the Langdon Dog Park Association on Monday, January 22nd at 7 p.m. at Woodridge Library for our first meeting of the year. We’ll be discussing key priorities for 2018 to continue maintaining and improving our Ward 5 dog park. We’ll also be looking for new members and leaders for the year.

Who: Anyone who is interested in helping to maintain Langdon Dog Park as a resource for Ward 5 Dog owners and dog lovers
What: Meeting of the Langdon Dog Park Association, the “friends of” group charged with maintaining Langdon Dog Park
When: Monday, January 22nd, 7 p.m.
Where: Woodridge Library

See you there!


Edgewood Recreation Center Groundbreaking This Saturday

This Saturday January 20th there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Edgewood Recreation Center at 1:30 pm. You can RSVP for the event here.

Potential features of the center include a rooftop urban farm, new multi-purpose athletic field, new outdoor athletic courts, and new playground spaces. There will also be some ecological features such as erosion control management and urban forest renewal. The project should be completed in spring 2019 and is located at  3rd Street NE & Evarts Street, NE.

What’s New In Hyattsville And Mt. Rainier’s Restaurant And Brew/Distiller Scene

Singer Building development project in Mount Rainier, image courtesy of the Menkiti Group

Sometimes, yes, you actually have to leave Brookland. And if you have recently gone eastbound down Rhode Island Avenue and into Maryland, it is hard not to notice a flurry of new activity, including arts, restaurants, shops and large residential buildings under construction. One example is the Singer Building at the traffic circle in Mount Rainier which will bring new retail, restaurant, and residential space. While many of us already know about long time businesses such as Franklins and some of the newer stores like the Yes! Organics, we thought readers would appreciate a rundown of some of the new restaurants and breweries/distilleries open or planned for the nearby Rt.1/Rhode Island Avenue corridor.  Also, big shout out to the Hyattsville Wire, a blog that covers  the happenings up and down the Route 1  corridor, check them out if you want to keep up with what is going on.

  • Pizza Paradiso opened in Hyattsville over the summer. This the fourth location in the DC area for this small local chain. It seats 60 inside and has a nice outdoor patio for 18 outside.  I have heard that the pizza is really good from a few people and that there is a nice selection of draft beers. (4800 Rhode Island Ave, Hyattsville, MD.)
  • Sangfroid Distilling is a distillery coming to downtown Hyattsville sometime this year. They will make fruit brandies, whiskey and the classic Dutch version of gin, called genever. They will offer samples several days a week in their tasting room, which will feature a garage-style door for those nice weather days. Check out more details in this Hyattsville Wire post.
  • Streetcar 82 Brewing Company is a Belgian-inspired brewery coming to Hyattsville, very close to the Pizza Paradiso. Owned by three graduates of Gallaudet University who have been home brewing for years, a primary focus of theirs is to foster and contribute to the tight-knit communities around them. They signed their lease over the summer and in November their build out plans were approved, so hopefully they will open soon. (4824 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville, MD.)
  • Maryland Meadworks plans to “produce and sell the highest-quality, best-tasting mead (honey-wine) possible utilizing natural processes and local ingredients”. They plan to offer mead tastings onsite as well as for sale at local retailers and on tap at local bars and restaurants. They should be opening in a few months. For more info, check out this interview the Hyattsville Wire did with Ken Carter, owner of Maryland Meadworks. (Located next to Shortcake Bakery at 4700 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville MD.)
  • Pennyroyal Station restaurant will bring a 1940’s inspired vintage vibe combined with modern touches and will be located in Mount Rainier’s Singer Building development mentioned above. The restaurant is from the same folks behind popular DC spots Bar Pilar and Cafe Saint-Ex, and was listed as one the DC area’s most anticipated restaurants by EaterDC. Hopefully the restaurant will open soon, they recently hosted a 3-course sneak peek event. (3310 Rhode Island Avenue, Mount Rainier, Md.)

Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association Membership Drive

When I first moved to Brookland I started attending Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) meetings. Over the years I have found my membership to be rewarding for multiple reasons – I have met a lot of  great neighbors, gotten involved in community events and stayed abreast of neighborhood developments, not bad for $10 a year! BNCA memberships are based on the calendar year, so now is the time to renew or begin your membership.

The next BNCA meeting will be on Tuesday, January 16th at 7:00 pm at Brookland Middle School (1150 Michigan Ave NE). Topics will include Opportunities for Tutoring, Bluebird Sky Yoga, Community Health Concerns, Air Quality and Traffic Issues and others. Need more info?  BNCA President Dan Schramm put together the FAQs below so folks could understand more about what they do.

Who Are We?

BNCA is, well, … you! We are a grassroots organization run by volunteers. Our members are primarily residents of the community as well as some local businesses. All of our current officers are residents. We exist solely to advance the interests of the Brookland community in Northeast Washington, DC.

We are only as strong as the level of support we receive from the community. We seek a broad base of membership to ensure we accurately and successfully represent the community – especially when it comes to the many complex and challenging issues we face.

Aren’t you a Homeowners Association or Some Kind of Exclusive Club?

Absolutely not! We strive to be as diverse and inclusive an organization as possible. All residents and businesses within Brookland are urged to become members. Whether your family has been here for four generations or just moved in last week, you deserve to have a voice in your community. We are not an HOA (a common misconception about civic associations). DC’s neighborhoods have a rich tradition of civic associations operating at the grassroots to advance community interests. You can read more about our history  here.

You do not have to be a member to attend BNCA’s monthly meetings. All are welcome. And if you do not live or do business in Brookland, you can still become an associate member.

What has BNCA done for Brookland lately?

I’m glad you asked! Here are just a few of our recent accomplishments:

  • Re-established truck restrictions on several residential streets; continue to work with DDOT and MPD on reducing heavy truck traffic and other traffic issues
  • Submitted detailed proposed amendments to the DC Comprehensive Plan to protect and enhance Brookland’s historical character and charm
  • Held the 10th Annual Great Brookland Yard Sale in May 2017 – with close to 100 locations!
  • Partnered with the Park Service to clean-up and maintain Ft. Bunker Hill Park – we usually hold 2 clean-up events each year
  • Obtained enhanced public safety measures from DC government along the Metro Branch Trail and other locations
  • Helped obtain interim historical preservation status for the Harewood Gatehouse.
  • Submitted numerous letters of support for local organizations, property owners, and businesses, like Dance Place, Brookland’s Finest, San Antonio Bar and Grill, and others. Check out our reading room for more.
  • Engaged with developers to ensure sensitive and appropriate development in Brookland – we fight for environmental protection, inclusive/affordable housing, traffic mitigation, historical preservation, and a safe and walkable community
  • Donated to local service organizations (another $200 in gifts for residents of the Stoddard Baptist Global Care this holiday season!)
  • Provided urgent notifications to members when needed – such as DC’s authorization of prepayment of 2018 property taxes at the end of 2017

How is BNCA Funded?

We are almost entirely funded through the $10 annual membership dues. This allows us to stay independent and focused on serving the community. But it also explains why having strong membership is so important to the organization. With your membership, you help support all of the good things we do listed above!

Who Runs the BNCA?

BNCA has a president and six other officers, with annual elections held at the February monthly meeting (coming up soon! Only members in good standing 30 days prior to the election may vote). We also strongly encourage members to take on leadership for specific projects. Simply come talk to us if you have an idea to make Brookland better and we’ll see what we can do to support it!

Our current Board is:
President: Daniel Schramm
Vice-president: Brian Stevens
Treasurer: Clyde Blassengale
Communications Director: Elise Scott
Recording Secretary: Lamont Bessick
Membership Coordinator: Theresa Fleming
Member At-Large: Ian MacFarlane

How is BNCA Organized?

We are registered as a non-profit organization under the laws of the District of Columbia (though we are not a 501(c)(3) for federal tax purposes). We are organized under a Constitution and By-Laws which provide for monthly membership meetings (except in August and December), voting procedures for passing resolutions and taking other significant actions, and procedures for elections.

When Does BNCA Meet?

We generally meet on the third Tuesday of every month at 7 pm. Location is usually at the Brooks Mansion (901 Newton Street NE), unless otherwise announced. The board also meets monthly.

How Do I Become A Member Again?

It’s easy, and just $10/year! The best way is to do it online here – this sets up automatic renewal (though you can cancel at any time). You can also sign-up in person at one of our meetings or other events.