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.

Brookland’s Menomale Feaured On Nonstop Foodies: DC on NBC 4 Washington!

Ward 5 Happy Hour Brookland NE Washington DC
MMmm MMmm Menomale

Seems like our amazing little neighborhood pizza joint is getting more and more positive exposure across the city all the time. On Friday camera crews from NBC 4 were at Menomale to film this short spot narrated by Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema. According to Menomale’s Facebook page, it ran on Friday night’s NBC 4 broadcast of Nonstop Foodies: DC. Awesome! Click here to view the video. (Menomale is located at 2711 12th St. NE.)

Real Estate Watch – Renovated 12th St. Row House $439,999 (3 Beds, 2.5 Baths)

Brookland NE Washington DC Real estate marketWe have been watching the rowhouse at 2816 12th St NE undergo a complete renovation for a few months now. It looked like a complete gut job, as confirmed by the listing.  We are really digging the exposed brick and high ceilings. One of the big perks about this location is its close proximity to Menomale. Obviously, the realtors have realized this too, since they promise pizza at the open house, tomorrow, Sunday 11/18 from 1 – 4 pm.

Catching Up With Marc, Chancellor’s Row Homeowner

This is part 3 of a story following Marc, a new Brookland resident, as his home at the EYA Chancellor’s Row development is being constructed.

Brookland Development NE Washington DC

The last time we caught up with Marc,  in mid October, his home was starting to really take shape. We did a walk through a little while back and were able to get an idea of how his new home is going to be laid out. (By now, the drywall is up, pics of that to come.) As you can see, the external brick work has been completed. Looking good Marc! The big highlight for me was the awesome top level with a two sided indoor/outdoor fireplace. Marc also has amazing views if the Basilica and, on a clear day, you can spot the monuments downtown – niiiiice.

So, right now, our friend Marc is a busy bee! There are lots of decisions to be made, for example, whether to list or rent his condo. Ultimately,  he decided to sell. Which meant a few weekends of hard work to get the place ready. He had an open house for his condo last weekend, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for him. He is also saving his pennies to furnish his new Chancellor’s Row digs, which includes commissioning some art work from a local Brookland artist. Since moving to his temporary pad here in Brookland, he has also been busy checking out the neighborhood’s amenities including Menomale, B’Cafe and the occasional “Kingdom Lord Pizza” from Pizza Kingdom. He was also excited to spread the word about Little Ricky’s to friends who live outside the area. So far he says he loving the genuine neighborhood feel of Brookland.

 

Turkey Thicket Playgound Renovation Meeting – Bring Your Ideas And Get Involved

Brookland Families Enjoying the Turkey Thicket Playground

As we posted in October, Mayor Grey has launched the largest playground improvement project in DC history, named Play DC. Our very own Turkey Thicket Recreation Center has one of the playgrounds slated for an overhaul. The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of General Services will host a community meeting to discuss the overall Play DC project, and the Turkey Thicket project specifically. All are encouraged to attend and share their ideas. Although there is $9.3 million in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget  set aside for the overall program, none of the parks have a dedicated budget from that amount yet.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 20, Monday, November 26, 2012 at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave., NE) from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. The Brentwood Recreation Center will also be discussed.

Catholic U Continues Its Eco-Friendly Ways With Solar Panels, Green Roofs

environmentally friendly university Brookland NE Washington DC
The green roof on Aquinas Hall. Photo courtesy of the Catholic University of America.

Did you know that our neighbor Catholic University is one of the most eco-friendly universities in the country?  Earlier this year CUA was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for using more green power than any other University in the Landmark Conference for 2011-2012. In September, the school dedicated the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system in DC. In addition to solar power, CUA purchases green power through renewable energy credits (RECs). Combined, these electricity saving measures offset carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at a rate equivalent to almost 4,000 average American homes every year. Recently, the school also installed its third green roof on the roof of Aquinas Hall;  the other two are on the roofs of Father O’Connell Hall and the Columbus School of Law parking garage. The benefits of the green roofs are several – they extend the life of the roof by two to three times, and the plants absorb storm water which cuts down on runoff, which in turn helps keep the Anacostia and Potomac rivers cleaner. Additional green roofs are planned for the campus in the upcoming years. Way to go Catholic U!

Eco friendly Brookland NE Washington DC
Solar panels being installed on Flather Hall. Photo courtesy of the Catholic University of America.

Little Ricky’s Soft Opening Brings Out Large Crowds And Rave Reviews

Brookland New Restaurants NE Washington DC
Masitas de puerco with black beans, rice, and platanos maduros

The long anticipated opening of Little Ricky’s, Brookland’s new Cuban sit-down restaurant occurred the weekend of Friday Nov 9 – Sunday Nov 11th. For now, they will be open weekly Friday though Sunday; and as part of their soft opening, will be serving up different 4-course fixed priced menus each night. The idea is to refine the items that they plan to offer on their full, regular menu in December. The price for these meals is $24.50. We stopped by on Friday, and again on Sunday to check it out.

I’ll start with the vibrant ambiance. From the salsa music lilting through the air, to the fine artwork by Cuban artist Ahmed Gomez , the owners have clearly taken a lot of time and effort to create a wonderful atmosphere that is a step above anything we have seen in the immediate area. The beautiful craftsmanship of the  hand-made shelving behind the bar is an example of the investment the owners Chase and Lola have made.

On to the food and service. The first night they were open, Friday, the food was very good, but the service was a bit disjointed. Having worked in the restaurant industry for a number of years, I knew to expect that the first night would have a few bumps. I decided to return Sunday night for another go-round. This time the pace of the service was much more smooth, and I already noticed improvements, for example, the portions were tweaked for the better and the side dishes were much more consistent. The management bounced around from table to table, making sure everyone was taken care of. I spoke with roughly 20 guests between the two nights, and to a person everyone raved about how delicious the food was, and how happy they were with the experience.  

Standouts on the menu were:

  • Croquettas – delicious little appetizers, crunchy on the outside and soft yummy fillings on the inside, like ham or fish.
  • Gambas al Ajillo – perfectly sautéed shrimp with a garlic sauce, a classic tapa and perfect way to start a meal
  • Sopa de Mariscos – a flavorful tomato based  soup chock full of seafood and potatoes
  • Lechon Asado – slow roasted pork, oh-so-tender and de-lish
  • Grilled Fish (I think it was tilapia) – perfectly cooked with a hint of lime & garlic
  • Masa de Puerco – fork tender sautéed pork chucks with a nice caramelized seer with onions
  • Mango Ice Cream – soooo soooo good,

(To see the full menus that were served over the weekend, check out our earlier post here.)  

 A head’s up – I would strongly recommend making a reservation. They have been flooded with walk-in customers, eager to get a taste of the Cuban fare. So, you want to be sure you get a seat. Brooklanders, having lived in a culinary no-man’s land for years are beyond eager to support this new business. (Those of us who stood in line at Menomale in their first few days know what I mean.) I spoke with Chase about that and he appreciates the outpouring of support. We expect that with each passing week, things will continue to get better and better – so far off to a great start. Welcome to the neighborhood Little Ricky’s!
 
Little Ricky’s is located at 3522 12th St. NE. Click here for their website.
  

Brookland In Photos – Oh, Those Ginkos!

Brookland Street Trees NE Washington DC

A lot of people don’t really care for the humble ginkgo. But, they line our city streets because they can thrive in all kinds of harsh environments. Sure, they often turn out to be kind of spindly and gangly, and yes, some of them put on a stink. But, in the fall they redeem themselves for a short period of time with a splendid yellow to gold hue. Here are some from around the neighborhood, mostly 12th St. NE.