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.

Sneak Peek – Progress On Brookland’s Round House Renovation

Brookland Historic Round House Renovation NE Washington DC

Everybody seems to know Brookland’s  “Round House” – the unique historic home built in 1901 at 1001 Irving Street NE. It has been under renovation  for a while, but now one can really get a sense for what it will be like when completed. After getting a tour today, my opinion can be summed up in 3 words: wow, stunning, and beautiful. Before the renovation there was quite a bit of water damage and rot throughout the roof and structure. This negative has been turned into a positive as now there are skylights, and huge windows throughout. The biggest change  is the centerpiece skylight  at the pinnacle of the roof that floods the home with natural light, and the 12 foot addition on the back of the house that also lets in a ton of natural light and has added quite a bit of living space.  The house now has four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. Two bedrooms on the second floor have full baths en suite and the other two bedrooms share a full bath. The first floor has an expansive open living space  with a kitchen, half bath, closet, and laundry room. The most remarkable thing about the house is how open and airy it is. Although there are windows everywhere, it still feels private due to the mature landscaping. One of the biggest challenges with this renovation is simply the fact that all the walls are curved, making the installation of sheet rock and molding more difficult than your average home. Some of the nice amenities that come with this renovation are the huge master suite, tons of recessed lighting as well as central air and heat. There is still more work to be done such as installing appliances, completing the plumbing, finishing the floors and staircase, and landscaping. All I can say is that this a gem, and I will be envious of the lucky people who end up living here!

Sneak Peek Of The New Casey Trees Planting Annex

Casey Trees Garage Brookland NE Washington DC

Many thanks to the good folks at Casey Trees for giving us a sneak peek of their nearly completed Tree Planting Annex. Over the past two years Casey Trees has made a major investment in our neighborhood and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them as neighbors. (If you would like to check out some before and after pics of this transformation, and an interview with Mark Buscaino, Executive Director of Casey Trees, see an earlier post here.) The Tree Planting Annex is located 3015 12th Street NE and is across the street from the Casey office headquarters. We are glad to see that their operations are going so well that they need to expand!  Not only is this building great looking, but it is eco-friendly in a lot of ways, here are few:

  • It replaced a defunct gas station (yay!)
  • Its solar panels will provide over 50% of the electricity needed to run the building
  • Water run off will be directed to their rain garden
  • The soils and gravel used will promote better water drainage  and dispersion
  • Reclaimed wood was used for the beautiful exterior wood accents

There is a tree lot next to the building, used to store trees waiting to be planted. The first floor of the building is used as storage space for tools and the second floor has offices and some nice facilities including showers and lockers for employee use. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Dance Place Is Offering Free Classes And Activites For Brookland Family Day This Saturday

Photo courtesy of Dance Place, Copyright Enoch Chan 2011

This Saturday, September 29, Dance Place is hosting an Open House as part of their Brookland Family Day. Dance Place is located at 3225 8th St. NE. Here is an overview of activities. Check out their websites for specifics and to sign up. Come on out and have some fun!

10am – 3:30pm Free Adult and Kids Classes – Modern Dance, Afro Jazz, Zumba, African Dance, Hoop Dance, Hip-Hop, Creative Movement, Ballet / Tap, Step

12 pm – 4 pm Free Outdoor Activities – Balloon sculpture, juggling, hoop making, line dancing and more

4 pm – Free Sampler Dance Performance inlcuding modern, African, step, hoop and more

Brookland In Photos – First Signs Of Fall

A Beauty In Red

The days are cooling off, the nights turning crisp…as we head into October signs of fall are starting to ease their way into our neighborhood…

Comprehensive Rundown of Brookland’s 125th Birthday Celebration – Fun For All!

An Early Drawing Of Brookland Subdivisions Courtesy Of The DC Almanac (http://prorev.com/dcfactshist1.htm)

As you probably know, our neighborhood got its name when the land formerly owned by Colonel Jehiel Brooks started being developed into a formal neighborhood after the Civil War. The first subdivision of the Brooks Estate was recorded with the District of Columbia Surveyor in September 1887, which means this month marks the 125th Anniversary of the neighborhood of Brookland. This Saturday, Sept 29th,  there will be a celebration of this milestone. This promises to be a real home-grown event, and I can’t wait. Here is a rundown of events:

10:00 Parade down 12th St. featuring Brookland kids, Langdon Dog Park Assn. dogs, the Greater Brookland Garden Club, (maybe a fire truck!)  and more. The parade will start at 12th and Franklin and end at Turkey Thicket Rec Center (1100 Michigan Avenue, N.E.) 

11:00 – 1:00 Picnic provided by the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) , The Greater Brookland Garden Club, The Greater Brookland Business Association and the The Michigan Park Citizens Association. It is suggested that folks bring a blanket and are welcome to contribute a prepared dish. The picnic will be at the Turkey Thicket playground. There will be a moon bounce and other fun activities.

11:00 – 1:00 Tree Tour of the Brook’s Mansion Grounds by Casey Trees. Meet at the Mansion, 901 Newton St NE, and  learn about the trees found on these historic Mansion grounds including pines, spruce, and southern magnolias. Register at the link above.

1:30 – 3:00 Walkingtown DC Tour of  Brookland, focusing on the development of its black middle-class and will explore Brookland’s famous African-American luminaries. The tour meets and ends at St. Anthony’s School, (3400 12th St., NE). No reservations needed, but the tour will be cancelled if it rains.

Artist Rajan Sedalia Teaches Graffiti Art In Brookland

Last night, Brookland artist Rajan Sedalia taught a class on the basics of graffiti art next to the Artspace Lofts. I thought – why not? So I jumped in and learned something new. It was a lot of fun, I met some new folks, and got a greater appreciation for how graffiti is made. Rajan plans to offer more classes on graffiti and other arts as well. If you are interested, visit his Meetup page and sign up for alerts. A follow-up graffiti class is scheduled for Tuesday, October 2nd from 6:30 – 7:30. The cost is $10 per person and all supplies are provided.

Photos From FoRIA’s Fabulous Fall Fest

On Saturday the Friends of RIA (FoRIA) held their first annual Fall Fest. The concept was to showcase and celebrate Rhode Island Avenue. Most of the activities took place between South Dakota and 20th Streets, NE. It was great to see neighbors of all ages and backgrounds come together in the spirit of neighborhood pride. Some of the highlights of the day included a food drive, several flea markets, free HIV/AIDS testing, RIA history talks, demonstrations at Art Enables, and a discussion by Neighbors United for DC Statehood at Lace restaurant featuring beer from DC Brau. We are looking forward to next years fair, which I am sure will be even bigger and better. Great job FoRIA!