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.

Your Chance To Tell The Union Station Redevelopment Corp. What You Think Of The Planned Main Hall Remodel

How the Main Hall with Center Cafe Looks Now. Photo Courtesy of the Union Station Redevelopment Corp.

We recently learned that Union Station’s Main Hall is undergoing a redesign and that the general public is invited to comment on the design before it is finalized. While we try to stick to stories about the Brookland area; if there is one thing I know about us Brooklanders, it is that we love to share our opinions about how things should be designed, LOL. There are some renderings of the redesign below, and you can download a pdf with details and concept diagrams here. I know Union Station well. I worked next door to it for over 4 years and I love that building. The redesign of the hall will eliminate the Center Cafe, something I am not thrilled about. This will create a vast area for what purpose, I am not sure. I assume that most people would still rather wait for their train in the waiting areas near the Amtrak gates. (Speaking of which, if anything at Union Station needs a makeover, it is those cramped, dark  waiting areas, but I digress.) The cafe has been a nice meeting point, a unique little place for a meal, and breaks up the hall visually in a good way. The hall has such high ceilings, that removing the cafe – and not replacing it with something visually interesting and very vertical, will render the room  a big boring carven with a pretty ceiling. So if the cafe has to go, how about a statue in keeping with Downtown DC’s “monument theme”? Next, the design calls for creating  escalators to the lower level food court, which will require creating holes in the floor. I’m not exactly thrilled about this idea,  but am open to it because I think the flow of foot traffic in Union Station is a bit clunky now, so maybe it will work. From what I understand, the now defunct movie theatre will be transformed into a high-end mall area and the escalators will lead to that. Which is why the tall “shops” signs are placed there. This is a head scratcher for me. As the lone modern element, they look very out-of-place in context of the rest of the architecture. The hall is a beautiful space, I would hate to see it ruined by unnecessary changes. So, in this case, less is more. The deadline for comments is Thursday, November 15 at this comment page. The Main Hall redesign is part of a larger overhaul of Union Station and Columbus Circle, for more information on the larger project, check out the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation website.

Birds eye view of proposed main hall design. Rendering Courtesy of the Union Station Redevelopment Corp
View Looking Northwest. Rendering Courtesy of the Union Station Redevelopment Corp.
View looking northeast. Rendering Courtesy of the Union Station Redevelopment Corp.
View from entry. Rendering Courtesy of the Union Station Redevelopment Corp.

Police Arrest Suspect In Rhode Island Row Attack And Attempted Rape

The Prince of Petworth blog is reporting that MPD has apprehended the suspect in the break in and attack of a young lady living in the Rhode Island Row apartment Complex. The attack happened last Friday. Unfortunately, the suspect struck again, attacking a woman at a Howard University dormitory. The investigation into that attack lead to his arrest. According to the Prince of Petworth:

“The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Demarco Myles, of Northwest, DC has been charged with Assault with the Intent to commit First Degree Sexual Assault while Armed for the October 26th attack. He was charged with First Degree Sexual Assault while Armed for yesterday’s offense.”

We covered the Rhode Island Row attack earlier this week here.

Brookland’s Menomale Scores A Nice Review By The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema!

Washington Post Menomale Best Pizza Washington DC Brookland NE Review
MMMM-MMMMM Menomale. Photo credit: Scott Suchman/The Washington Post

We Brooklanders already know that DC’s best pizza resides right here on 12th St. at Menomale. But, it’s great to see them get some credit where it is due. The restaurant was recently reviewed by Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post. If you don’t know who he is – this is kind of a big deal. He only has over 23,000 followers on Twitter, for example. So what did he have to say about our beloved Menomale?

Tip No. 1: Starters tend to be outsize, and little of what I’ve sampled — unwieldy marinated seafood, caprese salad with cottony tomatoes — is worth taking space away from Rusciano’s typically thin, lightly blistered and pleasantly yeasty pizzas. There are more than a dozen, including a zippy Diavola scattered with spicy salami and peperoncino. Tip No. 2: You’re missing half the fun if you don’t imbibe or at least listen to Estes expound on his favorite subject. Smashed Blueberry, a hybrid between a porter and a Scotch ale, smells like a warm fruit pie but tastes of chocolate and coffee; Baladin Nora Sour is an Egyptian-inspired brew from Italy that hints of coriander.

The only downside is that now everyone will know what a gem we have and it may become yet even more popular. Last night, there was an hour wait. An hour. For a restaurant in Brookland. Could you have imagined saying that a year ago? Congrats Menomale, well done!

Our Favorite Brookland Houses – Victorian Purple Reign Edition

So, normally when I photograph my favorite homes and gardens,  I silently pray that the owner doesn’t come out and angrily chase me off (yes, this has happened). This time though, I actually got to go inside and check out the amazing interior, as well as admire the (purple and lavender!) exterior of this gorgeous Victorian home. The original woodwork in this home is just dripping with charm and warmth. There was just an amazing amount of detail preserved throughout. Beautiful.

Call To Action – Testify At The DC Council To Improve Rhode Island Avenue – It’ll Be Easy And FoRIA Will Hold Your Hand!


Rhode Island Avenue Development Brookland NE Washington DC
2218 & 2220 Rhode Island Ave., NE. Photo Credit rockcreek via flickr

Rhode Island Avenue NE and North Capitol Street were designated “Great Streets” a number of years ago. So what does that mean? The Great Streets Program is a long-term effort to “transform nine under-invested corridors into thriving and inviting neighborhood centers”. The central idea is to use public actions and tools to spur private investment. For example, H St. NE is one of these Great Streets, as well as parts of Columbia Heights. So, great news then, right? Not really – there was never any funding set aside for RIA and North Capitol St. Enter our new Councilmember McDuffie and CM Brown. They have introduced the Retail Incentive Amendment Act of 2012. The purpose of the bill is to insure funding for Great Streets projects within Ward 5. We need this legislation to pass if we are ever to get our fair share of funding for things like infrastructure improvements. The hearing for this bill will take place on Thursday, Nov 8, starting at 11am. So, how about taking a stand and testifying on behalf of RIA and North Capitol Street? “But Shani”-  you say – “I’ve never testified. I have no idea what to say!” No worries. Sign up to testify via the good folks at the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue  (FoRIA) and they will follow up with all the information you need on how to sign up to testify, what to expect at the hearing and what talking points to mention during your testimony. You can do this. “But Shani”-  you say – “I have a job/kids/etc.! I can’t make it to the hearing!” Ok then, how about submitting written testimony? FoRIA will help you out with that too. When it comes to how government dollars are invested, things don’t happen by accident – the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Little Ricky’s Update: Reservation System Up And Prix Fixe Menus Announced

Brookland Opening NE Washington DC

Hello fellow Little Ricky’s enthusiasts. On Wednesday we posted that Little Ricky’s would have a soft opening and begin serving up a 4 course fixed priced menu on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Since then, they have launched a reservation system and announced the menus for their opening weekend on November 9 – 12. As part of their soft opening, they will continue to serve the fixed price menus until they have worked through the items that they plan to offer on their full, regular menu in December. The price for these meals is $24.50. Never have I been so happy to be a guinea pig! So without further ado:

Friday Nov 9th Pre-Fixe Menu
Appetizer Course – Croquettas (Ham or Bacalao), Black bean Hummus with Plantain chips, or Gambas al Ajillo
Soup Course – Green Plantain Soup or Caldo Gallego Soup
Main Course – Pollo Navarro (1/4 roasted chicken with hell’a good mojo), Lechon Asado or Grilled Fish (lime & garlic marinade)
Sides – (choice of 3) Black beans & rice, Tostones, Maduros, Yuca con Mojo, Tater Tots or Grilled veggie medley
Dessert Course: Flan – Ice Cream of the day or Arroz Con Leche
Saturday Nov 10th Pre-Fixe Menu
Appetizer Course – Tostones with Chicharrones, Ropa Vieja Sliders, and Half Baked potato with Picadillo
Soup Course –  Green Plantain Soup or Lental Soup~ Havana Style
Main Course – Chicharrones de Pollo, Boliche or Shrimp Enchilado (no not enchiladas)
Sides – (choice of 3) Black beans & rice, Tostones, Maduros, Yuca con Mojo, Tater Tots or Grilled veggie medley
Dessert Course – Guava Cheesecake, Ice Cream of the Day or Cuban Bread Pudding
Sunday Nov 11th Pre-Fixe Menu
Appetizer Course –  Garbanzo Refrito con Chorizo, Croquettas, or Picadillo Sliders
Soup Course –  Sopa de Marisco or Caldo Gallego Soup
Main Course –  Tio Pio’s Grilled Chicken, Grilled Fish of the day or Masa de Puerco
Sides – (choice of 3) Black beans & rice, Tostones, Maduros, Yuca con Mojo, Tater Tots and Grilled veggie medley
Dessert Course – Guava and Cream Cheese Rolled cake, Ice Cream of the day or Flan
Little Ricky’s is located at 3522 12th St. NE. Their website is here.

Real Estate Watch – 3 Bed, 2.5 Bath Home Hits The Brookland Market For $525,000

Brookland home sales ne washiongton dc

So, this house at 1251 Hamlin St. NE is interesting. Built in 1905, it really strikes a balance between new and classic elements. While the  living/dining space is open, it has a traditional feel to it because of the wainscoting and crown molding. Also, looks like original hardwoods throughout. But then you have a nicely updated kitchen. The backyard is HUGE. I mean even by Brookland standards. Anyway, what really caught my eye is the replica of the lamp from the Christmas Story – wow – awesomeness! Throw that in with the house and it should sell in no time! Check out the virtual tour here.

Assault, Home Invasion, Attempted Rape At Rhode Island Row Apts. Can You ID This Suspect?

Do you recognize this guy? If so, please contact the police at 202-727-9099 or text a tip to 50411. Photo courtesy of NBC 4 Washington.

This is turning out to be a terrible crime week for our neck of the woods. Reader JD passed along this story about a home invasion and assault at the nearby Rhode Island Row apartments. The assault happened Friday, several news outlets covered it Wednesday, and I have looked around and have not found any updates since then. So, I am assuming the suspect is still at large. MPD has released surveillance video footage of a suspect, which you can see here.  Police are asking that if you know anything about the case or recognize the man in the photo above/video please contact police at 202-727-9099 or text a tip to 50411.  According to NBC 4 Washington:

A 24-year-old woman remains in critical condition after being beaten, kicked her and stabbed by a man who forced his way inside her apartment Friday…She was stabbed and slashed numerous times, including on her face.

Very chilling. Our prayers go out the young lady and her family/friends and our thoughts are with the residents of Rhode Island Row Apartments. Let’s hope they find the person who did this crime soon.

Police Officer Stabbed, Fatally Shoots Suspect In Brookland Domestic Dispute

Photo Courtesy Of John Gonzalez/WJLA (ABC 7 News)

Well this is a sad start to the weekend in our neighborhood. Police responded to a domestic incident this morning on 17th St. NE between Newton and Monroe. Apparently, there was a dispute between the suspect and his grandfather. According to WJLA:

As the officers were approaching the home, the suspect came up from behind and stabbed the officer multiple times, police said. The officer then opened fire on the suspect, killing him.

The only news about the officer so far is that he is 32 years old and his stab wounds, in the neck, are serious. We at the bridge send wishes for a speedy recovery to the Officer and peace to all involved.