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 Sites Featured In ASLA Landscape Architect’s Guide To DC

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently launched the Landscape Architect’s Guide to Washington, D.C. The guide is online, free,  and mobile-friendly. The purpose of the guide is to help visitors and locals explore historic, modern and contemporary landscapes in the D.C. Metro area. Brookland has 3 sites listed in the guide:

Although I am not sure I consider the McMillan Site part of Brookland, it is great to see our neighborhood recognized in this guide.

Our Favorite Brookland Houses – Back At The Ranch Edition

Unique Houses Brookland NE Washington DC

Roosters, totem poles and cacti – oh my! This great house reminds me of my college days in Tucson, AZ. I loved the way many houses in the southwest invite the outdoors in. This house has the best of both worlds – huge upper windows that let the sun in, and the privacy the indoor shutters provide. The southwest look is completed with an amazing (and I imagine relatively care free) rock garden studded with cacti and an eclectic assortment of garden sculptures. Fantastico!

Brookland History Lives! Pearl Bailey House

Pearl Bailey Brookland NE Washington DC
Pearl Bailey Album Cover

Pearl Bailey was a Tony and Grammy award winner, and a former Brookland resident. Bailey began her career in the 1930s by singing and dancing in Philadelphia’s Black nightclubs. Around this time, she lived in Brookland for a short stint. Along her path to success, she toured with the USO performing for American troops during World War II. In 1959, she played the role of Maria in the film version of Porgy and Bess, starring Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge. Bailey won her Tony award in 1968, as part of an all-black cast version of Hello, Dolly! with Cab Calloway. In 1975 President Ford appointed her as a special ambassador to the United Nations. In 1988 President Reagan awarded Bailey the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Pearl Bailey Washington
Peal Bailey House Today

Brookland Bids Farewell To Col. Brooks’ Tavern

Crowd at Col Brooks On Closing Night Brookland NE Washington DC
Colonel Brooks’ Tavern was packed for last night with patrons wanting one more hurrah

Last night was the last chance for those wanting to bid farewell to a Brookland institution, the much storied watering hole Colonel Brooks’ Tavern. I have only lived in Brookland for 3 years, but in that time I grew fond of the place. It was the only place I have ever gone where the bartender would be preparing my drink (a Stella Artois draught) as I approached my bar stool, before words were exchanged. Last night the house was packed with revelers telling stories of pitchers of beer following long nights of studying at Catholic U, of first dates there that resulted in marriages, of federal employees who would trudge there through snow storms when their offices were closed for the day. Life is about never-ending change, sometimes all you can do is honor the best of our past and look forward to the future. Many thanks to Jim Stiegman and the crew at the Tavern for serving the community for so  many years!

Here are some photos we have taken of the Tavern in the weeks before it closed.

Celebrate 125 Years Of Brookland History! Community Picnic And More

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

 The first subdivision of the Brooks Estate was recorded with the District of Columbia Surveyor in 1887, which means 2012 marks the 125th Anniversary of the neighborhood of Brookland.   The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) , The Greater Brookland Garden Club, The Greater Brookland Business Association and the The Michigan Park Citizens Association are teaming up to celebrate this milestone on Saturday, September 29th from 12:00 noon –  2:00 PM at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center Playground (1100 Michigan Avenue, N.E.) 

Festivities will include walking tours of Brookland places of note, a parade, moonbounce and a community picnic.  More information to come. If you would like to volunteer or participate, attend the next meeting  BNCA meeting on Tuesday, September 18th, 7:00 PM, at the Howard University School of Divinity, 1400 Shepherd Street, N.E. Here is a flyer for the Brookland Community Picnic.

Brookland In Photos – Yard Art Edition

I just adore gardens that move beyond the expected and incorporate art and sculpture. This Brookland home showcases a creative “tree sculpture”. Instead of uprooting and removing a dead tree, its limbs are adorned with very cool blue glass bottles and tiles. I think it is just fabulous. Also pictured is a sculpture lying amid a pretty ground cover. I just love the contrasts in color and texture.