We are happy to report that Licking Creek Bend Farm, a sustainable farm located in Pennsylvania will be returning to supply Brookland with their amazing selection of fresh produce. Every year they have been known for excellent items like juicy peaches, huge heirloom tomatoes, nectarines and corn. In addition to the amazing produce, there are others vendors selling items like breads, home-made granola, pastries and more. I encourage all Brooklanders to come out and support our farmers market! The market will set up every Tuesday from 4:00 – 7:00 pm under the Drew Bridge (Michigan St.) next to the Brookland Metro starting Tuesday June 6th.
We were excited to learn that nearby brewer DC Brau will re-package 200 cases of their Brau Pils as Pride Pils in honor of Capital Pride, Washington, DC’s celebration of the LGBT community. If you would like to give it a try, Brookland’s Finest has partnered with DC Brau for the weekend to serve their special Pride Pils from June 8-11. From a press release:
Proceeds from the sale of PRIDE PILS will benefit local LGBTQ youth empowerment program, SMYAL, and The Blade Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the Blade’s legacy while funding new enterprise journalism projects and encouraging the next generation of LGBT journalists.
Sounds great! We can’t wait to try it.
Last spring we wrote about the groundbreaking of the Arts Park, a project by Dance Place that turned an empty alley between their building and the Brookland Artspace Lofts (3305 and 3225 8th Street, NE) into an artistic, playable green space. Now, a year later, there is a full spring/summer line up of activities for the whole family. Check out the flyer below and the Dance Place event calendar for further information.
Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, which has its second anniversary this month, certainly isn’t shy about the music it celebrates.
Right from the street, striking murals of jazz musicians lead you toward an unassuming front door. Step through that portal on a typical Wednesday or Sunday evening, and you’ll find yourself in one of Brookland’s coolest little haunts.
Inside, rustic brick and plaster walls are decorated with photographs of jazz musicians, framed prints of jazz-themed artwork, and African masks and artifacts. A collection of tables and chairs line up in front of the main stage, where from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., local and visiting musicians play everything from Cuban jazz to blues to neo-soul.
Visit midway through a set, as I did several times recently, and you’ll be pleasantly shocked by the blast of trumpet, the cool tinkling of piano keys, the heartbeat thrum of a guitar, the rumble of drums. It’s a unique sensation all the more precious for being right in our own backyard.
While the ambiance is leisurely, it should be noted this isn’t the kind of jazz you zone out too. There’s nothing smooth or quiet about the music here at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society. This is jazz that holds your heart in its palms, that excites you, that moves you. It’s impulsive, scattered, free-form.
Artistic director DeAndrey Howard has another, simpler way of putting it. His first words at the start of a recent show say it all: “Jazz, jazz, jazz.”
The brainchild of Howard and Dr. Alice Jameson, Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, a 501(c) nonprofit organization, is about more than just great jazz performances. It’s also about jazz education, about sharing the music with different generations of listeners and performers. During two shows I attended, the room was filled with people of all ages and backgrounds, some alone, some in groups, everyone looking straight up at the stage in the dim lights, marveling at these cats working their musical magic.
During breaks in the sets, people chat with one another or with musicians. There’s also time for guests to grab a meal from a local caterer serving dinners on-site. Non-alcoholic beverages and snacks are available throughout the evening.
In addition to serving as a cultural center for jazz, JACS also hosts other events, including lectures, spoken word performances, and writer’s groups. The building itself is available to rent for parties and special events.
Coltrane. Ellington. Davis. Titans of jazz music, all of them. And all of them resurrected – along with other voices just waiting to be discovered – twice a week at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society.
So the next time you pass by those vibrant jazz murals on 12th Street between Franklin and Girard and you hear that cymbal crash or trumpet call, do yourself a favor: Go inside and listen closer.
Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society is located at 2813 12th Street NE. Open on Wednesdays and Fridays. For a list of upcoming performances, visit jazzandculturalsociety.com. Cover charge is $5.00 (some events are free).
This Friday June 2nd, local micro brewer Right Proper will be introducing a new beer and having a pop up from Project Milanesa which will be serving up the “Milanesa Sandwich…King of South American street food”. From the event page:
We secretly brewed a beer with Jester King, Fonta Flora and Scratch during CBC week. From 4-7pm geek out at our Brookland Production House and sip on Spirits Rejoice, a soulful, gin-inspired beer, along with other beers from the collaborating breweries. Project Milanesa and Milk Cult will also be at there to fill your bellies with tasty treats. Head directly to Savor from Right Proper. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
Right Proper Brewing Company Production House and Tasting Room is located at 920 Girard Street NE.
The Ward 5 Happy Hour will return to Brookland’s Steel Plate this Thursday June 1st. From an email:
Ward 5 Community Happy Hour will be
upstairs at Steel Plate for our June Happy Hour.
Come enjoy delicious drinks and dinner
with your friends and neighbors, old and new!
Happy hour specials on food and beverages until 7pm.
Beverage specials will be extended just for us until 8pm.
Check out more information on the event page. Steel Plate is located at 3523 12th Street NE.
Back in April we wrote about a restaurant called City Kabob. that was opening in the space Spice of Bukhara occupied, across from Trinity University. By now, City Kabob is up and running, so we thought we would gather some friends, order a bunch of food and give them a try. (You need flash to see the photos, if you can’t see them, click here.)
Joining us for dinner were four other friends, one of which is originally from India, and his partner who has traveled India extensively, who we relied upon for our “authenticity factor”. (Generally speaking, they said that the food, despite being delicious, was very Americanized, like pretty much all Indian restaurants here. Ok, so much for that.) We gave City Kabob a call ahead of time to see what the delivery and pick up options are. Of course, dining in the restaurant is also an option. The friendly person who answered the phone informed us that we could order delivery through UberEATS now and that they would be delivering as well in a matter of weeks. So we opened our UberEATS app and ordered the following (all are photographed in the slideshow above):
- Kachumber Salad – Cucumber salad: very crisp, fresh and crunchy. We would get this again for sure.
- Vegetable Korma – Veggies sauteed in a yogurt sauce. One friend said “if all vegetables tasted like this, I would eat them more often.”
- Yellow Daal – This lentil dish scored very high for the authenticity factor
- Naan – We ordered a few orders, at $1.95 each, it is a great way to sop up the yummy sauces. They came hot and fresh, wrapped in foil and we enjoyed the left over Naan for breakfast the next day.
- Lamb Kabob – This was Astrid’s favorite dish. She said that she could tell the meat was of high quality. I enjoyed the spiciness of the meat, a little unexpected.
- Chickpeas side dish – This was a surprise hit. They were very flavorful, with a hint of heat. One friend said “those chickpeas are amazing…who knew…”
- Shrimp Masala – This was my favorite dish of the night. The sauce was rich and silky. I was craving it again the next day.
- Butter Chicken – The chicken was super tender and the sauce was very yummy.
All in all, I could see us ordering from City Kabob again in the near future, as could all of our guests. City Kabob is located at 204 Michigan Avenue NE, in the small strip mall across from Trinity Washington University, and near the Basilica.
Long time readers know that building DC’s largest green wall in Brookland has been an ongoing project of ours. The idea started back on January 15, 2013, the day I first contacted Pepco. I had the crazy idea to ask if they would be willing to invest in beautifying the 12th Street substation #133. The bare brick wall of the substation stretches along 3/4 on the west side of the 3100 block of 12th Street NE (between Irving and Jackson Streets, NE). Those who are familiar with the wall know it is not a pretty site for the residents across the street and for all neighbors who walk up and down the street.
Finally, on Friday May 19, 2017 the project was finally completed when the native vine, Carolina Jessamine (which were recommended by the Greater Brookland Garden Club) were planted in the new, recently expanded cut outs alongside the substation wall. Here is slide show of photos which document the transition of the wall from 2013 until today. (You need flash to see the photos, if you can’t see them, click here.)
Four years and four months of careful negotiating, meetings. research and lobbying for support in the local community required a lot of patience and waiting. Many of you will remember when I called out for support with a petition here on the blog to support our project. The overwhelming response from the community for sure made it much easier to make a strong case talking to Pepco. With that said, I need to mention 2 key players in this process, without whom this project would have never succeeded:
Mark Buscaino, Executive Director of Casey Trees, stood with our efforts unequivocally from the very beginning. He provided the (sometimes necessary) weight and pull of his well respected non-profit organization, as well as his experience in negotiating with large corporations like Pepco. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Casey Trees. After all, their mission is to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of our nation’s capital.
Donna Cooper, Pepco Region President, learned about our request and agreed to meet to learn more about our ideas. The nature and size of our inquiry is clearly not within her usual realm of responsibilities. We owe Ms. Cooper a lot of gratitude in that she spend quite a bit of her valuable time on this project. Unfortunately, we experienced some delays in the process with the team she delegated the project to. But every time we contacted Ms. Cooper she was extremely helpful and made sure the work on the project was kicked back into gear.
Shani and I have committed to ensure the plants get watered, especially through the hot summer months. Neighbors have asked me, if there is anything they can do to help. There are a few things that could help the “Green Wall” to thrive and become a beautiful feature in our Brookland neighborhood – it will be the collective little things, that will make the difference. First, ever since the first planter boxes were created, we noticed that they tend to “attract” litter. If you are passing by and see any trash in or around the boxes it would be great if you picked it up. Also weeds need to be pulled whenever they pop up. The more of us keep an eye on the space alongside the trellis, the less effort it is for each individually to keep the space clean, appealing and flourishing.
If you planned on getting around by Metro rail this holiday weekend, you may want to re-think your transportation plans. Thanks for Ward 5 Councilmember McDuffie for spreading the word that the Rhode Island Metro will be closed, see the flyer below for more info.
Metro closure this weekend:
Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood MetroRail Station will be closed this Memorial Day weekend pic.twitter.com/fEPa2vC7ZJ
— CM McDuffie’s Office (@CM_McDuffie) May 24, 2017
Here is a great way to commemorate Memorial Day- that’s just around the corner from Brookland. Sign up here for guided tours of the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery and experience a wreath laying ceremony. The cemetery was visited by President Abraham Lincoln, and is notable for being the first national cemetery (est. 1861) and for serving as the final resting place for John Logan, who formalized Memorial Day celebrations in 1868. Both the tours and the wreath laying are free.
- The wreath laying ceremony will be at John Logan Mausoleum at 10:00 am.
- The cemetery tours will be at 10:45 am and 12:30 pm and tours last approximately 30-45 minutes
Registrants are asked to gather at the bandstand adjacent to President Lincoln’s Cottage 30 minutes prior to each scheduled event, so that Cottage staff can lead them over to the nearby Soldiers’ Home Cemetery.
President Lincoln’s Cottage is located at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW.