Menomale Introduces Outdoor Seating!

Many Brooklanders have longed for the day that we could enjoy a dining establishment with outdoor seating. Well, wait no more! As we speculated earlier today, Menomale now has outdoor seating. Just look at these happy Brooklanders enjoying their pizzas, salads, sandwiches and beer! For those of you with little ones, the booster seats they have fit really well on their outdoor chairs, in keeping with Menomale’s kid-friendly reputation. More great news, Leland, one of the owners, tells us that they are exploring ways to keep the outdoor seating going year round, perhaps by adding thick plastic walls to the existing canopy frames. This is seems like pretty realistic plan, as people were seen dining outside nearby establishments like Boundry Stone all through last winter.

Brookland’s “Church Porch” Art Show Opening A Success!

Last night the ARTland/Brookland Arts and Culture Temporium Project show Church Porch had its opening reception. What a delight to enjoy fantastic artwork, engage in conversation, sip on wine, and nibble on some cheese – all in the heart of Brookland! I must confess, I was surprised by the space – full of natural light – it really looked like an art gallery despite being a “pop up” style art show. 

There are ten artists represented in the show, with a wide range of styles and mediums. My favorite was Lisa Mundy’s abstract paintings, I loved the colors and movement she captured. Another standout was Daniel Hitch’s photography, with compelling images from Senegal, DC, Chicago and Baltimore. Ray Allard, an artist working in linocut on paper displayed the tools and steps involved in developing his work, which added a dimension of

The Burning Bush, a sculpture by Thomas Rooney

interest for me as I was unaware of the process. The sculpture pictured is by Thomas Rooney, who produces sculptures made of items found in nature. The space was packed last night, I recommend stopping by and supporting our local art scene.


ARTland/Brookland Arts and Culture Temporium Project 
3500 12th Street, NE, Washington, DC 
August 10 through 26, 2012  (Open Friday and Saturday 5 – 8 and Sunday 3 – 6 )

Outdoor Seating At Menomale? Not Confirmed, But….

While driving past Menomale last night, it looked like they were setting up for outdoor seating. Be still my beating heart. If so, it would be HUGE for Brookland, as we have a dearth of outdoor dining options. Through conversations with the owners, I know they have been planning on having outdoor dining for quite some time now. So far nothing new has come across from Menomale on Twitter or Face Book, so fingers and toes crossed for now.

Brookland’s Hidden Gardens, A Secret No More

One of the things that separates Brookland from other DC neighborhoods is the sheer amount of space surrounding the many lovely homes here. Many lots average around 1/5 acre or more, providing lots of space for kids of all ages to run free and enjoy being closer to nature. All that space lends itself to another purpose as well: there are many artists who live around here, using the land as their preferred palette to create amazing gardens full of flowering plants, lush shrubs, and shady trees.

brookland garden 1
When an old boxwood we had in the front was destroyed by Snowmaggedon, we ripped it up and replaced it with these double pink and double red Knock Out roses, a very low maintenance shrub. The blue flowers are catmint (Nepeta racemosa “Walker’s Low”).

Gardening is a tried and true Brookland pastime. Whether it’s a wild cottage garden cultivated for decades by one of the neighborhood’s senior gardeners, or the perfectly manicured gardens of the Franciscan Monastery, Brookland abounds with natural beauty that is sure to soothe the soul whether you till the soil yourself or simply enjoy the sights.

I’m one of the residents who chooses to till the soil. My partner and I bought a home with a good bit of land in Brookland almost three years ago. We both wanted to develop a shared hobby by learning how to garden from scratch, since neither of us knew practically anything about it. The yard was a wild mess of poison ivy, choking vines, out of control shrubs, and buried garbage. Three years later we’ve cleared away most of the ugliness and finished much of the front garden, but the whole thing will still take years to complete the transformation.

During this time I’ve drawn a huge amount of inspiration just from walking the streets of Brookland and seeing what other talented gardeners are doing. I wanted to get a sense for what grows well and what is native to the area, since we’re trying to plant low maintenance native plants whenever possible. The spring and early summer is an especially good time to take such walks, when the heat is not oppressive and most gardens are at their maximum bloom. The sights are simply incredible, and yet most people in DC and environs have no idea about the lovely gardens hidden in their midst.

As a budding gardener (pardon the pun) I intend to share what I’ve learned about gardening in Brookland from doing it myself and from wandering the neighborhood to see what others have done. I’ll also be sharing Brookland’s lushness through photography, highlighting some of the gorgeous landscapes that dedicated Brooklanders have created around their homes.

Brookland Development Panel Discussion This Friday

There will be a panel discussion and a question and answer session about the various development projects happening around Brookland. This is a rare opportunity to interact with the major players in Brookland’s future including:

  • The Bozzuto Group and ABDO Development (Catholic U Development/Monroe Street Market)
  • EYA (Chancellor’s Row)
  • The Menkiti Group (901 Monroe Street)
  • Carla Perlo, Founding Director of Dance Place (Moving Forward Campaign)

The event will be August 17, 6.30pm – 8:30 at  the 12th Street Gallery, 3500 12th Street NE, Washington DC 20017. For more information click here

Can’t make it? No worries! We will be there and will bring you coverage.

Brookland In Photos: The Sheds Of Brookland Part 1

One of the great things about Brookland is our ample, lush backyards. In addition to the vegetation, I  just love the unique, colorful sheds found in our neighbor’s yards. So, I decided to start a photo series of them – let’s see how many great ones I can find. If you know of any – by all means let me know. I have passed the pair of sheds below a million times as I have walked the stretch of 12th st between Jackson and Kearney. Admiring  them as I walk transports me momentarily to a country road.

FoRIA To Give Langdon Elementary School A Face-Lift

The Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FoRIA) are seeking volunteers to help beautify Langdon Elementary School (located at 1900 Evarts Street NE, south of RIA). Help get the school ready for the new school year by landscaping, trash pick-up, light painting, planting flowers, setting up classrooms, creating leveled book rooms, etc. DCPS will provide the supplies, water and a t-shirt. RSVP for this event here.