Franciscan Monastery Summer Garden Tours Are Back!

We are excited to report that one of our favorite summer activities is back – guided tours of the Franciscan Monastery gardens and grounds.

If you haven’t been to this neighborhood treasure, it is definitely worth a visit. The Franciscan Monastery has existed for over 100 years and the beautiful gardens and grottos have been in place for over 80 years.  While walk-ins are welcome at the Monastery gardens daily from 9:00 am – 4:45 pm, the guided tour provides a wealth of information. For example, the docents explain the history and significance of the statues and shrines, the architecture of Monastery buildings, and of course, all the amazing plants, trees and flowers in the gardens. Guided tours are Saturdays at 11:00 am and 12:00 pm, or you can schedule a tour by calling 202-526-6800.   

The Monastery is located at 1400 Quincy St. NE and tours will be given all summer. Here is a video describing the tour, it’s a couple of years old, so not all the information is still accurate, but its a good overview:

Monroe Street Market Spring Events And Farmers Market Kick Off This Weekend

The “Historic Brookland Farmer’s Market” at Monroe Street Market launched last spring and steadily grew to become a weekend staple for many Brookland households by the time fall arrived. The market will kickoff again this Saturday April 18th. The operator of the market will again be Lydia’s Fields Farm, and don’t forget to checkout the opening  of the Filter/Bike Rack location. Here is a tweet and part of a press release that describes the events surrounding the opening of the farmers market:

Monroe Street Market will kick off its spring events schedule on Thursday, April 16 with the community’s  “Third Thursdays on the Arts Walk,” a monthly event featuring artist open houses and live performances.

In addition, highly-anticipated retailers The Bike Rack and Filter Coffeehouse, located in a joint retail space on the Arts Walk, will hold a grand opening celebration on Saturday, April 18 from 9am-1pm in conjunction with the first Historic Brookland Farmer’s Market of the 2015 season.

Third Thursdays on the Arts Walk

Thursday, April 16 6:00pm

Monroe Street Market kicks off its series of events on April 16 with Third Thursdays on the Arts Walk, where attendees can stroll along the Arts Walk, listen to music, watch live performances from Dance Place, visit artist studio spaces and support local artists. The Arts Walk features 27 studio spaces with artists who work in various mediums. The Third Thursday events will take place each month until December 17, 2015.

Live Performances on the Arts Walk

Every Thursday, from April 16 to September 24 6:30pm-7:45pm

Live music and performances will be held on the Arts Walk plaza each week, powered by Dance Place. Each evening will feature a new group – a mixture of neighborhood favorites, such as Sahel and new talent. Rain location is at Busboys and Poets. For more information, visit www.danceplace.org/performances

Interactive Dance Performances From Dance Place

Friday, April 17 6:30pm-8:45pm

As the Opening Celebration for the Free Art on 8th Event, the partners at Dance Place will present live interactive dance performances.  Friday night programming will continue on the Cornerstone Plaza in front of Busboys and Poets. Kicking off April 17 evening from 6:30 – 7pm, POP (People Objects Play) will have an interactive dance for all ages. From 7 – 7:30pm the Coyaba Dance Theater will showcase African dance and drum. Last, from 7:45 – 8:45pm the DC Casineros will feature Cuban Salsa.

Historic Brookland Farmer’s Market Opening

Saturday, April 18 9am-1pm

The Historic Brookland Farmer’s Market is back, featuring more than 16 vendors offering local produce, dairy, meat, artisan coffee, bread, baked goods and more. Listen to the live music and enjoy the family friendly entertainment and crafts.

 The Bike Rack and Filter Coffeehouse Grand Opening

Saturday, April 18 9am-1pm

The Bike Rack and Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar will open a shared space on the Arts Walk, directly across from Brookland Pint. The Bike Rack’s second shop in the District will offer a wide variety of cycling needs including repairs, a diverse bicycle inventory, riding events, and active involvement in cycling advocacy. Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar will create a unique atmosphere for bike enthusiasts and coffee lovers alike, providing a daily assortment of coffee, teas, and pastries.  From 9am – 1pm on April 18, The Bike Rack will offer free basic bike maintenance on the Arts Walk.

 While enjoying the grand opening of Bike Rack and Filter Coffeehouse, stop by Brookland Pint for brunch from 10am- 1pm and select a drink from 18 different beers that are infused with coffee. Enter for a chance to win a Fat Tire bike donated by New Belgium.

Please visit the Monroe Street Market website for more information on artists, events, and community offerings.

The Market runs on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., (rain or shine) on The Arts Walk at 716 Monroe St. NE. Keep up with the Farmer’s Market at their Facebook page and Twitter.

BNCA To Sponsor Bunker Hill Cleanup Saturday

Fort Bunket Hill Park. Image Courtesy of Brookland Avenue Blog.
Fort Bunket Hill Park. Image Courtesy of Brookland Avenue Blog.

One of our favorite neighborhood resources is Fort Bunker Hill Park. When our dog was younger, we used to love to climb to the top with her.  Unfortunately, it is not very welled maintained. The last time I walked through, some of the paths were blocked by fallen branches and in the summer there is often a lot of poison ivy. That’s why I was really happy to learn that the The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA)  will be sponsoring a cleanup event at Fort Bunker Hill Park from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm on Saturday, April 18. From the BNCA announcement:

This event is a result of a new partnership with Rock Creek Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the lands and waters of Rock Creek and other federal parks in the District. Fort Bunker Hill Park is managed by the National Park Service, and those of you who visit it know that it’s in need of some local stewardship.

Our April event will focus primarily on cleaning up trash and removing ivy and vines from the trees. We’ll meet at the corner of 14th and Otis St. NE at 9:00 am. Rock Creek Conservancy will be providing trash bags, gloves, and other tools as necessary, though feel free to bring your own. Children are welcome to participate. For any high school students seeking school credit, please bring the forms from your school.

Please be sure to register so that we can get an accurate head count. Registration and additional information is available at http://publicevents.force.com/Public_Event_Signup_Page?cid=70170000000OHcK.

If you have any questions, please contact me at ijmacfarlane@verizon.net or 571-334-6326.

 

Community Meetings This Week – Development, Metro Parking Garage, Etc.

We thought readers would like to know about three ANC meetings this week covering topics important to the future of our neighborhood.

ANC 5B05

The April 5B05 Single Member District (SMD) will be on Monday, April 13 , at 6:30 PM at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center. Agenda items are:

  • The massive 1492 space garage we wrote about here. Representatives from Douglas Development will respond to community input on the project and a resolution may be taken up.
  • The community liaison for the Brookland Middle School, will present a public art project associated with the school.
  • Current issues in the single member district, including zoning, development and liquor license applications.

ANC 5B03/5B04

Site plan for the future Brookland Manor from Mid-City Financial. Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
Site plan for the future Brookland Manor from Mid-City Financial. Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.

There will be a joint 5B03/5B04 community SMD meeting  Wednesday April 15th, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Brooks Mansion, Brooks Room, 901 Newton Street NE.

The main agenda item is the Brookland Manor development were wrote about here. This is the development project coming south of Rhode Island Avenue at/around 14th Street NE. The development project, if approved, will eliminate 535 mostly affordable housing units and  will create over 2,000 residential units and over 200,000 square feet of retail, including a supermarket. The developer and his architect will be in attendance. ANC 5B will be considering a resolution that addresses tenant relocation issues, traffic, and community amenities at the April meeting so this will be an opportunity to provide feedback on those or other issues too.

 ANC 5E01

ANC 5E01 is the SMD just over the bridge that covers the area including Monroe Street Market. The next 5E01 meeting will be on Wednesday, April 15th at the Edgewood Arts Center (3415 8th Street NE) from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

The main agenda item is the  new development on 8th Street NE we wrote about here. This phase of the Monroe Street Market development is bordered by Lawrence, Kearney and 7th Street NE and will be 45 Town homes with 2 parking spots each. 

Sneak Peek – The Bakers’ Lounge – Brookland’s New Bakery Opens Soon

A few weeks ago we posted a story about The Bakers’ Lounge, a new bakery coming to the corner of 12th and Evarts Streets, NE. Yesterday we got a sneak peek of what is to come via their soft launch event. Catherine Cotay, the Director of The Bakers’ Lounge told us that there is still work to do to get the store ready to be open on a daily basis, which she thinks it is only a matter of weeks away. So for now, enjoy the photos we took of the yummy treats we sampled. Our favorite sampling was the creme puffs – heaven on a plate! Other stand outs were the lemon bars -not too sweet, with just the right touch of tartness and the super moist cake balls. There was also a wide variety of yummy cupcake flavors. Warning, for future customers, my dinner appetite was definitely ruined, LOL. Also included in the slideshow are the menus of the products to be offered and info on high tea and party packages.

Clearly the space has been completely transformed from the previous tenant, and features high ceilings and bright white walls. But, there is still a lot to be seen, as a large wall in the bakery that currently creates a hallway will be coming down to open up the space in a big way. Still, you can see the ascetic they are going for- bright, modern and welcoming, with a punch of British flair.

Lastly, Ms. Cotay let us know that she is listening to Brooklanders – namely yes(!), the store is already wifi enabled, coffee will be served, as well as non-sweets like breads and bagels. We will let you know when the bakery opens its doors. The Bakers’ Lounge is located at 2701 12th Street NE. Keep in touch with the latest on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest sites.

Save The Date – 8th Annual Great Brookland Yard Sale Returns Saturday May 9th!

GBYS 2013It’s that time of year again – where neighbors start revving up for the Great Brookland Yard Sale! For those of you unaware, the GBYS is a set date for Brookland residents to host concurrent yard sales. The GBYS is organized by the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) and is a positive event for the neighborhood. It brings people from across the city into Brookland to see what a great community we have, it gets us out and about to meet our neighbors, and those who have yard sales get rid of stuff and make a little bit of money. This year, the GBYS will take place on Saturday, May 9th, 10:00 am-2:00 pm [individual sales hours may differ] Rain day May 16th.
Also note, the Greater Brookland Garden Club hosts its annual plant sale on the same day. That sale is located at 12th and Newton and they sell a wide variety of plants (Annuals, Perennials, Natives, Vegetables, Herbs, and Tropicals).
Register your yard sale HERE . A sales location map will available via this site and in print mid-week prior to the sale.
GBYS 2015

ReCreative Spaces Presents: (Up)Rising Festival 2015

Photo courtesy of ReCreative Spaces
Photo courtesy of ReCreative Spaces

Back in March we wrote about how ReCreative Spaces  transformed a vacant commercial space on Rhode Island Ave NE into an artist studio and artistic exhibition space. Now the organization is preparing to present a free arts festival, (Up)Rising that will include curated visual and performing arts programming along the 1600-2400 blocks of Rhode Island Ave NE.  Some of the venues will be vacant spaces, some will be businesses. The arts festival will take place Sunday May 24th and Monday May 25.  You can check our more details at the event page here and check out this cool video about the festival.

Putting on such an ambitious and free  festival is not cheap or easy, so the folks at ReCreative Spaces have set up a crowdfunding site in hopes of raising the funds necessary to pull off the festival, perhaps you will consider donating today.

Askale Cafe Seeks Beer And Wine License

Askale Cafe Liquor License Askale and Asratie, owners of Askale Cafe, Brookland’s Ethiopian eatery, posted ABRA placards in the cafe’s windows yesterday. The cafe is seeking to re-establish the beer and wine license associated with location that expired before they took over. Hopefully all will go well and there will be no issues at their ABRA public hearing.  We were happy to hear from Asratie that their application has the support of ANC Commissioner Higgins. They are seeking a stipulated license, which means they may be able to serve during the hearing period if approved. Askale Café is located at 3629 12th Street, NE.

Join FoNP For A Noyes Park Clean Up This Saturday

Kids enjoying Noyes Park
Kids enjoying Noyes Park

Friends of Noyes Park (FoNP) will be conducting a Noyes Park Community Clean-up on Saturday, April 11th from 10 AM to 1 PM. Last year, the event was a smashing success and attracted over 40+ neighborhood volunteers. The objective of this clean-up is to remove litter and weeds and prepare the garden plots for planting. Tools, gloves, and trash bags will be provided. Help ensure Noyes Park remains a pleasant place for residents of all ages to enjoy. Keep up with the FoNP by checking out their website,  Facebook pageTwitter feed,  Call/Text Message: 202-524-0547 or Email: friendsofnoyespark (at)gmail(dot)com. Noyes park is located at 10th and Franklin, NE.

DDOT Presents Options To Extend Met Branch Trail

Met Branch Trail Brookand NE Washington DCBack in 2012 we wrote about frustrations with delays in  completing the Met Branch Trail, specifically,  connecting the portions that run along the Brookland/CUA Metro with Silver Spring as originally planned. We were excited to learn that DDOT recently hosted a presentation of preliminary designs for the MBT’s remaining sections in DC. For more information, check out this super-detailed story from WashCycle, a cycling advocacy blog. Construction is planned for 2017.