DDOT Meeting To Discuss Monroe Street Bridge Reconstruction

Monroe Street Bridge Rendering Courtesy of DDOT

Back in May 2016, DDOT reveled its design for the overhaul of the Monroe Street Bridge which will extend the life of the bridge for another 75 years. The project will cost over  $12 Million dollars and will begin late July/early August 2017 and go on through March 2019.

Goodbye old friend!

There will be a meeting to inform the community about the project’s plans and schedule on Thursday July 20th from 6:30 -8:30 pm at Luke C. Moore High School, 1001 Monroe Street NE. You can check out project updates and other info at this website.

Brookland In Photos: Street Art Edition 17, #TentacleTuesday

Yesterday Brookland was treated to a pop-up street art piece from artist Theodore Carter. The electrical box at the corner of 9th and Monroe was adorned with his 5-foot tall tentacle sculptures. The pieces, made mostly from recycled materials, are a part of an ongoing street art project called Tentacle Tuesday that will pop up at different locations across the city during summer. Thanks for stopping through Brookland, Theodore! You can follow the project on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

A Chat with Dance Place’s New Executive Artistic Director

Christopher K. Morgan

Since 1986, Dance Place has been more than our local dance training and performance venue. It has provided the Brookland community with free artsy activities as well as after-school programs and summer camps.

This August, Dance Place founder Carla Perlo will step down after 37 years leading the organization. In early September, Dance Place will welcome its new executive artistic director, Christopher K. Morgan.

A dancer, choreographer, and arts educator, Christopher will be responsible for the Brookland area-based institution’s overall vision. He’ll also curate over 40 weeks’ worth of performances and programming.

As Christopher prepares for this next stage of his creative and professional career, we caught up with him for a chat about his background and future plans for this cultural institution.

How did dance become your artistic passion (as opposed to, say, painting)?

As a child I danced the hula and dances of Polynesia with my family. Both of my parents were born and raised in Hawai’i but had moved to Southern California during their service in the U.S. Marines. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, they gave my brothers and sisters and I the opportunity to connect to our cultural heritage through the dance and music of our ancestors.

I came to Western-influenced forms of dance (ballet, jazz, modern dance) at the age of 17. While participating in high-school theater, a choreographer suggested I take a ballet class. Recognizing a talent in me I didn’t know I had, the ballet teacher invited me to take classes from her for free. Before I knew it, I was consumed by this passion I felt for these ways of moving my body and expressing myself.

I studied in a studio throughout my senior year of high school. I had been studying dance and writing at the University of California at Irvine for two years when I was offered my first full-time job as a dancer for Malashock Dance & Company, a modern company in San Diego. I leapt at the opportunity, as dance had become my all-consuming passion – and has been ever since.

How did you first get involved with Dance Place?

I first learned of Dance Place in 1998 as a young dancer living in San Diego preparing to move to D.C. to dance for what is now The Dance Exchange. A few months later, in January of 1999, I found myself onstage at Dance Place in an evening of dancer-choreographed works.

Of course, I’ve attended many performances at Dance Place over the years, but since I began my dance company, Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, in 2011, Dance Place has played an important role in presenting our work multiple times. Most significantly, Dance Place was one of the two lead commissioners and the site for the world premiere of my 2016 work, Pōhaku, which has now toured to nine venues around the United States.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve felt a growing call to arts leadership emerging in my life, which drew me to the executive artistic director role at Dance Place. In order to achieve equity for under-represented artists, diverse representation must be at the decision-making tables. As a person who identifies with multiple marginalized groups, I take very seriously my role to serve artists, students, and audiences of all types.

What are your hopes for the future of Dance Place?

I’m approaching this new role with a philosophy of inclusivity and service, which is essentially continuing Dance Place’s existing mission. I’m excited how this evolution in my career will allow me to support and serve artists, students, and audiences.

One thing I hope for is to help Dance Place and the greater D.C. dance community increase their visibility on the national scene as an important center for dance. After all, we’re in our nation’s capital, and D.C. has the second-highest concentration of choreographers in the country. The work being presented and made here is noteworthy, and it should be recognized more.

What should the relationship be between an arts organization and its surrounding community?

Nothing exists in isolation. I like to use the image of concentric circles. The concentric circles of community Dance Place inhabits begin with the Brookland and Edgewood neighborhoods and expand from there out to D.C., and from there to the region, and from there to the nation.

Dance Place’s relationship with Brookland and Edgewood has to be strong in order for the organization’s role in the greater D.C. community to be strong. In turn, that creates an open environment that’s ready to receive what the artists who come from outside this particular community bring to our neighborhood. The circles can be porous when they’re strong, allowing ideas and information to flow inward and outward.

What do you like most about the Brookland and Edgewood neighborhoods?

As someone who’s worked at and patronized Dance Place, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Brookland and Edgewood. It’s amazing to see how the neighborhood has evolved since I first set foot in it back in 1998. I hope it can continue to keep its long-time residents while it grows and embraces new neighbors. I’m a big fan of the nearby Busboys and Poets location, and I love grabbing a beer over at Brookland Pint and seeing the Arts Walk alive with people.

As I step into this new role, I’m looking forward to getting to know the residents and local business owners around here. In fact, if you’re reading this and want to meet, let’s do so in the neighborhood. Or better yet: Stop by a performance at Dance Place when our new season starts in the fall and say hi!

Dance Place is located at 3225 Eighth Street NE.

DDOT Oversight Meeting At CUA Thursday; Give Input On Transportation/Environmental Issues

Do you have an ongoing issue that you feel is not being adequately addressed by DC’s Department of Transportation (DDOT)? Perhaps you have complained about a traffic pattern or the lack of care for street trees and have gotten no resolution.  If so, you here is a meeting for you. The DC City Council will be holding an oversight roundtable on the DDOT this Thursday at Catholic University. The public is invited to testify – see the instructions on how to testify below the flyer. Meeting info:

DATE: July 13, 2017
TIME: 6:30 P.M.
LOCATION: Edward J. Pryzbyla Center, Great Room A
620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064
 
 From Ward 5 Councilmember McDuffie’s office:
The public is invited to testify and can sign up to do so by contacting Ms. Aukima Benjamin, Staff Assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, at (202) 724-8062 or via e-mail at abenjamin@dccouncil.us. Persons representing organizations will have five minutes to present their testimony. Individuals will have three minutes to present their testimony. Witnesses should bring eight copies of their written testimony and should submit a copy of their testimony electronically to abenjamin@dccouncil.us. to Council and Resident Inquiries

DC Punk Archive Rooftop Show At Woodridge Library This Wednesday

We thought music loving neighbors would be interested in this upcoming event showcasing DC Public Library’s DC Punk Archive collection. From the event page:

The DC Punk Archive is taking it to the roof this summer for a series of concerts outside on the 3rd floor terrace at Woodridge! Join us for a night of local music overlooking Langdon Park and learn more about the DC Punk Archive collection.

Woodridge Library is located at 1801 Hamlin Street NE.

Met Branch Trail Wayfinding Meeting – Give Your Input For Signage And Other Improvements

Take the MBT right to the REI storeIf you use or have interest in improving the Met Branch Trail, this meeting is for you. The meeting will  be held Thursday July 13th from 5 – 7 pm at Wunder Garten (1101 First Street NE). From the meeting invite:

Join us to discuss wayfinding on the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT). Effective, well-placed, and visible signage can help promote use of the MBT and improve the way it connects users to adjacent neighborhoods and institutions.

Improvements to MBT wayfinding was recommended by community members participating in the 2015 MBT Safety and Access Study.

In coordination with DDOT, the NoMa Business Improvement District engaged Alta Planning + Design to complete a wayfinding study of the MBT from Union Station to Michigan Avenue. Your input is needed to make sure we get a great product.

Other improvements recommended in the Study that have been implemented to date include:

– signage annoucing the MBT

– new safety mirrors and safety signage along the MBT

– meeting point at M Street ramp

– several new murals along the MBT

Brookland Press Development Nearly Complete, Adds 296 Apartments Next To RIA Metro

Rendering Courtesy of Jemal’s Channing, LLC

It’s been about a year and a half since we wrote about a development that some neighbors may remember was called Channing Place. The development, now called Brookland Press, is two buildings  joined by an enclosed walkway and is situated very close to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro stop, and along the Metro tracks. Residents will begin moving into one of the buildings in a few weeks and the other building will be completed at the end of July. This article from Busnow has a lot of details and photos, including:

The community’s other amenities, available to residents of both buildings, include a fitness center and yoga studio, a rooftop deck, an outdoor pool, a business center with a conference room, a cybercafé, a pet spa and grooming station, and a lounge with a fireplace, a bar and a dining area…

…The community has studios ranging from 377 SF to 609 SF that start at $1,795 a month, one-bedrooms from 516 SF to 848 SF starting at $2,135, one-bedrooms with a den from 752 SF to 941 SF starting at $2,485 and two-bedrooms from 800 SF to 1,121 SF starting at $2,725.

The development’s name is a nod to the history of one of the buildings, which once housed a printing press.

Tastemakers Will Bring Gourmet Food Vendor Hall, Bar And Grocery Market To Brookland

Future Site of Tastemakers in forefront

Back in March we learned that Brookland will be getting a food incubator called Tastemakers from the owners of popular food truck Captain Cookie and the Milkman.  Tastemakers will occupy an 8,000 square foot building at the corner of 10th and Franklin. While we have seen a lot of progress on the building, we are now learning more details about what to expect. From the liquor license application:

New Class “C” Restaurant with 50 seats and a Total Occupancy Load of 95. Restaurant will feature a gourmet food hall with 8-10 independent food vendors, a bar, and a grocery market. Community Kitchen will offer cooking classes, tastings, and kitchen memberships for local food professionals.

The application requests the following alcohol sales and consumption hours: Sunday 9 am – 1 am, Monday through Thursday 11 am – 1 am, Friday 11 am – 2 am and Saturday
9 am – 2 am. Tastemakers is slated to open in late summer or early fall (last we heard) and will be located at 2800 10th Street NE.

Amazon Lockers Offer Brooklanders Another Package Delivery Option

Amazon lockers in the 7-11 at the 12th and Otis location

Having packages stolen off your front porch is a frustrating experience, and it’s compounded by the reality that there really isn’t much you can do about it once it happens.

That’s why we were happy to hear about the Amazon lockers located in and around our neighborhood.  Obviously, there are limitations – you have to order from Amazon.com and your order  must be picked up within three days.  But still, it is a great option when the current

Amazon locker touchscreen

delivery situation can be a crap  shoot. We have seen the Amazon lockers in the 7-11 at 12th and Otis NE (pictured above), and at the 7-11 at 1233 Brentwood Rd NE (in the strip mall behind Home Depot. Lockers are outside). We have also heard that Amazon lockers are available at the 7-11 at Hawaii and Taylor NE.