Friday, April 27, 2012

5th Annual Great Brookland Yard Sale

The fifth annual Great Brookland Yard Sale will take place on Saturday May 12th from 10:00 AM until 2:00PM. Over 50 households have signed up to have yard sales. For more information, visit the Brookland Civic Associations Website.  This years rain date is May 13th.
Thi annual event is always a great way to get out, meet neighbors and find some great deals and steals!  In past years participation has been mostly by Brookland  residents, but this years map shows a few houses in Michigan and North Michigan Park as well.  If you would like to participate in the GBYS, follow this link, and provide your name and address of your yard sale.  Also send  a list of specific items for sale, and photos to draw people to your sale. This will get you on the official Map and hopefully increase your foot traffic!

View Great Brookland Yard Sale 2012 in a larger map

Thursday, April 26, 2012

CUA Fireworks Show This Friday

From CUA Campus Ministry "On behalf of the Office of Campus Ministry at The Catholic University of America, I would like to invite you for a firework show that is being held on our campus on Friday, April 27, 2012. This is the finale to our end of the year celebration that has been organized by our students at CUA. The firework show will begin at 9:45pm and can be viewed best from the west side of campus, nearest the Basilica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception. This event has been coordinated with the Office of General Counsel, Department of Public Safety, Metropolitan Fire Department and Zambelli Firework Company. We hope that you will be able to join us in this celebration." This surely seems like a can't miss for tomorrow night, especially considering the the First Family of Fireworks are producing it! Hopefully those of us neighboring the CUA Campus will take full advantage of the event being in our own back yards! Hopefully some of you readers will take some great pictures to share with us here at the Blog as well!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Want to Get Away From It All...Try Being a Hermit in NE DC

  Architect Magazine has run an interesting piece on a hermitage (yes for hermits) to be built on the gorounds of Mount St. Sepulchre (aka the Franciscian Monestary in Brookland), designed by CUA's Architecture Students.  The full article can be found here.
"The process began in 2010. Fourteen students were charged with designing a 350-square-foot cabin to house not just monks, but anybody who wanted to withdraw from this world of perpetual connectedness. (Eventually, the Fransciscans want to build as many as four modern hermitages on their grounds to rent out, for one week at a time.) As a preliminary exercise, instructor Bill Jelen asked the students to turn off their various electronic implements for an hour and just sit by themselves. 'It’s amazing how many people couldn’t do that,' Jelen says."

It's seems like a very interesting idea, and one that many of us could potentially benifit from. Especially considering the hyperconnected, stress magnified, perpetual motion world we live in inside the beltway.  More information on the hermitage can be found below:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Metro Station Weekend Closing

  If you plan on getting around the city this weekend, you could be in for a little hassle...especially if you are planning to use the Ft. Totten Station.  WMATA has announced system maintenance taking place from April 20th through April 22nd that will result in the closing of the Ft. Totten Metro Red line Station, as well as Takoma and Brookland stations.  Busses will be running between Rhode island and Silver Spring stations all weekend, but you should plan to ad at least 30-40 minutes to your normal travel times.  More information can be found here.  Good luck and safe travels.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DC Farmers Market Transformation To Union Market District

  Many residents of NE, especially Brookland, Ivy City, Michigan Park, NOMA and surrounding areas, are familiar with the DC Farmers Market located on 5th St NE aross from Gallaudet University. The location of a vibarant urban market place in the 1800's, gave way to the meat packing and produce district in the early-mid 1900's, and now on to an underutilized and often unknown area of the city. With the exception of a few hidden gems, like A. Litteri's italian market and the Weekend Flee Market, most of the area laid unknown to a majority of the city's everyday residents.  All of that will soon be changing however, with the market scheduled to re-open (unbeknownst to us) this coming June with an all new look and feel.
  This past October an electrical fire broke out at the market, devastating the structure and closing it indefinitely.  However,  from the ashes risese a bright new future.  The owners of the marlet have long had plans for redevelopment of the property, and it looks as though these plans are moving along quicker than anticipated.  The below video is from the Washington Post provides an overview of the redesign of the market, as well as a glimpse of things to come at the new Union Market!

Below is the advertising video provided by EDENS, who owns the market site, showcasing some of the market's history and their vision for the future.

  To celebrate the reopening of the market, EDENS is holding a "Sunday Supper" on Jun 3rd, to benifit the FoodCorps of DC.  While the ticket price is a little steep at $240 a pop, the quality of Chef talent is second to none!  One thing is for sure, and that is it will be nice to have a fresh food market and entertainment sight so close to our part of DC.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WACIF/DSLBD 12St NE Business Corridor Needs Assessment Survey

  The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), in partnership with the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), is conducting a business needs assessment for the Brookland  12 St NE Business Corridor. The survey is asking residnets for inputs regarding what changes you would like to see take place on 12th St including businesses, accesibility and safety.  The Poll is quick and shouldn't take more than 5 minutes, and could be helpful in attracting new business opportunities to the neighborhood.  The Survey can be found here:
  WACIF is a non-profit community development loan fund located in Brookland, whose mission is to empower underserved communities and individuals in the Washington, DC metropolitan area by providing access to capital and technical assistance to small businesses, childcare centers, affordable housing developers, and community organizations.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Violent Crimes and Neighborhood Watches

  Reports have recently come in of another mugging taking place in the park that seperates Galloway and Gallatain St's NE early Sunday morning, on the upper path close to the Magnolia Plumbing Facility.  An adult male was walking through the upper section of the park, and was attacked by two males with a 3' section of pipe and struck in the back.  During the altercation only his cell phone was taken, and he sustained fairly minor injuries.  Park Police are working with the victim, but this is yet another instance of neighbors being assulated or ambused (regardless of which they have definitely been targeted) while walking through the park to get home.  In the past few months there have been several robbery attempts, utilizing various weapons, in the park yet nothing seems to change.  Although there seems to be more police presence at the metro station itself, there is still a marked lack of police presence away from the station.  Many long time residents see this as a trend taking them back nearly a decade ago when violent crimes and rape were major problems in the park.  Some neighbors have commented on seeing police occasionally patrolling the paths, but acknowledge more needs to be done.   
  DDOT (d.), in partnership with Toole Design, is still in the process of finalizing their plan to improve the Metro Station and park area safety and accessibility.  Their plan to increase lighting, add new paths, better sight lines and safer sidewalks also extend to improving the paths and safety of the park access points. The d. and Toole Design Project Managers were contacted for updates on the project, but no response was received.  However, d. still broadcasts that work on this redesign will begin later this year, and cost just under $3M.  Information on the redesign and current status can be found here : and here:
  In the interim, however, personal safety and increased vigilance is recommended.  With this in mind Samantha Nolan, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for DC, will be holding a Community Watch Training Session at the Lamond Riggs Library on South Dakota this Thursday (April 5th).  Ms. Nolan has over 11 years experience with Community Watches and will be providing this training free of charge to all in attendance. Attendance is strongly encouraged!

Neighborhood Watch Training Session

Thursday April 5, 2012
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Lamond-Riggs Library
Street: 5401 South Dakota Avenue, NE
City State Zip: Washington, DC 20011
Phone: 202.541.6255

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cafritz Foundation Power Ups Art Place Project

Rendering on new "Building B"
facing South Dakota Ave
  As many members of the community have found out, the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation has begun advertising Stage 1 of the Art Place project at the intersection of Galloway and South Dakota.  For many in the neighborhood this is a welcome sight of progress for a project thought by many to be dead (although if you remember correctly we have been letting you know of the accurate status of this project from day one...horray us).  With this new jolt of life, there has been some additional information coming from the DC Office of Zoning (DCOZ) and Cafritz on the other portions of this project as well. 
Side Elevation of Bldg B with Detail
Earlier this month DCOZ released the Cafritz Foundations application for modification of approved planned unit development.  In this application the Foundation sought to modify it's Phase 1 (Building A) and modify Phase 2 (Building B).   With a still sluggish economy, all would expect Cafritz to decrease the size and scope of such a large project.  However, Cafrtiz shocked everyone by increasing the size of the Phase 2, rather than decreasing it, and asking for some leeway with regards to the full service grocery planned for Building 1.  In total the requested changes featured one major (and in this life long hockey playing bloggers point of view amazingly awesome) addition, the swap out of a senior center with all age accessible ICE RINKS and recreation spaces.  Yes, you read that correctly...up to 3 sheets of ice/indoor recreation space for the community to utilize year round.  This combined recreation facility would be a major boost to the neighborhood and city in general.  Also detailed in the release were design plans for the exterior, detailed height and easement measurements, parking garage details, as well as information regarding the children's museum.  

Street level
Level 2
 "The Foundation has refined the design of Building B in terms of its mixture of uses, the functionality and efficiency of the building's layout and pedestrian and vehicular circulation, and the architectural vocabulary and materials of the building. This refinement has resulted in the addition of an exciting new use to the building - a state of the art multi-purpose recreation facility with mezzanine capable of accommodating multiple ice rinks as well as other sports playing surface - to compliment already-significant retail offerings and an innovative cultural component in the form of a children's museum."
 (Statement of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation in Support of Second Stage Application, and Modification of Approved First Stage of a Planned  Unit Development - 01/17/12)

Facade of Retail Entrance
Facade of Children's Museum and
Rink Entrance
"The requested modification of the First Stage PUD approval includes ( 1) an increase in building height from 60 feet to 80 feet for a portion of Building B to accommodate a mezzanine level and additional clearance for the recreation component, (2) an increase in gross floor area by approximately 49,000 square feet to 505,238 square feet of gross floor area, (3) elimination of the 15,000 square foot senior center and inclusion of that floor area within the multi-purpose recreation space available to all age groups; and ( 4) flexibility to delete the grocery store if a grocery store operator cannot be secured." 
(Application for PUD Modification DCOZ Case 06-10B)

Side Elevation of Building B With Changes
     Not called out specifically in the latest Cafritz announcement is the slight change in the Second Phase layout.  Not only will the addition of the rec space/ice rinks change the layout of the building, we can now see where the children's museum will be located as well as potential location and sizes for retail.  The children's museum was moved from its previous location, consisting of one floor, on Kennedy to having it's own dedicated entrnace on Ingraham and being multi level.   Also in the latest release is the addition of a third floor roof garden, which is assumed to be accessible through the children's museum.  Cafritz has also provided renderings of potnetial exterior sidewalk and plaza elements not initially submitted.  The exterior walkways will feature green areas and whimsical mosaic pieces, inviting neighborhood members into the various offerings the development has to offer. 

Exterior Front Detail

Children's Museum and Ice Rink Entrance Detail