In Observance of National Poetry Month: A Poem About Park View

Posted April 13, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Art, literature

Tags: ,

April is National Poetry Month, and with that in mind, here is a poem with a Park View perspective by Kim Roberts, one of our neighbors.

 

Poem by Kim Roberts
Quebec Place NW, Park View Neighborhood

“See the new Kennedy Homes. Remarkable values for the price. Eight rooms, finished in oak and mahogany. Overlooking prettiest part of Solder’s Home Park.” –Washington Post advertisement, 1917

A two-block strip of road ends with a view
between black iron bars of an expanse
of sculpted green we’re not invited to.

A hundred years exactly have elapsed
since these two-story houses with their porches
leapt in three dimensions from their plans:

solid brick, gas lighting, attic dormers,
ice box, indoor plumbing, a garage
special-built for autos, not for horses.

A streetcar ride away from downtown jobs
but at an open, healthy elevation:
a neighborhood built to defy the odds

of Federal clerks with backbone and ambition.
On summer nights they’d pour in through the gate
(before these houses became air-conditioned),

a blanket staking out each family’s place
on the cooler grasses of the Soldier’s Home
to eat their picnic dinners, stay up late,

then in safekeeping of the distant dome
of the Capitol in fading purple light,
they fell asleep in tousled knots, still clothed,

women in their crinolines and tights,
in corsets. One communal sleep: how brave!
Who would choose that now on summer nights?

The Park Road Gate, in 1955,
was closed off. At some later unknown year,
they topped the iron fences with barbed wire.

Reprinted from The Scientific Method by Kim Roberts (WordTech Editions, 2017), with permission from the author.

Kim Roberts is a long-time resident of the Park View neighborhood, from 1990 to 1997, then again from 2002 to the present. The Scientific Method is her fifth book of poems.

Nice Touch at Morton Street Mews Project

Posted April 12, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Uncategorized

The former Trinity A.M.E. Church on Morton Street.

While walking along Morton Street a few days ago, I noticed a very nice touch on the former church building at 777 Morton Street. The church was converted to condos as part of the Morton Street Mew’s project, and was originally constructed in 1905 by architect William Sidney Pittman. The original cornerstone for the building was moved to the church building at 625 Park Rd. M

With the original cornerstone missing from the building, the developer has created a new one to help reveal the history of the building. See photo of new memorial below.

(New cornerstone on church building documenting original architect and congregation.)

Soldiers’ Home Spring Fling Scheduled for May 6th — Seeking Volunteers

Posted April 11, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Armed Forces Retirement Home, Sports leisure and entertainment

Tags: , ,

The Friends of the Soldiers Home’s annual spring fling is scheduled for May 6th this year. It is a great event where you can enjoy the lower grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. See the flyer below for more details.

Friends of the Soldiers Home is also seeking volunteers to help with the event. If you have some time to give, check out their Web site for details to volunteer.

Gardeners! Mark Your Calendars for Mighty Greens’ Spring Seedling Sale

Posted April 10, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Gardens and Gardening, Schools

Tags: ,

City Blossoms — a nonprofit dedicated to fostering healthy communities by developing creative, kid-driven green spaces and innovative resources — announced an upcoming seedling sale called Mighty Greens that local gardeners may want to check out. Mighty Greens is a youth-led cooperative business run by students from Cardozo Education Campus and Eastern Senior High School. Mighty Greens combines garden-education with business skills to prepare students for possible next-level careers and job-readiness. Students maintain garden spaces, grow seedlings and produce added-value products, then selling those products and produce back to their communities. There is an information sheet about Mighty Greens  below.

Mighty Greens is hosting an upcoming seedling sale and weekly farmer’s market in our neighborhood! All of the money they earn through sales goes back into their pockets and into maintaining and growing their business. They are currently growing spring (kale, collards, swiss chard, lettuce), summer (peppers, tomatoes, basil, cilantro) and flower (calendula, marigolds, zinnias) seedlings.

Spring Seedling Sale:

  • Saturday April 15th (10-1pm) at the Girard Children’s Community Garden (1480 Girard Street, NW)

The students at Cardozo Education Campus will also be holding a weekly farmer’s market, selling both seedlings and fresh produce:

  • Wednesday April 26th–Wednesday May 31st (3:30-5:30pm) at Cardozo Education Campus (corner of 13th and Clifton)

This is a great opportunity to get a start on your annual gardening and support our local students.

 

New Housing Headed for Newton Place (Again)

Posted April 7, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Development, Housing

Tags: , ,

Rendering of Newton Place infill development from BZA Case #18519.

After four years, it appears that the development proposed for the vacant lot on the north side of the 400 block of Newton Place will be moving forward. This is due to the property changing hands with the new owner wanting to move forward with the plans that were approved in March 2013.

I first posted about this project back in January 2013, at which time I outlined how the plans were for three 2-unit buildings that each would have one off-street parking space behind them. The development was by-right with the exception of one zoning variance. That variance that was request was to subdivide the lot for three buildings that were approximately 16.66 feet in with. The minimum width proscribed by zoning was 18 feet, or about 1.33 feet greater than what was being requested.

ANC 1A voted to support the project followed by approval by the Board of Zoning Adjustment (which met on March 26, 2013). According to the the plans, each living unit is configured to consist of two floors and contain three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

 

 

Wangari Gardens Seeking New Executive Director

Posted April 5, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Gardens and Gardening

Tags:

According to Wangari Gardens’ blog, they are seeking a new executive director “to provide leadership to [their] all-volunteer organization.  While the position is unpaid, it is a great chance to get experience with community organizing, cooperative governance structures and garden design!” For those unfamiliar with Wangari Gardens, it is the large community garden at the south end of Park View between the neighborhood and the Washington Hospital Center. Last April, I attended the garden’s kickoff event to learn more about them and really enjoyed the orientation.

The position requires approximately 5 hours a week work requirement with Sunday availability required.

A more detailed description of duties is available on the Wangari Gardens Web site, or you can email wangarigardens@gmail.com to learn more.

 

Gardens Plots Available This Season at the Soldiers’ Home

Posted April 4, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Community Gardens, Volunteerism

Tags: , , ,

Gardening at the old Soldiers’ Home.

Love to garden and volunteer?

The Community-Resident Garden at the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) has garden space available!

The garden provides AFRH Residents and individuals from the surrounding neighborhoods an opportunity to garden, build friendships, and have fun. The Friends of the Soldiers Home manages the garden in partnership with the AFRH.

Joining the garden entails a volunteer commitment of four hours per month and annual dues of $25. Volunteer duties include mowing the common areas of the garden and helping Residents to plant and weed their gardens.

Community garden plots for new gardeners in 2017 are about 15 feet by 30 feet and are available for growing vegetables and flowers for family and friends (not for commercial use).

Come join us!

For more information contact Sarah Bohl at sarahtrelle(at)gmail(dot)com


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