Dispatches from Ward 5

Photo courtesy of
‘Brookland Hardware’
courtesy of ‘mediaslave’

First in a series where we bring you the best from neighborhood mailing lists, ANC and civic association meetings, and other neighborhood news sources.*

In Brookland, the Patel family reopened the Newton Food Market on 12th Street on New Year’s Eve. The father, Raj Patel, was killed during an attempted robbery on December 20. If you’re in Brookland and you want a snack or a soda, I suggest you buy it there, instead of at the CVS across the street.

On the Ward 5 list, the discussion this week was about the planned  public art installation on the new New York Avenue bridge. The sculpture, which will frame the vista from the crest of the bridge with abstract metal trees, was designed by Kent Bloomer, a Yale School of Architecture professor and a specialist in architectural sculpture. Bloomer has done a wide variety of architectural ornamentation around the country, including one at National Airport. The Ward 5 list discussion predictably centered around how much the project cost and why a DC artist couldn’t have been found. (Probably because architectural sculpture is a pretty specific discipline, and DC isn’t exactly crawling with practitioners.) Bloomer gave an informative interview to Next American City magazine a few years ago about building ornamentation in urban environments that’s worth a read, what with DC being so chockablock with it.

The Takoma DC Neighborhood Association is holding a fundraiser for the Takoma Education Center, which was damaged in a massive fire on December 22. For the time being, TEC’s classes will be held in the old Meyer Elementary School at 11th & Euclid NW, but they need school supplies, rugs, and other classroom equipment. Donations are tax-deductible and checks should written to the TDCNA/Takoma EC Fund and mailed to:
Takoma at Meyer Elementary
2501 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

And finally, the wit and wisdom of one of Ward 5′s most well-known figures, the Kathy Henderson Quote of the Week: On Farco Towing’s alleged habit of parking their commercial vehicles on residential streets overnight.

“Our neighborhoods are safer when we refuse to tolerate disorder.”

*Updated to add: A question from a sharp-eyed reader prompted me to clarify the purpose of this column a bit. Neighborhood email groups are valuable sources of community information, but they can be high on the signal-to-noise ratio, so a lot of people don’t join them because they don’t want to deal with the avalanche of email. The intention of Dispatches from Ward 5 is to pick out what Ward 5 residents are talking about, which will usually be stuff happening IN Ward 5, but will occasionally be a topic of community interest that’s not limited to that area. This is the case with the Takoma Education Center, which is in Ward 4, but the fundraiser only came to my attention by reading a neighborhood list in Ward 5. So the rule of thumb for now is, if the only way I heard about it was from a Ward 5 neighborhood source, it’s fair game to be added to the column. But I’m sure on such occasions some of you will disagree, and I look forward to debating it with you.

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

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