Bazaar Buzz

Bloomingdale Bites – January 2017


Big Bear Bazaar
Bloomingdale’s Big Bear Cafe, a central hub of activity for residents, hosted its Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 17. Despite the cold and rain, locals turned out to browse and purchase everything from holiday wreaths and boutique floral arrangements to scarves and pottery, lotions and honey products.

The first booth encountered was run by Jen Galvin of The Dirt Society, a nonprofit working to establish a common vocabulary among farmers, regulators, distributors, and consumers about the opportunities and challenges that come with farming, such as the widely unknown high costs of switching to organic farming. Galvin was selling her handmade wreaths and other plant-based decorations. Learn more about The Dirt Society at

Once inside, customers had the chance to purchase tie-dyed scarves and pillows, jewelry, pottery, and more – all made by hand. Little Red Bird Botanicals ( offered, among other items, their winter health kits, featuring a specially blended cold and flu tea and “everything you need for the winter – except someone to cuddle with,” according to owner and herbalist Holly Poole-Kavana. Also featured was the Honey Project, in its 17th year, from Langley Elementary School, which produces flavored honey, beeswax, and other products. The project is chronicled on

Tucked in a back corner was the booth from Leafyhead Lotions & Potions (, run by founder Tricia McCauley, who has a master’s degree in herbal medicine. She is Common Good City Farm’s herbalist and makes everything from peppermint hand and foot cream (which doesn’t tingle but does “just make you feel great”) to cilantro lip balm.

Brent Pafford ( had his own porcelain creations on display. In addition to designing the dishes, Pafford has planned and executed several meals featuring original foods served entirely on his own dishes, and he hopes to organize one for DC soon.

Adjacent to the Big Bear counter was Lily Cox and A Strange Flower. Cox designs plants in moss balls (kokedamas), which offer a creative, hanging alternative to traditional houseplants. Most notably, the moss balls need to be dunked in order to be watered; Cox says she waters hers by filling her sink and letting the plants “take a bath.” A Strange Flower also offers floral arrangements. Learn more at

Big Bear Cafe is at 1700 First St. NW and

History in the Making?
At the Dec. 19 Bloomingdale Civic Association (BCA) meeting a debate raged about the ongoing efforts of the BCA Historic Preservation Committee to achieve historic district status for the neighborhood. The meeting, which was pushed early to 7 p.m. to accommodate the holiday party that followed it, featured a room filled with residents, many of whom expected to be voting on whether to apply for historic district status at the meeting.

BCA President Teri Quinn informed those assembled that the vote could not take place until a full presentation on the plan was given, and because that presentation would take at least 45 minutes it would need to be postponed to a future meeting. As Quinn pointed out, there had been no advance announcement that a vote would take place at the December meeting, and the entire BCA membership would have to be notified before such a vote could take place. The group voted to have the BCA Historic Preservation Committee present a full report at the Jan. 23 meeting, with the final vote set for February.

The public safety report revealed that while the neighborhood experienced an overall decrease in crime in December, motor vehicle break-ins had increased. Package thefts were down, thanks in part to security cameras in the area. Many of the perpetrators were school children, including one who didn’t even bother to cover up his uniform when he took packages, and it’s a simple matter for the police to send images to local schools to help identify them.

The pot-meeting holiday party featured pizza, sandwiches, hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and hot cider. Residents milled and chatted as they enjoyed the food and festive decorations.

Neighborhood Notes: Comings and Goings
A Dec. 12 Washingtonian article announced that a new mixed-use project, The Denizen, will break ground in Bloomingdale in mid-2017. The president of Maedwell Companies, Syga Thomas, told the magazine that the space is likely to feature a Maedwell-operated co-working space, as well as a culinary school and a grocery store. The development will be on the 1600 block of North Capitol Street NW.

DCity Smokehouse held a highly anticipated reopening at its new location at the intersection of Florida Avenue and Second Street NW. In sadder news, the Grassroots Gourmet Bakery permanently closed its doors on Dec. 24, just nine days after announcing the closure on Instagram.

Neighborhood Notes: Metrobus Changes
WMATA announced several Metrobus changes effective Dec. 18, including alterations to the 80, 90, and 92 buses (all of which serve Bloomingdale). For a full list of the changes visit

Neighborhood Notes: Free Improv Workshops
Bloomingdale’s Unified Scene Theater has brought back its free monthly improv workshop, with the first taking place on Dec. 11. For more information visit

Max Moline is a communications specialist living in DC. He frequents Nationals Park and enjoys writing about food as much as he does eating it. He’s always looking for new places to try. Rooftops and cigar lounges are a plus! Get in touch:; @MaxMoline425.