East Side News

January 2018

1615
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, performs outside of Wunder Garten’s Winter Market. Photo: Taylor Barden Golden

Santa Stops by MVT
Santa stopped by to say hello and hand out goodies to the neighbors of Mount Vernon Triangle. Equipped with his workshop and a digital camera, Santa met with kids, dogs and even a few adults who wanted a present for Christmas. Santa was hosted by the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District (MVT CID) and the local advisory neighborhood commission (ANC).

Along with the thrill of seeing Santa in person, neighbors could enjoy hot chocolate from Le Pain Quotidian along with other snacks. Santa, though, did not bring his magic to the weather, which provided quite a bit of rain, so the popcorn machine that is always provided by Fifth Street Ace Hardware was a bit dangerous to use outside.

The children who took a photo with Santa also received a book courtesy of ANC Commissioner Alex Marriott. “The holiday event is a great example of what makes the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood so special,” said Marriott. “While part of a large city, the neighborhood is a small community that comes together throughout the year for season and holiday events that are a lot of fun for families and individuals. These events are a big part of the reason this community is such an attractive place to live.”

Those who attended were also able to donate unwrapped gifts for families supported by Central Union Mission as part of the 2017 Operation Christmas Miracle, which supplies Christmas gifts to two thousand underprivileged children in DC. “We were pleased to once again be part of spreading holiday cheer among Mount Vernon Triangle’s kids, families and even pets through what has now become an annual neighborhood tradition,” explained Kenyattah A. Robinson, president and CEO of the MVT CID. “Events like our Santa celebration are great for community-building and showcase yet another reason why Mount Vernon Triangle is a great place to live and entertain.” He added, “Creating possibilities to foster these types of interactions, and witnessing the positive outcomes that emerge, is one of the truly great privileges of the work we do at the CID every day to enhance the pride we all feel for our great community.”

It’s Swampoodle for the Poodles
The NoMa Parks Foundation has announced the name for the long-awaited dog park that will soon become a reality at Third and L streets NE, and the pun was not intended. The pups and kids alike will be playing at the new Swampoodle Park, then likely asking themselves where the name Swampoodle came from.

Swampoodle was the name given to the mostly-Irish neighborhood during the second half of the 19th century. The name came from the puddles caused by the frequent flooding of Tiber Creek. Flooding still plagues the residents of the Bloomingdale and LeDroit neighborhoods, even though the creek is long buried.

The fact that the name contains the word “poodle” was a happy accident, according to NoMa Parks Foundation Director Robin-Eve Jasper. Although one could argue that was part of the appeal, residents are clearly interested in bringing the name back into use.

The name was chosen by popular vote and announced at an event on Dec. 12. Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen made the announcement and will introduce the Swampoodle Park Designation Act of 2017 to officially recognize the park’s name. “I love the name Swampoodle Park for our newest park in Ward 6!” declared Allen. “Our future must include great public parks and green spaces. ‘Swampoodle’ may be an older name, but it’s one that still resonates today.” Allen continued, “I appreciate the hard work the NoMa Parks Foundation put into involving the community in this process. Now let’s get this park built and ready for our neighbors to enjoy!”

Wunder Garten’s Winter Garden
Riding the heels of the success of Wunder Garten’s fall season of “fests,” the outdoor bar space found another inventive use for its large open space during the winter season. In collaboration with the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID), Wunder Garten hosted a Winterfest Winter Market featuring local products tailored to the holiday season.

The market featured a rotating lineup of Made in DC vendors, including JSquared Candle Co., The Cookie Jar DC, Urban Jungle and more, selling items to decorate the home for the holidays or give as presents. One section of the market sold Christmas trees, mostly Frasier firs ranging up to 10 feet tall. Of course, Santa made a few visits throughout the season as well.

The outdoor ambience underscored the holiday sparkle with twinkling lights and LED snowflakes. As the Garten itself only provides the beer, Timber Pizza, Holy Crepes food truck and CaliBurger provided sustenance for the weary shoppers, who were also happy sipping on hot cocoa from Peet’s Coffee. Another benefit of the outdoor venue was the ability to gather around the firepit and roast marshmallows. Blankets were provided and necessary.

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, came out to celebrate the market as well, performing carols for families coming to and from the market or simply walking the cold NoMa streets. “We were thrilled to be part of the Swampoodle Park event,” said Dr. Thea Kano, artistic director of the chorus. “The residents were so gracious, gathering to hear our holiday carols in the very chilly night air – some of them even sang along! Community outreach is core to who we are as the GMCW, and we appreciate the opportunity to share our music and message of equality with the NoMa community.”

NoMa BID President Jasper thought the market was a great success. “Partnering with our friends at Wunder Garten to create a celebration of the holidays for our NoMa neighbors was a treat, and we hope it will be an annual event. We were especially gratified to be able to support local businesses and charities through the Winterfest celebration. Looking forward, in 2018 we are thrilled to our toes about delivering parks for the NoMa neighborhood and plan to add several ribbon cuttings to our regular schedule of free, fun events.”

 

Taylor Barden Golden is a real estate agent with The Stokes Group at McEnearney Associates Inc. A former Hill staffer, Taylor lives in Brentwood with her husband, two dogs and a cat. She’s always on the lookout for new places to explore and ways to spend time outside. Get in touch: taylor@midcitydcnews.com; @rtaylorb.