Chicken and Egg Together
This time, it turns out, the chicken and the egg came together! That’s the theme of the two-piece sculpture that has been installed at the intersection of New York Avenue and North Capitol Street. Entitled “The Chicken and the Egg,” the work is the first realization of a long-term effort that will use art to transform key intersections around NoMa.
The project is the brainchild of the Gateway Project of the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID). The idea of revitalizing intersections through art was first discussed in the NoMa Public Realm Design Plan published in 2012 and was expanded in the most recent NoMa Strategic Plan. According to the BID, “the goal is to turn these spaces into signature streetscape moments that create positive experiences for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers; provide a strong visual identity for NoMa; and celebrate the neighborhood’s history and character.”
“The Chicken and the Egg” is located on land owned by the National Park Service on a reservation that is bisected by a curved roadway that allows drivers on N Street to turn onto New York Avenue. The piece is in two parts. The first, on the western parcel, is the chicken, which stands nearly four feet tall on a utility box. The second, on the eastern parcel, is a hollow aluminum egg. The art is lit by solar-powered lights that will make the eggs flow and cast shadows on the surrounding sidewalks. The bright colors match new banners and other NoMa branding – cyan, magenta and yellow.
The work was created by Harry Mark, a designer based in San Clemente, California, and was commissioned by the BID. The idea is inspired by NoMa – “a playful comment on the conundrum of ongoing change in the area,” according to the BID.
“We are always excited to bring new public art to NoMa and brighten the neighborhood with color,” said BID president Robin-Eve Jasper. “More people will be using the intersection of North Capitol Street and New York Avenue over the coming years as NoMa and Truxton Circle build out. ‘The Chicken and the Egg’ will help connect the two neighborhoods and serve as an iconic destination point for pedestrians and bike riders.”
With the first installation of the Gateway Project complete, the BID is now working to prioritize the intersection of North Capitol and H streets by the Government Printing Office building and the intersection of New York and Florida avenues. The District’s plan to rework the “virtual circle” defined by New York Avenue, Florida Avenue and First Street NE – unlovingly called Dave Thomas Circle – into a more-attractive space that is safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers provides public spaces that could be enhanced with art, said Jasper. “The upcoming redesign of this cramped confluence of roads into a place that not only moves cars efficiently but, more important, welcomes people and knits the neighborhood back together, is an incredible opportunity.”
Working the Ground in MVT
If you live in Mount Vernon Triangle and want to help keep it beautiful, there’s now a program that can help you do just that. This summer, the residents of Mount Vernon Triangle are giving back to their community through a new volunteer program. The initiative, MVT GroundWorks, provides many opportunities for neighborhood involvement.
The first event for the GroundWorks program, at the end of July, was a huge success and a great foundation for the following sessions. Families and people of all ages came out to clean and update the landscaping around Plaza West, the intergenerational housing development designed for grandparent and senior housing. The goal was to provide a more welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere to the surrounding grounds of the plaza.
A number of Plaza West residents and employees joined the work. One resident became overwhelmed with emotion as she saw the beautiful plants being set outside of her window.
This is the first of what the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District (MVT CID) hopes will be many volunteering events. The goal is to allow residents to give time and effort for the betterment of the neighborhood and each other. In a rapidly diversifying neighborhood, this is a foundation of intercommunity support.
The CID is looking for new ideas for upcoming projects. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities or have a project that you think would be a fit for MVT GroundWorks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com; @rtaylorb.