DAY 134

Brightwood Park (May 18, 2022)

We started out our continued exploration of Brightwood Park by walking down the length of Kennedy Street, the main shopping street in the neighborhood. The street is undergoing massive renovations, with numerous old building being pulled down and replaced with tall narrow buildings.

Unfortunately, many seemed built with cheap materials, with the siding already warping. We doubted they would last as well as this beautiful old brick building

The neighborhood is clearly gentrifying. There is a trendy new pizza place called Anxo.

And a cool cafe called la coop. We can recommend the espressos and iced lattes.

However, there are still plenty of the older restaurants and fast food joints, including this colorful taqueria.

Strangely, there were four funeral homes, all within a couple of blocks from each other.

And a number of storefront churches with great names like United Holiness Deliverance Church of God, Inc. and Holy Mountain of God Church.

There were some colorful murals, some with inspirational messages.

The facade of the historic Kennedy Theater still remains. Opened in 1939, its first movie was Juarez starring Bette Davis. It closed as a movie theater in 1974. We are not sure what it is now.

The District has many charter schools, catering to different niches. The diversity of the schools was apparent in the two charter schools that we passed during our walk. The Roots Public Charter School serves students (pre-K to Grade 5) and has a strong African Centered learning environment.

While at Washington Latin the students (grades 5-12) study the language, literature, and history of the ancients. The school motto is the Latin Discite, Servaturi which translates to Learn, those who are about to serve.

There are a wide variety of residences in the neighborhood, everything from large mansion like homes, to shacks that look like they would be at home in rural West Virginia, to apartments, to row houses.

We liked this bright teal row house and imagined how cool it would be if the neighboring homes also painted their homes in vibrant colors.

One home in the neighborhood was of particular significance to us, because it is where Lauren’s mother Deana grew up. We drove her by her old home a couple of weeks ago and she reminisced about growing up in the neighborhood. Here she is, at 89 years old, standing outside her childhood home.

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