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.

Day 133

Manor Park / Brightwood Park (April 23, 2022)

On a perfect day, we resumed our exploration of Manor Park and also began walking through neighboring Brightwood Park, where we saw some beautiful stucco homes.

And some lovely bungalows.

We found this home interesting. It was built at an angle to the street but with diagonal balconies that faced the street giving it a vaguely surreal look.

There are also a few older brick apartment blocks in the neighborhood, some of which had charming deco entrances.

It is prime phlox season which added dashes of vibrant pinks and purples throughout the neighborhood.

Day 132

Manor Park (February 21, 2022)

After more than two months of huddling inside, we finally got a warm enough day to resume discovering the streets of Washington D.C. We returned to Manor Park. It is a nice neighborhood consisting mainly of single family homes and row houses. Judging by the number of people walking strollers, it also appears to be a popular neighborhood for young families. Manor Park was also distinguishable by the number of houses that had metal shades over their windows. Here are some examples.

There were also some interesting triplexes.

Speaking of interesting homes, we passed under this paper wasp nest which was larger than of football. Fortunately, none of its inhabitants were out and about.

Day 131

Manor Park / Takoma (December 16, 2021)

It has been a month since we last walked in the Manor Park and Takoma neighborhoods. Since that time the leaves have all fallen and the holiday decorations have reemerged from storage.

Apparently, Mickey had too much egg nog at last night’s holiday party.

These decorations weren’t holiday themed but still amused us.

We passed by Calvin Coolidge High School where Lauren’s Uncle Buzzy was a student. Back then it was a new school having been established in 1940. Named after the thirtieth president of the United States, it currently has around 560 students.

The Manor Park neighborhood consists of many semi-detached homes. Something that we had not seen previously were the homes lining one street that were all joined at the hip, so to speak.

Clearly, the neighborhood is undergoing gentrification with more and more homes being renovated and painted in various shades of grey.

The neighborhood also has its very own White House.

Finally, looking up we noticed that X marks the spot.

Day 130

Manor Park (November 18, 2021)

On an unseasonably warm day, with temperatures rising into the seventies, we started exploring Manor Park. The neighborhood consists mainly of rowhouses, detached and semi-detached homes. Many of the homes were built in the 1920s and a number appeared to have been recently renovated. As per usual, it was easy to spot the renovated homes because they were almost inevitably painted grey.

Of course, as with every rule, there is an exception.

Many of the streets were lined with gingko trees that have beautiful bright gold autumn foliage.

This classic VW fit nicely with the colors of the season. It didn’t look as if it would be going anywhere soon.

Speaking of colors, this house stood out from its neighbors for its daring paintwork.

Here are some other homes we enjoyed during the walk.

We passed by Paul Charter School. The school is named for Edward A. Paul, the first principal of Washington High School from 1877-1888. Tragically, he died in a traffic collision when his bicycle was run down from behind by a horse-drawn carriage. The school opened its doors as a public charter junior high school in 2000. It is the first and only D.C. public school to convert to a charter. Originally founded in 1930, it also happens be the school that Lauren’s mother, Deana, attended.

Old Paul
New Paul

Manor Park also is home to the District’s closest approximation to the Eiffel Tower.

Day 129

Brightwood (October 22, 2021)

After a while away, we returned to the streets of Brightwood. It is one of District’s most diverse neighborhoods, with immigrants making up over 50 percent of its population. It has the highest number of Salvadorans and Ethiopians of any neighborhood, and has large numbers of residents from the rest of Central America, the Caribbean and the Philippines. It’s a pretty neighborhood consisting mainly of brick single family homes.

There are also some streets of row houses

And some beautiful old apartment buildings.

Situated in the neighborhood is Fort Stevens, the only fort within the District to come under attack during the Civil War. During the battle that took place on July 11-12, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln came under direct fire from Confederate sharpshooters while he witnessed the battle from the parapet of the fort. The battle marks the only time in American history that a seated President has come under direct fire from an enemy combatant during a time of war.

We liked the straightforward honesty of this salon which made no extravagant claims about its offerings.

Finally, here’s the muscle car of the day.

Day 128

Georgia Avenue and 13th Street NW (October 2, 2021)

Every year, as part of its Open Streets program, the District government closes down three miles of Georgia Avenue to traffic. So on a beautiful Saturday we went for a stroll down one of DCs major thoroughfares.

It was a perfect day for a parasol.

Or a covered wagon

There were various activities happening along the way, including double dutch jump roping.

Martial arts

And salsa dancing

There was a sizable police presence. Some joined in the salsa dancing.

More traditionally, this one preferred to go the coffee and donuts route.

It wouldn’t be a DC festival without some GoGo music.

Having made our way down Georgia Avenue we decided to return via 13th Street NW which runs parallel. Small apartment buildings and row houses line the street. Many are being renovated and painted in the ever popular cream or white.

There are still many colorful exceptions. We liked this fire engine red home.

We passed by Theodore Roosevelt High School. The original high school was built in 1932. Back then the neighborhood was predominantly jewish and according to Lauren’s mom, who lived nearby, Roosevelt was affectionally known as Jewsevelt. Like every other school we have passed so far in the District, Roosevelt has been recently renovated.

Finally, here is the car of the day.

Day 127

Judiciary Square / NOMA (August 2, 2021)

Finding ourselves downtown, we began our walk by strolling up Pennsylvania Avenue. Passing the FBI building we headed toward the distant Capitol.

Then we walked through Judiciary Square where many of the city’s court houses are located.

We also passed by construction of the new Capital Jewish Museum.

There is a lot of new construction in this part of town, including this massive glass building rising above the facades of older buildings.

And these buildings that have been constructed directly over what used to be a sunken open air highway.

It seemed that everywhere we went we were being observed by giant pet animals dressed in human clothing. Very strange indeed.

Day 126

Takoma (July 31, 2021)

On the final day of July we spent our last day of walking the streets of Takoma. We have thoroughly enjoyed the often colorful homes of the neighborhood. Here are some more examples.

It’s always interesting for us to see duplex homes where one side has been modernized and the other retains its original look.

We think that these are the first garden gnomes that we have come across during our walks.

This pick-up truck gave a good indication of the political persuasion of most Takoma residents.

This home provided grapes for passers-by

There was also a nice public meadow garden in the center of town.

This long concrete wall below the train line was crying out for a mural.

Day 125

Takoma / Brightwood (July 29, 2021)

We started out again in Takoma, where we continued to be charmed by the multi-colored cottages.

We also like this deco-style apartment building.

We walked by the Takoma Theatre which began life in 1923 as a 724 seat movie theatre. However, it closed its doors as a movie theatre in 1980 and the building is now the home of a healthcare center, where Children’s National Hospital offers pediatric neurology and behavioral health care. It is also the home of a cool cafe, called Lost Sock.

We like the sign post in this house’s front garden.

The Black-eyed Susan is neighboring Maryland’s state flower. They are at their peak at the moment and are a feature of many Takoma gardens.

Walking along Georgia Avenue, we passed by Battleground National Cemetery. On July 11 and 12 of 1864, the Confederate army attacked nearby Fort Stevens. The attack was repelled and the Confederates left behind 101 wounded soldiers and an unknown number of dead. Approximately, fifty Union soldiers were also killed during the attack and forty of those were laid to rest at what is now Battleground National Cemetery. President Abraham Lincoln, who attended the burial ceremony, dedicated the land as hallowed ground, making it one of America’s smallest national cemeteries.

Battleground National Cemetery

Walking west of Georgia Avenue, we entered the Brightwood neighborhood. It has a completely different feel to Takoma. Gone are the cottages, replaced by less colorful but more stately brick and stucco houses.

It is also the neighborhood where Lauren’s grandparents, Oscar and Lillian, lived from 1949 until the mid-1950s. Lauren’s parents, Gerry and Deana, lived there with them when they were first married. In fact, Lauren’s oldest sister, Marcy, was born while they were living at the house. We aren’t sure which is the exact house, but believe that it is one of these four.