East Side News – October 2017

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The North Capitol celebration of Art All Night. Photo: Taylor Barden Golden

Art in the Dark
Since its inception in 2011, Art All Night has been one of the largest citywide events of the year. This year, North Capitol Main Street, with support from the NoMa Business Improvement District and Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie’s office and financial backing from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, hosted eight venues along the North Capitol corridor.

The venues spanned 12 blocks and continued into NoMa, offering different art forms along the way. The event began at Creative Grounds, a new coffee shop offering studio and exhibition space and art classes. The team there hosted art workshops for children and families and had henna and face painting for the little ones.

Farther down the thoroughfare were street art and street performances on the corner of 17th and North Capitol. Jam Doung Style Cuisine was on hand for early and late-night munchies. Students from the Davis Center performed dances including ballet and hip hop.

The event’s welcome center was hosted at the Florida lots and featured Adult Playground Art, while the Bates lot at 15th Street hosted a silent disco, which was a joy both to participate in and to watch from the sidewalk. It was also amusing to observe the reaction of passersby, who had no idea why a group of 100 people were jumping up and down in unison in a parking lot.

The largest venue was the Douglas lot, which hosted an all-night fashion show and an open-air fashion market featuring local designers, many of whom sell their goods online and not in brick-and-mortar stores (although that is the goal of most). The fashion show really kicked off after 10 p.m., and the cocktails were flowing, sponsored by Oregon Marionberry Whiskey.

The event extended into NoMa, onto the REI campus, which featured an installation of donated bikes with which people could interact and leave notes – living works of art. Leaving no stone unturned, no corner unartistic, 7 Drum City played a live drum jam at the NoMa/Gallaudet Metro station to welcome people to the festivities.

The event truly celebrated the life and art of the North Capitol corridor. The plethora of art on display showed the best of DC and of Northeast and celebrated our local artists and businesses. North Capitol Main Street, which brought the whole night to fruition, promised “an exhilarating evening of performance based art and live visual displays that will honor all the ways we make art.”

Tapas line the bar at Calle Cinco. Photo: Taylor Barden Golden

Popping Tapas
Restaurateur Michael Schlow is breathing new life into his 30-seat home at Fifth and K streets NW. His new popup, aptly named Calle Cinco, will be open at least through Oct. 15. The space was recently home to Conosci, which will relocate next month.

The idea behind Calle Cinco is a simple one: casual Spanish tapas, where ingredients are the key. “The idea here is really to be something special for the neighborhood,” Schlow told DCist. He doesn’t go for the overworked or overcomplicated to produce the frequently changing menu, which makes sense if you know the limitations of the space itself.

Conosci was a marvel to the restaurant scene because it had an ambitious, continually expanding menu that was prepared entirely in college-dorm fashion with a hotplate and a microwave. Schlow closed Conosci and announced that it would reopen in another location to be determined but likely having a full chef’s kitchen. Calle Cinco might not look much different from its predecessor, save the entrance to its sister restaurant Alta Strada, since closed, and the mood it sets with modern Spanish music and a bar lined with the night’s tapas options.

Schlow has jumped onto the newest love of the District’s drinking crowd with a sangria rose, which sells for $8 a glass and $32 a pitcher. The wine list consists of Spanish wines.

After Oct. 15, Schlow and his team will decide whether to keep Calle Cinco in its current form or to allow other ambitious ideas to take hold. Schlow seems open to many ideas for the space, including pairing with other culinary partners and hosting cooking classes and wine tastings. For now, the space will serve as a place for the neighborhood to find simple, casual tapas and refreshing sangria. 

Wunder Garten celebrates Oktoberfest. Photo: Taylor Barden Golden

Wunder Garten Brings Bavaria to NoMa
Wunder Garten hosted its third annual Oktoberfest, a celebration that for many signifies the start of fall. The event spanned three days, unlike Bavaria’s festival which lasts around 17 days, and included traditional German food, music, and beer.

Many beers on tap were crafted in the Oktoberfest Maerzen-style and produced in Bavaria’s oldest breweries, Spaten, Weihenstephaner, and Hofbrauhaus. Also on the menu was Wunder Garten’s cider to prepare one for the (hopefully) approaching fall weather. Cafe Berlin was on hand as usual to provide traditional German treats, with CaliBurger taking over for the late-night munchies.

The festival was geared toward families (even the canine kind) and saw a steady stream of parents and young children throughout the weekend. Each day featured a stein-holding competition, cornhole, and other kid-friendly games as well as live music and face-painting. Saturday featured a dance party with DJ Lehi, and Sunday featured a full pig roast by Cafe Berlin and traditional live Oktoberfest music by Die Drei Band.

Wunder Garten has always focused on families and prides itself on being a gathering place for the neighborhood. Its daytime events allow adults and children alike to enjoy the outdoor space and appreciate the beautiful weather while it lasts.

 

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.