While Brookland is filled with plenty of daily dining and entertainment, Saturdays in Brookland are truly a gift, thanks to a defunct barbershop tucked away on Bunker Hill Road. Be careful - one visit might turn you into a devoted regular:
Java Head Cafť
Wake up to a mug of excellent coffee (or in the winter, even better hot apple cider) and a muffin or sandwich. The regulars here are friendly, and the owner is even friendlier. Nat Cooper proves the trip is worth it by traveling in from Delaware every day just to chat with his customers. Arrive before three, as Java Head closes early on weekends.
3629 12th Street, NE
10 am - 3 pm weekends
10 am - 6 pm weekdays
(Thursday open mic poetry lasts until about midnight)
Once youíve had your caffeine, explore some of the architectural gems of the city. The Basilica of the National Shrine is visible from much of the city and remains immensely impressive from up close. Nearby, the Franciscan Monastery offers rose gardens, replicas of holy shrines, and even catacombs. The Gothic architecture of Catholic University and Trinity College line Michigan Avenue. Brooks Mansion, the home of Colonel Brooks (the namesake of the neighborhood) is no longer open to the public, but the historical landmark is visible from the street. Finally, visit the designs of Hilyard Robinson, one of the countryís most famous African-American architects from the 1930s to 1960s. Most notable is his Ralph Bunche house.
Archie Edwards Blues Foundation
Now that the neighborhood has won you over with its commercial strip and architectural landmarks, youíre probably in the mood to sing. Perfect! Itís time for the Archie Edwards Blues Foundation. Every Saturday, local blues musicians gather in the barbershop to jam through the afternoon and evening. While the shop opens at 1:00, people tend to show up later. As the president of the foundation and an excellent musician, Michael Baytop continues Archie's decades of weekly blues sessions. For anyone who even remotely likes the blues, this is an incredible experience. If you canít make it every week, at least stop by once.
2007 Bunker Hill Road, N.E.
Saturdays 1:00 until people go home
Havenít had enough?
If you want to stick around Brookland a little longer, grab dinner at the Colonel Brooks Tavern or Jim's Crab Shack & Tiki Bar on Monroe, right by the Metro. Dance Place often has performances by local dance and theater companies, as well as special events and festivals.