Meet Local Artists at Gateway Open Studio Tour

The 15th annual open studio tour for the Gateway Arts District will take place on Saturday, May 11 and feature more than 200 local artists at studios, galleries and art spaces along Route 1 corridor.

A mainstay of the local arts scene, the open studio tour has more than doubled the number of places to visit. Notable spots include Red Dirt Studio, Joe’s Movement Emporium, the Washington Glass School, Portico Gallery, D.C. Glass Works and Pyramid Atlantic.

The Washington Post recently highlighted the studio tour, arguing that the arts community stretching from Mount Rainier to Hyattsville “boasts enough independent galleries, offbeat vintage shops and restaurants to rival its D.C. brethren.”

The studio tour will conclude with an after-party from 5 to 10 p.m. at Studio 3807 and the Brentwood Arts Exchange next door, at 3807 and 3901 Rhode Island Ave. in Brentwood.

There, you’ll be able to sample food from the vendors at the upcoming Savor artisanal food hall at Studio 3807 and enjoy an interactive public art installation using light projection from a group of artists from Vienna, Austria, known as Tag Tool Crew/OMAi.

The public, interactive light display, called “ARTS’TINATION,” was curated by Rhonda Dallas and sponsored by the Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council.

The studio tours will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can find a schedule and a map of participating locations on the official website or at Tanglewood Works, Pyramid Atlantic, Studio 3807 or the Brentwood Arts Exchange.

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See the Art for Riverdale Park’s Purple Line Stop

Courtesy of Mikyoung Kim

Riverdale Park’s upcoming Purple Line stop will include some dynamic public art.

The Maryland Department of Transportation has selected Boston artist Mikyoung Kim to build a series of interactive sculptures at the stop, which will be at the intersection of Riverdale Road and Kenilworth Avenue.

Taking advantage of the overhead rail line — the only point in Route 1 corridor communities that the transit system will be this high — Kim envisioned a grove of trees enhanced by vertical folded columns that double as seats at ground level.

“These stainless steel kinetic sculptures are triggered by engagement: when people sit in the folded seats, the columns will sway and reflect a play of colored lights above them,” she wrote in a project description. “The columns will stretch up into the overpass and taper off into a reflective cap, lit by LED lights, which will mimic light filtering through surrounding grove of trees.”

The public art is part of the agency’s broader effort to put public art at most of the Purple Line stops.

Mount Rainier artist Valerie Theberge, who you may know for her “Great Wave Off Anacostia” mural at the Melrose Skatepark in South Hyattsville, was also chosen to do a mural at the Beacon Heights station.

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Denizens Opens May 25 in Riverdale Park

Denizens Brewing Co. will open Saturday, May 25, at Riverdale Park Station.

The Silver Spring-based brewery will open a 12,000-square-foot production house and taproom across from Whole Foods as its second location.

“This new location will allow us to maintain and even improve upon our standards of quality at a much larger scale, which means putting pints of Denizens beer into more hands,” said co-founder Jeff Ramirez, who serves as chief brewing officer.

The location will include a 150-seat taproom and a 9,000-square-foot production space, which will brew Denizens’ four core beers: Southside Rye APA, Born Bohemian Pilsner, Third Party Tripel and Lowest Lord ESB.

While the taproom will enhance Denizens’ reputation as a destination for beer-drinkers, the production space will allow it to build out its customer base, selling more wholesale to local distributors.

Co-founder Julie Verratti, who serves as chief brand officer, said the brewery matched out on its production capacity three years ago and has had to turn down retail customers at bars, restaurants and liquor stores.

Denizens’ beer can currently be found everywhere from Busboys and Poets and MOM’s Organic Market to Nationals Park.

Executive Chef James Marroquin has planned a menu featuring globally inspired dishes that have been designed with specific beer pairings in mind.

The taproom will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Lunch will be offered Monday through Friday and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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University Town Center Apartments Almost Open

High-end apartments inside a renovated office building at University Town Center are now pre-leasing.

The Highline apartments will be located at 3700 East West Highway in the 10-story Metro II building, first constructed in 1968 as part of an effort to create a “Rockefeller Center in the countryside.”

While the exterior, designed by the same architect as the Kennedy Center, remains the same, the interior has been dramatically refashioned.

The building will have co-working spaces with phone, internet and desks that can accommodate up to six people; a sound-proofed “Rockstar Room” for rehearsals; a “Moroccan Sunroom” to get light on rainy days; a “Makers Space;” and Amazon lockers for easy pickup, along with a bike room, a fitness center and a pet spa.

“Whether you want to create a new podcast or record a track, make crafts with other residents, or soak up the sun in Moroccan style, our Hyattsville apartments offer practicality, imagination, and comfort,” the apartment website notes.

Apartments come with a washer and dryer, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, large closets and a keyless entry system. Floor plans range from a 636-square-foot studio to a 1,719-square-foot three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment. Prices range from $1,400 to $3,100.

The biggest selling point may be location, however. The apartments are next to a movie theater, new Safeway and several restaurants and a short walk from the Prince George’s Plaza Metro station.

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‘Faces of Hyattsville’ Offers Free Photo Shoot

Courtesy of Juliette Fradin.

Photographer Juliette Fradin is putting together an exhibition called “Faces of Hyattsville,” and she needs your help.

Hyattsville residents who come to a photo shoot Saturday, May 4, will be featured as part of her ongoing series, intended to showcase the area’s rich diversity.

“I welcome all races, religions, countries of origin, all ages, genders and sexual orientations,” she wrote in a request. “Seriously. Come with your spouse, neighbor, dog, newborn, parakeet, grandma…”

In exchange for the one-minute photo shoot, you’ll be given a free copy of the digital file.

As a native of France, Fradin says she’s been drawn to explore interactions in the local community, especially how people come together. She hopes her photo series, which depicts individuals in their everyday clothes in front of a stark white background, will showcase that.

“As a photographer I want to highlight the diversity of our city, the people who shape this close-knit community and it is also a way for me to give back,” she said. “Being an immigrant myself with no previous ties to the U.S., I deeply value the importance of strong connections.”

Fradin will take photos from noon to 2:30 p.m. at 4802 Rhode Island Ave., the gray garage across from Pizzeria Paradiso in South Hyattsville. You must be a resident of Hyattsville to participate.

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Route 1’s New ‘Silicon Valley’ Center Now Open

College Park’s aspirations for a slice of “Silicon Valley” on the Route 1 corridor took a big step forward with the official opening this week of a $152 million computer science and engineering building.

With a sleek glass exterior and curvy design, the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering, which was kickstarted by a $31 million donation from the co-founder of Oculus VR Brendan Iribe, has raised the bar for the area’s architecture. But it’s what’s inside that matters even more.

Located on the corner of Campus Drive and Baltimore Avenue, the six-story building, which had an official ribbon-cutting this week after three years of construction, will host students and professors working on cybersecurity, quantum computing, data science, virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

The building also has a makerspace, cafe, a 300-seat auditorium and a rooftop garden. One room is even named for the Brin family: emeritus math professor Michael and Goddard Space Flight Center Eugenia and their sons, University of Maryland graduates Samuel and Sergey, the co-founder of Google.

Across the street are the Hotel at the University of Maryland, a new WeWork location, a tech incubator and a future Purple Line stop. A little farther down the road is the university’s burgeoning Discovery District, which is already home to several big government labs and science-based tenants.

And the nearby area is already changing, with new restaurants, student housing and apartments aimed at post-college living.

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Tanglewood Works’ Moves to Brentwood

Popular “upcycling” shop Tanglewood Works is moving the furniture side of its business from Hyattsville to Brentwood.

The new location at 3721 Rhode Island Ave., across from the fire station and just down the street from Studio 3807 apartments, will combine furniture from Tanglewood Works with another local business, Village Furniture Finds.

“My team loves selling our hand-painted art furniture here in the Gateway Arts District but we knew we needed a location better suited to loading and unloading furniture and we wanted a bigger variety of options for our clients,” owner Sue Older-Mondeel said.

The new store will be known as Pickin’ & Grinnin’.

Meantime, the non-furniture side of Tanglewood Works will remain at its current location in Hyattsville’s SoHy district at 5132 Baltimore Ave., renamed Tanglewood Gifts, alongside My Dead Aunt’s Books and Suffragette City.

A grand opening and sale for the new furniture store is set for 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 5 at 3721 Rhode Island Ave.

Along with do-it-yourself crafts and kids activities, the event will feature live music, barbecue from local favorite 250 Texas BBQ and drinks from Maryland Meadworks.

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Watch the Hyattsville Library’s Saucer Fly

The Hyattsville’s public library’s “flying saucer” lived up to its name this morning as construction workers lifted it to a new home on site.

The iconic Space Age-era saucer was the subject of an intense public lobbying campaign to spare it from the wrecking ball as the old library is demolished.

The library’s architects chose to move it from its location at the old library’s entrance along Adelphi Road to an interior courtyard where it will be home to a “reading garden.” It will be on a different part of the property until construction is finished.

Although well-loved among the community — it was the library where Jim Henson first checked out books on puppetry — the 1964 building was past its prime, and renovations would have been more expensive than starting over.

The new $32.7 million library will be a lot more energy efficient, with larger windows and a children’s section with a castle, dragon and troll bridge.

And the saucer, once derided, will keep the city’s connection to its past while serving a better purpose than it had.

While the library is under construction, area residents can check out books at the temporary location at 6502 America Boulevard, across from the movie theater at University Town Center.

Posted in Hyattsville | 3 Comments

Capital Bikeshare Keeps Expanding on Route 1

Photo courtesy of

It’s been a long time coming, but Capital Bikeshare is finally getting serious about expanding along the Route 1 corridor.

New bikeshare stations opened recently in several key locations:

• Studio 3807 apartments in Brentwood
• West Hyattsville Metro on Queens Chapel Road and Hamilton Street
• Hyattsville Middle School
The future new Hyattsville library site on Adelphi Road
• Northwestern High School in Hyattsville

This includes existing stations at the Shoppes at Arts District Hyattsville at 5495 Baltimore Ave., near City Hall in Mount Rainier at Perry and 35th Street and at Riverdale Park Station at 6621 Baltimore Ave. The system almost has enough stations to start making trips worthwhile.

But the Hyattsville Wire has learned that several other stations are in the works for this summer and fall, pending agreements with landowners:

• Magruder Park in Hyattsville (summer)
Melrose Skatepark in Hyattsville (summer)
Heurich Community Park in Hyattsville (summer)
• The Hotel at the University of Maryland (fall)
• College Park Metro station (fall)
• The former Quality Inn site in College Park (fall)

Greenbelt is also moving ahead with plans to install five bikeshare stations by the summer of 2020 at Greenbelt Station Parkway and North Center Drive, Breezewood Drive and Cherrywood Lane, Roosevelt Center, Crescent and Ridge roads near the police station and near Eleanor Roosevelt High School.

For now, the biggest drawback is that there isn’t a Capital Bikeshare near the Prince George’s Plaza Metro station (although rival Zagster is at the College Park Metro already).

But each new station adds to the usefulness of the system, especially for residents who work in D.C. and may already have a membership. And as we’ve argued before, Capital Bikeshare is the new Metro when it comes to accessibility and development.

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Federalist Pig to Open Hyattsville Location

Photo courtesy of Federalist Pig

Beloved D.C. barbecue joint Federalist Pig will open a second location in Hyattsville.

The Adams Morgan restaurant is expanding to a 2,500-square-foot space that once housed The Tire Place until earlier this year at 5504 Baltimore Ave.

The location will be just across the street from the Shoppes at Arts District Hyattsville, home to Busboys and Poets, Tara Thai and Elevation Burger, and will likely be a major draw for the area’s already diverse restaurant scene.

It’s also a huge get. Federalist Pig is often ranked among the area’s best barbecue restaurants and even got a shout-out on “House of Cards.” Its menu draws on traditions from around the world, all sides are vegetarian and food allergies are respected.

Owner Steve Salis told the Washingtonian the restaurant will have bar service, a large outdoor patio and a more upgraded look than the distressed corrugated metal at its other location.

It will also have two large wood-fired smokers, dramatically increasing Federalist Pig’s catering operation and allowing both restaurants to stay open later. (The restaurant often runs out of smoked meat by 7:30 p.m.)

Pitmaster Rob Sonderman told Eater D.C. that he’s planning to experiment with the menu, especially trying different combinations of woods, since he’s been limited to a gas-assisted smokers to now.

“I feel like you guys haven’t really seen anything yet in terms of what we can deliver for food and service,” he said.

Federalist Pig is expected to open late this year or early next year.

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