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H Street Life

Late snow storms couldn’t delay spring forever. Just like the tulips and daffodils, new attractions are blooming on H Street NE, both in the form of new destinations and innovations from some established purveyors.   

FreshFarm Market Returns April 7
The FRESHFARM farmers market (http://freshfarm.org/h-street-ne.html) is back for its 2018 season as of April 7. Founded in 2004, our little market has grown steadily over the years. A welcome Saturday morning ritual for many, the market offers an opportunity to mingle with friendly neighbors and vendors while stocking up on provisions for the week.

The market will welcome some new vendors this year. Call Your Mother (https://www.callyourmotherdeli.com), from the team behind Timber Pizza, will serve up wood-fired breakfast bagels that blend elements of classic New York- and the sweeter Montreal-style bagels. Steve Mushroom Farm will join the line-up with a variety of local mushrooms. Our own Sospeso (http://www.sospesodc.com, 1344 H St. NE) will be on hand selling build-your-own salad platters. Plans are also in the works to eventually add nearby Ivy City distillers Republic Restoratives (http://republicrestoratives.com) and local brewers Right Proper (http://www.rightproperbrewing.com) on an alternating basis.

The H Street NE market is a FRESHFARM Share location (http://freshfarm.org/freshfarm-share.html), where subscribers can pick up a bag of pre-selected fresh fruits and vegetables with recipe ideas. It’s FRESHFARM’s version of a CSA, and it’s pretty handy for those who may have limited time to plan meals and shop. Subscriptions run for half a season (mid-May through early August and early August through the end of Oct.), and come in two sizes.

This year’s market hours are Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.FRESHFARM will also launch a new Sunday morning NoMa farmers market in June at 1100 First St. NE.

Cultivate the City’s H Street Farms on the roof of W.S. Jenks & Son Hardware. Photo: Elise Bernard

Get Gardening with W.S. Jenks & Son & Cultivate the City
Spring is in the air, and if you feel an urge to garden sprouting within you, it’s time to head over to W.S. Jenks & Son Hardware (https://www.wsjenks.com, 910 Bladensburg Rd. NE). The locally owned hardware store has everything you’ll need to get your yard and garden into shape for the season. Their partner Cultivate the City (http://www.cultivatethecity.com) stocks equipment, seeds and live plants, some of which you’ll find in their lovely rooftop space they’ve dubbed H Street Farms. Cultivate, which regularly holds classes on the roof, will host a free Earth Day seed and seedling swap April 22. Spaces are limited, so be sure to sign up on their website if you want to participate.

Chupacabra Returns with Tacos Galore
As local gardens spring back to life, so does Chupacabra (http://www.chupacabradc.com, 822 H St. NE). The outdoor Latin kitchen and taqueria reopened last month.  Look for new menu additions including queso blanco and a quesadilla, as well as local beers from Atlas Brew Works (http://www.atlasbrewworks.com), DC Brau (https://dcbrau.com), and Right Proper (http://www.rightproperbrewing.com). Chupacabra is currently operating on its spring hours, which means you can stop by Thursday through Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Fancy Radish Takes Root on H Street NE
A new plant-based dining option has opened from Philadelphia restaurateurs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. The duo brings with them experience gained from running their much acclaimed upscale VEDGE, the more casual V Street, and Whiz Kid  which offers a vegan take on the Philly cheesesteak. Fancy Radish (600 H St. NE) marries elements of the first two, but will be closer in spirit to VEDGE.  It opened to much excitement in late March, with a menu featuring dishes such as the spicy dan dan noodles with sichuan pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini ($15), the wood roasted carrot with black lentils, carrot harissa, olives, and preserved lemon ($16) and the lighter chioggia beet tartare with crushed cucumber, smoked tofu, and pumpernickel ($13).  For the moment, Fancy Radish offers only dinner service Tuesday through Saturday. Expect that to expand to seven days a week once they get settled, with brunch service coming in the future.

The Angelika Pop-Up explores the works of Stanley Kubrick this month. Photo: Elise Bernard

Angelika Pop-Up Presents Stanley Kubrick and Studio Ghilbi
Not every spring day has the right weather for exploring, so it’s good that the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market (550 Penn St. NE) has two upcoming film series for those times you’d rather curl up with popcorn and watch a movie. First up is a Stanley Kubrick retrospective “Heeere’s Kubrick” featuring a different Kubrick classic screening each Wednesday in April. The line-up begins with “Dr. Strangelove” April 4, followed by “The Shining” April 11, “A Clockwork Orange” on the 18th, and finishing with “Full Metal Jacket” on April 25.

Are war and horror not quite your style? Maybe some delightful anime from Studio Ghibli is more up your alley. The Angelika’s Studio Ghibli Festival begins June 13 with “Princess Mononoke.” Every week, they’ll present another lovingly-made classic of Japanese cinema, ending with “From Up on Poppy Hill” the week of August 22.

Pluma by Bluebird Roosts Near Union Market
A new bakery recently opened in what some have dubbed the Union Market District. Whether you choose to call it that, or opt for one of the other names by which the neighborhood has been known (Union Terminal Market, Capital City Market, or Florida Avenue Market), you’ll want to visit Pluma (https://plumabybluebird.com, 391 Morse St. NE) soon. Pluma comes to us from the team behind Bluebird Bakery (http://www.bluebirdbakerydc.com). The menu is divided into sections for morning and afternoon, but don’t let that fool you. They are open until 9 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and until 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Their menu can vary by the day, but in the morning you’ll find delights such as a seasonal savory breakfast tart, the green gage plum & almond bostock brioche, and a ricotta, pear and honey tartine. In the afternoon you can relax with some chocolate rye brownies, or a bit of pineapple olive oil cake. Order a salad if you feel virtuous. Those desiring something more substantial can choose a sandwich or a slice of Pizza Romana. The pizza Romana isn’t the typical thin crust Neapolitan to which we’ve grown accustomed. It’s thicker, and on a recent day Pluma served it topped with muscat grapes, rosemary, and sea salt. Pluma serves beer and wine, as well as tea, coffee, and selections from the espresso bar.


For more on what’s abuzz on, and around, H Street NE, you can visit my blog at http://frozentropics.blogspot.com. You can send me tips or questions at elise.bernard@gmail.com.

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