Neat Neighborhood Find: First Bloom of Bloom

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It’s official – 11th Street is the coolest street in the city. Forget about Columbia Heights Coffee, Wonderland, Red Rocks and the soon to be Meridian Pint – First Bloom of Bloom – the new “spontaneous, underground, music, art and inspiration in the heart of Columbia Heights” is ridiculously awesome! I was sitting with a friend at Red Rocks drinking a couple of beers and relaxing after the Parade and a guy named Jon Chambers comes over to us to talk about his new spot. (And when I came home I had quite a few emails from folks also telling me about this new space.) Well, it is exactly like it sounds – art and music and lots of good vibes. I should say that this awesome spot is located at 3222 11th St, NW right between Wonderland and El Rinconcito. It is in one of those buildings that we’ve been wondering what will become of it. And I don’t think it would be possible for anything cooler than this to arrive.

I was given a tour during the day and got to see much of the cool art located on two levels. I then returned around 11:30 that evening to listen to some phenomenal music. The event was free although you could give a $5 donation but it wasn’t mandatory. I was a little hesitant when I heard a lot of talk about love and peace. The New Yorker in me came out and I thought I may have entered some sort of cult headquarters. But I couldn’t have been further off base. These folks are simply socially conscious people who are trying to bring the community together. The hope seems to be that all sorts of folks, white, black, latino, young, old, etc, will use this space as a community center. Pictured above is Jason Jasper who had an incredible voice and sang acapella. You can also see to the right of the photo that there was an artist painting a piece throughout the evening inspired by the music being played. Sat. night was the last night of a three night stand but I’ll be sure to post info for upcoming shows/events as they become available. I realized it was a super cool evening when famed WJLA anchor, Maureen Bunyan, arrived (see photo below). It seems like this space is really going to evolve into something great. Lots more photos after the jump.

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Jon Chambers
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