Bloomingdale Buzz

Urban farming at Common Good City Farm. Photo: Common Good City Farm

It’s Showtime!

Showtime bar is the best place in DC to deal with the Sunday night blues. Thanks to the funk fusion band Granny and the Boys and the $3 Natty Bohs, Monday mornings are easier to face.

On a recent Sunday night the band was missing their bass player and got a late start due to technical issues with the equipment. Granny just shook her head, shrugged her shoulders, and kept right on playing the keyboard. “We were what I would call ‘coasting,’” said Alice “Granny” Donahue. “I wanted to play ‘Thriller’ but couldn’t without our bass player [Roberto Santos].” Guitarist Tony Harrad filled in for Santos, and with L.K. Smith on vocals – and cowbell– the band brought the funk, rounding out their first set with Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing,” which could be Donahue’s anthem. 

“Age means nothing as long as you’re willing to work with it,” said Donahue, who plays music by ear. “The brain’s cortex is firing best when playing music; that could be why I’m still doing what I’m doing.” The 83-year-old is playing music so well, in fact, that one Facebook fan described her as a “bad-ass octogenarian.” Others may just call her a “cougar” since her partner, Richard Lynch, the band’s drummer, is 20 years her junior. She became manager of Lynch’s band when they started dating in the late-90s, and then she filled in for a missing keyboardist. She’s been on keyboard ever since.

After losing various members over the years, Donahue and Lynch remain the heart of the band. “What I’m doing is what I love to do,” Donahue shared. “Music has no color lines and has its own language. This is what we need today.”

Check out Granny and the Boys at Showtime on Sunday nights (note that Showtime is a cash-only bar) and, starting this month, at Old Engine 12 Restaurant on Thursday nights.

Visit Showtime at 113 Rhode Island Ave. NW and Old Engine 12 Restaurant at 1626 North Capitol St. NW, at www.oldengine12restaurant.com,or call 202-299-9128.

Ruling the Roost

Roost DC, a boutique property management company, is Nest DC’s sister company and shares the same DNA commitment to community involvement. The main difference between these sisters is that Roost is co-owned by the employees. Nest DC owner Lisa Wise saw the opportunity to empower her employees and combat the notoriously high turnover rate in her field that results from lack of growth opportunities and team support as well as lower salaries. “As an owner, that dynamic is totally different, and so is the commitment to the growth and the excellence of our work,” Wise said.

While Nest provides rental services, Roost works with condo associations and coops to manage properties that are anywhere from about 10 units to 100. “Most management companies provide a single point of contact for each building, but Roost … has a team of folks working on everything from maintenance to governance and finance,” Wise explained. “It allows us to develop stronger expertise, back each other up, and better meet the needs of the building.”

A core part of Roost’s mission is to support the community through volunteering time at organizations such as the Humane Society, co-sponsoring activities with Bread for the City, or participating in neighborhood clean-ups.

Community commitment extends to patronizing and partnering with local businesses, including Ace Hardware. “Every time a new tenant moves into a Roost property the unit needs to be refreshed – completely cleaned, a fresh coat of paint, maybe new lightbulbs and toilet parts,” said Gina Schaefer, who with her husband Marc Friedman owns 11 Ace Hardware stores in DC and Baltimore. “By choosing to spend their dollars at locally based businesses like mine, they are constantly reinvesting in community growth here in Washington,” Schaefer said.

Contact Roost DC at www.roost-dc.com,at info@roost-dc.com,or call 202-986-3088.

Urban Farming

Common Good City Farm (CGCF) is gearing up for another season of growing fresh produce and educating the community. Through urban farming and various outreach programs this nonprofit is nourishing community members and empowering them in the process. “Our produce distribution programs … provide access to fresh, affordable produce to our neighbors,” remarked Rachael Callahan, CGCF’s executive director. “Our education and volunteer programs provide hands-on, experiential education and skills-building to all ages.”

Since it started in 2007, CGCF has taught more than 1,000 DC residents and over 2,100 DC students about the importance of eating healthy food and gaining access to it. CGCF works with youth in the community through its LEAF after-school program. “At first students are less interested in actually eating the vegetables,” Callahan said. “But after being a part of helping the vegetables grow and being a part of preparing a dish with those veggies, they are eager to try because they were engaged in every step of the process.”

Green Tomorrows enables low-income individuals to learn hands-on food production skills, cooking skills, and nutrition information. Volunteers receive a weekly bag of the farm’s produce.

“The whole city's attitude toward and awareness about healthy, local food has changed in the last three years,” Callahan explained, adding that food-assistance vouchers make buying local produce possible. “Many of the food banks and soup kitchens have regional, seasonal produce donated to them and/or are providing healthy cooking/nutrition classes to their clients.” Callahan added, “We are happy to be a part of it and to be a place that people can go to connect with food and get excited about it. Then they can use all of the other great resources in the city to continue making the lifestyle change.”

CGCF’s season opener event is on Saturday, April 16, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., on the farm. 

Visit Common Good City Farm at commongoodcityfarm.orgor call 202-559-7513. The farm is on V Street between Second and Fourth streets NW.

1) Granny and the Boys at Showtime. Pictured are “Granny” Donahue and Richard Lynch
2) The Roost DC team at the company’s launch party. Photo: Victoria Milko