Salutations, Streetcar Suburbs! 

Welcome to the Streetcar Spotlight. I’ve seen two open daffodil clusters around town this week — have yours opened yet? Upload your enviable bulb pics in the comments of our respective Facebook posts (HL&T, CPH&N, & Laurel), and I’ll swoon over them while weeping frozen tears from my north-facing front yard (that still has SNOW ON IT). Also, anyone out there with a Leap-Day birthday? How did you cope as a kid?!

Warm Fuzzies

Thanks to Daniella of Streetcar 82 (and Vigilante Coffee) last week for sharing a laugh with me, at myself, over my flannel coat unintentionally matching my Flannel Weather IPA order. Beer snort!

Got a kudos for a local business or government office/employee? Send it to us to potentially be included in the next newsletter!

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Local News in a Nutshell: Original Reporting & Analysis

Sharon OMalley1.jpeg copyFirst up — some internal news: Streetcar Suburbs Publishing is thrilled to welcome seasoned journalism professor and local news leader Sharon O’Malley as the new managing editor of the College Park Here & Nownewspaper. O’Malley has been a resident of College Park for more than 20 years and brings deep local knowledge and understanding of the complex issues facing the community. We look forward to her first issue coming up in March!

Another recent hire at an entirely different local institution gets a lovely profile this month from Hyattsville’s Jessica Arends. You may already know Daniella Reyna’s ebullient presence from popular Deaf-owned-and-operated brewpub Streetcar 82 (see above), but lately she’s been serving up a different brew at Vigilante Coffee as well since becoming the café’s first deaf employee in August. Stop in and say hello! As Reyna told The Life & Times, customers sometimes overlook her service and seek a hearing staff member, but we promise she doesn’t bite (though she does make and sell dog treats on the side 🍖).

In more good news, local parklets and playgrounds are coming soon, one in Riverdale and one in Berwyn. While it won’t help with the comparatively low playground density in Hyattsville, it will bring those nearby towns a little bit closer to achieving the Nordic ideal known as friluftsliv, or “free-air life”— living life outside and in nature.

Screenshot 2024 02 15 10.48.15 AM.png copyIn contrast, The Laurel Independent’s Joe Murchison reports that developers submitted a plan to the city of Laurel last month to build a subdivision of 302 homes on forested land at the edge of the city, including 22 that will be priced below market rate. Mayor Keith Sydnor supports the project, putting him at odds with local conservation groups, who oppose it. Both employ the usual arguments for and against: chipping away at the affordable housing crisis vs. preserving scarce forest land when the county’s tree canopy is already depleted. The first public hearing is set for March 12. (Photo c/o Pulte Home Co.)

Coincidentally, we just published a potentially prescient deep-dive into what the future of that debate might look like — this excellent overview of sediment pollution in the local urban stream Wells Run, from science reporter Paul Ruffins.

Jacob Hunting 2

And we’ll leave it at that!

My Top 5 Local Twitter Tidbits (okay, “X”)

  1. Registration is now open for spring classes at PG County Parks & Recreation (if you can make sense of the online platform!). ~@pgparks
  2. WMATA is considering eliminating bus lines in the county: in-person and virtual public hearings 2/26-2/29. ALSO: Central Avenue-Blue/Silver Line Sector Plan and SMA open houses March 13 & 16 at the Sports & Learning Complex. ~@CEXAlsobrooks (County Exec. Angela Alsobrooks)
  3. The City of College Park is considering temporarily closing the Saturday Hollywood Farmers Market for a variety of reasons, including low turnout. ~@thedbk (The Diamondback)
  4. In Hyattsville, a racoon which later tested positive for rabies was apprehended by an Animal Control officer last week after a resident called to report that the animal was behaving strangely near two schools on the 5200 block of 43rd Ave. in the after-school hours. “If you see something; say something,” says @HyattsvillePD
  5. Okay, this isn’t technically local, but I couldn’t resist: NASA seeks volunteers to live on Mars for a year (in a simulator). “The volunteers will be confined to living inside a 1,700-square-foot 3D-printed habitat at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston,” called Mars Dune Alpha. Also, you have to have 100,000 hours of flight time plus a master’s degree in a STEM field and 2+ years’ work experience (so basically—my dad). ~@WTOP (WTOP News)

That’s it for this edition! How are you going to spend your one magical extra day this year — February 29th? Send me an email with any questions or comments on the newsletter! Carpe diem, my friends. 

Heather Marléne Zadig, Newsletter Editor

Upcoming Events

Unless marked with an “$,” events listed do not charge admission.

Feb. 22 

6-8 p.m. Candice Tavares: “Naturally Beautiful” Public Reception. Tavares is a self-taught wood artist and illustrator creating positive, emotionally captivating images that celebrate Black love, culture, and beauty. Her works place heavy emphasis on the rich diversity of skin complexions and the beauty and intricacy of Black hair. At Prince George’s Publick Playhouse in Bladensburg.

7:30 p.m. Weekly Trivia at Denizens in Riverdale on Thursdays, with Nate from Cap City Trivia. Bring your crew and win some awesome weekly and seasonal prizes!

Feb. 23

6 p.m.-late. $ The Splatter Space by Paint Amore. Discover an exciting way of expression when you immerse yourself in our intimate splatter room! 8 spots available per session! Oblivion Art House, College Park.

7 p.m. Gabby & Nick, live music at Streetcar 82 Brewing Co. in Hyattsville.

8 p.m. $ UMD Symphony Orchestra presents: Beginnings—Overtures to the New Year • Vivaldi, Mozart, Handel, Wagner, Verdi, Bernstein, et al. In-person & Virtual Livestream. Dekelboum Concert Hall, UMD College Park.

Feb 23-25, var. times. $ Ms. Evers’ Boys at Laurel Mill Playhouse. Come see this important play, that dramatizes the inhumane and unethical Tuskegee Syphillis Study, often referred to as “the most infamous biomedical research study in US history.” It’s not BLACK History, it’s AMERICAN History. You don’t want to miss this. ~ Lorraine Brooks, Director.

Feb. 24

9-11:30 a.m. $ Punch & Brunch (boxing class + brunch) at The Hall in College Park. Get your sweat on for a guilt-free brunch with Travel Train Teach’s weekly multi-level boxing classes in The Longhouse! Visit @travel.train.teach on Instagram to sign up. 1st and 3rd Saturday, 9-9:45 a.m., Fundamental Boxing. 2nd and 4th Saturday, 9-9:45 a.m., MMA Conditioning. Every Saturday, 10-11:15 a.m., ALL Levels Thai Boxing.

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Pupusas Workshop with Carlos Alvarado, owner and chef of several local restaurants. Alvarado recently won an award in South America for pupusas and will share the recipe with the community, especially the Hyattsville and College Park fire departments. (All are welcome.) We are going to be teaching how to make pupusas, eating and chatting with the participants. At Cocineros Modern Latin Eatery in Hyattsville.

1-2 p.m. $ Afternoon Aviators at College Park Aviation Museum celebrates Black History in aviation. Ages 8-12. Free with museum admission.

8 a.m.-10 p.m. Mardi Gras Party in “Greenbelt’s Living Room,” The New Deal Café. Come party ALL DAY in your masks, feathers, and Mardi Gras finery! Indulge in our delicious food specials AND high energy music starting at 5pm! Greenbelt Honk! Situation ~ Greenbelt’s own community street brass band! 7:30 – 10:00 p.m., Sac Au Lait ~ Dubbed “Baltimore’s Finest in Dixieland.” Tipping the band recommended.

8 p.m. $ A special UMD Wind Orchestra performance featuring the talented Clarice Assad, highlighting works written by Assad, who will also perform with UMWO as a vocalist in a work that highlights the current desperate plight of the Amazon region in her native Brazil. Dekelboum Concert Hall, UMD College Park.

Feb. 25 

12-4 p.m. Plummer’s Kitchen Demonstration at the Riversdale House Museum. PLUS Riversdale Chamber Music Society Concert: U.S. Army Band. Join the Riversdale Kitchen Guild & interpreter Marvin-Alonzo Greer as they prepare foods popular among enslaved communities in Maryland. The U.S. Army Band Woodwind Quintet concert from 2-4 p.m. will highlight one of the Army’s premier chamber ensembles.The U.S. Army Band Woodwind Quintet entertains, educates, and inspires. Reception to follow, ages 12+.

6-8 p.m. $ Pa’Lante Serie Cultural Latinoamericana con Elena La Fulana, instrumentalista nominada al Latin Grammy y líder del grupo Elena & Los Fulanos. The first installment of the Pa’lante Latin American Culture Series, focuses on the culture of Central America through the work of Elena La Fulana, a DC-based Latin Grammy-nominated instrumentalist and the leader of the Wammie-nominated band Elena & Los Fulanos. Joe’s Movement Emporium, Mount Rainier. 

Feb. 26

4-6 p.m. Movie Matinee for teens & adults at the Laurel Branch Library: “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” – in Meeting Room B. Bring your own snacks and enjoy the animated film, which follows Mario on his adventures with his friends. Mario joins forces with Princess Peach and Toad. The trio is in search of Mario’s brother Luigi. Rated PG. 

6:30-8 p.m. $ Inscripción de Evento de Árboles y Productos de Limpieza Ecológicos. Formación sobre el mantenimiento de los árboles y la ciencia comunitaria (totalmente en español). Preguntas? 202-240-2830 o Driskell Park, 3911 Hamilton St, Hyattsville, MD.

Feb. 27

10-10:45 a.m. $ Beat Box Dads: B is for beatbox! Move, groove, and learn along with Max and Root, a dynamic dad duo. The Beatbox Dads give the letters of the alphabet rhythm and soul as they make music with their mouths! Ages 3-7, at Prince George’s Publick Playhouse in Bladensburg.

4-5:30 p.m. Story Explorers: Artist Horace Pippin — Hyattsville Branch Library, Held in the Art Room. Ages 5-12. Learn about the life and career of Black artist Horace Pippin and then make some art!

4-6 p.m. Needlework Social, Hyattsville Branch Library — Conference Room 1, for teens & adults. Are you interested in getting to know more people in your community with similar interests? Join us for Needlework Social where you can bring in any needlecraft you are working on while getting to know those around you.

Feb. 28 

7:30 p.m. Drag Bingo at Denizens Riverdale, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. Free to play!

7:30 p.m. Jazz Jam at The Hall CP presented by The Clarice at UMD. New monthly jazz jam session led by D.C.-based saxophonist Elijah Balbed! The house band will play a set starting at 7:30PM. Bring your instrument! After enjoying their set, you’ll have a chance to call a tune! No tickets required and all levels welcome.

Feb. 29

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Seniors on the Go: Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture. The City of Hyattsville offers special trips for older adults and people with a disability to experience local attractions like art museums, casinos, sports games, shopping centers, and more. REGISTER by emailing or calling (301) 985-5000.

7-9 p.m. $ The Tower Road Bus Film Screening at Greenbelt Cinema. The film revives the unresolved stories of African-American students and educators thrust into all-white schools during the 1970s. With a post-screening discussion featuring a panel of guests, many of whom are featured in the film or had experience with the busing system in Prince George’s County. 

Mar. 1

7 p.m. Prince George’s County Spelling Bee 2024 presented by The Washington Informer. Watch the top spellers in the county compete for a chance to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee! UMD Clarice Performing Arts Center, Dekelboum Concert Hall.

7 p.m. Starlight First Fridays — Paint Branch Creek (Irish music) at Maryland Meadworks in Hyattsville. Come sing and celebrate as PBC celebrate their love for Irish tunes with all of you! With Allison Hughes, Eric Maring, Arun Ivatury, Patrick Lynch, and Gregory Heelan.

Mar. 2

7 p.m. Live Music @ Denizens in Riverdale w/ LoLo and the Flint Hill Hustle.

7 p.m. Corn Beef Hash, Irish/Klezmer fusion band at Streetcar 82 in Hyattsville.

7 p.m. The Snapshirts — Live music at Maryland Meadworks in Hyattsville.

8-9:30 p.m. Award-winning musician Brandee Younger in concert. A leading voice of the harp, Younger made history at the 2022 Grammy Awards as the first Black female solo artist nominated in the Best Instrumental Composition category for her song “Beautiful Is Black” that also received a 2022 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Jazz Album. Prince George’s Publick Playhouse in Bladensburg.

Mar. 3

1-5 p.m. Teen Performance Ensemble Auditions, UMD’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Prince George’s Room. Are you a rising star ready to shine on stage? Do you have a passion for musical theatre and want to be part of an ensemble? This is YOUR chance to showcase your talent and join an exciting journey of creativity, friendship, and unforgettable performances! Register online.

3-5 p.m. UMD Faculty Artist Series: Collaborative pianist Alexei Ulitin presents a recital of works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Brahms and more! Gildenhorn Recital Hall, College Park. In-person and Livestream available.