Some local DCers and travelers alike may be aware of all the confusions that DC’s latest up and coming neighborhood is sparking. I’m talking about Brookland, DC. Although it is often confused for Brooklyn, NYC in pronunciation the new destination is just a quick 15 minute metro ride away from Dupont Circle on the Red Line. I really encourage locals and visitors alike to make sure they get out of the downtown bubble and check out places like NOMA and Brookland. These two destinations contain many cool spots, flying under the radar, i.e. those actually from Brooklyn would definitely approve.
I wrote about Monroe Street Market in a post that is already almost two years old! So much development has happened in the area since. After an afternoon trip this past weekend I have a couple new places for you to check out,
First, head from the metro to the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery on Quincy Street. This holy site reminds me of the missions along the California coastline, as well as, old world places in Spain and Italy. The monastery is awe-some in this way and has beautiful tranquil gardens. The church itself was far bigger than I anticipated and was beautiful and ornately detailed. I would definitely recommend going on one of the guided tours held every hour so you can explore the catacombs underneath the monastery. The monastery is self labeled an “oasis of peace” and I think this is a very fitting name for the structure and grounds that provide a modern pilgrimage site for not only Catholics but anyone looking to be inspired by faith and nature.
After uncovering the hidden monastery my friend Seth took me to Saturday night mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The name is quite a mouthful but the basilica is is another breathtaking site. next to Catholic University You don’t need to attend a religious service to walk around the basilica and I would make sure you give yourself an hour to get the full experience. The sheer size of the place is almost overwhelming but the collection of side chapels devoted to saints and different cultures creates an exceptionally intimate feeling. The basilica is another church where you mustn’t forget to head underground to the crypt below the church. The crypt is cool and calming with even more small shrines and alcoves devoted to the various manifestations of the Mother Mary around the world.