The YMCA Anthony Bowen returns to the U Street neighborhood after nearly seven years of redesign and redevelopment. Allison Jones, the VP of Strategic Partnerships for the Y, gave us a tour of the facilities and detailed the history of the branch. I was so impressed by the history behind it and how seriously they are taking their commitment to the U Street neighborhood. Anthony Bowen was a slave in Prince George’s County who bought his freedom and started the first Y for African Americans. His influence can be seen through the artwork throughout and the strong focus on the local community.
The Y is already up and operating so I couldn’t take any photographs, but highly recommend you get down there and check it out for yourself. It’s a beautiful facility. There is a 6-lane pool that made me want to sign up for a membership right away despite living in Arlington. The cardio equipment is fantastic. There are multiple group exercise studios, community rooms and even a rock-climbing wall. It was amazing! The membership prices are very reasonable compared to gyms in this area. That community is really lucky to have this Y!
I did snag one picture on the rooftop patio before heading out – what a view!
After the tour our group made our way next door to sweetgreen. If we’d waited just a few days we wouldn’t even have to go outside as they are (or maybe already have) knocked the wall down between sweetgreen and the front lobby of they Y.
As I’ve talked about before on my blog, I’m not the biggest salad eater, but am really working on trying new and healthy foods this year, so I was excited for the chance to try out their new seasonal salad. Before the salads came out we were treated to watermelon lemonade and some tasty gazpacho while learning about how sweetgreen got its start and its emphasis on local ingredients.
The September salad contained True Blue Maryland crab. I really liked that it had a couple ingredients I enjoy including corn and avocado. Shredded kale, green and red peppers and spicy sunflower seeds (yum) rounded out the salad that was topped with a carrot chili vinaigrette.
I also got to meet Lizzie, a marketing manager for Honest Tea, who brought Honest Teas for us all to try!
Thanks to the Y and sweetgreen for a great evening!