by March 18, 2011 at 4:45 am 3,103 4 Comments

go mama go! Borderstan, 14th Street, ganymede arts, Special Agent Galactica, Tom Goss

Sunday at go mama go! Click on the collage for photos from the event. Above, top row: portrait of Noi Chudnoff, Tom Goss, Special Agent Galactica. Center row are Manko Eponymous and Oneira Kallisti at left and Jeremiah Clark at right. Bottom row, from left are Jonathan Chudnoff, Barbara Papendorp, and Maureen Mullaney and Jason McCool. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez. See photos from Sunday’s farewell party at go mama go!

Sunday was a moving night for the crowd and the performers who gathered in “Noi’s Nook” at the rear of go mama go! After almost 11 years on 14th Street NW, the eclectic home goods store will close on March 31.

A group of friends, employees and artists (some spanning all three categories), headed by Jeffrey Johnson (aka Special Agent Galactica), offered a well-deserved farewell party and evening of appreciation to Jonathan Chudnoff and his late wife and store founder, Noi Chudnoff. Noi’s Nook was the site of numerous artistic performances over the years.

Noi was the driving force behind the successful retailer before her unexpected death in late 2007. She was also a huge supporter of the arts and of gay rights organizations, which was continued by Jonathan. (See Cecile Oreste’s post from last week, Sunday: Artists Celebrate the Legacy of go mama go!) Sunday’s event was also a benefit for ganymede arts (formerly Actors’ Theatre of Washington), Washington’s GLBT arts company.

go mama go! farewell party

Special Agent Galactica (left) and Jonathan Chudnoff of go mama go! (Luis Gomez Photos)

Hosted by Special Agent Galactica, the event featured performances by local musicians Tom Goss and Maureen Mullaney as well as Christopher Wingert, Tony Gudell, Noah Chiet, Dan Van Why, Ted Puntanen, Barbara Papendorp, Joce(lyn), Aaron Alexander, John Bailey and the ImprovArt Mashup with Jason McCool, Vanessa Terzaghi, Oneira Kallisti, Alina Hall Sabadish, Todd Gardner, Manko Eponymous, Eli Byrnes and Cameron Kearney.

by March 14, 2011 at 5:00 am 1,499 0

Ben's Chili Bowl, U Street NW, Paul Frederiksen, Flickr

What’s green at Ben’s Chili Bowl? (Photo: Paul Frederiksen, Borderstan reader pool on Flickr)

From Mike Kohn. Got a news tip for Mike? Send him an e-mail or catch him on Twitter @mike_kohn.

Buy a Painting, Help Japanese Earthquake Victims

If you have a chance to stop by go mama go! at 14th and S Streets NW, 10% of the sales from purchases of Mei Mei Chang’s works will  go to help victims of the tsunami in Japan. Chang will also be donating one painting to help go mama go! raise some money before it ultimately shuts its doors. The well-known shop will be closing for good at the end of the month and will be holding a 40% off sale in preparation.

The Greenest Half Smoke in Town

Give it up for Ben’s Chili Bowl for getting notice for its green practices. TBD tell us that our favorite half smoke eatery has received an award for environmental stewardship from the Greenlight Biofuels, according to their blog. Don’t believe us? There’s a video so you can hear it from Ben’s yourself, detailing all of their awesome practices. The Earth and Captain Planet are silently thanking them.


by March 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm 2,527 0

go mama gone!, ganymede arts

Sunday, March 13 at 7 pm, 1809 14th Street NW. (Image courtesy of ganymede arts)

From Cecile Oreste. Check out Cecile’s site, danceDC and follow her on Twitter @dance_DC.

Go mama go! marked a new beginning for the late Noi Chudnoff and business partner, Jocelyn Lindsay, when the store opened in 2000. Starting as a vendor in Eastern Market and later expanding to a retail space on 14th Street NW, go mama go! quickly became a destination for residents taking a Saturday afternoon stroll in the neighborhood.

After Chudnoff passed away suddenly in 2007, husband Jonathan and store manager Jeffrey Johnson continued the legacy she built with the retail store.

Not only was Noi Chudnoff a purveyor of eclectic taste, but she was also an arts advocate dedicated to supporting local organizations including ganymede arts (formerly Actors’ Theatre of Washington), Washington’s premier GLBT arts company.

In 2008 Chudnoff was posthumously named a Capital Pride Hero during Gay Pride week in June. She also donated $100,000 in 2005 to the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force.

According to Jonathan Chudnoff, “The social component of the store was just as important to her as selling.”


by February 2, 2011 at 5:00 am 1,636 0

anokarina Borderstan Reader Pool Flickr

The view from W Street NW looking south on New Hampshire Avenue. (Photo credit: anokarina in the Flickr Borderstan Reader Pool.)

From Michelle Lancaster

Flickr: Contribute Your Photos to the Borderstan Reader Pool

Join Borderstan’s Reader Pool on Flickr. We will try to run a photo almost every day from the pool, and will use photos from time to time with stories. We will credit you, naturally. Today’s photo (above) is from Pool member anokarina. You can also check out her work at

Go Mama Go! Closing Sale Begins

Sales are a good thing, but not when they are ‘store closing’ sales of a neighborhood favorite. Yelp has the reasons for the closing, but tuck that away for later and go score some deals! It’s a 20%-off sale, except on consignment items. It looks like go mama go! will close at the end of March.


by September 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm 3,235 0

Martha Blalock Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan

Martha Blalock with her paintings at her studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

DC native and Borderstan resident Martha Blalock had not painted in years. But, an exhibit invitation from go mama go! owner Jonathan Chudnoff inspired the Borderstan resident and designer to start again. Her works are currently on display at the 14th Street store along with those of Robert Weiner and Ted Putanen.

Although Blalock took a break from painting, she never stopped being creative. Her experience in the arts includes industrial design, illustrating children’s books and working with wood, including furniture.

Bold, Colorful Style in Acrylic

However, painting is Blalock’s primary medium. Working mostly in acrylic, Blalock conveys a unique visual quality through bold, colorful expression. Ideas for her work are developed on their own. When something triggers or stays in her mind she jots it down on her hand or paper… whatever is available at that moment as the information or the memory will change.

How does Blalock describe her paintings?

“It’s hard for me to describe my work. I would rather have people just look at it and decide for themselves. Everyone interprets things differently.”

She did, however, share that many of her paintings are a form of self reflection serving as a visual journal. The work is inspired by daily influences from people she meets and things she observes. They often display Blalock’s feelings at that time or tend to tell a story about a situation in her life. As a result, she said that she feels very “exposed” when exhibiting her work.

Multi-faceted Artist

Blalock’s training and experience include a strong emphasis on industrial design. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in design from Corcoran College of Art & Design and then a Master’s degree in product design in Milan. While studying in Italy, she came up with a unique concept of lighting. Working from images of antique light fixtures, she streamlined the look of a three-dimensional light into a two-dimensional outline form.

In addition to her industrial design work, Blalock has written and illustrated various children books, created frames and other woodwork projects, and built furniture. She even began working with a friend on a miniature golf course, using astro turf and paper maché windmills.

Martha Blalock Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan

In her job as art director in the design and illustration section of Medical Arts at the National Institutes of Health, she and her team develop illustrations to depict medical issues that cannot be captured by photographs. Blalock said  there is always a new topic to generate challenging solutions at NIH, which makes her work a “surprisingly creative outlet.”

To view Blalock’s art, visit go mama go! at 1809 14th Street NW, between S and T Streets.

Martha Blalock Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan

Martha Blalock’s works at go mama go! (Luis Gomez Photos)


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