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Metropolitan Branch Trail will eventually link Union Station and Silver Spring, Md.

Metropolitan Branch Trail will eventually link Union Station and Silver Spring, Md.

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5 Things To Know About NoMa

While you were commuting to NoMa, here are a few answers to things that make you go, hm-m-m.

1. NoMa is short of “North of Massachusetts”

A mind is a terrible thing … to waste. “NoMa” is not an alternate pronunciation of “Nomar Garciaparra.” The term “NoMa” didn’t exist until the late 1990s, when community leaders manufactured the neighborhood name out of the first few letters of “North” and “Massachusetts,” like New York City’s “TriBeCa” (TRIangle BElow CAnal Street) and SoHo (SOuth of HOuston Street).

The area includes the neighborhoods of Truxton Circle, Sursum Corda, Eckington and the portion of Northeast on the near side of the Anacostia River, as well as part of an area known as Swampoodle.

The neighborhood is bounded by North Capitol Street and New Jersey Avenue to the west, Q and R Streets to the north, parts of 2nd and 3rd Streets to the east and Union Station in the south. You can find a map of the boundaries here.

2. By the numbers

  • 35 blocks
  • 13.2 million square feet of office space
  • 360,000+ square feet of retail
  • 54,000+ people work in NoMa, 92% of whom have at least an undergraduate degree and 84% of whom are employed full-time
  • 7,400 people live in NoMa in 4,800+ residential units (an additional 1,600 are under construction)

3. NoMa’s potent notables

The neighborhood has a few hidden gems. The Beatles played their first U.S. concert at Uline Arena, a historic 2.5-acre structure redeveloped into retail and office space. The distinctive building, which has a concrete barrel vault room, also houses the REI flagship store—another retail milestone in a neighborhood growing into its own.

Other historic buildings include the St. Aloysius Church, Gallaudet University and the Government Printing Office.

4. Metropolitan Branch Trail is the place to bike, run or crawl

If you’re looking for a nice place to run or bike, the Metropolitan Branch Trail might be the place. When finished, the trail will be eight miles long and link Union Station with Silver Spring, Md., following the Metropolitan Branch Line of the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad. In late October, officials announced the beginning of the second phase of the project, which will connect the existing trail from John McCormack Drive in Brookland to the Fort Totten Metro Station.

5. Places to drink

First, don’t drink and drive. Get a ride from Uber, Lyft, a sober friend or someone who’s pregnant. Second, NoMa’s Union Market area has a thriving drinking scene. Here are a few options:

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