Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Must-See Article on Anacostia Art Walk

In case you missed the buzz last weekend, Anacostia was kind of the center of the DC arts scene: a fashion show at Honfleur, an artist happy hour at Vivid Solutions, and a walking tour of the neighborhood sponsored by ARCH that highlighted our blooming arts scene, green technology, new businesses, and cool history.

Worn Magazine, a magazine that's all about art and fashion in the District, took the walking tour and came back with some awesome photos and text that truly shows how interesting this inner neighborhood of DC is becoming. I strongly urge you to check it out. Click Here to read the article.

photos by Josh Yospyn

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"The problem with Anacostia is no metro access"

by IMGoph at The District Curmudgeon

See that quote above? Megan McArdle, who blogs for The Atlantic, wrote that as a comment on an article she wrote titled "Why Are There No Houses for Sale in DC?"

To start with, her premise is false. There are plenty of houses for sale in DC. Without knowing precisely her requirements, it's difficult to tell where she has been looking, but as a homeowner in Trinidad who pays close attention to when houses come on and go off the market, I know that there is a decent inventory of homes available in our neighborhood, and in many other neighborhoods in the city.

David Garber, who writes the blog And Now, Anacostia, commented and asked if she had looked in Historic Anacostia for a home. Her reply, quoted in the title for this article, shows unfamiliarity, if not downright ignorance, when it comes to this city. Look at the map below:

View Historic Anacostia in a larger map

The Anacostia metro station is highlighted in red, and the [Historic] Anacostia neighborhood is highlighted in yellow. The green line along Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue is approximately 1000 feet long. That's how far it is from the edge of the neighborhood to the Metro station.

If Ms. McArdle honestly believes that Anacostia has no Metro access, I'll gladly take her on a tour of the city to help familiarize her with its neighborhoods. Perhaps then she'll see there are homes for sale, and that maybe she needs a new real-estate agent who knows the city better than the one that hasn't been able to find her a home so far.

Cross-posted from The District Curmudgeon

Friday, April 9, 2010

Facelift Has Begun at Uniontown Bar

So I knew that the designs were approved and the retail contract had been signed, but was completely and happily surprised to discover that, starting today, construction has begun at Uniontown Bar & Grill at MLK and W Street!

the first floor storefront area has been majorly opened up!

just two doors away from Big Chair Coffee (the blue building)

the bar's corner entrance will be restored behind the column

Wow, this is big time. Exciting times over here in Historic Anacostia. Follow the updates here and on Uniontown's twitter feed: @UniontownBar.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New House on 14th

This new house on 14th Street is making a lot of progress. Built by the same company as the next door neighbor, it also has wood clapboard on the front and should fit into the neighborhood quite nicely.

This house is nice because it fronts the Frederick Douglass house and lawns, is on a decent-sized lot, and is a little wider than many of the older homes in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Gas Station Being Demo'd Now

Huzzah! The long-abandoned city-owned gas station at the corner of Good Hope Road and 13th Street SE is finally being demolished.

No longer the future site of the District Department of Transportation, the corner is prime real estate and will hopefully get some sort of face lift soon.

image courtesy of bing maps

Because the onramp to the 11th Street Bridges will no longer begin at this intersection, there is a great opportunity to grow the city's portion of developable land. More on that to come.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Home with a Douglass View

I've always loved this tan stucco house on 14th Street SE, right across from Cedar Hill, the estate home of Frederick Douglass.

It's an awesome thing when people care for their homes, and these owners clearly do.

Question: does anyone know why the foundation is so high? To make room for a cellar?

An Open Letter to DC Media - by Ambergris

Southeast has as many neighborhoods as Northwest
by Ambergris

In light of the recent shootings at 4000 South Capitol Street SE and 1300 Congress Place SE, it seems like the rest of the city is once more going to be given the impression that all of Southeast is the Wild West. One of the ways this idea is perpetuated is by referring to the entire area as "Southeast," compounded, in this instance, by insisting that it is less than a mile between these two incidents.

This is plain wrong. It's 1.6 miles from 4000 South Capitol Street, SE, in the Washington Highlands neighborhood, to 1300 Congress Place, SE, in the Congress Heights neighborhood.

For those who need a Northwest orientation, this is about the same distance from the corner of 17th and U to Metro Center. If two incidents had occurred in those two locations, would the media be referring to all of Northwest as a free-fire zone? I don't think so.

As someone who grew up in Northwest and now lives in Southeast, I shared the Northwest misapprehension that all of Southeast was also called "Anacostia," and that one was taking one's life into one's hands crossing the eponymous river.

Now that I live here, I'm occasionally the neighborhood ambassador for taxi drivers who have to overcome their apprehension to give me a lift home. To make sure I don't get put out of the cab, I usually direct them only to South Capitol Street by the stadium, and then gently guide them over the Douglass Bridge to my home. They are inevitably stunned at the new Giant, the IHOP, the houses - all the things that make my part of Southeast look like suburbia.

Taxi drivers should know the neighborhoods of the city they're licensed to drive in. Journalists should know the same about the city they're reporting on. So my gentle suggestion to DC journalists is to print out a Google map of Southeast DC, which helpfully names the neighborhoods, and take advantage of the lovely weather we're having to take a drive around, familiarize yourself with which area is called what, until it is as familiar to you as the distinction between Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights, Woodley Park and Cleveland Park, and then start using those names in your reporting. At the least, it will lend accuracy to your reporting. It might even make it easier for me and the residents of Southeast to get a taxi home.

image by Ork Posters (buy one to learn the neighborhoods!)