Thursday, January 18, 2007

Petworth Pride

A commentor left a post earlier today saying that Petworth was "raggedy" and was planning on leaving the neighborhood. And it got me thinking. I'll complain from time to time, particularly if I think it is funny but this is my neighborhood, this is my home, and I love it. So I'd like to list the top ten reasons to have Petworth Pride:

10. Ample parking
As previously noted we have great parking, period. For those who have lived in more congested areas they realize just how much of a pain in the ass that can be. For those who don't drive we have the metro now serviced my Green and (sometimes) Yellow lines.

9. Local Politicians

We have terrific ANC leaders (for the most part). For example my new ANC leader Kevin Hummons just distributed one badass newsletter. And based on all the interviews I've been doing, I'm pretty confident whoever wins is going to represent Petworth properly in the city council.

8. Trees

We have awesome residents who love trees and have planted Cherry blossom trees and others in the local parks. We also have that awesome tree in the middle of Grant circle.

7. Location
Petworth is like a suburb in the city, we can enjoy the insanity of the city and then retire to our calm homes and maybe sip a beer on our porches. We are spitting distance (sometimes literally) from Columbia Heights, Wonderland Ballroom and all the development there. We are a stone's throw from the awesome U Street corridor. Or if you dig the Maryland thing we're not far from Maryland. To the west we are an apple's throw to Rock Creek Park and awesome hikes, and a little further west to the lovely Cleveland Park neighborhood. And if you dig the Hill we have North Capitol street to cruise on down to that neck of the woods.

6. Petworth News

Bill Crandall of Petworth News has done a terrific job keeping us up to date with all the goings on in Petworth. It looks like the Grant Circular is going to be a terrific addition in that vein as well.

5. Temperance Hall

One real sweet bar with whiskey and one hell of a vibe.

4. Positive Development

I for one am siked about the development coming on Georgia Ave. And of course I can't wait for the Mocha hut.

3. Old Soldiers and Sailors Home

Great golf and great people.

2. Domku

No list about Petworth would be complete without Domku. Domku and its owner Kera have been true trailblazers. They have brought us borscht and much more. They have brought us good eats, pool, darts, spectacular music and of course the passion to make a restaurant succeed on Upshur St. as well as having the perserverance and courage to continue to strive for its improvement.

1. The People

Petworth would be nothing without its people. Without sounding too sappy this means all its people. Its long term residents who could teach us a thing or two about Petworth, its new comers, and of course its children. Petworth may be "raggedy" but it is real. We don't have to be Georgetown. Hell, we don't want to be Georgetown. We are Petworth and those of us who live here knows exactly what that means.

So I'll continue to pick up garbage and bitch from time to time but please know that this bitching comes from love of the neighborhood. When I get in a bad mood I'll post the top ten worst reasons...


Anonymous said...

Indeed, "raggedy" is not a word I would use at all. Petworth is a wonderful place in a marvelous city.

And your #1 is indeed correct. I came here many years ago, so sorry to leave Mt Pleasant, but this was what I could afford. And then I met the people and realized that this was a great place to be too.

Let those who see it "raggedy" leave, and go back to their clean, comfortable, BORING suburbs. We who live here and love it know that it's a beautiful place with beautiful people.

moi said...

Related to #4 and #1, Petworth also has more intriguing blogs than your neighbors in Columbia Heights. (I am going to post anonymously this time because of what I'm saying.)

Anonymous said...

You know, Prince, I'm a faithful reader of your blog since I began considering moving to Petworth. I just moved in December and all I can do is say to all I meet how much I love my new neighborhood - the trees, the places to get good food and talk to good people and the Petworth News Blog and the Prince of Petworth blog. To add icing to the cake, my neighbors have only been each one nicer to me than the one before. I can not get over how welcome and at home I feel in Petworth. I've got my PRIDE and I'm not afraid to show it!!

Thanks, Prince, for the blog. I look forward to seeing what you've got to say every week.

Prince of Petworth said...

Thank you. And welcome to the neighborhood! You should check out the Hitching Post as well.

Golden Silence said...

I have to disagree! Georgia Avenue may be going through a change for the better, but currently it's a mess. Garbage everywhere, people hanging out on the corner causing trouble, and police are constantly blazing down the street. And too many daggone men with nothing better to do constantly try to "holla" at me (and yes I've been threatened with physical violence because I wasn't interested in what one of them had to say).

I'm glad you all see with rose-colored glasses, but I'm just not seeing what you all see.

Prince of Petworth said...

Golden Silence, I'm sorry you have to deal with that nonsense. I don't think we have rose colored glasses though. Obviously there are pros and cons to many neighborhoods. And certainly Petworth has its share of cons. However, it also has many, many pros. If I may I would like to suggest that you try and focus on some of the positives. You should swing by Temperance Hall or Domku, or go to the Cemetary near Old Soldiers Home and take a peaceful walk. There are many beautiful things here. I suggest that you at least make an effort to note the nice things as well. Having said that I am very sorry you have been threatened. That is unacceptable. I hope things get a little bit better for you.

Golden Silence said...

And it's not the only reason I'm moving...sucky roommates factor in as well. The neighborhood was one of the reasons I moved. I didn't think my mentioning the neighborhood being "raggedy" and my moving would've been blown out of proportion like that.

reuben said...

Hi. Im a 50 year old DC resident ( and I currently reside in Brightwood-your neighbor to the North). I am also a black man. I read these blogs with interest, and, alas, sometimes with bewilderment and concern.. Like you (all)-I am frustrated when folks are so cavalier about , say, throwing trash on the street, but what does it mean when a fellow Petworth resident says things like ( and I paraphrase here)"things will improve as the neighborhood continues to change". Hmmmm. Now I know that good, progressive folks like to say that gentrification is about class, not race. But when the dust clears, who (largely) remains? The diversity folks claim to crave somehow disappears... It's a paradox, I think. Like the time I went to Domku and found myself the only black face in an otherwise black neighborhood. I wont be back. Enjoy, new DC residents. I aint (necessarily) mad at you. No more than I am mad at the kids tossing wrappers around.

Prince of Petworth said...

Reuben thank you for your comments I think they are very important. I'd like to address two points you make first gentrification and second Domku.

I'd like to be completely clear that I think the "neighborhood changing and improving" has to do with neighborhood pride, less crime, less garbage and more restaurants, bakeries, etc. This is not an attack on the current residents who as I have mentioned many times are the backbone of the community. Diversity is key and essential to Petworth's reputation and fortunes. I do consider myself progressive. And I think the emphasis on affordable housing and mixed income rentals will help keep the neighborhood diverse. Also, many of these homes are purchased and in the clear. So I don't expect a mass migration of any sort. We need to work together to build a neighborhood that we all can be proud of.

Second, as far as Domku is concerned, one of the things I love about Domku is the diversity of its patrons. You have old people, young people, "hipsters", parents, babies, black and white. I believe that Domku does attract many of the "new" residents but that is not at the exclusion of the old residents. I'm sure the owner of the place would love all the business she can get. As for you never returning because you were the only black person there, I find that very sad. If I said I wasn't going to go places in Petworth because I was the only white person there it would be ridiculous. I think you should give Domku and the neighborhood another chance. I know for a fact that there have been many black patrons there. Anyone else have some thoughts?