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I write in response to Jonathan Cook’s letter (The Mail, 3/4). Cook doesn’t address the concerns I expressed in your paper’s Show and Tell column (2/25) about Heaven and Hell’s doorman, Neal Keller. Those were: (1) Should nearby residents be able to hear publicly shouted advertisements inside their homes, particularly when the main noise-control law for the city forbids it? And (2) allowing this type of behavior by employees of neighborhood establishments sets a tone that “anything goes” in Adams Morgan.
Cook suggests that I should “be dealing with the pressing crime problem.” We have the Metropolitan Police Department for that, and in my role as vice president of the Kalorama Citizens Association, I have worked diligently with many 3rd District officers on local crime issues. But Cook misses my “anything goes” point. Visitors to our bar and restaurant row, seeing outrageous behavior from an establishment employee, are much more likely to behave outrageously themselves, especially after a half-dozen jello shooters, or maybe a four-drinks-for-$10 special at another neighboring joint. And this behavior is what disturbs the neighbors, deep into Friday and Saturday (and sometimes other) nights.
Cook states that I aggravate “the business-neighborhood conflict,” whatever that is. There certainly is conflict between some neighborhood-unfriendly business owners and residents, but its not caused by the neighbors. Generally, the neighbors don’t have massive sound systems that blare into the night and are sometimes clearly audible in other people’s homes. The neighbors don’t have the capacity to attract thousands of patrons from outside the area into one of the most densely populated sections of the city, exacerbating residential parking problems.
And, though there are always some messy folks on any block, the neighbors don’t have massive dumpsters filled with food waste that all too often are found overflowing into the public alleys, engendering the spread of rodents.
Nowhere did I mention property values or that Keller’s antics were “the biggest threat to your (our) quality of life.”
Though the guy seems to know so much about me, I have never knowingly met, seen, or spoken to Mr. Cook. Maybe next time he blows into town from Honolulu, we can sit down over a few cold ones at Heaven and Hell and air it out. Oh, did I forget to mention that both the owner of H&H and that “beloved neighborhood character,” Keller, also reside outside of the District? Local? Schmocal. “Hibbity hey” and “Top-heavy,” dudes!