One sure sign Brookland is gentrifying is its more frequent coverage in the Washington City Paper.
I have lived in Brookland or thereabouts all my adult life, from my dorm at Catholic University overlooking the railroad tracks to my present abode (a Turkey Thicket town house), a block on the other side of the tracks. I do notice, and wonder why, the trains have in the past few years started tooting their horns around the Brookland-CUA Metro station—they didn’t for many years before—but the Brookland complainers need to understand the role the railroad played in establishing the community (NIMBY Tribunal, 2/18). When the railroad was built, in 1873, it bisected Col. Brooks’ property, diminishing its farmability, so he donated the land to the west of the tracks for Catholic U., and his heirs subdivided the land to the east for houses in what was an early “railroad suburb,” as the advertisements in the 1898 train timetable showed.
My house is so close to the tracks I can tell whether the train is Amtrak, MARC, or a CSX freight, and whether a coal or ballast train is empty or full, just by the sound. The complainers should interpret the mellifluous C–E-flat–A horn not as a nuisance, but as the reason their neighborhood exists. A more worthwhile worry is a hazardous-substance spill.
The article on Ms. Black (“The Mayor of 15th Street,” 2/18), despite its carefully constructed veneer of objectivity from interviewing both old and new residents, is actually egregiously biased: Not a single cat was interviewed!