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Politics & Prose is located in the upper Northwest neighborhood of Forest Hills. But that hasn’t stopped the store’s owners from teaming up with the management at nearby French bistro Terasol and a member of the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission to try to rename their immediate area; the idea is that the actual name isn’t that well known, and something else is called for. Suggestions from the bookstore’s customers included SoChe, NeConn, Connfess, Connecticut Park, Connecticut Corner, Connecticut Heights, and Literary Alley (a fitting name for a block with a book store, maybe, but probably not for a stretch of busy Connecticut Avenue NW).
Which got us thinking: What other perfectly good neighborhood names should be jettisoned and replaced with something new? Remember, these names can only stick if you start using them.
14th Street NW north of Monroe Street: Wetworth
Yes, this is really part of Columbia Heights. But it’s also southwest of Petworth, hence its new name, which is short for West Petworth.
The immediate vicinity of Union Station: SoNoMa
Decades ago, this was Swampoodle. But why should the newish neighborhood to its north, NoMa (named because it’s North of Massachusetts Avenue), get more etymological attention? Meet So(uth of)NoMa.
Eastern Market: Fragerstown
This area is already named for a commercial establishment. But when beloved Frager’s Hardware burned down last month, residents showed they’re ready to switch to a new name.
Dupont Circle: West Logan
In the early days of the gentrification of Logan Circle, ambitious real estate agents would refer to the area as “East Dupont,” which was a stretch when applied to, say, 12th Street NW. Today, “West Logan” will help Dupont seem newly hip again.
H Street NE: Tobago
Why? Because it’s near Trinidad.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery