A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
To Market, Forever: The Georgetown Metropolitan offers up one of its semi-regular history lessons with a short blurb on the building that now houses Dean & DeLuca. The District-owned property has been a market, a slave auction house, an autoparts wholesaler, and a market once again; the city is federally mandated to keep a market in the building. One commenter has something a bit different than Dean & DeLuca in mind, though: “I miss the food court that was in there in the early 1980s, especially the BBQ stand and the calzones at the pizzeria up the stairs. I heard that the pizzeria relocated somewhere in suburban Maryland. Does anyone know if it’s still around?”
The North Face of Bikes: On the MPD-3D email list, a member posts this description of a recent bicycle robbery: “On 5/6/12 at 1:15 am, at the intersection of 15th and Irving Street NW, an individual was approached by 5 subjects. One subject grabbed the complainant’s bicycle and attempted to pull it away. 2 more suspects joined in and struck the complainant on the right side of the face with a closed fist. A fourth suspect then jumped on the complainant’s bike and rode Eastbound in the 1400 block of Irving St NW. The complainant and a witness followed the suspects down into the Columbia Heights Metro Station and contacted police. Officers were able to stop 2 of the suspects, however 3 jumped on the train and got away. 2 juvenile males were arrested for the Robbery.” In response, another member writes, “Wonder what made the bike so appealing to the thieves? Did the victim fit a certain profile? Is there a certain brand, style, ‘look’ that is now hot? It would seem that that Northface as a brand of clothing has waned in its general cross-cultural, cross-class appeal to the general profile of perpetrators who’ll kill anyone for a jacket, while certain Nike sneakers (that look like small gaudy SUVs for the feet) remain the focus of absurd, yet persistent, violence within a single milieu (and its wannabes). But what would prompt four guys to gang up on a bicyclist to steal his wheels? Was the theft simply a crime of opportunity?
Why Did the Cleveland Park Resident Cross the Road? “Twenty-five seconds are allocated to cross six lanes at Connecticut Avenue at Ordway Street (seven lanes if you count the service line.) Fifty seconds are allocated to cross 19th Street at M, which is only four lanes. Other downtown streets also allow a much longer time to cross fewer lanes than there are at Connecticut and Ordway. Something is very wrong with this picture,” opines a member of the Cleveland Park email list. They continue, “I realize that Connecticut Avenue is a major traffic corridor, but 25 seconds is much too short a period of time for many pedestrians to safely cross the street, especially the elderly, handicapped and adults crossing holding the hands of children. DDOT should increase the amount of time that pedestrians have to cross this busy neighborhood street.” Unsurprisingly, respondents on the list are largely divided into two camps: one that accommodates cars, and one that prioritizes those on foot. “It would be great if the pedestrian walk signal allowed more time for people to cross the street, but that would wreak havoc on the flow of traffic along Connecticut Avenue. While we’d all like more time to cross the street, it’s important that we don’t create any more traffic jams than we already have,” writes an auto-lover. Contra to her argument is this poster, who says, “Many of our more elderly and disabled members of the Cleveland Park community literally take their lives in their hands when they try to cross the street at Ordway and Connecticut Avenue. Certainly we drivers can wait an additional 25 seconds, as we do downtown. It is time to readjust the traffic lights!”
Brooklyn’d: “If you remember what a typewriter is and you secretly have wanted one all these years, I have one for you,” offers a member of the Brookland email list. “It’s big serious Smith-Corona circa 1935. Still works. Free. Does not include carbon paper. Send me an electronic note, off line.”