A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Burning Up: Over the past week, a flurry of letters between the Bloomingdale Civic Association and the would-be manager of the supposedly forthcoming Engine Company 12 have been exchanged—predominately via local blogs. We Love DC has a very apt summary of the correspondence: “This past Friday, the General Manager Stephen May Jr. of Engine Company 12 wrote an open letter to lambast the local civic association for dragging its feet in supporting the restaurant publicly with a letter of support, which would help them through the process of obtaining an ABRA license that would allow them to serve alcoholic beverages. On Sunday, the Civic Association responded. Late yesterday, Curbed published another response from Mr. May.” The blog also reflects on what it all means: “Liquor licenses are especially contentious things. One need only look at the kerfuffle around Big Bear Café in Bloomingdale last year to see that this is a community that, in the parlance of the Internet, feels ways about things. Knowing that much, working with the BCA management more than just a few days ahead of a meeting would seem to be a wise event, even if you’re doing a lot of community outreach, which to their credit, Engine Company 12 has done.” One commenter thinks the neighborhood is particularly wary of getting burned by yet another promise for this property. “It’s worth noting that multiple other business plans for the space have come and gone in the last five years, and it’s safe to say a lot of people in the neighborhood got tired of being burned by promises that never materialized. I think it’s been a safe position for Bloomingdale and Eckington to take a wait-and-see approach on things regarding the old firehouse,” they write.
Keep It Clean: The Takoma email list has been in hot debate over the various aspects of Walmart. The usual topics—wages, insurance, and whether or not the neighborhood wants “that kind” of retail”—have abounded, so much so that a referee needed to step in. In a thread titled “PLEASE TRIM YOUR TAILS,” the email list moderator writes, “The messages are flying so fast and furious that I can’t get a reminder in edgewise. I’ve been sending this message to people privately but I just can’t keep up. PLEASE TRIM OFF THE EXTRA MESSAGES AT THE END OF YOUR POSTS. Only repeat the few lines to which you are responding. I won’t approve any more messages today that have a string of old messages included. I will return them to you to revise and resend. So if you want people to see your messages in a timely way, trim your tails. The digest of today’s messages is going to be three miles long and most of it just repeated messages. No problem, just a reminder.”
A Historic Designation in the Making: 14th & You picks up on City Paper‘s Lydia DePillis‘ reporting that yet another condo building will be erected on 14th Street NW. The blog observes that the architecture is rather uninspiring, but commenters don’t mince words and lambast the plan. “This building is hideous and unoriginal. Do they think we LIKE this sort of crap being built? What the hell does it CONTRIBUTE?” writes one. Another blames the architect: “That’s because Eric Colbert is one boring unimaginative architect. He has always been and has only gotten more mediocre over the years. I do not understand why DC’s developers can’t find someone with true style and creativity to design buildings. DC is becoming more and more ugly by the day.” But 14th & You raises a question more critical than mere aesthetics: “No matter—progress is progress, right? A potentially greater issue than mundane architecture was raised on the Twitters today: namely, is DC starting to run out of Yums? With the loss of this location, and the anticipated loss of the one between Rhode Island and P street when that section of the block gets redeveloped, one does have to wonder: have we reached Peak Yums, and are venturing along the beginnings of a downhill slide from which we may never recover? Heaven help us.”
Cleveland Park, ISO: One member of the Cleveland Park email list will be jaunting off to Switzerland shortly, but needs an extra hand to plan their trip. They write, “I am looking for a travel agent who specializes or really knows Switzerland. It’s a bit overwhelming and hoping I can find someone that can really help make the most of my trip. I’d also take anyone’s suggestions on where to stay and things to do. Thank you.”