City Paper is not for tourists
A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Just in Time for Free Cone Day: Even though Georgetown University and its neighbors can’t get their acts together to establish an easy and coherent process for the university’s campus plan, there’s one recent plus for local neighborhood development: The Georgetown Metropolitan reports that the Ice Cream No-Man’s Land (click through for a map) is no more! “If you are at Wisconsin and O St., you have to walk over a block and a half to find an ice cream shop. Well that awful situation is about to come to an end: IceBerry is opening a second shop where Originals just closed (1332 Wisconsin Ave.)”
No Country for Young Hipsters: Frozen Tropics reports that somewhere, someone is planning a sitcom based in everyone’s favorite up-and-coming neighborhood (that would be the H Street NE corridor…or the Atlas District) and observes, “Notable fact: there appears to be no hipster character.” The open casting call—with character descriptions like, “Mitch is a young Republican working on the hill as low-level staff. He is from Tennessee with natural wit. Generally wears bow-ties. Can be abrasive with others because he ‘speaks his mind’ and is not ashamed to do so. He knows what the world needs…a Republican president”—can be found here. Frozen Tropics commenters are skeptical. One says, “I doubt that’ll get picked up. The DC stereotypes are rather nauseating, I’m guessing H St will get moved closer to the Capitol too,” while another thinks, “they made the right move not casting a hipster. Can you imagine having to work with them on a project like this? Trying to direct/teach a whole cast of sticky rice staff types?”
Legally, This Place Could Matter: JDLand has all the details on last night’s ANC 6D meeting, where the commission voted 5-0-2 to support the historic designation of the Market Deli building; it falls under the purview of Akridge, the company that owns the building’s lot. The structure has been discussed at length on JDLand before (“If you’re just joining us, this nomination has already sparked some pretty, ahem, spirited debate. You can see the application, along with the HPRB hearing notice, and read about the city’s landmark designation process“), due in some part to its connections to 6D07 commissioner David Garber, who submitted a historic designation nomination for the building. As expected, Akridge was opposed, but didn’t come armed well enough to make a case to the ANC: “Commissioner Roger Moffatt was unhappy that the Akridge rep didn’t bring any copies of these reports, and Garber was skeptical that they existed at all (referring to “these supposed reports”). Commissioner Andy Litsky felt that if these reports are available, the ANC should be able to study them in order to have more information before taking a vote that would throw the fabled great weight of the commission behind the application.”
Tourists vs. Residents: The Triangle follows up on the Post‘s reporting that the Carnegie Building (that regal, classical structure on Mount Vernon Square) could become a visitor’s center. Though it’s not a bad use of the space, The Triangle doesn’t seem to think that it’s the best: “On the surface this sounds like an upgrade as it would bring more life to the square than the status quo. However this is less ambitious than the priority recommendations the Office of Planning devised during the initial phase of the Mount Vernon Square District project. Those priority recommendations included a restaurant with outdoor seating and flexible event space.” The blog’s commenters agree that a visitor’s center would need to be more than, well, just a visitor’s center. “A big F A I L goes to the person who thought of using this for the DC Visitor’s Center. This is a neighborhood & needs to benefit the residents, the people that live here day in & day out. With a hoppin’ local vibe in the square, it will inevetably attract tourists (like Dupont Circle does), which it terrific – BUT – this grand building & park deserve MUCH more than this weak concept. All MV Square needs is a cluster**** of tour busses,” writes one. Another is equally skeptical, noting “I envision a “visitor’s center” as being a relatively small space with a few volunteers armed with maps and an impressive knowledge of local restaurants and tourist attractions, possibly with some kind of scale model of the neighborhood under a glass case. It’s hard to imagine a visitor’s center filling the entire Carnegie building, so hopefully we’ll still get a restaurant or other local attraction in addition to the visitor’s center.”