Culture Clash?

Gas station condos, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

This gas station on 14th Street, if memory serves, used to be a super sketchy gas station. It is the type of gas station were you are solicited between walking from your car and paying. I also seem to recall a buddy of mine getting robbed at this gas station in the middle of the day. Well, walking by the other day I happened to notice some super sweet condos practically right across the street. How is that going to work? I just don’t understand how it is possible to have a “luxury” condo right across the street from sketchville no matter how nice the condos are. As has been a theme for a while can someone please explain to me this seeming contradiction?

17 Comment

  • oh, you know what will happen. the gas station won’t be there for too much longer. they’re on property that’s far too valuable for a little gas station. it’ll be condos itself soon enough.

  • I saw a duck boat full of tourists filling up there once. It was pretty surreal.

  • What I want to know is, HOW MANY people actually plan to move into the area? Every single hole along the 14th Street stretch seems to have a condo building going up. Are they really all selling? It’s crazy.

    And yes, as imgoph said, that gas station won’t last long. Just like, sniff sniff, the Common Share, its doors (or pumps) will close for good soon enough.

  • This is the gas station near U Street right? While there are a few sketchy buildings around there, you’re only a block or so from all the restaurants and bars on U St. In fact, that’s really close to Buzzboys and Poets I think.

    But saying that gas station won’t be there that much longer is probably wrong. Gas stations are few and far between downtown.

  • If memory serves isn’t that the Girard intersection? When Lil’ Gal and I were in the market this summer and looking in CH and PW we found out that Girard is a regular killing field with an active turf war between a couple of different crews and is easily the most deadly part of our area. i.e. I hope those condos have nice teevees as you can’t go outside.

  • Don’t trust that memory of yours, Odentex. I’d bet a beer at Temperance Hall that the gas station is at the corner of 14th and W.

  • Great irony in that photo

  • i have a question. i frequently hear the word “sketchy” tumble from the mouths of “urban pioneers”. can you explain this
    contemporary parlance means? is it referring to an incomplete environment ( a sketch as opposed to, say, a “full” environment. you know, after it has been -ah-“saved.” maybe i am too sensitive, but i (older african american) take it the way i take it when i hear the aforementioned ask each
    other if they live in a “good” neighborhood.. just asking..
    no harm meant. but i dont think it does us any good to not be upfront with each other these days…

  • Hi Reuben. I applied the term sketchy here because my friend was robbed at this gas station. I use the term sketchy to mean unsafe. Surely not unsafe all the time but leaving an uneasy feeling nonetheless.

  • I don’t know if I’d call Girard Street “sketchy” as much as I’d call it “deadly”.

    The people that are buying $500K condos on that block are IN-FRIGGIN-SANE.

  • wow odentex, good information to know…but seriously, where are the police in all of this? are there increased patrols around this corner?

  • i appreciate your answering my query, pop…

  • Hi Rueben –

    Interesting question on the word “sketchy.”

    I think PoP answered it as well as anyone could but it brought to mind a great word we used to use when I was growing up in Scotland – “Dodgy.”

    It had all sorts of uses but I always smile when I go back to Scotland and hear kids describe something as, “that’s pure dodgy by the way pal.”

    We also used to use the word “shady” in the same way. My friends from Scotland always laugh when they see the Red Line to Shady Grove. It would translate into “Skethy Grove,” “Dangerous Grove” “Dubious Grove” etc.

    Sorry for rambling, I thought it was interesting!

  • Yes, I’m one of the condo-lemmings who just bought in this area. Although the area can be a little sketchy at night, I think it’s just part of the urban gentrification of Columbia Heights. BTW, I love this gas station. It’s the only place to get gas without paying an arm and a leg. Plus, you can stumble home from U ST and pick up Doritos & ice cream for a late night snack. (of course, I keep my eyes open for unfriendly types).

    My question is…what’s going on with the Nehemiah shopping center just north of the gas station? Does anyone know what’s going to replace it? I was sad when Papa Johns went away…I could walk there to get my pizza.

  • The shopping center was bought by level 2 development, the same people that are developing view14…they are going to demo the shopping center and put up luxury apartments

  • So it is the one near U St. I knew it! Oden, you owe me a beer even though you didn’t take the bet!

  • clifton terrace (ctu)

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