14th St. Development

IMG_4390, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I believe this is the huge deal that is going to be demolished and redeveloped soon on lower 14th St. near Chapin and Florida.

17 Comment

  • ..and keep in mind that this is where Oscars Hair Salon used to be. They just moved to Georgia Avenue near Brightwood. I’ve gotten my hair cut there for years and they do a great job. So, in a way, its benefited Ga Ave.

  • This is exactly where that development is going to occur. I have been informed by many people who live on Chapin and Clifton (both condo owners and co-op/section 8 owners alike) that this is said location. I am mad about it not because of Ocscar’s relocating but because the damn Papa John is leaving. I, of course, employing a hyperbola in my semantics.

  • Cliff,
    I’m in the market for a good hair cut. Where did Oscars move to? And does the hair cut cost less than $20?

  • for those of your ‘mourning’ the loss of a cheap haircut, all you have to do is walk a few blocks south to the hair cuttery for a haircut & shampoo for less than 20 buck (i believe 16).

    anyway, a suburban strip mall never belonged in the rich heart of DC. it marred the landscaped.

    hopefully, the developers will do better this time.

  • Invisible Sun:
    Umm. Here you are bemoaning a “suburban strip mall” which housed a unique, to-be-missed, locally-owned business to then suggest people find a replacement in a giant chain. Must I say that these chains really sustain the monoculture typifying the suburbs. You should move back to the suburbs and enjoy your hair cuttery out there.

  • I bet there was a time when people were applauding the construction of that particular center. Now it goes, and other takes its place — it’s the circle of life, minus the Elton John soundtrack.

    I used to go to the laundromat there every now and then, when it was called Big Wash. That’s where I learned that front loaders really do work well.

  • That place was a frequent cite of shooting, stabbings and served as an open air drug market. One of the best things for the safety of the community is its destruction. Thank goodness!

  • Frequent site, not cite. Sorry about that.

  • It’s not that development that brings the shootings and stabbings, it’s the people who live and hang out around that site. No matter how nice of a new development gets put in, unless the criminal element that plagues chapin, clifton, girard, euclid, etc., don’t get taken care of, then you will just have a new development with old problems.

  • I disagree with dk, its amazing how much of an impact your surroundings really have on you. When NYC began aggressively removing graffiti from their subway cars, subway crime drastically declined.

    The same holds true for neighborhood improvements. There are still housing projects near logan circle, which everyone knows was one of the worst parts of the city. How many prostitutes or open air drugs deals have you seen in front of Whole Foods lately? The same thing will happen on upper 14th st.

  • You’re right, they don’t hang out in front of Whole Foods, they just shop there. ha!

    I’m saying it can’t happen. It’d be great if the new development helps change the environment, but in your scenario even if they “disappear”, most likely it’s because the problems just moved somewhere else. It’s like the stupid “crime cameras.” Did they stop crime? Nope. They just moved it around the corner. Development in itself is something, but unless it is followed up with something more, then it will just become the same old place under “new management.”

    And if you’re right, just redevelop the whole city and all crime will disappear.

  • “When NYC began aggressively removing graffiti from their subway cars, subway crime drastically declined. ”

    Someone’s been brushing up on his Malcolm Gladwell, eh? 🙂

  • Crime is a tricky thing. There seems to be a clear cyclic nature to the pattern in the US as far back as they can reliably research into the 19th century, and they can’t really pin the recent troughs to any particular policy or set of policies, though you’d hardly notice if you listen to any politicians. From the mid ’60’s crime increased at a steady pace until the early ’90’s and then just cratered to near 40 year lows (and all time lows for homicide per capita nationally). Very interestingly the same thing happened in Canada in the mid ’90’s where their crime rate dropped almost in step with ours BUT they did not increase incarceration as we did, they had a stagnant economy at the time, low population growth and actually a LOSS in the number of police in on the streets. Interestingly, our increased incarceration rates (and infamous “mandatory minimum” sentences) started a decade before the trend down, so the effect of those measures on crime probably does exist but isn’t the cause of the decline so many pols would have us believe. And as much as “America’s Mayor” Rudy would like to chalk up NYC becoming a boring safe town to his making Times Square over into a shopping mall and kicking homeless over the bridges to Jersey, the fact is that strange things seem to happen and they can’t really say exactly why… only that it happens in 35-odd year trends.

  • ben, yup, the tipping point is probably one of the most quotable books out there for these types of arguments, i almost said “broken window theory” but tried to restrain myself

    dk, I agree that development isn’t the solution, but it also doesn’t hurt to inject money into the city. Street side retail brings more jobs, new residents spend more money at neighborhood stores and shops, the city makes more money in tax revenue for policing and other services. Development won’t stop crime by itself, but it definitely will have an effect.

    There are some arguments that gentrification causes a short term spike in crime as the middle class is pushed out, you’re left with poor people and rich people, but I don’t know if I really agree with this

  • RNC:
    You cite a WaPo article which presents the results of a Chicago study in which the blacker neighborhoods were perceived as more disordered by black, white, and Latino residents who viewed videos of the neighborhoods. A problem with this study’s design is that all the selected neighborhoods sounded similar and likely were recognizable by Chicagoans. One would need to include film images of some gorgeous, cosmopolitan or suburban, majority-black neighborhoods outside of Chicago (e.g. in PG County or Atlanta or NYC, say Striver’s Row) to assess by similar means whether these dubious-sounding study results were applicable more generally.

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