Snap-Shots: A Continuing Series

Ed. note: Snap-shots is a series created by our intern in Petworth, Julian. This week’s snapshots come from Columbia Heights but following snapshots will come from Petworth, U Street, Mt. Pleasant, Logan Circle, Shaw and Adams Morgan.

The following questions were asked:

  1. How have all the changes in Columbia Heights affected your life?
  2. Does the neighborhood, as it is, offer you the things you need? What would improve it?
  3. What place or what thing (monument/view/landmark/café/restaurant/place to read a book) is your favorite in the Columbia Heights neighborhood?
  4. What is special about Columbia Heights – or unusual about it? What would you change?
  5. What differences do you notice in the neighborhood when you walk as opposed to when you drive?
  6. william

    William – Newton and Holmead

    1. “We’ve worked hard to make the changes that have come to our neighborhood. There could be better changes, we could have bigger and better improvements, but the public realm hasn’t been met. We still have a long way to go with paving, sidewalks and public safety.”
    2. “Yes, the neighborhood offers me everything I need, and coming! We’re not done yet, but we have many of the basic elements in place.”
    3. “My favorite place to people watch is the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (or Tivoli square) – this is where you get to people watch – this is the intersection that brings it all together.”
    4. “The people make [Columbia Heights] special.”
    5. “When you drive, the neighborhood is night and day. When you walk, you see the diversity of everything – from the people, to the buildings, to the atmosphere.”


    Katheryn – Fairmont and 12th

    1. “The changes really haven’t affected me yet, but they’re probably going to influence my decision to stay in the neighborhood longer than I would have otherwise.”
    2. “I wish it had an internet café/coffee house … a Tryst-like place. And maybe more coffee shops down where I live.”
    3. “My favorite place in the neighborhood is the little Latin market close to where I live. They always have fresh cilantro.”
    4. “For me personally, the reason I moved [to Columbia Heights] is because I couldn’t rent a large house to live in and also have my art studio. It also offered an opportunity to get to know a neighborhood I hadn’t really known the last 8 years of living here.”
    5. N/A


    Susan – 13th and Harvard

    1. “Well, I just moved to this neighborhood in February from U street, a couple of weeks before all the big changes, so I really can’t say. U street was great for me, so when I was living there I didn’t really come up for anything in particular.”
    2. “It would be nice to have more restaurants. Coming from U street, where there are more options – I really feel like this neighborhood could benefit from something like that.”
    3. “Well, I haven’t really found my spots to hang out in the neighborhood yet, but I really like Rumberos, and all the new little fast food joints that have opened up on Tivoli square, like Ritas and the Pollo Campero.”
    4. “Columbia Heights is special because it has everything you need, and you can walk and feel safe.”
    5. N/A

9 Comment

  • i LOVE the idea of street interviews! i was a little worried after the first interns post (it was too political for what im used to on this site), but this has completely changed my mind 🙂 i cant wait until you come to petworth!

  • Nice Dinosaur Jr. shirt!

  • There shirt is ok, the girl inside it even better.. 😉 To her, btw, Mayorga Coffee is fairly close to Tryst by now – was surprised how packed it was on Sunday afternoon recently.

  • Such a great article! It’s nice to get a snapshot of what really makes these neighborhoods great: our neighbors!

  • cool feature….brightwood has some interesting folks too 😉

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  • There isn’t much to appreciate about Columbia Heights when you are driving (except for the uncanny ability of pedestrians to always be in the wrong spot at the wrong time). Walking through it on a nice day, however, is positively charming… I haven’t experienced anywhere else in DC with such an amalgam of energy and people.

  • I LOVE Columbia Heights. I don’t currently live there but I did back in 2001. I lived on Otis Place between 11 and 10 streets for two and half years. The nieghborhood had nothing back then but cheap rent going for it. I think I paid $600 a month for a one bedroom and I split that with someone else so my share of the rent was only $300. I also shop at the Giant in CH every Sunday because I can’t stand the one in Brentwood. Plus I can grab a coffee at Mayorga go for a nice Sunday walk and stop in for brunch at the Heights. I want to move back but everything that was condo is going apartment (I had a deposit on a condo at the allegro). I’m just waiting for the prices to drop a little bit more before I make my move. With credit tightening up you know those prices are going to drop another 5-10%.

    On another note, when are builders going to build affordable homes? Do we all need granite countertops and stainless steel applainces? All I need is a home that is safe, affordable, and one that I can upgrade when I have the money.

  • Hey Anonymous – I didn’t get the chance to explain my comment in relation to the Mayorga Coffee place. I definitely go there for coffee when I make the trek up from my house, but try as I might, I just can’t go for the vibe of the place. The seating areas are way too narrow for me and it kinda creeps me out. I feel like I’m inside a window display sitting there (like that mannequin family in the Rite Aid display at Conn. and Florida)!

    I didn’t know they had brunch; maybe I’ll try that sometime. Thanks for the tip!

    : )

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