Dear PoP – Stores Blasting Music


“Dear PoP,

Have you ever been at the South-East corner of the 7th and Florida NW intersection? The store there has a speaker on the building’s exterior. During rainstorms, they cover it with plastic. They blast music throughout the day, everyday except Sunday (I think). You should check it out.”


“Dear PoP,

There is a new boost mobile/check cashing/”metro fast pass” (?) selling place on Georgia Avenue between Jefferson and Kennedy that has been playing loud music outside their store for about the last week now. There is literally a stereo speaker sitting out on the sidewalk. I personally am annoyed by it because I don’t want to hear that particular genre of music at 8:00 in the morning on my way to the bus stop. Also, is this kind of thing even allowed? Am I over-reacting and this is really a good way to help build community on a street where a lot of people were afraid to do so? (This is a door or two down from the La Casa de Morata liquor store shooting this past winter.)”

Well I’ve had some interesting experiences at 7th and Florida. Personally I dig it. Granted I just walk by it from time to time and don’t go too early in the morning. But I honestly think it adds some flavor to the streets. I think it would be annoying if every store did it but just I few I sorta love. I especially enjoy walking up Georgia Ave and hearing Spanish music blaring out of some bodegas. Like I said to me it adds a bit of flavor. What do you guys think?

47 Comment

  • They are lucky it is not up to me, the music would be off the next hour for ever. Any public playing of music would require a permit and the permits would only be good for a day or a festival/event duration.

  • Just walk by and cut the speaker wire.

    Same with any of the street performers who bring backing music with them. If you can really play, you wouldn’t need that music playing in the background.

  • If you expect people to be polite, carry themselves with self-respect and not commit crimes then move back to the suburbs!


    • @ neener

      there it is again: “If you don’t like it here, go back to wherever it is you come from!”

      Jeesh, god forbid someone should want their surroundings (wherever they are and wherever they are from) to be a little more pleasant. And you’re assuming anybody with a complaint about the city must be from the suburbs.

      You’re *also* assuming that irritating sh*t like this doesn’t happen in the suburbs. Man, get a grip.

      I for one don’t mind the music, but why does it have to be blaring? How ’bout at a level that’s respectful to other people but that also (gently) catch the attention of a close passerby? Seems like a reasonable request, no?

  • Go-Go air guitar is king. Shut up and let’em play.

  • Umm, yeah, this store has been playing music a lot longer than the original poster has lived in the city. I could understand getting upset if this was next door, but there’s not really much there except the cvs bus stop.

    • How do you know how long the poster has been in the neighborhood? He/she may very well be an old schooler who predates Grand Master Flash (and therefore the obnoxious rap music blaring out the store’s door).

      Anyway, it’s irrelevant. Following your logic, the only things a person could complain about would be things that came into existence after he/she did. That doesn’t allow for much.

    • Idiot… and drug dealers have been selling in our city for a long. Are you saying Grandfather them in. Don’t be stupid.

      Public peace and harmony are just as important as services, taxes, and clean streets.

  • Actually, there are several places on H Street that do that. I personally don’t mind. If it bothered me at home, maybe that’d be a different deal, but I agree with Dan–it adds flava.

  • Any good cook realizes that the key to flava is to add just enough of one spice so that it is subtly tasted. This “tie cheap speakers to the door and blast bad music” is a little overkill (like too much oregano). Especially if you have your ears blown out every day on the walk home. I also find it highly ironic that the opposite corner (NE GA and FL) has a “Quiet Area” sign…as if the music can’t be heard there, or even a block away. Having lived in AdMo previously, I think the now closed Latin store on Columbia (where the new CVS is) had it right…low level music that advertises the store’s goods. Boost doesn’t even sell music!

  • i like hearing a little go-go as I pass that corner. there is a big difference between this music at a commercial corner vs. a lot of the noise nuisances in this city. get over yourself.

  • The funniest part of the entire Georgia/Florida/7th Intersection experience is that there is a large yellow sign about 30 feet from the boost place that reads “Quiet Zone”

  • This is on the cusp of Howard University’s campus in a majority black area of town. The music is a pastiche of go-go and rap. Its horrible.

    • so we can assume you are white and dislike black culture. why do you live in DC?

    • i’m white and seriously wonder the same thing. if you think the sound of go-go is “horrible” during daylight hours on a commercial corner in the center of two major roads lined with african american businesses, what DO you like about living here?

      captcha: her underarm

    • Sorry to tell you but that area is no longer majority black if you eliminate the Howard students in dorms for only part of the year.

  • Absolutely no way should this music ever be turned off. It adds to the vibrancy of the block and drowns out the otherwise horrible din of traffic.

  • You know why go-go never caught on anywhere beyond DC? Because it’s CRAP! There, I said it. Somebody had to.

  • the music coming from those speakers always brings a smile to my face when I walk by. It would bum me out if they were to go away.

  • Then there’s the other reason to play music outside your establishment: to keep people from hanging out there. Classical seems to be very effective.,6600679

  • Whenever I pass that intersection, I put the windows down and it makes me happy. Gotta love the go-go. Keep it.

  • While it certainly adds flavor to the area, the flavor is generally a bunch of dancing crackheads outside. On balance a net minus for the neighborhood.

  • I wouldn’t want to live in a city that doesn’t have corners like the Georgia/Florida intersection. I think it’s fun.

    • Do you live anywhere near that intersection? I never mind it when I hear people playing the music out there, but if I lived in the neighborhood – meaning even several blocks away – I would not be happy about it. This is classic NIMBY. Nobody minds it as long as they only have to deal with it in passing a couple times per month rather than daily.

    • I live right by Florida and Georgia, and I love it. I also love Go-Go, although I’ll admit it’s not as fun listening to a recording of it.

      I used to live a little further up Georgia and had to walk through that intersection on my way to work every day. The whole neighborhood was playing music and people were out and talking and having fun. Now it’s just the one business on the corner trying to keep the beat alive. I wish there were a little more life left in the city, but I’m glad someone’s trying to keep us dancing.

  • I wonder how the music impacted Douglas Developmet Corp’ s ability to find a tenant for the building directly across the street. I wonder if that has anything to do with another pharmacy moving in, rather than something a little more interesting?

    Personally I like the music, and some days it is at a better (lower) volume.

  • Ha! This was the norm when I was growing up in Puerto Rico.
    If it wasn’t the neighbors roosters waking me up it was either the actual neighbors yelling at one of their children or the local “colmados” (bodega) blaring the latest merengue or salsa hit non-stop. A certain Wilfrido Vargas song comes into mind…
    I say it should stay! It’s fun.

  • i can answer your question. Yes, you are over-reacting. They’re probably just trying to spread a little cheer to all within an earshot. Not all of us are morning people, but, don’t get annoyed or offended. it’s un-american. Unless they’re playing go-go. fuck go-go.

  • i didnt know there were so many old farts reading this blog! I love hearing that music on 7th and Florida and would fight to keep it. It’s one of the last “black” things left in U St/Shaw. If you wanted peace and quiet, I’ve got some listings in Faquier County you can check out. But since you chose to live in a city of 600,000….it come with the territory. Keep on dancin, brotha

  • one more for the dig column.

  • I like the music, though I do think it would be better if it was just a little quieter, its a bit intense if you’re right in front of the store.

  • I also think stores playing music is awesome. I also like the music that Jam Down plays on Georgia Ave. I agree it adds vibrancy and I think it’s one of the cool things about living in the city.

  • when I drive by, I am totally reminded of old school DC.

  • I love that the cat says he doesn’t enjoy the particular genre.

  • Keep it! I’m not all that fond of go-go either, but I was never opposed to it coming from that corner. It’s a fixture in the neighborhood, and sadly, one of the few black things left, as Anon 2:58 said. Always reminds me of my days at HU. 🙂

    It’d be nice if the area could retain some racial/economic diversity.

  • i don’t live by that place on 7th at florida, but i walk by it pretty often and it always energizes my day. junk like that is why i love DC.

  • I often take the bus right across from the store, the corner tends to attract some interesting folk, love the people watching and the funk ain’t half bad!

  • I live nearby and walk past every day. I find it hard to imagine that people would want Central Comm to shut the music off. It’s vibrant, fun and makes people come out of their shells a little bit. The folks you see dancing normally are down on their luck, so why take their groove away? If you don’t like it you walk onward and only have to heard loud music for about 5 SECONDS. Are those 5 seconds truly so terrible that you’d want to shut down a unique sound? Say what you will about go-go, it’s the only kind of music we have in DC that you won’t hear anywhere else.

  • Spanish music? Like Flamenco? Or Jota? Or something different like the stuff they do in Basque country? Sounds cool.

    Or perhaps we should stop referring to any type of music from Latin America as “Spanish”, since there are about 20 different countries with their own music and hundreds of regional styles of music in those countries. Same thing with food. Thanks.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Lighten up Francis.

      • Or maybe we should just start calling anything in English, “English.”

        Hip hop? English. Go-go? English. Emo? English. Country? English. Bruce Springsteen, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Beyonce? English. The Irish folk songs at your favorite Irish bar? English. I love me some English music.

  • I have used this store on a few occasions to purchase a replacement charger for a cell phone or to buy an unlocked cell phone for a reasonable price when my expensive on bit the dust. AT&T wanted $200 for a new phone – the owner of this store gave me a new Motorola (although outdated) for $29.00 and put my old sim card in the new one. It got me thru until my AT&T contract expired and I was eligible for an upgrade.

  • Wow, how is a crappy speaker blaring exceptionally loud music from an electronics store a race issue? Anyway, I live in the neighborhood and really dread the walk past that corner because it’s so loud. Outdoor music is one thing, but a constant bullhorn is another.

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