Flying Fish Coffee and Beau Thai Vandalized in Mt. Pleasant

3064 Mt Pleasant Street, NW

Thanks to all who sent emails about this unfortunate incident on Saturday. Fortunately, when I stopped by, the newly opened Beau Thai was already able to clean off the graffiti from their windows. Hopefully Flying Fish won’t have problems getting theirs removed either.


48 Comment

  • Interestingly, on my way to the CH metro this morning I spotted more of the same graffiti. It’s another triangle drawn with the same gold spray paint this time on the old apartment building on Irving across from Lincoln Middle School.

  • I guess this is why we can’t have nice things. Just last week, there was an article all about how the long-time residents don’t like Beau Thai and the newer residents in the neighborhood. MtP is changing and these are growing pains. Beau Thai and Flying Fish are two of the best of their kind in the whole city, let’s hope for more to open up.

  • I’ll take advantage of this opportunity to say good things about Flying Fish. I get a capuccino there 2-3 times a week, very nice place, friendly proprietor, coffee is good and breakfast items are simple and good.

    • Indeed. Haven’t been to Beau Thai, but I love Flying Fish. Not only is the product great, but the employees/owner are always friendly and helpful.

  • Many people don’t want to admit it, but it’s this type of behavior — disregard for others — that turns people off on supporting low-income populations in their neighborhoods. How often do you see graffiti and trash all over upper NW? This is also the reason that new businesses are reluctant to move into under-served neighorhoods. Also, if you read that report, the Hispanic lady blames the new establishments for just wanting money and not caring about other people. What kind of racist b.s. is that?

    • That’s not racism.

      • Well let’s just say it might be a bit racist…soft racism if you will. ‘Cause let’s be honest, the two spray painted establishments both cater primarily to white people (and I say this as a white person who frequents both FF and BT). I don’t mean they are trying to exclude anyone, just saying that most of their customers are white, especially Beau Thai. Whether that’s a result of price, I can’t say.

      • WTF? Of COURSE it’s racist. Do you have to be white to be racist?

        • by my definition of racism, in america, in most cases, yes. otherwise it is bigotry. racism is about power.
          but it depends of your definition.

          and the woman was complaining that new business aren’t caring much about the community, only about money. thats not an opinion of race, thats an opinion of certain individual business owners.

          but shout racist all you want. see where that gets you.

          • Feel free to maintain your own definitions. You should probably be aware that they’re not the same as anyone else’s though.

          • wp,
            i may be in the minority, but i’m not along in my opinion. it’s mainly a white or middle class perspective that doesn’t see racism as a power issue.

          • It is kind of funny that a business model that is 90% unauthorized practice of immigration law and ripping people off by fraudulently preparing tax returns is accusing other business of being all about the money and not caring about people.

  • Well I’m going to choose to look at the bright side…at least it was just spray paint and nothing more destructive. But seriously what was the point? To protest these damn new places that actually bring life and energy to a neighborhood that desperately needs some new retail and restaurants to serve the area’s changing demographics?

  • I wonder what the “locals” (i.e., the latin americans who came AFTER the previous black & whites, but PRIOR to the more recent wave of whites) think about the farmers’ market (i.e., do they hate on the white farmers or just the white customers?). Or is it, like the hardware store and Tonic/Radius sufficiently old/established relative to Flying Fish and Beau Thai?

  • Welcome to the city — any city anywhere! Graffiti happens. Could have been done by an angry white kid, an aging hippie, whoever. It’s annoying and unfortunate, but a minor bump in the development of the neighborhood and DC — not nearly as important as restoring the apartment building on the other side of Mt Pleasant St., the farmers market taking WIC, or the new businesses coming in. Let’s not make it out to be anymore than that.

    • I appreciate your sentiments about developing the area. Your view of the big picture is much appreciated. However, the graffiti here on these two new businesses is a bit too coincidental. It’s not racist to want to live in a better, more productive and safer neighborhood. If anyone in the area prefers living in the squalor that one sees in parts of Central America then they’re free to return there. The same goes for peeing in the street (which happens all the time, unfortunately). No one is forcing them to stay. As an earlier poster referenced, no one forced the blacks or whites who were here BEFORE the hispanics to stay either.

    • Yes, things do happen, but it’s wrong to act like they’re trivial. Someone destroyed the property of someone else, and you can’t assume the property owner is filthy rich and can afford to easily replace the damage. On top of that, the “someones doing these crimes” almost always fall within a particular demographic. Pretending that an aging hippy could’ve done this or burying your head in the sand at someone else’s expense is downright selfish.

  • I noticed that graffiti on the side of a car last weekend on New Hampshire & Newton Place.

  • I’m curious why people seem to be implying that the graffiti was the work of “low-income populations.” It doesn’t look like a gang tag. The anarchy symbol makes me think it’s disaffected, young, just-as-likely-to-be-white anarchists. And this old residents vs. new residents stuff is such crap. I’ve lived in Mt. P 15 plus years and am very happy to see the new businesses.

  • The fact that some easily cleaned up graffiti is such a big stir shows just how much the neighborhood has already changed for the better.

  • I am a recent resident to Mount Pleasant, moving here a couple years ago – part of the new wave of residents that are changing the demographics. So for me, I liked the diversity of the neighborhood, it was a huge draw for me, however I also had hopes that the commercial strip on Mt Pleasant St would eventually reflect the changing diversity and have some stores and retail that appealed more directly to me. And with Flying Fish and Beau Thai, and the new Each Peach market, I think it is doing just that. However, what I am hearing from folks on here (and in that WAMU article) is that it’s reached a tipping point: it will only continue to gentrify and any new restaurant or business will just cater to the new wave of wealthier (and mostly white) residents; the existing businesses and residents will gradually be displaced. It is possible, but it’s up to the residents in the community to work together with the leaders to make sure it doesn’t. On a related note, I think that the graffiti is not just a manifestation of tensions about race or class. Previous to Mt P, I lived in the U St corridor for 5 years and saw that area rapidly develop and I also saw how some people who had lived there since the 80’s and 90’s resented the change. It seemed more to be an anger and resentment about how lots of middle class and affluent folks abandoned the city during its bleakest times, but now want back in. Where were they when the city was struggling with high crime, poor city services, etc.? Many of my neighbors in Mt. Pleasant have lived here 10, 15, 20 years and are of many different races and backgrounds. Based on that shared experience, they have all formed a strong community. I just hope that they allow some new people who didn’t go through all that to become part of it. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition.

    • I first read about the ’50s-’60s migration of middle-class Whites from increasingly black cities to all-white suburbs when I was in college, before the urban revival hit its stride. I learned about how “white flight” had contributed to the modern urban problems of eroded tax bases, fiscal disarray, depressed property values, crime, drugs etc. A clear lesson I took away from this history was that white Americans shared a heavy civic responsibility for the dire urban problems of the ’70s and ’80s.

      The past two decades or so have witnessed a reversal of white flight, joined by an urban influx of middle-class Asians and other ethniciities, including middle-class Blacks. In tandem with this reversal, urban tax bases have recovered from years of erosion, and cities fiscal foundations have firmed up. Relative to suburban property values, urban property values have risen. City services have improved. Crime has plummeted.

      While I understand the difficulties caused for many by “gentrification,” I am mystified by the common vilification of urban newcomers. Histories of white flight don’t celebrate crashing property values, though I’m sure they enabled many people to buy a house. If city-fleeing Whites were the culprits of urban decline in the ’50s, can their city-loving children logically be the culprits of the ’00s gentrification?

      Do those complaining about gentrification today lack historical perspective? Do they take for granted the many urban improvements associated with the recent arrivals? The answer, I think, is yes.

    • I’m white and frequent some of the “ethnic” businesses. Not so sure they’d all be displaced. In additon to americanized Thai food and capachinos, white people also appreciate an authentic papusa or juevos divorcados.

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