A Very Generous Interpretation


This pocket park was home to the protest benches back in 2009. Other controversy surrounding the park revolved around complaints of drinking, drug use and other crime. That being said – calling this a park does feel like stretching the truth a bit:


What was planned:


28 Comment

  • I lived about 30 yards away from here, down Ogden street on the same side of the street as the little grocery store on the corner in the picture from 2012-2014. There was nothing “park” about this triangle of pavement. When I lived there, there wasn’t even greenery at all. It never occurred to me that this could ever be considered a “park.” Instead of benches or trees, there were rats the size of housecats, young teenagers selling drugs and walking around with their shirts off, and groups of older teens/young adult men loitering at the corner making lewd comments and gestures to women who walked past. This “park” was one of the top reasons I moved away. It frightened me very badly and there was no way to get to my place without passing through it.

  • “Triangle Park” on the corners of Blair, 4th and Aspen in Takoma has the same sign. Yet, since it’s “redesign” a couple summers ago, it’s merely a fenced in prison for overgrowth and weeds. Bowser gets all the credit for that one.

  • What’s a shame is that the city chopped down a big, beautiful, healthy tulip poplar tree to build that “park.”
    I think the “seats” are an insult.

  • LOL! That IS misleading. In reality, that park opens at dark.

  • phl2dc

    I used to live around there. What an eyesore.

  • This “park” is basically just a place for people to urinate.

  • This was done ten years ago to specifically discourage anyone from hanging out in that space. I’m sure there were other hot spots, but this park was certainly one.

    I’ve never seen anyone sit on those danger stools.

    • binpetworth

      The thing that gets me about those stools is that they don’t face one another. So even if two people wanted to perch on them, one would have his back to the other or be sitting at a perpendicular angle not conducive to conversation.

    • It continues to amaze me how smart people think they are when they are completely wrong. Clearly from the design drawings this park was rebuilt in 2010/2011. Prior to the rebuild the park was an utter disaster and a complete open air drug market. At the time the community wanted, above all else, to make it safe to walk by and close the drug market. As you can see from the photos, both of those were accomplished.

      People need to get real, this is not some quiet suburb neighborhood where a beautiful shaded garden can be installed and maintained at this site. Having this park be relatively clean and not negatively contributing to the blight and safety of the neighborhood is a win.

  • The “tiles” between those metal strips that form the foundation of the park are all separating, too. Major trip hazard and no doubt miserable for anyone who needs any assistance getting around. Not to long ago someone put some leopard print duct tape to draw pedestrian attention to the ledge/trip hazard but it’s gone now even though the hazard isn’t.

    • They did just replace one. It was terrible though.

      • Rockandroar

        They replaced it, but it’s still a hazard, along with the others. I have to be extra cautious when I walk there because if I’m not, I will trip.

  • It would be nice to see a redesign, but that’s going to have to wait until the neighborhood is a little nice. As is there is zero chance that any new park wouldn’t be immediately covered in drug users and piss.

  • Brianne Nadeau: Here is a simple yet effective accomplishment (for any council member, really) that you could point to before the next election:
    Clean Up This Park
    I suggested long before this park was renovated that it would make a great dog park in the style of the one on 17th and S Street NW. Something that would bring neighbors together. There are no dog parks in the area.

  • This spot, whether a park or not, seems to gather a rough crowd on many nights. Hate walking by and purposefully cross the street before I get there.

  • Why *should* this be anything but what it is? Sure, we can moan all day about how we wish there was no one in our neighborhood who did drugs, littered, trampled the landscaping, snapped branches off the trees, peed in public. But that’s not the reality. Some people who congregate at this park do all those things.
    It would be a waste of resources to rehab this park into something more in line with the dreams of the $700k rowhouse crowd. Those people aren’t using this space. The people who are using the space don’t seem to have any interest in its aesthetics. And howevermuch we may dislike their habits, I don’t think that taking away their space is right.
    I think if the new homeowners must make everything theirs, though, a dog park is a good suggestion. It’s not that much smaller than the one near S St, right? A dog park would get regular use, in a way that a landscaped park with shaded benches would not. I just don’t see any of my neighbors sitting there of an evening to watch the traffic go by on 14th St, you know?

    • As a lifelong DC resident (read: not the gentrifiers you mention) I hope you’re kidding. This is not “their” space, it’s the community’s collective space. Many of us who have lived in DC our whole lives should love to see the space cleaned up just as much as the “$700k rowhouse crowd”. We aren’t any less bothered by the illegal activity and general ratchetness of these sit and spit parks, and many of us don’t frequent them for those very reasons. Sadly it takes people with more disposable income to get the city to act on the same complaints many of us residents have had for years.

      • What do you think would happen, realistically, if it were “cleaned up?” Do you see yourself sitting there breathing bus fumes and admiring the nail salon? Do you think the people who currently gather there will become motivated to stop littering, or maybe they’ll find a different place? Why should they?
        (It’s kind of a trick question, because I know what would happen. I watched it happen last time this park got “cleaned up”.)

  • Many of those things are crimes, and allowing petty crime to flourish sends a signal of lawlessness that leads to serious crimes. Ever wonder why shootings often happen at the same parks and loiter areas where people openly do drugs, intimidate women, piss on storefronts, take dumps publicly, etc.?

  • This ‘park’ represents this area of 14th Street exceptionally well. On one side, you have Thip Khao and the like (see: neighborhood gentrifiers); on the other, the gas station, the ‘neighborhood’ shops and cellphone repair centers etc. This triangular cement esplanade (which from above looks like DC street layouts, mind you) harbors open-air drug use, cat-calling, and general raucous debauchery that police turn a blind eye to. Not only does this ‘park’ offer addicts a place to congregate and scare away passers-by largely due to the sheer number of them, but it also steers the local do-gooders (young professionals, families etc) away from an area that has so much potential to better itself.

  • If we all vote for Trump. I think he will help clean this park up for good.

  • This park is an alphabet soup of DC incompetence:

    The sidewalk collapse a few months back (left dangerously unrepaired for weeks) was the direct result of the enormous rat burrow underneath it, with visible open holes in the planter boxes that. DOH ignored multiple requests for rat abatement. And still hasn’t sealed or baited, so it will probably collapse again.

    The weeds and trash are because DGS doesn’t respond to service calls and doesn’t even know who is responsible for maintaining the property.

    The signs DPR put up about closure at dusk, at the direction of USAO, are a joke, because MPD drives right past known crack cocaine dealers loitering and making open-air sales here nightly, and MPD says that citing them for being in the park (or even checking IDs to see if they had been warned about the rule) would violate their civil rights.

  • My friend who has lived down the block for years calls this “sketchy park.” He says some of the most frequent clientele of the drug dealers are taxi drivers! He was excited about the renovation plan, which originally contained a fountain. Believe it or not, insulting or not, the blatantly “don’t loiter here” design is an improvement over the open air drug market that was here. I wonder what kind of pay offs DC police were taking to not crack down on the trade there, or in front of the apartment building on the northwest corner?

  • I live right by this park and hate walking through it – day or night. Young men hang around here catcalling women, playing dice, drinking, smoking and being loud. They don’t even care that they are openly gambling on a busy street and the police don’t seem to care either.

  • It seems to me that the posted rule is Jim Crow by another name. I have a hard time imagining a non-black hipster being asked to leave.

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