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From an email:

“On Tuesday 12/16, we shine the spotlight on Bloomingdale, past and present. The event takes place at Big Bear Cafe (1700 First Street NW), from 6.30-8.30pm.

Here’s the twist: Rather than tracing its evolution through percentages about rising rents and new businesses, we’ll focus on community voices. In addition to our amazing panelists (listed below), we’re inviting people to share their photos, posters, stories, little-known facts, etc — anything that addresses the evolution of Bloomingdale’s urban space and community.

We’re interested in the architecture, stories, traditions, and most of all, the multiple facets of lived experience that make up the neighborhood’s history. From childhood to churches, parks to parades, street art to community relations, we welcome an array of viewpoints about urban transformation. Photos (and stories) can be uploaded to the Council’s blog (http://hcwdc.blogspot.com/) or brought in that evening.

Natalie Hopkinson, Ph.D, author of Go-Go Live Ph.D, author of Go-Go Live
Saaret Yoseph, multimedia storyteller; director/producer of The Red Line D.C. Project
Scott Roberts, community activist and blogger of Bloomingdale
Autumn Saxon-Ross, Program Director, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Stuart Davenport, owner and manager of Big Bear Café”

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1648 North Capitol Street, NW at R Street

It’s been a while since we spoke about Pub and the People coming to the corner of R and North Capitol St, NW. I peeked in the window and was pyched to see the bar being built out. If all goes well I’m told they should open in early February. Can’t wait!

For those not familiar you can read some background here.

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ANC Rep Teri Janine Quinn emails me the following letter in partial response to yesterday’s post “We have all noticed Bloomingdale has been charged with a new tense and violent energy”:

“Dear Neighbors,

I am happy to be able to provide a positive update on this matter. Let me begin with some background information regarding this issue. Over the last year I have worked relentlessly with the 5th District Police Commander Dierdre Porter, MPD officers and DCRA to address the problems stemming from Aida’s Electronics, located at 209 Florida Avenue, NW. The store has been openly selling synthetic marijuana for over a year. As described by MPD officers, synthetic drugs may produce results similar to PCP. Last January, a store employee was shot in the chest in the store. To my knowledge no arrests were made in that case. In the southwest section of Bloomingdale and the northwest section of Bates, we have become accustomed to seeing people from all over the city strung out in front of our homes and on our front steps, sometimes with children (even babies) in tow. Some neighbors, including seniors, have been threatened directly by loiterers on their property and had plants ripped out of their front yards after confrontations with loiterers.

I have routinely reported on this issue to both the Bloomingdale Civic Association and the Bates Area Civic Association (the south side of that stretch of Florida Avenue is in Bates). I have addressed the issue directly with Councilmember McDuffie and he has reached out directly to Commander Porter regarding the matter. Commander Porter and I have been in near constant contact regarding the store. Additional officers were assigned to patrol the area near the store and the police raided the store at least twice. That helped to deter some of the bad behavior that stemmed from the store but it did not resolve the problem. (more…)

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Photo by PoPville flickr user KingoftheHill.

“Dear PoPville,

I’ve lived in the same apartment in Bloomingdale for 3 years and know all my neighbors, love the neighborhood and the vibe. Increasingly, over the past year, we (neighbors, my bf and I) have all noticed Bloomingdale has been charged with a new tense and violent energy. In the evenings, it’s not as noticeable, people are out and about going to Yoga District, Ren Hen, Boundary Stone, Big Bear Cafe, etc.

The daytime hours are the worst times to be out. We usually walk our yellow lab around midday between 12 pm and 4 pm and almost every day we are verbally accosted and threatened by young men driving or walking through the neighborhood (between Rhode Island and Florida on 1st and 2nd Streets NW.)

They usually try to hit on me and when I ignore them or refuse their comments/advances, it immediately turns to threats of violence–“Fuck you bitch. I’ll fucking fuck you up. Watch your back, bitch. Don’t walk away from me. I know where you live. I should’ve robbed you. I’ll fucking rob you.” This afternoon a guy in a van followed me for blocks and wouldn’t leave me alone screaming at me for ignoring him and threatening to hurt me and rob me and that he knew where I lived–I’m sure he doesn’t, but still scary enough. My landlord just happened to be walking towards us and his presence scared off the guy in the van. We reported the incident to the non emergency police tip line.

With my bf, they instantly threaten him, follow him for blocks saying some form of the above. It’s always some threat of violence, “Hey faggot, I’m going to follow you into that alley and fuck your shit. Stupid fucker, let’s get him. Let’s fuck him up. Follow that fucker.”

As I mentioned before, I know all my neighbors and these young men don’t live here that I’ve seen. They’re usually walking through in groups of 3 or more or they’re driving around on the quiet, short, cross streets that don’t connect to main thoroughfares. They’re cruising around seemingly looking to interact with pedestrians. The worst places are the gas station area on Rhode Island and Florida NW, and the STRANGE “electronics shop” on the corner of Florida and 2nd Street NW. There are always drug deals out in the open in front of that shop or on the quiet streets nearest the shop (2nd and T NW). I’ve seen so many drugs and money exchanged during the daytime around that area.

Our neighbors are really good about being “present” in a lot of different ways. We have really young children that play basketball or football on the sidewalks, neighbors sit out on their stoops, and socialize and report anything suspicious. We all watch out for each other but I’m concerned about the escalation and the frequency of these incidences and feel like they’re getting worse. It makes me want to be outside less and less.

I’m curious if others in Bloomingdale on different streets have noticed this as well.”

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“Dear PoPville,

The (in)famous Bloomingdale / Eckington locks began to show back up a few months ago, and now they are joined by some lovely spray painting artwork right beside them. I see the similarity, but not really how they are different. I don’t see how some people call one art and one graffiti. They either both have to be, or not be, in my opinion. Here are what I see as similar.

1. They are both put on public property by a private citizen.
2. They are both considered illegal by DC law.
3. They both have been removed multiple times by DC Government, which clearly says to anyone who may be doubtful about doing it again, don’t do this.
4. They both have been put back multiple times after ignoring the DC Government removing them from the location.
5. They both are considered an eyesore to most, and art to some.
6. They both are being forced on all the other citizens of the neighborhood without any poll as to if they are wanted or not.
7. They both are not permanent damage but both would take considerable effort and cost to remove.
8. They both cause a waste of taxpayer dollars

The only thing I see as a difference is that one is associated with the European American Community and one is associated with the African American Community.”

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From Crispus Attucks Park:

“For anyone who regularly traverses the park: it is against park policy to park anywhere on park property–even by a foot. This is because we spend a significant amount of effort each year on planting and maintaining the grass and shrubbery. And of course, it’s not in our by-laws to maintain a parking lot.

Thus, please never hesitate to call 911 and request and officer to come ticket the vehicle. They will then put in an order to have it towed after the ticket is issued. When providing the address, state the car is illegally parked in the alley space behind the nearest address. This will help for the operator to avoid confusion.”

Crispus Attucks Park is located in the alley between 1st Street and North Captiol and V St and U St, NW.

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$1005 Spacious English Basement Room Available ASAP!:

“Spacious BEAUTIFUL wonderful AMAZING English basement room with full bathroom and private entry available for rent in Bloomingdale/Shaw ASAP. The lease terms are month to month but we are looking for someone who will move in now until April or longer. The renter (you?!) would share the large, newly renovated row house with three fun-loving 25/26 year-old professional females who are sort of mostly adults. We’re looking for a lady. Rent is $1,005.00 and utilities are not included (standard: water, cable, electric, alarm). Can come furnished or not. (more…)

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A reader sends:

“I was walking to my car this morning in the alley behind Quincy pl nw [North capital on one end and 1st st nw on the other end in Bloomingdale] and I saw this dog with tags running around. The dog kept running from me when I tried to get close to him so I couldn’t grab him. I did get close enough to see that his name on his tag was Smokie. I had to get to work so I ended up calling animal control but hopefully the owner sees this so they can pick Smokie up and get him home!”