Tips for newcomers

I have recently been contacted by a number of new folks who are moving into the neighborhood. They have requested some tips from me as well as from you guys based on our experiences. So I’ll take first crack then you the readers should post your advice that you wish you had received before moving to the neighborhood.

Back in the day I posted my top 10 reasons I love Petworth. That all still applies. First of all congratulations to you all. You have made a truly smart decision. So my advice to new Petworth residents is as follows:

1. Go to Domku and Temperance Hall. They are fantastic restaurant/bars that are wonderful additions to the neighborhood. Domku located on the 800 block of Upshur is a wonderful place to get brunch, dinner or just a cup of coffee. Domku also offers free Wifi for your internet needs. Also, it now has outdoor seating which is quite pleasant. Temperance Hall is the perfect place to get a bite to eat and a beer after work. The atmosphere is terrific and there are tons of locals who are regulars and the bartenders are the best. Temperance also has a fantastic back deck. It is located on Georgia Ave, just south of the metro, the cross street is Princeton.

2. Introduce yourself to your neighbors on the whole block. People in Petworth are among the nicest I have ever met in my ten years here in DC. It is essential that you integrate into the block. But you have to take the initiative. Don’t simply hide in your homes. Make the effort to say hello to all the new faces you encounter. 9 times out of 10 you will be greeted with kindness and ultimately friendship. The people are by far one of the biggest benefits of the neighborhood. Here in Petworth neighbors gladly and always watch each other’s backs.

3. Take advantage of our proximity to Columbia Heights and U Street. Petworth is a wonderful neighborhood but it is still developing. You are not going to find every store that you desire. Columbia Heights has the terrific Giant supermarket on Park Road. I highly recommend it. There is also a terrific coffee shop in Columbia Heights on 11th and Park aptly called Columbia Heights Coffee. Columbia Heights is also home to Wonderland Ballroom on 11th and Kenyon which is one of the greatest bars in the city with an outdoor beer garden. Of course everyone knows the Target and other development is coming to CH. So take advantage of it.

4. Realize that you are not moving to Cleveland Park or Georgetown. And for the most part that is a good thing. But there are also some negative aspects. One, which I often complain about, is the garbage. You are going to encounter garbage on the streets. This will not change. But you can do something about it. Always keep the area in front of your house clean. If it means picking up garbage every morning, then pick up garbage every morning. If many people do this we will make a dent.

5. Get to know your local ANC representative. 9 times out of 10 they are fantastic. Talk to them about your neighborhood questions and concerns. They are very responsive.

6. Crime exists but it is not as bad as the press makes it seem. Everyone has there own comfort level. You will learn yours based on your own experiences and your own walks around the neighborhood. Certain crime issues affect people differently depending upon what block they live on. There is drug dealing in Petworth. But for the most part, this will not affect you. If you see it happening call 311 and register a complaint with the police. Occasional there is violence between gangs especially in the Summer. But this usually occurs late at night. So my advice to folks is don’t walk around the neighborhood after midnight. Obviously, you all will have your own comfort level. Personally, I don’t walk home from the metro after 10 pm during the week. I know folks who don’t walk home after 8 pm but I also know folks who walk home at all hours of the night without incident. So you’ll have determine your own comfort level. But again, if you encounter issues don’t hesitate to call 311 or 911 in an emergency. By in large I think crime is a far bigger problem in Adams Morgan than it is in Petworth.

7. Plant flowers in front of your house. It adds to the overall beauty of the neighborhood and as you are working outside you’ll have more opportunities to meet your neighbors.

8. Try all the new local businesses as they open. Lots of development is coming to Petworth. We have had to new Latino restaurants open: El Limeno and El Torgoroz. Check em out, they are delicious. El Limeno is on Upshur across from another local bar called the Hitching Post across from the Old Soldiers home. El Torgoroz is around the corner from Domku. I’ll be updating you with new ones as they open.

9. Some days are better than others. Realize that some days you will encounter lots of garbage, lots of kids yelling, and maybe read about some crime. Other days, you will see beautiful flowers, talk to interesting neighbors, and have a great drink at one of the local haunts. Not every day is the same. Remember the positive and don’t stew on the negative ones.

10. Send me your tips and questions. I am constantly updating PoP and your experiences are helpful to others. So share them with me. Please. Don’t hesitate to contact me with specific questions at [email protected]

So now it is your turn. What advice do you have about living in Petworth? What have I left out? Flip it bakery? Colorado Kitchen?

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