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Friday Question of the Day – “Do Our Neighborhoods Offer Enough Things To Do?”

by Prince Of Petworth February 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm 91 Comments

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“Dear PoP,

I work on public health policy and am seeing a trend across the nation that is especially obvious in DC. It is getting harder to find things to DO. The new development is always focused on condos, bars, and restaurants. Love to live in a home, and am a huge fan of drinking and eating . . . but people need something to do. There is this notion that going to the gym and getting on a machine or lifting heavy items with an ipod on is the only activity that people need. It is not a winning strategy for building a happy healthy society.

Look around– where are the bowling alleys, arcades with skeeball and air hockey and foosball, driving ranges, live music venues with dancing . . . etc.? Where are the racquetball courts? Nobody works 9-5 anymore . . . and when people get home at 7, there are no lights in the parks (or they are just scary). There are gyms with basketball/volleyball courts in every school in DC, but they are chained up at night. Once-a-year street fairs are nice, but having places where people can consistently go to find a band and a dancing mass is better. (Love Madam’s Organ and Wonderland for that but such places are oddly few and far between)

We need to make sure there are fun things to do in every community– things that lure people out away from their TVs and computers, that bring them together to meet each other, and use their bodies in some way besides eating and drinking. People seem to be yearning for it. Look at the popularity of H St. Country Club and Comet Ping Pong– goofy fun. Look how much people are willing to pay to bowl at that crappy place in Chinatown. How can there not be a reasonable bowling alley in a city this size? I know we can find a spot for one in the GaP. The good DC tennis courts (like Howard/Banneker) are packed all day until the dusk . . . why not put in some lights, and maybe with a pay-meter to defray the costs?”

What do you guys think – are there enough “things” to do in our neighborhoods (especially at night)?

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