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Add Woodridge to the List

by Prince Of Petworth February 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm 58 Comments


If you told me ten years ago…

True story – I had friends who lived in Woodridge years ago must’ve been around 2005 and I went to their house for a BBQ. It was around 22nd Street, NE. So I figured, I’d just walk to Rhode Island and catch a cab when I was ready to go. This was before Lyft and Uber. So it’s relatively early like maybe 8 or 9pm. I walk to Rhode Island Ave and there are zero cabs. A big old goose egg. OK, I’m a walker (I walked to the BBQ but knew walking all the way home wasn’t a great option), so I figure what the hell I’ll just walk until I see a cab. hahaha It’s easy to forget the former cab dead-zones. There were many. It used to be impossible to catch a cab at Wonderland if you can believe that. Anyway, I get about 1 block on Rhode Island and this lady who must’ve been 70 years old or so makes a beeline straight towards me and says – “where are you going?” I say, I’m walking towards the metro and trying to catch a cab. She says “oh no you’re not.” She physically grabs me and walks to the bus stop and waits with me and RIDES WITH ME to the metro (I think it was Brookland) to make sure I got there OK. I’ll never forget that night. That by the by, is a very good example for those who ask me about the meaning of the beautiful life.

Anyway, enough about me, check out this listing I spotted while looking for today’s GDoN:

“Rare Opportunity in Hot Woodridge! Large Luxurious Custom Home awaits. Chef’s kitchen w/ Viking Pro cooking appliances and built in banquette. Huge Dramatic master suite*Home Theater*Remote A/V control*5 Bedroom suites with full baths*Elevator shaft-potential for disability access*Imagine Enjoying Spring days on rear deck*blocks from new Shops at Dakota Crossing Town Center”


More photos here.

This house at 2921 26th Street, NE is going for $1,299,999.

I can imagine what my guardian would have to say about this…

  • Caroline

    I used to work at the Navy Yard around the same time. Not only was it a cab dead zone, but cabs that I called wouldn’t show up most of the time. You couldn’t count on them at all. Now I get frustrated if there’s more than a 3 minute wait for an Uber!

    • It’s easier to say where the cabs would go rather than all the places they wouldn’t go! When I first moved to Petworth in 2003 – the looks I used to get. And even though it was illegal I was told a million times flat out no, they wouldn’t drive me home to Petworth from Adams Morgan. Crazy to think of today. But the struggle was real back then 🙂 This has been another episode of old man talk with Dan Silverman – until next time DC

      • wdc

        Even boring, mainstream Columbia Heights in the early aughts! We didn’t take cabs very often, being frugal types. We had just bought our house, literally a week earlier, when we had our first “I don’t go to that neighborhood” from a cab driver. We were like Oh dear god, what have we done??

      • JoDa

        Episode 2, the Zone system! Let me tell you about the time that it took my friends and I almost an hour to take a cab home from a party in Cathedral Heights to our homes (one central drop off) in mid-Capitol Hill! The fastest way to get home was to take RCP and then shoot across town, but the *fewest zones* involved driving over to 14th St., taking such south to Mass, and then going across that way. If I remember correctly, the RCP route was 5 zones and the 14th St. route was 3. Not only was that bunk (it took much longer and was only about 1/2 mile shorter by a meter), but it required a *whole lot* of knowledge of the streets and zones to pull off. Heh…at least knowing the zone system meant I knew/know the streets backwards and forwards!

        • JoDa

          Oh, also the night I worked a party in my entry-level job, so I was “at work” until ~9:30 PM, in the early 2000’s. My boss said she’d put me in a cab home, and asked for my address. When I gave it to her, she said “well, no cab is going to take you there…I suppose I can drive you home if you wait a few minutes while I finish up.”
          Upon dropping me at home, she said “I can’t believe you live here! Aren’t you afraid?” “I work a second job when we don’t have evening engagements, and regularly get home close to midnight. My neighbors watch out for me. Thanks for the ride!” (Unsaid: “if you paid me more than near-minimum wage for a job that requires a Bachelors, I wouldn’t live in an illegal basement apartment in a shady neighborhood!”)
          That was about 5 blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro…

      • b

        I was refused a cab ride from Dupont to Petworth at about 9 PM like 6 months ago. It very much still happens and yes, I reported him to the taxi commission.

  • anon

    Pricing seems like a totally crazy stretch, but I’d love to be wrong.

  • JP

    Fun story, but that listing that says “blocks from new Shops at Dakota Crossing???” I’m more familiar with the north of RI Ave part of Woodridge (more desirable IMHO), but that address is probably at least a mile away from Dakota Crossing.

    • stacksp

      I guess they had to mention Dakota Crossing but its not necessarily a locale that most walk to. It seems like listing agents have to somehow make their listings seem walk able even when they really are not.

      • textdoc

        STEPS from the White House! STEPS, I tell you!

      • anon

        Yeah, this real estate agent did a bad job. There are things one could walk to on Rhode Island Ave from here. Dakota Crossing really wouldn’t be an option on foot, as much because of the built environment in that direction (and of that development itself) as because of the distance. Not many ways to cross those railroad tracks.

      • Rich

        Realtors often are liars about geographic amenities, particularly if they don’t know the area, but sometimes they are just clueless even if they live nearby. I was at an open house where the realtor was a neighbor and she had no idea how to answer a simple question about the Metro.

  • Anon3

    That’s a beautiful story – thanks for sharing

    • Rooney


  • Something Like Anonanon

    Sigh, I am never going to be able to afford to buy in this city.

    • j

      Start with an fha loan fix up the place sell it for double and buy a nice house. I did it with 8k

      • stacksp


        Don’t focus on the best house on the block or any of these commercially done flips…

        • HaileUnlikely

          Agree with the approach, though with barely habitable or actually uninhabitable houses now starting around $400K, it’s a totally different game than it was 10-15 years ago when such a thing would run <$200K.

  • DF

    Well, this house is in Langdon, not Woodridge.
    Second, who in their right mind would spend this much on a house in this ‘hood vs anywhere else in town?
    Third, it’s a pretty nice house but a lot of the finishes (esp bathrooms) are a bit over the top.
    We looked at a house nearby and loved everything about it, except the location. Your bound by “highways”, nothing is walkable (maybe the park) and views of taxi cab parking lots and Echostage weren’t all that great.

  • transplanted

    There is something deeply weird about almost every picture of this house. That back view — did they pop back just 5 feet of the original footprint to create the “elevator shaft potential” mentioned in the listing? Or is that three new bathrooms stacked on top of one another? Why is there a diner booth in the kitchen? Is there not a shower in the master bath?
    I don’t have $1.3M to spend, but if I did I’d pass on this one.

    • textdoc

      I _think_ there’s a shower in the master bath, behind that curved mosaic part-wall thing.

    • textdoc

      And +1 to “I don’t have $1.3M to spend, but if I did I’d pass on this one.”

    • anon

      I reeeaally like the diner booth

  • Anon

    Oh man, the pre-Uber/Lyft days! When I first moved here in 2007, I lived in Petworth and I couldn’t get cabs downtown to take me home at night. They’d hear where I wanted to go and drive off. And I’d have to walk to Columbia Heights to get any chance of even hailing a cab.

    The Old Man on the Porch (Get Off My Lawn!)

    • eva

      Am I the only one who would get in a cab and then tell them the destination? I would never reveal where I was going until my seatbelt was on. I did have some guys try to refuse, but no one ever kicked me out.

      Once Wonderland opened in 2004 I no longer had problems getting cabs to take me to my apt in CH because I could direct them to a horde of waiting fares at the bar a block away. Back in the day when I used to walk 3 blocks north on U street so my ride home was a single zone…

      • west_egg

        “Am I the only one who would get in a cab and then tell them the destination?”
        This only worked when they would unlock the door and let you in. More often they’d keep the door locked and just roll down the window.

        • JoDa

          Same for me. Back then I lived just barely into NE, in a fairly nice neighborhood, but the mere mention of NE would cause them to drive away. I had some success saying “right by the Capitol Building!” (it was actually more like 5 blocks, excuse my white lie to get in), but that was no guarantee. What really worked for me was going to a nice hotel near where I was out and asking them to get a cab for me. I was (and am) white and basic enough that the doormen could reasonably believe I might be staying at the hotel, and they were generally afraid to question whether someone like me was a guest for fear of offending someone. A cabbie wouldn’t put someone out if they picked them up at a nice hotel for fear of being black-balled by the hotel. It wasn’t pretty, equitable, or even good for business for the cabbies, but those were the breaks back then.
          Since I now live in Brookland, you still have exactly *zero* chance of hailing a cab on the street here. Plenty drive by with their “for hire” lights on, but they will. not. stop. Even if you call them ahead of time, it’s still unlikely they’ll show up. I may try an experiment the next time I have to go to the airport, and call various cab companies to see what they say/do. If one shows up at 8:30 AM…great, I have a ride. If they fail to show, I can always summon an Uber or Lyft in about 5 minutes.

  • anonymous

    Nah. gonna so pass. That area just doesn’t scream city to me. I’ll take a row house any day over one of this mansions.

    • s.patrillo

      This area is a slice of heaven…take my word. (I’m further down on Otis.) It is not meant to scream ‘city.’ It screams ‘I can come home and decompress, but still not be in the boonies.” Wanna talk city, I am downtown in about 15min. I am ok w/that. Less riff-raff and I still have access to many parts of the city.

      • stacksp

        Agreed. I have the exact opposite perspective as anonymous as I am currently looking for a detached pre upgraded home in the city with off street parking and yard for the exact reasons you stated. Outside of rush hour you can zip around fairly easily on this side of town.

    • anon

      Take a look at the development plans up and down Rhode Island and New York Aves. I don’t know when/if some of these detached houses get split into multiple units (current zoning would only allow a single accessory apartment, I believe), but the two corridors will most certainly grow city-like (while maintaining quite a few characterful old buildings mixed with the new).

  • Langdon anon

    As someone who made a bet on Langdon/Woodridge (this is technically Langdon, who cares) as one of the last affordable places to buy in the city (and we bought a fixer-upper), super interested to see how long this sits on the market, and how much it sells for. I keep an eye on the neighborhood and the pricing is insanely all over the place for the flips — we’ve seen a few houses sit for months now because they are priced way too high, and this one is lots higher, even. I will be eager to see what happens.

    • stacksp

      I was looking earlier today in 20017 and 20018 and saw a few detached fixer uppers in the 400s in 20018 and the mid 500s for 20017.

    • joe

      Yea I also made the leap and bought in Woodridge last year (the “real” Woodridge?). I just can’t see this going for anywhere near asking.. I bet 900s. Even then it would be the most expensive house sold in the neighborhood ever barring 2004 Evarts.

  • Rich

    I used drive through this area on my way from Adams-Morgan to the REI in College Park in the 90s and I wondered when gentrification would come as it was happening in Brookland and even near Providence Hospital. It had a decent looking housing stock that probably needed updates as owners aged, but pleasant neighborhoods with houses that were probably mostly owner occupied. If you skipped the weak commercial strips and poorly maintained apartments on RI Ave, you could see the potential and in some ways, it was similar to Shepherd Park (although less affluent) which has never had much trouble finding buyers despite Georgia Avenue as well as Silver Spring’s long decline and very slow revival.

  • Vered

    Looks like Fairfax County.

  • Guillermo Brown

    I bet that skinny rear bump out is CMU block. No way you get get the wind shear reqt’s for something that height and width out of wood

    • Yes, Guillermo! The slender outer most rear portion of the house is indeed cinder block. The block has been clad in hardi-plank. Keen eye. (From listing agent of subject property)

  • Robert

    Beautiful story, about the kind lady protecting you. Know what is even more beautiful? Not needing protection. #whyweleft

    • Anon

      You know what’s better? Improving unsafe neighborhoods so nobody on American soil needs protection #whywestay.

  • Ross

    I’ve lived here for almost 20 years and there’s no way I could give you directions to Woodridge without looking it up first. Until recently, I would’ve replied “You mean Woodbridge? That’s like 30 miles south of DC!” Looks like a nice neighborhood, but that price is ludicrous no matter where it might be in DC.

    • IDontGetIt

      LOL. Finally someone else said it!

    • anon

      A house that big would be like $3m in many parts of town. Many condos go for more than a million in central areas of town. If you think real estate should be cheaper, I hope you’ll consider advocating that we build more of it.

  • stacksp

    The anti-DC contingent has showed up lol

    • textdoc

      I don’t understand… what anti-DC contingent?

  • Truxtoner

    I am so distracted by the horrible staging that I really cannot get a good sense of the space or proportions. Obviously it is huge but none of the rooms seem to make any sense to me.

    Also, 1.3m and the kitchen cabinets do not go all of the way up to the ceiling. Nope.

  • PettyShabazz

    If you like Woodridge but not the price tag, hop on over to Friendly Mount Rainier 🙂

    • anon

      Yup. Ignore the jurisdictional boundary, and the neighborhoods are basically identical. Maybe someday the G9 will even continue up Rt. 1 to College Park like the Rhode Island Ave streetcar did.


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