Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Come with us, Bloomingdale!

Bloomingdale, Eckington, Truxton Circle, Old City 1, 2..... a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet...or as pungent in the case of parts of N. Capital Street. Everyone is included in this discussion. If you have an idea, let us know. Our goal is to help N. Capital Street improve....to make it something we would all like to stroll down. Sure, it's a busy street... and almost as wide as parts of Connecticut Avenue. But, maybe we can improve it. Maybe we cannot....but what would you do if you didn’t even try. Come and try.

Last night a group of neighbors, and even some considering moving to our neighborhood, got together at Nellie’s sports bar. The purpose was to meet each other and recognize that all the ideas that we have to improve our neighborhood are shared by many of us. Perhaps we knew that, but it was good to meet each other. FABULOUS IDEAS. Wow. Come join us next time.

To recapture some of the ideas:

1. Most agreed that we would like N. Capital to be organic in its development (no big box stores) . . . we feel that NOMA can take care of the bigger development. Ideally we would like places that we can walk to, that are unique to the neighborhood, and/or fill neighborhood needs. Yoga, community theater space, bars, sit down restaurant, baker, butcher, etc. In a perfect world we would have a movie theater and bookstores . . . and that would indeed be perfect (at least in my world).

2. There is an organization in Adams Morgan called Cool Town Studios. They have identified something called ‘beta communities’ http://www.cooltownbeta.com/ It turns out that a "beta community" project was started in Mt. Vernon Square. Is this something that we would want to consider? http://www.cooltownstudios.com/mt/archives/001021.html

3. one person has a lot of experience in theater. Her suggestions were to contact theater groups in DC (the second largest community theater venue in the country). These organizations are always looking for places to host productions and/or house actors. We could get a list of theaters and start contacting their community outreach (if they exist?) and at a minimum invite them to walk around the neighborhood.

4.Another great idea was to contact the community relations departments of FedEx and XM Radio. Both of these companies benefit from being in this neighborhood and may be interested (and able) to donate money to a neighborhood organization. If you know contacts, start hustling them. :)

5. We should look for other like-minded organizations in our neighborhood so that we are not duplicating efforts. The North Capital Main Street Initiative is one which comes to mind.

6. talk to friends, neighbors, friends of friends . . . people always know someone who knows someone and they may be interested in what we are doing.

7. Think about coming up with more concise ideas about how we could implement some good changes. Do we approach shop keepers to offer solutions on facades (does this mean volunteering to paint a building) . . . do we plant flowers on N. Capital so that people start to notice? North Capital Main Street Initiative may have grant money for these types of things.

8. another idea was advertising the neighborhood. Whether we hire a firm or do it ourselves, we could put together a “North Capitol” website that contains information about residents within Bloomingdale/Eckington, and pictures to remind investors of the amazing panorama that already exists. It could be done with little to no money and could be used as a resume for the neighborhood....anybody know how to create a website? interested?

Think about it. It could be great. It could be fun. Be positive.

8 comments:

  1. One of the idea’s that I really liked was advertising the neighborhood. Whether we hire a firm or do it ourselves, we could put together a “North Capitol” website that contains information about residents within Bloomingdale/Eckington, and pictures to remind investors of the amazing panorama that already exists. It could be done with little to no money and could be used as a resume for the neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ideally, I'd like North Capital to have organic development with no big-box stores... but I'd prefer chains to NOTHING. In fact, I'd be delighted if chains started showing up in areas that had otherwise been abandoned. A Potbellys, a Panera, etc. etc....

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would much rather have chains then nothing as well. Anything would better than the current situation. With all of the homeoweners and new condo dwellers nearby why haven't any chains shown any interest in the area?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Chains are not interested in our neighborhood because of the demographics. The last census was in 2000, and reflects a 95% African-American, predominantly poor populace. (And before I get jumped on - I firmly believe economic racism is real... take a look at how hard PG County has had to work to attract retail).

    However, we have to be realistic. The 2010 census is not going to show dramatic changes. On my block perhaps every 10th house has been "gentrified" (regardless of race). Our demographics will still be undesirable for most national chains. Hence, I concur that organic development is the best approach.

    - JM

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is this group going to have consistent meetings? If so, when and where is the next one?

    ReplyDelete
  6. i hate to bring this up, but is there a reason you keep saying north capital? vs. north capitol. it referencing the building the street leads directly into, not the 'capital' of the nation. if we're going to advertise our area, it's probably smart to get the street name correct. if you're making a point with your spelling, please disregard.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Did you know there is an all volunteer Main Street style organization to help promote North Capitol? Check out the North Capitol Main Street link at:

    http://www.ncmsinc.org/

    There are several committees with events and projects through out the year.

    The next NCMS Inc. event is at Big Bear on 10 May. (the website is not updated with that info) Since its an all volunteer organization - new volenteers, ideas, and energy is always welcome! Check out the website and shoot the Board an email at info@ncmsinc.org (I believe at least one NCMC members check this blog regularly also - so they would see yoru interest to join or pitch in with existing projects).

    ReplyDelete