Thursday, April 26, 2012

WCP gentrification cover story mentions Big Bear Cafe; Bates St residents interviewed

The cover story of this week's Washington City Paper focuses upon gentrification.

A Guide for the Responsible Gentrifier
by City Paper Staff
April 27, 2012

I spotted this sentence in the article:
Did you read about the short-sighted Advisory Neighborhood Commission NIMBYs who rejected the liquor-license application of a nice new café that had taken over a space once occupied by a bullet-proofed liquor store?
Is this a reference to Big Bear Cafe's pursuit of a liquor license?  (Or it could be a reference to likely any other similar stories around the District.)

Plus, some City Paper reporters interviewed some residents on the 100 block of Bates Street NW. 

Here you go:

What do residents actually want out of their neighbors? Believe it or not, the pesky newcomers and stubborn long-timers have fairly similar requirements for the people they’d like to live around.
We talked to residents of the 100 block of Bates Street NW in Truxton Circle, and those hanging out a few blocks away at Bloomingdale’s Big Bear Café.  [So is Big Bear Cafe the symbol of gentrification...?]


Name: Sharon Manning
In neighborhood for: “Several years”
“They should mind their own business—noise, parties, music, they call the cops. Maybe they need a man or something so they can mind their own business.” But Manning adds that she’d like neighbors that look out for each other, too.


Name: “Tricky” Rick Reid
In neighborhood for: “All my life”
“I’m a bad neighbor gone good. Growth and patience taught me to be a good neighbor.” Reid, who claims to be the self-appointed mayor of Bates Street, relays this advice: “Be yourself. If you’re jerk, you get jerked off.”


Name: Laura Westman
In neighborhood for: Three years
“My neighbors are super-friendly. I went to [George Washington University], where people are always going to work, and it took awhile to understand people here are being genuinely nice and don’t have an ulterior motive.” Westman relays that her next-door neighbor passed along some leftovers after she lauded his cooking skills.


Name: Hellen Papavizas
In neighborhood for: Nearly a year
“A couple of things: Respect for your neighbors, awareness, appreciation, sense of community....I love the neighborhood. [My neighbors] seem to look out for one another too. If they notice things, they give us a heads-up.” Papavizas adds that when she moved in last summer, she “was practically met by a welcoming committee.”


Name: Christina Samuels
In neighborhood for: Four years
“Quiet and clean. That’s about it: clean and quiet, and courteous and mindful; someone that can watch the house when you’re out of town.” Samuels’ immaculate front garden apparently inspired some friendly competition: “I started cleaning up the yard and all of a sudden they did it, and they did it, and now it’s like a battle on the block!”


Name: Ronald Herring
In neighborhood for: “Grew up here”
“I speak to everyone...there’s different lifestyles but you’ve got to respect people. I miss the block parties. Now people sit on their stoops but the whole street doesn’t get together.” Herring adds that it bothers him when neighbors don’t say hello in passing.


Name: Janice Kyle
In neighborhood for: 16 years
“I don’t know any of my neighbors. I don’t want to...I go to work and go home.” Though Kyle’s been in the neighborhood for some time, she prefers to keep to herself.


Name: Amanda Johnson
In neighborhood for: Two years
“I’m not friends with the people next door, but I see my second-floor neighbor often. We’re working on a garden together. I think general friendliness and the willing to make shared spaces more awesome are important.” Johnson doesn’t see many of her other neighbors out and about, but if she did, she’d “definitely say hello.”


Name: Michael Snook
In neighborhood for: “I haven’t been there too long.”
“I don’t generally end up forming bonds with people because we’re not the same age or into the same things, but it’s nice to be able to say hello.” Though Snook doesn’t necessarily hang out with his neighbors, he feels welcome on his Petworth street.

Click on the article title above to read the entire article.

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