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Where We Live:
District of Columbia

September 18, 1996

Wedged between Maryland and Virginia on the Potomac River, Washington is a symbol of the great republic, a postcard city of monuments and history visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. Beyond the monuments are scores of diverse neighborhoods, ranging from the exotic Adams Morgan to the stately mansions of Kalorama to the rolling hills of Anacostia.

American University Park: Living And Learning
By Angela Couloumbis; February 10, 1996

In the last 10 years American University Park has opened its arms to a steady stream of couples with young children, contributing to what residents call the "regeneration" of this upper Northwest neighborhood. "When I moved in, I was the youngest person around," said Carol Owens, 60, who has lived in AU Park for 24 years. "In the last 10 years there has been a huge turnover. Many of the residents who moved here when the neighborhood was built have passed away. Now, Halloween at my house looks like a kindergarten."

Arboretum: Putting Down Roots in D.C.
By Gabriel Escobar; October 10, 1992

One would be hard-pressed to find another District neighborhood where the contrasts are so stark and in such close proximity. This is a place where walking just one block on R Street NE places one at the Yellow Cab garage or at the foot of pastoral Mount Hamilton, where sought-after brick homes built in the 1930s have the bucolic Arboretum as their front yard.

Barney Circle: Fostering a Sense of Community
By Nell Henderson; November 21, 1992

Although initially attracted by the prices, John Capozzi is like many residents who have stayed in the neighborhood because of the people he met there. "Barney Circle is a real neighborhood," he said. "People live there a long time. It’s not a transient area. I have neighbors who are friends. We’ve developed a sense of community together. We work together to get things solved."

Beekman Place: A Look Past the Iron Gate
By DeNeen L. Brown; October 28, 1995

The only way into Beekman Place is through a black, wrought-iron gate that opens slowly to those who live there and to those who are invited. After the gate shuts, the sounds and elements of the city are left behind.

Blagden Alley: Turning the Corner
By Ruben Castaneda; February 20, 1993

The variety of this downtown neighborhood is apparent on warm days on the playground of Shaw Junior High School at 10th and Rhode Island, where young blacks often play basketball on the outdoor asphalt court while young Latinos engage in soccer matches in an adjacent grass-and-dirt playground. "We've got everything," said Elizabeth Blakeslee, chairman of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission that covers most of the Blagden Alley area.

The Broadmoor: At Peace in the Past
By Marianne Kyriakos; June 3, 1995

Residents cherish the Broadmoor's quaint touches. "It's a very quirky little building; it's a funny old place," said Paul Jorgensen, 32. "It's got walls that are thicker than you can imagine, and it's very quiet."

Brookland: A Nurturing Neighborhood
By Marcia Slacum Greene; February 22, 1992

"It's an excellent place to raise a child," said Jo Massey, who moved to Brookland six years ago. "No place is a total safe haven if there are problems in a city or society, but Brookland has a special feel. My son and I have formed friendships with the merchants on 12th Street and parents here pitch in to make certain that it's a good place for children."

Burleith Moves to The City's Beat
By Heather Salerno; September 23, 1995

Although the development of modern-day Burleith did not begin until the 1920s, the area's unusual name dates back much farther. According to a 1973 publication, "A Short History of Burleith" by historian Edgar Farr Russell, the nearby Georgetown Visitation convent now stands on the former site of Berlieth, the estate of Henry Threlkeld, which was built about 1716.

The Cairo: A Tower of Elegance
By Dana Hull; Saturday, May 18, 1996

It's big. It's notorious. It's the tallest residential building in the District. The Cairo, a turn-of-the-century combination condominium-rental in Dupont Circle, is stylish, secure, and convenient to stores and attractions. Predictably, it's also a very popular place for young singles to live.

Capitol Hill: Casting Their Lots Together
By Brooke A. Masters; June 6, 1992

John Arrascada calls Capitol Hill "the small town within the city." Typical of the young professionals who populate the area, he says "You can go to your favorite bar and see the same people. We know the bartender and our favorite waitress who's always there to greet us with a big smile and get us our beer right away."

The Cloisters: Silence Is Golden
By Heather Salerno; August 19, 1995

With two high schools and Georgetown University practically next door, one might think solitude and privacy would be limited commodities in a neighborhood. But that appears to not be the case at the Cloisters, where residents regard their homes as refuges from the everyday commotion of the city, even though it's just a few blocks from the busiest section of Georgetown.

Colonial Village: Enjoying Rock Creek Park
By Patrice Gaines; January 29, 1994

Once a covenant forbade residents "of Negro blood or of the Semitic race," according to a community history written by one resident, but today Colonial Village is well integrated, populated by government executives, lobbyists, political consultants, lawyers, doctors and several city judges. All are attracted to the neighborhood's Rock Creek Park location.

Columbia Heights: Struggling to Come Back
By Dana Hull; Saturday, August 24, 1996

Columbia Heights has truly "gorgeous" housing, affordable turn-of-the-century Victorian mansions. But the buildings are being shaken to their foundations by the monumental disruption of Green Line Metro construction, which has turned the neighborhood into a snarl of noise, dirt and traffic. Economic development has been slow to come to the region, and everyone awaits 1999, when the area's two Metro stations open. Then, residents predict, home values will shoot through the roof.

Crestwood: Suburban Charms Belie City Setting
By Michele L. Norris; March 21, 1992

Builder Paul P. Stone, a former stonemason, sought to create a tony suburban community in Crestwood, close to the city with elegant homes that often featured expansive entrance foyers, maids' quarters, first-floor libraries, screened-in porches, and Easter egg-colored tiled bathrooms. Buyers can often identify homes built by Stone through the basement shower stalls that usually feature a surplus of tiles in several shapes and colors that form a kind of funky mosaic.

Deanwood: Keeping Homes in the Family
By Julia Angwin; March 27, 1993

Every few hours, Jane Armstead leads her five small dogs onto the front porch of her home in Deanwood. Sitting there, she can survey the frame houses that line Hayes Street NE. "As long as I want to be here, I have a responsibility to see that it stays on an even keel," Armstead said. That kind of neighborly activism is common in Deanwood, where residents have ties to the community and one another that go back almost a century.

Dominican House of Studies: A Simple Life
By Marianne Kyriakos; August 14, 1993

Life in the 88-year-old Dominican House of Studies is governed by the principles of chastity, poverty and self-discipline. None of which means the assemblage lacks spirit. Home to 65 brothers, or friars, it is the Washington center of a cloistered religious colony that espouses the common life.

Dupont Circle: Eclectic Enclave
By Snigdha Prakash; January 2, 1993

Dupont Circle is a thriving downtown neighborhood that mixes a substantial population of young renters, who live in the apartment buildings scattered throughout the community, with affluent homeowners, who dwell in the historic row houses. Though concerns about crime keep citizen groups active and families out of the neighborhood, most residents wouldn't think of leaving.

Eastern Market: Life Revolves Around It
By Joel Glenn Brenner; November 27, 1993

The flea market regulars know the best catch of the day comes early, so before most Washingtonians have had their morning coffee, these do-or-die shoppers are bustling through the wares of the more than 100 vendors who call Eastern Market home every weekend. To these patrons of junk and crafts, the eclectic mix of antique furniture, handmade clothing, jewelry, paintings, books, appliances and attic oddities are a treasure trove waiting to be discovered, then bartered at the right price.

Fairfax Village: Community Boasts of Beauty
By Martha M. Hamilton; June 26, 1993

Residents see their condominium community as a city within a city, plagued by some of the same problems, like a lack of cohesiveness and occasional crime. The beauty and convenience are Fairfax Village's unquestionable draws.

Foggy Bottom: A Town-Gown Question
By Deirdre Davidson; September 7, 1996

Known for its quirky townhouses, this downtown community right next to George Washington University has tiny, walkable streets, longtime residents, shady trees and plenty of off-campus students -- and that's where some of the non-GWU-related denizens of Foggy Bottom begin to take exception.

Forest Hills: Unabashedly Exclusive
By Cindy Loose; January 23, 1993

Many homes are occupied by their original owners, and this neighborhood offers some of the cities most expensive real estate along with embassies, condominiums and retail. The mix occasionally causes some tension. For example, in the mid-1970s, when the Hungarian Embassy was built close to one of the old homes near Rock Creek Park, the home's longtime resident made his discomfort known by prominently flying a giant American flag and by erecting a public address system that blasted out tunes by John Philip Sousa.

Fort Lincoln: Finding a Leafy Enclave
By Linda Wheeler; July 18, 1992

Some residents of the District's only planned community, Fort Lincoln, sound like real estate agents: They tend to gush when talking about their homes in far Northeast Washington. Listen to David Smith: "This is a suburban-style neighborhood in an urban setting. We hear birds chirping and we look at vistas of trees, grass and flowers."

Foxhall Village: Tucked Away Tudors
By Dana Hull; Saturday, July 20, 1996

Many residents consider Foxhall, hidden away from the bustle of nearby Georgetown, a well-kept secret. Walking along its manicured streets and admiring the numerous gardens, as well as the Tudor homes, one can easily understand why the community's residents speak of its quiet and relative isolation as the main benefits of living there. The lack of substantial through streets keeps Foxhall Village off the beaten path, and many people pass by the neighborhood numerous times without ever setting foot inside it.

Gangplank Marina: The Best of Boat Worlds
By Julie Goodman; December 2, 1995

The 15-year-old marina at 600 Water St. SW operates at 80 percent to 85 percent capacity despite fires and winter hose freeze-ups that sometimes occur. Some take the risk to enjoy sandy beaches and nearby coves, whether it it is on their $40,000 cruiser or a half-million-dollar yacht.

Glover Park: Finding the Best of Two Worlds
By Ruben Castaneda; September 19, 1992

In many ways, Glover Park seems like a Norman Rockwell portrait come to life. On balmy evenings, many residents of Glover Park in Northwest Washington sit on their porches and read or visit with one another. On shady, tree-lined streets, mothers take their babies out in strollers as other people walk their dogs.

Grant Circle: Residents Warily Eye Going Green
By Stephen C. Fehr; March 7,1992

When Metro arrives, the effect on a neighborhood can be significant, as Grant Circle residents are finding out. "I'm caught in a crunch," says James Williams, who has lived in his rowhouse since 1958. "I'd like to sell my home in three years, but they might be in the middle of construction. I'm concerned the value of the house will decrease and I might have trouble selling it."

Greenleaf Senior Dwellings: Mixed Blessings
By Mary Ann French; March 14, 1992

Those who live in Greenleaf Senior Dwellings brag that they're in the best of the 20 facilities the District maintains for low-income elderly tenants. But they are measuring with a plumb line that others wouldn't touch.

Highlands: Working to Revitalize Area
By Marianne Kyriakos; March 13, 1993

One of the best-kept secrets in Washington is the marvelous view from 'The Point,' a hillside on the grounds of St. Elizabeths Hospital. Where else in the city can one look toward Alexandria, Crystal City, Rosslyn, the Washington Monument, the Capitol, the Mall, the Mormon Temple, Catholic University and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium without leaving the ground? Yet the surrounding neighborhood is the being choked by crime and an excess of vacant land.

Hillcrest, Penn-Branch: The Pleasure of Southeast
By DeNeen L. Brown; May 20, 1995

The communities of Penn-Branch and Hillcrest, which were once considered suburbs of Washington where people moved because it was hilly and they could get fresh air, are often referred to as the best-kept secrets in Washington. Residents demand respect for their east-of-the-Anacostia community, and know that they fight against a lot of misperceptions.

LeDroit Park: A Marriage of Past, Present
By Angela E. Couloumbis; January 6, 1996

One of Washington's most historic neighborhoods, LeDroit Park started life as a white enclave and soon evolved into an early center for black intellectuals, home to suffragette Mary Church Terrell and poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Today, LeDroit Park attracts professionals who enjoy living near the center of the city and students from nearby Howard University who find the five-minute walk to campus convenient.

Kalorama Triangle: Maintaining Old World Charm
By Julia Angwin; February 26, 1994

Although it abuts the commercial strip of Adams-Morgan and Woodley Park, the area known as Kalorama Triangle maintains a quiet Old World charm. "I love it," said Ned Schwartz, who runs a pharmacy in the Valley Vista apartment building. "I feel it's like living on the East Side of New York, where you walk out of your apartment and are in the middle of a busy area."

Kingman Park: In the Shadow of the Stadium
By James Ragland; February 1, 1992

Surrounded by areas flush with plans for civic development, Kingman Park is one of the District's oldest historically black neighborhoods. It also is one of the most stable neighborhoods in the city.

Logan Circle: Residents Circle the Wagons
By Christine Spolar; May 16, 1992

"Don't accuse us of being NIMBYs [not in my back yard]" opponents to housing programs, said Donald Smith, an 18-year resident of Logan Circle. "We have more than our share of shelters. We want more people in the community who are community builders, not dependents," he said. One of Washington's most successful examples of gentrification, Logan Circle is often embroiled in controversy with the neighborhood's institutions.

McLean Gardens: Suburbs in the City
By Joel Glenn Brenner; December 18, 1993

If the residents of McLean Gardens in Northwest have anything in common, it's that they all love suburban life, and they all hate the suburbs. For them, the perfect compromise to an otherwise difficult dilemma is the 43-acre housing development on Wisconsin Avenue NW—with its spacious lawns, garden apartments, meticulous landscaping and campus-like atmosphere.

Mount Pleasant: A Little Town Within
By Dana Hull; Saturday, June 1, 1996

Funky and multicolored, Mount Pleasant is a poster neighborhood for diversity -- ethnic, economic and familial. New college grads' group homes sit side-by-side with established Hispanic families, who rub elbows with newly-arrived African immigrants and young white couples.

Palisades: Summer Retreat Now Year-round Haven
By Kate Moore; July 9, 1994

Evan Rotner rides his bike to work whenever possible. "It's a great ride because you have the whole Potomac River and C&O Canal in front of you," he said. "It's like living in a rural area, yet you're living in the middle of the city."

Parkside: Dreams Can Come True
By Patrice Gaines; October 23, 1993

The banner outside the sales trailer proclaims, “Dawn of a New Area,” and a lot of people are betting on that. Parkside is the District’s most ambitious renewal project, offering a number of financial packages for buyers. One resident calls them “gingerbread houses.” And when one listens to the homeowners in this Northeast Washington community, one comes away believing again that hard-earned dreams really do come true.

Petworth: Where Friendship Has Aged Well
By DeNeen L. Brown; March 23, 1996

Some people don't count friends unless they have been around more than 20 years. Most of these neighbors have been here twice that long. And that's what many of the residents in Petworth like about this old Northwest Washington neighborhood.

The Quarter: Creating a Community
By Rene Sanchez; April 4, 1992

It's not quite a neighborhood yet, but the old downtown streets near Pennsylvania Avenue NW and the District and federal court houses are now brimming with the first signs of a new way of life. There are new cafes. A new pharmacy. The first grocery store is expected to open later this year. And there are about 600 tenants living in new, upscale apartment buildings, in an area that once knew only commuting workers and shoppers.

River Park: Cosmopolitan Meets Quaint
By Kate Moore; April 22, 1995

"One of my favorite things to do is to walk along the waterfront and around Fort McNair," says resident Martin Forrester, who is a member of the community's board. "It's an affordable, racially balanced neighborhood in an ideal setting."

River Terrace: Residents Defeat 'Goliaths'
By Patrice Gaines; March 5, 1994

Many of the residents were among the first blacks to move into the community in the early 1950s. They've maintained the small-town feel of the neighborhood, with summer block parties, an annual River Terrace festival and their own community telephone book.

Shepherd Park: Still a Feisty Community
By Joel Glenn Brenner; October 2, 1993

In 1917, when there were more jackrabbits than homeowners in Shepherd Park, residents formed a citizens association to persuade the government to build a local elementary school and to finish paving 16th Street from Alaska Avenue to the District line. Today, the citizens’ association still is fighting, only now the battle is against crime, trash, vagrants and overbuilding.

Sheridan-Kalorama: Homes, History Thrive
By Julia Angwin; August 21, 1993

Sheridan-Kalorama residents, battling to preserve their residential enclave, don't want any more of their historic buildings divided into offices or apartments. To maintain their little pocket of a neighborhood, they say creeping commercialization, especially additional chanceries, must be stopped.

Tenleytown: History, Location Draw Residents
By Kate Moore; August 13, 1994

"The alleys are one of the prettiest areas of Tenleytown because some are unpaved and are shaded by lots of flowering trees and back onto deep yards," says resident Jean Palbo. "It's like being in the country." Her neighbors also point to Tenleytown's quiet residential streets that are a short distance from restaurants and a variety of commercial establishments along Wisconsin as attractions of the area.

U Street: a U-Turn to Renewal
By Joel Glenn Brenner; November 6, 1993

From funky coffeehouses to ethnic cuisine to theaters and art galleries and nightclubs, the U Street corridor between 12th and 16th streets NW is undergoing a cultural revolution, the likes of which hasn't been seen since the metamorphosis of Adams-Morgan in the early 1980s.

Washington Harbour: Waterfront Renaissance
By Keith Harriston; August 8, 1992

Washington Harbour's residents are cosmopolitan, and extremely private. Try contacting any one of the residents who live in the 35 luxury condos on the top three floors of two of the buildings wedged between the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge and the Key Bridge. You can't just walk in and knock on doors. There's tight security. Most of the residents have unpublished telephone numbers. Some are away on business or pleasure travel as often as they can be found at their homes.

Watergate: Urban Village With a View
By Linda Wheeler; April 25, 1995

Unusual within the District is a small community that is neither old nor very diverse but is definitely famous. The Watergate, best known for an office burglary that eventually brought down President Richard M. Nixon, is home to about 1,100 people. The radical design for the free-flowing buildings, described by one reporter viewing the models in 1963 as resembling the letters I, T, C and a boomerang, met with strong opposition from the Commission of Fine Arts when it was proposed.

Westbrooke Place: The Lap of Luxury
By Heather Salerno; May 4, 1996

Between Dupont Circle and Rock Creek Park may sit the ultimate in apartment-living luxury. Westbrooke Place provides complimentary newspapers, dry-cleaning delivery, wine cellars, and more than a hundred different floor plans, giving the feeling of a top-flight hotel to the building.

Woodley Park: Balancing Business and Pleasure
By Deirdre Davidson; August 17, 1996

Woodley Park has two large hotels, numerous apartment buildings and is bisected by Connecticut Avenue. But the side streets in this neighborhood north of Dupont Circle are infrequently-traveled, quiet and charming.

© 1996 The Washington Post Co.

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