When Frances Kissling moved to the seven-story apartment building at 2701 Connecticut Ave. NW in 1982, many of the Woodley Park building's tenants were longtimers.
"There were a lot of little old ladies who had been living here for 30, 40 years," Kissling recalled. "I used to look at them and think, 'Oh my God, they're so old and they've been here so long.' Now I'm one of them."
Through the years, Kissling, 61, has never considered moving from the building, which has no name. It's on the same block as more than a dozen restaurants, across the street from Metro's Woodley Park station, one block from a Starbucks and a short walk from the National Zoo.
A deck on the top of the building offers a sweeping view of Washington, including a large expanse of Rock Creek Park, which the building overlooks, and the Washington Monument.
Kissling's spacious, $1,250-a-month two-bedroom apartment includes a large dining room, 101/2-foot-high ceilings, hardwood floors and a porch that overlooks the park.
"It's wonderful," she said. "I wake up in the morning to the sounds of the gorillas and the birds and all of the animals in the zoo. I feel like I'm living in a game park. I love the ambiance."
That's not the only thing Kissling likes. "It's a great block for restaurants. There's just about every ethnic cuisine imaginable on the block." Among them, within a block from her door: Tex-Mex, Indian, Lebanese, French, Italian, Chinese and Afghan.
For good measure, there is a Baskin-Robbins and a McDonald's on the block, too.
Kissling, president of activist group Catholics for a Free Choice, pays $90 a month for one of 18 parking spaces the building has available for tenants. Parking in the neighborhood is tight, and there is a waiting list.
Thomas Durant, 24, a graduate fellow at George Mason University, moved into the building earlier this year.
Durant wanted a place close to his girlfriend, who also lives in Woodley Park. While looking for apartments in the neighborhood, he saw the building at 2701 Connecticut had a one-bedroom unit available for $1,050 a month.
The problem was, Durant was looking for a two-bedroom unit to share with a roommate.
Durant looked at the one-bedroom apartment that was available and was surprised at how spacious it was. He thought it could easily be converted into a two-bedroom unit, using the living area as a bedroom. Durant said officials with the building's management firm, the William C. Smith Co., had no objection. Durant and his roommate took the apartment.
"Neither of us are really TV-watchers, so we don't miss having a living room," Durant said.
Durant, who had previously been living in Annandale, said he's happy in Woodley Park.
"It seems to be within striking distance of any place you might need to go to in the city, but it feels comfortable and secluded," Durant said.
Kissling, Durant and other residents praised the company's management of the building.
The building has a maintenance worker on staff, as well as two custodial workers. There's daily trash pickup outside the door of every tenant, and the building features a video security system.
When Durant moved in, the resident manager not only helped him with the paperwork for the lease but also told him about nearby restaurants and gyms, he said.
Cab driver Dennis Reilly has lived in the building for 12 years, and he said he has no plans to ever move out.
"I hope it's not anytime soon, but I'm sure I'll die there," Reilly said.