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Truxton Circle: The old and the new D.C. mix in a lively NW enclave

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Where We Live | Truxton Circle in Northwest Washington

It’s called Truxton Circle. But the Northwest Washington enclave — often overshadowed by the more recognizable Bloomingdale, Shaw and NoMa — is shaped more like a triangle. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

It’s called Truxton Circle. But the Northwest Washington enclave — often overshadowed by the more recognizable Bloomingdale, Shaw and NoMa — is shaped more like a triangle.

The neighborhood’s quiet and tree-lined streets with quaint, colorful rowhouses make it a welcome respite from the bustle of nearby North Capitol Street.

“It’s a great location, there’s easy proximity to parks and grocery stores and there are a lot of great restaurants in walking distance,” Becky Thiess said. Grocery shopping options, she said, include Giant at Seventh and O streets NW and a farmers market between May and November in neighboring Bloomingdale.

Thiess and her husband, who have a 2-year-old son, moved to their two-story home in Truxton Circle almost three years ago.

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“We wanted a relatively easy commute downtown, and we wanted a place where we could have outdoor space,” Thiess said. “We love living across from the schools and using the pool at Dunbar” High School, which is open to the public every day except Tuesday and Thursday.

Block parties and book clubs: Because many longtime residents are in the area, there’s a strong sense of community, culture and history.

“I’ve lived in Truxton Circle my entire life — 39 years,” said Tony Lewis Jr., a community activist who lives with his wife and two daughters in a three-bedroom rowhouse. “My parents grew up on Hanover Place, my maternal grandparents bought the home that I live in in 1946.”

Lewis said he enjoys showing newcomers the ropes of Truxton Circle.

“We developed an ability to learn how to engage new neighbors and welcome them into the community while creating a place that they can meld into and let them know this is how we do things,” Lewis added. “It’s a neighborhood that’s always been helpful and friendly to their neighbors. At any point in my life, that’s how it’s always been.”

Kyle Thomas, who moved to Bates Street in 2011, said he can attest to the neighborhood’s friendliness.

“One thing I brag about is how close residents are to one another,” Thomas said. “We look out for one another, have community events regularly, and nearly each time I walk out my front door, I see and greet a neighbor by their first name. I grew up in Iowa and lived in a suburban community there after college. I know more of my neighbors in D.C. than I did in Iowa.”

The Bates Civic Association and the Hanover Civic Association meet monthly to discuss community concerns and plan cleanups and movie nights, among other events. Within Truxton Circle itself, happenings can become hyperlocal.

It’s not atypical for a particular block to have its own block party or book club. The art studios at 52 O St. are home to a wide variety of artists, designers and musicians who bring a creative atmosphere to the area.

Leon Braddell, president of the Hanover Civic Association, said community leaders are working to increase the number of businesses in the neighborhood. Domestique is a natural wine shop that opened in November. Anxo Cidery, a rustic Basque eatery on Florida Avenue, is perhaps the best-known restaurant directly within Truxton Circle.

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Dessert lovers can visit Uncle Chip’s, a mom-and-pop shop on North Capitol that provides cookies, brownies and other sweet treats.

Just beyond the neighborhood boundaries is the Red Hen, a well-known Italian restaurant. Big Bear Cafe has several breakfast options, as well as lunch items, including sandwiches, salads and soups. When the weather is nice, patrons can eat on the cafe’s front patio.

Living there: Truxton Circle is bordered by Rhode Island Avenue NW on the north, Florida Avenue NW and NE on the east, New York Avenue NW and NE on the south and New Jersey Avenue NW on the west.

In the past six months, 39 homes have sold in Truxton Circle, ranging from a five-bedroom, four-bathroom property that sold for $855,000 to a one-bedroom, one-bathroom property that sold for $418,000, according to Alex Thiel, an agent with Long & Foster’s Team Thiel Real Estate group.

There are 19 properties for sale, ranging from a three-bedroom, four-bathroom condo on New York Avenue listing for $1.2 million to a studio condo in the Chapman Stables building on N Street for $389,000.

Schools: Mundo Verde Bilingual Charter, Friendship-Armstrong Public Charter, Dunbar High, KIPP DC, Center City Public Charter, Gonzaga College High (private).

Transit: Because of its central location, Truxton Circle is convenient for residents who want to get around via walking or biking. The area is also served by several Metrobus lines. The Shaw-Howard University and Mount Vernon Square Metro stations provide rail access on the Green and Yellow lines.

“Truxton Circle is very conveniently located for people who want to be able to get in and out of D.C. easily,” Thiel said. “The 395 tunnel, New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue are major arteries in and out of the heart of the city. If a buyer had a job that required them to be in D.C., Virginia and Maryland at different times, you’d be hard pressed to find an area that would make it easier.

Crime: According to , there have been two homicides, 25 assaults with a dangerous weapon and 14 burglaries in the past year.