Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Let's Do Something About North Capitol Street

Last night, I met with several Bloomingdale residents at Nellie's Sports Bar to throw around some ideas on how to improve North Capitol Street. Bloomingdale has a great recap which I'm reposting here:

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.

1 comment:

Gregory Baggett said...

North Capitol Residents: I am a Ph.D candidate at Columbia University in New York City. I am considering renting an apartment on North Capitol Street and New York Avenue. Can you share with me any of your experiences with this neighborhood. I am aware that this neighborhood has not yet underwent the kinds of change that many other DC neighborhoods have experienced or experiencing. Warm regards, Gregory Baggett