Day 17

Friendship Heights (July 22, 2019)

With thunderstorms in the area, we decided to stay close to home, wandering our own neighborhood of Friendship Heights.

Sitting on the corner of Western Avenue and 41st Street NW, Livingston Park is a great asset for the neighborhood. It includes an extensive playground, a little league field, basketball and tennis courts, and a dog park. We spent many happy hours there with our boys and their friends when they were small. Since then the Park has undergone a number of improvements, including the addition of a spray park for the little kids.

Livingston Park spray park
Livingston Park Little League field
Livingston Park basketball courts

During our walks we have come across a number of semi-detached houses. These two took our fancy.

A group of entrance markers were erected in 1932-33 on the borders of major roads passing between the District and Maryland. The markers, known as the Garden Club of America Entrance markers, were erected as part of the George Washington bicentennial celebration and are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The following pair are on the northwest and northeast corners of Western and Wisconsin avenues in Friendship Heights. The markers have District of Columbia written on the District side of the stone and Maryland written on the Maryland side.

The markers shouldn’t be confused with the forty milestones that marked the four lines forming the boundaries between the District and Maryland and Virginia. Those marker stones are much older, having been erected in 1791-92. Today 36 of the original marker stones survive as the oldest federally placed monuments in the United States. A number can be found along side Western Avenue which constitutes the northwest border of much of Ward 3 with Maryland.

Sitting on 44th Street NW, between Jenifer and Harrison streets is the Western Bus Garage. The Garage is a large bus and service facility, taking up close to four acres. Included on the site is the brick bus garage pictured below that was built in the first decade of the 1900s. It was designed by architect, Arthur Heaton. Heaton was particularly interested in the slight variations in moldings, bricks and details of old buildings and the Garage reflects this interest. We have often thought that it would be awesome as a large indoor food market, along the lines of Union Market in northeast DC.

We have not come across much Brutalist architecture during our walks. This is a rare example.

We’ve always had a soft spot for this building which houses the Joy of Motion Dance Center, Chevy Chase Ballroom, and Paul’s liquor store. Dancing and alcohol all in one spot, what could be better?

If we were only allowed access to one store, we would choose Rodman’s. As it is, we are there most days. We like pretty much everything about it. Even the in store music is excellent, playing only classical. The staff are friendly and knowledgable and the variety of produce is incredible for such a small place. There is a good variety of wine and beer and food from all around the world. If you’re a Swede missing your favorite cookies from back home. This is your place. If you’re an Aussie and you need your fix of Vegemite. This is your place. If you’re a Brit, looking for your favorite UK lolly or chocolate bar. This is your place. You get the idea. It’s an expat paradise.

And that’s just the foodstuffs. Downstairs there is a whole other section, selling everything from home supplies, to soaps and shampoos, to pharmaceutical supplies. You’ll even find that very rare species, an independent pharmacist. You remember what it used to be like before CVS and Walgreens conquered the world. When your pharmacist actually knew your name. Well, it’s still like that at Rodman’s.

Down Wisconsin Avenue toward Tenleytown from Rodman’s and on the other side of the road is one of our favorite local restaurants, Le Chat Noir. If you have a hankering for some French bistro food, give it a try.

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