Columbia Heights / Park View (September 27, 2020)
On a grey day, we continued to explore Columbia Heights and neighboring Park View. The two areas are rapidly gentrifying. Consequently a large number of the small apartment buildings and row houses have been recently renovated. Many have been newly painted, often with bright colors. We decided to make green row houses (not eco friendly houses but those actually painted green) our theme of the day.
Just for fun, to complete the traffic light, we thought we’d also throw in photos of a yellow as well as a red house.
We don’t often see cats during our walk but we did see a number today, including one on a leash, and this one relaxing by the front door.
We often think of these overcast days as being reminiscent of Europe. We thought that these two, strikingly different, apartment buildings added to the European feel of the day.
Quite often we came across modern buildings tucked in between the original, more traditional, buildings.
With gentrification comes new restaurants, bars, cafes and stores catering to the young professionals moving in to the neighborhood. We dropped in to one for lunch. Tabla is a recently opened Georgian (the country not the state) restaurant that is aptly located on Georgia Avenue. It was our first time eating out during the pandemic.
We sat outside on a beautiful terrace and ate chicken kabobs and, perhaps, the best fries that we have ever tasted. We spoke with the owner of the restaurant, Jonathan Nelms, who along with his wife, Laura, also owns Supra, another Georgian restaurant, located in Logan Circle. Jonathan, who is American, worked for a number of years as a lawyer in Moscow. While there he discovered Georgian food, which he told us is the go-to food for many across the old Soviet republics. He compared it to the American love of Mexican food.
Directly across the road from Tabla is a Jewish deli with the hilarious name of “Call your mother”. It appeared to be doing brisk business with people lined up outside waiting for their orders.
We have often thought during our walks that every neighborhood really should have at least one corner shop.
Odd Provisions is the most upmarket corner market that we have come across so far. Among the items on display were an assortment of craft beers, fancy cheeses, olive oils, and locally sourced vegetables.
We liked the way that the residents of these two row houses appeared to have coordinated their curb appeal. They shared a front yard, street lamp and even “No Justice No Peace” sign.
The churches scattered throughout the neighborhood didn’t have the same grandeur as those we had seen lining 16th Street.
On Spring Street we passed a beautiful old building that was being renovated. It was adorned with a number of Stars of David which piqued our interest as to its history. Lauren’s guess that it had probably been a Jewish old age home or hospital turned out to be correct.
The building was originally built for the Hebrew Home for the Aged, which occupied the building from 1925 through 1969. As jews moved out of the area and into the suburbs, the Home followed and was relocated to Rockville Maryland. The building was sold to the District of Columbia in 1968 for $13 million. Originally the building was used by the District as a homeless shelter. However, the shelter closed in 2009 and the building has stood empty from that time. But now the District is renovating the building into senior living and residential facilities.