Day 141

Riggs Park (October 10, 2022)

Riggs Park, also known as Lamond Riggs, is a residential neighborhood in the upper eastern part of the District. Back in the 1950s is was a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, sometimes called the “Little Tel Aviv” of DC. However, in the 1960s the majority of the Jews in the neighborhood sold up and moved to suburban Maryland. Now the neighborhood is the home to a large middle-class black population. Here is a sample of some of the homes we passed by.

Washington DC is split into northeast, northwest, southwest and southeast quadrants, with the Capitol building being the center point. The dividing line between the east and west side of the city is Capitol Street, which runs all the way from the Maryland border in the north to the Anacostia River in the southern part of the city. South of the Capitol it is called South Capitol Street. North of the Capitol it is called North Capitol Street. Here is a photo of the upper most part of North Capitol Street. Much like a river, it starts out narrow and quiet at its source before gradually broadening into a busy six lane thoroughfare as it proceeds on through the city.

The street signs in the city indicate which quadrant you are in (NW, NE, SW, SE). Here, two street signs on opposite sides of North Capitol Street, indicate that you have crossed over from one side of the city to the other.

We passed by a number of churches in the neighborhood. This was one of the least attractive that we have walked by during our travels.

And this is one of the smallest.

We also passed a couple of public charter schools. Friendship Ideal elementary and middle school follows the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education that developed in Italy after World War II. Under this approach, the teacher is considered a co-learner and collaborator with the child and not just an instructor. Teachers are encouraged to facilitate the child’s learning by planning activities and lessons based on the child’s interests. The school has about 135 students.

Perhaps surprisingly, since most of the area’s Jews left the area over fifty years ago, DC’s only Hebrew Language Immersion Public Charter school is also in the neighborhood. Sela Public Charter School gets its name from the Hebrew word for “rock” or “foundation” and is one of the top ranked charter schools in DC. The school itself does not appear to be particularly Jewish. In fact, it prides itself on its diversity with 57% of its 260 students being black, 27% white, 12% hispanic, 2% asian, 1% native American, and 2% multiracial.

Join the Conversation


    1. So you were part of the Jewish exodus to Maryland. It’s nice to have confirmation from someone who was there at the time. It’s a pleasant neighborhood. Where did you go to school? Coolidge?


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