Should DC have a Las Ramblas?

I know its obvious that I am a big fan of Greater Greater Washington, they did endorse me when I ran for ANC last year, but they have a great stable of articles that I find very relevant to life in DC.

I like GGW’s comments for a hangouts for teenagers. They are a fickle crowd and popular rarely stays that way but they make a good point. Instead of restaurateurs shooing away teenagers who hang out around their establishments, we need to create spaces where young people can feel part of the fun. I think of Las Ramblas in Barcelona. There are crowds of families walking at all hours. I don’t think we should set aside the DC youth curfew but we need to create more open spaces for people of all ages can enjoy even at night. Gallery Place has been complaining about groups of kids hanging out on the sidewalk and even came up with some kind of sound system to annoy teenagers. I agree the sidewalks are too small and has too many dark corners where bad behavior can take place. A big square like Columbia Heights or the new space at the old convention center could provide places for people to gather, feel safe and enjoy themselves as a family. I know I am probably dreaming about this but its an idea. You can see how outdoor living ideas have evolved in this great DCist article on the hazards of sidewalk cafes from 1961.  I especially like the idea that cafes could lead to sidewalk violence. We have definitely come a long way.

Another GGW article concerns the Carter G Woodson home on 9th Street. Unfortunately I have to disagree with them here. The home is a wonderful example of townhouse architecture in the District and unfortunately has been left to rot until the Park Service bought it in 2005. GGW advocates turning this into a museum in honor of Mr. Woodson. While I agree that Mr Woodson was a great American and worthy of a museum, I think the house could be better used. DC has SO many museums, many free. I don’t think a Woodson museum could make it as a running concern. I do think they should renovate it and possibly lease it to the UNCF (United Negor College Fund) which is moving it’s headquarters to a new building at 7th & T Streets. The Woodson building could have a main floor museum / curatorial space that UNCF could use for receptions and events. The other floors could house a small department within UNCF or be leased to Shilo Baptist Church.

 

Don’t forget Dog Days on U Street this weekend

If you have a lot of books on your shelves that you will never read again, this group, Operation Paperback, will give you addresses where you can send books for US troops stationed abroad.

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