Sunday, November 13, 2005

14TH STREET NW: Before There Was the Popped Collar, There Was Duke Ellington

IF YOU THOUGHT that the socio-geographic evolution of the corner of 14th and T streets NW was limited to the popped-collar debate at Cafe Saint-Ex from the past year, you are quite mistaken. Be sure to read Anne Hull's front-page article in today's Washington Post about how the corner, where some of the first windows were broken during the 1968 riots, has evolved over the past few generations.

From The Washington Post:
Fourteenth and T remained essentially untouched until 2003, when Cafe Saint-Ex arrived, bringing Dutch lager to a crossroads that was home to the 40-ounce. Replacing an Ethiopian restaurant and Laval's Good Food To Go, Saint-Ex was a cause for celebration for some, an elegy for others. "It was like Saint-Ex was putting its flag down on the moon," says Rachael Storey, a documentary filmmaker who lives nearby and misses Laval's.
As the article notes, the neighborhood, where Duke Ellington used to live (over on 13th Street), has changed before. Its latest reincarnation has it being "re-imagined by baristas and purveyors of tapas. Race and class are colliding on dozens of other blocks in a city where demographics are shifting by the month, but 14th and T represents something else: that split-second before the curtain drops on one era and rises on another."

It's all good reading.

>> "One Urban Panorama Fades, Another Rises" [The Washington Post]
>> "Once You Pop, You Can't Must Stop" [DCist]
>> "Where Jenna Goes, Flocks of Merrymakers Follow" [Express; pdf, p. 54]


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