THE H STREET VIBE
It's a sound Robin Jones thought she would never hear. In February 2011, when the now-35-year-old analyst from the Ministry of Health purchased her row house on H. Street, the long-awaited revival of tram service in the neighborhood was scheduled to begin later that year. In April, when she officially moved into her home, the tram project was postponed until 2012. It took another four years before the tram finally arrived in January 2016, and announced itself at every stop ringing a bell.
The day it started running, Jones proudly rode the tram to dinner. A ride like hers, along 1.5 miles from the first stop of the tram at Union Station to the end of her H Street (before the tram tends to a few more stops) shows a great perspective on the change of this neighborhood in Northeast DC. On a lonely journey.
On the west side of H Street, luxury apartment buildings and new chain stores are dotted with cranes announcing the impending arrival of new developments. As you make your way east, you see the street slowly shrink into its more modest, historic and trendy restaurants and bars past and present: The Queen Vic, a British pub loyal to form; Crown Fried Chicken, a take-out spot that serves an audience late at night; H Street Country Club, popular for its rooftop deck and mini golf course; And the concept of the Asian street market Maketto. Through the tram windows, the corridor of H Street produces a delicate balance between its permanent past and its transformation into something new.
Russell de Leon, a bartender at The Pug, one of the popular bars in the neighborhood, saw firsthand the growing variety of neighborhood residents an intriguing mix of old and new. "There are a lot of people who have been here forever, and a lot of young families who have only moved here in the last few years.", said. "Everyone crosses." Ian Tuck, a senior budget analyst at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, agrees. "The main reason I love H Street is the people," said the now-married Tak, who first moved to the street in 2009. “I have created lifelong friendships here. In a city that can sometimes seem devoid of interpersonal connections, the atmosphere of the street breaks down these barriers. "
Maketto Asian Street Market
Although the tram allows riders to look at the combination of apartment buildings and storefronts on H Street, it does not reveal what is behind them: mostly urban homes that have remained single-family homes or have been converted into two- and three-bedroom apartments. At the northern end of the neighborhood, you can find smaller houses stacked in thick, tree-lined streets, along with larger federal-style Grand Dame residences. When Tuck first moved two blocks south of H Street, the housing market was more generous than it is today following the development wave of the neighborhood to the east. "In 2009, it was much cheaper to rent on H Street than anywhere in the Northwest," he recalled.
Since then, housing prices and rents have risen steadily. The median prices in the neighborhood were $ 689,000 for an urban home and $ 405,000 for an apartment. Renting one-bedroom apartments in the new developments starts at $ 1,900 per month. The development momentum reported by UrbanTurf in the neighborhood continues in earnest. Large-scale residential developments include Apollo, an apartment complex of 431 housing units whose ground floor will be the home of Whole Foods;
H Street Connection, a shopping center demolished to make way for a mixed-use project; And the potential for redevelopment of the Chinger Mall at the intersection of H Street and Benning Road.
Things to do: From the performing arts to perfect chips
"To me, a thriving and vital neighborhood has something to offer everyone within walking distance," Jones said. “On H Street there are bars, nice restaurants and cheap restaurants, and places for music and theater. Culture at the Atlas Performing Arts Center which is responsible for the neighborhood's second nickname, the Atlas Quarter. The beautiful Art Deco building is one of the pillars of the area and is home to jazz concerts, dance performances, theater productions and family performances.
Eat the French fries at Granville Moore's: some of the best French fries in town can be found in this small and modest Belgian gastropub. For $ 6 you get a generous basket of chips, topped with salt and parsley and accompanied by a number of dipping sauces. Shopping and snacks at Maketto: One of the newest and most exciting places in the neighborhood is the 6,000-square-foot Maketto, a market-style building that provides everyone's inner hipster. Inside, you will find a modest shop with cool-casual shoes and clothes, a coffee bar and a restaurant whose brunch dim sum offers a delicious mix of Taiwanese and Cambodian flavors. From the sounds of all the 90s the rock'n'roll hotel has been bringing music lovers to the area for years and showing shows before they head out to other places.
The bottom line
The area continues to grow, the once unsafe neighborhood has attracted over 100,000 people to this summer's popular street festival and is ranked alongside Logan Circle and U Street as one of the city's top nightlife destinations. However, for senior citizens the small changes are what matters. "Really, the biggest change since I moved here is lunch," he said. "There are a lot more places to have lunch now."
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