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Old 07-06-2011, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Rockville, MD
3,548 posts, read 7,389,003 times
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The Mrs. and I were out on H Street last night for dinner at Ethiopic (wonderful food there, BTW). Afterwards, we took a stroll down to 14th and H, and then back west. It's tremendously heartening to see so much investment being poured into the neighborhood by small business owners, and no doubt it will continue to improve.

But it was also pretty lifeless. Outside of a few people hanging out in front of the bars around 12th and 13th streets, there was very little pedestrian foot traffic at 9 PM. Conversely, U Street hums with people well into the late evening hours, seven days a week. It has been years since U Street has seen as few people strolling along it at that time in the evening as what we saw on H Street last night. Even with the development plans on the books, I have a difficult time seeing H Street matching U Street in terms of vibrancy and foot traffic anytime soon.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
116 posts, read 171,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14thandYou View Post
The Mrs. and I were out on H Street last night for dinner at Ethiopic (wonderful food there, BTW). Afterwards, we took a stroll down to 14th and H, and then back west. It's tremendously heartening to see so much investment being poured into the neighborhood by small business owners, and no doubt it will continue to improve.

But it was also pretty lifeless. Outside of a few people hanging out in front of the bars around 12th and 13th streets, there was very little pedestrian foot traffic at 9 PM. Conversely, U Street hums with people well into the late evening hours, seven days a week. It has been years since U Street has seen as few people strolling along it at that time in the evening as what we saw on H Street last night. Even with the development plans on the books, I have a difficult time seeing H Street matching U Street in terms of vibrancy and foot traffic anytime soon.
Give it another five years. When I moved to the area in 05, the only restaurant on H was Phish Tea which went out of business that year and R&B coffee which is gone as well. The Argonaut still hadn't opened and there weren't very many options on H. I'm seeing more and more people out at night. I walked to Taylor the other night to grab a sandwhich and I was pleased to see more people out and about.

Phish Tea's location is now H Street Country Club and R&B is now Sova.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Rockville, MD
3,548 posts, read 7,389,003 times
Reputation: 1344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viceroy of Lost Umbrellas View Post
Give it another five years. When I moved to the area in 05, the only restaurant on H was Phish Tea which went out of business that year and R&B coffee which is gone as well. The Argonaut still hadn't opened and there weren't very many options on H. I'm seeing more and more people out at night. I walked to Taylor the other night to grab a sandwhich and I was pleased to see more people out and about.

Phish Tea's location is now H Street Country Club and R&B is now Sova.
I don't doubt that more people will descend onto H Street as more businesses open and more developments come online. But it's going to be awhile if H Street begins to seriously match U Street's density and energy. Might get there, might not. We'll just have to see.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:24 PM
(-)
 
690 posts, read 1,587,913 times
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Originally Posted by 14thandYou View Post
I don't doubt that more people will descend onto H Street as more businesses open and more developments come online. But it's going to be awhile if H Street begins to seriously match U Street's density and energy. Might get there, might not. We'll just have to see.
for h street to grow and prosper it has to not wish to be u street. what i mean by that is that it has to find it's own voice. at this time, that voice is small local business. to me, that's the biggest difference between the two. u street, imo is more like wolf gang puck and emerald, while h street is more like a food truck chef. and there's nothing wrong with that. both can be successful. the thing that i don't want is to have every destination in the city look and feel the same. i shouldn't go to h street expecting u street, i shouldn't go to georegtown expecting adams morgan, etc.
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Rockville, MD
3,548 posts, read 7,389,003 times
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Originally Posted by (-) View Post
for h street to grow and prosper it has to not wish to be u street. what i mean by that is that it has to find it's own voice. at this time, that voice is small local business. to me, that's the biggest difference between the two.
U Street businesses are almost entirely small, local businesses. You have a few chains sprinkled in (McDonalds, CVS, etc.) but the overwhelming majority of businesses along U Street are locally owned.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,595 posts, read 10,299,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14thandYou View Post
I don't doubt that more people will descend onto H Street as more businesses open and more developments come online. But it's going to be awhile if H Street begins to seriously match U Street's density and energy. Might get there, might not. We'll just have to see.

I walked H street this weekend, mid day on a hot day. Not exactly vibrant street life, yet. OTOH the area from 10th to 14th looks like its changing fast - LOTs of "coming soon" signs, and renovation underway. That section, at least, should be much busier in 12 to 18 months I guess. The section from 3rd to 6th will be changed when that big project on the north side of Hstreet is finished.

6th to 10th will take longer, I guess.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,220 posts, read 25,914,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrence81 View Post
Yeah I spent some time during the day on H street and it was just fine. I think there's lots of potential. However, I don't see it getting to the level of U street due to a lack of high density housing. Which is just fine. I wonder if this means Trinidad will start getting cleaned up.
You mean like mid-rise apartments and such? That could happen. Heck, they could tear down that strip mall and build apartments right on top of that land. Other than that, the area already has pretty decent density.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
27,613 posts, read 24,808,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14thandYou View Post
But it was also pretty lifeless. Outside of a few people hanging out in front of the bars around 12th and 13th streets, there was very little pedestrian foot traffic at 9 PM. Conversely, U Street hums with people well into the late evening hours, seven days a week. It has been years since U Street has seen as few people strolling along it at that time in the evening as what we saw on H Street last night. Even with the development plans on the books, I have a difficult time seeing H Street matching U Street in terms of vibrancy and foot traffic anytime soon.
The U Street corridor also has a lot more condos and apartments. Once condos replace the strip mall, and the Flats are finished near Maryland Ave, there will be much more foot traffic.

H Street will hopefully unify Capitol Hill with the development in NoMA. For people who live on the Hill or near the baseball stadium, H Street is a convenient alternative to making the trip all the way up to U Street. I think it will be quite a success notwithstanding the absence of a Metro stop. Seriously, when's the last time you took Metro to U Street to go out on a Friday night?

There's also the very real possibility, I believe, that U Street will become kinda played. I mean, as much as I love U Street, even I get tired of going there pretty much every weekend. People are dying for a new scene. Don't get me wrong...U Street will always be U Street. But I think folks are getting tired of Bus Boys, Local 16, Chi Cha Lounge and Tabaq. You can only go there so many times before saying, "So what else is there to do in this town?"

Georgetown? Done. Adams-Morgan? Way Done. Gallery Place? Too new, too shiny and too many teeny boppers. Plus, it lacks the character of a U or H Street. Eastern Market? Too slow. Navy Yard? Too sterile. The next hot area has to be H Street. It just has to be.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:44 PM
 
2,136 posts, read 3,418,603 times
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It'd be the next hot area if it were metro accessible. Unfortunate the street cars won't be ready until 2013.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
27,613 posts, read 24,808,715 times
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Originally Posted by DomRep View Post
It'd be the next hot area if it were metro accessible. Unfortunate the street cars won't be ready until 2013.
Adams-Morgan is not very Metro accessible. And Georgetown is not Metro accessible at all. That hasn't stopped the nightlife in those places from thriving.

And as I mentioned before, nobody really takes Metro to U Street anyway. There's a reason why it's so hard to find a parking space there on a Friday night. There are just as many people from MD and VA, if not more, who party in DC, and they are not riding the Blue-Orange Line into town at 11:30 at night. If a place is cool enough, people will drive to it. And since H Street is a pretty central location, most people won't feel like they're going out of their way to get there.
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