Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Do you live in "The GaP"? No, because it's a terrible name.

How do you define our neighborhoods?

A buddy recently sent this along: the City Paper noted that a commenter on PoP, talking about something unrelated, coined a new term:
Our house is in the GaP . . . near the Ga Ave.-Petworth (GaP) metro, the neighborhood nestled in the gap between Columbia Heights, Petworth, Crestwood, and 16th St. Heights
The GaP is a terrible name. Admittedly it's a little bit clever, but I hate those cutesy, manufactured nicknames like NoMa, AdMo and CoHi.

Plus how is there a gap? North of Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights, you have Crestwood to the west and Petworth to the east. North of that it's 16th Street Heights and Brightwood. As far as I'm concerned, there isn't really a "gap." North of Columbia Heights and Park View is Petworth. That's it.

The Post talks about 14th Street Heights but says it's almost totally surrounded by 16th Street Heights.

DCist also got into it, and the original PoP poster responded there with a rambling argument, including that 10th and Randolph is in Columbia Heights according to their house's tax assessment -- the tax neighborhood argument is one we've debunked here before, as the tax neighborhoods have nothing to do with the actual neighborhoods. Tax documents also claim North Capitol Street is in Columbia Heights, and there are no such neighborhoods as Logan Circle, Adams Morgan, or Shaw, but there are places called Old City I and Old City II. Tax documents say Adams Morgan is part of "Garfield," whatever that is.

Here's my updated map of where I think the boundaries are, with Petworth in light blue and Crestwood in Pink. Spring Road isn't a hard border, maybe it's more like Randolph, and I'm not sure really what the northern end of Petworth is -- interested in your opinion! (I wrote about this earlier too, though with more focus on Columbia Heights.) Do agree with me?

View Columbia Heights Borders in a larger map


  1. i like CoHi but hate AdMo and this Gap thing.

    why do you hate CoHi? what are the alternatives to having to write out Columbia Heights? CH?

  2. I suppose it's not terrible, but it reminds me of AdMo and NoMa. It seems overly cutesy and forced to me. But at least we agree on the GaP!

  3. Petworth ends where Brightwood begins - at Kennedy Street.

  4. Your neighborhood boundaries aren't as tight as they could be. Currently, google maps is good for Park View, Columbia Heights, and Pleasant Plains. Your Petworth includes a hugh chunk of 16th St. Heights.

  5. To the first post (Anonymous):
    Yes. The alternative is to write CH. Or, better yet, write the whole thing. Take a moment and call it by its real name: Columbia Heights. It's not difficult.
    I am also sick of these cutsie acronyms like we're Manhattan or something. New York we ain't.

  6. to last Annon:

    You live in the alphabet soup of cities. everything in DC is abbreviated. Should we also stop saying DC in favor of District of Columbia?
    What about USA USA USA chants?

  7. check the neighborhood boundaries here: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/investigative/homicides/

    (for adams morgan, its sub-neighborhood parts are all identified - lanier heights, reed-cooke, washington heights, and kalorama)

  8. Somehow people managed to say "Columbia Heights" without difficulty for decades before the latest crop of newtards began arriving in the last 5 years or so.

  9. According to your boundaries 14th and Shepherd is in Petworth. I would suggest that there is a consensus that officially that area is 16th Heights (since it's north of Spring), but more commonly referred to as 14th Street Heights. That said, the center of gravity is still Columbia Heights.

  10. Right, I fully admit that my northern boundaries aren't right, but as in the comments here there's some dipsute. Somebody says Kennedy, somebody says Shepdherd, etc.

  11. I think you might want to check the deeds of houses North of Upshur, East of 16th, West of Georgia, and South of Kennedy. They ALL say that area is Sixteenth Street Heights. Considering that deeds are official, legal documents, that area should be called Sixteenth Street Heights.

  12. Well, I think the deeds aren't good, because according to them (like I mentioned) there is no such place as Adams Morgan, and Columbia Heights goes to North Capitol Street, for example. I think they're based on original land surveys from the 1800s or something.


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