Friday, April 5, 2013

How can we advocate for things we want in the neighborhood?

The other day I got an interesting question on the New Columbia Heights Facebook page:
Is there a website or somewhere where we can petition for certain types of establishments to open in our area? I really think Columbia Heights/Petworth area (14th St - Oak St and up) could really benefit from community entertainment places (outside of restaurants and bars) such as community movie theater similar to the one in Cleveland Park, maybe a bowling alley, an arcade, etc. to ramp up our home investments and to enjoy more the area we live in. Any ideas?
First off, the poster makes a good point -- it would certainly be awesome to have any one of those things in the area. Of course, it also depends on foot traffic, the size of a building (bowling alleys and theaters are pretty big), rent, demand and so on. An arcade might be doable, though, especially one like Barcade in New York, which is a bar with a bunch of video games. (That doesn't get to the poster's point since there is booze, but I would sure go there a zillion times.)

But the point remains -- what's a good way to make it clear that residents want something in the neighborhood? There was the Georgia Avenue Survey where people said what was important to them and what they'd like to see, but that depends on if business people actually read the survey results. And of course, I have the What We're Missing series of posts, which includes a movie theater like the much-missed Visions in Dupont, with art movies or second run features, food and a bar.

So, any ideas? Or do we just have to wait and hope?

(Photo of the York Theatre at Georgia and Quebec, now the Fisher of Men Church)


Anonymous said...

this is a ridiculous question. i would love it if everything i ever wanted to do and everywhere i ever wanted too shop was located in my neighborhood. but just because you "want" something or "wish" it was there doesn't mean there's a market that can support it. and who are you even "advocating" to? these aren't city services or parks - we're talking about things that would be privately run businesses. which is why the bottom line is, if you want it, build it yourself. otherwise, live with what ya' got.

Andrew W said...

"and who are you even "advocating" to?" That's exactly my point. Certainly this isn't so easy but I think it's a valid question. It's worth a shot, rather than just sitting around and waiting. What's the worst thing that happens, you tried and failed to bring something in?