Every couple of miles in every direction, you can still see piles of leftover debris. Consider the bulldozers used to tear down the old railroad buildings in the neighborhood north of Chinatown, then look around at abandoned buildings that dotted the sprawling site for years. Dumpsters line its huge parking lot. You can see how the neighborhood could grow out of this behemouth of China.
The scrappy neighborhood has several known neighbors, and anyone who visits will feel they’re playing on a stage — a stage where our government could learn to work more closely with groups in the neighborhood.
One example is the Windy Station homeless encampment. The complex spans a bunch of private lots and city land. Once a dump, it’s now a longtime home to 24 local people — an average age 48 — who share a small building. The camp is open to the public year-round and runs on solar power. Donations are welcome.
On these friendly corner lots, you’ll find animals that hang out in trees and hedgehogs that pop up. In a couple of recent visits, you’ll even see a leopard who’s been living there for years.
The neighbourhood is easily identified with two places that have exploded onto the map as popular destinations. Washington City Paper has declared Vida Tavern a must-stop on the right, even though it isn’t an establishment in the neighborhood. That’s good, because the place has a good mix of locals and tourists.
And over on the other end of the map, you’ll find City Winery. This place has this area beat. The City Winery social media accounts brag that the facility is in the neighbourhood because it is. It is. But the actual neighbors are one block away.
The biggest thing the Washington Post recognized about the neighborhood five years ago is that it offers a lot of places to eat. It also has a growing array of trendy coffee shops. While this neighborhood has a lot to offer, Washington City Paper says it would also like to see more housing come to the neighborhood.