City Desk

Neighborhood News Roundup: Beacon of Cultural Renaissance Edition

A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.

Neighborhood News RoundupWelcome the Bogeyman: A review on The Hill is Home is ostensibly about the quality of food at the Queen Vic, one of H Street's newer establishments. But what would a review of a restaurant in one of the city's nightlife nexuses be without a breathless exclamation of just how unlike Adams Morgan it is? "The Queen Vic is yet another reason why H Street is NOT going to be the next Adams Morgan. I’ve heard whispers from longtime DC residents such as myself that the rapid, bar-heavy development on H is similar to that of 18th Street years back – that eventually H Street will be overrun by suburbanites and underage drinkers every weekend night, making it nearly impossible for a local to have a peaceful night out. While this post is not meant to hate on 'bridge and tunnel' metro-area residents ('bridge-and-beltway,' if you will?) or Adams Morgan, for that matter, (there are a lot of terrific institutions there that should not be missed – Tryst, Amsterdam Falafel, The Diner, etc.) I believe I speak for myself and a number of fellow H Street residents when I say that I do not want an Adams Morgan-esque nightlife to take hold in the Atlas District. The Queen Vic, in the sheer quality of its food and drink offerings, not to mention the inventive, fresh and friendly concept developed by owner Ryan Gordon (who also owns a stake in The Pug), serves as a prime example of the high-quality food service that will continue to mark the H Street corridor as a beacon for DC’s cultural renaissance, rather than a late-night spot for binge drinking 19 year-olds from Fairfax." (We're not sure how apt "bridge-and-Beltway" is, given that you could drive around the Beltway all night and only actually wind up in the District near the Wilson Bridge.)

Well, They've Scared the Mailman: On the Burleith email list, a member writes, "There is a major infestation of bees in the front yards of 3603, 3605 and 3607 R Street. They appear to be nesting in the ground cover. Is anyone else experiencing this? They resist insecticides. Any ideas or solutions would be appreciated." Someone more environmentally-minded suggests, "Bees are a really important part of Mother Nature and are in a decline. Suggest getting in contact with the Maryland State Beekeepers and see if they have a recommendation for moving the bees rather than killing them off." But the initial poster follows up to say, "Actually, we are not really sure we are dealing with bees. They are large insects, between a honey bee and a wasp. They seem to emerge from the soil every morning, creating a mess of exploded mulch and soil. They fly around until abut 4 p.m. and then disappear. They do not hover around flowers, as far as I can tell. If anyone has a clue as to their identity, we would appreciate it. They frighten everyone who comes, including the mail man."

The Horror of Ladies' Underwear: The Crestwood email list has been up in arms for the past week given the unexpected placement of benches in what was formerly open green space in the park at Argyle and 18th streets NW. According to one poster, who has neatly summarized the uproar, "Fliers describing the plan were distributed to all the neighbors and it was discussed with a number of them before contacting the city and forming the plan." But no one's very happy about the benches. The most detailed argument against them is as follows: "My wife and I live three houses from the corner of 18th and Argyle.  We are against the apparently illegal installation of benches at that corner.  Just yesterday morning, a condom and ladies underwear were found at the corner of 18th and Webster.  There are many people who drive through Crestwood via Argyle, Webster, Blagden etc. -on the way to and through Rock Creek Park [which comprises almost 2,000 acres and has numerous sitting areas].  Why invite them to hang out.  Just about everyone in Crestwood has a yard [and probably beach chairs and blankets for the].  Many homes have been burglarized recently in the immediate area of the subject corner.  I suspect there are many who don't want to 'monitor' the area any more the we are already forced to do."

To the Cleveland Park Thailand Bureau: On the Cleveland Park email list is this request: "I'm looking into retirement in Thailand. Is anyone familiar with American retirees or expatriates in Thailand? Do you they have an American expats club over there?"

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  • Chris

    Re: Bees in Burleith:

    Might they be cicada killers? These are large wasp-looking insects that live in the ground, are very territorial, and aren't usually as attracted to flowers as other bees. Although they look like they''re built to kill a small dog, they are fairly harmless to humans, as good ol' wikipedia explains:

    "Although cicada killers are large, female cicada killer wasps are not aggressive and rarely sting unless they are grasped roughly, stepped upon with bare feet, or caught in clothing, etc. One author who has been stung indicates that, for him, the stings are not much more than a "pinprick".[2] Males aggressively defend their perching areas on nesting sites against rival males but they have no sting. Although they appear to attack anything which moves near their territories, male cicada killers are actually investigating anything which might be a female cicada killer ready to mate. Such close inspection appears to many people to be an attack, but male and female cicada killers don't land on people and attempt to sting. If handled roughly females will sting, and males will jab with a sharp spine on the tip of their abdomen. Both sexes are well equipped to bite, as they have large jaws; however, they don't appear to grasp human skin and bite. They are non-aggressive towards humans and usually fly away when swatted at, instead of attacking. Cicada killers exert a natural control on cicada populations and thus may directly benefit the deciduous trees upon which their cicada prey feed."