City Desk

Meet the Neighbors (Clothing Optional)

Neighborhood Association President: A Strip Club Is "No Different From Any Other Establishment"

A Prince of Petworth reader writes in with some finger-wagging for the Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association's plan to hold a "Haunted Hos Halloween" happy hour at Louis' Rogue, a strip club at 5th and K Streets NW:

Am I getting old or is this one of the dumbest moves ever. Maybe they are being ironic but I don’t know how you go to a strip joint ironically.

Other commenters on the MSVNA site registered their discontent as well. One wrote, "This is a sad and pathetic statement about this organization's priorities."

I talked to Rob Amos, president of the MVSNA, and he had a simple answer for why the event was being held at that particular location: "It’s no different from any other establishment in our neighborhood."

Amos adds that members of the association have been curious about Louis' Rogue and have wanted to visit it for some time. The response to the event had been largely positive, he says—"until the posting on Prince of Petworth."

Amos says a statement from MVSNA is forthcoming.

The MSVNA has released a statement, check it out below the jump.

As one commenter on the Prince of Petworth blog wrote, "I’m really just speechless. It’s funny, sad, infuriating, hilarious and confusing all at once."

That describes our neighborhood to a "T".

The area encompassed by the borders of the Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association (MVSNA) is varied – we have a mix of single-family row homes, group homes, high rise units, run-down vacant property, renown churches, ad-hoc parking lots, long-established restaurants and bars, and newly opened commercial businesses. We are spread across two Wards, and touch a third Ward. We interact with three MPD districts addressing our issues with weekly shootings, robberies, vandalism, and prostitution.

We are a vibrant and ever-changing neighborhood and we all deeply love where we live.

We don't discriminate by type of business; we're all members of a common community, through interaction we have proven that we can evolve together into an area which works for everyone. We're not trying to drive any establishment out of business; we're trying to learn about them and give them the opportunity to learn about us. Often this leads to us adjusting our preconceived "notions" about a business, and sometimes the business adjusts their business model — Subway Liquors has been working with the community and is a good example of this.

Quite often new residents get labeled as gentrifiers trying to purge existing old-school businesses and trying to force their vision of "Disney-like" city model with trendy restaurants and stores. MVSNA doesn't believe in that. We treat elements of the old model with respect and engage them in making our neighborhood a better place.

Tonight's meeting is no different.

The first portion of our meeting has been set aside for the Concerned Coalition of New York Avenue Playground Area and the Better Neighborhood Civic Association to provide us with an update on the work that they have been doing over the past few weeks to improve the conditions of the New York Avenue Playground. MVSNA members have been active in those meetings and this is just to provide us with an update on their progress. Check out the DCist article on their work:

http://dcist.com/2011/10/community_unites_to_clean_up_neglec.php#photo-1

At the conclusion of their update and the meeting, those that are interested are welcome to join us for a social happy hour.   Our members have told us that they are tired of having monthly meeting after monthly meeting just hearing the same MPD reports about how crime is down from the same time last year, or what changes a developer has made to the plans that they presented to us previously. They want an opportunity to interact with one another and to explore what businesses exist in the community.

We've held happy hours at The Warehouse, Mandu, Busboys and Poets, and this month, we're going to Louis's Rogue. This location was suggested by residents of the area who want to know more about the establishment — and not just what they hear as "word on the street". It's been a mainstay of the neighborhood since the 1980's, is not going anywhere anytime soon, and we will not discriminate against it. A future happy hour is planned for the DC Eagle, another long-established DC bar that is in our neighborhood.

Residents of MVSNA and DC — you are welcome to join us at tonight's meeting starting 7:30 pm. Stay for the update on the New York Avenue Playground and then walk with us across New York Avenue for our happy hour.

All are welcome – just as all (legal) businesses are welcomed in our neighborhood.

We just wish that more people would get up in arms about the shootings, murders, prostitution and other crimes, poor-performing schools, badly timed crosswalk lights, and homelessness in our neighborhood as they have with a group having a social meeting in a strip club.

Photo by quinn.anya via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

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  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Pitch perfect response. Bravo to MVSNA!

  • Jessica

    I find the name "Haunted Hos" beyond offensive. Acknowledging your sexuality is all well and good, but making light of the circumstances that lead a woman to sex work is plain terrible.

  • Sluice

    passive-aggressive online finger wagging is what Prince of Petworth readers do best.

  • Marak

    I think the neighborhood association is free to do whatever they want. Now adding "Ho's" to the event's name was crude, but I support this neighborhood for doing what they did. I'm sure they got people who never come out to an event to come out!

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