City Desk

If Forest Hills Can Become SoChe, Then Dupont Circle Is West Logan

Politics & Prose is located in the upper Northwest neighborhood of Forest Hills. But that hasn’t stopped the store’s owners from teaming up with the management at nearby French bistro Terasol and a member of the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission to try to rename their immediate area; the idea is that the actual name isn’t that well known, and something else is called for. Suggestions from the bookstore’s customers included SoChe, NeConn, Connfess, Connecticut Park, Connecticut Corner, Connecticut Heights, and Literary Alley (a fitting name for a block with a book store, maybe, but probably not for a stretch of busy Connecticut Avenue NW).

Which got us thinking: What other perfectly good neighborhood names should be jettisoned and replaced with something new? Remember, these names can only stick if you start using them.

14th Street NW north of Monroe Street: Wetworth
Yes, this is really part of Columbia Heights. But it’s also southwest of Petworth, hence its new name, which is short for West Petworth.

The immediate vicinity of Union Station: SoNoMa
Decades ago, this was Swampoodle. But why should the newish neighborhood to its north, NoMa (named because it’s North of Massachusetts Avenue), get more etymological attention? Meet So(uth of)NoMa.

Eastern Market: Fragerstown
This area is already named for a commercial establishment. But when beloved Frager’s Hardware burned down last month, residents showed they’re ready to switch to a new name.

Dupont Circle: West Logan
In the early days of the gentrification of Logan Circle, ambitious real estate agents would refer to the area as “East Dupont,” which was a stretch when applied to, say, 12th Street NW. Today, “West Logan” will help Dupont seem newly hip again.

H Street NE: Tobago
Why? Because it’s near Trinidad.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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

    Want to really make your head explode?

    GGW already ran an article in 2010 naming the area across the street from P&P "Tobago"

    http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/4447/giving-upper-northwest-a-bad-neighborhood-name/

  • No I don’t think so

    Dupont doesn't need to get its hipness from We(st)(S)haw.

  • Dave

    I've always thought of P&P as being located in Chevy Chase.

  • Derek

    U St corridor really doesn't have an official name. It is too north to be Dupont, too south for Columbia Heights, to NW to be Shaw. I pretty much just use 'U St'. But for an awful name I recommend NoPu for North Dupont.

  • Dave

    "But when beloved Frager’s Hardware burned down last month, residents showed they’re ready to switch to a new name."

    "Welcome to Eastern Market, Frager's, while you rebuild your store," is the same thing as "Welcome to Eastern Market, Frager's. Let us rename our neighborhood after you"?

    Is Frager's a temporary guest or a conquerer?

  • tntdc

    NoMa's so dumb and undescriptive- 80% of DC is North Of Mass Avenue. Bring back Swamppoodle !

    Logan, except for mid-14th, is generally a small residential area. Dupont is a huge area that encompasses a lot of residential and business areas. Dupont/Logan sums up the Logan Circle area touching greater Dupont. What many call "U Street" is really Logan Circle North. The "U Street" Metro is 4 blocks north of Logan Circle itself. U is a street.

    Of course DC paid half a million dollars recently for someone to rename Logan Circle "Mid-City". $500,000 !

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com Joe Warminsky

    Far Tenleytown = farT

  • andrew

    The problem is that Swampoodle wouldn't have historically been used to describe the area that's now known as NoMA.

    It's a cool name, but would be totally inaccurate to describe a place like 1st & M. NoMA had no name, because the land was either industrial or vacant for pretty much all of DC's history, prior to just a few years ago.

    "Near Northeast" is the closest you'll get to an actual, historically-consistent name for the area, and that's not really very descriptive (or marketable) either.

  • http://www.john.smith.pfragent.com Aaron Smith, REALTOR

    I always referred to the part of trinidad EAST of Bladensburg as "Tobago" since it was isolated from the rest by a busy street.

    I call the triangle between H, Florida and the METRO Tracks, "Hill NoH"! Hill - North Of H.

    Then there is that area that is east of 15th, South of Benning, North of C Street, NE. "Hill LEast".

    Maybe my humor warped too much in this heat.

  • http://ConsDem ConsDem

    You title is misleading. They only want to name the section that includes P&P and Terasol. That's one block. The other shopping areas on CT have names - Cleveland Park, Van Ness and Chevy Chase. I don't believe they want to change the name Forest Hills.

  • Bob

    And remember that realtors in the Van Ness area have spent decades marketing properties by calling the area either South Chevy Chase or North Cleveland Park.

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

    Aaron: The area east of Bladensburg is not part of Trinidad. Yes, I know the tax office says that on the property records, but that's just a shorthand they use to designate parts of town. You'll notice that many neighborhoods don't even exist according to the tax office.

    The area east of Bladensburg Road (north of Benning and south of the Arboretum) is Carver-Langston (a name that comes from the mix of Carver Terrace and the Langston Dwellings). Trinidad has always existed only on the west side of Bladesburg Road.

  • Kevin

    @tntdc:

    Yes, Logan Circle is small mostly residential area, and it's a half mile from the 13th & U Metro. You'll pass Q, Corcoran, R, Riggs, S, T & Wallach Streets on the way. U Street is definitely not "Logan Circle North."

    And using "Mid-city" for the general Logan/14th/U area is not new. It dates back at least 80 years, as DCist documented six years ago: http://dcist.com/2006/08/31/midcity_revisit.php

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