Chatter: Corner’s Kaddish
Last week’s cover package concerned D.C.’s corner stores—the small convenience shops that can be found across the District and are often beloved and bemoaned in equal measure. Of the five shops we profiled, the most controversial was the one whose neighborhood has gentrified most dramatically in recent years: Bloomingdale’s Windows Cafe & Market. Responding to Perry Stein’s story, Ledroit Resident wrote, “Windows is great—Mr. Abeje is unbelievably hard-working and friendly. And what a beer selection—one of the best in the city. Good reminder for me to go in there and buy some more stuff this weekend!” And Mona wrote: “I bypass two other corner stores on First Street in Bloomingdale to shop at windows. The others are still dark, dank, smelly places that sell bumpers of beer and chips. They still have guys hanging around outside. I hope they will go away eventually.” We co-sign Robby’s response: “Mona—you’re ruining our neighborhood. Please leave.”
Ed in Bloomy, meanwhile, took issue with our characterization of changes in Bloomingdale. “So why does the article only speak of the influx of new white people? What about the influx of new black people, for instance? If what you mean by a gentrifier is a person with a higher income and more disposable resources than the average income of the existing population, then certainly there are also black gentrifiers. If, however, you’re inferring other more subtle things, then please clarify.”
For her contribution to the package, Jenny Rogers visited a handful of corner stores alongside sommelier Brent Kroll, who judged which had the best wines and the best deals. Readers chimed in: “Field to City in Bloomingdale (used to be known as Timor Bodega) has an excellent wine selection in the back, one that’s not bad at all for a corner store…,” wrote Shawn. “While Kroll praised the selection at Congress Market on Capitol Hill, reader boneified pushed back gently: “Congress Market was my go-to store for years (until moving). Surprised you didn’t mention that the area where they store the wine is usually about 90 degrees. Not the best. Still one of my favorites, though.”
Pop the Corc
The impending dissolution of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design marks the final failure of an institution that’s had numerous near-death moments since the late ’80s, as Kriston Capps charted in a reported essay last week. Reader brock sees a link between the corporate background of the museum’s recent leaders—and the consultants they brought in at points—and the institution’s ultimate demise. “Never hire corporate consultants for an art organization,” brock wrote. “It is like oil sellers trying to comprehend the value of water.” Still, brock’s fingers are crossed. “Ultimately though the impact this will have will depend on the programming George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art put in place. If NGA uses the space to put on excellent shows and GW maintains quality art education then it could be an opportunity not necessarily a disaster. I for one hope NGA uses the Corcoran to emphasize contemporary art exhibits.”
Department of Corrections
Due to a reporting error, the story on wine at corner stores gave the wrong address for Congress Market, which is located at 421 East Capitol St. SE.