Hoods & Services
Neighborhood Index > Subarubia


Population: 10,490
Percent Black: 4.8
Percent White: 84
Percent Hispanic: 4.8
Percent Foreign-Born: 17
Percent Children: 10
Poverty Rate: 3.5 percent
2005 Median Home Sale Price: $804,787
2007 Violent Crimes Per 1,000 Residents: 4
2007 Property Crimes Per 1,000 Residents: 43



In the early days (that is, the turn of the 19th century), the civic life of this nascent community centered on John Tennallys Tavern, one of the first true local haunts in D.C. If you were hankering for the vaguely delicious-sounding Hott diet, you swung by Tennallys. If your servant ran away, you asked around at Tennallys. If you misplaced your precious surtout coat with the yellow buttons on the breast, you advertised a $2 reward in the Times and Patowmac Packet to whomever returned itto Tennallys. Indeed, this was Tennallytown.

More Touchstones

Tenleytown, Friendship Heights, American University Park
Subarubia's residents are a people at odds: with themselves, their neighbors, their traffic, their commerce, their history, their destiny. Asked outright, folks find it strikingly difficult to describe their hood.
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

Arbitrary Rankings

Kid-Friendliness: 9

Besides proximity to private schools like Sidwell Friends and Georgetown Day, Subarubian children are within walking distance to some of D.C.s best public schools, from Murch Elementary to Wilson High.

Housing: 8

If youre looking for affordable, then Subarubia, where a single-family, 3-bedroom home can run upward of $800,000, may not be the hood for you. Housing here can be intimidating.

Eats: 4
Other nabes would kill for the mediocre fare in Subarubia: mediocre Mexican (Guapos, 4515 Wisconsin Ave.), mediocre pizza (Armands Chicago Pizzeria, 4231 Wisconsin Ave.), mediocre Mediterranean (Bambole, 5255 Wisconsin Ave.)
Consumer Goods: 8

Need some kind of receptacle? Try Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, or the Container Store. Jonesing to blow some dough? Tiffany, Saks, or Gucci will gladly accept your cash. This hood is capitalism in all its glory. The choices are truly dizzyingand for some, nauseating. Especially when you have to drive around in circles searching for a parking space.

Nightlife and Culture: 1
For nearby culture, theres American University, outdoor fairs and festivals, movies at Mazza Gallerie, and easy Metro access to other neigborhoods. Nightlife leaves something to be desired, especially in a neighborhood whose residents require silence after 1 a.m. Intangibles: 0

In some ways, the spirit of Subarubia is hard to pin down, but in other ways what you see is what you get: a lot of stores, a lot of exorbitantly pleasant single-family homes, a church here, a Whole Foods there. And when it comes to neighborhood lore, bickering about ugly radio towers simply doesnt make for that tall of a tale.

Subarubia in the City Paper Archives

Wisconsin Badgers
The D.C. government thinks upper Wisconsin Avenue needs an overhaul. Call it the Georgia Avenue of Ward 3.


Unbending Reed
Pulling back the curtain on those anti-Williams ads.


  • Downtown Transplant Jun. 24, 2008
    7:07 pm

    Pretty much nailed it.

    I expected to at least know the names of my neighbors after moving to this area, but folks just seem content keeping to themselves. Its one of the urban concepts I kind of miss from more bustling areas.

  • Carolyn Long Jun. 30, 2008
    2:30 pm

    Golly, I don't know where the previous commentor lives. My husband and I bought our 1921 fixer-upper cottage in the section called Armesleigh Park in 1987. This is the most friendly community imaginable. We know ALL of our neighbors for blocks around. We party together, take care of each other's gardens, pets, and kids, lend a helping hand whenever necessary. We are very diverse in age and sexual orientation (but, sadly, not in race). We can walk to do all of our shopping and errends and are five minutes from Metro. Our commercial district on Wisconsin Avenue could use some improvement, but we're working on that.