Planning for the London Gentrification Tour 2006

British Airways had a sale and I took the bait. So before winter ends and spring starts, I’m going to London town. I figure I’d throw in a gentrification tour in there since I don’t do touristy things. The problem is, it is going to be Winter. In London. A city not well known for bright sun shine and balmy weather, so when I get there it might be a toss up between wandering around cold & lost in a gentrifying neighborhood or soaking in a nice claw foot tub with a Lush bath bomb.
I’m curious to see how a city ten kazillion times older and bigger than DC deals with gentrification. Brixton is a definite stop. I’ve made the comparison between Brixton and Shaw before. I visited Brixton often back in the early 90s and I’d like to take a look at it now in the mid aughts.
I also may visit Earl’s Court, where I lived for one summer. I don’t know if the area gentrified or ever was something else to be gentrified. But I do remember there were women of “questionable” occupation and a guy with a burnt off face always hanging out near the tube (subway) station. Earl’s Court had a lot of tourist and cheap hotels. There were Aussies & Kiwis all over the place. I remember being told it was a transitional neighborhood, but I always thought it meant that no one stuck around very long because many of us were foreigners.
I remember looking out the window of my Earl’s Court flat. A no-frills flat I shared with 6 other foreign girls. From my window I could see the back of one of the many cheap hotels and see immigrant women taking care of their families in what looked to be crowded conditions. From another window in the flat I could see into distinctly middle class and upper middle class homes. In front there was a beautiful gated garden square that only residents (real residents not us foreigners) had a key to enter. I could see the contrasts, but all I cared about then was cheap rent and being close enough to take the midnight bus home from my part-time job near Piccadilly.
So fair warning some of my gentrification posts might have a British accent between now and my trip.

Holiday Socials

From Jim:
Holiday Social
Monday, December 5, 2005
Mount Sinai Baptist Church
3rd and Q Streets, N.W.
Rooms 1 and 2
7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Please join us for an evening of fun and fellowship. If possible, bring a dessert to share. This is an ideal opportunity to meet and greet neighbors from all parts of our community!

For more information regarding the meeting and/or the Association, contact Jim Berry at (202) 387-8520 or at

Community Update

John F. Cook School:
(a) School Supplies Initiative – Residents are asked to bring donations of omposition books, three hole ruled paper, and boxes of pencils to each monthly civic association meeting for ongoing use by the children at John F. Cook Elementary School for the remainder of the school year. As indicated previously, it is our hope that this admittedly small, yet significant, gesture of support for our neighborhood kids will eventually translate into a closer relationship between community residents and the school as well as an enhanced belief on the part of the students that we are seriously interested and invested in their productive educational growth and development.
(b) Hat, Scarf and Glove Initiative – As with the school supplies initiative, residents are asked to bring a hat, scarf and/or a pair of gloves for use by the elementary-aged children at Cook School during this winter. Often, children lose, misplace or simply don’t have these items and, as a result, their physical well-being is compromised. Through this initiative we will make a supply of these items available to the children of Cook School this winter. Indeed, they will be distributed to the students by members of the faculty as needed. Perhaps needless to say, a healthy child is a productive child. So, let’s help out in this small way in an effort to help neighborhood kids remain productive!

Fifth District Police Citizen’s Advisory Council Annual Winter Holiday Party:
5D CAC Chairperson Art Slater invites and encourages you to attend the Annual Winter Holiday Party on Thursday, December 15, 2005 from 7pm- 9pm, at the Washington Center For Aging Services, 2601 18th St. NE . We are told that there was much fun and fellowship at last year’s party and the Fifth District Police

Holiday Tree Collection – January 3rd -14th, 2006

Residents who receive DC trash collection service are encouraged to put holiday trees – without ornaments or tinsel – in curbside tree boxes by January 2, 2006. Trees will be picked up during a special two-week collection from January 3 – 14. Residents who wish to keep their trees longer should put them out at their normal point of trash collection (curbside or alley) after January 14. DPW will then collect the trees along with the regular trash, as truck space permits over the following weeks.

Winter Mechanical Street-Sweeping Hiatus – January 9th – March 17th, 2006

Routine residential street cleaning will be suspended from January 9 to March 17, 2006. During this time, “No Parking/Street Cleaning” restrictions will be lifted. Residents and visitors who park along posted, alternate-side, daytime street sweeping routes will not be required to move their cars on street-sweeping days during the sweeper hiatus. Residential street cleaning resumes Monday, March 20, 2006.

Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Happy Kwanza