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"Downtown"


DonRocks
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Trying to pigeonhole Againn, I'm wondering if 10th & NY Ave is considered "Downtown." This area to the west of Mount Vernon Square has always perplexed me. Five years ago, I think Corduroy (12th and K) was very fringe in terms of being considered downtown, but now it's probably not wrong to think it is. But does downtown now go east of 12th street?

Are there any official maps or borders? Unofficial maps? I've looked for awhile, and nothing seems definitive. (We could have the same discussion about S. Dupont and Downtown as well - where does one end and the other begin?)

(I'll probably delete this thread later, so please just make the answers as poorly written and dashed-off as you'd like, and maybe consider them like you would a PM to me)

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Trying to pigeonhole Againn, I'm wondering if 10th & NY Ave is considered "Downtown." This area to the west of Mount Vernon Square has always perplexed me. Five years ago, I think Corduroy (12th and K) was very fringe in terms of being considered downtown, but now it's probably not wrong to think it is. But does downtown now go east of 12th street?

Are there any official maps or borders? Unofficial maps? I've looked for awhile, and nothing seems definitive. (We could have the same discussion about S. Dupont and Downtown as well - where does one end and the other begin?)

(I'll probably delete this thread later, so please just make the answers as poorly written and dashed-off as you'd like, and maybe consider them like you would a PM to me)

I've never thought of DC having a "downtown" area. I just think of it as DC, and further break it down into quadrants and neighborhoods. But then again, I'm not from this area. I'm from Philly, where downtown just sounds funny-it's Center City.

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When I lived at 12th and Mass it was probably the epicenter of the no-man's-land in terms of naming. Not quite Mount Vernon Square, south of Logan Circle, east of Thomas Circle (is that even a neighborhood?), north of Penn Quarter...By the time you get to 10th and NY, I'd say you could fudge it into MVS, PQ, or DT and be fine.

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I've never thought of DC having a "downtown" area. I just think of it as DC, and further break it down into quadrants and neighborhoods. But then again, I'm not from this area. I'm from Philly, where downtown just sounds funny-it's Center City.

with the Dining Guide; I have no choice but to categorize. :(

(yeah, i know, should do by cuisine too ... will come at some point ...)

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Not that it is the authority of such matters, but if you search Google Maps for "washington dc downtown"* and zoom in just a bit, it seems to consider "Downtown" to be the area bounded by 14th Street to the West, the Mall to the South, the Capitol to the East, and Mount Vernon Square to the North. That is consistent with the identification provided on the DC tourism website.

*For some reason, I am unable to post the link for this search, so you will have to do it yourself, if you are so inclined.

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Not that it is the authority of such matters, but if you search Google Maps for "washington dc downtown"* and zoom in just a bit, it seems to consider "Downtown" to be the area bounded by 14th Street to the West, the Mall to the South, the Capitol to the East, and Mount Vernon Square to the North. That is consistent with the identification provided on the DC tourism website.

*For some reason, I am unable to post the link for this search, so you will have to do it yourself, if you are so inclined.

Yes but I try and be more "neighborhoody". If there's a name for 10th & NY like NoBu or MoMa or Midtown or Luddite then I'd like to find out

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Wikipedia offers this map of DC neighborhoods (click on it to make it somewhat larger), which would put that location in "Downtown." And if wikipedia says it's true. . .

Yes I saw that earlier (but couldn't blow it up on my computer screen for some reason). That little green rectangle on the "Downtown" map is Mt. Vernon Square, so I have maybe sub-categorized myself into a black hole, i.e., nothing fits 10th and NY

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Perhaps it's time the dining guide take the form of a google map with clickable pins for each restaurant, rather than a simple old list. :( It would solve the need to give everything a neighborhood.

[Dashes away from heavy object being thrown my way. . .]

It would be nice to have the option, but try the low-fi version in your cell phone sometime. I'm not exaggerating when I say I actually USE the dining guide myself nearly every day (not only that, i have it as an icon in my iPhone)

now if i could only catch up and bring it up-to-the-minute. each month, i tell myself "once i get it current, i'm going to keep it current every single day," but i eventually fall a few weeks behind, like i did this time, and now i'm paying the price trying to catch up

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This is my neighborhood, I don't believe there is really a name. Sometimes I say downtown, but I know that isn't quite right. Then again, I am a block north. So, I usually say convention center area, which I think would apply to there as well if you keep in mind the old convention center. Soon enough, I think it may be enveloped by City Center area. But, that isn't really in usage now for anything other than the parking lot.

ETA: For purposes of the dining guide, I think "downtown" would be entirely appropriate as it is west of City Center and south of Mass.

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It's Shaw.

I would never consider this intersection Shaw - it doesn't "feel" like Shaw to me.

Okay, thanks for all the input - usefulness aside, this has actually been a fairly interesting discussion for me because over the years, I've become sort-of a DC-cartography buff <-- lame word.

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That far South? I saw the Shaw historic signs all the time when I'd walk my dog north of Mass on 10th, but never as far south as NY.

I always think of Shaw -- on that stretch, anyway -- as running from NY Ave. north. If it's not Logan, Downtown, or Bloomingdale. must be Shaw.

According to the always reliable Wikipedia, ;)the neighborhood actually starts on M Street, just north of NY -- for whatever that's worth.

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According to the always reliable Wikipedia, ;)the neighborhood actually starts on M Street, just north of NY -- for whatever that's worth.

The map I link above says its starts on L and heads north. It actually dips down below Mass Ave to include that triangle park bounded by L, Mass, and 11th.

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The map I link above says its starts on L and heads north. It actually dips down below Mass Ave to include that triangle park bounded by L, Mass, and 11th.

Can we create a new neighborhood? If this is really an area in debate or something of a no-man's-land, I mean. We seem to have a pretty thorough list of it being called various things by various sources; who (or what entity) is the final arbiter?
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Local geography has never been my strong suit and I've seen my share of nitpicking on the subject (most notably about my own neighborhood-which isn't Shaw, btw), so I'm resisting getting in the mix. If you want to have a good laugh, how about a web site that includes "Annapolis" as a DC neighborhood? I'm not joking. It's that way on Urbanspoon.com.

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I don't think that either Shaw or Mount Vernon go south of Mass. Also, there are Shaw signs throughout Shaw, and there are no signs there. It's not even close to Bloomingdale.

I am no geographer but I'd suggest that Shaw and Bloomingdale are pretty much cheek to jowl from Ledroit Park south for several blocks.

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I'm going to start calling this area Dontown in the dining guide unless someone comes up with a better answer.

TRANY. TRiangle Above New York. All the hip neighborhoods are doing acronyms and it will remind us old-timers about the nightlife in that section back in the day.

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Trying to pigeonhole Againn, I'm wondering if 10th & NY Ave is considered "Downtown."

it sits in an odd pocket of downtown that still seems lonely and used to be sketchy when the greyhound bus station was across the street. when you departed the city late at night, walking to the station from this direction seemed risky, but by the time you purchased your ticket you realized that it didn't matter, because standing within the station was just as bad. we once saw a tall homeless man keel over right in front of us. i don't know what bus he was on but he was rigid as a door and landed flat on his face, and he didn't feel a thing despite his nose. familiarity with downtown started with visits to the raleigh hotel, from which wttg broadcasted. i remember captain tugg. ninth street was a boundary of sorts because it was a red light district, but there was a place on the corner of f street that sold lava lamps and keene big eye paintings, although i'm not sure they were originals. for good food, you had to edge a bit further away from downtown, to chinatown. i remember eating at the golden palace one weekday night before heading off to charlottesville, and it couldn't have been earlier than midnight, so they must have kept late hours. then i headed over to the bus depot, and i didn't really feel i was headed for downtown, though not exactly walking away from it either. if i had been look for men desperately dressed up as women i believe i would have headed up to mass. ave., close to where corduroy is today.

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The bus depot, and across the street (not making this up) The Terminal Hotel, home (or neighbor to) The Cafe Naples with all the boys in the leather running shorts and bright bandannas....One night I was at the Burger King in the bust station and some guy sat down with me, looked me in the eye and said: "I killed a man, once." Burger King or that old Salvadoran place and Stoneys were the closest options.

In the 80s I spent a lot of time walking from an apartment on Mass and 11th to bar jobs on 19th street. The trannies kind of ran from 11th to 9th, as I recall, mostly along Mass Ave and just south. The "regular: red light district was by no means limited to 14th street but that was, as they say, the way to bet, but the girls seemed to move in herds based on whatever corners they'd been driven off of by the cops.

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We just moved away from the area this spring, having lived there since we moved to town in '07. Definitely used to see the ladies of the night (when we'd walk the dog super-early in the morning), often in animated conversation with a cop, on the lawn of the church on the corner. One of them tried to tell my neighbor that she should join them because she walked like she already was one. I don't think my neighbor took it as a compliment. :(

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