Saturday, December 10, 2016

Still Life with Robin: Stand With Comet and the Rest of….the Whatcha-Call-It-Block

Comet Ping Pong 12-9-16
by Peggy Robin

I am happy to report that the outpouring of support for Comet Ping Pong could not be contained in a single day, so the organizers have extended the “Stand with Comet” event through Sunday, December 11.  (If you are not up to speed on the whacked-out fake news that led up to last Sunday’s attack, or its ramifications, I highly recommend this recap/commentary by Stephen Colbert: The organizers of “Stand with Comet” have also suggested that those who want to show their love and support for the affected businesses should come out and patronize not just Comet, the initial object of the online and real-life attack, but all the other businesses on the block, many of whom have also been on the receiving end of vile and frightening threats, as well as loss of income from fearful customers who have stayed away.

I’m all on board to support this effort, so I popped over yesterday to do my bit….although the surrounding streets were so crowded, I had to circle around the block twice before I found a place to park. If you would rather skip the hassle, you might just prefer the bus; the L2 runs every 20 minutes and will take you right to the corner of Connecticut and Nebraska for just $1.75. It’s not a long walk from Cleveland Park, either -- if you’re up for a stroll in brisk weather.

But what to call this section of Connecticut at the center of all this attention? I don’t want to keep identifying it by the presence of Comet alone. Google Maps is no help – it puts the east side of the street, including Comet and Politics & Prose, in Chevy Chase, DC, and puts the west side of the street in Wakefield -- and to confuse things further, it puts everything south of Everett Street in Forest Hills. That doesn’t make sense for a one-block shopping strip; it’s not in three different neighborhoods!

The owners of Politics & Prose have previously addressed this dilemma: they once invited their customers to “name that neighborhood” – and you can find the results of that effort on the P&P webpage at .... but you won’t find a definitive answer! You will certainly find plenty of fanciful suggestions, though!

If you want to stick to a simple solution, I’d say the mapmakers should redraw those Chevy Chase/Wakefield boundaries so that we can just call the whole area Forest Hills. It cartainly doesn’t feel like Chevy Chase, which has its own clearly defined commercial strip along Connecticut Avenue, starting on the north end at Chevy Chase Circle and stopping on the south end at the Starbucks on the corner of Livingston, after which there are large apartment blocks. As for Wakefield – that, to me is just a real-estate-friendly designation for the triangular patch of single-family homes too far north to be called North Cleveland Park, too far east to be called Tenleytown, and too far south to be called Chevy Chase, DC. It’s just not substantial enough to carry its name over to the Connecticut Avenue commercial strip between Nebraska and Fessenden.

On the other hand, if you want to give the block its own distinctive name, then we could mash together the two likeliest claimants, Forest Hills and Chevy Chase, into “Chevy Forest” – which could be even further abbreviated to CheF. And now, let’s all get behind our local businesses and show our support for CheF!


Still Life with Robin is published on All Life Is Local and on the Cleveland Park Listserv on Saturdays.

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