Monday, November 14, 2005

Thrown out of Paradise

I cry a jailhouse tatoo tear for Paradise Liquor, forced to move from it location at 14th and T, NW, by Bart Seaver's tony Cafe Saint-Ex and its fancy-pants seafood specials. From the WaPo front-pager:

The slow fade of the old 14th and T is underway. Engineers begin taking soil samples from church property. Cafe Saint-Ex, the trendy bistro that arrived two years ago, is hosting oyster night and Bastille Day night and is packing it in on weekends. Paradise Liquor on the other corner has less than two months left on its lease. Gone will be burglar bars that wrap around the doors like ominous orthodontia and the stale air of a package store that failed to change with the times.
"How you doin', Pop?" manager David Lee asks a man who is holding a pipe and a half-pint of gin.

"What they gonna do with this building?" Pop asks. "They trying to sell it?"

"I don't know. Why?" Lee asks. "You wanna buy it?"

In Paradise, where nothing is ever addressed directly, Pop knows he just got an affirmative answer. The Paradise building was bought last year for $900,000, and the new landlord is tripling the rent, forcing Paradise to move out when its lease expires.

Oh, well....


Blogger Bot Broaduss chirped...

I saw this too. I thought it was a pretty good piece, but didin't follow through. Its the kind the Post specializes in when it comes to gentrification issues: describe how a neighborhood was once thriving, fell on hard times, but was still filled with characters; tell us exactly what is happening (people across the city are being forced out of neighborhoods that they were once relegated to) then don't have the nuts to take any kind of stand on the issues. Yes, the news and editorial departments are separate - if the build up to war taught us anything, its that - but still, it would be nice for the Post to maybe once take an official stance on the fact, that, for instance, the new Lofts at 14th and T have exactly 0 units set aside for people of low, moderate, or even middle incomes. I thought the saddest part of the article was in yesterday's piece, when the doorman at St. Ex said that everyone at the door was your typical Reston bama - except they all lived in the neighborhood. God bless our once amazing city. By which I mean, for all its grit and grime, the city had a soul (not some euphamism for black folks either, I just mean people with a connection to the real world - love, loss, misery, etc. The human condition.)

And of course, the real tragedy that this article, and in general the mainstream media ignores: where in the hell is a 15 year old supposed to find a 2/$3 St.Ides special these days?

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