Some Notes on the Thursday (Mar 17) Blagden Alley and Naylor Court Meeting
Monday, March 21, 2011 3:35:11 PM
First, there were a lot of "new" people there, which means people who haven't been to a meeting before, but who may have lived in the neighborhood for a few months or a year or two. One of the things that means is that many haven't heard from folks who've been here a while about living in the neighborhood. In particular, about TFA, or "theft from auto". That's for leaving a laptop visible in your car. It can cost a new window (assuming you've locked your car) and a new laptop. It's really, really tough for the police to prevent because it happens so fast and the perp is long gone. In this neighborhood, we get a lot of those, but mostly to foreigners (not DC, MD, or VA tags) and new people. The foreigners get hit because they perps are pretty sure that someone from Ohio won't come all the way back for a court trial and the newbies because they have provided an irresistible occasion of sin to the perp.
If you leave it visible in your car, it's going to walk. Perhaps not in the fancier spots of Ward Three, but just about anywhere in Ward Two, including downtown or a parking lot. If you park, put your laptop in the trunk, and leave the car, it's just as stupid. If you need to do the trunk thing, put it in the trunk a few blocks away. The neighborhood's not really dangerous, but don't get stupid. Basic rule.
Second, most of the meeting concerned the Mood Lounge at 1318 Ninth Street, formerly EFN, and BeBar, and vacant property prior to that, the editor guesses. The manager of said place was there, along with a lawyer and a couple of assistants. Many of the nearby neighbors were also there.
The Mood Lounge sounds like of those places that is screaming to get itself shut down. They draw a crowd guaranteed to wake up half the neighborhood at 3:30 in the morning. That is unsustainable. The normal course is to get the place to agree to certain restrictions, perhaps at ABRA (OK, it used to be the ABC, which everyone, everywhere understands as the booze board). That agreement will fall apart. There may be another try. Finally, the various authorities will convince the place to close. Perhaps it will be by severe police presence, cramping the style (business model) of the place. Perhaps by ticketing and towing cars and convincing the customers to take their business elsewhere. The one thing that normal people would think would make a difference is shame. It doesn't phase businesses like Mood Lounge.
Note to the neighbors: This too will pass, although not as soon as you'd like. When the O Street Market thing gets near completion, the businesses on Ninth will be higher end, interested in higher income customers and the long haul. At the moment, those businesses would have a hard time. Most of the long term residents have survived a couple of years of this kind of thing. Not pleasant, but it pays off in the end.