Tag Archives: Georgia Avenue

Oohh’s and Aahh’s Update

When I moved to Florian Gardens over four decades ago, there were only a couple of grocery stores nearby and hardly any fast food shops. McDonald’s that sits on the corner of Georgia Avenue & Peabody was non-existent. Now, there are plenty of eating places throughout the neighborhood.

In addition to burgers, you can get Chinese Food, BBQ, and even a Thai meal. The ImmThai restaurant, located at the intersection of Georgia & Missouri Avenues, is on the ground floor of a building that for a decade housed the once popular IBEX club. The club which featured performers like Rare Essence, the Junkyard Band and Gil Scott Heron was shut down by the city following the heartless murder of D.C. police officer Brian T. Gibson in February 1997.

I don’t know if that corner has bad feng shui or is simply jinxed, but since the IBEX closed restaurant-life in that building is short-lived. I’ve seen a few dining places come and go including the Meridian and the Brightwood Bistro.

The most recent eatery whetting appetites along the avenue is Oohh’s and Aahh’s. Yes, it finally had its Grand Opening in mid-October, and it is not in the IBEX club building. It occupies space alongside Walmart.

The service at Oohh’s and Aahh’s is respectable and friendly. The meals are a bit pricey, but not unreasonable. For instance, a dinner with two sides will cost you nearly $14.00 including tax. But it’s worth the price. I’ve had the fish dinner with yams, mac & cheese, collard greens and a piece of cornbread a few times. I also had the ribs. I do not exaggerate when I tell you that the Oohh’s and Aahh’s meals that I’ve eaten are the closest thing to home cooking that I’ve consumed from a soul food restaurant. I’ve also asked others who have eaten there for their opinion of the food and so far I’ve not heard a single negative comment.

The 85-seat restaurant serves diners on the ground floor and upstairs. There is a small bar, and if you choose not to eat-in, you can order carry out. The restaurant is open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays. For weekend hours and further information call (202) 882-2902.

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Revisiting 1955

While some of you may be feeling like you are suffering from jet lag over the loss of an hour’s sleep – thanks to Daylight Savings Time – I’ve been scrambling to dig up something significant to write about FGC. That’s a difficult feat when there is nothing happening; nothing that I would write here anyway. So, to avoid having a page that looks like this

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I will be filling the space with trivia. That’s better than a blank page. Would you agree? No? Well, you drew the short straw.

Step back in time for a few minutes. Imagine that the year is 1955. Dwight D. Eisenhower is President of the United States. Marian Anderson is the first Black singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Hurricane Diane hits the northeastern United States, killing over 200 people, and causing over a billion dollars in damage. Twenty-four year old heart throb actor, James Dean, is killed in an auto accident. And here is a little known history fact — Fifteen year old Claudette Colvin refuses to give up her seat to a white woman on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and the teen is arrested. Few people outside of Alabama are aware that Colvin’s act of defiance precedes Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat. Thus, it is Park’s protest that ultimately leads to the 381 day Black boycott of the Montgomery bus system.

Did you know that in 1955 streetcars, not buses, transported people across the Nation’s Capital? As automobiles began to populate the city, Capital Transit, started scaling back street cars. After a strike that same year, the company ownership changed to DC Transit and began the switch exclusively to buses. The last streetcar ran on January 28, 1962.  WMATA — a new regional system, commonly referred to as METRO — was founded on February 20, 1967.

There is an old saying that “what goes around comes around.” In 2002, the D.C. City Council approved an expenditure of $310 million for a new streetcar project that will have lines at various places in the District including Georgia Avenue. The first street car was installed on H Street in December 2013.

Now you are probably asking yourself what does any of this stuff have to do with FGC. Absolutely nothing. The only thing relative is the year. The Florian Gardens Apartments were built in 1955 and converted to a cooperative in 1989.  For you members who did not know — that’s your FGC history note.  Maybe the news feed will be off the respirator next week, check back soon ya’ hear.

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There Goes the Neighborhood and Here Comes Walmart.

A few years ago, participants in the annual Caribbean Carnival began assembling their floats and lining-up for the parade across the street from the FGC complex. Florian Gardens members tolerated the noise associated with the weekend event, sometimes into the wee hours of the night; until after a concerted effort by residents and the co-op’s board of directors – that included discussions with our then councilmember, Charlene Drew Jarvis and parade organizers — the preparation activities were moved elsewhere. Occasionally, when the charter school across the street holds an outdoor event for the students, co-op members are forced to endure both the loud music and the DJ’s chatter.  Nevertheless, such temporary inconveniences aside, ours is a quiet neighborhood and a nice place to live. There is relatively little vehicular or pedestrian traffic – but that is about to change.  Walmart is coming. Continue reading There Goes the Neighborhood and Here Comes Walmart.