Life on RIA….New Series

Thanks to the suggestion of a blog reader, I would like to start a new series on this blog that will be entirely from contributing bloggers called “Life on RIA”. This decision is based on the fact that redevelopment isn’t the only thing that will improve Rhode Island Avenue, but also the people and happenings that occur everyday.

The series will focus on the compliments and complaints of living along RIA, including all neighborhoods, developers, associations, ordinary residents, etc….this list can go on and on. I hope that we can get a wide range of articles from readers that I will post online over time. It will be an interesting twist to read how our neighbors view their area.

If you would like to be a contributer to this series, please email me at pyramus12 (at) I am excited about this new series….and for those that are constant commenters, I am sure you will hear from me!

6 thoughts on “Life on RIA….New Series

  1. From today’s (May 13, 2010) Brookland Yahoo Group:

    Did you know that we have new neighbors?

    The Metropolis Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Club, Inc., (a DC non-profit established in 1966) is relocating, after 25 years at 928 5Th Street NW, to our neighborhood at 938 Rhode Island Avenue NE, (on the corner of 10Th and Rhode Island NE).

    The DC Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) for DC is located at 910 Rhode Island Avenue.

    The DC Superior Court Center, BARJ Drop In Center of the Court Social Services Division, including a holding (jail) cell, is also in a brand new space at 2575 Reed Street NE. The jail cell is immediately behind (less than ten yards away) 2520 10Th Street NE and less than 300 yards away from Metropolis and CSOSA. Where else in the city is there a jail cell so close to single family and apartment homes?

    Why the concentration of judicial, drug and alcohol rehab. services in a less than one block radius within a residential neighborhood?

    Consider the children who walk to and from school at Calvary Christian Academy located at 806 Rhode Island NE. Also consider the children who walk to and from Noyes Elementary located at 10th and Franklin.

    Add to the mix 50 to 100 “day laborers” who occupy the Home Depot parking lot everyday. If you have ever had to walk from the end of 10Th Street up the little hill to get to the Giant or Home Depot, then you have experienced the odor of urine and feces left by the “day laborers”. In addition, there is the spectacle of the “day laborers” who are drinking and publicly intoxicated; regular assaults, drug use and drug sales all on the parking lot. To those who don’t believe, there is even an MPD officer patrolling the parking lot because of the “day laborers”.

    It took years for us to get the drug dealers out of our buildings (2504 and 2520 10Th Street NE) and to force our landlords to even put locks on the entrance doors to the buildings.

    The Metropolis AA Club, Inc., has come in like a thief in the night, never announcing themselves to the community, while being cited for illegal construction (no permits). Consider that April 20, 2010, the DC Zoning Commission gave the non-profit Metropolis, Inc., a Certificate of Occupancy (C. of O.) for retail sales (What are they selling?) at 938 Rhode Island Ave NE.

    Metropolis currently also has a pending “C. of O.” for 938 Rhode Island Avenue as a “service center” for Alcoholics Anonymous. They plan on operating from early morning till late evening on the same corner where heroin and crack dealers operate, and in the same block as a liquor store. (If you want to see what Metropolis is bringing to our neighborhood, go down to 928 5th Street NW.)

    Since 938 Rhode Island Ave. is one floor and one room, how is Metropolis able to obtain two
    C. of O.’s for the same space?

    Why should our children have to share the sidewalk with such a concentration of rapists, pedophiles and other criminals?

    How does all of this fit into the “plan” for Rhode Island Avenue? Especially with the 274 brand new apartments going up (supported by $7.2 million of taxpayer dollars) across the street at the Rhode Island Metro station.

    Could this happen in Upper Northwest or Georgetown?

    Why is the community not informed? Where is our ANC Commissioner Rayseen Woodland?

    Vaughn Bennett, President
    Dahlgreen Courts Tenants Association

    1. Yes, I can imagine this happening in Georgetown and in Northwest DC.

      There’s a 12 step recovery club in Georgetown (the west side club) and there are two(!) in Dupont Circle area: The Dupont Circle Club (on Connecticut between Q and R) and the Triangle Club, on P street, between 20th and 21st.

      1. But, to what extent does it happen in Georgetown and in Dupont Circle? The ANC Commissioner, Rayseen Woodland, admits they do NOT have the proper permits to operate on RIA. Would AA have dared to do this in Georgetown or Dupont Circle? The people they treat desire to be rehabilitated, why would AA not do the proper thing for them?

        Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a “large” number of people “loitering” on 10th Street just 100 feet from the Metropolis Club. I’ve never seen such a large group like that, even women with baby carriages. Both yesterday morning and last night when I passed by I saw no loiters, as the sign posted in their window front tells them NOT to do. Today, there is going to be a community meeting about it at the Noyes Elementary school, so temporarily AA is complying. This situation reminds me of the club further down on RIA at that Temple. That situation went on for at least two years. Rayseen Woodland is also the commissioner for that area. RIA really needs better commissioners who are going to enforce the law and make sure businesses, including the AA’s Metropolis Club, comply with the law. I know someone who goes to their 12 step recovery club in Georgetown. He tells me they don’t loiter there! And, he tells me people from all walks of life go to the Georgetown location, including top professionals.

        From Brookland Listserv (posted Friday, June 4, 2010 12:43 AM)

        Dear Neighbor,

        Did you know that the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for DC (CSOSA), (the probation and parole office for all of Ward 5’s criminals) is located at 910 Rhode Island Avenue NE?

        Did you know that the DC Superior Court Center (jail cell included) is located at 2575 Reed Street NE? (The rear entrance is in the alley immediately behind 2520 10th Street NE.)

        Did you know that the Metropolis (Alcoholics Anonymous) Club is located at 938 Rhode Island Avenue NE? (On the corner of 10th and Rhode Island.)

        Where else in the city will you find such a concentration of these “services” in a one block radius?

        Why wasn’t the community informed??

        Please come to an emergency meeting of “Concerned Citizens of Brookland” at Noyes Elementary School (10th and Franklin NE) this Saturday June 5th at 12:30pm!!

  2. Grow a Row for the Community
    Posted Wed May 12, 2010 4:51 pm (PDT) on Mount Rainier Yahoo Group

    Do you love to vegetable garden but always end up with too much produce?
    The answer is here: you can donate extra veggies to people in need in
    the community through the Capital Area Food Bank’s “Grow a Row” program!

    I had extra lettuce and was able to give it to the Brookland Manor
    community center (by Rhode Island and Brentwood Ave.), where they plan
    to distribute it to low-income seniors in the complex.

    If you have extra produce already, or would like to grow an extra row to
    help others access fresh vegetables this summer, go to:
    and sign up to get
    paired with a food pantry, shelter, or other charity serving people in
    our area.

    Happy growing! – Tracy V.

  3. Celebrating 16 years of sobriety and having the Metropolis Club grab my hand and lead me on a clear and precise path to get here, I do know that you should be glad there is a hand reaching out to the “lost” souls in your neighborhood. It could be your brat that needs a hand out and up one day. I also know that practicing the principles in all my afffairs means not telling you to get a clue, open your eyes and your mind and try to realize you live in the city and that cities are the magnifying glass of all of our societies ills that we are all responsible for. I have lived in and around this city for almost 41 years I have seen multitudinous changes and all for the better. be a part of the solution and not the problem. sweeping things under the rug does not make them dissappear. Yes you all hit a nerve and guess what I didnt want to live around crack heads or prostitues anymore so I moved. but i still attend meetings at your “eye sore” the metropolis club and i pray i am the one who has my hand out to your friend or loved one who needs help. Peace and Joy to you at this special time of year

  4. I have been around AA meetings for 32 years. Now have 8 years. The Metropolis Club has by far the best AA meetings I have ever been to. They pretty much welcome all and give people AA from a place that not too many people have been to. They say Speak up so the family can hear and Take your time – basic things like that. I am back in the area after 22 years and I WILL make it down there soon!! I have not seen much else that has impressed me around here.

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