Simple Arithmetic

I want to explain something, and if you watched former President Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC Convention last week, you’ll understand this word that I am going to borrow from him: arithmetic. Let’s try some arithmetic regarding RIA redevelopment. Take a resident who lives near Rhode Island Ave and has always said, “Why can’t we get something like a sit down restaurant or similar near us?”, and now add apathy. Arithmetic tells us that this scenario equals:


Now, take that same person, saying the same thing, but now add Action. Arithmetic tells us that:

THE ODDS HAVE INCREASED that business owners notice and redevelopment occurs.

So why the arithmetic lesson?

Because there is an opportunity to take some action that will raise our possibility, significantly, to getting a sit down restaurant on our end of RIA. FoRIA‘s “Rhode Trip” tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept 12) at Rustik Tavern from 6 – 9PM is the action (right at the intersection of RIA and 1st NW). All we need to make all of this to add up is YOU.

So do me, no better yet, do yourself a favor: Show up. Even if you come by, grab one drink or grab an appetizer, or don’t eat or drink anything, just SHOW UP. That’s an action that says, “I am going to stop saying over and over again that we need something near us, and I am going to just do something about it”.

Here’s the best part: it won’t even feel like you’re actually taking action. It will feel like you are grabbing a drink or something to eat with your neighbors. You know, those other people that are trying to make a change in the neighborhood.

So, which kind of arithmetic do you want to do?

12 thoughts on “Simple Arithmetic

  1. Part of what makes boundary stone , rustic, and big bear so attractive is that they were opened by people that live in the cumminity. That’s what needs to happen on ria ne. Somehow we need to foster and help people from within create the vibrancy that bloomingdale has achieved. Pulling in franchises is not going to do it.

    1. That would be great and there are some local residents looking to open (and are actually moving forward), and I agree with your statement. If a small business owner that lives off of RIA on the NW side that wants to open and share the success of a quality establishment in our area, it should be encouraged. It will help show local residents that they can TOO take a chance on our area and succeed. So, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow night at Rustik.

  2. I don’t understand why you are picking on Rustik, Big Bear, or Boundary Stone. I’d like more diversity than they have to offer. We have had sit-down restaurants on RIA. I remember the Jamaican Restaurant that was very popular when it opened on RIA but is now a storefront church. It’s close to the Chocolate Shop that will be opening soon. It’s great to recruit stores, but they have to continue to provide a high quality of service. Sureia’s on 12th was jam packed when it first opened. Five or more years later, it’s hardly opened.

    BTW, RIA is looking a lot cleaner on a daily basis. Are the shop owner’s finally doing their part and helping to keep the area clean? If so, many thanks! And, good work FoRIA!

    1. Awesome, Woodie. Sounds like you just signed up to plan the next “Rhode Trip” for FoRIA… I’ll let them know to give you a call. See: ACTION! It is all adding up. 🙂

      Seriously… you should help plan the next one!

  3. This sounds great. I’ve been to Boundry Stone and Big Bear, but have not had a chance to check out Rustik. Tomorrow on the way home from work will be a good opportunity.

    I’m still very interested in starting something up near 16th St., but I keep getting side tracked. This will be a good dose of motivation!

  4. In related news, it looks like the build-out for Carolina Kitchen at RIR is underway. It also looks like some other stuff might be building out, but I don’t know quite what (the ENTIRE side nearest Rhode Island Place in the southeast building is under construction, and another, smaller portion nearer the Metro was getting concrete poured about a week ago). Another crucial component to getting more businesses to open is to make the ones that do open successful (with the usual allowance that if they don’t perform well, they don’t deserve our business…I don’t support propping up bad businesses, but we need to give everything a shot and keep the good going).

    1. Thanks for the update! I couldn’t agree more. And, in general, I think any business which comes to RIR at the Metro station will be successful. So, I don’t think business owners have anything to worry about. If they do their part, we will do ours.

  5. You know, there was a story recently on GGW about bus service, and I pointed out that cross-town bus service along RIA is ABYSMAL. Perhaps this is something we need to lobby on…get us to other parts of town and others into our neighborhood more easily. H St. was not built solely on the backs of those who live nearby, and Dupont does not only cater to only its own residents. While the Metro is good, it’s inconvenient from many parts of town, particularly those parts from which cross-town bus service WOULD be convenient (Bloomingdale, U St., Shaw, Adams Morgan, even Dupont, and many others). Neighborhood-serving retail and dining is great, but getting other people out here to patronize our businesses, now and in the future, is beneficial, and could bring new residents to the neighborhood (hey, I went to eat at that new place -or- hey, I went up there to shop at that boutique, and it was a nice neighborhood…maybe I’ll live there!), plus, we could all afford to get across town more easily.

    1. You should probably looking at the design of RIA itself. 3 lanes of traffic aren’t necessary for the average number of vehicles that part of RIA sees daily. At a minimum, that 3rd lane should be converted to bus and bike only (and I agree that there needs to be a crosstown bus). It’s probably better to put it on a “road diet” and go to two lanes w/ a large buffered bike lane at the same time you expand the sidewalk (yeah for cafe seating!) There is no good reason why RIA becomes 3 lanes as soon as it enters the District from MD. High speed vehicle traffic kills the pedestrian experience (not to mention who wants to sit at a sidewalk cafe next to 40 mph+ traffic?). It’s nearly impossible to cross RIA at any street that doesn’t have a light. The new(ish) “Yield to Ped” signs in the medians don’t help.

      1. Both of these are GREAT suggestions. I have long wondered why there is no bus that follows RI Ave all the way (like Conn. Ave., Mass Ave., 16th St., etc.)

        And switching the outer lanes to bus/bike would be wonderful.

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