I really hate to bad-mouth this thing, since I'm a resident of the 'hood, but damn, where was everybody? The inaugural "Columbia Heights Day" didn't appear to be advertised much, and the event looked like an appalling failure.
We intended to catch the rock-solid-awesome Pet Parade at Sticky Fingers Bakery, but by the time we reached 11th Street, it was clear that the neighborhood's enthusiasm wasn't exactly at fever-pitch yet.
Some dejected folks with "Columbia Heights Day" t-shirts were apologizing and imploring folks to come back when things are really hopping. Workers were still wheeling in the porta-potties (portajohns? What are those wretched blue coffins called, anyway?), the stage didn't appear to be assembled, and vendors were still pretty sparse.
Eh, we thought: no worries. It's the very first CH Day, it may take a while to warm up. So we did brunch at The Heights and gave it some time. SURELY things would spring to life soon...
Brunch was fine, and I had my first bloody mary ever. There was a UNIVERSE of STUFF in there, and it wasn't half bad, although I imagine the vodka felt insulted, sharing the glass with all that STUFF. Anyway...
After brunch, not much had changed with the festival. Tubman Elementary's field was still void of action. We needed to give Gomez a bit of attention anyway, so we raced off to the dog park, promising to return and dig a little Columbia Heights Day later on...
These shots (all but the bloody mary) were taken at about 4pm, which should've been the very pinnacle of action and excitement.
I love the idea of this thing. Columbia Heights is a marvelous neighborhood with a vibrant population -- We could use a little grassroots power to keep the "human element" alive while the Target/Best Buy robot consumer madness swells on 14th street like a cash-filled carbuncle.
Ah well...if they do it next year, hopefully there will be more buzz & interest. This must've been a very expensive day for somebody.
And it's easy to accuse your humble narrator of bitching-without-volunteering, but hell: Attendance is participation, innit? I may offer my services as a graphic designer next year, if the crew behind this thing decides to do a little advertising. But real hands-on man-hours? I can't promise anything. The day-job is too unpredictable. 'Tis better to offer what I know I can deliver, rather than default on a promise later on.
But all that is for next year. As for Saturday, Tubman was embarrassingly devoid of action.
The Wonderland, by contrast, was buzzing with joy and beer and bodies...
So the lesson here is simple: Next time, skip the vendors, the music, and the whole DC Park Service stage setup in the school-yard, and just have a killer all-day happy hour at the Wonderland.
There. We have a plan.