Door To Door: Near Southeast & Pleasant Plains (Transcript) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio


The Little Island That Could


And now, our weekly trip around the region. On today's "Door to Door," we swing by Near Southeast in Southeast D.C. and Pleasant Plains in Northwest D.C.


My name is David Garber and I'm the ANC commissioner for the Near Southeast neighborhood just north of the Anacostia River and south of the Southeast, Southwest freeway. Its technical name is Near Southeast, but there's an improvement district here that has renamed it The Capital Riverfront. A lot of people reference it based on the baseball stadium which is here, calling it the ballpark district. Other people call it the Navy yard because that's the name of the metro station within the neighborhood.


So it kind of has a bunch of different names. The metro station is actually about to be renamed and it's going to be something along the lines of Navy Yard, slash, Capital River Front, slash, Nationals Logo. So they're going to have the Washington Nationals Logo in there. Right now, we've pretty much obliterated all the physical past of the neighborhood. This was kind of a very industrial rail roady (sp?) type place. There's some of that that's left in the Navy yard area.


There is recent controversy in the neighborhood about a landmark nomination filed for a building that is really decrepit, but it represents kind of a piece of the puzzle that is vast disappearing in these redeveloping neighborhoods. Looking from above, the neighborhood really looks like a patchwork of empty lots, new buildings and then there's the very small scattering of existing buildings that had been here in use over the past hundred years.


My name is Xi Wang and I live on the edge of Pleasant Plains neighborhood, which is a small residential neighborhood of Howard University, just east of the school and a little bit north of the reservoir that's bordering on the east side. I really do think that it's diverse in that it's very multiracial. There's a lot of families who've lived here for 40 or 50 years who are really invested in the neighborhood and you can tell when you walk by their front lawns.


They have vegetable gardens that have been growing for years and that are well established. There's a lot of intergenerational diversity. You'll see old people sitting out on their porches and you'll see little kids playing in the streets. The people are really comfortable with each other and really love the neighborhood and have a sense of homeliness about it that make people feel really settled. And you just have a sense that it's really well rooted.


We heard from David Garber in Near Southeast and Xi Wang in Pleasant Plains. If you'd like us to visit your neighborhood on "Door to Door," send us an e-mail at or visit us on Facebook, that's And to see a map of all the communities we've visited so far and to listen to past segments, check out our website,
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