Play The Neighborhood Name Game

Politics and ProseHundreds of businesses line Connecticut Avenue, clustered and defined by their neighborhoods or Metro stops. Dupont Circle. Woodley Park. Cleveland Park. Van Ness. Chevy Chase. But one stretch of businesses between Van Ness and Chevy Chase could perhaps use more of an identity all its own.

The 5000 block of Connecticut is home to Comet Ping Pong, Terasol and Politics and Prose. And the bookstore’s owners think this block deserves more recognition. As they write on the Politics and Prose web site, “we prefer to think of the commercial strip that P&P shares with other businesses as rather distinctive and worthy of its own appellation.” So they’re asking customers to play “Name That Block.”

The Washington City Paper hopes this exercise yields more interesting or better results than names already being attached other neighborhoods in the District, such as SoNYA, GaP and SoMo. All terrible, it says.

P&P customers are playing along, and coming up with ideas like SoChe (for south Chevy Chase). Or perhaps you’d like to go out for beers and karaoke in NeConn or NebConn (for the intersection of Nebraska and Connecticut)? What about grabbing a CaBi bike at Connecticut Corner? Or browsing at the bookstore on Literary Alley?

For at least one of our neighbors, it may be a moot point: P&P put Forest Hills on the map. As the store grew into a thriving focal point for the community, it became a must-stop location for authors passing through the District. And as a longtime resident once told us: “People ask: ‘Where is Politics and Prose?’ ‘Oh, it is in the Washington, DC, area called Forest Hills.’ The bookstore has helped to promote the neighborhood even though it started as a very small thing.”


  1. Paul says

    That P&P parcel was once owned by a “Kennedy” family — so a historic name might be “Kennedy Heights”. Or it might be “Reno East”.

    Or why not merely recognizing that it is “Forest Hills”? There is no commercial area with that name, and naming commercial areas after the surrounding community is common in the District.

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