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POLL: What Do You Call This Bit of Southeast D.C.?

by Andrew Ramonas May 4, 2016 at 11:20 am 11 Comments

Unit block of I Street SE (Photo via Google Maps)A Hill Now story about an armed robbery at a McDonald’s on the unit block of I Street SE sparked a debate last night over how to identify this chunk of the District.

In our piece, we wrote that the area is in Navy Yard. We’ve traditionally called the area in Southeast D.C. bounded by the Anacostia River, South Capitol Street and the Southeast Freeway as Navy Yard. We refer to the Navy instillation in the area as the Washington Navy Yard.

Although the unit block of I Street SE is at the edge of this area, it fits within these boundaries.

NBC Washington reporter Tom Sherwood released these tweets shortly after we published our story, unleashing a torrent of comments on whether this block is in Navy Yard and whether Navy Yard is even a real neighborhood name:

We’re no strangers to debates about neighborhood names at Local News Now, the parent company of Hill Now. At one of our other websites, Borderstan, which covers a large swath of Northwest D.C., we looked at whether “North End Shaw” is a valid neighborhood name.

Unlike North End Shaw, Navy Yard as a neighborhood name has been around long enough that a neighborhood association and The Washington Post, Washington City Paper and other local news publications use the moniker. This week, for example, DCist, used Navy Yard to describe the neighborhood that is the focus of local blogger Jacqueline Dupree, who runs JDLand.

Instead of Navy Yard, we’ve heard at least part of the neighborhood called Near Southeast, Old City I and Capitol Riverfront.

What do you call the unit block of I Street SE? You can weigh in through the poll and in the comments.

Photo via Google Maps

  • BobaFuct

    Navy Yard. Tom and JD’s ranting don’t make much sense to me. By their logic, Capitol Hill can’t be a neighborhood because there’s a pretty distinct “compound” of the same name where people work. Near Southeast is pretty much worthless as an identifier, while Navy Yard actually has some geographic significance. Capitol Riverfront is okay, but feels more like a soulless marketing gimmick. Navy Yard has great history.

    • tipperofcows

      The logic also doesn’t make sense. People who live in Dupont Circle don’t literally live IN the circle either. Same for McPherson Square, Mt. Vernon Triangle, etc. Neighborhoods have a long history of being named after landmarks.

  • owgriswo

    Always called it South Cap. “Have to head to Splash on South Cap for a shine.”

  • I took Sherwood on via Twitter. He didn’t suggest what he would call it, but “Navy Yard” is the Metro stop and as good a name for the neighborhood as anything.

  • Nate

    Been working near there for 18yrs. Used to be “that area over by the fast food places and gas stations off south cap.” Now it’s “that area north of the ballpark with all the new apartment buildings.”

  • Navy Yard!! Paying homage to the many folks who have served at Washington’s Navy Yard. And keeping the historic name would show continuity between the past and the present and future by providing some explanation for local business names such as “BlueJacket”, “The Arsenal”, “Yards Park”, “The Yards”, “The Boilermaker shops”, “The Lumbershed”, and more to come I hope.
    JDLand ran a similar poll a few years ago. I remember someone then offered up the suggestion of “NatsTown”, which I think is awesome too.

  • AZ

    This McDonald’s is part of the Capitol Riverfront Neighborhood. It encompasses the Navy Yard, Nationals Park as well as Buzzard Point where the new DC United Stadium is being built. http://www.capitolriverfront.org/neighborhood/maps. The Washington Business Journal got it right. http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2016/04/fast-food-it-s-what-s-in-the-way-of-development.html

  • eleasahburroughs

    I refer to it as the MCD’s on South Cap.

  • mikeindc

    I’d call it the ballpark district.

  • J. Hamlet

    Navy Yard. That’s what historically almost encompassed the whole area, and that’s the name of the Metro station. I loathe Capitol Riverfront.

  • Chris

    Navy Yard! It’s short and simple, consistent with the history of the area paying homage to it and consistent with the Metro stop name, a fairly useful way to tell people where you’re headed and where to meet. Capitol Riverfront is sterile marketing that is far too vague. People distinguish the Naval Base as The Navy Yard or Washington Navy Yard. Like others said, no one literally lives in DuPont Circle, McPherson Square, etc.


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