Thursday, May 11, 2006

Razing Columbia Pike

As some steady readers may know, I often write about going-on's on Columbia Pike because that is where I live. In particular, I take great interest in the planned street car that will run from Pentagon City to Bailey's Crossroads. I noticed it was back in the news last week, as it has moved to a stage where Arlington and Fairfax counties are actually talking about funding this project. I truly think this will revitalize this whole corridor (probably through gentrification eventually, but what's new). I got to thinking about what will happen when they do build the street car line. Columbia Pike is full of aging, rectangular brick apartment buildings, usually low rent. Is the solution in "revitalizing" the Pike to just raze all of these memories of Columbia Pike's downturn? Condo conversions? I'm not sure. I believe they will maintain the old fashioned downtown feel around Bangkok 54 and the Cinema and Drafthouse, but maybe stick some more hip hangouts in where there currently are ethnic stores and nail salons. I mean, would it really kill anyone to put a decent bar in this area? With the amount of Pentagon and Navy Annex and Crystal City employees that live on the Pike, I would think that there would definitely be a customer base for such a place. When I take a step back, I really don't see any other option than to tear down the old and build up the new, which I guess would make the Pike more like Ballston than anywhere else comparable. Then I just start thinking about the wealth that this would create and wish I could put some in on this.

On another note, DCist had a posting two days ago about a place I affectionately call the Taco Shack. San Vicente is a little shack in the CVS parking lot in Adams Square along the Pike. I had long been curious about it (since I can't get enough of tacos, burritos, Mexican food, Salvadorean food, El Charrito Caminante, etc.) but had never tried it. DCist got me to finally make the leap yesterday, and I ordered the chorizo tacos and the Woman ordered a pupusa. It is definitely different in that things are made to order instead of just pulling meat out of a pre-made vat. I suspect this is as much for quality as it is because of the seemingly low volume of business the shack is doing. I can honestly say that it is the best chorizo I've ever had. The Woman was very pleased with the pupusa, which was made from scratch while we waited. I will be returning for more chorizo tacos and I highly recommend San Vicente for when you're looking for some risk-taking newness.

Another new note, Metro DC Sewer now has an e-mail address!!! Feel free to e-mail me with comments and suggestions at


At 9:15 AM, Blogger I-66 said...

The more chorizo publicity there is, the happier I am.

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Washington Cube said...

Sounds like a place definitely checking out. You should do a review of the place again on your blog...with photos. :)

At 2:00 PM, Blogger The Virginian said...

Cube, I may be one of the last people in the US that doesn't have a digital camera or scanner. My cell phone doesn't even have one. I am however taking donations of digital cameras. For the sake of the blog of course.


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