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Still Think We've Got A Pretty Good Deal Here...Really

Penn Branch may be a little behind the times and short on modern amenities, but we got cars. We can drive, wherever we like.

A major coffee retailer, with a name that sounds something like 'War-bucks', will NOT be coming to Penn Branch or anywhere else in Southeast Washington, D.C. in the Fall of 2011, ..and if you read differently here, and this is a little bit of a letdown for you, I hope you aren't taking the truth too hard. Bummer, huh?

It was all a big April Fool's gag, courtesy of yours truly.

It might be a bitter pill to swallow, but, eventually, we're going to have to swallow it, my friends. The market research for this area (for reasons I won't get into here) is so terrible and nearly impossible to compile, that we are commercially invisible. Besides groceries, gasoline, liquor and a few other things, no retailer can determine, with any measure of certainty, what we are or aren't buying in Southeast or anywhere else, and, without the assurance of nice, cushiony subsidies, aren't willing to take a chance doing business, here. That's our cold, steely reality.

If you think I'm overstating things or being pessimistic, find out what happened to Ben's of Penn Branch. Sometimes, I say 'Ben's of Penn Branch' out loud ..just to amuse myself.

In spite of a few undeniable cultural and eerie aesthetic similarities between our neighborhoods, Penn Branch will never be Chevy Chase, and Fairfax Village will never be Cleveland Park. Skyland will never be Tenleytown, and Anacostia will never be Georgetown or Adams-Morgan. Accept that and see your uniquely appointed neighborhoods, without all the attractive amenities we go elsewhere to enjoy, for what they are - great, if slightly boring, bedroom communities. There are a few I can think of, right here in Middle River East, that are GREAT places to raise your kids, keep a nice lawn, retire and praise the Lord for the rest of your days.

River East may not be what we sometimes dream it could or should be.

God knows I tire of driving all the way to Capitol Hill or Northwest Washington, every time I want to go to a decent restaurant, coffeehouse or see a movie, and I can honestly say that not having those things closer to home keeps me home, more than I like ..or even think is healthy. I'm not twenty-something years old anymore, and I don't feel like somersaulting into my car and driving all over Creation, as much as I used to, and that leaves me out of the loop. It means the New D.C. we keep hearing about - No'Ma, U Street, H Street, Adams-Morgan and rapidly expanding, established areas, mostly in Northwest - is a party you and I aren't invited to, ..but, I still think we've still got a pretty good deal, here. Really, we do.

Really. Seriously...

So, Washington's commercial development revolution continues, ..somewhere else. Somewhere you and I ..aren't? See you at Starbucks ..in Northwest, Forestville, Alexandria and anywhere, but, right here in great, ole Penn Branch.

As you were, Capicostia. Back to your regular programming ..and lousy, instant coffee. Nothing new to see, here.

Go home, now.

Mel Dyer

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