Party in the Street

Yesterday I took my bike out to two more of DC's neighborhood festivals - Clarendon Day and Barracks Row Fall Fest. I had wanted to stop by the 17th Street Festival, but I got a flat tire on my bike and had to head home to fix it. The two festivals I did attend were fun, though a noticeably different experience than the H Street Festival that I wrote about last week.

(from Flickr user M.V. Jantzen)

Unlike H Street, both Clarendon and Barrack's Row are pretty fully developed. They have nice streetscapes. They're well-maintained and look nice to anyone who visits. Like H Street, they both have a nightlife scene, although each caters to a fairly unique audience.

These festivals are great because, for one day, the neighborhood gives the street completely back to the people. It's kind of like a small-scale version of what New York City has done with Times Square. Of course, the fact that these events only happen about once a year is part of the draw; but that's not to say that it wouldn't work more often. Just down the street from Barracks Row at Eastern Market, every Saturday and Sunday streets are closed to cars and people flock to the neighborhood. It's one of the reasons that Eastern Market is, in fact, one of my favorite neighborhoods in DC.