2018 in Petworth: A year in review


The Happiest of Happy New Years' to you! 

It's been a busy year for Petworth News! Readership continues to grow on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, this email newsletter list has grown to a couple of thousand readers, and visitors to the Petworth News website also keeps growing. Our growth is fueled from your word-of-mouth and Facebook sharing, so thank you for helping this site grow! Every retweet, Facebook like and share helps!

Petworth News has received some notable accolades in 2018, beginning with the amazing opportunity of being in consideration for a 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Local Journalism for the coverage of Momma the pitbull, which went viral and directly led to new animal legislation in DC, and just this month, a Community Cornerstone award from Councilmember Anita Bonds.

But in all honesty, the best is when someone stops me or one of our writers on the street to say they appreciate the blog — that's the whole reason Petworth News exists. So from me and everyone who writes for Petworth News, thank you for reading!

Here’s a look back at the most popular articles of the year, as judged by number of times the article was read. Interestingly, a large number of the most popular articles are recent, meaning either we're getting more interesting to read, or readership numbers are increasing, pushing newer content higher in the list.

Here's to a happy and healthy 2019!

Ten most read articles of 2018:

Petworth residents trying to find a way to deal with a recent jump in local crime and violence

The most read article of 2018 was this one from July 27th, about the sharp and sudden increase in crime around 13th and Quincy Streets. The area has had its fair share of crime, but the intense spike over the summer, including robberies, package thefts and other street crime, drove the community to complain loudly to Councilmember Brandon Todd and Police Chief Peter Newsham, asking for the return of the controversial Vice unit to Ward 4. 

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A contested election pops up in Petworth's ANC 4C

The November general election brought some drama to Petworth, as shown in this article from October 29th being the second most read article of 2018. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4C has had its share of drama over the years, but this was certainly the most interesting election they've had in quite some time, featuring a 22-year incumbent facing off against a last-minute write-in candidate. This article was republished by the Washington Post, and led to a recount in the vote for ANC 4C08Note: All of the articles about the ANC election were in the top 20 most read.

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Hey, it's not just our articles that are popular...

The Community Calendar and the Email Listservs pages were also two of the most read sections on the website, for good reason — they have great information!

We work hard to keep them updated, so be sure to check them out (along with the MPD Leadership Roster page for the 4th District, where you can find a phone and email contact list of your local lieutenants and captains for Police Service Areas 401-409).



New cigar bar coming to Petworth

The third most popular article was about a long-vacant storefront on Georgia Avenue next to Slim's that is slated to become a cigar bar, from August 21st. (Don't expect it to open soon, the space needs work, and DC's permitting process for a bar/restaurant is sluggish at best.)

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New things are opening off the Upshur drag, and it's not condos!

Any time there's a story about redevelopment, people find it interesting. In this case, an article from November 2nd about 9th Street changes and development not being about condos made it the fourth most popular article of the year.

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A flower shop and craft classroom is coming to Upshur Street

The renovations of Phillp's Shoe Repair at 808 Upshur Street into the She Loves Me flower and craft shop led this article from November 8th to be the fifth most popular of the year. People were pretty excited to see a flower shop open up in the neighborhood, especially one that focuses on more than just plants, but also on different crafts as well.

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How to take advantage of the Security Camera Rebate Program (updated)

This article about DC's rebate program for outdoor security cameras has been a perennial favorite since it was originally published in 2017 (I keep the article updated), and remains popular, as it takes the sixth most read article of the year. The article offers an overview of DC's program, how to apply, and offers links to good cameras that neighbors have purchased like the Nest, Ring and Arlo cameras. If you haven't taken advantage of the program, you should consider it -- DC will cover the cost of cameras for homes for up to $500, and up to $750 for businesses and churches.

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A peek inside the Capitol Cider House, Petworth's newest cidery

This Cider House definitely rules, making our inside look at one of the newest area bars from July 2nd the seventh most popular article of 2018. Kennedy Street has ANXO, but the new cidery at Shepherd and Georgia has taken off with a mix of great drinks, a welcoming atmosphere and an owner who is focused on offering value to the community. With a rack of available board games, you can grab a roti from Short Eats, a bowl of Stella's Popkern and a house-made cider while playing a game of Battleship or Jenga. Perfect!

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Upshur restaurants are doing fine, and would do better if you went out more

This article from December 10th was in response to a DCist article that wondered if the "much-ballyhooed Upshur Street" was in trouble due to the recent closings of Hank's Cocktail Bar and Ruta del Vino. I try to put things in perspective on the closings, from Domku to Ruta, and a look at what's coming. It was a pretty popular article, as it makes number eight on the list and it's only a couple of weeks old. 

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Several Petworth businesses push back on DC Council over Shell gas station moratorium

This article from January 16th is the ninth most popular article of the year. Six local business owners wrote a letter to the DC Council, asking them to end the service station moratorium, not micromanage the composition of the neighborhood and allow the Shell (now Exxon) gas station at Upshur and Georgia Avenue to be redeveloped, if that's the desire of the owner. This article was also republished by the Washington Post.

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Is there a hydromaniac loose in the neighborhood?

This article from August 3rd was a bit weird, as it was the story of a man who was turning on water spigots at homes and churches in the area, making it the tenth most popular article of the year. The story was covered by other news outlets, and they think they arrested the guy a few weeks later... all I know for sure is that I was particularly pleased to be able to use the word "hydromaniac" in a headline. 

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See you in 2019!