Miracle on U Street and Bohemian Caverns

Nelson, Daryl. “Wale Goes Go-Go on ‘Miracle on U Street.’” The Boombox, 19 Dec. 2014, http://theboombox.com/wale-miracle-on-u-street/.


In his article on the “BoomBox”, Daryl Nelson introduces DC native Wale and his song “Miracle on U Street”. Nelson tells his audience that in addition to his mixtape “Festivus” he released this song as a sort of Christmas present for his hometown. Furthermore, he explains where Wale’s song’s title comes from as he tells us that it is obvious play on the classic holiday film ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’ In addition to that explanation, Nelson provides some of the song’s lyrics in order to relate them to U Street. Finally, he ends with Wale’s next appearances and the names of the cities he will be in.

This article contains a production of a rapper who was brought up by the producers present in U Street. It gives my research an argument/exhibit source that exemplifies the connection between contemporary musicians and the musical U Street. It expands my research to the life of a famous rapper and his music. The article shows that his music contains the rhetoric which was created by a thankfulness and love for U Street. With this research I can show an example of U Street’s success as well as support my argument of its musically rich nature. Lastly, I can use the information present in this source and be sure it is reliable because it contains a contemporary document created by a DC native.   

Musician Quincy Phillips sets up his drums for one last live jazz performance
Stein, Perry. “A Legendary Jazz Club Is the Latest Icon to Close on U Street.” Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/bohemian-caverns-hosts-its-final-show-as-u-street-continues-to-change/2016/03/28/8d460ec6-f4ee-11e5-8b23-538270a1ca31_story.html.
Perry Stein describes the end of an era, in his article on the “Washington Post”, as a legendary jazz club opens its doors for one last jazz performance. He explains that the prominent contemporary musician for the Bohemian Caverns, Quincy Phillips, prepares for a bittersweet last jazz performance of the venue. Moreover, Stein portrays the Bohemian Caverns as a centennial venue which has seen many changes to U Street. For example, he tells his audience how the venue withstood the riots in the 20th century and continued to produce live jazz performances for DC. In addition to that, he also takes the feelings of contemporary musicians, which played at the venue, and describes them to us as he quotes their nostalgic words. Finally, he ends with the heart broken remarks in which the owners of Bohemian Caverns describe that they cannot afford to renew the lease.
This article contains a venue which withstood all the eras of U Street but has suffered the consequences of cultural mixing and basically time. It gives my research an argument and describes the effect of multicultural populations in U Street. Likewise, it gives me an example of a centennial venue which could not accommodate the contemporary tastes of music. Therefore, I may also use it as an exhibit in order to help my audience understand my argument. Lastly, it is a credible source of information because it is about a real jazz club in U Street.

Peaches of Ben’s Chili Bowl and Native rapper Oddisee

Morgan, Richard, and Richard Morgan. “One Woman Has Stirred the Pot at Ben’s Chili Bowl for 40 Years. Her Name Is Peaches.” The Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2017. washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/one-woman-has-stirred-the-pot-at-bens-chili-bowl-for-40-years-her-name-is-peaches/2017/04/12/7a9ccab6-1ee2-11e7-ad74-3a742a6e93a7_story.html?utm_term=.bc5caef5f2bc.

Bernadette “Peaches” Halton has seen it all from behind the counter at Ben’s Chili Bowl.

In his article in the Washington Post, Richard Morgan writes about a woman who is eternal to the operation at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Bernadette”Peaches” Halton has worked at Ben’s chili bowl every since her 17th birthday. Morgan goes on to tell the story about the friendship between Bernadette and the current owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, Virginia Ali. He describes a friendly first encounter with the two and then tells us how Ali quickly learned to love Bernadette. Ali even explains how Bernadette practically ran the business because of her general knowledge about the neighbourhood. He basically brings the mother-daughter relationship between the two to the audience.

This article is a very important source for my argument. U Street is a culturally significant neighbourhood and this article highlights that. A loving relationship between a black and an older white woman in the biggest cultural landmark in U Street. The article builds credibility as it goes on, taking quotes straight from the two, and taking us through a day in Ben’s Chili Bowl. It produces specific material from the specific neighbourhood I am researching and in a specific cultural landmark I am researching. I believe it has narrowed the discussion for my topic.

Kimble, Julian, and Julian Kimble. “Oddisee Returns to His U Street Corridor Origins, Playing the 9:30 Club for the First Time.” The Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2017. washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/oddisee-returns-to-his-u-street-corridor-origins-playing-the-930-club-for-the-first-time/2017/04/21/20325690-268f-11e7-928e-3624539060e8_story.html?utm_term=.52404f9705dc.
U Street rapper Oddisee

In Julian Kimble’s article on the Washington Post, a DC native rapper is highlighted as he returns to his hometown and returns to his favorite street. Oddisee is described as a big DC rapper coming from maryland. Kimble tells us that Oddisee started his career sneaking into Republic Gardens which is on U Street. He goes on to explain how Oddisee met his fellow rappers, yU and XO, in Capital City records which is right on U Street also. Finally he explains his success and multitude of albums he created, along with Oddisee’s current whereabouts.

Kimble’s article allows me to put another aspect of my research into better perspective. This article shows the effect of the emphasis U Street puts on music and give the audience an understanding of the success coming out of U Street. I can use this evidence and DC’s love for the artist as credibility of the claim that renowned artist’s come out of U Street. I would say that this article creates another dimension in which one can see the lasting effect of such a musically cultural neighbourhood.

U Street’s New Directions and Twins Jazz


U Street’s vicinity

Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/u-street-corridor-preserves-its-roots-as-it-blossoms-in-new-directions/2016/03/17/4b8b1a0c-d58c-11e5-be55-2cc3c1e4b76b_story.html. Accessed 25 Apr. 2017.

In her article in the “Washington Post”, Harriet Edleson describes the U Street corridor as maintaining its roots while blossoming into other directions. To start of the article, Edleson gives us a brief description of what U Street was in its prime during the early half of the 20th century. Describing the prominent artists like Duke Ellington, Edleson tells us the story of how U Street boomed in Black culture and music back in the early 1900s. Suddenly, she switches to the contemporary neighbourhood and how it has changed from being unicultural to multicultural. Edleson describes that it is packed on Friday and Saturday nights with an array of different ages, cultures, and colors. She continues with different aspects of the neighbourhood such as real estate, landmarks that survived the change, crime rates, education, and transportation.

I would use this source as an argument  source because it uses the fundamental base to structure my argument. Even though this article about U Street is more centered on creating an imagine which inspires the residents of DC and other states to consider living on or near U Street, it contains valuable information about U Street. Since this article describes the mostly multicultural U Street, it contributes to my argument about the rich culture of U Street. It even narrows down to the roots of my argument which describe that the history of U Street contributes to its lively musical night scene. This is a very credible source because it uses quotes from residents and the reliable statistical sources to enhance its argument.


Kelly, left, and Maze Tesfaye came to the United States on a student visa in 1972.

West, Michael J., and Michael J. West. “These Sisters Never Imagined Their Restaurant Would Become a D.C. Jazz Institution.” The Washington Post, 30 Mar. 2017. washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/music/these-sisters-never-imagined-their-restaurant-would-become-a-dc-jazz-institution/2017/03/30/2973fa6e-0a70-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html?utm_term=.1c8c00295ec7.

In his article in the “Washington Post”, Michael J. West describes an almost centennial restaurant that has become yet another landmark in U Street. Started by two sisters, Kelly and Maze Tesfaye, Twins Jazz was opened in 1987. West goes on to explain that  it was first intended to be a normal restaurant offering seating and food, but it went on to become a jazz club. West tells us that through a stranger’s help, Twins Jazz turned into a prominent jazz club which local artists begged to play in. He also describes the hardships they faced when they were evicted due to noise complaints in 2007. He goes on to tell the readers that through unity and tradition, the reputation of Twins Jazz stayed the same as it opened up for a second time with the same waiters and cooks.

The article that I presented will be an exhibit to my main research argument. It is one of many examples of the eternalness of U Street. Many of the venues which built the network of U Street still stand today and this is one of them. What I genuinely like about this article is that it describes the attitudes of the people which contributed to U Street’s upbringing and maintained its history throughout the change of gentrification. It adds another dimension to my research as it describes the success of restaurants through the years on U Street. I believe I can use this article because it is very credible taking quotes and stories from the actual owners of the restaurant/jazz club.

The Corridor is Cool Again

In her New York Times article “The Corridor is Cool Again”, Alicia Ault highlights one of her favorite neighborhoods in her hometown of DC. She presents the re emergence of the neighbourhood of U Street in a proud, and exciting fashion. In fact, I don’t believe anyone can blame her. Imagine the last time you saw your hometown it was being desecrated, neglected and forgotten. Flashing back to modern times, the same place is booming with cultural diversity, nightlife, food, and music. It’s the change of the century and of course you would want to tell everyone about it so they can share the same experience. Now, if you were to write about its brilliance, I believe that it is only appropriate to write in an epideictic oratory when describing this neighborhood.

From her website, Alicia Ault explains that she is a DC native who used to cover everything health care. From the Reagan to the Obama administration, Ault covered the beginnings of the AIDS crisis to the ascendance of the Affordable Care Act. However, in 2014 she explains that after eight years as a medical publisher she joined the freelancing community. In her freelancing career she tells us that she has written about things like the  Patagonia mountains and the Consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. Most of all, she explains that if she had a “holy trinity” to chose from it would be the three things she loves most: Food, Culture, and Music.

Wild women wear red clothing store

She truly found the perfect mix of her favorite elements when she realized the exciting re emergence of her hometown neighbourhood of U Street. To make things even more picturesque for her article, she had the pleasure of describing a place where she spent so many of her years in. Ault was literally there when it happened and revealed specifics about the street which no website or article could ever describe in such detail. Whether you wanted to know where to get 70s retro oversize sunglasses or a Saint & Angels belt with a Jesus-and-Mary diptych buckle, you knew Ault’s information was reliable because it was coming from a native.

Not to mention, she did it with so much pride when she described that for a restaurant on U Street named Creme “there was a two-hour wait for the restaurant’s upscale version of Southern dishes like shrimp and grits(16$) or pork and beans (18$).” Basically explaining that even though there was a two hour wait, the restaurant served cheap dishes that were in fact so good that they even created the two hour wait in the first place. Beyond her numerous examples of U Street’s food and clothing outlets, Ault also commented on the unusually vast art scene. From the western end to the eastern end of the remade neighbourhood of U Street, there were numerous works of polish art, local art, war-themed photography, and many more. Not only did she include the diversity of art, but as a side note she added that one of the galleries participated in the famous International Center for Photography in New York. Ault used the day-scene of U Street to subtly persuade tourists and  locals to visit this neighbourhood.

U Street’s Landmark: Ben’s Chili Bowl

Using seemingly obvious techniques of logos, and ethos, Ault pulled the ordinary traveler closer to booking a ticket to DC in order to experience U Street’s awesomeness. But Ault didn’t only use the outlets and exhibits to attract her audience. She also quoted college kids, senior citizens, and former tourists on their views on this reincarnated street. A former DC resident, who moved to Philadelphia, had a revitalizing experience when he revisited his home town. Ault tells us that Phil Coleman, a forty-three year old, thought he got out on the wrong metro stop when he went to visit a friend on U Street.  To say the least, the former resident was astonished by the diverse crowd and multitude of things to do. Ault shows her audience that if something is so new and eye catching to a resident , it would be even more enjoyable to an ordinary tourist. She even shows her readers a totally different perspective of a young Georgetown graduate to incorporate and relate to the new generation of young people.  The 24 year-old alumni speaks to the relaxing, classy, and jazzy atmosphere that he feels when he goes out to U Street. With this Ault uses ethos in order to help readers from all ages relate to the experiences which are presented in her article.

Ault persuades tourists and travelers very well with all of her appeals to different aspects which elicit a sense of credibility. But, she does this with a passion which seems to eternal and the real rhetoric of her article is the fire which fuels this passion. Now, if we were to put ourselves into Ault’s shoes, we could understand what this fire is and where it comes from. Well, if the riots and gentrification of U Street started in the late 80s and went into the late 90s, then Ault was only a teenager going into her mid 20s during these riots. She basically was taught not to go to the neighbourhood of U Street because of its crime

U Streets Bohemian Caverns modern times(left) and the 90s (right)

and danger.  Now, almost 15 years later, Ault returns to see the area of crime turn into a new and exciting utopia of new cultures. Something which was off-limits and not really safe in her childhood turned into the place to be in terms of her three favorite things: Food Culture and Music. Ault did what any regular, sentimental human being would do; she revisited the revolutionized neighbourhood and bathed in its luxuries and excitement. Not only did this reincarnated neighbourhood attract Ault and many more like her, but also it was representative of who raised her. The change of U Street showed the entire world that if DC as a whole can change such a trouble neighbourhood into such a utopia, together, DC can do anything. I believe that Ault caught on to this representative situation and used U Street to show where she really came from. She used the neighbourhood to take pride in her hometown. Her specific oratory was fueled by this love for her city and contributed to her epideictic tone. She wanted to appeal not to a group of people, but to everybody and show that U Street is not the only utopia present in DC. Of course, as all great journalists know, pride and the ability to express it is the key to writing a persuasive article.

We all understand Ault’s excitement  to rush and put her love on paper, but the interesting thing is how she did it.  Since her article is from over a decade ago, there are new inspired journalists in the same section Ault wrote in on the New York Times; the section is called travel and it has thousands of new articles since Ault’s. These new articles do not contain places as important as U Street, but they present their area in a more colorful way. These articles contain multimodal sources like picture, videos, audio clips, etc. For example, Lucas Petterson, a journalist for the New York Times uses a professional photographer, Darren S. Higgins, to create a beautiful image capturing the cool and hip of Baltimore.

Hampden Junque, a small vintage store whose shelves are packed with movie memorabilia

The multimodal sources make the article more appealing to the new technological generation and therefore allow for more agreement and interest about the article. In contrast, Ault’s article contains mostly plain text, without any pictures or alternate descriptions of U Street. This fact is especially interesting because of the time difference between the new and Ault’s relatively old article. It does not necessarily speak to the effectiveness of the article, but it does create two different norms for two different generations. I would say that Ault’s type of presentation of her article is representative of the time she wrote in therefore, all her audience needed was text. On the other hand, these new journalist’s articles appeal to a much different audience. An audience which needs a more colorful and appealing stimulation of their senses in order to understand and grasp the content of the article. In general, Ault’s audience is more old-fashioned and simple making them more easy to appeal to.

This explanation of  how these different journalists present their article does not necessarily show that Ault ineffectively presented U Street, it just shows that she did it in a different time to appeal to a different audience. Ault’s article was extremely effective and representative of her rhetorical situation. Just like in modern times people have created youtube to present information on video, the early 21th century, which Ault wrote in, had newspapers and journals to present information. Ault’s article wanted to express the utopia of U Street to all people willing to travel in 2006 by means of simple text which expressed love and pride of her hometown. She did it because she wanted to show everyone not only how U Street changed, but also because she wanted to she the effort her hometown of DC put into its neighbourhoods. Even if it Ault produced an article not appealing to the contemporary generation, I believe the rhetorical situation consistent with the time in which she wrote this article effectively expresses the importance of her content present in her article.







Alicia Ault | Journalist and Adventuress. http://aliciaault.com/. Accessed 22 Apr. 2017.


Ault, Alicia. “U Street: The Corridor Is Cool Again.” The New York Times, 14 Apr. 2006. NYTimes.com, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/14/travel/escapes/u-street-the-corridor-is-cool-again.html.


Peterson, Lucas. “Exploring Baltimore, a City With Style to Spare, on a Budget.” The New York Times, 20 Apr. 2017. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/20/travel/baltimore-budget-travel-john-waters.html.

“Ben’s Chili Bowl.” Tiny Urban Kitchen, 6 May 2010, http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/bens-chili-bowl/.

Bugs, Diva. “Wild Women Wear Red … Closing?!” Diva Bugs (TM), 28 Apr. 2008, http://divabugs.blogspot.com/2008/04/wild-women-wear-red-closing.html.


U Street preparing for the Playoffs

Mural behind Ben’s Chili Bowl with Bradely Beal and John Wall

In hopes of  beating their last season playoff record, the Washington Wizards face off this week against their nemesis, the Atlanta Hawks. A mural portraying the Washington Wizard’s stars, Bradely Beal and John Wall, was created in U Street behind Ben’s Chilli Bowl. The artist of this mural is unknown but thorugh his art, we can get a general sense of who he is. First off, the artist is definitely a U Street native because he used the wall of U Street’s most famous eaterie. He is also very artistically skilled, which means he has definitely attended an arts institution, probably around DC. Finally, we can tell he is certainly a U Street native because of his skills and his knowelgde of U Street.

Cardozo educational complex

Cardozo Educational Complex

North of U Street stands a educational campus that may look like a college/higher-level institution but is acutally a highschool. Known as the castle on the hill, the Cardozo highschool serves as a reminder of the promise of a better future. It has a reputation of a academically sound school with many teachers being qualified as college professors. The majority of youth of U Street attends this highschool for hopes of a better future. Such an academic insitiution is essential to the future of U Street and its surrounding neighbourhoods.

International Academy. http://www.cardozohs.com/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=240554&type=d. Accessed 17 Apr. 2017.

U Street’s neighboor




Shaw neighbourhood

Off to the southeast side of U Street lies a neighbourhood which is seemingly similar to it. Shaw is a neighbourhood which also has many black people living and also is historically black. Just like U Street, Shaw also has seen a rapid gentrification which was also due to sociocultural mixing. To make an even bigger connection, Shaw had its gentrification period at around the same time as U Street. They have both seen the exciting re emergence of their neighbourhood in the early part of the 21st century. A coincidence like this makes so much sense when you can realize that the residents of both neighbourhoods went through the same things and possibily helped each other out.

Gringlas, Sam. “Old Confronts New In A Gentrifying D.C. Neighborhood.” NPR.org, http://www.npr.org/2017/01/16/505606317/d-c-s-gentrifying-neighborhoods-a-careful-mix-of-newcomers-and-old-timers. Accessed 17 Apr. 2017.

Howard University

Howard University

Outside of the bounds of the U Street neighbourhood lie many institutions which accept many U Street locals. This allows for the oppurtunity of higher education for minority groups. Since U Street is a neighbourhood which is predomantely and historically black, institutions like Howard University provide an education to many of the residents. Not to mention, Howard University is one of the only historically black schools in DC. Being historically black, it acts as a second home for young black students who are interested in studying at a school which provides way more than an ordinary community or public school.

Whaley, Natelege. “Howard University Reports Record of 105 Ph.D.’s.” BET.com, http://www.bet.com/news/national/2014/05/09/howard-university-reports-record-105-ph-ds.html?cid=facebook. Accessed 17 Apr. 2017.

Miami Open taken by the new #4 in the world

Roger Federer won his fourth straight over Rafael Nadal, rolling through last weekend’s Miami Open. With this win and his new world ranking, everyone wants to see whats next. In a French publication, called “L’Equipe”, clay-court specialist Nicholas Mahut said that Federer would not play in the upcoming clay season at all.  He said that Federer “would want to win” the French Open, but will withdraw because he couldn’t do so without adequate preparation. Mahut also added that that Federer will “take a rest” and play next on grass in Stuttgart in June.                                                                                                                                                          This article about a fellow player’s thoughts is the effect of the suspense that Federer has created with his skills this season. It is a fact that there are many different newspapers with articles about Federer’s plans and when the world will see him play again. The rhetoric that structured this article and many more was created by one man. If I were to guess, I would say that the french newspaper, which published Mahut’s opinons, surely has alot of tennis fans that also want answers from Federer. Federer’s greatness alone has created a sense of  suspense for the world of tennis fans.

Evans-Tibbs House

This two-story rowhouse seems like an ordinary dwelling in the contemporary U Street corridor. But looking at its history, it serves as a cultural landmark of the neighborhood. The importance of its history comes from the person who used to live there. This house was the residence of Lillian Evans Tibbs. Performing under the stage name Madame Lillian Evanti, she was one of the first internationally acclaimed African American opera singers. She was also the first African American to perform with an organized European opera company and she performed for Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House. The succesful opera singer is believed to be a product of U Street’s musical empire in the 20th century. Till today, Tibbs serves as an inspiration to young opera singers in U Street and contributes to the essence of musical culture in today’s U Street.