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.

Derek Hyra’s “Cappuccino City” and Alicia Ault’s article

Smith, Alexa. “A Brief History of the U Street Area in Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City.” Washington City Paper, 28 Apr. 2017, http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/city-desk/article/20859780/a-brief-history-of-the-u-street-srea-in-race-class-and-politics-in-the-cappuccino-city.

Derek Hyra in Busboys and Poets

In her article in the “Washington City Paper”, Alexa Smith writes about American University Prof. Derek Hyra and his book about the gentrification of U Street. She writes that in Derek Hyra’s “Cappuccino City”, he explains the history of U Street and its African American roots as a sort of utopia. For example, Smith explains how he described the history of being an intellectual stronghold because of the black scholars who taught at Howard University. Lastly, she describes how Hyra put the neighbourhood’s own people as a factor in the gentrification of their own hometown.

This article serves as a background/argumentative source for my research because of the several layers of history it describes and the present gentrified state. It gives my research a base and helps my audience understand the groundbreaking change after change which U Street experienced. It certainly is a credible source which I may drawn information from because it describes a book which was thoroughly researched by our very own Derek Hyra. This article even pinpoints my the epitome of my research on the history-rich and multicultural U Street.



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.

In article from the NY times, written by Alicia Ault,  the reemergence of the liveliness of the U Street corridor is described. From bars to shopping centers, Ault explains how booming the reincarnation of U Street actually is. For example, Ault highlights the nightlife present in and around the U Street corridor as she takes her audience to different places like the 930 club. She even took  interviews from local students and listed new famous clubs and restaurants that attract many locals and visitors. Lastly, to show her utmost fascination with the rebirth of the street, she gives readers the chance to visit U Street affordably by describing cheap hotels and their prices .

With this piece of evidence, I have found a perfect argument source which matches my research about the cultural-rich U Street . The source provides several examples of different bars, clubs, and restaurants which all have and are known to have unique cultural night scene. It also gives a contrast with its history in the late 20th century which gives reason to the controversial gentrification which occurred. With the different examples of places to go, it also serves as an exhibit source and gives length to my research. Finally, the fact that the author, Alicia Ault, is a native shows that this article contains information which is reliable.

U Street Jazz history: centers and places that used to dominate

Gerorge, Washington Univeristy. U Street Jazz – Venues – Historical Map. https://www2.gwu.edu/~jazz/map1a.html. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.

Historic U Street’s jazz clubs

In George Washington University’s article of “Historic U Street”, it explains the musical culturality of the neighbourhood in the early to mid 20th century. It perfectly aligns the history of jazz with the locations it was played in. Moreover, GW also teaches its audience about the magnitude of musicians that lit the street up with beautiful jazz. For instance, it describes native musicians like Duke Ellington, and other famous ones like Louis Armstrong who visited and put up jazz shows . GW made it known that If you wanted jazz in DC, U street was the place to go. Furthermore explaing that this street was and still is such a lively musical street, and  it would be a perfect center for entertainment.

This article shows how prominent the street was in respect for music, and gives my argument a background source. In addition, it serves as an example of David Fleming’s theory of the Persistence of Space. A theory which describes how the rhetoric and discourse, which occurs everyday in a metropolitan environment, shapes the locations of different places in that environment. For example, the theory describes a downtown, where jobs are concerned with government, finance, or legal actions. To give a sort of communal place, Fleming added the existence of musical theaters or concert halls that gave the important neighborhood somewhere to go for some down time. In this example of reality, U street’s biggest musical and entertainment locations are located near the heart of DC’s metropolitan area. This gives a rhetorical explanation of U Street and grants the research for my first essay a source which can be rhetorically analyzed.


12, Briana Thomas on February, and 2017. “The Forgotten History of U Street.” Washingtonian, 12 Feb. 2017, https://www.washingtonian.com/2017/02/12/forgotten-history-u-street-black-broadway/.

A Black owned resturant on U Street

In her article on the “Washington Post”, Briana Thomas describes the historically black utopia which was present on U Street in the early part of the 20th century. She explains that the community had more than 200 Black owned businesses by the mid 20th century and how the neighbourhood was increasing in wealth as a whole. For example, she gives us a situation where a Black architect’s assistant was witnessed to go to a Black owned bank and deposit twenty thousand dollars, which is a equal to a hundred thousand dollars today. Furthermore, she even includes the music scene as she describes the numerous jazz clubs and performers which were present on U Street. Finally, Thomas includes how the riots and gentrification of the late 20th century destroyed this unity and success of the community as a whole.

This article gives my research a background source which is beneficial to the base of my research and helps my audience understand what was before. It contains supporting pictures which tell the story of the successful community which U Street once was. In addition, it contains pictures of primary documents which support the image of U Street’s harmonical black community. This source narrow downs the reason why the history of U Street is so significant in the explanation of its gentrification. Lastly, it serves as a reliable argument because of its quotes from numerous people which lived in this community.