Bloomingdale Recruits “Hi”-Sayers for Spring

by Lark Turner

Bloomingdale Recruits "Hi"-Sayers for Spring: Figure 1
Big Bear Cafe

A long DC winter is receding. The sidewalks are filling up again. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining…and a bunch of people are ignoring each other on the streets?

Not in Bloomingdale, protest the neighbors — or at least one, who’s asking the readers of a neighborhood blog to start saying “Hi” again.

Bloomingdale, touted on UrbanTurf as the neighborhood Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name, has a reputation for its friendly, familiar neighbors. But Maria Fyodorova, who posted the friendly plea on Monday, said she’s been hearing fewer hellos as of late.

“Unfortunately, it seems, many of our neighbors have recently moved from places where saying ‘hello’ on the street was not the custom,” Fyodorova relays via the blog. “They look at you strangely when you say ‘hi.’ Or they avert their eyes. That makes me sad! One of the things we loved most about Ledroit Park and Bloomingdale when we moved here was that everyone said ‘hello!’”

This is what happens when you look askance at someone saying hi to you outside of Big Bear Cafe, ye wandering, laptop-toting DC residents of lesser neighborhoods.

To help solve the problem, Fyodorova is proposing a neighborly club to promote sidewalk interaction among Bloomingdale residents, and is recruiting takers.

“We’ll make flyers! We’ll walk the streets, smiling! We’ll have fun!” she promises.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/bloomingdale_recruits_hi-sayers_for_spring/8271


  1. saladman8283 said at 10:28 pm on Monday March 24, 2014:
    Face it, this is a really unfriendly city. No one makes eye contact or says hello. I do a lot of work in Annapolis, where it is completely the opposite. Maybe everyone should wear name tags here, a la Kramer's suggestion.
  1. NEDC said at 11:02 am on Tuesday March 25, 2014:
    I live in Trinidad and have the same fears!! Northwest is unfriendly.. Northeast is a different world- very small town feeling. Everyone knows each other and it's so friendly, It's something that struck me immediately and made me want to live here. When I moved in a few years ago I felt like it was up to me to get over my NW ways and adopt the laid back, friendly NE ways, and am so much happier for it. I too am afraid that too many new folks are moving too quickly and the culture is going to change. It will be a real crime if this is lost because it is something very special, and if you've never lived in NE, it's very difficult to explain. It's something so simple but so fabulous and it's what makes NE so amazing.
  1. James said at 11:15 am on Tuesday March 25, 2014:
    The unfriendliness you cite is just a symptom of a lack of a "social contract", if you will. In our neighborhood, there is a clash of completely divergent cultures, the dependent and the non-dependent, i.e., intact, employed families. That, coupled with a " just passing through, I will never see you again" ethic, and the result is the unfriendliness you observe. (Did I mentioned I have been called a racial slur three times in the past year?)
  1. David said at 5:47 pm on Wednesday March 26, 2014:
    Well, overall, DC is not exactly like the south, i.e, NC, SC southern Virginia. I was born and raised here in DC and grew up in black neighborhoods, NW (Petworth) and then, 1973, Eckington. But as a whole, no, we are not thre friendliest and I think it's just people minding their own business, people not making eye contact. I know I say hello in a store or some where and I swear I don't get a response, or did I just not hear the reply?

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