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The Georgetown Metropolis

Montrose Park


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Battle of the Parks: Which is Your Favorite?

Georgetown is blessed with four major parks within its boundaries: Rose Park, Montrose Park, Volta Park and the Georgetown Waterfront. Together they make up an emerald necklace strung around Georgetown’s historic homes. In GM’s opinion, they are among the top two or three reasons to live in Georgetown.

But which of them is the best?

Rose Park

Photo by Digitaldetection.

Rose Park is located on the eastern boundary of Georgetown between P St. and M St. It is owned by the city and administered by the DC Parks and Recreation department. Of the four parks, it probably has the most interesting history. Located as it is near the center of the historic Herring Hill neighborhood, Rose Park was a treasured resource of Georgetown’s African American population. It was founded in 1918 by the Ancient Order of the Sons and Daughters of Moses to serve the area’s African American children. Throughout its history it was known as Patterson’s Park, Jacob’s Park, or Winship’s Lot. While officially designated for Blacks only, the park was always a de facto integrated park, used by residents of all races.

Today Rose Park continues to be very popular. It offers:

  • A long and narrow grassy area used mostly for dog walking, picnics, and small ball games like bocce.
  • Three of the best (but most crowded) tennis courts in Georgetown
  • Full basketball court
  • Large playground
  • Little league park
  • Summer full of events
  • A Friends of Rose Park group
  • A summer farmers market every Wednesday

All and all a solid entry. What have the others got? Continue reading


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The Georgetown Metropolis

Montrose Park


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Argument Over Dog in Montrose Park Leads to Arrest Warrant

In Montrose Park there exists a self-regulating society of dog walkers. Sit there for a little while, and you’ll see the society part: dozens of dog owners who all seem to know each other as “the owner of so-and-so.”  Stay a little longer and chances are you’ll see the self-regulating part.

When a dog gets a little out of hand, the other dog owners are normally pretty quick with a harsh reprimand along the lines of “you need to control your damn dog!” It seems to work.  But even the stern hand of peer pressure isn’t always enough.

And one of those times happened on February 11th. A neighbor was out in Montrose Park taking photographs of the snow when another neighbor’s dogs started threatening him (GM was told who their names, but couldn’t confirm it yet). He asked the other neighbor to control his dogs. Harsh words were exchanged and the dog owner ended up assaulting the photographer. Continue reading


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Montrose Park Birthday Parties Are Getting Out of Hand

Montrose Park is a beautiful park. In GM’s estimation, it’s the nicest urban park in the city. It’s only natural that people like to gather in the park and throw a picnic or a party. GM himself hosted a post-wedding brunch in the park (by-the-by, said brunch was catered by Griffin Market, who did an amazing job. GM heartily recommends their services for your next event).

Montrose Park only has a handful of picnic benches. As a result, when a family wants to host a birthday party there, a parent inevitably has to show up in the morning and “reserve” the table with table cloths and balloons.

This has created a relatively self-policing system. Groups get to host events in a beautiful setting, yet the parties are not so frequent or large as to affect regular users. That unfortunately may be starting to change. Continue reading


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Life in the Village: Dusk in Montrose Park With Its Nightly Bugle Call


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(Fictional) Murder in Montrose Park!

Georgetown resident Jane Stanton Hitchcock’s newest book “Mortal Friends” hit the bookstands this week. The saucy thriller takes place right here in Georgetown and has already ruffled a few feathers of the real life people who have fictional counterparts in the book. Is your doppelganger in there? Pick up a copy and find out.

Hitchcock will sit down at the Q&A Cafe July 9th, reserve a spot by calling 338-2000.

After the jump, an interview with Hitchcock covering Georgetown, money, and Henry James: Continue reading

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Favorite Things #3 – Montrose Park

While GM is on his honeymoon, he’s counting down his top ten favorite things about Georgetown. Today it’s number 3: Montrose Park.

Montrose Park lies along R St. between Oak Hill Cemetery and Dumbarton Oaks. It’s got open and shady fields, four tennis courts, winding paths, and a playground, all within its 10 acres.

And it’s basically an off-leash dog park to boot. (Just don’t tell NPS that…)

Montrose Park regularly appears on various “best kept secrets” but in GM’s view, the park is no longer a secret. During the mornings it’s full of dog-walkers and early strollers, by the afternoons it’s full of birthday parties and whiffle ball games. Not to mention more dog walkers and the late strollers.

Yet despite all this use, it’s still idyllic and and a peaceful spot is not hard to find. Whether it’s the gas-lamp lit Parrot Walk, the hedge maze, or a bench on the hill overlooking Rock Creek Park, Montrose Park offers a place to quietly read the paper, even when the rest of the park is packed.

We can all thank Sarah Louisa Rittenhouse, who with a group of women who petitioned Congress to buy up the land and preserve it for “the recreation and pleasure of the people”. Now that the secret is completely out, her wish continues to be fulfilled.


4: Nathans

5: The Georgetown Current

6: Greater Dumbarton Oaks

7: Sara’s Market

8: Bistro Lepic

9: Q St.’s Elms

10: Abundance of Stores

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