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Carlos Allen: From Neighborhood Nuisance to White House Gate Crasher

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The world may now know Carlos Allen as the third member of a White House gate-crashing trinity.

I know him as the annoying guy down the street in my Washington, DC, residential neighborhood of Mount Pleasant who used his property as a "private club" and operated the house as a de facto event hall that could be rented for parties and other "events." Under the name Hush House (which he claimed was an acronym for Help Us Support Humanity, and not a nod and a wink to "Hey, we're running a private club in a residential neighborhood"), Allen's parties flooded the neighborhood with cars, limos, puzzled party attendees who didn't really seem to understand what they were doing in Mount Pleasant, and the required bouncer at the door (who practiced his "security glare" at annoyed passers-by on their way home or to Mount Pleasant Street for a beer at the Raven).

Or as Allen's current website puts it:

The HushGroup is an exclusive and luxurious private social club whose members enjoy unparalleled access to elite movers and shakers. The club is located in the heart of the vibrant, multi-cultural and northwest corridor of prominent Mount Pleasant and in walking distance to our infamous neighbor, the Adams Morgan community.

Famous, infamous, whatever. At least I now know I live in a prominent neighborhood.

The fact that using his property as an event hall seemed to conflict with Washington, DC, zoning and liquor laws didn't seem to faze him much until pressure was brought to bear on him by his Mount Pleasant neighbors. The events then quieted down, the property placed for sale by, if my memory serves me correctly, a "motivated seller."

Well, with no one apparently willing to pay his million-dollar asking price, the "for sale" sign is now gone from the front of his house and Hush House is now apparently Hush Galleria. The same tacky interior of the house remains. There's a new set of goofy pictures of Allen displaying his ham-handed social climbing wrapped in faux philanthropy. And Allen has propelled himself from reborn neighborhood nuisance to White House gate crasher.

As a former housemate's grandfather used to write in the margins of the tattered news clips he'd send relaying this or that outrage as reported in his local paper: "What a country!"

Yet, unlike the District of Columbia government -- which tends to pay scant attention to things like enforcing zoning and liquor laws when it comes to "entertainment" (the favorite ruse here is the nightclub masquerading as a restaurant) -- I suspect that the federal government may be a little more severe in its response to Allen's skirting of the rules.

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