France says Anacostia, Southeast, Northeast are dangerous

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - You don’t have to speak French to understand the French ministry’s warning: avoid Southeast and Northeast Washington altogether.

"I live over near Rhode Island Avenue Northeast," says Donna Billups, who bristles at the French’s charge.

The security warnings to French travelers also extends to Union Station. Despite being in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, there are warnings to be wary – especially at night.

"I have never felt uncomfortable," counters Jessica Sanpietro.

And when it comes to Anacostia, the Ministry’s website says to avoid the land of Frederick Douglass’ home, day or night

Many in the area think these warnings are absolutely ridiculous.

Right now, about 30 countries are listed under the State Department's travel warnings, and almost all of them are experiencing some form of Civil War -- so what exactly is France trying to say about D.C.?

Many in the area think these warnings are absolutely ridiculous.

Mayor Gray lives in Southeast, and was careful not to criticize the French Ministry. However, he points out that crime is in freefall in Anacostia.

"We have the lowest number of homicides last year in 51 years, so the District of Columbia is a safe place. It's a great place to be," he says,

And an Anacostia Bed & Breakfast owner says the French flock to her business:

"They come all the time…I don't understand where that info comes from," says Carla Sapp.

Other business owners in the so-called “beware zones” aren’t crying the blues; they are, however, rethinking everything French – including the fries.

"I might change the name to call them 'Southeast Fries…'" says one Italian bar owner.

France's foreign ministry also provides advisories for Baltimore ("considered a dangerous city except downtown") and Richmond ("Do not visit the city on foot").

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