City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Jerry Weinberger
Gentrifying Washington, D.C. « Back to Story

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I'm very appreciative of this article, as I am doing research on Gentrification in the District of Columbia, also I am a Native Washingtonian. I would ask you to consider your approach and comedic tone towards the unrepresented minority classes you named. Thank you!
Where did you get your stats on "marrying out"
"The tricky thing is - if the federal gov't collapses underneath crushing debt (very likely), what will happen to DC?"

Don't worry, Marc, they'll just keep printing money.

I Have lived in DC for 43 years and have NEVER heard the phrase "North White".

"(The gangsters from Yards Park also moved there, which accounts for most of the county’s crime.)"

And this bizarre sentence, thought or brian fart was just ill informed, not factual and a little racist.
This is a fine story with many great points, but on a somewhat semantic note I would hesitate to conclude that the projects are "all gone" now having been replaced by lofts and office buildings, and that H Street is the new Adams Morgan with "throngs" of people crowding the streets. This paints a picture of the area that is just not very accurate. H Street and particularly the Navy Yard area have a long way to go. Cabs still do not like to go to H St NE, and the late night scene there is somewhat sketchy (speaking as someone who is there about once a month or so).

Much of the condos and office spaces are vacant below the Southeast Freeway. The area is still over-run with mostly empty parking lots. Much of the gang violence is still concentrated east of the Anacostia. Per capita violent crime rates are several times higher than in "North White".

Let's not gloss over this in the quest to paint the city as somehow being "done" with gentrification.
Good article, but I think you're confusing "Northwest" with "West of Rock Creek Park." The Northwest quadrant is everything west of North Capitol Street. That includes neighborhoods like Columbia Heights and Petworth, which have substantial Latino populations, and the "Gold Coast" along upper 16th Street, long home to D.C.'s black elite. While areas west of Rock Creek Park may be "North White" (I've lived here my entire life and have never heard that), east of the park remains majority-minority, if not majority-black.
If the low-income and middle-income African-American families -- that once defined DC -- are being pushed out to the suburbs, how is the gentrification and the "diversification" of DC a win-win? Why must folks be uprooted in the name of urban renewal?
The tricky thing is - if the federal gov't collapses underneath crushing debt (very likely), what will happen to DC?

Overall the changes in DC have been very positive, but an enormous federal bureaucracy (and the big corporations, military-dependent businesses, lobbyists, and "insert cause here" nonprofits) pretty much prop up the city. If all these leeches find themselves unable to feed off the federal teat, you can say good-bye to any further gentrification.
In addition. Diversification also means financial diversification. My neighborhood used to be a healthy mix of blue collar workers, professionals, craftspeople, teachers, business owners, cops, firefighters and sanitation workers.

Now it's nothing but fedora wearing beat males who do littl emore than wake up at noon and blog the afternoon away from the local artisianal coffee shop.
The question is - where will the pre-gentrification residents reside?

Diversification is not all professionals and hipsters. As a former brooklynite I've seen my city go from vibrant and diverse to becoming a playground for rent raising redbeards, Meghans and Calbes from Ohio and Wisconsin...who don't care to mix things up but pretty much turn the neighborhoods into a potemkin village of waht they had back home...save for the idiotic roof top gardens and a wood fired pizza place (opened by these folks who isnist that good pizza did not exist in Brooklyn until THEY arrived).
This article is really a celebration of the 'hipster' lifestyle typified by the likes of 'urban' baby and other sites. Yes the so called hipster lifestyle can be all encompassing and there are many positives