24 June 2008

Anacostia, My Home Sweet Home

Washington City Paper has a very interesting pool of articles covering the major neighborhoods in the District. One is a very thoughtful piece written about Anacostia, Fairlawn, Barry Farm, and Buena Vista (collectively addressed as "Anacostia" to those who don't live here). The first three sentences sum up everything with which I have to deal when talking to people about my neighborhood.
Let me warn you about Anacostia: If you move there, your friends are going to make all sorts of stupid remarks about it right to your face. They will ask you if you carry a gun. They will be quite concerned about your well-being and they will, in all likelihood, not come see you at your large and inexpensive historic home.

Well, in my case, it is my large and inexpensive one-bedroom condo bordering parkland. But you get the point.

The author, while speaking about the potential of growth here, makes the assumption that D.C. United will build a soccer stadium at Poplar Point. While it would be a handsome new addition to my neighborhood and would keep Major League Soccer's winning-est team (and the District's most successful team ever) in the city, it appears to be a prospect that looks less likely by the day. So all of this growth that will eventually come to Anacostia will just have to happen a bit slower (unless the city gets its shit together and gets that stadium built).

But I digress.

I echo the sentiments of David Garber, an Anacostia blogger:
Graber wishes people would focus more on Anacostia’s gorgeous old houses—lots of 19th-century wood-framed stand-alones in various states of solidity and decrepitude—and the potential for its historic main street to be rehabbed into a more Georgetown-like place. The buildings are lovely, and the sidewalks have potential, though you get the feeling it’s going to take a long time before blond yuppies spend their flip-flopped weekends drunkenly stumbling around here.

This really is a great place to live and had a ton of potential. Those who move in now, as is with all "transitional neighborhoods", have the most to gain when (and not if) the neighborhood forms into a "SE Georgetown". It isn't the crime-ridden crack den it was in the 80's and early 90's.

Where I really want to point your attention is to The Neighborhood Rankinator. Which neighborhood ranks Number 4? That's right ... Anacostia. We rank higher than "safer" and "more notable" neighborhoods such as Foggy Bottom, Woodley Park, Adams Morgan, and Tenleytown.

That's right! Suck it, Dupont Circle!

(No, really. Suck it.)

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