DCentric » Bloomingdale http://dcentric.wamu.org Race, Class, The District. Wed, 16 May 2012 20:20:35 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Copyright © WAMU Black People Gentrify Neighborhoods, Too http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/03/black-people-gentrify-neighborhoods-too/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/03/black-people-gentrify-neighborhoods-too/#comments Thu, 17 Mar 2011 15:33:36 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=4785 Continue reading ]]>

Flilckr: Andrew Bossi

Le Droit Park, D.C.

The word gentrification is regularly used to describe the process of white people displacing black people in up-and-coming neighborhoods. The cover story of this week’s City Paper goes beyond that stereotype and offers a point of view which isn’t often present in color-coded, nuance-free debates about how areas are changing: that of the black gentrifier.

The story of the black gentrifier, at least from this black gentrifier’s perspective, is often a story about being simultaneously invisible and self-conscious. The conversation about the phenomenon remains a strict narrative of young whites displacing blacks who have lived here for generations. But a young black gentrifier gets lumped in with both groups, often depending on what she’s wearing and where she’s drinking. She is always aware of that fact…

And those of us walking fancy dogs, gawking at fancier renovations, but who happen to look like most of our neighbors, don’t necessarily have better insight into what’s going on around us than the white folks do. The class differences can yawn almost as wide as racial ones—almost. Soon enough, “D.C. will be majority rich people,” Ngongang says. “The statistics of D.C. will match what corporate America looks like.” It stings for a minute, because I’m not quite sure which side of that statistical warning I want to identify with.

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“It is an entitlement thing.” http://dcentric.wamu.org/2010/10/it-is-an-entitlement-thing/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2010/10/it-is-an-entitlement-thing/#comments Fri, 22 Oct 2010 19:10:50 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=1587 Continue reading ]]> Another response to Megan McArdle’s “Gentrifiers Lament” for The Atlantic, this time from local blog In Bloom. One of McArdle’s neighbors in Bloomingdale penned this:

Gentrification is also hurting middle-income African-Americans and minorities. By “middle-income,” I don’t mean middle-class, because I am far from that monetary threshold. By “middle-income,” I’m talking about myself, friends, and others who are like me: young, educated professionals who make above the poverty level, but not quite enough to afford to buy or to rent in a neighborhood that is ideal to what we are looking for. Whether it’s due to the market, neighborhood, or gentrification, landlords and owners are pricing the rent at such an unaffordable rate that the $30,000-$45,000 income we earn annually looks even more dismal…

my plea to you, gentrifiers *, is to make sure to make this a mixed-income, or rather a melting-pot neighborhood with various incomes and socioeconomic statuses. Yes, the median neighborhood income is probably now well above my $39,000 annual income, but I’m a responsible citizen who works, goes to school, and adds value to our neighborhood and community at large. Please understand that this isn’t so much of a race thing as it is an entitlement thing.

As for the asterisk…

* When I refer to gentrifiers, although in context it refers to white people, I’m referring to all of the people in the higher-income brackets who have been moving into historically-poor black neighborhoods pushing the home values and rents so high that people who have historically lived there can no longer afford to do so, and people who want to live there cannot afford to do so.


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“Look what we did with it” http://dcentric.wamu.org/2010/10/look-what-we-did-with-it/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2010/10/look-what-we-did-with-it/#comments Wed, 20 Oct 2010 20:45:31 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=1555 Continue reading ]]>

Mr. T in DC

1829 1st Street NW, Bloomingdale

I guess I’ll link to The Atlantic twice in one day; Megan McArdle is reluctant about gentrifying her neighborhood.

Yesterday, I rode the bus for the first time from the stop near my house, and ended up chatting with a lifelong neighborhood resident who has just moved to Arizona, and was back visiting family. We talked about the vagaries of the city bus system, and then after a pause, he said, “You know, you may have heard us talking about you people, how we don’t want you here. A lot of people are saying you all are taking the city from us. Way I feel is, you don’t own a city.” He paused and looked around the admittedly somewhat seedy street corner. “Besides, look what we did with it. We had it for forty years, and look what we did with it!”

I didn’t know quite what to say. It’s true that for a variety of historical reasons–most prominently, the 1968 riots that devastated large swathes of historically black DC–our neighborhood has more in the way of abandoned buildings than retail. And I’m hardly going to endorse the gang violence about which he presently discoursed at length. But the reason we moved into our neighborhood is that we want to live in a place that’s affordable, and economically and racially mixed. We don’t want to take the city from them; we just want to live there too. Perhaps I should have said that.

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Bloomingdale gets Rustik, tonight! http://dcentric.wamu.org/2010/09/bloomingdale-gets-rustik-tonight/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2010/09/bloomingdale-gets-rustik-tonight/#comments Fri, 24 Sep 2010 18:58:20 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=1008 Continue reading ]]>


Folks in the Bloomingdale neighborhood are elated at tonight’s 9pm opening of Rustik, a pizza joint at 1st and T St. When I say elated, I mean it. Here’s one tweet I can’t show you because of language, but the relevant part of it is this: “Been living in #Bloomingdaledc 4 years w/ no restaurant the dark days are over!”

Four years with no restaurant? Talk about an under-served area. If you’re wondering about the menu, peep this blurb:

Our unique brick oven will make delicious thin crust pizzas. We’ll have other savory delights such as salads, sandwiches, a brunch menu and more. We’ll have great-tasting food for our vegan and vegetarian friends, too.

Nice! Can I be your vegetarian friend? I am always grateful to places that look out for us herbivores. The sweet looking dog who occasionally shows up on Rustik’s homepage ain’t bad, either.

p.s. Here’s a brand name blogger’s reaction:


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