A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Wilson Quarterly: New To the Neighborhood


The Wilson Quarterly has a thoughtful piece on change on and around H Street.


Blogger Tom A. said...

Wow! FANTASTIC piece.

One clarification: Rosedale Rec Center got its name from the neighborhood, not the other way around.

One important anti- gentrification movement she missed actually dates back to the early and mid 70's when people sued MBTA to STOP them from putting a metro station in at Oklahoma Avenue. They didn't want "those people" coming to their neighborhood. A few of these same folks have also been speaking up against the streetcar line rail, with much less success.

May 2, 2011, 2:20:00 PM

Anonymous oboe said...

This is a great piece, and it really lays out some of the complex interweaving social and cultural factors at play.

The most interesting part was the 44 year old Maryland resident who pulled up stakes and abandoned her elderly mother to a rapidly decaying neighborhood--at least until the "newcomers" moved in.

Now that the neighborhood is back on the upswing, she's upset that folks aren't more effusive in their greetings towards her when she comes back to visit her mother.

I know all this is common, but somehow I find it incredibly irksome when people who moved out of the city long ago continually critique the "newcomers" for how they interact with the community. These neighbors who "don't say 'hi!'" (does she?) have arguably done more to make her mother's neighborhood livable than anything the daughter has done. I think a lot of this "New people don't say 'Hi'" stuff is driven out of guilt at abandoning grandma in the old hood so you could run off to the suburbs and get a fancy house.

(Courtland, are you listening?)

May 2, 2011, 2:36:00 PM

Blogger charles said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 2, 2011, 2:43:00 PM

Blogger charles said...

Le Corbusier, j'accuse!

May 2, 2011, 2:44:00 PM

Anonymous tubbs said...

Great article, and the author is spot on. I got much more basement for my money in this area than I could have anywhere else in the city.

May 2, 2011, 3:18:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for posting a link to this article! Interesting and informative piece!

ANC Commissioner SMD 7D01

May 2, 2011, 3:27:00 PM

Anonymous Kenny G said...

WAMU's Metro Connection also covered H Street this last week.

The piece on H St. begins at 44:20.

May 2, 2011, 3:34:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed - an enjoyable and thought-provokng piece. However, is anyone else a little unsettled by the closing paragraph essentially outlining that a "gentrifier" will have to move at some point in the future? Call me naive, but shouldn't things like school systems be as important as street cars? I know, I know, bigger issue, but still....

May 2, 2011, 9:47:00 PM

Anonymous H -1 said...

9.47 and others.

Some may move, others (like my now family) may remain.

Odd to think that we are "stodgy old-timers" to some and "pushy gentrifiers" to others after being in 20002 for more than 15 years and + 2 kids later.

To each their own.

Having lived through the change in this locale most recently, and others earlier, people should ease up a bit.

Change takes time and those pushing (or resisting) too hard can certainly be annoying young (or old, thank you Courtland) twits.

May 2, 2011, 10:39:00 PM

Blogger Robby said...

It's a very well written document. There are things in their that strike me as odd or unfortunate, but it's an opinion piece.

It's disappointing that we are still at the stage where this article is even needed.

May 3, 2011, 3:36:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great piece. As a relatively new resident (2 years), I've been amazed at the amount of change I've seen even since I've been here. Though I can definitely understand the tension that arises from old timers versus newbies like myself (I live near Miss Jackie actually). There will always at least subconscious (if not conscious) fear of the new and unknown, but I don't see any reason why there isn't a happy medium that preserves the old neighborhood feel but embraces the positive changes associated with greater commercial/retail options, rising home prices and increasing diversity. This all just makes the area more livable, which is good for everyone.

The story about people interrupting church services though, that sounds more like a d-bag problem than a gentrification problem. Just sayin...

May 3, 2011, 9:59:00 AM

Anonymous jen said...

I liked the piece a lot but was also disturbed by the fact she just assumed she'd have to move at some point. But in her defense she hasn't lived here that long and wouldn't know the changes that have taken place in the Capitol Hill public schools over the past 5 years. I would hope that if when she were to have a child should would feel confident in the neighborhood to stay, as soo many other people are choosing to do now.

May 3, 2011, 10:46:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is slightly off topic but has everyone been made aware of the potential redistricting of ANC 6A - as a future resident, I am concerned because I purposefully chose this community because it was in Ward 6. Here is more info from the Rosedale Citizens Alliance - looks like Rosedale and Hill EAst are on the chopping block. http://rosedalecitizen.blogspot.com/2011/04/rca-launches-hands-off-redistricting.html

May 3, 2011, 12:25:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^ Absolutely. Please consider signing the petition to keep Rosedale (and all of Ward 6) part of Ward 6.

May 3, 2011, 12:35:00 PM

Anonymous oboe said...

Elder was equally incensed: “In the biblical days, they had people come into the services and try to disrupt them because they were ungodly. Well, literally, we have to have men at the doors of the church now because unfortunately our new white neighbors are saying, ‘Wait! Ya’ll parking? How long you going to be in services?’ I mean, coming into the house of the Lord, screaming and hollering!”

It's pretty obvious from the context that we're talking about illegal parking. The only reason "white people" would be busting into "the house of the Lord, screaming and hollering" is that you're double-parked, and blocking their car in. That's illegal.

You see this all the time around the city: folks who don't live here, parking without a shred of consideration for residents. Be a good guest, and park legally.

Certainly don't hide behind "Jesus' apron-strings" when you act rude and with zero consideration for residents. My guess is that if a bunch of Trinidad/Cap Hill residents drove to wherever the AME parishioners are living, and illegally double-parked their cars in to attend a softball game, these folks wouldn't be very accommodating.

May 3, 2011, 12:55:00 PM

Anonymous Dave B said...

WTF, Miss Jackie

In general, it’s not the changes themselves that bother longtime residents of Rosedale. It’s how and why those changes are happening. In a separate interview, Bowens ruefully conceded that it was whites who “saw the baby ready to be reborn” on H Street. She works as a secretary for a downtown doctor, but noted that business ownership runs in her blood—for years her grandmother ran a restaurant near the Capitol where people lined up for fried fish on Fridays. “I had an opportunity a long time ago to say, ‘You know, H Street is there. No one’s doing anything on H Street. I can go open up a business.’ But because we weren’t taught as black people how to do that, we kind of let it sit. . . . That credit word makes us fear.”

Let's just ignore the fact that she contradicts herself by saying business ownership is in her blood but she doesnt know how to do it. Or maybe it is just a passive gene. I'm willing to acknowledge that some segments of the population don't learn things, but black people aren't taught how to open up businesses? I'm sorry, am I supposed to drop a text book on your door step with a check for startup money? And Kwame Brown certainly isnt afraid of credit (sorry, that was a cheap shot). But that paragraph is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read and sort of makes me think Miss Jackie is seeing everything through sour grapes colored glasses

May 3, 2011, 10:25:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, the Argonaut was Engler's first, opening in 2004.

May 4, 2011, 10:43:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really annoyed by semi-young, white, professional voices on gentrification that attempt to come off as objective and nuanced.

May 5, 2011, 11:08:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Anon 11:08: What would you prefer?

Some people are never happy. She writes a thoughtful piece, and annoys some people for being thoughtful.

May 5, 2011, 3:00:00 PM


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