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A Fascinating Study Of #newDC On A Local & National Level Via Conversations About Petworth

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Marcus K. Dowling


For the past year, we’ve been here at One Love Massive attempting to educate those of us who are fretting the onslaught of #newDC by attempting to explain that anything that’s a local issue is now a national one as the Nation’s Capital is an ascendant locale. There’s a dual-pronged “attack” of sorts happening on DC’s classic notion of self, which in noting other cities in which this occurred, namely places like Seattle, Brooklyn, and Austin, the end result is a wholly reimagined space that is either fright-filled or intriguing in its own right. In noting that both local and national reports on DC’s Petworth neighborhood have recently surfaced, it’s an important time to note where things are headed in surging #newDC and realize that if you’re an #oldDC stalwart, it might be too late if you haven’t doubled down on your tight grip on the wild socioeconomic ride that is Washington, DC in the modern age.

SEE/CHANGE — Harold Valentine from Citizen Innovation Lab on Vimeo.

Up first is SEE/CHANGE, a project that partners The Pink Line Project, Citizen Innovation Lab, the DC Office of Planning and the Kresge Foundation, and implored a cross-generational conversation between #oldDC and #newDC with a tagline of “Cross the street. Meet your neighbors. Watch their stories unfold up and down Georgia Avenue.” There are project unveiling events occurring throughout Petworth until November 20, doing the work of “[bringing together]long-time DC residents with newer residents to discuss the changes they’ve observed during their time in the District, and to share things they wish the other group knew. It’s ultra-important and transcendent work, well worth all of our time and interest.

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As well, it’s important to note that yet again, the New York Times is reporting about #newDC, this time profiling Petworth as both a community where the median price for homes for sale is nearly $700,000, but also as a place where “strangers on porches” greet the “cocktail and stroller set.” Of course, these “strangers on porches” aren’t blue collar African-American World War II veterans anymore, but rather a white-collar Caucasian population of government employees, independent retailers, and restaurateurs.

At the same time, we’re seeing an unprecedented group of creatives and government types doing the hard work at home, while literally the best lookie-loos from afar are attracting, guess what, more gentrification. It’s a fascinating time to be in an evolving Nation’s Capital, that, due to recent electoral college events, is likely facing the grave realities of its mortality, while others are looking to build condominiums on the classic city’s metaphorical graves.

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