Added: Herve Weyand - Date: 10.08.2021 04:33 - Views: 21533 - Clicks: 8084
A quarter of a century ago, a stroll down M Street would reveal rows of highly specialized boutique shops, restaurants and vendors. Crowds lured in from across the city and the country filled the sidewalks, ready to experience an atmosphere unique to this small corner of northwest Washington, D. A distinct feeling of whimsy and quirk characterized this iconic place, home to many who had lived here for years. Much has changed in the neighborhood over the past two decades. Mega-chain stores have replaced the one-of-a-kind trinket shops, younger generations have pushed out older residents and Georgetown, in addition to the city as a whole, has become much whiter.
Though the changes in Georgetown reflect a broader trend across both D. This was the first time in decades that the percentage of black people living in Washington dropped to such a low level. The shifting population does not just impact the racial and socioeconomic breakdown — it also has serious implications for the Georgetown residential and business community.
According to Wasylczuk, the Georgetown neighborhood was once known as the social and shopping hub of the city. Today, he feels differently. Georgetown used to be the major area if you wanted to come into D. The shopping district started to see a real change in the late s and early s, as landlords started charging higher rents that made it difficult for smaller, specialty shops to stay afloat.
Large chain stores like Nike and Patagonia moved in, able to take on the high rent and a homogenizing market of mass consumption. Concurrently, many of the bars and nightlife options began to move out, in part due to the increasing rent, as well as a concerted effort by neighborhood officials to clean up the local area and improve the relationship between the university and residential community. As more and more young people move into these areas, they become more expensive, densely populated and full of chain bars, restaurants and shops.
Consequently, the need to come to places like Georgetown, which allows more standard big-businesses to move in each year, dwindles. With the development of areas like H and U streets, and the Dupont Circle area, there are now far more nightlife options in the surrounding area. Other long-term shopkeepers and residents have also noted these same developments. On the whole, the greater D. While this, in turn, has caused the Georgetown neighborhood to lose its reputation as a distinct shopping and social location, it has opened up other parts of the city and garnered a more cosmopolitan and commercial identity.
However, these changes do come at a cost. What is cosmopolitan and fun for upper class, college-educated twentysomethings, may just amount to increased Older Georgetown looking to taste some younger and a lack of affordable housing and shopping options for the rest of the DC population.
McCabe sees this as the most ificant challenge facing developing cities. Ultimately, as the broader landscape of D. In the meantime, shop owners like Solomon and Wasylczuk will do their best to keep the authentic character of Georgetown around. Which is it? Or is it only lamentable when the white people show up? Thankfully, the era of this sort of irrational, intellectually intolerant, biased thinking is ending. Having arrived on the hilltop in as a freshman and having resided in the neighborhood ever since…it has changed but the only constant in life is change.
I remember going to visit family and being shocked to be at a mall, movie theater, etc…and see the mono color of whiteness that I was a part of in comparison. The racial shift described in this article seems far off from the neighborhood that I actually lived Older Georgetown looking to taste some younger during those years. As a former student and resident living side by side with current students, the shift of money at Georgetown University has been rather shocking.
To see the sheer volume of tech gadgetry that is loaded into homes which are exorbitantly priced rentals has aled a shift in the economic power of the student residents…sure you may not be at Fiola Mare every week but compared with the very modest spending power of 25 years ago it is clear that the family pocketbook for more than a few students has grown a great deal.
I look out my window and see the clothing styles shift to far more expensive tastes, watch folks jump into Uber, and see groceries delivered literally as I type as extravagances that would be unthinkable to many of my fellow students a quarter century ago. Some of it is technological shifts, but all of those are facilitated by economic shifts of the student population as a whole.
The result is a much greater flood of money to the local area and businesses that will cater to that on top of the historical high end boutiques ed by high end brands that cater to an even wealthier demographic of locals than the student population. Supply and demand, Georgetown has finite supply in part due to restrictions from being a Congressional Historic District since the s and as long as demand is high the prices will be too. It ignores the crime level where we almost hit murders in The neighborhood of today bears little resemblance to that of 30 years ago…and based on friends who used to be here in the 70s it bears no resemblance of the run down mess it was then.
Georgetown Park Mall, gone. The weight of shifting tastes, shifting ways of shopping, rent increases and a local government in the ANC that acted to drive out nightlife that was problematic to the local area meant that Georgetown had to change but change is the only constant. On the other hand, the same guy has been sitting in his wheelchair with music playing at the corner of M and 31st for all the years I have lived here.
There are restaurants that I first went in on high school trips to DC late s and enjoyed a lovely bottle of wine with a fake ID, granted the drinking age was 18 for beer and wine then…campus was wet until where I can still go and sit at the same table and eat much the same food. Things change, but people also make the mistake of glorifying the past. Enjoy the ride, enjoy the moment. Even though you typically think of the urban preservationist as a social liberal, it really is a pretty conservative project that they are up to.
In our phase of human history, the nature of our economy is a destroyer. The powerful forces constituting the markets for land and labor are wrecking balls, but they are wrecking balls that every yep individual hopes will be able to grab at the right moment and ride on the upswing to material prosperity, as material prosperity is defined in this economy.
The effort to turn cities into living museums is denial of the nature of capitalism. But even before, or after, capitalism there will always the irresistible physical force of entropy. History is a political matter of the contemporary imagination.
Because the actual past is gone, and most of it is totally irrelevant anyway. Who can trace their genealogy back ten generations? Who can trace theirs back ? And how many minutes is that on the clock of human existence anyway? And what is it that we want from them? What did that do? Facilitated historical study? The knucklebone of a saint that we build an altar around. Hardly worth squandering much of our wealth on that vision.
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