The Shine Begins to Fade (Or, the Slightest Bit of DC-Wanderlust)

No, the shine’s not fading from my apartment yet.  It’s my love for the neighborhood that’s taken a bit of a hit recently, courtesy of my inaugural run-in with the pretentious assholes who live in Mount Pleasant.  I’ve always known that they’re here (I mean, rowhouses in this neighborhood can go for almost a million dollars–of course there would be people with sticks up their asses here!), but I’d made it almost a year and a half without directly running a foul of one of them.

The encounter went something like this:  I was out in the front yard spray painting my kitchen chairs.  A woman stops as she’s pulling into the alley (she’s driving a brand-new Prius, of course) and asks if I live here–meaning in the dumpy rowhouse.  I tell her yes.  She questions me about the piles of junky furniture and other crap that had been dumped in the alley recently, obviously indicating that she thought that it was the residents of my building who were dumping the junk (“How many of you are there living there?”  “Um, it’s 3 apartments–there’s only 4 of us”).  I know for a fact that it isn’t anyone in my building, but I know that there have been a lot of people moving in and out of the group houses on the block recently (fall is definitely moving season), so I mention that it might have been some of them.  She insists that of course it wouldn’t be someone from the neighborhood, and that it must have been someone from elsewhere (even though she had been so quick to try to blame it on us a moment before).  I’m just like “yeah, yeah, whatever, leave me alone.”  She finally drives off, and I finish with my painting.

So, yeah.  I’m annoyed.  I’m sorry that our building isn’t beautiful and freshly painted.  But no, this isn’t some flop house or something.  We’re 4 professional young people who just happen to not be able to afford anything fancier.  We have a mildly obscene number of degrees between the four of us.  I’m sorry none of us make six figures.  I’m sorry none of us can afford the normal rents in this neighborhood.  But we’re not bringing the neighborhood down, as much as you’d like to blame us for shit.  So fuck off.  Hrmph.

Which leads to my stirrings of DC wanderlust.  I still love my apartment dearly, and am (at this point) not seriously thinking about moving.  But I did go for a nice long walk on Saturday through upper Petworth, Brightwood, and the 16th Street Heights.  I totally accidentally stumbled upon the new location of the used furniture store Ruff & Ready (so awesome!)  And I discovered that I’m totally digging that area.  It’s not nearly as convenient as my current location, but I like the feel of it.  It’s a great mixture of apartment buildings and condos and rowhouses and single-family homes.  There’s little up and coming commercial strips like along Kennedy Street, NW.  It’s got great bus service along 16th St., 14th St., and Georgia Ave (and I’m daily becoming a bigger fan of the DC buses–even though I live in a metro accessible neighborhood, I still take the bus to and from work every day!).  And it’s wicked cheap.

So if I do end up moving out of my current place, that’s probably where I would end up.  🙂



  1. I’m sorry about the snoots of Mt. Pleasant (and to imagine I’d be writing that – my 20yo self of DC of yore wouldn’t have believed it!) – but I have to say I LOVE living in Shepherd Park. SP itself is very short on rentals because of zoning, but the nearby neighborhoods are awesome. You should definitely check out the Brightwood-Takoma corridor and nearby parts of the world. The vibe is much more relaxed.

    • I definitely knew when I moved to Mount P. that there was a certain portion of the population here that hates all the aspects of the neighborhood that I love (basically, all the parts that make it not Georgetown). I knew about the battles over mariachis, and how every time someone decides to divide one of the huge old houses into condos or apartments, people scream “there goes the neighborhood!111!!1!” But it still frustrates me.

      And it was definitely striking how I felt more comfortable walking down Kennedy St, where I was the only “white” person in sight, than I am sometimes in Mount P., when I’m surrounded by wealthy stay-at-home mom’s pushing their babies in tricked-out strollers.

      Brightwood is definitely calling my name. Hunting for an apartment up there seems like it would be a bit more of a challenge, though–the apartment buildings seem very hit or miss as to condition, and a lot of the buildings don’t seem to advertise rentals on Craig’s List…bah!

      But anyways, it’s probably for the best, because barring anything crazy, I’ll probably stay put in Mt. P. until my landlord raises my rent or my building starts actively falling down around me. 😉

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