Primer on DC Neighborhoods (for Brooklyn Transplants)

by Will Smith

Primer on DC Neighborhoods (for Brooklyn Transplants)

We recently published an article comparing condo prices in DC to those in Brooklyn with the thinking that there is quite a bit of relocation between New York and Washington, DC. Brooklyn seemed like the most interesting and relevant New York City borough with which to compare DC for a number of reasons, including real estate prices, livability, and size. The article generated quite a bit of interest, including a note from one Brooklynite with plans to move to DC who asked us which neighborhoods she should look at in DC. So, without further ado, here is a quick-and-dirty rundown of those DC neighborhoods we feel would most appeal to those moving from Brooklyn.

Turrets in Dupont Cirlce
Dupont Circle
Dupont Circle is DC’s navel. It is an area that a couple decades ago was one of the city’s sketchier zip codes, then evolved into DC’s gay neighborhood, and today is known for its lively mix of professionals, politicos, artists, and diplomats. The neighborhood is something of a demographic catch-all, and not in a bad way. It’s mainstream-ness might not appeal to the urban adventurer that prefers living off the beaten path (i.e. someone that prefers Williamsburg over Brooklyn Heights), but for many, its restaurants, retail, nightlife, and historic housing options make it an obvious choice — if you can afford it.

Fall in Georgetown
Aside from Dupont Circle, Georgetown is probably the only neighborhood in Washington whose name is recognized outside of the Metro area. It is defined by the upscale, name-brand retail along Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, the well-kept (and very expensive) row houses, and of course the university. Fans of Georgetown point to its bars and restaurants, high-end shopping, quaintness, charm, and safety. Detractors would call it homogenous, touristy, and inconvenient (no Metro). All would agree that is decidedly not “edgy”, which can be good or bad depending on your taste. Georgetown is much more comparable to the Upper West Side of Manhattan than any neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

Houses lining Logan Circle

Logan Circle
A few years ago, when rents and property prices began to increase in Dupont Circle, much of the area’s gay population started migrating east to Logan Circle. Today, Logan Circle, just six blocks away from Dupont, is considered the city’s primary gay neighborhood. As in Dupont Circle much of the residential architecture in Logan Circle is beautiful and expensive, particularly the restored rowhouses that encircle the neighborhood’s namesake park. Logan Circle is also home to the wildly popular Whole Foods on P Street between 14th and 15th as well as the brand new Metropole condo, which opened with a splash last fall after something of a tortured two-year development. Lack of its own Metro station is a drawback to living in Logan Circle, but the closest stations are still within walking distance, as are the neighborhoods of Dupont Circle and U Street.

Atlas Performing Arts Center­­ on H Street
H Street
The nascent H Street neighborhood in Northeast, called the Atlas District by some, has seen a clutch of bars, music venues, and cafes open in recent years. It is a popular nightlife destination for DC’s hipster set, and Atlas Performing Arts Center­­ is working to revive the art scene. Those worthwhile attractions aside, the neighborhood is still considered very transitional and not somewhere to wander around alone at night (much like Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood). Even H Street itself is only about half-revitalized. Most of the interesting nightlife is concentrated within a three- or four-block stretch at one end, and boarded-up storefronts are not uncommon. For the aforementioned urban adventurer, H Street could be an attractive place to buy or rent, but for the rest it is likely just an attractive place to go out on the weekend. And getting to Metro is a hike.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/primer_on_dc_neighborhoods_for_brooklyn_transplants/473

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