Primer on DC Neighborhoods (for Brooklyn Transplants), Part 2

by Will Smith

Primer on DC Neighborhoods (for Brooklyn Transplants), Part 2

This is the second article of our two-part series profiling the DC neighborhoods we feel would most interest folks moving to Washington from Brooklyn. The idea for this series came from the response we got after publishing an article that compared condo prices in DC to those in Brooklyn. It seems that, Obama-itis aside, a lot of people are now making the move from this New York City borough down to DC. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Part 1 as well, which profiles Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Logan Cirlce, and H Street.

18th Street in Adams Morgan
Adams Morgan
An eclectic area of bars, cafes, and ethnic restaurants, Adams Morgan is one of DC’s liveliest neighborhoods. The main commercial corridor of 18th Street is lined with places to eat and drink, and the side streets offer both row houses and apartment buildings as potential living options. The neighborhood has developed a reputation for its weekend nightlife scene when revelers pack the bars until 2am then pour into the streets en masse in search of a cab, a jumbo slice, or, sometimes, a fight. Those who enjoy the scene swear by it; those who don’t, swear at it. Anyone considering living in Adams Morgan should definitely check it out at 2am on a Friday or Saturday night to see if they can tolerate the mayhem, noise, and occasional ugliness. During the week things are calm, which means neighborhood residents have some of the best bars in the city all to themselves. While Adams Morgan technically is on the Metro, in reality the station is a bit of a walk from the neighborhood core. (Also see our comprehensive real estate profile of Adams Morgan.)

Election Night on U Street

U Street Corridor
A lot has been made of U Street’s African-American roots. It was the country’s epicenter of black popular culture before being overtaken by Harlem in the 1920s. In 1968, it was the site of one of three riots that rocked Washington following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, after which the whole neighborhood fell into decline and the intersection of 14th and U became one of the city’s most notorious. Fast forward to the late 90s when redevelopment and gentrification began, and the area started coming back. Today it is considered one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in the city. Restaurants, cafes, bars, and condos stretch from 9th Street all the way up to 18th Street, with more to come. It appeals to a diverse group of DC residents while still retaining its strong legacy as Black Broadway. As for the intersection of 14th and U, it was the site of a spontaneous and joyous street celebration on the night of Barack Obama’s election, a fitting moment for a revitalized and proud neighborhood.

14th & Irving in Columbia Heights
Columbia Heights
Nowhere is DC’s gentrification more pronounced these days than Columbia Heights, the neighborhood north of the U Street Corridor and east of Adams Morgan. Just a few years ago, there was little to draw non-residents to the neighborhood. Now there is a shiny new retail center with a Target, Best Buy, Marshall’s, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The center, called DCUSA, is something of an anchor for the neighborhood, whose demographics are split pretty evenly among Latino, black, and white. Many young professional transplants choose to live in Columbia Heights because rent is still cheaper than in more established neighborhoods. The neighborhood is also home to Wonderland, a veritable institution among DC’s hipster set. (See our comprehensive real estate profile of Columbia Heights.)

Petworth’s Grant Park
Just north of Columbia Heights is Petworth, considered by many to be DC’s next frontier of gentrification. The neighborhood has blocks upon blocks of its signature porched row houses, and residents tout its neighborhood-y feel. Many newcomers to Petworth opt to live close to the intersection of Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues, where the Metro station and small-but-growing commercial strip are found. The Petworth of today is often compared to the Columbia Heights of earlier this decade, when that neighborhood was in the nascent stages of transition. If Petworth’s trajectory does end up following that of Columbai Heights, big changes are in store for the neighborhood. One important question is whether the current economic climate will slow development down by a few years. For a daily briefing on Petworth’s quirks and goings-on, follow the Prince of Petworth, arguably the most popular neighborhood blog in the city. (Also see our comprehensive real estate profile of Petworth.)

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/primer_on_dc_neighborhoods_for_brooklyn_transplants_part_2/488

0 Comments — Be the First!

Join the discussion

UrbanTurf now requires registration in order to post comments. Register here, or login below if you are already registered.

Click here if you forgot your password.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾