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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.

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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.

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Fall in Georgetown
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.

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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.

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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 https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/primer_on_dc_neighborhoods_for_brooklyn_transplants/473

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Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
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?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
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
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

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Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
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
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
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

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Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
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?
Crestwood
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
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
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
Palisades
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
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
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

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Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

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Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
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
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

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