Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Thank you Gentrification

It's no secret that I love gentrification. As more and more trendy restaurants and stores move into Columbia Heights, I get happier and happier. The more people who want to live here, the more my house will be worth when I decide to sell it soon. If some hipster who moved here a year and a half ago thinks that this place will lose something if it starts to look like Bethesda, I will laugh and try to keep from punching him in the face. When I moved here 6 years ago, this neighborhood was not much to look at. The Giant Supermarket had just opened up, but the Target Mall was still a few years away and unlike now, where you get a selection of Pho, Fusion, Mexican, Vegan and any other trendy dish that your heart can imagine, when I moved in here the only place to eat within walking distance of my house was the bullet proof chinese food place. It had a wall of bullet proof glass and if you wanted something, you YELLED your order through the bullet proof glass, placed your money in a bullet-proof lazy susan and passed it to the other side, then they would place your food in the bullet proof lazy susan and send it your way.

Now, a block away from that same bullet proof chinese place are a wine bar (with paninis!) and a new craft beer bar/restuarant, a brick oven pizza place, and a community arts center. Thank you gentrification!!!

Now, develepment doesn't happen uniformly everywhere. There has been an eyesore near the ninja fortress since before I moved in. A burned out shell of a building that once housed a jazz club, but currently houses mice when the weather gets bad.

Now that Gentrification has reached a certain point, even this burned out sh1t-hole is worth buying and fixing up into something nice. Gentrification = reinvestment in infrastructure. Get it?

So this former eyesore is being gutted as we speak and will very shortly (hopefully) look like this:

WELCOME FUTURE NEIGHBORS! If this place is a little to pricey for you, I have a nice fortress very near by that I'd be willing to sell you :)

(pic from capital city real estate)


Velvet said...

The market is improving now, so time is on your side with the sale. Another year might make a huge difference!

lauren said...

Hey, send some Link Love to your local Community arts center!

Donovan said...

You seem to be confused. What your praising is development not gentrification.

Gentrification has to do with the displacement of poor people by rich people.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

@Velvet: I hope you're right about that. When the train comes in, everybody rides.

@Jamie:it looks like we live right by each other. I live a few blocks from that 11th street retail/luxury condo development across from CH Coffee. But yeah, Sherman avenue is another problem.

@lauren: done!

@Donovan: no, I think you're confused. if CH was still full of unemployed poor and single moms, do you think they'd be lining up for $12 paninis or fair trade coffee? And where would the money come from to build these places if not from young professionals with $$$?

And I take issue with you equating gentrification with "displacement" of the poor. I didn't bring in troops to displace people, I bought my house from someone who was more than willing to sell it for a LOT more than he bought it 20years ago. When I moved from Dupont to CH, do you think the person who bought my studio "displaced" me?

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Ed said...

At the rate your neighborhood is changing, you won't need to leave a 3 block radius soon! :)

Bluto said...

Ninja, you are definitely the one that's confused. Displacement is in the dictionary definition of gentrification.

"the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents."

The word development is perfectly suitable for the positive things you are describing. By using the word gentrification, you are celebrating people being pushed out. (Which actually is happening). It gives your entire post a nasty tone (as does saying you'd like to punch people in the face who disagree with you). If that's your outlook, I'm sorry to see you've moved into the neighborhood, even though like you I am happy with all of the new businesses you mention.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

@Ed: looking forward to that day!

@bluto: we'll agree to disagree about "displacement" of people in CH. Your own definition uses the word "often", which means that displacement is not the sine qua non of gentrification. Moreover, I'm sure that there are other dictionaries that don't mention displacement at all.

as for the rest of your comment, it shows that you have no sense of humor. And if you're sorry *I* moved into *your* neighborhood, I have news for you. I'll bet you a beer at Wonderland that I was here first.