washington dc

Snowzilla, from DuPont

The snow came and went, and our apartment survived. Luckily, the power never went out; the weekend could have been a lot worse if we hadn't had heat or television.

I've been thinking a lot about people who don't have warm homes or stocked refrigerators to rely on when blizzards hit. Our upstairs neighbors invited our apartment over for warm cider last night, and it was an eye-opener to the kind of wealth that exists here. Their apartment was beautiful, a classic rowhouse combo of sparkling-new appliances and old-school brick walls. We ate apples, cheese and crackers around a rough-hewn wooden table covered with candles in old jars while talking about "how much better the neighborhood had gotten." I felt disjointed from the conversation. From what I've gathered since I've been here, DuPont has undergone a lot of gentrification --not a new concept for a Bernal Heights San Franciscan. 

When I asked them why they thought the neighborhood has changed so much over the past several years, they said it's probably due to the changes in how D.C. policed its drug problem. I nodded and changed the subject.

Cities fascinate me. They don't follow one specific script of change; places gentrify or become poorer for scores of different reasons. So while I think that housing policy probably accounts for more of the city's gentrification than my neighbors believe, D.C. isn't San Francisco. Techies aren't the scapegoated group here. So what is?

Time to do some research, I guess.