It’s only a matter of time before DC becomes “One City” and the creative kids take their tax dollars and head to Northern Virginia, where they evidently belong. So let us go on a journey of the City That Was: Pedal down a dedicated bike lane or hop in a metered taxi, we’ll be your obnoxious, misunderstood, results-oriented tour guide and away we’ll go on the Adrian Fenty Memorial Gentrification Tour. “Fentrification”? Fentrification.
First stop on the tour brings us to 1200 First Street NE, DCPS headquarters. Located in the emerging NOMA neighborhood, surrounded by such delightful restaurants as Pound Coffee (Nutella Latte, anyone?), DCPS was where the magic was supposed to happen, and could still happen, maybe? Surely, Oprah will help! Well, Pound does have Falafel Fridays at least.
Ready for a night on the town? Back in a cab we go. (Have to avoid parking meters as quarters are man’s worst enemy, which can only mean that laundromats will also be outlawed when DC becomes “One.”) You can start your night out at one of the new beer palaces — ChurchKey in Logan Circle, Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights or the Biergarten Haus in the Atlas District — as a beer palace is THE standard bar for every up-and-coming neighborhood in the District.
Fentrification has spanned the four quadrants, or sections of each quadrant at least! Jump on the X2 while you still can — the street car should be done by 2028 or so — to go H Street NE. This once open air crack market is now our very own Epcot Center-like imitation of Brooklyn where gentrification has displaced a person or two to bring us mini-golf, $7 pies, and sushi and tater tots.
But the tour’s not over yet! Move three feet and you will find a wine bar. How about Cork Wine Bar, or Cork and Fork, or Cork Market, which are all down the street from one another? Oh, there are plenty of other new restaurants in DC courtesy of Fentrification, including Kushi, a fusion-sushi restaurant that sits right across from a strip joint, or one of the thousands of small plates eateries that, at these prices, only yuppies and members of the teachers unions can afford.
Exhausted from your tour-de-Fenty? Once you’re nice and rested you can enjoy the great outdoors, as Fentrification has it all. Try out the contraflow bike lanes on 16th Street NW, the 9/11-friendly bike-sharing program, or cross the street over and over again, for fun, at the fancy new diagonal crosswalk in Chinatown.
What did we learn on our exciting Memorial Tour? Gentrification is complicated and has a tendency to produce many stores with the same name that sell the same goods. Exacerbating racial tension does not help the city thrive, and who doesn’t like pie, cupcakes and Twitter? THE END.