Wednesday, March 02, 2005

New Sweet of the City

I remember when I first moved to DC three years ago some people thought I was crazy because I moved in a neighborhood that wasn’t the greatest. I didn’t care though because it was affordable, near the metro station, grocery store, bank, barber shop and church. Everything was in five minutes walking distance, it had to be because I didn’t and still don’t have a car. I liked this neighborhood. Sure, it had some crime and seedier elements but honestly all of that reminded me of home. I grew up in East Cleveland, Ohio and the hood has been good to me.

But my neighborhood here in DC, like the rest of the city has quickly begun to change. Right down the street from me when I first moved in was a horrible apartment building that was always full of crack addicts running in and out of it. Not long ago, they closed the building, renovated it and turned those apartments into condos. That was the first sign that my little piece of DC was also about to be turned out.

All over it seems Chocolate City is starting to look more like Vanilla Village. I often wonder how do African American natives of Washington feel about this change, this ‘take over’ and do some of them even realize what is going on. People of color are being pushed out by high home prices and the taxes that go right along with them. The cost of housing in DC has soared over the past several years and shows no real signs of slowing down. I once had Brown Sugar dreams of living in DC indefinitely, but as of late those Brown Sugar dreams have been colliding with the white confectionary reality of green cash and all that surrounds me.

Harlem can you hear me?
Houston, I hear it’s happening to you too.

Gentrification/ simplification/
indications of socio-economic-class relations/
going head to head causing frustrations.