Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gentrification discussion in Petworth

There is an enthusiastic discussion going on here, on gentrification in Petworth. Ah the inevitable gentrification discussion.

I'll just throw in my two cents on their discussion: some of them are idiots. I feel as though most of those people have never even visited Petworth let alone live here. They describe Petworth like it is some kind of crime infested slum. Ha! They couldn't be further from the truth. We have a beautiful community filled with hard working mostly middle class good people. Most folks don't realize that the majority of homes in Petworth are owner occupied. That means people have a vested interest in their community. Petworth is a gem. Sure there are some flaws, which I even discuss from time to time. But the fact that people talk about Petworth like it is a dangerous slum is simply ridiculous. We are very lucky to live here. All of us, old timers, new comers, immigrants, citizens...it is this combination of folks who love their community, which makes it such a special place to live. But I think my thoughts are pretty clear on this matter.


vague ponderings said...

PoP I don't know that I perceived Petworth as a dangerous place before I started spending time there mainly because I didn't spend time there and knew no one else who did, but I have to say that when I first started visiting regularly, I was put off by all the loiterers. As a woman, it felt (and sometimes still feels) dangerous. That said, the loiterers in the area where I spend my time are polite and helpful for the most part. Maybe it's because I look like them and so, I am not perceived as an outsider. Maybe it's because they have no problems with the person I am visiting and I benefit from that connection. Dunno.

But I do think that, if like me, you hail from Southern suburbia or someplace similar, loiterers equal danger. Regular law abiding people didn't just hang out on the corner where I grew up, so I have been conditioned to believe that if they are on the corner, they are up to no good. So someone with that background might ride through the area and see all these people standing in clusters and/or looking idle for no good reason, and make some assumptions about the neighborhood and its safety.

Prince of Petworth said...

Good points, thanks vague. I no doubt feel that Petworth has its share of crime, like any city does, I just think it was exageratted in their debate. I see your points though. I try to say hello to loitering groups as often as I can to break the tension. At the moment Petworth is not Cleveland Park on the safety scale but nor is it Beirut.

Markus said...

Seriously, that person is filled with so many misconceptions about Petworth and such an ego that he's just about a lost cause.

Petworth is NOT the hood. Not even close. And while there are new condos going in and houses being re-done, to say it is just beginning to become gentrified completely ignores the character of the long term residents, as well as the realities of today's real estate market.

Christina said...

Good lord. I have so many issues with the way the question was framed, I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around them. Maybe if the poster stopped viewing herself as something entirely different from all the other hard-working middle class (but possibly brown! Oh no!) people who live in Petworth, she wouldn't be so consumed by fake guilt.