Dear PoP – Should I Live on the 2900 block of Sherman Ave, NW

“Dear PoP,

I am a potential first time home buyer that found a place I love on the 2900 block of Sherman ave. However, my concern is that it is over-priced and that the area is neither aesthetically pleasing or safe at this time. As this is the biggest purchase of my young life, I want to make sure anything I do is well thought out. Therefore, and although you may be biased, what are your thoughts on making huge investments in this area (to the tone of $390K)? What do you think the impact will be of the Sherman ave. reconstruction? Do you think said construction well be completed as envisioned in the design phase? Anything else you would like to add would be extremely helpful. One last thought, I am a male in my mid-20’s, and in more than one discussion since contemplating this purchase I have heard something to this effect “a male living in this area equals OK, but don’t even think about getting a female roommate or having a girlfriend over because it is still that unsafe.”

I’m one of the folks who believes that Sherman Ave has huge potential. If I were looking to buy a home now I would not hesitate to buy there, knowing that it will take a number of years before it reaches its potential. But like others have said, I like the proximity to 11th St, NW and all it has to offer. I’ll let the folks who live there discuss the safety issues. Good luck!

72 Comment

  • First off I want to say congrats on (hopefully) your first house. Secondly I want to start off saying I live near Sherman Circle in Petworth, but used to know people that rented a house around that same area about some four years ago.

    Just like most parts of the city you just need to be cautious of your surroundings. I had one unfortunate experience of being caught in a crossfire around there a few years ago. But that type of stuff happens in and around the popular areas of Columbia Heights every now and then. I was also living in Silver Spring at that time and have hence lived in Columbia Heights and now Petworth since, so it didn’t scare me away from the area.

    On the positive side I think that area is due for more than what it has. I never thought Georgia and NH Ave would change much and now there are new condos, restaurants and a CVS. But the older parts of the neighborhood are great too and should not change (family owned restaurants and corner stores). Plus being near 11th St is a great location.

    Good luck and welcome to the neighborhood if you do close on that house!

  • It is OK, becoming more OK all the time. The whole it is ok for a male but not a female is such BS. Sorry to tell you and whomever you got that advice from, being male when it comes to street crime in DC is a liability, not an asset. In my opinion, there is a machismo drive in lots of the low level crime that leads attackers to go after only men.

    • You may well be right about that, but when I think about female safety I’m considering the likelihood of sexual assault, not robbery. A mugging is trivial in comparison to the former …

      • How many sexual assualts have you heard of in the city, around here, or anywhere, that occurred as a result of walking around by yourself?

        I have never, ever heard of an incident involving a female being abducted and sexually assaulted (beyond catcalls and grabs) off the street.

        • There isn’t alot of stranger sexual assault in the area. But extreme sexual harassment there is a lot of. Invite ladies over who are thick skinned or escort them from the bus stop/ metro.

        • There were more sexual assaults last year in DC than there were homicides? I wonder why we don’t hear about it as much as when DC children play with guns?

          • Because a lot of things count as “sexual assualt” like an assgrab. The number of rapes reported is not more than the number of homicides, and according to national statistics, nearly 3/4 of rape victims know their assailant personally.

            I am in no way trying to diminish the significance or seriousness of rape, but it’s not a very likely thing to happen to a woman just as a result of walking around in a dicey neighborhood. Your concern should be the same as men: getting mugged, robbed, or jacked for no good reason.

      • Men can be sexually assaulted too.

    • Sherman is obviously going to come up, but on what time frame is hugely debatable. Right now it is still seriously creepy, and I go out of my way or catch a taxi not to have to walk through it going from LaDroit Park to Columbia Heights. I would also think twice about visiting someone who lived in the area, as I would fear for my personal safety, and don’t like being harassed by the people who hang out on the corners there. Just my two cents. others may be more comfortable with it, but definitely not me.

  • I didn’t realize entire neighborhoods were off limits to women. I guess my (also female) roommate and I have been lucky living in this area for 4 years with no problems. Maybe we should move back to the suburbs where women belong.

    • Discussions of this neighborhood aside, I think it’s perfectly fair to say that women are more vulnerable to most types of crime (aimed at perceived ‘easy targets’ for example) than men. Big generalization, of course, but a fair one, I think.

      Women also have the added distinction of being the sole targets for crimes like rape (unless you’re in prison).

      I think the question is asked out of concern for the women in our lives that we care about. It’s not intended as a slight on women. No need to run off to Fairfax.

      • Just to be clear, women are far more likely to be sexually assaulted by men they know than strangers on the street, and they are not the sole targets of sexual assault.

        Also, men are more likely to be the victims of violent crime than women.

        While I understand that you’re just concerned and trying to be helpful, that kind of misinformation paints a very inaccurate picture of women as victims and perpetrators as “masked strangers” who are on the fringes of society. Problematize those gender stereotypes, please!

        • OK, point taken. But I still think y’all are reading too deeply into a comment made out of concern.

          You have your right to your opinion and you may have numbers on your side, but I’m still walking my female friends to their car at night. It’s the considerate thing to do.

          • it strange how attached you seem to be to generalizations. you don’t even use statistics to help back them up.

          • NON – Statistic don’t tell us everything…

            For example, since I let go of my landline I have not had one single phone poll on an subject for almost 6 years.

            Poll are only a sampling. Sometimes your general gut feelings do the most good.

          • frankie,

            agreed. generalizations and anecdotes are far better.

      • I can actually say that about 75% of the people I’ve known who were mugged in DC were men. And among them, they tend to be taller/bigger dudes as well. It doesn’t apply to everyone, of course, but I think often these crimes come from teenagers with something to prove. So there’s that.

  • I bought 8 years ago on Holmead Place, well before the Giant/DCUSA broke ground. Moving from my condo in Adams Morgan, my friends thought I was crazy; I slept with mace in my nightstand. I could of moved somewhere safer, but the house would of been MUCH smaller. While still not Dupont, Columbia Heights worst days are behind it and it continues to gentrify. Sherman Ave is a highway right now, one of the quickest shots up from Florida Ave, North. Many plans are in the works, just stay informed on the process and time frames, always adding at least a couple years to the projections. Its a risky move now that will probably pay off big in a decade or so.

  • i live on sherman down the street from the condo for sale in question. you are getting a good price on the condo, i bought a house with the same square footage last year for $100K more. sherman ave is super ugly now but “hopefully” it will good good after they finish the streetscape project scheduled to start next month. its a great location for the up and coming 11th st party zone and walking to u street.

  • I live in this area; Sherman Ave will be a good investment. Lots of young professionals are moving east of 14th street, even closer to Georgia Ave.

    What is $390k getting you? A flipped 3bedroom, 2 bath house with an in-law suite?

    Things to consider: the firestation on Sherman Ave is busy and you get ambulance traffic on Harvard and Irving. The streetscape project will be amazing, however it’s not going to skyrocket your house value. It’ll add value in years as Sherman Ave becomes more residential and not the highway it is today.

    If you can negotiate a good deal then get it. If you don’t, someone else will.

  • I live right off of Sherman near your location. Been there for 7 years. It’s fine and getting better. While it’s ugly now, there is a streetscape plan by DC government to plant trees in the traffic median, along the sidewalks, marble curbs, new sidewalks and new steetlamps. It should help with the ugly.

  • No one is going to be able to tell you whether it’s a good investment. If you hang onto it long enough, it will appreciate, but other neighborhoods might appreciate more/sooner.

    The best ways to know whether you feel comfortable living there in the meantime are
    a) just walking around at different times of day,
    b) talking to neighbors and folks you see walking around
    c) looking at crime statistics ( and seeing if it seems tolerable. Compare the block you’d live on to some places you frequent or some friends’ houses to see if there’s a difference, and in what crimes. For example, my neighborhood has pretty low crime and most of it is car breakins…while I wish there were fewer of those, I don’t have a car so I don’t care as much about those as, say, muggings.

    • Good advice about talking to neighbors and checking crime stats. I’ll add though – it would probably be a good idea to check out the block at NIGHT also. Preferably on a nice warm Friday or Saturday evening.

  • I second the previous comment sentiments with regard to females.

    Implying the whole neighborhood is unsafe for women (and then safe for men) is ludicrous.

  • I’d say on the plus side the area is up-and-coming and potentially you could make more investing in an area like that than already-established areas. Tons of plans are in the works for redevelopment all around there. Of course this is exactly what I thought when I moved to Petworth 5 years ago – redevelopment is happening and crime is way down, but my house is still worth less than I paid. Hopefully your timing is better than mine 😉

    On the downside, you might have to be patient…it could take years for the area to change. Just be sure you are ok to stay put for at least 5 yrs and patient enough to endure living there in the meantime.

  • I live just a couple blocks north of their. I’ve had two female roommates in the last couple years and they never had any problems.

    I’d be most concerned if you are looking on the west side of that block. I would assume those long abandoned buildings are a haven for many rodents. Also, while the seem mostly harmless not everyone would be comfortable with the people that hang at the power station by the gas station all hours.

    My advice is walk the area at all times of day and night and see how it feels to you. You don’t want to go somewhere where you dread walking to the metro.

    I love the neighborhood and think it is only getting better. The price seems good as well.

  • Dear potential neighbor,

    I have lived on the 2900 block of Sherman for almost two years, and as I’ve said to several people looking to buy the condo for sale next door, I think investing in a Sherman Ave residence is definitely a good idea. Of course, I have little to base this opinion on aside from my observations of the area over the past couple years, but with new businesses opening up on 11th, it seems pretty clear that the area is becoming more desirable. Hopefully that change can happen in a way that is less abrasive than in the past, and without causing so much tension in the neighborhood. I think the mix of establishments along 11th Street that cater to the area’s diverse population is a step in the right direction.

    I can say that I have never felt unsafe in the neighborhood. A previous housemate once had an ipod stolen from his car, but I wouldn’t recommend leaving an ipod on the back seat of your car anywhere in the city. There have been targeted incidents of violence in Columbia Heights, many not far from my house, but speaking as a female who lives in the area, I feel perfectly comfortable walking around, night or day. People are generally friendly and many have been living in this area a long time.

    In perspective, Sherman Ave is not bad compared to other parts of the city. If you’re considering Friendship Heights, Sherman might not be the best choice for you, but if you like the feel of the area, I don’t think safety should be a concern. With so many great locations nearby, the 11th Street area getting better all the time, and the reconstruction on the horizon, I think it’s a really great place to buy.

  • I don’t think this area of Columbia Heights is particularly dangerous. I certainly haven’t heard of a ton of violence here, and I live nearby.

    From what I’ve heard [and take this with a grain of salt] because it is using stimulus funds, construction on Sherman Ave. HAS to start in 2010, so a two year timeline seems pretty realistic, at most three. Within that same timeline, 11th Street should be just about completely filled in with even more great new businesses and green space projects, and Georgia Ave. will be on deck for major improvements. The Georgia Ave. commercial and infrastructure development is, realistically, a longer-term deal, but within five years, this whole area will have FAR more commercial options than it presently does. Sherman won’t ever be gorgeous due to the large number of unattractive buildings, but it will look a HECK of a lot nicer than it does now, and you’ll be in the middle of two vibrant commercial strips, both of which have a lot more character than the DCUSA area.

    • i will bet you any sum of money that 11th street will not be “just about completely filled” within 2 years.

      • I would take that bet. Heck, the available retail is fairly filled up now. What is vacant? The big red brick building which is supposed to be completed withing a year; so fine, make it two to be safe. The small spaces on either end of Columbia Heights Coffee. The small space next to Arthur’s. And that’s pretty much it. Considering that all of the various new businesses on the street — Redrocks, Room 11, Acuario, and Meridian Pint — seem to be thriving, it’s not a major stretch to say that most of the remaining available retail spaces will be occupied within two years.

  • First, the caveats: I don’t know how much house you’re getting (a rental unit is always a big +, as are off-street parking, a nice backyard, etc.) OR all that much about this block. Second, good luck! I remember my first house purchase: scared sh*t-less.

    That said, I get from this letter some tone of speculation, perhaps imagined by me but maybe not, that this area is primed to have some transformative event occur in the near- to medium-term. Make sure that you really love the house and find it to be a value for you now, with the area as-is, and don’t evaluate anything based on what you think it’s going to become. You may live with Sherman Avenue as-is for an indefinitely long time. Change may come, but don’t hold your breath. This stuff happens gradually, perhaps even glacially, and you will have to live there throughout the interim, by which point you may be on a second house, as things like marriage, kids, job change, etc. occur. So you may not even realize the benefit of any development by the time it arrives. Moreover, put aside any notion that certain problems will be displaced by whatever development comes, if and when it gets there. That’s a hedge that is unlikely to work out for you.

    Like anon at 2:57, I bought in Columbia Heights way back when it was vacant lots and we bought groceries where the Allegro now stands. It has turned out to be an excellent investment, but I consider that part of the capital I put into that investment was living in a less-than-great neighborhood for many years. Even now that the neighborhood has seen this huge development come online, some of the stuff that pissed me off when I first bought, and which I thought might be abated with development (constant litter on the block and in my yard, for one, and a giant, dilapidated eyesore of a building across the street, for another), remains.

    So keep in mind that you’re not only making a big investment but you’re also choosing your next home, and choose accordingly. You might be unhappy living in a place that you feel is unsafe — for you or your female guests — and no amount of anticipated future benefit is going to get you past that.

  • As to rodents on that block– in 2 years we’ve had some issues with mice in the winter. Seriously, mice. Cute little ones and not huge DC rats. But as long as you don’t leave a bag of bird seed under the sink like we did, you should be fine. We’ve never had them in our basement as far as we know. Mostly just in the kitchen, when food isn’t put away carefully. Also, my housemate on the first floor has seen a couple cockroaches, but not more in total than you can count on one hand.

    As for sexual assault, I’ve felt more in danger of that with guys I know than walking on the streets of Columbia Heights! Some very minor street harassment, although I’ve heard from others that this can be worse for women of color walking around the area.

    Also the people that hang out on the corner stoop are perfectly friendly 99% of the time.

  • If you are not even remotely comfortable then maybe you should not buy in this area. 10 years is a looong time to live in an area where you are not especially happy.

    Personally, I bought earlier this year on Kenyon and I have been very happy. If the neighborhood stays the same for the next 5 years I would still be pretty happy. However I believe the area is on the upswing and will continue to become safer and nicer looking. I feel pretty safe walking alone at night but obviously everyone needs to stay aware and avoid looking like an easy target.

    I would suggest spending a couple days and nights just walking around the neighborhood seeing how that makes you feel. Hangout in our bars, restaurants, coffee shops etc. You will probably start to like it more!

  • if your price range for a house is less than 500k, it’s about the best you’re going to get in DC unless you go the condo route. every neighborhood in DC with row houses in that price range is going to be a combination of good and bad, new and old, rough and not so rough, ugly and pretty. Basically, your typical DC gentrifying area. I live a block and a half away. I feel comfortable even though families and young professionals outnumber, but not by a lot, kids in violent gangs. Whether you’re comfortable or not only you will know.

  • I would hope that the same people that are doing the 14th st renovation aren’t doing the sherman ave one. You could be living with construction for decades.

  • If I was in your shoes I’d be more worried about the quality of the construction of the property and less so about the crime/appreciation value. So much of the new construciton around there is pretty crappy. Certianly of the flipped houses and old-house-turned-condos. I would be more interested in an older condo than new or renovated construciton just to be safe.

  • I think it would be better if you didn’t move to the neighborhood. Stay away.

  • Hello,

    I’ve been living on Gresham, at Gresham and Sherman, for a year and some. I liked my neighbors and neighborhood so much that I bought a house there last October. It was a fixer-upper, but I’ve been working on it since then. I, and the other young professional renovators on my street – who own at least 3 other houses on Gresham – believe in an upward turning market in our area.

    I’ve worked countless nights alone in my house, with smoke breaks on the porch and occasional late night walks to the gas station, where it’s always fun to play charades for a Chipwich. Also, I’m a female. I’ve made friends with my “bad neighborhood” neighbors. Best of luck!

  • I looked at that unit about a year and a half ago. If I recall correctly, it was listed then at $360,000, but it was a short sale, which is a pain to deal with. I assume they took it off the market and waited for it to appreciate so that they could avoid the short sale situation. At the very least, you know it has appreciated $30K in the last year.

    I remember thinking that the unit was quite beautiful. The lack of parking was a deal breaker for me, especially since the Sherman Ave. renovation is likely to make on-street parking a nightmare until it is completed. If you have a car, that’s something to consider. If not, no worries for you.

    I ended up buying a slightly larger, less expensive place with a parking spot just half a block from the Georgia/Petworth metro, which is still easy walking distance to the 11th street strip and DC USA. Best decision of my life. And now I have a CVS across the street and sushi around the corner. Best decision of my life!

    Best of luck.

  • As some one who recently bought a first home on the 3300 block of Sherman, I say go for it!

    The one thing I did not anticipate )and was annoyed by for the first couple weeks) was the street noise. The fire station is noisy – like all fire stations are.

    Safety (as a young woman) is not something that I’ve thought about any more than any other block in Columbia Heights. Unless you’re talking about crossing the street and not getting mowed down by cars. I can’t wait for the street scape project!

    • One other point – I do wonder if there might be better deals out there.

      I did a little happy dance when I realized that we paid only $201 per square foot for an entire house just a couple blocks up, relative to $291 for a condo.

      If you are willing to wait and look at a whole lot more properties, you never know what you might find.

  • I’m a woman who has lived around the corner on Gresham for three years, and I’ve never felt unsafe.

  • My wife and I live in the building. The unit is priced right and is practically brand new. The foreclosed owner who bought it new, only lived in it for two years, then it spent two years vacant as a short sale.

    If anyone can find a brand new, top (4th) floor, fully refurbished apt with 1300 sq ft under $300K west of GA Ave, then I guess you also know how to find the hidden treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence — and please, don’t hesitate to share your genius here.

    Don’t listen to the opinions of those who don’t live here. Come talk to your (potential) neighbors if you want the real scoop…

  • I hate those silly median spots on Sherman, cabbies force me over towards them all the time. That road should have angled parking and 2 lanes rather than 4 lanes, and they need to get rid of those shady gas stations and corner stores there. The lights on Sherman are timed poorly, and there are potholes galore despite the persistent speed camera cop that’s always opportunistically placed just before Barry place when headed south… Other than that its a great area to invest! LOL, although 390k sounds a bit hefty for a smaller house, at that price in today’s economy it should be a well put together house…

    • they need to get rid of those shady gas stations and corner stores there.

      what if “they ” don’t think they need to?
      if you think they are “shady’ because of illegal activity, help the cops to stop it.

    • The shady Chevron station at the corner of Sherman and Harvard is generally at least 10 cents/gallon than pretty much everywhere else in the neighborhood, to say nothing of the rest of the District. There’s always a flock of cabs filling up there.

      And, yes, it does benefit from healthy canopy coverage.

  • I think people too often perceive a place as safe by the way it looks. Sherman Ave. may not look like as nice as 13th and 11th but its only 2 blocks away so the same crime that can happen there can happen on sherman and vice versa. I would think the fact that Sherman is a little less ritzy would help to make it more safe since there are nicer places so close by.

  • I read all these comments and chuckle because I said the same things about 11th Street five years ago. I thought Sherman would come up in the same way and continue to be amazed at the tenacity of its run-down appearance. But seriously, if you’d been familiar with the 11th Street corridor in 2003, you’d think anything is possible with Sherman.

    One thing that won’t change is that Harvard is a straight shot to Washington Hospital Center from points west and the ambulance noise is a constant. I used to think of it as the charm of city life when I was in my 20s and lived at 13th and Harvard and 16th and Harvard. I was also a renter. Not sure how I’d feel about it I were an owner.

  • The frustrating thing about trying to get public safety advice from PoP commenters is that the minute anyone says that a neighborhood is less than perfectly safe and wonderful, everyone jumps all over that person (see the first batch of comments in this post, for just one example).

    The boosters come out and people who don’t feel safe are told they can’t handle it, move to the suburbs, you don’t know what you’re talking about, etc.

    It’s to the point where god forbid anyone says they don’t feel safe in Trinidad or Congress Heights or Washington Highlands.

    You can’t get objective feedback from this site when it comes to issues of public safety because the naysayers are quickly run off. That’s just the way it’s become.

    OP, you gotta pave your own way on this one. I have my own opinions about Sherman Ave, the intersection of Sherman and Gresham, etc, but with the people here already saying they love it and feel perfectly safe… my opinion won’t stand for much.

    This is one area where the feedback from commenters needs to be taken with a serious grain of salt. People are fiercely protective of their neighborhoods, which is a good thing unless you’re trying to move in. Then, you really do need both sides of the coin, but you aren’t going to get that here.

    • i don’t think i would fully trust advice about a neighborhood from internet strangers anyway.

      • Well true, but what concerns me is how quickly any and all dissenting voices are completely shut down. Are there really NO unsafe/borderline/sketchy neighborhoods in DC anymore? Because to read the PoP comments, you would think the entire city is unicorns and rainbows and the drug dealers on the corner really just nice guys.

        Sorry, it’s just annoying me today.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          It’s funny,I think some folks would say the exact opposite – that all the commenters say all the neighborhoods discussed are complete crime zones. Like all posts it is a mix.

          And no area is completely safe and no area (covered on this blog) is completely crime ridden. There is no such thing as shangri-la. However it is safe to assume that there are positives and negatives associated with all neighborhoods including some crime issues.

          It often really does come down to personal comfort levels. I know people who feel perfectly safe in a place where others simply don’t. I had a colleague a few years ago who wouldn’t walk down U St because she felt unsafe. Right or wrong that is how she personally felt.

          I hope it is helpful to readers who ask these questions to get all perspectives. And I hope that the readers then take a walk and spend time in the areas they are inquiring about a few times and come to their own conclusions.

          • Don’t get me wrong – the GDoN and rental unit posts (and comments) are by far the most interesting to me *because* of the neighborhood discussions. I just get frustrated when it seems like anyone with anything negative to say is blasted right off the bat. That’s just not helpful to the OP. This has been especially in a lot of the recent Bloomingdale postings.

            You’re right when you say that the element we can’t gauge is the OP’s comfort level. And, often, what we THINK our comfort level is can change AFTER we’ve been exposed to a few incidents.

            Anyway, carry on. 🙂

          • Just a month ago I watched a poor guy get his head stomped at U and 14th. Guy was on the ground while another guy with quite the vertical leap jumped a few feet in the air and then landed his shoe on the side of the victim’s head, repeatedly, until the cops showed up.

            DC is a violent, crime infested city. Period. More so than most. Does that mean you’ll automatically get jumped if you live on Sherman? No. Plenty of folks live on and around that street and do just fine. It is gentrifying. But it’s still in DC, east of the park, there is crime.

  • @Maire – Excellent point. All you are going to get in this kind of forum is subjective opinions about personal safety. And everyone’s level of comfort is different. The questioner’s best bet is to look at the objective data. Go to the crime map cite. Go to the nearest police precinct and talk to the police. They can tell you whether you’re buying property near a “problem” house. As I was going home last night I saw that there are two multi-unit buildings boarded up on that block. You might want to find out the planned uses for those properties because it might influence whether you want to invest in property on that block.

  • I think personal comfort levels and perception should be examined in a bit more detail.

    I have no opinions on the 2900 block of Sherman in terms of safety as I havent spent enough time there to make an informed decision.

    However, with so many comments reiterating that “they havent heard of violent crime” there. Within 1500 Meters of 2901 Sherman there were over 150 incidents of violent crime since this day last year. Thats almost one every other day.

    I dont know if thats high or low. What I do know is that areas like trinidad, eckington, bloomingdale, and ledroit park get pigeonholed as “stabby” and “too violent” and “You couldnt pay me enough to live in that crime infested hell hole”… however, I’ve never looked up an address in any of those neighborhoods that come close to the numbers I pulled up when I looked up 2901 Sherman.

    Now I believe someone out there could find an address, because I never underestimate the dedication of an insulted PoP commenter, but in general, what I’ve found is that the areas you guys are most afraid of have had more crime than areas you trumpet.

    Its possible that those doing the mudslinging toward certain neighborhoods arent the same as the fans of this area – but I suspect there is some overlap.

    So all I ask is some consistency. Be aware that your perceptions and your comfort levels are dictating your opinions – not always facts.

    My advice to the potential buyer is research all similar areas, look at a wide range of houses, gauge your own perceptions and comfort levels all over and see if you like this place.

    Commenters on PoP arent going to have to live there – and if I were you, I wouldnt even invite them for coffee… you’re the one who has to live there and will one day have to sell it or pass it on in an inheritance… so its your own personal decision.

    Do you ask PoP commenters who to marry?

    In fairness, I do rather enjoy these threads – but I hope potential buyers take them with little more than a grain of salt.

  • If it’s the unit I’m thinking about, I also looked at it in March/April 2009 when it was still a short sale. I was very interested and went back twice to look at it, once at night with friends and I actually felt fairly safe, but then a second time during the day when I happened to run into a girl who actually lived on a lower floor of the building who said something along the lines of ‘don’t move here, my roommate and I have both been mugged and our cars have both been broken into more than once’. I considered it a lucky sign, and immediately started looking in other neighborhoods. FWIW.

  • But there’s also a difference between volume of crime and seriousness of crime. Sherman Ave/Parkview/Columbia Heights may have more crime than Trinidad but how do the levels of violence compare?

    It’s a really complex question, but my problem is that as soon as you try to say you don’t feel safe or that there are (well documented) crime problems in a neighborhood you’re labeled as a naive suburbanite who’s out of his/her league. Not only is that not a fair assessment but it doesn’t help the poster.

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