Friday Question of the Day – At What Point, if any, Do You Say: “I’ve Had Enough, I’m Moving?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user McGhee Street Photography

This has been a rough week with numerous reports of muggings around town. But something else I read from the MPD-5D listserv really got me thinking about our quality of life. Here’s an excerpt:

Counting the stolen plants, stolen stepping stones, destroyed planter pots, bashed in garage door, and 3 occurrences of spray-painted graffiti, this is the 12th time our Eckington [Ed. Note: specific address removed and this situation could apply to many of the neighborhoods we live in.] property has been vandalized or robbed in the two years and three months since we moved into it. Each incident on its own may seem somewhat insignificant and maybe we should just be happy that we haven’t been mugged at gunpoint yet, but when you look at the combined losses and expenses it is very troublesome. It makes me angry, as well as discouraged.

I know we all have different philosophies/thresholds but I’m curious what would you do if you faced this exact situation. Assuming you are renting or are could sell your property without much of a loss – would you move? Would you set an arbitrary time frame, like, “if it doesn’t stop or get better in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years etc. I’m moving”?

Would your calculations change if you were mugged at gunpoint?

Like I said, we all have different ways of reacting and we may not know how we would react unless we actually experienced them but for today’s Friday Question of the Day – what would you/do you think you would do if you were in the same situation as the OP? Would you ever move to a different neighborhood/city if your quality of life degraded or didn’t improve like you thought it would?

132 Comment

  • We’ve been lucky as far as vandalism, theft and robberies go and have had neighbors stick around despite having their car stolen several times, and others deal with break ins and other things. But the thing about our block is there is something worth sticking around for that no thief can run off with.
    I haven’t moved since becoming a homeowner. If we do move it would be at a great loss. Not of money, hell no, we got tons of equity. No, the loss would be a great commute, dependable neighbors, friends who live within walking distance, store owners who know us by name, and a bunch of stuff you can’t put a price on or buy. But when the negatives outweigh the positives and if there is no great prize for sticking it out, move, now. Same with relationships, jobs, whatever.
    If I was in that situation, I’d probably take measures to reduce the risk of certain crimes, and try to not care or not invest in stuff that would be the target of other crimes. In other words get cheaper planters and vigilantly use the home security system. If that didn’t work, move.

  • Having lived here in the 90s and having come back a few years ago, I can tell you that people in Capitol Hill (carjackings & car thefts, break-ins, shootings) and U Street (lots of shootings, robberies) stuck around through much worse and despite the poor services of the Barry II era. Indeed, those areas, esp. Capitol Hill, continued to attract more and more gentrifiers. If you are a “pioneer” in your neighborhood and aren’t at all connected to your neighbors, you’re likely to have more grief than other people going into speculative neighborhoods. The experience described here sounds awful, but I wouldn’t move into Eckington expecting it to be easy and, yes, I lived in a neighborhood that (unjustifiably) sacred off a lot of people in Atlanta, and I lived in Adams-Morgan back in the days when it was not unusual to see a purse snatching on Lanier Street.

    • + 1.

      I also agree Rich. I lived here in the 90’s and just came back almost 5 years ago. When I first got back, I almost didn’t recognize DC, especially heading from the Towers to the U St. area (10th-13th of V st., W St…NW), that I used to walk through on the regular . I don’t know if people realized that area was full of crack houses and everything else, luckily I never had an issue. And you can forget about heading down H st NE. (hell you were lucky if your car could make it down the streets). Benning Rd. was like a no no, even for me. SE isn’t anything like it used to be (I will just leave that at that but I will say, if you didn’t know anybody out that way, then you best not think about going especially to Barry Farms, I don’t care how tough you thought you were or how fine she was…).

      I guess my question is that, one can say what you want about your great neighborhood but would one stick around and be one of those “pioneers” if you didn’t think you were going to make not just money but A LOT OF MONEY by sticking around? I highly doubt it in most cases. I think people saw an opportunity to make good money at whatever the cost and it paid off for some and made others way worse off. America, the land of the haves and the have nots.

  • We’ve been very lucky. In 6+ years in Columbia Heights, we’ve had one smashed car window and one stolen bike. So I’m not the best person to answer.

    I think a home invasion would be my threshold. Almost any other crime short of getting stabbed or shot has a work-around. If I were afraid of being mugged, I’d drive or cab more. If my stuff got stolen, I’d lock it up better. But if I can’t feel safe inside my own home, I can’t live here.

    • I completely agree with wdc. If I don’t feel safe in my own home, I cannot live here. My biggest fear is experiencing a home invasion while I’m home/sleeping. That’d make me move to “zero murders in 2011” Arlington real quick.

    • My house got robbed in an upper middle class neighborhood in Fairfax, VA. That’s sort of an arbitrary threshold if you ask me.

      • Can you give me an example of a non-arbitrary threshold? Like, on my 3rd smashed window, I will call a realtor?

        Isn’t this about our personal comfort level? I’m so confused by your comment.

        • I believe Anon 9:59 pm was responding to my comment about moving to Arlington.

          I work in Arlington (in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor) and find it incredibly safe compared to where I live in DC. If ever given a reason to feel unsafe in my home, I would feel better about living in Arlington based on the information I know from working in the area. I know for a fact, however, that no amount of crime in DC could ever convince me to live in Fairfax. Ever.

        • You’re absolutely right. This question asks for an arbitrary threshold, so criticism here is unwarranted. You have to remember that questions like this, which are interesting to read, also serve as a psychological benefit for those who live in transitioning neighborhoods. They can reassure themselves that the risk/reward ratio isn’t skewed (whether that’s true or not) and that they made the right decision in their purchase/rental. So don’t be surprised to see people who set what is perceived as a lower limit criticized.

      • Not sure what you mean by “robbed.” There is a difference between a burglary (breaking in and stealing stuff) and a home invasion (breaking in and taking hostages–or worse–while stealing stuff). I agree that a home invasion would be a breaking point for me.

        • I’m the one whose house got broken into in Fairfax, and I also had the brownstone I was living in in Dupont Circle burgled during the night as we slept. I hardly think 18th and Q NW is a rough neighborhood. I think it shouldn’t be “house gets broken into, I move”, it should be how safe you feel… a lot of which you have control over.

    • And here’s the thing … everybody has a different threshold for this stuff. You write that you’re lucky to have been a victim twice in 6 years. Another way to see that is “I’m victimized every 3 years, on average.” Luckily, it’s never resulted in bodily harm. I’d probably put up with that for myself, too, if I really liked everything else about the neighborhood and it suited my lifestyle. If my elderly mother said that about where she lived, however, I’d be telling her she needed to move every single day.

      To me, the thresholds are (a) if I don’t feel my family and I are safe in the house or walking the streets, we’re out of there, at any cost and (b) if the nuisance value of the petty crime gets deep enough in my head that I dwell on it regularly, it’s probably time to move on. No amount of city-living convenience is worth either of those outcomes.

  • Honestly, when I consider leaving, it’s usually the latest stupid anti-business law, regulation, fee, etc. or the latest example of blatant government corruption, graft, theft that sets me thinking… Ultimately, it’s DC’s voting habits that will finally drive me out. In a Democracy, people pretty much get the government they deserve, and every indication is that DC residents don’t deserve !@#$. I’m very close to the point where I don’t want to be counted among them.

    • So go. I suspect you won’t be missed. The fact that you refer to DC residents as “them” makes it clear you’re not really one of us anyway.

      • and this is the attitude that makes me want to leave DC.

        • Why doesn’t that “attitude” make you want to DO something instead of just complaining? Have you ever been a witness at City Hall for or against new rules, policies, etc? Have you ever run for ANC or any other office? Have you tried to get a community group together or join an existing one?
          This City has a long way to go, I admit, but if everyone just moved or complained when things aren’t to their liking, we wouldn’t even be as far along as we are.

        • Which attitude is that? This poster lumps me, my friends, and my neighbors into one big “them” who “don’t deserve !@#$”. Should I pretend that I think his moving away will be a great loss for me and the city?

          I’m not some guy who tells people to go back to the burbs if they’re upset they got mugged, and I’m not some guy who thinks the length of time someone has lived here matters. I’m just a guy who’s sick of hearing what we citizens of DC don’t deserve.

      • Few things on this blog are more annoying than the condescending “Welcome to DC!” refrain, which I suspect is usually delivered by relative newcomers to the city, and the ubiquitous “Move to the suburbs!” chant.

        • +100. I’ve never quite understood how living in DC longer than someone else makes one superior. Weird.

          • It is not superior, it is perspective. When you live in an area for a specified time, you will (more likely) have greater perspective on that area the longer you live there.

            And the phrase should not be “Welcome to DC” – it should be the generic “Welcome to a big city”. DC is not that different from other large cities. Large cities have crime (more people in less space). Large cities take time to change.

      • How many muggings does it take to add up to $300,000 being diverted to a nudie bar? With a mugging, you have one victim. With a corrupt DC pol every taxpayer is a victim.

        If I said the sky was plaid, you’d say ‘that’s nonsense’ and move on. Think about why my comment gets you worked up. You don’t get mad because the things I say are wrong. You get mad because in your heart, you know the things I say are true.

        @’Or…’: I have testified against stupid rules. My comments were dismissed out of hand. Not listening to me cost the city over $1,000,000 when they were ordered to pay Heller’s legal fees.
        Also, I regularly show up at meetings to promote growth, redevelopment, and new construction. One good thing about the DC gov’t is that, at the end of the day, they’re always hungry for a greater tax base. When the build-out along H is done, or I think most of the upside is priced in, I’ll cash in & move on.

  • I’m sure anyone’s calculus would change if robbed at gunpoint, but I love it here, warts and all. Once you’ve developed a strong social network in the city and get used to not driving everywhere, it’s harder to imagine moving to the DC burbs. Plus, if you really want peace and quiet, there’s always west of the park, which is now very similar to the cost of renting in many locales east of the park. But it does sound like youre having an unusually tough time – sorry for that.

  • I lived in Columbia Heights for 3 years (2 renting a room in a row house, one with my now ex-girlfriend). When it came to relocating to a new place, I was faced with a choice, pay highly inflated rent to stay in Columbia Heights with all the good (stores, restaurants, night life) and the bad (crime, high rent, small spaces). Given all that, I relocated to Southwest Waterfront, got me a place at a low-ish price, great views, quiet neighborhood and with all the upcoming development in 3 years it’ll be the next Columbia Heights (hopefully without the crime, and with lower rents due to rent control).

    • I hope the best for you but they get it popping out in the SW waterfront area still to this day (but it is a lot better, people aren’t walking around with Mac 11s anymore that I know of). They still have a couple spots out there that you don’t want to get lost in. But the development will help and bring more people and police to the area. They can’t have the new folks getting stuck up like that. Good luck!

  • 18 months in Petworth. Moved here from Vermont. We’ve had a very nice set of teak patio furniture stolen that prompted me to spend about 5 k on security doors and window bars. Then an attempted break-in where they tried to pry open the rear security door (they failed!) prompted an upgrade of our security system with additional outdoor lighting, glass break alarm, panic fob for our bedroom, and timer switches on some interior lights to create the illusion we are home, for an aditional 1400$. we don’t care about our stuff getting stolen so much as our little DOGS getting stolen. Probably an irrational fear, but a fear nonetheless.

    All of that, and right now my greatest trouble is the darned possum hanging out under our deck! That thing freaks us out at night when we let our little dogs out!

    For us, we are all in, but a violent crime or harm to our dogs might change that equation. What may get us to move to Silver Spring, however, is my desire for a backyard swimming pool, which isn’t possible where we are. But that is years down the road. We love living in Petworth, despite the crime concerns. We have great neighbors, and most of the longtime residents on our block have embraced us (probably because we’ve embraced most of them).

    • Are you sure it is a possum? The rats are pretty huge around these parts.

      • bfinpetworth

        haha, true. But yes, it is a possum. Neighbors say it has been living in the area for years and sometimes has a family. Right now it seems solo. One night we came out for a late night doggy potty and it was perched on top of our fence. Problem is that, unlike rats, which generally scatter away when approached by humans or dogs, the possum “plays possum” and freezes whereever it is nad won’t move, sometimes for hours. Last night one of my little dogs tried to chase it under the house but I picked her up and ran inside. It seems harmless but it just freaks me out!

    • I’m with you, harm to my pups and I’m gone. That is my threshold. Almost 4 years in Petworth and so far so good. But, we are always super careful and have the doors locked, we have a house alarm, we also have numerous large dogs that bark and a beware of dog sign. Seems to be working so far. I have just made up my mind in life not to be the victim of an “opportunity” crime, like oops I left the door unlocked and someone walked in type thing. But if my dogs were in danger or injured I would be done.

    • This is surprising that there have been that many theft issues. We’ve been here 8 years and have never had any theft issues. Around what block do you live?

  • … I just *love* the fact that we all expect these things to happen (see comments that include “lucky” despite several incidence of car theft; “lucky” with a smashed car window and a stolen bike”). Why isn’t the bar for our city at a point where we are outraged by vandals and petty criminals, let alone muggings and home invasions?

    There are downsides of living in Washington that I’ve willingly accepted, in exchange for being near close friends: high rent/expensive home prices; neighbors who “park by feeling” and tear up my bumper; crowded bus rides to work; snarky service nearly everywhere; $5 beer at almost every bar in the city. Yet it’s the crime – both street crime and in city hall – that make me absolutely sick to my stomach. What do we do to change it? Our elected officials are failing us – but I don’t think it’s solely their job to go out and make our city better. It’s OUR job, too.

    I’ve made it a special point to get to know my neighbors and the small business owners down the block from me – and I think that’s an important step in making my neighborhood more safe. … but there’s the point when I wonder what else I can do? I don’t want to be a “neighborhood activist” who starts a crime watch group. That’s what the police are for. I don’t want to have to go tell city hall to focus on crime – and/or root causes; clearly, they have their own criminal issues.

    What puts me over the top isn’t any one of these (in)actions, it’s the fact that it feels like an uphill fight that can never be won. No matter what I do to try and make the world around me, be that donating my time, my money or my general support, I feel like I’m in the middle of a socioeconomic battle of sorts that make me the enemy. I’m not going to give in, but I sure wish the path forward didn’t have the words “lucky that…” as the baseline.

    • +1

      The attitude in this city that crime is going to happen and just deal with it is reprehensible. Why aren’t people more outraged?? Why isn’t anyone doing anything about it? Is it because there is no sense of community or people don’t have strong roots here? A lot of other cities would not stand for this (nor did they).

      When I walk around DC, I am always watching my back. I feel uneasy walking around, day or night. I have never felt less safe in any other city, including those in some of the poorest countries of the world. It is a disgrace that this country’s capital has so much violent crime.

      I encourage all of you to write to your council members because we deserve better. It’s all well and good to post on the internet, but it really doesn’t do much – let your voices be heard.

      • If you’re “always watching your back” it sounds like you may have hit your threshold. I’m perfectly comfortable in my neighborhood; I love my neighbors. I love the convenience. To me it’s worth the tradeoff of a smashed car window once every 5 or more years.

      • Things don’t change over night. If you read my comments and others you will see that the city has come a long way and when I say long, I mean LOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGGGG WAY.

        DC is and has been neglected for so long, it wasn’t that long ago when crack and other drugs ruled the city.

        Perspective please.

  • I’ve lived in cities for the past 21 years, and crime is a fact of life here. Frequent crime, however, depends on where and how you live. I have no desire to be a pioneer (as one comment stated), nor to trail blaze borderline neighborhoods. I am also wary and cautious about where I walk and when. I’ve enjoyed 21 blissful years of city life with little or no crime directly affecting me. Were I to choose to live in an area that was still on the edge – and I never would – then I would not be surprised at the level of petty crime described in this post, and I would suck it up as the price of the choice I made to get a nice, big house at a nice, low price.

  • Great question. This should be a good read.

    Really for me, I unfortunatley expect stuff to go down in the city, it is what it is. But don’t get me twisted, I don’t condone it but I pretend that I live in a utopian society, I’m more of a realist (if you will). Also, for what it is worth, I like the grittiness that comes with living in a metropolitan area. With that being said, the biggest factor that is really coming into play for us moving out of DC is just the money. My wife and I aren’t paid like that but we do a lot better than a lot of people but yet we can’t afford what we would really like. Actually, that is true as well but for me if I am going to pay $500,000 then I damn well want my monies worth, I don’t want a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom rowhouse. We can move very close to (20-30 minutes, which is about what it takes to get around in DC) outside of other cities proper and damn near have a mini-mansion or at least a very nice home to raise kids in for the years to come. But the thing about those cities is that there is so much land, that they are always building and you risk your house losing value and that is one thing that doesn’t happen in DC and won’t happen anytime soon.

    My wife is different, she doesn’t want to raise kids in the “city” so to speak or at least where we live now (18th and H, NE) because there really is nothing for the kids, at least not how she would like to see them raised. Maybe we will luck and find something detached in DC (Brookland or wherever) that is attractive to us…

    • *I don’t pretend that I live in an utopian society.

    • look at upper northwest.. it’s where i grew up and i had a lovely, active, sunny childhood with a TON of kids on my street. DC isn’t all rowhouses…. you can feel very much “out of the city” uptown..

  • Why aren’t people “more” outraged? Why do people just “deal” with it?

    It is comments like these that remind me most of you are new arrivals to DC and had no idea what you were getting into when you moved here.

    As someone whose been here for decades, yes crime bothers me. But what you lack is perspective.

    You think crime is outrageous now, but the Districts crime situation has improved exponentially in the past 20 years. Everything, murder, armed robbery, burglary…it is all down 50, 75%. Is DC nirvana? Of course not, but it is far and away from what it was.

    So now for the snark…the biggest problem with the young gentrifiying sect such as yourselves is that you were incredibly naive when you moved here and lacked anything resembling perspective. You think that because Columbia Heights has a Target that all of a sudden it is as safe as Claredon?

    You moved into a neighbohood(s) where the unemployment rates approached 30%, where drugs and crime were already rampant and the common way of life. What did you think was going to happen? You moved to a neighborhood where generations of people have lacked respect for themselves and their city, why in the world would they have any respect for you.

    • I may have been wearing diapers when you were being tough and living through the murder years in DC, but that doesn’t mean I should suck it up and watch all the crime reports and think “hey, no big deal, there have been worse days.”

    • I have to, for the most part, agree with this assessment. People don’t seem to realize that the reason so much development has taken place in places like CH and Ledroit and Eckington is because these areas were severely run down and depressed, easy fodder for developers to swoop in and redevelop, good for the city in getting a ton of garbage of its hands and rebuilt. I remember back around 2004/2005 when someone was trying to sell a decent sized, but not enormous house in CH for over $1 million. And I’m thinking to myself, “Are you effing nuts? That neighborhood does not deserve that kind of price!” Less than 10 years ago you could still drive down Girard between 14th and 15th and buy drugs off the street.

      All these people have moved into areas where the bad element has not moved out. And often the bad element lives just down the street and you are all a nice juicy target. Witness: crime in glitzy CH is much worse than it is in my nearby, but much less flashy, 14th St Heights. Just a mile north and I live among families that have been here for many years and who care for the neighborhood.

      The one thing I will say in defense of the ignorant, is that these still sketchy areas were billed as safe, hip places to live. People may have been naive, but they were also enticed and misled into thinking they were moving into Clarendon-like neighborhoods. Live and learn.

      • Mj your comment is on point!

      • …these still sketchy areas were billed as safe, hip places to live… they [naive people] were also enticed and misled into thinking they were moving into Clarendon-like neighborhoods.

        Who exactly billed these areas as safe? Was it the DC crime statistics reports? How about the news articles on burglaries and armed robberies? No? I would say the reason people moved to where they did and bought property is for the ROI. People are willing to put up with a lot of crap if it means their place appreciates $200,000 in five years.

        • I’m not sure what planet you are living on, but on this Earth you cannot buy a house in Eckington or Ledroit or CH for $200,000 unless it is a shell of a shell.

          • MJ, you are correct in what you are saying but the person you replied to said ” People are willing to put up with a lot of crap if it means their place appreciates $200,000 in five years.” They weren’t talking about buying it for that much. Hell, if they came at the right time, they could have gotten it for a lot lower.

        • During the height of the real estate bubble, maybe some people were buying with the idea of selling in a few years… but I think a primary reason that people have bought — and continue to buy — in neighborhoods considered “transitional” is that they’ve been priced out of the more “established” neighborhoods.

          • what’s crazy is that the transitional neighborhoods are still in a bubble. Price per square foot in columbia heights is about the same as it is in cleveland park.

          • Anonymous 11:14, I doubt that’s true. I have priced Cleveland Park recently, and I’m fairly certain that I would end up in a considerably smaller house for what I could get for my place in CH.

      • The debate between “why aren’t people outraged” and “perspective” miss the more nuanced point. Yes, it is important for people who recently moved here (myself included) to realize that D.C. is a city that has a crime-filled history which is continuously improving, and that a lot of the areas people are moving still have “bad elements” that never moved out. Further, crime is and will probably always be a concern in any metropolitan area as opposed to quieter suburds. That said, why shouldn’t those of us who moved here more recently and more long-term residents continue to hope for a D.C. where crime is an increasingly smaller concern? This includes hoping for a D.C. where crime is an exception, rather than an expectation.

        Many of us who have moved to D.C. more recently may love it, and want to continue to live here, for the same reasons that the long-term residents have stayed.

      • You’re comparing apples and oranges, CH and 14th St Heights might as well be worlds apart.

    • I’ve lived in DC all my life, purchasing the house I grew up in on the Hill. I have to agree with Joker. Some of you moved into areas that I myself would have never moved into, the H Street area being one of them.

      • I know what you mean and I am very surprised there aren’t more muggings and robberies around H st. It amazes me to see these folks drunk stumbling around like nothing will happen to them. It is a matter of time, if they only knew.

    • I’m with Joker on this one. I feel far safer here than I did even 5 or 10 years ago. But then again, I have chosen to pay a premium rent to live downtown in a relatively safe area (Logan Circle). Would I like to live in a really affordable apartment for far less rent? Yes. But I’m not willing to move to one of the “transitional” neighborhoods because I value the quality of life I have in my current location. There’s always a tradeoff.

      • I do get Joker’s point, and like others, I have my own personal feelings as to what tradeoffs are worth it for the price. There are some neighborhoods that I would not live in, even if I could get a bigger place closer to the coolest bars for $200k less than other areas. But, I’ve lived in DC since 93 (not the worst of times, clearly, but during PrattDixonKelly and Barry II), and so the fact that we can generally refer to Logan as a relatively safe area now is a good reminder that things do change, however slowly. And yes, in part it was due to newer residents who moved there when it cheaper and grittier. I don’t think the answer is just to say, well you moved into a crappy area, you have no cause to complain. Frankly if the complaints pressure the city to make even incremental changes, it will make for a better city in the long run, I don’t care who they come from.

        • Why is it acceptable for violence and theft to occur in some neighborhoods that you’ve decided not to live in?

          Why do you condone violence for “poor people”?

          • I didn’t get the impression that SV was “condon[ing] violence for poor people” — more saying that if complaints cause the city to be more responsive, then that’s a good thing, whether those complaints come from longtime residents or from newcomers.

    • As the guy who wrote the post at 7:53am wondering “what else to do”: I’ve lived in Washington for a decade, at times in areas not as nice as the one I’m in now. What makes me angry is people like you who say “put things in perspective.” I’m not deluding myself that it’s a city and dangerous, but I’ve lived places where this doesn’t have to be the case and I’ve seen cities (Washington included) that continue to get better.

      The culture of corruption and disrespect in this city does not lend itself to fixing these problems. Move? No. Listen to someone like you who says I should just “be happy it’s not as bad as it was”? Definitely not.

    • On the other hand, I did live here through the 90’s moved away and moved back about 5 years ago. And while I agree the city has made amazing strides, the problem really is with you old timers who say “oh it wasn’t that bad when 1-2 people were getting shot every night” (not to mention the other crime). If you lived through it like I did, fantastic, but your attitude towards the current environment condones the violence and your stagnant voting patterns reinforce the lack of opportunity for young men to get a proper education and get out of the ghetto. You are, in a word, the Problem.

      • Oh, get off your shaky soap box. No one is condoning the violence, in rich or poor neighborhoods.

        But not condoning it is different from being realistic. Moving to Eckington and not expecting to be exposed to the crime that goes with it, is like walking into a bee apiary without a protective suit and expecting not to get stung.

        DC crime stats have fallen preciptiously and continue to do so every year. I am sorry you moved here from (insert small crime free town here) and thought you could move to DC’s most crime ridden neighborhoods and not be affected.

        Now you know.

    • Somebody had to say it and I think it coukdn’t have been said better. When there are monthly questions to PoP asking “Should I call the cops on the kids playing dice & drinking in my porch?”, you know some very naive people have gotten in way, way over their heads.

      • You know, not everybody can afford to flee to Upper Caucasia after they discover that “diversity” isn’t always all about peace and love and harmony.

    • While CH may have been promoted as “safe”, I don’t think that’s why people moved to CH. People tend to buy in the safest neighborhood they can afford. While the new residents of of CH (or any other transitional neighborhood) are indeed gentrifiers, they are also the objects of gentrification — the gentrified. Can’t afford Mt P? Or Adams Morgan, Logan, or Dupont? Move to CH.

      We can’t ignore the market forces that drive decisions here. Sure, you can blame people’s surprise about crime rate on realtor boosting or positive newspaper articles, but that’s not the reality of why people bought in CH. I’d argue that the “hip” or “safe” reputation was more of a defense mechanism that allowed people could feel comfortable about buying where they *had* to. It was a fairy tale people who had already bought told themselves at night, and then told to their friends who like them couldn’t afford to buy in a safer neighborhood.

      Is there a hip neighborhood in DC that doesn’t have a high crime rate? “Hip” is almost synonymous with “transitional”. I think people are wise to what neighborhoods like CH were/are like. I don’t think there’s a lot of people, who — given a real estate time machine — would take back their purchase.

  • Maybe this will finally bring the out of control rent and cost of real estate down? 🙂 Just a joke. But it’s true. Quality of life in DC, given the level of crime perceived or real, is low. Very low. There are a lot of great things about living here but I find the fear and lack of freedom oppressive. I don’t walk anywhere at night unnecessarily; everyday before I leave the house, I hide my computer since so many people have lost their laptops in home robberies; etc, etc. The threat is always there to an extent I think, isn’t true for places like NYC or San Francisco.

    I do think we need to take back the streets. I think there should be more visible crime watch groups and more community action. I don’t actually know if it would help but at least it wouldn’t be as passive as just waiting for your number to be up.

    • These problems exist in NYC and SF and everywhere else. The difference is that in NYC and SF there are much larger swaths of affluent areas without any adjoining bad areas, so the criminals are less likely to easily wander into the good parts. Remember that not even 20 years ago, much of DC was a cesspool of crime. And 25 years ago, large areas of Manhattan that are now considered very safe were also a cesspool of crime. You didn’t want to live on Avenue A in 1985, and you didn’t want to live in Carol Gardens. Things changed – slooooowly. Same is true here. We are just on the cusp of change in many parts of DC, and change takes time and can be painful.

      • Yeah, when I lived in NYC our apartment building got broken into multiple times. We just happened to live on the 3rd floor so too hard to reach from the ground level and too far down to reach from the roof. The apartments above and below us were all broken into through the windows.

      • These problems absolutely do not occur in SF. Maybe in Oakland, but not in SF.

        It’s front page news when *anything* bad happens in SF. Here it’s page 3 of the Metro section.

        • Apparently you lived in a different SF than I did. I was in the Lower Haight, and this shit happened all the time.

  • To be fair, regarding the writers who shared the incident above – in the few times that I’ve had the displeasure of interacting with the 2 guys who live in the house in question, its made me want to break their planters (though, please know, I didnt).

    1 of them has been extremely rude to me personally and at community meetings they resemble the hecklers from the Muppet Movies. They are very verbally combative and unpleasant. They also have some pretty tough talk in community meetings for the alley drinkers and loiterers that populate the spaces near their house.

    I don’t envy their position, their house backs up right on a tough spot in the neighborhood (that existed when they moved in 2 years ago).

    Now here is where my speculation begins, if they conduct themselves the same way as I’ve witnessed with the unpleasant folks that live near them, these incidents may be targeted retaliation. I’m not justifying it or excusing it – but I dont think anyone else in the neighborhood has had similar experiences. This type of vandalism is just really unusual anywhere. Street robberies, break ins, harassment, and general thuggery, I could totally see – but smashed garage doors, destroyed planters, and graffiti on individual houses are extremely rare – 12 incidents on the same house is an extreme outlier.

    I’m sorry that this is happening to my neighbors – think the violence they’re experiencing is just continuing the cycle of beef back and forth. However, I think when looking at this specific case you need to take a critical look at the situation and at least give some thought to there being more than meets the eye.

    As for the QOTD: if I was the victim of 12 incidents of crime in a 27 month period, I would move – no question. Its not worth it.

    • Maybe you’re already great buddies with all your neighbors, but with all these repeated incidents, I seriously doubt it. I’d try to reach out to the older residents and make friends. Be respectful and friendly. Make some deserts and try to have a simple party or meal or something to show you can respectfully hang. Say hello to people and learn your neighbors names. Chat up the crossing guards, your mailperson, some little kids.
      Drink a beer on your steps and talk about football or weather.
      If this is not what you want, move away.

  • I moved out when they buiilt the Starbucks at 14th & U. That isn’t the sort of world in which I want to raise my kids. And they send the wrong message to our children, that you have to pay $5 for coffee that tastes like $h!t.

  • did someone say “glitzy columbia heights” ???? HAHA!!

    I have lived here for 20 years. I’ve lived in all the neighborhoods you’re talking about.

    I now live in Logan Circle in an Apartment and deal with no crime at all ever. Hope that stays the same.

    My point is, you moved into crime areas.

  • I can’t wait to move to MoCo

  • I don’t think this us vs. against them feel is very productive. Newbies vs oldtimers. When I got mugged the didn’t say “Oh, you moved here in 1992, you can keep your purse then.” He just took my fucking purse. And when we got broken into the guy didn’t leave a note “my bad, you guys were here when there were still hookers in the circle? sorry for the mess!” They just took our crap and trashed our apt.
    We need to be united, newbies and old timers, renters and owners, skinny-jean-wearing-fixie-riding-pug-walking-young-things and crusty old geezers (like me). The city is already divided by poverty and race and class and a history of political corruption and inaction.

  • Although I enjoy living on H St. with all it has to offer, and I haven’t personally experienced anything more threatening than the occasional inappropriate comment, I do plan to move out of DC soon. Part of that is due to personal reasons, but a really large factor for me is that by moving into the suburbs (not Clarendon, obviously but not Bailey’s Crossroads either) I can save money for my future. I’m just starting out my career, and I don’t like living basically paycheck to paycheck. I know probably a lot of people on this blog will be quick to castigate me for that, and trust me, I know it’s a major sacrifice of quality of life to not be near the vibrancy of the city, etc. I really have the ultimate goal though of saving up enough money and advancing enough in my career that within a few years I will be able to have a more comfortable lifestyle at a place in the city with amenities nearby (preferably not in a transitioning neighborhood, but who knows what will be considered transitioning in a few years). I moved here with the attitude that I had to have everything the city offered at my doorstep, which I am sure many people also did, and after about 2 years, I’ve had to adjust that fantasy quite a bit. The way I see it, sacrifice now to save up for later.

  • In my 13th year in DC, I think that there are two antidotes to the infuriating fact of vandalism and low level crime. First, crime can bring people together. The triple murder that happened next door brought all kinds of neighbors together. Another time, I met the victim of a mugging that I witnessed at the grand jury, and got to know his family. Tell you the truth, those events bonded us and made us all more dedicated to improving the U Street area. Second, I think a lot of DC residents spend 1,000 minutes connected to far-flung facebook friends for every second they spend connecting with actual neighbors; if they’re different race or age, there’s almost no interaction. Talking to neighbors does NOT mean getting together to bitch, it’s having an actual chat. Similarly, so many give to global nonprofits, but don’t do squat for the nonprofits in this area. That can help you realize that there are some great kids in DC, too.

  • I can sympathize with the writer, but no one can really answer that question for you. I’m a middle aged guy who moved to northern Columbia Heights from Forest Hills when our house got too big for us and I love the amenities of walking to metro, grocery stores and restaurants. We bought a row house and put a rolling automatic gate on the back yard so we could park both cars off the street, which eliminated most of the hassles I hated on a daily basis. I’m not often out very late at night and never had a brush with crime so I’m relatively happy, but when I see drunks wandering around and rats in abundance I sometime wonder if I lost my mind in moving across the river. I’m fortunate in that I can easily afford to move back, but I simply love the convenience I find here. Bottom line for me: if you are on edge, nervous, and/or angry much of the time, and your home is the cause, it’s worth almost any sacrifice to get out. You don’t owe the neighborhood anything, but the reverse is also true. We all have different appetites for civic activism, and the city is certainly getting much better, but everyone’s threshold is different and life is short.

    • talula

      I very much agree with your points. I grew up in NYC and was resentful/confused about the hipsters moving into neighborhoods that I as a native would never feel comfortable moving into. Now I find myself on the other side, now I’m the one moving into gentrified DC neighborhood.

      Even more so that New York, I’ve found in my short months here that DC has a large transient population, especially in up and coming areas. People new to the city don’t always know what to expect of city life, and dealing with crime is just a small part of that Living in the city is just a completely different lifestyle than living in the suburbs. Some people adapt to it and enjoy it, others enjoy only as a temporary post-college 20-something living situation, then move out when they get married/having kids. For others, the city life is just not for them. Everyone has their own threshold. If one doesn’t feel comfortable where they are living, then move on. I agree that they don’t owe the neighborhood anything, and vice versa. There will always be people who enjoy the city lifestyle and/or being the urban pioneers, and there will always be people who do not. Life is short; be happy.

  • We are actually about to move after 8 years in Columbia Heights and find it bitter sweet. The move is precipitated by a second baby and the need for more space. However, it does also have something to do with the violent crime in the neigborhood and notably a shooting right outside our window over the summer and living very close to the double murder in July. Here is our list, that is again, reasonably lucky.

    2 car break ins.
    1 smashed retaining wall (by a stolen car being pursued by police)
    1 stolen barbecue
    6 hit and run smashes on parked cars.

  • Known repeat violent juvenile offenders run this city. Since our laws and systems tolerate such incredibly bad behavior, of course we are going to have several murders, muggings, home invasions, carjackings week after week. The children in this town even carry firearms and when they do get caught for murder the sometimes get less than 15 years sentence for christ sake.

  • I’ve lived in DC for 10 years now, owned my condo in Columbia Heights for 4. I have always known I’d leave my favorite city once I outgrew it. When I have more people to think about than just myself (i.e. kids, aging parents), I’ll have to leave. This city has been amazing as far as getting my career off the ground and giving me the opportunity to invest in real estate that will return itself when I need it to. I’ve also had so much fun here – but it’s not a place where I can grow old. I can’t ask my future kids to put up with a rotted school system and not-so-safe streets. I can’t ask my future kids to live next door to a rotation of newly graduated frat-kids or neighbors who just *can’t* share walls with people respectfully. I can put up with these things as a 20-something with few dependencies.

    I guess it’s the city lifestyle that I’ll grow out of, not specifically DC. Props to those who have and will hang in there.

    • I suspect this adequately answers the post’s question for about 80% of readership. I loved DC in my 20s, and for everything I loved, I was able to look past the things that always bothered me. The teens who swear at the top of their lungs no matter who else is around, the littering, the scratched bumper, the stolen Christmas decorations from the yard … Then I got a family and my career and income felt solid, so I valued different things: uniformly good public schools, low incidence of quality-of-life crimes, parks where drunks were anomalies, etc.. So now I love the ‘burbs in my 30s. Part of it had to do with changing priorities in my life. But part of it, frankly, also had to do with having the financial condition that allowed me to live wherever I wanted.

      • Absolutely, between the lines of my post, you can read, “having a good income, and the down payment for real estate investment” has made all the difference to my quality of life in Columbia Heights. I would have been out long ago if I had to live paycheck-to-paycheck, because as one poster said, you need to spend your youth preparing for your future. That’s hard to do in such an expensive and competitive city.

  • in many ways it takes good people moving into the hood to help make our city better. you need as inexpensive a place as you can find, the good people that already live there are overwhelmed and we need people willing to live decent and stand up to crime.

    but you become fodder. if you are arrogant, only dream about development reaching your hood, flash your stuff around, talk about your exotic vacations around your poor neighbors, etc… you will become a victim. the trade offs can be great. if you are unwilling to become street smart in certain areas, you are far better off finding a safer neighborhood than waiting it out. eckington is one of those neighborhoods. it is not “safe” there, despite newish neighbors always commenting on about how safe it is. do not become delusional in your assessment of your area. and do not live with the expectation that it will get better. it may not. if you don’t like in now, i’d bail. we all have difference tolerances. be honest with yourself.

  • Been here since 1980 (except for 2 miserable years in Denver).
    1 break in by man with gun resuliting in rape of 13 y/o daughter, 4 muggings (no weapon but physical force), 1 car theft, 3 stolen bikes, 1 theft from apartment (probably inside job), lots of used condoms in driveway and the random harrasement on the street.
    Not going anywhere. Best place to live in the country.

    • I’m genuinely curious, does your daughter feel the same about the city?

      • After the crime she had the DC flag tatooed on her arm (once she hit 18).
        I believe she is very proud to be born and bred here.

    • Your daughter was raped? How horrifically awful. I don’t understand how that can be a part of a list including stolen bikes, and I don’t understand how this didn’t change your view of your neighborhood.

      • The list started with the worst and ended with the least of the crap we have put up with in DC. (except I forgot about the guy the was murdered on the street two doors down from my house – how soon we forget).
        Of the 5 different loacations we have resided in from 11th and Mass to Kalorama west of Connecticut, the worst occured in the 2nd “nicest” where we still reside today. A place that many on PoP think is out of reach.
        Random acts of violence suck but they happen. Like astroids.
        It doesn’t make them right and the guilty should be punished but I will not be punished by having to move out of the city I love so much.

      • Dang it, I forgot to mention the time someone stole the flowers off the back porch and the hammock from the front porch. Some things just don’t matter that much anymore.

  • The old-timers who point out that the city is improving are right.

    The people who say that we shouldn’t put up with crime are right. But let’s not dismiss the old timer’s perspective on the situation….change takes time, and patience can be a good thing.

    If you want things to continue improving, I suggest getting out and about, talking to your neighbors, keeping an eye on your block, knowing your local business owners and police, etc. Walking my dog and being friendly with everyone I meet (even the tough-looking kids) has made my part of Petworth feel like home, a cozier and safer neighborhood than outsiders would likely believe.

  • LisaT

    We moved here in early 04 and rented in Columbia Heights till 08, rented in Takoma Park 08-10, and bought in Petworth/Brightwood Park the last days of 2010. Got stuck here with jobs and would like to get out for many many reasons. When we can find work elsewhere and sell our house, we’re out.

  • I’ve lived in DC proper for 6 1/2 years, first in Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights, now in Bloomingdale. I may be jinxing myself, but I honestly have never even felt mildly threatened, much less been a victim of crime. The worst thing that’s happened is my car got hit and dented back when I was parking on the street. I do think living in a building with controlled access and plenty of neighbors who know me makes me feel more secure than I might if I owned a rowhouse. To answer the question, if and when I have to face that first gunpoint mugging, my perspective may totally change. Just don’t know how I would handle that. Several of my friends have…

  • Not every affordable neighborhood also means you have to deal with a lot of crime. Since moving to Petworth there have definitely been some serious crimes that have happened in the neighborhood, but those are way down. The great thing about this area is that there’s less property crime here than any neighborhood I’ve ever lived in DC (Dupont – 6 car break-ins, Adams Morgan – 2 car break-ins, Mt. Pleasant – 2 car break-ins, stolen lawn mower, stolen plants and packages of our porch). Here’s our list for a combined 11 years of living in Petworth (me 6 yrs and my husband 11):
    0 car break-ins
    0 stuff stolen off our porch (we get packages delivered all the time!)
    0 house break-ins
    0 attempted house break-ins
    0 muggings

    I used to call 911 on almost weekly basis because there was a drug house on my block (I called to report drug dealing and probably every month some fight or other incident) but they have been gone for 2 years. I used to sometimes hear gunshots, but not for ages. The sketchy people don’t hang around anymore. It’s so QUIET now.

    • I’ve lived in DC for 12 years, including 3 years in Columbia Heights and 6 in Petworth.

      In that time I have once been the victim of a crime–when my car window was smashed in the middle of the day at 16th and T. Oh I guess twice, someone once stole the light that I forgot to take off my bike when I left it on the street.

      I have experienced no property crime at my home. No one has stolen anything from my porch or backyard. I get packages delivered all the time (I have a little Amazon problem) with no issues.

      In 12 years I have witnessed 3 muggings and four times been within 2 blocks of gunfire (on three of those occasions I was at home in bed).

      I’m not delusional, and I’ve been the victim of very violent crime elsewhere in the world. I spend a lot of time in extremely violent environments outside of the US and I’ve learned well enough that there is only so much you can do to protect yourself, but you do need to do what you can! Part of it is luck. But part is also arming yourself with information. In many neighborhoods your safety and comfort is tied intrinsically to the block on which you live and the friends and neighbors you acquire there. When we bought our house in Petworth 4 years ago there were a very limited number of blocks that we considered. We had rented in the neighborhood and were very familiar with which areas we wanted. At that time there were only 4 houses on the market that met our requirements for location. If one of them hadn’t worked out we would have continued renting. I wasn’t so intent on getting in on the real estate game that I was willing to take a gamble on a block I knew had issues or one that would require me to walk through a bad block every day.

      I don’t know if anything would make me leave. I don’t have a security system though and a break in would absolutely make me reconsider that.

      • LisaT

        You make a good point–we’ve noticed that it is very block by block dependent. Our small block is fine, save for the massive amounts of litter and two problem houses, one in particular. Other blocks around us are completely quiet and really nice, and no piles of garbage.

  • I’ve been in DC since 2000 and in Columbia Heights since Feb. 2002. In that time, I waited out the promised development, which thankfully happened, my house has been tagged, I’ve had shit stolen from my porch, and I’ve been robbed at gunpoint. Thankfully, my house has never been broken into (we have both a security system and window bars) and neither my wife, my son, nor I have ever been injured. I think the breaking point for us would be a home invasion.

    But, we love this neighborhood. It has all the conveniences of urban living, great diversity, and I have a 10 minute commute by bike to work. That’s all quality of life. So, we suck up the risks, take reasonable precautions, and hope for the best.

    Gotta say, the school situation is probably more likely to push us out than the crime. My wife and I are both public school educated, but we’ve resigned ourselves to the enormous expense of private school. That’s not even a guarantee in this market. So, if junior doesn’t get into a kindergarten this year (private, charter, or out-of-boundary public), we’re headed west of the park or *gasp* to Bethesda to a smaller house, a white-bread neighborhood, and a worse commute. We really hope to stay in CH.

  • I am a bit lost, what is “West of the park” and what is considered an “old timer”?

  • I’ve already decided that it’s not worth buying in DC (currently rent in U Street). I like living in DC, but the “gentrifying” neighborhoods already build in so much anticipated development, that they aren’t even a good deal any more. Besides, in a couple of years, I might actually need some city services (things like schools), so I may as well just buy in the ‘burbs, feel safer, and not have to move in a few years. I’m not looking forward to the commute, or to not being able to walk to all of my favorite activities, but the government in DC is such a failure, and I feel like it’s so expensive (rent and taxes) to live in the city, that at some point, I just feel like I have to make the move. At least I won’t have to worry about where/when I can listen to my ipod or use my cell phone. And I won’t have to be lectured any more by long-time residents about how I am ruining the city.

    • Income taxes are high, yes, but property taxes are lower than in surrounding jurisdictions. If you own a house, it more or less evens out.

  • SouthwestDC

    I gave up on a neighborhood where I was renting several years ago. I was actually thinking I’d like to buy there because I could afford to and it was close to work, but it was (still is) transitional. So I decided to give it a “test drive,” so to speak, and rented a place there. There were a lot of great people in the neighborhood and I loved the location, but I ended up having to break the lease and move out because I didn’t feel safe there.

    There was a series of events that led up to me giving up on the neighborhood, but the turning point was when someone broke into the house (which had window and door bars and an alarm system). Burglaries happen everywhere, of course, but it’s disturbing when your house is already pretty well protected and they still get in. If I had owned the house I guess I would have toughed it out, but I’m not sure there’s much I could have done to convince myself it wouldn’t have happened again.

    You could say I’ve given up on Northern Virginia as well, though I never had aspirations of settling down there (I was doing it strictly for cheap rent). After a while all the crowds, and traffic, and long commutes, and horrible impersonal neighbors takes its toll on you. It’s not the same as being the victim of a crime, but those are quality of life issues that make living there not worth it (for me anyway).

  • I would move to another block. But I did my research before I bought. Crime does move, though from my research, it has moved away from the block I bought on. One block away there is still crime, but it hasn’t moved back to my block in 10 years. Also, the crime that’s nearby diminishes consistently every year.

    So if I hadn’t done my research before, or if the crime stats completely reversed and moved back to my block, I would study the history and then watch the trajectory for a year on other blocks to see what’s happening, and consider moving to one of those.

  • I have not encountered a lot of crime since I moved to DC about 15 years ago. I was assaulted in 2000, and had a bike stolen (that same year, in fact). But since moving to the Mt. Pleasant area, I have not personally experienced any stolen property, assault, break-ins or vandalism. One thing I’ve learned is that DC is very block-dependent, and so one block in a ‘safe’ neighborhood may not be safe due to a bad house. Also, serious crime is much more likely to harm people connected to the criminal in some way.
    I would consider moving if crime became a problem. That said, there has been a lot of improvement in the school system, safety levels, and city services, so thankfully I expect to be able to stay put.
    I do wish us voters would stop reelecting our council members so easily though.

  • I find this thread to be sort of depressing. The majority of respondents seem to be sticking it out through their 20’s, and then planning to decamp to the suburbs when their kids are born.

    That’s about the same demographic pattern that’s been happening since the 1980’s. I had been hoping that the schools could improve enough to entice a new generation of middle-class residents to stay in the city, but I suspect that won’t happen any time in the near future.

    • I agree.

      We are on the fence about kids (we’re in our early 30s). No intentions to leave DC. Our neighborhood elementary school isn’t great, but we live close to several well regarded charter schools. Between out of boundary chances and the increasing proliferation of good charter schools and what seem to be genuine improvements in neighborhood schools especially at the elementary level I’m feeling somewhat encouraged.

      Free pre-K is pretty enticing as well.

      That said, it’s pretty easy for us to feel this way when our income is sufficient to buy our way into a great private school if we couldn’t make it work with public/charter. I’m well aware that most people don’t have that luxury.

      • It’s not necessarily that straightforward. There is a lot of money in this area, and so you have more people with the ability to buy their way into private schools than slots in those schools. People do get shut out. There are good charters, but those slots are assigned by lotteries in which 200-300 people will apply for 30 slots. The odds are similar with out-of-boundary public. Yes, money gives you (and me) more options than many people, but one of those options, unfortunately, may be moving.

        • Saying that 200-300 kids are applying to 30 spots in each school is not incorrect, but it is misleading. These same 200-300 students are applying to all the good charters. By the time it all shakes out, the vast majority are happy with their options. This wasn’t true five years ago.

    • I’d love to raise my kids in a more urban environment than I was raised in, but the cost is just too high. I want to spend the phases of my life among like-minded people: big city in my 20’s, family-friendly suburbs for raising kids, and a retirement community in FL when I’m sick of shooing kids off my lawn.

      If DC were more family friendly, I’d stay in a heartbeat. However, I can’t break my bank account paying for private school and then come up empty for college, despite a great income.

  • Previous posters hit the nail on the head by saying “DC Gov’t a failure” and DC voters continually re-elect the same ineffectual Council Members.

    You got to break some eggs to make that omellete

  • I’m always bemused by people equating crime with cities. I grew up in Plantation Acres, Fla., a very affluent area. Our house was broken into once a year. My mother was robbed at gunpoint in our driveway.

    My own house in West Palm Beach — also burglarized.

    Since I moved to DC 13 years ago? 1 bicycle stolen.

    There was a series of home invasion robberies in Bethesda and Wheaton last year. Another home invasion in Loudon County. Need I go on?

    • No, but there is a difference between anecodtal accounts and statistical evidence. Are you suggesting that West Palm staistically has more crime than D.C.?

      If your point is that you can be a victim of crime anywhere than that’s solid. But that said, statistics can inform where you are more likely to be a victim of crime.

    • …. and? shit still happens more here in DC…

  • Happiness in DC is having a smart dog to guard your house…

  • For all the commenters who draw the line at home invasions — like I do — I suggest you consider legally purchasing a firearm for self defense. Take gun classes, regularly practice at the range and buy yourself a sturdy firearms safe. There’s almost no chance you will ever need to use it, but if you find yourself in the unthinkable situation of having your life threatened at the hands of an armed intruder who has broken into your home, you will have the ability to meaningfully defend yourself.

  • it’s really too bad that some people are so terrible. why can’t people just be good to their neighbors? do they not understand that helping each other can only improve and benefit the community? it seems like these crimes are all petty and done out of anger because there’s not much a person can get out of some plants, stepping stones, and a neighbor’s broken garage door. it really is a shame that people have to reduce themselves to this…

  • I have to say, reading this thread I feel good about my purchase 10 years ago in non-hip Riggs Park. I have never been a victim of crime in D.C. Nothing has been stolen from my house or yard. Or me. And I can walk to the Metro (Ft. Totten — red/green/yellow lines) safely.

  • 19 years in DC (Dupont, Adams Morgan, Shaw, Columbia Heights).

    1 gaybashing
    1 bike stolen

    I’ll never leave this fine city.

    For those that come and go: hope you had a good time, hope you enjoy your new place.

  • PDleftMtP

    18 years in Mt. Pleasant (wow, hadn’t done that math).

    Um…garage broken into once. Packages stolen once or twice. That’s about it. I’m careful – I’ve lived in big cities all my life – and lucky, and I realize that, but people shouldn’t let the stories terrify them. If you look at the DCPD stats, there’s as much or more street crime in Dupont as in many of the neighborhoods we’re talking about.

  • You’re kidding, right? The District is a utopia now compared to the Barry-Sharon Pratt Dixon Kelly Pratt-Barry years. The real crime is being perpetrated in the District Building.

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