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Snap Shots a Continuing Series by Julian

by Prince Of Petworth June 23, 2008 at 11:00 am 7 Comments

erikandrob

This week’s snap shots come from U Street.

Name: Erik
Age: 31
Streets: 13th and U

Name: Rob
Age: 31
Streets: 13th and U

1. When did you move to DC and from where? What was the reason you moved?

Erik: I grew up in DC.

Rob: … as I did …

Erik: I’ve lived in New York and Chicago before though. I also actually grew up in Bethesda.

Rob: Yeah, we both grew up on the western border of DC.

2. How does DC compare to your hometown?

Erik: Well, as far as New York and Chicago are concerned, DC has just as much of a thriving artistic community, despite what some people may say. Here you have to seek it out, though, which makes it that much more gratifying when you do. Here you have to find your niche – you have to work to find it – that’s part of what makes DC so rich.

Rob: I think, as you said, its hard to find people who live in DC who actually grew up here, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It creates a richer tapestry of people – people are here from all over the world, all over the country. It makes less of a provincial feel, and adds a worldly element to this city.

3. As far as neighborhoods go, how does U street compare to other DC neighborhoods?

Rob: I think U street is awesome. I find U street to be very vibrant and has lots of good energy. Its more teeming than Dupont in my opinion, just because Dupont is more established. Things are still changing here, and it makes it really exciting.

Erik: I would have to say the same. I can have my whole social structure here. My friends all live around here, and I can meet people in this neighborhood and never really venture out.

4. If you could change anything about your neighborhood, what would it be? What do you like or dislike about it?

Rob: U street could definitely use a bagel store – a good New York bagel store. It could also use more good roof decks.

Erik: I really wish there was a way to bring back all the original store owners and residents. I wish there was a way they could all live and have their businesses here still. Its hard to see all these places go up and be part of that, and have people who were originally in these areas not be included. I don’t want Target to be Target – I would prefer mom and pop places to Target, any day. I mean, you can’t get vinyl at Traget like you can at that store on 14th street.

5. With neighborhoods in DC changing so much, what would it take to unite the people, old and new, young and old?

Erik: I think it would be great if there was some way to get people, residents old and new to talk and communicate.

Rob: Yeah, maybe something like that Caribbean festival that goes on out on Georgia. It would be cool to have one on U street through Adams Morgan or something.

Erik: Yeah, that’s a good idea! Something like Mount Pleasant day or something.

Rob: People should be allowed to bring whatever they wanted to the table, though – it should be a celebration of all people, not just one designated ethnicity.

Snap shots continue after the jump.
turkiya

Name: Turkiya
Age: 30
Street: 14th street

1. When did you move to DC and from where? What was the reason you moved?
I first came to Washington, DC in 1996 for college. I came from Georgia to attend Howard.

2. How does DC compare to your hometown?
Its larger, and more diverse than my hometown. Its more urban. Its hard to say because my hometown is changing to become more like DC – its growing.

3. As far as neighborhoods go, how does U street compare to other DC neighborhoods?
It’s similar to most neighborhoods in DC because they’re all changing for the better – they’re all becoming more stable.

4. If you could change anything about your neighborhood, what would it be? What do you like or dislike about it?
I think [U street] has become too saturated. I wouldn’t really stop the growth but stop the commercialization of it. I think its becoming so trendy that its losing its community feel.

5. With neighborhoods in DC changing so much, what would it take to unite the people, old and new, young and old?
One, I think people need to listen to the history of the neighborhoods they’re coming into. The need to understand what was there before instead of trampling or building over it without consideration.

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