So this was sort of the subject behind my first article for Examiner. I'd just spent an entire afternoon in the U Street corridor and LOVED it. I miss that city vibe where everything is so mixing pot-esque. There was a little bit of it in Portland, OR but it was still pretty much all white people who were college-educated and had money (read: lived on the west side in the suburbs and came to the "city" to shop) or college-educated and chose to live a minimalist life (read: hipster or hippie). I always felt so out of place in downtown Portland; like I didn't have enough money in my bank account to belong there. D.C. may be full of politicians and assumed pretension but oddly enough it's pretty laid-back and the streets downtown...maybe it's because of all the tourists. I'm pretty glad though that the U Street area has remained an alcove from the tourists and that it has kept so much of the character that was around during the days of jazz despite being gentrified in the past decade.
Many U.S. citizens see Washington, D.C., as merely a hub of politics given that it is the nation's Capitol. As tourist season is upon us, an influx of visitors will flock to the monuments of the National Mall, maybe the spy museum and perhaps make it over to the Smithsonian National Zoo or Aquarium. Unfortunately, many will forget about or may not even know of the histories held in the neighborhoods of D.C. and miss out on places like the U Street Corridor in the Shaw neighborhood. (read more...)