Friday, October 13, 2006

decisions, decisions.

when you're thinking about moving into DC, articles like this one - Liveliest D.C. Neighbhorhoods Also Jumping With Robberies - are troubling. the lead-in:

Some of Washington's most vibrant neighborhoods, destinations for suburbanites, barhoppers and urban professionals, share a lesser-known distinction: They have the highest concentrations of holdups in the city.

now, it's not that i'm surprised by this. i didn't just fall off of the turnip truck from hicksville - i know that if you live in the city, you have a higher chance of becoming a crime victim. but it's tough to read the names of all these neighborhoods that you've heard great things about, and are considering moving to, listed as being in the two police districts with the highest percentage of muggings and robberies. These aren't neighborhoods that you'd consider crime-ridden (and believe me, DC has those), but there are a number of factors that make them ripe for hold-ups. one, with the city cracking down on drug dealing and trafficking, a lot of current and former drug dealers are taking up plain 'ol robbery as a means to recoup lost earnings. two, many of these neighborhoods are "in transition," a.k.a. rapidly gentrifying, so it's evident that there's money to be had in the purses and wallets that stroll out of clubs and bars at 2:00 am.

but it's not even just "well, don't walk home at 2:00 am." people are getting knocked to the ground and mugged at 9:30 pm, under streetlights. and you know what? i don't want to mess with that. you can never totally prevent it from happening, but do i want to move to a neighborhood where it's been explicitly identified as a problem? where there's an average of five holdups a week? an average??

god, i don't know. it seems like in DC i might be trying to have my cake and eat it too. i don't want to live out here among the apartment complexes and the strip malls for long, but i also don't want to subject myself to unsafe situations. boystown was good for that - there was definitely no guarantee that you were safe all the time, but overall it was a pretty comfortable place to be. i don't know where neighborhoods like that are in DC, if there are neighborhoods like that in DC. i'm not too keen on playing the odds when it comes to getting robbed, so unless i can find out about some district enclaves that aren't magnets for muggers, i'm not sure what to do.


educand said...

There's an argument to be made that gentrification itself directly leads to an increase in muggings, because longer-term residents are displaced and impoverished.

Sucks, though. I hear Takoma Park is nice?

G said...

I think that little wrought iron thing was for the gentlemen to clean mud off the bottom of their boots in olden times