DC Gets an Upgrade

Story by Antonio Overton. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post.

DECEMBER 8, 2014: Washington D.C has gotten a new upgrade in terms of looks. It’s like the city has gotten a brand new makeover, a new look which has taken many by surprise. If you have lived in Washington, DC for some time now, you will see now that there have been some major changes going on. In a way, it’s good for the city. For years, some neighborhoods have been known for their large number of liquor stores, trash, graffiti, and poverty stricken communities with boarded up abandoned apartment buildings.

Just a couple of years ago, the District of Columbia were very violent. We were known as the murder capital. DC was the center for drug-related activities and a slew of robberies. With current and former mayors like Marion Barry, Anthony Williams, and Vincent Gray making the city’s makeover a top priority, the city has changed for the better. 

Now, there are tons of brand new townhouses, single family homes, and condos popping up all over the city. Neighborhoods that were once drug-infested communities now have brand new grocery stores, a Wal-Mart, Costco and restaurants.  Homes that could not be sold, or were for sale just last year for $100,000, are now going for $500,000 or even more in neighborhoods like Trinidad which was a high crime area surrounded by police surveillance 24 hours around the clock. Nevertheless, one of the major improvements has been the H Street Corridor. 

With the new street car several blocks east of the new Union Market fine stores have been established. Washingtonians have a lot to look forward to.

Not only has the housing market seen improvements, but DC’s public school system has seen major changes as well. Schools have been given makeovers and each ward has begun to remodel local libraries which add a brand new touch to the scene. Before, the only places you could find to eat were a Chinese Carry-out or a McDonalds. However, if you’re hungry, you have several choices that range from a salad bar at Harris Teeter, Pot Belly’s, H Street Pizza, Taylor’s Sandwiches, 5 Guys Hamburgers, and you can even find a Starbucks and Chipotle in Southeast. 

This is good news for those who live and work in the city. With a new female mayor just elected, Muriel Bowser, there is a lot to look forward to in the next couple of years. The downside to all of these changes are those from lower-income backgrounds are displaced. Many can’t afford to live in the city, either as renters or homeowners which is very sad. With a brand new makeover come hard core decisions that will have to be made to ensure that all families are able to live in affordable homes and enjoy the amenities that the city has to offer without being pushed out.

Antonio Overton is an 8th grade scholar at Friendship Woodridge Academy.