Washington, D.C. Neighborhoods Revealed: Beyond Politics

Washington-DC-PostWashington, DC. Your complex fabric of diagonal streets, circles and lobbyists make for a city that’s difficult to easily approach. In the wake of the shutdown, many think that DC is just about politics. We think it was about time to internalize the heated discussion and reveal that DC isn’t just about those folks on C-SPAN Capitol Hill.

It’s your fixie bike and pandas, too.

Prints are available in our map store.

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  • Sonny Liger

    This is pathetic. It really has no connection to the city at all. Why would anyone want this?

    • Andrew W

      care to elaborate?

    • James

      Former gun checkpoint is correct about Trinidad. Shows the author of this has at least lived here for almost a decade, which is 5x more than most people in DC. (Someone should make this map with how it used to read. Where it says “I’m busy” and “Yuppie Circle” should read, “Streetwalkers” and “only shooting range in DC.” Wedding engagement photos should read, “bodies found floating.” And so on.

      • dmlaenker

        Yeah, I’m told DC used to be pretty awful in the ’90s. Thank God it isn’t the ’90s anymore.

        • James

          Yes, in the early 90s it was pretty rough going. At the same time, some locals were snapping up those Eastern Market rowhouses for under $100k then and those in Petworth were even a hair cheaper. The 70s and 80s were probably the roughest even though the murder rate probably peaked in the early 90s. It’s a much different city today.

          It’s like people living in Silver Spring saying it’s perfection. The old vestages of SS are seen in the lone remaining pawn shop and the whigs store. It used to be pretty rough and tumble. Hell, even Wheaton has come up a lot. I do feel bad for the folks in Prince George’s County that seemed to inheriet most of the city’s problems.

      • ursanegro

        yeah, i had a chuckle at that.

        i went to high school and college 2-3 hours away from dc in the 80s and early 90s, and then moved to dc because i wanted to escape the white people in central pennsylvania.

        i live in south africa now, and … it’s definitely not the dc i used to know. but at least i’m glad so many signs are in spanish these days.

      • ursanegro

        yeah, i had a chuckle at that.

        i went to high school and college 2-3 hours away from dc in the 80s and early 90s, and then moved to dc because i wanted to escape the white people in central pennsylvania.

        i live in south africa now, and … it’s definitely not the dc i used to know. but at least i’m glad so many signs are in spanish these days.

  • Brian Minter

    The “Zone of Perceived Danger” joke manages to convey ironic detachment while also communicating clearly that this funny map is just for white people.

    • Christian Richardson

      solely for white people

    • Matthew Swanson

      That part of town (Ward 8) *IS* dangerous, I lived there, I know… I hate to say things like that but after trying to live down there, I can’t think of anything else to explain what happened to me, other than the fact that I was the only white guy in the neighborhood. Not a day after I moved in on Alabama Ave near Congress Heights metro did people on the streets start harassing me. Every fraking day! After 4 months of constant problems with people on the streets I moved out. I never saw any of those people bothering anyone else ever. And since I saw no other white folks in the area, I’m left to assume that I stood out and therefore became an easy target. I would never wish that horrible area on anyone! Now I know that it’s getting better and that there are areas that aren’t as bad as where I was, but largely, you take your life into your own hands on that side of the river. Defy anyone to prove me wrong. I’ll stick to the NW

      • cof

        I have a similar story Matthew. I’m a 2nd generation portuguese and irish ‘caucasion but ethnic looking’ woman married to a colombian [caucasion but ethnic looking’ man. there were overt threats made toward my husband in the form of clear statements when walking down our street of ‘get out of our neighborhood’ a number of times. We were brutally mugged one night two blocks from our home by a group of five boys/young men of color and a police officer of color that took our statement actually asked us what we were thinking when we bought a home there. There is an infinite discussion as to the why but I think there is no doubt in my mind that the prejudice in that neighborhood was greater than anything I have ever experienced in my life and it wasn’t coming from us.

      • Liom

        NW, isn’t that where that kid got robbed, tased and then shot? There is nothing wrong with the rest of dc, only SE lol

      • Howard Cincotta

        So sorry. Just to provide context (which is no comfort to you): Congress Heights was the traditional white working class area while Anacostia was the black community. Ballou High School, newest D.C. school, was a showcase of integration in the early ’60s. I graduated there in 1964. By the late ’60s, ‘white flight’ and demographics turned Congress Heights black. … History is a wheel that keeps on turing. In another time, I suspect that Congress Heights will be “discovered” and gentrified — for better or worth — and become a more multicultural, and forgiving place, than you experienced.

      • Denasha Bullock

        I believe that you were harassed…and I know the reason why. You also have to think about what’s happening to the entire city. Once white people move into an area, the property value exponentially increases, Starbucks and wholefoods are built, and all of a sudden the people that have lived in those areas for decades can no longer afford to live there. I’m not saying that you deserve to be harassed, but I am saying that your fear of those people in those neighborhoods is directly correlated with their fear of your presence there. I am sorry you had to live so uncomfortably. But I am also sorry that soon, many people will be displaced and forced to move to the outskirts of the city.

        • Neuronic

          Seriously? You think racist thugs are having an internal conversation with themselves that goes something like, “Uh oh, here’s a person of different color than myself. I have no quarrel with this individual, but I fear that his/her presence in this community may be accompanied by a corresponding increase in property values which may force me to relocate to a less desirable locale, I had better harass and/or physically assault this person to show my displeasure and dissuade them from staying here”?

          • sylvia gray

            Yes. You can ask them if you don’t believe me.

          • Be Positive

            Racists generally do not need a reason, but will always find one if pressed.

        • Be Positive

          Whether someone new to the neighborhood is going to improve property values or not – racial profiling and harassing someone is wrong and should be inexcusable, unless you are a racist and believe it is okay for the “right” reasons. Obviously you believe their is no room for civil rights in DC, and I believe there are many who support you. Think about the actions you are defending.

          • Denasha Bullock

            No one is defending actions, but rather simply giving a different perspective. I never stated that those actions were excusable. However the lack of empathy on both accounts is why such conflict arises. It’s a bit dramatic to assert that I think there is no room for civil rights.

          • Be Positive

            Defending the indefensible?! The perspective isn’t different. It is a perspective used for longer than I can believe to keep minorities out of neighborhoods…

          • Denasha Bullock

            Oh I get it now; you’re here to argue not share ideas, opinions, and debate with logical reasoning. Cool, well have a good day sir/ma’am.

      • Shawn Short

        Matthew. I have gotten robbed twice and victim of an attempted robbery from teenage guys and I’m Black. I feel its a class issue on this side at times; if you speak well or look “clean” YOU ARE a target.

    • Alan

      I dunno I’ve heard plenty of non-white people say things like come down to SE and we’ll fuck you up. Not directed at me or anything but I’d say all of DC at least recognizes the stereotyple.

      • SE LOVER

        dumb

        • dmlaenker

          No, the guy who told me if he ever finds me at Suitland station again, he’d kill me was dumb.

      • Be Positive

        The data supports the label

    • Donna

      Hey, black taxi drivers perceive it as a danger too.

      • RoverLies

        And they are idiots too.

        • quickmikecheck

          Because in general idiots don’t encounter dangerous situations?

      • dmlaenker

        Ethiopian, Donna. They don’t like being told that they’re black.

        • Doug Dougie Jaeger

          They really hate being called African-American!

    • dmlaenker

      Well, it’s a funny map about the ironic detachment of white people, isn’t it?

    • Guest

      Said a white guy.

    • bannedinDC

      To say that this map is just for white people is to say that only two races live in the city and that black people do not live outside of S.E. and would not perceive the area as dangerous.

  • P is for Proclivity

    This map makes a large statement of how “white people” view DC.

  • cpulaski

    “Gay Circle” and “Yuppie Circle” should definitely be swapped. Unless this map was made more than 5 years ago.

    • TJ

      It was. This is lifted almost verbatim from a City Paper joke from about a decade ago.

  • Televangelist

    Can we have a map that just has neighborhoods in Northeast and Anacostia stereotyped by the people who live there, with the rest of DC described as “Zone of Perceived Racism From White People Who Think DC Revolves Around Them”?

    • RedBonedHound

      I don’t know what you are smoking but the sterotype is there for a reason.. I can tell you from first hand experiences that the area is known for danger and that extends SE into Pg county.

  • JIMMMMMMMmMMMYYYY

    im in the top left corner near rockville. i guess this makes me completely forgotten….

    • holycalamity

      If you’re near Rockville, then you’re weeeeeeeell outside the District lines (as am I, in just-outside-the-Beltway MoCo).

  • 4th Generation

    this is funny only because most of the people in DC are tourists, most of the true locals never venture out of their own neighborhoods, and everyone posting act like they understand the city when they probably dont even know the history of the neighborhoods they are ridiculing.

    • dmlaenker

      Ah, the history that’s more important than what’s actually happening right now. I’m reminded of all the people who drove around Richmond telling me where things weren’t anymore, which is why I left Richmond.

  • SE LOVER

    IM SICK OF ppl downing SE.. Have you people ever googled Hillcrest Heights or Penn Branch there are house over there for 400 thousands dollars and up.. You people really kill me.. A man got beat up in Capitol Hill and yet you still go eat at Teds Bulletin but you would not dare go to Uniontown in Anacostia.Every acts like we are a bunch of dogs ready to pounce on a white person we see..I got robbed in NW downtown but that does not stop me from going to work..Half of you people have never been East of the river..

    • Liom

      Well said.

    • dmlaenker

      That’s nice, but what kind of impression do people actually have of EOTR?

      • SE LOVER

        what do you mean?

        • dmlaenker

          I think the map is a metacommentary about stereotypes. Everything on this map is intentionally written to be a stereotype, and most of the stereotypes of EOTR are unflattering, even if they’re unfair. I know there are some pleasant enough places there like Hillcrest, and Anacostia is doing better than it has been. The comment on the map was intended to be about “perceived danger”, not actual danger.

          If it helps, I saw a map that wrote EOTR as “Colored People” and everything else as “Generations Of Historic Affluence And Diversity Now Whitewashed By Gentrification”, which I thought was pretty funny.

    • Doug Dougie Jaeger

      Pomeroy Rd and Stanton Rd have a reputation for a reason. Those apartments are cesspools. Certainly not everyone is a dog waiting to pounce on “whitey” but they have more than their fair share that do feel that way. I work in just about every crap hole neighborhood in DC and see it every day. You are right though, SE has some wonderful neighborhoods that this honkey would like to live in..

  • Lala

    What a stupid offensive map! Whoever did this was clearly trying to be funny but failed in many ways. Yes DC is a complex city with people from all over but the way the way that you perceive the city is not the way others do, narrow minded fool.

    • dmlaenker

      Congratulations on the subjectivity of your experience!

    • Shoshana Bryen

      I think its actually poking at white people, not black – “zone of PERCEIVED danger,” not “zone of danger.” Yes, white people PERCEIVE Anacostia and places across the river as dangerous. That may be right or wrong, but your perception of racism is over the top. You think the NIMBY people are happy? Or Chinese people who live in Chinatown but get called “not really Chinese”? Get over yourself.

      • Lala

        What am I getting over? I don’t see your point referring to mine. I never entered race in my commentary, Even without the race components it is Still an offensive map that its trying to humor stereotypes that are not funny.

      • VioletLoganGirl

        Its dangerous, get over it.

      • Pam Blackwell

        When I lived in DC, I went to Anacostia a few times either for DMV or some government related thing – I did it because the lines were shorter. Everyone in the neighborhoods an stores was exceedingly polite, friendly an kind to me (blonde Irish-Italian female). In fact, coming from up north where I grew up in a fairly homogenous place, I was very proud to live in DC where there is a plethora of smart, hardworking, honorable and professional people, many of whom are people of color. While my eyes were open idealistically to equality and respect long before I got there, DC opened my eyes up in actuality. Hats off to DC and all who live there.

  • RoverLies

    DC has been too gentrified!

  • MenorahJones

    This is a blatant and shoddy ripoff of http://socialstudiesdc.com/2011/08/dc-stereotype-map/

    • Gavin Schalliol

      It’s occasionally funny, but it’s beyond me why someone would consider this map, which looks like it was whipped up in 30 minutes on MS Paint, as “art.” Or, for that matter, anything on this website, which looks like it was set up solely to capitalize on the trend of text-overlaid maps.

  • DK

    OMG…..lets perceive racism everywhere! Or, appreciate the map for what it is, and stop creating problems.

  • George L. Constanza

    I think people get confused with what we think things SHOULD be and what they REALLY ARE.. Shit is messed up in all places, but some MORE THAN OTHERS.

  • ToddChoris

    Yay! A map of D.C. for white people. Maybe they’ll stop putting f&ck$ing Starbucks everywhere now that they know where their boundaries end. I’m a white guy and even I know this sh!z is dumb.

  • The Wandering Jade

    Foggy Bottom is so awesome it should not be renamed. It can stand on its own. Foggy. Bottom. !

  • The Wandering Jade

    Foggy Bottom is so awesome it should not be renamed. Foggy. Bottom. ! :P

  • Ryne Chua

    Bring back the old map!

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  • SS

    I just finished reading the comments in the article. It always amazes me how something made with humor so quickly turns into rascist remarks, etc. Crime can happen ANYWHERE in DC, not just in the “Zone of PERCEIVED Danger”, which is exactly that. PERCEIVED. And if your own perception is based off of media accounts or third parties, then it would do you well to take a drive down to the area yourself to check out the amazing history that’s in EOTR, more specifically Historic Anacostia. I moved to that area over two months ago, and ppl have been so warm, welcoming, and inviting…and I am NOT a black man, nor am I white. I am clearly ethnic. With that said, the area, so far, has been nothing at all like what I perceived during the 8 years I’ve lived in NW. So, before judging the area, go down and check it out yourself.

  • Jano

    There’s not a single funny, clever or new take on anything in this map, which is already just a hackneyed spin on what’s been done before. Fire yourself.

  • Ashley Carroll

    Soooo this really needs to be updated. But its a funny thing to look at.

  • Tyler Richardson

    Don’t be so uptight people; relax. And, SE definitely has a perceived danger about it. Once that’s gone, it will be one more place in DC where people cry about gentrification. I live near the Catholic Fort, and they were right, I don’t pay a crazy rent.

  • Ethan

    Let me just point out something. The map says PERCEIVED. If any thing, this map points out how ridiculous white people have been and can be about themselves in DC. The word “perceived” EOTR, “yuppie circle”, “Metro-less, popped-collar land”, “yacht parking available”, and “you’re not cool enough”? I mean, c’mon. A lot of white people in DC are idiots and bigots, and this map points out the idiocies and bigotries.

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  • Pam Blackwell

    When I lived in DC, I went to Anacostia a few times either for DMV or some government related thing – I did it because the lines were shorter. Everyone in the neighborhoods and stores was exceedingly polite, friendly and kind to me (blonde Irish-Italian female). In fact, coming from up north where I grew up in a fairly homogenous place, I was very proud to live in DC where there is a plethora of smart, hardworking, honorable and professional people, many of whom are people of color. While my eyes were open idealistically to equality and respect long before I got to, DC opened my eyes up in actuality. Hats off to DC and all who live there.

  • Pam Blackwell

    By the way, an actual “dangerous” neighborhood in any city is dangerous to anyone
    who lives there, regardless of what they look like. To be honest, I was as careful in Georgetown and Dupont Circle as I was anywhere else in the city. Reading the comments, I am sorry that some have had really terrible experiences. You need to be cautious in any urban area. I would not attribute the criminal and atrocious conduct of some to the population at large, regardless of color. DC is a great town.

  • karinagw

    And, as a relatively new resident of “What was supposed to be the rest of DC”, can I start campaigning for them to change their minds and have us back? I don’t want to be a Virginian.

  • Guest

    I’m sure a lot of the people commenting are transplants that have filled the D.C. area in the last 10 years but for those who actually remember, DC, especially S.E., used to be a warzone.

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  • The Blunt Ugly Truth

    Southeast DC needs to be razed and re-gentrified, along with some other ‘hoods. Gentrification is the greatest thing to ever happen to DC in a long, long time.

  • Brotha J

    Labeling ethnic groups just isn’t as cool as it used to be. Let’s label neighborhoods instead! (smh) I guess the recent gunshot tracker mapping that shows most shots are fired in Trinidad, north of the “zone of perceived danger” was not referred to before creating this silly and deceptive map.

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