InShaw- Gentrifiying still

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I don't know if I want to proclaim that Shaw is done gentrifying, not since there was some police action in my alley the other day. Between trying to see over high fences and straining to hear  radio chatter, police conversations, and the suspect/witness/informant/unknown's loud cursing and screaming I'm guessing it was drugs. There was no dead body, that I know of, so I'm going with drugs, and there were way too many police out there (seriously, how was I NOT supposed to notice) for some prostitution thing.

InShaw- Now with more gentrification. When I began this blog sometime around 2003 I had a few goals. One was to share with my friends, all 5 of them, what was going on. A friend, I'll call Nora Bombay, she and I would joke about the friendly neighborhood drug dealers on the corner, the guy selling boot-legs on New Jersey, [blank]-the crackho, nighty gunfire and other things regarding inner-city homeownership. I'd call her up sometimes and whisper a-la The Sixth Sense, "I see white people." The other, less vocalized reason for keeping the blog going, was to give the neighborhood, this end of Shaw, some PR.

InShaw- Historically Gentrified. At some point I got into neighborhood history. I'm still into neighborhood history, less so on gentrification. At a certain point, central Shaw, and Truxton Circle (which is IN Shaw) became a mixed neighborhood and income-wise I figured if your family survived the changes during the height of the housing bubble, you should be fine. Shaw has a fair amount of 'affordable housing' in tall buildings and not so tall buildings that all seem to have generous parking lots. We have more affordable housing units than Georgetown, Dupont, and Downtown, less than neighborhoods east of the river. I gather what those affordable units are not, is available, and so advocates ask for more and attempt to preserve the ones remaining.
The earlier "pioneers" made way and made things comfortable for another set of newcomers. The demographic changes helped* bring on changes regarding how the city government and other organizations related to the neighborhood. There was a time when you had to beg and plead for the city to come fix a street light and when they'd pretty much throw your 911 call to the bottom of the pile. There was a lot people could get away with because the city abdicated it's enforcement powers and abandoned parts of the city run by local insiders/tyrants you had to curry favor with to get information or to get something fixed. Finally getting city services, police attention, usable parks, more transparent ANCs, and an environment welcoming small businesses, this change, gave me something to write about. If gentrification means only having to have a few of your neighbors complain to the city to get a sidewalk fixed instead of being completely ignored, I'll take it.

The InShaw Blog- That's all folks. This may not be my last entry. I got 48 or so more hours before 2014 rolls up, who knows what I'll write about in that time. There was a SUV with expired Maryland tags someone may have been dealing drugs from parked in the church lot I'd been meaning to blog about. Then there are some pictures I want to post of what the neighborhood looked like, I don't know if I'll get around to writing anything on that. Then there is a townhouse-like apartment that I blogged about years ago on R St. I called it ugly. Since then the Monique and some new construction has popped on either side and now it doesn't look as bad.
I've accomplished a good amount in 10 years. The neighborhood has a place on the map. PR job done. There are few newspaper articles written about or mentioning the blog. I've been threatened with a lawsuit (twice) so someone's been paying attention. Posts have managed to get the city or press to pay attention to the odd issue here or there. I'll credit some effort via this blog for ending Leroy Thorpe's reign. I bet he will run again, please for the love of the neighborhood don't vote for this bully. I've been more than happy to help reporters, freelancers, students, researchers, indy filmmakers, and others who've approached me because of the blog. I've really enjoyed my 15 blocks of fame getting to meet and know neighbors who have gotten to know me because of this little old blog. This has been fun.

*Several old timers were hacking away at the problems of crime, poor city services and the lack of amenities before the "urban pioneers" and the millennials showed up.
Click below for the Oscar speech-
There are so many people I want to thank who have helped make this blog what it is:

  • My neighbors on 4th St- particularly Brett, Ira, Emil, Brian, Lisa, Lem and Dinah. Also the neighbors who used to live on 4th St- the Grovers, the Weisners, Miss Becky, Jon, and my former next door neighbors John and Pam and their kids.
  • My neighbors in Truxton and other parts of Shaw
  • Ralph of Renew Shaw
  • Martin Moulton
  • Ray 'of Sunshine' M- your grumpy tirades are informative
  • David Smith
  • Taw of Thai X-ing, and his sister at
  • Beau Thai
  • Scott & Matt- former owners of
  • Jimbo
  • Elise of Frozen Tropics
  • The Mary-Anns of Bates Street
  • Jim Berry
  • Stu Davenport of Big Bear and everyone involved with the BFM
  • Kim of Field to City, you'll always be Timor to me
  • Truxtonian, your on and off-line self
  • C. Fox, my former boss
  • Nora Bombay, the woman who got me blogging in the first place
  • Washington Post, yes I complain about you, but I love you too
  • BACA- everyone who is involved
  • David my contractor
  • DC Education blog and the family that goes with it. It's been an honor watching your girls grow.
  • Scott Roberts, the ever prolific Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale
  • Bogfrog, Dr. Frog, MD thanks for being a great admirer
  • The Alley Denizen of Blagden Alley
  • All the former roommates
  • My readers
  • The Help- okay he doesn't do much with the blog but he does make me happy
There are others I know I've forgotten and there are others I remember but I'm not sure if you'd want your name mentioned. Anyway, thank you all.

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