Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Taxation: yes. Representation: not so much.

This Sunday we're moving from Arlington into Washington, DC proper. We'll be living in the LeDroit Park neighborhood (or Bloomingdale depending on who you talk to). I'm pretty psyched to be back in the city (I don't think I'm much of a suburbs guy at this point in my life). At the very least it'll cut my commute down by a lot, which should be very nice for when the baby arrives.


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The neighborhood has been described as 'up-and-coming', which seems to mean that for the time being there are more homeless people around than Starbucks. It also means we're most likely participating in (re)-gentrification, which is a little troubling but seemingly hard to avoid these days. Census data for our zip-code (20001 baby!) is available online and it paints an interesting picture. As of the 2000 census, we were 83% black, 8% hispanic, 6% white, 3% asian/PI with 28% poverty rate and 16% unemployment. I wonder what those numbers are now -- especially because the median sales price for homes has nearly tripled since 2000.

So. Interesting. At any rate, it seems like a beautiful and vibrant part of the city. We're near Howard University, the U Street corridor and lots of historic stuff in the Shaw neighborhood. The neighborhood gets a WalkScore of 68 out of 100, which is better than our current place, but nowhere near as walkable as our last apartment in Chicago (which dinged a 94/100).

And yeah, we're trading away our Congressional representation for the thrill of city living. DC remains a constitutional accident with more people than Wyoming, a lot of federal taxes paid but still no votes that count on Capitol Hill. And while everyone seems to think this is totally unfair there's never the political will to do much about it. The most recent stab at compromise (which would add an extra seat in Republican Utah to balance the vote from solidly Democratic DC) got 57 Senators to vote for it, but still died at the hands of a Republican filibuster.

It should be fun. DC as a town has grown on me a lot over the past year. Once you get away from the Mall a real (if somewhat warped) city emerges. Here's to getting to know it better.

7 comments:

adrienne said...

Welcome to LeDroit Park! We just moved here ourselves!

Andy said...

I'm rather surprised that our part of Anchorage has a WalkScore of 52. I thought it would be lower!

Tim said...

Hi Adrienne - thanks for the welcome. and cool blog, btw.

Hi Andy - I think your walk score is higher than my parents' place. And they live in California.

Karen said...

Well, I like walking in my neighborhood...so there...
Mom

Tim said...

Hi Mom, sorry! Didn't mean to slam the neighborhood. I think they mean 'walkable' in the sense of 'I can walk to work and to the grocery store' rather than 'it's a nice neighborhood to take a walk in.' And your neighborhood is definitely getting more and more walkable as time goes by.

Carina said...

Tim, you and LJ should come visit me in oakland if you're missing chicago like convenience- my house is walkscore rated 89 *and* we have guest rooms.

Tim said...

Hi Carina -- well, we'll be in Oakland right before Christmas. Maybe we can see you then?