Thursday, October 07, 2004

Not Georgetown

Shaw is not Georgetown.
Shaw may never be another Georgetown.
Shaw has 3 metro stations; Georgetown 0.
Shaw rocks.

"The folks in Georgetown get what they want!"
"What do you think this is, Georgetown?"
occasionally I hear, at civic meetings the comparison to Georgetown. Not so much now as before but it does creep it's little head up now and again. Georgetown ain't all that. I grant you that yes, it is a tony and expensive neighborhood, with tony and expensive shops and restaurants, and expensive people. However the comparison between Georgetown and Shaw is useless in many respects.
With crime, Georgetown is different. Comparing the stats from Police District 2 (Georgetown & west of the park) and Police District 5 (Shaw, Bloomingdale, Galludet area, rest of Ward 5), we're doing quite well considering. PD 2 has 1,093 thefts for the month of August, PD 5 585. Biggest problem in our area is auto theft with over 800 reports of stolen autos, PD 2 just 231 reports. Of course, west of the park, finding a parking spot is difficult. People just know not to have a car or have a secure garage.
Gangs, probably not too many of those in Georgetown, possibly because little Maison and Jeffrey have overscheduled lives and no time to 'hang out'. Maybe if Shaw parents were overzealous in getting their children in the BEST preschool and the BEST private school and the BEST college, we wouldn't have kids hanging out on the corner up to no good. They'd be stuck in some college application enhancing program that will assuredly get them into [insert big name private university here]. There are a lot of parents in Shaw who are just in survival mode, so college and the programs to get their offspring into said programs is an afterthought, if even a thought. So, the children are left alone, on the corner, hanging out.
The people are different. I don't mean color, but that's part of it. Besides having over scheduled kids, you have power brokers. Not that non-profit people have no power, but compared to Kennedy wannbes with money for campaigns or other worthy cause donations, and connections we might be a bit more limited in making things happen.
Needs are different. Part of me doubts there are many section 8s living in Georgetown. I know they don't have the great number of homeless wandering around, waiting around for services as we do here on this end of Shaw. They have horrible traffic. No parking. No metro stations. They have rowdy college kids. Where are the Howard students? Their retail is okay, gawdafully expensive, but ok. We need more retail. We have open air drug markets. I'm quite sure there are drugs in Georgetown, but you gotta know a guy. Prostitution? Both have it, but you can find ours on the street. Some of Shaw's problems are more visible.
Georgetown and Shaw. Both in the district, but with different needs, people, and environments. A better comparison would be Shaw and Michigan Park, both in Ward 5, both have parking, both have limited retail and both east of the park and west of the river.
[5/27/07 note- As I've gotten to know Georgetown more, my attitude about the place has changed.]


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