Washington Post: Yes, 14th Street may be better these days, but something vital is missing
Last week I shared a story about Englewood to become host to a Starbuck's store right next to the coming Whole Foods Market on 63rd/Halsted. I often like to post a link to one of the posts here "The dreaded G word" in light of the coming Whole Foods.
This article discusses a Black community in Washington, DC eventually succumbing to gentrification. With the changes occurring in some of Chicago's Black communities, I sincerely hope that those neighborhoods here will prove to be the exception with gentrification.
I was walking along 14th Street NW in midtown Washington the other day and was impressed by the new look of the once-infamous strip. Where abandoned buildings and vacant lots had blighted the surrounding neighborhoods for decades, there were now chic new boutiques, home-furnishing stores, restaurants and condominiums.Read the whole thing.
But something vital was missing. There used to be thousands of black residents living and working along 14th Street. You could hear laughter and music. People sitting on the front stoops would shout greetings to passersby. There were children playing, young adults flirting and hardworking people trying to get a toehold on the economic ladder and claw their way up.
For years, the struggles of middle- and working-class black people animated life on 14th Street. Now all of that is gone. It’s been replaced by a stultifying air of aloofness. The millennial newcomers — most of them white — jog, bike and walk about the city as if in a trance, oblivious to the lives that helped form the place they now call home.