On “Up & Coming” Neighborhoods.
I live in one. I like it.
The majority of the people who live there are darker than I am, and that doesn’t bother me an iota. (Hello and welcome to the District. Black people live here. Carry on.) For the most part, they aren’t bothered by me either. It’s basically a kumbaya circle of warmth and welcoming.
Maybe it’s all in my head, but I’m hyper-aware and the absolute.last.thing I want to come off as is a prissy white girl who’s afraid of her neighbors. It’s not the case. I walk with my head high, say hello to everyone who passes me on the sidewalk, and smile at those too far away to hear me. It’s working pretty well so far.
Sometimes, it doesn’t work at all. My how are yous are met with hmms and silences, averted eyes, staredowns. I’ve even gotten a frown back. And you know what? I totally get that. I get that the people who have lived here for years see me and know what’s around the corner. “Oh good, the yuppies are here to take over! Soon there’ll be a Whole Foods a block away and I will be priced right out of town. Can’t wait.”
I actually think about that a lot - what gentrification does, what happens to the existing residents. To be edged out of your own home…makes me sad.
I never know where I’m going with these introspective posts, I guess I’m just trying to say I accept the occasional shade thrown my way.