Rate these DC neighborhoods

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jessuf
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Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby jessuf » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:48 am

Please rate these neighborhoods in terms of safety, good location for restaurants/shopping/nightlife, and commute time to GULC, safety being the most important because I'd like to feel okay about walking my dogs through my neighborhood.

(1) Capitol Hill
(2) Eastern Market
(3) Atlas District
(4) Eckington
(5) Southwest Waterfront
(6) Mt Vernon Square
(7) Foggy Bottom
(8) West End
(9) Georgetown
(10) Dupont Circle
(11) Logan Circle
(12) Adam's Morgan
(13) Kalorama
(14) Mount Pleasant
(15) Columbia Heights
(16) Ledroit Park
(17) Whatever that area is in the NE south of Ledroit Park but north of Mt Vernon
(18) Lanier Heights
(19) Woodley Park

I'm more asking for people to point out the worst/scariest areas, as well as the safest areas. I only know to stay away from SE and certain parts of Capitol Hill. As for Capitol Hill, what street boundaries should I stay inside? Thanks!

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Wily
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby Wily » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:24 pm

Jessuf wrote:Please rate these neighborhoods in terms of safety, good location for restaurants/shopping/nightlife, and commute time to GULC, safety being the most important because I'd like to feel okay about walking my dogs through my neighborhood.

(1) Capitol Hill
(2) Eastern Market
(3) Atlas District
(4) Eckington
(5) Southwest Waterfront
(6) Mt Vernon Square
(7) Foggy Bottom
(8) West End
(9) Georgetown
(10) Dupont Circle
(11) Logan Circle
(12) Adam's Morgan
(13) Kalorama
(14) Mount Pleasant
(15) Columbia Heights
(16) Ledroit Park
(17) Whatever that area is in the NE south of Ledroit Park but north of Mt Vernon
(18) Lanier Heights
(19) Woodley Park

I'm more asking for people to point out the worst/scariest areas, as well as the safest areas. I only know to stay away from SE and certain parts of Capitol Hill. As for Capitol Hill, what street boundaries should I stay inside? Thanks!


I've only lived in DC for four months, but I'd recommend against Columbia Heights, where I lived for just a month because I couldn't stand not feeling safe enough to go out at night. Then I moved to Dupont Circle, which I found to be a really cool place to live, sort of like a Harvard Square in Cambridge if you've ever been there, lots of little stores and a nice left-ish vibe.

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jessuf
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby jessuf » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:29 pm

Wily wrote:I've only lived in DC for four months, but I'd recommend against Columbia Heights, where I lived for just a month because I couldn't stand not feeling safe enough to go out at night. Then I moved to Dupont Circle, which I found to be a really cool place to live, sort of like a Harvard Square in Cambridge if you've ever been there, lots of little stores and a nice left-ish vibe.


Yeah, I've heard mixed reviews about that area. I'm used to living in unsafe, high crime areas, but at this rate, I'd rather live in a super tiny place in a great area than a bigger, cheaper place in an unsafe area.

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AreJay711
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:44 pm

They mostly all fine (I don't have personal knowledge of a few) . The rule of thumb is to stay west of the Anacostia but even that is exaggerated as long as you aren't going to Anacostia or Barry Farms. Other than that it isn't that bad. In DC, most people think neighborhoods are worse than they are but as long as you aren't afraid to live around black people the Anacostia rule works. (Edit: I'm not necessarily saying they are racist but most well off white people probably aren't used to seeing 80% of the people around them being black and would feel uncomfortable and not know how to assess threats and what not)

My favorite up-and-coming neighborhood is the Navy Yard area.

Harlyn
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby Harlyn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:57 pm

Capitol Hill proper (not adjacent) is the closet and safest neighborhood near GULC. Foggy Bottom, Georgetown and Woodley Park are my favorite neighborhoods and are safer than Capitol Hill but the commute would be longer. It's all going to come down to your budget and how close you want to be to campus. I loved living in Georgetown. It's very safe with lots of quality restaurants and places to shop but it's very expensive and it would be difficult to schlep to GULC since it isn't metro accessible. Foggy Bottom is a nice neighborhood with great restaurants and it's safe but high quality housing stock is pricey.

The Capitol Hill area is where I'd recommend moving not only because it's very close to GULC but also because you can find a relatively affordable apartment in this neighborhood without sacrificing safety.

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jessuf
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby jessuf » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:00 pm

I am definitely most interested in Capitol Hill due to its location. However, it seems like everything gets snatched up so fast, which makes it difficult for me since I'm in another state. Prices also seem to be decent for roommate situations.

I'll also look into Navy Yard.

Thanks for the tips, everyone! I'm going to DC in a couple weeks to scope the areas out. I just want some place that feels okay to walk my dogs at night and that isn't going to be a hellish commute.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:18 pm

These neighborhoods are perfectly safe:
(1) Capitol Hill (For optimum safety, stay west of 8th or 9th street, but you should be ok before 13-15th St)
(2) Eastern Market
(7) Foggy Bottom
(8) West End
(9) Georgetown
(10) Dupont Circle
(11) Logan Circle
(13) Kalorama
(19) Woodley Park
(6) Mt Vernon Square
(12) Adam's Morgan

These neighborhoods are ok, but I would be a bit concerned walking alone at midnight:
(3) Atlas District
(4) Eckington
(5) Southwest Waterfront
(14) Mount Pleasant
(15) Columbia Heights
(16) Ledroit Park
(17) Whatever that area is in the NE south of Ledroit Park but north of Mt Vernon
(18) Lanier Heights
*I wouldn't live in any of these areas, except for maybe a development in Columbia Heights.

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nodice410
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby nodice410 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:37 am

you should look into silver spring, md. Nice community, not much crime, cheap COL, lots of restaurants and things to do and a quick metro ride to dc

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Mike12188
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby Mike12188 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:56 am

Not sure of the boundaries of Cap. Hill but the area around GULC can be shady as hell. If I were you I'd live in Adams Morgan, Kalorama, Dupont, Foggy Bottom, WestEnd (although super expensive from what I've seen), GTown is nice but it can be a bitch to get to and from.

I can tell you this. Of all the crime alert emails (students getting mugged and held up, granted most were late at night) we got this year, none were from those neighborhoods I just mentioned, while a few were around our school, and quite a few in the NE and SE.

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The Pen Is Mightier
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby The Pen Is Mightier » Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:39 am

Jessuf wrote:Please rate these neighborhoods in terms of safety, good location for restaurants/shopping/nightlife, and commute time to GULC, safety being the most important because I'd like to feel okay about walking my dogs through my neighborhood.


(1) Capitol Hill - Don't know the boundaries of the really nice vs. ok parts, but this is a good option, if slightly removed from the rest of DC. I might as well throw in here that I'm very NW-biased.
(2) Eastern Market - closer to metros and fun, safe neighborhood, but you'll need a bike to get to GULC
(3) Atlas District - i don't know what this is so I'd be wary
(4) Eckington - same
(5) Southwest Waterfront - you'd have to change trains, and i'm not sure which stations are easy in this area, but it's a cool neighborhood with new, slightly sterile, but fun restaurants. It's pretty removed from the rest of DC though
(6) Mt Vernon Square - up and coming, but if you're skittish, I wouldn't say it's there yet
(7) Foggy Bottom - kind of overrun with GW undergrads, but there are lots of good dive bars and it's convenient to all of NW.
(8) West End - Kind of dead on weekends, but great parks and very central
(9) Georgetown - Super nice, very expensive, and very difficult commute unless you live right near main campus and are willing to take the free shuttle. It only runs like once an hour so if you oversleep, you're screwed.
(10) Dupont Circle - Fun, interesting neighborhood that's very central to all of NW. Can get expensive but I know a lot of GULC kids who live there. Right on the red line so easy commute.
(11) Logan Circle - Gets a little dicey east of the circle, but lots of fun stuff on P, 14th, and 17th that's very easily accessible. Annoying commute without a bike.
(12) Adams Morgan - Deceptively terrible commute, fun place to go out, really nice area to live too as long as you're not directly on 18th
(13) Kalorama - I kind of just consider this the nice part of Adams Morgan
(14) Mount Pleasant - can't say much
(15) Columbia Heights - This neighborhood seems to evoke stronger opinions than any other in the district. I can't say I'm a fan. It's rapidly gentrifying but mostly due to the large Target/big box complex so I wouldn't exactly call that a lifestyle draw. It's a reasonable commute either by metro or bike and Meridian Hill park is great, but it's got too much of a sterile-crappy dichotomy for my taste. But lots of people love it so don;t take my word for it.
(16) Ledroit Park - don't know
(17) Whatever that area is in the NE south of Ledroit Park but north of Mt Vernon - ?
(18) Lanier Heights - I assume all the ones I don't know are the ghetto
(19) Woodley Park - Not a lot of depth as far as activities, but I think Woodley and CP are both underrated. They're far out enough to feel like you're not in the city, but it's a super reasonable commute on red line to GULC and downtown. And don't underestimate how awesome rock creek park is - especially if you have a dog. Super safe too.

You should also consider Chinatown (can get pricey, but there are whole buildings catering to GULC students because it's right next to campus), NOMA/NY ave area (lots of developments going up, also near campus), H street NE (nobody who doesn't live there will ever come hang out with you no matter how great the bars are, plus there are bad areas like 2 blocks in either direction), and Glover park (IMO totally deserves the reputation it has of being the landing pad for recent SEC grads in DC, but also safe and pretty. Bitch to get anywhere though)

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jessuf
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby jessuf » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:42 am

The Pen Is Mightier wrote:(19) Woodley Park - Not a lot of depth as far as activities, but I think Woodley and CP are both underrated. They're far out enough to feel like you're not in the city, but it's a super reasonable commute on red line to GULC and downtown. And don't underestimate how awesome rock creek park is - especially if you have a dog. Super safe too.



By CP, do you mean Cleveland Park? I don't mind living outside of the downtown area if there's good green space and the commute isn't crazy. I like the idea of being near parks and trails while still being able to commute to more fun areas of DC, so I will look into Woodley Park and Cleveland Park. Thanks for all of the tips!

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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby LSATNightmares » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:42 am

You're missing some other great neighborhoods. Anything on the red line between Dupont and Bethesda is nice, and you're not adding that much extra time to go a couple of stops beyond Woodley Park which you have listed there (time on Metro comes from switching lines, going beyond DC limits, and going up and down long escalators, like at Dupont). I like Woodley Park and Dupont as neighborhoods, but my biggest complaint is how you have to walk quite a ways to get to a supermarket. I lived for four years in Cleveland Park (one stop beyond Woodley Park), and loved it. They have supermarkets and even restaurants right off the Metro stop. The rent is also slightly cheaper than Dupont. And it's even safer than Dupont (if you're looking for a good apt complex, I highly recommend Quebec House).

Edit: it's not that much of a "park" area anyways compared to other neighbors. Dupont, Woodley Park, Cleveland Park, etc. all touch Rock Creek Park. But they run along Connecticut Avenue, which has a great balance of being urban without being overwhelming (it's very safe, beautiful, and residential feeling, with lots of people around.... I would love to jogs or walks along that way... lots of young people too!).

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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby LSATNightmares » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:52 am

I also forgot to comment on Georgetown. I also lived there for four years in undergrad. I do not recommend it if you go to GULC. There is a bus that runs between the two, but it can take a long time if you go during traffic hour. Georgetown is a beautiful and incredible place, but the quality of homes tend to be bad and expensive compared to rent. It's hard to find studios. Landlords can be a pain to negotiate with because they hate the undergrads. It can be hard to get to a supermarket (there is a Safeway and even a Wholefoods, but it's a good walk from the Georgetown main campus). And if you want to go anywhere else in DC, it's hard. It's a beautiful and charming neighborhood, but it's in its own bubble.

justicefishy
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby justicefishy » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:40 pm

Bethesda is crazy nice, but super expensive (I grew up there). For a cheaper area, Silver Spring isn't too bad and if you get near the red line, it's a 15 minute metro ride to Union Station/Judiciary Square.

NavyLaw
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby NavyLaw » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:55 pm

The Pen Is Mightier wrote:
Jessuf wrote:(15) Columbia Heights - This neighborhood seems to evoke stronger opinions than any other in the district. I can't say I'm a fan. It's rapidly gentrifying but mostly due to the large Target/big box complex so I wouldn't exactly call that a lifestyle draw. It's a reasonable commute either by metro or bike and Meridian Hill park is great, but it's got too much of a sterile-crappy dichotomy for my taste. But lots of people love it so don;t take my word for it.


this.

i currently live in columbia heights...its ok, super noisy with some shady characters walking around, and not too much local charm. the strip over on 11th street is up and coming and seems to be a pretty cool area.

ill be moving to cap hill for my upcoming years at GULC, and would think that cap hill (west of 10th st and in NE) or something in the Penn Qtr/Logan Circle area would be your best bet

bdubs
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:12 pm

Jessuf wrote:
(N/A) Union Station
(10) Dupont Circle
(19) Woodley Park
(N/A) Chinatown
(15) Columbia Heights
(6) Mt Vernon Square



I would say these are the top 6. I found Union Station and Chinatown to be curiously absent from your list. They are the closest neighborhoods to GULC. If you want to stick to the neighborhoods on your list, I think Dupont provides the most to do and easiest access (red line). Woodley Park is a little more grown up but still good with easy access transportation. The other neighborhoods are either not convenient for transportation or not desirable from a living/safety perspective.

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monkey85
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby monkey85 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:16 pm

For GULC?

Eastern Market or Capitol Hill.

Super close to the school. Solid restaurants and bars. Neighborhood feel. Has a nice "up and coming" aura rather than the established (commercialism of) Foggy Bottom, Adams Morgan, or Dupont Circle.

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jessuf
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby jessuf » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:24 pm

bdubs wrote:
(N/A) Union Station

(N/A) Chinatown



Are these areas affordable? I probably just counted these as Mount Vernon because I'm clueless about DC stuff.

I found two places so far. One is right next to Logan Circle by the Shaw dog park, which would be good for my dogs. A few blocks to the Mt. Vernon stop. The other is in Capitol Hill??? In between Stanton Park and Lincoln Park. Closest metro stop is Union Station, so I would probably just walk or ride my bike.

Somebody said east of Logan Circle can get sketchy, so when I'm in town next week, I'll be sure to visit at night to get a feel of the neighborhood. I'm still also not sure of the Capitol Hill boundaries. Somebody said stay west of 13th, which the Capitol Hill apartment is, but I'm not sure what the northern boundary is. Any ideas?

bdubs
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:29 pm

Jessuf wrote:
bdubs wrote:
(N/A) Union Station

(N/A) Chinatown



Are these areas affordable? I probably just counted these as Mount Vernon because I'm clueless about DC stuff.

I found two places so far. One is right next to Logan Circle by the Shaw dog park, which would be good for my dogs. A few blocks to the Mt. Vernon stop. The other is in Capitol Hill??? In between Stanton Park and Lincoln Park. Closest metro stop is Union Station, so I would probably just walk or ride my bike.

Somebody said east of Logan Circle can get sketchy, so when I'm in town next week, I'll be sure to visit at night to get a feel of the neighborhood. I'm still also not sure of the Capitol Hill boundaries. Somebody said stay west of 13th, which the Capitol Hill apartment is, but I'm not sure what the northern boundary is. Any ideas?


You listed West End, Dupont, Kalorama, and Foggy Bottom, so I assumed that your budget would support those areas (they are some of the most expensive in the city). Union station is definitely affordable, Chinatown is on the high end (more like Dupont).

Logan circle is nice around 14th & P, but it gets sketchier further east. I wouldn't go further east than the dog park.

bdubs
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:31 pm

monkey85 wrote:For GULC?

Eastern Market or Capitol Hill.

Super close to the school. Solid restaurants and bars. Neighborhood feel. Has a nice "up and coming" aura rather than the established (commercialism of) Foggy Bottom, Adams Morgan, or Dupont Circle.


I don't think that the transportation options from Cap. Hill / Eastern Market to Judiciary square are that great. Though I never lived up there, so I can't say for sure.

Jinomas
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby Jinomas » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:33 pm

Which one is the dirt cheapest?

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jessuf
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby jessuf » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:49 pm

Jinomas wrote:Which one is the dirt cheapest?


They're identical in price. However, the living room/kitchen for the Capitol Hill apartment (it's a 2br) is a lot smaller.

bdubs wrote:You listed West End, Dupont, Kalorama, and Foggy Bottom, so I assumed that your budget would support those areas (they are some of the most expensive in the city). Union station is definitely affordable, Chinatown is on the high end (more like Dupont).

Logan circle is nice around 14th & P, but it gets sketchier further east. I wouldn't go further east than the dog park.


The apartment isn't east of the dog park, but I would have to walk SE to get to the metro. Is that a big deal?
Also, google maps is telling me it will take 5 minutes longer if I take the metro instead of a bus. Should I trust this or assume google isn't accounting for traffic?
And google maps also says the fastest route is biking. Is biking in downtown DC safe, or will I get plowed over?

bdubs
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:54 pm

Jessuf wrote:
bdubs wrote:You listed West End, Dupont, Kalorama, and Foggy Bottom, so I assumed that your budget would support those areas (they are some of the most expensive in the city). Union station is definitely affordable, Chinatown is on the high end (more like Dupont).

Logan circle is nice around 14th & P, but it gets sketchier further east. I wouldn't go further east than the dog park.


The apartment isn't east of the dog park, but I would have to walk SE to get to the metro. Is that a big deal?
Also, google maps is telling me it will take 5 minutes longer if I take the metro instead of a bus. Should I trust this or assume google isn't accounting for traffic?
And google maps also says the fastest route is biking. Is biking in downtown DC safe, or will I get plowed over?


The Logan Circle area you described is generally getting better/safer. DC is weird in that a few blocks can make a substantial difference in "feel" although that might not actually translate to actual safety (i.e. the blocks that seem safe might not be or the unsafe ones might be). If it were me, I would feel more comfortable walking down 11th Street and then cutting over to Mt Vernon Square instead of going straight over to 7th and going south from there.

I would believe that taking the bus is actually faster than taking the metro (traffic isn't usually that bad).

I biked in DC for a few years and never had a problem. You have to be comfortable biking on city streets and looking out for stupid drivers though. Most of my friends found biking on DC streets intimidating. The city is making it better by installing bike routes, but it's usually not possible to take one from point A to B without having to bike on a street w/o a bike lane.

hookem12
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby hookem12 » Tue May 01, 2012 2:09 am

I was recently in DC, looking for apartments, and I fell in love with the Chinatown area. It's vibrant and fun, and the apartment buildings are new. Space is still small (and fairly expensive), but most have washer/dryers and dishwashers, and lack the pest problems that some of the older buildings in other neighborhoods have. I also felt safe walking around, and it isn't far from GULC. It's a decent walk there, or a quick metro ride from Gallery Place. In terms of just aesthetics, I'd say Georgetown proper wins hands down, the only caveat is the distance. Columbia Heights is a bit eclectic but on the rise, and I saw lots of young people.

The one place I felt very uncomfortable in was Mt. Vernon Square. It isn't very far from Chinatown, but the difference is huge. I was walking around during the day and felt pretty out of place. I saw lots of bars on windows, chain-link fences, and shady liquor stores - none of which are very good signs. A few people yelled some comments that were a bit off-color and sketchy, and while that in itself isn't a big deal, I don't think I'd feel comfortable with that at night if I were to be walking home alone. I think the area is generally on the rise, but I'd give it a few years.

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bceagles182
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Re: Rate these DC neighborhoods

Postby bceagles182 » Tue May 01, 2012 2:18 am

Lived in Woodley Park this past summer. Very nice neighborhood, very safe and residential. Not exactly the most hopping place, but it's a 5 minute metro/10 minute bus ride from Dupont. I chose Woodley after visiting a bunch of shitholes in Columbia Heights and the surrounding areas. I needed a place to stay for only two months on short notice and a limited budget, so I took the first thign that was decent. Coming from someone who has lived in Boston, NYC, and Philly, finding an apartment in DC is a bitch.




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