City Desk

Looking Like a Gentrifier Gets Man Driven Out of U Street

Most of the talk about being getting pushed out of the U Street area focuses on longtime residents who can no longer afford the area. But according to music writer John Murph, gentrifiers—or at least people who look like them—can be pushed out too.

Writing on the Root D.C. today, Murph says that he never thought of himself as a gentrifier. Apparently his bike, New Yorker issues, and fondness for Busboys & Poets said differently. In fall 2005, Murph faced increasing hostility from people around his Gino Baroni apartment building on V Street NW. One kid spat at him.

Murph, a former Washington City Paper contributor, writes that he tried to make the neighborhood more welcoming: organizing residents, asking Councilmember Jim Graham for help, getting a floodlight set up in the neighborhood. Still, he eventually left in 2006 for an area near Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights.

Murph, who is black and gay, isn't sure which side he's on in D.C. ongoing tumult over gentrification. "If something popped off from the continuous turf war, I still would remain unclear as to who would be my allies and what they would look like," he writes.

Photo by Daquella manera via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

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  • seeseehpounder

    Using the term "popped off" would put you in the douche category. Not all gentrifiers are douches and not all douches are gentrifiers, but I spit on anyone who installs flood lights whatever that means.

  • Northwesterner

    I am sure you are completely ignorant to the term gentrifier. Safe bet, if you ATTENDED college and moved into DC, you are a gentrifier. Period. All you have to do is attend college and you upset the status quo of the lower classes. Look it up.