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Neighborhood Index > Laptopia


Population: 31,174
Percent Black: 7.5
Percent White: 73.9
Percent Hispanic: 7.6
Percent Foreign-Born: 21.4
Percent Children: 3
Poverty Rate: 16.8 percent
2005 Median Home Sale Price: $1,085,631
2007 Violent Crimes Per 1,000 Residents: 8.6
2007 Property Crimes Per 1,000 Residents: 70.8



In a city of few renowned native sons, Colbert I. King stands out. The Washington Post columnist grew up in the West End-Foggy Bottom area and frequently mentions his childhood in his blunt, pull-no-punches accounts of city controversies, bureaucratic failures, and D.C. daily life. (King also writes about national affairs.) In the past, King has recounted a break-in at an important church from his youth, and summer idleness around the neighborhood, among many other references, providing a rare, deeply personal sense of history and transformation in local coverage. Recently, he mentioned Stevens Elementary School, which is slated for closure and which he and several other family members attended, in a column about what should happen to vacated school buildings. His voice earned King the praise of Slate.com media critic Jack Shafer, who proclaimed him The Best Washington Post Columnist Youve Never Heard Of. It also won him the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for his against-the-grain columns that speak to people in power with ferocity and wisdom.

More Touchstones

Dupont Circle, Kalorama Heights, West End, Foggy Bottom
Unless you're coming to D.C. with a trust fund, or a spouse's trust fund, you might want to expand your home search.
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

Arbitrary Rankings

Kid-Friendliness: 7

Front-yard square footage is low, but baby-stroller numbers are astronomical, especially in the Dupont Circle area. As long as your kids arent walking yet, theyll have plenty of friends for play dates.

Housing: 4

Urban living at its best has undoubtedly appeared in thousands of Laptopia real estate listings. But the best is expensive: Even your typical Kalorama condo will cost around a half-million dollars.

Eats: 9

This is one of the tastiest slices from the Districts gastronomical pie. Haute options include the Blue Duck Tavern, Vidalia, and Sam & Harrys. Middle-priced fare, from good Middle Eastern (Bacchus, 1827 Jefferson Place) to good Indian (Heritage India, 1337 Connecticut Ave.) to a fabulous Greek lunch (Greek Deli, 1120 19th St.), is everywhere. And theres a Baja Fresh on 19th Street just off Dupont Circle.

Consumer Goods: 9

So, theres no Home Depot in Laptopia. The True Value on 17th is just fine for everyday needs. Plus theres world-class book and record shopping, the citys only Trader Joes, and a Whole Foods within walking distance.

Nightlife and Culture: 7

Just west of Dupont Circle is a cute little gallery district with great art and tons of chardonnay. Frat bros, however, may go for the pints available at the happy-hour joints that youd have to be blotto to miss.

Intangibles: 9

Park chess players. Policy wonks. Beer-gulping 20-somethings. Chatty high-school kids. Bums sleeping with their bags. Tourists. Sketch balls. International dignitaries. Theres no better place than the Dupont Circle fountain to see a cross-section of the city.

Laptopia in the City Paper Archives

Cleaning Up the Green Latrine
How the Mayor, His Wife, the Liquor Board, and ACT UP Became Entangled in the Future of a Trashy Bar

Goodbye to All That
Has former New Republic starlet Ruth Shalit left Washington in the dust—or is it the other way around?

Looking For Mr. Goodman
One matchmaker, not enough mensches, and all-too-much mishegoss on D.C.'s Jewish social circuit.

Sakhi Gulestan, 1930s-2008
Dupont Circle's Birdman, R.I.P.

This Old Boycott
The Dupont Circle house tour becomes a gay rights battleground.

Cashing In
Money talks when the IMF clashes with its Foggy Bottom neighbors.

The Murder Victim Next Door
Washington lawyer. Smith College alumna. Sister and daughter and friend. Bearer of gifts and the smile that launched a thousand fliers.


  • Chris in Eckington Jun. 23, 2008
    3:03 pm

    Bacchus has been closed for quite some time; at least a year.

  • Rob Halligan Jul. 18, 2008
    9:11 pm

    Despite the massive gentrification a large percentage of the housing stock is still affordable apartments. 75% of Dupont residents are apartment dwellers.