I've been thinking about the reputation of Columbia Heights lately. It was spurred by this: Washingtonian magazine, which is sort of a society/upscale magazine, is having a reader happy hour in CH at the Highland Park at 14th and Irving. In their blurb, it says "Not familiar with the Columbia Heights neighborhood? It's a vibrant neighborhood north of the U Street area, filled with new development—and not to mention some of our favorite spots!"
It kind of made me think, huh, how could you not be familiar with this neighborhood? There's a Target, Best Buy, good restaurants, etc etc. It's been in the news a lot. The neighborhood used to have a pretty bad reputation for crime and such - at least to outsiders. Do you think it still does? Maybe that's why folks don't know about the neighborhood?
A few times in the past week I've been asked by folks if it's true what they say about Columbia Heights. I'm usually confused by this - what, there's a Target? But they're referring to crime, thinking it's a dangerous neighborhood that you shouldn't go to. To me, that's crazy. I've only had one incident with crime here, and that was before I even lived here. Since then, nothing at all, other than the occasional weird guy in the alley, but that happens everywhere.
I feel like most of the crime would never really affect me - it seems to be drug-related or from various "crews" against each other. Of course, there's some random muggings and such, and obviously that's terrible if it's happened to you, but to me those seem fairly rare.
So what do you think? Is the danger overblown? Is a supposed dangerous reputation warranted?