Who's asking: Yesterday's cab driver, a native Eritrean who's been in Washington since the early 1980s
The cabdriver was bringing me from Dupont Circle to Ashton's place on Johnson Avenue, about seven blocks east. I usually walk from the Metro, but it was pouring rain and the cab was right there.
He asked me this question, and rather than explain that I don't live here any more -- I just visit from time to time -- I said, "Since 1995," because that reply seemed to me to be as true as any other.
Realtors call this area Dupont East; technically, I think it's Shaw. When I moved into the house at 15th and S, a block away, in 1995, the neighborhood was marginal. Ashton, Joseph, Anna and I used to sit on the front stoop and studiously ignore the comings and goings at the crack house across the street. The week I moved out of that house, Ashton & Joseph had to come over to help me dispose of a rat that had died under my kitchen sink (Joseph will be my hero forever, for this reason among many).
What a difference a decade makes. This neighborhood is now one of the coolest in town, with great restaurants, funky shops, and a Whole Foods in walking distance (we used to have to shop at the Soviet Safeway on 17th Street, which at the time was small, dark and not very clean. The presence of Whole Foods has made them clean up their act, too.)
I love coming back here, but it always makes me a little sad. I couldn't afford to live here any more, but some part of me will always call this neighborhood home.
This afternoon we're celebrating the connubials of our friends Brian & Scott. I'm just hoping any of us remember the event in the morning.