there goes the neighborhood

posted by tom / November 07, 2005 /

Cripes but there's a lot of white people around here all of a sudden. Don't get me wrong, I'm decidedly one of them. But my trip this evening to the Shaw Giant was a strange experience. It's not unusual for me to be the only white face in the store on such trips, but tonight the place was crawling with my caucasian yuppie peers. Including, in a particularly preposterous touch, a group of three apparent hill staffers — one of them wearing a "ROOTS" sweatshirt — discussing how great Barack Obama is. The girl behind me in line was checking her Blackberry. But the kicker was when the line moved efficiently and a separate clerk bagged my groceries. Giant must be pouring some money into this previously forsaken store. I expect an olive bar to arrive any day now.

I don't mean to claim innocence here. I'm just as guilty as the next guy of contributing to this process. In a small way, some of the neighborhood's residents will be gradually priced out because of my personal preference for living near the cool bars (they should take heart: I'll eventually fail to find affordable property, and be forced to move to Manassas). It's inevitable, and although I don't feel guilty, I do feel bad. And so should you, fellow Shaw Giant gentrifiers. Try to keep your head down a little more. It's not our neighborhood, and it's impolite to point out that it's going to be.

Comments

You're all wrong in your apologism, or right in your indignation. Not only do you have the nearby Whole Foods as a justifiable outlet for white grocery expression, the Gentrification Giant is just a Metro stop away from you own location. Don't accept the white oppression that Yglesias and I are aiding and abetting.

Posted by: Kriston on November 8, 2005 02:11 AM

So, wait -- you want me to go all the way to Columbia Heights to buy beer? Or to resign myself to whole food's $8 sixpacks (which all seem to be from hungary or vermont, for some reason). No thanks. I like my crappy-ass Giant. Sort of.

Posted by: tom on November 8, 2005 03:00 PM

The most unbelievable part of this post is that the line moved quickly and someone actually bagged your groceries for you. Tom, I don't want to call you a liar, but I find your story dubious, to say the least. Next you'll be telling me that they hadn't run out of red onions. Or every other item of produce you really wanted, for that matter.

Posted by: Sommer on November 8, 2005 03:15 PM

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