The Washington Post recently featured our very own neighborhood, Columbia Heights, in the Style section. However, it’s not the “style” you’d expect…
That’s right, the paper highlighted the ironic mashing of Columbia Heights’ “Hipster” population with…TARGET.
The retail giant (the only Target in DC) is responsible for the “suburbanizing” of the once young and edgy Columbia Heights neighborhood, according to Monica Hesse’s article: The Target of Their Ambivalence (catchy wordplay, eh?). However, Hesse brings up very interesting points:
- Columbia Heights is still edgy. A few blocks from the Target, semi-permanent police cars monitor the muggings and shootings that still happen, in broad daylight, even—as happened a few weeks ago—at the Metro. This is an area being either positively revitalized or negatively gentrified, depending on how you view the development.
- You know the experiment: You put a frog in boiling water, it will try to jump out, but if you put it in cold water and slowly turn up the heat it will just sit there and die. Residents of Columbia Heights: They are the frogs… Target has made us into suburbanites, right in the middle of the Green line.
- So awful. So convenient.
The presence of Target in such a distinct neighborhood has definitely caused a stir in the area. Change is therefore inevitable: it can be percieved has both positive and negative to the area. With suburban stores comes generic, sterile attitudes. Everyone has the same matching pink patterned bathroom set, or that cute dress hanging in the first display you see.
The key in this situation is to make the convenience work for you. Style shouldn’t have to sacrifice for convenience. Columbia Heights can accept the Target into its lifestyle without having to lose its sense of “edginess.” After all, where else can you buy your cat food, hair brush, the birthday card for mom, and a cute new pair of shoes?