I spy . . . Hillcrest

I discovered the most beautiful neighborhood in D.C. this weekend (via Remax, naturally). Hillcrest is across the Anacostia River adjacent to the Maryland border and features amazing single-family homes, some of which are straight from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. It was once home to D.C.'s favorite mayor, Marion Barry, features a 300-feet elevation with great views and lawns so well manicured they are featured in annual garden tours.

But, my heart is torn.

Hillcrest is surrounded by the most crime-ridden areas of D.C. I'll have to admire from afar, but I am so happy to have learned of its existence and beauty.


  1. I know a gay couple who has lived in Hillcrest for years and years, and they are surrounded by families and long time residents of the neighborhood as well. There's a lot of petty theft and joy riding that goes on, but it's really no different than the stuff that goes on in the H Street corridor or along Rhode Island Ave NE. It's just a slow gentrification. I would feel perfectly safe living there.

  2. I'm so glad you chimed in and know someone who lives there! The way you described it is exactly how I pictured it because I read that the crime really doesn't seep into the community, that many residents have been there for years, and people take pride in their homes.

    Ah, thanks for your wisdom. I'm going for a visit. I don't want to lose it on my radar. It made me happy to see older, beautiful homes that weren't outrageous in price (hey, they're reasonable for D.C.) being taken care of by an entire community.

  3. The residents (who are, by and large, not white) that have been their for years and years are either holding on by a thread or moving out because new ownership has driven up property values and pushed them out their homes. It's logical that as a response, crime would exist. The other folks who have lived their for years and years live in harmony with the neighborhood, more or less. The couple I knew participated in block parties and stuff, from what I recall. It's really easy to look for safe harbor as a way to shield oneself from crime and violence, and Hillcrest/Anacostia certainly has its issues, but there's a way to be respectful and aware without causing indirect harm to the people who have been in the neighborhood for a substantial amount of time.

    The neighborhood is "insulated" by houses that were, when I was there a bunch about seven-ish years ago, not as spectacular as the houses contained within. There is a racial divide in SE...all the way from the Capitol to the border of PG County; you have to be prepared not to ignore it.

  4. wow, can you imagine buying your house from a sears catalog? "yes, i'll take that one!"