As a third generation native Washingtonian I struggle with the "new DC" I lived in the city until it was time to go to college and then after I graduated I moved to the West Coast so I've only been back in DC for a few years and so much has changed.
Neighborhoods that didn't have much to offer (interesting dining options, safe night life, etc) a decade or so ago are now hip and trendy. Sadly this often displaces longtime residents; I myself have been priced out of the neighborhood I grew up in.
I've found that in order to enjoy "new DC" you need an open mind, full wallet and empty belly. Last weekend I organized a few other bloggers (all DC natives) to check out Maketto, a new communal marketplace on H Street, NE. Combining a coffee shop, Asian-fusion restaurant and men's street wear clothing store Maketto is a shining example of when "upgrading a neighborhood" (ie. gentrification) is done right.
Maketto's staff is as racially diverse as the neighborhood itself and we were blown away by the intuitiveness of the employee's customer service. Shopboys happily supplied our blogger group with scissors and ice so we could apply Skin Couture tattoos we had been gifted for our blog shoot, charged our phones behind the bar and make recommendations for cocktails and food.
We were treated like family and given a full overview of the space's concept. I know Maketto will succeed, especially as we move into summer (the upstairs patio and open air seating is ideal) my only hope is that other businesses looking to move into the DC market will take a page from Maketto's book. Inclusiveness, community-minded business practices, unique spaces and exceptional customer service are what make DC natives want to shop, work and live in "New DC"