in DC: the migratory gays

Interesting article in the Washington Business Journal reflecting the queer exodus from Dupont and surrounding areas. It talks to Dave Perruzza, owner of the primary 17th St bars, and David Franco, owner of Universal Gear that recently moved to a new location on 14th St.

At the time, Universal Gear’s owner, David Franco, told a local newspaper that Universal Gear’s departure would be the “nail in the coffin” for 17th Street. From his corporate offices just up 17th Street, Franco now says it was simply the right move. “We saw the eastward movement over the past five years,” Franco said.

“We used to know how well we were doing by the number of Safeway bags our customers would store behind the counter,” Franco said. “As time went on, we saw fewer and fewer Safeway bags, because people weren’t shopping there — they were shopping at Whole Foods.”

What’s interesting to me is that this article completely disregards what most people consider Dupont, as in the actual area around the metro stop and stretching down P Street towards Rock Creek Park. That area still does a fair amount of business, but aside from the dance club, it gets treated as “yesterday’s Dupont.” 17th Street was merely the first to benefit from a migration, and now they’re getting left behind as the gays keep moving.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Gooster says:

    Are they migrating or are they being pushed? Look at the current community and I bet you see a lot of young families walking around right? They are the blight of the gayborhood!

  2. Fredo says:

    @Gooster: No, they’re definitely migrating. And by your definition the gays could be considered the blight of the less than well-to-do families in other neighborhoods. It’s a two way street.

  3. kyle says:

    A lot of us did our drinking (and some of our shopping) in the gayborhood, but never lived there. Except for two-and-a-half years of exile in NE, since moving to DC I’ve always lived in either Adams-Morgan or Mt. Pleasant. It’s good to pop in on the “family” ever so often, but I wouldn’t want to live among them 24/7. I think this trend will continue: that while there will remain a few spots with concentrations of gay-0riented businesses – bars, boutique-type shops, etc. – gays will continue to fan out all over the city to live in neighborhoods they deem comfortable/desirable (for whatever the individuals’ reasons).

  4. Brian says:

    The neighborhood stretching down P Street towards Rock Creek has only been a small sliver of the Dupont Circle neighborhood, at least from a cultural perspective. The area bounded by P Street, New Hampshire, M and Rock Creek (where I used to live for years) is truly what people are talking about when they refer to West End, as it’s fairly unique from Dupont, Foggy Bottom, Golden Triangle or the Mall. And the part that is north of Massachusetts and west of Florida is really Embassy Row, leaving only a few blocks scattered between P, 22nd, Florida and R to be actually called “Dupont.”

    I miss living down there quite a bit, but I certainly preferred West End to Dupont–the few blocks separation made a world of difference.

    DC isn’t alone in this problem, BTW–here in Atlanta, I’ve been a part of the migration out gays from Midtown towards the Edgewood/Kirkwood/East Atlanta areas. The reasons are obvious–housing costs less and gives you more. I also saw this happening in Chicago, where gays are migrating north
    from Boystown about two miles up the El red line, towards Andersonville.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *