A little NYC in my DC

(A good reference map for actual DC neighborhoods is here.)

This idea came to me when a coworker likened Brooklyn to Arlington.

My immediate reaction was shock and horror. Brooklyn is not Arlington. Arlington is Jersey.

This map comes with a million caveats and here are just a few:

DC neighborhoods and NYC neighborhoods are only VERY loosely comparable.

The comparisons I make are based on either urban form, architecture, demographics, history, institutions in the neighborhood or a combination of the above.

I thought about giving you the complete rationale for each neighborhood comparison, but I thought I’d let it stand on its own first. If the rationale is desired it can be provided. I welcome any disagreements, agreements (obviously), or suggestions for other hoods.

One thing I will explain is that in DC most immigrant communities (with all that tasty ethnic food) is spread around the suburbs instead of in the urban core. So the suburbs is Queens. Speaking of Queens, if you want the best Indian food not made by someone in my family (yes, I’m biased) go to Jackson Diner in Jackson Heights. I’m one picky Indian and that food is goooooood.

Here are the initial neighborhood comparisons:

Chevy Chase = Upper East Side

Rock Creek Park = Central Park (though RCP isn’t so central)

Mount Pleasant = Carroll Gardens

Adams Morgan = East Village

Connecticut corridor (North Dupont to Cleveland Park-ish) = Upper West Side

Columbia Heights = Spanish Harlem

Trinidad = Crown Heights

Eastern Market = Park Slope

SW Waterfront = Battery Park City

Chinatown = Times Square

K Street Corridor = Wall St

Georgetown (around M St) = SoHo

Georgetown north (around the University) = West Village/NYU

Dupont Circle/Logan Circle = Chelsea

All of Anacostia = All of the Bronx

Shaw/Ledroit Park = Harlem

Potomac River = Hudson River

Anacostia River = East River

There were a few neighborhoods that couldn’t be applied to DC like (to name just a few) Nolita, Dumbo, and Williamsburg…which I tried to apply to Columbia Heights, but having moved from Williamsburg to Columbia Heights I knew it was too much of a stretch. Hipsters aren’t concentrated enough in DC anywhere…their little population seems to be pretty diffuse.


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3 Responses to “A little NYC in my DC”

  1. gwadzilla Says:


    I do not know NYC well enough to agree or disagree

    but when in West Virginia this winter past I was cross country skiing at White Grass

    when talking to the owner and praising him for his bohemian resort we laughed when I retold to him how I had a conversation with someone about White Grass where I caught myself almost saying it is more Vermont than West Virginia
    because it is not Vermont
    it is West Virginia
    the comparison may aid in understanding things
    but… sometimes things are what they are
    West Virginia is a great state
    similar mountain culture
    but its own culture

    not sure it that makes any sense

    the coffee is still taking effect

  2. Kelley McDonald Says:

    Um, I read your post about white people always assuming you want to talk about India, or asking you “where you are really from,” etc. Good points. But then, I read the post below where you state “I’m one picky Indian.” Isn’t this a bit of a contradiction? Aren’t you from Virginia? So you are Indian when it makes you feel good about being different, and not when someone else assumes you are different and therefore annoys you? I don’t go walking around saying “I’m one picky Scot.”

  3. mmmona Says:

    I posted this on the “Where are you from” post, but thought to include here in direct response:
    The comment above led me to realize that people get a little confused when it comes to the difference between race/ethnicity and nationality (where you are from)–and this is really confusing with Indians, since our race/ethnicity is Indian…but that’s also a nationality for over 1 billion people. When I call myself Indian or South Asian, I am referring to my race/ethnicity…it’s the box I check. East Indian is often one of the boxes. That is what I check. When you ask me where I’m from, my nationality is US. Period. I can should and will refer to myself as Indian, and if anyone believes I shouldn’t then they themselves should stop referring to themselves as white or start saying they’re from some land of white people that is not America.

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