Submitted by sg8910 t3_10puw1t in washingtondc

I am just curious if its just me. I am talking about hte ciity i used to love, where i could walk forever and never feel unsafe, ride the metro, getting in my exercise, never watching my back, go see live music, comedy shows, come home late

Now i live in arlington and with recent crime wave post covid and yup metro madness, I am just scared everytime i head to DC. Monday i went to logan circle to meet friend and it was so nice to walk in dc at night agian and see people walking about going out, so lively again, but i walked to dupont and foggy botton, as soon as it got to 930pm, started feeling unsafe and metro was a little scary. Sometimes I uber home but it gets expensive and someitmse i jus like walking but I decided whats the point of walking if i am anxious and watching my back?

its such a pretty city, i just wish things would be safe again and perhaps its me but I dont feel the same here. I am grateful i live in arlington and really love going out to alexandira but there is something about being in a city that makes you feel alive, just feels empty.

Just wanted to hear what people felt about the city and its safey and the nightlife issues. I am thinking about picking up a partime server job in the city at night but feel it would be too stressful rather than working in alrington or alexandria where I feel slightly safer ( female)



You must log in or register to comment.

swampoodler t1_j6mqbz8 wrote

Old DC was a much more violent place.

The DC of the Obama years did seem more chill though. And post-COVID DC is weird in a bad way.


rectalhorror t1_j6nk4z6 wrote

Born and raised in DC. Parents moved out to the burbs in 1975 because living in Southeast was starting to get sketchy and the schools were terrible and Marion Barry was Marion Barry. Spent my teen years in the '80s going to punk shows at the old 930 Club and DCSPACE and the Wilson Center and it was great: the whole town shut down at 7pm and we had it all to ourselves and we never felt unsafe because the real violent crime was in Wards 7 & 8. Yeah, you had sex workers walking 14th Street into the '90s, but they didn't give us any trouble. Post COVID DC means the crime isn't localized anymore; it's in every ward. I'd suggest it all started when Lanier disbanded the vice squads to focus on the high end drug dealers, leaving the street level crews to fend for themselves. So a decade later, with pot legal, those crews are fighting over smaller territories for fewer dollars. DC SHOULD be able to prosecute the top ten percent of criminals committing the 60% of the violent crime AND provide intervention for those kids before they become repeat offenders, but my lifetime in DC has shown me they're incapable of being able to chew gum and walk at the same time.


unenlightenedgoblin t1_j6nn2vi wrote

I’ve lived in several cities and never seen a place that was as hypocritical as DC. It’s the most partisan jurisdiction in the United States, and there’s always all this high-minded rhetoric (performative), but then people are extremely reactionary to crime and homelessness. Every white person I’ve ever met in the District is a nakedly-ambitious socio-political chameleon from a comfortable upper-middle class upbringing. Like there is literally not a working class white neighborhood anywhere in the DMV. It’s caused me to resent many people here.


1800TurdFerguson t1_j6olaak wrote

Has there ever been a white working class neighborhood in DC? Serious question. Maybe late 19th century? Georgetown and its shipyards and mills were a separate city until 1871. Even then it was in a state of decline, at least from a commercial perspective. DC didn’t crack 100K in population until the 1860s.

DC grew rapidly in the first half of the 20th century, but what was the breakdown between blue and white collar population growth? I’d suspect if was more the latter than the former.


Zoroasker t1_j6omgdo wrote

Yes, there certainly were white working class neighborhoods back in the day.


1800TurdFerguson t1_j6ooql2 wrote

Where? Foggy Bottom? Petworth? What was considered a white working class neighborhood in Old DC?


Zoroasker t1_j6op327 wrote

Swampoodle was one. I think some areas EOTR also qualify but I’m a bit foggy on the particulars. From my research the area I live in originally housed white working class people around the turn of the century versus Kingman Park next door which is known for being originally sold to middle-class blacks.


unenlightenedgoblin t1_j6p0266 wrote

I mean DC ran on slavery right up until the war, so much less of a white working class than comparable Northeast and Midwest, but it was certainly still present. Swampoodle (NoMA today) has a pretty well documented history of white working class settlement. In terms of the working class overall, large portions of the city saw the removal of small, affordable alley homes in 20th century urban renewal schemes. Not only did this erase naturally-affordable housing in dynamic, mixed-income areas, it also shifted the geography of poverty such that it became concentrated in the new top-down housing projects that were built in their place. Most of the poor whites gtfo’ed after this happened (the King riots basically closing the door completely).

I’m from the Rust Belt so it was a huge culture shock for me. The black culture in DC is richer (both financially and culturally) but otherwise not substantially different from my hometown. The white people in each city though live in completely different worlds.


1800TurdFerguson t1_j6p40w4 wrote

But those white working class populations were often ethnic enclaves. Look at Boston or Chicago. One of the largest mass lynchings was perpetrated against Italians in New Orleans. The Crescent City has a long history of various white ethnic groups migrating to the city - Greeks, Italians, Irish, Slavs (mostly Croats). I’m not that aware of DC’s early industrial history, but I’m not aware of the city having those kinds of ethnic population centers.


unenlightenedgoblin t1_j6p5b73 wrote

It was certainly never a Chicago or New York-style ethnic patchwork. Especially historically DC had a lot of cultural influence from the US South (including, critically in the migration context and as you alluded to in New Orleans—zealous anti-Catholic sentiment. There historically are not many Catholics in the South, literally because of terrorist threats against them.)

My main point isn’t to explore in-depth how this developed, but rather to illustrate the way that explicitly-racialized patterns of poverty and privilege are much more apparent in DC, despite it being one of the nation’s most diverse. I think it also explains a lot of national political trends. I truly think most people in DC have only a superficial understanding of the extent of white poverty in the United States, and the McLean and Potomac types are just about the most privileged people in the entire world. It ain’t like that back home, or in much of the country. White people around DC will acknowledge this to some extent, but I don’t think they’re truly aware. The result is a national race and class narrative that is disproportionately influenced by the existing divides in the DMV, while simultaneously tonedeaf in terms of their own contributions toward upholding or benefitting from these inequalities.


1800TurdFerguson t1_j6p7g8z wrote

I’d argue that someone who hasn’t seen it up close can’t really appreciate how bad it is for some people. Poor people in this area are relatively more affluent than those in many parts of the country. Parts of Alabama are seeing a resurgence of illnesses we largely eliminated through modern sanitation, and Mississippi’s largest city can’t keep the water flowing to its residents. People who haven’t been through those parts of the country, or Appalachia, or probably even some long-forgotten Rust Belt towns, haven’t experienced it. It’s a lot different when you have a poor (or poorly run) state with a ramshackle social safety net. A lot of people are poor here, but there are people living in desperate, abject poverty in other parts of the country…including some not far from here. It’s almost like we live in different countries than they do.


Mayonnaise_Sunrise t1_j6noyt9 wrote

I have a similar situation, accept you are slightly older. I was born and raised in Annandale, but my Dad's side of the family has been in DC since the 1800s. He moved out of the city in the 70s (he grew up in Anacostia / Fairlawn). Anyway, I started hanging out and going to punk and hardcore shows in the early 90s (Chamber Of Sound, Asylum, old 930, old Black Cat, random church halls). I was taking the metro around town by myself or with a few friends at age 14/15/16, and the empty city felt like our playground. It was great, can't really say I ever felt unsafe. Outside of the 14th Street hookers, or maybe some eccentric homeless person rapping or singing for money it really wasn't that bad for us at all. Met a lot of good friends I still have today roaming around the city going to shows back then too. That's the old DC I miss.

I also use to spend summers (late 80s-early 90s) working with my Dad and his plumbing business. We would be at Atlantic Plumbing Supply by 630am which was usually filled with a group of colorful characters cracking jokes and carrying on...then off to job sites throughout the city by 8am...I can still smell the wharf in the hot summer air to this day. What a magical time.


1800TurdFerguson t1_j6oizvp wrote

I’ve seen sex workers on 12th, 14th and on K Street within the last decade.


meh_the_man t1_j6n2mfo wrote

Facts idk what this guy is talking about lol. Dc used to be WAY more dangerous


garrag t1_j6ncfz3 wrote

Man I was thinking like 80s DC? When you could get mugged walking on the mall in the middle of the day 😅??


mooncatcentral t1_j6ne9p5 wrote

+1 I'd love to know which "old DC" OP is talking about because my family has been here since the 60s and uhhhhhhh it's a lot nicer nowadays. There's a family story of a guy being stabbed on our front porch in Cap Hill and never keeping a stereo in the car because they kept getting stolen, but who's counting. Now, houses go for 3m+ and it's quite nice!!!


unenlightenedgoblin t1_j6nmbqo wrote

Houses going for $3Mn is the polar opposite of ‘nice’

The cost of living crisis is 100% exacerbating thr underlying issues of poverty, nihilism, and mental health.


mooncatcentral t1_j6nnvq2 wrote


You seem like a treat.


unenlightenedgoblin t1_j6no36h wrote

Sorry the rest of us don’t have $3Mn laying around. But how dare I ask you to contemplate your role in this.


mooncatcentral t1_j6nq59r wrote

Who said I did? I was commenting on the the old dc versus new dc narrative. You do not know anything about me or my family's history in the district.

Wishing you nothing but the best. Take care!


unenlightenedgoblin t1_j6nr20y wrote

Your parents owned land in the right place at the right time (the profiteers of the CoL crisis). Just a guess, but your economic worldview would certainly suggest a privileged upbringing. It’s not like you’ve done anything inherently wrong, but referring to $3Mn home prices as ‘nice’ is simply the most out-of-touch thing I’ve heard in quite some time. Shows which side of $3Mn you/your family is on, the other 99% of us will never have that privilege.


6tipsy6 t1_j6orvnn wrote

+1 for more porch stabbings!




js8806485 t1_j6mu4j4 wrote

I think the same can be said for almost all metro cities in America. The things DC is going through aren’t unique on the macro level.


Flame87 t1_j6n5lu3 wrote

The internet separated us from each other then covid really tore the fabric. People want to trust people on the internet with agendas over their eyes, ears, and real life connections.


ladyorthetiger0 t1_j6mez78 wrote

You never felt unsafe? Anywhere in DC?


WayyyCleverer t1_j6n5gca wrote

I always felt especially safe stranded outside of club Fur without a cab in sight.


Redwolfdc t1_j6npnyi wrote

The period maybe mid-2000s up until like 3 years ago most people could walk around NW anywhere and feel relatively safe. The “bad” parts of the city were not anywhere you would usually go out at night. Now you have robberies, assaults, carjackings happening in what used to be safe parts of the district. Add to the fact police often do next to nothing. Compared with the nightlife areas of Arlington or Alexandria it’s night and day.


NWWashingtonDC t1_j6mpwz6 wrote

Haha When was this Old DC you speak of? Need years.


throws_rocks_at_cars t1_j6nhnle wrote

It was like 2010 to 2014. Which also coincides with the exact time I was a strapping young lad with a far higher risk appetite and a not-all-the-way-developed prefrontal cortex. Surely the two can’t be related.


uncheckablefilms t1_j6oa5gt wrote

I have numerous friends mugged during those years. Not great, Bob!

But it did get me out of jury duty for a mugging case.


Pipes_of_Pan t1_j6n20mt wrote

Is this the olden days of your younger, cooler, more confident self before you started spending hours per day on NextDoor and Twitter obsessing over crime?


Flame87 t1_j6n5rqb wrote

"There's more crime now that I follow crime reports than there were when I never thought about it"


murphski8 t1_j6mnv71 wrote

>As soon as it got to 9:30pm, started feeling unsafe and metro was a little scary

What specifically made everything suddenly unsafe and scary?


NorseTikiBar t1_j6nmmux wrote

It's when the Morlocks leave their tunnels to feast.


ItchyArticle t1_j6mmc0n wrote

Nope!! Lived in Arlington pre pandemic and didn’t like the sterile vibe. Now in the city post pandemic and go out most every night and love it..


Oaktownbeeast t1_j6mqu83 wrote

You make the mistake of confusing “recent, temporary dc” for old dc. You have no fucking clue what old dc was if your version is a happy carefree city for you to happily skip around at any hour of the night.


EC_dwtn t1_j6mx62m wrote

Everything about this post was a curveball. From the title I thought this was going to be like those posts in r/NYC that wish for the grimier but cheaper days.

Then I thought you'd say you were walking in Shaw or Chinatown or another neighborhood that seems to have gone backward in the pandemic but you said Foggy Bottom and Dupont, which seem to be about the same as before.


pgm123 t1_j6n13m8 wrote

> you said Foggy Bottom and Dupont, which seem to be about the same as before.

But Big Hunt closed.


mimaiwa t1_j6n2z6u wrote

There hasn’t been such a dramatic change in anything that should cause you to go from carefree to terrified walking around DC. You should examine where those feelings come from since it’s not grounded in reality.

For what’s it worth, I walk around DC all the time


originalauditor t1_j6n6m1o wrote

Murders are up threefold. That’s not dramatic ?


mimaiwa t1_j6n8gf0 wrote

If 100 murders a year had someone walking around without a worry, then I don’t think 200 murders a year should have them scared to be in the city at all.

Murder is a huge social problem I agree, but it’s also hyper concentrated.


originalauditor t1_j6njva7 wrote

It’s not just murder. It’s every other category of crime: armed robbery (including car jackings), assault and battery, vagrancy, vandalism, public intoxication, etc. It’s piling up.


mimaiwa t1_j6nnrom wrote

I’m not denying that there has been more crime over the last 3-5 years.

But to go from carefree naivety to being scared way out of proportion isn’t a rational response to reality. It’s not like DC has gone from Finland to Syria in 5 years.

I’m sure those feelings are real for OP, which is why I suggested examining where they come from.


originalauditor t1_j6o0zys wrote

It’s totally rational to assess risk and decide if the dangers outweigh the benefits. There is a demonstrable risk, which seems to be getting worse. Just about everyone seems to know someone else who’s been robbed or beaten and thus it’s not crazy to think “it could happen to me.” Some people have a higher tolerance for the risk, like presumably most of those here down-voting any hint of caution in an environment that can be quite hazardous.


mimaiwa t1_j6o58o8 wrote

Once again, I’m not saying that there aren’t risks that should be appropriately assessed. Ofc there are. It’s naive to think otherwise.

But if someone’s risk analysis led them from never feeling unsafe in DC a couple years again to constant fear today, that’s not an assessment grounded in reality. That’s just as naive as throwing caution to the wind.

Fwiw, I don’t know anyone who’s been beaten in DC.


pomegranatecloud t1_j6n4mxw wrote

Nope. I feel as safe now as I did Pre-Covid. Honestly, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m a woman who walks, runs, and metros at night.

Do you actually feel unsafe because something is making you feel unsafe or do you just think there’s a lot of crime because you read Reddit and follow the news? Most of the posts complaining about how unsafe DC is are by people who don’t actually get out in DC, and it’s this giant echo chamber of how everyone is a victim of constant crime and no one is ever safe.

Have you talked to your doctor about your anxiety?


ottereatingpopsicles t1_j6n7rv6 wrote

Honestly same, I feel as safe as I always have. I’m also a woman who walks/bikes/metros at night.

For every person that makes me feel slightly uncomfortable there are at least 30 other people out walking around living life and making the city feel full of life and more safe.


takiniteasy88 t1_j6p4unb wrote

That's nice, but where do you live? I would 100% feel the way you do if I lived in Woodley Park, sure, but I would absolutely not feel that way if I lived in Navy Yard, for example.

It's all relative. If you have the means to live in the nice parts of Northwest DC, I'm sure you feel its as safe now as it was pre-covid, but the safe areas are dwindling fast.


xxchompartistxx t1_j6mk3f8 wrote

the thing about the old days, is they’re the old days


sadistbiker t1_j6peuru wrote

Out of all the places in the city, you felt scared walking from DuPont circle to foggy bottom? LMAO


Evaderofdoom t1_j6n91gt wrote

I think when you spend time in VA DC feels less safe because there is a bump in population density. There are more people in your personal space. Things have gotten slightly worse sense the Obama years but was never a totally safe idyllic place many thought it was. You should always be aware of your surroundings in a city. It's still a great city that is safe most the time but you should always watch out for yourself.


NorseTikiBar t1_j6nm587 wrote

If you're literally describing "old DC" as just pre-pandemic, then I don't know what to tell you. For the overwhelming majority of people, let alone the people that frequent this sub, it's the same thing, just more expensive.

You being so anxious that you can't walk between two safe NW neighborhoods doesn't change that. So what you need to change is either your media consumption that has you believing there's a murderer around every corner, or the posts you read here (just block crime post trolls, you'll never see them anywhere else).


ActuaryPersonal2378 t1_j6oak6u wrote

This! True Crime has made women paranoid that there's a monster around every corner. I'm a 30 y/o woman and of course I keep my wits about me when I'm walking alone, as anyone should, but the constant anxiety of there being a predator lurking and waiting to catch you is so unhealthy. Being smart is good, being paranoid is not


js8806485 t1_j6mtzsb wrote

Just get off this subreddit, things really aren’t as bad as people make the seem. Practice basic street smarts (e.g., be mindful of your surroundings) and everything is fine.


Flame87 t1_j6n46cr wrote

The subs of basically every major metro area have whole teams of conservative brigadiers who spend their days screeching about crime and how scawy everything is all the time trying to drum up anti-city and anti-dem sentiments.

I'm not saying OP is one of those people, necessarily, but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume DC probably wasn't safer in..... The 80s or something.


Chraunik t1_j6o8abf wrote

Wishing you lived in a safer cleaner neighborhood that’s gotten noticeably worse in the last 5 years doesn’t make you a conservative brigadier. -Longtime DC resident.


Flame87 t1_j6oazg3 wrote

No but seeing a relatively boring comment about common well documented propaganda techniques and feeling so personally attacked you have to comment probably does 😂


blind__panic t1_j6nryh2 wrote

OP, I really think you should consider the possibility that you’re projecting some issues that are not external.


6tipsy6 t1_j6oufrz wrote

There is a lot of that throughout this comment section


silversaint99 t1_j6oc9fm wrote

Wtf are you talking about. This is “old man yells at cloud” coded


Strawbrawry t1_j6n0ors wrote

I mean as a Detroiter from the 90s DC is Disney world, perspective I guess


TheMostSarcastic t1_j6o4l21 wrote

You were scared to walk from DuPont to Foggy Bottom????


takiniteasy88 t1_j6p4j0p wrote

I agree with OP, but it's all relative. I've been in DC since 2007, give or take. 2007 - 2020 were excellent years. Yes, there were areas that were (and still are) dangerous and violent, but it didn't feel as though crime from those areas were bleeding into the rest of the city.

Now, not so much. Crime, particularly violent crime, is almost everywhere in DC in ways that it simply wasn't from 2000 - 2020. Yes, there has always been crime, and yes, it isn't as bad as it was in the 80s and 90s, but its become pretty damn terrible these past few years. I've had to run away from gunshots at least three times in the past two years, one of those times, I was truly, truly shocked and thankful I wasn't actually struck by bullets. All three times in areas that are supposed to be nice or were supposed to have changed dramatically in the past two decades - areas that in 2018 I would have never heard gunshots.

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of DC just isn't safe anymore. There is a level of diligence needed to live here that you didn't need in the previous 15 years. The city has basically thrown up its hands and decided that it's fine, that this is acceptable, and that there's nothing to be done about it except working on ways to lessen the punishments for our more violent offenders. Criminals are more brazen and bold than they have been at any point in the past two decades. There is zero deterrent, so they keep fucking up everyone else's lives.

OP isn't wrong. The 'old' 2000 - 2020 DC is eroding away. But it's still a far from what it was like from 1980 - 2000.


bingol_boii t1_j6n0zt8 wrote

Parts of DC have always been unsafe, just like any other city in the US. Maybe your perception of it has changed


IcyWillow1193 t1_j6nms60 wrote

>Now i live in arlington

Life tip: when you leave a place, it never feels the same again. It was your home, and now it's not. This is more about you than about DC.


chumbawumba_bruh t1_j6o6yjo wrote

I don’t have a ton of love for DC, but I live in a neighorhood that still has sketchy pockets (Petworth) and, compared to other American cities that I’ve lived in, DC feels remarkably safe.


drupe14 t1_j6oyl6v wrote

As a hardcore DC fan and resident for 7 years - I miss the old DC very hard!

Peak DC for me was 2015–2018


bludynamo t1_j6mgnm5 wrote

You’re referring to the pre-pandemic era. “Old DC” is somewhere between 1960’s white flight and early 2000’s gentrification.


Macrophage87 t1_j6n9c24 wrote

When was this? Violent crime rates in general are down year over year. It's way safer than the late 80's/early 90s. Crime dropped in almost every ward in 2022. It's more likely that you are primed for observing danger and spot it even if it doesn't exist.


Tommys2Turnt t1_j6na7li wrote

I find this hilarious. Every time I get in a cab the cabbies loves to tell me stories about getting robbed at gunpoint in my neighborhood and how much it’s changed sense the 80s.

The last one told me about how you use to be able to pick up prostitutes all around the White House until Ragen was sitting on the porch one night and told his secret service to do something useful. The cabbie said he had the secret service loading up his car with hookers and telling him to drop them off in falls church lol

All this to say it’s all relative man. The old days were roughhh depending on how old you go


FoggyBottomBreakdown t1_j6nbu2l wrote

You never watched your back? I feel like I do this everywhere as a woman just as a matter of habit at this point (not DC specific).


dcell1974 t1_j6nrxxv wrote

It feels sketchier now than it used to. It mostly seems like post-pandemic weirdness to me. Things will go back to normal. I noticed things feel a lot better since the beginning of last year. It is still way safer than it was 20 years ago.


camelot478 t1_j6pbb6c wrote

The entire country is a little edgier since COVID. DC is actually doing pretty good by comparison..


AnswerGuy301 t1_j6n02kb wrote

This feels like the worst of both worlds. The vibe is trending as barren and unsafe as it was in the late '90s, but it's expensive just like it was in the late 2010s. Also, I'm not just out of college anymore, so my tolerance for sketch has dropped with time.


CreditUnlucky407thro t1_j6ngyuy wrote

It's not nearly so barren or unsafe. Everybody's just very bad at judging how unsafe things are.

Edit: there are also people attempting to twist the narrative and cast the cities as much more dangerous than they actually are.


NorseTikiBar t1_j6nnd1d wrote

Yeah, it's insane how many people on this sub act like they need to wear Kevlar and kiss their loved ones goodbye when they go to Union Station now.


pgm123 t1_j6n19c7 wrote

Straight from the Go Go DC?


CreditUnlucky407thro t1_j6nfxa5 wrote

What "old dc"? Wtf are you talking about? It's fine over here. I live here. if anything, it's better.


tiakeuta t1_j6p20l5 wrote

You know why they changed the Bullets name right?


DCDipset t1_j6p98me wrote

The old DC? Old DC was safe everywhere? Gtfo


resdivinae t1_j6mqv5e wrote

The crime in DC is definitely concerning, but I've never felt too unsafe to walk around the city and have a good time. I live in Arlington but go into DC often--I just try to remain situationally aware.


MusignyBlanc t1_j6ngfn4 wrote

When was this? June 1st - July 5th, 2018? Because it seems to me that the old DC I knew is back!


Ncav2 t1_j6nolar wrote

I've only lived in the area since late 2017 so take that as you will, but the only difference I've noticed was the closure of classic DC spots (18th st lounge, Marvin, etc). The nightlife doesn't feel as vibrant as it was pre-pandemic (but then again it's also winter time). But I never feel completely unsafe in DC. Just use your common sense and exercise any caution you would use in any major city.


CraftyAd7065 t1_j6ogdeu wrote

Yeah, i miss the 80s. It was like...Shanghai.


LilInterweb t1_j6otisy wrote

Crime has gone down in the last several years and decades. What are you talking about? You are safer today then when you were clueless walking through “old DC”


Existing365Chocolate t1_j6pd2y6 wrote

DuPont is pretty dead and uncomfortably empty at night post-COVID, probably one of the areas hit the hardest


originalauditor t1_j6n4035 wrote

Spot on. Took my son to a baseball game in the spring and couldn’t take metro back bc of gunfire at l’Enfant. And the next game I took him to, someone was stabbed just outside the stadium. Gunfights and driveby shootings routinely now in Navy Yard. I lived in DC in the 90s and most certainly Old DC was no picnic. Close-in Capitol Hill was dangerous. But it is shocking to see the pendulum swing back in a generation.