Georgetown Cool… and Safe?
By February 8, 2023 0 1456•
Georgetown is having a moment … again. Over its 272 or so years, it has reinvented itself without losing its charm or erasing its history. We, along with other Georgetowners, know this and live this. We usually don’t shout about it.
Still, let’s hear from others. “Look at the lineup of restaurants on the way — and those recently opened — and Georgetown is where you’ll find some of D.C.’s most exciting newcomers. There’s new energy building up in the storied neighborhood. Dare we even say . . . Georgetown is cool again?” Washingtonian intoned.
“Georgetown is experiencing a true restaurant renaissance,” wrote Joe Sternlieb, CEO of the Georgetown Business Improvement District in the Jan. 11th Georgetowner. “The Washingtonian recently named Georgetown the ‘in’ neighborhood for dining in 2023.”
They’re — we’re — correct. Even if there remain continual strains to a few businesses from narrow-thinking landlords, there are property owners, thinking outside the box, matching spaces with brands creatively.
Yet this good fortune for our commercial district could go out the window, because the real threat is increasing crime and the perception of increasing crime. If the District government and Metropolitan Police Department are not seen in command, it’s a problem.
Speaking of downtown D.C. — which can be applied to Georgetown — D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson said: “If you want to get people downtown, step back and think, ‘How do you do it?’ You deal with the perception of the city as not being safe. You create more activities and nightlife. What’s going to get retired couples to come into the city from Virginia?”
Georgetown is cool even when it isn’t. What matters most is residents and visitors feeling and knowing that D.C. is safe. And if this is not so, all the fine dining, high-end retail and coolness won’t matter.