I have always been an agent for supporting local shops and restaurants, but there is one big box store that holds a special place in my heart: Target. The only thing I hated about moving to DC was the fact that there was no Target in the city. I am not a fan of schlepping out to the ‘burbs (yep, I am a District snob), so I haven’t been able to frequent my long lost love as much as I would like…until now.
With palms sweating and my heart aflutter, I made my way to the new Target in Columbia Heights this evening after work. I must first tell you that I have been counting the days until I could be reunited with the wondrous Bullseye. So to say I was giddy with excitement all day at work would be an understatement. To finally see that beautiful Target logo shining down at me was almost more than my heart could take. Trust me, I was more excited about going to this store than I have been about a large majority of my dates. Sad, but true.
When I finally crossed the store’s threshold, I felt as if I’d come home. The endless aisles of giant sized containers of household goods, the funky and stylish knick knacks lining rows of shelving, the oh so wonderful wall of kitchen gadgets…it was almost too much for me to take. As I stumbled around my 2 story mecca, a co-worker helplessly watching me shamelessly declare my love for the Target mascot, it never occurred to me what this new store means for Columbia Heights.
The neighborhood has gone downhill since the DC riots following Dr. King’s assassination. As my very helpful cab driver told me (and he was super helpful…he even carried my bags to my door!!!), over the last ten years, there has been a concerted effort to restore Columbia Heights to its once glorious luster. But, according to my cabbie, the level of crime still existent in the Heights has made it very difficult to attract shoppers and diners. As we were driving down 14th Street, he pointed out the “bad spots” of Columbia Heights, including the (and these were his words) heroine corner. In fact, as we were waiting for the light to change, he pointed out a drug deal in progress (talk about a full service cab ride).
Both Chief Lanier and Mayor Fenty promise a strong police force to make the entire DCUSA complex a safe place to shop and dine. But considering the Chief’s previous efforts at “all hands” policing, I question just how safe shopping at night will be for a single girl such as myself. But considering I already am braving the gentrification of Shaw, I’m willing to brave another neighborhood in transition…especially if it means more purchases like these fabulous glasses and flatware!