Monica Jilling remembers a different Petworth.
“I moved there in 2007 and was lucky enough to find a one-bedroom apartment with big windows and hardwood floors that was close to the Metro for $850 a month,” Jilling recalls recently. “The area had a neighborhood feel that was a nice contrast to U Street, where I had previously lived. For the first time, DC started to feel like a home.”
In 2018, Jilling finds herself living in a Petworth that, in some respects, is more like the U Street she left behind. The popular northwest DC neighborhood now has a fairly trendy commercial strip, public spaces, community events drawing people from across the city—and the attendant concerns about skyrocketing housing prices and rampant development.
An entire article would be needed to profile the new additions to Petworth that have come (and some of which have already disappeared) in the eight years since UrbanTurf last profiled the neighborhood. The Scandinavian restaurant Domku, which opened in 2005 and then closed its doors in 2016, was considered one of the first of a new wave of commercial establishments in the neighborhood. Now, the list of places to eat in Petworth includes some of the city’s most respected restaurants, like Timber Pizza Company and Himitsu. There’s also a crop of new apartment and condo buildings, a 60,000-square-foot Safeway, as well as mainstays like Upshur Street Books, an independent bookstore where President Barack Obama once shopped.
Eddie Kryschtal is another long-term Petworth resident astounded by, and excited for, the changing neighborhood. Along with his father and sister, he purchased a three-bedroom/2.5-bathroom row house in the neighborhood in 2007.
“I have roommates who lived here five years ago who come back and barely recognize the neighborhood,” he told UrbanTurf. “Not just all the renovated homes, but Georgia Avenue, too.”