Each week, WAMU 88.5's Metro Connection reaches across D.C., Maryland and Virginia to gather the sounds and stories that capture the current events, culture and personalities driving the Washington region.
From its history as a post-Civil War community of freed slaves to the riots that nearly destroyed the neighborhood, from a 100-year-old barbershop to new restaurants shaping the area's culinary scene, we explore the ups and downs of one of D.C.'s most historic and complex neighborhoods: Shaw.
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Shaw was home to several open-air drug markets, and shootings were not uncommon. But it was still a neighborhood with longtime residents who refused to give up on their community — including WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi.
In September, Mayor Vincent C. Gray cut the ribbon on three brand new restaurants in D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood... all in the same day. Those three eateries were the vanguard of nearly two dozen new bars and restaurants slated to open this fall and winter, with more on the way.
It's no secret that Shaw is one of D.C.'s most rapidly-changing neighborhoods. Where there were once subsidized apartments, there are now gleaming condos and beer gardens. Can affordable housing survive the boom?
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