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Way to perpetuate the stereotypes that my profile of Anacostia actually challenges: Through misrepresentative half-quotes, Sarah Godfrey (City Lights, 3/22) implies that the Newcomer’s Handbook for Washington, D.C. tells people to steer clear of Anacostia. I won’t guess whether Godfrey intentionally distorts the book or just misses the point, but in fact the text urges readers to visit Anacostia (like any other neighborhood) and make up their own minds.
The book does include some warranted warnings—about Anacostia, about Spring Valley, about Georgetown—but the one-sidedness implied in Godfrey’s review is simply not present. Anacostia has a bad rep, and I acknowledge it, while arguing that the neighborhood is worth checking out.
It’s unfortunate that the Washington City Paper, in order to uphold its reputation for cynicism, had to add to the misinformation already on record about a widely misunderstood community.
Newcomer’s Handbook for Washington, D.C.
Takoma Park, Md.