On Tuesday, we asked a pretty ambitious set of poll questions about relationships. Rather than try to write about all our findings at once, we’re splitting the data into two sets: questions pertaining to singles, and questions pertaining to existing relationships.
More than a third of you, it turns out, are out-and-out single. (That number expands to 45% if you include “it’s complicated” cases.) Where are you looking for love–and where should you be looking?
You are looking just about everywhere, from work to the gym to the internet. You might have success with that last one: exactly half of respondents had met up with someone via a dating app. Tinder and OK Cupid were by far the most popular responses. Set your Tinder radius wide: 70% of respondents said living across the river wasn’t a dealbreaker.
Most common target: friends of friends, eyed by 84% of you. (Somehow Hinge only gets love from 8%.) They must be elusive, though, since only 15% of actual couples met that way. You’ve also got your eye peeled for special-someone candidates in bars (45%), churches (7%), public transit (12%), gyms (10%), meetups and civic groups (13%), and at concerts (13%).
It’s possible, however, you already missed the best chance; 30% of respondents in relationships met in college. However, that’s just the most common answer, and if one example is enough, you might meet your next beau on the metro or walking around the block. Heck, if you’re employed, you have a chance: 8.5% of our respondents met someone through work. That’s not that surprising, since our less-than-shy 730DCers admitted the possibility of dating a coworker, with only 30% ruling it out entirely.
DC’s not the friendliest, it turns out, to less-conventional forms of dating, like polyamory; only 13% were even open to the idea. Social mores are running up against modernity in DC. Men on that first date enter a minefield of controversy; a plurality prefer men to pay on the first date, but a majority acknowledge some ambiguity or prefer to split (the percentage of men and women in favor of men paying is similar).
By one measure, we don’t really know.
Less than half of 730DC’s respondents could identify the Ward they live in, a startlingly low number in an election year. We’ll start with this map:
And a quick primer on what the map means: the DC City Council has 13 members, including one from each Ward, a Chairperson, and four independent councilmembers. They are now:
1: Jim Graham (outgoing, Brianne Nadeau likely in)
2: Jack Evans
3: Mary Cheh
4: Muriel Bowser (running for Mayor)
5: Kenyan McDuffie
6: Tommy Wells (outgoing, Charles Allen likely in)
7: Yvette Alexander
8: Marion Barry
Chairman: Phil Mendelson
Independent Councilmembers: Vincent Orange, David Grosso, Anita Bonds (up for reelection), David Catania (running for Mayor)
Well, that’s out of the way. The highest ratio of civically-knowledgeable residents, as measured by residents who knew which ward they lived in, came from Ward 6. That ward is fresh off a fierce primary for the Democratic nominee to succeed Tommy Wells; perhaps the ubiquitous campaign signs played a role in educating residents.
Ward 6 is home to one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the District, the walkable and village-like Eastern Market. Less than three percent of readers actually live in Eastern Market, but it was the second most-listed neighborhood on the question “Which are your favorite neighborhoods?”
It is a nice spot for a hand-in-hand stroll, and there are plenty of date spots in Eastern Market, which is nice, since a good number of you share a room with a significant other; more 730DCers live with a romantic interest than a platonic roommate, by about 50%, though both are dwarfed by the 74% who dwell alone.
I was curious whether there was a correlation between number of roommates and % of income spent on housing. It’s an imperfect measure, of course (people who make less may seek out more housemates, which would make the relationship mathematically invisible), but if you want to save money, well…love really might conquer all. Those with roommates spent about 36% of their cash on rent, as did those without, but lovers were only around 30%.
However, just as effective as shacking up? Finding a group home, where residents also tend to spend about 30% of their income on rent. That’s a full ten percent below the roughly 40% mark that solo livers spend on rent.
That’s pussyfooting around the big find, which is that nearly forty percent of all 730DCers are spending more than 40% of their income on rent. Is that number sustainable? I’m not sure there’s any historical precedent for an entire generation making this kind of contribution to a real estate market, relative to their individual wealth. (Perhaps learning who your Councilmember is is the first step to being able to do something about these crazy numbers?)
As for the neighborhoods that are so great that we’ll spend an arm and a leg to live in them, well, U St/14th, Eastern Market, and DuPont all received over 10% of the overall votes cast for favorite neighborhoods. Surprisingly, Georgetown–with its national, tony reputation–is only as appealing to millennials as Bloomingdale/Eckington, my hood.
U St, Eastern Market, and DuPont might be our favorite neighborhoods, but where do 730DCers live? I’ve taken long enough to get to that. The only neighborhoods where more than 10% of 730DC lives are Columbia Heights/Petworth, Virginia, and (somewhat surprisingly) Bloomingdale/Eckington (my group home might have skewed the results on that one a bit). Capitol Hill isn’t far behind.
Check out the data below.
|16th st heights||1||0.92%|
|mt. vernon square||5||4.59%|
|woodley park/american/upper nw||3||2.75%|
|type of place|
|% $ on rent|
|share a room (roommate)||12||10.91%|
Shoutouts to Palm Desert, CA; Fairbanks, AK; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Thanks to you, we can say 730DC is going national — even global.
It’s one a.m. again.
Seven or eight tabs still to go. I click the rightmost.
Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr? When did they think this was a good name? Do they have to pay royalties to use that name? What do I call this? Is it electropop? Indie dance?
I don’t even like this band, but I know people who do, and they’re expecting an email at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. So I soldier on, sleepless, clueless, and without pay. I type the musical act into YouTube’s search bar. Minutes later:
Tunes || Dale Earnhardt, Jr Jr rock the d-flo at 9:30 Club
The indie-pop dance duo bring their act to D.C. Tuesday night…
* * *
The six-month anniversary of 730DC passed quietly, and if either of my fellow 730DCers noticed the date, they said nothing, perhaps because they’ve been busy. Writing a newsletter once is no big deal. Every day for eight months? That’s something else entirely. Like a tick, affixed to your scalp and slowly engorging itself, it grows; it takes what is precious—blood or time—and asks, every day, for more and more.
The phrase one commonly uses in this context is labor of love. I wish I could say something witty to invert this trite aphorism, turn it on its head, but I can’t; that is what it is, and we’re told, as writers, to call things what they are. I’ve detailed the labor: late nights writing about fuck-all around the city, previewing bands we don’t like, immersing ourselves in local budget policy, and handing out business cards even though we hate handing out business cards.
Enough with the complaining. What about the second half of the saying—the love half, the justification, the raison d’etre?
In a limited sense, 730DC is a daily email newsletter that cuts through a fragmented local news space to deliver the most relevant D.C. news and events to our readers’ inboxes each morning at 7:30 (or 7:28, if MailChimp is feeling feisty).
In a broader sense, though, 730DC is a social experiment, one we hope can solve a distinct problem in this city. It’s one you likely are aware of—and a part of.
Urban areas across America are swelling with aspirational twentysomethings, and in Washington we’re more numerous, more talented, more affluent, and less likely to stay in place than nearly anywhere else. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of Washingtonians aged 25-34 grew by an astounding 23 percent. In the last two years alone, half of D.C.’s population growth came from this same demographic–a trend with no signs of slowing. And the political nature of the town makes for a great deal of turnover, with seemingly everyone just arriving or about to leave.
Demographically, we’re a huge part of this city (we being those recently added 20-34 year olds). But that’s not the whole story. If we’re ensconced in the Capitol bubble, use our money to treat the city as an Ubertarian playground, or never bother to expand our horizons, knowing we’ll leave for New York or San Francisco in a year anyway, we’re not really a part of D.C.’s ongoing consciousness and conversations. Not only are we not contributing, but we’re not getting the full depth of experience and brilliant variety of perspectives that this city has to offer. No one wins.
Everyone is from somewhere else, and everyone is heading somewhere else, and therefore few us can say we are here now.
At 730DC, we like to speak internally about a tripartite motto:
inform || provoke || engage
History students and activists will recognize in that troika the trace of Susan B. Anthony’s famous imperative: “Educate, agitate, organize.” 730DC isn’t an advocacy organization, explicitly, but we do believe we have a civic function: namely, to inform our readership so that they can act as an educated citizenry; to provoke that readership to consider new perspectives on District issues; and to offer ways to engage with the city and with one another.
Our readership is educated and motivated, but also busy and distracted. The newsletter cuts through that distraction to make connection with the city that much easier. We hope we can expose them to important conversations and happenings in the city, letting them form their own opinions and preferences. Ultimately the goal is to empower millennials to contribute their own perspectives to the citywide discourse. We aspire for this organization to be the forum for those conversations, and the vehicle of that empowerment.
* * *
When the media is called the Fourth Estate, there’s an implicit suggestion that they are a vital part of the sociopolitical ecology of a state. We hope we can become a keystone species by facilitating unexpected connections. Maybe we’ll profile a volunteer cabaret group, and a reader’s high-school love for theater will be rekindled, or we’ll list a workshop for fledgling writers, and the seeds of the great D.C. novel will be planted. These successes aren’t quantifiable, but then again, the best things never are. If just one person every week gets passionate about a news item they read in the Daily, or meets a new friend at an event from the Scheduler, or is inspired by something from a 730DC.com article, then our late nights working on this project have been worth it.
I love music and I go to a show every week or so, but they’re certainly not my favorite part of putting together the Weekly Scheduler every Tuesday night. Bands come and go. The most interesting entries are the ones marking lasting entries in the long ledger of Washington’s history: the audio documentary group chronicling forgotten neighborhoods. The start-up accelerator dedicated to fomenting creative endeavor in business. The group working for food sovereignty through community gardens in underserved neighborhoods. We’re excited to make our own contribution to this conversation, and we hope you will too.
Hayden Higgins lives off H St NE. He majored in anthropology at Davidson College and organizes for local climate action with DC Divest while working at World Resources Institute. He is a contributing editor at The Morning News and a co-founder of 730DC. (@hscotthiggins)
Lily Strelich lives in Park View. She studied German and geology at Occidental College, where she spent a lot of time outside. She’s grateful for her new life as an indoor cat, covering science news as a freelance writer/editor. She’s also a bad illustrator, biking evangelist, and shameless west coast stereotype. She shreds on the accordion. (@lilystrelich)
Colleen Shaffer was born in DC and now lives as a grown-up on U St. She studied anthropology and now works in tech. At other times, Colleen runs around chasing frisbees, bikes around avoiding cars, and soaks up the glorious humidity of DC summers. (@ceshaff)
Erik Lampmann lives in Le Droit Park. He studied political theory at the University of Richmond and spends his days training community organizers and rabble-rousing with Young People For (YP4). Outside of 730DC, he’s contributed writing to organizations like the Democracy Collaborative and edited for Scalawag Magazine. He’s fluent in French and Broad City gifs. (@ehlampmann)
David Meni lives in Parkview. He’s currently a masters student and research assistant at GW, studying housing policy and welfare. You can catch him writing for Greater Greater Washington or as a co-host of MuniciPals wherever you get your podcasts. David loves exploring DC culture past and present, and will chew your ear off about public transit and development if you let him. (@thedavidmeni)
Sheehan Whelan lives in Columbia Heights. She studied International Relations and Spanish at Texas A&M. She recently sold out to the private sector after getting an MPA in Public Management. Her interests include pretending she possesses a sophisticated palate for libations and tapas, hiking, karaoke and writing for All Things Go. She loves discussing Political Theory and Great War power, especially after her third glass of wine. (@whelansc)
Matt Gayer lives in Brookland. He gave up his nomadic life after grad school and settled down in DC a few years ago. He recently gave up his corporate gig, and is now working for a local nonprofit focused on strengthening the DC nonprofit community. When Matt isn’t writing/working, he’s exploring the 131 neighborhoods (?!) in DC, questing for the perfect happy hour, and living that vegetarian life.
Andrew Peng lives in a 225 sq ft. microunit in Dupont and never shuts up about it. He studied urbanism by way of Sociology and Environmental Studies at Tufts University, and now does something development-related at a non-profit. He likes alcohol, normal human interaction, and reading good poems (and bad people). Twitter account too offensive to link here.
Julie Rubin lives on stolen Piscataway land currently claimed as Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains, and Park View. She studied public policy with an emphasis on gender and policy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN after growing up in the beautiful hills of West Virginia. When she’s not working for the labor movement, she enjoys frequenting public libraries, exploring the depths of the internet looking for cool D.C. events, and slowly coasting through stop signs on her bike.
David Oliver lives in Adams Morgan. He majored in journalism at the University of Maryland and successfully ignored pleas from his grandfather to take an accounting class. He’s now tweeting and writing away as an associate social media editor at U.S. News & World Report and will be attending Johns Hopkins University for graduate school part-time this summer. He also freelances, writes a weekly TV newsletter “The Antenna” and sometimes leaves his apartment to go for a run and/or see friends. Some call his tweets garbage, others…nope, they’re all garbage.
Tomás Deza grew up in Tucumán, Argentina, and now lives in Columbia Heights. He studied film at the University of Maryland and thinks he should probably have a better voice impersonation of Werner Herzog by now. He admires doors on walks, learns best through soccer analogies, and gives the evil eye to people who balance on their bikes at red lights.
Rachel Mulbry is a partially-legitimate DC native (if the People’s Republic of Takoma Park counts) who now lives in Columbia Heights. She studied Middle East Studies and Environmental Science at McGill University in Montreal, and probably should have stayed in Canada, but despite her best efforts, she couldn’t stay away from DC for long. She now works on urban conservation and spends as much time as possible picnicking in DC parks. (@rachelcarita)
Leah Salgado lives in Arlington. She studied whatever she wanted (Interdisciplinary Studies) at Cornell University where she was president of the nerds (the debate team). She spends her days advocating for educational equality and being frustrated by government bureaucracy. In the evenings, she is perfecting her happy hour game. In general, she loves DC, but could do without the humidity. (@leah_salgado)
Christina Pappas lived in Chinatown. She studied psychology and economics at Tufts University, where she was Features Editor of the daily paper. By day, she’s a data wonk consulting with big-thinking nonprofits and foundations. By night, she fearlessly investigates happy hours, tries to perfect her pool game, and writes and edits for 730DC. She’s got a lot of life goals, but right now she really wants to learn how to paddleboard. (@clpsays)
Margaret Kaufmann lives in Arlington. She studied political science at Davidson College and is now up here “living the life” (like many other young Washingtonians). When she’s not working or writing, Margaret can be found running along the Potomac or experiencing new restaurants, bars, and concerts—so she can announce them in 730DC of course.
James Cersonsky, journalist
Albert Nichols @AlbertCNichols
“It is with impressive consistency that the authors deliver information that light is not shed on elsewhere. Ben Thompson wrote about Blogging’s Bright Future. 730DC is a shining example of that future.”
Hannah Finnie, @hfinz, Senior Associate Editor, Generation Progress
I love 730DC. It’s how I play my life.
ngiste @ngiste Jun 4
Can’t recommend @730_DC enough to anyone who wants the low down on #districtlife
Meredith Whitfield @hashtagmsw Jun 3
@OverMeCo @730_DC Love 730! one of the few things that escapes unroll.me every month
Overachiever Media @OverMeCo Jun 3
Just had an awesome meeting with the team @730_DC. If you haven’t already, you should sign up for their newsletter: http://www.730dc.com/
@730_DC – thanks for including us in your newsletter today!! We’ve been loving getting your emails and hope to catch you at the market Sat!
Kudos to those who run @730_dc. Morning email with great news from DC. #signup #now