On Monday, the Washington Post’s front page included one of the paper’s signature feature stories. Clarendon, that thriving community in Arlington, was becoming a destination for “middle-aged people looking to start over.” Baby boomers fresh off of big life changes, said the story, were huddling in Clarendon, lured by the neighborhood’s “close proximity to the District and jobs, Metro within walking distance, and more and more places to frequent: new restaurants, upscale shops, dance studios, coffee bars, bike trails, dog parks, gyms and live entertainment.”
If that description sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because the Post has used some version of it in the roughly 15 neighborhood culture stories that it has published on Clarendon in the past 10 years. The Post may have missed the boat on Iran-Contra and the NSA eavesdropping program, but it never fails to capture the latest trends in Clarendon. The area’s hipness, its chainification, its steep housing prices–at the Post, it’s all worth a splashy treatment on the front of some section, be it Real Estate, Metro, Style, or whatever. Put them all together, and the Post becomes a leaflet for the Clarendon Chamber of Commerce. Because through all the interviews with residents, merchants, activists, and politicians, the local paper of record has cast Clarendon as an ideal place for, well, just about every demographic group.