Division Ave. near E. Capitol St. had that poor-but-respectable look: small, drab houses with neat yards, quiet streets with trees. As I approached Deanwood proper, though, the air of respectability diminished. There was more trash along the street, everything looked grimier, and almost all visible people were male and appeared to be just hanging around. Not that I felt directly threatened at any point; just out-of-place and highly self-conscious. It didn't seem like a place where white people from outside the neighborhood go for exploratory walks.
It also didn't feel like a place where it was appropriate to pull out my phone and take lots of photos of everything; there was little that was picturesque, so I would have been transparently documenting the exoticism of everyday (black) poverty. One thing I did wish I got a photo of: the police station. I was passing a series of houses with front porches on which groups of young men were hanging out. Just past one of these there was a clearing in which a police station suddenly appeared: long and low and vaguely ominous, with an impressive number of police cars parked in rows along the street outside. Maybe twenty or thirty of them. In that location, with that degree of overwhelming police presence, they seemed to be overtly threatening their immediate neighbors. I wish I could show you; I should have shown you.
There was one truly beautiful spot on the trail: a low mosaic building just across from Marvin Gaye Park, of obvious historic value. (I learned, upon later research, that this building was the club in which Marvin Gaye began his career.) But the park was, again, full of men standing around, and there was an ancient, perhaps drunken homeless guy on the corner in front of the mosaic, and once again it did not seem appropriate to photograph the scene with all these unconsenting people in it. (This park is apparently much nicer than it was a few years ago, as is detailed here.)
On Nannie Helen Boroughs Ave, a hopeful note: a line of greenhouses tended by community gardeners. I like their sign.
I'd meant to stop and have some coffee and lunch while I was in Deanwood, but there were no restaurants along my way, just a few tiny makeshift food stores. (I did see a Wendy's and a McDonald's a bit off the path, but did not go there.) Deanwood is kind of a food desert. What there was, instead of restaurants, was churches. Churches and churches and churches. A couple of them were biggish and pretty, like this one:
May Deanwood find a way to enjoy greater prosperity without its residents being wholly run out of town by rich white people.