I live in the district (in between Shaw and Bloomingdale). I metro or walk everywhere and love leaving my car parked for weeks at a time, huge quality of life boost in my opinion. My neighborhood has a different block by block vibe and there is a real sense of community between new and old residents.
I concur with eddiebosox, the District is lacking in good quality ethnic food (outside of the Ethiopian food he mentioned). But for Italian, check out the market and deli counter at A. Litteris Home Page A. Litteri, Inc.