The Project: One Year of Travel Through My Many Hometowns
What makes a place feel like home? Good people. Good access. Good design. Good local businesses frequented by good loyal customers. Good transportation alternatives that make it easy to get out and join in. A sense of safety. Or maybe just a cozy chair by the window, situated perfectly for our morning coffee. A front porch from which to watch the neighborhood go about its collective day.
On this blog I’ll explore what it takes to make a neighborhood a joy to call home. To do so, I’ll embark on visits to my each of my past hometowns to learn more about the pulse of the neighborhoods in which I have lived. That includes studies of great neighborhoods — my great neighborhoods — in Montreal, St. Louis, Toronto, Arlington, Va., Baltimore, Md., Stamford, Ct., New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Annapolis, Md., Southport, Ct., as well as my current hometown of Washington, DC. If I’ve lived somewhere for more than a few months, I’ll try my best to get there. (No promises on Brisbane, Australia.)
From June 2011 through June 2012, I will study the sociology of our homes, our neighborhoods, and the power of physical place in a virtual world. I will study urban communities and consider whether I’m dead set on city living. I will explore what makes a place tick for the people who live there, and consider why they choose to live where they do. I will examine why, when, how and if people make decisions to stay put – and whether people constantly on the move ever can. I will consider the ingredients of hometown happiness, and draw conclusions about what people anywhere and everywhere need to make a place liveable.
Why bother? Why now? Read more about the project at Day One: The Plan…
About the Author
Kate Barrett Gallery lives on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. She has worked as a news writer at KRON-4 television in San Francisco, a digital media producer at ABCNEWS.com in Washington, and a reporter for Congressional Quarterly on Capitol Hill. She now does web and video production, marketing, and outreach for a private school in Maryland. Kate has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and history from Columbia University and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School.