June 21, 2012, Washington, DC: I’m planning to take a little staycation. I’m not going anywhere and I’ll most certainly be back — just taking a brief hiatus from regular blog posts to reflect on this year’s project and collect my thoughts concerning what happens next. New ideas are keeping me up at night and I couldn’t be more excited. I look forward to sharing them with you soon.
Before I go, I invite you to participate here on Neighborhood Nomad. Your stories about why you love where you live are intriguing and inspiring. They reinforce the power of place and they remind us of the extent to which our geography shapes us. Collecting and producing reader interviews has been one of the best parts of this effort so far, and every single one of you has distinctive stories to tell about the rhythms of your home, your neighborhood, your town or your city. Shoot me a note. Tell me more about your hometown.
May 26, 2012, Washington, DC: The Friday night and Saturday morning of a holiday weekend is always a good time to enjoy the city. If you’re staying put, you watch the evening traffic head out, bound for the beach or a weekend with family. You watch the roads clear and things grow a bit quiet, then hear the volume crank up a notch as the neighbors head out for the night and reclaim their local spaces. It is on city nights at the start of a holiday weekend that you realize how small this place really is, nights like this when you feel like it’s entirely your own.
April 28, 2012, Washington, DC: Want a taste of my neighborhood? Here it is: My neighborhood is funny and filling. Today I spent the afternoon at an annual local event called Taste of 8th, assigned to take photographs for the organizers at Barracks Row Main Street. There’s so much food on these few blocks of 8th St. that we need to celebrate more than just once a year (formally, that is), so I happily agreed to photograph/indulge for another go-round. A total of 21 restaurants, cafes, and the liquor store along our main street set up on the sidewalk and sold tickets for appetizers, desserts and tastings. I love where I live. It’s no place for a diet.
March 29, 2012, Washington, DC: We have a little outdoor space here at home. It overlooks an especially narrow alley because the street behind ours is a diagonal one that squeezes the backs of our homes close together. A mess of tangled black wires hangs above and a confident squirrel paces back and forth there daily. In late afternoon, a woman with a baby seat on her bike returns home from her errands, announcing her presence with squeaky gears. Across the alley we can see families in the homes behind ours in their kitchens cooking dinner, or people reading books through the large library windows. Quarters are tight and there’s no green in sight. It doesn’t much matter. We get a surprising amount of afternoon light. Our little outdoor space is a breath of fresh air.
March 18, 2012, Washington, DC: On Thursday evening, I stood outside the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital talking with three neighbors I’d met that day. We were discussing the history of the place, led by Peter McCall and Barry Harrelson, both residents of Capitol Hill since the early 1970s and volunteer historians charged with launching a docent program and leading tours here beginning next month. McCall and Harrelson agreed to take a practice run of the recently renovated building with me, and together they were painting a picture of what the Hill Center and its environs looked like when the building opened as a hospital here in 1866.
What a fascinating neighborhood this was and still is!
March 5, 2012, Washington, DC: There are neighbors who love where they live and then there are neighbors who love it enough to roll up their sleeves and get things done. David Garber is among the latter. In his fast-growing Washington neighborhood known as Navy Yard, Garber can be found installing signs reminding neighbors to clean up after their dogs, advocating for a new school, or encouraging members of his community to frequent local businesses during construction.
What does Garber love about Navy Yard? What drives him to participate? Read on for an interview with David Garber of Navy Yard.
January 30, 2012, Washington, DC: This weekend I had the privilege of working for Barracks Row Main Street to take photographs throughout my neighborhood of an event called the Culinary Education Crawl. (Full set of photos coming soon now posted on www.barracksrow.org!) On Sunday, nine restaurants and establishments on Barracks Row offered courses throughout the day in what they do best — from shucking oysters to making ravioli, tasting champagne to baking tarts and cupcakes. In banning together, restaurants and businesses saw classes sell out fast, attracting their best customers and neighborhood regulars to come into the kitchen, behind the counter and behind the scenes of their local establishments. I had a great day documenting the event on the 8th St. SE corridor.