Just One More Trip

“I could feel history and geography transforming me, and I fell stupidly in love with travel.”

-Brad Newsham, from ‘Take Me With You: A Round-The-World Journey to Invite a Stranger Home’

April 26, 2012, Washington, DC: I bought one more plane ticket last night. It’s for the final trip I’ll be making for the purposes of this project back to one of my former hometowns. I haven’t been back to Toronto since I moved away in 1982 and I can’t wait to check it out.

Continue reading

Do You Live in a Stressful City?

March 22, 2012, Washington, DC:
I heard a story on the radio this morning that made me feel calm, cool and collected. It detailed a report out this week from Sperling’s Best Places revealing the nation’s most stressful cities. Immediately I assumed the Washington metro area, a region full of Type As and powerhouses, would top the list or at least come close. From my vantage point behind the steering wheel during the morning commute, I concluded my hometown must be full of stressballs and pent-up anxiety. But guess what? I was completely wrong. Washington is ranked #44 of 50 cities rated. Am I the only one surprised?

Continue reading

Neighborhood Nomad: Anita of Ottawa

Photo credit: TravelDestinationBucketList

This is one in a series of reader interviews about the places and spaces people call home. Would you like to participate? Click here for more information about contributing to Neighborhood Nomad.

March 9, 2012, Washington, DC: Why leave behind the beaches of Australia for a life back in Ottawa? Anita Mac has plenty of reasons. Anita blogs about her explorations both at home in Canada and along the road, and she agreed to give us insight into what makes Ottawa a great place to live.

Read more from Anita after the jump.

Continue reading

Neighborhood Nomad: David of Navy Yard

This is one in a series of reader interviews about the places and spaces people call home. Would you like to participate? Click here for more information about contributing to Neighborhood Nomad.

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.

Continue reading

Documenting Hometown History

Taylor St., Nob Hill, San Francisco, February 2012

“As we write, so we build: to keep a record of what matters to us.”
-Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

March 3, 2012, Washington, DC: We dined two weeks ago Nob Hill Cafe, my favorite neighborhood restaurant in San Francisco. From our little table on Taylor Street, we sifted through old photos that accompanied a Huffington Post story published that day on the death of one of the few remaining survivors of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. There atop Nob Hill, we scrolled through photos of the very block where we sat, illustrating it completely leveled from the earthquake and fire that destroyed it more than a century ago. The information was available at our fingertips on our phone, as if we’d dug up an old time capsule.

In a sense, we had. For all the talk of the pitfalls of the digital age, we should recognize some of its greatest assets: History is accessible. Readily available information offers us new perspective and insight into experiences we never knew.

Continue reading

Hometown Pride: Superbowl Edition

Photo Credit: Beth Barrett

February 5, 2012, Washington, DC: Allegiance. Rivalry. Loyalty. Pride. They are big, heavy, meaty words. They are words that will bring grown men to tears tonight while others strike a match, light a cigar, and exhale with a certainty that says they never had a shred of doubt in their hometown team. In this endless tale of two cities, several members of my family will feel the weight of defeat on tonight’s air in the town they call home. Several other members of my family with swell with pride in their winning city.

Continue reading

Flavors of a Culinary Crawl

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.

Continue reading