well, it's been two years now and Anacostia is still getting this guy's attention. Your readership is the reason for the blog - so thanks again!
in honor of the blogiversary, here's an interview (excerpt, click below for full article) I recently did on Social Citizens about the blog, the city, and how to positively affect your community through the use of social media:
click for full interview
Why did you decide to start “And Now, Anacostia” and invest in the neighborhood?
After growing up in the suburbs of DC and watching the city’s progress from the outside, I wanted in. It’s a city that’s still very much in its rebirth phase: revitalizing commercial corridors, plethora of new housing, and a very eager 20 and 30-something crowd that grew up in the minivan generation and wants something a little more interesting. Blogs, Crocks, and strollers have been popping up in places that nobody gave a second glance towards 10 years ago.
Problem was, that energy wasn’t crossing the Anacostia River. As someone with a finger to the urban development changewinds, I saw potential in a quaint little neighborhood with a bad reputation – Anacostia – and wanted to do something both to promote its positives and to ignite conversations across the city about a part of the city that never got a lot of good press. I started the blog in July of 2007 and bought a crack house – that soon became my not-crack house – the next month. Without that personal financial investment, I doubt the blog would still be around today.
...I hope that my blog, however commonplace, is a site where readers give my neighborhood, its buildings, and its people a second glance – a normal-seeming inspiration toward a renewed appreciation for the way that physical places, design and land-use can translate into feelings and goodwill passions.
What advice do you have for others who want to invest in their communities?
Really put yourself out there: meet your neighbors, go to the local planning meetings, participate in community events, and if you can, make sure the place you live is really welcoming. Aesthetics and happiness go hand in hand, so advocate for nicer sidewalks, more trees, or a community garden. Seek out unique and local retail in funky old buildings and spend your money there rather than at the strip center next to the highway. A lot of “communities” in America look and function exactly the same because nobody spoke up. Neighborhoods become special when people demand something different than the status quo.
There are a hundred noble ways to be involved, but you don’t need to start a nonprofit to improve a community. Be yourself, use your talents, and good things will grow.
Click Here for the full interview