Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Blog

As much as I would like to ignore this issue and hope it goes away, I think it is best to address it so that my regular readers know what is going on in the comments sections recently. Last week I was photographed by Bisnow while on the DC-sponsored boat tour of the Anacostia River for people and companies interested in the RFEI at Poplar Point. The tour was open to the public, but you had to sign up ahead of time. (Knowing that my interest was personal, I offered to take part of a vacation day to attend.) The photo made its way to a daily email blast, which also linked to this blog and gave away my work information. At the time I considered it to be a good thing: new readers--especially from the development sector, who might read the blog and look at Anacostia in a new way.

What I did not know at the time was the possibility that the company I work for (a 24,000+ person commercial real estate firm, which, fyi, is not a development company) might have some involvement with the Poplar Point RFEI. Unfortunately this was interpreted by readers of a DC United online forum to mean that I am using my And Now, Anacostia platform as a way to infiltrate the Anacostia community and use it as a means of swaying the population against DC United's plans for Poplar Point.

I didn't want to dignify the misrepresentation and abuse (about 7 pages and counting...) I was personally receiving on that online forum, or from those who ventured onto this site and commented--some crudely--about the purpose of this blog and my "special interests" herein. However, it has reached a point where I don't want my regular readers, you all, to be confused about why someone might have called this blog "B___ Sh___" in the comments (since deleted-- this is a family friendly site).

Of course, it really comes down to whether or not you trust my intentions here--I hope you do. But I can't force that. All I can do is reiterate my purpose for this blog: to show a face of Anacostia that people outside of the neighborhood aren't used to seeing. To show that this is a place with a ton of potential, history, personality, and beauty. To say that there are galleries here that are completely worth checking out. To remind you of events and public meetings that help define what the neighborhood is and what it will become. My hope is that it will also be a place where residents visit to engage with their neighbors.

I may work for a company that is involved in real estate, but my interest here is as a resident and as a student of the concept and reality of place: that the wheres of the world are critically important, and that there are so many ways that we can improve our lives by improving the streets we walk on, the porches we sit on, and the rails we ride on. That is my special interest.


Anonymous said...

No, nobody trusts your intentions. You're a paid puppet, and Marion Barry will have your blog taken down by tomorrow.

James said...

As an interested reader quite distant from DC, I want to encourage you to keep writing. I read about places like Anacostia because they remind me how important the places we live are to the kind of people we become.

Anonymous said...

Please keep writing! I am currently living in Maryland and for the 10 years I have been in this area I always said I would live "anywhere but South East". Thanks to great blogs such as this one and great community programs such as the MANNA Homebuyer's Club and other groups willing to INVEST in this part of the city (and not as an afterthought but with a true intent). I am proud to say that not only am I purchasing a GREAT condo in South East (Congress Heights to be exact) but that I can't WAIT to close!

Only thing that could make this even better is if all this infighting can stop and be redirected to making this long forgotten section of the city to be the jewel of the city and with the same type of dedication, focus and SPEED normally regulated for NW, SW and NE.

Let's get it together people!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why is it so crazy for someone to actaully take pride and interest in their neighborhood? For those purported "true believers" out there why is it so weird that someone who is living in Anacostia would actaully take enough of an interest in Anacostia and it's residents to write about it? I appreciate it! When I did a google search for Anacostia blogs I didnt get a whole plethora of options (where's the love) but I did get this blog and from what I have seen so far it gives me something to look forward to.

For those looking for a conspiracy why not direct your aim at those who have long neglected if not actaully taken steps to stall development in this part of the city? What's the hold up with Skyland? Why isn't construction on teh library on Good Hope Road open for business? Why is the main street littered with dirty, fithly carryouts that bring nothing aesthetically to the neighborhood. That is what I want to know about.

If you want something to get riled out about - get riled up about that!

FYI - I don't know the owner of this blog. I don't care who he works for I just think this blog is great and I commend him for it. Great job! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

The point is not what he is writing. It is who he is, and for whom he works. If you really want to sit there and believe a guy who works for one of the few development firms likely sumbmitting proposals for Poplar Point really is genuine in his interest in a place he just moved to, then by all means go ahead. I and many others just refuse to believe that a "new" guy in the neighborhood is taking such an interest to even sign up on a DC United fan message board (DC fans clearly being his firms largest populus of opposition). Please be smart about this people. Tons of money goes into preliminary research for developments as large as Poplar Point.

One last time let's look at that facts. He admittedly works for Jones Lang LaSalle. He just moved to Ward 8. He is VERY interested in everything that is Ward 8, yet he did not know that his employer was taking preliminary steps twards a bid on a development practically on his front doorstep? I don't buy it, not one bit.

Anonymous said...

Don't buy it - I do. :)

Who says he job makes it impossible for him to generally take an interest in where he is living and has a HUGE investment (a home). My job is sometimes at odds with my personal feelings and sometimes it meshes. But it's my job!!!! I don't live in SE - until recently I would barely even drive through there but I have spent the good part of 8 months researching, visiting, focusing on the things that will make this area of the city BETTER!!! If I had the time I would have done a blog on the area. I'm not a soccer fan so the Soccer website really isn't for me (btw - I may be missing it but isn't there some agenda there). However, I am a person who will be soon living in Anacostia and I LOVE checking out this site. It keeps me up to date when I can't always be there in person and it makes me feel so proud of an area that I will soon (officially) be a member.

Perhaps what is so shocking is that people would assume that this neighborhood would be important to some least important enough to dedicate their time, energy and heart to it. Not for fame or glory or as a "puppet" for some big corporation. For all the neighsayers - how many of you live in Anacostia? How many times have you visited it? Seperate from the possiblity of their being a soccer stadium how many times do you plan on going to Anacostia? What was your interest in Anacostia or did it "appear" when there was a possiblity for another soccer venue. That is what makes me sad.

I am moving to Anacostia not because I couldnt afford anything better, not as some social experiment, not to get closer to the new stadium and not to be hip and cool. I am moving there because I think it has a potential to be something GREAT! I believe in Anacostia and I am choosing to believe in David, the person, my future neighbor and a Washingtonian. I could give two frigs about where he gets his paycheck from.

I am pissed about our so called "elected" officails who sit on their hands (unless their are out for a bribe) and stall the improvements of this area or worst yet try and take advantage of these opportunities to further their own political cause.

If you want to be pissed at something - at a group he has less than stellar motives why not go after these so called "community groups" that want to keep the ban from check cashing places to go into effect? Those are the real criminals. Ever notice how these blights on society and in the neighbhorhood only truly appear in the poorest, most neglected parts of the city? You dont see all these liquore stores and check cashing places in NW do you? I think not. Let's jump on that band wagon and put those people in their place.

Again - I support you David. Good job! Keep it up. Until proven otherwise (and so far all I have seen is a conspiracy theory gone awry) I am going to accept this for what it is. A great forum to learn and unite the Anacostia community!

I applaud you!

P.S. Once I have some time I will create a profile so no one thinks I am hiding behind "Anonymous" LOL.

dubs said...

"anonymous"/whichever one is making such adamant accusations...: based on the contents and underlying voice of this blog, I believe your assertion is 100% incorrect; moreover, I will continue enjoying its creativity and integrity. And, personally, find it immature and disrespectful to make such accusations without at least communicating directly to the owner of this blog either in person, over the phone or in email. If you indeed feel so strongly about the person behind it, then show enough character to speak with them on a human and personal level. I suspect you will discover your assertions to be quite misguided.

Looking forward to more posts dg-rad...

Anonymous said...

*I and many others just refuse to believe that a "new" guy in the neighborhood is taking such an interest to even sign up on a DC United fan message board (DC fans clearly being his firms largest populus of opposition).*

Not to play devil's advocate here but couldn't it be argued that perhaps DC Fans/posters on that site would have a reason to not like this blog? Perhaps enough so to make a mountain out of a mole hill? Couldn't the argument be made that perhaps the soccer blog website could be a plant of the Soccer Leaque in their efforts to get the land at Popular Point?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
No, nobody trusts your intentions. You're a paid puppet, and Marion Barry will have your blog taken down by tomorrow.

September 20, 2007 1:12 AM

And we all know what a beacon of truth, integrity and honesty Marion Barry is! ROTFLMAO!!!

Anonymous said...

DG- I would like to see a post on the new condos in this area. Along with pics and reviews. I think this would go a long way in getting more POSITIVE attention to this area of the city. Condos that would make good subject material: The Flats At Hunter Crossing, Savoy Court, Congress Heights Condos, Highland Parc, Brandywine Crossing,Manor View, etc.

I would love to see that! Thanks!

KJ said...

The website forum you refer to in your latest entry is It is not just a D.C. United forum, but a WORLD football forum, which also happens to be the second largest sports forum in the world. There is a D.C. United formum on that website, and the thread in which you claim you were abused / personally attacked can be found here:
D.C. United Stadium Thread

No where can I see where you were personally attacked. Perhaps a few were alittle less than friendly, but no one attacked nor abused you in any way.

What I find funny, as that after you say "this is my last post", you keep logging in and reading, and fail to answer the many legitimate questions being raised and directed towards you. I would like to know why you refuse to answer those many legitimate questions.

Something does not seem right here. It seems to me that perhaps you have been caught engaging in internet activity, that may not necessarily be on the up and up. As it stands right now, I find it very difficult to take anything that you say, anywhere, at face value.

Anonymous said...


If you don't mind me asking. Where do you live and where do you work?

KJ said...

I do not mind you asking at all. I live in Old Town Alexandria, in the Del Ray section. I am a former District resident myself.

I work here in old town as well. however, I will not post my company information except to say it's federal government agency related, and is not even close to being related to anything with realestate.

I am posting here as a native Washingtonian (yep, I have lived here all 36 years of my life) and as a D.C. United fan/ supporter.

I also have been an Anacostia on more occasions than I can count, and have been in both "nicer" sections, as well as more blighted areas. I have a few friends who own/ have owned property there. My hope is that, that community, can experience the growth and benefits that many other neighborhoods in Washington have experienced in the past 20 years.

Make no mistake about it however, I also would like to see poplar point developed in such a way that would bring the entire region together, and I cant think of any better way to do that, than the plan that United has proposed. Honestly, how else are you going to convince thousands of people, most of which who have already have notions of Anacostia as being a blighted, unsafe, and undesireable place, to visit there, and see that they may have in fact been wrong, and that things can, and in fact may be beginning to change for the better.

Might I make a suggestion to you here? I would return to the forum in which you visited, that I linked to in my previous post, answer the legitimate questions that have been proposed and be very candid, honest, and straight forward in your answers.

I think it is a good, and much needed dialogue, and I cant really figure out why you left in the middle of it, when so many were asking completely legitimate questions.

David Garber said...

thanks, Ken. I decided to stop posting on the site because no matter what I said, nobody could get past the conspiracy theory. I did answer some of the legitimate questions (i.e. about what I like/don't like about the United plan), but have no interest in responding more than once to accusations.

Imagine if I questioned your involvement in this blog and the soccer one based on your employment with a federal agency, seeing as Poplar Point is federal land. I won't because it is irrelevant based on the fact that this blog is about the whole community, not just real estate, and certainly not just the future of Poplar Point.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the plans as they emerge, and hope you continue to check this site for news and info about all that Anacostia has to offer.

Anonymous said...

Ken - thank you for responding. As somoene who is looking at this on the outside and who did peruse the other chat log it did seem that some people at least were attacking DR. To put it midly his character was definetly put into question.

I didnt see the other posts on this site but if this one is any indicator :

Anonymous said...
No, nobody trusts your intentions. You're a paid puppet, and Marion Barry will have your blog taken down by tomorrow.

I would definetly understand why DG would stop posting (I dont know anyone who would stop being able to read about themselves - especailly when it's negative). Your own initial post says "As it stands right now, I find it very difficult to take anything that you say, anywhere, at face value."

That doesn't seem to encourage a productive dialogue. Just my humble opinion.

I feel that today's post on the subject should have addressed anyone's concerns and his intentions. I feel DG was fair and honest in his description of the event (he even posted a link to the other blog) and his intentions. I see no reason not to believe him. His motivation not only seem plausible but honorable. I think that they are shared by many of us. The fact that he happens to work for a real estate firm (that may or may not be affiliated in business dealings with Popular Point) is irrelevent to me (clearly he has a personal interest in city development so why wouldnt he work for a company that he would have an interest in) and the fact he went on a boat cruise only further attests to the fact (in my opinion anyway) that he is geniunely interested in this area. Heck - I would have went if I had the time (and wasn't fighting a cold).

Dialogue is great - highly encourage it. But perhaps we should spend more time encouraging CONVERSATION and lest time entertaining CONSPIRACIES. At least wait for something a little more concrete and suspiscious than one's employer. I can't really imagine that DG's employer purchased him a home in Anacostia just so he could write a blog to further there cause.

If they did I am sure it would have been handled a little bit better than this. To me this feels organic.

God bless! Let's keep fighting for Anacostia! :)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what is going in that renovated building across from Drake's? The one on the right when you come down the bridge? I see they put in windows and new doors. I am so excited!

Anonymous said...

Agreed, keep posting! I used to read "Beyond the Mall" hoping for interesting Anacostia-related posts but the author seems to have taken it down. This blog picks up nicely where that one left off, and I look forward to reading it more in the future.

KJ said...

To DG and Anonymous:

Thanks for responding. Just a few points id like to make.

1. I do not work for a federal agency. I stated is is "federal agency related". I also stated it has nothing to do with realestate. I will further that by stating it has nothing to do with any land property, period, rather, industry/ goverment support/ development for people with certain physical disabilites. That should clear any question about my postings both here, and on BigSoccer, up.

2. The thing that bothered be about the departure from the aformentioned forums, was that the supposed departure occured just when real, legitimate questions on a multitude of things were being raised. I dont think it is ouside of the realm of reason for any resonable human being to call some things into question based on information provided. Futher, It does seem a bit disingenuous to me to say you will no longer post, then still read said forum regularly, and post about it here. Please not, I used the word "SEEM" here. I am not accusing anyone of anything. I dont belive anyone is. They are legitimate questions, and it would "seem" there is some sort of conflict of interest going on. Anyone questioning my involvement in this blog, and the soccer community can go ahead and do just that, and I will answer those questions with 100% honesty, and prove there were/ are no disingenuous intentions / actions on my part. I would / will do that however, while protecting myself with some measure of privacy. Where I work and what specifically I do, or anyone does, is largely of no consequence.

3. I am of the belief that United Supporters such as myself are not soley interested in Poplar Point for just stadium purposes. I know many that would consider moving into the area, if United's plan, or one very similar to it were put into development. Heck, I might even consider it myself. Hundreds of United supporters have already invested very substantial amounts of personal time in attempting to clean up sections of Anacostia / Poplar Point as well. Being the native Washingtonian that I am, I would prefer that all parts of my home town gain improvment and grow, devlope, get better.

Anacostia is a long neglected part of our city, and no matter what ends up there, I do hope that it is finally able to live up to its great potential. I belive that United can be, and will be, an integral part of that future. I also believe that the city needs to step up to the plate here, and provide United with some sort of viable opportunity to stay within the District. Poplar point is one of the best opportunites for that. However, I personally an not opposed to other locations should that become necessary. Furthermore, United isnt asking for the city to pay for anything other than infrastructure costs. United is willing to purchase the land, and pay for all stadium and stadium related construction costs themselves, as well as pay to develop the land around where any proposed stadium may go.

I digress, this wouldnt be the first time the District has shot itself in the foot however, lest we forget DC lost the Redskins, even though Jack Kent Cooke offered to pay for the entire NFL stadium out of his own pocket. DC really messed that up IMHO. Think of all the lost revenue!

One more final thought....

I personally do not know anyone here, or DG. I cant say with any real basis in fact what is / is not truth, honesty, nor genuine or not. I can only read, and comment on what I have read based on the actual facts that I currently know. Some things I have read do make me question a bit. However, I really cant pass any judgements, as some of those very things are more speculative, than factual at this point in time.

P.S. I am all for DC Voting rights!

Anonymous said...

I am an Anacostia resident and have some connection to real estate world. Perhaps David if you explained what your company actually does, real estate management as opposed to real estate development then perhaps that would alleviate some of the concerns of the readership.

I am also relatively "new" property owner in Anacostia and have my own concerns about whether the immediate area has the infrastructure to support the development (currenlty estimated at over 6 million square feet, nearly two Pentagons) currently being contemplated but remain open to any and all possibilities.

I would recommend that you attend as many community meetings as possible to meet the folks "protesting" you in the community as this would likely be helpful in corraling any ideas that you are a dastardly agent of corporate America sent to undermine the leadership of working class and middle class black people in Anacostia. The folks in this neighborhood have more than adequate reaons to be distrustful of outsiders so the best approach is to sit through a few long community meetings and make the case that you are one of them. Good luck. I'll be at those meetings lurking and silently supporting the courage you will need to have sucessfully positively impact this neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

DG- Just wanted to add a word of encouragement here. I think your blogging is fantastic: informative, encouraging, full of youthful energy. I just finished reading the BigSoccer thread and my, those people have a little too much time on their hands, don't they? I can imagine one or two more constructive things to do with free time. And obviously most of them don't care much about Anacostia in itself. It seems like there are some serious posters, but the rest have a little growing up to do.

It's true that being involved in local politics is messy and people will look on you with suspicion because of your newness to the area. Find ways to keep going, and engaging criticism constructively!

IMGoph said...

keep up the great work on the blog, david! don't let the negativity get you down.

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading the BigSoccer thread and my, those people have a little too much time on their hands, don't they? I can imagine one or two more constructive things to do with free time. And obviously most of them don't care much about Anacostia in itself. It seems like there are some serious posters, but the rest have a little growing up to do.

I was thinking the exact same thing. They spent 200 posts on that blog trying to get higher up on the google search list. If anyone spent that type of time and energy doing something REALLY positive there is no telling what DC could do.

Love this blog!

KJ said...

This post is to nikki. Obviouisly you are making a snap judgement. Ill bet you spent 5 minutes or less reading big soccer, and I would put money on it that you only read that one, at times somewhat contentious thread. OF COURSE people are going to question things, espeically when someone comes there, who has a blog such as this, and just so happens to work for some certain real estate development company that just also happens to have vested interests, counter to D.C. United's / McFarlane's group. Thats more than enough to raise anyones eyebrows, and there is absolutly nothing wrong with that, nor irrational, nor unreasonable.

Furthermore, your statement that none of "those people" care about Anacostia, is baseless, factless, and cannot be supported by anything, and is in fact FLAT OUT WRONG. As I have pointed out here before on several occasions, HUNDREDS of United supporters have volunteered there personal time, and spent weekends working along the banks of the Anacostia in that area, cleaning it up. People from all 3 regions here, meaning DC, MD, and VA. So please explain to me, and the kind folks here, on what basis you make the claim that "they" meaning DC United supporters, do not care about anacostia?????

I would suggest that in the future you spend more time reading there, and reading OTHER parts of it as well, and educate yourself on some things BEFORE you comment on them.

Furthermore, if you had read the whole thread, you would have seen that the google experiment, was just that, an experiment, on a slow news day. Its even stated as such in that thread.

And of course we have time to post, it takes mere seconds, and most of us have desk / computer jobs.

Again, I dont mine dialogue..etc, but I will not sit around and allow inaccurate, baseless and factless information to be spewed about, which is basically what you did on here.

Anonymous said...

Ken-- I appreciate your response but I didn't post the comment about "not caring about Anacostia" - I was responding to Anonymous's comment which is why I copied it - I thought I was making it clear I was responding to that comment.

No harm no foul. :) This is a great example though of "snap judements" which is why we should try and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

I hope everyone learned a lesson from both of these blogs. I know I have now learned how to indicate a previous comment such as:

Per Ken---
"I would suggest that in the future you spend more time reading there, and reading OTHER parts of it as well, and educate yourself on some things BEFORE you comment on them."

I suppose it's safe to say that you can take your own advice? Maybe? :)

P.S. Still stand behind my support of Anonymous's comment - although I personally don't like to use absolutes. I totally agreeded with the sentiment of the comment - I too was thinking some of those posters had WAY to much time on their hands.

By the way - I read 10+ pages of that thread. I think it's safe to say I didn't just "skim" it.

Have a great day!

KJ said...


Well, I dont need to take my own advice, because in your post, you made no statement you were alluding to another posters comments. Its there, plain as day, and would appear to anyone that the comment was yours.

Im sorry I can not read minds.

Again your assertains, or agreements with such, that United fans do not care about Poplar Point / Anacostia, are baseless, and just simply not true. Why dont you come out to the next "Anacostia Cleanup Day" and see for yourself. In fact, those efforts are sponsored by D.C. United's cheritable arm, as well as DC fan groups.

And again, about BigSoccer, you read one thread, that is someone contentious because of its sensitive issues. YOu also took many things in said thread, out of context. Spend more time, read more.

TO the ANONYMOS POSTER THAT SAID: "Not to play devil's advocate here but couldn't it be argued that perhaps DC Fans/posters on that site would have a reason to not like this blog? Perhaps enough so to make a mountain out of a mole hill? Couldn't the argument be made that perhaps the soccer blog website could be a plant of the Soccer Leaque in their efforts to get the land at Popular Point?"

BigSoccer (The soccer message boards being discussed here) has been around for 10 years now. It was started by MLS fans, for MLS / soccer fans in general. It just gained league affiliation a couple years ago. There is no basis in fact for your claim, and your claim is flat out wrong. Big Soccer has nothing to do with D.C. United's plan for Poplar Point.


I personally like this blog, as it give me just yet another resource to keep tabs on the devlopment / rennisance of Anacostia as a whole. It has also spurred D.C. United supporters to become even more organised, which is definately a good thing. We have remained largely on the outside looking in, however, that is all about to change, and there are Tens of thousands of us. =o)

David Garber said...

1. I acknowledge the good works of DC United supporters cleaning up the Anacostia.

2. If DC United supporters have an interest in making Anacostia better, they might consider stopping their current efforts to make this site disappear: i.e. the "experiment" to push this site out of google searches and off of Wikipedia.

3. Everyone: Deep Breath. Smile. We want similar things. Let's celebrate that.

Anonymous said...

Well said! :)

Now let's get back to talking about making Anacostia great! :)

Anonymous said...

Your true intentions do not matter because, by passing judgement on Poplar Point, this has become a CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Do you know what those words mean? Maybe you should write about them in one of your blogs.

Be a man and either step down from this silly front of a blog and just simply close it or take out any and all comments about Poplar Point and the redevelopment of it and refrain ever mentioning it again.

Anonymous said...

For those who don't like the blog or question the blog owner's intent why don't you just stop reading it? Seriously. It's a BLOG for goodness sakes. It's not mandatory reading and last time I checked it wasn't forcing anyone to adopt a feeling one way or the other on PP. To date I haven't felt any type of pressure one way or the other regarding Popular Point,in fact it seems a small part of the entire blog. Even if the author had an opinion one way or the other he's entitled to it! Free speech is not reserved for those who may be related directly or indirectly to a topic. For those who still think there is something "shady" going on let's accept that now there has been full disclosure. Everyone with the ability to read now know's the bloggers full name, face and occupation. Which may I point out is more information than I am sure most people (me included) would want to disclose to a bunch of strangers.

I still enjoy this blog (probably more so) and will continue to read it DAILY. I respect everyone's right to an opinion and the dialogue has been interesting but at this point (in my opinion anyway) it has become a distraction and it really doesn't serve any true purpose.

Can we all just accept people will have a difference of opinion and leave it at that? I have enjoyed Ken's comments - another perspective is always welcomed but if you don't like the blog - DON'T read it or participate in it. If you DO enjoy the blog (and it appears there is an audience)then keep reading and participating. It's a great tool and I applaud it. Not only for it's informational content but because it provides and encourages opportunities. I for one am exercising my opportunity to use this blog as a welcome rescource. Please don't diminish that for me.

I for one would like to recommend retiring this thread from further comments or at least comments that aren't going to offer solutions/insight to further the cause of improving this area or foster good will amongst it's readers/participants.

I am going to try my best and do my part and not comment on this thread any further and redirect my attentions to the other very worthy and informative topics on this blog.

And Now, Anacostia...

Journey to Nigeria said...

This blog is a rare treat indeed. Thank you for this - appreciate your excellent prose, unique vision, hard work (labor of love). Bravo!

Anonymous said...


It's a bit disingenuous for you to speak for a community that you've just moved to.

Anonymous said...

Great blog!!!!!!!!!! Love to read it EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! Keep up the great work!

And Now, Anacostia....