September 30, 2011, Washington, DC: I’m heading back to Chicago today, back to one of my former hometowns. Like the photo taken in my old Chicago apartment pictured above, my recollections of this city are bright and welcoming and familiar and textured. The Chicago I know includes that one-of-a-kind second story apartment off Armitage St. in the neighborhood of Lincoln Park, where lived in a red brick rowhouse just above its owners from mid-2004 to mid-2005. I loved pretty much everything about that place. What’s not to love about exposed brick and a shadow like that one bursting through the front window off the street?
But that wall full of sunlight is indeed just the surface. There’s far more to love about hometown Chicago.
September 29, 2011, Washington, DC: I fell asleep. During last night’s rain delay of the Orioles-Red Sox game, I fell asleep and missed those final explosive and unexpected twists that have propelled us into postseason 2011. Instead I’ve woken up to the headlines. “Shameful Red Sox Made Unwanted History“, from The Boston Globe. “Seasons Change in a Matter of Minutes“, from espn.com. And in St. Pete Times’ sports column by John Romano, recounting a night Tampa Bay Rays fans will remember of years, “In generations to come, no one will have gone to bed.”
I probably shouldn’t care. Of all the places I’ve lived, only two of my many hometown teams have earned their way into this year’s postseason. And they are perhaps the two teams in my former hometowns to which I have the least allegiance. The Yankees and the Cardinals will play in October, but the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mets, Giants, Cubs, White Sox and Nationals will sit this one out. A pretty poor tally on my hometown scorecard.
It’s a shame because I love postseason in the cities. I have fond memories of being in New York in the fall of 2000, San Francisco in the fall of 2002, and moving into an apartment full of Boston residents in fall 2004. I love the energy in the air, the crispier weather at the ballpark. Postseason in the cities is a time when neighbors unite behind this sport and its rhythms, when we most fully appreciate the pace of its announcers and the nostalgia among its fans. I can’t always claim to be a diehard fan, but there are so many things I love about the culture of baseball. I think ballparks under the night lights are some of our cities’ most gorgeous spots, and I think October baseball and the spirit it can bring to a city is electrifying.
It’s that time of year again in America’s cities: The time when – if we’re one of the lucky ones – we’re given a few more weeks to root for our hometown baseball team before reluctantly turning to football and basketball and hockey.
September 26, 2011, Washington, DC: Imagine a neighborhood where one home after the next is thoughtfully designed to minimize its impact on the environment. Where every house is affordable and innovative. Where houses are built from sustainable materials, like wood harvested from the local forest, or out of old shipping containers that were going to waste.
Imagine a neighborhood where people grow veggies and herbs on their decks and in their kitchens, where solar panels and green plants grace their roofs, where homes are designed to feel cool in the heat and warm in the cold without paying massive energy bills.
Imagine living in a home that producesas much or more energy than it consumes each year. In other words, imagine a neighborhood that gives back more than it takes.
Now through October 2, this neighborhood exists in Washington, DC’s West Potomac Park, home of the Solar Decathlon 2011.
Get tips for bringing elements of the Solar Decathlon home to your neighborhood and see more photos after the jump…
This is one in a series of morning photo essays documenting neighborhoods around town.
September 24, 2011, Washington, DC: Our neighborhood Main Street three blocks from the apartment is up-and-at-’em early this morning, and not only because this area is full of children and dogs. Today is our own fall festival, one of many marking September in Washington. This morning we are showing off Barracks Row as it was always intended to be: As a central commercial hub in Washington, D.C.
September 23, 2011, Washington, DC: Great birthday party, great sunset last night at Yards Park. The redevelopment of this neighborhood by Nationals Park and the Navy Yard is really coming along. With people increasingly coming here for celebrations like Capital Bikeshare’s Thursday birthday party, the waterfront park and its unique design elements are surely coming to life on the Anacostia River in southeast D.C.
September 20, 2011, Washington, DC: Do you hear that? The sound of bicycle pedals revolving? A revolution is indeed underway. It’s getting cooler and cooler to walk around town with a helmet strapped to your purse.
Of all places, I’m proud to say that Washington, so often seen as behind the eight ball, is in part to credit for this growing movement. There’s a shift happening here. Positive urban change is in the works. And to celebrate, I’m going to a birthday party Thursday for a new and very dear friend. Happy birthday (officially today!) dear Bikeshare and congratulations on marking your 1st birthday with your one millionth ride!