New England Summers

newenglandJuly 30, 2014, Washington, DC: Happy summer, neighborhood nomads! What better way to celebrate the season than by visiting family and friends in New England, an area of the country we called home for many years and have revisited ever since. This month, we followed the scents of salty air and charcoal grills up the East Coast during our ten-day vacation, stopping to play in its parks and waterways along the way. On the itinerary was a wedding in Portland, Maine, brunch in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow, and a paddle with my dear sister out of Connecticut’s Southport Harbor. All around not a bad way to embrace the heat of July.

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The Summer of the Shared Bicycle

bikeshare dcAugust 10, 2013, Washington, DC: I am a saner person on a bicycle. There are strong arguments to be made for bicycling as a money saver, a time saver and a healthy choice, but the bottom line is that my blood boils less when I’m biking rather than driving and I actually enjoy getting from Point A to Point B. This summer more than ever before, it’s apparent there are a lot of us out there.

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NoMad New York

NoMad, NYC

April 17, 2013: Hello, NoMad! This place so deserves a shout out here on Neighborhood Nomads – not only for its name, but for that picturesque ivy that creeps around a streetscape otherwise full of cement and for the two bicycles on their kickstands in the lobby parked on those oh-so-New York City tile floors. Not to mention it’s not just the hotel, but the entire neighborhood that’s called NoMad, named for the area north of Madison Square Park. How perfect is that? Husband and I picked up some coffee and walked north up Broadway to NoMad Saturday morning, circling back through the Shake Shack in the park. How could we not? An entire neighborhood called NoMad just feels like the right place to wander.

NoMad, NYCRelated Posts on Neighborhood Nomads:

Saturdays in the City

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April 13, 2013, New York: Early on in high school, my art teacher started taking groups of us on outings known as Saturdays in the City. Every month or two, we’d take a train trip into Manhattan to go to an art exhibit, walk around New York, and head out to lunch. They were easy afternoon trips — in retrospect, a simple way to take advantage of New York for students who lived in a nearby town but weren’t yet ready to navigate a city they didn’t live in on their own. Funny that I hadn’t given much thought to those trips, let alone noticed their presence among many influences that have unconsciously shaped Neighborhood Nomads. Not until this morning, that is, when I woke up and looked out a window onto New York and thought, This is just the type of day that reminds me of Saturdays in the City.

Whichever city we’re in, Saturdays in the City are old hat these days. But isn’t it nice to see them like we used to, full of something fresh and different that we’ve never laid eyes on?

Related Posts on Neighborhood Nomads:

Designing The Third Place: A Conversation With Two Architects

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Photo Credit: Robert Stansell, Emporium Design

This is one in a series of interviews about our neighborhoods and the people who love them. Would you like to participate? Click here for more information about contributing to Neighborhood Nomads.

February 24, 2013, New York: My friends Robert Stansell and Tim Welsh are two talented architects who spend a lot of time thinking deeply about the power of place. After ten years working in corporate architecture jobs and designing local watering holes together on the side, they recently struck out on their own to open Emporium Design, a design-build firm with projects under its belt including New York City establishments Ella Lounge, The Blind Barber and Gallery Bar. Over the Christmas holiday in New York, I caught up with them for the opening night of their latest creation, Boulton & Watt, a gastropub on the corner of 1st St. and Ave. A on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Robert and Tim are part-owners of the pub alongside partners Darin Rubell, Jaime Felber and chef Dave Rotter. “We love this neighborhood, and we wanted to create a bar we were proud of,” the group declares on its new website. Needless to say, I was intrigued. My fascination with the sociology of the “third place” — those spots in which we congregate beyond home and work — made me want to learn more about the process behind creating one. I believe third places that exude camaraderie and comfort are imperative in strengthening our communities, so I was eager for Robert and Tim to tell me more about what goes into designing and building an aesthetically pleasing gathering spot where the neighbors want to linger as long as possible.

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Homemade Holiday Traditions

christmas season 2012, washington, dc

December 23, 2012, New York: At home in Washington, we buy a little tree that looks full-sized from the street below when we place it on the table in the window of our second floor apartment. We hang our stockings on the fireplace and carry the tree home from Eastern Market in early December so we’ll have time to enjoy it before heading out of town. We decorate with ornaments our moms have sent us — pinecone owls we made in elementary school, miniature mice and horses collected in our childhoods, meaningful additions gathered along the way. We top the Christmas tree with an ornament of the Capitol Dome that my dad picked up long before we moved to the neighborhood and made it our own.

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The 20 Nomads of 2012

“We need to be reminded of what it means to have a relationship with a place. To help us fall in love with our cities again, we need to see others who are in love with their communities. These people are a rare breed, and, I believe, critical to the overall love of their places.”

-Peter Kageyama, For The Love of Cities

December 18, 2012, Washington, DC: ‘Tis the season for year-end, wrap up stories. It’s time to reflect on what happened in 2012 and tie a bow around the year’s most notable markers.

To mark the occasion last year, I featured my top ten places of 2011 and reflected back on a year that revealed the power of place. This year I’ve chosen to focus on the people I interviewed throughout 2012 who have made these 365 days on Neighborhood Nomads a true joy. It’s the people, after all, who make these places all that they are.

Meet the 20 Nomads of 2012 and click on their names to read their stories…

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