• Downtown Miami: A Work of Art

    March 29, 2014, Washington, DC: The city of Miami is itself a work of modern art. Its scale pushes boundaries. Its colors are arresting. Its bold and sculpted subjects ooze style. The other night I watched from a high downtown balcony as someone threw a rainbow of strobe lights against this interactive exhibit to gear

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  • Snow Day Reading: On Street Life, Hipsters and Brunch

    February 14, 2014, Washington, DC: I’m continuously inspired by the writers and thinkers who record their observations about the power of place and our changing cities. Two years ago, I posted a list called, ‘Writing About Place: A Reading List’ on my blog, Neighborhood Nomads. I’ve updated it intermittently in the Comments section since, and invite

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  • Saturdays in the City

    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

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  • Civic Engagement in the Neighborhood

    November 6, 2012, Washington, DC: The second anniversary of our move to Capitol Hill came and went last week in the days preceding today’s election. While I sensed our move to southeast DC was part of a larger trend, I got a better sense of the actual growth of this side of Washington from the

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  • A Breathable Street on a New York Morning

    October 21, 2012, New York: I love mornings in New York, especially after arriving here at night and in traffic. In the early morning, Manhattan’s streets are again breathable and streams of sunlight barrel between buildings onto this city island. Runners dodge down near empty avenues while there’s still room. Night owls in pajamas slowly

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  • What Summer Brought to Capitol Hill

    September 6, 2012, Washington, DC: Peaches, salsa, oysters, tortillas and more arrived in abundance this summer in our neighborhood on Capitol Hill. While every season in the city brings change, this time most of it revolved around the smell, sight and taste of food. If last summer was our summer of sweets, this summer was our

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  • A City Goes Out For Recess

    August 18, 2012, Washington, DC: The river was remarkably quiet Friday given the stunning weather. The beach volleyball courts between the Lincoln Memorial and the Kennedy Center were empty, the splash park in Georgetown enjoyed by only a happy few. The bike trail west along the canal was green and shaded and breezy, noticeably absent

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  • My Neighborhood is… Mysterious

    August 8, 2012, Washington, DC: Can anyone tell me the story behind these painted bricks? I’ve come across several of them this summer on my regular running and walking routes on Capitol Hill and I wonder who’s behind them. I wonder if the person who paints them does so in the middle of the night when

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  • Fluid Roots, Pacific Style

    July 31, 2012, Washington, DC: Growing up along the edges of the Pacific Ocean, Joana Stillwell moved around so much as a child she used to think she didn’t have a hometown. Now she’s certain she has many. The realization came this summer, fresh out of college and selected to participate in a global mentorship

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  • Living in Dignowity Hill

    July 29, 2012, Washington, DC: I was struck by my recent conversation with Bekah McNeel of San Antonio. In relaying her story about moving into the neighborhood of Dignowity Hill two years ago, Bekah challenged me to think more deeply about not only our love of place, but about our responsibility to place. She had

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  • Haunted By History: Tom’s Take on Washington

    July 24 2012, Washington, DC: Through which lens do you see your city? An architectural lens like Cecille’s? A photographic lens like Charlotte’s? Do you see your surroundings differently because you’re a mother? A neighborhood veteran? A changemaker? Tom Cochran views his hometown through the lens of history. His Washington is one in which walls talk and

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  • Living on Capitol Hill: Meet Julia

    July 20, 2012, Washington, DC: Like so many of us, Julia Christian very deliberately selected a place to call home. Bottom line: She loved it there. But unlike those of us with ultra-nomadic tendencies who land far from the nest, Julia chose to return to the very neighborhood in which she grew up. She decided

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  • Walking Washington With The Prince of Petworth

    July 18, 2012, Washington, DC: Speaking of neighborhood nomads, meet Dan Silverman (if you don’t know him already). Silverman stays connected to his most recent hometown of Washington by walking. A lot. He is, in fact, so fanatical about doing so that he makes a living recording his observations along the way. On lengthy strolls

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  • Nomads with an ‘S’ (That Means You)

    July 14, 2012, Washington, DC: Hello again. It’s a fresh new day on the blog and I wanted to share with you some of the changes underway here at Neighborhood Nomads. For starters, you may have noticed you’ve arrived at a new URL, no matter which route you took to get here. You’ve arrived at www.neighborhoodnomads.com. Plain, simple,

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  • Keep Your Cool: Thoughts on Summertime in Washington

    July 8, 2012, Washington, DC: The neighborhood chugged along slowly during those last heavy days of June and the swelter of early July. Greens wilted at the outdoor market. Thick heat rose off cement streets. A musician played a slow, sad song above the Metro platform in the midday heat. We moved deliberately, careful not to

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  • Before I Go on Staycation…

    June 21, 2012, Washington, DC: I’m planning to take a little staycation. I’m not going anywhere and I’ll most certainly be back — just taking a brief hiatus from regular blog posts to reflect on this year’s project and collect my thoughts concerning what happens next. New ideas are keeping me up at night and I

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  • Creative Collisions in the City

    June 13, 2012, Washington, DC: There’s a chapter called “Urban Friction” in Jonah Lehrer’s book Imagine: How Creativity Works that focuses on the innovation and great ideas that spring up from the interactions so common in our cities. In it, Talking Heads singer David Byrne describes his bicycle rides around New York City as a means of

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