• Neighborhood Nomad: David of Navy Yard

    March 5, 2012, Washington, DC: There are neighbors who love where they live and then there are neighbors who love it enough to roll up their sleeves and get things done. David Garber is among the latter. In his fast-growing Washington neighborhood known as Navy Yard, Garber can be found installing signs reminding neighbors to

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  • Documenting Hometown History

    “As we write, so we build: to keep a record of what matters to us.” -Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness March 3, 2012, Washington, DC: We dined two weeks ago Nob Hill Cafe, my favorite neighborhood restaurant in San Francisco. From our little table on Taylor Street, we sifted through old photos that

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  • Hometown Pride: Superbowl Edition

    February 5, 2012, Washington, DC: Allegiance. Rivalry. Loyalty. Pride. They are big, heavy, meaty words. They are words that will bring grown men to tears tonight while others strike a match, light a cigar, and exhale with a certainty that says they never had a shred of doubt in their hometown team. In this endless

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  • Flavors of a Culinary Crawl

    January 30, 2012, Washington, DC: This weekend I had the privilege of working for Barracks Row Main Street to take photographs throughout my neighborhood of an event called the Culinary Education Crawl. (Full set of photos now posted on www.barracksrow.org!) On Sunday, nine restaurants and establishments on Barracks Row offered courses throughout the day in

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  • Writing About Place: A Reading List

    January 24, 2012, Washington, DC: And then it was everywhere. In every book I opened, every conversation I overheard, every article I read. People were curious about why those around them gravitate to the places they do. Suddenly it was clear I’d been pursuing this independent study for years. While packing and unpacking boxes. While working

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  • Reminds Me of Home

    “An ardent supporter of the hometown team should go to a game prepared to take offense, no matter what happens.”                                                  -Robert Benchley January 22, 2012, Washington, DC: You know the drill.

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  • Perfectly Typical Capitol Hill

    January 21, 2012, Washington, DC: She opened the front door Sunday afternoon to the sizzle of onions and voices from the kitchen wafting down the hall. She liked coming home to this — to impromptu gatherings already underway in her own apartment. After a weekend of travel, it was nice to return home and transition in

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  • Comfort Zones and Common Ground

    January 17, 2012, Washington, DC: Nevermind how you feel about the suburbs versus the city or small town New England versus the ranch land of the west. There’s no denying that the pull of place, whatever your preference, is a force to be reckoned with. Certain places evoke a physical and emotional reaction from each of

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  • From The Delmar Loop to Lafayette Square

    January 15, 2012, St. Louis: Just north of Washington University a block or two from the arts and entertainment district known as the Delmar Loop sits the kind of residential neighborhood I plum forget can exist in an urban center like this one. Houses oh-so-midwestern, characterized by dark brown brick and wide facades and heights

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  • Meet Me in St. Louis

    January 14, 2012, St. Louis: If it weren’t for visiting family, my mother would have been hard pressed to meet me in St. Louis. In the 31 years since moving away, she’s never looked back. It was never a place she felt at home. Having left behind a lovely walkable neighborhood in Montreal myself a

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  • Points of Entry

    January 13, 2012, St. Louis: Arriving in new cities, especially in the dark, can be confusing and sometimes full of error. The life of a city is often not where you’d think it is. If your instinct has ever been to head towards tall buildings downtown in search of city comfort, urban bustle and a

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  • Neighborhood Nomad: Pam of Washington

    January 9, 2012, Washington, DC: Pam is a realtor born and raised in Washington, DC. That’s right. A native Washingtonian. In this hyper-transient city, I sat down with Pam just before Christmas at Logan Circle chocolatier and coffee shop ACKC to learn more about what it is that makes her stay. Where Her Roots Are… I grew

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  • Montreal Favorites, Old and New

    “It is a place not to be forgotten or mixed up in the mind with other places, or altered for a moment in the crowd of scenes a traveller can recall.” – Charles Dickens on Montreal January 1, 2012, Washington, DC: In four short days, we didn’t come close to seeing it all. It takes

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  • Snapshots of Westmount

    December 30, 2011, Montreal: This is Westmount, technically its own city on the island of Montreal. According to my criteria, it’s a great place to live: It is walkable, it is lovable, it is cultural, it is social, and it is just a couple minutes walk from the heart of downtown Montreal. In 2002, Westmount was forced to become part

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  • Winter in My Native Montreal

    December 28, 2011, Montreal: If there’s one thing I’ve heard over the years about what it means to be from Montreal, it’s that Montreal winters don’t get you down. Nevermind the weather; those from Montreal get out. They go about their days. They are outdoorsy people passionate about winter sports. The evidence is clear in my parent’s

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  • Stories From Greene Avenue

    “I want to paint Montreal as a rather fantastic city, which it was, because nobody knows today what it was like. And I’m one of the last survivors, or rapidly becoming one.” – Christopher Plummer, actor December 28, 2011, Montreal: Nick’s Restaurant has been a staple on Greene Avenue since Nick Alevisatos first arrived in Montreal from Greece in 1920. At Nick’s place

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  • Bonjour Montreal!

    December 27, 2011, Montreal: What do you remember about your birthplace? Is it a place you stayed? Grew up? Learned to love? Loved to hate? Is the place you were born one you know well? Do you still call it home? Are your roots still there or did you dig them up long ago, letting

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  • The Long Way Home

    “What is home if the road that draws you away from it is more familiar, more comforting? Home is what you find when you get there.” -Colleen J. McElroy, A Long Way from St. Louis December 23, 2011, Washington, DC: And so it begins for so many people. This annual trek. This long drive home

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