5 New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Neighborhood

by Borderstan.com January 10, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,606 2 Comments

"Borderstan""Skate PArk"

Try skateboarding at the Shaw Skate Park, 11th and Rhode Island NW. (Luis Gomez Photos).

From Maggie Barron. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @maggiebarron.

I haven’t picked a New Year’s resolution yet. Not because I’m so perfect, obviously, but because I haven’t found one that’s the right combination of virtuous and achievable, yet is also fun. For people in the same boat, I decided to come up with a list of five resolutions that are good for you and good for your neighborhood:

1. Go to a neighborhood meeting.

 My first neighborhood meeting was an eye-opener — it made me realize how little I knew the goings-on in my small section of DC. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to one, check out the associations for U Street, LeDroit Park, Logan and Dupont. Don’t forget your Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC – find yours here) and your local Police Service Area (PSA – find yours here). No need to go nuts, but resolve to check out at least one or two this year, and impress your friends with all your insider knowledge. Also, check out these two Borderstan articles on ANCs: What Exactly Do ANCs Do? and ANCs Part 2: What Do Commissioners Do?

2. Try a new restaurant.

It’s easy to get stuck in a restaurant “rut” when your local options include places like Cork, ChurchKey and Estadio. Why branch out? Because we’ve got a ton of new restaurants coming. Two of those restaurants, Boqueria and Herringbone, made Washingtonian’s list of “10 to Look Forward To.” This should be an easy resolution to keep. Remember to keep an eye out for reviews from Borderstan’s team of food writers — get an RSS feed for our Food & Drink section.

3. Move your money.

Do you know what Citibank, Wells Fargo or Bank of America do with the money you deposit? Me neither. By moving your money to a local bank or credit union, you can ensure that your money goes towards investments in local development and small business loans. Banks such as City First Bank of DC may not offer all the online perks of the big players, but many still offer free checking and no ATM fees, along with a sense of doing more for your neighborhood.  Find out more information, and a list of local banks near you, at the Move Your Money project.

4. Use the other side of your brain.

If you, like me, have a typical DC job that’s more analytics than art, start an activity that gets your creative juices flowing. There are Capoeira dance classes on U Street, improv and stand-up classes at DC Improv and drawing and painting classes at the Washington Studio School. If you’re not into a class, channel your inner high-schooler at the skate park on 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it’s different from your 9 to 5.

5. Remember to try other neighborhoods.

Last year, I went to New York City more times than I went to Georgetown. We are so lucky to live in a neighborhood that has everything we want, I sometimes forget the other places in DC that can make a short trek worthwhile. That’s why one of my resolutions this year is to leave home and see what’s new around H Street, Eastern Market, Waterfront, Woodley Park and maybe even Georgetown.

Got any other neighborhood resolutions that you’re trying to keep this year? Let us know in the comments.


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