From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.
As many of you living in DC already know, District of Columbia residents have neither representation in Congress nor representation on the American flag. You are probably well aware of this because you live or work here and the issue seems to come up frequently. But outside of Washington, or the DMV if we’re being generous, this issue is less than a blip on most people’s radar, at best.
And so today, we find ourselves on the third annual DC Flag Day. The first thing that DC Flag Day organizers are asking you to do is to change your Facebook photo to a picture of the DC flag or a picture of you with the DC flag. If you head over to their Facebook page or the Facebook pages for LetUsVoteDC or Neighbors United for DC Statehood, you can show support by “liking” their pages, but you might also fins some photos that you’ll be able to use for your profile picture. Their goal with this particular initiative is to raise awareness across the country and the world of an issue that many people are unaware of.
DC Flag Day Rally
Later today, DC Flag Day will be holding a rally in Dupont Circle. The information for that is as follows:
- When: Friday, June 14, 2013, 6:00 pm
- Where: Dupont Circle
- Program: Shadow Senator Paul Strauss
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
- Sponsors: LUV DC, DC Vote, LuxuryDC, We Deserve Statehood
- LUV DC will be distributing DC flag stickers and temporary DC flag tattoos at the event, which is expected to draw a large number of DC residents. Show off you DC pride by wearing DC flag apparel, DC flag tattoos (both real and temporary) and waving DC flags. There will also be an unveiling of a DC Voting Rights banner that residents are crowdfundin. The 16-foot banner will be hung across a street in DC on a later date if the fundraising goals are met by midnight on Friday June 14th. If you’d like to support this effort, you can do so here.
About DC Flag Day
DC Flag Day was born back in 2011 by Allyson Behnke and Brooke Lynn Locke. As Allyson says, “DC has a rapidly growing population of highly educated people, small business owners and urbanites. We also have a lot of longtime locals who love this beautiful city… but no one who lives in Washington, D.C. has representation in Congress or on the American Flag. Back in 2011 I had friends who got arrested in the name of DC Statehood, including my good friend Brooke Lynn Locke. We decided to found DC Flag Day to bring awareness to DC’s lack of representation.” As Allyson also pointed out in an email, “The iconic DC flag symbol consists of the bold ‘two bars and three stars’ modeled after none other than George Washington’s family crest. Washington fought against taxation without representation. Ironically, two centuries later, citizens in Washington, DC have yet to win that battle.”
From Sarah Griswold. Email her at sarahg[AT]borderstan.com.
I feel like I have had this conversation a lot lately. Whether it be with long-time/long-distance friends from California to Canada, or friends right here in the District. I absolutely love DC, specifically my neighborhood. Right smack-dab in the middle of the Borderstan region, as close to the U street Metro stop as I am to Dupont location, a short walk to dozens of great restaurants, bars, boutiques.
Here’s the thing, DC has been somewhat of a novelty to me — a recent resident of a little more than a year, I still find exciting to make the short trip down to the monuments when we have guests in town. Into my second year here, I’m finally starting to feel settled, like I belong.
It’s A Young Place
Here’s the thing, to outsiders DC can intimidate the crap out of you. If you have this idea of the city in the image of the past — the people here are stuffy and old, or gangsters and hooligans. I know I certainly got that warning when I first told my loved ones about moving here. But when you spend more than a long weekend here, you realize, WOW, this place is young!
Actually, the average age of DC residents is 33.8 years old. A fact that actually makes it much easier to make friends and do fun stuff than I had thought it would be. And another thing, while yes, there are actually some old, stuffy folks, and even some gangsters in poor areas, the majority of people fall somewhere in the middle, which lends itself to a much more diverse place than you might imagine. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to experience that diversity as a girl who lived the last 18 years in Arizona. Diversity — it’s a good thing.
I Hate Driving
I really hate driving. I feel like I really need to hammer this point home. I REALLY HATE DRIVING. For the first time since turning 16, I don’t own a car. I sold it when I knew we were moving here, and my boyfriend did the same thing. We wanted to live in and experience the city the way it was meant to be experienced, by walking. The convenience of walking, or biking, or busing, or Metro-ing everywhere is actually the best thing ever.
The average commute time in the United States is just more than 25 minutes each way — and in Phoenix, my boyfriend and I were easily at 45 minutes each. That was six hours a week we were spending in our cars, in traffic and cursing those crazy drivers basically the whole time. So lame, not fun. But now, not only has our time decreased by roughly 30 minutes, but we get to enjoy being outside and stretching our legs, making us both much happier people to be around.
It’s Even Beautiful
Lastly, and probably my most favorite thing about living in DC is how unbelievably gorgeous it is. I go on and on about it to my friends and family, but really, unless you have been here to see it for yourself, you have no idea. Of course there are the monuments, The White House, The Smithsonian buildings and the rest of the touristy buildings — all lovely of course.
But for me, it’s the row houses, the little hidden parks tucked away, the flowers all over everything, the old buildings blending with the new, brick sidewalks, George Washington’s face on the side of that building at 15th and U NW, the drum circle in Meridian Hill Park — it’s just all so awesome! Definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.
In short, I think it’s pretty darn important to love where you live. Picking up and moving across the country was a scary proposition, but I’m so glad I did, because I’ve never loved living somewhere as much as I love it here! I hope that all of you can say the same thing about the places you call home.
From David McAuley. Email at david[AT]borderstan.com.
Wait out winter’s last wild gyrations by listening to a great sound portrait of DC from the BBC. The BBC Radio 3 program “Twenty Minutes” first broadcast “Sounds of the City,” a moving tribute to where we live, aired on March 5. The site says that the program will be available to listen to free for “over a year”.
The program samples sound from official, political, tourist, neighborhood, religious and cultural DC. It starts with Phil Williams, a Blues Harmonica artist, playing Ledbelly’s song about DC, “Bourgeois Blues,” and features interviews with a homeless man, fishermen, journalists, park rangers, sports fans, musicians, foreign tourists and DC Delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton.
The found audio includes familiar sounds from Amtrak and Metro, an a cappella song about DC voting rights, a merry-go-round, street musicians, waiters, restaurant patrons and Georgetown shoppers.
The portrait is by Marika Partridge of the “Hear Now” Audio Collective. Partridge is also well known for her long years working at National Public Radio. Now, Partridge is with Takoma Radio, a community group who will attempt to start a low-power radio frequency station in October 2013. Takoma Radio is looking for community involvement — check their web site for details.
Ibero-American Guitar Festival at the Rasmuson Theater in The National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street & Independence Avenue SW. A tribute to Heitor Villa-Lobos, a Brazilian composer regarded as one of the most influential figures in Brazilian music who has become one of the most well known composers in Latin America.
From the DC Examiner:
The District of Columbia was named the country’s best big city for recent college graduates, based on the job market and cost of living, in a recent list compiled by Richard Florida, a business professor at the University of Toronto and author of “Who’s Your City: How the Places We Pick Shape the Lives We Lead.” New college graduates shunned by the gloomiest job market in decades are turning to Washington for some hope.
We asked readers who attended the Inaugural ceremonies on the National Mall to rate the event’s logistics. In an extremely unscientific and unreliable poll of Borderstan.com readers, 61 respondents (as of Jan. 31) said the following about Inaugural ceremony logistics:
Inaugural ceremony logistics were:
- Excellent: 8% (5 votes)
- Good: 26% (16 votes)
- Fair: 21% (13 votes)
- Poor: 16% (10 votes)
- Really Bad: 28% (17 votes)
I cannot say these stories are completely verified (from my online searches) and it will be interesting to see what HBO ends up saying (or doing) about the matter. It seems HBO did two things Sunday:
This is from The Washington Post (the map is great):
The bad news: Witnessing this historic occasion in person will require a bit of a schlep. The good news: Officials say pedestrians will be allowed to go just about everywhere. So what about those who have to park their cars and venture over the Potomac and Anacostia rivers on foot for the first time? Put on your sturdy shoes, grab a wind-resistant jacket and climb down into this guide to walking over the 10 bridges into the District of Columbia.
Well, maybe not everything, but I have tried to put links link to the best info sites about Inauguration 2009 activities and information.
Borderstanians: This message from MPD Chief of Police Cathy Lanier was posted on Yahoo! Groups on Sunday night, January 4. Chief Lanier provides some interesting, helpful statistics on D.C. crime–and she has some good news.
Happy New Years, everyone. Below some facts on where we ended our year with the help of our committed community members. We ended the year with huge victories on crime:
- Violent crime down 5% citywide.
- Biggest crime reduction citywide: MPD’s Fifth District.
- All gun crimes were down by double digits:
- Robberies with guns down 12%.
- Assaults with guns down 14%.
What will you be doing on January 20, Inauguration Day? At home? Wandering your neighborhood and taking in the sights? At work? Out of town? Attempting to see something related to the Inauguration?