18 March 2010

Welcome

When I created bloomingdale (for now) in 2006, neighborhood blogs were flourishing in DC. Stories asserting that the Shaw neighborhood, just down the street from Bloomingdale, was the second-bloggiest neighborhood in the United States, were making their way around the Internet (though some disputed that assertion). It was a heady time to join this movement. Authors of other neighborhood blogs helped promote my writing and gave advice on how to make it successful. My goal—chronicling the goings-on in Bloomingdale—was made easy because the neighborhood was on the leading edge of a wave of change that was (and still is) moving across the city, spreading outward in all directions from areas that were traditionally more well-to-do, into areas with commercial districts that, for years, had suffered through disinvestment in much of the commercial and many of the residential properties.

In the years since, many neighborhood blogs in DC have come and gone. I shut down bloomingdale (for now) last year when I moved out of the neighborhood after buying a house in Trinidad. For a time, I considered creating a new neighborhood blog for Trinidad, but after giving that some serious thought, I decided that the neighborhood is already well-covered by Elise Bernard's terrific Frozen Tropics. I still plan to have many stories to tell about this neighborhood, but I don't want to be constrained to talking about only Trinidad, and I want to talk about topics that fall outside the neighborhood blog paradigm as well.

One of the things that I've earned a reputation for over the years is my propensity to rant and complain about things. I've been accused of seeing the cup half-empty (or worse) too often, of complaining for complaining's sake, of being a curmudgeon.

Your trusty bloggers—Jaime's the cute oneYour trusty bloggers—Jaime's the cute one

Wiktionary defines curmudgeon as an ill-tempered (and frequently old) person full of stubborn ideas or opinions. You know what—I think that (short of the old person bit) defines me pretty well. I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things in DC, and I'm not afraid to share them with anyone who will listen.

This past Sunday, Richard Layman made the following observation:
It happens that I believe that it is fine to offer criticism without offering solutions (people who offer criticism are in turn usually pilloried for not offering solutions simultaneously) because understanding and being able to analyze problems can be a different skill from developing responsive programs to solve particular problems.
As Richard says above, there is nothing wrong with using the Internet as a vehicle for complaining about things. Unfortunately, quite a few blogs fail to go that extra mile and offer solutions to the problems they see, or to help the reader see deeper into the stories they publish. While we intend this site to be a vehicle for rants, we're not going to stop there. Along with my co-curmudgeon Jaime, we plan to dig into things a little deeper to find the reason why problems exist and to offer solutions where we can. That doesn't mean we'll hold back on the curmudgeonliness here, but we'll make sure that's not the only thing you'll read.

Unlike blogs like The Anti DC and why.i.hate.dc, The District Curmudgeon is not approaching this city from a position of hate, disgust, or even dislike. Count us among the ranks of ReadysetDC or We Love DC—we're approaching this adventure with a deep, abiding affection for this city, but we're not going to deny its faults.

So, get ready for what we hope will be a venue to look at our fair city, ways it falls short, and ways that it could be better. We hope you'll enjoy what we have to say!

21 comments:

  1. Welcome guys, glad you're here.

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  2. Hmm... I'm not sure if I always hate DC. Since returning, I've actually been criticized for liking it too much. Maybe we can riff off each other, like freestyle rapping, but, like, much, much dorkier. Word(s)?

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  3. I wish you great luck in this endeavor. We need more positive approaches to The District's problems rather than the predictable running the place, government and people down at every opportunity.

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  4. Great idea -- I've enjoyed your well-reasoned posts on DCist, and look forward to reading more here.

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  5. Given my actions this evening, can I become an honorary member? :o)

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  6. Look to the three stars.

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  7. Good luck! I'm glad you guys are making your own space here and I can't wait to see what you've got in store!

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  8. I'll be sure to check you guys out regularly! Enjizzle!

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  9. How the hell did my ASCAP name end up as my username here? I didn't notice until after I posted.

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  10. When's the commenter happy hour?

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  11. Ooh, fun! Glad you're back in the blog biz, J & G!

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  12. Sunny Florida AvenueMarch 19, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Alright Snoop, what would you like to be when you grow up?
    I wanna be a mother fudging NE Hustler, you better axe somebody.

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  13. Yays! I'll be reading!

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  14. What do you mean I can't leave my RV in my front yard. It's Public Parking!
    downtown rez

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  15. good luck...i find so little positve going on here...i would appreciate a new pair of eyes and a different perspective.

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  16. Classic IMGoph LOL ;)

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You can be curmudgeonly too, but let's try to be civil and constructive here, ok?