28 July 2008

I Lived In and Loved...

The short and bittersweet of it is this: I lived in and loved Woodridge for 3 years. I started this blog as my small way of serving the community (among a number of things I was involved in offline). Due to personal circumstances far beyond my control, I no longer live in the neighborhood, though I remain in DC. Actually, everything on my end changed just after I made a resolution to post more frequently this year....Keeping my life outside of this blog intact became the priority.

My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who supported this endeavor in one way or another - readers, commenters, lurkers, linkers, etc, and particularly to BrooklandJess for jumping on board for a bit. Perhaps one or more of you will think about starting your own neighborhood blog in this neck of the woods.

For now I'll leave everything up - I still haven't decided if I should move the blog with me to my new neighborhood (where neighbloggers already abound), or leave it here for "posterity."

Again, thank you. Remember to be kind to each other, appreciate each day, and continue to work in any way you can to strengthen our community.

01 July 2008

Forgotten Neighbors and Lost Houses

WJLA reports: This Woodridge home might appear abandoned, but it turns out there's a very long-time resident still living there. By my math, her family has had the house since 1949. With no water, no electricity, and no services, Eva Rusk, 72, still scrapes by. Although, for better or for worse, times are changing for her and it's a safe bet she'll be in more modern comforts before long.

Reading the article and watching the video, I tried to make out the corner. 1847 Which St? My eyesight (and my video resolution) not being what it could be, can anyone tell what intersection this is?

Just curious: When this house gets sold off and refurbished, at a significant increase in value, is it still gentrification? How much of gentrification is about protecting the poor and old (including an unexpectedly tenacious old white lady) and how much is about keeping the historic racial/ethnic character of a neighborhood? Of course, up until far too recently, this same neighborhood had covenants to keep African-Americans from buying. This family bought just as the rules were overturned and as Woodridge went from a predominately White neighborhood to largely African-American.

Of course, I don't know anything about the Rusks or their history in Woodridge and I don't mean to imply anything. I'm just taking this one story and using it to ask other questions. All around, it's an interesting story.