I might be pale….

but dammit I’m Black.
Okay, I get it, there is a ‘to do’ about my blog on a listserv I’m not subscribed to. People are entitled to their opinions as I am mine, but let’s get one thing straight, I’m not white. I’m a pale black woman. There are some white people darker than me (which reminds me I need to spend time out in the sun) but still, really. The photo is a picture of my dad. I didn’t get my skin tone from him, I got it from mom.
Everyso often I guess it is good to review with an ‘about’. So quick review of who I am and why I write the blog….
I am a SBF 30-something from Florida and a University of Florida grad (go gators!). I transplanted myself to the DC metro area for work and the family I have in the area keeps me here. I tend to describe myself professionally as a librarian, though I don’t do strict ‘library’ work. I have a small distrust of the government, though I work for the government. The little townhouse in Shaw, is my first home, and I’ve owned it for about 6 years.
In Shaw is one of many blogs I started back in 2003. Like the other blogs, it was meant to keep friends updated. In Shaw, specifically was to supplement a conversation I was having with various friends who were also on the buying a house fixin’ it up vibe. So I blogged. Looking back at my archives I’m trying to figure out where are my kitchen renovation posts, they might be on Livejournal, but keeping friends updated about what I was doing was a big reason. Also around about that time I was a regular on some discussion boards, pushing the idea of giving city living a chance. the blog was another way to talk about the neighborhood. Then some people emailed me, asking about the neighborhood. Being the librarianish kinda gal that I am, I was happy to try to provide people with information.
Why do I blog now? I have no idea. Habit, maybe. Thoughts/opinions get expressed and hashed out, instead of staying bottled up inside. Friends do keep up with me on this and my other semi-ignored blogs. Or they could just call me (pick up the phone dang it!) It also presents an excuse to do a little light research, when I’m in the mood to do so.
I have pondered the end of In Shaw as it exists now, I haven’t figured out the how and when. For one, I’d like to pursue other projects and posting regularly takes some time. Secondly, it’s soaking in that I showed up in the middle of the ongoing, never ending process of neighborhood change/ gentrification/ urban renewal and really my observations probably aren’t adding anything new. I’ll think about it some more.

12 thoughts on “I might be pale….”

  1. I have found your comments on the homeowning experience and living in the ‘hood tremendously insightful and humorous. You have often captured my feelings – joys and frustrations. I too am a AfAm woman living in the ‘hood.

    I do hope that you’ll continue b/c the audience is out there.

  2. Please don’t get caught up in this stuff. Your comments are thought provoking, helpful, funny, positive, historical, informative and frankly one of the main reasons I started writing my blog.

    People will understand if you leave the blogosphere for personal reasons, but it would be a tremendous shame for everyone to lose out on your valuable contribution to the community based on the reactionary commentaries of some.

    There are real problems and visceral reactions to words like gentrification.

    But, I still think that having smart people looking into issues, rather than letting them fester is a huge step in the right direction.

    Thank you for all of your stuff.

    Signed, The white guy.

  3. If you stop blogging I’d have to actually do work during the morning. Seriously, you are always thought provoking and entertaining…

    – JM

  4. What I don’t understand is why your critic chose to go after you in the Bloomingdale Listserv. Why didn’t she or he simply post a comment here in response to the ‘offending’ post?

    Clearly the critic thinks that you are caucasian. Methinks the critic perceives you as part of “The Plan”


  5. keep it up, mari. you’re part of the reason i started my (admittedly pitiful) blog. i’m hoping to join the ranks of fixer-upper home owners, and i’d like to be able to share that experience with others too! you’re inspriational, don’t forget that.

  6. For what it’s worth, I didn’t discover your blog until maybe late 2004, but I liked it so much that I went back and read the whole thing from the beginning. I bought my housing in 2003 (but I’d lived a block away since Sept of 2001) and did much of the fix-up work myself (I’m a single female). For those of you that haven’t done this, it’s not easy. If you do it by yourself there is no one else around to complain about the dust, but there is also no one else around to help with the work, or lend any emotional support. So, it’s tough. And, when you aren’t thinking about your house, you’re thinking about your neighborhood, because you are a bit more tied to it now, and you start to think about what that means. Sure you thought about it before, but buying your first house was a big step, so it feels a bit different now. I liked reading In Shaw because it is kind of cool to see someone else’s thoughts (on being a single female home buyer in a changing urban neighborhood) put out and to think about the ways that you might agree, or disagree with what they say. It helps you to distill your own thoughts. I was pretty much the first of my friends to buy a house, so I didn’t have anyone my own age that I could turn to on those occasions when the joys of home ownership weren’t so, um, joyous. I think In Shaw helped there too.

  7. I’m a Hispanic male living in Trinidad and while I don’t live in Shaw, I enjoy your blog. I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts on a host of issues about the dreaded g-word. I may not agree with your opinion on everything but I think that your opinions are honestly and thoughtfully arrived at and anyone who disagrees is just a hater.

    I’ve enjoyed your home repair posts in particular because they ring true to me. I don’t particularly enjoy fixing it up all the time and sometimes it does get a little discouraging, and it is nice to know that I’m not the only one that feels that way.

    I hope that you keep posting. I’ve enjoyed your insights and check up on your blog every few days to see if you’ve posted anything.

  8. Dad, admirably nearing 60, has been able to remain nearly all muscle. He still does manual labor as a subcontractor guy and that keeps him in shape. Unfortunately, he’s the kind of contractor that never shows up on time. Neither is his sense of style timely. His glasses, so 80s. His hair, I inherited his hair. We have super duper thick hair, and it’s hard to keep small, so there’s gonna be some kind of ‘fro.
    And for everyone else, thanks for the kind words.

  9. I’d understand if you had to take a break, but me and M still keep up with things around the old neighborhood through your blog, even if we’re way far away now.

  10. The complainer on the Bloomingdale listserv should be ignored. It’s upsetting that someone comes to your blog with a chip on his(her) shoulder and makes a lot of assumptions, based on nothing, really. A phrase he took out of context and decided rubbed him the wrong way? I found the guy’s post to be somewhat pompous but I’m not sure what else to expect from a self-described “Buppie.”


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