Expecting More with Neighborhoods

Ok, I’m done with Sudhir Venkatesh’s “Off the Books” and there is one thing (among many) that is a subject that I found interesting, the neighborhood as a source of income. In the underground economy of his book residents are making side income by making meals, hosting gambling parties, selling products in the park, shade tree auto repair, and the such. With “Tally’s Corner”, I got the hint that neighborhood income was preferable so a man could keep an eye on things at home. Anyway, I think back to one or two neighborhood meetings that I have attended where someone (a resident oldtimer) expressed a desire for the community/ neighborhood to provide jobs or employment or income for residents.
Maybe that’s expecting too much of the neighborhood if it is to produce jobs. DC isn’t an industrial town. Shaw, is mainly a residential area with some commercial corridors (U St, 14th St, and a bit of 9th St). Besides, in successful neighborhoods residents get their wealth from other parts of the city and the region. Of the self-employed persons I know in the neighborhood, a job/ client in the neighborhood is nice, but not necessary. Others who have decent jobs work elsewhere. They work downtown, in Dupont, out in NoVa or Maryland. Not since college have I worked in the same immediate area as my work (TA, work-study in the library, etc), so as an adult I lived close of enough for a reasonable commute but not close enough to walk. I never expected or demanded that the job be that close to the house. Come to think of it I like a certain distance to help with the work/life balance.
As far as work goes the neighborhood does provide something. It provides good transportation, or more specifically RELIABLE transportation, so I can get to work on time. It is close enough so the commute is reasonable.

3 thoughts on “Expecting More with Neighborhoods”

  1. I second the whole “not working to close to home” situation. I was less than 1 mile from the office once, and it was not conductive- the lack of commute led to slacking, to postponing the inevitable trip to work.

    And it resulted in my running into people I work with when off duty. And nobody wants to see their boss when walking the dog in my pajamas.

  2. The good news is that The Whitman finally voted their former Board President, Sonya Baskerville, off of their Board last night.

    Some of you might have heard about the raging roof party that took place at The Whitman several months ago that riled the entire neighborhood around 9th and M Streets(where The Whitman is located).

    There was a for-profit party on the roof and supposedly the Board President (Sonya) was directly involved as a guest and helped those throwing the party to coordinate aspects of it. Even though the party broke many of The Whitman’s bylaws, the party was never shut down even though the Board President was witness to it all. And participating in it!

    Well, those poor choices resulted in Whitman owners taking control.

    They voted her off the board last night so hopefully those of us who live around 9th and M won’t have to put up with any more crazy, traffic-blocking Whitman parties!

    Shame on you Ms. Baskerville!

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