Monday, July 19, 2010

an invitation, and what I'm going to do about the blog

The most frequently asked question I've been asked since my big announcement last April - after "Haven't you left already?" - is "What are you going to do with the blog?" Until now, I haven't given any real answer.

First, I'm going to have a party. Come join me Thursday, August 5 at 6pm for a special happy hour/going away party at Sidebar, next to Jackie's Restaurant at 8081 Georgia Avenue. If you haven't been (as of this writing, neither have I), DCist describes it as a classy dive with "a solid beer list, good choices for wine and cocktail lovers, tasty bar snacks, amazing music, and a chill atmosphere," which sounds right up my alley.

Second, in three weeks I'm going to load all my things into a big moving truck, unpack them on the first floor of a gorgeous Victorian rowhouse in West Philadelphia (pictured), and start a new chapter in my life.

This work over the past four years has been filled with spectacular highs and frustrating lows. For every new development, crazy interview or protest I've written about, there have been many times when I seriously considered giving up. Blogging can be easy - find a topic, make fun of it, and slather it in a thick layer of snark to sound witty - but done well, it can be challenging, stressful and time-consuming.

But I kept it up, because I love this place I grew up in and I firmly believe that things can and will be better. I'm excited to leave. I've lived in Maryland my entire life and in East County since I was three, and naturally I can be parochial and defensive of it as a result. I know it's time to get out and see something new.

So third, I'm going to continue writing a blog, because I've been doing it - both here and previously on an angsty personal blog - for six years. Posting won't be as frequent or as topical as it's been in the past. But I'll keep my eye on East County, while writing about other cool places that I come upon. Call it a "fact-finding mission," if you will.

Of course, that implies that I'll be back after graduation in May 2012. If you want me back, you'll have to hope I'm not too excited about what I find in the outside world.


Critically Urban said...

As a Penn alumnus myself, you'll probably find that your hometown is more interesting than the majority of what goes on in Philly from an urban planning/development perspective. Philly is my home away from home (most of my relatives live in or around the city), but it pales in comparison to the DC area, and at times it can seem that Silver Spring has more city development stuff going on than the entire City of Philadelphia. I found myself following along just as closely to the Silver Spring/DC world as I did Philly's, and perhaps closer. It can even become the subject of many of your assignments since Silver Spring and DC are such fascinating urban subjects.

Terry in Silver Spring said...


I'm glad you're going to continue blogging. Best wishes for a wonderful experience and great education in Philadelphia.

retgroclk said...


Do keep writing- I may disagree with some of the things you write but you capture a lot of what is good about Silver Spring-

Good luck in Philly-- and when you do come down to Silver Spring for a visit(holidays and such) bring me a steak and cheese

Best wishes

Bob Fustero.

Patrick said...


It sounds like this was a blessing in disguise. From reading your blog, it sounds like you'd be more interested in planning anyway. U Penn is also a fine school.

I think you'll like Philly. There are many nice, walkable parts to the city. The DC area probably has more opportunities for future development and planning, but Philly has some older areas that are quite nice; the kind of areas that you don't see built much these days.

I hope you keep up blogging. I've enjoyed the blog. Keep us updated on what you learn.

Just as you're planning to move out of SS, I was planning to move back. I was looking to buy a place right around DTSS, but it looks like I'll be HOAed out because of my dog. Ah, life.

Anyway, enjoy your time at U Penn. How long is your program? Good luck!

Carin said...

What a splendid house! I, too, am just moving back to the area and into SS as you're moving away, and am starting a career-changing master's program in historic preservation. I've enjoyed following this blog as I planned both my move back here and my change of careers. I will look forward to your reports from Philly.

Dr. F. said...

Good luck to you, Dan. I am relieved to read that you plan to continue blogging. I already lost my other favorite blogger back in March (David Mills, the Undercover Black Man, who died unexpectedly while working on HBO's "Treme") and when in April you announced you would be moving to Philly I feared you would stop blogging too. Yours is a unique voice, and one of the only voices speaking on behalf of those of us here in the east MOCO. Thanks for all you have done by way of keeping us informed and helping to frame the debate on what goes on in east MOCO and MOCO at large.