Thanks For the Encouragement

Okay, it turns out it’s not exactly easy to crank out two or three posts each day. So far, I’m averaging three posts daily and maybe one or two on Saturday and Sunday. Usually one of the posts is a popular one with a fair bit of traffic (typically the morning post) and the other two range between average and total duds (hey, not every idea I come up with is genius).

While it may not be easy to generate that much content, it is definitely a lot of fun and personally rewarding. I very much appreciate the gratitude my readers have shared on Facebook, Twitter, comments and via email. So thank you for your encouragement and support.

Part of my goal with this blog is to better understand the history of the city that I have called home for over a decade. But what is becoming more important is to document the hidden history of the District and share that with anyone that wants to read it.

I also want this to have elements of participation and collaboration, which is why I wrote the first “Reader’s Choice” post on Syracuse University’s Greenberg House at the bequest of a reader (I’m glad that mystery has been solved). Please keep emailing ideas, tweeting @GhostsofDC and posting on the Facebook wall because the best ideas are coming in from the readers.

I would like to throw one question to the readers: how old does a story have to be to qualify as a Ghosts of DC post? Ten years, twenty-five years or is it subjective depending on they context? My father-in-law aptly argued that turnover is so high in our transient city that a major segment of the population doesn’t know what happening in their neighborhood ten years ago.

Please let me know which stories you enjoy reading the most. Personally, I really enjoy writing “If Walls Could Talk” posts, even though they take two to three hours each to research. It’s fascinating the learn about the life of a building and imagine the events that took place within its walls. I also enjoy digging through Library of Congress photos for “Faces of Yesterday” ideas, giving us a window into Washington’s past anonymous residents.

Also, I recognize that the posts are heavily skewed to the northwest quadrant. I apologize to the other three quadrants, but I promise I will improve my post diversity to include places like the southwest waterfront, Anacostia and Brookland. Since I live in northwest, these are probably the places I could use the most help with resident suggestions and tips.

Let me close by again saying thank you to my readers. Thanks to @SUinDC for helping spread the word about the Greenberg House post. Thanks to @IAFF36 and John from truck 9 down on U St. for sharing your enjoyment of the Columbia Heights fire engine post. And last, thanks to the guys from Red Rocks. I can’t wait for that next pepperoni pizza. It’s going to be awesome … I kind of want it now (my wife is rolling her eyes).

Here’s my favorite photo from the last week from the post about the Grand Review of the Armies.

Grand Review of the Armies - May 1865
Grand Review of the Armies - May 1865

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  • I’m partial to the “if walls could talk” posts, though I’d like “if these streets could talk” as well. I’m really fascinated by the character of different DC neighborhoods and how that character was acquired, particularly as it relates to buildings. For example, so much of DC is made up of tall, skinny brownstones of the same era (I don’t know what era that is, really–there’s a post for you.) Why is that? And why are some of the neighborhoods with those houses really affluent and others have boards on the windows? Take New York Ave where it intersects with 395–who decided to run a major freeway through that neighborhood? What was it like before? Was it a sketchy place or did the highway create urban blight?

    I’m with your father-in-law, for what it’s worth. After living here 11 years I find myself walking by places and thinking “Remember when this bar was that Italian restaurant?” or “Didn’t there used to be a coffee shop right here?” I sound old and no one else knows what I’m talking about.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Guy Rosen

    Keep it up Tom, thoroughly enjoying the well written and fact-rich posts (a change from the shallow drivel one usually finds online). I’m taken aback by the sheer volume of posts, don’t know how you manage to get so much writing and research done, but keep doing so.

    • Thanks Guy! I usually crank out the next week’s posts on the weekend because there isn’t a lot of free time during the week 😉

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