Random Dreams

I have a few dreams that seem very out-of-left-field to most people who know me.

-Buy an old rowhouse in DC and restore it, keeping as much of the old character as possible (Anna of Door Sixteen is my hero!)…maybe even making it into a couple of units to rent out, plus space for me to live (because goodness knows DC needs as much affordable housing for single people and young couples as it can get!)

-Open a coffee shop near the Potomac Avenue metro station in DC.  The area desperately needs an independent coffee shop (Eastern Market doesn’t even have an independent one, does it?).  I’m inspired heavily by the awesome coffee shop call Common Grounds in the tiny South Dakota town where I grew up (seriously people, that coffee shop was the only thing about growing up in that town that I have any fond memories of!), which was full of ecclectic but comfy furniture, was in an awesome old building, displayed art by local students, and made great coffee without being pretentious assholes about it.  I envision the place as a community gathering place, and would take pains to make sure the place was welcoming and open to all the people of that diverse area east of Capitol Hill proper.

-Go back to grad school and get a master’s degree in urban planning with a focus on historic preservation (I think the UMD would be awesome for this, because it has great programs in both areas).  Living in DC definitely taught me that I am fascinated with how urban places work, and how they grow and change, and how we attempt to control them (and often fail).  Also, I LOVELOVELOVELOVE historic structures, but I’ve found that in DC “historic preservation” is as often used to impose the standards of one portion of the community on the whole as it is to actually preserve the historic (and often quirky, vibrant, ecclectic, and not neat or tidy) character of a neighborhood.  I lived for a year on the southern end of the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, and that area is a prime example of this.  I also hate the automatic negative reaction that a large portion of business owners have to “historic preservation”, because historic preservation, when done well, helps businesses and commerce, and brings more customers to an area, and I think having that background in urban planning ould give someone with an interest in historic preservation a little more sway with businesses and the like.

So yeah, those are the totally off-the-wall dreams of a 20-something museum professional who has no real background in home rennovation (besides being interested in it, and my parents having been huge DIY-ers), business management, or urban development (though I did work for the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a couple of years, so I have a little historic preservation background!)

🙂

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2 comments

  1. I’ve been lurking here for a while, but now I have to pipe up and say that you seem to be having my dreams! Couldn’t agree with you more on historic preservation, good and bad. Hey – if we every meet IRL, we should go in together on the row house restoration and the coffee shop! (My version of the rowhouse dream includes providing dog-friendly rental units, because there’s also a chronic shortage of those.)

    • Hello!
      It’s so nice to run into (even virtually) other people with similar interests (most of my real-life friends are wonderful, but just kind of smile and nod when I whine about wanting to move back into the city, or when I babble about my crazy dreams!)…and I totally agree on pet-friendly rentals! I have two cats, and it’s insane how many places wouldn’t even consider me because I had pets–and I’m sure it’s even worse with larger dogs! My attitude is that if someone is going to trash an apartment, they’re probably going to whether they have pets or not, so the pets aren’t really the problem.
      🙂

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