Back in October, I explored what an artificial intelligence might come up with when asked to draw Georgetown. The results were mixed! But as you may have heard, the same website that offered up AI-generated art is now offering an AI-generated text.
So I got to wondering, “Hey I might get a little busy with the new ANC position next year, maybe I could outsource the website to AI?”
So I gave the chat-bot a simple request: “Write an article in the style of the Georgetown Metropolitan where you discus why there used to be two different Gay Streets in Georgetown.” That’s just the very article I would write! So what did it come up with?
Well, let’s just say I’ll be still writing these myself for now. This is what it produced:
Georgetown residents may have noticed that there are two different streets named “Gay Street” in the neighborhood. This may seem like a confusing and unnecessary duplication, but the reason behind it dates back to the city’s history.
In the early 1800s, Georgetown was a bustling port town and the center of trade and commerce in the Washington, D.C. area. One of the main streets in the town was named “Gay Street” in honor of the family who owned much of the land in the area.
However, as the city grew and developed, the original Gay Street became less important and was eventually renamed “30th Street.” A new street was built to the north of the original, and it was also named “Gay Street” to continue the legacy of the Gay family.
Over time, the two Gay Streets have taken on very different identities. The original Gay Street, now known as 30th Street, is a bustling commercial thoroughfare with shops and businesses. The newer Gay Street, on the other hand, is a quiet residential street with charming row houses and peaceful tree-lined sidewalks.
While some may see the existence of two Gay Streets as confusing, it is a testament to Georgetown’s rich history and the importance of the Gay family in the development of the city. So next time you’re strolling through Georgetown, take a moment to appreciate the unique history behind the two Gay Streets.
Where to start? For one, visitors don’t notice two different Gay Streets in Georgetown since there haven’t been any Gay Streets in Georgetown since the 19th century. Now, was one of the Gay Streets named after a family that owned a lot of land? Maybe, but it’s not something I’ve seen when I’ve looked into it. I guess the chat-bot is just making a calculated guess since most of the time that’s where street names come from.
Buy neither Gay Streets was bustling. One Gay Street would later become N St., but only on the east side of Wisconsin. It was called First Street on the west side (why the westside had numbered east-west streets and the east didn’t is another mystery I’d lov to solve someday). This Gay Street remained Gay Street right up until the street renaming in the 1890s.
The other Gay Street would later become 36th St. But it became Lingan Street before that. In either event, neither of the Gay Streets was a “bustling commercial thoroughfare”. And, of course, neither became 30th St. Sorry chat-bot.
So for now, you can assume flesh and blood is writing this. For now!!