Holiday Traditions We’ll Miss This Year

Hopes are collectively rising these last couple weeks, as two fantastic sets of results put the promise of an effective coronavirus vaccine tantalizingly close. But we’re not there yet; we’ve got to get through a grim winter and at least a spring before the clouds will really start to lift. And so we (responsible people, at least) face a holiday season unlike one experienced in generations. And that means a lot of traditions around Georgetown will go unobserved this year. GM would like to name his personal ones he’ll miss dearly this year. Add yours to the comments!

Breakfast With Santa

The Friends of Volta Park have hosted this cherished event the first weekend of December for years. And it always brings out a great crowd of neighbors to ring in the beginning of the post-Thanksgiving holidays. GM worked the cashier table at this event for several years and appreciated the opportunity to catch up with people. And the Santa was top notch! Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

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Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

Potomac River

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Is Roosevelt Island in Georgetown? An Investigation

Yesterday afternoon, GM posted the photo above for his daily afternoon Georgetown Metropolis post. It’s a photo of the Teddy Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island. But GM almost always limits himself to posting photos only of Georgetown for these posts. Had he broken his own rule? Is Roosevelt Island part of Georgetown or not?

To answer this, GM has to travel all the way back to the 17th century. That’s because it was in 1682 that the island was first claimed by a European: Captain Randolph Brandt. It had been previously occupied by a group of Nacotchtank Indians who had relocated from Anacostia. As a result the island was known as Anacostine Island (however, Brandt called it Barbadoes Island). His descendants sold the island to the Mason family in 1717, at which point it gained the name Mason’s Island, which it bore until the creation of the Roosevelt Memorial in 1967.

But was it Georgetown?

Georgetown was created from land taken from two Georges: George Beall and George Gordon. (Hence one theory that George Town was named after them not King George.) Neither of these men owned the island, so obviously it was not included in the first creation of the land. And none of the subsequent additions to Georgetown in the colonial era included the island.

But what about in the DC era? According to this article, the island was part of Washington County, which was the part of DC that was on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, but wasn’t part of either Washington City or the City of Georgetown. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

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Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

Roosevelt Island

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Georgetown Time Machine: The Rebirth of the Waterfront

This week for Georgetown Time Machine, GM explores the rebirth of the Georgetown waterfront. No, not the most recent rebirth, where it was transformed from a parking lot to a lovely glade. This was a rebirth 100 years prior: the transition from commerce to industry.

It’s easy to think of the waterfront’s history as one long story of centuries of vaguely industrial uses finally giving way to recreation uses. That’s broadly correct, but there are some nuances to that, which an article from 1912 helps illuminate.

Georgetown was founded as a port town. It was located where it is because this is about as far up the Potomac that 18th century ocean-going vessels could navigate. And for the first 150 years or so, the primary use of the waterfront was for goods sent from afar to be unloaded while raw materials (mostly tabacco) were loaded in return.

But by the beginning of the 20th century, the port commerce of Georgetown declined. This coincided with the decline of the C & O Canal, which was made obsolete by the railroad before it was even completed in 1850. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

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Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

Dumbarton Oaks Park

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Masked Intruder, Redux

In June, GM told you the story of a masked intruder who slept one of on top of his bike shed. The intruder was, of course, a raccoon. After getting alarmed at finding a raccoon in such an urban setting and calling animal control, GM learned that they are a lot more common than he thought, and the city doesn’t think they’re cause for alarm.

After the raccoon left that night, GM thought it have moved on, since he saw no evidence of it returning.

Cut to a couple weeks ago, at least.

Well, before we get to that, GM should first mention that he found a couple dead rats on or near the shed in August. The location made him a bit suspicious, particularly since they were the first dead rats he ever found in his garden. But he didn’t want to make any assumptions. Yet.

Now we can cut to a couple weeks ago, when GM noticed a couple watering cans and other things inexplicably knocked over. He had an “a ha” moment and checked the security cam footage. And low and behold: the raccoon was back. It seemed to show up every night and just chill on the shed for a few hours. It didn’t stick around for the daytime, like it did in June, but it seemed to find the place a comfy spot to hang.

At this point, GM honestly didn’t mind. It appeared healthy. And hey, maybe it would kill or otherwise deter some rats. Continue reading

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