Go Vote!

Photo by Jacquesofalltrades.

GM has been encouraging you to vote by mail. But with the election just next week, you have to request your ballot no later than today. If you can’t get your request out today, you can always just vote in person. In fact you can do that right now if you’d like. Early in-person voting has already started and if you want to avoid your ballot getting lost in the mail, this is the best approach.

For Georgetowners, the easiest polling location is Hardy Middle School, across from the Safeway. It is open for early voting every day this week from 7 am to 8 pm. Obviously you will be expected to follow social distancing guidelines to vote, but with adequate precautions, it should be a safe experience.

Remember, the election next Tuesday is for part primaries. For the contested Ward 2 councilmember seat, the Democratic primary is tantamount to the general election. If you want to have a voice in who will represent you next January, you’ve basically got to vote in this election. You can do same-day registration in DC but sadly you cannot do same-day party switching. If you’re not a registered Democrat by now, you’re out of luck for this vote.

There will be yet another election two weeks after this vote. This will be the special election to fill the Ward 2 seat until next January. Each Democratic candidate, minus Jack Evans and Daniel Hernandez, will be on that ballot, as well as Republican Katherine Venice.

GM thinks you should vote in both elections for Patrick Kennedy, but most of all he wants you to vote period. So go vote (safely)!

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Bill Starrels.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

Georgetown University

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Now More Than Ever: Streets Should be For People Not Cars

DC is missing the boat. Big time. During a time when COVID-19 demands social distancing, and cities around the world are rapidly shutting down streets to automobile traffic to provide space to distance, DC is doing next to nothing. It must finally break with its pro-car bias and act now to take back the streetspace from cars and give it back to people.

Look at the other cities that are doing just that. New York is opening up 40 miles of streets to pedestrians and cyclists. Oakland’s opening 74 miles. Barcelona is opening 44 streets. Bogota, Colombia opened 47 miles of new bike lanes. Hell, even Baltimore is getting into the game ahead of DC.

All that DC is done is to take the weekend Beach Drive closures and made them full time. That’s it. This closure is fine, as far as things go, but it’s chopped up and is not remotely targeted at crowded streets that could use the space.

Take a trip downtown in the middle of the day sometime. It is still a ghost town. We don’t need to maintain the same street capacity we supposedly needed before the crisis. Where we can’t shut down a street to car traffic entirely, we need to reclaim several lanes for pedestrian and bike use only. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Joe Flood.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Tyler Merbler.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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Get Your House’s Baby Pictures (In a Way)

Last week, GM took a deep dive into a random real estate new article from 1902. In charting out the physical reality described in the article, he relied on a couple very old, very detailed maps. GM thought it would be interesting for readers to learn exactly where those came from and how they might check them out for themselves. It can even help you find the first “picture” of your house.

The maps are insurance maps. They were drawn up to give fire insurance companies an accurate picture of what risk any particular building might face. As a result they depict each structure’s footprint in enormous detail, including the building’s materials (i.e. wood versus brick). Plus, they’re just really lovely maps.

Several different companies prepared the maps for DC, including most notably G. M Hopkins and the Sanborn Map Company. Digital versions of some of the annual collections of maps are available online.

For the earliest collection GM can find, go to the DC Public Library’s online Washingtonia Collection. They have five different editions of the G.M. Hopkins maps, with the earliest from 1887.

The way they typically work is that the first page has a key to to whole city showing with plate each part of the city will appear:

You then can navigate to that plate to see the detailed map. For instance for the 1887 map (above) lower east Georgetown appeared on Plate 38:

(As with this plate, often they appear with north facing right, instead of up.)

The Hopkins maps are interesting both because they are the oldest and because they have a great deal of information about the property owners:

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