The Georgetown Metropolis

1200 block of 31st St.

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Know Your Trees: Magnolias

This week for Know Your Trees, GM will consider a group of trees known primarily for their flowers: the magnolias.

While there are a wide variety of species and sub-species of magnolias throughout the world, in Georgetown you are likely to see three basic types: southern magnolias, saucer magnolias, and the Yulan magnolia.

The southern magnolia is quite different from the other two. It is easier identified by its big waxy green leaves with cinnamon brown undersides:

Despite having a deciduous look, southern magnolias are actually evergreens. They keep their leaves through the winter, and only start shedding them once new leaves are ready to replace them. (The shedding is a feature that leads many to dislike this tree.)

In the early summer they sport large showy white flowers, although typically they appear only a few at a time on the tree:

There are not a ton of southern magnolias in tree boxes along the sidewalks in Georgetown, but they are everywhere around Georgetown and DC.

Other than the fact that the flowers are similar, the other two magnolias are quite different. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Omar Bárcena.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

1000 block of Cecil Pl.

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Is it Dumbarton St. or Dumbarton Ave.? (Revisited)

Recently, GM finally got around to reading The Georgtown Set, the 2014 book about the power brokers who once lived in Georgetown, with a particular emphasis on the Alsop brothers. The book seems tog o out of its way to emphasize just how geographically close all these important people were who lived in Georgetown in the middle part of the 20th century. And in doing so, it repeatedly refers to Joe Alsop’s home on Dumbarton. Rather, it calls it Dumbarton Ave., not Dumbarton St. This brings up an issue GM has explored in the past, and the result of that is reprinted below.

But in summary, GM concluded that the official name for the road is Dumbarton St. For some periods throughout the last 150 years or so, it has been, at least, colloquially, if not formally, as Dumbarton Ave. The best GM can guess is that the odd old Georgetown street names that survived renaming were temporarily given avenue status (including, for example, Olive and Prospect). But that was only a fleeting designation. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Omar Bárcena.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

1500 block of 33rd St.

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