I find myself thinking a lot (and writing a lot) about what it means to live in a neighborhood. I’ve talked about the Petworth Dance Project, the Jazz Project, Socials, trash clean-ups… residents coming together to meet and hang out. People enjoying their neighbors. And now I think I can add the Petworth News Shindig as another great example. That’s pretty awesome.
I think last night’s Shindig was pretty successful. I estimate about 70 people came by over the course of 3 hours. Some people arrived at 6 and stayed all night, others popped by just to say hi before heading out to other meetings or dinner.
I appreciate the ANC commissioners like Zach Teutsch, Joe Martin, Kathleen Crowley, John-Paul Hayworth, Krystal Branton, Bill Quirk and David Sheon who came by, even though there was an executive meeting for ANC 4C, and Councilmember Grosso held an Education forum at the Petworth Library at the same time as the Shindig (didn’t Grosso read his invite for the party?).
I really appreciate the hard work that Paul Ruppert and his team at Petworth Citizen did to help run the event (the punch was great -- we went through two batches!).
New friends like Russ Breckenridge, Lucan and Tom Pipkin, Sara Herrera Kopetchney, Leon Andrews, Ryan DeSilva, Jonah Goodman and the ever-impressive David Garber. And the list can go on and on… I can't list all of your names here!
I was really pleased that Inspector Vendette Parker and Commander Wilfredo Manlapaz from MPD’s Fourth District came out to meet neighbors — I think officers and residents interacting in a casual, low-stress environment where the uniform doesn’t matter is critical for forming strong ties.
While Councilmember Anita Bonds couldn’t make the party, it was great that Josh Brown, the Community Outreach Director for CM Bonds, came by to personally share her regards to everyone attending. Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd also came, along with his Constituent Services Director Jackson Carnes and Communications Director Matt Santoro. These guys took the time to show up out of respect for the neighborhood, and what the blog seems to represent, and for that I’m appreciative.
I first came up with the idea for the Shindig as a half-joke when the Facebook page hit 500 Likes six months ago on January 26th. I joked that if it hit 1,000, we’d party. That idea got a lot of positive feedback, so I knew I had to make it happen if the blog actually got that many Likes.
In many ways, people can sometimes seem just like a name on a Facebook page. Meeting everyone in person who’s been active on the blog was really the highlight of the evening for me. And of course, on my birthday in May, the blog hit 1,000 Likes, so planning for the party began. I was stoked to meet Dan Hausman, the 1,000th Like for Petworth News.
There were other people who are active on the blog, contribute to the discussions and help make the blog useful who couldn't attend (so you'll just have to come to the next Shindig!). There were other people who have shared critical opinions about the blog who also didn't attend -- I was truly hoping to meet them in person and hear their thoughts on how the blog can be a better resource to the community. They too are invited to the next Shindig. (You can't please everyone, right? But everyone's point-of-view interests me.) I encourage every reader to feel free to send me feedback -- after all, this blog is meant to help inform neighbors. You can contact me anytime.
And a special shout out to my wife Heather for her excellent help and Fabio Amador for taking all these great pictures!
Thank you for supporting the blog. I look forward to the next Petworth News Shindig. ;)
Click on the images to enlarge the photos.
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