Annotated Bibliography

Archive: Marion Barry Arrested . C-Span, 23 Nov. 2014,

This video is the footage captured by the FBI before they made the arrest. It is evidence of Barry smoking crack in the hotel room with the other woman. It is clear the two are engaging in illegal activity. Once the police forces move in and arrest them both you hear them instructing the mayor and women to settle down. They also read the two their rights. In the background you can hear Barry expressing remorse. I will use this piece to analyze Barry’s actions and the effects they had on the city. It is clearly presented that he is smoking crack which was an epidemic at the time in DC.

Goldchain, Michelle. “New D.C. Bill Plans to ‘Put the Brakes’ on Annual Rent Increases for 80K Units.” Curbed DC, 23 Sept. 2016,

This article was published about the Rental Housing Affordability Stabilization Amendment Act of 2016. It is an act to put in place to regulate rent control. This is used as an exhibit for my argument about the gentrification of my area and how D.C. has become too costly for some families. This is a measure taken to ensure people can stay in their homes without have the price of rent increase astronomically.

Iweala, Uzodinma. “The Gentrification of Washington DC: How My City Changed Its Colours” Resilient Cities, Guardian News and Media, 12 Sept. 2016,

This is the personal testimony of somebody that was born and raised in D.C. He recounts his memories of what the city used to look like and says that he does not recognize it now that it has experienced so much change. He lives in the UK now and says that his home city is not what it used to be. He accredits this to the boom in gentrification over the last ten years and cannot believe it’s transformation. This is used as an argument as he and i are trying to convey the same ideas about the changes that took place in the city over the last 30 years.

LaFraniere, Sharon. “Barry Arrested on Cocaine Chargers in Undercover FBI, Police Operation.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 19 Jan. 1990,

On January 18, 1990 Mayor Marion Barry was arrested at the Vista International Hotel. Several weeks prior to his arrest, the FBI and police department had began an undercover investigation into the mayor. Barry was found high on crack cocaine with a “female friend.” Once  city officials and friends arrived the following day at the Reeves Municipal Center press was instructed to “stay behind.” It was clear that they did not have the situation under control at this point and did not want any reporters writing stories before they had an official statement made to release to the press. Clearly angered and shocked by the incident, Effi Barry did not go  to see her husband at the FBI headquarters where he was being held. Barry had plans to announce his fourth run for mayor the following Sunday, however this incident opened up the opportunity for Jesse L. Jackson to do so. Aside from the fact that this was a major scandal at the time, it was heightened due to the drug issues the city was facing. Crack cocaine had corrupted the city and now the mayor, who should have been remedying the problem, was contributing to its source. This article is going to be used as a background source. I will have it set up context and a bit of history about the hotel. It provides the details of the mayor’s arrest at the time and the initial response of the city officials. We later find out that the arrest does not stick, however this hotel was a key location in the city’s history as well as the book.

“Low-Income Residents More Likely to Leave D.C.” Governing Magazine: State and Local Government News for America’s Leaders, E.Republic,

This article discussed the trend of low-income residents leaving D.C. There were many different motivations addressed and how gentrification was not the only one. It is important to note that one major cause could have been people getting married and having children. There were also solutions on how the city could help prevent this from continuing to occur such as improved education systems. I will use this as an argument to help highlight the effects of gentrification on the area I am analyzing. This will help prove that gentrification has transformed the demographic of the neighborhood.

 

Martin, Caitlin. “Highlights from The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center’s Multi-Million Dollar Renovation.” Johnny Jet, 25 Feb. 2015,

This text talked about what was renovated in the hotel and why it needed to be done. When reading it you can tell there were serious changes made and this greatly impacted both the interior and exterior of the building. This is mainly an exhibit as I can analyze the need for the renovation and how it had much larger impacts on the area around the hotel.

 

NeibauerWashi, Michael. “Japanese REIT on Buying Spree, Closes on Fifth D.C. Sale in Eight Months.” Pardon Our Interruption, Washington Business Journal, 13 Oct. 2016,

This is an article about a $228 million dollar real estate purchase by a Japanese buyer. The building is located one block over from the Westin and it adds to the luxurious feel of the area. With a price that high it is incredibly expensive to live in the building. The article said that D.C. is being heavily invested in by real estate experts. This is an exhibit as it adds to my ideas about gentrification. I used it in my final analysis of the area.

 

“The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center.” U.S. News.

This source had mainly reviews and feedback about the hotel. It listed its amenities and key features. This helped me see the changes made and how customers reacted. It also gave me an understanding of the general feelings associated with the customers. Typically reviews were positive however there were some critical ones. I mainly used this as background to help establish my overall knowledge on the hotel.

 

“Washington, D.C., Gentrification Maps and Data.” Governing Magazine: State and Local Government News for America’s Leaders, E.Republic,

This article had information from the 2000 and 2010 census. It also has information published on the overall trends of the city. It featured maps of the different areas and classified them as gentrified or not. The average income, education level and house price of the residents is given on the maps as well. This gives a basic guide to the status of the city. I used this as an exhibit to further my point about the gentrification in the area. I was able to analyze the trends and changes in my neighborhood based of the maps provided. I was able to take pictures and information from this source for my description.

 

“Washington, D.C. Hotel | The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center.” The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center | Official Website | Best Rates, Guaranteed.,

This is the website of the hotel. It was the foundation for my digital doc and was used as both background and exhibit. I was able to draw conclusions about their rhetorical situation based on what they publish and display on their site.

Commonplace Book Entry 10: Ta-Nehisi Coates

“I strongly believe that writing is an act of courage.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates

I think that this quote accurately sums up my relationship with writing. I have always enjoyed writing; which makes sense considering I am majoring in journalism. However, it was never something that came naturally to me. It always required a large amount of effort, but more than that courage. Coates believes this too which is so relatable. As a writer, he understands what it takes the believe that what you have written deserves to be shared with others. It is incredibly gut wrenching to finish your work and then have to go back and read it. This semester I was reminded of the courage and security needed in order to be confident in my writing. I’m not sure that there will ever come a day that I love what I have done but I can now recognize that it took a great amount of courage to get it on the page.  

Commonplace Book Entry 9: Hamilton Cast to Pence

This is the video from the performance of Hamilton that VP-elect Mike Pence attended. At the end of the show the cast shared their fears with the man that plays a big role in our future. The musical was cast with people of all races and ethnicities in an attempt to bring diversity to Broadway. I think that this was the perfect opportunity for people to directly express their concerns. Some may disagree, however this platform allows people all over to hear the message. They took a stand on many issues in their speech and hopefully Pence was receptive. Trump later put out a Tweet demanding an apology, however he was wrong. The cast does not owe Pence a single thing as they were only expressing genuinely feelings in a polite and respectful manner.

Commonplace Book Entry 8: The 13th

I watched this documentary about the criminal justice system and it reminded of our discussion of rhetoric and the impact it has. Our country’s history led to the commercialization of imprisonment. The politicians that that passed laws to keep people, specifically black men, in jail have caused the problems that we are facing today. It was impossible to watch this film and not want to take action. Change needs to be made and as a student it feels as though it is my job to make it.

Commonplace Book Entry 7: Leonard Cohen Quote

We are all living with defeat and with failure and with disappointment and with bewilderment. We all are living with these dark forces that modify our lives. I think the manual for living with defeat is to first of all acknowledge the fact that everyone suffers, that everyone is engaged in a mighty struggle for self-respect, for meaning, for significance. I think the first step would be to recognize that your struggle is the same as everyone else’s struggle and that your suffering is the same as everyone else’s suffering. I think that’s the beginning of a responsible life otherwise we are in a continual battle, a savage battle, with each other. Unless we recognize that each of us suffers in the same way, there is no possible solution…political or social or spiritual. So that would be the beginning—the recognition that we all suffer.


This was a quote that Professor Hoskins posted on Slack. When I read it, the words resonated with my current thoughts and feelings. I come from a very homogenous place. For the most part everyone looks, thinks and acts the same. Since coming to college I have been immersed in an environment where every individual is unique and lives a life distinct to themselves. As people we have a tendency to focus on ourselves and believe we are the only people suffering or fighting some kind of battle. Making news friends and meeting new people makes us realize that we are all in the same fight together and that sharing it with others is what helps us get through.

Commonplace Book Entry 6: Bathroom Sign

 

commonplace_book_assignment_1024This sign was placed on a bathroom door that the Housing and Dining Programs deemed gender neutral. This was done in an attempt to create a more inclusive space for its students. They must take into account all of the people that live in their facilities. This also provides an option for anyone who does not feel comfortable sharing the bathroom. All of this is done in to satisfy the needs of everyone living in the housing community.

Commonplace Book Entry 5: Georgia Referendum

Georgia Referendum to Amend State Constitution:

“Shall Property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?”

1) Break this down to the “Jane likes cake” format. In other words, get to the sentence’s root.

Property be exempt.

2) List 3 or 4  words that most jump out at you.

1-utilized

2-exempt

3-providers

4-affordable

3) What’s the rhetorical situation? You might think about the following stuff:

Who’s the “encoder”? Who’s the intended “Audience”? Why does the “encoder” create the sentence is in such a way? What’s the “context”? What’s the sentence’s “purpose”? Is it easy to understand? By design?

The encoder in the state legislature of Georgia. The audience is the citizens of Georgia voting on the referendum. They structure it this way in order to have them vote in their favor. This creates a complex situation in which people are either too confused and vote one way or they think they understand what it is saying and vote in favor. It is too difficult to read and understand while in the voting booth. This is something that needs time to be comprehended and thought through. This is all done to strategically manipulate the people of Georgia.

Commonplace Book Entry 4: Fleming Quote

[A]n education [. . .] that was designed to support a truly direct, deliberative democracy [. . .] would be an education oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision-making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation. (205)

The intention of democracy is to allow the people it governs to have a voice. Such people need to be informed which should be the intention of an education system. With this information, people can decide what they want and take action accordingly. When the focus of education is to form opinion and taint the ideas of others that is when the system fails and as a result a democracy cannot exist.

The transformative effects of the City on the Westin City Center

In this essay I plan to provide a perspective some have not considered before. The city has experienced some great changes over the last few decades. With them have come new business, buildings and groups of people. All of which have resulted for a multitude of reasons. D.C. is a constantly changing atmosphere, yet most things stay the same. I have taken a journey, physically and intellectually, through the history of the city, but more specifically, The Westin City Center.

Exterior shot; taken across the street from hotel

As I began my journey to learn more about this hotel’s past, I took a trip to the site itself. Coming from AU, I took the Red Line on the metro from the Tenleytown station to the Farragut North station and walked the rest of the way to the Westin City Center hotel. On the walk to the hotel, there were several fast casual restaurants along with coffee shops and other hotels. Just from being in the neighborhood one would notice that this area’s purpose to satisfy the people that work there. There are not many family-orientated or children-friendly establishments. It is clear that people come to this area for professional reasons.

Although the hotel is now named the Westin City Center, there was a time it was the Vista International Hotel. In 1996 the hotel was converted to the Westin and then renamed in 1998 the Wyndham Washington D.C. It wasn’t until 2005 that the hotel went back to being the Westin.

Located on M St. NW, the building was constructed in 1982 by Holle and Lin Architects PC Smith-Williams Group. Since its establishment, it has experienced many renovations; most recently in 2011.  Ruben Castaneda’s novel, S Street Rising: Crack, Murder, and Redemption in D.C. mentions the Vista Hotel when writing about Mayor Marion Barry’s arrest. Before any of the news broke Castaneda recalls being nearby and seeing the cops head in that direction. He writes, “It was unlikely that a shooting had occurred in a upscale downtown hotel,” (63). Castaneda was at this location for a drug buy but while there he learned mayor Marion Barry had been arrested there after being caught by the FBI for narcotics charges. Both men thought that this hotel was a suitable location to conduct illegal activity as it is unsuspecting. The Westin is located in an area where drug dealers and crack smokers and not often found.

The hotel does not get its high end reputation for nothing; this hotel is an expensive place to lodge. At $302 being the average cost for a nights stay, typically affluent individuals or those on business are spending time in this hotel. The atmosphere of the location also plays into the lavish ambiance. From the exterior I notice the fourteen floors that comprise the building. It is easy to see into the lobby from the street at the doors are all glass. This style is carried through in the rest of the structure. Glass windows go all the way up the front of the building.

Since its establishment in 1982, the Westin City Center, has experienced many renovations and updates. Travel Weekly classifies the hotel as “Superior First Class,” which suits the buildings interior quite well. The most recent renovation was completed in Spring 2016. The upgrading of guest rooms, restaurant, lobby and meeting facilities totalled $17 million. The Westin is much more modern and no longer features its previous aesthetic. Due to its location and high prices, the hotel needs to keep its appearance up to date in order to maintain its notable status.  The most notable feature is the lobby. Upon entering the space you immediately notice the atrium style structure with vertical gardens. The high ceilings and glass windows provide and open space. This also allows you to see all the up to the twelfth floor which is rather unique.

The renovation also included remodeled bathrooms, 50-inch televisions, a refrigerator, and a safe for each of the guest rooms (Martin).

A stay at the hotel can range from $179 to $340 which can be rather expensive for multiple nights. This price range, however is most often feasible for the business men and women that lodge in the hotel. Not only is each room costly, some customers have complained that the Wi-fi is not complementary (Martin). Most people don’t mind as the location provides convenience and many options for hosting meetings and events. There are 16 rooms in the hotel that can hold up to 500 people. This is a rather high number but accounts for the demographic of customers.

But why does all of this matter? Who does all of this effect? In order to stay in a lavish hotel such as the Westin City Center you clearly need to have some pretty deep pockets. Not only that, the neighborhood surrounding the hotel adds to the 4-star rating. The status of the highlighted area below on the right considered is gentrified. Young professionals have moved into the area and aided in the transformation of the landscape. There has been a drastic increase in median home value and median income. In 2000 $147,700 was the average cost of a home in the neighborhood it is now $491,900, a 63% increase. There was a similar adjustment in income as it jumped from $35,561 to $92,255 (Gentrification Maps and Data). This severe increase is mainly what prompted the need for such drastic renovations to the hotel. In order to keep up with the evolving surroundings, the Westin needed to continue improving.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-3-01-54-pm screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-3-06-16-pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a report published by D.C.’s Chief Financial Officer stating that low-income residents are more likely to move out of the city (Gentrification Maps and Data). The trend was noticed through the filing of taxes. It is important to note that the cost of living in the District has increased drastically and has made it difficult for many to afford living here. It is important for the city to recognize this trend and take note of the causes. Some may be the ever expanding hotel industry. With so many luxury hotels located in such close proximity to the downtown area it makes it difficult to afford  staying in the Capital. Seeing the nation’s monuments and government institutions is turning into a vacation only obtainable for those traveling on business or that have the money to stay in such high end lodging.

The need for change is very evident in the Westin City Center’s past and present. They have changed there name a three time and have constantly updated the interior of the building. This has also influenced the need to keep their online presence modernized. When first reaching The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center website page you are greeted with a slideshow of professionally taken photographs of the hotel. The restaurant, lobby, and a scene of the city are some of the featured photographs.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-2-50-43-pm

This is important to note because they are advertising everything they have to offer without using any words at all; it gives them the opportunity to show off their hotel without saying they are doing so. Accompanying each photo is a review about the hotel, each one positive and related to the given photo. For instance, when the Washington Monument is pictured through the cherry blossoms, the quote reads: “This is a beautiful hotel in a great location. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Everything was very clean and updated,” (Washington D.C. Hotel). They are clearly trying to highlight the good experiences of their guests when in fact there were negative ones as well.

U.S. News published a critic review from the Oyster which stated, “None of the Westin’s rooms have impressive vistas, but the interior-atrium rooms overlooking the lobby at least offer a departure from the typical view of city streets. You don’t get as much light as you would in an exterior room, but they’re great for quasi-voyeuristic people-watching.” Even though this was not the commentary of a an unbiased guest it was still somebody who stayed at the hotel. They were not impressed with what the Westin had to offer the way the guests on their site seemed to be.

Additionally, any key information is written in green which forces the viewer to look at it compared to the other black text. They want the readers to know that they have certain amenities and other offers so they choose to highlight them.

In order to make their website appear to be personable, they feature photos taken by guests. However they are pictures that were clearly calculated to exhibit the atrium or the views from the hotel windows. The Westin was incredibly selective when deciding which pictures to include and which to leave out.

As a hotel they have a unique rhetorical situation. They are trying to sell a temporary home to their guests; a place to lodge for a short period of time. This is incredibly clear by the “Reserver Your Stay” window that follows you around as you navigate through the sight. Each time you scroll of click through it pops up on the screen. It is obvious that they want you to stay at the Westin. So much so that they give you the option to regardless of whether you plan to or not.

The District has experienced much change over the last several decades. It can be seen when looking through the lens of the Westin City Center. This hotel has had its fair share of experiences and they can all be attributed to the climate of the city.

 

Works Cited

Archive: Marion Barry Arrested . C-Span, 23 Nov. 2014,

Castaneda, Ruben. S Street Rising: Crack, Murder, and Redemption in D.C. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2014. Print.

Goldchain, Michelle. “New D.C. Bill Plans to ‘Put the Brakes’ on Annual Rent Increases for 80K Units.” Curbed DC, 23 Sept. 2016,

Iweala, Uzodinma. “The Gentrification of Washington DC: How My City Changed Its Colours” Resilient Cities, Guardian News and Media, 12 Sept. 2016,

LaFraniere, Sharon. “Barry Arrested on Cocaine Chargers in Undercover FBI, Police Operation.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 19 Jan. 1990,

“Low-Income Residents More Likely to Leave D.C.” Governing Magazine: State and Local Government News for America’s Leaders, E.Republic,

Martin, Caitlin. “Highlights from The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center’s Multi-Million Dollar Renovation.” Johnny Jet, 25 Feb. 2015,

NeibauerWashi, Michael. “Japanese REIT on Buying Spree, Closes on Fifth D.C. Sale in Eight Months.” Pardon Our Interruption, Washington Business Journal, 13 Oct. 2016,

“The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center.” U.S. News.

“Washington, D.C., Gentrification Maps and Data.” Governing Magazine: State and Local Government News for America’s Leaders, E.Republic,

“Washington, D.C. Hotel | The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center.” The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center | Official Website | Best Rates, Guaranteed.,

 

BED Interior

Built in 1982, the Westin City Center, has experienced many renovations and updates since its establishment. Travel Weekly classifies the hotel as “Superior First Class,” which suits the buildings interior quite well. The most recent renovation took finished in Spring 2016. The upgrading of guest rooms, restaurant, lobby and meeting facilities totalled $17 million. The Westin is much more modern and no longer features its previous aesthetic. The most notable feature is the lobby. Upon entering the space you immediately notice the atrium style structure with vertical gardens. These add to the neutral ambiance, a common feature among Westin hotels. The high ceilings and glass windows provide and open space. This also allows you to see all the up to the twelfth floor which is rather unique.

The renovation also included remodeled bathrooms, 50-inch televisions, a refrigerator, and a safe for each of the guest rooms (Martin).

A stay at the hotel can range from $179 to $340 which can be rather expensive for multiple nights. This price range, however is most often feasible for the business men and women that lodge in the hotel. Not only is each room costly, some customers have complained that the Wi-fi is not complementary (Martin). Most people don’t mind as the location provides convenience and many options for hosting meetings and events. There are 16 rooms in the hotel that can hold up to 500 people. This is a rather high number but accounts for the demographic of customers.

But why does all of this matter? Who does all of this effect? In order to stay in a lavish hotel such as the Westin City Center you clearly need to have some pretty deep pockets. Not only that, the neighborhood surrounding the hotel adds to the 4-star rating. The status of the highlighted area below on the right considered is gentrified. Young professionals have moved into the area and aided in the transformation of the landscape. There has been a drastic increase in median home value and median income. In 2000 $147,700 was the average cost of a home in the neighborhood it is now $491,900, a 63% increase. There was a similar adjustment in income as it jumped from $35,561 to $92,255 (Gentrification Maps and Data). This severe increase is mainly what prompted the need for such drastic renovations to the hotel. In order to keep up with the evolving surroundings, the Westin needed to continue improving.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-3-06-16-pm
Area not considered gentrified in 2000.
screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-3-01-54-pm
Same area now classified as gentrified since 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

There was a report published by D.C.’s Chief Financial Officer stating that low-income residents are more likely to move out of the city (Gentrification Maps and Data). The trend was noticed through the filing of taxes. It is important to note that the cost of living in the District has improved drastically and has made it difficult for many to afford living here. It is important for the city to recognize this trend and take note of the causes. Some may be the ever expanding hotel industry. With so many luxury hotels located in such close proximity to the downtown area it makes it difficult to afford  staying in the Capital. Seeing the nation’s monuments and government institutions is turning into a vacation only obtainable for those traveling on business or that have the money to stay in such high end lodging.