The Metamorphosis

“One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.”


This quote is the first line from Franz Kafka’s short novel The Metamorphosis.  This story toys with the idea of magical realism.  Magical realism is the cross between the supernatural and reality in literature.  Often authors will add one extraordinary aspect to their story, but have the characters in the story regard it as if it is normal and carry on with every day life.

Holy Development

If you turn around from Giant’s main entrance, directly behind you is a large modern apartment complex.  Although they certainly seem nice to live in, the complex as a whole stuck out like a sore thumb.  The new developments recently built in the Shaw Neighborhood were not designed to blend into the neighborhood’s aesthetic.

Modernizing Shaw

If you turn the corner of the original structure and walk down P Street you will find yourself at the main entrance of the new Giant.  Even though you’ve only turned a corner it looks like you’ve walked into a completely different neighborhood.  The main entrance hidden in the back looks much more modern and features recently developed apartments directly on top of the old structure.

Shaw Neighborhood

This is an image of my site walking up 7th street.  In this picture you can see the original structure of the building as well as a new apartment building behind it.  This picture allows you to get a glimpse at the Shaw Neighborhood during sunrise.  The streets were quite and the brick buildings leading up to the market gave the neighborhood a welcoming feel.

O Street Market turned Giant

This is a close up image of my site viewed from the corner of 7th Street in the Shaw neighborhood.  This is the original structure of the O Street Market built in 1881.  Although O street market is still painted on the side, it is now a Giant supermarket that stretches beyond the original structure.

AB: Primary Source

Wheeler, Linda. “Teen Accused of Ordering O Street Market Shooting.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 27 Sept. 1994, Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.


In her Washington Post article “Teen Accused of Ordering O Street Market Shooting,” Linda Wheeler reports that seventeen year old Kevin Aaron McCrimmon was arrested for ordering the O Street Market shooting.  The article was written six months after the shooting, and explores possible motives concluding it was a result of gang retaliation.  Wheeler provides and account of the events of the shooting, including the time it took place and who was injured.  The article does not offer any opinions or testimonies, but provides the reader with a clear sequence of events and quotes from McCrimmon’s arrest warrant.

This primary source article can be used as an exhibit source to provide evidence for the past conditions of the neighborhood my site is in.  This significant event that took place at my site can be analyzed through this source, and then compared to present day Shaw.  

The Market on O Streets Transformation

Fisher, Marc. “O Street Market: Symbol of Violence Becomes a Marker for D.C.’s Resurgence.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 19 Nov. 2013, Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.


In his Washington Post article “O Street Market: Symbol of Violence Becomes a Marker for D.C.’s Resurgence” Marc Fisher recalls the events of the O Street Market shooting on March 31st 1994 in Washington DC, and then describes the markets transformation in recent years. Fisher first explains how the district was once rampant with drug and gun violence, and the O Street Market became a symbol of urban decay after the shooting.  The article then jumps to present day, and Fisher describes the market’s restoration into expensive condominiums and a Giant supermarket.  In the remainder of the article, Fisher gathers opinions and concerns about the implications of the new developments from residents, developers and shop owners in the area.  

I plan to use this article as a background source to provide information on how my site has transformed in recent years.  In addition to describing my sites transformation, I can use the source to provide testimonies on the effect of these changes from people connected to the site.  This source will allow me to explore how my site connects to the built environment shaping human behavior.

Feil, Ken. The exterior of the O Street Market at the intersection of 7th and O streets, NW in Washington, DC.  The Washington Post, August 31, 1978.

I will be able to use this image provided in the article to show how the O Street Market looked before its restoration.

RA: Exclusion in the Built Environment

Reading Analysis of “Architectural Exclusion”

In her article “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment,” Sara Schindler argues the theory that architecture itself regulates human behavior.  In the first part of her article Schindler introduces the term “architectural exclusion” meaning that the build environment is often designed to discriminate against certain groups of people.  The author claims that infrastructure placement contributes to economic and social inequality, however these acts of discrimination is largely ignored by lawmakers and judges (1940).  

Schindler supports her argument by providing examples that illustrate how certain features of our built environment can control and constrain human behavior.  One example she uses is the intentional design of park benches with three seats. She explains that park benches in major cities have multiple arm rests to prevent homeless people from sleeping on them (1942).  The design of the benches serve a second function of controlling people’s behavior although it may not initially seem that way to the unsuspecting person.

 The theory that Schindler proposes in her article is important to understand because it shows how discrimination is happening today.  Lawmakers and judges craft and enforce anti-discrimination laws, but ignore how the built environment is used to discriminate.  The public is lead to think that the layout of infrastructure is created with the purpose of efficiency, without realizing how these designs are excluding groups of people (1950).

(Image found on Central Park Conservancy)

Here is a picture of the bench Schindler describes located in New York City.


“I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”


This is a quote from the season finale of The Office.  I was watching this episode tonight and it made me think of the new experience I am having here in college for the first time, but also all the different parts of my life that I have nostalgia for.  There is never truly any way to tell that you’re in “the good old days” all you can do is try to appreciate things while they’re happening to you.