Author Archive: ip6479a

Multimodal “Mapping” project



Built Environment Project


For my Spring College Writing class, I have researched, studied, and visited the Shaw area in specifically the address of 7th and O Street Northwest. This address was mentioned in Ruben Castaneda’s book S Steet Rising, where he mentions different places where the crack epidemic occurred. To be able to fully understand the place I studied the street overview, read bout news articles published. After I took pictures of places and things that called my attention and kept a journal for this. Finally, I published it in my edspace account and divided it into different categories.

Here are my different parts:

Essay 2: Mapping Commonplaces


In Ruben Castaneda’s book, S Street Rising, he talks about the cocaine epidemic in all over Washington, DC. Some of the addresses mentioned were places to find drugs, prostitutes, and other extreme things. For my class project I decided to use the address of  7th and O street Northwest. This building located in that specific address was built in 1881 and it is one of the three 19th-century public market buildings still standing in the city because of its gothic revival details. It was used as a community market when a group of displaced vendors selected the land after Boss Shepherd demolished the original Northern Liberty Market in 1872. By having all of the public in that specific area the land area began to rise as the new market was being constructed making the are more interesting. Serving the community soundly from the time of its opening, it gradually fell into disrepair and it became the market in Northwest Washington was a symbol of urban decay and dysfunction. Apparently without major structural problems, the building was emptied of tenants. several months prior to construction in anticipation of its transformation into an upscale shopping center when the unthinkable happened.

The building is part of the Shaw community and because of the years past this building had been developed into a Giant supermarket, which is a huge change because this is a more complex market that was before in the area. What was before the O Street market a place, where city residents stopped to grab some wings for dinner turned the are into a more vitalized and common grounds for the residents. Like Fleming talks about in his book City of Rhetoric that the communities in Chicago have a commonplace where people with different interest and ideals have a safe place to get together and can interact. Like those commonplaces, Fleming found around Chicago I believe that they also exist in the District of Columbia specifically, in this location in the Shaw area. There might be many more in Shaw, but after visiting 7th and O Street and reading about the past I realized that this might be one.

For the resident of Shaw this place isn’t just where they might spend time grocery shopping, but a place where it is common grounds. There Martin Luther King Jr. protested and shootings occurred. I think this community might change because of social interest and real state increases and some of the residents are forced to leave, but deep down when everyone looks or thinks about the O Street market they will remember all the good and bad things that happened during their time there or even be nostalgic about what happened to a family member before.

Essentially, I would like to talk about the gentrification process and focus my project on that because many of the residents of Shaw have been forced out of their family homes because of the increase of the land and the new “hip” places opening around. When I arrived to the place I noticed that to one side of the building is the Kennedy Recreation Center, which has been part of the community for more than 30 years now and also a park. But to the other side of the building a “modern-type” building stands with many others. As I walked by both sides of the Giant building I could notice the difference between those two streets. Where in one side there were people that appeared to be part of a less socio-economic class than from the newly part. In this part of the street I could only see old stores or many rundown buildings, but crossing I saw a lot of advertisements for new studio apartments in the City Market at O complex. The difference is very distinguished, which isn’t a good thing because residents have been pushed away. I plan to see how these new stores that have opened are attracting a new set of people and forcing the old ones to leave.

I can’t believe how this place that was known as the crack home in the 90s in now known as safe place to live. Just because new restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and apartment homes opened up makes it safer? To further our understanding of the phenomenon of “gentrification” I will focus on  Shaw, a neighborhood in Washington, DC. Using Reuben Castaneda’s narrative from S-Street Rising I am able to understand the neighborhood’s economic downfalls from the crack epidemic. Many journalists have accredited Shaw’s revitalization to a simple term, gentrification. However, after my visit, I realized the flourishing phenomenon could not be narrowed down to one mere word. In fact, it is a complex concept requiring understanding because it is not just occurring in DC, it is occurring in every major city in the United States and in my final project I intend to exhibit key places that have made Shaw change in this specific area.




Reading Analysis 6


Letter in gender inclusive bathroom in American University. From the class syllabus

Author, Suzanne Tick argues in “His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society” that designers today should encourage and support the changing views of gender within their work not matter what because everyone should be equally accepted. In this article, the author discusses modernism and how this particular form draws its influence from mostly male figures. I believe that Tick believes that gender is man made thing and we should look past the norms to create environments. In other words, Tick explains how genderless is becoming more and more common. As explained in the article, a lot of public entities, like schools and large businesses, are coming to accept and incorporate uni-sex and gender-neutral aspects into their basic functions. Here in my school, they believe that by having gender oriented bathrooms not everyone feels comfortable and that is why American University also has gender inclusive bathrooms.  Another point Tick brings up is how Mother Nature is becoming an influence on design because sustainability is becoming increasingly important. Also Tick argues how the ideas of male and female are being overlooked in the modern world to include everyone, and she explains how designers should not fall behind in this ideology

Reading Analysis 5


Picture from Google Maps

In City of Rhetoric, David Fleming concludes that perfect cities of rhetoric, or cities in which civilians can come together to hear each other out fairly and talk through disagreements. He mentions that this isn’t easy, but it is not impossible for people to come together. Fleming argues that as part of our human nature, we keep striving to create “strong publics.” In other words, Fleming ends his book by reflecting on “the urban district” which is a type of the publics that he mentions that thrives. Most importantly he focuses on how the people try to build strong publics; he believes that by learning about city-based education is the first step on changing the way our cities function. For example, Fleming says, “just as we need to make our schools more civic… we need to make our cities more educational…” (209). Specifically, we have the power to change how future generations view public spaces, and we also have the power to change our public spaces to educate us. I believe that Fleming is on something with his ideas in his final chapter. While we may not think about it that much, our cities do teach us a lot. Not only do we learn about the socio-economic class of that area, but how the people have come to be; I believe that this is seen in the physical part of the areas. In his book, the author uses Chicago a place where there is a lot of diversification and socio-economic classes are seen. If one takes the time to educate the young in our communities on relevant matters such as civic discourse, we can look into the future at least hoping that younger generations will be able to create and come up with other things that haven’t been thought of in our time.




“Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I’m getting older, too”


The song, “Landside,” by Fleetwood Mac was released in 1975 is an extremely well-known and beautiful song. This song has appeared in many movies, such as Jack Frost in 1998 and Jersey Girl in 2004. I chose the verse above because I believe it is the best and most popular one of the song.  The woman is afraid to change because she has built her whole life around a man.  It seems that the landslide acts as time and she fears that it is slipping away from her.  While time may be going, she is as well.  It seems that throughout the song she is afraid of time running out, which is the possible change in her.  As she grows up, she is afraid of her relationship with him growing in different ways.  It seems as if she fears that they will not love her as she grows and changes, she just wants the security and acceptance of his love.


Office Hour Visit


During my office hour visit with my Professor Hoskins, we took a look at my address for my final project, which is 7th and O street NW and we brain stormed some of the different options that I have for my final project. We talked about the possibility of talking about specific buildings that have been there and how they have changed due to gentrification in Shaw and also the separation that is seen in each side of the O St. Market. We also spent time analyzing the changes I’ve made to my website. It was great to meet with my professor and discuss the things that I can do in my final project.


The Words of Winston Churchill


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”

Picture from Brainy Quotes

Most people think success is a destination you can reach. “If only I was as successful as she is.” What people don’t understand is that the other person is thinking the same thing. Instead of thinking of success as a destination, think of it as a mindset. Success as a mindset means always trying your best. It means moving forward despite the obstacles. It means learning from your mistakes. It means you are always growing. Winston Churchill said this and I believe that one should never settle and that is not in our nature. We all learn from mistakes and work harder each time to learn from them and to no repeat them.



On January 12, 2017 the Puerto Rican singer, Luis Fonsi made public his new song Despacito with Daddy Yankee how also is a Puerto Rican singer. This song is a latin hit! Because this version of the song is all in Spanish I believe that it is not very smart to talk about it, but recently a new version of the song has been made with Justin Bieber. This new remix is not only good, but it understood by both English and Spanish speakers. In this new translation, I found interesting the first verse, which Bieber sings. He says


 Come on over in my direction
So thankful for that, it’s such a blessin’, yeah
Turn every situation into Heaven, yeah
(Oh, you are…)
My sunrise on the darkest day
Got me feelin’ some kind of way
Make me wanna savor every moment slowly, slowly

I have never been a Justin Bieber fan but because all my friends are obsessed with him I have always been in the loop of what is on in his life. Starting so young in this industry he was exposed to a lot of money and fame and this made him have a bad reputation, but with time he has calmed himself and truly have a balance and not get lost in all the “Hollywood lifestyle.” In this verse I see his new self and how he is changing and how he really is appreciating life’s little gifts.


Annotated Bibliography 9 and 10



Ledbetter, Danielle. “Is D.C. Still the Chocolate City?” Truth Be Told, 10 Nov. 2015,

In their article Is D.C. Still The Chocolate City authors Danielle Ledbetter and Kaylah Waite give the history of Washington D.C. being one of the “blackest” cities in the United States since the 1970s this reiterating the fact that was is seen today does not match the history of what D.C. has been. Ledbetter and Waite explaining the story behind the nickname of “Chocolate City” for the nation’s capital explaining how the Shaw area was “booming” with black businesses. There are such phrases as “white flight” “The Plan” and “take back” explaining how the idea of white families and individuals moving into areas such as Shaw has been something that has been occurring since the 1950s. The idea of displacement then has is not a new twenty-first century phenomenon rather, it has been happening is the dawn of the “Chocolate City” era and now the population has just gotten larger. Phrases such as “black constituents” are used to explain in thorough detail of the mass of minority individuals and families that walked around the areas where nowadays might not be more than a handful of minority families in sight.

I would use this particular article for the statistics that has within in to help the reader actually visualize the differences throughout the years of the displacement that has gone on in areas such as Shaw. Having such article use the nickname of “Chocolate City” to be the name of almost surprising and knowing the story behind that is an important part of the telling the stories of my built-in environment.



Schwartzman, Paul. “A Bittersweet Renaissance.” The Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2006.,

In this 2006 article, Bittersweet Renaissance Paul Schwartzman interviews natives of Washington D.C. neighborhoods such as Shaw giving them a way to discuss the changes they have seen in they have seen in their neighborhoods and the effects of such changes. Schwartzman breaks down such interviews into subsections that help the reader understand the processes of the changes. When it comes to the “Vanishing Culture” the idea and power of money when it comes to the changing of the neighborhoods around the metropolitan area and the impact it has not only on the people but also on the areas history.

I plan on using this as part of my multimodal final project as direct quotes to help the audience understand the standpoint that many natives have concerning the changes in their area.  To have different direct statements and testimonies from natives that grew up in the area before and after the changes that it is undergoing would help my audience understand that this is a serious matter that affects individuals greatly.