Category: Extra Stuff

Derek Hyra in Conversation with Kojo Nnamdi

A few days ago I had the opportunity to see Derek Hyra discuss his recent book Race, Class and Politics in the Cappuccino City at Politics and Prose in the Shaw/U-Street district of Washington D.C. The first part of the event was an interview with Kojo Nnamdi, a WAMU (88.5) employee followed by a Q and A session.

Derek Hyra in conversation with Kojo Nnamdi (Photo by Justin Maron)

Location of Politics and Prose on Google Maps (Screenshot from Google Maps)

Derek Hyra made some extremely interesting points throughout the evening, which tied together a lot of what we’ve been studying in class. He began by contrasting what the Shaw/U-street area was like 30 years ago to what it is today. Hyra explained how the area was a predominately African American neighborhood with a huge open-air drug market. Now, there is a farmers market. Two very different types of markets highlighting the shift from the “dark ghetto to the gilded ghetto.” When Hyra set out to create his new book over six years ago his intention was to address the implications of wealth and class in an area, which has vastly changed and branded “the iconic ghetto.”As Hyra explained, gentrification in the Shaw/U-street district is different because it is appreciated by the white millennial. There are signs placed in historic parts of the area, highlighting the rich history. In my opinion, one of the most noteworthy points Hyra made was when he described his cappuccino analogy. The white millennial are the milk and when the foam gets poured on top and spills over, it’s just like the people that have been displaced from the neighborhood. Additionally, Hyra noted the change in property. Real estate developers are flipping and upgrading houses forcing the average home price to rise. Just like taking plain coffee, a simple classic drink and turning it into a complex one such as a cappuccino.

Large crowd was in attendance (Photo by Justin Maron)

One of my favorite audience questions was “How do the long time residents feel about the way the area is changing?” Hyra answered by explaining that only 30% of the community is now black and the only reason why it isn’t 90% white is because the government does a very good job of providing subsidized housing. The problem with the new development is that its not catered to the long time residents. Instead, they are creating luxurious amenities such as dog parks and fancy coffee shops. However, long time residents truly appreciate the vast decrease in the crime rate. Overall, hearing Derek Hyra speak was an extraordinary experience as it brought together our in-class discussions to his real-life research.

Alternative view of the audience (Photo by Justin Maron)

Continue Reading

Office Hour Visit 4/24/17

During my office hour visit with Professor Hunter Hoskins, we took a look at my revised Reading Analysis 4. At first, it lacked specificity and thorough analysis. I was able to focus on Fleming’s argument then continue from there. In the first draft, I failed to address the sociospatial dialectic which is the main idea of the chapter. Using a quote from Fleming, I incorporated his thoughts and came to the conclusion that where you come from has a lot to do with what possibilities are readily available. I also added a picture of city versus suburban life to emphasize the point that there are many benefits of living in a city such as diversity. In addition, I put links when it made sense such as the Cabrini Green example Fleming discusses. You can check out my revised RA 4 here. I am happy that I was able to discuss my improvement with my professor and create work that is at the distinctive level.

Continue Reading

Office Hour Visit 4/20/17

During my office hour visit with my Professor Hunter Hoskins, we took a look at my revised first group of digital archives. I completely redid them and made them multimodal, including links to Gonzaga’s website, maps of the main campus, and other pictures that are related. This will make it much more engaging for the audience of my site! We also spent time analyzing the changes I’ve made to my Reading Analysis 1. The problem with my first Reading Analysis was that I didn’t hone in on a particular part of Flemings work and instead summarized the chapter in a broad sense. I revamped RA 1 by changing the beginning sentence and elaborating on Fleming’s concept of “unified places.” You can check out my revised RA 1 here. However, I think there is still some room for improvement in the first paragraph by continuing to analyze local governments and their effect on people. It was great to meet with my professor and discuss the changes I’ve made.

Continue Reading