Thomas Circle is much more complex than people may think. In fact, there are a myriad of facts that I’ve learned about this location that I would never have known just from looking at the location. For example, in his book, S Street Rising, Ruben Castaneda describes the corner of M Street and 13th Street as a place where people used to pick up prostitutes. Walking through that neighborhood now, it would never have even crossed my mind. The neighborhood of Thomas Circle is part of an elite community, with many apartment complexes, small shops and a few restaurants. The National Christian City Church is right behind a beautiful crosswalk and a statue planted right in the middle. Throughout this Built Environment Description, you will learn about things you never thought were found in Washington D.C. I hope you enjoy this journey of discovery.

The ‘Thomas Circle Apartments’ website shows numerous pictures of not only the inside of the apartments that I wasn’t able to explore, but also the areas around the apartment buildings that can be attractive to visitors. As soon as you click on the homepage, there is a view of the beautiful brick building, pictured below.

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There are many sights around the corner of M Street and 13th Street that people are interested in. One of these sights include the Washington DC National City church. It is completely lit up and helps to show what nightlife is like around Thomas Circle. Most of the people that went in and out of the church are of the higher middle class. No where around this area did I see the sort of people that Castaneda described in his book.

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This is a picture of the inside of the Thomas Circle Apartments, found exactly on the street corner of M Street and 13th street. The inside is perfectly lit up and very polished. It is a place where one would mostly expect to see people in the more elite class. This helps to show what the overall environment of the neighborhood must be like, based on what kinds of people rent this apartment.

 

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Although the picture above was not one posted on the website, it is extremely important to show the overall aura of the neighborhood in which the Thomas Circle apartments are located. This is a picture taken directly standing on Thomas Circle. The statue is one made by General George Henry Thomas of John Quincy Adams.. This statue brings out the overall environment of Thomas Circle. If you stand directly in front of the crosswalk, there is a beautiful sight that shows the Mayflower Hotel on the left, the National Christian City Church on the right and  this statue directly in the middle.

There is a tab on the website itself called ‘Neighborhood’, in which they practically flaunt the fact that the neighborhood they live in an elite neighborhood.

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As seen, there are a myriad of businesses and governmental offices very close to the apartment complex. There is also an appeal to tourist life because they talk about the national mall. If there is one thing that people love to do when they are staying in the city, it’s shopping. So the fact that the national mall is so closeby is definitely attractive.

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There is also a link on their website that shows all of the best places to visit. I played around a little with all of the settings. This makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for. Hungry? Click on the ‘restaurants’ button to see all of the best food places in town. There is also an option in which you can click for directions from the Thomas Circle Apartments to whatever place you’re planning to go to. As a whole, the neighborhood has changed a lot and it is important to notice how different it is and how much it has flourished.

Works Cited

“UDR Apartments 1301 Thomas Circle.” UDR.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.

Ana Lezama and I went to visit our sites together the week before Thanksgiving Break, when we found out that our sites are very close together. At noon, we got to Ana’s site, Lafayette Square Park. After taking a couple of pictures of the site, we posed in front of the White House and ended up at the Renwick Art Gallery, that is only a few minutes away. It was beautiful looking and learning about the history of Washington D.C. After walking around and absorbing it all in, it was time to go to my location. It wasn’t too far of a walk, only about 20 minutes or so. I took a few pictures of the street corner between 13th and M street and went inside the Thomas Circle Apartment complex that I had visited earlier. (I didn’t talk to the reception this time). We walked to Thomas Circle and looked at the National City Christian Church. We then took an über to Starbucks, ordered coffee and sat at a table by a window and worked on our built environment descriptions together. We actually stayed there until late afternoon. It was an overall very fun day, and I’m glad I found someone to explore my site with. It definitely made the project a lot more fun!

In his book, Republic.com 2.0, Cass Sunstein makes the argument that instead of uniting the people; social media is only dividing us apart. Social media is a place where every individual has the liberty to express their beliefs and thoughts without any repercussions. According to Sunstein, this is not a positive thing. There will always be a group on social media that band together because they all have the same beliefs, especially in a political setting. It is hard to understand opposite sides of the spectrum when one is only exposed to the people that they identify the most with, which means that someone who is not open to democracy will end up never becoming open to democracy and therefore biased to their own perspectives. Also, social media is a platform for many extreme groups such as terrorism. This platform is used to recruit members as well as exploit social media.

The National Democratic Institute would refute Sunstein’s argument and instead say that technology and the use of social networks is imperative because it helps to start movements and show the government that the people can be just as involved in decision making as someone who works within the government. Owning social media helps with advocating social issues and raising awareness about events.