May 3, 2017 - mh9868a
Dupont Circle- The Coolest Community In DC?
For my mapping commonplaces project, my CLS was Dupont Circle, and my specific site was BGR. More specifically, I found the BGR site because we were instructed to choose a location from Reuben Castaneda’s book S Street Rising. Honestly, I though choosing a restaurant would be a fun way to explore Dupont Circle. So, throughout the project I visited Dupont Circle several times, but it was not until the last time that I finally determined the topos of Dupont Circle. The topos I decided to argue is community. I chose this because when I walked around Dupont Circle, I noticed that a lot of the features the area has are very community organized. Also, when I was doing my research, I came across many community events that helped me to realize that Dupont Circle was all about community.
When it was time to start this mapping commonplaces project, I had to think about the best way to show how Dupont Circle was community-oriented. Indeed, I knew I did not want to make a Powerpoint or a Prezi because, personally, I find them to be very boring. Therefore, I did not want to present the project I worked so hard on in a dull way. So, I explored the options of TimeMapper or a video, but neither of those really worked for my project. Ultimately, I decided a listicle would be a cool mode to try. Actually, I had never made one before, but I was willing to give it a shot.
The listicle I decided to make was through the media entertainment site called BuzzFeed. I chose BuzzFeed because it is a media platform that I am familiar with. Actually, I go on BuzzFeed all the time, so I knew what most listicles on the site look like. Before I even started drafting my listicle, I took the time to explore the BuzzFeed site in detail and read as many listicles as I could find. I took not of how many entries there were, how long those entries were, and what images or gifs were used with each entry. That way, I would know approximately what each listicle entry should look like. Granted, I had no idea how to write a legitimate BuzzFeed post. However, after some research, I was able to find an article that walked new BuzzFeed users through the creative process. Once I understood that, it was time to write my listicle.
Creating a listicle was a very detailed process. First, I had to decide which features I wanted to include in my project. I knew I was going to include the pride parade and drag queen race because pride is a major part of Dupont Circle culture. Next, I decided to include the fountain and park at the center of Dupont Circle because my research showed that the park is really the center of community life in Dupont. I thought it would be foolish to leave it out. Then, I included the Farmers Market because I know that it is a popular weekly event in the area. Furthermore, I included The Dupont Current and “Keep the Streets Golden” campaign because both of those features are examples of the community coming together. That is, the newspaper is an example of the community coming together and sharing information. Also the “Keep the Streets Clean” campaign is a way to bring the community together to improve the overall environment of the area. Lastly, I chose to include the vowelless name trend in Dupont because I thought it was an interesting community trend.
I wrote each entry for my listicle very carefully. Firstly, I had to choose a picture to go with each entry. Actually, I took most of the pictures in my listicle from the digital archives I had already written. I did this because I really liked most of the pictures in my archives and wanted to use the same ones. Then, I had to write the explanation below the photos. Before I wrote the explanations, I consulted with friends to find out how long they thought entries should be. I did not want mine to be too long or too short. Therefore, I decided to keep my explanations around four to five sentences each. Within those explanations, I tried to choose my diction carefully so that it did not sound too formal. I did not want my BuzzFeed project to read like an essay. Also, I made sure to include links so that my readers could learn more detail about each entry. Lastly, I made the decision to put a poll at the end of my listicle because I did not want the article to end awkwardly. Overall, there were many decisions that went into the creation of my BuzzFeed listicle.
The other part of my project was the collage I made depicting the LGBTQ+ community in Dupont Circle. I decided to make this collage because I wanted to more deeply explore this part of the Dupont community. I wanted to include more photos of these events so that my project could more accurately show the role of the pride community in the Dupont Circle community. So, I went online and searched for pictures of the Halloween drag race and the pride parade. I chose to use the same pride parade photo I used in the listicle because I think that photo is a powerful indicator of how popular the parade is among the Dupont community. Then I included some other photos of people walking in the parade with rainbow balloons and flags in attempt to further prove that point. Also, I included some more photos of the Halloween drag race to more accurately show the paticipants’s costumes and the race’s popularity. Lately, I chose to show the photo of the Dupont Circle Fountain because, as previously mentioned, the fountain is the epicenter of the community, and I wanted to show the epicenter supporting the pride community.
Overall, this project is a culmination of all of the work I’ve done regarding the topos of Dupont Circle all semester. Over the course of this assignment, I became very connected with the idea of community in Dupont Circle, and I wanted to do it justice. I am very proud of how this project turned out.
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