Final Mapping Commonplaces Project: Lincoln Theatre and UStreet

 

For my semester research on a site in Washington DC, I chose to research the Lincoln Theatre on U Street. I chose this as the built environment I was going to analyze because of a few reasons. One reason I chose the Lincoln Theatre is because I love music and I love going to concerts even more. I’ve been to way more concerts than I can even count which is how I got into my work of concert photography which is what I do now as a full time hobby. Check out some of the music’s biggest superstars that I’ve photographed here. I knew that the Lincoln Theatre had shown play performances as well as it being a venue for musical artists and I have seen concerts at all of the main DC/Maryland concert venues, with the exception of the Lincoln Theatre. I’ve seen concerts at UStreet Music Hall, The 9:30 Club, The Fillmore, and the Merriweather Pavilion. Although, I assumed I wasn’t going to have time to see a concert at the Lincoln Theatre this busy semester, I still selected it as my sight because I was so curious about it.

The second reason, I chose to the Lincoln Theatre as the Built Environment that I was going to be studying was I am a big lover of art and culture. I like visual and performance art, as a kid I played the guitar, clarinet, and the saxophone and my favorite class I took in high school was drama. My parents would take my sister and I as kids to all the art museums in Philadelphia and New York City and those are some of my favorite childhood memories. Art has always been a part of my life in a way that just seems natural and right. Culture is so important to me, its what keeps families together, give countries and people pride and support, and gives us something to protect and pass down to the coming generations. Culture has always fascinated me in a way because it seems never ending, once you think there’s nothing more you can ever possible learn about a culture, you find something new! Lincoln Theatre but also UStreet in overall is a huge part of black culture, particularly in the black culture of Washington DC. I feel that when people think about when Washington DC was truly a Chocolate City , people are thinking about the places like U Street that were so monumental in hosting, fostering and nurturing the ‘blackness” of Washington DC. Although much different than it once was, UStreet to me feels familiar; it much different than the American University environment. I can walk down the street and see some people that look like me, talk like, and act like me in a way that doesn’t always have to be explained, it just is; and that’s what I like about the culture of UStreet. My favorite soul food restaurant, in the entire world is located on UStreet and some of the most memorable times of my life happened to me while I was on UStreet. So although I wasn’t incredibly familiar with the Lincoln Theatre before I this project, I knew that it was located on UStreet and because of that it had to be of some interest to me.

There were a few rhetorical choices that lead me to truly discovering what the Lincoln Theatre was as a built environment, as a commonplace, as a structure, and as a symbol. A simple but significant mode that I choose to include in my website was the Lincoln Theatre Twitter Feed on the left sidebar. A basic addition such as this allowed me to connect a lot of my thoughts and ideas together as I was gathering more and more information about this theatre throughout the semester. I’m a frequent social media user so the addition of this widget not only functioned as a rhetorical mode that added another dimension to my website but it also  proved be extremely beneficial to me in the sense that I knew that I would be checking it every single day (multiple times a day ) staying up to date with the very entity I know I would be studying extensively. Another mode that I chose to use throughout my website were pictures of the Lincoln Theatre. Not only do pictures tend to my visually appealing and spice up anyone’s writing, the addition of pictures at times allowed me to convey things even more clearly that perhaps my writing didn’t entirely cover. Pictures and video also made a good pairing with most of my posts because the post mostly were from my perspective, so with the addition of pictures and video, my audience is able to interpret and view it for themselves which allows them to come to their own conclusions rather than being solely dependent on my vision and perspective.

I chose to also use linking as one of my modes on my website because for me this project was crucial in regards to being a part of a bigger conversation. Links benefitted me in two ways which is why I used them so frequently. The first way being that, if I chose to link something or multiple things in my post, that is informing that reader of my work as to where I am gaining my knowledge for having the perspective that I do on a topic. It also provides the reader with some information if she is not as familiar with a topic that I have chosen to write about. Secondly, It brings me and the reader into a part of a conversation that is bigger than me. Linking, ties what I have to say about something and make it real, to the reader.

Finally, to consolidate and arrange all of my discoveries, I chose to make a Flippingbook. A flippingbook is an interactive publication that I chose to create my final conclusions and research findings out of. I chose this mode because I knew that I wanted to create something that is different from what many people have see on a daily basis, but at the same time its easy and accessible for anyone with internet connection.
I wanted to create a similar look to an electronic magazine and using this mode made that task achievable.  Another reason, why I chose to use Flippingbook as the foundation of displaying my findings of my research on the Lincoln Theatre was because the platform is easy to transform into something that is multimodal.  I was able to implement links, photos and videos all on such a cool platform. Have a look at how I discovered the topos of Ustreet and explored the built environment of the Lincoln Theatre in my Flippingbook,  as my final project for mapping commonplaces.

**All photos in my Flippingbook are from Google or myself**

Still curious about topos and uStreet and Lincoln Theatre as a Built Environment? Check out the Tumblr Page , I made just for fun! Enjoy!

Introduction: Mapping Commonplaces

My name is Marguerite J Tucker and I am a Sophomore transfer student at American University in Washington DC. I am a Sociology major on the pre-med track; as a course requirement this semester I took college writing 101. Throughout the semester I researched a specific site in DC as a built environment. The site I chose to research was the Lincoln Theatre on UStreet. Throughout the semester I discovered what the Lincoln Theatre meant to the history and present day of UStreet and I discovered what it meant  to the people from Washington DC and what it meant to tourists of DC. Through this project the Lincoln Theatre was explored as a commonplace, a structure, an idea, and a symbol. In addition to my research this semester, I created Annotated Bibliographies to help guide the direction of my research and what exactly I wanted to discuss in my final project. I created Digital Archives of the Lincoln Theatre and the surrounding area of UStreet to document the physical characteristics of the theatre and its environment. Additionally, my Reading Analyses share my analytical observations and synopsis on others authors’ work, mainly regarding the topic of rhetoric and Built Environments. Check out my Commonplace Book and Extra Stuff to get a closer look at my life journeys, thoughts and ideas about the world as I experience it. My written works regarding the results of my semester research on the Lincoln Theatre, UStreet, as well as my final reflections and thoughts  can be found here; check out the interactive publication I created !

Still Interested in learning more about Marguerite Tucker? No worries, Click here !

Lincoln Theatre: Public Relations and Social Media Reviews

“The Lincoln Theatre.” Facebook, www.facebook.com/pg/TheLincolnDC/reviews/. Accessed 30 Mar. 2017.

The Lincoln Theatre has an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars on its Facebook page out of a total of 165 reviews.  The majority of people (105 out of 165 people) gave the theatre 5 stars and described their experience at the Lincoln Theatre as “scary good” , “nothing short of amazing” and “excellent acoustics”. Some of the less favorable reviews were directed towards the environment or the staff working at the theatre, such as, “Neighborhood seemed a bit sketchy”, and  “unfortunately, its poorly run”.  Additionally, there is an “About” portion on the Facebook page that displays the theatre’s address and telephone number as well as a brief history of the theatre’s ties to Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington from 1922. The about page also includes, information about I.M.P, the company that has own the Lincoln Theatre since June of 2013.

The Lincoln Theatre’s Facebook page will be useful for my research in a way that allows me to see what the general public is having to say about the venue. The reviews are unfiltered and honest which give me a better understanding how guests of the venue genuinely feel and from what demographic of people the critiques are coming from. The Lincoln Theatre’s Facebook page also allows me to view how it is marketed to the public through a social media platform such as Facebook.

 

Account, The Lincoln Theatre Verified. “The Lincoln Theatre (@TheLincolnDC).” Twitter, 29 Apr. 2017, twitter.com/TheLincolnDC. Accessed 30 Mar. 2017.

The Lincoln Theatre has a mere 3,433 followers on Twitter in comparison to the 9:30 Club’s 88.4k twitter following despite the fact that they are under the same management and just a few minutes in commute away from each other.  The Lincoln Theatre is tries to display its classical elegance even on such a contemporary social media platform such as Twitter.  The account bio reads, “The Jewel on U” referring to the theatre’s regal nickname, followed by the words, “Restored” and “revived” “ready to shine brighter than ever before”. Unlike the Facebook account for the theatre, the twitter page is very “fresh” and plays on the theatre’s evolved aspect and is branded at something “better” than what it once was, everything regarding the account is about the latest and the happenings of now. On the Twitter page of the Lincoln Theatre are various tours being promoted, multiple shows and artist that will be performing or recently have performed at the venue. Events at the Merriweather Post Pavilion can also be found on the Lincoln’s Twitter page.

I found the Lincoln Theatre’s Twitter Account to be very helpful to my research. Twitter is probably one of the most,  if not the most used social media platform in the world right now, it is also newer than that of Facebook. I was able to analyze how The Lincoln Theatre is staying true to it classical, historical vibe all while keeping up with the current times and staying relevant in the world through a site such as Twitter. There is a clear marketing difference from the the way the Lincoln Theatre is branded on Twitter vs the way it is branded on Facebook or even on its own website. Everything from he tweets, to the pictures and even the bio, has a tone of something better than what once was and I found this to be very useful to my research in who the venue is looking to attract and the type of presence it has on social media as a whole.

Gender Neutral Bathrooms

This sign is posted outside of one the gender-neutral restrooms on American University’s Campus. The sign reads in the second paragraph, “Sharing  a bathroom could feel new and different, but we appreciate everyone helping to make this restroom inclusive to everyone.” this statement is American University acknowledging the people that are going to be bothered by beneficial efforts such as this one, but at the same time its a statement that is firm and to the point about the necessary to be inclusive. This paragraph cordially and professionally leaves no room for dispute about this being a gender-neutral restroom; yet,  there’s no number or email provided for people to contact Housing and Dining to voice their complaints  and I appreciate that. Im proud of American University to making this change to the campus and Im proud they choose to take a stance rather than playing “the middle man” in a topic such as this.

The presence of gender-neutral restrooms is a fairly new addition to a few big name public spaces such as Target stores and Google offices. It is no surprised that American University, being a liberal college has headed in the direction of being more progressive in regards to gender, thus including gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. In today’s world we are living in a society where identity in gender is increasingly more fluid and young people on college campuses are becoming more expressive. Im glad American University is making a step in this direction to a greater acceptance of all people and I look forward to the continuing of efforts made by the university to uphold the standards of inclusion and acceptance that they promote and advertise to the public.

The Power of She

***All images featured are from Google.com***

Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty is a FASHION ICON. She’s a world renown pop-star, singer, songwriter, philanthropist and CEO but she’s made the fashion world her playground within the past few years and the image above is the most recent photo of Rihanna circling the internet. Its not the ensemble that Rihanna adorn at Coachella 2017 that has the internet in a frenzy (again) but its her nipples that has people talking…..yes her nipples. Rihanna is notorious for her cutting edge style and unique taste but more she has a lot of critics for the way she chooses to expose he nipples in nearly almost every outfit she wears. Why its such a big deal? I have no clue. I’ve never understood why people are so outraged over a human body part as simplistic as a nipple when it comes to women but yet men expose their nipples all the time. Male nipples are commonplace and female nipples are some how made out to be taboo…..Rihanna has clearly rejected this social norm with her stylistic choices over the years. Whether its been another televised award show, editorial photoshoot, her own “Work” music video, a music festival, or just a causal outing, Rihanna has no problem “freeing” the nipples and remaining carefree about who doesn’t approve of it. She’s been such a trailblazer in contemporary fashion, a trendsetter in pop-culture, and a icon in the entertainment industry over the years, all while challenging social standards and gender norms/expectations of the female human body simply through the way she dresses. Seeing these images of Rihanna and even how comfortable she is with herself and choosing to wear what it is she likes despite the misogynistic, hateful, comments she receives is extremely empowering for me to see as a young woman. 

Self Celebration

This image was on my Tumblr page and its something I’ve thought about so many times and its been a reoccurring thought as of lately. We as students spend so many years in school and some more than others if we attend college and/or graduate schools. We pay full tuition, some of us collect large amounts of debt, some of us work two and three jobs all to take classes that are supposed to make us “successful” or contribute to our success  in some way or another. With that being the case, Ive noticed that there are little to know undergraduate classes offered that teach us the art of loving one self…..thats unacceptable in my book. In my mind, I could be the richest, most famous, most educated, most successful woman in the world  but that doesn’t mean a thing if I don’t know how to love myself. Its a shame too because some many young people growing up struggle with anxiety, depression, emotional disorders that stem from lack of self celebration and self love.

A lot of people would argue that teaching of self love isn’t the responsibilities of our school system, or a duty of public education systems but I disagree because if its not, our society and we as a human race are going to crash and burn. We’re going to have more and more people hurting themselves and hurting others, plenty of young, bright, smart, beautiful people getting in their own way because they never learned how to love themselves honestly. Growing up Self celebration is something that I had to teach myself, no one in my life told me it was “cool”, heck a necessity in fact, to love myself. Two things that saved me from a lot of darkness, God and the power of self celebration, because at the end of the day I know that even if it feels like all is wrong in the world, God loves me and I love me, and that is enough. That is why Im still here.

Gender Design and Individuality

Creative Director and Writer, Suzanne Tick, describes in her article, “His and Hers? Designing for a Post Gender Society” in Metropolis Magazine , the increasing importance of gender-neutral designs in society. Tick expresses that gender-neutral designs are so important in today’s world because its a necessity for people to feel “safe” to function anywhere, do what they would like to do, no matter how they identify. Suzanne Tick gives examples in ways in which society is already contributing to gender-neutral designs in society, such as companies like Google and Target having gender-neutral bathrooms and college applications no longer making it mandatory for students to choose a gender as option on forms. Given the examples Suzanne uses in this article , she determines that we are living in a post-gender society given the fact that androgyny is now commonplace, meaning gender ambiguity and a mix of masculine and feminine characteristics are being shared among most individuals in today’s society. Tick feels as though, creating more designs that are gender-neutral will allow for the creations of environments that are more individualistic and free.

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Zara’s Ungendered Line (Source: Google)

I love Suzanne Ticks take on gender-neutral designs in society; I for one don’t think that we live in a post-gender society just yet but I do think that we are headed strongly in that direction. I’m a person that has definitely felt comfortable and benefits from gender-neutral designs and gender-neutral environments. When I shop for clothes, I shop for things I live, whether it be men or women clothes, I can say that in my closet I own a fair share of both. I love to shop in the men’s section of Urban Outfitters, given their style but I’m also very much into Zara’s ungendered clothing line.  I wear whatever it is I like and sometimes that very feminine and sometimes its androgynous to masculine but its always me, and thats what Tick is getting at, these gender-neutral designs just allow people to be purely themselves, making way for individuality.

Prince Roger Nelson (Source: Google )

Despite what society likes to make it seem or think, androgyny has been present for a long time, which is why it now has become commonplace such as Tick mentioned.One of my biggest role models and inspirations of all time is the late icon Prince, he was extremely androgynous and people adored him and he still is a huge part of our culture.

Gender is a social construct that I believe will always be there to some extent its just a matter of how much it will continue to impact the way we think about individuals, what preconceive notions we assign to them, and what we expect of people.

 

Linguistics, Civic Education, and Designs

 

In the last chapter of his book, City of Rhetoric David Fleming, challenges the reader to think about how he/she can be now humbled by the understand of the built world and the built environment hat surrounds us. Fleming points out that we need to understand that the level to which we flourish and survive directly relates to the design of our built environment and in turn how this matters to us as individuals and as a whole population. He refers to the greeks in the way in which they have combined “modesty” and “hopefulness” in the success of their architectural design, something we in turn should learn from. In this chapter, the city as a place and people are described as being together in a oneness as Fleming is to make the point of this symbiotic relationship the environment has with the people in and the people are a direct reflection of their environment. We as citizens are dependent on our cities, its where we live and where we grow and survive, in turn, our cities are dependent on us and only as the good as the resources and structure we as citizen provide it.

In this final chapter, Fleming addresses the linguistic obstacles that prevent us from improving our cities from what they are now, he presents three reason: debates and discussions about our communities, political position being routinely associated with self-interest, and the lack language that provides us ways to address conflict and resolutions to conflict that do not include assimilating or separating. Fleming uses these reasons to describe to the reader the necessity to put meaning, harmony, resolution and depth of understanding over our own self-interest, personal politics, and publicity in order to improve our environments that we have built and are struggling to survive in; he states that this can only be done through linguistics and the effective use of language.

Fleming says that the success and progress of our built environment and surrounding is dependent on the improvement of teaching our young people in society the importance of linguistic and teaching young people a language that is not directed by privilege or how to win a debate but how to understand and then reason with others alike and different from ourselves that allows us to render the most successful outcome for all of us. He notes that teaching our young people in society this requires more listening than talking, more inquiring rather than debating, more understanding rather than ignoring. The advancement of  education and promise of improvement in our cities is upon our young people being taught through a rhetoric oriented in schools that is community based, inclusive, and reasonable rather than exclusive and argumentative. Once the rhetorical bases and linguistics in our education systems change we will see our people change and with that our environment will start to change in a way that serves the public discourse, responds and reasons with the people that inhabit it rather than excludes and marginalizes groups that fall outside of whomever isn’t served by the public discourse.

Overall,  Fleming proposes 4 components of civic education that believes will grant students with the power and knowledge necessary to fulfill the tasks of what society needs from their cities and their built environment in which they live. The first component being memory, Fleming talks about the need for students to acknowledge the past history of ones environment, learning what problems currently present themselves isn’t enough when we don’t know where those problems came from, how they were created and whom they did and still do effect. Memorializing the successes as well as failure of an environment and relationship these memories and moments in time have with the current status of the environment is crucial.  He encourages young people to listen to the stories of the elders in the community and “uncover” history and conflicts seemingly forgotten about from he community. Secondly, Fleming states that mapping is another component that will lead to a students success in fulfill their civic duties as well as improving their environment. Fleming claims that students today often dive into subjects and write, speak and present about things that they know very little about and he stresses the importance of mapping in order to produce our own understanding of public discourse. Students such be doing genuine research by traveling into communities and cities, seeing, experiencing and thinking then developing our own hypotheses rather than the sterile, less humanistic version of “research” that is pushed by the majority of our educational system currently. The third component Fleming suggest is judgement, how student form the opinions they do, on what basis do we develop our own thoughts and ideas to assess conflicts and situations. Fleming explains that society wants to constantly put young people in decision-making groups and situation without providing students with the education to function in such situations competently. He points out that students should be collaboratively working together in school to study “real” cases and learn how to render a functional and reasonable, developed opinion and decision. Lastly, Fleming says that design is the final component that is going to empower our students and provide them with the knowledge and skills to fulfill civic duties and serve our environment. Fleming elaborates on what he feels in need for students to learn how to construct, invent and design solutions to all of the problems that they face and situational conflicts they incur. Fleming suggest that students in school are presented with current political and cultural conflicts and issues present in their city and work collaboratively in trying to design a plan that would lead to a resolution or invent some sort of amendment that relives a pressing issue. This teaches students to acknowledge, address, and combat problems they share with others in their environments and the type of progress that happens through working with others that we not only share commonalities with but also differences.

Writer, David Fleming (google.com)

The things we know about our cities and about our environments are the things we know about each other and ourselves, some of what we know is amazing and astounding but some of it is disappointing, disheartening, and maybe even destructive. When we take these latter parts of what we know and reinvent them in a way that betters our children, improves our education and alters the origin of our rhetoric then we’ve already made progress. This progress will contribute to the equality, improvement, success, advancement and security of our cities and the environment in which our children’s children will live, grow and survive in; making us better and thus making our city better, perhaps better than we could have ever imagined.

Lincoln Theatre: Interior and Cultural Digital Archive

Watch a Video of the Inside of the Lincoln Theatre Lobby Here.

The inside of the Lincoln Theatre was grandeur. The Lobby of the theatre was clean and polished just like what one would expect from the outside. There was a red carpet outside of the theatre, with “Lincoln Theatre” printed on it that lead to the entrance of the lobby. The architecture was a very classic baroque detail that makes one feel like they are about to see one of the most magnificent shows of the year. The colors of the lobby are a baby blue with Gold painted crown molding and trimming. There are bright red carpeted stairs on both sides of the lobby that lead the guest to their seats for the show. The ceiling is very high, painted in a gold color with details and large Chandelier hanging over the entire lobby. The design of the inside of the lobby alone gives such a grandiose feeling that adds to the whole experience of what the Lincoln Theatre is and whom gets to perform as sed venue. The design and architecture of the inside of the theatre, especially the lobby fit the culture and the classical history of what the venue is about perfectly.

Annotated Bibliography 3 + 4

“U Street.” Washington.org. Destination DC, 17 Feb. 2017. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.

This website has page for all of Washington DC’s neighborhoods and the entities and attractions of the particular area. The page for U Street is has a big picture of the front of Ben’s Chili Bowl when a reader is to click on more information about U Street. The first line of the description for U Street says, “U Street was once truly the heart of black culture in America, attracting locals and visitors for an unparalleled music and nightlife scene”. The description commences to explain the significance of black culture pertaining to U Street and how Duke Ellington is celebrated here being that DC is his birthplace. The further in the description are food places that are  popular visits for tourists as well as locals such as Ben’s Chili Bowl and various ethiopian and soul food eateries.

I plan to use this article in a way that helps me better understand exactly how not only Lincoln theatre is marketed towards people but also how Street itself is marketed towards visitors and people unfamiliar with the area. Noticeably, like art of the other sources I’ve found so far mention the cultural history of U Street as the main attraction, just as this article does in the first sentence of the description.

EllingtonApts Apr. “The Ellington.” The Ellington Apartments Washington, DC: The Bozzuto Group  N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.

This is the official website of The Ellington Apartments, located on UStreet. The website shares an about page regarding he ownership and location of the new luxury apartments. The drop down menu feature the amenities, a short description about the neighborhood, floor plans, a gallery of the inside, and a tab for service information. At the very top of the website is a link to schedule an appointment for a walk through for perspective residents.

I plan to use this website as a source of the changes happening on UStreet and around the Lincoln Theatre given the fact that these apartments are located directly behind Lincoln Theatre and named after one of the greatest musicians to ever, Duke Ellington. Ironically, despite the namesake, Duke Ellington is not mentioned once one the website, not even on the about page; the description simply mentions the area is a popular one for live music and musical entertainment. Im not sure that the residence moving into “The Ellington” are even aware of why the apartments are named that. To market these grand apartments the way they are and not mention Duke Ellington’s significance to the area is something I would like to investigate more and definitely address in my Essay.