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!