Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Inheritance and Vision

Much like the European Renaissance, Washington, DC is shaking off the fetters of its own Dark Age of corruption, entitlement, crime and the unspoken acquiescence to the given notion that life is better in the pseudo urban beltway suburbs. Locals and newcomers alike are seeing the Nation’s Capital with new eyes and have shown a willingness to dust off L’Enfant’s vision of Washington and build on it for the 21st century. The Grande Dame is preparing to be once again the proud hostess to the national government instead of the embarrassing contradiction to what it stands for.

The vagaries of time faded the forgettable and regrettable mistakes and carpet bagging charlatans of the artistic and cultural movement of the 16th century. Now we are left with just the enduring beauty of work from the likes of Da Vinci and Michelangelo. And, here too in Washington’s own rebirth the imperfect and the ideal, the misleading and the honest , the disposable and the timeless contributions must be allowed to coexist for a time so as not to stifle this renewed spirit.

There is no place better than the recent real estate development to illustrate this state of mix we are in—and the hubris that appears for all to see. Yes, real estate development and investment has been a vital part of the rebirth of DC. We can see examples of it all over: Columbia Heights, U St , 14th St and Logan Circle, Penn Quarter, Anacostia, H st. Combine this with the government’s plan to restore and improve the National Mall. We are in the midst of something great. But this is a renaissance of a living community. So those of us trying to survive—no THRIVE—at this time of change must know how to navigate through it until time itself reveals what are our DaVincis and Michelangelos.


next "Luxury in DC: The Emperor's New Clothes"

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