Tag Archives: urban

Google Street View in DC!

street viewAfter a long wait, Google’s Street View feature in Google Maps is finally available in DC.  As of last Tuesday (election day!), area residents are now able to view DC at eye-level.  Just like they would see things at eye-level, whether you’re a pedestrian, on bikes, or in vehicles.

What does Google Street View mean?  If you’ve ever looked for an address that doesn’t match your directions, or if you feel lost in a city because the address doesn’t match the crowded mess on a block, this tool will help you visualize that business or residence in a more natural way.  And with 360 degree views, and a panorama every 25 feet, plus the ability to zoom in, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding turn by turn directions.  Combine this with Google’s Transit finder or Walking directions, and the urban nomad finally has the means to find their way around DC.

Better yet, street view has been released for many cellphones: Blackberry, Google phone, and iPhone (coming soon) users will be able to find whatever they’re looking for in the newest version of Google’s map apps.  Download the latest version, and find that storefront from your own perspective (instead of merely top down).

Pedestrians Welcome

As I recent transplant from the Midwest, I was ready to fully embrace urban life in DC.  I sold my car and traded it in for a SmarTrip card, downgrading from a 2-bedroom home to a 1-bedroom apartment that was literally half the space for twice the rent.  I would live close to work, school, and all the nightlife a bus transfer could afford; it was time to live in a truly walkable community.

I settled on an apartment in Glover Park, where I am never more than half an hour from anywhere and only a 5 minute walk to groceries, the bank, hardware, a pharmacy, dining establishments, watering holes, and most importantly the MetroBus.  This neighborhood has been changing (and quickly), like so many others doubtlessly have over the last decade, reflecting the national trends towards reestablishing our urban centers.

Everyday I found myself spending more time in this place, giving me a true sense of belonging to a community.  But I am also determined to discover the community outside my neighborhood.

To help give order to these adventures around Washington DC is Pedestrian Capable, a blog which will reinterpret what many longtime residents may instantly recognize as fixtures in their neighborhoods.  In my previous residence I helped organize an online magazine/blog with multiple contributors who were likewise discovering their own community for the first time; an endeavor I would like continue in the DC community.  Think of this as an opportunity to discover DC through the lens of the observer and a chance for us to talk about those places and people in DC so well established that other local media would hardly have a news angle to cover.

They say the best way to explore a city is on foot, where neighborhoods rise and fall as blocks, leaving behind clues to their history like watermarks on the shore.  You can miss a lot of DC moving around the beltway, and find so much more on foot.  And that is exactly what we will find together in those areas that are Pedestrian Capable in DC.