Sunday, February 26, 2017

How a WotR coffeeshop got me thinking about EotR activism

Let me be clear about something, I don't like coffee. Not even a little bit. I've never gotten the allure of the bitter, acrid taste as something I needed to jumpstart my day.  I'm way more of a tea drinker if anything else and if I am being really honest I'm more of a breakfast pasta eater over even that. 

That said, something has to be said for communing publicly while working privately or getting a cup of something with someone or just handing out like an urban hipster (if that's your thing). I get a lot of inspiration from my blog posts from being out and about, more often than not my "out and about" is somewhere east of the Anacostia River. But if I want to offer you my reader interesting and diverse content I need to broaden my horizons  and lets be honest, my blogging as of late has been...infrequent and possibly underwhelming (there I said it). Not because I no longer care or I don't have interest in CHotR/EotR but because I need to feel challenged and inspired by my surroundings. Real life (working, dating, world domination, etc.) just gets in the way sometimes. I've always been about the "and" vs the "or" and for a while now I have been debating what my next "and" will be. I don't feel like I'm really working unless I am feeling really challenged personally and/or professionally. I need a dragon to slay, a revolt to organize. 

I'm in a social activist funk.

But my (tea)cup does runneth over with projects, opportunities and clients so I decided to take my laptop and very long to-do list and get some work done in a new environment. So after consulting DC's oracle of all things hip & new (AKA David Garber) I settled on Wydown the new (and very hip) coffeeshop on H Street NE.  Nothing like experiencing a gentrified/revitalized neighborhood to get you thinking about the status of your own. 

And as I sit here drinking my $3 hot chocolate (which frankly isn't half bad) while enjoying a neighborhood I neither had to advocate for or promote it's okay. Sometimes it's okay to just enjoy things for what they are - a business providing a service that you need. And that got me to thinking about what are our options to do just that east of the river. Wards 7 and 8 have historically been shut out of the amenity game so when we do get something ( a new cafe, coffeeshop, yoga studio) it's a pretty big deal.  You don't just become a consumer you become a community activist by supporting a local small business. You become a little cog in the machine to bring more to a community that has always had to make do with less. I actually feel guilty if I buy something east of the river and don't blog/tweet/post about it immediately. It's been a week since I attended The Black Love Experience (which was soooooooo awesome!!!! ) and I am in a total shame spiral for not writing about it yet. 

There is a lot of responsibly in being an advocate/Advoc8te .

But what happens if/when it's just expected that east of the river can have the same type of options & amenities west of the river takes for granted? Should we take things for granted? Do we really want the opportunity to do just that? Should it just be expected that we should have nice things or should every single accomplishment or addition be treated to a ticket tape parade?

Does doing that undermine or own expectations? Does it even matter?

And that is how a west of the river coffeeshop got me thinking about east of the river social activism.

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