Live Like a Local: Instagramming Washington’s Shaw Neighborhood

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/live-like-a-local-instagramming-washington-dcs-shaw-neighborhood/ (Follow link to instagram’s)

Realtor.com took to Instagram this past summer to illustrate and advertise D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood. They took pictures of places all throughout the neighborhood and commented on them, especially the “hot spots” and landmarks of the neighborhood. I like this Instagram because it shows an insider’s view into the neighborhood, something I am trying to do on my own account while also having amazing pictures to accompany the captions. They do not speak to the changes or history of the neighborhood though, which is something that I would like to note in my Instagram in order to tie it to the ideas we have spoken about in class.

NY on Air (@nyonair): The Macro View of the City


This instagram, although filled with breathtaking aerial images of New York City, is something that I would like to avoid on my instagram. I feel that while showing a city as a whole can be beautiful and provide insight about certain aspects of the city on a larger scale, I want my project to be solely from street level point of view. This way I can capture the sentiments and energy of the city while focusing in on specific people and places. I think that this point of view will give people a greater understanding of the way of life and issues in D.C.

Humans of New York (@humansofny): The Individual Stories of Everyday People 


Humans of New York is an Instagram that I have gained inspiration from for my own Instagram about D.C. This account instagram’s pictures of people from all over New York and shares each person’s personal story, demonstrating that the city is full of a diverse population full of amazing and sometimes unexpected tales- some of triumph, others of hardships, some that make you laugh, and others that bring tears. They demonstrate that a city is composed of the many soul’s of its people and that it is the population that contribute to the idea of the city of feeling. I would like to do this occasionally on my Instagram with people from all over the city in hopes of exposing the differing types of people that compose our wonderful D.C. and that culturally define us. While looking at this Instagram, it made me think of one of the questions Sharon Zukin suggests in her “Introduction” to Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places, which is: “is it the accumulation of souls that make the city?,” and I believe that that answer is yes, so I hope to identify how the soul’s of the city define D.C.

Rosa Loves DC (@rosalovesdc): A Local’s Vision of D.C.


This local D.C. blogger reminds me of my attempt in creating an Instagram for this project. She is a scientist during the day much like I am a student, but then she is a blogger in her free time. With a set of local eyes, she posts photos of her adventures around D.C. including famous locations, hidden brunch spots, and pictures from her personal life like with her dog, Lola. I feel that she puts a personal touch on her Instagram by incorporating elements of her personal life in it, but she also makes this an aesthetically pleasing Instagram with the bright colors and simplistic, yet beautiful images. She also tags most of her locations like I would, which allows for her followers to then continue on to the page of the restaurant or location of her photo to explore the location further. This also reminds me of Dinaw Mengestu’s book The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, which follows the journey of a local man throughout his life in the city. Having followed his footsteps in the novel, it gives a greater insight into his surroundings and other people in the city, something I hope to do as well just as Rosa does in her Instagram.

Fritz Hahn (@fritzhahn): The Washington Post’s Man on the Scene


Fritz Hahn, the Washington Post’s nightlife critic and reporter, depicts on his Instagram the “hot spots” and the parties that are taking place around D.C. Although nightlife and alcohol are the main subjects of his account, the photos provide an “insiders” look into D.C., something I am trying to do on my Instagram. He gives  people an insight into the less known party/ drinking scene and tells his followers where you can find such places and his takes on them. You can read his posts in the Washington Post, one of the most renowned newspapers in the country: https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/fritz-hahn. As in Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life, the reader learns how perspective shapes the way things are perceived just as Fritz Hahn’s personal outlook on these places shapes his readers’ perspectives of the places he writes about. This teaches me that my way of looking at D.C. and manner of writing about it will also shape how people view the city, which I must keep in mind during my writing.

Greater Greater Washington (@greater_greater_washington): An Urban Insight into the Movement of D.C. 


This Instagram depicts the urban side of Washington D.C. with pictures of the metro stations, bikes, buses, and other forms of public transportation. It depicts the constant movement of the city and the many ways in which people can travel throughout the city. Public transportation is a common way to travel in D.C. and makes it easy for people to commute into the city and to easily travel between the varying neighborhoods. This Instagram speaks of a “civilly engaged society,” meaning that the citizens are united within the modes of transportation, something I would like to express on my Instagram and Digital Scrapbook. This idea of the interconnectedness of citizens traveling throughout the city makes me think of Dinaw Mengestu’s book The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears because the protagonist Stephanos remains fairly anonymous in most of his travels, bringing to life the question: does public transportation unite or cause a separation and sense of disparity amongst the citizens of a city?

DC Food Porn (@DCfoodporn): A Georgetown Student’s Look into the Culinary World of the District


This Instagram, run by Georgetown University’s very own Justin Schuble, serves as a creative and mouth- watering social media site for the people of D.C. to find the best places to eat. This account now has about 60,000 followers and many Georgetown students and locals follow it. This is another great example of D.C. through the eyes of the youth and his portrayal of the city’s cuisine truly makes me want to go to every restaurant, stand, food truck, and farmers market in the city. I would like my account to have the same “local’s perspective” and youthful energy that this account has, also similar to the locals perspectives’ the viewers of Detropia receive as they follow three natives of Detroit throughout the city while listening to their personal takes on the current situation and standing of the city.

BYT(@brightestyoungthings): DC’s Culturally Vibrant Instagram


The Instagram BYT (@brightestyoungthings) does an amazing job of portraying the cultural side of Washington from the food, the “hot spots,” parties and nightlife, the way of life, and people from the city. It demonstrate’s the idea of city of fact and the city of feeling in the account as well, something I hope to expose in my project. They also provide me with great ideas for exploring the city and where to go on my next adventure, something I hope my Instagram and Digital Scrapbook does for other people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *