A recent trip to New York's East Village offered up some great ideas on how Anacostia residents and leaders can collaborate for a healthier, locally-driven business community and neighborhood. Even though the East Village has a different demographic than Anacostia, there are so many small and simple ideas that give the the East Village community character and identity while attracting tourist dollars.
The bright and vivid cafe mural for B-Cup Cafe was appropriately housed next door to a simple one room East Village Yoga Studio.
The community gardens tucked in little alley ways are a great contrast to all of the concrete, grit and grime of the city.
The bike lanes over the Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridges made trekking from the East Village to Brooklyn a huge and beautiful adventure. No excuses for tourists to say Brooklyn is too far to visit. I think big bike lanes on the 11th Street, Sousa Bridge, Frederick Douglass Bridge would give Anacostia alot of appeal to the folks who always claim they have no reason to step foot in Anacostia.
I know NYC is light years beyond most cities, but conceptually we could borrow so much from their creativity and propel our neighborhood just a few years ahead in convenience, healthy lifestyles and maybe a little liberty for all.