Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Review: Best of East of the River

What are your predictions for life East of the Anacostia in 2012? Possibly the near completion of the 11th Street Bridge, more bike lanes, new restaurants or even new council members. 

What's lies ahead of us?
Was 2011 the best year for residents East of the River? Looking back, we've come a long way, but have a longer road ahead of us! Here are my choices for the Best of 2011 East of the River Year in Review.

1. Community Collaboration and Protests 
 Anacostia is well known for its rebellious spirit as the Frederick Douglass house serves as a reminder of our historical achievements against injustices.  So it comes as no surprise that we would carry on his fight for equality by demanding better parking meters, rallying behind the Our DC Jobs movement and expecting more from our leaders for economic development. Our vocal community members know how to tap into an unhappy populace and get results.

  Please send a big shout out by voting for blogger Nikki Peele for her role as a mobilizing force in getting the word out. Also thank you to R.E.E.L. for celebrating the best and brightest East of the River.
REEL Honorees for their service to Wards 7 & 8

Maceo Thomas, Dr. Autumn Saxton-Ross, Rebecca Renard enjoying the REEL holiday party.

River East Ladies who volunteer time and effort to community building at REEL Holiday Party.
More Photos by Kellie Armstead of

2. Anacostia River Walk Trail
Anacostia's biggest draw is our natural asset, the river. The river must be cleaned, maintained and accessible for recreation in order for any real economic development to happen in the surrounding communities. The ribbon cutting of the Anacostia River Walk Trail is a collaborative effort by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Mayor Vincent Gray and the federal representatives serving as a major move in the right direction.

3. Anacostia Web Series
Anthony Anderson is a renegade producer with the creativity and wit to put Anacostia on the map.  The Anacostia web-series continues to win awards and fans while forcing people across the country learn about "Anacostia". Watch with caution because this show is addicting!

4.  Health Revolution
The state of  our health cannot go unchecked. Our clinics, hospitals, water supply, fresh food options and safety are paramount in shifting the neighborhood.  This year, Washington Gas announced its commitment to address their role in polluting the Anacostia River, the DC Circulator expanded over the bridge while the presence of a new Aya Community Market provided everyone with affordable organic options.  In 2012, we need more yoga, wellness classes, upscale private health clinics and fresh healthy fast food within walking distance of our homes.

5. Obamas in Anacostia
I love President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama  for their consistent effort to walk across the river to mentor, support and encourage our youth. Let's hope their economic policies in 2012 match up with their efforts!
First Lady Michelle Obama supporting Anacostia High School Valedictorian Jordan Smiley.
More Photos of First Lady here
2011 made for an interesting year and our community is  lively, creative and unpredictable which makes it fun, but we have lots of room for improvement. I predict 2012 will bring more small business entrepreneurs and an influential social media collective that will eventually change life for the better East of the River.

Next up, the Worst of East of the River!


Anonymous said...

Don't forget about getting more grocery stores East of the River. Healthy fast food is fine but folks need to learn to buy groceries and cook. talk about a way to fight childhood (and adult) obesity.
And what about getting more onocology services over here. I read in EOR magazine about cancer and that tehre are no places for people with cancer to go for treatment in their own neighborhood. Let's work on fighting for that. Forget parking meters.

Anacostia said...

Thanks for your comment. Grocery stores are good but why not have both? Healthy fast food for folks on the go? I love SNAP in Admas Morgan, ChixDC on U Street, Everlasting Life in Georgia Avenue and Taylor Gourmet Deli on H Street. Sometimes life doesn't accommodate preparing a meal and these small businesses create jobs and build community.

I agree 100 percent on cancer treatment centers and I advocate for private high end clinics in our neigborhood.

Don't discount the little battles, it only takes one nail to start building a house!

Keep commenting!