Monday, April 25th, 2011
“By nature, I think that I am an inquisitive person. When I moved to Park View, no one was going to tell me about this place, so I went out in search of its history. Now, I like to think that I have developed a pretty solid history of this neighborhood, especially in the period prior to 1947.
“I find that the hardest thing to learn, though, is the modern history. As a newer resident, I can never know what the older residents know. I can learn about it and have it described to me, but I didn’t experience it. I find myself talking to my neighbors a lot to learn about their stories and history of the neighborhood.
“Park View is a smaller neighborhood that, unfortunately, tends to get misrepresented or lost a lot. I have a tendency to go off on this, but we are not Petworth or Columbia Heights or Pleasant Plains. We are our own neighborhood with our own history. I recognize that it is a little thing that may not matter to most people, but we are all defined by where we live. We live in Park View. The good and bad that happens here, occurs in Park View and not Petworth or Columbia Heights or Pleasant Plains.
“Because of this identity issue, our community has two choices. We can fight for our identity and make sure that others are aware of who we are. Or, we can give up and let this place get carved up by the surrounding neighborhoods. I think that it is important to fight to preserve our history and identity.
“I don’t come from a long history of being active in communities or being politically involved, but living here has changed that. When I moved here, I met the most wonderful people who were welcoming and nice. I wanted to contribute to this community by finding my own way to be a part of the neighborhood. I don’t think that you can be fully respectful of a community if you are ignorant of what happened in a place before you move in. That’s how I feel.”
Kent Boese is 1A08 ANC Commissioner and editor of Park View D.C.