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New Series: Ask Me Anything. Vol. 1 “What is a typical day like for you?”

by Prince Of Petworth February 8, 2017 at 12:30 pm 28 Comments

dan silverman
Photo by Hugh Clarke

Ed. Note: If you have a personal question you’ve been dying to ask me – fire away! You can ask in the comments (which I’ll go back to and pull from) or just send an email with your question to [email protected] with “Ask me Anything” in the title.

“Dear PoPville,

I always wonder what a typical day is like for you.

-Do you plan your walkabouts in advance? With a map?

-When you go on walkabouts, do you bike to a starting location or just start walking from wherever you are?

-Do you ride your own bike or are you a bikeshare member?

-What kind of camera do you use and do you ever feel strange photographing someone’s house? (especially the close-ups)?

-When was the last time you held a typical “day job”?”

So, a misconception that some folks have is that I do a big walkabout every day. I wish my friends, I wish. Back in the day, I did go on more mini walkabouts during the week but I’m actually in front of the computer far more often than some realize. These days I have day care drop offs and pick ups and when I’ve completed them I am usually at the computer non-stop from 9am-3pm. During that time I pre-load posts through the whole day as well as that evening’s posts. I will then juggle posts around as breaking news/interesting reader notes/tips come through. Then I usually do the dishes from last night that I’ve left sitting in the sink. Then I’ll crack a beer. Usually a delicious delicious Dogfish Head 60 minute or an RAR Nanticoke Nectar. If I just want a lager I’ll have a Devil’s Backbone Gold Leaf Lager or a Bikini Blonde Lager from Maui brewing. But I digress

Big walkabouts are actually only once a week. But they are big. They range from 10-12 miles on the low end to 16-18 miles on the high end. I’ve had some 20+ mile days but they are rare and they hurt. I do not use a map. I usually have some points of interest that I want to check out like a restaurant opening or a some reader tips. I’ll then zig zag my way around to hit them all. As I’m zig zagging I usually remember spots that I need to check up on. So I do that every week for months and months at a time before a restaurant opens. Fortunately I love walking just for the sake of walking.

A common walkabout for me is – Van Ness to Cleveland Park to Adams Morgan to Dupont Circle to Downtown to Chinatown to H Street, NE and then I’ll take a metro home. Or I’ll go through the park to Crestwood or Petworth and go all the way down Georgia to U Street to Shaw to NoMa. Or I’ll start through Georgetown and zig zag my way downtown and east. When I plan my walkabouts I like to mix up what neighborhoods I’ve most recently been to ie if I haven’t been to H Street, NE, Capitol Hill or Navy Yard in a while I’ll make sure that happens. I’ll soon throw SW Waterfront into that mix as the massive Wharf development progresses.

I used to go to more events during the week but like I said that is harder and harder to do with young children’s schedules. But I do try to go to some from time to time. For example, I went to the Colada Shop’s opening the other week. When I do go to an event like that, I usually walk there and take photos along the way.

I was an original bikeshare member – I even have the original red t-shirts they gave out as a perk. But then after a couple years I let the membership lapse after I bought my own bike. While I do enjoy riding when the weather is nice, I don’t like riding a bike for the blog because I miss out on all the little details I love so much, like stained glass, a cool tree etc. When my hips or knees totally shit the bed I may get an electric bike one day.

As for cameras, I use a Canon G15 after my Canon G11 died on me. But I am strongly considering just switching to an iphone camera if I ever upgrade my phone because the quality has improved so much. I don’t feel strange photographing houses for houses of the day because 99/100 I am posting those photos in a complimentary way. I genuinely love something about the houses of the day I post. Of course there have been a few occasions when owners have come out and asked me “what the fuck am I doing?”, more or less, and I explain myself. These days most people are familiar with Prince of Petworth/PoPville and they just laugh. In 10+ years, I’ve only had 1 person ask me not to post the photo.

The last time I held a day job was September 2009. I was a consultant doing work for Homeland Security. Since then it’s just been Dingo (my cat) and me. I don’t work in an office share space so there are plenty of pros and cons to working alone. To work without any colleagues coming on 8 years can drive you crazy from time to time, make no mistake, especially if dealing with trolls. But in the end I still love it. And now you’ve inspired me to go take a walk.

So for those who haven’t been bored to tears – if you have a question you’ve always been wondering about it – have at it.

-Dan Silverman: Citizen of the District of Columbia

  • ke

    Fun idea!
    – What is your most favorite/least favorite part of the job?
    – You’ve mentioned trolls. The comment space here seems to be fairly well-behaved and helpful overall, even when people disagree. How often do you need to curate/manage troll comments? Have you ever banned anyone (by their IP address, I guess)?
    -How many tips a day do you get?
    I also wanted to note that I’ve been enjoying the new bird of prey and Real DC features.

  • Boots

    That’s a ton of walking… what kind of shoes do you wear, do they stand up or how long until they get worn out?

    • I wear asics running shoes (usually cause they are on sale at Nordstrom Rack) and I wear them out about every two months. Usually they look new but the interior structure has broken down and my knees and/or hips start hurting – that’s when I know I need a new pair :)

  • Blithe

    1. Why is the last post of the night always (usually?) at 10:22? I’ve had fun wondering about it. Is someone’s birthday October 22? Is it your lucky number?
    2. Will you ever use the frog again? I was — and am — totally charmed by the Frog Prince.
    3. I’ve also wondered how you go about screening the comments — and what criteria you use. (Yes, I’ve been scrubbed more than once, and would like to do better….) And
    4: If you have any secrets about shoes and/or aching feet that you’d care to share.
    5. Has Dingo ever been featured on Animal Fix? I enjoyed the Dingo video moments!

    Thanks for being open to doing this! Today is definitely Cool New Series day!

    • LP

      I am not a doctor, but from personal experience, I have found orthotics to help a lot with aching feet. You can get some decent ones at a drug store (Dr. Scholls), some OK ones at running stores (Superfeet) and professional fit ones from doctors. I would suggest getting an over-the-counter pair to see if they help!

      • Blithe

        Thanks for the tips!

  • anon

    Oh please tell where you get RAR Nanticoke Nectar?! Petworth Yes usually carries RAR wheat, but that sounds awesome and I love RAR anything!

    • I get it at Calvert Woodley in Van Ness but I’ve seen it at lots of places. I think even Whole Foods has it.

    • HaileUnlikely

      FYI they have it on tap at Republic in Takoma Park if it is of any interest.

    • elbeech

      Meridian Pint has a couple of RAR right now too.

    • Rob

      Virginia Market in AdMo always has it.

  • DupontDweller

    Do you always walk by yourself, ever with a friend? Or your kids? Or Dingo? :)

  • Michael Pierce

    Whatever happened to that burnt-looking dude who used to film the PoP Trekker videos for you? Ancient history, I know.

  • Idontgetit

    Sometimes the comments for GDON are not always, uhm, complimentary. Do you get many complaints from owners or Realtors?

  • ryan2499

    Who is the nice lady behind you in the post pic at Boundary Stone? She is very excited to photobomb you, lol.

  • navyard

    Do you ever try to get a reflection of yourself in your photos? (In a mirror, a window, the chrome of a car bumper?)

  • Gumball

    How many of these comments do you actually read?

    • Depends on the day. The post. How much sleep I got last night :) Overall I’d say it’s more like perusing rather than reading every word. I’d say I peruse maybe 25% on average. But if it’s something really heated I tend to keep a closer eye.

  • a_w


  • #Dingo

  • me

    DO you ever or would have someone join you on a walkabout or part of it? What about your child or wife or other family/friends?


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