“Is there a hyperlocal blog about Capitol Hill?” was the message I sent into the ether of the HillEast listserv just over a year ago. I thought despite being pretty plugged in, surely I had missed something, and since local news blogs had been popping up throughout the city for the last few years, Capitol Hill must have one. The answer was no. The site you’re reading now, with its 17 volunteer writers, editors and developers, 707 posts, and 1478 reader comments is what happens when Capitol Hill residents discover a void and see an opportunity.
Who would have guessed what kinds of stories would draw your attention, comments and ire? The flurry of excited emails on our writers’ email list hummed as we watched the numbers of visitors swell on posts like the Hipster Housecleaner, the lifting of the sledding ban at the Capitol, and the Harris Teeter/Safeway pricewars. Our writers filled you in about odd crimes, new restaurants, what to do on Halloween and (literal) walks of shame. They even pulled your leg on April Fools Day — we’re still hearing from dog owners wondering when construction gets underway! Lord knows you had opinions on the redevelopment of Hine, rocks as landscaping elements and sad sandwiches. Thank for reading and for speaking up.
The primaries in Pennsylvania Tuesday showed again how unpopular it is to be a Washington insider. The folks who live on Capitol Hill, well-connected or not, are the consummate insiders – but we wouldn’t have it any other way. To us, the Capitol is more than just a dome; it’s the neighborhood marker for our small hometown; home to people, families, pets, friends, and familiar strangers. It isn’t red or blue, but rather an architectural backdrop to all the entrepreneurial, inspiring, even spooky and infuriating people and things that make up this community.
Thank you THIH writers and editors, for your writing and reporting skills, as well as the extremely generous amounts of your free time you’ve given to the project. The stories you tell about what makes the Hill home have attracted more than 63,000 unique visitors to the site, and more often than not, when they discover your quick wit, sharp observations and pitch-perfect social commentary skills, they come back for more. And a very special thanks to your partners, spouses, children, friends, bar buddies, and pets who’ve lent you to us.