Archive for the 'Washington DC' Category

Some Maps of How Educated America is

Here’s an interesting new interactive map to look through. The US Census Bureau has mapped the United States on a county by county basis based on education level. This is a map of every county in America sorted by high school graduation rate (a darker color indicates a higher percentage):

Here’s one for the percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree (again, a darker color indicates a higher percentage):

Here’s a better way to look at college graduates per county. in terms of raw numbers:

The message these maps show us is that it’s the Amtrak corridor (Washington DC, New York City, and Boston), the Great Lakes and California that really dominate the battle for the most educated areas of the country. I love it when people take raw boring statistical data and translate into something visually interesting to look at. This is just another interesting way to look at the various regions of America.

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Baltimore’s Unique Crosswalks

Crosswalks are one of those things that don’t get much attention. Other than Abbey Road in London what other famous crosswalks can you even think of? I totally walked across Abbey Road barefoot, in a suit, and holding a cigarette but I can’t think of any other notable time I ever crossed a street before. Well the city of Baltimore is trying to change that. Their Office of Promotion and the Arts is trying to increase the amount of public art in the city and one of the things they’ll be doing is making cool crosswalks like this one:

That zipper crosswalk doesn’t hold a candle to this hopscotch one though:

Yes soon enough in the city of Baltimore you will be seeing people playing hopscotch while doing the simple act of crossing the street. That’s certainly one thing you can do to set your city apart from everyone else.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C. and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

Top 15 Cities Where Millennials are Moving

Two weeks ago I talked about where the best cities are for young professionals based on a whole range of factors. Today we’re going to look at census data and find out where they’re actually moving to. So does our behavior match those standards? Sort of. There are several matches from last week’s list but the metropolitan area that added the most millennials since 2010 has been Washington DC which has had a net gain of about 12,000 people born between 1980 and 2000. That 12,000 figure is very revealing too because it signifies that people are moving much less often than they used to. Part of it is due to the recession but part of it is due to changes in the economy as a whole with more and more jobs available that can be done from anywhere. If you look back to the 1970s about 20 percent of households reported that they have moved recently while today that number is only at 12 percent. But I digress, here is the list of the top fifteen metropolitan areas with the biggest increases in their number of young professionals:

1. Washington, DC
2. Denver, CO
3. Portland, OR
4. Houston, TX
5. Austin, TX
6. San Francisco, CA
7. Seattle, WA
8. Riverside, CA
9. Dallas, TX
10. Charlotte, NC
11. Minneapolis, MN
12. Oklahoma City, OK
13. San Antonio, TX
14. Kansas City, MO
15. New Orleans, LA

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C. and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

America’s Ten Most Energy Efficient Cities

When it comes to going green and adopting alternative energy sources, increasing energy efficiency is incredibly important. After all the cheapest and cleanest unit of energy is one that isn’t used in the first place. The challenge with energy efficiency is more of a financial one. Upgrading buildings and infrastructure to be energy efficient is something that is usually pretty expensive in the short term but pays off over a longer time horizon and that’s a tough call when you have government offices up for election every two years in some cases. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy recently put together a report where they listed the country’s 34 biggest cities in order of energy efficiency. The factors that they considered were local government operations, community-wide initiatives, building policies, utility policies, and transportation policies. What follows is a list of the top ten most energy efficient big cities in the country:

1. Boston, MA
2. Portland, OR
3. New York City, NY
4. San Francisco, CA
5. Seattle, WA
6. Austin, TX
7. Washington, DC
8. Minneapolis, MN
9. Chicago, IL
10. Philadelphia, PA

Red Sox Nation doesn’t waste electricity.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in Boston and Nationwide. Please call us at 800-587-2640 or email us at for more info.

An Interactive Map of Washington DC… In 1851

Our nation’s capital has an interesting past. When America won its independence from Britain, the city didn’t even exist. In fact the nation’s capital changed 13 different times between 1776 and 1800 moving between 9 separate cities. Why then did the country decide to create a brand new national capital on the Potomac River in 1800? Politics. In exchange for the federal government assuming the massive war debts racked up by the northern states in the Revolutionary War, they agreed to move the national capital south to a small piece of land between Maryland and Virginia.

Since officially becoming the official seat of America’s federal government it has gone through many trials and tribulations. The entire city was torched to the ground by British soldiers in the War of 1812 and the city was under martial law and constantly threatened during the Civil War. But through it all it rose up to become an awe-inspiring city with the majestic monuments and museums of the National Mall bringing in millions of people every year.

But what if I told you that when Abraham Lincoln was president the location where his memorial would eventually be built was underwater? That is one of the many cool things that you can find out with this interactive map of Washington DC. This map combines a satellite image of the city today with a map of the capital from 1851. It reveals some really cool things that I never knew about the city before. The Potomac River was much wider than it is today and about half of today’s National Mall used to be submerged. The place where RFK Stadium now stands was also similarly underwater. The street grid that the city followed then is almost completely unchanged from 1851. But perhaps my favorite thing that I found out from this map was that it called what we call the White House the “President’s House” which when you think about it seems like a much more sensible name for that building. It is definitely a cool little tool worth checking out.

national mall 1851

The Washington Monument used to be the end of the mall.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C. and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

Washington’s Newest Federal Employees: 58 Goats

The Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC has been having a bit of a problem with their landscaping. Like many other parts of America it is fighting a losing battle with invasive plant species that are putting the lives of the cemetery’s trees and headstones at risk. Furthermore, most of these species are plants like kudzu, poison ivy, and English ivy which are difficult to efficiently get rid of with conventional equipment like lawnmowers and weed-whackers. While this won’t bother any of the cemetery’s residents like J. Edgar Hoover and John Philip Sousa it’s becoming an increasing problem for those of us who are just visiting.

Well their grounds crew has come up with a novel idea to tackle this problem. Last Wednesday 58 goats rented from a local farm arrived and they were let loose to eat everything that they could find and they’re doing a great job at eating up all of the invasive species plaguing the cemetery. Mountain goats love to eat vines like poison ivy and can more easily access terrain that motorized equipment can’t reach. Additionally, using them has the added benefit of not having to use herbicides and pesticides that would pollute the local watershed. For the past five days they have been working 24 hours a day clearing about half an acre per day of unwanted vegetation. At a cost of only $4000 per week the cost of the goats’ services comes out to only 25 cents per goat per hour which makes them a huge bargain compared to people. So if by any chance you find yourself visiting the Congressional Cemetery soon, don’t be surprised if you see a goat stuffing his face and bleating at you. They’re just doing their job.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C. and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

Jim Morrison’s Childhood Home is For Sale

A Virginia house that was childhood home of the late Doors singer Jim Morrison is now on the market with an asking price of $949,900. Morrison spent part of his childhood in Arlington, Virginia where his father served as an admiral in the Navy and owned a home there. Morrison left that house for good in 1964 when he moved to California to attend UCLA and it was there where he met fellow Doors Ray Manzarek, Robbie Kreiger, and John Densmore and formed the now famous band.

Their first album was one of the best albums of the 1960s.

The house has had hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of renovations over the years and the current owners didn’t even know about its most famous resident until recently. It is unlikely that Jim Morrison would even notice it as the same house he lived in if he were alive today. For the $949,000 you’ll be getting a 2000 square foot Cape Cod style house with two recently added additions with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The house may be almost 70 years old but it comes with all of the bells and whistles you would expect from a million dollar home. Part of me has to wonder though; how much value is Jim Morrison’s ghost adding to that house?

Don’t worry Jim’s ghost is probably haunting Paris, not Virginia.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C. and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

Virginia to Allow Driving on Shoulders to Ease Congestion

Traffic in the Beltway during peak commuting times is notoriously bad. All three regional governments have developed roads with a middle lane in which traffic goes one direction in the morning and the opposite direction in the evening. It was actually quite disorienting seeing those lanes when I first traveled to the area but I walked away thinking that it was an incredibly innovative way to try and solve their traffic problems.

Well Virginia has now decided to take a step further in trying to squeeze every last ounce of highway capacity out of their Beltway interstates. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced this week that commuters will soon be allowed to drive on the shoulders of certain parts of the Beltway during peak times to try and ease congestion. The advantages of this decision are clear. Opening up the shoulder effectively provides an extra lane to the highway at very little cost to the state and motorists should enjoy a shorter commute as a result.

This decision also opens up some problems though. Motorists have to know exactly what the rules are and those new rules have to be enforced. Also, emergency vehicles often travel along the shoulders during periods of heavy traffic and this could slow them down considerably. Another thing to consider is why exactly highways have shoulders to begin with. If your car breaks down or if you’re involved in an accident, the shoulder allows you to move your disabled vehicle off the road and allow traffic to still pass through. What will happen when a vehicle inevitably breaks down on a shoulder being used as another lane of traffic? All of the temporary gains in traffic congestion gained will be gone instantly. This decision seems seems like a high-risk, high-reward proposition. This will probably work great when nothing is going wrong, but when a problem inevitably occurs, this new scheme will only complicate it.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C. and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

New Virginia Restaurant Bans Children Under 18

A new sushi lounge and restaurant in Alexandria is making waves by turning away parties with children and it’s paying off so far. The co-owners have nothing against children and even own other restaurants that do serve children but they wanted this new sushi place to be different. The idea was born out co-owner Bill Blackburn seeing a whole row of restaurants packed with young children and they thought that there might be an opening in the market for a kid-free restaurant. It turns out that he was right. “We have received great feedback, both on the food and the no-kids policy.” Blackburn said.

It’s certainly an interesting concept to be sure. It’s very true that there are many environments that aren’t appropriate for young children and some high-end restaurants fit into that category. It’s much more difficult for a restaurant to handle a young kid disrupting the restaurant’s atmosphere than it is for an adult. It’s easy to throw an adult out who’s had too much to drink at the bar, but not so much a parent with a screaming young kid. But there is also a case to be made for age not being one in the same with maturity. There are many well-behaved young children in this world and they shouldn’t have to be punished for the way other kids their age misbehaved. This restaurant has certainly raised an interesting debate that is quite interesting to think about.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C.and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

Ten Best Cities For Recent College Graduates

There are plenty of people who are fresh out of college today many of whom face a difficult job market. That being said, there are certain parts of the country where it is easier to be a fresh grad than others. Nerdwallet recently put together a list of what they feel are the top ten cities in America to be a recent college graduate. The factors that they consider are conventional measures like the availability of jobs in the local economy, the city’s population of people ages 18-24, the median rent for an apartment, the city’s walk score. They also consider more unusual measures like the number of bars per capita, the cost of a 12 inch pizza at Pizza Hut, and the price of a six-pack of Heineken. What follows is their top ten list:

10. San Francisco, CA
9. Chicago, IL
8. Austin, TX
7. Columbus, OH
6. Washington, DC
5. Philadelphia, PA
4. Baltimore, MD
3. Denver, CO
2. Seattle, WA
1. Boston, MA

The many sights of Boston

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.