Tuesday, September 03, 2013

There are many "intentional communities" in major cities (including DC area)

On April 7, 2012 I reported on a day visit to an “intentional community” in central Virginia, “Twin Oaks”, northwest of Richmond.  I had the impression that most of the communities were way off the grid in rural areas (like Lama in New Mexico, which I visited twice in the 1980s while living in Dallas).
But the Sunday, September 1, 2013 Washington Post Metro section has a big story on smaller urban “intentional communities” in the DC area, by Michelle Boorstein.  The print story has the title “The Zeal World”, but online the title is more specific, “D.C.’s ‘intentional communities’ put strangers in a house joined by core values”, link here. I didn't know there were so many in metropolitan areas.  They could become even more common in the future, maybe even necessary.
Later on, I'll have to make a ground visit to one or two of them, locally.
Frequently, these communities require income sharing.  As a result, it isn’t surprising that many have long waiting lists of people wanting to move there.  It would seem as if “intentional communities” could make a good topic for an AP social studies high school term paper – if the student could spend a few days there.  Yup – this is the first day of school in northern Virginia; history teachers, take a hint. I used to sub.
The community getting the most attention in the Post story is Maitri House in Takoma Park, MD, but many others are mentioned.  I had no idea there were so many.
But even back in the 1970’s in New York City there were plenty of food coops.  People got up at 5 AM to go buy for them before going to work. Maitri expects its residents to offer “radical hospitality” for participants in social activism (like last week’s March on Washington anniversary celebration).  Could that be expected of ordinary homeowners, too?

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