April was such a busy month for Forest Hills Connection that we let our third anniversary pass without much fanfare. On April 17th, 2012, we sent our first newsletter out to the neighbors, alerting them to a new e-magazine covering the news and people of Forest Hills, Van Ness, North Cleveland Park and Wakefield.
Back then, Marlene Berlin, the editor-in-chief, and Tracy Johnke, the webmaster, thought the neighborhood would generate enough news and interest for 12 to 15 articles per month. Boy, were they wrong.
On March 18th, Forest Hills Connection published its 1,000th article: Dzenita Mehic Saracevic’s piece on artist and neighbor Karin Lithell.
In April, Marlene and our wonderful contributors added another 38 articles to the count. As Marlene often asks, “Was there this much going on in the area before Forest Hills Connection, or did we just not see it all before?”
April was noteworthy in another way: For the first time, ForestHillsConnection.com had more than 10,000 pageviews, driven by almost 3,700 visitors, more than 80 percent of them local. These are numbers we hope will make the publication more attractive to advertisers so we can rely less on the generosity of our neighbors. And you have been generous with your contributions – in time writing articles and providing news and information, as well as in your financial support. We can’t thank you enough.
The stories readers found especially compelling in April: Metro’s plans to close the Van Ness west entrance for three years; the first installments of Anthony Dobranski’s one-of-a-kind mystery novel set in wartime Forest Hills; the historic “gem of a house” at 3020 Albemarle; and the 2015 rent increases in the area’s rent-controlled apartments.
And just to show it’s not all work and no play, many readers stopped by during the peak of cherry blossom season to enjoy Marjorie Rachlin’s piece on DC’s other blossoming trees.
What will the next year bring? We’ve proven we’re bad at making predictions, but we sure can’t wait to find out – and tell you all about it!