[Weekly Email] Fish Houses and Future Cities of Our New Administration

It’s time for my weekly email! A few weeks ago, I decided to move my email over to a new provider, InfusionSoft. In addition, I decided that since I’m doing this blog and other parts of Kristen Jeffers Media full-time right now, there’s no reason why I can’t send you guys a letter every week. Want it in your actual email? You can use the top bar, but that won’t give me your name and city. Instead, use the link on the sidebar. (RSS subscribers, you’re probably reading in email or a special reader anyway, so this isn’t so much for you).  And now, the email! Oh and a two regular posts are coming soon, I promise.



It’s not been a secret that I feel like I’m always home now that I’m in DC and so close to NC. However, there’s really one thing I’ve not been able to properly do since my return: go to a fish house.

For the uninitiated, what many North Carolinians consider a fish house is one styled on the culinary tradition of the town of Calabash, which has dubbed itself the seafood capital of the world.

This Visit NC article has a quick history of the tradition, but for me, the restaurant pictured above, in its second location of both of our lifetimes, is ground zero for my love of Calabash seafood. There are a number of Calabash restaurants called Harbor Inn, but the one in Burlington frequented by my family since they opened in 1985 is the one I’m talking about.

We and we meaning my grandmother and my mom and a handful of her siblings are such regulars there, they know us by face, if not by name at this point. The family-owned restaurant is now being managed by my generation as I saw at the Wednesday lunch I had there with my mom and grandmother and I told the manager on duty how grateful I was that they were keeping the tradition going, especially since like “beach music”, calabash seafood eating seems to be something that only grandparents who came of age in the 30s, 40s and 50s do.

(Yes, even backyard bone-in fish fries fall under that sometimes, even though I requested one for my high school graduation twelve years ago, and this is the seafood I’m talking about when I say seafood is one of my food groups.).

He said he appreciated it and folks like us are why they are there. If you want to visit Harbor Inn, they are located at 2408 S Church St in Burlington, NC and you can check them out on the web and Facebook.

That, learning that Harris Teeter sells gas now, making a scarf on my newly expanded finger loom, watching the Gilmore Girls revival in its entirety, attempting to go to the new Greensboro The Cheesecake Factory just because, and spending much needed time with my family, was how I spent Thanksgiving week. I hope your holidays were as free of drama as mine. And now, my usual weekly reminders:


Third Wave Urbanism podcast logo

We are still working on that special podcast episode. And I have two actual post drafts coming up.

In the meantime, this year’s holiday gift guide is here. Yes, it’s the same one from last year, but I added several specific products, including my own. More about that in the next section.

Listen to the entire podcast archive here or on your favorite podcast network. Also, I was on the Parkify podcast discussing the election a couple of weeks ago.. And yes, there’s a Bike Nerds episode with me also floating around.

Thanks always to Sustainable Cities Collective for continuing to syndicate my work, like this blog from a few weeks ago!



PlantoSpeak Office Hours, Private Coaching and the Big Event on January 6th in DC!

As I was planning the big gathering, I realized that what I want to do should have some smaller elements, like me coaching folks on their presentations and proposals one-on-one. We all know about that weird RFP or the special member of the planning board who holds all the sway. You can plan for those things, but sometimes it’s better to discuss them and your strategy to combat them, one-on-one.

Join me virtually every Tuesday from 12 noon to 1 p.m. Eastern, using the hashtag #plantospeakQ&A on Twitter, to discuss anything relating to public speaking or proposal writing. I tried doing this on Facebook today, but still having issues. I’ll be tweeting from the @plantospeak account.

Additionally, in addition to doing one big class, I’ll be offering one-on-one coaching on an hourly basis, virtually or in-person if you live in the DC Metro area. The fees include my Six Things to Do When You Present Your Work coursebook (either digital or in print. Schedule your first round of coaching now.

And don’t forget the big half-day course in DC on January 6th! I have great news for you, as I now have a sponsor, cove, and I’ll be holding the class, absolutely free, for both cove members and a few of you! Register here. I do have a suggested donation of all non-cove members of $75, but this is truly pay what you can.

Please fill out the order form and I look forward to seeing you either in my private class, on my weekly Q&A or at the big event!

A few consulting projects from my network: I can be your public engagement team member. Or I can help your office revise, revamp, renew or even just kick off a new media campaign. Take a look at my portfolio page and let me know how I can be of service.

And if you like what I’m already doing and just want to buy me a coffee once a month, click here to contribute to my tip jar . I can slide goodies back in there for you and will start doing so in January. (Because getting presents in January is even more awesome than doing so in December).

2016 The Black Urbanist Holiday Gift Guide. The gift guide is here. And yes, it’s the same as last year, because certain kinds of gifts are timeless. You’ll want to send this to any of your family and friends who need help buying things for you that are sufficiently plannery and bikey.

Also, if If you need wrapping paper, or you want quirky fabric or gift wrap I can help! You have until December 9th to order anything on my Spoonflower site to guarantee shipping before Christmas.

Also, if you click any of the I’ll send you a free copy of the Spoonflower sample book or a swatch of your favorite fabric. Also, my holiday prints are, is a great choice for wrapping paper! Thanks to you, if it was one of you, who purchased my Flowing Woman Christmas print, pictured in the center above. Also, I will be adding a few more finished product options next week, like phone and tablet cases via Zazzle.


Still (largely) on Facebook sabbatical, but I’m definitely alive and reading things on other sites and tweeting them if you want more real-time daily commentary.


In DC for the immediate future, save my trip home to Greensboro for Christmas December 23rd-27th. In the meantime, I’ll be around TRB at the happy hours, at Transportation Camp DC Saturday, January 7th and I’m almost always up for happy hour here in DC. Oh and don’t forget the Plan to Speak half-day on January 6th! And in NYC the weekend of the inaugural.


@blackurbanist on Twitter and Instagram. kristen@theblackurbanist.com (this goes to my Gmail account) and if you already have my cell number, text me or message me. Otherwise, dial 1-888-207-9391.

See you next week,


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About Kristen Jeffers

I'm Kristen. Almost five years ago, I got tired of not seeing black women as nerded out about trains, better streets, riding bikes, walking not just out of necessity, tall buildings, old buildings and honestly a lot of other things. I was in grad school for community and economic development (ok, it’s actually an MPA), and I wanted to make sure people knew I existed and that I could help them do this thing called placemaking better. Five years later, I’m still doing that, although not from my hometown of Greensboro, NC, but from Kansas City, MO. I spend most of my time in Kansas City promoting better biking and walking infrastructure metro-wide with BikeWalk KC and the Kansas City B-cycle. But I also wrote a book A Black Urbanist (you can grab that over on the right) and sometimes I give speeches and help other communities tell their stories at design charrettes and public meetings. I’ve also written or appeared in all of the major “urbanist” publications, either as a subject or as a writer, as well as most of my hometown papers as subject or writer as well.