Help! The Bates Area Civic Association will be having another Flower Power Walk this year and well people are needed. Hopefully the walk will take place on a Saturday in late June, so what will be needed are people to volunteer to give tours. Before that can occur volunteers will be needed to get the word out, help with signage (producing) and volunteering to host a sign. If this interests you contact Flower Power at bacaflowerpower at gmail period com or me. Related to neighborhood beautification, BACA is planning on having a big spruce up on May 1st. The last clean up I was able to make a dent in the trash in my alley. I picked up a big yellow bag at the start location, went back to my street, then hit the alley, and dropped it off at one of the trash drop off points. But once again, I really need help with the Flower Power walk so please, if you can volunteer for one or more things, drop a line.
Lasty, I'm going to be migrating this blog over to another URL this week. There might be several "This blog has moved" posts. Ignore them until I post something at length stating the new URL (hopefully will be blog.inshaw.com) before updating your RSS feed.
Well Saturday was the BACA clean up which Caryn over the BACA blog mentions the turnout was low. Well I didn't help matters by not posting the announcement earlier, though I got it earlier. Also there were supposed to be fliers about it, but of a neighborhood of our size flier distribution takes a while. Yes, it doesn't seem like it but you never realize how many friggin' houses are just on one side of the street until you have to place a flier in every single one of those doors. Personally, I don't care for the stuff the flier in the fence method, as the wind can take those away. I took on the top triangular part of the TC till my bag got ripped. There wasn't much to do as we have a few neighbors who regularly clean the sidewalks. Before I picked up my bag I was walking with Brett to 1st & P, where BACA normally starts these things, trying to explain the "Broken Window" theory and why clean ups are important. I'm hoping B. was playing Devil's advocate when he questioned the effectiveness of a clean up and the 'broken windows' theory. Quick summary, trash adds to the perception of crime and disorder. After the clean up I ran my usual Saturday errands, one being the warehouse area on Florida Ave NE. At US Beef I ran into Ms. Frozen Tropics, Elise, who had a hunk of meat for carnitas. I had a bag full of drumsticks for curry, two pounds of butter, for making ghee, and a frozen boneless lamb. I mentioned that the frozen whole chicken there was rubbery, but the fresh chicken was quite good. Elise mentioned she was going to hit Mexican Fruit next for limes. But there were limes near the register at US Beef and I had already been to Mexican Fruit, whose limes were lackluster that day, so we both picked up bags of lemons and limes. I was going to make marmalade, Elise margaritas. Somewhere in the middle of that a friend of Elise came up with a small tub of tofu from a nearby store. I expressed my confusion with the warehouse area of knowing which stores will sell to you. Apparently there is a tofu place between US Beef and Sam Wang, you go up to the window, you tell the guy you want the white tub, and for $4 you get a small gallonish tub of tofu. Half shopping experience. Half speakeasy. Sunday, was chicken Sunday. Chicken stock. Chicken Marsala. Chicken Biryani. Buttery Chicken. And chicken curry. Somewhere in there I decided to clean 1/2 of my alley, with some help from a neighbor. The street was busy with open houses. The house that was under contract, is back on the market. Then a new neighbor has decided to move to the west coast and rent out his house so there were people dropping by to check the place out.
Sometime after all the youth/school related stuff at the BACA meeting, about an hour into it, we finally got to Big Bear and their general ideas of pursuing an ABC liquor license. There were two persons from Bog Bear, one being Matt Sellers, the other guy a blond barista... now if it is a guy do you call them baristas? Not baristos? Anyway. Big Bear is aiming for a CR license. For those of you unfamiliar with the wonderful world of ABC licenses, a class C Restaurant license is one for places where at least 45% of revenues come from food sales. It is different from the class of licenses for bars or corner markets. The was one objection mentioned, coming from a Baptist minister, presenting his concerns about people getting drunk and hanging out in the park. This was countered by the Episcopalian church secretary reminding him of Jesus' first miracle at the wedding at Cana, turning water into wine. There were questions about Big Bear expanding and the space they have. The bear is kind of landlocked and the space above is leased to tenants, so in the near future, nope. Maybe, years down the road. Another question was the issue of vagrants/ neighbor characters. Characters do drop by to get a glass of water and to use the bathroom and for the most part they don't cause a problem. The idea is Big Bear has a vibe as a cafe, hang out and they have no intention of becoming a bar, they just want to expand their food service options. I asked the barista (m) if the idea is to offer something like Teaism, and he answered in the affirmative. As far as I can tell despite having a small park area and a restaurant/bar across the street, the Penn Quarter Teaism fails to produce drunkards rolling out of its doors.
I noticed this in the announcement for today's BACA meeting:
(b) Ms. Elizabeth Lyttleton, an Eckington resident who provides occasional consulting services to Big Bear Café, asked for time on our agenda to apprise our group of the status of the cafe’s current efforts to acquire a license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. I am advised that Ms. Lyttleton developed a scheduling conflict that won’t allow her to attend Monday’s meeting in person; however, she plans to identify someone else to make her expected presentation and to answer any questions that it might generate.
TODAY! 7PM Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, in the basement cafeteria.
PoP reported a shooting outside of Windows Cafe. An injured shooting victim was part of a Pepco crew working around 1st and Rhode Island Ave.
BACA is having December party in lieu of the usual civic association meeting this coming Monday. There will be chili and persons wanting to come are free to bring a covered dish and or a book to be donated to the library for the charter school in the Armstrong building. When? December 7th at 7pm. Where? Basement cafeteria space of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church at 3rd and Q.
Some of y'all, like me, work for Big Brother, I mean Uncle Sam and it is CFC time. Please consider supporting two Shaw area non-profits. One being Bread for the City (CFC #61733) at 1525 7th Street NW. They have made a great effort to engage the community, not just those in need but also those who want to help. The other organization is N Street Village (CFC# 90946) at 1333 N St. I have given to them off and on over the years and they keep a clean space.
I want to thank BACA, Anita Bonds our ANC and my neighbor Brian for making for an awesome block treebox planting. BACA (regular meeting is tonight at 7 @ Mt. Sinai) provided a tree, Anita provided the plants, dirt and mulch and Brian was just amazing. Bri organized the residents, going door to door (if you didn't get the message you weren't home) a week or so before, talking to neighbors about the treeboxes in front of their homes, getting commitments from neighbors for particular tasks (supervising, digging, etc), and picking up the donated material from Bonds and BACA. The result was a fun work filled morning where new neighbors got to meet each other and older neighbors, kids running around, plants getting planted, treeboxes getting built (Thanks John!) and the block being totally awesome. More pictures of efforts all over north TC at the BACA blog.
We did get trick or treaters but not as many as last year. I don't know if it was due to rain, or it being a weekend night or what. We started off with the big gang of 15-20, kids and their parents. They all had barreled out of one parent's house and slowly made their way down the block. Then a few small clusters of families and I swear one drive by... parents in an SUV who saw some candy action, dropped the kids off, got candy and drove off. I shut down about 10 mins to 9PM, when some neighborhood teens who sorta made an effort came by. When I get teens it's time to quit.
I left at 8. Mayor Fenty arrived fairly early in the meeting and it was well attended with a long table of students on one side of the room. When I left, Cook School was still the topic and despite the kids presence, residents, and their elected leaders let it be known that the LAYC' dorm with some classroom's plan wasn't wanted. Residents told the mayor that the processes, which he kept focusing on, was flawed and someone failed in the process. The mayor tried to point out that in locations where LAYC was development wasn't hampered. I don't know if anyone pointed out that in those areas, the zoning and height restrictions are different and can accommodate the density that would make LAYC's impact unimportant. I got a brief report of what happened after I left. Someone questioned the wisdom of having the LAYC students at the meeting where they would be exposed to opposition to their school. Jim Berry was very good at keeping the meeting moving. Yay Jim. And the mayor seemed open to making out community a part of NoMa. ??????!!!!
Some of the chatter in the beauty shop a few days ago was on how the older women did not like that Fenty. And yes, I admit he's less than popular but unless the Superman/Batman ticket is running against him, he still has my vote. Mainly because he comes to my hood. On a regular basis. And because he's not Marion Barry, which face it, for some of us has been a major selling point for Fenty and Williams. Anyway, the BACA meeting is in the basement of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church and starts sometime about 7. Sadly Heroes starts at 8 (used to be 9) and mixed with my slight souring of local politics lately, I'll be departing at 8. No I don't have TIVO, nor a VCR or any recordable do-hicky. Anyway, since Fenty is showing up I gather a whole gaggle of people will appear, probably Harry Thomas Jr (D-Ward 5) and some cops. On the agenda is the John F. Cook (no 'e') School. At the ANC 5C meeting that topic took up a huge amount of time, I expect the same at BACA. However, Jim Berry is a gentle leader who is very aware the church will kick BACA out at 9 (and they do) so time to spend on topics may be limited and when Fenty shows up, cut off. Lastly for you newbies, BACA is the Bates Area Civic Association, which covers the northern half or essentially ANC 5C01, part of Truxton. The southern half is covered by the Hanover Civic Association, part of ANC 5C02. Hanover isn't as active on the web as BACA.
I'm sure the BACA blog will have more comprehensive notes. But as part of the narrative the opponents of the dog park mentioned at the 8/3/09 BACA mtg was that Safe Shores would be a 24/7 facility with about 70 staff members and children and their families living on the premises. Egad!
Okay, you won't get puppies but pups will be a topic. This next BACA meeting which is today (Aug 3rd) in the basement of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church at 3rd & Q has some rather interesting topics. One of those topics being, the dog park idea @ Bundy. Please people if you are in the northern (above P)and you want to support a dog park over at Bundy get your butt to the meeting. I'm sure that the voices against such an idea will be there, and no one is going to speak for you but you. The guy who is doing up the old Bates Market, Mamuka Tsereteli, is coming to speak. Come on admit it, you're curious of what exactly he's going to do on that corner. For those of you getting to the party late the old Bates Market is on the corner of 3rd and P, and when it was open as a ghetto mart, young men, old guys would hang out there. Or just hang, almost constantly on that corner. That corner even hosted a big ole shooting. The story is that it is to become a Georgian social club. Georgia as in homeland of Stalin, former soviet republic. Not the state above Florida. Also BACA is gathering any information about illegal activity occurring at the billboards at 4th/Islamic Way and P.
Well it appears that North Capitol from New York Ave up to somewhere around Florida is doomed, doomed to heck. As far as commercial ventures go. From the BACA notes:
Comish Pinkney said the Urban Land Institute said that North Cap wasn’t suitable for development because developers would not want to invest in an area laden with so many social services.
There are several social services concentrated in that spot around NY Ave and North Cap. Because of their individual missions and management style some of those social services (not all) attracts a population whose acts are a negative force. I throw in management style because I remember the Emory Shelter on Lincoln Rd NE, which is still there. But a few years back it took in all kinds of men without checking sex offender status. It was a few feet away from the Harry Thomas Rec Center, where children congregated. Well a change was made so that only homeless men with jobs would reside at Emory and that cut down on the crowds of men just hanging out around the shelter. A few block south of Emory back in our area, around NY Ave and North Capitol, you have several homeless services and a methadone clinic. S.O.M.E. is one of them and I do remember the really bad complaints residents had with some when I first moved around here. Homeless where littering like crazy and using neighbors' basement apartment entryways for toilets. I'm hearing few complaints these days about meal related litter and poop at your basement door, and that has come with some back and forth between residents and S.O.M.E. However, with the volume of people served by SOME and the other places there is a portion of that population that makes development along North Cap, 'unsuitable'. These are the loiterers, the extortionists/ beggars, the window breakers, and the weirdos who wander up and down the street. I hear that men are begining to lay around in front of the new Subway sandwich shop. The police come and shoo them away and then they come back to block entry. Hopefully the Subway can survive and not suffer the problems that closed down Luciana Cafe with multiple window breakings, vadalism, and loitering (Jemal raising the rent didn't help either). It was brought up in the BACA meeting that the person who owns the building with the liquor store at FL and N. Cap, owns that whole corner of buildings on that corner, including the Subway. The owner was approached with the idea of matching funds to improve the facade, but refused because it would be like throwing money away. So getting development along the NW side of North Cap is going to be hard.
Also forget about the old firehouse becoming a restaurant.
I am currently sitting in the BACA meeting and Anita Bonds mentioned, and I was shocked to hear that there was supposed to be an element of residences in the Bundy School. Anyone know anything about this?
Okay, I got a couple of BACA Flower Power tickets to sell. Flower Power is the Bates Area Civic Association garden walk, and this year it is going to be on June 13th. It is a good opportunity to look at others yards, see what grows well around here and steal ideas. The tickets are $10 and I take PayPal. Money goes to fund other BACA beautification projects. Also this weekend as a part of the build up for Flower Power is a BACA clean up, with a focus on tree boxes. May 9th between 9 and 11 or noon, at the corner of 1st and P, neighbors will be gathering together to spruce up the area. It is suggested that you bring your own tools and keep them in your sights.
Well there is a BACA (Bates Area Civic Association) meeting tonight, same place, same time. Mt. Sinai Baptist basement, 7pm. As far as the slum history goes, right now I don't have much to piece together to make a decent or readable post. I am still making notes in The History and Development of the Housing Movement in the City of Washington, D.C. which describes the company that built the houses along Bates, Q, and 3rd Streets, NW. I was looking to explore something I read on modern 3rd world slums and cottage industries that form from them. However, my big source, The Washington Post of the mid 20th century, focuses on the illegal gill joints and sex trade industries. So I guess I'm not going to explore that. In the meanwhile, here's a picture of the corner of 3rd and P. Compare with old picture of 3rd and P.
It is the first Monday of the month, which means it's BACA (Bates Area Civic Association) time. BACA is the civic association for the northern half of Truxton Circle, but is open to anyone who wants to pop by. Hanover Civic Association is for the southern half and I have no idea when they meet. We do see some Hanover area people in attendance occasssionally. And as usual the BACA meeting is at 7pm in the basement area of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church at 3rd and Q. The way to get in is either through the brown door on the 3rd St side, near the bottom of the big stairs or the door on the ground level near the double glass doors also on the 3rd St side. I got a flier this morning from BACA (as well as several of my neighbors judging from their mailboxes) and the agenda items are crime, neighborhood beautification, residential parking, charter schools, traffic calming (aka bumps) and economic development.
In two paragraphs or less: Mayor Fenty showed up after the police were happy to report that certain crimes were down. There was a big crowd and 1/2 of em disappeared after the mayor departed. KIPP presented a video and talked about the kind of school they would like to have and the improvements they would make to the Cook campus. KIPP was talking mixed use and apparently they'd been talking to Paul Rupert (of Warehouse Theater) and seem open to a partnership with the arts community. Charter schools have first dibs supposedly, so if the arts group can ally with a charter school for the proposal than, win-win.
Once again, like every first Monday of the month there is a BACA (Bates Area Civic Association) meeting 7pm in the basement cafeteria of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church at the corner of Q & 3rd. Jim Berry says that Mayor Fenty will make a quick appearance. Also on the schedule is someone from KIPP to talk about their interest in the Cook School. Last time the KIPP person did not show. I'm just happy there are two parties interested in the school. One being a collection of arts folk, called FLUX, the other KIPP. I have concerns about both. The question I have about the arts group is how open they'd be with the surrounding area. There are about two places with artists down in the Hanover region of the TC and they periodically open their doors. Would this be another art fortress, and I completely understand the need for closed doors, or would the doors open more often for regular exhibits and performances? With the KIPP school the problem is traffic and the attraction of students from all over the city. P Street can be tight already, add that to the Armstrong charter school and other KIPP school on P.
I keep forgetting (along with a bunch of other things) to mention a bit of information taken from the last BACA meeting. Though we really, really, really want a substation being so very far away from the main 5D station, it doesn't look likely. It was explained by Groomes, MPD that substations have to be manned and having officers inside manning stations means fewer officers outside patrolling streets. And something about other communities out their are clamoring for their own substations as well. We can keep fighting for one but it won't be an easy fight. I do like the idea that Councilwoman Schwartz mentioned, of getting DC government offices out of expensive downtown rental space and into DC owned surplus buildings.... surplus buildings like the schools. Well after a substation, a government office (something on the bureaucratic lines, not anything providing services) would be something around my second or third choice.
I actually got a flier. I have heard tales of BACA meeting fliers being distributed but rarely has one made it to my door and my hands. This morning was one of those rare moments, I guess I need to show up. According to the flier Carol Schwartz will be showing. Oh yeah, there are elections coming up besides the big prez thing. Schwartz is the lone Republican on the City Council and there is some fellow challenging her for her At-Large seat in the Republican primary. Also from the Council scheduled to appear is another At-Large, Kwame Brown, who lo and behold, also up for re-election. What either one of them will speak about is unknown. Meeting starts at 7PM at Mt. Sinai Baptist in the basement. Ends at 9PM, I plan on departing earlier than that.
I dedicate this posting to B. who gleefully gave me this title.
B. and I just stepped out of this month's BACA meeting. He was happily recounting part of the meeting where a woman claimed that there really weren't that many children in the community. Recounting this, as we watched about 3 kids from our street horsing around on the other side of the street. A couple of things were brought up in the meeting that I'm going to touch on, community, and community services. Community. Who are we talking about? I live here am I part of the community? When we, city employees, politicians talk about the community, are they talking about the community as a whole, certain parts, what? This is important because the city wants to (trys to) serve the community. Which brings me to city services. It may have been the same woman who said there weren't any children around needing services, who pointed out that no one in the room at the meeting needed drug councilling, or job training, or shelter, or housing services, mental health services, or any of the 'community services' that the young mayor's rep was mentioning. The problem is the city will never offer me any direct services I will ever use in my neighborhood. Of the neighbors I associate most with, neither will they. They probably won't put their kids in city aftercare, or send their kids to existing rec centers, and they sure as heck don't go to the regular public schools. The only housing help I'll take from the city (that I haven't gotten already with the 1st time homebuyer prgs) is the homestead exemption. Indirectly, the services are to benefit me by supposedly taking care of problem people , and if the people with problems are served then crime would go down, which serves me. The problem is that the people who use those services aren't represented at the meetings. Most who attend meetings have little firsthand knowledge of the programs, which then makes me wonder about adequate feedback for the city. Also since there is no direct participation, I wonder how hard would those of us in the community who are more politically involved (the letter writers, meeting attenders, etc) will fight for these community programs/ dollars, as compared to areas of the city. Lastly, I want to write about what I'm not saying in this. I'm not saying there aren't any city services that can't help me and others in my neighborhood. Good functional libraries with active reading/ storybook programs, popular books available, comfortable reading areas, and available internet terminals would be nice. I know I ain't gonna get it, but it would be nice. And there are things the city and some local politicians do beyond regular services and problem targeting, that positivity impact my quality of life, such as business promotion, providing mulch, and co-sponsoring events. I'd guess I'd be more gung ho for programs for children if I actually believed the kids on my street and the other neighborhood kids I know would actually use them.
I have recently been informed that Mayor Fenty has placed tonight's BACA meeting on his schedule for the evening and, if possible, he intends to stop by. As you know, we will be talking about the Focused Improvement Area Program that he initiated in parts of Ward Five (including our neighborhood) and we will present a modest award to Ms. Alice Thompson, Outreach and Services Specialist for Ward Five, Executive Office of the Mayor. Finally, we will be receiving community feedback from residents about the future re-uses of the JF Cook Elementary School and MM Washington Career High School buildings to pass along to our neighbor and Advisory Neighborhood Commission Chairperson Anita Bonds as well as the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education. Hope to see you there! Best, Jim Berry Bates Area Civic Association, Inc.
I'm so bad. I was planing to just pop by the function at Vegetate for Roadside Developments' O Street Market. I figured I'd pop a few munchies and show up to the BACA meeting fashionably late. I wound up running into some neighbors from the street and well, time flew. I'm so sorry. Sorry that I can be so easily distracted by free wine and polenta bites. Anyway they need community support Thursday before the Zoning people. I swear I will make the next, BACA meeting.... well, unless a certain idiot finally asks me out that night.
Tonight is the 1st Monday of the month so, it's BACA meeting time and one of the scheduled speakers is someone who can tell what's going on with Armstrong. Ya know it would be nice if Armstrong opened before Cook and Washington close. Also there will be someone from the organization housed in the Slater school building. According to Jim Berry:
As indicated, the first half of our meeting on Monday will include presentations by Mr. Thomas W. Gore, President/Executive Director of Associates for Renewal in Education, Inc., 45 P Street, N.W., concerning the interesting mix of services that A.R.E. provides to children in the community, and Mr. Wendell Butler, Chief Operating Officer of the Community Academy Public Charter Schools network, who will talk about plans to develop the building that formerly housed the Armstrong Manual Training School at 1st and P Streets, N.W. There will also be a few brief committee reports. Importantly, the second half of the meeting will be devoted to the hour of fellowship that we sponsor annually during the holiday season. This is an ideal opportunity to meet and greet neighbors from all parts of the community and, as usual, feel free to bring a dessert or a covered dish to share.
Note: I'm getting all woo-woo in the head and that's nature's signal for me to get more sleep. So I'll be skipping tonight's meeting and taking a nap, 'cause I don't know how much longer I can last on auto-pilot today.
First, Blogger is taking it's sweet time posting my post and your comments. I'm guessing this will appear sometime tomorrow morning.
Second, there was a BACA meeting tonight and I may or not post my notes. If I fail to post the notes there are a few things I need to pass along.
202 373-3711 is the police non-emergency number. On my cell 311 does nothing. Also ever wind up fighting with the 311/911 operator? Well you can ask to speak to a supervisor if the call is going that way.... and when you do and get hung up on, call 202 373-3700 for the call center supervisor.
I'll get my skimpy notes up later on the super secret site later. Yet there are two things I want to address. Just for the love of G-d say no to chain emails. The email the woman mentioned prior to the official start of the meeting, I believe is a hoax. But this one has the anti-illegal immigrant flava crystals. Warning emails like this are half the time false, clog up inboxes, and only serve to unsettle the receiver's nerves. Not like we don't have enough crime in our own little section of the world to worry about much less some story in another time zone.
Churches need to better publicize their local mission work. Attending the BACA meeting was the pastor of Mt. Sinai. Mt. Sinai Baptist Church has been hosting the BACA and back when the PSA meetings since as long as I can remember. And the pastor asked the tiny assembly what the church could do to help the community (in addition to keep allowing BACA to meet). A fair amount of discussion was on social services and there was some back and forth with the Ward 5 representatives from the mayor and Mr. Thomas' office, regarding a person the govt people are trying to find help for. In that discussion I found out about some of the services that some of us could refer folks to in dire need. Shelter- The church has a men's shelter in the neighborhood with a handful of beds and it is staffed by a church volunteer. They used to have a women's shelter but that apparently had too many complex issues (children, family, spouses, etc) and they just did not have the volunteers. Clothes closet- You've seen it though the window. Free clothes to anyone who asks. There are no regular hours, but if you go to the educational center on R and 3rd or call the church office at 202 667-1833 or get a staff person at the church building who can call the person with the keys and let the person who needs it come in and pick out what they need. Food pantry- Like the clothes closet. Benevolence Committee There are funds to help with utility bills of persons in need. There are some questions the applicant needs to answer. Also one does not need to be a member of Mt. Sinai to request the help of the Benevolence Committee, but if the person is a member of another church community, Mt. Sinai would ask that the other church be asked first. It seems that Ebeneezer Baptist on the unit block of Q, also has a similar Benevolence fund. I want to state that I know most of you reading this blog won't probably ever need to use the church's services, but from time to time bump into other residents who do need emergency food, clothing or a little help with the light bill. There are plenty of churches.... plenty...and a mosque, around here that I know offer a hodgepodge of social services that can be tapped by those of our neighbors' in need, it just that we don't know or are not sure how they operate. There are also the odd program sponsored or hosted by churches that people of various income levels, such as AA meetings, Girl Scouts (yummmm cookies) and Boy Scouts. Since I'm on hodgepodge, I believe the church on the 1200 blk of New Jersey Avenue on the Ward 2 side, offers a free breakfast. Or at least did offer a free weekday prayer (okay not completely free if prayer is costly) breakfast. And the 4th St 7th Day Advents on the 1600 blk of 4th has an early morning breakfast (with sermon) for the homeless/hungry on Sunday to feed a handful of people. The Korean Protestants at 4th and R offer free legal help.
Well Jim sent out this, which was mentioned at last night's meeting:
I write to offer a friendly reminder to you that we will be in the pocket park at First Street and Florida Avenue, N.W. this evening at 7:30 p.m. in recognition of National Night Out. That is, for the 10th time in the past 10 consecutive years, the Bates Area Civic Association, Inc. has sponsored a rally and candle light vigil at this location, essentially, to promote peace and an increased sense of unity in our community. This year, the event is being co-sponsored by ANC 5C Chairperson and SMD 5C01 Commissioner Anita Bonds, along with several indigenous community organizations, like the Hanover Area Civic Association, Inc., Ebenezer Baptist Church, and TruxtonCircle.Org.
During each of the past 10 years that we have held the vigil, we have observed incremental improvements in the quality of social life in the park and, to a large extent, our presence on NNO is a symbolic yet substantive as well as personal statement by everyone who participates, of our desire to see this location completely transformed into the kind of place from which residents of the community of all ages can derive benefit. I know that we are all busy people, but I make this personal appeal for you to take 30 minutes out of your otherwise hectic schedule to be with us tonight. Indeed, visible and tangible opportunities to be in solidarity with your neighbors around a matter of this type of importance (i.e., public safety) do not present themselves everyday. I hope to see you there!
Jim Berry Bates Area Civic Association, Inc.
Also three suspects have been arrested in regards to some burglaries in the area. I don't know if you can contact 5D to see if they got your stuff. I'm guessing whatever was stolen, got hocked.
There is a BACA meeting tonight but I will not be in attendance as I have some pressing paint duties. I've been painting my house for what seems like a month. I have formed these big nasty callouses all on my hands and I want them gone. I have told myself I need to finish all my paint jobs by the end of this week, or else I'll go nuts. First thing that needs to be done tonight (thus not going to the BACA meeting) is the bathroom ceiling needs a coat of paint. There are only so many times you can shower without damaging the ceiling. I hope it is not too late as there are some funny looking marks up there already. After the bathroom everything else is whenever but I got to end this painting. The baseboards on the 1st floor need a coat, because the paint I put on was damaged by the floor guy's sander. Also on the first floor I need to paint over the ceiling paint that hit the wall and the doorway between the kitchen and dining area. Upstairs I have to decide if I'm painting the bedroom ceilings or just leaving it primer white. Sections of the brick wall need caulking and painting. The top part of the 2nd floor baseboards need a lick of paint. The top of the wall near the ceilings in both bedrooms and the hallway need paint. Then once I'm done painting, there is the cleaning.
Truxton Circle Happy Hour is tonight at Vegetate. I guess we are going gather upstairs near the bar. The webdudes of TruxtonCircle.org are going to pass the hat around to help fund this Saturday's Fun Fair at 1st and Florida. The Fun Fair will have a moon bounce, hot dogs/ burgers, fire safety for the kids, and some health stuff.
Also my lousy notes from the BACA meeting is up at the supersecret site. And once again the user name is "thismeeting" and psw is "neverhappened".
I took a nap and ate something so I'm not as grumpy as I was Friday. Anyway here's how today went. Florida Avenue Market Maybe it was because I went earlier than usual time. Maybe it was because the market has been receiving extra attention. I don't know, but the people who work there seemed.... friendlier. I was greeted, there was smiling. What's up with that?
Tile Shopping Well my tile shopping has been more complicated than it really needs to be. I have gotten tile for the upstairs bathroom and the foyer, from two different places. The tile place I went to today, I should have gone to before and saved myself the headache. Morris Tile is in PG County and requires 3 buses to get to from the TC. I thought I would stay 20-30 minutes, but it was over an hour. My contractor said (more like suggested) the 1/2 bath tile should match the kitchen tile. Problem is I like my kitchen tile for the kitchen. The bathroom? Not so much. I found a 12x12 match for my 6x6 sample. But looking at it, I honestly wasn't too keen on it. If the kitchen tile wasn't an issue I'd pick small 4x4 or 2x2 mosaic and go for the subway tile look. The other problem was I haven't given any thought to the 1/2 bathroom's colors. I don't know what color I'm painting the wall. I haven't decided if I'm tiling the wall (more tile shopping, whoo-hoo!) or what color tile I'd use if I did. After hemming and hawing for a while I picked a small 3x3 tile that matched and had a really cool pattern. When I went to ask how much it was $18 per sq foot. Yeah, a little rich for my blood. I need 47 sq feet plus 15-20% more to cover mistakes, waste, whatever reason my contractor gave me. The same color, but regular 12x12 size, just $3 per sq ft. I just didn't feel good about ordering a tile that did not make me happy. So after all the time I spent at the tile place, I left. The $3 tile is in stock, so if worse comes to worse, I'll have the contractor pick up that and suck it up.
Mt. Rainier After one bus back, on my three bus trip back home, I got off in Mt. Rainier, MD. I didn't see a bus to take me to Rhode Island Avenue so I wandered over to The Glut, a funky little all-natural co-op, round the corner and up the hill a ways from the Mt. Rainier Route 1 Circle of Doom. The Glut is one of those things that makes Mt. Rainier, funky. Just on the Route 1 Circle of Doom is a new (within the last year) coffee shop that opened up, the Artmosphere Cafe. And dangit, it's artsy. There was the prerequisite "local artist" type art on the walls and in the windows, announcements music lessons and other local arts activities, as well as the usual looking for roommates flyer on the bulletin board. Playing to an audience you could count on both hands, was a jazz guitarist. It had a nice laid back vibe, but not lazy 'laid back' as I've encountered in other places. I had lunch there, and it was quite good. I would go there again, and I did suggest to a friend about stopping by there for a bite the next time we go by.
Jimbo moves close to the TC Well after two bus rides back to the TC and taking a nap, I ventured over to the new Jimbo digs. Lucky him, he's not next to the, um, how should I say it?... gathering of fellows that haunt the block. However he is close enough to the TC to hear the mosque's call to prayer. It will be interesting to see how Jim makes the place look once everything is tidied up.
I was wrong I'm wrong about a number of things, but anyway. I had announced that there wasn't going to be a BACA garden walk, aka Flower Power. I was mistaken. According to Jim Berry's meeting announcement (this Monday, 7 or 7:30pm basement of Mt. Sinai Baptist on 3rd & Q), one of the topics will be Flower Power, so I guess it is on. My bad.
The lousy meeting notes from last week's BACA meeting are up at the super secret site. Okay user name is 'thismeeting' pswd: 'neverhappened'. Also check out the TruxtonCircle dot Org discussion board as there is a TC happy hour in the works for June. I expect Eckington people to crash it. It's okay, we like you NoFlo people anyways. Oh, other random things that I'm not bothering to link to because the links require 3 extra more steps than I care to take right now: There were meetings about the Florida Market this week. (See Frozen Tropics and Rebuilding Space) Arrests in the Montgomery schoolyard and rocks get thrown at Fox5 cameraman. (ANC2C) The BACA website is not working for me. (DCBACA.ORG) Big Bear Cafe said somewhere (probably on the Eckington listserv) that their aiming for a June opening. They open, when they open. Soil samples are the new thing going on with the EC-12 firehouse. As far as my renovation... waiting on inspections and I'm looking for the perfect tile. If you know where I can get a hold of a nice checkerboard black and white pattern for the bathroom, email me.
Well I may have my BACA meeting notes up sometime this week. Maybe. Quick recap though. 1- I got there late. 2- A Capt. from the 5th District was speaking and handed out a list of adult arrests. The list has all sorts of useful info like full names, address arrested and residence of arrested persons. There was a spirited discussion about the role of the police department kept going by two persons I don't regularly see at the meetings. And the meeting ended with a question of where are we and what do we call ourselves. I have to make mention that over at ANC2C & You, there is an excellent video entry of an interview with the property manager of Gibson Plaza on 7th St., regarding the recent shootings. The gangs are not afraid of the police and will do a drive by knowing there are police officers yards away. The 'whatever' in the title goes back to the question of what do we over in the eastern section of Shaw call ourselves. Um, not late for supper. First there is a problem with the various names for place and the odd idea that if a place has one name it cannot be part of another name. Where I am is in the Bates Area, in Truxton Circle, in Shaw, in Old City II, in Washington, in the District of Columbia in the United States of America. Why is that difficult to grasp? How many times do I have to point out that Shaw is a big honking neighborhood and within that big honking hood are other subneighborhoods and smaller niches. And what's with the mindset that if you associate yourself with the smaller niche you've been voted off the Shaw island?
I've been getting the odd email from Karl and others in the Richardson Place area (1700 blks of 4th & New Jersey, Richardson, R & FL) about some "Streetscape Improvements". Richardson needs the improvement. The short bit of road and the linking alleys look like a big lot. That road isn't really looking paved. The residents who have spoken up would like brick, or concrete, but not asphalt. Brick is preferred. Jim Berry, BACA Prez, in a letter to the Richardson Place focus group suggested meeting prior to the next BACA meeting to talk about it. Okay people BACA meeting is at Mt Sinai Baptist, Monday, starts at 7, but for this email Jim (JBerry ayt PDSDC daht ORG) as it was a suggestion and not a firm date.
I started a new search "Bates Street" between 1950 to 1990. I decided to focus on Bates because of some of the rehab projects that were to take place in the first Marion Barry admin on the street. One 1969 article got my attention and I'm just going to quote it:
...said its first ghetto aid effort was expected to be in the Bates Street Project -- part of the Shaw redevelopment plan. Later a spokesman.... said in Washington that the initial phase of the PIC plan will probably be shifted from Bates Street to a block of 8th and 9th Streets nw., bounded by S and T. Russo said the RLA now feels it would be better to start in that block, with 25 houses on 8th Street and 20 on 9th Street.
Ronald Russo was the spokesman for the RLA. The RLA was the Redevelopment Land Agency. PIC was the People's Involvement Corp, a federally funded group. Ghetto and slum are words the Washington Post used [past tense] to describe our neighborhood. They just use ghetto now and then these days. Addition: I've waded through several "Crime and Justice" articles to get to the next quote and let's say, I'm depressed. Anywho, in a Jun 1971 article:
Two years ago, at a convention in Atlantic City, the league pledged $7 million toward the Bates Street project. "This soon became hopelessly involved in government red tape and citizens' indecision," league president Thornton W. Owen said recently, "so that any tangible activities in this area in the near future seems highly improbable."
Bibliography: All articles from the Washington Post "S&Ls Pledge $7 Million For Homes; Rehabilitation" by S. Oliver Goodman. June 1, 1969. p. 125 "Firms To Fund Housing; S&Ls to Build Huge Project For City Poor" by William H. Jones June 10, 1971. p. B1
You know, walls you plan to tear down are great for drawing large stick figures on. Yet, I'm not one for great graffiti. I have one single stick figure reminding me to clean out the fridge and call my grandma. A friend came by and wrote "Happy Easter" on another wall. I would invite others to draw on my walls but I'm afraid someone would go for one the the walls that isn't getting torn down.
Also I heard about the anti-crime church march thing that happened this past weekend. Obama (invited guest) did not show. Noticed it was not covered at all by the Post, but the Post tends to pick and choose, and thus is not the best for local news.
Passed by the Big Bear Cafe. Not open yet. Inside looks very promising, there are some chairs and tables. Very promising.
Before I pass out and go to bed, my personal and completely flawed BACA meeting notes are up at This meeting, never happened. User: Thismeeting Pwd:Neverhappened and no I will not email this to you. Note that I'm in a slightly grumpy mood. Someone [me] needs a nap.
Okay folks it's time again for Flower Power and the nomination forms were given out at the last BACA meeting. Where I wasn't. Anyway you can get the PDF form from the DC BACA site. This year, it's July and not August. If you want to help out, volunteer, whatever, bug Mary Ann, her email is on the form.
Bates Area Civic Assoc is PLANNING Oktoberfest According to the little yellow flyer on my fence: The Bates Area Civic Association is planning an Oktoberfest for Saturday October 30th. Their current ideas include a: Chili Cook-off Cornbread Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Hot Cider Flea market Live Music Health and Wellness Table Games Prizes and more If you are interested in volunteering or renting space for the flea market contact the planning committee at oktoberfest AT arachnophile dot com.
I'm going to sum it up. Didn't start on time. Was upstairs in the santuary. Began with loooong Christian prayer. Commander Jennifer Greene. Florida Park Crew vs Sursum Corda crew to blame for shootings. Mother of shooting victim gives emotional defense of son. There are 447 parolees in our community. Hillbilly Herion is being sold in our area. Citizen- Truancy calls to 311 not being taken seriously by operators. Citizen- Weed and Seed van useless. It just sits there. Vincent Orange shows up. Is he up for election this year? Question: Why can't we get decent loitering laws? Answer: Blame the ACLU for challenging it in the courts. Left meeting, had to finish manic search for lost tool.
Vote. That's the crux of it, that and get politically involved by becoming a supporting force by donating time and treasure to a particular candidate. And when you do, then the politicians will truly serve you. Let's go over the meeting shall we? We started on time. Whoo! The Peanut gallery did not show. WhooHoo! First, but not on the agenda was Ofc. Grey from the 501 Police Service area who went over crime stats. Yet the meeting attendees weren't interested in stats, though the sheet passed around was very interesting. The subject of interest was the shootings on the unit and 100 blk of Q St. Marianne was very fair and understanding with Ofc, Grey but she wanted answers. Next, was Mr. Willie Doggett, volunteer with Cluster 21's Community Emergency Response Team. Basically, Civil Defense. You get free stuff when you volunteer. See their website for more info. Followed by Andrew Pollard of the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Group. Get on his mailing list to know what's happening in the neighborhood with crime and services at acpollard1 AT msn PERIOD com. Or get in touch with Jim Berry to get the right e-mail if I got it wrong. Lastly was Ms. Linda Perkins, Constituent Services Coordinator from Councilman's Vincent Orange's office. She spoke about how DC govt works. If anyone wants to expand on this, that's what "comments" are for. Afterwards, Jim Berry (ANC 5C01?)went on a riff that seemed to be coming from frustration. Maybe anger, I don't know, anyone ever see Jim angry? There was a decent debate, and I truly mean debate, between Jim and Ms. Perkins on how priority is determine based on votership and political strength of an area. Jim did something that I would like to expand on in another post on another day, where he compared Truxton Circle (ie Bates) to other parts of Ward 5, like Bloomingdale, Michigan Park and Woodridge. Apparently those areas have political clout, and don't have to ask Councilman Orange twice to come to their meetings. They also don't have to deal with some of our burdens that the city has burdened Truxton and it's adjoining areas with. Maybe because there are a greater number of people who come out to vote AND donate a significant amount of time and treasure to the candidates, than our area. Maybe. But you, my Green/Democratic/ Republican friend can help. Today, you can drag yourself to the polls. If you're independent like me, you'll stay in and wait till November, but in the meantime harass your party affiliated friends to vote. This is me harassing you. Vote dammit. Vote.
Oh last week I said the meeting was on the 6th, which happened to have been Labor day. Opps. My bad. Meeting is tonight. Mt. Sinai Baptist Church @ 3rd and Q. Go up the stairs, inside, then down the stairs and to your right. Starts either 7 or 7:30, take your pick. Once again I'll show up and if I am not stricken by shear boredom, or a deep desire to leave and play Civilization, I'll report on it.
The Bates Civic Association had it's Flower Power Awards ceremony last night at Ella's Coffeehouse/Frame shop/ Art gallery on North Capitol. It was the first time I had been in Ella's. It is many small cozy rooms with comfy (2nd floor) chairs. There was a small crowd there about 20 or more people, with Jim Berry ANC for 5C0?, and a rep from Councilman Orange's office. Unlike the usual Bates CA meeting, it was a pleasant affair where everyone was generally pleasant. There was no peanut gallery making snide comments. No direct mention of drug dealers or unsavory kids hanging out on the corner. The unpleasantness was spoken of indirectly, using that code talk that we use, talking about "change". It was an environment of supportiveness. Yes, very unlike the Bates meetings, which the next one is Sept 6th @ Mt. Sinai. My neighbor wanted to talk about the demographics of crowd, while we were there. Good lord man, can't take you anywhere. I shusshed him. We talked this morning and he observed that the crowd was basically gay men and older single black women. There were a few black men 4. One white married couple and one lesbian couple. My block won a block award for our beautification efforts. I don't remember if it was for first or 2nd place. Like the Special Olympics, everyone there was a winner. I did not win any individual prize for my yard, which currently looks bad. I did win a door prize of a plant. A plant I gave to a neighbor I spotted while heading home, 'cause I don't grow indoor plants, and I don't care for plants I can't eat.
Community meetings suck! Just got out of a baaaad meeting. Heck at lest the ANC 2? meetings in Logan were entertaining with the catty gay men. What made the meeting bad: 1. Snide comments from the peanut gallery 2. A fill in speaker (the one scheduled was on vacation) couldn't speak on the topic of interest and spent time talking on another topic. Meeting attendees beat the topic speaker couldn't talk about to death. 3. Peanut gallery did not show up on time missing information that they bitched about later. 4. Every speaker received hostility. Basically making sure that any future returning of said speakers is nil.
Basically tons of negativity.
What is a good meeting. Well it started as a good meeting. A speaker, speaking as an individual trying to get tree boxes on Q St from 1st to 3rd St talked about how she was attempting to get grant money from Garden Resources of Washington (GROW). She spoke of iron fencing and pledges she had gotten from neighbors. Then a board member of the Co-Op on Q St said that her group was already in the process for putting iron tree boxes up on her side of Q St. Good. Informative. Civil.
Then we got on the North Capital Farmers Market (see speaker who didn't know topic). And downhill we go.
History, me complaining, history, stuff about the immediate hood (Truxton Circle) and the surrounding neighborhood (Shaw), gentrification, demographics, and some more history.
Location: Washington, D.C., United States
In Shaw (now with more gentrification) is about the changes going on in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC. Mainly the eastern section of the neighborhood that is still "transitional". Topics range from horrid community meetings, to culture clashes, to remodeling and the unromantic view of living in an old house. This Old House, bite me!
Please note that this is a personal blog and does not represent anyone else's opinion except my own, not my employer, not my universities, not that of my family, church, friends or neighbors. Just me, so I retain the right to post or not to post any irresponsible tripe that comes into my head.