Low flying helicopters
Okay, maybe they are actually looking for or at something when they are hovering over my area at a low altitude. But dang it they are loud, and sometimes at different hours annoying.
The day after one of them whirlybirds has been flying overhead I check Airscene.com
, hit 'flight tracking' then flights to try to find the annoying thing and see how low it was flying. Typically the police copters are UNK, but I know what they are and when they where here, I just can't gauge how low they were flying. Wednesday, around 4pm, the skies were busy and UNKs flying below 1000 feet.
No I will not join you on Facebook
It isn't you.
And I'm not joining Facebook or getting a MySpace account and to maintain a level of privacy (and the right to change my mind a million times without any grief) I ain't twittering.
The blogs are enough.
What I really want to do is be able to do before the computer and the Internet, curl up and get completely lost in a good book. Ocassionally I've been able to find a 'can't put it down' book, but the time for it, seems to be gone. I'm afraid if I even consent to one more time suck, the ability to enjoy and feel the great pleasure of a good book will be lost.
Free Shrek showing
For some odd reason:
Film: Shrek, December 12 at Archives I
Beautiful princesses, handsome princes, witches, ogres, and fire-breathing dragons turn up in almost every fairy tale. They're all in this computer-animated adventure, but their roles, and the surprising plot twists, are anything but expected in this fun adaptation of the children''s book by William Steig. Features the voices of Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy. (2001, 90 minutes) Saturday, December 12, at noon in the McGowan Theater at Archives I.
Archives I is the National Archives downtown. I'm guessing the entrance will be the Constitution Avenue side. Too bad you can't mix that with a little neighborhood research, as the downtown National Archives building has the censuses for DC (as well as the rest of the country), DC building permits, and a whole bunch of DC wills.
Does this mean the end of the Methodone McDonald's?
A few days ago Scott Roberts mentioned on the Bloomingdale blog
that the methodone clinic down near the messy intersection of NY and N Cap is closing. Comments to that post say that they are just going to relocate and are still open. But when they do move how much of an impact will it have on the southern TC border? And will the methadone McDonald's be less methadoney?
Well someone is "thinking" about redoing
the look of that
school on New Jersey, called Dunbar.
The BACA blog announced that North Capitol Main Streets has announced
an effort to clean up North Capitol from RI to NY Aves.
Somehow my Truxton Circle updates started up again. For a while I got nothing, and now, for no reason I can tell, I'm getting the TruxtonCircle.org
updates. It's a Thanksgiving miracle!
Speaking of the TC, I have restarted the TC Census project by bartering with my cousin. In exchange for a big ole spreadsheet tracking the 1900 era residents of the TC, their occupations and such, she gets to live with me free and I feed her. So far, she's discovering occupations that no longer exist like milliner, coppersmith, and compositor. It appears that a number of folks worked down at the GPO on North Capitol, a walkable and bike-able commute.
Well Corduroy, Cork and Etete are Shaw (or close enough) area restaurants that made it onto Tom Sietsema's Top Restaurant Recommendation
Bread for the City is launching a blog, and having a launch party. It's going to be at the Big Bear Cafe on Oct. 24th at 5pm. See more info here
Yes, kids trick or treat here. Buy candy what you don't give to kids, dump at your office and feed to the hungry interns. See past posts on the topic of trick or treating here
In the sad tale
of apparently two nice guys, one a homeowner the other a contractor, Stu Davenport
, good guy AND competent
contractor steps in and saves the day. Stu is also a 5C ANC commissioner and co-owner of Big Bear.
The horror story told in the Washington City Paper's blog The Housing Complex
reminds us that if you are having major work done, don't expect DCRA to protect you. If you're paying over 10K for some guy to rip up your house it is on you to take a look at his previous work and talk at least 2 or 3 of his most recent clients. I do remember talking to David's
clients, and he'd done work for some friends of mine whose house I admired. It's great if a contractor is nice and well meaning but you really need to check that he knows what the heck he's doing.
Truxtun, townhouses, and misc
How was your weekend? Mine was supposed to be spent finishing up the Ten Days of Truxtun, which I didn't do, so no Tom Truxtun today.
Somewhere among the row of townhouses on 4th Street, one has popped up for sale recently, making 3 houses on 4th Street on the market. I've been inside 2 of the 3. Going from highest to lowest is 1714 4th St NW
on the market for $519K. It's got an apartment downstairs and I haven't been inside. It is next to a green space neighbors carved out of an abandoned lot, and parking that according to records is another lot, but looks like part of the road. On a smaller lot with no off street parking and no alley is 1547 4th St NW
at $479,900. I've been in it. From what I can remember the basement is not a separate unit. It is also on the same block as the mosque. But residents of that block tell me they sometimes mentally block out the calls to prayer. Lastly is 1619 4th St NW on the market for $439K.
The backyard is deep and has a wide alley. An alley wide enough for dump truck to go through, so trash is collected alley side. One could park in this backyard or if you have a compact car, carve out some parking and have a decent back patio. The fireplace in this house is a gas fireplace, and not the old fashioned find wood and throw it in kinds. That fireplace does warm up the house pretty nicely. A few things I dislike about the listing is that the neighborhood listed is "Convention Center/Shaw". Well at least the Shaw part is right.
If you have questions about the neighborhood surroundings of these houses feel free to email me at mari at inshaw punt com.
Miscellany? Friends don't let friends get Obama chias
. I would take a picture of the current state of the Obama Chia, but it looks so wrong. The chia is so uneven and spotty, it is sad.
Labels: houses, misc
Hodgepodge of Stuff
There are links of stuff from other blogs I keep meaning to comment on or share with others but for one reason or another don't so I'm going to try...
Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale has a post on this week's BACA meeting
and the LAYC issue.
PoP reports on a Penn Quarter Farmer's Market hater who wants the joint shut down
There's supposed to be a DDOT presentation regarding Richardson Place on October 8th. I don't know where or a what time.
The 5th St Hardware store
is offering personal shopping and 9 volt batteries (between 10/5-10/11 for fire safety week). For the personal shopping order before 1pm and pick up by 5.Longview Gallery
on 9th St will be having a grand opening party on the 22nd. RSVP by October 19th to info [at]longviewgallery.com .
Blagden Alley has an email
in regards to the Dr. Ximena Hartsock issue and the disapproval of her appointment as Director of Parks and Recreation.
The condos being built on the 400 block of Rhode Island have a website
. However I disagree that Big Bear recently opened
and it isn't a weekend Open market. It's the Bloomingdale Farmer's Market! The market has a name, use it. And whomever drew that map, needs to be hit with a newspaper.
And lastly the effort to hinder one's first amendment rights with an ounce of crazy and a stay away order has been defeated. A neighborhood bully, who shall not be named, filed for a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) against the CCCA prez, as part of that bully's tactics of trying to silence critics, when the usual threats and insanity doesn't work.
What's in a name?
I'll probably get back to my regular blogging after Labor Day. But I wanted to start blogging about a topic I keep coming back to and that is neighborhood names. Part of the problem is I'm not from Washington, DC. A lot of us aren't from the District. And some few natives I have known, hailing from other parts of the city aren't necessarily familiar with all parts of town. Armed with ignorance and unencumbered with any childhood attachment of names, we get into petty squabbles of if where Bloomingdale ends and Eckington begins and if Bloomingdale is a part of Eckington at all.
Why does it matter?
When I went home to Florida and when I started looking to buy property I noticed that place names aren't uniformed or well known or even written in stone. Some time back my mother said we lived on Tucker Hill. Which, when she told me this was news to me. It was the name of a cemetery not too far from the house. But not the name of the cemetery closer to the house. When I was looking for property close to my mother Tucker Hill was not a neighborhood search term. It was 'West something'. When I checked the municipality's property tax website, it was 'West something else'. The only commonality was it began with 'West'.
Growing up it seems that everyone just used landmarks and street names as neighborhood identifiers. You lived over there by that elementary school, the library, or on this street near the old Winn-Dixie. And it helps to know that the vacant box strip-mall was a Winn-Dixie in the first place. Friends in cul-de-sac neighborhoods hardly referred to where they lived by the developer's name. Turkey-Pine-Willow-Creek-Run-Farm all sounds alike after awhile. It was just the sign you turn at. There were a few developments, retirement villages whose names wound up describing whatever happened to be near it. But those were the few, everything else, 50th St near the Publix out on Pine.
So I come here and I live hear in the District. The DC tax website says I live in Old City. The mid-20th century urban renewal projects of the National Capital Planning Commission say I live in Northwest and later the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area. Efforts in the 80s by the District government describe the particular area where I currently live and where they then were selling properties is Truxton Circle. There was a circle in the early 20th century. It's gone now. It's parts rotting in a park elsewhere. There was a post office of that name. That went away in the 60s or 70s. Google and several other maps and some DC Planning brochures currently call it Truxton Circle. Then came the eight Wards in the 70s and Shaw got divided by four wards, most of Shaw is in Ward 2. I'm in Ward 5. Somehow a small block group grew from Bates Street and it now describes the northern part of Truxton as the Bates Area Civic Association.
Dunbar High School on New Jersey Avenue looms over the neighborhood. You can see the top of this tall ugly prison-like building from the corner of Florida and North Capitol. And I am near it, so I concede on that point that Dunbar could be a description of the neighborhood, as in 'near Dunbar'. It's tall enough and takes up enough acreage to be a landmark. Yeah, there was a nicer looking Dunbar, and a more notable Dunbar before the current building, but that's gone. And it is so close to several other schools, Cook (no e), Armstrong, Slater and Langston.
So where do I live? Old City? Ward 5? ANC 5C? Truxton? Shaw? Bates? Northwest? Over by New Jersey near Dunbar? All of the above.
Farewell to interns
Today we are saying goodbye to a few of our interns here at Fight Club* and at the good bye party we had for the gaggle of them there was one that stood out. This guy was passionate and infectiously enthusiastic about what we do here. Infectiously enthusiastic. His love of history just constantly beamed unashamedly from his face and was expressed in his movements when he talked about being in DC and going to the other cultural institutions. When I saw him a day or so later I said, "Don't ever lose that enthusiasm." He plans to become a teacher.
We've had a great batch of students this year. They were good natured, followed instructions, had a great interest in the work we did here, got along with each other, and tore through projects with amazing speed and accuracy.
*I'm just going to refer to the place I work as Fight Club or the Bureau of Fight Club, because the boss told me the 1st rule about Fight Club.
1st on First and other things
Other blogs have mentioned it
and here's a reminder that there will be an arts festival on Saturday the 'first' of August on First St NW, between Windows and Big Bear. See more here at the BACA Blog
I see that Scenic Artistan is closing shop for the Bloomingdale Blog
The DC GOP wanted me to let y'all know they brought food to the last CCCA meeting (over in the Ward 2 section of Shaw). I just wanna know did they bring something other than soda and cookies? I would have asked the Patrick Mara (who spoke at the CCCA mtg) looking guy I saw get on the Metro at Mt. Vernon Square Wednesday, but I've been quite pre-occuppied with some personal business that involves a lot of hurry up and wait, so I didn't ask.
Speaking of, I'm probably going to be low key for the next week as the personal business has been taking up a lot of energy and time and thought. Anyway, have a good weekend.
Labels: Art, misc
Dream Non-Profit Thread
I had another post in mind, but figured I should take a picture of the subject. So until I do, let's play a game. I call it, "Make Up A Non-Profit".
Pretend you've been given 3 million dollars to set up a non-profit that needs to last at least 5 years. The 3 mil is for operational (staffing, office rent, supplies) and other expenses (grants). And the mission can be a little off the wall or unusual. And major rule, it cannot already exist. No homeless shelters unless it's a homeless shelter for people and their pets.
Lots of you work for non-profits, and I onced worked for a non-profit, so you know, 3 million doesn't go very far. So what would you create?
Me? The Tom Bard Scholarship for tall guys named Tom and the "Oh Crap I Lost My Scholarship" Scholarship Fund. For people, who like me, lost their scholarship because they did something stupid like take 'challenging' classes their first year.
Bundy School Meeting July 9th
The BACA blog has the meeting info here.
Hopefully, it will be a constructive meeting where the actual needs of Safe Shores, dog owners, and the community at large will be addressed.
What do I need? A safe block that doesn't become a dead zone after the sun sets. P Street is a straight shot from the Giant and the G2 stops along there. The lack of life on that block is quite noticeable at night when you're lugging groceries, which is why I no longer do that.
Nothing historical about this post
Nicholas Cage can be a great actor and sometimes he's been crap. Sometimes, it's the roles and you really can't blame an actor for shytastic writing. If you want to see Nick Cage for free tomorrow, because you want to see a movie with bad history that makes no sense the Archives downtown is showing National Treasure II
You'll see Pennsylvania Avenue and the University of Maryland, where the main character goes to chat up his mom. The problem is though she's supposed to be a professor, her office is bigger and way cleaner than any prof's office I've ever seen. You're tenured, you get the closet with the window. And almost all my professors had piles of paper and books and stuff.
Quick Plug- Free Ice Cream
Normally, this would go on the announcements page, if at all as it isn't in Shaw....
Sunday June 21st in/near Penn Quarter- Gifford's Ice Cream- 555 11th Street, N.W. near E Street & 10th, from noon til they run out, a sundae to promote a movie
, (500) Days of Summer.
Execu-bird & my TV
I've occasionally complained about the ghetto birds- the MPD helicopters that come around after a shooting or something like that. They wander high in the sky above the hood and I could tell when they were around because the digital signal on my TV would get all screwy.
Since January I've noticed an uptick in air traffic above the neighborhood, mainly due to an uptick in television disruption. When I go outside to angrily shake my fist at the offending helicopter, I've noticed that it isn't always a MPD marked or even MPD whirlybird shaped aircraft. I've noticed somethings that look like they could be the President's or some military, Big Bertha looking like copters flying low. They fly lower than the MPD copters, and are bigger and come around more often, which means I looking at a TV screen frozen on one image with little pixels out of whack. And when it comes back into whack, the sound doesn't match the picture.
I should mention, I don't have cable or DishTV, I get my signal from the airwaves.
Anyone else experience this problem or can tell me what are those other helicopters flying over the hood so I know where to send a letter of complaint?
Greener Than Thou
I'm taking a break running errands that got pushed back to today because of the rain, and because I don't have a car. I haven't had a car since 1993, and living a car less lifestyle comes with some pluses and minuses. The reason I don't have a car has more to do with money and the hassles of maintenance and not some Green philosophy. The greenie-ness is more of an added bonus.
My posting regarding the 5 cent tax on paper and the ever hated plastic bags, did raise some ire from some readers. I'm perfectly OK with being in disagreement on this point, as I'll let time prove me wrong. Also I'm not out to win any greener than thou awards, we all have a multitude of green sins, some known and unknown, some that are easily avoided, others too ingrained in our identity.
When I say our identity, I include the obvious, like cars and the not so obvious, like our jobs, and our recreational activities. The computer was supposed to render the office paperless, instead the volume of paper exploded, and it has become cheaper to produce meeting minutes, handouts, leaflets, menus, fliers and maps that people will look at then toss out. We are horrible water wasters, letting the tap run as we brush our teeth and lather. We shower daily, and flush away gallons of potable water to be rid of a cup of pee. Then there is the electricity we use to stay online, charge our devices, keep our food, light our homes into the night (how much energy would you save if you went to bed at 8:30?), cool in the summer and heat in the winter. Even though I don't have a car, I'm still dependent on fossil fuels because the bus and the train use diesel. At some points these exercises in examining every single action and choice, seems like asking how many angels can dance on the pin of a needle? You can spend an infinite amount of time and energy on things that in practice may have very little impact and are quickly abandoned.
We should make the effort to be Green, but we should avoid those heavy burdens that would make us turn away, give up, and not bother.
Labels: misc, quality of life
Okay Nobody, no body entered my contest Friday. I'm disappointed. I'm offering it up again, but this time there is no second place ice cream prize, because the homemade chocolate with coco nibs and the drunken cherry chocolate have been eaten or given away. But I still have a ticket for the BACA Flower Power Garden Walk on June 13th. This contest is open to anyone in Shaw, Bloomingdale and Mt Vernon Square.
Here's the question, what is the address of a Ridge Street NW house that is still standing today but in 1940 was listed as "old and in poor condition" or "poor condition"?
It may sound hard but I got a huge list and it is amazing what wasn't listed as in bad condition.
First correct answer sent to mari at inshaw period com before 4pm today wins.
Sort of related to the BACA Flower Power cleanup that is occurring tomorrow, starting at 9AM in front of Armstrong (1st & P) I'm going to have a contest.
The prizes are 1st place, 1 ticket to the Flower Power Walk June 13th, value $10; 2nd place a choice between a yogurt cup sized portion of chocolate coco nib ice cream or drunken cherry chocolate ice cream. The rules are you have to live within the boundaries of 6th, Florida, P, and North Cap NW and most favored answer picked at 4pm wins. Email entries to mari at inshaw period com
Question- Name a flower that is edible, looks great, can grow in DC, and tastes good, or not half bad.
So what's with the ice cream? I made chocolate ice cream last night. It is very rich. The eggs, cream and milk all came from the Timor bodega. In one batch I threw in some coco nibs. In another small batch, some chopped up cherries that had been sitting in vodka for 3 months.
Many of you have seen this man around Shaw and Bloomingdale, a fellow, whom I've heard his friends call "Hollywood." And he is what I think of when someone says, 'character of the neighborhood' or 'neighborhood character.' Sort of like Jog-in-Place guy is a neighborhood character for Gallery Place.
But I know that's not what people mean when they talk about neighborhood character. Usually they're talking about the set and scenery, the buildings and landscape. The background where life plays itself out.
When I think of the character of Shaw, all of Shaw from Logan to Truxton, U Street to the parts that overlap with Mt. Vernon Sq. I think of its 20th century struggles that still haunt and color the present day. I'll be happy when we can completely heal the physical and psychological scars of the 1968 riots and its aftermath. I also think of its wonderful, if not at times challenging, diversity.
What do you think describes the character of the Shaw neighborhood?
Random Tuesday Post
Eating fresh @ Subway will come to North Cap according to the Eckington blog
Jim Berry gives an explaination
of the recalled BACA grant on the BACA blog.
Couple buys house, plans to restore to former glory
Natasha and Boris Petersson will close on a 400 block Florida Ave townhouse today if all goes well. I ran into them as they finished up their final walk through and asked them about their plans. They hope to restore this three storied structure to it's former glory as a crackhouse.
For over 60 years the property has served as some sort of illegal operation. In the 1930s it was a gin joint, after the repeal of Prohibition the house manufactured artisanal grain liquor that sometimes made customers blind. In the 40s and 50s sales began to include marijuana and other drugs. Drug sales continued out of the house and in the 80s and 90s crack was the main drug. During the crack years the residence served as temporary housing for its customers who sometimes supplemented their income with sex work. In 2005 the house was finally shut down when the property was lost in a tax sale and when the buyers got the city to evict the residents. In 2008 those buyers lost the house in foreclosure, allowing the Peterssons to place a bid.
The Peterssons general plans for restoring the property are to allow their 3 dogs to trample every single blade of grass in the backyard to give back that dirt patch look. They hope to install bare plywood on one of the windows and get the exterior paint to peel. Boris is going to start looking for a empty oil drum so he and Natasha can warm themselves with an outdoor fire in the Fall.
April Fools y'all.
Not far from the S Street exit of the Shaw/Howard U metro station exit is this event at the New Community Art Space. The graphic I was given has been a bit hard for me to read but there is a web site artspacedc.org
Well the Bates Area Civic Association (BACA), which covers the northern portion of the Truxton Circle area, has a new blog
. Jim Berry, who sent me the notice about it also informed me about a knitting crocheting group forming:
HAVE YOU WANTED TO LEARN TO KNIT OR CROCHET? HERE'S YOUR CHANCE!!! A group is being formed at St. George's Episcopal Church and you are invited to sign-up. The purpose of this group is to meet and fellowship while learning and sharing the crafts of knitting and crocheting. The group is open to the community; both female and male, adults and children (9 years of age and older) are welcome. The first meeting will be held in St. George's Parish Hall, 160 U Street, N.W., on Saturday, March 21, 2009, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00p.m. Bring your needles
And speaking of yarn, last week I wandered into the neatest little yarn store evah! Not in DC but along Route 1, Rhode Island Ave/ Baltimore Ave, across the street from Franklin's in what I'm generally going to call Hyattsville. It's called a Tangled Skein
. I've always passed by it, and after subduing my driver with Franklin's food I talked him into joining me across the street to check out this place. If you are allergic to wool, do not enter because you will die. They have alpaca wool, cashmere wool, plain old wool, wool blends, and silk yarns. The shop gave me the same thrill as fabric stores as I went around feeling the different yarns. I bought, for my mom, a couple of acrylic wool blend skeins.
Labels: Art, misc
Do Old Dogs Dream
? Longview Art has a booksigning.
At the BACA meeting we learned that Metropolitan Baptist will be hanging out at the Armstrong School until their building in Largo is ready or two years.
Monday Feb. 9th there is a North Capital Street Cloverleaf Study Stakeholder meeting at the Przbyla Great Room A at Catholic U and Feb 7th there is the Community Presentation of the development of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site from 10AM-12PM at 125 Michigan Ave NE. Though these items are north of the TC there is concern about traffic and sewage/water and its overflow into our area.
I have a petition regarding the track at Dunbar so when I get the energy, I will probably go around and collect signatures.
In praise of volunteers
When I was working at the Holocaust museum I decided that when I grew old I'd become a volunteer like the many volunteers who worked side by side with paid staff. These people would come in regularly, and be they survivors, liberators, or what have you and do the mundane and the special jobs. Working in cultural institutions I can say that volunteers bring very valuable skills (language translation being one), professional experience and enthusiasm to the job.
There are other volunteers and times when we become volunteers in formal and informal ways. Formal as in so many non-profit, faithed-based, and community organizations just in Shaw that I don't know where to start. Informal, as in Bry and his next door neighbor J. who occasionally clean the sidewalk and the sidewalks of other blocks. There is Alley Cleaning Man, who sweeps up the alley and leaves terse notes. There are the loose band of neighbors who decide to care for a colony of feral cats by working with organizations and feeding and providing water and shelter. There are the people who recently not only cleaned their own sidewalks of snow and ice, but their neighbors' sidewalks.
If you look for it, you can find a lot of good in this city. And if you look for it, you can find many opportunities to do good.
No Hoods in the hood
No pets in the store, neither are face covering hoods allowed.
Probably never going to get cable
This week a co-worker told me a tale of Comcast service so bad that I would totally understand if he had going down to their offices and set a garbage bag of poo on fire in the middle of their reception area. After what he went through, I'd totally understand.
How much is cable?
I haven't paid for cable since I was in college in the late 80s. So honestly I have no idea how much basic cable is. So those of you with cable, how much is it? With all the taxes and sundry fees, what does it wind up being?
Remembrances of Chain Reaction
This Saturday at the Big Bear from 10-3 there is going to be a used bike sale. Which reminded me of the place I used to get my used bikes, Chain Reaction
. Chain Reaction was a product of the non-profit group Shaw-Eco Village, and the bike shop was at the corner of 6th and R, then moved over to North Capitol. It was a great place where I could go to and get my bike fixed. The location was especially helpful when I had this heavy 3-speed and my rear wheel was bent and torn up. The prices were good and low and the young men working in the shop would fix it that day, so I could walk back home, do what I needed to do, and walk back to pick it up. I had bought a serviceable but ugly womens 3-speed for about $40 some dollars and a womens hybrid for about $150.
Now the shop is gone and the Bike Rack is the closest thing, but sadly they don't work on bikes like mine. So if I need my bike fixed I'll have to do it myself or drag it up to Adams Morgan or Capitol Hill. So I've been learning about fixing bikes.
So I have fond memories of Chain Reaction, though the shop was small and cramped, it provided a service that I really needed.
What happened on New Jersey this morning?
There were a few firetrucks blocking off the south traffic along New Jersey Avenue, around the 1400 block around 7AM. Any idea of what that was about?
Hey Tree Rats
...despite what the Washington Post wrote about there being no acorns
, there are are acorns on Rhode Island Avenue, between 7th and 6th Streets. I also could have sworn that my feet crushed some acorns elsewhere in the hood. So Shaw squirrels rejoice, you will still be able to continue your idiotic pursuits of climbing trees, half eating nuts and tossing them aside to dig up my beets and destroy them. Stupid tree rats.
Labels: animals, misc
Thanksgiving is coming up and hopefully you have already taken precautions prior to leaving. But should you leave town you'll want to make your house look sort of occupied.Mail
You can contact the US Post Office and ask them to hold your mail
. There is a 3 day minimum and 30 day maximum.Newspaper
Nothing says we're not home like 3 yellowing Washington Posts on your front stoop. You can contact the Post or the Times and have them not deliver for the days you are gone.Neighbors
Just in case the UPS guy stops by or your mailbox gets stuffed with fliers and Chinese takeout menus, you may want to have neighbors take a quick look at your place and remove the offending items.
Any other pointers?
Random Grab Bag Super Fun Pack Friday Post
First up, local politicians who suck. Well I dislike strongly Micheal A$$hat Brown, and the local GOP
is challenging his certification because he isn't a real independent. Okay, I'm fine with whatever keeps him on his toes. Second, I've found reason to seriously dislike DC shadow senator Paul Strauss as well. Before the elections a DC native friend was telling me of an encounter he had with Mr. Strauss, where he noticed Strauss had a NY ring on his finger. I've never noticed the man, much less his hand, but I thought of that reading the City Paper's blog article on the shadow senator's DWI stop
. The print article mentions that he "moves around with a full quorum of aides and interns-- often imported talent from European countries." What of DC talent? My friend questioned the man's loyalties to the District and its people with the NY ring, this seems to re-enforce that image that DC is just something he can take from. Then there is the whole driving with a .16 alcohol blood level. Please don't tell me how he's moving us closer to voting rights. It seems Eleanor Holmes Norton has done more without going the way of tomfoolery.
Next, church benefits and lead time. Mt. Sinai's Family Unit #3 is collecting hygiene items for the homeless this Saturday at 9AM. Problem is I got this notice Thursday night, I would need more lead time to actually think about it, then go buy the travel size items, and clear up my schedule to drop off the items.
I hope our neighbors in other parts of Shaw have gas. If not, may I suggest what I did when my furnace when kaput, heater fans and staying in one room. But I understand having your gas back on is so much better. I do have one question, are the areas without gas the same areas that had problems with water in the gas lines before?
The tomatoes are done, I mean really done. The temperatures got cold enough to kill the vine. So I chopped up one vine and I'll probably attack the other later this week. I was able to get a dozen and a half green tomatoes off the dead vine and I'm sitting them in the window so they can ripen there.
Lastly, and I'm probably jinxing it by saying it, but I think my block's friendly neighborhood drug dealers have moved on. Well at least for the winter. There was a time when cold weather would not keep the boyz from standing on the corner, or having one guy stand on the corner. Part of me wants to say that it is due to some critical demographic changes, a certain family moving off the block, but I'm not 100%sure.
Halloween in the Hood 2008
Tomorrow is Halloween, and yes, kids do trick or treat in Shaw.
Last year Frozen Tropics had some really good tips
for prepping for the day. Also if this is your first Halloween, you may want to check with neighbors to see if there is anyone else giving out candy, 'cause if yours is the lone house, it may decrease the numbers of kids showing up.
Kids have shown up on our block between 5:30 or 6:30 or 7PM and 8PM when some of us stop giving our candy. The sign of when to stop giving out candy is when you've get bands of uncostumed teenagers coming to your door for candy. I stop when the cute kid signal fades out with the crappy teen noise. Then I turn off my porch light, turn off the 1st floor lights and retreat to the rear of the house.
Former Halloween PostsTrick or TreatHalloween RecapI Don't Want to Hear Any Halloween ExcusesReminder: HalloweenHalloween II: Curse of the SignsHalloween III: Death & Candy
- Warning mouse death described.
Labels: misc, neighbors
RANT- The Planet Earth is Doomed
This post is written in sadness and anger. Also it has nothing to do with Shaw in particular, but the planet Shaw resides on. Hopefully I've edited it in a way that it makes sense.
Going to the greenie save the Earth concert/rally won't save the Earth.
Changing one light bulb from incandescent to CFC, won't do it either.
Neither will recycling do it either.
They are great starts to greener living. But those little things won't solve anything if we keep clinging to and promoting lifestyles that undermine and cancel out green efforts. Or worse mocking, demonizing, and criminalizing others efforts to live green or simply. The New York Times did a piece
almost calling people who live green mentally ill. One of the subjects in the article, a Jewish woman who cooks and heats the house with a wood burning stove, has a beautiful (but long) response
, that if you have time you should take a read.
She says several things that I'll try to sum up. We can't really expect other countries, like India and China to clean up their emissions and their environment if we can't lead by example and show that you can have a good quality of life for your citizenry without destroying the planet. We, as Americans, need to find ways that change the American Dream in to a Green American Dream that other nations admire and desire. But we're not there yet, and only G-d knows if we'll ever get there.
My dryer, followed by the AC is the biggest energy hog in the house, and that saddens me because I know what the green solution is, and I don't want to do it because it would crimp my quality of life. Air drying. When looking at my Pepco meter, the dial speeds at 100 mph when the dryer is on. But I will not stand in the way of people who air dry or want clothes lines in their back yards (things that forbidden in many HOAs).
The Green movement in some parts is just another product to be consumed; bamboo sheets, hybrid cars, stuff made from recycled stuff, LEED buildings, organic anything. What of making stuff last longer so you don't have to keep buying more stuff and having the send your old stuff to the landfill? Keeping and maintaining a 1989 Honda, doesn't show the world how green you are as well as a 2008 Prius. Buying a eco-sensitive house doesn't make much sense if it requires a 2 hour commute, part of which is spent idling on the beltway.
This year as a nation we've been freaking out about energy and the ability to borrow money so we can go out and buy cars and buy more crap we don't need. Maybe we should spend more time figuring out how to use less electricity, less gas, less water and how to make cars and other things last longer, and consuming fewer non-necessities.
But until we truly change the way we live day to day, until we find living green rewarding, we are doomed.
Sorta Free to Good Home
Free or best offer- 1 female crappy bike.
I'm now on my 3rd 3 speed and I want to be rid of the old bike. The problem occurred when the front brake broke. I just fixed the back brake, sort of, then this happens. And at some point the bike will need new tires. The tires look like crap, but currently are serviceable.
The good points about the bike? First, it's a woman's bike meaning you can bike in a skirt and dismount gracefully. Second, it is so ugly it is its own anti-theft protection. Nothing easily comes off, so wheels, seat, and bars will remain on the bike when you leave it at the metro station. Lock it, but it's less likely to get stolen. More likely to be removed from Union Station. Third, it's simple transport. Nothing fancy, just three speeds (realistically 2) to get you around town in a bike lane.
So to my readership I offer the bike to you before I go with freecycle or Craigslist or DC Department of Public Works. Free to Shaw, LeDroit, MVSQ, and Bloomingdale folk who offer the best sob story of why you need
a ugly bike *or* bottle of 10-20 year old good* port. Story or port.
R (I suspect it was you) or whoever left a bottle of wine at my door, thank you.
And if anyone else wanna leave gifts, I like port wines too, the older the better.
The windows of the Metro train have a wonderful reflective quality
This is a "it's my blog and I'll post what I want" post. This week I saw CCAG (Cute Commie A* Guy) on the metro. I have not seen for the longest because my commute changed and even with my old commute seeing him was more miss than hit. But there he was, opposite the door from me in all his hunky dweebie handsome Clark Kent glassy geekiness. OMG he's so handsome I could barely look at him directly, lest my eyes be blinded.
Thank goodness the windows in the train reflected just enough to save my already damaged eyes.
I'm okay at a distance as not to be repelled by his free-market hatin', pro-socialist, workers of the world unite ways. If only all the men I'm ideologically opposed to were that dreamy, what a beautiful world it would be.
*A is not for a-hole, but a neutral adjective that would too specifically describe him. Older friends will know about CCAG.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around some aspects of the Robert Taylor Homes area in Southside Chicago. One being space. Pictured is one of several empty lots. This is a huge lot. It could eat up 3, maybe 4 Shaw blocks. If this thing were in Shaw, It'd be a dog park by now, it is so, so big.
Maybe that's another thing I noticed about Chicago, space. All that space, even in other neighborhoods. Chicago has a lot of parks. Open wide spaces, maybe a ball field thrown in for good measure. A city so spacious it includes dull boring un-fabulous to downright tacky middle class neighborhoods that could be a suburb, but no, you're still in the city limits.
Space is at such a premium around the District that I was struck by the wealth of space in some of the most poverty stricken areas of Chicago.
Fenty spotted at the Big Bear
Saturday I got a txt from TC Scott saying our Mayor Fenty was at the Big Bear. I had to wander over to see this. Anyway I race on over to the Bear. And lo, there he was out on the patio of the Bear, in the sun, being all bald and mayorly.
Continuing with the Doctor Who Theme
Me (aged 14); Peter Davidson, the 5th Doctor Who Doctor, and yes, those are a box of Jelly Babies in my hand. I think this was taken at a Sci-Fi convention or just a straight up Dr. Who convention.I was such a dweeb.
Two Shaw Area Blogs to Mention
- That the Blagden Alley And (is that what the other A is for?) Naylor Court Blog. So get your announcements for the next BAA meeting here as well as other information around the BA/NC area.
And Bread for the City
which has an office on 7th Street has a blog. From what I've read it is a group blog so keep note that the poster may not be the author. There are some Shaw topics, but most, so far deal with affordable housing. There are good reads, but there was at least one post that made my eyes roll. The latest post
by Kate Perkins deserves a read because she talks about neighbors as neighbors and the limitations of mixed income projects. Well that's how I read it, and I really like her humble tone.
I've figured out where the bells that ring the hours come from. I was walking near Immaculate Conception on 8th and N one evening and heard the bells there, sounding like they were coming from the church. All this while I was guessing it was coming from LeDroit or over by Howard.
Si (of MVSQ) mentioned that sound bounces around on the buildings, which could explain my confusion.
Labels: churches, misc
Nobody's from here, depends
This would be a better referenced post if I knew where the heck my Census table was, but alas, I don't have it. But when I find it, I'll correct the data and cite it and all that good academic stuff.
One day I had a question, a question that fun Census data could answer. Who's actually from here? There are DC natives, they proudly mention that they are from here. But so many people I meet around Shaw are not. Heck DC has only had two elected mayors born DC, Sharon Pratt-Kelly and Adrian Fenty. Marion Barry was from Mississippi.
Broken down by race, a little over half of DC black population is DC born. It's something like 55% or 58% depending on how I factor in foreign born Blacks. The majority of non-DC native blacks come from Southern states. I'm from Florida, so I'd be part of that. Of the white population only something-teen percent of y'all are from here. Over 80% of you are not from here. Which s probably why, if most of your contacts, associates and friends are also white you'd probably be under the impression that no one is really from here. White non-natives, tend to be from all over, with a slight majority coming from the northeast. Of other racial groups, a majority are not from here either.
Going by the data it can explain some different dynamics at play as a more transient population moves into areas with a lot of native oldtimers. A population of people, black (that 40%), white, Latino & other from diverse areas having their own culture, ways, and reasons for coming to DC may from time to time conflict with the indigenous culture and ways.
Sittin around the house
My family was never really big on holidays. Mostly we'd treat it like an extra weekend day, which is what I'm doing today. My big plan is to once again attempt to clean the first floor and make sure no one sets anything off in my front yard.
I love my little bit of 600-800 sq. feet of American dirt so much that I will fiercely protect it with a water hose. Though it looks like it won't be much of an issue this year. There is the possibility of non-firework friendly weather and the low level of pre-4th firework noise.
Fireworks have now started
They may have started before this weekend but it was this weekend when I started to hear them go off. With a lack of firework stands so far (have you seen any?) and other factors I gather this year won't be as noisy as the previous ones. The proof will be in the 4th of July pudding. The best way to describe 4th of July night 'round here is 'crazy'. Smoke and noise and debris everywhere almost on every corner, kind of crazy.
Will there be on the off chance a quieter 4th? I'm not ready to bet on it, but if it is a bit more sedate with fewer neighborhood D.I.Y. shows competing with the big show on the Mall, I wouldn't be surprised.
Labels: misc, quality of life
Risking a jinx- fireworks
At the risk of jinxing it, have you noticed a decrease in pre-4th of July firework noise? I swear this time a few years back there was the old neighborhood question of "fireworks or gunfire?" Over time I've noticed a decrease in firework activity that used to start up around mid June and continue into early August. It's late June and I've only heard one incident of fireworks going off.
The 4th also provides a good gauge of what's going on with the neighborhood. It will be interesting to see how many drive by fireworkings there are. The drive bys are where people with MD tags jump out from their mini-van, get their big package of fireworks out and light them up on a DC corner, then jump back into the vehicle and head back to Maryland. With gas prices above $4 a gallon, we might see less of that.
Then again the reason I might be hearing fewer firecrackers, is because this year I have insulation and completely closed windows(AC).
If you are reading this, you probably have power.
Before I left home all the lights went out. Checked next door and they lost power too. Asked the folks a few houses down, no power. The next block, no power. I debated sticking around the house, but realizing I can't do squat, I went on to work.
There is no power along 9th Street from the Convention Center to the Spy Museum. The traffic lights were out. Looking west on New York and Mass Aves, it appears the lights were out there too.
Oh and Happy Friday 13th.
If the Pepco Outtage Map
is anything to go by, my milk and meat should be fine.
PSA- Roommate Scam
I've gotten a couple of emails lately regarding something that at a closer look appears to be some sort of scam targeted at bloggers. I'm not sure but after the 3rd or 4th email exchange I'm sure I'll have a better clue. When something in the emails tipped me off, I started looking to see if this was a scam I hadn't heard of I found sites regarding scam emails I've gotten before.
I've had roommates all my adult life. The longest I've ever been without a roommate is 1 year. So this means advertising for roommates in the City Paper, and Craigslist. I've gone through enough roommates and had to advertise for enough roommates to get 3 kinds of scam emails. So as a public service, I present:Scam #1- Fashion Model Abroad
She's fun, fabulous, out going and will be doing work in the fashionable city of Washington, DC. Sadly dah-lings, she is in the deepest of Africa with her mother and cannot be reached by phone.
Example:Thanks for the mail and i appreciate your efforts towards this .I am interested in renting your room.I will need more info from you regards to the house and also i need to know the deposit that i will be paying before i arrive,i am from ENGLAND,but currently based in west africa now with my mom because she works for a missionary school and she is posted down here,i want to move over to the US,Kindly get back to me ASAP with the deposit i need to pay because i will like to pay for the deposit before my arrival and i will like to know the total amount i will be paying for a whole year but i will like to pay the deposit first of all,I do part time modelling and also i have finished with my masters programme.I do model and i have job offers already in the US,I have my masters degree in accounting.My job will be based on contracts so i do not have to go to work all the time,I will only need to go to work 3 times in a week.Scam #2- London Lawyer Uncle
He is contacting you on behalf of his niece who will be coming to the States. Never mind that I'm looking for a roommate and not renting an apartment. Please note different emails.
Example: --- colly smith [firstname.lastname@example.org] wrote:Scam #3- Unknown money bags
I'm Colly Dave of smith Ventures from United Kingdom.I came across your profile for your place to be rented out.I am interested in renting your place for my neice who will be coming to the US. Please answer my following questions below:
1) I will like to know if your appartment is still available
2) I will like to know the rent fee per month and if you require deposit.
3) I want to know if you accept cashier check for payment so I can make an advance payment before her arrival that will stand as commitment
4) Lastly, I will like to know more about you.
I will be very glad to have all this questions answered.
NOTE;REPLY TO email@example.com
Hope to hear from you soon
Straight and to the point. They got a money order, they want to send it to you for the rent and deposit. (I tend to delete those quickly and not respond so I have no examples)Probably Not A Scam But A Waste Of Thought- Lil' Miss Scaredy Pants
She's a student and wants her BFF from 3rd grade, her aunt or 2nd cousin to scope out the place for her, before she comes and applies. I've had these types contact me and it never pans out, so I see these responses as a waste of my time. I'm happy for Auntie M or Becky or whomever to contact me directly, but they never do, or logistics never work out.
I've seen this scene before
Last week heading out from work, pondering taking a cab home to test out the supposed lower prices, I saw a couple walking along Pennsylvania Avenue. What grabbed my attention was the pleading man. The woman was a long haired blond in her late thirties, maybe mid forties wearing a tight fitting black jeans and tee. The man was in his late forties, sorta moppish hair cut, wearing the most nondescript clothes ever.
Man: Let me drive you home
Woman: [silence and keeps walking ahead]
Man: Please [followed by more whiny pleading]
Then there is a certain point when he looks like he's going to get down on his knees, as she's keeping her stride on....
Man: She means nothing to me!
Well that explains a lot. Dude, you're in trouble.
Risk and Benefits
I was looking at mutual funds for an education fund I'm supposed to set up for the niece before the year is out when I answered a question on someone else's site
about crime in Shaw. So this explains the state of mind I was in when answering.
Life is filled with risk. And not just one kind of risk, all sorts of horrid things could happen to your health, heart, and soul. Add to it, it doesn't get evenly spread. You could move to Shaw, live here for 7 years and experience nothing but good. Just as well you could move here, buy a money pit, have your car stolen, get hassled by various people on the street, and move out after 2 years, bitter and angry.
Your experience here could depend on a slew of factors ranging from your personality, your immediate environment, that big wild card, fate, and how all those things mix together on any given day. Say you did buy that money pit, and by chance you mention it to some neighbors/friends/ co-workers who experienced the same problem and could advise you before you threw too much money at it. Or maybe there are a thousand little things that go wrong that need fixing, whether you're the kind of person who could install drywall in your sleep or if you can barely change a light bulb may color how you see the place(the availability of loved ones who like coming over to help with that sort of thing count too).
Only you, know 'you' well enough and what's going on in your life to determine if you can tolerate the various risks of buying a fixer upper or moving into a group house on this or that street in Shaw.
With that said, there are benefits to living here, and this too depends on you and what's going on in your life. I like being able to walk home on a mild day after work. It helps that the job is tiny bit over a mile from the house. If you work in Dulles, this is not a option for you. It helps that there are several other easy transportation options to work and there are several places to walk t, which makes it possible to live without a car. I don't know if the car-dependent people get much out of this. I've been in the house for 7 years, fixed it up and have little intention of moving anywhere anytime soon. But should the University of Florida call me out of the blue wanting me to work at one of the non-med libraries..... see ya. I believe, and know for myself that homeowners who have been in their houses for a decent length of time, say around and over 10 years, should see a decent return on their investment. The reinvestment of commercial ventures (restaurants, coffee shops, stores), improved metro (a straight Green line was not always there), improvements to decaying residential properties, and a more attractive Downtown (remember when it was dead after 6 and on weekends?) have made Shaw a more attractive place to be. There is still room for improvement.
More good neighbors than bad. More good experiences than bad. Interesting stories to tell. Yeah, so far it's been like a slow growing stock that pays decent dividends.
Labels: misc, quality of life
This is mainly a response to those who say, all people in DC dress a certain way, plus something I noticed about the Gallery Place 3-6pm crowd.
Maybe it is where you live and work and who you actually notice versus the people you sort of ignore thing. If I went by what people just around where I work, a good number wear whatever the uniform supply company put out (security, maintenance, and Downtown BID personnel), followed by what can be called business causal which is a huge range, followed by people in suits, and then casual (shorts/jeans and tee-shirts, or what I wear on Fridays to work).
Now let me speak of the Gallery Place crowd. Despite also being called Chinatown, there is a noticeable lack of majority of persons of Asian decent mulling around. Sometimes what's going on at the Verizon Center determines what crowds are seen along 7th and H. If I see a lot of suburban harried looking parents with children I guess the Wiggles or whatever big ticket children's entertainment phenom is in town. Crowds of people in over-sized Caps jerseys, hockey game. But there is another set of people who I must of not noticed before, young African American men and women dressing in a highly conscious urban style.
Not really paying attention, I just probably lumped these folks in with the rowdy after school crowd of kids who look like the kids from my neighborhood. But then, after waiting so many times for the bus I noticed groups of late-teens, twenty-somethings with the big sunglasses and a detailed attention to coordinating their whole look. I noticed the newness and crispness of some of the clothes, ie a total lack of wrinkles. I tend to prefer a more conservative and preppy look. Yet, as I'm noticing this subset of the crowd it was like a little light going off, where, "oh, I see what you're doing. That goes, with that, which accentuates that other thing."
Anyone else notice them too?
Make your dog parks where you may
Coming home yesterday from the R Street exit of the Shaw/Howard station, noticed a man with his mid-sized black dog finishing up a romp around the enclosed space that was the Waltha Daniel's Library. It appears that the gate was open on the 8th Street side and I guess the pair made use of the temporary green space. As far as a more formal option goes, ANC 2C02 Kevin Chapple has a posting
about a petition for a dog park in Shaw.
I don't own a dog, but I see a need for dog parks. And to the argument that parks should be for people. Well they are for people, people with dogs.
So how was your weekend?
Great. Friday I appeared in the Washington Post's Express newspaper
, but didn't know it until I got an email about it. Tis the problem with having a subscription to the main paper, not having a need to pick up the free one. It's a decent article and maybe later this week I might explore the whole researching where to buy process.
Saturday, you &%#!! took all the croissants. Ok, not all, you left two. I swear it was barely 9:30 when I got to Catania's and she was out of a lot of my favorites. In that week's Food section
Catania was mentioned so I expected there'd be fewer choices, but by golly people. Since I had a lot of trouble fitting into my ball gown that night I guess it was for the best. So that I can lay off the buttery goodness that are the $1.25 croissants, let me share a trick with you. I tend to buy a whole bunch and bag/wrap and freeze them immediately. When I want a hot croissant for later I take it out and microwave it in a ziplock bag for 1 minute and 20 to 35 seconds at 30% power.
Later that day I went out to Glen Echo Park for the Strauss Waltz. About 20 minutes before my ride was suppose to arrive I discovered my dress no longer fit. I'm sure it was a comical scene as I got my roommate to try to zip me up, while I'm sucking in and the fabric just refused to come together. After a couple of tries we gave up. So I went to Plan B dress, a longer, even more formal looking gown. That didn't fit either. I did find a dress but I'm going to have to lay off the croissants.
Maybe it would help to lay off the butter and the cream too. As Sunday I made Lapin a la Moutard
, Rabbit with Mustard Sauce. I found fresh rabbit at the Florida Market/Capital City Market on Saturday in that big building with all the vendors and stalls inside. The mustard cream sauce was delicious, problem is that it is mustard and a boat load of heavy whipping cream, with a pinch of tarragon.
In the garden the tarragon has sprout back up. Through the winter it lay dormant, now it's already to be used. It's been in its pot for about two years and comes back in the spring. Also I was able to take some seedling cuttings and make them into salad. I threw the seeds in the pot a few weeks ago and now I'm able to reap some reward. Well with the Black Seeded Simpson and the arugula, the mache is too small to bother with still. I swear last week I threw some radish seeds in the pot and there are little seedling up already.
Anyway, hope you had a good weekend.
Labels: Capital City Market, gardening, misc
Going backwards in heels to music
This has nothing to do with Shaw. Or even the District of Columbia. This falls under the "it's my blog I'll post what I want" rule.
Every year I look forward to the annual 'Evening with Strauss Viennese Waltz'
at Glen Echo. It's where I dig out one of my only two formal dresses, pack a couple of heels and somehow get myself out to the wilds of Maryland to dance with strangers in tuxes.
If you haven't been out to Glen Echo Park for anything, I highly recommend you go at least once and if possible do something in the Spanish Ballroom. There are a couple of different regular dances out there for swing/lindy hop, waltz, zydeco, contra, and folk held in the ballroom. I don't remember if I've been on the merry-go-round there. I believe it will be in operation this weekend, so if my dance card is free and it is still on, I'll probably go for a ride.
Oh yes, for the annual waltz there are dance cards. You get a tiny pencil and a little booklet on a string and you try to get the card filled out (or not in my case as I don't know how to tango and there is at least 1 tango for the night). Besides the main waltzing, there is the tango, and one German named dance that involves a lot of hopping and though quite fun, by the time you really get into it, it's over. All in all it is great fun, a great excuse to dust off the formal wear and cheap ($15 bucks).
Joys of Craigslist
Jimbo discovered a Craigslist complaint about a car at Q and New Jersey
with a car alarm that constantly goes off. I guess it is around the same area where I saw the torched remains of a car... it was completely black, so either it was torched or a lousy car painted completely with flat black paint.
I was bobbing around Craigslist looking at the rental and for sale pictures, because I like to see how people decorate or design their spaces, when I came across this
. Ok, would someone like to explain WTF is that? What exactly is being advertised in the picture?
Dump Truck Protest
I work in lower Penn Quarter and right now I'm being serenaded by dump truck horns. If I stick my head around a colleague's cubical I can sort of see a huge convoy of building construction dump trucks. Some of them have signs. Unfortunately the only one I could read said "Fuel Costs". There was another that might have said something about occupational safety or another about insurance. A periodic complaint we have on our floor is it is nearly impossible to read protester's signs, so we spend most of our time trying to figure out what the heck is the message.
The on going, cacophony of truck horns sounds like the brass section tuning up.
Update= I went down to the street level to take a look, one sign said "Fair Compensation", which looks like "New Construction" from the office window. Also from the street, those horns are loud.
April showers means... less watering for me.
It did cross my mind to do an April Fools post. Something along the lines of 'French Bistro to come to corner of R & New Jersey', but I thought that, that, would be too cruel. However, Frozen Tropics
has gone on a April Fool's roll, my favorite of which is "Local Historians Just Make Sh t Up
". Followed by "Girlfriend No Longer Has Excuse To Not Visit H St Boyfriend
" with a lovely observation of a segment of the west of 16th St anglo-female community.
"I saw Napa used sun-drieds," said Ginny referring to the sun-dried tomatoes sprinkled liberally throughout NAPA's menu. "And that was the deal-sealer for me. No white woman with a college degree can pass them up. I am going to come over at 7 p.m. maybe 7:30 this Saturday. Tell him to make sure no black guys are hanging on the corner this time."
Labels: blog, misc
Is the grass greener and sometimes you can have too much of a good thing
Last week I attended a farewell dinner. No farewell dinner sounds to formal, we met at a restaurant, parked at a couple of tables the staff pulled together, drank and talked about the honoree's career. The man of honor used to be my boss and was leaving to do work at another institution.
Anyway, former boss man and his wife are selling their Capitol Hill home because it is just too busy. I've known the couple for a while, and have been to their house. When I visited about a little less than 10 years ago the way I navigated their neighborhood, was trying to stay on the not-scary part of the street. Believe it or not, parts were kinda sketchy at night a decade ago. Now their street is less dark and frightening.
However, since the increased commercial activity along Pennsylvania and 8th Street, their neighborhood has gotten loud. I remember him complaining once how he could hear his neighbor's alarm clock. So with new complaints about increased traffic, both car and foot, I can understand why he and his wife want out.
On one level a vibrant commercial strip is a good thing. However, it is a mixed blessing. It makes your house more valuable, neighborhood safer and there are more amenities. However, you're afraid to move your car, because when you come back there may be nothing on your block, or near your block, when you come home (sounds like Dupont Circle). And then there is the street noise of cars, and people talking.
I don't know where they will go if and when they sell. I guess they will stay in the city, maybe a quieter, or better insulated part of the city.
Conversations I need to stop having in mixed company
I was in Georgetown talking with a woman when in the conversation I mentioned my usual neighborhood complaints of guys on the corner, drug dealing, the friendly neighborhood crackhead (formerly crack ho as no one has lately reported her doing business), and vacant houses. She asked "Now where do you live again?" This is when I realized I should have kept my mouth shut, as idle chatter about boyz in the hood and other transitional neighborhood woes don't play well in other parts of town. I do remember responding to the question with humor.
Little White House
One of these things is not like the other,
Come on won't you tell me so.
Can you tell me which thing is not like the other.
Before my song is done.
And now my song is done.
There is bell ringing in my ear
I've been meaning to mention it, but have you noticed bells chiming, sometimes ringing off the hours in the past month or two? I have no clue where this is coming from. Scott is guessing that they are in the direction of St. George's Episcopal on U St in Eckington/Bloomingdale. Anyone else have a clue of who is ringing the bells?
Books & seeds
I stopped by the Big Bear to check out their little library
and pickup some coffee grounds for ye olde compost bin. Not much there on the bookshelf so I'll be seeing what I can spare from my shelves, that might make for an interesting coffeehouse read.
Currently I'm reading Sudhir A. Venkatesh's American Project
and I'm only at page 87. It isn't as much of a page turner as his Gang Leader for a Day
, it covers around about the same material but is more academic, and talks more about the governmental bodies that play a role in the history and operations of the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago. There were a few things that have caught my attention so far in the book. One was the story of the Robert Taylor Homes starting off as mixed income housing and how policies helped turned it into a poor people warehouse. The second thing is the underground economy developing and the incentives for relatively benign activities to be driven underground. On this second thing, the underground economy included child care services, food and craft production, car repair, hair styling, subleasing, and under the table labor as well as criminal commerce such as selling stolen items, drugs, gambling, prostitution and 'protection.' What I find fascinating are the incentives that keep the non-criminal stuff underground. Anyway, when I'm done with the book I will add it to the BB library.
On seeds, I only got one bite for an exchange. I'll try again. Any one want to engage in a seed swap meet?
Labels: crime, gardening, misc
Games Children Play
From the screaming and yelling the neighborhood kids are engaging in and a certain chant, I believe the kids are playing Jerry Springer. I'm not going to look out the window to see if anyone is playing the role of Trailer Trash Transvestite. And yes, I'm posting this at 10:55PM. And, yes, the kids are outside at 10:55PM. No, I don't know why the kids aren't in the house.
Gender and the corner
This is an observation, and I am weak on gender theory, but we've got guys on the corner. You know, the ones you're calling 311 or 911 on for hanging on the corner. It's males, men, boys, hanging on the corner. Where are the women? Home? At work? Any ideas?
It's 8AM Thursday, do you know where your toy sized dog is?
I'm not sure about the breed, but it wasn't a bichon frise, and I'm not entirely sure if it was a shih tzu
maybe a scotty but it was a little white dog on the 1600 block of 5th St NW without a human around that I met up with on the way to work. It barked at me and walked away (south on the even side of the sidewalk) as I tried to approach it to look at it's tinkling tags. I walked about 30 feet off my normal route before I turned around and gave up. I'm not going to mess with a dog that doesn't want to be bothered with me.
Anyway, if that's your dog, that's where I last saw it.
Once again. Blogger is being a butt. So I post for your entertainment, Islamic Way, which I think is that tiny stretch of road that is the turn off to get on to New Jersey.
Well it got to a slow start. 5pm, nothing. 6pm, nothing. 7pm, kids on the block hover on one side of the street and costumed relatives driven in hover with them.
Sometime between 7:30pm and 8:10pm an impromptu costumed block party breaks out, with blond little tykes in too cute costumes(with parents), running up and down the sidewalk around with black princess fairies, as teens in Scream/Jason masks gossip and josh around, while semi-un-costumed adults of the whole diversity rainbow give out candy and flit back and forth across the street. Passing slowly by twice was a police cruiser, whose occupant added to the festive spirit by giving a ghoulish laugh over the car's loudspeaker. A few Latino trick or treat families stumbled on to this scene and one woman giving out candy had her costumed kids take pictures with the passing kids.
My favorite costume was the bloody skateboarding doctor. A kid/young adult went house to house on his skateboard and he had a blood splattered lab coat, face shield/mask, and a stethoscope. A few others on my block got a kick out of his get up as well.
Then the uncostumed gang of teens started showing up, and that's when I turned out the lights and walked a few doors over to crash the Halloween party for parents. It was breaking up when I called it quits a little before 9pm. When enough big slovenly teens start running around and the cute kid numbers are nil, it's not fun anymore.
Labels: misc, neighbors
Today is Halloween, and yes, kids do trick or treat in the hood. I know of at least three houses on my block giving away candy. I don't know or think kids bother with condo buildings, but they will go to houses. Also be aware that the lame non-costumed losers will beg you for candy (if you are giving it out), accept it as part of the day. But there is no reason you have to give them the good stuff.
Inshaw.com/ann.htm has been the page I've been posting the odd announcement. I say odd, because I post things when I get around to it. There are some groups whose stuff I don't post, but most of the time if I don't post something, it's because I'm lazy. Or I didn't get it early enough. I need a week at the least. Or there was other stuff going on when I got the message and then it got buried under a ton of other emails. Or, there is the odd chance that my spam filter caught it.
Anyway, on this page over on the right hand menu, I've got a link for those random haphazard announcements that can overcome my too full email box and my habit of procrastination and not wanting to do stuff.
Waddaminute: Porch Culture
Something said at the Shiloh FLC Gentrification forum is not sitting right with me. And this is just my life experience, which may not reflect someone else's who may have lived in a different era and place. But the idea of porch culture being so prominent isn't exactly jiving with my memories.
I grew up in a mediumish North Central Florida city in the 1970s-1980s. I'll admit there has been some climate change, but the general weather is hot & humid. I had no clue what people meant by humidity until moving north because when it was hot it was always humid. Shade did not matter, much. So in the 70s I think people did hang out on their screened (Florida has big bugs) porches, but as air conditioning, sweet, sweet humidity controlling AC in the form of window units became more affordable in the 80s and 90s people in my neighborhood were seen less often on their porches.
Also, I think cable also played a part. My family got cable in the early 80s, 1982 or 1983 to be exact. Yes, it is entertaining to watch the world go by sitting on the porch, but so are the stories and wrestling and that new Michael Jackson video in the AC.
FF to today in Shaw.
Not that no one hangs out on their porch or stoop. I will occasionally sit outside in the front yard, when the mood grabs me. Cell phone guy will be out, in his front, broadcasting his business (at some point he'll wander to his backyard too) loudly and clearly. Other households will sit out front for a smoke, or to decompress before heading back inside. There are so many inside things that demand our leisure time, so it seems unfair to blame gentrification for the decline of porch culture. Maybe technology is to blame.
Labels: gentrification, misc
GAS LEAK! at 3rd and R
There is a Haz-Mat crew (orange jumpsuits) and cops and firemen all over the place. From the small band of Latino workers under a shaded tree and the small backhoe on the corner, it may seem that some construction work was going on and a gas line was hit. I wonder if the GC called 811
before digging? Anyho I had to leave the smell of gas (or something) was irritating my nose something fierce.
Friday wrap up
Instead of going to work I went to Ocean City, MD (for a professional meeting) and grabbed some seaweed and small shells for the compost bin. I'll wash off the salt and throw what I have in compost bin tonight. Seaweed (once you wash off the salt) is very good for compost and the shells I guess provide calcium.
If you spend more than 10 minutes on Google and can't find what you're looking for it may be time to consult a librarian.-- Lesson learned at conference.
Has anyone noticed that a bunch of houses on Bates are up for sale? Has anyone also noticed that it seems to be the same realtor? Or is it just me?
Lastly, I've been thinking of the whole, well now our Truxton/Shaw houses are worth 2x or 3x as much so such and such should happen. The fault I find in this is that houses in more established DC neighborhoods are also worth 2x to 4x as much. It is not that anything has happened. There have been improvements in transitional neighborhoods such as ours that make the price raises just more than inflation. However, my $300K (formerly $100K) fee simple house with yard is worth as much as a studio sized condo in Dupont with no parking or balcony. On the plus side I could trade it in for a small detached house with a lawnmower worthy yard in the uncool section of College Park, MD (PG County). I guess my rambling point is although we know how much our own and our neighbors' houses are worth, we should also know the comparables across town.
Labels: houses, misc
Oh hell no!
Most of the time stuff happing down at the mall, down in the Federal part of the city has little impact on Shaw. But the ceremonies to celebrate the Great Darth Lord's continuing rule over the Empire on the 20th will make the roads around the Convention Center close. 11th Street between NY Ave and N, N Street to 6th St, and 6th to Mass Ave closed from Wednesday to Thursday. Will Darth Dubya be in Shaw? Why oh great Darth Lord why?