Lemonade- Logan Circle Churches Rally

When the Almighty gives you lemons….
So the rally was about parking. Not so sure. I heard a few things, my ear picked up on some other things, but I can’t say the ‘right to double park’ was the main event. It was the draw, but not the topic.
When I first arrived, there was something about a threat to drive churches out of DC. I went to my DC church today, didn’t hear a thing about that. There was a lot of “we’re here to stay” going on in the beginning. There were several pastors and ministers coming up to the mike to speak, and I must note, 2 white pastors including someone representing the National Cathedral (silly Episcopalian).
But I digress. I did hear hope. Some speakers mentioned how the churches and the residents need to work together. Linda Cropp was there, and she looked good, and she spoke. She started off talking about Spring and ‘rebirth’ and about being able to pray and worship in peace, as well as solutions that will not block residents in ( I think those were her words). She said we need to move forward (but where I ask). She said, “It can be worked out” “It will be worked out.” And she promised to take an active role in the issue for a resolution. I need to say that Michael Brown was there as was Phil Mendelssohn. I don’t thing either Phil or Michael spoke.
Actually, Michael Brown’s van was sitting across the street in a spot where people normally never park. As was a few other vehicles, police and that of a few churches that came to show support. Churches such as Johnson Memorial Baptist (800 Ridge Rd, SE), and New Macedonia Baptist Church (4115 Alabama SE) parked across the park. Nearby were the church buses of New Spartan Baptist (1100 Florida Ave NE) and First Rising Mt. Zion Baptist (600 N St NW). There were at least 3 large tour buses that picked folks up as well. So take note, if need be churches can rally together.
The lemons I allude to in the title is the parking problem. The lemonade, or the makings of lemonade, is the desire I heard of coming together for real social justice issues. Some acknowledged the difficulties in coming together for AIDS and homelessness and that it has taken a few parking tickets to bring them together.
What I did not hear a lot of what the idea that double parking was some sort of right to be defended. The right to remain in the city, the right to worship, the need to be included in the discussion, the city’s needing the churches, that I heard. I think they know that double parking will end, but they are going to hold it off as much as possible. One pastor said he had spoken with the mayor and there will be a 4 month suspension of the parking enforcement. He did concede that it is not the solution and they will work with the residential community.
They asked the crowd to contact Carol Schwartz. Please note the churches I mentioned earlier are DC churches in areas I’m going to bet there are more residents attending than suburbanites, so don’t underestimate their political pull. Anyway, Carol Schwartz, member at large, chairs the Committee of Public Works and the Environment which oversees the Department of Public Works, and the Department of Transportation. I notice from Schwartz’s website that Jim Graham, Adrian Fenty, Kwame Brown and former Mayor Marion Barry also sit on this committee.
Hopefully churches in the area can come together for actual social justice issues such as homelessness, social welfare, AIDS, and the like. And I know this will be worked out, it is just a matter of when and how. And I once again suggest, public transportation (U Street, Shaw, Mt. Vernon Sq., and a bunch of buses).

Today is Earth Day -gardening post

And I’m not doing anything different.
I was reminded of the day while reading another blog talking about Soylent Green (1973) a distopia where there are no fresh veggies. Considering the number of danelions growing in my treebox and a lot of neighbors’ yards I can’t really imagine a world without these annoying but edible weeds.
How’s the edible front yard going? Well I sort of finished the edible brick walkway. I have to wait for the plants to take hold and spread. That can take months. The blueberries are struggling along. I could have sworn this time last year I had a few berries, but there are not even flowers yet. I do have berries on the alpine strawberry plants in the back. The daylilies Justin B. gave me are begining to take. I have some tomato seedlings in the place where I had tomatoes last year. I can’t remember now if I had any hybrids in that spot last year. If so I’ll have to dig these up and replace them with the seedlings I’ve been growing in the window. Also growing in the window for future placement in the yard are chives, cilantro, and squash.
If you got a call from me yesterday I was trying to find someone to take salad off my hands. I have two pots of a salad mix growing and I have to cut back to give the more vigorous plants some room. Well after making a little dent, I discovered I had a lot of salad. More than the needs of one person. I found two people to take the salad. I think both times I was asked what part of my yard it came from. Y’all are so distrusting of my front yard. The salad is in pots in the rear yard. The front yard is fine. I have eaten pesto made from front yard basil, pasta sauce from front yard tomatoes (no one ever asks where the tomatoes are from). I’ve eaten beans, peas, blueberries, mint and thyme all from the front yard. The tree box, not putting anything from that in my mouth.

Long haul

Let’s pretend we know the future and let’s pretend that we are committed to staying. Anyway I ran into Jimbo at an event and Jim mentioned some suspected flippers in his neck of Shaw. He said he was going to write something on his blog about it so I’m not going to write about what I think he is going to write about, I think.
Let me say this, I don’t know how long I’m going to live in my house. Current plan is that I live here until I get too old for the stairs and then move to Florida to die. Of course, stuff could happen. I could get married, and that presents the question of your place or mine? I could get a dream job offer from the University of Florida, and well, see ya! I could get into a financial predicament where I have to sell the house. The neighborhood could become a student ghetto* and I’d move out. There are a whole slew of life changes that may get me to up and move. But as a homeowner it’s kind of hard to do it on a whim.
But the default position I’m taking is that I am here for the long haul. With that mind set I make friends with my neighbors, with the knowledge that stuff happens and they could be here for 5 years or 10, or 20. I’d love to see their kids grow up. it was painful for me to leave a church I had been attending for many years because in part, I had seen several of the kids go from howly babies to curious toddlers to overly energetic children. I’d hope to get just as attached to the kids growing up here, and I’m willing to have my heart broken when those families decide it is time to move away.
So since I believe I’m going to be here for a while, I’ll say hello to my neighbors. I’ll fiddle around in the front yard, chat with passers by, deal with the guys looking for handouts or the kids trying to earn some extra pocket money. I will wander over to my neighbors’ yards and see what they are planting or in general what’s going on. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, neither does anyone else, so let’s pretend we all will be here 10 years or more, and act like it.

*before someone decides to take offense to that statement, I call all neighborhoods with a high concentration of college kids, a ‘student ghetto’. My first apartment was on the edge of the student ghetto across from one of the many UF parking lots. Student ghettos tend to be sad depressing areas where absentee landlords let their properties go to pot and renters do little to make the outside nice. Hardly any families, or long term folk stay in a student ghetto, except for the professional grad student.

Recycled construction

Normally, this would go in the Inshaw announcements, because it isn’t in Shaw, and I’m just recycling news but it is exciting to me and I figure I’ll put it out here:

Subject: Grand Opening of new Recycled Construction Materials center

This could be a great new resource for those of you renovating houses:


Open 8am – 4pm, Thurs. – Sat.
301-904-7579 Cell / 301-985-5180 Office
4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston, MD 20781

Grand Opening of Community Forklift – COOK-OUT AND DANCE
April 29, 2006
Have you checked out Community Forklift yet? We are the DC metro area’s surplus, salvaged, and green building materials store – owned and operated by the nonprofit Sustainable Community Initiatives. You can donate building materials to receive a tax deduction, or buy new and used items at very low prices!
Our goals are to:
· Lift up communities by making repairs more affordable for homeowners, small businesses and community groups;
· Reduce construction waste, decreasing the demand for virgin materials and keeping reusable materials out of landfills and incinerators;
· Create career opportunities for local residents; and
· Educate the public about green building materials and methods, especially reuse.
It’s time to celebrate our opening!
Please come to our party on April 29, 2006.
The Community Forklift store at 4671 Tanglewood Drive in Edmonston, MD (the Hyattsville area) Call 301-985-5180 or find detailed directions at
What & When:
Contests and Special Discounts
All day, Thurs. April 27 – Sat. April 29
Green Building Commerce Fair
Meet Local Businesses that Choose to Reuse – Fri. April 28 & Sat. April 29, 1-4 pm
Workshops for Do-It-Yourselfers
New Lives for Old Materials – Sat. To Be Announced
A Woman Did It – Sat. 12 pm
Kids’ Activities
Green Games – Sat. 11 a.m.
Dollhouses for Little Treehuggers – Sat. 1-4 pm
Potluck and BBQ
Meat & Veggie – Sat. 4-8 pm
Blessing of the Green Builders Multi-Denominational – Sat. 5 pm
Dance, Reggae, & Old School with DJ Birdman – Sat. 5:30-8 pm

Lota milage for a dead horse: church parking

I nearly laughed stuff out of my nose when I read on DCist that Logan Circle churches are holding a rally this Sunday (April 23) at 2pm in protest of the enforcement of parking rules. Okay, maybe I just found it funny.
I have a solution. It’s this thing. I call it. Public Transportation. In Maryland there is this place called PG Plaza Metro. It has a parking garage. And. There is a station called U Street, and another called Shaw/Howard University, and another called Mt. Vernon Square, one could walk from one of those stations to the church of one’s choice. And there are the buses. Oh, the buses! I use a bus to get to my place of worship as the neighborhood it is in is famous for it’s lack of parking. Sometimes I see other people, dressed in their Sunday best also, believe it or not, going to church, on the bus. I kid you not. Go to the Metro website and check out all the options.
Now you may flick your hand at the notion of, bah, public transit and cry, what of the disabled and the old? And I say, I wasn’t aware you had such a large mission targeting the diabled. When I pass by a lot of your parishioners looked liked they could walk. Actually I noticed a lot of your parishioners had nice cars and very nice clothes so I’m sure they can pony up the money for a senior van.
Well I might see you at the rally.

Something in the water

I swear there is something in the water because it seems like every week I find out another couple in the ‘hood is pregnant. Congrats, and I will pray for healthy and safe pregnancies for you all.
But lets get to the heart of the matter, kids. Will I still see you all in 5 years? As adults we are willing to take on certain headaches and annoyances, like small spaces and the noise and etc. Yet, as I’ve heard, “you change the baby and the baby changes you.” Will the changes include living in the city?
Anyway, there is a Yahoo group forming, or formed, for expecting and new parents for Ledroit Park and surrounding areas (like the TC) called DCParents.

Restaurants yes, bars…..eh

I got an email about Be Bar sometime ago. It too is on 9th Street and is facing opposition from a church. Yet, unlike the Vegetate Queen of Sheba vs Shiloh fight, I really haven’t had much interest. Mainly because it isn’t a restaurant. I like restaurants. You come in, someone seats you, they give you menus and people bring you food. I like those kinds of places. I’m not a bar person. Unless dragged to one, I tend not to go to them. So I’m very lukewarm if not slightly cool on the topic of non-restaurants and ABC licenses.
Be Bar is to be an “upscale tavern/lounge”, so food may be served there but it is not the main attraction. As a restaurant, for the definition of an ABC license is a place where at least 45% of its gross annual receipts are from the sale of food. A tavern sells both food and alcohol and may have entertainment of some sort and there is a limit on the size of the dance floor. Then there are nightclubs and they tend to get shot down by residential groups so I’m not going to bother to define that.
The fight between Be Bar and Cathedral Baptist Church…. Baptist Churches… ABC license fights… on 9th St… I sense a theme there. Anyway, where was I? The fight between Be Bar and Cathedral Baptist has been written up in the Washington Blade. I have really nothing new to add. Well except that the hearing for the Be Bar license will be this Wednesday, at 10am, 941 North Cap, 7th floor.

Tip for the lazy gardener- watering

Yeah, another gardening post, but otherwise I got nothin today.
IKEA sells these plastic self-watering pots with wheels. They come in three colors, clay, white and blue. Now I have a problem, oh around Summer, about getting around to watering the plants. So last year I had these two pots, on wheels so I could move them around according to where the sun shine was, drilled a few holes on the side and had a pot that rarely went completely dry.
The other thing, for the tree box and the hanging pots were soil moisture crystals. You can get Soil Moist, Schultz has something called Moisture Plus. I’m not sure about the long term problems of these things. Last year they did keep some of the hanging plants alive during my watering lapses.
What I really need to do is set up an irrigation drip system, with a timer. The problem is in the back all the pots move around. I’ve got 27 pots (of varying sizes) to water. Eek. Typing in 27 pots, with the knowledge that I have more pots to fill, just hit me. That’s a lot of pots. Too many for a drip system. Well, the kind I’ve been looking at.

Space and gardening

Well I was happy to read in the Post (see it’s good for something) that I’m not the only one who plants things very close. I threw some salad green seeds in a pot without taking into account how far apart seeds were from each other. Once they sprouted and got a few leaves, I thinned them out by making salad for that night. I plan to keep thinning them until it makes sense only to take off a few leaves, as opposed to clipping the whole plant out.
Baby salad is quite nice. I can’t wait till I get some peas to add with them. By the time the tomatoes ripen it maybe too hot for salad. Last year I let the soil dry out and they never came back. The corn salad (mache) was more forgiving and actually survived the winter. Yet, it is not as tasty as the other salad greens.

State of the 5th Ward


Please be reminded of the below activity that takes place this evening at Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church.


Jim Berry

Ward Five Convention and The State of the Ward Address – Wednesday, April 12, 2006!

Council Member Vincent Orange is sponsoring a Ward Five Convention and State of the Ward Address on 4/12/2006, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., at Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church, 610 Rhode Island Avenue, N.E. In addition to Mr. Orange’s address, entitled “A Blue Print for the Future,” an opportunity will be given for attendees to meet the numerous candidates to replace Council Member Orange as the Ward Five Representative on the DC City Council and the Dunbar Senior High School Marching Band will be featured. For more information concerning this event, you may call Linda Perkins at (202) 724-8076.