Ten Days of Truxtun- Not the British Navy

Day 8. After some chatting with a friend whose knowledge of the British Navy in the 18th & 19th Century comes from reading novels and having a crazed roommate obsessed with the Horatio Hornblower series, we came to the conclusion that the last place you wanted to be was in the British Navy. There was the bad food, the floggings, the classism, disease, more floggings, and the warfare, ’cause no one likes getting shot at. Now Captain Tom Truxtun tried to move away from the British model with fewer floggings replaced with reprimands, and some idea about courtesy and mutual respect. The problem with the British system he wrote,

” A man of war is a petty kingdom and is governed by a petty despot… The little tyrant, who struts his few fathoms of scoured plank, dare not unbend, lest he should lose that appearance of respect from his inferiors which their fears inspire. He has therefore, no society, no smiles, no courtesies for or from any one. Wrapped up in notion of his own dignity, and the means of preserving it, he shuts himself up from all around him. He stands alone, without the friendship or sympathy of one on board; a solitary being in the midst of the ocean.”

[Ferguson, 147]
So therefore let Capt. Truxtun inspire you this day not to be a tyrant to your interns or underlings, smile at your co-workers or remember to show them some courtesy in your dealings with them this day.

ANC 5C meeting Agenda

Notice of Meeting of Advisory Neighborhhod Commission 5C
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Marriott Courtyard
7:00pm -9:00pm Florida Avenue, NE at METRO Station

September 2009 Community Meeting

ANC5C participants are invited to bring suggestions and recommendations for community improvement to the meeting. However, please observe simply courtesies at all times — wait to be recognized before speaking and do not speak over others or while others have the floor. Please limit your comments to give others a chance for expression. Following the Commissioners’ comments, members of the community will be recognized to speak. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall maintain public order during the meeting. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Part I: Administrative 7:05 pm

1. Call to Order .………………………………………… Commissioner Bonds, Chairman

2. Roll Call ……………….…………………….. ………….. Commissioner Daneker, Vice Chairman

3. Minutes Approval (All outstanding minutes)……… Commissioner Pinkney, Recording Secretary

4. Treasurer’s Report …………………………………. Commissioner Farmer-Allen, Treasurer

Part II: Featured Presentation 7:20 pm

The NoMa Plan, Project and Progress Update ……………..……. Elizabeth Price, Executive Director, North of Massachusetts Avenue
Q and A Session

Part III: New Business 7:45 pm

Proposed Re-location of DC Office of Cable Television in McKinley High School …(10 minutes)

Update on Outstanding Grants and New Proposals ……..Commissioners Day & Salatti (10 minutes)

Ready to Build Notice for former Fairfield Project .……..Commissioner Wright (10 minutes)

BZA Application for 2034 North Capitol Street, NW ……………Commissioner Salatti (10 minutes)

Vote by Commission on Cook School Disposition Resolution ….Commissioner Pinkney (10 minutes)

Part IV: Other Business 8:35 pm

Mayor’s Office of Community Outreach and Services ……Richard Norwood, Ward 5 Coordinator

Office of Councilmember Harry Thomas ……………………..

Community Comments ……(10 minutes)

In the interest of time so give everyone who wishes to speak an opportunity to do so, each speaker

is allotted 1 minute to speak; a bell sound will be made if a party exceeds the time frame.

Any Other Business, Resolutions, Notices, Announcements

Part V: Executive Session 8:50 pm

Pay Bills ………………………………………………. Commissioners Farmer-Allen and Day

—- Meeting Adjourn —

Reminder: All Grantees must submit financial reports every 60 days through grant duration.

Truxtun, townhouses, and misc

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

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.

Pondering the Commute

I remember one of my first arguments on commutes. It was with my college roommate when we decided to move out of the dorms and off campus. She wanted to be closer to her boyfriend (later husband but no matter) over in one of the big student dominated apartment complexes on the butt end of the undeveloped part of campus. I wanted to be close enough to campus to roll out of bed 15-20 minutes before class. I won and we got a 2 bedroom across the street from the active part of campus.
I believe then as I do now in living as close as you can to the place you have to drag yourself to most often. But in the 8 years I’ve lived at my house in Shaw, I’ve had three different duty stations, and I think I live as reasonably close to them. The commutes have ranged from 1 hour to 20 minutes, Old Town Alexandria to College Park, MD. I picked my neighborhood based on the idea that I would seek employment at certain agencies or places based on my profession. Nearby bus lines could directly take me to the Library of Congress, or Catholic U or Georgetown should any of those places have openings, and for a while a friend was strongly encouraging me to apply at the LC. My current employer the Bureau of Fight Club has locations along the green and yellow line so my current location really works for me, particularly when given cross department assignments. And my boyfriend who works up in College Park has been pondering some “what ifs”, including his commute should it come to his relocating to the house. I sort of win in this scenario because he’s a renter.
However when chatting with others, I’ve been lucky. Job changes or conditions may create a need for a car when the job moves or you’re reassigned to say Dulles from Alexandria. In two income households I’ve known one partner who may work in the outer regions may start looking for something closer in. Of course there are people who hate the city and won’t move in for love or money or even a better commute.

Ten Days of Truxtun- In the Navy

Day 7, in March of 1794 Congress decided grudgingly to support a Navy. The idea was 6 ships would be built, they would address the attacks from the Algiers on American ships, and once that’s done disband and go back to being a shiny new nation. Well that was the idea. Tom Truxtun agreed to be one of the 6 captains of this American navy which limited his income. He would make more money as a merchant seaman than as a captain in the navy. Each captain was in charge of overseeing the building of his ship and Truxtun chose Baltimore for his ship. Unfortunately there was a huge problem with finding suitable live oak, needed to build the type of ship needed, which created delays and it didn’t help that peace was achieved with the Algerians. In 1796 the US Navy was in danger of being dismantled, per the act of Congress that commission it, but was saved with the Navy bill signed by George Washington April 20, 1796.
Besides getting the Constellation built, Truxtun’s other great contribution to the Navy was creating a system of organization. The initial idea of the Navy was there would be 6 ships, six captains, and they would operate independently of each other. The nation was loathe to use signals and other customs from the Royal Navy, so Truxtun wrote a book in 1797 Instructions, Signals, and Explanations, Ordered for the United States Fleet. He stressed learning and the study of the naval arts in a profession that wasn’t known for it’s love of reading, or scientific study.

Fun With Redfin- Affordable Housing

Okay, I want a house 2 blocks from the metro, with more than 1,500 square feet, a nice sized southern facing backyard, decent front yard, quiet, near a good restaurant/coffee shop, with parking, in northwest, in move in condition for about $200,000.

You can stop laughing now.

I’m about 4-4.5 blocks from the metro, small yards, no parking, quiet??? depends, under 1,500 even counting the cellar, in NW, and close enough to Big Bear. However, I would have to be either mentally insane or desperate for a quick sale to even consider selling my lovely home for anything in the $200K range.

So with that in mind let’s head over to Redfin to see what’s selling around the hood for less than $200K and $300K. In the general Shaw area, you can get a parking space for something in the $30K range, a foreclosed condo for $165K, and a short sale condo for $159K in the same building. Over in Mt. Vernon Square there is still 481 Ridge Street NW on the market for $199,900. Yes, it will require a lot of work, but come on, it’s two blocks from the metro, a couple of blocks from the Safeway. What’s not to love?
There are two actual ‘affordable housing’ co-op units available up near U Street. The listing reads as, “PURCHASER MUST BE APPROVED BY COOP AND MAKE LESS THAN $48,800.00 For Single Buyer and $51,200.00 for two buyers.” However the monthly co-op fee, and explains why co-ops are so cheap, is $1,045.
When you bump up the search to include places $300K or less there are more choices than the odd foreclosure and short sale. More foreclosures and short sales. There is a short sale in the Rhapsody, a foreclosure on 6th St, on and 5th St in that weird funky looking townhouse with the thing in front. There are some regular places that either need lotsa work, or some work, or are 1 bedroom condos (see here, here and here). I dunno what category to put 36 Q NW, a 4 bedroom condo @ $295K that’s been on the market for 585 days. What’s wrong with it?

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.

Ten Days of Truxtun- Going for broke

Day 6, in looking at the life of Tom Truxtun, for whom a circle was named, and that now gone circle names a ‘hood.
Nothing truly exciting happened between the end of the Revolutionary War and 1794 in Tom’s life. He got older, sailed the world, got into a scrape with John Paul Jones, had a bunch of kids, the usual. The notable things to mention was his career as a merchant seaman was pretty good despite nearly losing it all and going into deep debit because the post war economy went into the crapper. Apparently, printing a lot of money, speculating and importing and not really exporting is bad for a country.
Next, Ten Days of Truxtun- In the Navy