May 2010 Archives

UHOP Parade this Saturday, more info

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From PSA 301 via the MVSNA listserv:

The parade hours will be Saturday, May 29, 2010 from 10am which will be the assembly time, and start at 12 Noon to 3pm which will be the disbanding time.

The route is as follows:
The parade will form at 6th and M Street NW and will proceed over the following route: North on 6th Street to S Street, West on S Street to 13th Street to Logan Circle, Southeast around Logan Circle to P Street, East on P Street to 7th Street, South on 7th Street to M Street, East on M Street to 6th where participants will disband.

Enjoy the parade, but if you got somewhere to go, don't do it during the parade unless you're on foot or bike.

Razin' Hell

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I've pulled two Washington Post articles from the pile.
The first is from May 10, 1955 "5000 Homes To Be Razed In RLA Plan" by Robert C. Albrook. The RLA is the Redevelopment Land Agency, a government agency that dealt with blight. And the blight in this case were some 5000 houses in the general Shaw area. I say general because the agency was working on the 2nd Precinct (think 14th St NW to Union Station, Florida to Mass Ave) and hadn't paired it down to the Shaw School borders. They were considering what needed repair and what needed to be bulldozed. The neighborhood had yet to organize against those plans and the impact of the SW Urban Renewal hadn't really sunk in yet.
Fast forward a couple of decades to "RLA Sets Razing in Riot Areas" February 20, 1971 by William L. Claiborne. 1971, a little more than 2 years after the 1968 riots that ruined many parts of Shaw. Instead of several thousand structures to be razed, the effort was to tear down several hundred damaged properties. Fun quote from this article is:
Marion Barry, executive-director of Pride, Inc., who also attended the session, said, "You never get anything done unless the citizens go out and raise hell.... This (demolition schedule) came because of our protest."
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Making Ice Cream

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This has nothing to do with anything, but last night I felt like I just discovered fire or that cold vodka is useful in making pie crust.

I like to make my own ice cream. I have a hand cranked thing that uses a cylinder that I set in the freezer a day or so before. Some of my neighbors have had my creations. I tend to make chocolate and BAM!Vanilla! (as my cousin calls it) and I tend to like it more than anything I've had elsewhere. However, the new gelato place on 7th St in Penn Quarter is pretty darned good too. Anyway, the only problem, if you consider it a problem, is my ice cream is typically too dense. The chocolate is like eating a frozen brownie sometimes. Or it bends spoons. I figure I'm just not churning it enough.

But last night, I made a Strawberry Sage ice cream using a recipe from an Irish Ice Cream store and it called for whipping the cream. I've never whipped the cream when making ice cream and this whipped concoction is lighter in texture. The whipping I see makes it less dense and easier to scoop.

Now the whole fruit herb combo makes me wonder if I can make a Twizzler's sorbet with strawberry and tarragon.

As I said, this has nothing to do with anything.

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Toque Cafe has a broken window

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It hasn't helped that DCRA (I'm guessing DCRA) slapped a Stop Work Order on the place. It is a great shame that some one has already started messing with the place.

Flower Power 2010

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Two things you'll want to know about the neighborhood beautification for the Bates Area (northern Truxton Circle, north of P).

One, you need to sign up ASAP for the treebox improvement on June 5th on the BACA blog. By doing so you can get some free treebox plants, mulch and dirt. But you have to sign up. If you don't sign up, maybe, you'll just get some free mulch or compost that DPW (hopefully) will dump at 1st and P. (G-d willing). So sign up here.

Second, Flower Power is on this year on June 26th and tickets for the garden walk are back to recessionary prices. Five bucks if you get them the day before. Once again I'm selling them. Contact me at mari at inshaw dot com or show up at the next BACA meeting June 7th or get them from others on the Flower Power committee. In the meantime you can nominate your or your neighbor's yard or your block (which is why you need to sign up for the treebox thing) for the Flower Power walk. Some of you should have gotten fliers but if not you can go to the BACA blog's Flower Power page and fill out the nomination form.

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Dunbar Marching Band Scam

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via the Eckington Listserv
It seems some kid is going around collecting funds for the band, but it seems Dunbar no longer has a band.
I've pretty much gotten cynical when it comes to mealy mouth kids and fund raising. I don't truly believe they are raising money for their school or football team. I may give out of pity or explain that I only give to the kids who live on my block, sorry.
When I want to do charitable giving I have lots of choices and I have a higher preference for those who I can somewhat hold accountable.

Grusesome Playground Injuries

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This has very little to do with Shaw but I was invited and the Wolly Mammoth, where this play was performed is between work and home, so good enough.
We did make an effort to go to one of the WM supporters, Cedar Restaurant. I was barely aware of the place before seeing anything at the Wolly. We enjoyed the appetizers. Maybe next time 701, I sometimes go there for lunch.
The play itself is funny and later touching but not for the easily grossed out. If the sounds of loud retching makes you want to toss your cookies. Avoid. The story is about two self-destructive accident prone people and their relationship. The staging is a little odd, and made it difficult to see some on stage wardrobe changes if one sat in the balcony area. The music was modern, right now Lady GaGa is stuck in my head because of it. But in the end, it is quite touching. The Help noticed that I wasn't the only one teary eyed leaving the theater.

Housing census 1950- Bad bones

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This PDF you can find wandering around www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/index.html the census website and look at the data and come to your own conclusions. Because I have a bias, you have a bias, and we filter information differently.

This is for housing, looking at the condition of houses in the TC part of Shaw, enumeration district 46. ED 46 goes from New Jersey Ave NW to Florida Ave NW to New York Ave NW. Other parts of Shaw are in EDs 44, 48, 45, 49, and 50. But I live in ED 46 so that's what I'm looking at.

In 1950 there were 1766 housing units in Truxton Circle total. Only 385 of those units were owner occupied, 1,297 rentals, the rest vacant. What does this mean? If you're living in the TC the house you're in was probably a rental for years because of what I've seen in other Census housing reports. And that means the landlord more than likely didn't live near the house and didn't give the house the same level of attention that a owner occupied house would get. Of 1720 units, 439 had no bathroom and or was dilapidated, 268 no running water at all and or was considered dilapidated.

Let's look at a couple of blocks. Census block 2, Square 507 and Census block 20, Square #617. Block #2 is bordered by NJ, RI, FL and 4th St. Of 106 units on that block, 26 were owner occupied, 78 rentals, 2 vacant/for sale. Of the occupied units, 47 had no private bath/ dilapidated, and 7 had no running water/ dilapidated. 100% of the block was non-white, read African American more than likely. Average rent $37.56 a month. Block #20 bounded by N St, North Cap, O and 1st Streets. Of 189 units, 31 were owner occupied, 155 rentals, 2 vacant/for sale, and 1 other type of vacant. Of 186 reported occupied units, 90 had no private bath/ dilapidated, 86 had no running water/dilapidated . 153 were non-white and the average rent was $36.80. To get a sense, city wide there were 223,675 units, 27,727 with no private bath and 10,965 with no running water, average monthly rent $57.42.

The funny thing is whether a house is considered dilapidated based on if there was decent plumbing. The actual phrasing is "No private bath or dilap."/ "No running water or dilap." According to the report, "a dwelling unit is 'dilapidated' when it is run down or neglected or is of inadequate original construction, so that it does not provide adequate shelter or protection against the elements or it endangers the safety of the occupants."

In 1960 Block 2 had 77 units, 69 sound, 7 deteriorating, 1 dilapidated. Block 20, 180 units, 45 sound, 86 deteriorating, 49 dilapidated, and a majority of occupied housing rented. Both majority non-white but not 100% non-white. For both, the number of units went down, block 2 the most. Renters were the majority still.
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The difficult, I'll do right now

The impossible, will take a little while

-Billie Holiday

There was a comment on another blog that just annoyed the crap out of me and continued to bug me. It insinuated that lower income kids can't go to college and that college only has middle and upper middle class kids running around it. My own and the experiences of friends proves that so wrong and I am so sick of that mindset. Also since this is Inshaw, the quick tie in to this is a) it's my blog and b) Shaw and other gentrifying neighborhoods have lower income kids, who may wind up going to college.

Let me start with my aunts and mom. They were girls, in the late 60s. The family was black and sharecroppers in rural North Carolina. My oldest aunt only had two dresses, everyone else got hand-me-downs. Not exactly rolling in dough. My aunts went to small black colleges and became teachers. They helped fund their education by working at colored resorts, one in NY state. Mom didn't go to college because grandpa, on his deathbed, asked her to take care of grandma. Mom did however, many years later went to community college and became a CNA.

Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement

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As far as I can tell this church no longer exists. Well in Washington DC. Not anymore.
The reason why I'm typing this up is because someone. I can't say who. Annoyingly has a lot of personal chaff included in federal records. Some of that chaff, provides glimpses of a life partially lived at Rhode Island and North Capitol streets. The person in question was white, college educated, married and is currently very dead. He was the head, for a number of years of a Federal agency. He resided in various parts of Alexandria during the 40s and 50s. And he went to church in Edgewood? Eckington?
His church home was the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement. I can tell because of other chaff and detritus left behind, such as church programs, pledge statement, and Lutheran publications.
What does this stuff, which personally we should really throw out our own light and gas bills at least 5 years after they've been paid, tell me about a ELCotA parishioner? Apparently you didn't have to live near the church. You could just drive in from Alexandria, worship in DC and I guess go to the office. Because seriously, how does this stuff wind up in your working files?
Anyway, commuting church goers aren't new and we still deal with them to this day. I just hope none are not the head of a government agency and have a habit of stuffing church crap in their office files.
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Scraps of DC History- RLA

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If I ever, ever, which looks like not at all on my current path, write a history of urban renewal from the neighborhood perspective in Washington, DC I will have to include the District of Columbia Redevelopment Agency (RLA). According to the US Government Organization Manual the RLA was:
Created by act of Aug 2, 1946 (60 Stat. 790), to provide for replanning, rebuilding, and rehabilitation of slum and blighted areas in the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act of Dec 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 774), established the agency as an instrumentality of the District of Columbia government, effective July 1, 1974
A post war agency to deal with slums turned into something that helped with the destruction of SW. Which who knows, may have needed destroying in parts, but not to the extent it did with the SW Urban renewal in the 50s and 60s.
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When I say I pull stuff out of a pile, this is one of those things. Disjointed scraps of DC History.

Warning- UHOP parade May 29th

That's the date mentioned on the MVSNA listserv. For you new people this is what usually happens. The church has a parade. A big parade. A long parade that crosses Rhode Island, snarling traffic. I think last year they went up to Florida Avenue. Also last year, they worked with the city. As opposed to previous years where deacons and other church people blocked streets and directed traffic.

It is interesting and it brings in a lot of United House of Prayer folks.

Comment Spam

There aren't a lot of comments here. Because I get a lot of comment spam that doesn't make it to the blog. I just got this:

This is my first time I have visited {here|this site|your site}. I found a lot of interesting {stuff|information} in your blog. From the {tons|volume} of comments on your {articles|posts}, I guess I am not the only one! keep up the {good|great|impressive} work.

Gee, a comment form.

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Noise

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Apparently from the Shaw listserv and a conversation/discussion/ friendly debate I had with Truxton Circle Scott about the BBC liquor license, noise is a theme.

It seems that someone was having a party. A loud one somewhere around N and 6th Streets. It went a little late, late enough for someone to take the mike and tell their fellow party attendees to keep it down for the neighbors before blasting more music. Loud enough for people to call the cops. If the cops came or not, little matter. In my own experience the problem is cops come, the music may get turned down, cops leave, music/noise goes back up. Neighbors lash out in variety of ways, one is cultivating deep hatred that may manifest itself at the next community 'we all need to work together' thing.

Scott and I were talking about some of the concerns surrounding the Big Bear Café liquor license. Scott is completely for it, even though the hours on the application go way past their current to the witching hours. And we got to talking about volunteer agreements and how they are applied where he works and where his tenant/housemate works. He's in a completely commercial area, they close fairly early 10-11PM though they can go to 2AM, housemate in a very mixed part of Dupont, where they shut down at 10-11PM and have to gently put glass bottles in receptacles because of noise. Both are restaurants.

Scotty (you know I love you) was being dismissive of my noise concerns, saying we live in a city, it's noisy. I was trying to relate how with different noises, some bother me, others don't. Sirens blaring on the next street, the now rare gunshots, sometimes the call to prayer from the mosque, cars passing, odd firecrackers a block off, and buses I can tolerate enough to sleep though. Of course the 5AM-ish call to prayer has a 25% chance of waking me up a good hour before my alarm goes off and pissing me off enough to write a terse letter to the imam. People carrying on a prolonged BS session in their yards (patios/ decks) along the alley will keep me up. Dumping your glass recyclables in the alley at 2AM will definitely wake me up. Base, I can feel through my bed and is simply intolerable. If it is a car, I let it pass. If it is a neighbor I debate whether I want to get dressed and ask them to turn it down or do I want to reach over to the phone and call the cops?

There was an illegal night club on P St. near North Cap. I passed by it once when someone with drums was practicing. My impression was that it was being used as band practice space and seemed buffered by the Slater and Langston schools to be no bother to the residents of the area. Imagine my surprise when a resident who lives way on the other end of P said he could hear the music inside his house. He made an effort to shut the place down.

Some parts of the city are louder than others and the type of noise is different depending where you go.

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Days of Art

I haven't been at the computer for a couple of days and I really enjoyed having a pretty computer free weekend. From about Thursday to Saturday was kinda art intensive for me.

Thursday I attended the Tactile Dinner at the Big Bear Café with the Help. We were seated separately, but he enjoyed himself and his tablemate. Having had experienced the Fringe Festival version and this, maybe not having any expectations helps. This second go around had me missing some things from the first, but couldn't be done with the space. Instead of a projection, as in the Fringe production, F.T. Marinetti, walked amongst us. We enjoyed ourselves; though the Help was a little sad he was not picked to perform an embarrassing task (arm flapping or hula hoop motions). Yes, audience participation was a part of it; the dinner is experienced with the eyes and the tongue, not so much the nose this time around. I was sitting next to the Washington Post reporter so, read her article for more on that.

Friday I decided to walk home and I wanted to duck away from the main strip of 7th Street and wandered into a pop up art project at 625 E St NW, and was really struck by the work of artist Margaret Bowland.
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Big Bear and Liquor License Concerns

I'm going to start by quoting Stu Davenport, ANC & owner of Big Bear:
Commissioners who are supporting the changes at the Big Bear also voted to
table the vote at last night's ANC meeting and I agree with them. It is
true there is a lot of support for the BBC - but there are some members of
1st Street and R street NW who need time to consider exactly what we are
getting into, and we need to hear their concerns and work with them.

The two residents that did raise concerns last night are friends of mine and
we have lived together on 1st street (and R) for years. We are trying to
set up a small meeting with immediate residents soon to go over the Big Bear
plans and hear concerns.

The slower we move the more people who are most effected by our later hours
and alcohol sales will be able to participate, and this is good for all of
us in the long run.

I do have to say that I believe strongly that the residents of this
neighborhood have a right to shape their neighborhood to what they want it
to be. Those outside the neighborhood need to stay in the back seat.

At the same time those who live next to the BBC need to be heard...
Some of the people raising concerns now worked together to get the BBC off
the ground, and they need to continue to have a say.

I will keep you up to date.

-Stuart

Dear Washington Post- Stop killing yourself

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Dear Washington Post,

Last night I got a phone call from someone trying to get me to subscribe to your new "Capital Business" publication, most likely because I am a regular weekly & weekend subscriber. I told the woman on the other end no and explained why and mentioned that I have pondered canceling my regular subscription all together.

The "Capital Business" publication lacks what I liked about your old business section, before you gutted it. I want to look at a list of stocks. I want to see what are their dividends if any, and their P/E ratios. I can't get that in your daily minuscule section of business in the A section of the paper, and it doesn't appear in "Capital Business" either. I don't buy what I don't want.

This call happened while 'the Help' was over for dinner. He's got a few friends in the newspaper/ broadcasting paid-journalism field. He told me of a conversation he's had with these friends, and how they mentioned your editorial staff is paying more attention to the online side than to the print side, which might explain the typos and other errors. And there was something about your copywriters, can't remember what, but there is something wrong there. Those friends were frightened about the path your paper seems to be taking. "Frightened" was the word they used and they have been inside. The quality of the paper has gone downhill really fast in the 15 years I've been reading it. It may have started with the buy-outs.

As I've said, I pondered canceling my weekday subscription. Want to know what's keeping me, so far? Comics, metro, and food. In that order. Sometimes the theater listings. If the Washington Times ever vamped up and expanded their comics you'd be in trouble. I also value the Post as fish wrap. It's handing for wetness in the basement, wrapping packages, soaking up bacon grease or other fried foods, paint projects, washing windows, weed-block, and a variety of projects around the house. For that I could use any newspaper, except the City Paper for the food things, that paper seems unclean.

Maybe your business model or some consultant has told you that the Internets is where it's at. Ok. I hope that's bringing in money and justifying your $490 a share price. Maybe you don't need paper subscribers, with our need for deliverymen who knock over our pots and break our plants.

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Butt Ugly House for sale $350K

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1522 3rd St NW, which has sat for a good while and has an ugly pop up on it. Finally has been listed for sale, as is, for $349,900. It is bank owned.

A coupla house & garden things

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I'm a little late mentioning this but have you heard of the partial house collapse on Morgan St? A street that is both in Mt. Vernon Square and the TC.

As a reminder, these houses aren't as strong as you think they are, unless someone in the 100 or so years they've been standing did more than slap band-aids on them. A neighbor is gutting his house and the stories he's told about what dangerous defects they found once they've peeled away the plaster is frigging frightening. Walls with nothing but sandy mortar keeping them up. Walls that were leaning and bowing and not really locked in place that possibly could have taken the neighboring house with it. Well that's just our block. I'm sure your house was built by guys who wanted the place to stand for a hundred years. Oh wait, your hundred years is up.

Well now that I've depressed and unnecessarily scared some of you (really, unless you're renovating don't worry. If you are renovating factor structural fix-ups into the costs), here's something nice. I was in the 5th St Hardware store to get some zip ties. Spent $75 in gardening stuff and forgot the zip ties. Anyway I saw a non-motorized lawn mower for sale. If I still had a tiny lawn I would really consider one of these. It is one of those really old fashioned push reel mowers and since the only power it uses is people power, it is green. I have heard it is greener not to have a lawn at all. But I didn't ditch my tiny lawn to be green. It was ditched it because I wanted to grow food and I can't eat grass.

Not so nice. They are almost out of tomato plants. There were 1 or 2 left. I bought 2. Hit the farmers markets. Thursday in Penn Quarter, there is a vendor who sells patio tomato plants, great for small spaces. Patio tomatoes don't vine all over the place. They are kinda bushy.

Ok this post is rambling.

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The grow guide

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If you're tired of the gardening posts, sorry but this is a personal blog and I have eating and gardening on the brain.
Anyway, after not really doing anything* with the garden and letting it be wild, reseeding itself, I figure it is time to do more and work on those annuals that didn't reseed. Like beans. Well, that's what the Grow Guide tells me. The Grow Guide is an excellent resource. I figured the 1st and last frost dates are 4-18 and 10-28 and it gives me a list of things to sow or transplant. According to the guide this week I should be planting bush beans, cucumbers and swiss chard. It is my last chance to transplant tomatoes. I really didn't do a lot of seedlings this year and I'll either buy some plants or grab the errant mystery tomatoes and transplant them to other pots and let nature surprise me.
Also, anybody want a pot of oregano? Well anybody within two and a half blocks of 4th and Q NW? I've had this lovely pot for a few years and really, I don't use that much oregano. I have the stuff growing in other pots.

* I threw some potatoes that were too far gone for cooking into a planter and I did do some weeding.
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Toque Cafe wants outdoor seating

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I'd like them them to open first.
Toque Cafe which is tittering on the verge of opening. Any time now. You got the tables. You got the dishes and a cool red door.
Progress on 6th St

Anyway there is an online petition to support Toque's petition over at the CCCA blog.

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Food and gardening

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I keep thinking of a comment made by one of my aunts when they were talking about life back in the Carolinas. She said that they hardly had to go to the store for food, because the garden fed them. In the 50s and 60s my grandparents were sharecroppers, and for a short while my great-grandfather, Grandpa Kelly, lived with the family. (Great) Grandpa Kelly had a garden, and it apparently fed the family which consisted of three adults and 5 kids. Kelly had a talent for growing food and after he passed the garden wasn't as productive. You'd think my grandparents being farmers would do well with a garden but they were growing tobacco and cotton, not food.

Fast forwarding to today, none of the 5 kids, who are now some form of retired (fully, semi-, and 'we refer to it as the "R" word') and none of them farm or even have a garden. My mom did make an effort for a few years with a backyard garden but has no interest now. My male cousins as far as I know are too sophisticated and urbane for gardening. Of the girls, only my sister and I only have access to any dirt. I have my container garden and tiny front yard which currently is still feral. My sister recently planted some citrus trees, lime and Meyer lemon in her front yard. I don't know if that counts.

I'm sure Grandpa Kelly had access to more land to grow than I. But then I don't need to feed 8 people. Also I'm not out in the country and can wander over to the Giant, Safeway or Timor or the farmers market to buy those things I have had trouble growing. I'm not good with such veggies as squash (squash borers), beets (can't get a decent bulb), melons, enough strawberries, enough blueberries, enough sweet lettuces, potatoes (trying new this year), garlic, enough shallots, and other things I don't have the yard space, sun or talent. Also I have a decent salary and can afford to buy those things I cannot grow or raise.

I got through 2 of Michael Pollan's books and I believe in one he encourages people to have a garden. My backyard is nothing but concrete but I have a garden. I remember early on some woman from the DC Extension Service took a look at my front yard and doubted I could grow anything. Last year that front yard yielded a cucumber and several tomatoes that the squirrels ran off with, and cuke-melon things and tomatoes that I ate or canned. Gardening can be very rewarding. Having fresh herbs for a pasta dish or some other recipe is a big reason. Remembering that food comes from the land and not manufactured is a plus too.

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Lazy Gardner

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Leroy Thorpe on Probation?

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I hope I'm reading this right, but RR reported on the MVSA listserv that yesterday Mr. Thorpe was found guilty of filing a false police report. This was in CDC # 024676 District of Columbia v Thorpe, Leroy J, in DC Superior Court, the Honorable Judge Frederick Sullivan presiding.

Now if I'm reading the post right it looks like Thorpe will be under 1 years' unsupervised probation & $50. I checked the Remote Access to Court Dockets site, plugged in Thorpe, Leroy and came up with the results of this and other court cases. The crazy million dollah case he has against the CCCA Prez is still open. Hopefully that will end with Martin's legal fees being paid, because the crazy needs to end.

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On the corner of 6th & Q

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I spy with my little eye an embyro restaurant with tables, chairs, plates in bins and a refrigerated display case.

Visualization & a swimming pool

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I got several ideas going let's see how well I plop them into one post.

Last night was the BACA meeting, which my neighbor Brett, who is in charge of something relating to the North Capital corridor, totally forgot about. Slipped his mind. I wound up shouting highlights of the meeting at him up to his 2nd floor window. Something I didn't mention to him was the swimming pool at Dunbar High School has shallow water aerobics. See more info over at the BACA blog. Supposedly there is info on the DC Parks and Rec site but you'd have to scroll down to page 7. Personally, I don't spend time in pools, mainly because it takes about 2 hours for my hair to dry under the dryer at home, 1.5 hours in the salon. The curse of thick hair.

During the meeting while we were told about the unfortunate conditions of the locker and bathroom areas for pool users at Dunbar (this was well after we were told about the rebuilding of Dunbar), Jim, serving his final year as BACA prez, brought up a vision and recreation playing a part of that vision for the neighborhood. If I remembered that right.

Attractive parks and recreation for residents of the community would make the neighborhood a nicer place to live. Try to visualize an even cooler Truxton, what does that look like?

Monday Miscellany

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Item #1- If anyone cares the stolen semi tractor that was blocking my alley is now gone. It seems someone stole a truck. A big truck. Thank goodness they didn't drag a trailer with it.

Item#2- Looks like the Metropolitan Branch Trail, the part I'm interested in, will be opening up today. That part would be the section between the New York Avenue metro and the Rhode Island metro, almost to the Brookline-CUA metro. (HT- Eckington-way better than Spotsylvania)

Item #3- My cellar smells moldy. That's because it is raining today. What I rigged to get the water to flow away from the house has failed. Also the roof covering the contractors who rehabbed the neighboring house (they kept standing on my roof) put on my house seems to have the rain overshoot the gutter, which then causes other problems. Problems that somehow makes the cellar humid and a playground for mold. Lesson, if some guys are working on the house next to yours and they need to get on your roof and they are hired by flippers, say no. Threaten to pelt them with rocks and call the cops. As I remember I had all sorts of problems with them. They knocked off a vent cover, caused a leak in my roof and even though they are long gone, I now get to look at the on-going damage they've caused eveytime there is a big rain.

Item #4- Had an excellent weekend as the party family held a May Day party, complete with a whole bunch of kids. I didn't have a toddler on my hip so I felt I was missing something. And down the alley the Serbian family were having a May Day gathering so the back gates were opened and a herd of small people (with adult chaperones) trampled down the alley, from one party to the other. I should thank "Alley Cleaning Man" for his general work of sweeping all the trash and glass to the sides because some of the small people I noticed didn't have shoes on.

Hippies.

Then I left the original party, joined the Serbians and then later decided to retreat to my own yard opening up my gate. The idea was floated that we should have an alley party. We should. I'd need to look into what that requires city-wise. Hate to have the cops bust up a kiddie party.

Item #5- Truxton is a cool name. You know the name of your hood is cool when places outside of its borders choose it for their condos. Maybe there were enough places called Ellington. But over in Mt. Vernon Sq. is Truxton Row.

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A good old fashioned stoning

I found out more about the foiled robbery that took place in the alley. So there is a guy who may be going around scoping out construction and rehab crews for the purposes of robbing the usually Latino workers. Well this would be robber covered his face and went to rob a crew of bricklayers at gun point. Since it was a construction site the earth wasn't level and after he said "nobody move" he slipped and fell into a ditch. The bricklayers being quick of mind took their bricks that they were working with and began pelting the guy. A good old fashioned OT stoning. The robber managed to get up and ran. Some of the bricklayers hopped into their vehicle and began to chase after  him, but he got away. I got a feeling this won't show up in a police report.