July 2010 Archives

ANCs- A really short history

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The following is a very simplified history, which hopefully will give some understanding of the present. During the Big Bear ABC license kerfuffle there were a few emailers questioning the rationale for ANCs or Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.
ANCs are a product of Home Rule. Prior to Home Rule (via the Home Rule Act of 1973) Congress (the Federal government) ran the city. It wasn't until 1974 that DC residents were able to vote and have some real say in how the city ran. Before Home Rule the mayor and the city council were federally appointed. Neighborhood wise there were citizens (white) and civic (black) associations that appealed to Congress and city government officials for things like neighborhood improvements, traffic, crime and so forth. As far as I can tell civic and citizen association leaders were elected by the association's membership. These groups could only beg or appeal to bodies and officials whom they could neither vote for or vote out of office.
With Home Rule, neighborhoods got something new:
... the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs), brought the city administration closer to ordinary voters than any other elective units. The city council created 36 ANCs and 376 smaller single member districts, each representing about two thousand residents. The ANCs were intended to serve as neighborhood mini councils that advised the council on local problems.
--City of Magnificent Intentions: A history of Washington, District of Columbia 2nd edition P.584

BACA/ NE Shaw- I wanna have a small canning party

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Here's the thing. I want to have a small canning party. Thing #1 my kitchen is crowded with 2 people in it and three people it just isn't happening. Thing #2 I know some folks out there are curious about small scale canning, which is what I tend to do as I hardly ever use up a whole pint of anything to justify canning that much and I'd like to share what I know. Thing #3, I'd like to share my knowledge close to home.

Yeah, I could post what I know on-line but there is something about hands on learning.

So if anyone has a kitchen that would work well for show and tell and wants an intro to canning (I'm no Master, I just do my own canning and so far, so good) and has a few friends who want to learn as well,

UPDATE- A canning party has been organized. Thank you.

Beau Thai- A peek

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I peeked into Beau Thai (unopened) and it looks lovely, the paper is off the floor, the lights are cute, it looks simple and nice. There is nothing in there, but what is (floor, paint, hardwired lights) there is lovely looking.

Today at 7pm Beau Thai is to be at the CCCA meeting to get support for BZA approval to be a sit down restaurant.

A mighty wind

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A mighty wind 700 Block of P Street Sunday, around 6pm.

Do you give a fig?

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Lunch today will be some goat cheese from the 14th & U St farmer's market, some charcuterie boar meat stuff from the Cork Market on 14th, and some figs from the next block. I can't believe I have never noticed this fig tree in all the years I lived here. I know about the plum tree at 3rd & Q, but the fruit is too high and the resident at the place there couldn't tell me if the fruit was any good. But a few days back  I was running some finishing things related to Flower Power that was held back on June 26th. While running around I noticed this fig tree, with rip figs, and picked a few that were hanging over the sidewalk and they were delicious. I snuck back the next day picked a few and more from the sidewalk. Today I noticed signs of someone being home, knocked on the door and asked if I could pick their figs.
I was given permission and started throwing figs in my bag. About halfway in my picking another family member came out and asked how would you know when they were ripe for picking. It's just like tomatoes, you give a gentle tug and if they come off, they are ready. I will wash them, as I also picked up some of the perfectly fine looking fruit that fell to the ground (I trashed the ones that looked like the birds or ants got to them).
The take away from this experience is to ask people with fruit trees if you can pick and the reward is some sweet lunch.

I've been told I cannot leave outside the normal exit of the Bureau of Fight Club where I work. It would be nice if staff were alerted but the 1st rule of fight club is.....

7th Street is blocked, as are parts of Pennsylvania Ave NW. One of the interns said it looks blocked all the way from Consititution to Gallery Place (F/ H Sts?). 9th Street looks free but the intern said that is blocked at some point. So far the only thing I'm getting is rumors. Rumor says Archives/ Navy Memorial station is closed, but not sure about the validity of that. Anyone got anything?

UPDATE- The metro is running. Just surrounded by a lot of yellow tape. I dunno about where the busses are being rerouted to. I'm going to try escaping to the PQ farmer's market wish me luck!

Conclusion- At 5pm everything was back to normal.

I've only been here in the Shaw neighborhood for 10 years, so here are a few observations that I think the changes in the neighborhood has brought that is an improvement due to the demographic changes sometimes known as gentrification.

For one, the drug dealers are not a regular presence at the corner I turn at to come home from work. Almost every friggin day, there they would be, leaning on a fence, littering up the treebox, hanging around. You know how depressing and anxiety producing that is to have to walk by that every single day? The only good thing about it was if you left them alone, they'd leave you alone. And the block up from me was ugly, unfriendly and just had a bad feeling about it. I wouldn't even walk down that block in the daytime. It also had dealers. Older residents had been fighting the good fight but had figured to pick their battles, what was needed was new blood that wasn't burned out.

Second, gunfire is no longer a nightly sound. Okay, maybe where you are, but in my section it is no longer every single night. A couple of years ago a guy was shot in the butt in a drive by that then continued to shoot my street (thankfully shooting the asphalt) as they speeded off. Fewer (though none would be nice) incidences and gun shots is an improvement for the better.

A reduction in crime and gun shots may relate to the area being more politically active. One of the reasons why I dislike Vincent Orange so much is that I remember him not really caring that much for our area. When he was running for Mayor the last time, in 2006, he didn't seem grass roots at all, and didn't seem all that particularly interested in us over here in the TC. Now, if we were Brookland, different story. With the 2006 election we flexed some muscle, then candidate Fenty came to a fundraiser at a Richardson Pl home, the candidates for Ward 5 were falling all over themselves to be a part of BACA garden walks, clean ups, what-have you. Other positive in 2006 2C ANC Leroy Thorpe was ousted, sorta. With politicians discovering we existed and voted and not ignoring us we got more attention with city services. Cars get ticketed now. No longer do I have to deal with more-than-likely stolen/ obviously abandoned cars sitting on my street for weeks on end.

Yes, and some improvements to my quality of life came from some neighbors leaving, and here the 'better' gets dicey. The neighbors who will not be missed are the crackheads. Which crackheads you may ask as we had several. Not Velveeta (yes, that was her name), but the ones who left their friend for dead bleeding on the sidewalk outside their house. I suspect down in the southern tip of the TC (unit blocks from Bates to N) do not miss the clusters of subsidized housing that housed loud, drugged out if not drunk poor excuses for parents and their feral children. Not to say everything is rosy now, there still is the odd halfway house and the people who cluster around S.O.M.E. Yet the poor, including crackheads and people who can't keep it together need housing too. 

A few days ago my washer went into a coma. The thingy that tells the machine the the lid is on so the tub will spin and drain kinda broke. So I went on-line and made an appointment with Sears to fix it after a few tries at fixing it myself. The appointment was for today between the hours of 1-5. Ah, the joys of home-ownership. As a homeowner I get to take off work, use my precious annual leave, and sit around the house, waiting for the 'guy', as opposed to being a renter who'd be arguing with management about a broken washer.
I had called at 8AM to confirm and to provide more info about my washer's model and serial numbers. The operator tried to sell me on a service plan, no dice. Then I took off work, and stayed near the phone and the front door. Five PM came and went and at 5:05 I called wondering where was the technician. I was told he must have gotten held up and they'll have someone call in 15-20 minutes to say when he should arrive. I let 30 minutes pass, no call from Sears, so I call again. I'm unhappy but calm. Okay maybe full of sarcasm, but still calm. First call goes to dead air. Second call I get Bombay (or wherever the call center is) and get a nice but accented fellow, who puts me on hold for 8-10 minutes to get a hold of 'dispatch'. The connection with 'dispatch' was splotchy but I managed to figure out that a) no one was coming today b) no one can come in the next week and a half, maybe and c) they are really sorry, blah, blah, blah.
After I got off the phone I got angry, angry enough to try to fix the damned thing myself. The broken do-hicky is in a hard to reach area and the connecting short grounding wire was in a spot I couldn't get pliers into. But after a few tugs I managed to pull the part out where I could see it, figure out what exactly broke and find a temporary fix with a rubber band. I plugged that puppy back in and it sprung alive and began to drain and spin.
I felt so empowered. I mean a real surge of feeling that nothing could stop me. It was a I could fight ninjas and crush things with my bare hands kind of feeling. Boo-YAH!

Richardson House for sale

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It appears that some old neighbors have decided to get out of the long distance landlording biz and put their house up for sale. The couple who owns 407 Richardson Pl, moved from DC for a job opportunity in the west (Go west young man, go west!) a few years ago and didn't have a problem renting out their home on their way out. Then I didn't hear anything for a while and noticed the house listed on Redfin for $380K.

The Richardson houses are skinny. About 11-12 feet wide if memory serves me right, but that isn't a odd thing around here as older homes are narrower. But Richardson, now with a shiny new red brick road, is kinda cute. Hopefully that new road won't suffer from the city's odd habit of paving a road, coming back months later, digging it up, and then repaving it again.

Ted, for those of you who didn't know is the big white man at the Bloomingdale Farmer's Market and is quite involved with the community north of Florida Ave. He hasn't been as of late because of his wife's battle with cancer. Last week the battle was lost. There will be a memorial service Thursday July 29th at the Friends Meeting House, followed by a pot-luck at the Big Bear. I saw something on the Eckington listserv from Holly Baynham organizing the pot-luck. There is more information on the Bloomingdale Blog about this.

Fears about front yard gardening

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You can learn a lot from the kinds of questions people ask. As some of you know I have an edible front yard. It has tomatoes (that are dying), herbs, a few edible flowers, arugula (lots and lots of arugula), Swiss chard, purslane and beets. One of the questions I get often is "Aren't you worried someone's going to steal your tomatoes/ herbs/ whatever?" No. The only theives I worry about are furry, bushy tailed and have a recipe for them in the Joy of Cooking, I'm talking about the g*d2#mned squirrels. The two legged theives only go for the identifiable stuff and most people only know parsley when it's garnishing their plate or in the supermarket labeled "PARSLEY".  Also their only value is as an edible and people can be really funny about that wondering if that's really a tomato or is it a large poisonous red berry that just looks like a tomato? So no, I don't have a problem with people stealing my edibles.

The other frequent question is about rats. Before and after the garden I've never had a problem with rats. Field mice, lots of problems, but not rats. The field mice are more interested in getting into my kitchen for warmth in the winter. The only thing interested in my lettuces are slugs and bugs. The tomatoes tend to be up high, and the only rodent bothering them are bushy tailed.

Right now my biggest problems in the garden appear to be blight, crowding and slugs.

Write in Jack Evans

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Kwame, Kwame, Kwame. Your financial life is more of a mess than we first thought. But it is still normal, if you were like a normal citizen of the District who is underwater with his mortgage, leasing vehicles, buying crap you couldn't afford with money you ain't got, along with student loan debt, and credit card debit that is a crazy scary amount. But hey, you're not Marion Barry, because if you were him you could fail to pay your taxes. Hold up, somebody check to see if he's cool with the IRS.
However, Brown is still better than Orange, as poo is better than toxic waste. Face it the choices were crap and shyte before this, and I still think old Jack over in Georgetown is a far, far, far better choice than these two. Briefly V. Orange was my councilman over here in Ward 5 and he didn't seem to know we were a part of his ward and were ignored. Brown has been to a few civic association meetings so he has a better awareness of the neighborhood than Orange. But still, Brown not necessarily my first choice.
So is being $700K in debit a deal breaker? Well the bulk of that is his mortgage. Like many normal Americans he used his house as an ATM, as it is worth about $350-$420K and has a mortgage of about $500K. Okay maybe he put in a bitchin kitchen and maybe one day it will be worth $500K. But the boat, that was just stupid. From the Post article it appears the Browns were trying to keep up with the Jones. As far as I can tell the Jones either have money or are in debt to their eyeballs, I'm guessing the latter. I also suspect there are a lot of Joneses in DC who will be voting in the Democratic primaries and picking the candidate who most represents them.
 Orange does have a point about leadership and keeping one's personal finances in order, and a broken clock is right twice a day. If DC Councilmembers practice bad judgment, such as overvaluing an asset, ignoring the risk when income is loss (Brown's wife left the workforce in all this) and more responsibilities (2 kids) added. Then there is taking on liabilities for well meaning reasons (the stupid boat), that come with extra costs (maintenance) that are ignored at the time of purchase due to newbie ignorance. Still Brown is better than Orange. Orange proved that he was out of touch with reality with his failed, failed, failed mayoral campaign. It wasn't that he didn't win, it's just that he only got 2.9% of the vote and spent money trying to get elected as if he were a real front runner.

Handbook for Hosts- Funny and Corny

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I'm too lazy to link but today the Help and I saw as a part of the Fringe Festival Banished Productions/Happenstance Theater's  production of Handbook for Hosts that mixed up cliched post war Noir, some Cold War ice with a side of corn on a heaping plate of comedy. We genuinely laughed and groaned. If you are familiar with mid century Jazz/ Post-War pop culture and film noir you'd get a huge kick out of it. Now if you're thinking "I need me some cross-dressing to truly enjoy this," well there is a bit of that too. There is some cheese in this too, but it is safe for the lactose intolerant. For some odd reason we found the shadow screen funny, the locomotive image funny and cheesy. A good cheesy. 

Fact of life- people move

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and not just during earthquakes.

People move. If you do genealogy you'll find that people move around, which is a pain in the butt locating people. The Help comes from a line of lumberjacks, who ran around the northern  US border following trees, and they had a common last name. So it is a guess which state they were in for any given census. My people in NC, though staying in the same two counties, moved around those counties, a lot. So that comes in mind when people say gentrification moves people out of their homes. Life moves people out of their homes. Americans are movers with fantasies that they are stable.

Most people move. A few stay, but in time they move too. In the arguments over gentrification the one family that has been in the same house for 30 years, but easily forgotten are all the other people on the street who stayed for 1 -5 years and moved. Some a few blocks over, some completely out of the neighborhood. Moving people are a bit of a problem for me with the census project as I look at the city directories, which you can find on-line in Google Books: Boyd's directory of the District of Columbia, 1892 and Boyd's directory of the District of Columbia, 1903. I can't speak to the accuracy of these sources as I don't know how the data was collected, but it's the best source out there, short of hopping in a time machine. In my own house there were one set of people in 1892, then in the 1900 Census 11 people, then in the 1903 directory one person, all with different names. Considering that many people were renters, there really wasn't anything tying them to one house, thus freeing them to move

Debit and city leaders

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Just to remark on this DCist post about city councilmembers and their debit. Not to excuse Councilman Thomas and his $16K of alleged unpaid student loan debit, but he's not the only one. I've experienced having to deal with schools and banks hounding roommates for not paying their student loans. But apparently in the case of Thomas, he says it is a misunderstanding. I guess I'm sympathetic in that looking at my own credit report it isn't clear that I paid off my numerous student loans as they all shifted around different parts of Sallie Mae/Citibank, consolidated, and listed as transferred or sold.
Now Kwame Brown knows he has a problem. Hopefully he knows the solution starts with a pair of scissors and living on a budget. $50K is a lot. Off the top of my head I think the highest I let my credit cards go is $7K. At $50K I'd be freaking out.
Anyway if you want to check your credit report for possible forgotten student loans check out the FTC's free (not like the fake free sites) Annual Credit Report Dot Com. If you Google Annual Credit Report, but do not go to the sponsored link for Annual Credit Report.Com, that's a fake.

A real legacy gets past 2 generations

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I heard something recently along the lines that it is sad if the only thing you know about your great grandfather is his name. I am a little lucky and not so lucky. I was young when my great grandfather on my dad's side was alive. I remember him as a brown and skinny man. His name, James, I think. I remember where he lived, and that he lived with great-grandma across the street from my uncle, which was next door to grandma.
My great grandpa Kelly on the other hand, had a farm and the white man took it away. He was also a thin brown man, and his picture is on my downstairs wall. He had a couple of sons, one being my grandfather, the other my late great uncle who moved to DC. He also was an accomplished gardener and aided the family by keeping food on the table (what food could be grown in NC). I know nothing of his wife, she apparently died early as when I found him in the 1910 or 1920 census she was nowhere around.

More thoughts on the Camp Protest

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Protest bannerThis morning I awoke to an NPR report on the OneDC protest at 7th and R/ RI Ave. Or at least I thought I heard a story as I can't find a link on either the NPR site nor the WAMU site about it. Anyway, the Shaw area does not lack affordable housing. Now I say that as in there are buildings that take up square footage and whole blocks in Shaw that were built as affordable housing, take government money to subsidize rents, are public housing, and/or are subsidized senior housing. If you are going by market rates, then it all depends on how much you're willing to spend and what living conditions you can deal with. Playing around with DC Housing Search I see there are individual landlords and other entities that rent out individual rooms, individual houses, and small typically 4 unit apartment buildings. So when a group is protesting for more non-market rate housing, I'm thinking how much more affordable housing in this neighborhood do we need? And concentrating poverty isn't doing anyone any favors. The protesters are nicely caged up on the lot and so far aren't a nuisance so I have no problem with their protest. I just disagree with their demands. I am part of the Shaw community as I live here, I shop here, I vote here, and what the city or other powers that be plop down has an impact on my quality of life. Concentrating dis-empowerment and dependency near a transportation hub will continue to hamper the neighborhood's ability to succeed.

Argh rain

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I like rain but last night's rain got into the house via the cooling and power lines of the A/C unit on the roof. I called my contractor David and he's going to look into it. I checked with my next door neighbor whose house was also gutted and completely redone new. Well new isn't always perfect and he had a stream of water coming down the side. My thing I think is a small fix and my biggest problem is that I don't have easy roof access. I need to buy a decent ladder so I can get on my roof because I've been experiencing all sorts of issues related to lousy roof access. That, and next year I want to get on the roof for the 4th of July fireworks.

Flower Power Nominees and Winners

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Note- I'm leaving off backyards and the winners are in bold. If you have a chance walk by these properties when you're out walking the dog or the baby or both.

Large yards
Though most yardspace in the northern half of Truxton is small, there are corner lots and the large front yards of New Jersey Avenue.
401 R St
1705 New Jersey Ave
1725 New Jersey Ave

Medium Yards
Whats the difference between medium and small? One looks a tad bigger. Also in this category are two neighbors who joined their yard to create something lovely.
314 P St
1612 3rd St
1419/1421 3rd St
1618 4th St
1533 3rd St (write-in)

Small Yards
112 Q St (previous year's winner)
1532 1st St
1542 1st St

Postage Stamp Yards
These are yards so tiny there are area rugs bigger than the amount of dirt that sits outside the door. Note they are all on Bates.
64 Bates
72 Bates
74 Bates

94 Bates

Blocks
100 block of P St
1500 Block of 1st
1500 Block of 3rd

There were plenty of fine yards not nominated so these are the best of the 'hood. Please take a look at them and steal some ideas.

Warning about Lockboxes

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Lockboxes are those things you see outside of houses for sale, it is a lock and a box in one. Well this weekend someone broke the lockbox that was on the fence of a neighbor of mine. The neighbor is having work done and the place is a construction zone and there aren't any major appliances in there. But someone posing as the 'drywall guy' was poking around, then later the lockbox was missing, the house unlocked. The lockbox was found later in a treebox, sans keys. From the looks of the lockbox it appears the guy took a vise grip and squeezed it popping the lock. The thief ran off with a couple of saws and other tools.

Another Fundraiser for Martin

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Hopefully we will be nearing the end of this. But the legal bills for CCCA Prez Martin Moulton to defend himself against the accusations of the former SMD ANC Leroy Thorpe, who is suing him for a kajillion dollars because Martin was demanding an accountable government. Attached is a PDF about the July 15th fundraiser. June15Fundraiser.pdf

More Census Data

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Ok, this is from the 1900 census. We captured some addresses that were outside of the study area by accident because I didn't have a firm grip on which side of New York or New Jersey I was capturing. So this file has 1st Street NW, south of NY Ave; New York Ave NW; M St. and 3rd St.
1900OutofAreaData.xls

No not really. Protest sign 2 ONE DC a local wayward child of Manna DC is staging a protest summer camp at the corner of 7th and R/Rhode Island, NW. I will admit I really haven't paid much attention to what has been going on with that parcel. I am gathering some deal fell through and that primo spot is back in play. Yay! Can you tell I'm not too keen on a mirror for that other example of a human right in action, Lincoln-Westmoreland which sits across the street.

1910 census a small part

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I would like to share some of the data I had my cousin compile, not all of it. But since I haven't gotten past the outline of what I want to write about the 1900 census it really wouldn't be smart to just have that out there. I recently got some data from the 1910 census and if I can figure out how to attach it to this post I will have part of Enumeration District 29 which is the southern tip of the TC, the part where Mt. Vernon Square and Shaw overlap. I'm okay with sharing the streets that overlap into the MVSQ HD area since it is MVSQ adn my focus is the TC as a whole and a part of Shaw. If that makes any sense.

1910censusED29part.xls

It is an Excel file. I tried PDFs but they all came out being 12 and 10 MB for some odd reason. Also note that is only part of ED29. I took out North Capitol, 1st, and a lot of Hanover Streets as they are not in the MVSQ HD area. The names, ages, familial relations, immigration year, are all due to Ancestry.Com. The added information (ie what I'm paying my cousin to do) are the columns listing page, addresses, occupation and homeownership. What I am looking for is that demographic information to answer general questions I have about the neighborhood, such as 'Did people rent or own?', 'How did different ethinic groups cluster?', 'Was this a working class area or a mix and where was the mix?' and 'How many people can you stuff into a little townhouse?' That last question is the only time I care about buildings. Having a general idea about the size of a property helps when pondering 3 adults and 2 kids in a house that according to the DC Property database is about 1000 sq ft.

I do plan to use the DC Property Information Verification System, since there are photos and maps, and I can try to use the data from there to play with the data I already have. However, I'm no IT whizz, so if anyone can do something more exciting than I with the tables I have I'd be happy to share the rest of the data, once I've written a paper on this. Heaven's knows when that will be.

Trust, a fragile thing

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The only reason why I'm mentioning this article from today's Washington Post, "The Court of Vanished Dreams," is because the court in question is in the TC. According to the article a homeless fellow had a good idea, create a basketball league, involve area teens to keep them out of trouble. Problem was James Russell, the homeless fellow who started it, bailed on the teens and the other homeless men who were to be coaches and timekeepers, taking $1,000 with him. Being charitable, one could say Russell couldn't battle his own demons which part of him meant well but another part didn't and that part won. Not being charitable, Russell was a con man who not only took away people's money but heavily damaged their trust in others. Trust is a very fragile thing and when it is damaged it hardens the hearts of the victims and makes it that more difficult for the next person who might not want money, but good will, time, mercy, patience, and or faith.
According to the article, the league used the basketball court at 1st and Florida on the Shaw side of Florida, opposite the Big Bear. I've seen groups playing there but never really thought any of it was organized. Next time, I'll take another look and be a bit more observant.
There is a bit of a bright light to this story of a bum that let his colleagues and the kids down, another homeless fellow, Wade Simmons, who was coaching for the league took over. Though the whole thing is less than kosher, meaning if it were run by some responsible non-profit a number of the participants might be excluded. But it is good in that it allows the usual recipients of charity to be charitable and it is better to give than receive.

Beau Thai

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Don't get that excited yet. Walking by it still looks like they've got a few more weeks of painting and shifting stuff around before she (the owner) opens up and starts making this neighborhood what I hoped it might become when I bought the stack of bricks and wood 9 years ago.
I got an email from Mr. Renew Shaw about what's up and I'll just sum it up. The opening should be soon, like maybe in about a week and she (Aschara) will be gradually building it up from carry out (phase I) to sit down real live restaurant (phase II). There is stuff to get through with BZA (Board of Zoning Adjustment), which is why she'll have to start as a fast food carry out place.
Mr. Renew Shaw had an opportunity to taste Aschara's food and says the menu has fresh and healthy Thai fare.

Theater Stuff

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I am looking forward to Banished Production's Fringe Festival piece "Handbook for hosts" which is described as where film noir meets radio drama. Go to their website at http://banishedproductions.org/productions.html to see what it is all about. I've enjoyed their past productions of a "Tactile Dinner" and wonder what they have in store. The tickets are about $15 which is a good price for live theater. You can get tickets here. I've been told they'll be doing this out of the Studio Theater on 14th which is a good Shaw spot for pre-theater noshing and grabbing chocolate.

I also got another theater email, and since I don't really do announcements anymore (that's what BACA is for), but now looking at it now the information had expired. Oh well.

A quiet July 4th

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Now if you moved into the neighborhood less than a year ago you'll probably think I'm nuts, but really this was a quiet July 4th, compared to previous years. Since I wasn't invited to anyone's rooftop this year, I stayed home and decide to watch a chick flick with a glass of wine. At a point the localized explosions brought me outside where B. was sitting on his porch. Then a neighbor across the street ventured out and we then made our way to the end of the block to catch a glimpse of the Mall's fireworks beyond the trees (damned trees!).
Last year I mainly stayed in for the smoke because the empty space at the end of the block had served as a staging area for a local fireworks show. This year that space was filled with parked cars. Some guy walking by expressed his amazement that my block wasn't getting blown up. He said that there had always been something in the last 40 years. I can believe it. But this year, nada. Now there was something going on in the direction of the Cook/Slater schools, maybe even the Armstrong (CAPCS) school lot.
Yes, there will be more fireworks going off for the next few days or weeks. Now either I've gotten so that I can mentally block them out or there are fewer non-July 4th fireworks going off. Normally, one can expect nighttime explosions until early August. Since this year seems comparatively quiet, the noise may cease earlier, like mid July.

Looks Like We'll Have a Library This Summer

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The following announcement came across some of the listservs about the Waltha Daniels/ Shaw Library.
Dear Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library Patron,

The new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw library located at 1630 7th St. N.W.,
across from the Shaw Metro station is scheduled to open on Monday, Aug.
2. The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Interim Library, located at 945 Rhode Island
Ave., N.W. will close Tuesday, July 13 at 5:30 pm in order to move to
the new library.

The new three-story library is approximately 22,000 square feet and will
feature separate reading areas for adults, teens and children; a
children's program room; space for 80,000 books, DVDs, CDs and other
library materials; 32 public access computers with free Wi-Fi Internet
access; comfortable seating for 200 customers; large program room for up
to 100 people; two 12-person conference rooms; and a vending area.

The nearest libraries are Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Library, 901 G
St, N.W. and Northwest One, 155 L St, N.W. Library users can return or
renew books at any DC Public Library.

Archie

Well, yay! I'll admit I haven't ventured over to the trailers when the library building was getting worked on because my lazy self thought an extra block and a half was too far to go for horrid flashbacks of the classroom trailers I had to endure in high school.
Now I wonder how strong that wi-fi signal is going to be as I imagine internet junkies hanging around the outside with their Starbucks cups. I'm glad to see that there will a section for children, which hopefully will include children's books, something woefully lacking in the old building. Though I avoided children's anything in library school, I do realize the great importance of reading to small children. I hope the library will have the classics Cat in the Hat, and Goodnight Moon.
While I have your attention I'm going to propose calling the new building the Shaw library because people keep thinking 'Waltha' was a woman and it's too Barry-era to me. Shaw, is the neighborhood name.