April 2011 Archives

Friday Miscellany- Police Edition

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The radio woke us up and so congrats to the Duke & Dutchess of Cambridge. Anyway, looking at the email I see the boundaries for the 5D Police District are set to change. It appears we are losing Catholic University and the Washington Hospital Center to 4D. Maybe I haven't been paying much attention but for 501 it looks like we're getting NOMA. We welcome your retail, hotel and metro related crimes.

Not to be too light hearted, I'm noticing an uptick in reports of armed robbery as people walk around. Then there are the shootings and stabbings in the city. Be careful. Take a cab at night or get the bus that stops closest to your house.

Now, let's get back to lightheartedness. I'd like to the Truxtonites who (according to the email, I haven't spotted a hard copy) made it to the cover of Metro Weekly. If you click on the link a picture of Karl King, somebody else and his partner pop up.

Oh and let me wander over to what I've been thinking about regarding history. Americans have itchy feet. People are mobile now and they were mobile back then. I realize this when I try to hunt down individuals from the census in Boyd's City Directory. This was made even clearer to me when chatting with a couple who've been married for about 1/2 a century. The wife only moved a few times (count on 1 hand) in her life. The husband, too many times to keep track of. His father was a Depression Era Pennsylvania coal miner and whenever he's lose his job, he'd up and move the family, that night. No 30 day notice. Just pack up everything that night, throw it in the back of the truck and head elsewhere. So I guess if my 1900-1930 people were the same some would up and move when the need hit. Besides, most residents were renters, no reason to stick around for years on end.

Thursday Miscellany

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The Bloomingdale Farmers Market is coming in May. I got an email from Asbury Farms one of the vendors about ordering 1/2 or a full lamb and having it available on May 15th for orders received by May 1st.

Also in Bloomingdale there are opportunities for homeschoolers (HT Scott Roberts) who want to join a co-op.

What's happening in the TC? A meeting. BACA is having a meeting May 2nd (7pm basement of Mt. Sinai at Q & 3rd). Someone from Casey Trees, the people developing MM Washington, and someone who knows something about Dunbar HS are scheduled to speak.

Census project wise I'm still chugging away. Strangely, addresses are proving a problem. The goal was to map properties to persons in the census to look at patterns of segregation and if possible class, seeing how close people lived next to each other. Well I thought it was a simple matter, it isn't. The landscape of several blocks and property lines (square lots) changed in the past 130 years. I'm going with the property lines of 1903, but even that isn't a safe bet. For square 520 (bounded by Florida, 4th, R and 3rd Streets) the lots changed at least 3 times between 1880 and 1919. First it was one big block (maybe two lots) owned by George Glorius, then he ditched the greenhouse, split it into smaller lots, but those lots didn't fit with the developer he sold it to and they got changed. I hope to be done with the census thing so I have something to present at the next Washington Historical Studies Conference.

Disgusted: Code Orange

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As I was getting dressed I heard on WAMU that Vincent Orange is the predicted winner of the At Large council seat. I turned to the Help and told him I'm now so depressed and disgusted with DC that I want to quit my job, make/adopt babies, sell the house and move to Maryland. To which he reminded me of the corruption of PG County.

Who needs terrorists when the republic dooms itself?

Staying put and I'll get over it.

Vote whenever, vote once

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As opposed to the Chicagoian motto of "vote early, vote often."

Me and the Help plan to walk over to vote when he gets home from work tonight. It will be the first time, I believe, despite his living in DC before, in voting in local elections. I remember living in NoVa and still voting in Florida elections via mail. Then after years of mailing in my vote it dawned on me that I knew less and less about the issues impacting North Central Florida, and felt less qualified to vote for sheriff, mayor, and other elected positions. Particularly on the issue of development, as I was apt to vote for the Florida of my childhood and not the Florida of the future.

That's another way of saying register to vote in DC next time you have a chance if you don't plan on moving back to where you're registered in the next year or so. It's fair to the citizens back home and it will connect and better your community here. Mainly because they do know and track turn out. And the government back home might call you for jury duty.

Any suggestions? Avoid colorful characters, we've got enough of them.

Off Beat Bride Rules

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Yesterday, mine and the Help's wedding was featured on the website Off Beat Bride. As wedding season nears I cannot recommend Off-Beat Bride highly enough, particularly if you're not a typical Knot couple. Also the Off-Beat Bride Tribe forum is the most open and accepting online forum I have ever encountered where Pagans, Christians, Jewish, transgendered, straight, straight edge, vegan, and tatooed people can come together share ideas and offer support.

Also May 1st there will be a nonconforming bridal fair in DC .

Penn Quarter to get carb pusher

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Pauls on Penn It is going to open some time next month. They've already got the baskets in the window and signs that they will be opening soon.

 

Paul window

According to their international site (I had problems with their US site) they make bread. I like breads and tarts and other things that made your mid-section bigger.

This weekend- Stuff I might not do

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This weekend is the DC Lindy exchange. A time when swing dancers from across the land and world drop in on our fair city. Tickets are sold out but there is usually a free dance thrown in and once again there will be dancing at the U Street metro this Saturday between 1-5pm.  On Sunday the dancers will be at Dupont Circle.... provided it doesn't rain.

If you are in Ward 5 and take issue with Wal-Mart you can go to a meeting instead. I'm just going to paste and cut:
If Wal-Mart is coming to Ward 5, we need guarantees that:
*The jobs will go to Ward 5 residents
*The traffic plan will not hurt our neighborhoods
*The security plans meet our community's needs
*The city government will not have to cover infrastructure costs

Concerned residents of Ward 5 will be meeting this Saturday to discuss the possible impacts of a Wal-Mart store. We are working with neighborhoods across the city to ensure that Wal-Mart meets the communities' standards and if they build in our neighborhoods, they build on our terms.

 Come to the meeting!

 Saturday, April 16th

4:00 pm

New Prospect Family Praise & Worship Center

1809 Rhode Island Ave NE

Contact Amy Gellatly at 2/257-8653 for more information or to rsvp.

Right now I just don't want to nothin'.

Near the neighborhood of coolness, but not in it

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I was in the Timor Bodega the other day and ran into a gal I had met at the Bloomingdale Wine Social. I had mentioned to her that I was going in search of almonds, which Timor did not have for some fish I was trying out. She had almonds and offered to give me some of hers at her house. So on our way there she mentioned that her business was planning on having Timor be their supplier for the food for their personal chef (that's not exactly it but close enough) biz. And as some of y'all know Timor is also running Field to City (as reported by PoP and the Bloomingdale Blog), in addition to Kim's dog sitting.

Bloomingdale seems to be so Brooklynish, with these small businesses popping up, which is exciting to here about. Unlike greater Shaw which tends to hing on large scale PUD projects involving a mix of government funding, tax breaks, lawyers, and development firms. In Bloomingdale I'm hearing about small green pet place and designs to try to open a wine a cheese spot. Small but with the possiblity of having a great impact. Timor Bodega is tiny, but look at the impact Kim and Face and the rest of the crew has had. Big Bear is just one coffee shop, but it is a great anchor for the Bloomingdale farmer's market (when is that coming back?) and other arts related events.

Not that I have anything against the gigantic development projects. I'm looking forward to O Street, as I noticed it creeping towards progress with one piece of heavy equipment parked on the grounds. And my neighbor IT's firm is involved with the development over the northern exit of the Shaw metro station. Nor am I ignoring the small businesses in eastern Shaw. Congrats to Beau Thai for being voted #3 by the City Paper. However the dynamics seem different in Bloomingdale. I'm so happy to be living so close to a neighborhood that is becoming so freakin cool. 

In defense of Eleanor Holmes Norton

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In a discussion on the Shaw neighborhood listserv about the demonstration arrest of the Mayor and a few councilmembers (Note CCCA prez was reported to be there too) there was mention of Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton(D-District of Columbia), and her lack of being there. This then devolved into a question of EHN's usefulness after the lack of getting a vote in Congress, with a Dem. Congress and President.

She's not useless. When she had some vote or pull in committees she has shaped deals regarding development and federal contracts in the District and did something to try to keep most Federal headquarters inside the District. When I'm feeling imaginative, I imagine Congress decides to give up the dome and move to an office park in Virigina and agencies continue their slow retreat into the suburbs.

I don't agree with EHN regarding guns, but I understand her position. However that principle cost DC the vote. Oh well, maybe next time when there is a favorable House and Senate and President, and the next time after that.

No Shutdown and a Yay to local DC govt

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Saturday morning I turned on the radio and found out the government wasn't shutting down and let out a weak 'yay', mainly because I had plans do get some things done on shutdown days. Instead I'll just take some leave.

Also because of the looming shut down I didn't say anything about the BACA Saturday Cleanup, because I wondered about DPW. Well, DPW came through and picked up some stuff I had left at 3rd and P for the clean up. We saw lots of people out, mainly tackling their treeboxes. A few neighbors picking up trash. The Help even got one kid to assist in filling his bag. The mulch was the good stuff. We didn't take any because this year I'm experimenting with non-wood mulch.

Also I want to give a big shout out to MPD for responding quickly and the dispatch person who suggested I get in contact with my ANC as well to report the property. The problem I called about was a yard of an abandoned (we think, not sure) house that hosted nearly 10 teenagers smoking. The group broke up quickly and were gone by the time the police showed up. About 4 officers showed up, checked out the weakness of the property and left. Yay for showing up. And then I was done for the week calling the cops. Something else goes down, I'll give someone else a turn to reach out a touch local law.

And lastly, this threat of a shutdown revealed that some of y'all aren't savers. You can open a savings account (ING, SunTrust, for ex.) with no fees if you have direct deposit. I have $25 going to one, and $25 going to another. Over time that $25 builds up and makes for a nice Christmas fund, provided you don't raid the account before then.

My 1st year as a fed, GS-5 step 1, 2 year Term, I dealt with snow and the furloughs of 1995 & 1996. I lived. I was irritated and angry at the time, but the world didn't come to an end. It helped that I received back pay. I have a slight fear that this congress won't pay for furloughed days, so I hope that the looming government shut down doesn't last more than a couple of days. We can weather a few days to a couple of weeks with savings and food storage, but I'd rather not dip into what we've built up.

If the government does close then I figure it is a good time to tackle the big monster pile of paper in our house and maybe make a stab at spring cleaning. One of my co-workers said that since the weather is scheduled to be nice, they were going to work in their garden. I'm sure someone will protest. I had mentioned to someone that I'd volunteer my services at his place. But that was a couple of continuing resolutions ago, so I need to remind him. If you want to volunteer while furloughed there is a useful post over at Prince of Petworth about serving.

I sincerely hope the government doesn't shut down or last more than a day or two. I have a close friend who is a contract person who doesn't work if certain agencies, where he collects info, aren't open. Also the longer the shut down the bigger the to-do pile at work grows in our absence.

Oh and....

Clean out the office fridge. If the essentials who show up decide your section of the building doesn't need power, that cheese in the fridge can go bad. Also a good idea to defrost it too. And water the plants before you leave on Friday. 

If your agency has some computer learning/education option that you can do at home on your own time, this would be a good time to remind yourself what the url and the password is so you can beef up your MSAccess, 'communication skills' or whatever is offered.

Fake Chinatown or Chinablock

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Recently the Help swooped me away to a place called San Francisco and walked me over to a neighborhood called Chinatown. This place was nothing like DC's Chinatown, or Fake Chinatown as I think of it. The problem with our Chinatown is that it isn't. Don't let the gate on H Street fool you, gates and signage does not a Chinatown make. People make a Chinatown. Lots of people. In San Fran's Chinatown the sidewalks were filled with lots and lots of old Asian folk. Our Chinatown has sidewalks of black young folk and white people wearing Caps jerseys (or whatever people reflecting the event du jour at the Verizon Center).

I vaguely remember a time when you could stumble upon a bunch of Chinese restaurants around there. That was before the Legal Seafoods, before the Hooters, before all the Thai restaurants, before all of that. Now your choices for Chinese (not Japanese or Thai) fare is located around 6th and H Streets. There is Ping Pong Dim Sum on 7th. But if I wanted real dim sum I'd have to go out to Virginia around Seven Corners. I love Ping Pong Dim Sum, regardless of it being real or not, and it might fall under pan-asian, but not really Chinese.

There is that one Chinese variety shop near the Indian restaurant on 7th. As far as residences go there is the Wah Luck House on 6th, which houses elderly persons of an asian background. There must be something good going on inside because I don't see too many residents out on masse. Now if they roamed the streets in numbers like the young people near the Gallery Place metro maybe we'd get more of a Chinatown feel.

As time passes the name Chinatown becomes more of a joke. The signs, the punch line.

Starring Chief Cathy Lanier tonight w/ Food

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Special guest at tonight's BACA meeting, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier. The meeting, always is the 1st Monday of the month, as long as it doesn't hit or come too close to a holiday. Always at 7pm and almost always in the basement cafeteria of Mt. Sinai Baptist church.

Also there will be a chicken and rice dinner. Suggested donation $5. I take it that it is Geovani's chicken and rice, which is quite tasty. Unfortunately, I gave up meat for Lent, so none for me.

Just taking a quick look over the agenda, there is something about a neighborhood yard sale later this month, a neighborhood clean up this coming weekend, and someone from Mayor Gray's office will come to be yelled at by angry citizens. Something you like or love is gettin' cut

1555 4th St NW up for sale

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I'm only mentioning this because I had a dream about the property. In my dream I was walking north on 4th and saw that it was an empty lot, just like the corner diagonally away from it. What does it mean? Dunno. Don't care. There was other stuff going on in the dream that made no sense, like people wandering around in shorts while snow fell.

Anyway, this corner house is up for sale, see here on Redfin. It's going for $350K and apparently is 2 units. Rent one, rent both. The best thing, if anyone chose to gut this puppy and make it a single family home, is the corner yard that would do well with some shade tolerant and some sun loving gardening. Yes, I have gardening on the brain. Negatives, closer to the mosque, though people tell me they tend to ignore the calls to prayer, and across the street from where the screaming teenagers like to congregate.

One thing about Redfin I'd like to mention is this feature where if you sign up you can read agent comments. Those can be an interesting read. Some give helpful information about development possiblities and some hint as to why some things have been on the market for a really long time (hard to show, rotting interior).