July 2011 Archives

Not Ravens fans blocking southbound 7th St

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People wearing purple trying to drive and park around the convention center are not Ravens fans. They are members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity who are in town for their centennial. However, they are causing traffic congestion. Did anybody bother to tell them of our lovely Metro?

Shaw Tavern open for food only

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We came. We ate. It was good. The concept was local food. I had a burger with fries. The house ketchup was fine, but I was hankering for some Hunt's. There is no booze. Not even BYOB. This place stands well without it. Service was good too. We'll see when they get busy, if that remains. Good first day, welcome to the hood.

Black Gentrification

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I read a book some time ago on the topic, Harlem: Between Heaven and Hell, by Monique M. Taylor, about the influx of a black middle class into impoverished Harlem showing how the issue of race, when the two parties are of the same minority, and class. The New York Times has a pretty good article from 2008 "Harlem Pas de Deux", which shows more of the class issues and hostility of lower income blacks towards higher income blacks.

The Washington Post in today's dead tree edition (it was up earlier in electronic form), covers black gentrification in Anacostia and Ward 8 in "Black Middle Class is Redefining Anacostia". I know it was up earlier because Richard Layman had typed out his thoughts 2 days ago about it.

I don't have too much to add, except to say neighborhoods change. I'm still plugging away at the 1880-1930 census project and trying to map out people on the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. Streets, okay alleys, come and go. Places that were there one year are gone 10 years later to make way for a school, or new housing, or businesses. When I'm done with one aspect of the project I want to take it to the city directories and look at one street that went from being completely white to completely black in 10 years. I want to see where the people who left went and where did the people who replaced them came from. The only problem is that they are mostly renters, and renters are known for up and leaving after a few years. 'Tis the joy of renting.

Rogue 24: This is great, but how do I eat it

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Rogue 24

Last night I had an excellent meal in an alley. I was in great spirits when I left close to midnight (maybe 11:30) when the Help, in his role as chauffer, came to pick me up from Blagden Alley's new attraction Rogue 24.

Now let me explain the subtitle of this post. Rogue's small dishes, many being 1 or 2 bites were beautifully presented. I would have snapped a picture of these gorgeous bits of edible art, but I signed a reservation agreement when I made my reservation, and it asked that diners refrain from taking photos. I do wonder if anyone else had to sign or if they did, bother to read that part, because there were a couple of cameraphones that came out. Anyway, if you need to see what I'm talking about see food photos here and here. I had a single reservation and sat near a family (parents in from Florida, and a daughter lives in MVSQ), where I carried on a conversation with the mother. At one point in the multi-course she asked, 'how do we eat this?' At other points too I wondered how exactly I was to approach something that was only one bite, not wanting to undermine the experience by eating it the wrong way. Most of the time the servers would explain how to enjoy it. As with the radish dish that you swirl it around with your finger. Well take the radish and swirl it, not your finger in the mix that the baby radish sat in.

Of the multi-course dishes that I really liked, I must say the lamb neck with the garlic, eggplant and lemon was heaven. The wine paired with it was oral perfection. Just perfection. Second most memorable, was the chocolate dessert called Tennessee. That was the only thing I think my husband, if I bothered to bring him, could have really appreciated. I really appreciated it, with the various textures and the cholocately-ness. We were seated where we could closely observe the cooks at work, and one fellow explained that the Tennessee included 'Oreo' that he made. Not Oreos from the nearby Giant or Safeway, but his own recipe. 

Let me also mention that it was a real pleasure to be able to see the kitchen at work, to smell the hint of mint as flowers were pulled off a bouquet of spearmint. Me and the Florida family had the best seats in the house.

I will definitely return again when the budget and time allows. There are two pre-fixed menus (the whole table/party must chose one), the Progression, which is 16 courses at $100 ($145 with the pairings) and the Journey, 24 courses at $120 ($175 with wine pairings). I strongly suggest the wine pairing. The meal, regardless of if you go with the Progression or the Journey is 3 hours. My reservation was at 8pm, I did not get out of there until well after 11, on a school night.  

 

A note- Among the wines paired there was one beer. Let me state, I hate beer. Hate. Beer. Never aquired a taste for it, and yes, I did attend the University of Florida. Every few years or so I taste a beer to make sure that I still hate it. The sommelier asked that I give the dark beer a try. I didn't hate it. I didn't really like it either, it was tolerable.

Somethin' or not

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Walked by Shaw Tavern yesterday after a quick trip to the CVS. There were people inside the bar, but it didn't look like it was open for business. The kitchen was dark, but in the seating/bar area the TV was on a news channel, and a few people sitting around as if they were waiting for something. Well, if you can't have an operational bar/restaurant, at least you can have the most awesome bar themed living room in town.

And a little something, though, not really. According to ANC Alex Padro via the Shaw listserv: " Re: Addison Sq (former Kelsey Gardens) moving fwd?
Financing in final phases. Announcement likely in next 60 days." But O Street, a block over from the proposed Addison Sq got it's financing sometime ago and right now, nada.

Oh and the UHOP (United House of Prayer) modernist painting building is now taking applicants, so I guess they are now done. Rents start at $2,065 for I gather 645-770 sq ft of whatever is 'luxury' these days. The website for Bailey Haven Lofts (where did they come up with that name?) makes use of different colored fonts and underlined statements that don't link to anything.

What's happening? Nothin'

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Over at the O Street Market, what is happening? Nothing. Not that I can see when I pass by on the bus or walk through Giant's parking lot. Well there are some small things. Weeds are growing and the top window on the building, looks like half of it is about to fall out.

Shaw Tavern 3

Last night, the Help and I took a post-dinner walk around the hood. We walked over to Shaw Tavern. What's happening? Nothing, but it looks awfully close to something. The lights were on, but nobody was home. Because you can see the kitchen, it looks ready to go. There are onions and potatoes sitting there, and it looks fully equiped. They just have to open. Um, wonder what's holding them up? Inspections or other paperwork maybe? I guess this because we noticed with the inspection stickers and what not in the window that the fire alarm system got approval only a few days ago. Anyone know if they got their C of O yet? Physically they look ready, but legally, that can be another matter.

We also decided to take a walk to the other Steve May project, EC12 over on North Capitol. Yes, walking around at when it's dark (it was about 8:30-9PM) is not recommended, but I had the Help and a big ole' umbrella. Also I suggested to the help on our future nighttime walks we bring the under sink wrench, a heavy metal baton with a wrench thing on the top. If the police ask why we have it, we can just say we have it just in case we encounter someone with a screw loose. Get it? Wrench, screw? Ok, I'll leave the comedy and personal safety to the professionals. Anyway, we got to EC-12. Once again, lights on, and nothing going on. We could see the 2nd floor had no ceiling. The 1st level appeared to have something. When we got to the front we saw the protest notice. After some digging at the ABRA site I did find the notice here. I highly recommend that y'all who live around EC-12 take a look at the hours of operation and see if that works for you.

Yoga District
Between the May projects we noticed the Yoga District is on Florida Avenue, where the Jackson Hewett (or however you spell it) offices used to be. There were folks stretching when we passed by.

Wunderbar!
 
I might actually go, with it being so close.
 
Well now that's something.

H Street and gentrification

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I will acknowlege and affirm that the author of "Can one revive what is Gone? H Street Culture" has negative feelings about the changes that have occurred along H St in the past, oh, 5-10 years. I'm not even going to address the incorrect naming and grammatical errors, Frozen Tropics has that covered.

What gets me is the blame.

The residents of the 'H' Street corridor basically didn't have choices for this new culture because they had no real input or money to put into development projects that were started here.

..then..

What was done was the lack of legal directions and assistance from legal professional that were privy to any rebuttals that residents could use to to help them secure or keep their property.

What the heck is that supposed to mean? Is she (the author) blaming lawyers for not volunteering pro-bono, running around looking for little old ladies about to lose their home to something vague.

I gather the author was so upset she couldn't write straight. She writes that there"used to be a place that you could sit with your friends and enjoy the daily talk about community and what has happened or transpired during your day at work, " but never names it.

Her complaints are as old as urban America. Earlier incarnations are of the old Jewish or Italian grandmas who stay in their homes dispite the influx of a different group of people, long after her friends have died off, moved and their kids decided to live life elsewhere. Life was always better when you were younger.

Monday Miscellany

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Ginger beerAmerica Eats

The picture is of a ginger beer I had at Jose Andres' restaurant in Penn Quarter. I miss the magic motijo of Cafe Atlantico. Seriously is there any way to make the magic motijo American so it can be in the new resturant? Give it a green card, call INS, something. That and the guac were the best things about Cafe Atlantico. America Eats, is okay. The ginger beer, a little too strong at first then it grows on you. I had shrimp and grits. They were a tiny bit too salty and not filling so I ordered the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The problem with the America Eats menu is they give the history of the dish but don't tell you what the hell you're getting. It would have been nice to know that the PB& J came with chips and a small milk.

New Shaw Proposes to Eat Mt. Vernons and Sursum Corda

There is a proposal in the Ward 6 redistricting to define the new boarders that will include central Shaw, 1/2 of Mt. Vernon Square and all of Mt. Vernon Triangle, and call it Shaw. Okay there are a couple of ways you can look at this. Poltical boarders change, who knows a huge surge in building might make Ward 6 too big in 2020, and the then CM will shed the area. Who knows. The Shaw neighborhood name is a mid 20th century invention coming from the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area project, which as far as government projects go, is pretty much done. The agencies that were invovlved in the urban renewal efforts of the 50s-70sish, are no longer involved to the level they were in the present day, which is now ward CMs and ANC members and Jemal. But instead of calling it Shaw, how about ANC 6whatever letter?

Wanna Support a Porch Play?

 I got an interesting email from a woman who is trying to raise money for a neighborhood theatre project that is to take place on porches. You can see her kickstarter page here.

Darned You Verizon

 Personal note, my DSL at home is down. Been that way for going on 4 days now. I can do a lot on my smartphone, but something require a bigger screen and a keyboard. If this goes on another 2 days I'm thinking about cancelling everything with Verizon.

Only MD Chicken at BFM?

For reasons I'm not 100% clear on, the farmer from southern Pennslyvania cannot sell chickens anymore at BFM. Goat and bovine meat yes, chickens, apparently not anymore. I was able to get whole chickens from the Maryland producers, but I like the Pennsylvania farmer's chickens.

Polyface Bunny At Field to City/Timor

We still call Kim's store Timor, anyway, new in, rabbit from Polyface farms.

Too Hot to Enjoy Tactile Dinner Car

We arrived too late for reservations at banished? production's Tactile Dinner Car. It was enjoyable to watch, for a while, but the area under the tent was gawd awful hot. The performing cook and space-airline hostess chick were sweating buckets. They will have a new gasto-art project in September. We'll try them again then.

Harry Thomas Claims Innocence

or something like that. Here's HTjr's statement:

Washington, DC--- Ward 5 Councilmember Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr. today issued the following statement regarding the settlement agreement he has reached with the Office of the Attorney General:

Serving as the Councilman for Ward 5 residents is my greatest honor. In an effort to continue to focus on my most important goals - improving the lives of my constituents in Ward 5 and the residents of Washington, DC-- I have agreed to a settlement. I feel this is in the best interest of the city.

I have committed my life to teaching life skills to children through sports and athletic competition. The discipline and strenuous rigors that I teach through coaching and mentoring were lacking in the management of the organization.
As I have stated before, the allegations in the Attorney General's complaint about there being no service provided and a purposeful misuse of any funds are not true. That is why the settlement does not have any agreement of wrongdoing.

It is not uncommon for grantees, including DC agencies receiving federal funds, to have expenditures disallowed. It is my desire to move forward with the disposition of this matter in a way that will cause the least disruption to my family and my constituency, and that will save the DC government and its citizens the time and expense of litigation, as well.

I appreciate the trust the citizens have placed in me during these allegations. I have used my role as councilmember to tend to the needs and interests of those who I have the privilege to serve. These actions are being taken to ensure that the trust the public has placed in me is maintained and honored.

Any questions regarding this matter may be directed to Fred Cooke of Rubin Winston, Diercks, Harris & Cooke, L.L.P.

Go ask Alice

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Last night we went to the Fringe Festival production of Alice, an evening with Alice Roosevelt Longworth. We enjoyed it, though there were moments I was trying to sneak a peak at someone's watch. We are history people and enjoyed that aspect of the generally one woman play. There is the booming voice of the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt, who we never see.

The premise is an interview with what we guess is a reporter writing for an article for the Washington Post Magazine at the eve of Patrica Nixon's White House wedding. Joy Davidson, the actress who brings the elder Alice R. Longworth to life, turns the audience into this reporter, asking us which hat she should wear, but the audience participation pretty much ends there. The conversations between Alice and Teddy, I gather, reflect her inner thoughts, that exclude the reporter but allow the audience to observe. These father daughter conversations reflect some more personal details that Alice would not share with a reporter.

The audience for this skewed older than say Who Killed Capt. Kirk or past years' Tactile Dinners. And possibly unlike most Fringe plays this has a little history to it. Come to think of it so has the Tactile Dinners, sort of. I look forward to seeing what new twist the dinner car brings.

The garden- a vague report

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I collected a quart of cherry tomatoes. I was going to make a pasta sauce out of them but didn't have any roasted peppers (which make it better), so I pulled out the not so great looking ones, tossed them into the compost and figured I'd give the good ones to interns at work. But while I was out in the yard, ran into a neighbor who's kid likes cherry tomatoes and gave them to him.

The evil squirrels haven't been bothering my small and normal sized tomatoes. Much. I saw some bird, I'm guessing bird, peck marks in two tomatoes. I brought in the ones that were pretty much red and made some tabbouleh with some spring onion, parsley and mint growing in the yard.

The plants growing in the neglected window boxes in the backyard are not doing well. The thyme is dead and the chives are just holding on. I'm going to remove them because I can't water them as well as the other plants.

I need to see if my potato experiement worked. The top leaves have died.

I need to pull up my turnips. I had a few last week and had to cut back a lot of dark parts.  Made a pretty nice turnip gratin from them. I'd been keeping them around for the leaves to give to my aunt. However, dispite not liking turnip greens, I'm going to have to cook them and eat them, so I can take out the rest of the turnips because they don't seem to like the heat. Or they've been in the ground too long.

Other plants in constant use include the basil, thyme, carrots, the bay laurel, and the rosemary. I continue to collect cilantro seed and dill weed seed. The chilies should be done soon, I'll dry them and ground them. 

Yes, new playground but what about....

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100_0806.JPG

It has been reported as Bloomingdale getting a new playground, but this puppy is actually in the TC. And of the various links to the playground next to Associates for Renewal in Education (ARE) over in the Slater school building, I don't see a picture. So here's an old picture. Honestly, I haven't been over to this section of Truxton for a while as I've been sending the Help (the spouse) out for the Saturday morning Catania Bakery run, so I don't know of any changes.

There is a video with some ARE kids, some guy from the Washington Caps and Elliot Segal of DC101. I don't see any footage of what the present and possible look of the playground is to be. But I know where ARE is and can guess that their parking lot with a playset is to be the new playground.

Langston SchoolHere's the question I have, what's going to happen with that neighboring hulk that is the decrepit Langston, on the other side of the future playground. Fuzzy memory, and feel free to correct me if I am way off base, but don't the ARE people have some sort of hold, control, somethin' over Langston?

 Hat Tip: Bloomingdale Blog

Fringe- hit or miss

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The best production I've seen of a Star Trek themed stage play was the one I saw at the University of Florida, as a student, mocking the first TNG episode Encounter At Fairpoint. Even after seeing the Fringe Who Killed Captain Kirk, the UF production still remains the best in my memory.  Friends who went to see Hotel Fcuk, were disappointed with their selection as well. When asking said friend about what could have made the play better, he said, "a different script." Yeah, I kinda feel the same way.

These productions had good concepts but, fell short. And well the thing is I can appreciate the work that goes into larger productions where there is more time to hammer out the not so great parts and develop it a bit more. Fringe can be hit or miss. Misses are disappointing, hits are excellent.

Beau Thai Puts Chairs Outside

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Beau Thai chairs

Wonder if tables will follow?

History Place and Pictures

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Let me start with a link that the prolific Scott Roberts put on the Historic Washington Listserv about a site called History Pin. Apparently there was an article in the Post about it. I've played with it a bit, it's neat. Sorta like Shorpy but linked with maps and there is an app associated with it.

Also with a few pictures is a book. Goodness I love the Internet, for it has brought forth Google Books and within the Books of Google there is Dr. George Kober's 1907 book "The History and Development of the Housing Movement in the District of Columbia" which has photographs of DC alley dwellings, tenant's homes, houses in the TC and near downtown. When looking at some photos, I like to look for litter. Unless it's New York City in the 70s and 80s, most people seem to remember the past as being cleaner than it actually was.

Robert Hannah, assault charge dropped

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Via CCCA prez on the Shawlistserv:

 Robert Hannah plead guilty to two of three charges, 1 for possession of marijuana (apprehended in NE) 1 for attempted threats (Shaw incident); assault charge dropped. Hannah will have a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, July 19 (attorney suggested it might not happen until after 10am). He faces a possible 360 days confinement and/or a $1000 fine for each charge, $50 for court sentencing fees. The Mayor revoked his driver's license for two years.

 Ms Johnson, the complaining witness, was in the courtroom along with Hannah's grandmother (they sat on different sides of the courtroom) and waited from 9am until 2pm when the case was called. 

 Ms Johnson still self identifies as Hannah's girlfriend and when Judge Lopez asked, she responded that she expects their romantic relationship to last. Ms Johnson gave victim's impact statement requesting that the sentencing be stopped, requested that Hannah simply be put in a support/rehab program, did not want a stay away order put in place; she said the incident "affected me badly, but I got over it after a while."

ARGH. Ain't domestic abuse grand with victims being so forgiving and understanding. Anyway, if he does get the max sentence for the 2 charges, 360 days, that would be longer than the max charge Hannah got for beating Tory Hunter, a gay man, who died as a result.

Awesome bloggers

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The Help and I have finally returned from the National Press Club from the "Hyperlocal Coverage" discussion panel event that ended about several hours ago. After the Q&A period ended we got into a discussion with Elise/Inked of Frozen Tropics and the awesome Laura who is the editor of Homicide Watch DC. We wound up talking an hour or more about DC and some of the challenges of being a one woman blog and the absurdity that can be DC.
As far as the event, some bloggers make money, some don't and Elise made an excellent point that the Post and other print media, with paid staff and editors, makes mistakes just as often. Heck that's why we read the "Free for All" in the Post. Also I sense, and I could be completely wrong, that some think that blogs are going to displace traditional media, nope. When radio and television came about there was the fear it was going to displace print media. The Help did a stint in the NPC's archive and discovered that broadcast journalists weren't considered real press and not allowed as full members until the latter half of the 20th century. Also not all bloggers consider themselves journalists. Some do, because they have a journalist background. Personally I feel closer to the academia model when I do the history posts, and don't consider myself a journalist.
Anyway, Homicide Watch is an excellent blog, Please hit up her donate button because she covers all the homicides in DC, not just the sensational or the pretty middle class people, everyone, so all lives are equal.
After we left downtown and took the G8 back home, we walked past Beau Thai and saw Mr. Shaw Rez and his handsome partner Drew through the window. So another blogger meet up, huzzah! Oh and the Vegetate people were there too.
Ah, I love my local bloggers, y'all are awesome.

Vegetate returns in a drink

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Aw man, just as my alcohol consumption is downshifting, Shaw Rez informs us that the people who brought us Vegetate (now closed white table cloth vegetarian restaurant) will be in charge of drinks at Beau Thai. I thought something was going down when the Help and I went to pick up some take out at Beau Thai about a month ago and I spotted the Vegetate people, Dominic and Jennifer Redd (I don't know them by name but by face). I was curious of what was going down, and now I know.

Good luck. Now all you need is out door seating.

Buddists Everywhere

Rushing to get to the metro, I spotted a group of folks who I gather to be Buddists here in town for the Dali Lama (based on colorful dress), walking down 4th St in a southern direction. They must be from a place where people walk, because the MCI/Verizon/Whomever Center is a little over a mile away. Then when I got to my bus stop over at the Shaw metro, another set of similar colorfully dressed folks, but elderly were waiting for the bus. Yesterday, traffic around Gallery Place was not moving because there were so many people around the Verizon Center.

History

I discovered when matching data to a map that I was missing data for a whole block in 1930s TC. The block was square 552. I know that the number of African American individuals outnumbered that of whites, but on the map it appears whites take up more geographic space, when I went out and found the data. In otherwords, proof of overcrowding.

Pepco wants more money

Here's the short and skinny. Disclosure: I own 40 shares of Pepco stock. Pepco wants 42.1 million dollars in rate increases. Some folks in the DC government are angry. Face it, energy is expensive, if it weren't we'd all have solar panels, wind generators and other off-grid sources.

Tree Pickin'

Do you have a fruit or nut bearing tree in the city? Bread for the City wants to pick it. There are plenty of fruit trees in Shaw. I see them over fences, in back and side yards. The Korean church mission at 4th and R has an apple tree. There are several peach trees on Q Street.

Sad, C. Barry busted for Drugs

Christopher Barry was arrested in May, but for some odd reason this is news now. Christopher should get into DC politics, where politicans only get arrested for demanding Statehood.

Oh and happy Bastille Day.

Off-Clip On thingy

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Since I was asked about it three times when I was outside fooling around in the yard, yes, it works, so far.

This is not a paid advert, though if Johnson the makers of Off Clip On want to pay me I won't object. However, in the past couple of days when I've run out side to bother watering the plants, I've had the clip on thingy on and I've used it for about 1 or 2 hours of its 12 hour use and so far so good. However, when I've got a mist of water spray going on, I think I'm getting bit, though I don't see anything. Also if my shirt winds up covering the fan or when I'm wearing a long skirt, my legs seem to get bit.

The day I was out collecting the cherry tomatoes two fellows who had come by a neighbor's place and asked on two separate occasions about the clip on. Another day, a neighbor asked if it works. So far so good, yes it does, provided there are no mists and long skirts and it's not covered.

I like it better than the sprays and candles and incense to keep the bugs at bay while working in the yard. But I do wonder if years down the road we'll discover it causes cancer or some horrid thing.

Home and garden report- lazy summer

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Tomatoes

With the hard rain we got Sunday, I knew that the cherry tomatoes were going to go splitsville. So Monday, I was outside bending and twisting to get 2 pints of sweet cherry tomatoes off of the most productive tomato plant in the yard. The other tomato plants are either a) not doing jack squat, or b) preparing to die and leave me about 4 reddish tomatoes in their will.

I took the split cherry tomatoes, cut off the split part (tossing it out) and threw the rest in a pot of lentils I was cooking. Also for the lentils I finally used some chicken stock I canned. I hadn't eaten anything from the pressure canner.  Anyway, a bunch of tomatoes went to the lentils. The others are going to be dehydrated and those that aren't dehydrated thrown in a pasta dish for tonight's dinner.

Stocks

For a wedding present we got a pressure canner. So far I have canned stocks. Chicken stock mostly, from leftover chicken bones and chicken parts that never made it into whatever I was cooking. I have about 8 or 9 pints of stock. Now that I have tried a stock that had been sitting on the shelf of about a month, I'll try to clear out the freezer of other bones and parts and turn them into stocks. But it is so hot and I don't wanna cook or can.

Liquors

I got lazy. I did not feel like canning any more cherries. So I decided to throw them into vodka to make cherry liquor and 'drunken cherries'. My problem is that my mood changes. I'm not drinking as much (oh, good Lord, that sounds sad!) adn thus not going through the cherry liquor I make, which is really good stuff. The by product of the liquor were the 'drunken cherries' which I'm liking more and more and giving away less and less. And I like making lemoncello, as my goal is to try to get it to taste like a lemondrop. I've got about 2 batches of the stuff sitting around but little incentive to drink it, since my tolerances have gone down.

Basil and other spices

Got tons of it, no incentive to make pesto as I still have some of last year's pesto in the freezer. Only good thing about making pesto is there is no canning or heat involved.

The cilantro/coriander all went to seed and I've been collecting the seed pods. I haven't collected a lot volume wise. I did use some where I ground up 1 teaspoon of it for a recipe, and it smelled amazing! 

I got more dill seed than I know what to do with. I don't do much if any pickling. 

Food in General

With the exception of two days when my husband gets the kitchen, I cook. From scratch most of the time. On the plus side, the meals are healthy. By grabbing purslane for salad from the yard, we get a boatload of Omega-3 and a fresh tasty salad. The negative is it's a lot of work, cleaning a picking. It is horribly tempting, and we have yielded to tempation several times, to grab something from Beau Thai or some other spot. On one hand I'm happy I grew turnips that I will turn into a yummy turnip gratin, but on the other hand, I gotta turn on the oven, slice the turnips and assemble all the other ingredients.

It's summer and I'm just getting lazy and I really don't want to do anything.

Bates 1968? Report for Rehab

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I have it in my notes that this is dated 1968, but there is a phrase in the report put out by the DC Redevelopment Land Agency saying they've been doing something since 1969. Anyway, for those of you living on Squares 552 and 615, this will be a hoot of a read. This report was either from a collection at George Washington University archives or the National Archives. Can't remember, it's in both locations.

bates_prog_68.pdf

Stay Hydrated

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Cooler

I tried to capture the 'smoke' rising out of this wandering vendor's cooler in Penn Quarter. It was hot yesterday and it is going to be hotter today. So stay hydrated with actual water.

Shaw Tavern and Boundary Stone Walk By

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There is a good amount of work going on there. There is kitchen stuff in the window and something that looks like a kitchen. The rest of the place still is a work in progress. Will it be able to host anything July 16th? Um. Question, has the kitchen been ok'd by the DC government? I can't but remember the problem Beau Thai had with a hoped for opening that was delayed for a whole weekend because the inspector had not approved and gotten all the paperwork through to give the kitchen the ok.

I was looking for a quick wash and blow dry over at Jack and Company Hair Salon. In that same building on Rhode Island Ave NW is the place that is hoped to be Boundary Stone. There is some sort of shed going up or temporarily being between the residence and the building. I guess that is something. 

Defending SE

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This weekend the Help and I went to a party held by some friends of ours in a nice leafy MoCo suburb. It was a mix of people with neighbors, special interest friends and workplace (former & current) friends. We were the special interest friends.

I was sitting outside with people who I think knew our hosts through their kids, and the conversation wandered on to DC. Particularly SE DC. Oh and before we get into issues of race, nobody in this conversation was white (me black, an Indian-American couple and brown couldn't guess country of familial origin type). It started with the statement that there weren't any places to run or bike or excercise on the other side of the river followed by more stereotypical comments about Anacostia/SE.

Now I don't spend much time in Wards 7 & 8. The last time I was there was last week when we were driving through to get to the federal campus of buildings in Suitland from downtown DC. The time before that, was some cultural thing starting near the Big Chair, that ended at Fredrick Douglas' house. Anyway, I found myself in the odd position of defending SE. There is a bike trail on the other side of the river and when my collegues and I were riding down to Suitland they remarked about the improvements and the nice houses we spotted close to the MD border. 

The conversation changed to something else as these things do in social situations. But at some point someone had something good to say about Marion Barry, not me. I'm not defending that man.

Friday Misc- Garden and Mamo

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Buckwheat and other grains

Sorry for not having a picture but in my container garden I managed to grow buckwheat. It shares the same pot as the patio tomato. Now I have enough plants to make one singular quarter sized pancake. One. Seriously, I really didn't think it would grow sucessfully here. I had grabbed the seed during a vacation 2 years ago from the owner's garden, just a handful of buckwheat. The seed had sat in a baby food jar of random seeds and on a lark I threw some of that seed in a pot. I think I'll dump out the rest of the jar in a bare corner of the yard and see what pops up.

Also in the 'let's see what grains grow' catagory, I'm also making a stab at amaranth. So far, nothing. Of course it might fare better in a sunnier spot than where I have it.

Isn't That Joe Mamo's site?

According to the BACA blog there was a special ANC meeting to extend the PUD on the corner of North Cap and Florida Ave. Now if memory serves me right that is Joe Mamo's (a very memorable name, that sounds too much like 'yo momma') land and years ago he had proposed building a residental property. If he has a PUD then I guess he can go through. Apparently he needs an extention to get funding. Ah the olde funding excuse. Also as I search my memory, the last time I remember Mamo or one of his representatives coming before the community with the proposed building, people were very concerned about traffic flow, as in 'if you have a underground garage, how will people enter and exit from such busy roads as North Cap. and FL Ave?' And as I remember there was a concern about building height, and the privacy of surrounding residences. The height would essentially block the southern view (cool views of downtown). I guess that has been addressed and resolved?

Horrified by Team Thomas' Overdraft Fees

I hate overdraft fees. Mr. InShaw (the Help) and I, in addition to our joint bank accounts, have our own 'mad money' bank accounts. When I noticed one of the Help's mad money statements had a couple of these $35 overdraft NSF fees, and I threw a small scale hissy fit. Now my reaction to someone else racking up a bunch of overdraft fees, also quite negative. The City Paper has Team Thomas' bank statements showing a slew of check and check card transactions on page 22 and 23. I also notice that in addition to the charges for sports related things, there are a few $2 fees for using a BoA card in a SunTrust and a maintenance fee. These are small, but add up. They are also so unnecessary.

As for the City Paper, that's a crap ass job at redacting. Redacting 101. Take original, make a copy. Take a marker, mark out what is to be redacted on copy. Make a photocopy of marked copy. Make visual inspection of 2nd copy to insure names and numbers cannot be figured out. Release to public. Pray that Team Thomas doesn't sue you.

Thurs miscellany

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1500 blk of 5th being scoped?

I'm going to have to admit to a personal flaw. When I walk home I see stuff on the street, I think to myself, "I need to report that." But when I get into my house the chores and things left undone that are looking me in the face, and I forget. Sometimes I remember to report something, a lot of times, I forget. Hopefully nothing happened, but I was walking home from the Giant, say between 4:30 and 5pm and noticed two fellows, both black males in their 20s. The guy with the dreads was standing on the corner while his buddy was standing at the door of one of the houses on the odd side of the 1500 blk of 5th. Something didn't seem right so I slowed my walk to observe. The other fellow in the red baseball cap looked noticed me, backed up from the door, and by the time I was a good 1/2 way down the next block was looking up at the windows of the house and his buddy on the corner moved towards the house. Then they both left the yard but when I was about to turn at 5th and R the dreadlocked guy (as far as my old eyes could tell) was back on the corner. But as the begining of this long paragraph states, my bad habit of forgetting took over. I sincerely, hope nothing happened, or that the fellows had legitimate business at that house.

Job Fair Today

Where: Kennedy Rec Center 1401 7th St NW. When: TODAY 7/7 10AM to 2PM See http://twitpic.com/5lkfjv/full for flier.

HT: Shawneighborhood listserv

Wonderbread Factory

Also from the listserv via CCCa Prez MM:

Paul Millstein announced that Douglas Development is moving forward now with a four story (only) all commercial (no residential) development at the WonderBread facility along with a four story developement downtown at the old CVS building and adjacent vacant lot fronting H St (next to Vapiano).
 

Arty food to start Thursday

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I've described them before as weird but good.  My last futurism food experience with banished? productions involved eating dried lentils shaped like cat food off of a plate (no hands) while the Meow Mix song played. So it is art/theatre you actually have to engage with, so if you're game the first available show is tomorrow with the Tactile Dinner Car, as part of this year's Fringe Festival.

Each time is different, so I expect this year's production to bring something new. They are bringing in some things from the Futurist Cookbook and their own creations of real food, fake food and I don't know what.

4ths are getting better

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Say about 10 years ago when I moved here the local fireworks would start a good month before the 4th of July. Slowly, over time the pre-fourth fireworks became fewer and fewer. Also I need to note the sounds of small arms fire in the night has decreased over the years too.

As for the neighborhood, ah, the large crowd that would form at our corner to shoot off fireworks that could be seen several blocks off, moved up to another corner. We did keep a close eye on neighbors who shot off fireworks in the alley and street. Note to car owners, park closer to your own home on the 4th. It lessens the chance that an misfired explosive won't do a dance under your car by someone setting off fireworks in front of their house.

What to do with arugula

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Most days when I'm in charge of dinner, I wander out in the yard and grab some arugula so we can have some vegetable. I tend not to make a salad out of them because someone, whom I won't name, finds the green too spicy. However, when it is cooked down, it has a milder and more acceptable flavor. It's like spinach, except it doesn't tastes exactly like spinach.

The past week I've tried cooking arugula, here are some of my rough recipes:

Arugula and Cinnamon

1/2 lb of arugula, cut into fat ribbons

Oil (olive, veggie, whatever)

1/4 tsp Cumin seeds

Handful of raisins

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Salt to taste

Heat oil in pan (I use a non-stick) throw in cumin seeds when the oil is hot. Then throw in raisins. When the raisins puff up a bit, add arugula. When the arugula cooks down to a dark green lump, add the rest of the spices.  Serve hot.

I also use arugula to subsitute for spinach in some recipes. Now that I finally am getting some tomatoes, I'll make some palak paneer, minus the paneer.

The arugula in the garden in varied. Some have gone to seed. I have some plants I've pulled out of the ground so I can collect the seed. I'm also collecting cilantro seed, not to replant but to use as a spice in the kitchen. There are some baby arugula growing right up against the alley, so I'm not considering it as a food option. When I've pulled up the mature arugula, I'll throw some more seed down and start all over again.