May 2012 Archives

The hustle

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Walking home yesterday I spotted a woman who begs o R St between 5th and 4th. Black woman, possibly between 40something and 50 something, with a short ponytail. I don't know what her real deal is but she shows up often enough with the same simple story that she's hungry and just wants some food. Over the years (it's only been a couple), I've gone home to make her a sandwich, or directed her to the Korean house mission on R or Bread for the City on 7th. I try not to give money.

She's a regular. Another person who is becoming a regular is a guy begging for work who, as far as I can tell, doesn't produce. This guy seems to have honed in on one neighbor on my street, rolling around quarterly? every other month? knocking on the door with some sad story about how he needs a few dollars and will do some yard work. If you haven't noticed, we have tiny yards. Even then I only notice an improvement in the yard when other neighbors volunteer or the homeowner does yard work. Not after this guy leaves. Once, the guy told me that his daughter was in the hospital, and the grandmother they were living with died and they were going to kicked out of where they were living. I offered sympathy, but no job, as it seems no one can identify what is in my yard, there is no way in Hell I'm going to let anyone come in tear up and trample what I'm growing. He comes around often enough that I think it's a hustle.

Yesterday, before dinner,  on a leisurely walk in Bloomingdale with the Help we ran into this couple sitting on S St. The woman asked if we had any money on us. She said her husband just died of AIDS. I expressed sympathy but said I didn't have any cash on me. Then she asked why I was with a white man. Oh yeah, I forgot we're an interracial couple walking down the street holding hands. The Help is a romantic who wants to hold hands, and I am a woman who thinks he walks too damned slow. But  anyway, I replied that he was the only one who wanted to marry me because I was so old. We laughed it off and kept walking.

Everyone has a story.

Wanna Restaurant on New Jersey Ave?

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BACA blog put out this:

At the upcoming BACA meeting on June 4th, a developer will present his plan to open a sit down restaurant on New Jersey Avenue. The Garden State Restaurant would require a zoning variance to be approved by the Civic Association and ANC in order to get approval from the Board of Zoning.

Come learn about this project and vote in support or against the zoning variance.

I'm going to guess this is for the 1500 block?

Have you seen this bike?

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Mercurio.jpgThis bike was stolen from the eastern Shaw-TC/Bloomingdale area. This is what I got from willmcdrules(at) gmail .com:

"my bike was stolen between 5am and 545am on sunday 27th may 2012. its a pretty sweet ride, i had wanted to start selling ice cream this summer, but alas it was stolen. it was just the bike and not the box that was taken. could you please post this, id really like her back..."

According to PoP the owner is offering $100 reward.

Beware- Chuck Brown & 7th St

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There will be a viewing of the late Chuck Brown at the Howard Theatre and because of such. there will be street closings. 7th St NW between Florida and S Street will be closed off from 9:30AM to midnight on Tuesday May 29th. So it may not have any impact on your way to work, but will impact your trip back home if you use surface transit.

3:00 am - Midnight
T Street, NW, from 7th Street to Florida Avenue, NW

9:30 am - Midnight
T Street, NW closure will expand to include T Street between 9th Street and Florida Avenue, NW 7th Street, NW between Florida Avenue and S Street, NW
8th Street, NW between Florida Avenue and S Street, NW Wiltberger Street, NW between T Street and S Street, NW

Our Police and the UHOP parade

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Oft Tommy Barnes

Once upon a time, and for so of you, a long time ago, portions of Truxton were in the 3rd Police District. But then there was some reorganization and the police district boundaries changed. And horror of horrors, we (in TC) were thrown into the 5th Police District, 5D. Horror, because we lost Ofr. Tommy Barnes, who was part of 3D. He was very sympathetic to residents, as he too was a resident and experienced the same issues his neighbors experienced. Well today I spotted Ofr. Barnes on the street, enforcing the law. See photo of police on foot, no squad car in sight.

Not to say we don't value the wonderful officers of 5D. It was great that 5D arrested the two men, on the 1700 block of 4th St on Wednesday, who may or may not have been part of the burglary upswing that has been going on in Bloomingdale. There has been a good amount of emails about the arrest on the 5D listserv, so let me add my 'good job' to the rest of the praise for Commander Andy Solberg and his people. Also there was another arrest, yesterday, after someone called 911 spotting some men trying to break into a house on the 2200 block of 1st St NW. Yay to the cops for that arrest. Oh, and yay to the person who reported them and gave a useful description of them. If you want to be mildly informed about the crime in your neighborhood, I'd recommend subscribing to your police district's email list. If you want to be blissfully ignorant then just carry on.

Oh and unrelated, the UHOP parade is this weekend. This is my copy and paste from the 5D listserv email I got about weekend road closures:

On Saturday, May 26, 2012, the United House of Prayer for All People will hold its annual Memorial Day parade. This event will begin at 10:00 am and will conclude at approximately 3:00 pm. The parade will take place along the following route:

* Begin: 6th & M Streets, NW
* North on 6th Street to S Street, NW
* West on S Street to 13th Street, NW
* South on 13th Street to Logan Circle, NW
* Southwest around Logan Circle to P Street, NW
* East on P Street to 7th Street, NW
* South on 7th Street to M Street, NW
* East on M Street to 6th Street, NW where the parade will end 

The parade is very entertaining, provided you're not trying to get anywhere by a motor vehicle with more than 2 wheels.

Affordability and personal decisions

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This is not about Shaw, really. This is sort about a co-worker, but not really. This is sort about the whole housing "affordability" argument that gets thrown around, sort of, or maybe not.

A co-worker/friend is one of the finalists for WTOP's Commuter Idle. Once upon a time, I joined the finalist on the final 30 minute leg of the 3+ hour commute. Then my work was in DC and my commute became awesomely wonderful. I listened to the stories of the 3 finalists and two claim housing affordability being the reason they live in BFE, VA or Way the Freakout, MD.

I've known other people who live way the hell out who cite the same 'can't afford to live in/near DC'  reason. But even if you gave them a rent free place in Columbia Heights or Brookland, they still wouldn't leave nowheresville, because there are other factors at work. Kids, are one. There are schools, then there is closeness of family to babysit, costs of daycare, type of environment, yard space, square footage, etc. If not kids, there are spouses. Spouses who have jobs and the choice is that one person gets the crappy commute while the other has the happy commute. Another is the type of lifestyle desired for themselves and/or their family. I had a co-worker once who lived out in West Virginia, left home before dawn and slept during the carpool ride to DC. He wanted to live near the mountains and out in the woods on a maintenance man salary. No level of 'affordable' DC housing was going to give that to him.

One of the finalists is a firefighter who commutes 235 miles when he comes into work. That comes up in 'workforce' housing discussions here in the city that housing should be built for firefighters, police, teachers, etc. The way he describes it, family is the reason he lives so far away. Housing affordability isn't presented as a factor. It would be interesting to know what percentage of DC municipal first responders live in the District and within the Beltway. Also I wonder if there is a problem recruiting and keeping more locals for these first responder jobs if a number live far out.

It's not just housing, it's also transportation. Believe me, if there was some way to live in Sunny Florida and commute only 3 hours door to door 5 days a week, I'd consider it. I'm a Florida native and I miss not having seasons. They and so many others live so far out because they can. There are so many transportation options around here that you can string together buses, trains, carpools, slug lines, and what have you, to eventually, get to work.  But I wonder if anyone stops to ask how long is too long and too far, before something has to give and serious changes need to be made.

Shaw and the 1940 Census

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<1940 Census Map1
I was hoping 402 P Street NW had the slightest of chances of being in the TC, but alas it is on the other side of New Jersey Avenue. Well at least it is in Shaw. What's so special about 402 P? It is mentioned in a front page Washington Post article as the former boarding house where Bernice Bennett's father's cousin lived in 1940. Bernice Bennett, as reported by Carol Morello, was at the Family History Center in Kensington, MD looking for her family's information in the 1940 census. She located a relative who played a part in bringing Ms. Bennett's parents together.

Bennett of Silver Spring, MD is quoted as saying, "I'm going to go to the house on P Street and take a picture." Yes, please do. And stop by Beau Thai for lunch. This is a kind of heritage tourism I can get behind. One built on family ties and a researched connection. Find your relatives in Shaw, and have lunch at one of our fine dining establishments.

Tuesday Misc.

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The House History man has a lovely history about the area currently occupied by the Kennedy Rec Center.

Left for LeDroit has a very informative piece about zoning and the possiblities of Florida Avenue becoming another U Street.

And in the Washington Post they run again with that black oldtimers vs white people regardless of when they showed up (1 year, 10 years, makes no diff they're white) narrative. This time it is about Bloomingdale's Crispus Attucks Park. I don't know any of the parties that well but it comes across to me as organized vs disorganized, and crazy. I'm ticking this one under gentrification 'cause I don't have a 'batsh!t crazy' box.

Oh and lastly, UHOP, the people who brought you the flugy Suzane Reatig buildings, will engaging in their annual festivities. But for some reason May 29th is listed. I swore the traffic tying up 6th St (& M) and parking mess caused occured on a weekend. The 29th is a Tuesday. Or is my calendar wrong?

Monday Misc.

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In a few years this is going to be a whole different neighborhood. Once those cranes at 9th/7th and O/P get done and I can finally pick up a little something from the promised giant Giant in 2013. I ran into ANC Alex Padro this weekend and he mentioned that the Kelsey Garden Apartments will be torn down in 2 weeks. I trust Alex but I'll believe it when I see it, as I've heard it before. If the Giant and the slightly smaller Jefferson at Marketplace are done and leased, that's 1.5 blocks of change right there.

There is a new signed pinned up on the empty lot on the 400 block of R Street.Coming to R St NW

 Bloomingdale people, esp. around Flagler PL, beware of an aggressive panhandling woman on crack. Bloomingdale is also filled with good neighbors who intervened. 

Friday Misc

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O Street Market Blog claims they've stopped digging and they are going to build up. They are say that they are on schedule for having the Giant open back up in 2013.

Anyone know what has happened to one of my favorite vendors Stefano Frigerio of the Copper Pot Food Co? He isn't at the Bloomingdale or Penn Quarter markets. His website is down. The bison meat guys said he might be over at the White House farmers market, but I can't seem to confirm that. I have his phone number, but I figure I'd ask.

And let's see (clearing out the inbox.....)

I see Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go-Go died this week and notably the Blue Note people at the Howard Theatre did a good job of getting the word out and being the place to celebrate Brown's life, with the WKYS truck and a prayer session. If the Howard were run by the same people who run the Lincoln, I doubt that would have happened.

Got tons of emails from SeeClickFix in relation to the DC311 app I have on my phone and signing up as a user. I do wonder how they decide what's near me. It has been a learning experience. There are things I haven't even thought about reporting that I see on my brisk walk to the metro station, that I could report. Parking violations being one of those. So instead of bitching about it, I could take a picture, get the tag and other ID info and report it. However, I noticed there are contact phone numbers posted with those, and I don't know if that is optional. Rat abatement is another issue, but my general solution to that is to scream and run.

I will admit I tend not to read Richard Urban's emails, but he's doing something interesting, being a personal grocery shopper. However, I have my own personal grocery shopper, the Help.

A neighbor let me know that there will be a Taste of Bloomingdale on the 19th at the Crispus Attucks Park.

Also, News 4 reported the protest this week at the Pepco offices. One of the people quoted in the story, I swear was the woman who officiated at my great-aunt's funeral in SE. Small world. Oh, and Pepco emailed me that my bill has arrived.

And lastly, DC Yoga week is nearing it's end on the 20th. I don't do yoga, but know lots of people who do.

Strawberries real and fake

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Alpine Strawberries

A few days ago I wandered into the backyard where my semi-neglected container garden sits, and noticed I had strawberries. Lots of them, from two plants. Yet, these are Alpine Strawberries, very tiny compared to what you'd find in the store. They are yummy on top of some vanilla ice cream. I got about 1 small ramekin full of the little berries.

There was another strawberry plant, from what I gathered is a volunteer seed from the compost. The one berry from that, looked like it would have been regular sized if the slugs hadn't gotten to it.

I was talking with a co-worker about strawberries and he said he had all these tiny strawberries growing in his yard. I asked him if they were Alpine Strawberries or Mock Strawberries. Mock Strawberries grow all over the place here, if you aren't looking close, you might confuse them with an Alpine. The fruits of the Mock Strawberry or Indian Mock Strawberry, are tasteless and some people may experience some adverse effects if eaten. So know your berry.

Unrelated- Congrats to Mr. McDuffie for winning the Ward 5 seat.

Banished? Productions Happy Hour @ Big Bear

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Big Bear is helping out local artists. A while back one of banished? productions was at the Bear. Anyway....

Banished? productions is having a happy hour at Big Bear Cafe this Wednesday, 6-9pm. Big Bear is generously donating a percentage of bar sales. 

Ward 5 voters- Go vote

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The Help and I voted this morning. Good to get that over with.
Remember that your vote counts a lot in small elections like this one, it is not a drop in the bucket. With so many people running, people with hair, bald guys, gay republicans, independent dudes and the bunch of other people who'll be part of the party machine, just a few votes can make a tie, or bring one of the many just above the top enough to win Ward 5.

Jobs and the neighborhood

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Over at the Penn Quarter Living blog they noticed about sixty some odd job openings posted on Craigslist for Penn Quarter. A majority of those jobs are in the restaurant service industry. As a patron of many of Jose Andres' spots, the few restaurants that aren't run by Jose Andres, and the odd food truck that parks in the PQ, the food business in this neighborhood is doing fairly well.

There is still a thread on the Eckington neighborhood email list along the lines of the 'we need jobs not development,' mindset. Some folks don't believe that building housing for folks who have the extra income to support neighborhood retail is a good thing. Throwing in "Bloomingdale" to the Craigslist search brings up 5 entries. One only because it mentions the store Bloomingdale, 3 are for Green Paws, and Big Bear is looking for a new chef.

It's interesting to see what comes up when you throw in different neighborhood names in the search feature for jobs on Craigslist. Georgetown needs waiters and dental assistants, Brookland needs teachers and IT people.

Ten days of Truxton in one

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Chatting with Mr. Scott Roberts of Blooingdale, we were both reminded of a small series I ran called 10 days of Truxton, giving a very brief and quick history of Commodore Thomas Truxtun, who got a traffic circle, and the circle is where the neighborhood name comes from. Sort like Shaw, named for a school, named for a Civil War hero. So here is a repost of the recap.

Day 10. I've been trying to figure out at what point Tom Truxtun went from Captain Truxtun to Commodore Truxtun. Apparently some time between 1800-1801, when he took command of the President and before he quit the US Navy all together because of some ranking spat, that wasn't entirely Truxtun's fault. In 1801 the fake war with France ended and there wasn't much of a need for a wartime naval force. And it appears through some letters sent in 1802 about a meeting with the Secretary of the Navy, because he caught a cold failed to dine with the Secretary, who apparently wasn't that keen on him in the 1st place, who then failed to provide Truxtun with the requested personnel needed. It seems that Truxtun decided if he was going to get no respect he may as well quit. So he did and from 1803-1822 lived life as a gentleman living off of prize money won in earlier years. He had a farm, a couple for a while, but settled at Wood Lawn, a farm not far from Philadelphia. He served as a High Sheriff from 1816-1819. In 1822 he died, his wife a year later.

Ten Days of Truxtun:
Day 1- The Name-The Hood
Day 2- Slavery
Day 3- Commodore's background
Day 4- What I did During the American Revolution
Day 5- Continuing the Revolutionary War
Day 6- Going for broke
Day 7- In the Navy
Day 8- Not the British Navy
Day 9- Fake French War

Resources- Commodore Thomas Truxtun 1755-1822 by Eugene S. Ferguson. The free Library of Philadelphia, 1947.
Truxtun of the Constellation: The Life of Commodor Thomas Truxtun, US Navy, 1755-1822, by Eugene S. Ferguson. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

Hopefully you've read this already. In case not:

GOOD MORNING ECKINGTON, BLOOMINGDALE and EDGEWOOD

BATES and HANOVER TOO!

THE BLOOMINGDALE FARMERS MARKET IS BACK

Hi everyone,

BFM reopens this Sunday the 13th and there is so much news! First we have New Hours. Repeat 3 times: BFM opens at 9 am now and closes at 1 pm. BFM opens at 9 am now and closes at 1 pm.....

2. We have a sweets baker again! Yay! Whisked! visited us last Fall and now they have joined us. I know you have all been yearning for brownies and cookies and Jenna makes superb ones. But she also serves both a sweet AND a savory pie or quiche every single week. In both 6 inch (perfect for two) and 9 inch versions. You are going to be so spoiled.

This week the sweet pie is a "Straight Up Rhubarb": "Maybe you didn't know this, but rhubarb is awesome. Its tart, citrus-like flavor comes into its own when sweetened with a little brown sugar and vanilla - which is exactly what we do in our rhubarb pie. We got our rhubarb from New Morning Farm, a certified organic farm in Pennsylvania. "

The savory is Asparagus-shallot cheese quiche. "This quiche is a doozy - it's full of roasted asparagus, sauteed onions, shallots, and Swiss cheese."

3. We've got a New Vegetable Producer from Purcellville, Va.: Shawna DeWitt of Mountain View -- and they are certified organic. Not only do Shawna, her husband Attila (and their two little kids) grow fabulous vegetables, but Shawna is an amazing creator of traditionally fermented krauts and kimchi and pickles.

4. We've got MUSHROOMS now. Keswick planted a mushroom field last Fall and the little myecelium are very happily producing WINECAPS, a portabella like mushroom. Come early because they will sell out quickly.

5. Keswick is knocking out one amazing cheese after another. I thought last year's pimento spread was pretty good but it has been made even better as Sara's Spicy Pimento. They have added cheddar olive spread, Onion and Dill Quark and Blue Cheese Dressing, Mel is now pairing three personal cheese plates to go with beer or wine. And making an American grating grana washed with cider called Calverly. All the old favorites are there as well: my favorite yogurt, the fiery Dragon's Breath, Cheddar, Lesher, Wallaby, Vermeer, Blue Sued Moo, Tommenator and three dfferent fetas.

6. Mama Reid (co-owner Kathy, mother of Caitlin) is coming to market with a Mother's Day offer she's never made before. Make Mother's Day extra special with a gift from our family farm from Momma Reid herself on Mother's Day, May 13! Momma Reid, aka Kathy Reid, will give a free tomato plant to each Mom who brings a picture of herself and her children - or better yet, comes to market with children of any age in tow!

7. Also NEW is that we have strawberries opening day. LOTS Of strawberries. And 2 different Strawberry treats at Dolcezza.

What else: Asparagus in green and purple, arugula, spinach, Mesclun, Spicy Salad mix, 6 varieties of kales, Chards, 4 varieties of Beets with their greens, sweet salad JHakurei Turnips, Green Garlic, radishes, Bok Choi, Tatsoi, Beet Green Kimchi, Ruby Sauerkraut, Kale/nettle/ radish fermented pickle, tender young broccoli, kohlrabi the alien vegetable, sugar snap peas, cheeses, all cuts of pastured pork, all cuts of veal and goat and bratwurst, ground turkey, eggs, baguettes, croissants, pumpernickel, whole wheat, country breads, sourdoughs, rolls, gelato and sorbet, 30 varieties of tomato starters, 9 kinds of basil, 6 different thymes, stevia, cumin, lavenders, catnip, cat grass 6 kinds of peppersl.... .jams and jellies and fruit butters. Lettuce gardens. Hanging plants and flowering plants, too.

So, BFM reopens at 9 am on Sunday and we have lots of Mother's day ideas. See you there!

Robin and Ted.

Grumpy old people and a need for editors

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The Washington Post once again writes up a old timers vs almost voice-less newcomer narrative, with a sprinkling of accusations of racism throw in for flavor. This article is by Tim Craig, titled in the print edition, "'They don't want us'" and online is called, "Special council election comes at an anxious time for D.C.'s Ward 5," 'cause it covers the fact that there will be an election on May 15th to choose a new Ward 5 councilperson. Because of the print article's title, it seems to be that of a black vs white gentrification story, same words online, but with more photos and a different title, comes across differently, more about residents struggle with change and the choices of candidates. Both articles misspell "child." I have an excuse for my writing, I AP'd out of college English, and so my grammar lessons took place over 20 years ago. Oh, and I'm an unpaid blogger without an editor looking over my work. Also what role does the Summit, the workforce housing built in/near Eckington a couple of years ago play in this? None? It's relatively new housing, and residents complained about that too before it was built. Ah selective memory, my aunt has that problem as well.

While I was reading the article I kept wondering if anyone under 50 was interviewed and quoted. Two, a newcomer aged 35 who welcomes development and a oldtimer aged 49, who sounds like a grumpy old person.

Speaking of grumpy old people, over in central Shaw, my favorite grumpus RayM, laid down some history (it's in there among the grump) in response to an announcement of the Shaw Gentrification & Community Change Walking Tour Fundraiser. He wrote:

I see an agenda here, folks. Most of the properties fixed up and
turned into high-end granite-countered chicken coups with stainless
steel appliances around me were either long vacant (like the Shiloh
properties) or the elderly owners took the cash when the market was
geared to sellers and moved back to the Carolinas. The folks next
door unfortunately lost their home to one of those awful balloon
mortgages and the house was sold on auction. I can only imagine the
distorted tale that this tour will tell about the evil gentrifiers and
their hapless victims. Our neighborhood was never set aside to be
some South African black township or tribal homeland. Its historic
ups and downs of our neighborhood have always been ruled by market
forces and exemptions from racial covenants --unlike other parts of
the city-- and a lax city government that allowed the most sordid,
disgusting alley dwellings in the whole city that provided shelter to
the newest immigrants from mostly the Carolinas. But most of the
street properties were originally build for middle class people of
every hue, religion and culture who could afford them. It's no
different now.

KIPP kids

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I came home later, reminded why I like to come home at my usual time. I was setting out the trash when I noticed three young boys (8, 10 y.o.?) in green KIPP school tees, horsing around and for some odd reason grabbing all the take out menus stuck in gates on my street. I sort of chalked it up to boys doing stupid stuff, but watched them carefully as they made their way north. Then after one chased another, one kid dropped all the menus all over the sidewalk. And then I yelled at them and demanded that they pick them up. Unfortunately I was a distance away, but loud enough to be heard and obeyed to a point.
One kid picked them up, but I guess when I turned my back to go back into my house they dumped the fliers on the ground. Our street is fairly clean, and to keep it that way I wandered down to the end of the block where I found a bunch of menus littering the corner. I picked them up and put them and threw them in a recycle bin.
I guess the KIPP school makes their students wear the distinctive tees to id the kids as their students. So KIPP I think a lesson in not littering may be in order/

Presentation at BACA- TC history

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I want to thank the Bates Area Civic Association for letting me make my presentation about the history of the neighborhood. Hopefully it will inspire other presentations to our own and other neighborhoods about the history of DC neighborhoods at neighborhood meetings. A history, something other than presentations on the umpteenth variation on a development or crime.
As I may (or may not have) mentioned at the presentation I hope to put all this and (if the DC Humanities grant is awarded) the 1940 census data for our Truxton Circle neighborhood out there on TruxtonCircle.org.
There was one question I got that I don't think I could have answered as fully as I could have. I was asked why was I doing all of this. Being married to a fellow archivist, working around people in the history field and having friends whose main job is research, I've never really questioned that why. I love history. It's what I do. I think I rattled off my academic credentials, but I don't think that explained the why. It's a question I'll have to give more thought to and discuss with the Help (he spends a LOT of his free time on his favorite history topic) about this.

Jury Duty

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Maybe I should have constantly mumbled they're all guilty and need to rot in jail. But I didn't so I get to perform a civic duty called jury duty. All the cool American citizens are doin' it. So there will be lighter blogging.

Couldn't of happened to a nicer guy

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About a few months ago on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, a children's book author who was brought on for the 'Not my job' segment of the radio show, talking about his early days and how how wound up in prison for selling drugs. In court the author told the judge, "I'm guilty, Your Honor, but I'm a very nice boy." To which the judge responded, "nice boys don't smuggle dope."

I mention this because of my former ward Councilman Harry Thomas Jr., a very personable and charming fellow, was sentenced to 38 months for basically stealing money from the city that was meant to serve children. Neighborhood character/activist (depending on who you ask) Robert Brannum put out a statement in support of his friend Thomas, asking the judge to be merciful. And then he goes on about the unfairness of the media and defends his party. It won't be posted it here, as it is a bit longwinded. 

As my councilman, Thomas was great at showing up at neighborhood meetings (more than what that baffon Vincent Orange did) and events. He was nice and friendly, and may I also add, a snazzy dresser. Sadly, he was also corrupt. His corruption undermined democracy and justifies a distrust of local government and it's ability to be accountable with the people's money. And that, needs to be punished regardless of how nice he is.

On a side note, a few days ago one of my former bosses was sentenced for a white collar crime and will be going to prison for it. As my boss he was a nice, quiet, sweet man, and it does break my heart to know that he actually committed a grave crime. It's not the fact that he is going to jail that saddens me, it's that all the niceness embodied in him didn't stop him from becoming a thief.

The songs of gentrification

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In my iTunes library I have 3 songs about gentrification, 2 I like and one that vulgar and annoying. The two I like are about London's gentrification, specifically Notting Hill for Robert Newman's "Gentrification Song." (YouTube) The other fun song is "The Hackney Gentrification Song," by Robin Grey. The chorus for that song goes. "Knock it down build flats knock it down." For a DC context I sing, "Gut it out, build condos, gut it out." Not too many places are knocked down around here. What I see more of, are townhomes, formerly for one single family, divided into 2 or more condos. So gut it out, build condos, gut it out.
The 3rd song, is local, its "Gentrification," (nsfw) by Oddisee. It's not in my rotation due to the more than 5 "N" words thrown around, but that's not why I think the song is annoying. Oddisee mention early in the rap he's in Largo, MD which in PG County. Largo, is not in DC. Like Alexandria is not in DC, nor is Rockville, nor Wheaton. They are in the DC metro area, but not in the District of Columbia. If you have representation in Congress, you do not live in DC. So what I am expressing is my annoyance of the habit of many of a person from PG County to comment on DC like they live here. There is some truthful observation, but his calling DC his city, grates on me.
Sometime in the late 1990s I stopped voting in Florida elections. Mainly because I was no longer living in Florida, and hadn't in years. Years of graduate school and the first real job gave me the excuse of not voting in the place where I lived. In one election, I got materials from, and voted for a candidate who was going on an anti-development, anti-growth platform to keep my hometown and home county small and rural. The candidate didn't win, and later I realized my vote was not fair to the people who still lived there. My image of what I wanted my hometown to be for me on my annual visits, was not in the best interest for the residents who needed development's jobs and opportunities. So, some PG Co's folks image of how they want DC to be on the weekend when they stop by and visit is not in the best interest of those who lay our head in the Nation's Capital every night.
I got the flier in my door yesterday coming home. The BACA blog has more about what it was suppose to be about.

Car crashed into Shaw's Tavern

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Got this from a neighbor:

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Fatal-Stabbings-Leave-Two-Dead-in-DC-149628445.html

I feel badly for all the victims in this.

UPDATE: Homicide Watch has identified the stabbing victim who was driving as Dwayne Edward Brisbon.