June 2012 Archives

The Invulnerable Date Night

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Theater J
webpage for History of Invulnerability
1529 16th Street NW
Bus- G2
Cost for 2 (with fees)- $96.50

Tortilla Coast
www.tortillacoast.com 
1460 P Street NW
Bus- G2
Cost (drinks plus tip)-$64

See that cost? That's why we don't go out much. Good gravy, imagine if we had kids? We'd have to include the cost of a babysitter in that.

Anyway, the past several date nights have been sitting on the couch with Netflix, shouting at the screen. This time the Help, planned date night and bought tickets to see something he really wanted to see, The History of Invulnerability, live theater over at the JCC, on the Logan Circle border. The Help is a huge comic book fan, who knows his comic book history and so he had a grand old time, remarking that our friends NEED to see this. He was very pleased to hear a reference to Larry Nevin's "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" essay. During my late teens and 20s I was really into comics, so I enjoyed the play as well. I also appreciated the story of Superman co-creater Jerry Siegel and his struggles. After the play, because the bus back home was going to be another 20 minutes, we visited the gallery featuring "Confessional Comics by Jewish Women." So all in all a very good time was had.

Before getting to the theater, we went to get a bite at Tortilla Coast. We got an app of guacamole which impressed me with the huge chunks of avacado. The other dishes were fine. The main thing was to eat and get to the theater in less than an hour.

When construction strikes

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There is a challenge when living in an attached townhouse when the neighboring house starts undergoing major construction. Major, meaning walls go down, new walls go up, lots of brick and earth moving around. I hope that when I had our house renovated, B & IT weren't too inconvenienced. We had open lines of communication and I wasn't too far while it was going on.

A year after my big renovation, the house next door to mine underwent some major renovation, tearing down a section of the house and rebuilding. There were some problems. Luckily I had the phone number of the guy in charge and he did answer the phone. He attempted to fix the minor flood that came through the ceiling, and would eventually put back the cover of a vent his guys kept kicking off my kitchen roof before it rained,

So I can only imagine the trouble when a neighboring house starts having major work done and the people in charge haven't said boo to the people sharing party walls. This is the case near me. The people doing the construction have made a few safety errors and that has been concerning. I could smell gas from my front stoop. That kind of safety concern.

When I had my work done, my contractor made an effort to be on good terms with B & IT (well he at least waved hi), explaining that unhappy neighbors are more likely to call you on shortcomings in the permits and report every little thing to DCRA.
The project has been reported, but we'll see what DCRA does, or doesn't do.

Well the first, nondraft 1880-1930 version for Square 618 is up at TruxtonCircle.org (ignore the word draft). If you want to play with the data, download it (2MB), and save it to your own computer, otherwise it is horribly slow.

One of the things I want to do once all the data is up is look at family life patterns, particularly the role of women. Now there were a lot of women who did not work outside of the home in the 20th century, but I found a number who did. I don't find a married African American woman working unusual, when looking at other squares. Married white women tended to not work outside the home, but for Sq 618, in 1900 no white wives had occupations; in 1910, 1 of 22 white wives worked; 1920, 9 out of 31 white wives; and in 1930, 4 of 25. The highest percent was 29% in 1920. For all races in 1920 it's about 33% of wives working in occupations. These are just wives of the head of the household, not married women whose husbands are mysteriously somewhere else or wives of lodgers/boarders.

Another thing, the occupations wives and other women (adult daughters, sisters, female lodgers) are varied from the laundress, seamstress and domestic jobs of 1880. I didn't know one could be an "Elevator Girl", which makes me wonder why couldn't people just operate elevators on their own? Alot of women were government clerks in the 1920s and 30s.

I do want to mention one 1920 family, the Grimes Family of 71 New York Ave NW. The father William worked as a clerk, and so did his wife Alice, and they had three children. The eldest daughter was 16 and the youngest was 10. They also had a 40 year old nephew, Dan Murphy, living with them, but he was working as a clerk too, so I don't know what they were doing for child care. Anyone want to take bets that it was the 16 year old in charge? 

I tend look at women and their jobs to check for errors. In 1930 Rose Lingebach, 39 years old, was not a carpenter-builder, as listed in the spreadsheet. She was the head saleslady of the department store where she worked. I'll correct that when the 1940 data comes later.

Sq. 618 and Other Truxton Circle History Stuff

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1930.jpg
This weekend, I tried getting Square 618 up at TruxtonCircle.org. I had a small problem with 1920 and thought I could fix it last night. Nope. Maybe tonight. I'll also see about fixing Square 617 too.So for 618, I put up 1880-1910 and what looks to be only part of 1930, because I am sure I have the people who lived on the 1200 block of 1st Street NW and New York Avenue. Actually I know, because the data existed for me to create the map you see. I'll fix that too.

For those of you new to the blog, hello and welcome to my chronicles of trying to get an evidence based neighborhood history up. The evidence in this case is the United States Census, you might have heard of it. I also use the Sanborn fire maps and some other real estate maps, so I can draw in schools, and churches and whatnot. The opposite of gathering evidence to teach the history of an is to just make stuff up, which is what some historians have done in the past. I hope if I can make this evidence thing work, maybe others might do the same for their DC neighborhoods.

Price Benowitz- InShaw Sponsor

Well after a few back and forth emails and phone calls, I am happy to write that the InShaw blog has a sponsor, the site's first, and so far, only sponsor.

So let me introduce you to Price Benowitz LLP, a Washington DC based law firm that has offices in Maryland and Virginia. They focus on personal injury, federal criminal defense, DUI, and other criminal and traffic cases. Seth Price, the Managing Partner of Price Benowitz, is excited to be part of our community and the inaugural sponsor for the blog.

So for the next few weeks and months, readers will see mentions thanking Price Benowitz LLP for their support.

Maybe Mary Ann can walk here

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At the Flower Power reception long time (30 yrs) BACA resident and former ANC Mary Ann mentioned how she'd like more places to walk to. Well the Bloomingdale blog mentions a restaurant is coming to 1st and Seaton. I hope so!

Yes, it is in Bloomingdale. But it is a nice walk from Bates.

It was great chatting with Mary Ann who bought her home back in the 80s when Bates Street had major problems and drug dealers. I asked her about whether the 30 years wait was worth it. Because the surrounding areas (Bloomingdale, NoMa, Shaw west of New Jersey Ave) now have these great amenities that were not there 10, 20, 30 years ago. She is happy with her decision to plant roots in the neighborhood that long and plans to stay.

Complicated history

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A lot of things I meant to blog in some detail about have fallen through the cracks because I'm working on the Truxton Project. I really wanted to get the data for another square out this weekend, but I hit a snag. Hopefully by tonight I can get the data for Square 618 up. And if anyone cares what order I'm going in, I'm starting with the southern/Hanover area. Or if anyone is just dying to know about their block and can't wait, I'll take requests. But really, all will be up by about July 14th, if not sooner.

Also this weekend I've been hearing from someone's whose ancestor lived in the TC back in the 19th century. I did some lunchtime research to help and the decendant told me more about a brewery his ancestor John C. Kozel operated at 43 N St. NW on Square 617. The census project only does residences, however I did spot a Kozel family on another square on the unit block of P St NW in 1880. Nice commute. John C.'s son George operated a beer garden over on 14th St NW. Some time between John C Kozel's death in 1881 and 1906 when a coal dealer expanded the building, it was listed as a brewery in 1882 with a new operator, then in a later year became a bottlery.

Lastly, the Help, who is also a history person, had his interest peaked by the whole Truxtun owning a slave thing. So he's reading a book about slaveowning Quakers. One of his heroes, Daniel Boone, raised Quaker, owned a slave. Also Benjamin Franklin owned slaves, but later became an abolitionist.

CORRECTION- C Kozel, the decendant, sent me an obit. lisiting 43 N Street NW as John C. Kozel's residence. John's son George Kozel lived over on P Street. This begs a question of if anyone else was missed in the 1880 census.

Open Door Dining

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There is a write up at Eat the District about the outgoing Big Bear chef's dinner club venture Open Door Dining. One can sign up for Open Door's email list at http://about.me/opendoordining or follow them on Twitter @opendoordining.

 

Correction- Credit was incorrectly given to Scott Roberts. Many apologies.

Stop the UHOP/Reatig machine!

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Washington City Paper's Lydia DePillis has a post up about the United House of Prayer showing up at a pre-bid session for those interested in Parcel 42, which is along Rhode Island Avenue and 7th. UHOP has a huge hold on that block already and most of their buildings are Suzane Reatig designed. 

Let me start the rant now. Oh good lord no. As a real estate body I have no major problem with UHOP, except for their thing about always using one particular architectural firm. Oh maybe not letting one body own half the block might not be so great either, but Douglas Jemal does it all the time.

Speaking of Dougie, I'm happy Douglas Development got a tenant for the Wonderbread building. But I'm hoping a restauranteur would sign on the dotted line at some point. Office furniture solutions is fine, but me like food.

Flower Power Tomorrow

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Just a reminder. The BACA Flower Power walk is tomorrow June 23 starting at 4 at the Florida Avenue Park. Bring $10 and your sunscreen.

No it is not resolved

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I like the city 311 app, but there are things I've reported and according to the app it has been resolved.

I walk past it almost everyday. It is not resolved. Here is the link to my issue, the photo may not be safe for work.

Truxton Circle Project- some draft data

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1887Sq552-617.jpg
This is probably of interest to the few people who live in Truxton, and the even fewer people who live on Hanover, the 1300 block of North Capitol, the even 1300 block of 1st and the unit blocks of N and O. Basically Square 617.

Some of your data is up. Just 1880-1920. And only a draft so I can see the mistakes. I already see an error. There are no 39,000 year old people in 1900. It's a baby, whose birthdate number that got turned into a date format and back to a number. A large number.

Instead of waiting to put out perfect data, I put out a draft version first. I like to see what problems and challenges I'm incurring when I attempt to put the data up. I wanted to start with the Hanover area, just to make sure I got the area of Truxton Circle I am the least familiar with up there. The MS Excel file that is available now has real data, but it is lacking and not the last version of the data used. I moved that from Excel to Access and so I'll have to figure out which Access file is the last version where all the corrections had been made.

I meant to do Square 618. But my mac decided it didn't like Microsoft anything that evening while I was working on that. Which is also my reason for not having 1930 included in the data I did put up.

The road to insanity- home repair

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steeple damage

The slow road to insanity is sitting down with your partner and making a detailed list of all the little repairs and fixes and crap your house needs and thinking with the time and money you have in one year is going to address it.

Hi kids, welcome to homeownership.

Why yes, we just did our basement. However that does not address the cracking stucco and the gutter that is a little off (and needs to be cleaned out anyway). The lights in the kitchen dim a bit whenever the fridge cycles on. I've been staying sane by ignoring the repairs the whole house needs in bits. I'm aware but you know if the slap dash ceiling repair doesn't get sanded down and painted, we'll live.

So I'd go easy on the church at 6th and P with the messed up steeple. But they should fix that before the pidgeons get comfy and rain damages the rest of the structure.

Misc History

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Scott Roberts has up a few papers from the 1930s about an apartment complex on W St. named for some guy. There is disagreement between Nannie H. Burroughs (she's got a street named after her) and Carter G. Woodson (he has a run down building in Shaw with his name on it). I agree with  Burroughs, more stuff should be named after women.

Secondly, I've started putting things on Truxtoncircle.org. For some odd reason the website pretends to disappear for brief periods when I update it. Anyway, a bunch of 1887 maps are up. Not organized nicely. The codes are square number-hyphen-year- other info, ex. 521-1887-H. I was going to put up the other years, but I realized I got those maps from fee based databases. There are public domain maps, I just need to go to those institutions and capture them. I have a month to clean up the data. I start with square 618, and when I clean up the data, the families for 1880-1930 for a square will be in one file.

Monday Misc

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Lazy woman cherry preserve

Cherries- This weekend I took it easy. Decided to try this resting thing. So I bought about $20 worth of cherries from the Bloomingdale Farmers Market and preserved them in vodka. It's too much work to pit them all and boil them down to can. The lazy woman way of preserving cherries is to throw clean unstemed and unblemished cherries in a glass jar (bigger the better), cover the cherries with loads of sugar, throw in a vanilla bean pod, and cover it all completely with vodka. Put a top on the jar, label, and place on a shelf somewhere in the cellar or a closet for about 3 months. After three months you'll have cherry liquor and some boozy cherries. You can leave them for longer. I went 6 months on the last batch. When I actually feel like work, I'll pit the boozy cherries, boil them down in some of the liquor and can them. I like to label them "AA cherries", as in ex-drunken cherries. 

1700 block of 4th St & 3rd St NW-  A neighbor alerted me to the issuance of a permit for 1717 4th St NW, which is currently a vacant lot. There will be a SFH building placed on it. At first I thought it was 1721 4th St which Behzad Hosseinkhani owned. I and another neighbor gave some push back on his project of adding a 3rd story popup. The popup came but it was a better popup than the one first suggested. It appears he has sold or transferred 1721 4th St NW and now it still sits, with nothing on the inside being done. Mr. Hosseinkhani has also let still has a commerical property at 3rd and Florida. This was where we'd hoped the Snitcheye wine bar would be. The Help and I peeked through the windows and it is looking like something is going to happen. I don't remember that awesome tin ceiling being there or it being that clean before. That place on 3rd (actually 234 FL Ave NW) looks like it needs some sort of eatery there. The yard has these fruit trees, it's right on a busy road, it's got these storage garages. Seriously, please, put a restaurant here.

BACA Flower Power- You can buy tickets here https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QG9DNZRZWLZPS 

 Rubble rubble

Okay now I'm happy. Some real destruction, not just talk. The Jefferson at Market Place is becoming a wee bit closer to reality in that they have knocked down most of Kelsey Gardens after about six years of nothin'.

A fun question is, is this gentrification? Yes, residents of the then subsidized housing were moved out, but anyone who moves in the the hoped to be Jefferson is several years removed from the residents of Kelsey. Future Jeffersonians haven't pushed anyone out. They aren't even here yet. In the 'conversation' of gentrification new residents tend to get blamed for what others call pushing out old residents. In this case the old residents have probably long since found other places to be, and the new residents have yet to sign leases for apartments that are still just drawings.

Anyway, a reader mentioned you can see the demo of Kelsey from the O Street Market camera at http://oxblue.com/open/clarkconstruction/citymarket. Unfornately, it seems if you have a mac that is not so, or maybe it was just my computer.

I think I may be a grumpy old timer

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NOTE: This was an unpublished draft that for one reason or another I did not publish on the date given. In order to clear out my draft folder on 12-16-2013 I chose to publish it. However, I won't vouch for the completeness or accuracy of it, and it most likely does not reflect my opinion anymore.

I've been here in my house for a little over a decade and have friends/neighbors who have lived here way longer than 10 and some others who have live here 5 years or more who've seen and experienced enough to wear the "old timer" badge.

Say Hi
One big old timer complaint about our new neighbors is that you're aren't neighborly. You don't say hi, you're too busy molesting your smartphones to look up and even nod to our existence. As a woman I understand the reluctance to engage with strangers. You never know when a "good morning" is going to devolve into sexual harassment on the streets. Your best response is a simple, "morning," "afternoon," or "evening" with or without a smile and as warmly or coldly as you want as you continue to walk on about your business. If the person lives on your block, warm it up and smile, but you can keep walking. Another benefit of this practice is that it keeps you aware of your surroundings. You should be aware that someone is walking your way. You should be vaguely aware of the other people on the sidewalk. This is for your own safety.

While I'm on the topic of speaking to your neighbors and safety. Get to know your neighbors in the adjoining houses or units as best as possible, particularly if you share a party wall. This way you can gauge how you can or want to deal with them when issues come up. So you know to just call the cops if the music is too loud and you already know your neighbor is an unreasonable man with anger issues.

Flower Power

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Herbal boquet

BACA will have it's Flower Power walk on June 23rd. They are currently seeking gardens for nominations. Nominations need to be in by June 16th.

The white people are coming

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Duke Ellington Lived Here: and other thoughts

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1900 odd block 3rd St NW
 If you are 30 years old or over play this little game with me. Count how many places you have lived in your lifetime, from the time your parents brought you into the world to now. Before I hit 18, and moved into the dorms, I lived in about 5 different places with one or both of my parents. After 18 I moved almost every two years.

20th and 21st century people are antsy-pantsy. We don't stay still. DC's musical patron saint, Duke Ellington, though born in the 19th century, was a 20th century man, moving around an about. Cultural DC Tourism's website mentions the various DC homes where Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington lived, including 1955 3rd St NW (pictured). However, there is no marker, no plaque. And I didn't discover this address through Cultural Tourism DC's site nor the Washington Post's map of Ellington places, but rather by his World War I draft registration card.

I figure as more archives, libraries and governments digitize and make their holdings available to the public the lives of 20th century people will be a bit clearer. Well, clearer than those folks wandering around in 1880-something. Not just of major notables, but of minor figures and regular folks. I found out E.L. (Euphemia Lofton) Haynes (she's got a charter school named after her) was a landlord for my house just by coming across the finding aid Catholic University Archives put up online. In the past Washington newpapers gave exact addresses for people, that's how I found the dead guy in my house.

So everyso often, check out a newspaper database, plug your addresss in Google, check out the 1940 census for yourself, or look at an old city directory. And as more an more material is digitized and indexed, the 20th century, the last 100 years will be easier to know and discover.

Congrats Clybourne Park

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Yay to the creator of Clybourne Park for winning a Tony. We saw Clybourne Park at the Wolly Mammoth Theatre, when it was in DC, and I blogged about the play and related events hosted by Wolly Mammoth, which looked at issues of gentrification and race.

Noooooooo

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I was walking down 5th St towards N St and spotted a building that had been vacant for forever, that will be a new Suzane Reatig building. Will the horrors never cease? She's already got two other buildings on the block.

Gentrification and Nehemiah

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Martin is ever so interesting. Over on the Shaw Neighborhood Yahoo group he responded to an announcement about a panel discussion called, "Gentrification: Good? Bad? Indifferent?" tomorrow at the Wardman Court Gateway Community Center, that isn't in Shaw. As part of his response he wrote:

If people are feeling pushed out by the rich white (and other educated and employed ethnic) folks, they need to check themselves and whether or not they are pushing themselves out by tolerating truancy, drugs, crime in their families or neighborhoods, not calling the *po-po* on their criminal relatives, and either not voting or voting for stupid corrupt criminals -- and electing adults who can't properly pronounce simple three-letter one-syllable words, like *ask* (VO) to lead their cities and communities and provide role models for their children.

I take it the the VO is Councilman Vincent Orange. I don't like that fool enough to bother listening to anything that comes from his mouth. I've heard things come out of Councilman Marion Barry's mouth, and he sounds like an old man who needs to retire. But he won't because people for some reason keep voting him in, and at this point I think only G-d can take him out.

Speaking of G-d, I participate in a microsized prayer group that prays for the neighborhood and the city. One person chose to read from the Book of Nehemiah (Chapter 11?) about the repopulation of Jersusalem from the surrounding villages and towns. While he was reading I thought, isn't that gentrification? We talked about how a new population, from the suburbs, with humbleness and a sense of mission was good for the city to help rebuild it. I'd like to think that most people moving into the city, into neighborhoods like ours, want to build up the city, make it a better place by keeping politians honest (or more honest than normal) and accountable, and not tolerating those things that tear down the city. Yes, there is an arguement that lots of new citizens lack humility, but hey, the city is coming back, and that's a good thing.

Chockablock Miscellany

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DC flag fence

First, Christmas came early. Thank you frmr. Council Chair Kwame Brown for stepping down from the City Council without dragging this thing out. Of course, if he did drag things out maybe a few weeks, the special election to replace him could have been around Nov. 2. By my guess this might be in early October maybe.

Also under things that have made me happy this week, my grant for the DC Humanities Council's DC Community Heritage Project grant, was approved. This is the first grant proposal, and wholly molly it was approved. So within 120 days I plan to put up all that dang census data from 1880-1940 for every man woman and child in the Truxton area captured by the US Census, and make it available to everybody. Once the grant kicks in I'll be looking for volunteers to donate a few hours to make up for weaknesses in my own skillset (graphics, editing, etc). So for the next few months I'll be busy with Truxtoncircle.org, where the data will be placed. I want to give a huge thank you to North Capitol Main Streets, Inc for sponsoring me and working with me. Also thanks to Geovani Bonilla of the Bates Area Civic Association for his support.

Speaking of BACA it will be having its annual Flower Power June 23rd. I think tickets are $10.

EastShaw has already covered the Garden State, but that blog has images of the proposed restaurant. Also the blog mentioned something about a groundbreaking at the Kelsey Gardens/Jefferson at Marketplace.

PoP mentioned that Old City Green is going away.

Rumor has it a another restaurant I can walk to may come to the Wonderbread factory.

Speaking of food, banished? productions is having a pop up bake sale fundraiser this Saturday. Bites are $2, and $2 bills are encouraged. You can get $2 bills from your bank, you just have to ask.

 

Police Activity on 700 Block of R St NW

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I don't know why.

 Police 2Police on R

Some guy died in my house

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Not recently.

In 1882.

He went to work, got the chills, was sent home, and died an hour later.

He was in the house during the 1880 census. In 1880 he was a 50 year old Irish immigrant and cop. At that time he had a wife (also from Ireland) and two kids living with him, a 12 year old daughter and a 19 year old son. 

I discovered this playing with Proquest trying to find something to relate to what I wrote below. Comparatively, the dead guy doesn't bother me.:

History close enough to bite

I have an interest in the previous residents of my house up until the year of my birth. Any residents who rented here in the late 70s, the 80s or 90s I have a wary interest. The man I bought my house from, I doubt lived here. At the settlement table he was with his wife and they lived on a named state street that started with an 'A'.  Neighbors told me that a woman lived in the place I now call home, with her mentally disabled son. They described her as a drunk and her son was mean. Not company I'd want to keep, I got family for that.

Everyso often, there will be two black men, typically over 30 or 40 years old, walking down the sidewalk who will point to a house on the block and say, they used to live there. What little I could catch of the rest of their conversation was that they lived with their grandmother, or aunt or some other woman in the past. In the present, due to death, break-ups, or other circumstances, they are pedestrians looking from the outside remarking how everything changed.

From long time neighbor's tales, I know our street had a huge drug dealer and drug user problem. At one point some dealers had set up a table and conducted business right there out in the open. I remember when they had chairs and sat out under the tree on the sidewalk. Another neighbor mentioned how burglars would break into a vacant house and from there try to break into the neighboring occupied house. I know at one point during DC's crack years, my house was vacant. Vacant houses then, like now, can be nuisances, harboring vermin, attracting unsavory characters. I wonder if druggies broke in to shoot up or prostitutes wandered in to turn tricks. I wonder but I really don't want to know.

 

Your Old House Event

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A little copying and pasting. I figured this may be of interest to some as there are practical aspects of meeting with contractors who work on "historic" (old) houses.

FREE to the public!

Click here to register.

 

Historic House Toolbox: Give Your House Some Love

Saturday, June 9, 2012
10:00AM-1:00PM

Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital 
921 Pennsylvania Ave, SE

Metro Station: Eastern Market

Join DC Preservation League along with our partners Capitol Hill Restoration Society and the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital for the opportunity to receive FREE individualized attention from contractors and seasoned professionals who will answer your questions on a range of topics.

Two on-site learning sessions will focus on researching the history of your property; and energy audits and greening your house without compromising its historic integrity.

 

Sessions

10:20am Audits You Don't Need to Fear: A Path to Efficiency - James Carroll, EcoHouse

11:30am How To Research Your House - Peter Sefton, DC Preservation League

 

Contractor Tables

Architecture - Fowler Architects, Jennifer Fowler

Carpentry /Millwork/Plaster - Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc., Amy Hollis and Matt Hankins

Green/Energy Efficiency - Everyday Green, Andrea Foss

Masonry - Pointing Plus Historic Masonry Restoration, Danny Palousek

Paint - Tech Painting Co., Jim Nicolson

Roofing/ Gutters - Wagner Roofing, Chuck Wagner

What Style Is My House - DC Historic Preservation Office, Kim Williams

Windows and General Contracting - Mozner Works, Inc., Neil Mozner

Windows and General Techical - National Park Service, John Sandor

 

FREE to the public!

Click here to register.

 

Garden State and the BACA meeting

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Aaron Hirsch, an entrepreneur would like to open a restaurant with outdoor seating on the 1500 block of New Jersey Avenue, called Garden State. What is stopping him thus far is zoning. Currently the units he's interested in are zoned residential and the CO is for a variety shop, not a restaurant. So he's seeking support from the community for a zoning variance.
At the BACA meeting residents did raise the question of a liquor license. Yes, he's got to get the zoning issue taken care of first, but there is a potential problem across the street from the desired outdoor restaurant (no seating inside), and it is called a mosque. Hirsch said he's be open to not serving beer or wine during Friday prayers, but he's working on connecting with the imam, though he already spoke with someone from the mosque. Miles Hollerman, who is a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and on the BACA board, opposed the idea of alcohol as I expected.  For those of you not familiar Baptists are the non-drinking Christians.
Mr. Hirsch had a artist's drawing of what he's proposing, and it looks promising. A visual screen between patrons and mosque might help. The other thing, before I forget, it would be a seasonal restaurant, because it is outdoors.

Sidewalk is back

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Just a small notation. The sidewalk has returned in front of the Rhode Island Ave Suzane Reatig/UHOP thing. No more stepping into the road and trying to get around the trucks or men who park themselves in the space that pedestrians, on their way to the metro, may want to go.

Wet basement weekend

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Small flooding in basement

Last night I noticed a bit of wetness on the carpet in the basement. So we threw down some newspapers, turned up the dehumidifier, and set a fan blowing on the wetness. This morning I discovered that the wetness had gotten bigger.
Compared to other problems I've had before in this basement, this isn't so bad. I asked the Help what he and his co-workers did when their basement level library encountered a flood. They used a wet dry vac (I'll whip that out later) heaters, and fans. When I worked at a tiny archive in flood prone Old Town Alexandria we used newspapers and fans. I also have to remember to keep the lights on to also resist mold.
The spot is where the old sump pump sat. The new spot is fairly dry on the floor level (inside it's wet and working).
Though we're still building shelves, I didn't have too much on the floor that would absorb water. Most things were in plastic bins. We also had a number of empty cardboard boxes, which I'll break down and toss out.
Considering that some roads and a metro station in DC got serious flooding, I don't think my little basement issue is that bad.

Follow-up- With one box fan, the dehumidfier, and the handi-dandy wet/dry vac this was dried up by the end of the day. However I did notice a stain in one section. I am wondering if this has happened before and I/we just never noticed it before. The only reason why I discovered the water was I was looking for something in the basement, in that spot. I sprayed a test spot on the stained area with some Tilex (this is plastic/man made carpet), then wiped it down with some lavender castile soap.

The late May Garden Post

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Yeah, I know it is now June 1st.

 Baby arugula

This bowl was lunch. Or part of lunch. This is some baby arugula from the yard, which I mixed with some store bought romaine for a salad. I see my favorite edible weed purslane is coming in and will soon grace future salads.

Yesterday I decided to spend some quality time with my semi-neglected garden. Plant some seeds, put some dirt in some of the pots, pull out weeds, and harvest a few things. I have a lavender plant and decided to make a bouquet of the flowers to make the dining area pretty and have something nice to smell. I also ripped up a lot of mint. Some of it was washed and dried for tea. The mint is an aggressive weed, so don't do what I did and put it in the ground. That is unless you like it taking over portions of your yard and your walkways.

I've got about 3 or 4 pots with culinary thyme in them. I use a lot of thyme. Thyme in soups and stocks and meat dishes, thyme everywhere. It's all out in the back where they are closest to the kitchen. Fresh thyme is wonderful.

I'm very glad I put a lot of work in years ago, so I can be lax now. The arugula self seeded. So did the turnips. The thyme doesn't ask for much. The mint will do what it wants.