January 2013 Archives

Free slate or stone or whatever

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Construction debris behind 1622 4th st
There are a few things I haven't done in a while. One is  take out the garbage through the alley. The Help generally does this. The other is write anything about 1622 4th St NW. It was under contract, then it wasn't, then it is not listed but people are still looking at it, whatever.

Anyway, I dealt with the trash can and noticed what you see pictured. There are two ways of looking at this. One, being illegally dumped construction debris stacked up in the alley, which I reported to the city. The other, hey look everybody free stone/slate! I mentioned this to a neighbor who said that is some pricey stone. So if you can get there before DPW decides if they want to clean and fine, you maybe can get some choice pieces for a garden walk.

The city would do right be fining the owner, because unlike other alley dumps where the unsuspecting owner gets blamed and fined for a dirty mattress that just happened to get dumped on their carport, these stones match the stones laid on the other side of the fence. All city workers would need to do is just look over the fence and match them up. There are still pictures from when it was listed here, and you can match up the stone with the photos of the rear yard.

Pat Collins on R St

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Just a quick note, I was walking home and there was NBC's Pat Collins between 6th & 5th St NW on R St. Apparently there was some robbery with a happy ending and "a scary middle".

Update- it was like the next to last story, before sports, but apparently a burglar kicked in the rear door of the yellow house on R (security gate not locked?) and one of the tenants was dead asleep and didn't hear the guy ransacking the place. Police saw the guy in the alley behind New Jersey Ave and via the stolen iphone figured out which house he robbed. Only when the police came did the sleeping tenant realize what happened.

Wednesday Misc

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The Eckington List has a thread about the dangers of warming up your car on the street then going back in the house. Opportunistic theives have stolen two unattended cars already. Theives or people who walked by and decided that people should be taught a lesson not to leave their keys in a running car, because the thought has crossed my mind when walking across situations like that. But in most "people should be taught a lesson" situations, I never act, because it is never a good idea.

Scott Roberts, that fountain of information, has the DC Small Area Plan on line, covering Bloomingdale, Truxton Circle (Hanover/ Bates), LeDroit Park parts, and Eckington.

The City has a $417 million dolla surplus and as much as I would love for the city to lower taxes and various fines, I agree that it should be shoved into savings. Savings keeps away the old Control Board, shows that the District is responsible enough to run itself thank you. Yes, the City could spend the money on social services and policing and education, but maybe the money could be used to help the City as a whole gain some independence and get some breathing room.

With the extra money there are those who are calling for money to go to housing issues. Greater Greater Washington has a really good post on the city and affordable housing. Reading both posts have me wondering if housing for all (including those with lotsa options to those with none) should be rethought. I particularly liked questioning Jack Evan's comment, "We need to make sure the people who were here in the difficult times get to stay for the good times." Should that even be a goal?

Staying on the housing theme, East Shaw has a post on Lincoln-Westmoreland II powering down on the Section 8's. I learned several things, one, Lincoln-Westmoreland II garden apartment are operated by a different entity than the Lincoln-Westmoreland high rise. Second, the Washington Apartments used to be Section 8 ten years ago, but has slowly been going market rate with turnover, which explains a lot.

I'm noticing that Anita Bonds is not responding to any of the Let's Choose DC questions. Nor is Micheal Asshat Brown.

BACA has info about getting a free home energy audit from the city, and doing one yourself.

Big Ben applied to sell booze on Sunday

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From DCist I took a look at the Sunday Liquor Sales map. Big Ben is the only shop in the TC that thinks it is a good idea to have the liquor flowing all week long. Conditions around that corner make me disagree. I'd totally support Bloomingdale Liquors if they had applied, because that corner is waaaaaay better than NY Ave and North Cap, as far as the 'people with issues' hanging about and other negative non-amenities.
For the rest of the Shaw/Bloomingdale/ Mt Vernon Sq area, other applicants include Good Libations, Log Cabin Liquors, Modern Liquors, Barrel House Liquors, Batch 13 (1724 14th St NW) , and Florida Liquors.

Modern house, modern art

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Modern art outside of house

You can't miss the place I call the Vader House. It is on New Jersey Avenue and is very modern. I call it the Vader house because it is dark, modern and slightly mysterious, like the Darth Lord.

Anyway, yesterday I noticed a new bit of art in the front yard. It matches well with the house. Before that, I noticed and admired the gate with the house number. But this time around the gate was not there.

Vader House at 1651

I might not be a great fan of modern architecture but here it looks like there is much thought going into the over all look of the place, slowly. Unlike a lot of new renovations and fill ins this is quite unique, lacking the safe cookie cutter modern look of large windows that make occupants characters in a play, should they fail to draw curtains/blinds at night. I like the color black and so it isn't an offensive crayon box puke of some other local architect.

Anyway, everytime I think of this house I hum a few bars of the Imperial March.

Ice ice baby

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Slip slidin' away

Slip slidin' away

You know you're nearer your destination the more you slip sliding away.

-Paul Simon


Tis a little icy out there. If it doesn't warm up I'm going to have to break out the two buses home plan to avoid the slick sidewalks that never get shoveled when it snows and never gets treated when icy... 600 block of R St NW particularly.

1539 7th St NW

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At this time 272 people want to invest, via Fundrise, in this former small office building. So far $691,000 has been pledged, well over the $300,000 goal. According to the Washington Post, in the first 2 hours of being available, $308,000 was raised. There are 28 more days left to raise money, so it will be interesting to see how far it will go.

The concept is interesting. However the problem is you can't really sell your shares of a project like you could say shares of PEPCO. Also I didn't really see anything in the FAQ about what happens when the fundraising goal has done what is happening, and twice as much  has been raised.

Salt please

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For most of you the snow melted away from your sidewalk like it was never there. For the rest of you salt your damned sidewalk. Salt or ice melt or whatever.

My travel to the metro was determined by where I did not see patches of white, which hint to patches of ice, which could lead to slipping. The odd numbered/north side of Rhode Island Ave is pretty clear and the Catholic Charities building near the Reatig crap building, salted the bejezzus out of their sidewalk. The other side of Rhode Island and a lot of R St NW looked like ice hazards.

Costco Booze Run

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Expensive Scotch
I and the Help made a DC Costco run on a weeknight. We took a new route from MD, Rt -1 to  Eastern Ave, which turns into Ft. Lincoln Dr. and somehow we're there. Man it was near empty, compared to other times with huge crowds, teeming with people. Anyway the lack of crowds made it easy to look around and enjoy the aisles of booze. Here is a picture of some scotch. I don't drink scotch but I think some of my friends do. Well should I run low on decent vodka for craft and food projects, I now know where I can go. We also picked up some wine.
Really we went in just for more Brita filters and a few things from the health and beauty section. We were also running low on juice.

1935 map of juvies

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I must credit Ghosts of DC for first putting this up yesterday. It is a 1935 map of Juvenile Delinquents. Of course I first pin pointed my attention to the Truxton Area, then the rest of Shaw, where the hotbed of bad kids live. Shaw and SW DC.

Anyway, the Ghosts of DC site has a lot of pretty pictures , but doesn't give you too much to go an explore on-line sources for yourself. So I used my super-librarian powers (I didn't even need to touch rings with the Help who also holds a MLS to activate) to find the jumbo sized map at the Harvard Map Collection Digital Map's site.

As for those great maps of DC with outlines of buildings, some of them are Sanborn maps on the Library of Congress' Maps and Geography website.

I have my own scan of a 1934 map of adult offenders by census tract.

Dang it's cold outside

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I had to locate to big wool coat to deal with this drop in temperatures.

This reminded me of a post I wrote up back in 2005. If someone is standing outside in weather like this and you don't think they are a) waiting for a bus or b) homeless, they are likely selling drugs. Nicely enough we in our section of the TC no longer have the hard core dealers who'll stand out in the chill of below freezing weather to sell poison. (knock on wood)

Homeless blanket
Speaking of the cold and homeless the Hypotherma Hotline number is 1-800-535-7252. Stick it in your list of contacts or phone numbers. Though plenty old timers know how to deal with the weather, there are those who need help. The Hypotherma folk typically try to talk those who are on the outside when the weather gets below 32F and try to get them to a shelter or give them stuff to keep warm, like those gray blankets.

Historic Figures

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Last night the Help was fixated on the television watching a Mike Douglas interview of Rev. Martin Luther King on Bounce (I think, forgot what channel we were watching), which was part of some documentary on Dr.King. The thing was this wasn't a typical small snippet of an interview, but as far as I could tell it was the whole Mike Douglas interview and if it weren't for the other stuff that came later, we thought it was a rebroadcast of The Mike Douglas Show, which was on the air from 1961-1980.

What made this interview special was that it wasn't your usual highlight reel of Dr. King that gets put out. Rather it was Dr. King on the War in Vietnam, the fact that he was not on the same page with other civil rights figures (ex. Stokley Carmichael), and why he wasn't a Communist. For that last one he pointed out that he was a Baptist minister above all, and the two belief systems/philosophies aren't compatable. We are quite familiar with Dr. King and the issue of race, but how familiar are we with Dr. King and his anti-war stance, Dr. King and labor/ workers rights, or Dr. King and the body of Christ in the world? Anyway it was a great interview.

This got me thinking about other 'historical figures' who are now known more by their name and less by what made them an historical figure in the first place. Who is Nannie Helen Burroughs, besides some road that traffic gets backed up upon? Anna J. Cooper was an educator and tiny traffic circle in LeDroit, but anything else about her, or do we stop at the shorthand of 'educator' and move on? Luckily enough people still listen (and dance) to the recordings of Duke Ellington, so he's not just a 'musician' or a set of expensive condos.

Neighborhood history on Ebay

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There is a lot of DC history out there as a place where people work and live, as opposed to a tourist destination. So I'm fooling around with Ebay and this is what I found.

Hutchinson Soda Bottle-  647 7th St NE
Frank McKnew bottle-19th & K St NW
Postcard of Thomas Circle
Replica of the 5D Police Station- NE DC
Corkscrew- 1498 H St NE
Fairmont Seminary postcard- 1411 Fairmont St NW
McKinley Tech High School- Looks like a year book- 2nd & T St NE
Reproduction Postcard flooded 9th and Pennsylvania Ave NW
Eckington Trolley pix- but I can't really tell
Matchcover-Nanking Chinese Food- 901 New York Ave NW
Postcard of the Woodner- NW DC
Postcard Lee House - 15th & L St ??
Cairo Hotel postcard- Dupont Circle
Blackie House of Beef postcard- 1217 22nd St NW
First Baptist Church program- 15th & O St NW
1913 Connecticut Ave Bridge- I can't tell if that's Woodley in the background
Centre Market postcard- Now Union Market in NE
Harvey's Famous Restaurant Postcard- 1107 Connecticut Ave NW
Postcard  for Woodie's Dept Store- Penn Qtr
Dunbar High School Architectural Plate- From 1920
Photo of students on old Dunbar HS steps-circa 1930-1940
Photo of old house at 9th & E NE

Truxton's Industrial Past

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This is a 1903 map of Square 617 (N, North Cap, O, 1st & Hanover) where there is an empty space where the building that formerly held the Brass Knob. Before that, the 19th Century,  there was a brewery around there owned by the Kozel family. There is a place history for the location but I have yet to contact the author about asking him if he's interested in putting it up on his site
A PoP post about a raze permit for the former Brass Knob space on N Street caught my eye. What is worse, Steve May is the contractor. Steve May, Steve May, where have I heard that name before? Um. Oh yes, the still empty firehouse on North Capitol Street still has his fingerprints on it and there was that whole blaming the neighborhood for failing to get a liquor license. And then there was screwing up Shaw Tavern's liquor license. You know, water under the bridge, but it is not good to leave an unfinished project in the same general area before starting up another project.  The raze permit mentions knocking stuff with a bulldozer. Fear not there is an application to make it a historic landmark.
Anyway, let's get back to Truxton's industrial past. Here's another map from 1909, showing when the area was a coal yard and shed. The raze permit is also for another structure facing Hanover which appears, I believe, as the Paper Box building, just behind the coal shed. 
There was also a coal shed on square 521, so the commerical land use was not concerntrated on this block. Yesterday, I mentioned the dairy on square 551. Square 551 also held garages and an auto repair.
Now Truxton is very, very, very residential. Very. If someone (seriously I invite others to get engaged with the neighborhood's history) wants to study how Truxton went from a place with lots of trucks and industry to what we have now, it would make for an interesting story.

I'm feeling like doing some history.

Long, long time ago on a block not too far away (depending on where you live in the TC) was a dairy. There were no cows to my knowledge, but there where milk trucks and milk. I know this from the 1924 map here and from a few newspaper reports of people getting run over by milk trucks. Which is bad.

Anyway, a few years back I discovered that you could buy these bits of Truxtonia on Ebay. You still can. I found three today by plugging in the name of a dairy that was here "Fairfax Dairy" another name, as well as Alderney Green Meadow and plain old Green Meadow. Some have the address embossed on the bottle and some like this one, do. They also range a lot in price, which I guess these things matter more to collectors, but they go from under $20 to somewhere around $60 for pint and half-pints.

>Milk bottle
I bought two a while back and gave one away to Jim Berry, the former area ANC and BACA prez. The one I have is a half pint that serves duty as a change bottle. Many meals for Beau Thai have been paid out of that change bottle.

I'm sure there are other bits of TC history out there. The problem is finding what are the right search terms.

Haven't found too much else, not that I'm looking that hard but I have found these nearby gems:

Wonder Bread Wrapper- 23?? Georgia Ave NW

Antique Tin Automobile Gas Station Can- One of the several addresses is Bloomingdale Florida and Q St NW

Lehman's Tire Shop- Photo, no clue where this is in DC. Could look it up, but I'm lazy.

Photo-Piggly Wiggly Trucks, 1924- I'm guessing near the Post Office Pavillion?

Mom's Mabley LP- Recorded at two places, one being the Howard Theater.

Okay both the Washington City Paper but notably the neighborhood blogger Titan of Trinidad have some good stories about Councilman Vincent Orange and the whole incident of Sam Wang's rat problem.

ToT- Health Department Allowed Sam Wang to Operate Without Proper Licensing

        Vinny Orange's Money Machine

        City Councilor Pressures Health Dept to Keep Rodent-infested Grocery Store Open

       and a very helpful -  How to Report Possible DC Government Ethics Violations  

       and if you think the Board of Ethics should investigate Vincent Orange, ToT has a link for you near the top right corner of his page.

WCP- Rat Infested Grocery Gets a Hand From Mystery Councilmember, Then From Vincent Orange  

        Here's the Grocery Store Vincent Orange Helped Keep Open

I have one note on the photographs, they look like they are in the parts of the business where customers, such as myself, do not go. There is one refrigerated room where you fend for yourself against the grandmas and others getting citrus that is less than Vincent Orange. Also I have not seen a rat not a Councilmember in there, but it doesn't mean they aren't there.


WUSA Channel 9(HT DCist):

1617 New Jersey Avenue NW

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This is not news, just an observation of a vacant property.

For the longest while 1617 New Jersey Avenue NW has been vacant. The owner had fixed it up and rented it out. But then the renters went away and the bank was foreclosing. And foreclosing, and eventually would get around to actually foreclosing. Before the bank took physical control, the owner stripped everything out. Everything, the french doors, the deck, the nice doors, fridge, everything.

For a while, address was listed on Redfin as being under contract since May 2012, but it doesn't say what happened after that. I also noticed that the owner who was being foreclosed upon is still listed as the owner on the DC real propery tax database, with NJ Ave as his address. As a vacant (but apparently not blighted) residence, it is taxed at the Class 3 rate.

Walking by I noticed a for sale sign out front, which had me searching on Redfin.  Things may have changed but I thought if a vacant property was up for sale, it could avoid getting taxed at the Class 3 or 4 rate. Since September 2011 it has been taxed at the higher rate and somebody has been paying it.

The point of the rate is to push the parties involved to get vacant properties into good use again. However, it is 2013 and this place has been empty at least since 2010 (probably before that). There could be other things at play. Martin Moulton of the CCCA alerted me to the ongoing case of 509 O St NW, where the owner is dragging out her case for a property that has been falling apart since 2004.

These vacant and in cases blighted properties are an impediment to the progress of a street. They are missed opportunities of having neighbors who may add to the community. The longer they are vacant the more missed opportunities.

This will be cross posted at the Vacant Properties Blog

Crime along 3rd St

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Two instances this weekend. One being the hate crime near 3rd and Q, and the other being a robbery at the corner store at 3rd and P.

I don't know what to say about the hate crime, except that thankfully it did not get worse. I'm thinking of the transgendered victims who were stabbed 5 years ago, not too far from 3rd and Q. If the perps of this recent crime were under 18, I'm not too hopeful that justice will be found.

The corner market at 3rd and P was robbed Sunday around 5pm by two men in black and grey clothing leaving in a black cadilac. The store has been the target of crime recently. Apparently this is the 2nd robbery in 2 weeks. Before that, there was the broken window. Those of us nearby this market can support the store by stopping in purchasing something and giving words of support. We should not let criminals define us as a neighborhood and we should fight evil with good.

Menu for Table

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Every so often I stalk the Table website and facebook page to get a clue of when they will open.

Well I noticed there are menus for the 1st and 2nd courses as well as dessert. The Frog legs pad thai style looks interesting as does the hot chocolate mousse. I'm looking forward to more restaurant options on 9th.

Update- PoP has it opening on the 18th for dinner.

A tale of two Union Markets

Best Kitchen Supply
It has been a while since I have done some heavy shopping at the Union Market (aka Florida Ave Market and Capital City Market). Yesterday was my second visit in a longtime.  My shopping goal was to snag some cheap veggies, maybe some tofu and get a cornish game hen from Harvey's Market in the new Union Market building.
There are two markets.  A rougher, ethnic, chaotic, cash only market and the very nice, very clean, yuppified one that costs more but worth it. I like both.
I started off at Sam Wangs to get zucchini to make zucchini chips, maybe some mushrooms, and some citrus. Then looked for some tofu, they didn't have the size I wanted of the super firm tofu, so no tofu for me. Next up was Mexican Fruit where I got bananas (to make banana chips), a grapefruit and some other stuff. At this point I had one very heavy canvas bag of stuff and spent $12.
I walked over to the shiny new Union Market building that replaced the old one that burnt down. The old flea market was gone, and in its place was parking. The street in front of the building was closed off and had bike parking. Inside there was a different demographic from the other side of the warehouse area. Inside it was nice and clean and well lit with a English speaking buzz. There I bough spinach, potatoes and brussel sprouts from one vendor, and eggs and milk from another. Sadly Harvey's Market did not have any tiny chickens. Pig head yes, small game hen, no. I think I also bought some cheese. Everyone took my VISA and I spent two to three times as much as I did on the other side of the market.
Then I went to Litteri's which a little bit of both worlds. Pasta was bought.

Car break-ins

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Yesterday seemed to have a mini-spike in car break ins or at least bustin' up windows for the fun of it. Two vehicles, one on the 400 blk of R St NW, and the 400 blk of Q St NW, east of NJ Ave had busted windows.

This is a good reminder not to leave anything visible in your car on the off chance that crackheads and other criminals might think there is something of value. Also remind your guests (friends, lovers, relations) not to leave anything visible in the car. Our guests don't seem to want to believe that their car might get broken into when we stress the point. Of course, even then theives may want to just rip off components, like radios, sound systems, tires, or air bags. For those of you with the tire locky things, theives seem to know that you keep the key for that in your glove compartment.

Unless you see the crime of window busting in progress, it is not a police matter. If the vehicle has been sitting with a busted window for 5 days on the street or 45 days on private property it is a matter for DPW. Only the owner of the vehicle can file a report. If you just happen to notice freshly broken glass and a busted car window, keep walking, there is nothing for you to do.

Date Night +1 @ Rogue 24

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Rogue 24
922 N Street NW (Rear),
Washington, DC 20001
Bus- None, drove
Cost (with tip) = Around $600 for 3 people

First some explanations. The Help and I had two weddings, one in California and one in DC, one for the ailing parents (father died within a year) and one for the local friends and family. When we were last in California we took the pastor who married us and his wife to Aqui* the place that 'catered' (really it was a large take out order) our wedding, for lunch. So as part of our anniversary celebration we took the man who married us to dinner to a nice local fine dining establishment. Three was not a crowd and a very good time was had by all.

The Help and I have been to Rogue 24 before and it is on the list of special occasion places, like Marcel's and Obelisk. Like those other places, the service was top notch. I want to thank the staff who made our anniversary dinner a most excellent one. The dessert place acknowledging our special day was a lovely and unexpected touch. Of course, the Help might have mentioned it when he made the reservation.

Yes, $600 is a lot, but well worth it. We saved up for it and paying off the basement debt is going to take a little longer. We all sat for the 16 course Progression, since the 24 course Journey might be a little too much. The whole thing takes about 3 hours, and we started early, as it was a school night. Two of us had the wine paring and the Help, who is always the designated driver and a natural teetotaler had the non-alcoholic pairing. I also had an extra glass of wine, a Madeira or a sherry that tasted rich and very raisin-like, which added to the price.

There is a difference when there are three. The food took second place to the table conversation, which was interrupted when staff presented us new dishes that needed explaining. This time around my attention was split between the food and our guest. Yet the reason why we chose Rogue 24 was to share the experience of eating there. It's not just food.

Once again 16 courses were just enough. We weren't gut bustin' full but rather very satisfied, and very pleased with our evening. Good food, good friends (the Help also doubles as a friend), and a good night.


*OMG I love Aqui. Their food is wonderful, a great mix of Mexican and Californian. I could go on and on about their wraps and other dishes. Chip and guac is really good too. There is nothing in DC that I have found to beat Aqui and I look forward to going there almost every day when visiting California.

The Curious Case of Lucky C. Young

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1200 blk NJ Ave 1
1200 block of NJ Ave NW

I swear that I've written about Lucky C. Young before but I have not found him on my blog. Maybe it was one of those posts that never made it past the draft stage.

There are many houses in Truxton Circle that have housed more than one household. Several homes were built as two flat units, so when I was cleaning up data for the 1930 census it wasn't so unusual to have two households at 1203 New Jersey Avenue NW. What was unusual, and why I thought there was some clean up needed, one household was listed as Black and the other white. The first family were the African American Chambers family, with a father, mother and their 17 year old daughter. At the very end of the page were the Youngs, Lucky C. and his wife Estelle and they were clearly listed as white. Considering everyone else on the 1200 block of NJ Ave was Black, the Youngs didn't seem right, so I researched them.

I could not find anything on Estelle Young. She was 27 at the time and the census doesn't show how long she and Lucky were married.

Lucky C. Young was a different story.  He was a driver, born in 1905 in South Carolina, however, he wasn't white. Later WWII records list him as a Negro widower, and a driver, so I knew I had the same person even though his race and marital status had changed. Between the 1930 census and getting enlisted, a 1937 city directory had him living at 1508 6th St NW, only a few blocks (walking distance) from his old NJ Ave digs. That ends what I could find using Ancestry.com's website.

Switching over to ProQuest (at fine Public Libraries everwhere) Lucky C. Young finds nothing but trouble. In 1950 he was caught up in an embezzlement court case involving the Capitol Cab Co. The case was dismissed. In 1964 his violent death was reported. He was shot October 10th near the unit or 100 block of Q St NW (nw vs ne is debatable) in his cab, a few blocks from his home at 47 Randolph Pl NW. November 19th he died at a hospital. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery and his murder was unsolved. Looking at the 1960 City Directory he listed there with his 2nd(?) wife Irene B. Young.

What I find very interesting about Mr. Young are his movements around the neighborhood. He doesn't stay put, but he stays 'around'. Cities are dynamic place with people constantly on the move. He was in DC, as far as I could tell, for decades, but not in the same place. So I wonder what or even how does this case reflect on the lives of other Washingtonians.

This inauguration should be less problematic

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Buses Only on NJ
Back in 2009 the road closures for the inauguration went all the way up to Shaw. Mailboxes were removed, and in my opinion, and yes I'm not a security expert, a little security overkill. Sort of like the aiport without the free massage. If you have forgotten here is a photo from back then when we had National Guards all over the place, in the residential areas. On the plus side it did cut down on crime and gunfire.

This year according to the map at inauguration.dc.gov/ (see below) the vehicle restrictions appear to be limited to our Downtown/ Penn Quarter, Gallery Place, Mt. Vernon Triangle neighbors, who I gather are more walking types than driving types.

Metro-wise it appears the Mt. Vernon Sq metro station will be closed Monday the 21st. And I'm not sure if it is the map or what but the yellow line (according to the map-pdf) won't be wandering up to Fort Totten, terminating at Gallery Place. The other stations that will be closed are Archives and Smithsonian. Buses that normall travel through/near the Mall/Capitol zone will be limited with some lines terminating 1 mile to 1/2 a mile from the Mall (pdf map). Limited bus lines include the G8, the 90 buses, P6, and the 70 buses. It seems the 70 buses terminate at the Shaw Howard station.

Road Closures

Monday Misc

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I spotted a big orange ABRA notice whatever thing on Corduroy owner, Tom Power's side project, which I will call "Good Food Coming Soon". I have searched the ABRA website for the protest notices and came up empty. I might actually have to get off the bus and look at the sign. But it is cold, and I don't wanna do that.

Speaking of stuff on 9th St, East Shaw has a pretty good listing of things going-on on 9th St NW.

Around the corner from 9th Table will open at some point, soon.

'Soon' is a word that the Help and I joke about when we pass the sign on 9th and P St "Mandalay Coming Soon". It is coming along. There are windows now. Looking forward to the time when there is a Burmese restaurant there.

Tonight is a BACA meeting for those of you in the northern part of Truxton Circle. At 3rd and Q St NW.

Comments for this blog has gotten limited because I've been getting slammed with Chinese spam. It was screwing with my bandwith.


Another DCPS vs DCPCS article in the Post

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Every time I read something about DC Public Schools vs the DC Public Charter Schools and how 'unfair' it is for DCPS, I think, PARENTS LEAVE. Well unless the parents are in the boundaries of an awesome public school, otherwise they pack up. Some might do private or Catholic, but it is easier to pack it up and go where parents can joyfully support public schools, not here.
This time no different as the Post explores expulsion rate differences between DCPS and DCPCS . Reading the multipage article I wondered, how do these rates compare to nearby school systems (the ones that parents run off to) or other urban school systems? Seriously, DCPS vs Baltimore at least. One little mention, because that would put DCPS's policy of not expelling problem student into perspective. I did a quick check and in the 90s Baltimore expelled 1.9 to 3.7 students per 1,000. That's still way more than DCPS.
It's a philosophical thing, according to DCPCS board executive director Scott Pearson :
"Such a low rate implies a philosophy, Pearson said, "that there is essentially no behavior that is so egregious, so disruptive to the school environment that it shouldn't be handled through expulsion."

The Citizen and city services

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Hole in the sidewalk

My last post said that "everyone in the District deserves better policing and city services, but I've learned it doesn't come without lots of demanding". The pictured pot hole in the sidewalk probably won't get addressed without someone advocating that it get fixed. That pothole has been there for years.
First thing to ask is does the city even know it is there? Maybe. I might have reported it years ago but never followed up. But unless someone from the city happens to pass this hole on the 1700 block of 4th, AND can do something about it, it will be like this for more years. Or I or some other citizen can bring it to the city's attention, engage in some follow up (which I haven't done) if the problem isn't addressed within a few months, repeat the request and seek other options (asking for help from the ANC, Ward Councilperson's office, or guerrilla repair).
The city must have thousands if not millions of little things wrong or going wrong in the city that the city government may not be aware of, besides crime. There are apps and the on-line features that help alert various government agencies of illegal rentals, burned out lights, trees that need attention and the like. There are other issues that take some work to alert city agencies, such as dead people getting the senior citizen tax relief credits and vacant properties taxed at the wrong rate. A few weeks ago I tried contacting the Office of Tax and Revenue about a vacant property and had the wrong email because the email had changed.... Anyway, reported it, and it still being taxed at the regular residential rate. When I think of it in a few months, I'll bug them again. The point of it is that the citizens have to help the city, and citizens are apt to advocate for their own corner of the city.
I wonder if citizen in lower income parts of the city advocate as much and as often as those with higher income citizens. There must be a study out there...

Shaw non-gentrified housing

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Let's start the new year with a little excerise, but this doesn't involve going to the gym or putting on track shoes. Not this is an observational excerise. Name or picture in your mind at least 5 spots in Shaw that have non-market rate housing. Shaw is a pretty large neighborhood when you include the areas of Logan Circle and U Street, so 5 should be very, very, insanely easy.

The ones I'm thinking of are the Ashbury Dwellings, both the Northwest Co-ops, the Phillis Wheatley YWCA, Lincoln-Westmoreland, and Foster House. With the exception of the YWCA they also have parking lots, as a common feature. They serve different housing needs, such as women, and seniors and many take Section 8. None of them are claimed by DC Public Housing as properties.

The point of the excerise is awareness. It is easy to forget with the cranes and contruction of the pretty new market rate condos and apartments that such housing exists. Shaw is a diverse community and the non-market rate housing keeps a level of diversity in various aspects of Shaw life.

And this might just be me, but non-market rate housing is not a problem. Too much of it may be since concentrated poverty is bad. But I notice lately, problem places, that used to be big problems (ex. Lincoln-Westmoreland) are less so as the neighborhood as a whole has improved. Maybe this is the trick of having gentrification work for different kinds of people. If the affordable places can manage to remain, then the residents can have their quality of life improve because there are now more middle/upper income folks in their neighborhood demanding better policing, city services, etc. Yes, everyone in the District deserves better policing and city services, but I've learned it doesn't come without lots of demanding.

Happy New Year- Please don't use fireworks

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Okay. It was about 1am-ish and somebody around where we think might be R and 3rd were setting off fireworks.

Please don't do that.

Also were these the same damned fools setting off fireworks when it was announced Obama won a second presidency?

So next time you wanna celebrate avoid fireworks and firearms, because I can't tell the difference.