April 2017 Archives

Overheard- Missing Girl

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I think it is good that DC is publicizing our city's missing African American girls, but in this some of us are discovering "missing" has different definitions.

So I was on the train some time ago and could not help but to over hear... in the same way I can not help but to overhear a certain loud mouth on our block who likes to have profanity laden phone calls outside at 2AM. I try to do my part to ignore, but the person speaking makes no effort to assist me in ignoring them. So in that vein, I could not help but to overhear a woman talking about a missing girl.

The woman on the train was trying to find a clothes and maybe an alternative place to stay for a girl who she knew who was on one of those alerts that the girl was missing. The girl was a teen in the foster care system and was avoiding going to her foster home, thus by not showing up or returning to the foster home, counted as missing. According to the caller the girl has been on the missing alerts more than once. She and whomever was on the other end seemed to be throwing out ideas of how to get the girl out of the foster system. She also seemed to care a lot about the welfare of the girl.

I think I've heard it mentioned in news reports about all the missing black girl notices that are out that there is a very hard question of why that follows. In this case the girl really, really, really, really, really did not want to be in foster care. The details of her why were lost in my really, really, really, really, really trying to ignore the conversation.

So keep up the missing kid notices. Maybe it might lead to honestly asking why the kids are missing and addressing the problems.
This is an old disagreement, and as one of the parties I believe I'm right. So when I see something confirming my belief or bias or whatever, it brings joy to my dark little heart.
So I was in Bed Bath and Beyond looking for a new scale because my old scale lost its little electronic mind and went crazy. A bearded man told me I could bring in my old scale and trade it in and having the receipt (because I still had the receipt) was even better. So I figured I'd return with the old scale and upgrade to a new one. I returned with the scale and the Help (the spouse) in tow, and he spotted this lovely DC cutting board.
DC Cutting Board with facts
And lo, there in the middle was the triangle known as Truxton Circle. But in this case the "Circle" was just a round "O".
Truxton Circle on DC Cutting Board
Good enough for me. And I can't speak to the other neighborhood names, but I'm happy with one.
I'm aware that some longtime residents would like to rebrand the neighborhood to a name more of their liking. I respect, but strongly disagree with these neighbors. We all love our neighborhood and its history and I rather focus on what we have in common than what we don't.
I'm also loving The Truxton at Florida and North Cap. Loving the Truxton Inn, even though it is on the wrong side of Florida Avenue..... whatev.

Truxton Inn

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So they aren't officially open, they are soft opened. Getting the kinks out, all that good stuff.
We went. I had an old fashioned the Help (the Spouse) had a mocktail.
Old Fashioned at Truxton Inn
The old fashioned was smooth.

Truxton Inn
251 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

So woke you have insomnia

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So I'm in the Giant looking for non/de-caffinated tea and I happen upon a whole lotta lotta sleepytime teas in the tea section.
Too Woke
#Woke is a thing I hear, but the problem of being so woke is having insomnia. Maybe this is the reason for the eight or more sleep inducing teas.
But if you really want a tea that will knock you out you have to go a few, several blocks up 7th Street to Calabash Teahouse and get their "Sweet Dreams are Made of Teas" tea.  Yes, it will cost more than the Celestial Seasonings tea, which is on sale at the O Street Giant, but it will help you sleep.

The Group Housing Thing on Richardson

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Rear of Richardson IIISo the Washington Post mentioned the Richardson Place co-housing thing in an article a few days ago.The point of the real estate article was the new trend in group housing of developers creating housing for adults living together where they get their own bathrooms. Unlike old group houses where the shared bathroom and different sized rooms are a problem.

I'm going to totally ignore the problem of fitting too many people on a tiny little street. Gonna set that aside for a moment. That and the possible parking problem, 'cause everything comes down to parking 'round here.

What I will do is remember group housing. I have lived in group houses. My spouse lived in a group house. I know others who in their 20s lived in group houses, it is a thing people do around here; live in group houses.

One of the terrible scenarios brought forth during the BACA meetings against the idea of the co-housing was the idea of live in girlfriends (not boyfriends, I wonder what the gender issue is with that, but I digress) in every unit doubling the occupancy beyond what is legal. In London, I lived in a group house of 6 girls. In PG County, while in grad school, I lived with 4 girls in a small house. At no time did all of us have our boyfriends over at the same time.  Maybe two guys might be in the house on a rare occasion. Asking the spouse of his experience, living with 3 guys. Maybe two guys would have their girlfriends over on the same night. The only guest who was a problem, the catalyst who inspired my spouse to move out of the group house, was one of the roommate's dad who stayed for an extended amount of time.

No I predict the problems Richardson Place neighbors will have are the same problems all current residents have with new residents. Parking, noise, and personality conflicts.
4 bills and changeI was listening to a podcast lecture where one of the panelist mentioned a paper saying something that perked up my ears. He said something along the lines of residents of public housing benefit from gentrifying neighborhoods. Apparently they have greater incomes and less unemployment than public housing residents in poorer neighborhoods.

I had to find this paper.

It is "Linking Residents to Opportunity: Gentrification and Public Housing" and I'm a little less excited having read it. I'm thinking it is a NYC thing. For one, public housing in NYC doesn't change, whereas in DC what was once public housing can change into private or mixed use housing or transform. So DC public housing residents cannot necessarily feel comfortable that their housing will remain as a neighborhood changes. The second thing are improved schools. But in DC a little under half of DC students go to charter schools which do not necessarily reflect home addresses. So once again, it might be more of a NYC thing.

So how is it that the public housing residents in gentrifying NYC neighborhoods have more income and less unemployment? Craziest thing, the income gains come through paid employment. And they are probably not from jobs in the neighborhood. New businesses were not seen by pubic residents as sources for job opportunity. I know a popular question in DC is what do you do, which sometimes leads to where does one work? For the middle class hipsters and oldsters a lot of time whatever it is, it's not in walking distance. Biking distance maybe. So maybe public housing residents decided not to wait around for the jobs to come to them, seeing their gentrifying neighbors leave the neighborhood on a regular enough basis for work.

Chapman Stable Condos

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Chapman Stable LayoutFirst off, Chapman Stables will/does have underground parking.
I should have asked if the units come with a parking space or does one have to purchase a parking spot separately. But I didn't.

Other thing of interest to neighbors, is that they've already started selling units and expect to deliver maybe by Fall 2017. Units start around $300K and the 2 bedrooms hover in the mid $500K range. I also didn't bother asking what the condo fees are. Desk service and club rooms don't come free. So expect to see whippersnappers (yes, that's what I'm calling all you people younger than me) walking around engrossed in their phones later this year.
Oldtimers please see these new neighbors as assets. They will be homeowners too, some of whom may attend Hanover Area Civic Association meetings (maybe) and will also get annoyed with the "issues" you all have on the southern end of Truxton Circle. That is provided they don't just see the neighborhood on their way to the garage in their car and from their condo window. There are 110 units, that's at least 110 new neighbors who will demand services and be attractive to the type of businesses that like people who can afford $300K+ condos.

Other links:
Chapman Coal Company Garage- National Park Service
Chapman Stables- McWilliamsBallard

Um diversity?

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I want to thank a neighbor for alerting me to the Travel and Leisure mag's bit regarding Shaw, which for some odd reason it wants to call North End Shaw. It's called Shaw. Just Shaw. You can call it U Street. You can call it Logan. You might want to call bits of it Truxton Circle. But for the love of all that is good, leave it at Shaw.
I watched the videos attached to the piece. Um, where are the black people? Yes, you have brown people, and famous dead black people are mentioned, but I did not spot a single person of obvious African decent. That's concerning.... I know you want to sort of sell the neighborhood as a cool destination, but I'd like to think that my people are included in the cool. Even in a spot where I see old black guys hanging out, when it was filmed they were missing. Fine. I understand if no one wanted to film those guys. But seriously of the pedestrians and crowds in Shaw, not a single solitary black person?


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