This is a personal blog and I am a federal employee who has found she has more time on her hands. But this is not a woe is me post. Nah, this is my 6th government shutdown. I’d been employed less than a year when I survived the 1995-1996 shutdowns (5 and 21 days) as a GS-5 step 1 temp employee with fresh student loans. The 21 day shutdown between December 5, 1995-January 6, 1996 was bad, but I survived. Somewhere in the archives of the Washington Post, there is a quote of the younger me bitching about it.
Mentally, I’m prepping for a long shutdown and praying for something shorter. Thankfully this time around there is another income to lean on. Typically, although there is no guarantee, we get paid, eventually for those shutdown days. Knowing that the contractors I work with, who do building maintenance, security, and other stuff won’t get paid, at all, makes it really hard for me to feel bad for myself and most other feds.
So in the vein of when life hands you lemons, make lemonade, or lemon tea, or lemon pasta, I’m making the most of it. On the first real day of the shutdown the Help and I went on a day-date and saw a movie. The rest of the week has been mainly about cleaning. Deep cleaning. The kind of cleaning a maid service typically won’t do. We got one of those dinner and a movie gift cards, so we may see another movie. If the shutdown goes past January 3rd, I informed the Help he was going to get a very expensive hausfrau. I may tackle somethings I’ve been avoiding, some sink repair, window cleaning, and bookshelf dusting (requires moving a ton of books and my MILs ashes).
I’ll probably check out some Shaw stuff, but seriously, there are a lot deferred cleaning jobs around the house demanding my attention. And now those unpaid jobs have it.
A few nights when going to bed I have marveled at how quiet it was, and I fear by mentioning it, I’m going to jinx it.
When lying down in bed I noticed how I heard nothing. My neighbors who will at times blast their music have been really conscientious and turned it off before we head to bed. The Loudmouth Buppy Lawyer is either out of town or deciding it is too cold for a one sided profanity laced cell phone conversation on the street. And by shear fate, there have been no ambulances or cop cars blaring sirens on the major road nearby. Normally the sirens pierce through the house but for a few nights, I’ve heard nothing while lying in bed, closing my eyes and nodding off to sleep.
A city can be loud. Doesn’t mean it has to be all the time. There can be moments when no one is screaming or hollering as they wander down the sidewalk. The sounds of a motorbike without a muffler isn’t heard as it makes its way through the neighborhood. Chatter from someone’s backyard bouncing off the rear walls is non-existent. There are beautiful moments of quiet, silence.
Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate and Happy Day Off to those who don’t.
I’m hoping this was not a hallucination but in a cab, back from the doctor’s I spotted a pile of rubble where 509 O Street NW stood. Upon seeing it I exclaimed, “Finally”.
I would have investigated further, but I’m contagious and need to avoid people. And stay home and do this thing called resting. So I don’t have an updated image of 509 O Street.
If you are newish, you may wonder, what’s the big deal?
The problem with 509 O Street was that it was stuck as a vacant property for at least 20 years. That means it was vacant when the neighborhood started gentrifying. It was vacant when shells in the area cost half a million. It has been vacant now, still vacant. Now a vacant lot. It had the resistance to development like a Shiloh Baptist property. And even some Shiloh properties not on 9th, managed to get developed.
I have my opinions. And it was my opinion that the woman who owned the property was crazy. Whether bat-shyte crazy or crazy like a fox, I don’t know. But the crazy was the only thing to explain why this property managed to stay vacant despite legal action from the lender, vacant rate taxes and a white hot real estate market.
Just for my records, the lot number for 509 O Street NW is a PITA to locate. In the tax assessment database searching for O St lots on Square 0479, all I could find was lot #0818. In the DC Atlas I found 3, lots 0044, 2001, & 2002. This makes me wonder if the taxes could be wiped out with a shell game of lose the lot number? Looking at the Recorder of Deeds paperwork, that’s a confusing mess and introduced more lot numbers. Lot number 0813 for condo unit (yeah it was a ‘condo’) A. sigh.
So in summary, I seriously hope that pile of rubble was 509 O Street NW. Hopefully, it can move on. Maybe there is a serious developer behind this who will plop another million dollar condo on the spot with quartz countertops and Lutron light switches.
I’ll probably cross post this with DC Vacant Properties.
Well if all goes as planned my hairdresser will retire and sell her building at the end of this month. She’d been in Shaw since the 1970s, which is around about the time my aunt started working in DC. My aunt recommended the S&M Salon to me back in the 1990s when I moved here for work. I do not look forward to finding another hairdresser.
But that’s the circle of life. Local businesses start, fail, succeed, merge, get way too big, move, and eventually close. Sometimes it’s a couple of months, years, or decades.
The Eckington business Workafrolic, which was an awesome idea of workspace, workout space for parents, is closed. I saw on the Bloomingdale parent’s list that this Saturday, (12/15/18) between 11am – 2pm they are selling off their inventory of yoga mats, toddler stuff, bouncers, etc. Cash or Venmo only. Maybe it was the location. North Capitol Street is a tough road.
Richard Layman had a post about the revitalization of 9th Street, that reminded me of businesses gone or moved that helped make that foodie part of Shaw (I’m ignoring 14th St) what it is. Anyone remember Vegetate? They had to battle the churches (Shiloh) for their place on 9th over liquor licenses. That battle needed to happen. Queen of Sheba was part of it, and it remains. In 2010/2011 there was Rogue 24 hidden in Blagden Alley. Now that was some fancy expensive eatin’, and it still is with the Dabney. But I guess I should credit one of the earlier 9th Street restaurants, Corduroy, who is still there and managed to open Baby Wale nearby. Now there are wonderful restaurant options in walking distance should I chose to spend $30-$80 on babysitters.
I’m just thankful entrepreneurs are taking a chance over and over in the eastern parts of Shaw (east of 9th & Truxton Circle), Bloomingdale, LeDroit and Eckington. Some will do okay, some will fail, and others will become so much a part of the neighborhood it will seem that they’ve always been there.
…and I think that something is that I’m old.
This is going to come across as complaining. But I’m not complaining. Not really. This is a behavior I know I need to encourage.
For the past two weeks, during my commute into work, people keep offering me their seats. I don’t think I look pregnant. I actually have lost 20 lbs since last year (cutting out sugar, eating less, etc), so that can’t be it. But I am getting old. I don’t dye my hair, and I stopped keeping track of my grey hairs after I turned 40. I probably doesn’t help that I don’t wear make-up and I guess my resting-b*tch-face is haggard hag face. That is the conclusion I’ve come to, people are offering their seat to the poor old woman, who apparently is me.
I typically stand close to the door because I just have to go a few stops and I like to work my core surfing the train. Also we have a rule in our house against sitting on the bed if we’ve sat on any public transit in those same clothes.
But back to people offering their seats. That’s sweet. I’ve had young black men, older non-black men, and women of various ethnicities signal and offer their seat on a crowded morning train. Every time, I’ve declined. However my lovely spouse suggested that I just once take someone up on their offer. I told him that I try to decline as nicely as possible and sometimes I remember to say that I appreciate the offer. But it’s 7 something AM in the morning, my brain isn’t 100% on and I don’t drink coffee.
So if you’ve offered me your seat, I just want to say, “Thank you very much. I really do appreciate the offer, but I only have a few stops to go. Thank you.”