Shaw House Tour

Sunday, October 26, 2003, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Shaw is much more than just the neighborhood where the new Washington

Convention Center is located. Residents, businesses, and institutions have

been working for years to renovate 100-plus-year-old buildings, turning one

of Washington’s oldest neighborhoods into the place to be in Washington, DC.

Some of these outstanding architecture and interior design efforts have been

recognized with feature articles in the Washington Post and Metro Weekly.

Come discover some of DC’s best-kept secrets as you visit:

· One of the oldest churches in the District, and its “secret garden.”

· Three row houses that have been converted into a complex dedicated to

public service, including a remarkable chapel.

· A bed-and-breakfast in a former mortuary.

· A former run-down rooming house that now boasts marble floors and an

impressive collection of local artists’ work.

· A former lumber store converted into office space, featuring lots of

elaborate woodwork and skylights.

· And other newly-renovated homes filled with surprises.

Along the way, you’ll meet some of the proud homeowners, entrepreneurs,

organizations, architects, designers, and developers that are helping to make

Shaw’s renaissance a reality. And also see some of the diamonds-in-the-rough

that still await restoration. Sponsored by Shaw Main Streets, Inc.

Tickets: $15.00 in advance, $20.00 on the day of the tour

To get tickets, mail a check (payable to Shaw Main Streets) to Shaw House

Tour, Shaw Main Streets, 614 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, or at the

following locations:

Advance sale tickets will be available from Monday, October 6, 2003 to

Saturday, October 25, 2003 at:

City Museum of Washington, DC Gift Shop

801 K Street, NW


Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

City Living, DC Style! Expo

Washington Convention Center

801 Mount Vernon Place, NW

Friday, October 24th, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Saturday, October 25th, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Sunday, October 26th, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Alperstein’s Furniture

1015 7th Street, NW


Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Warehouse Theater Café

1021 7th Street, NW


Monday, Wednesday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday, 8:00 AM to

10:00 PM

Miller Copying Service

1111 7th Street, NW


Monday-Friday; 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM; Saturday, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Crimpz, Inc.

1125 7th Street, NW


Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM; Saturday, 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Modern Liquors

1200 9th Street, NW


Monday-Saturday, 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM

DC Guesthouse

1337 10th Street, NW

202- 332-2502

Monday-Saturday, 9:00AM to 5:00 PM

Brian MacKenzie Infoshop

1426 9th Street, NW

Monday-Thursday, 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM; Friday, 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM; Saturday,

10:00 AM to 10:00 PM; Sunday, 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Chain Reaction Youth Bike Shop

1701 6th Street, NW


Wednesday-Friday, 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM; Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Lee’s Flower and Card Shop

1026 U Street, NW


Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Saturday, 8:00 AM to 1:00PM

African American Civil War Memorial Museum Store

1200 U Street, NW

(202) 667-2667

Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Saturday, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Urban Essentials

1330 U Street, NW


Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM; Thursday, 12:00 PM to 8:00

PM; Saturday, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Sunday, 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Maison 14

1325 14th Street, NW


Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday, 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM; Friday, 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM;

Sunday, 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Timothy Paul Carpets + Textiles

1404 14th Street, NW


Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Sunday, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Logan Hardware

1416 P Street, NW


Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Sunday,

10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Flowers on Fourteenth

1718A 14th Street, NW


Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Saturday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Garden District

1801 14th Street, NW


Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Sunday,

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Home Rule

1807 14th Street, NW


Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Sunday, 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

On Sunday, October 26, 2003, tickets will only be available at Immaculate

Conception Roman Catholic Church, northeast corner of N and 8th Street, NW,

during tour hours, and at the City Living, DC Style! Expo at the Washington

Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Churches and Shaw

If there are two things the neighborhood has aplenty, they are liquor stores and churches. The odd thing about the churches is that many congregants of said churches don’t live in the neighborhood. I cannot and will not condemn on that point, as I myself attend in Northern Virginia. My Aunt #1 drives all the way from the Hyattsville area to go to Shilo Bapist Church. When Aunt #2 is not hampered by CP* time disorder she tries to make it from near Howard Co., but by the time she shows all the parking in the tiny lot the church owns is gone. Every Sunday folks from the ‘burbs flock into the city to attend church and go back home. They are now having to fight with residents for parking.

Back when I was a kid visiting Aunts #1 and #2 I believe there was plenty parking. Shaw was a BAD neighborhood. There weren’t that many people as I recall. Of course I really don’t remember that much about the environment outside the church, my more vivid memories are of the events inside the church.

Now people are rehabbing once vacant housing and moving in with their cars. It’s becoming a problem. Some churches have begun to move out because of it, or at least make plans to move where their congregants live…. Maryland.

*Colored People’s Time Disorder. This disorder strikes so many of our people and leaves them unable to show up at functions in a timely manner. Not only are those directly hampered by this victims but their friends and family as well. Yes, some of us are still annoyed that a whole family suffering from CP time disorder showed up 2 hours late for Thanksgiving dinner. And some wonder why I don’t want to host this year……

The Ghetto and me, issue 1

A new little ghetto mart is opening up near the house. I call some of the little mom&pop hole in the wall stores ghetto marts because well, they are so ghetto. Add the prices of a 7-11, the selection of … well not much of a selction, with a sprinkling of liquor store in some cases and you have part of the ghetto mart. The other part is in presentation. All the windows covered with posters for Kool cigarettes, malt liquor, beer, basically things that are bad for your health. Not one inch of window allows you to look in the store. They don’t seem like friendly places to shop.

These places do provide a service. They sell milk and some basics and that’s good when you’re too lazy to walk to the Giant. Yet as a consumer, who when she isn’t lazy has choices, I find these stores insulting. The cashier is behind plexiglass, the service is lacking, I feel that they really don’t want me there.

Crazy Paint

I’m still thinking bold colors. Face it, it doesn’t matter what I do to the back of the house. I could do polka dots, but I don’t think it would look right. But I gotta match the fence.

Maybe I should just do the part that juts out. That I can do myself, sort of. Prime it and then throw on some funky color. Bright yellow and a dark blue door? Too Swedish. No red doors. Red doors are too common. I’ve seen some pretty cool purple doors. There is a super cool door on 8th street near Q street, but that is too …. expensive.

I’ve also thought, painting the individual bricks a different color to create a pattern. Maybe doing something with tile.

But I got to keep in mind nobody is really going to see the back of the house. Nobody except the neighbors and the crackheads who wander through the alley.

I may wait until I go to London and maybe get some ideas there. I like British, not the Victorian colonial type of British style, but modern British style. Maybe they incorporated the crazy African paint style.

You know you have problems when…

You know you have problems when you’re looking at some low budget African film and you’re getting design ideas from impoverished South African houses as seen in the movie.

Apparently Africans like strong bold colors. A dark navy blue with red pillars and a bright yellow door. Well crazy ideas have been coming into my head. I need to paint the rear of the house, as it is butt ugly. One, I would need to contact Popcorn who did a so-so job on the front of the house. Second, I’d have to buy a lot of paint. Third, I’d have to do it before it gets too cold to paint. I wonder if it is too cold now.

Crap on. Crap off. The Crapper


Wednesday is take the dumpster to the curb day. When I took the dumpster from the back to the front I fugured I’d throw out the refuse that was up upon my fence.

Someone, an old guy. “Cleans” the alley every so often and tapes up “No Dumping” signs, that fall apart after the first rain. This cleaning is basically shifting whatever is in the alley up against the fences. So up against mine was a dirt encrusted sleeve, fallen leaves, concrete chunks, and some other stuff. All placed in the dumpster. One thing, which called for the rubber gloves was the pan. When Lem was putting in my fence he pointed out that someone had taken “a dump” near my fence. He pointed to a pan with some unknown brown/yellow liquid and debris in it. Lovely. Well I turned the pan over a few days after that and it was dry by Wednesday, ready for the dumpster, but still stinky. The alley had an odor. But at that time I thought it was a mixture of leftover stink from the pan and the puppy on the opposite side of the alley.

Yesterday, I’m out staining the back fence. When I move closer to the ground I smell something stinky. I blame the puppy. I take the dumpster thru the alley and back into the yard. Then I notice a pail in the alley. Same ugly colored liquid and refuse. I take a long pole, stand back, and dump it into the alley. Stink-E.

Great I knew the crack-heads urinated but leaving bowls and pails of their crap, oh-no!

History research and gentrification

Yes, we have gentrification on the brain.

Anywho. I’m doing some historical research on the neighborhood looking at housing and other demographic trends. Looking at the census, things I noticed from one census to another….. people move. There is a very good chance the people in a certain house won’t be there in the next 10 years. I’m not in the same place I was 10 years ago. 10 years ago I was in a dorm in Massachusetts. Gawd I’m old.

Anyway, taking the fact that people move, especially renters and gentrification. If neighborhood desirablity was the only factor a demographic shift would occur anyways, regardless of rise in rents. If every time a low income person moved, they were always replaced by a middle income person one may say it’s gentrification or something like it. Because over time as lower income folks move out and are not replaced by lower income people you’d have a great economic demographic change in say 10 years if the rate is say over 5%. Year one 100% Low income, Yr2 95%, Yr3 90%, Yr 5 80%, Yr 8 65%, in ten years there are only half of the low income people. Well, that’s using my math, and my math isn’t that good. Less than half may be there if the movement rate is taken just from the low income population. Possibly rates may change depending on the economy, unemployment in the area, lack of businesses and services, or what have you.

Yet even 10 years ago Shaw was not 100% low income. There were people who stuck through the riots and the crack years who were somewhere in the middle class sphere. Throw in high concentrations of middle class people in newly built condos, there is a major population shift right there.

Gentrification and Me issue 4

Am I on number 4 now?

PBS: POV Flag Wars: What is Gentrification

One site, just for definition of what I am talking about. The rest of the site in on the film Flag Wars, a battle for a neighborhood between two “historically oppressed groups” blacks and gays. In my own observations both groups can be downright unpleasant to the other, but luckily, not always…. at least not to the other’s face.

Maybe later I’ll do themes on gentrification: Gays and gentrification; Artists and gentrification; Buppie (Black yuppie) gentrification; Black flight and gentrification; Anti-gentrification groups; DC/Shaw and gentrification.

Someone, John, pointed out a talk that is going to be given at the City Museum October 15 at 6:30 on gentrification and the city. I predict there will be an angry discussion as the topic enflames passions. I plan to go but if it just turns into a yelling match at any point I’m leaving. If I want to see people yell, I’ll go to a civic association meeting with the peanut gallery.