It’s Black History Month- Blame Shaw’s Own Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson statue at night
Memorial for Dr. Carter G. Woodson at 9th and RI Ave NW.

It’s February so that means it’s Black History Month. And eventually somebody says something about February being the shortest month of the year and African Americans getting short shrift. Which is really ignorant because the “Father of Black History” Carter G. Woodson picked a week in February for Black History Week. That week turned into a month and that brings us to where we are. He could have picked another week in another month, but he didn’t. Please shaddap about February.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson (PhD, Harvard, 1912) noticed there was a lack of history documenting and telling the story of Black Americans in America. So he saw a problem and then fixed it. Quoting the NPS biography of Dr. Woodson, “The public knew very little about the role of African Americans in American history, and schools were not including African American history in their curriculum. He worked tirelessly throughout his life to remedy this problem, becoming nationally recognized as “the Father of Black History.” ”

Dr. Woodson lived and worked at 1538 9th Street NW, which is in Shaw. This would explain the statue, if you missed it, at 9th and Rhode Island Avenue NW. And the National Park Service complex at his historic home’s location. And of course, there are programs going on this month to celebrate the man. On February 15th and 29th at 1PM an actor will lead a 3 hour tour (a three hour tour) in the life of Dr. Woodson. The historic house is regularly open 3 days a week, Thursday through Saturday, 9 to 5.

Oh a new ‘foodie’ option in Truxton Circle

View from inside Domestique at Florida and North Capitol NW.

Domestique, not just a wine store but an event space. I noticed in an email from Tock several food/wine events at the store.

Apparently the February 12th wine and grilled cheese event is sold out, as is the natural wine and Japanese cuisine on the 25th. There are a couple of wine tastings that still have available tickets. Check it out.

A few words of Martin Luther King regarding Shaw

I have been looking for a speech I had of Martin Luther King’s made on March 13, 1967 for Model Inner City Community Organization (MICCO). Because the King Center is famous for cracking down on what they believe to be their copyright, I did not post the whole speech.

Back in 2008, I posted portions of the speech. I’ll repost it here.

Of course, we all recognize that if we are ultimately to improve psychological and physical conditions for minorities there must be total elimination of ghettoes and the establishment of a truly integrated society. In the meantime, however, all those working for economic and social justice are forced to address themselves to interim programs which, while not totally changing the situation, will nevertheless bring about improvement in the lives of those forced to live in ghettoes. And so, whiel [sic] many of those steps may lead to limited integration, those which do not must clearly be seen as interim steps until the objective situation makes a more fundamental approach.

and later

… Labor, Housing and the Office of Economic Opportunity, ought to work with the people of Shaw in developing, coordinating and concentrating their various programs upon social and economic problems of this area.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at a March 13, 1967 rally for Shaw

Dr. King has become an avatar, where people have projected on their own visions of what he’s supposed to be and ignoring who he actually was. Maybe some organization’s crackdown on other’s printing his words played a part in that. Dr. King preached integration but it seems so many now are pushing for segregation and celebrating the ghetto that King wanted to eliminate.

Halloween reminders

Kid in babyshark costumeOkay some quick reminders about Halloween tonight:

  1. If you don’t want people coming to your door, turn off your porch light, draw your curtains/drapes, and lower the lights on the first floor.
  2. Yes, people trick or treat. Ask your neighbors what it was like last year.
  3. Yes, adults and teenagers not in costume will come to your door. That is why I get crappy candy, just for them. The good stuff, the Reese’s, the Snickers, and the like go to the people in costume.
  4. Trick or treating starts around 6:30-7PM and I stop giving out candy around 8:30-9 when the uncostumed to costumed ratio gets to be a bit much.

3rd Annual Health Fair- July 28th

Last year there was a very nice vegetarian spread. I write this as unapologetic meat eater. Anyway, heads up there will be a big ole health fair on the 1600 block of 4th St NW on July 28th.

Health Fair FlierAs I remember there was a professional masseuse last year for the massages. And there is a lot of fair stuff- face painting, moon bounce, etc.

The big deal about the fair is that the three sponsors, 4th St Fellowship, Mt. Sinai, and Masjid Muhammad would all have health fairs at different times. So for the past couple years they combined their powers, to create the biggest Truxton Circle health fair, ever. I’ll be there, mainly to nosh on free vegetarian food.

Holy Crap this is close- ANC 5E-05

Holy Crap!

Seriously.

Holy F’ing crap. Just a 2 vote difference. Your vote may be a drop in the bucket in citywide elections but it means a lot in ANC races.

First. Is this even legal? Ms. Robinson-Paul appeared twice on my ballot. She ran against Kenyon McDuffie, the current councilman for Ward 5 under the name Joyce (Chestnut) Robinson-Paul. That I expected, as it was in the Voter Guide that was sent out. But I was taken aback when I saw her name again when I went to vote for my ANC Bradley A. Thomas. I was under the impression Bradley was running unopposed. Was this mentioned at yesterday’s BACA meeting (I was home because the kid was miserable and I didn’t want to abandon my spouse for a meeting)?

Second, WTF?

Fitness Studio Crawl: #SweatInShaw

I’m not going to do this often, posting press releases, but I support healthy living, and the improvement of Shaw. So here it is.

Fitness is the Focus during #SweatInShaw Studio Crawl, 09/16/18

September 4, 2018–Washington DC- DC’s booming Shaw Neighborhood is well-known for its bustling culinary and cocktail scene and is also a hub for entertainment, with anchors such as the Howard Theatre and 9:30 Club.  In recent years, the steady growth of residential development has prompted an influx of health and wellness options diversifying the neighborhood’s offerings and adding balance for residents and commuters.  #SweatinShaw, an upcoming neighborhood promotion, provides a chance to explore many of the wellness options available in Shaw in one afternoon. The event features a “studio crawl,” day of pampering and fitness swag. #SweatInShaw will showcase the neighborhood’s fitness studios, promote a well-rounded fitness routine, and identify multiple options to fit individual goals; specifically, in preparation for transitioning fitness routines from summer to the fall and holiday seasons.

The event will take a place on Sunday, September 16, 2018 from noon-4:00 pm.  #SweatInShaw attendees will choose a “Sweat Track” (Strength, Core, Sculpt, Stretch) which consists of three classes for the afternoon from the seven participating businesses.  Attendees will check in at the #SweatInShaw Zen Lounge powered by M.Y. Lifestyle, located at The Colonel (1250 9th Street NW).  M.Y. Lifestyle is an experiential marketing and event firm whose motto, “Own It. Love it. Live it. It’s Yours.” is brought to life through fitness and lifestyle events, as well as youth coaching and mentoring.

At the #SweatinShaw Zen Lounge, guests will receive brunch featuring salads from CAVA in Shaw, continental breakfast from Buttercream Bake Shop, spritzers by Zurena, facials and a DIY clay mask bar for individual skin types by Skin Scholars, plus complimentary massages amidst relaxing music and rooftop views.  A $75 #SweatInShaw ticket grants access to all the above. 

Participating wellness studios offering classes during #SweatInShaw include:

·       Urban Athletic Club: Premier strength and conditioning facility (804 N Street NW)

·       The Yoga Shala: Ashtanga, Hatha, and Vinyasa Yoga (1550 7th Street NW)

·       District Pilates: Private and group classes using Peak Pilates Reformers and Chairs (1302 9th Street NW)             

·       Reformation Fitness: TRX/FIT, Beat Bike, Pilates, H.I.I.T., Group Reformer, Yoga (1218 9th Street NW)      

·       Fuel Body Lab: Pilates, Barre, Tabata, Trampoline, Group Reformer.  (1228 Blagden Alley NW)

·       Off-Road DC: Bike. Box. Build.  (905 U Street NW)

·       Solidcore: Pilates classes intensified (1821 7th Street NW)

Recap: $75 includes three classes from participating fitness and wellness centers on September 16, 2018 from noon-4:00 pm, along with relaxing music, brunch bites, spritzers, massages, facials plus workout and wellness swag at the #SweatInShaw Zen Lounge.  Tickets available at:

SweatInShaw.Eventbrite.com

About Shaw Main Streets

Shaw Main Streets was established in 2003 to encourage and support economic revitalization and historic preservation along the 7th and 9th Street, NW commercial corridors.  The organization has attracted and supported over 350 new businesses to the central Shaw commercial district, resulting in the creation of thousands of new permanent jobs. Nearly $3 Billion in commercial and residential development have been facilitated by Shaw Main Streets’ efforts. Shaw Main Streets won the 2016 Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center. Shaw Main Streets has developed two mobile apps promoting neighborhood businesses, DineinShaw and ShopinShaw, available for both the Android and iphone platforms. Shaw Main Streets is a designated DC Main Streets program and is funded in part by the Department of Small and Local Business Development, Muriel E. Bowser, Mayor. For more information, visit www.shawmainstreets.org.

Countdown to the Community Health Fair Sunday July 29th- CPR “Staying Alive”

So three Truxton Circle houses of worship, Masjid Muhammad, Mt. Sinai, and the hosts Fourth Street Friendship 7th Day Adventist are all getting together to promote health with topics covering teen depression and suicide, diabetes, and screenings. This will happen on this coming Sunday at 1611 4th St NW.

One of those things will be a nice little review (well a review for me since I’ve taken CPR classes) of CPR. This will take place in the Above Dining Hall at 1:30 and 3:30. Part one will be calling 911 with Shuron Abdullah M.Ed, MS, HCM, RRT. Part 2 in two parts with CPR Instructors “Push hard and fast” with Romone Watkins, and “Stayin’ Alive” with Danny Rosette. Get your hands on a dummy and possibly come to the rescue of a relative, friend or co-worker.

Baby adoption

Spouse and newly adopted son
The Help and Babyman

As some of our friends and neighbors know, my spouse (the Help) we are in the adoption process. Babyman (formerly the Helpless) has been in our home for 6 months and just recently got released from ‘legal risk’. I suspect Mayor Muriel Bowser’s newly adopted child may be under legal risk, so besides her usual privacy, she’s probably not at liberty to say much.

I was pleasantly surprised to read that our mayor has adopted an infant. So congrats to Mayor Bowser on joining the process and good luck. She’ll need it. She’ll also need a strong support network and some live in help. The Help and I act like a tag team in the care of Babyman. In those early days before Babyman was sleeping through the night, even that had me working at half power running on a few hours of sleep. She might be able to deal with a few nights of no sleep but after about a week of almost no sleep because the screaming bottle feeding poop machine, something horrid happens to your brain. When that happens, you really need your support team. For us that was our relatives, neighbors, church members, co-workers, and any person who offered to babysit.

Mayor Bowser get used to being an old mommy. Forgive people who mistake you for your child’s grandma. I do and it’s not worth my time getting upset.  I’m in my late 40s and my spouse will be 50 before Babyman turns 1. I’d like to think patience comes with age and we’re calmer than younger parents. We’ve been told Babyman is a very calm easygoing baby. I’m not sure that is him or us, but for now, I’ll take the credit.

We’re not done with the process. We’ve got to go to court and appear before a judge in some random area of Maryland. I guess Mayor Bowser will have to deal with legal risk, then once both the birthparent’s parental rights are severed, and the adoption agency/lawyer gets the paperwork in order she too will go before a judge who make her a full fledged mommy.

Welcome to the club Mayor Bowser, as a parent you will see the city in a whole new light.

Things to do before your basement floods again

Water in the basement

So there was that storm several days ago and we’re fine. After many years of getting a little to a lot of water in our basement, for a variety of reasons, we’ve learned some lessons and we’ve shared them with friends and I’ll share them with y’all.

A retired former co-worker of mine thanked me for recommending having a hand pump (go to Amazon and search “hand bilge pump”) on hand. She used it to deal with her flooded basement because the water overwhelmed her sump pump. I’ve used mine when we got a storm that took out the electricity. No electricity, no working sump pump. This didn’t do the same job as the sump pump, but helped a bad situation not be worse.

Another thing that helps are sandbags. I once loaned some sandbags to a neighbor… who never returned them and when we got a big rainstorm, water that filled our basement well came through the door. I had loaned the neighbor bags that had hung out in front of the rarely used basement door. So after that little basement flood, we got some more sandbags and sand. So there is a decent number of sandbags at the door and sandbags near the rain gutter outlet diverting water away from the house.

As I mentioned, we’re fine. We also have a basement flood alarm, and in never went off. We got lucky. If we weren’t lucky, we would have dealt with the flood with things that we have on hand, below is a list of things to have when water gets into the basement.

  • hand pump
  • box fan
  • newspapers (and stuff to hold down the newspapers as the box fan goes)
  • dehumidifier
  • wet dry vac
  • towels
  • sandbags

If water has a bad habit of getting in your basement these are a few things to have before the water comes, because neighbors may not be able to loan you these things. It is wonderful when they can and they are not dealing with water problems in their own house.