Historic Window Workshop

DC Preservation League would like to invite you to a Historic Window Workshop, Saturday, May 30th.

The workshop will discuss how to evaluate the condition of typical historic wood windows and the options for repair and replacement. What sorts of problems are reasonable to repair, and when does the deterioration warrant replacement? What improvements can be made to increase the efficiency of existing windows? Simple do-it-yourself repairs will be explained, as well as how to insure that work done by others is properly done. Included as well will be critical look at the selection and installation of replacement windows.

For more information or to register visit our website at
http://www.dcpreser vation.org/ pdf/windowworksh op.pdf.

Chic-Keens

I’m going to put on Slim Gaillard’s Chicken Rhythm while I type this…. imagine a song only of chicken noises.
Jimbo several days ago sent me an article about hipsters challenging city ordanances to have chickens. For the mighty and all knowing Jimbo knows of my love of chickens, live chickens. Then today in the Post’s Home Section, “Hot Chicks: Legal or Not, Chickens Are the Chic New Backyard Addition,” which just demands I write about chickens here.
The article confirms my suspcion that yes, the District of Columbia government is unwelcoming to urban agriculture. It would have been nice to hear from the Department of Health, not just the DCRA because in other juristictions that’s the department that holds sway over these things. If there is a group of District residents fighting to overturn these laws, point me in their direction, I wanna join.
Keeping in mind that it is not legal to have chickens (neither is pot, but I smell it in my alley) in the District, here are some sites to take a look at:
Backyard Chickens– Check out their forums where people talk about their chickens and other poultry, post pictures, and discuss local chicken ordinances.
The City Chicken Project in NYC.
Small Scale Poultry Housing from the Virigina Extention.
The City Chicken– Seattle Chicken raisin’.
And check out the Stealth Chicken Coop at My Pet Chicken.

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about chickens for a good while.

Random Alley History Notes

Last week I wandered over to College Park, to visit the National Archives’s Still Picture Records Section. They have a series 302-DC called “Photographs of Low Rent Housing and Housing in Inhabited Alleys in the District of Columbia, complied 1934-1941, documenting the period 1916-1941.” No. I have no examples of the pictures because I do not have a copy card for that location and I didn’t want to go down and spend the money to get a copy card I’d never use again and wind up losing.
But I took notes. There apparently was another Naylor that wasn’t the Naylor Court we know. It was Naylor’s Alley on Sq. 515, which is over in Mt. Vernon Triangle as far as I can tell. There are some great pictures there, including a few snaps of a “Woman Evangelist,” a black woman in the middle of the alley wearing a coat.
Over on Sq. 512 which is between N, O, 5, 4, and NJ, was Kings Court where there are several pages of photographs.
For some odd reason I have a note about a picture of a toilet on Langston Terrace, which I think is somewhere in SW or SE.
Something I really should have gotten a copy of is a photograph from 1916 of the Mulumba House at 621 Rhode Island Avenue NW.

Ridge Street, again


Once again no body entered my contest. When you realize how easy it was you’ll kick yourself. It was:

Here’s the question, what is the address of a Ridge Street NW house that is still standing today but in 1940 was listed as “old and in poor condition” or “poor condition”?

473 Ridge Street NW is up for sale for $379K. In 1940 it’s assessed value was $1,557, and described as “1 2 story frame, 4 rooms; no improvements; very old and in poor condition.”
The house pictured is 425 Ridge Street. In 1940 for 425-425 1/2 Ridge Street the assessed value was $3,732. The description read as follows, “2 2 story bricks, divided into 2 3-room apartments or flats each; no improvements except inside water; old and in poor condition.” The monthly rental for it was $70 and it held 4 families, a total of 19 persons.

So seriously the only Ridge Street houses NOT described as being old and in poor or terrible condition were, 413, 457, 475, 458, 438, 440, 442, and 444. 458 was a blacksmith’s shop and garage, so it wouldn’t have mattered.

Ref- RG 302 P-1, Folder Sq. 512 & 513.

Average Janitor Cannot Afford To Buy Average House in Bethesda

$10 gets you nowhere at Saks 5th Avenue.
The Metrobus operator will not drop me off in front of my house.
Handsome underwear models do not flirt with me.
There is no justice.

Someone over at the National Housing Conference alerted me to their new study on home ownership and affordability called “Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in America.” According to their study Bethesda, MD is the 15th most expensive place to purchase a home, Washington, DC as a whole (I gather they factored in Georgetown and Barry Farm) ranks at number 24. Baltimore was at 34. For rentals DC and Bethesda tied at number 19.
The Area Median Income (AMI) around here for 2009 is $64,000 (PDF) and the biggest job title is office drone and executive assistant to the assistant peon (occ. code 43). There aren’t a whole lot janitors making up a percentage of the official job pool.
The NHC study also looks at the affordability of the average home for first responders and school teachers. According to their chart, school teachers and police officers can afford the fair market rent of the average two bedroom. Which is good to know when the odd developer comes shuffling through trying to push workforce housing for school teachers and police.

Arugula blossoms

Over at Apartment Therapy’s Kitchn they have found a use for flowers from bolting arugula. I got tons of bolting flowering arugula. Unfortunately, all that bolting arugula looks kinda weedy to the untrained eye. I know this because young men came to my door offering their services to pull out all those ‘weeds’. Not the first time someone has done that.
I am trying to collect seed from these bolting plants so I don’t have to keep buying seed. When the seed pods have dried, I’ll pull up the plants and restart my salad days again.

Ridge Street

Okay Nobody, no body entered my contest Friday. I’m disappointed. I’m offering it up again, but this time there is no second place ice cream prize, because the homemade chocolate with coco nibs and the drunken cherry chocolate have been eaten or given away. But I still have a ticket for the BACA Flower Power Garden Walk on June 13th. This contest is open to anyone in Shaw, Bloomingdale and Mt Vernon Square.
Here’s the question, what is the address of a Ridge Street NW house that is still standing today but in 1940 was listed as “old and in poor condition” or “poor condition”?

It may sound hard but I got a huge list and it is amazing what wasn’t listed as in bad condition.

First correct answer sent to mari at inshaw period com before 4pm today wins.

Friday Contest

Sort of related to the BACA Flower Power cleanup that is occurring tomorrow, starting at 9AM in front of Armstrong (1st & P) I’m going to have a contest.
The prizes are 1st place, 1 ticket to the Flower Power Walk June 13th, value $10; 2nd place a choice between a yogurt cup sized portion of chocolate coco nib ice cream or drunken cherry chocolate ice cream. The rules are you have to live within the boundaries of 6th, Florida, P, and North Cap NW and most favored answer picked at 4pm wins. Email entries to mari at inshaw period com

Question- Name a flower that is edible, looks great, can grow in DC, and tastes good, or not half bad.

So what’s with the ice cream? I made chocolate ice cream last night. It is very rich. The eggs, cream and milk all came from the Timor bodega. In one batch I threw in some coco nibs. In another small batch, some chopped up cherries that had been sitting in vodka for 3 months.