Leaving the keys & walking away

Lost keys
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Please don’t do that. I’ve only heard two people actually say that out loud about their houses. Neither one of them live in the DC metro area. One was my mom, and this is a periodic threat, so I don’t take it that seriously. The other was some guy from the mid-west visiting, who got a little over his head.
When I was passing out fliers yesterday, I came across this scene of keys on the fence and thought of that phrase of leaving the keys and walking away. As far as I know these are some lost keys in front of a house that doesn’t look occupied.
From what little I know, walking away does not help, unless the house is actually worth more than what’s owed, because at some point the bank will come after you for the difference.


Local Shaw blogger Jimbo tells us to relax about the swine flu and you know, I’ll do my part too. I will change my ways and not be the Typhoid Mari I usually am, coming to work sick. At the slightest hint of illness, at least this Spring, I will stay home. I’ve got about 300 hours of sick leave built up, I guess I can use it.
So read Jim’s post, wash your hands, and cover your mouth when you cough.

Self-righteous tourists vandalize Logan Circle Bank

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

I thought it was a mistake when I read the Washington Post about the IMF protesters breaking windows at 14th and P of the PNC and Wachovia banks. Seriously, you have to get through Dupont to get here from the IMF offices. There are banks there. Should Trinidad be on high alert?
On my way back to church I went to take a look and lo and behold, plywood, bringing a little ghetto back to the hood. There was a security guard out in front of Wachovia and the ATM for Wachovia was working fine, as there was a short line. The sidewalks of the 1400 block of P Street were filled with diners. So besides the plywood it was a normal looking Sunday.

Supposedly the vandals had an ideological problem with banks. Something, blah, blah, about foreclosures. You wanna prevent foreclosures? Ban mortgages. Tell people if they don’t have 100% the money up front, they can’t buy a house.

Appreciation to those who came before

The Bladgen Alley blog Baanc Blog has posted a picture of 1258 10th Street NW back in the late 80s. It’s so depressing looking. Gawd, would you want to live across the street from that? Next door?
There were parts of the eastern parts and mid parts of Shaw that looked like that when I was house hunting in 2000. Somewhere off U Street was a place I called the house of the ugly people. The block of the ugly people was kinda run down too. Now. As 1258 10th Street is now, it has come a long way, being a bit beyond my economic level. But then again my own house is beyond my economic level, good thing I bought it when I did.
Looking at the roughly 20 year difference in the pictures just makes me thankful for all those who stuck it out, those who tried and held back the decay as long as they could before retreating to save their sanity, and especially those who tried to make the neighborhood better but lost their sanity/ patience/ money/ life in the process. I’m on my block because of my neighbors L&D and Miss B who came 15-20 years before me, who fought against the drug dealing, pleaded with the city for services, and on their own tried to make their and their neighbors’ home a little oasis. I’m thankful to the neighbors, no longer on the block, like Pam & John, who did their part, said ‘I’m done’ and retreated to the suburbs or other parts of the city to recover.

In 60-70 days I should have tomatoes

Containers &In ground I look at this picture to remind myself that in a few months my front yard will b overrun by greenery, and I will leave some tomatoes to rot on the vine because there is no way I’m going to reach back in there and retrieve them.
Anyway, I’m now actually trying to use up the tomato pastes and sauces I made with last year’s tomatoes to make room for this year’s tomatoes. I look forward to the little cherry, the flavorful paste and the plain old tomatoes. Right now they are seedlings that aren’t sure if they want to live or die. If the little baby plants decide to commit suicide, I’ll buy plants at a farmer’s market (Bloomingdale starts May 18th) or Home Despot.

Saturday Afternoon U Street

I picked this photo because I spotted myself in it. A good time was had and much water was purchased at the CVS nearby.
The dancers are locals and visitors who were in town for the DC Lindy Exchange, an annual event where swing dancers get together and dance for about 3-4 days straight. This was one of the free dances that takes place in a public park. The other free dance like crazy people on stone/concrete/ granite (and ruin your knees) was at Freedom Plaza on Sunday.
For more information about swing dancing as a social art form see:
Swingout DC

Tom and Debra’s Gotta Swing

How quick can you grant write?

May 1st is the deadline for the DC Community Heritage Project grant. Taking a look at past recipients of the $2000 or less, grants, there is a wide range, from community arts groups, garden clubs, civic associations, and main streets. The kind of humanities projects the Humanities Council is looking to provide grants for are:

Book Discussion
Curriculum Development
Discussion Guide
Film Discussion
Film/Video Production
Historical Dramatization
Oral Histories/Interviews
Panel Discussion
Historic Preservation guides
Radio Production
Scholarly Editing/Publishing
Site Interpretation/Tour
Teacher’s Institute/Seminar

East of New Jersey Challenge: French Toast

This is the best, best french toast ever! EVER! These little toasts are so good I wanted to call people up and invite them to my house to behold the yumminess of the toast. Instead, I will blog,
Sorta based on a Martha Stewart recipe-
3 Sub rolls- Catania Bakery
Vegetable oil- Florida Ave Warehouse area
1 cup of milk- Timor Bodega
2 eggs- Timor
smidge of sugar- FL Ave area
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon- FL Ave
1 1/2 tablespoon of Grand Marnier- Bloomingdale Liquors
1 teaspoon of grated orange zest- Timor

Beat eggs into milk and add sugar, cinnamon, Grand Marnier, and zest and beat well. In a pan heat oil and dip slices of bread in batter, covering both sides. Fry in oil, turning over when one side has a nice brown. Do in batches.

I like to put butter and maple syrup (Timor) on them while hot. These are really out of this world.