Armstrong, New York Ave, and neighborhood charity

Those two have nothing to do with each other except they are the emails I have flagged in my inbox.
First Armstrong. I guess I’m on the mailing list for this subject because I attended the BACA meeting that covered it and I guess this is the ‘getting back with the community’ part of that discussion. Anyway here was the notice that was sent out:

Dear Community,
On Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm at Armstrong School, Kent Amos, founder of the CAPCS education campus, will met with community for follow up discussion on his recent decision permitting Metropolitan Baptist Church use of the school for Sunday services. Senior Pastor Beecher Hicks also plans to attend. Please make every effort to come out and bring your questions and alternative ideas for addressing this community dilemma.
Light refreshments will be available. For further information, please contact me at 55O-O619* or by e-mail at adbonds g mail com*.
I’m looking forward to seeing you,
Anita Bonds

There have been a couple of ‘reply all’ emails concerning the upcoming meeting. One, going on the separation of church and state thread is a fruitless one. The relationship between the charter school and the church is that of landlord and tenant and not unusual. My best friend’s church rents out a PG County high school gym while they wait for their building to be done. Difference? High schools have way more parking than middle and elementary schools. And it is the parking that has raised the immediate resident’s ire. Second, sticking to the point of the matter, parking, and using the threat of strong parking enforcement may prove fruitful.
This weekend being so nice I rode my bike to church, taking my old route by the old location of Metropolitan Baptist. I could see the difference. When Metropolitan was on R Street, the streets were congested and there was almost ALWAYS someone blocking the bike lane. And the Washington Post newspaper vendor dude used to be on the corner. But no more. The streets around 13th and R were ‘normal’, no more crowded than 9th and R.
New York Avenue. It is websites like Stimulus Watch that make me think that the net was made for democracy. Apparently, the intersection at Florida and New York Avenue is to take up 8 millllllllyon dallahs. There is another New York Ave project also included but no detail of what NY Ave bridge. Anyway, I need someone to define ‘shovel ready.’ Seriously there must be a treeful of paper of studies on New York Avenue NE and NW and it’s various intersections that have never gotten past ‘oh look we have a study.’ After looking at the guts of some road studies (not New York Ave but other DC roads), the info in them goes bad quicker than a gallon of milk, which means after a few years…… you do another study (and the contractors who do studies say yay!). Seriously define ‘shovel ready’ because if it involves a study and community buy in and the other things that take up time and effort, it’s only shovelin’ manure.
Lastly, something good from the Eckington listserv:

Hi Neighbors,

Thank You!!! When members of our community were in need of support their neighbors stepped up to help out. The Stancil family has found an apartment to live in until repairs to their home are completed. Our efforts to raise funds and provide clothing was a great success. The community members, area churches and strangers that happened to read about the Stancil family at the Big Bear Cafe contributed $2,000 in cash, checks and gift cards. I had to make daily trips from the Big Bear to Emery with my Outback stuffed full of clothing donations. The Stancils were overwhelmed by the out pouring of support when they needed it the most. Any clothing the family can’t use will go to area clothing banks. We all face uncertainties with the economic crisis yet this community opened their hearts to help. Thank You!

we all work together, ted

*I made changes here.

Help Bloomingdale’s Fire Vicitims

The following was from Stu Davenport on the Eckington Listserv Wednesday:


This morning there were 2 large fires in our neighborhood where the families lost almost everything.

I just spoke with Kim Stancil from 11 Randolph NW, and she and her 5 children (three of whom are students at Emery Elementary) were left with nothing but the clothing on their backs.

Most immediately Ms. Stancil and her family need clothes and funds to provide for essential needs.? They have housing for the next 3 days through the Red Cross, and she is working with Ted McGinn and Stacy Jackson from Emery to get local and government help. She is also reaching out to local churches and the Ecumenacle Council.

I am writing to ask for immediate help from the community.

1. Priority is Clothing
Boy 17 – Size 32W/30L pants, Med Shirt
Girl 15 – Size 16 Pants, 2XL Shirt
Girl 11 – Size 8 Pants, L Shirt
Boy 5 – Size 7 pants, Men’s Med Shirt
Boy 4 – Size 6 pants, 6 shirt

2. Financial Assistance
Checks can be made payable to: Ms. Kim Stancil

All items can be left at the main office of Emery Elementary at 1720 1st Street, NE? (202)576-6034 or the Big Bear Cafe at 1700 1st Street, NW

Thank you all for your generosity and concern.


Stuart Davenport
ANC 5C-03

There is something new at Timor

Okay, new to me, not so new to Kim, as he told me whatever I discovered had been at Timor for about 3 weeks. New to me is the laundry soap and other soaps from Union Street. The laundry soap is vegan (is that an issue?) and according to the instructions 2 tablespoons will do a load of laundry.
Thing #2 new to me is the clearance wine. Don’t bother running over there now, but this morning, I and another woman bought all the $5 bottles of wine in the clearance section.
Thing #3, new to me, Port. Kim is carrying Dow’s Fine Ruby Port. Okay, now I can stop drinking up my lemoncello.
Not new, but usually there, weekend morning coffee. Hang out with Kim, drink coffee, yak. Kim supplies the cups, you supply the yak.

4 a good time call Kim

Kim Wee at Timor Bodega.
Kim wants me to let y’all know that you should feel free to call him if you need something or want to drop by the store during day hours when Timor isn’t normally open. I put his number 202-210-1986 in my cell phone. But I also have Thai X-ing’s number on my cell too.
During the day Timor doesn’t open until 4:30pm. But if you’re working from home or taking a mental health day and you’ve run out of milk or organic whatever give Kim a call and he’ll accommodate you. Seriously, by letting him serve you, you’re helping his business and his business is something I want in the neighborhood.
I don’t know about you but I do have a couple of numbers on my cell that include businesses. Timor Bodega is now one. Thai X-ing was the first, when I realized that in the time it took me to get from my work detail location out in Suitland, back home to Shaw, my order would be ready.

I really like the Bloomingdale Farmers Market

Ethopian Baked Goods Stall
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

I don’t care that it isn’t in the TC. Nor do I care that it isn’t in my single member district or whatever political or government designated boundary. All I know is that a 5 minute walk from the house brings me to a small collection of tents where I meet neighborhood friends and see familiar faces.
But you know what I really love about the market? The vibe. It is a vibe that everyone contributes to. The vendors give samples and talk about their produce and it isn’t always busy so they can take the time. There are the visiting and occasional vendors mixed with the vendors that are there every week. There aren’t that many vendors, and the market succeeds despite or because of it. At one point this year there may have been just 4 vendors, yesterday there ware about seven. The vendors, what they sell, where they sell, that can be planned.
What can’t be planned is the turn out. That’s you and me. People come from near by, from way over from central Shaw (in my lazy moments I consider 9th St far away), they bring pooches, or leave the can’t play well with other pooches home, and kids. The toddlers aged kids are really entertaining. It’s amazing how the 5 second rule gets applied with them.
In all this people come together. Dog owners chat with other dog owners. Maybe they’ve seen each other walking around but this is their first time to actually introduce themselves and say hi. Parents, sort of the same. I overheard some parents talking about pre-K and the process, one set was telling about their experience while the other set asked questions. The non-crowded-ness of the market allows the kids a little bit more free reign. Freer than what I’ve witnessed at Dupont, where a kid can easily be temporarily lost.
All this, and the adjacent Big Bear Cafe, contributes to a wonderful casual vibe.

Addendum- I couldn’t figure where to put this above, but I need to mention a failed market in Eckington/Bloomingdale. Back in 2003 there was the short lived North Capital Farmers Market that operated at North Capitol St and Florida Ave in the unpaved dusty parking lot. There were like 2 vendors and the produce was sad and pitiful looking like something left in the refrigerator too long. It wasn’t welcoming as I remember it. We learn from failure as well as success, and we need to remember that farmer’s markets can fail too.

OMG! CHEEEEEESE @ the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market

Scenic Artisan has it up on the Bloomingdale Blog, but this Sunday…. rain or shine, cheese comes to the BFM. I’m so happy. What makes me even more happy? It’s Keswick Creamery. I love-luv-love their cheese. When at the super crowded Dupont Circle Market, I would buy their yogurts and sometime the bovre. Love the bovre. Especially the bovre with herbs. I’m so happy I may burst. No, I’ll just squeal in delight like an oversugared 2 year old.
Also coming will be humanely raised veal, some beef, ‘shrooms, and eggs.

Yoga may be the Christmas Present of Your Future

Right now I’m just posting on whatever the Bloomingdale blogs are posting.
Anywho, the Yoga District is hoping to open its Bloomingdale studio sometime in late October. I translate that to mean November or December as I don’t underestimate the things that will get in the way (DCRA?).
The website for Yoga District is pretty good. You can reserve classes on-line and there are a variety of classes for different levels. The fees seem reasonable and you can buy passes. Not really clear if you can buy passes for someone else and give them as a gift.
First Street NW is getting all nifty and stuff. There is Big Bear, and Windows (with its new fancy-schmancy menu), add the Yoga studio and you’ve got yerself something there. If you could throw in one vintage consignment clothing shop you will complete the hipster vibe.
Come on Bloomingdale, you know I love you.
PS- I’m not ignoring Baraki, I’m just not sure what vibe it’s aiming for.

Historic KFC closes

We’re in danger of losing a bit of Eckington history as one of its businesses has shut it’s doors and is possibly in danger of losing some classic late-20th century commercial architecture. The Bulletproof KFC, as one Bloomingdale/Eckington resident once called it, was a testament to a period in the neighborhood’s life. It fed many a traveller and resident, overlooking the busy intersection of Florida and North Capitol.
Before this neighborhood landmark was, there was a church, Eckington Presbyterian, that sat there. According to a 1966 article in the Post [1] Eckington Presbyterian “rather than admit Negroes as members, the Church’s White congregation disbanded 19 months ago. The 62 year old church building, at Florida Avenue and North Capitol street, has stood vacant ever since and will be torn down soon.” Such a pity that a monument to racism was not preserved.

[1]”Clerics Find Prejudice Killed Church” The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973). Washington, D.C.: Oct 31, 1966. p. B4

New Vendor at Bloomingdale Farmers Market

This is just too good to throw on the announcements page (from the BFM organizers):

I am VERY excited to tell you that we are adding a NEW vegetable
farmer to Bloomingdale Farmers Market starting THIS Sunday. I just came back from a farm visit where I saw all their fields including these tomatoes plants that are growing healthy and tall ( field -ripened tomatoes coming soon!)

Their Virginia fields are in a warm, sunny microclimate so their crops ripen early — and they will add a LOT of variety to the market. (think sweet corn in late June)

This Sunday they will bring: quarts of mixed baby squash (zucchini, one ball, 8 ball, sunburst, pattypan, Kousa), mixed summer squash, squash blossoms, broccoli, baby new potatoes (red Pontiac and Yukon Gold), asparagus, vidalia-style sweet onions, spring onions, english peas (shelled and unshelled), sugar snaps, purple top turnips, Choggia beets, red beets, swiss Chard…..and the first raspberries
of the season (come early, they will go fast)

And Flowers,too. They will bring their field- grown flowers (lilies, yarrow, zinnia) and their beautiful hanging baskets on Sunday. (They will also have bedding plants and flowers.)

Please stop by and welcome Garner to the Bloomingdale Farmers Market.
They are very excited about becoming part of BFM!

Robin and Ted