Salt people, salt

Okay neighbors, I know some of you tried but gave up. Of course, some of you didn’t even bother, and for that I curse you.

On the opposite side of the street the old men got together and shoveled an salted. Then they pressed the kids and grandkids into service, shoveling somewhat. So the other side of the street is a sidewalk wonderland. On our side, we suck. M has her sidewalk salted and shoveled, as do I and another. Some of y’all shovelled away the first blast of snow and didn’t address the second wave of icy rain and snow. Your sidewalks are slightly slippery.

Then there are those who, did not bother. Maybe you don’t have shovels, or road salt. People, regular salt can be used. I shoveled a narrow path linking the shoveled sidewalks together, and on the next day sprinkled 1/2 a container of Giant table salt, at $.50 a container that’s a mere quarter, on the path. The path is now slushy.

Please do something about your sidewalks, not for me but for the mailman (actually woman and a nice enough gal). She has to climb your sorry a$$ steps and walk your slippery walkways.

Salt people, salt.

Crime in the City

It’s a big city, guess what there is crime.

I don’t know maybe I have a high tolerance for crime, but I live in the city and I am not afraid of my neighborhood, despite the fact that in the 3 years I have lived here, people have been shot at least 1 block or 2 from my house. I’m even getting comfy with the evil block up, of course the chilling cold weather might have something to do with it as 14F makes it uncomfy to just hang out and kick back a coupla 40s.

When the spirit takes me I post the crime in the area. Please note I am very lazy, full of great ideas, but lazy. What this does for me is comforting, probably giving me false comfort, but comforting none the less. What I see in the stats are a lot of car break ins, which makes me happy I don’t have a car and makes me not want a car. Verbal altercations that end in somebody getting stabbed or shot. I’m not one to get into verbal altercations, not even with Drama Mamma. I say my peace and move on, raised voices not on the menu, sneaky underhanded tricks and anonymous calls to the police, yes, that’s on the menu.

It’s the people getting mugged thing that worries me. I do walk home, late at night from the metro. The 4 block path I know very well, every brick and crack. There are no hiding places and the street is one way and well lit. I know at least one person on the way there well enough to try to seek refuge at her door (this is why getting to know your neighbors is a GOOD thing). Still, some fool could jump out of a car and try something.

But when I seem to talk to others in “safer” “nice” communities they seem to point out the least scary things, to me, as things that make my neighborhood bad. The security gate is a good thing, so are the bars on the windows. The guys hanging out, annoying mostly, which is why I avoid them. I don’t see them as horribly menacing, just very damned annoying, cursing, being gross and loud and drunk. Of course there are crackheads and dealers among the bunch, I would just fear getting in the middle of a business dispute. Graffiti, yup, problem, mainly of homeowner maintenance. Bored kids, most likely. Crack ho’s, a litter/quality of life/just plain ugly problem. Don’t see them often, thank goodness.

I like my block and my neighborhood. Yes, there is a very bad history with crime, people getting shot. Yet, most of the time that scary crime is done by people who know each other…. pick your friends wisely.

Ward Two Neighborhood Citizen Summit Thurs. Feb. 19th, 7:00pm

Mayor Anthony A. Williams

invites you to the

Ward Two Neighborhood Citizen Summit

* Discuss what we learned at Citizen Summit III

* Discuss the long-range vision for the District

* Discuss priorities and initiatives in the proposed fiscal year 2005


* Questions and answers with the Mayor

Thursday February 19th, 2004 7:00pm

Doors open at 6:00pm

Kennedy Recreation Center

7th and P Streets NW

Washington, DC 20001

Metro Green Line to Shaw Howard University or

Metro Green & Yellow Line to Mt. Vernon Sq. 7th Street-Convention Center

For more information call (202)727-2822 or visit

Reading the Entertainment Section is Just Depressing

When I was in my hometown, also known as the Cultural Wasteland, I complained that there was nothing to do. Now I live in DC and I am constantly reminded of all the stuff I’m not doing. Slighly depressing, but nothing a good game of Civilization can’t cure. Besides, it’s frickin’ cold out there.

A Certain Aesthetic

Riding the G8 to church yesterday I saw a guy working on a building at the corner of 9th and P and the whole layout of it screamed “yuppie coffeehouse”, eventhough it is all up for lease. The “for lease” signed screamed ghetto.

Chatting with a friend I talked about the different looks you can see in rehabbed houses and buildings in Shaw.


You can spot a crackhead rehabb easy. The crackhead aesthetic has a little patch here and a little patch there with no rhyme or reason. It ulitaran, done badly. You’ll find things obviously hiding some sort of mistake, maybe a crack in the walls. You’ll find toilets not set right on/in the floor. The quality of the work is anti-code or substandard.


The workman’s aesthetic is working class ulitarian of varied quality. It’s like they got a list (put in 1/2 bath, granite, new cabinets, new carpet) and just followed it without any throughout to what might make these features attractive. The carpet is run of the mill. The cabinets are so so. The granite is there. The 1/2 bath was placed based on existing plumbing, not so much as how it looks in relation to the rest of the house. The best example I can think of is an open house I attended. They had the idea, hardwood floors. The floors were fine, the stairs were horrid. For stairs you’re supposed to use solid boards, not the little tongue in groove for the floors, they used the tongue and grove for the stair. Workmen fail in the minor details.

Atlanta Aesthetic

That’s what Nora called it. It’s a style that screams from several blocks away, “WE SPENT MONEY ON THIS HOUSE,” but it doesn’t mean it was money well spent. It’s sorta nouveau rich, sorta workman. The understanding is have something large or a lot of something that says, money. It can be gaudy and out of place. The problem is that you have this one expensive thing not too far or in the same room with something that screams, just as loudly, cheap.

For Yuppies, by Yuppies

This would be the corner of 9th and P. The money is in the details. Money and time were spent on the layout and design of every detail. These are the houses with the $40 interior door knobs, the stained glass, the custom door. They look nice but not overpowering. The owners spent money on correcting and undoing what the crackheads did, or keeping the good historical stuff, rather than ripping it out.

New Neighbors

Giddy with some excitement. I got new neighbors, two African gals. This is a good thing since the house next door basically remained empty for 7 years, then in the last year the guy who owned it, another African, started fixing it up… sorta (in some things the quality of work was good, other things, not so good. So now, there are no more empty/abandoned houses on our side of the street!!!!!!!!!!!

Convention Center Area Strategic Development Plan, 2nd Public

Meeting: 01/10/04

The second public meeting on the development of the Office of Planning’s

Convention Center Area Strategic Development Plan, focusing on housing,

retail, and public space issues in the area bounded by New York Avenue,

Massachusetts Avenue, 12th Street, Vermont Avenue, U Street, Florida Avenue,

and New Jersey Avenue, NW, will be held on Saturday, January 10, 2004, from

9:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon

Place, NW, in Meeting Room 102.

At this workshop, the public will be asked to review three conceptual

designs developed by the project consultants following the compilation of a

variety of types of information on current conditions in the neighborhood.

Each conceptual vision will be described by a physical plan, a financial

feasibility model, and analyses of development costs, traffic generation,

costs for needed infrastructure improvements, public versus nonpublic

financial contribution, regulatory relief, taxable revenue projections, and

other factors to assist in the selection of the final plan. These options

will be refined into one preferred option. This planning initiative does not

include the old convention center site.

More information, including the PowerPoint presentation from the first

public meeting to discuss the future of the area around the new convention

center on October 14, 2003, can be found at the following URL:


To RSVP or for more information, contact Ward 2 Neighborhood Planner Chris

Shaheen of the DC Office of Planning at 202-442-7631 or RSVPs are recommended but not required.