Booze run

I’m too lazy to trek all the way to Modern Liquors over on 9th Street. I could buy wine at the Giant but I really don’t like my birthdate displayed on the register for everyone to see. So when I needed to stock up on wine and other spirits I wandered to something a bit closer, Bloomingdale Liquors on Rhode Island.
Yes, I know there are two other liquor stores closer to my house but I’m not going to them. For one, I hate going into places like that. Everything, and I mean everything is behind the bullet proof glass in the closer liquor stores. The shopping experience is demeaning. Maybe it is okay for your classic ghetto wino picking up his Peaches & Cream flavor of MD 20/20, but not me. I hate the bullet proof glass, more so when it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned. Second, neither of the two closest liquor stores carry wine I can cook with. Arbor Mist and Boon’s Farm are really not worth making a garlic wine sauce with and I don’t consider them to be real wines.
I’m not a wine snob. My stock wine is Trader Joe’s $2 Buck (really more $3) Chuck. A Kendell-Jackson would be fine. Sutter Home would be good too. I’m not asking for $20-$50 bottles, which I’d never buy because I’m also cheap, but I want wine that isn’t wino wine.
So I went to Bloomingdale Liquors at 1st and Rhode Island. Yes, there is the bullet proof glass but there are also aisles of product I can closely look at and compare. And I did compare a bottle of Captain Morgan rum with Barcardi. I also picked up a shiraz. I could have picked up a merlot, some white or red table wine, or sherry. Most important to me as a shopper, I got to pick them, look at the bottles and decided whether or not I should buy. Not looking through some obscured glass trying to determine if that bottle on the far shelf is something I want.

Call me cynical

I used to have a quote from former Mayor 4 Life Barry stuck on a post it of his response to questions posed on the Kojo N. show on WAMU. Can’t find it but I’ll do my best from memory…”Why do you all have to be so cynical?”
That came to mind when reading an announcement from the Truxton Circle Dispatch of our Ward Councilman Orange visiting the Windows Cafe in ANC 5C03. My cynical self 1st thought, if he weren’t running for mayor would we ever see him over on this side of North Cap? Second, can Windows fit all those people? Windows is tiny.
When I first came to the Truxton part of Shaw 4 years ago, Orange didn’t really seem acknowledge that this was in his Ward. I felt we were the red-headed stepchildren of Ward 5. In the past 2 years, he has made his presence better known in Truxton and possibly NW Eckington (I don’t know ya’ll in Bloomingdale tell me). However, I see it less as a public servant embracing an accidentally forgotten Truxton and more of a politician getting his mayoral run in order. I really wish he wasn’t running for mayor so I could better know where his motivations were coming from.


Last night we had a blackout. It was dark and hot. Oh so hot. Problem was I keep the house at about 80 degrees. I’m fine with 80. Not so fine with anything above 85. So I was rescued by Nathan and BL from my getting ever warmer heat trap of a home.
When the power went out I was in the kitchen and reached for the spot where my flashlight was supposed to be. Not there. I did have citronella candles still in the kitchen and lit those (matches seem not to move), just to get enough light to find the other flashlights stored in the house.
This morning the power was back on. According to one of my neighbors it came back sometime after midnight. According to the ice cream in the fridge, no serious damage had occurred.
It’s going to be hot again today. I’m going to see if I can get the house down to 78 degrees.

Someone asked about Italians

As some of you know I have been looking at the censuses for the Truxton Circle area for what now seems forever. Anyway, once at a Truxton gathering I was asked about Italian families. For the most part I have been finding lots and lots of German and Irish immigrants and 1st generation Americans but for the most part, no Italians. Not until now. In 1910 there was at least two Italian and Italian-American families. But not a whole lot. There are more Russians than Italians. Fewer Swedes and Finns. Basically, still the Irish and Germans still dominate in the “not from here” category. The biggest ethnic group in 1910 Truxton by far African Americans.

Me. Being doubtful.

Over a huge crab cake out in the suburbs of Baltimore I respectfully disagreed with a table companion, Chick, over the baseball stadium and possible gentrification for the SE area. Chick, is a SE Capitol Hill resident, living in the shadow of the Capitol and eventhough I trust that he is a bit more familiar with the South Capitol/N Street area where the city plans to put the Stadium, I am doubtful that the stadium will bring the same turnaround as the MCI Center has done with Gallery Place/Chinatown. I pointed out some of the differences between the two.
For one, there is sort of nothing there. A porn store and a couple of clubs do not a ‘something’ make. Before the MCI Center there were surrounding offices and government agencies and 1 museum (now closed for renovations that will continue for ever). The restaurants that were put in to help serve the MCI crowds, are supported by the office/govt crowd during lunch.
Second, during the days when there is no baseball, what is it that would make the area a destination? The MCI center has concerts and horse shows and other functions when one of several teams isn’t playing a home game.
Third, RFK really didn’t do that much for the surrounding neighborhood, why will a stadium in SE make a difference there? Yes, I am aware of the whole waterfront plan that the stadium is supposed to link into.
For me it comes down to the fickle nature of market forces. There was something to work with in the area around the MCI center, before the Center. And then these things fed into each other, building on the other. The whole stadium thing seems to me built on the idea that people coming for baseball will come back when there isn’t a game or stick around. Yet there need to be businesses that serve the game attendees, but those businesses need to be supported when there isn’t a home game. And yes, there will be building offices, but will the people in the offices venture out into the neighborhood to support the business brought in to serve the game attendees?

By the by…. The Post reports that the real estate market for residential homes is cooling down. Maybe some of you might be able to buy before the decade is out.

Squash borer

Not a happy camper this weekend with the infestation of squash borers in my vines. Not wanting to go out an buy chemicals I used the cheap “organic” method of slitting my squash vines and pulling the buggers out. Hopefully the squash will survive the slitting and hopefully, I got all the borers. So much for squash.

Free Afro-Caribbean Food Tasting at Cafe Mawonaj, 07/28/05

From Alex Padro

Shaw Main Streets will present a free Afro-Caribbean food tasting at the next Shaw Main Streets Night on Thursday, July 28, 2005, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Cafe Mawonaj, 624 T Street, NW (Metro: Green Line/Shaw-Howard University Station).

Cafe Mawonaj Manager Concei Civela invites you to come try African, vegetarian, and vegan dishes not available anywhere else in DC.

Located in the building that housed the pool hall where “Duke” Ellington was first influenced to become a musician, Cafe Mawonaj (Haitian Kreyole for “resisting oppression”) opened in 2003. While the restaurant’s menu of Pan-African, Caribbean, and Soul Food has been dramatically expanded and refined, the cafe’s focus on Afrocentric entertainment and events and its brightly colored walls remain unchanged.

Menu items include Angolan flavored beans, served with rice or fufu; smoked beef, chicken, or fish served with egussi (a ground melonseed sauce) and joloff rice; African vegetables such as azuka (eru), cassava leaves, and ndolee, served with plantains or rice; Haitian and Jamaican chicken, with rice and beans; grilled fish, chicken, beef, and shrimp, all served with a groundnut sauce; breakfast items served all day; fresh fruit smoothies; and a variety of salads and pita and wrap sandwiches. Cafe Mawonaj recently added a bar serving beer, wine, and cocktails and a second floor meeting space that is available for community events. Catering is also available.

Cafe Mawonaj is open 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM, Tuesday through Sunday (closed
Mondays). Free delivery is available with a minimum order of $10.00.
For more information on Cafe Mawonaj, call 202-332-4480 or visit

Amusing typo

I guess the only way to get a sit down restaurant with wait staff and a menu is by error. As I was looking at the restaurants listed for Restaurant Week and spotted “21 P” which is listed on the Washington Convention and Tourism as well as the Restaurant Assoc. of Metropolitan Washington site as being at 21 P St NW. So. So. Wrong. If memory serves me, the only thing in that vicinity where food is served is the New York Fried Chicken at the corner of P & North Cap, and I don’t think they’re doing Restaurant Week.
The real address I believe is 2100 P Street, in Dupont Circle, but the name of the restaurant is 21 P. I’m beginning to think this is the winner of the bad names for restaurants. 15 ria, which is at 1515 Rhode Island Ave, at least one does not automatically think 15 Rhode Island Ave when seeing 15 ria.
So if there is actually a 21 P Street, warn them that they may have to put out an extra plate for dinner.

Possible “affordable” condo alert

Ranging from high $100 to 1/2 mil. My spider senses say fewer units in the $100 range and more in the 1/2 mil range. Anyway The Rhode Island at 1929 1st Street NW will have an open house according to a post on the Logan Circle listserv:

Subject: Open House – The Rhode Island at LeDroit Park

Sneak Preview at The Rhode Island at LeDroit Park. We will offer our first on on Saturday, July 23rd and Sunday, July 24th from 2:00 -5:00 pm.

A mix of studios, one, two and three bedroom units with pricing from the high $100’s in this quaint 13 unit condominium project. We project the units to be delivered Fall 2005.

During the Sneak Preview you will have the opportunity to complete a reservation agreement and financial statement onsite to reserve your future home. An earnest money deposit of 5% of the purchase price and loan approval from one of the developer’s lenders is required to reserve a unit.

Perferred Lenders
Bill Plante Paul Watkins
George Mason Bank Citibank Mortgage
301-841-1303 240-876-1252
Email: Email:

We look forward to meeting with you to discuss our new project.


Kim Mitchell
Sales Manager
KL Associates, Inc
202-462-5106 ext. 26

In this they FAILED to list the address. I had to spend a good 5 minutes hunting down the address and found it at DC Real Estate. I guess I could have just gone to the KL site but really, you announce a property it helps to tell where the heck it is…. Doesn’t help that it is not on Rhode Island Avenue.