Grocery Store

Why is the store a tad busier at 8:30am on a Saturday? Or is it just me? I go to the Giant early in the morning on Saturdays to get my weekly groceries and to avoid lines. I don’t know if I’m imagining it, but it seems busier. The lines seem longer. Not crazy long, going halfway down the aisle long, but longer than usual.
If I’m not imagining things and the lines are getting longer at the Giant, I guess more people are shopping there. It could be a consequence of gentrification or greater density residential buildings popping up in various parts of Shaw? I know we all don’t go to the Whole Foods for regular shopping. I don’t. Love the products, hate the prices. So maybe two Shaw grocery stores might not be enough.
Hopefully a new Safeway, slated to pop up on the other side of the road of death I call New York Ave in the NoMa area will get built and take some of the pressure off the Giant. Yet if I’m reading it right, that won’t be until 2008. Doesn’t do me any good now. And besides, they keep building these condos and apartments with people, and at some point, they too will want to buy groceries.
I guess I could always go the route of Peapod, but the store is right there. A short walk, an even shorter bike ride. I’ll just bring a book, and read while waiting to get rung up.

Thinking some more I guess all those new apartment and condo dwellers along Mass Ave and over in Gallery Place gotta pick up milk, TP, salad somewhere. I wonder if the grocery stores in Dupont and Shaw are enough to support them? Then what of new projects to come that will add even more people?

OT Addition:
I’ve added a charity to the side there. Being episcopalian, I chose Episcopal Relief and Development. There is also a link to the New York Times’ list of other charitable organizations helping the vicitms of Hurricane Katrina.


Also from Jim


Saturday, October 22, 2005 is being looked at as the date of Octoberfest 2005. As you may recall, the Octoberfest tradition was established last year and, speaking for those of us who were in attendance at the day’s events, I feel it safe and accurate to say that a good time was had by all.

Inasmuch as the proposed date of this activity is rapidly approaching, please let me know if you are interested in being a member of the planning committee for the event as soon as possible. There is much work to be done between now and 10/22/2005, if we are to match last year’s success.


Jim Berry

Illegal dumping

From Jim


I have just been asked to provide a listing of sites where major illegal dumping is taking place in my Single Member District because the city is considering a plan to put up cameras in certain sites around town in order to catch the violators. I have been told that I need to provide this information to the “powers that be” by tomorow afternoon. I would like your input into the compilation of this list, so please forward your recommendations to me as soon as possible.

Thanks in advance for your assistance with this matter!


Jim Berry

Walter Reed

I’ve debated about writing on this because:
a- everybody else has
b- it’s not in Shaw
oh & c- the timeliness that most bloggers and MSM journalists pride themselves on, I don’t posses. It would help if I cared to be timely. I’m an archivist, the older the better.
Anyway, Nora Bombay has mentioned the place we call YuppieLand, aka Cameron Station in Alexandria VA on Duke Street, which used to be a military barrack, now expensive RE. Could Walter Reed be the next YuppieLand? YuppieLand II? For one, that’s a lot of land. Cameron Station, from Nora’s window looks tiny.
The US govt would need to give it up. They might hold on to it for some department of something or another, or be a bunch of meanies and sit on it and let it rot and decay for a couple of adminstrations. Right now it’s all speculation.
It is so big I can’t imagine what could go there. If it were up to me….. theme park with 12 roller coaster rides. But no, that isn’t practical and second, it isn’t neighborhood friendly. Another idea, make it into a large park, a greenspace. Also not practical. I guess in 10 years maybe it will be a mixed development deal, with parking.

Rubble House on 5th St

Theo alerted me to this some time ago but I don’t consider InShaw as a news blog so I encouraged him to send it to a larger medium like a neighborhood listserv. He did better, the Washington City Paper ran a story on the fiasco that is at 1427 5th St., NW, along with some other houses in the Shaw area that have endangered neighboring buildings because the houses are old and the contractors ignorant or cheap, or both.
I’m amazed that my crumbly pile of bricks I call home stands. It’s over 130 years old and some of the bricks are like sand. Red sand. So I’m guessing a mix of the wood beams, flooring, the bricks that aren’t sand and several Sunday prayers keep this thing up. Remove the wood and there is little to keep it steady. It’s already leaning.
These houses are old. Some 100 years old. Some older than that. Some haven’t fallen over due to minimal maintenance or due to the fact the structure hasn’t been stressed or strained. Just cause it survived the riots and the crack years doesn’t mean it will survive an idiot with a sledge hammer.

Section 8

First this is not an attack on the program that is or was called Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. For one Section 8 protects my family from the nagging horror we call grandma. It’s cheap to keep her in the Section 8 apartment complex where she spends the day judges her neighbors, and that is a good thing. Section 8 also houses other relatives so they aren’t sleeping on any other relatives couch, keeps the peace in the family, also, good thing. Second, when all the rules are obeyed and people are good tenants and neighbors, it is all good.
I think they changed the name of the program but most know it as “Section 8“. It is a program where the tenant pays a portion of the rent based on family income and the rest is made up by the government. The government almost guarantees the landlord a steady monthly check for providing maintained habitable housing to low-income tenents. The tenant gets an affordable place to live and the landlord gets a steady income stream. Everybody wins.
There are obligations for the local housing agency, the tenants and the landlord. The tenents are supposed to take care of the unit, comply with the lease, and notify the housing agency when family members move in or out. There are other rules to, but they may fall under the lease, such as no subleasing the unit, and no drug related or violent activity by family members. The landlord is supposed to meet “housing quality standards” set by HUD, collect rent, and enforce the lease. The local housing agency is supposed to annually recertify and inspect and pull financial support when there is a violation after a hearing.
Financial assistance for housing can be terminated for the following reasons:
* Any member of family has been evicted from federally assisted housing in the last five years
* Any member of family commits fraud in connection with the housing program
* Any family member is committed of drug related or violent criminal activity
* Any family member is using drugs or controlled substances
* Any family member is an alcoholic AND endangers the health and saftey and peaceful enjoyment of property for other residents
* Family owes back rent to local housing agency

Section 8 is one way to provide affordable housing in the District. Yet there are problems. For one not all landlords accept section 8 vouchers. Second, sometimes violations go unreported and the integrity of the system is harmed.

So here ends my little Section 8 report based on the 2001 handbook “Guide to the Housing Choice Voucher Program”. Any questions?

Surveillance Cameras

I’ve been meaning to post what few notes I took from last week’s 5D police meeting but it’s on a random sheet of paper, on a pile, somewhere, in the house. Anyway, I do remember there being talk of surveillance cameras for neighborhoods in the District, just a question of where. Frozen Tropics has a post pointing to a Baltimore City Paper article about what is it like to live with the cameras. Something to think about as from time to time Truxton citizens ask for any type of surveillance.

People not like us

Walking down the street after work with B. we spy this guy in front of us with baseball cap (on backwards) and a baseball jersey with the name Kidd on the back. We were walking up Rhode Island when Plunk! Down goes a styrofoam cup filled with ice and drink on to the busy road. At first, I thought someone left a cup on the curb and one of the fast driving vehicles shook it in the road. No. As we continued to walk we see that “Kidd” has a brown paper carryout bag. He took out a sandwich wrapped in wax paper and just tossed it on the sidewalk. At this point I had no idea of what to say or even think that anything I say would stop this unacceptable behavior. “Kidd” then dropped the brown paper bag in the street and continued on. B. and I griped amongst ourselves about how anti-social was the litterbug. B. concluded that “Kidd” was well on his way to a life of failure. I figured “Kidd” must live in a garbage can because apparently he hasn’t escaped the garbage can of his mind and has no respect for his neighborhood or himself.
Really, what kind of people treat the neighborhood like an open garbage can?