For news about what’s going on in the eastern end of Shaw I recommend that you check out Truxton Circle particularly the Daily Dispatch. There is some news in the Dispatch about the Giant on O Street and how it is going to be something…. Of course they said that last year and had no solid plans. But something must be done because I’m reading on the Mount Vernon Sq. Listserv about how many new units are supposed to get built down and around there, such as the Yale laundry, and I’m thinking, where are these people going to do their grocery shopping? I bet they’ll all want to shop Saturday morning when I’m shopping. Long lines at that Giant ain’t pretty and I can’t keep trying to get out the house earlier and earlier just to avoid the crowds.
Also, SunTrust bank was robbed. From the Logan Circle Listserv:

Business Owners and Neighbors,
This makes the fourth business in two weeks, Candida’s Bookstore, at 14th & Q, the Subway on New Hampshire, Barber Shop at 14th & T, and now Suntrust right across from Ben’s Chili Bowl. These are the robberies that we know of that has been the subject of an armed robbery. The robberies have occurred from 11:00am 9:00 pm.
–Scott Pomeroy

In other news I ran into B&L (not to be confused with BL or B.) and someone wants to build a small handful condos on that empty lot on Richardson Place, but needs a zoning variance. All I can think is more people, crowding the Giant. We’ll see how this develops.

Lastly, My Mayor, Tony, Tony, Tony isn’t running for a 3rd term. Now it is just 2 bald guys, 2 chicks and citrus fruit running. I don’t know how much will get done by the DC Council with 3 members trying to outdo each other and undercut each other just so they can look good enough to replace Tony. Any guesses of who it will come down to? I say Cropp vs Fenty.

InShaw Fatwah: Baby hipsters to be banned from Shaw

After 2 glasses of wine and a deep thoughtful reading of the DCist post and comments on Saint Ex’s ruling against popped collars I issue this: no more baby hipsters in Shaw.
Street credits- you can not pick up Shaw street credits or “street cred” in Shaw. We don’t issue these credits. Unlike the rocks for jocks class you went to, you don’t get credit for just showing up. Want credit? Hang out on Martin Luther King Ave/Blvd/St in any town, doesn’t have to be DC, could be BFE, GA. But if you find a MLK street hang out there, call your friends and you’ll get credit when you ‘get’ what I’m referencing. About .005 st. creds.
Please I beg you stop using my ‘hood to boost your sense of self worth or hipness or what ever because face it, you’re just gonna turn around and leave me for some newer younger prettier neighborhood with better parking. And all you guys ever care about is parking. And, you know, you’ll be all like, “You used to be cool. You changed. You’re not the same neighborhood I knew. Blah, blah, blah.” The only thing Shaw can be is Shaw. We can’t go around trying to make you hipsters happy by being locked in some time warp of ‘used to be’, you gotta like this hood for what it is now. Baby, things change, people change. If you think this thing we got going is all played out, then I guess we’re played out and we got to go our separate ways.
Call me.

Red light means stop

Okay this has happened twice on my way to the Shaw metro. There is a green jeep with Maryland plates (M46something 46…)that keeps running through the light at 6th and R. Tuesday, he stopped at the red light and once I passed, he went right through it. Light was still red. Dude, the red light is not like a stop sign where you go after looking both ways, it means stop and stay stopped until the light turns green.
I’ve seen this reinterpretation of the red light at R and New Jersey too. When it happened I really wanted to scream to the on coming traffic “Hit Him!” A 1970s-ish car was sitting on R waiting to cross NJ, when he just. couldn’t. wait. no. more. and crossed despite still being red.
These are not matters of running red lights because it’s too late to stop, no these are cases where the drivers stop and decide that the wait is too long and they need to go through. It also could be a problem with R Street.
So if anyone gets into a car accident with a green jeep, Maryland tags, I’ll be your witness.

Fifth District Citizens’ Advisory Council’s Awards Banquet

From Jim

I write to make a serious appeal for you to consider the purchase of a ticket to the Fifth District Citizens’ Advisory Council’s Awards Banquet this year and, if possible, the purchase of an advertisement in the souvenir journal that is being produced in association with the event.

I know that I run the risk of wearing out your patience by making this appeal, as there have been a series of announcements concerning the banquet conveyed to you by myself and others in the recent past. But, in my best judgment, the importance of our part of Ward Five making a significant showing at this event has the potential of substantially elevating our status on the city’s political map and it would say to the Metropolitan Police Department as well as to other existing “powers that be” in our ward that what I call “the sleeping giant” is finally awakening to assert

I would be the first to admit that the services we receive from the Fifth District Police have not always been up to par and, frankly, there is a rare person in this community that has complained about this situation to MPD authorities more vocally and consistently than me over the years.
Nevertheless, there are those within the Fifth District Police who work hard
to protect and serve we citizens of the District of Columbia and it is largely this group of officers whom we will honor on October 20, 2005.

In my considered view, by honoring those who work hard on our behalf we show our appreciation for their efforts and the secondary gain that we are likely to glean from the situation will be to encourage those who may not be currently as committed as we would like, to step up their efforts so as to meet the established and expected standard.

Importantly, the team of 5D CAC members who have taken responsibility for organizing this year’s banquet are residents of ANC 5C. In this regard, we could use this event to show our counterparts in other more stable, established and (politically) empowered sections of Ward Five that our talent pool is as skilled, gifted and rich as any other neighborhood in this city and that the traditional expectation that we will or should take a “back seat” to communities like [snipped by InShaw for sniping], must change and change now!

If we want it to be, it is just as easy to support a cause as it is to oppose or complain about one. In this instance, I urge you to support this activity. If you can purchase a ticket or two to the event that would be excellent. If you find that you have a scheduling conflict on this date, I encourage you to purchase the tickets and to donate them to be used by the honorees and their spouses (who will be attending the affair free of charge).

I know that some of us have agreed to place an advertisement in the souvenir journal in the name of the Bates Area Civic Association, Inc. and at the last meeting of ANC 5C, a number of commissioners agreed to chip in to do the same. If you own a business, are in a private practice, or work for a company that could use some publicity, I encourage you to purchase an ad the size of a business card (at a minimum). Or, if you would like to get together with some of your neighbors to purchase larger space to simply congratulate the honorees, that would be laudable also.

In short, it would make a serious statement to the MPD and other political leaders and figures around the town, if there were two or three tables each of residents from Truxton Circle/Shaw East, Bloomingdale, Eckington, Edgewood, Hanover, as well as the Stronghold, and if the souvenir journal reflected the strong presence of advertisements from residents of these neighborhoods. In my 20+ years of living in the community, it would be a first. And, if it is truly our goal to empower ourselves in Ward Five and in Washington, DC politically, the awards banquet represents the kind of ward-wide event that can reflect how serious and committed we are to this cause.

I have attached several pieces of information to this email that will help you to understand how to purchase a ticket as well as an advertisement in support of the banquet. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me so that I can try to answer them or get an answer for you.
To make the transaction convenient for you, I will deliver tickets to or pick up ads from your home — just let me know. Please note that tickets will not be available at the door on the date of the affair.

I know we can do this! I think we will do this! How about you?


Jim Berry
Attached file:
5 DCAC 2005 Awards Outreach Packet

Shiloh in City Paper

The City Paper has an article on a fellow who want to open up an establishment at 9th and P. Across the street from the Shiloh Baptist Church. Shiloh, understandably as a Baptist church is blocking it.
Now I’m keeping this short because I have family members who trek all the way from MD to go to Shiloh….
But really!

“The very idea that rampant restaurant, lounge, bar, nightclubs are what are [sic] youth need to see is a total insult to this historic African American Community,” wrote Johnny Howard, chair of Shiloh’s Board of Deacons in an Aug. 9 letter regarding Vegetate.

Oh yeah the vacant and shoddy looking church owned properties that have been shoddy for as long as I can remember, are uplifting to the neighborhood youths. I shudder to think what would be if Shiloh owned the Carter G. Woodson house, also along 9th. Also, according to the article, something will be happening to the properties in the next 6 months. Hey anyone want to take a bet that in 7 months it will be the same old same old?
Now I don’t think the problem is simply that Shiloh is a church. There are other church bodies that keep their properties up and make them lucrative investment, no I think the problem relates to the fact that many of tparishionersers don’t live in Shaw. What is it to them if a row of buildings stand idle when you only have to see it once a week? I mean [sarcasm] who are we to tell them what to do with their property?[/sarcasm].
Comment policy- email me for this one.


Okay, so you’re two badass guys from the burbs and you want to come in the city to do some slumming. Well, don’t get off at the Shaw/Howard station ’cause there’s nothing here. Really.
Last night after coming from a late lecture downtown I spotted two white males, mid twenties, long khaki shorts, flip flops, baseball caps, t-shirts, and ‘tude. They were spoiling my quiet metro ride by yakking. Anyway, they convince themselves to get off at the Shaw station, R St side. As I headed back home I noticed they seemed a little lost going through the crowd of teens that hang out near 8th and R and then wandering over to the 7-11. Yup, that’s it. Not much to see here, go home.
Or get off at another stop. You see if they got off at Mt. Vernon Square, they could have gone to Warehouse. There are a bunch of other clubs around there but, they wouldn’t have gotten in the way they were dressed. Then there is U Street, lots to do on U Street, restaurants, some with bars, if you want something edgier looking (are they edgy? I don’t know) I guess you could wander down to the Velvet Lounge or DC9. But really, R Street exit of Shaw metro….. 7-11 is the hottest thing going. Pick up a Pepsi, some chips and hang out in the parking lot.
East of 8th Street, there isn’t alot in the whole entertainment section on this end of Shaw. If you want to walk around Shaw to be all bad and do some slumming, you’re going to have to get off somewhere else.

Affordable Housing- Co-ops

For all who are interested yesterday there was an article in the Post about Sursum Corda and the plans for the area to save it from foreclosure and rebuild mixed income residences. The resident’s will get $50K (per household) which they can use to purchase units, or whatever, and they also will have the right to rent there. This does bring up some other questions, but since I’m not a resident of that complex or area, I’m not going to ask them.
Sursum Corda is a bit odd, it is a cooperative, as is Truxton Circle’s Northwest Cooperative that sits in the 200 block of Q and R Streets. I’m going to take an educated guess here and say that if it is a co-op then there are people who “own” shares in the apartment complex and “rent” their unit. They are a condo alternative and there are tons of them in New York City, a few here in the District. Once I tried renting a unit in a SW co-op, the people sub-leasing the unit were fine with me, but I made too little money for the co-op board and they said no. But I digress. I’m a bit confused though of how it all works with HUD funds and Section 8 vouchers. Can you be a co-op shareholder and a Section 8 recipient? Is everyone living in the co-op owners of the co-op? I don’t know. Probably would help if I asked somebody.
Like Sursum Corda, the Northwest Cooperative in Truxton (there is another NW Co-op on 400 block O & N) is affordable housing. And as far as non-market rate complexes go, it seems to be fairly maintained. If the walk though during the Flower Power walk proved anything, some residents there do try to make their area nice. Investing a little fertilizer and a little water here and there does go a long way.

2001 vs 2005

This weekend I did something I wouldn’t even think about 4 years ago. I walked up to the Dunkin Donuts around dusk, then took a different route back home, going down the 1700 block of 4th Street. Four years ago there was no Dunkin Donuts, and the 1700 block of 4th would sometimes be a wild party zone of shady-looking characters hanging out. For about a couple of years a non-resident tranny would take it upon herself to illegally block the street and have a block party. On a block that wasn’t hers. This weekend the block was very, very dull and quiet. Four years ago several of the homes on the block were vacant and lots of guys of various ages hang out. There are still the old guys who hang out, but when you’re retired, old and craggly, what are you going to do? The younger neighborhood drug dealers who ruled the block are seen less often, they aren’t gone because I do see them, but not as much. Menacing looking teens mingled in, but now, they seem to congregate near their friends houses, hanging out in the front yard and leaning on the fence.
A more disturbing change since 2001 I’m noticing near the R Street side of the metro station. When the Waltha T. Daniels library, across the street from the station, was open, scraggly looking folk who hang out near the bus stop. Sometimes, they’d get on the bus. This year I’m noticing a camp of homeless and hanger outs taking over the rear courtyard of a now closed library. I swear as time goes on more people keep hanging out there. This week, in the morning on the way to work, in the small park between Marion and 6th along Rhode Island I’m noticing a guy who has been sleeping in the park. This is odd considering there is a men’s homeless shelter across the street. Time has seemed not to have changed the park at 1st and Florida. Same old group. New fence put in. Same old group still hanging out.
One last change I want to recognize is the Korean Protestants. They served the homeless and needy out of their “House of Peace” on the 1700 block of 4th four years ago. The problem, from my perspective was that it was not run very well and just served as a hangout joint for the dealers, users, and other downtrodden with little supervision from the church. Now the “House of Peace” is gone, replaced by a dry cleaners that has been threatening to open for months. The Koreans now operate out of a large townhome around the corner, where they are more involved in their missionary work and being better neighbors.

Fall Garden Report

I know it’s Tuesday but I’m posting anyways

Well Summer is over and the Fall is not quite bad. Not as humid, which makes me want to spend some time outdoors….. then I get bit by mosquitoes and that just drives me back into the house.

Squash– B. and I agree that squash were a miserable failure. I was able to get a few fruits off the plants but the squash borers did them in and made it bad, making the fruit shrivel. B. he, I gather, got nearly nil in the squash department and has sworn that he will not grow squash next year. I’m not ready to write them off. I think next year I’ll try them in the front, in the ground.

Tomatoes– Not as good as last year but good none the less. I’ve been most successful in the back with the potted tomatoes even though most of them look sickly and crappy. Right now they are getting their 2nd wind. In the past month I’ve been able to harvest 1 tomato, the rest are green and deciding if they want to turn red, or not. Surprising to me is the tomato vine in the front as it competes with the passion fruit vine that popped up from last year. It has been a pretty good producer. The Zebra tomato has been a great producer of flowers but not fruit. Yet when it does produce fruit it is the best tasting stuff ever. A cherry tomato vine appeared out of nowhere and it is not a great producer either, maybe it is time to do something with the soil.

Salads– A lesson I learned was when you stop watering salads they turn on you. All the other plants are more forgiving, Bibb the other mixed greens, no, they just got bitter and no matter how much I watered afterwards, they stayed bitter. Even new growth was bitter. Spinach, just bolted or died in the last bits of summer.
So I planted a new bunch of salad greens in the mid-summer months. Well the inch worms got to the Cobb and Bibb, only the arugula survived and thrived. I planted a few spinach seeds, they are okay for now.

Radishes & Carrots– I don’t like radishes. So it doesn’t matter. I planted them as a companion crop. I have learned that if I want edible radish looking radishes I need to bury the roots better, same for carrots. Carrots were a disappointment.

Cucumbers– I grew them in a pot and got good results from the 2 vines then they were recently brought down by cutworms.

Edible Flowers– The marigolds I didn’t care for as a snack, but I did love them as a cutting flower and I enjoyed running my hand over the foliage to smell their lemony fragrance. The pot marigolds, ditto as far as a cutting flower goes. The heriloom impatiens, not that tasty. The regular old impatiens were a pain to grow all Spring and did not spring forth as a wonderful flower till mid Summer. They are very tasty.

Beans– String beans good. I need to grow more because I just didn’t have enough to justify dirtying up a pot.

Herbs– As many of you know I got more basil than I know what to do with. I did make pesto, and used it to add to salads, but still too much basil. When the peppermint went to flower then I stopped harvesting them. So no more mojitos. The creeping thyme is doing well. I am wondering if I should replace my lawn with creeping thyme.

Joe Mamo’s proposed building up for review

Normally this would go over to the semi-neglected announcements section of InShaw but I figured this message from Jim should be posted here. I believe the meeting is tonight, Tuesday 9/20 at 7pm (ignore the word “tomorrow”).


If we have a quorum at tomorrow night’s meeting, it is likely that we will be asked to endorse the concept of building condominiums (with retail establishments on fhe first floor) on the lot that Mr. Mamo owns at Florida Avenue and North Capitol Street, NW. A number of you have expressed concerns to me about the scale of the project (i.e., a nine story building with a foot print that would seem to be out of line with the pre-existing structures on the block) and many of you don’t seem to have a problem with Mr. Mamo’s plans, if they are implemented as presented in various community meetings.
If you feel strongly about this project, one way or the other, I suggest that you attend tomorrow night’s meeting. It will be located at 635 Edgewood Terrace, NW on the 9th floor of the senior building. If you can’t make it to the meeting tomorrow, but have feelings about this project that you want factored into the ANC’s analysis of Mr. Mamo’s proposal, I encourage you to email them to me as soon as possible. If you decide to communicate your feelings by email, I will not consider those that are conveyed to me anonymously to be valid. That is, please put your name and address on this correspondence.
I thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Jim Berry