At a coffee hour I was chatting with a retired librarian who had worked at MLK and she mentioned how she didn’t like the building. In her opinion it was a bad, bad, bad building for a library. It might have been a perfectly good building for an office but not so for a library. Sorry but you can’t just stuff a bunch a books in any old building (even if it is a van der Rohe) and call it a perfectly functioning library. I think ALA, the American Library Association, has a subcommittee on library buildings that actually address the needs of libraries. I was happy to read in the Post that Susan Fifer Canby, UMD College of (Library and )Information Studies grad and 2004 Alumna of the Year is on the mayor’s library panel (I’m a ClIS grad too). I may saunter into one of the many series of public meetings to hear what the members of the panel have to say.
The Waltha Daniel’s library in Shaw. That is an ugly building with maintenance issues.

Gentrification: low on the middle class list of things to do

A couple of things again from London Calling (that book on the middle class in gentrifying neighborhoods) struck me. One was the authors wrote repeatingly that the middle class, in the gentrifying neighborhoods, were a numerical minority and the other thing, probably mentioned once was that of overall middle class behavior gentrification was a small tiny itty bitty expression. Think of it. Of all the people I would squarely put in the middle class column at work, most live in the burbs and are very happy to live far away (except for the commute).
Yet when you are in the gentrifying neighborhood I gather it looks more like a middle class invasion. No. We’re just the odd balls. Everybody else is taking over farmland so they can have a yard and a driveway.
If moving into gentrifying hoods is a minor action expression of middle class behavior then that explains why aren’t there more middle class blacks moving into Shaw. Looking at my own middle class family (oh and for my new readers I’m black) only two of us live in the city. One aunt lives on the other side of the river in SE but she and my late uncle moved there after WWII way before the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Everybody else came to DC in the late 60s and 70s and moved to the burbs. When I came in the 90s I first lived in the suburbs and got flak from my family for choosing the District. I’m quite sure they are wondering when I’m going to snap out of this phase, sell the house move to PG or NoVa and live like normal (new construction house with a car in the driveway).
The whole of American middle classdom, regardless of race, seem to have little interest in moving to the ‘hood. Because really, the occasional gunshots at night, the friendly neighborhood drug dealers, the adventures of C the crackho, the trash, the headaches with the city, not for everyone.

ANC 5C meeting

I intended to be in bed in the next 3 minutes so let me quickly recap tonight’s meeting, which I’ll go into greater detail later.
* There were ANC 5C board elections. Jim is no longer the Chairman.
* Mondie made his proposal to the board. His project was not approved by the board. Boardmember Brother Phillips took him to task.
* Recorded some of the proposal and the back and forth regarding the Mondie item. But fooling around with the sound is going to take a week.

On the meeting agenda, but not tackled by the time Toby, John, Karl and I left the meeting, was BZA Application No. 17437 Amsale Teku would like a variance to put a “Beauty Salon” at 1543 New Jersey Ave NW.

Me go sleepy now.