Is this thing on? Tap, tap, tap.

It’s great to be able to move from the peanut gallery of commenters to a “contributing” position with In Shaw. However, I still believe I’m the peanut gallery.

As a recent commenter on the “The State of the In Shaw blog” post has indicated, this blog and were also factors in my decision to move to the area. I felt that of all the areas of DC that were currently in transition, the community here was unique, was relatively well organized, had similar values and were committed to improving the area. That is not to say that other areas don’t share some of those qualities… I just felt that if I was putting roots down in a transitional part of the city, this is where I wanted to do it for a large number of reasons. This blog in particular also helped me understand some of the issues to the area before moving in and I realized that none were so great that a little time and community involvement couldn’t overcome them. Since being here I’ve really come to appreciate how the blog accurately reflects life in Eastern Shaw and that it accurately reflects the community building efforts of this part of DC.

It’s true that Eastern Shaw is full of quirks and, often, humorous situations. But there are also issues that are citywide problems that still need to be addressed. I’m convinced the blog helps the community come together around those problems by fostering discussions and promoting awareness. There will obviously be disagreements on many of the major issues and that’s just fine—let’s just have the conversations.

There are a lot of exciting things happening in Eastern Shaw, along North Capitol St., Bloomingdale, Eckington, and in other surrounding neighborhoods. I believe that the coming years will bring even more positive changes to the area and I look forward to (most of) the coming changes with great hopes.

That’s it for now. I’ll try to post in the future whenever I have something worth sharing. Last but not least, thanks for the microphone, Mari!

Two InShaw blog announcements

First one, please give a big welcome to a new contributor, once commenter ‘jg’, Truxtonian. I decided to loosen the reigns just a teeny tiny bit. He will post whenever. And yes, he. I’ll let him decide how he wants to introduce himself, when he feels like it.
Second there will be a change in email. I have moved over to Verizon and I need to get rid of my AT&T account. If you need to contact me directly please email mari at inshaw periodthingy com. Importantly please always have a subject line and a subject line that will help me tell the difference between spam and legit email.

BZA hearing regarding Richardson Pl

Ok I didn’t want to be there. It didn’t seem like Toby wanted to be there. Karl is bearing a lot of the load as the spokesmodel and maybe he didn’t want to be there. Mondie probably didn’t want to be there and it doesn’t matter if Mondie’s lawyer wanted to be there because of all of us he was the only one getting paid. This lovely event? Yesterday’s Board of Zoning Adjustment hearings.
Before us was WASA getting some pumping station and there was an army of people. Despite being on track and looking good without opposition it took over an hour to get through it all. The Mondie portion started at about 11AM and we weren’t out of there till about nearly 2PM. There was a fair amount of back and forth on whether he could use the 410 exception, which was a change from what he was pursuing before which was going with section 401.3. Unfortunately there are some unclear portions of section 410 where R-4 zones such as Richardson is confused with R-5 zones. The board excused themselves to hash that out for “5 minutes”. It is amazing how 5 minutes is actually 35 minutes. We fear that Mondie might be able to build a defacto apartment building (when this area is not zoned for an apartment building), despite opposition from the residents, the ANC and Office of Planning on a technicality. Yeah, yeah, Mondie has repeated that they are not going to be apartment buildings. But within his plan, if he doesn’t complete some other steps, which may or may not happen (as we don’t know the future) they will be DEFACTO apartments regardless of what you call them. I have the deep desire to call my house a luxury townhome with quirky characteristics.
I think the board is scheduled to make a decision Feb 7th.

The State of the In Shaw Blog

Looking back at last January’s entries I’m a little late posting the State of the Blog.
The blog is okay.
In 2004 I did a fair number of open house reviews. I did fewer as the year went on. Mainly because I noticed fewer open houses in Truxton Circle and I found that hanging out with Nathan’s family on a Sunday evening was more fun than open houses. But fear not, a Realtor approached me recently and I hope to get a report of some sort of real estate deals in the area.
There are a few things like this that may be new for 2006. So far you have seen or heard TC the InShaw podcast. I’m scribbling up a script/notes for February’s podcast. My webhost has expanded the amount of space and bandwidth I have so I’m going to make the best of it.
The state of the Truxton & Eastern Shaw neighborhood is improving even if at times it seems that it isn’t. Several steps forward and a couple of steps back. In March we got Thai X-ing. Well LeDroit Park got Thai Xing, but considering Taw is only a 5 minute leisurely stroll away from the house, I consider him ours too. Yeah, it’s a carry out but it is a good carry out. The steps back have been in the area of crime. A few neighbors have been mugged and then there is the crackhead/crackdealer problems. The good thing is the noticeable number of crack dealers and crackheads has been going down over the past two years. Some problem families moved away, such as Screaming Woman and I think my block’s resident crackhead left. Last year Scott and Matt officially launched TruxtonCircle.Org the better neighborhood site and a great way to link neighbors, which then launched the wonderful Truxton Circle Happy Hours. Scott and Matt also helped out with the 2005 garden tour, which Mary Anne was the head of, and that got the neighborhood some good press.
Personally, I haven’t improved that much. There is more grey hair on the head. This blog has brought a small bit of fame but it has yet to give me a nice trophy husband. I have noticed I got a bit more involved in some neighborhood causes. The ongoing struggle with Mondie being one. Will I have the energy to do more? I dunno, we’ll see.