Fox 5 Morning News Garden segment

I haven’t seen it yet but I.T. informed me of my television debut occurred sometime around 6:30 this morning. I have the VHS going at home and asked Nora Bombay to TiVo it for me. It, being a garden segment on FOX 5’s Morning News. I have two lines, I.T. told me. I’ll comment later after seeing it, but so far of what I.T. has told me, um, pansies, yes you can eat them. They taste better in a salad, not so great alone and don’t eat the green bit. Impatien flowers taste more like lettuce.

R-4 Zone

I am no expert. I’m just taking what I understand and putting it out there.
I live in a R-4 zone. That’s what most of the Truxton Circle part of Shaw is, except for the Cooperative which is R-5-B and the main roads that are zoned C-2-A. According to the DC Zoning website, in an R-4 area:

Permits matter-of-right development of single-family residential uses (including detached, semi-detached, row dwellings, and flats), churches and public schools with a minimum lot width of 18 feet, a minimum lot area of 1,800 square feet and a maximum lot occupancy of 60% for row dwellings, churches and Flats, a minimum lot width of 30 feet and a minimum lot area of 3000 square feet for semi-detached structures, a minimum lot width of 40 feet and a minimum lot area of 4000 square feet and 40% lot occupancy for all other structures; and a maximum height of three (3) stories/forty (40) feet. Conversions of existing buildings to apartments are permitted for lots with a minimum lot area of 900 square feet per dwelling unit.

Translated? Low density. Things that are there, pretty much grandfathered in. Any new construction has to be at the least 18 feet wide, no more than 3 stories or 40 feet high. The C-2-A also promotes low density for our commercial corridors where buildings are limited to 50 foot heights.
Why am I telling you this? Well for two reasons. The first is to inform you about the joys of zoning. As an R-4 we don’t have huge towering apartment buildings, but rather small 4 unit apartments and lots of townhomes. The zoning law (if followed and enforced) keeps the area small and intimate. Second, once you know, you might want to defend the character of the area by defending the spirit of the R-4 zone. Developers, neighbors, and whomever will ask for variances and you need to know what they are asking a variance from. May 4th at 6:30pm at on the 2nd floor of 441 4th Street NW there will be a public hearing regarding a bit of confusion in the zoning regs.
Back when the Richardson Place neighbors were battling Wilbur Mondie about proposed townhomes a problem was discovered. The way section 410 is written it seems to allow R-5 apartments in an R-4 zone. The way Mr. Mondie was proposing his development, for a period, he’d have 6 or 8 apartment units, which were to be later to be joined to create 3 or 4 separate townhomes (I’m not remembering exact numbers now). So if he stopped part way, we’d get a R-5 structure in an R-4 zone imposing a density that the particular area in question could not handle.

Small jobs for kids

Help me out here. This was a small discussion in the comments section so I want to expand it a bit here. Can you think of small jobs you can have neighborhood kids to do? So far on my list are:
1. Rake leaves
2. Pick up trash
3. Water plants
4. Sweeping up the sidewalk or alley

When I was living in Logan Circle I also paid kids to get stuff from the Giant. That requires you giving them money and demanding a receipt. Also you have to know if they are allowed to go that far (or to cross certain streets) by their mom, or else you could get into trouble.
I have heard of other people paying kids to wash their car. Not any major detailing work, just soap and water and circular motions.
Part of a hesitancy with assigning some jobs depends on how well I know the kids’ parents and the kids. Another part is the risk factor of a job not done well. Will the kids step on the wrong plants? Will the task mess up what they are wearing and get his/her mother angry with me? Is the kid allowed to cross this street or go this far from the house?
So any suggestions you have to add? Pointers?

Pub in Shaw

Now I have admitted I’m not a huge fan of bars, but for some silly reason I do have a greater respect for pubs. Yes, ABC license-wise they may be the same as a bar and like a bar they can produce folks who come out after last call loudly wandering your neighborhood looking for a place to piss or their car. But like restaurants, which I really like, they are known for their food like shepherd’s pie. Umm, shepherd’s pie. Shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and lamb stew. I have been the UK enough to appreciate a pub culture that is truly communal that you don’t age out of, that you remain a part of regardless if you have kids (hey, bring them too, but in the day) and actually fosters conversation (I don’t know how you can hold a conversation with poptunes blasting). Anyway, according to Metrocurean there is an “Irish” restaurant/pub coming to the edge of Shaw.
The Duffy’s Website is no longer aiming for a April ’06 opening. It now says “Opening very Soon! Keep checking back for Grand Opening info!”

Questioning the whole black males going to prison thing

I was reading another blog that was quoting a website commenting on a NYT article and I was hooked into reading it because with a title like “Most black men have not been involved in the criminal justice system and do not drop out of school….” You have to read it. Yet there wasn’t much substance, but it did get me thinking. Mainly about all my male relatives and the criminal justice system.
My dad, a troublemaker in his youth and half his adulthood, (and black man) as far as I know only went to jail once or twice. For a total of week. For… let’s just say traffic/driving violations. Being self-employed it was a minor blip. I had a cousin, was a NBA player (poor kid makes it, blah, blah, blah, you know the story) and he went to jail for failure to pay child support, for about 5 days. Beyond those two, of all the men in my family, I believe the majority of them have never seen the inside of a jail, and more than likely don’t know where the jail is. Prison? I’m going to have to call my mom, but I don’t think any of my uncles or cousins have been to prison, ever.
So now I’m questioning this whole ‘black men are more likely to go to be involved in the criminal justice system than go to college’ thing. My male relatives on mom’s side are all bourgie so they have been to college. There was no question about that. Dad’s side? They are stubborn hard headed men who are mainly self-employed, they would not succeed if they were not their own boss. They didn’t go to college, but it didn’t matter.
What does this have to do with Shaw? There was a link but I deleted it. Maybe in my original thinking was to chip at the thinking (which I sometimes fall into) that Black always equals poor or less than.

Blagden Alley Assoc Meeting

| Blagden Alley Association |
| Monthly Meeting |
| THURSDAY, April 27, 2006 |
| 7:30-9:00 pm |
| Marthlu and Hal’s |
| 905 M Street, NW |
| ^^^ Note |
The newsletter is at

Topics of the meeting:

BeBar (1318 Ninth Street). The Saga Continues…
Recap of the liquor licence hearings. It’s interesting, and
important and is the first of many such over the next fuw years.

917 M Street progress…
About to start
There azre floor plans

On the crime front…seems awfully quiet…

Also, see the web page at or,
(depending on your persuasion).

Do hope to see you there.

Vegetate grub party

The Harvest for Health Department of the Capital Area Food Bank is hosting its
first Grub Party Thursday May 18th from 7pm to 10pm at Vegetate, featuring the
new book by Anna Lappe’ and Bryant Terry, Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic

Join us for a fun-filled evening to raise awarness and dollars about the
benefits of organic, sustainable living.

The Grub Party will include hor d’oeuvres featuring recipes from the Grub book
prepared by Vegetate’s chefs using local, seasonal, pesticide-free,
sustainably-grown produce, music arranged by Vegetate’s own DJ Dredd, a short
address and book signing by Anne Lappe’ and a cash bar featuring organic beer,
wine and seasonal fruit beverages.

Tickets are $50 and are available online at:

Skies opening up

Someone further down the alley had two large trees chopped down. Oh, what a difference! They skies have opened up and I see buildings and clouds and really it is a huge difference.
It had me looking at the weed tree close to me. It is a weed tree as it sits mainly outside the gate and the occupant said it wasn’t hers. The city said unless it is growing in the middle of the alley it isn’t theirs either. For several hundred dollars I had one of the three branches of this weed tree cut off. Maybe I can save up for another branch to be removed.
Yes, there are those who love trees. Well in tight spaces, where trees do touch houses, orphan bastard trees that no one wants to claim or maintain are a nuisance. Trees need to be maintained.