Thinking about the house

As some of you know, and I’ll take a wild guess that 25% of you actually know me, I’d been doing a little job hunting as my position was to terminate at the end of the year. Well good news, I have been hired by the same agency. The job concerns allowed me to keep any plans I had about fixing the house that crack built, on hold.
The hold is off and I have to start thinking about the house, and do something before interest rates bump up again. After I did the kitchen several years back, which was beautiful and modern, I turned around and saw the rest of my house which was ugly and filled with crackhead building solutions. Oh, like the toilet being tiled into the floor, the pipe from the bathroom that keeps the front door from opening all the way, a whole floor of uneven textured paint, and poorly installed plumbing and wacky wires. There are things I can’t blame on crackheads with tools, like the uneven floors, the crooked windows, and the lack of a 90 degree angle anywhere in the house. All that crap needs to get fixed, and now I gotta do it.
One big thing I have decided is that I am not going to have my addition built up. Two neighbors on my block got a boat load of more space when they knocked down their kitchen additions, which were one story, and replaced them with a two story addition. This created more kitchen space and allowed for a bigger bedroom, and just more space. I too wanted more space, but (saying to self slowly) I don’t NEED more space. At one point in history 11 people lived in my house with an average of 4 people between 1880-1930. I and the odd roommate, don’t need more space than the 4 or more people who came before us.
What I need are new windows, new doors, insulation, shoring up/improvement of one of the party walls, maybe get the floors evened up, get the wiring to make sense, and possibly throw in some air conditioning. I want to move the bathroom as that pipe blocks the door and I want/need a tub I can soak in. I also need to undo the crackhead building solutions, of which are numerous.
There is so much to do, I almost don’t know where to start.

Normal, Cracktastic or what?

Okay, folks your opinion. 1537 4th St NW is up for sale. Price $280K. It is an as-is. Tiny as all out. Huge backyard, but you can’t park there. Don’t worry there is parking on the street, ‘cept Sunday morning. And youd be close to the mosque. A problem when someone who can’t sing gets the mic and does the call to prayer (most of the time the guy can carry a tune) and you will hear the call.
So is $280K a good price or cracktastic? Me? I’m just happy to see something that isn’t a studio condo with 600 sq ft being sold in the 200s.

The power of ABC licenses

Jim our great leader sent out an email a few days ago alerting us to the fact that three places in the TC are renewing their liquor licenses. The 5C board may consider protesting all the licenses. I have mixed feelings about it.
One of the places is C&B Incorporated, or Walter Johnson’s Liquor Store at 1542 North Capitol Street, N.W. (Application No. 70552). That’s the liquor store at the corner of Florida and North Cap. Where all the people hang out. Some of them waiting for a bus. Some of them not.
Another is Moon Liquors aka K&S Liquors at 322 Florida Avenue, N.W. (Application No. 60771) Sometime back one of the residents had a problem with that place. She (and some others) reported drug dealing occuring in the parking lot and there where all sorts hanging out. Well the place was sold and under new ownership an arragement was worked out. Since then, I don’t see people hanging out on a regular basis. They now hang out and sell drugs at the shuttered (maybe to open soon, who knows) 4th St. Dry Cleaners. A few feet over.
Lastly, is Sunset Liquors, 1627 First Street, N.W. (Application No. 60657) across the street from the Florida Ave park, where the homeless men hang out. It has been mentioned that we would solve a lot of the loitering problems and the drinking problems occurring in the park if the liquor store wasn’t there.
As I mentioned, I’m torn. I’d like to think that I do support small independent businesses. On the other hand, I’d like to make the Florida Ave park a dry park, as well as the little island on North Cap and Florida. The most hostile thing would we to deny a small business the one thing that allows them to exist, the ABC license. But if the liquor stores which are all along Florida Ave (K&S @ 4th & FL; Sunset @1st & FL; Walter Johnson’s @ North Cap & FL) were to go away, some problems with public drunkeness, littering, may decrease. When asking some city personnel (cops) how would we clean up the FL Ave park, the answer was get rid of the liquor store.
I guess in my letter to my ANC guy I’ll say that I would prefer a change in what the business sells (no more silver 211, I’m sick of seeing those cans in treeboxes)over plain old denial of their license. Other neighbors may feel different, and they will need to write their own letters to their ANC guy or gal.

Shots on the block

I’m more annoyed than scared.
Around maybe 8 something somebody decided to do a drive by. I know because I heard very loud-loud shots and a vehicle speeding by. I was just about to go out and do a little more work in the yard by street light when I heard the shots. Once it registered in my head what had happened I called the cops and opened the door. The thing brought out a lot of neighbors, yeah we’re not the type to stay inside.
The police response was incredible. About a minute or two after I had called, I saw a cop car someone had intercepted. About a few minutes after that, another patrol car and another, and a helicopter. Yes, a helicopter. How did a helicopter get out here so fast?
As several bunches of us were standing around trying to piece together what the hell happend someone began to wonder, “where’s the amubulance?” About two minutes after that statement, a firetruck comes.
The police had blocked of the street and were there for a good long while. Like a hour and a half, if not 2. I have no clue about the state of the victim and I know I should be happy that the police are taking this so seriously and putting in the work. As opposed to what we are sometimes resigned to think, that you hear the shots, you call the cops, and you wait and nothing happens. Really what we need is a walking the sidewalks beat cop. But that’s another rant, for another day.

Chain Reaction Bike Shop

From the LC listserv:

Good News bikers…Chain Reaction Community Bike Shop (previously
located at 6th and R Sts., NW) will be opening at our new location –
1416 N Capitol St., NW (between O & P Sts.) – on June 1st, 2006. We
will feature the following limited hours for the first few weeks while
we work out all the kinks: Thursday & Friday 11am—6pm, Saturday 11am—
5pm. Come by, buy a helmet, get your bike tuned up, or just say “hi”!
Please see our website for further
information, or give us a call at 202-265-0179

We couldn’t afford the neighborhood we created

I was looking in the sales database on the DC.Gov website from 1999 to 2001. This was before the Real Estate boom. Prices were just starting to rise, and I remember in 2001 there were many stories about bidding wars and houses being sold in a day. Anyway, the database shows that many of the properties selling in those years, less than $100K. 19 Bates for 60K, 1426 North Cap for 63K and 1628 4th for 33K. Of course, it doesn’t say what condition the houses were in when sold. There is another bunch of properties selling in the low $100’s. Between 2002-2004 there is a greater variety in the sales prices, few properties under 100K and several in the 200K-300K range. I stopped being able to afford this neighborhood a year after I moved in.
First I have to praise those who came before me. The hard working men and women, who value hard work, who moved in and made a home for themselves during the 70s and 80s. Their work, though seemingly futile against the crime and negativity, created a neighborhood for those of us moving in later could tolerate. If it weren’t for Dinah and Lem, I wouldn’t be here. People like them battled the crime and bad behavior, they fixed up their homes and yards and fed the spirit of neighborliness. And I’m going to be bold enough to say that if it weren’t for myself and the other neighbors who moved in 1999-2001, the folks who moved in 2002-2004 wouldn’t be here. And those moving in after 2004 will add, and are adding, to neighborhood.
Each year this place gets better. There is still crap like the gunshots on 1st and the friendly neighborhood drug dealers on the corner, homeless guys peeing on houses, crackhos conducting business in alleys and so on, but it isn’t as bad as what it used to be. This gives me hope, that next year will be better. That there will be fewer guys on the corner next year, that Big Bear and EC-12 and maybe whatever replaces Dave’s will be places where I run into friends and neighbors, that gunshots will be rare, and that the new Ward 5 Councilperson knows about the character of Truxton Circle.
In 2000-2001 I couldn’t of afford a neighborhood like this, with so much about to happen. I could just hope that the one I could afford, something that could be, in time could be what I wanted.

APB on stolen puppy

From a neighbor:
Hi Folks,
My neighbor called this morning VERY upset. Her 12 week old puppy went missing yesterday afternoon and she suspects that he was stolen from her yard because it appears as if a small hole was kicked open wide enough for the puppy to get out. Plus, there were rocks in the yard, she and her husband thinks that whoever stole the puppy may have thrown rocks at the adult dog that also lives in the yard to keep him back from the fence.
Below is the post I placed on the Truxton Circle web page. If any of you know anything about this puppy please contact Lem and Dina Kenley at the numbers below. Please forward this message to other neighbors who may have seen/heard something about the puppy!
Missing, possibly STOLEN-12 week old Staffordshire Terrier puppy.
Red/brown brindle with white chest and three white paws. Answers to the name
Bosco (very friendly energetic puppy). Went missing/stolen yesterday afternoon/early evening from a fenced yard in the alley between the 1600 block of 4th and 3rd Street. Teenage boys were seen yesterday throwing rocks and teasing the puppy and the adult dog that shares the yard with the puppy.
The owner of the property scolded the boys, the dog went missing shortly afterwards. Both the police and the pound have been notified. If anyone has seen the puppy or knows anything about his whereabouts please contact Lem or Dina Kenley, 1625 4th Street, NW, at 202-[contact Mari for number] (cell) or 202-[same] (work answering machine).

Will the owner of DC tag #BY 1881….

Pick up your gas guzzling red Ford SUV because on my way home I found 3 teenagers rifling through your glove compartment. Of course that was easy for them as your driver’s side window has been busted out since Monday morning. And the ticket on the ground I found says your vehicle has been there since Friday morning. Oh and you owe DC $50 for not having a license plate on your front (citation #347431733).
I have called the police and the mayor’s call center. Hopefully they will tow your truck away. Those poor widdle children could have cut themselves on all that broken glass.
I was going to go on a tirade about the morals of kids today and wondering why would kids take stuff (they said they were taking change) from a car that isn’t theirs, but why bother.