Renovation 2007: Next station, Broke

I’m now officially broke.
This Summer I get to save up money for the plumber to put the radiators in. I should be able to rustle up the $2000 needed to do so by October. I’m not even going to think about what’s left of the SpacePak till I can stabilize my financial situation. The carpet, I might be able to scrounge up something for that. And I think I will still end up owing my contractor money.
Yup. Broke. Brokie-broke-broke-broke.

Dirty Laundry & Church

Normally I’d leave the subject to other bloggers closer to the area, but I think I have a little to add.
The District section of the Washington Post has two articles regarding Shiloh, I’m glad to see the second about Rev. Wallace Charles Smith. The reason being is that I hope that those outside the church understand at least one of the factors that make it difficult for Shiloh to move forward, because it is not of one mind.
As mentioned to me by a relative who has been a long time member of Shiloh the divisions have gotten to an upsetting point. There was a meeting with an architect with plans for ther properties where she claims the deacons were acting up and telling outright lies about Rev. Smith. And there is some little side group having meetings, attempting to oust Rev. Smith. She defends him as a good pastor and pointed out the problem properties were problems way before Rev. Smith got there. And really, the church fire back in the 90s did not help.
In other conversations I know that tithing seemed to be a problem before all the negative press. People not tithing properly is not a problem unique to Shiloh. And it is those tithes as well as a building fund campaign that will get those properties up to snuff and maybe get a senior center. When the church does finally come together, deals with their infighting, and makes the senior center/senior housing a priority mission, it will be good for the church and the neighborhood.

Renovation 2007: Recycled floor

New-Old Floor 3
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Well this is my new floor. Which actually is my old floor. Just that my old floor was covered with carpet, fake wood tiles, and ick.
If I were to buy a new floor I would have gone with a lighter color. But do like the fact that the floor is one of the several things I kept from the original house (besides the toilets, the sink, & radiators). My contractor tells me that the floor is heart pine and it is very pricey. Um, okay, I’m happy it could be reused. There was some cost savings to keeping the floor, storing the floor, cleaning the floor and having it sanded and finished over going out and buying a new-new floor.
My contractor is also keen on pointing out the ‘character’ of these old floors. Honestly, my feelings towards the varied widths, the knots, nail holes, varied shades and other unique features can be summed up as ‘eh’. They’re nice and they do add to the house’s overall character, which I do care greatly about.

Two steps forward, 1.5 steps side and back

There have been a couple of things I have been alerted to happening in the hood that has disappointed me. Up in the northern tip of the TC there was a rash of home robberies and in mid TC land bad apples have brought back flashbacks of a certain couple of blocks concentrating poverty and misbehavior. Then the annual question of ‘fireworks or gunfire?’ that pops up around this point in the year is actually a mixed bag, because the fireworks seem to have started later this year. The negatives put a damper on all the good that is going on, but in the bigger picture I know the TC is getting better.

DCRA Reminds Residents of Requirements for Fireworks Sales

From DCRAs Communications Team

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

DC’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Reminds Residents of Requirements for Fireworks Sales

Washington, DC – July 4 and fireworks go hand-in-hand for many people.
While beautiful to behold, fireworks can be very dangerous.

The District of Columbia regulates fireworks sales and two agencies have
primary responsibility for making sure fireworks are sold and enjoyed in a
safe and legal manner – the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
(DCRA) and the D.C. Fire/EMS Department.

All businesses that store or sell fireworks – in a temporary or permanent
structure – must have posted a valid Basic Business License and
Certificate of Occupancy – both issued by DCRA. Consumers can report a
business or individual that is selling fireworks without this license by
calling 202-442-4400.

The agency requires any temporary structure that stores or retails
fireworks to be inspected by DCRA and that structure be taken down by
midnight, July 5.

It is illegal for a business or individual to sell fireworks on public

In addition to DCRA regulations, in order to sell any legal fireworks in
the District of Columbia a business must get a permit from the D.C.
Fire/EMS Department’s Fire Prevention Division. This Web site also has
information about fireworks safety. You may also contact the DC Fire/EMS
Department Fire Prevention Division at 202-727-1600 or 202-727-1614.

For more information about DCRA fireworks requirements visit the Basic
Business License section at or call 202-442-4400.

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs protects the health,
safety, economic interests, and quality of life of residents, businesses,
and visitors in the District of Columbia by issuing licenses and permits,
conducting inspections, enforcing building, housing, and safety codes,
regulating land use and development, and providing consumer education and
advocacy services.

BAA meeting

| Blagden Alley Association |
| Monthly Meeting |
| |
| THURSDAY, June 28, 2007 |
| 7:30-9:00 pm |
| Hal and Marthlu’s |
| 905 M Street Street, NW |

The newsletter is at

1. O Street Market Update.
2. LT Smith: An upper management PowerPoint.
3. 917 M Street.
4. NIMA/1230 Ninth Street.
5. More.

Three who improved my Sunday

Let’s start with Peter. I made a 2nd run over to the Bloomingdale farmer’s market to pick up snacks for the weekend painting. While I was there I noticed some guy in front of the Big Bear playing guitar. His back was to the market, facing the R Street entrance of the Bear, but I knew who it was, it was Peter, a neighbor. He and his wife live a block from my house and it was great to see very local talent. The thing that made me feel good was, I asked Peter to play some blues to enhance my shopping experience, he did, and that made me happy.
Right after leaving the market with a bag of cherries, I ran into another neighbor and gave him a house tour. He validated some of my decisions about painting the brick and the new layout which made the place unique. If you count the kitchen that was done several years back, the renovations have been quite customized and geared towards pleasing me and not so much a future buyer. I don’t/won’t have the stainless steel, granite countertop, oak/maple floor, CAC, bricky exposed brick, standard tub, marble tile set up that has become quite common in many renovations. There is nothing wrong in liking and wanting those things, but they don’t reflect me and my desires. I like my counter tops to be forgiving with china and glass. I love my heated floors and I love my radiators. The living rm floors were recycled from what was under the carpet. The tub, a used and now repainted clawfoot, promises me some soaking enjoyment with showering utility. The house has character, now hopefully, the good kind.
Then later that day I met up with a colleague at a mixer (the American Library Association was in town, did you notice?). We were talking, and I mentioned this blog that I’m going to semi-retire and spin off something else that excites me, neighborhood history. Then he and I got to talking about historic districts and preservation and realized we were of the same mind. I can’t explain this joy that rushed over me, to encounter someone with a strong academic background in history and a true understanding that not every d*mn thing can be preserved. Then he mentioned that somewhere out there there is some data that recently shows that houses in historic districts do less well in the real estate market because of the restrictions. He also explained the difference between antiquarians and historians.

Renovation 2007: Brick

I painted the exposed brick white. It looks lovely when the light from the outside streams in and bounces off the semi-gloss white. The problem, or more so a problem because it is interior, is the brick gets dusty. The brick that makes up my house has a lot of small holes, gouges, and was not laid evenly. This makes it hard to paint the exposed surfaces and what doesn’t get painted sloughs off brick dust.
The big gouges mostly have gotten touched with some caulk. In some spots that has worked out okay. In other spots I see that so much caulk was squeezed into the cavity that it is beginning to shrink and separate from the brick.
It’s white paint on white primer so that wall has gotten 2-3 coats. I can’t tell because it is hard to see where I painted before. Yet the strong tell tale signs that I missed a spot is a thin layer of brick dust that shows up quite well on a white surface. The number of small holes in the brick is more than I can sanely fill with caulk, so I’m going to have to accept a layer of dust.

Renovation 2007: I have toilet!

toilet and tub
Bathroom tub and toilet
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

On one side is a toilet, and I flushed it! On the other is a claw foot tub. The tub has a very generic shower head, which I will replace as soon as I am able to with something more fun.
The tub is dirty. So is the toilet, but I don’t care. Ooh! Look! The toilet sits on top of the tile this time. Not in the tile liek the crack heads who ‘renovated’ the house did.
Technically I could move back into my house, but the contractor probably wouldn’t be too happy if I did. I still have to paint the walls in the bathroom (that part above the tile), and paint the ceiling, because I was told, flat ceiling paint in the bathroom is a no.
The day when I can walk into LUSH and actually buy a bath bomb to throw in my bath is close at hand.