7th St Garden Invite

You are cordially invited to…

The 7th Street Garden
Inaugural Summer Fundraiser

Thursday, September 6th
6 – 8:30p.m., in the Garden

Seasonal Appetizers from Local Farmers
Specialty Drinks & Silent Auction
Garden Tours & Live Music

$40 – in advance, $50 at the gate
$80 – support a Resident Gardener to attend
$100 – sow the seeds of change

RSVP at www.the7thstreetgarden.squarespace.com

Support your community and really local farming…

*The 7th Street Garden is a highly productive community food garden that provides fresh and healthy food to low income Shaw neighborhood residents and offers education opportunities to D.C. residents on nutrition, gardening, and food origin. Through the provision of local, fresh food, the 7th Street Garden unites diverse communities and provides necessary elements to live a healthy lifestyle. Your contribution is needed to help support the only direct access food project in Washington, D.C.

Bear musings

I was going to post about the broken glass door at the Big Bear, but taking the picture with the Palm made my PDA go through some type of seizure where I was forced to continue the battery drain or ‘erase all data’. I chose to erase. So everyone, I might be asking for your contact info again because guess who fails to back up weekly? Or monthly.
The story, probably more than likely not in any way true, but it is a good story, is that the owner, Lana, kicked the robber through the door. I, resigned to the idea of erasing all my data, spotted Lana in the distinct little original Mini Cooper, coming down Florida, turning onto R, and then zipping up 1st. She could be a superhero. There is the door-kicking myth, the Lana-mobile and the Big Bear Headquarters. The only thing lacking, a superpower, unless conjuring tasty salads and making hot tea is a superpower. And if it is, I’ll take it.

Home and Garden

Home– Well I have invited a few of you over to take a look at the house. Some of you have made it over, some, not. For whatever reason you haven’t stopped by to visit here is the short picture tour.

– Purslane. You’d think something labeled as a weed would be flourishing. But nooooo. A few weeks after taking purslane found on the streets and sidewalks of Shaw and transplanting them into happy little pots, they just, I don’t know. The leaves looked like something attacked them. I was thinking the flies, maybe something to do with water on the leaves and the scorching heat. But maybe, they hate pots. So I’m transplanting them to the front yard where they have to take whatever nature can give ‘e because the handle on the spigot is broken.

I don’t trust you

Well I finally finished reading and marking up E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the 21st Century by Robert Putnam, and yeah, I’m low on trust. According to his article, diverse communities like ours people are less likely to trust people different from them as well as people like them. Equal opportunity lack of trust. Well, that’s how I read it.
Putnam does recognize the good thing about diversity in that it does foster tolerance in the other. However tolerance is not love, or even like. There is ‘bridging’ between communities but little in the way of ‘bonding’.
One of the things I was worried about before reading the article was lack of city services and amenities due to a neighborhood’s diversity. That wasn’t so much an issue and what was all included in as an amenity was too wide of a net (religious institutions, day care facilities, schools, etc). Things like schools and churches could have been in an area long before the place got diverse and are just holding on. Anyway, Putnam writes “If anything, such community resources turn out to be positively correlated with ethnic diversity….” The negative is in the low trust people, who are withdrawn from actively participating in the surrounding community.
A few other negatives of a diverse community is that there is a higher turnover. Well that just describes Washington DC right there. Someone who is a close friend of mine is moving away to the Midwest because of her career and as far as friends go she’ll be irreplaceable. The specter of someone you’re close to up and moving away is always there in this town, and it does not inspire you to form those deep strong bonds, knowing that there is a chance that bond will have to be ripped apart. There is turnover in Shaw too, and I know that neighbors you grow close to may up and move with the next best career opportunity or when their kids get to a certain age.

This Saturday Blagden Alley Picnic

| THE |
| Regular Yearly Picnic |
| of the |
| Blagden Alley |
| and |
| Naylor Court |
| Peoples |
| |
| Saturday, August 25, 2007 |
| Historical, Brick-Paved |
| Naylor Court |
| 6:00pm-9:00pm |
| (See map in newsletter) |
| |
| (This is NOT a Drill!) |

Frivolity, or an approximation.
Door Prizes (lots!).
Good weather.
Real people (us!).
Special this year: Old Dominion Brewery is supplying the keg.

The announcement and newsletter is at


(OK. It’s the same flyer as last year, with a minor updates.
But the newletter (Pages 2 and 3) has current stuff.)

Packed Big Bear

Saturday, around noon, I walked into Big Bear and the place was packed. Where the heck did all these folks come from? Well I know where three people came from, but I couldn’t get a seat inside. Not even at the counter. That crowded.
I’m happy to see the place hopping and lively and active. I see often groups meeting there. Groups as in organized meetings, not a bunch of friends wandering in. I never would have thought there was a great need for meeting spots for groups in the hood, but apparently, there is. Besides the group taking up the big table, there were people with strollers, people with computers, and people. And poor little me, banished to the outside tables.

Ugly naked man

The azzh*le across the alley from me decided to show off what he was. For some odd reason, but in line with his periodic jerky behavior, had his rear deck doors wide open and was running around buck naked, showing off his rear. I’m almost convinced that he was doing it on purpose. Not knowing where I put my camera, so I could post the fat chunky dark side of the moon for your enjoyment, I just called the cops. More accurately I called Dispatch, who then called me back 30 minutes later, asking if I wanted to talk to the police. By then he had already blasted 3-4 songs from his stereo (I decided to let someone else call the cops for that), closed the doors and abandoned his large dog on the deck.
I and B. feel bad for the dog. Poor thing howls constantly at night and doesn’t appear to be properly socialized. B. is wondering when I’ll call the city to investigate the dog’s care. I don’t know what exactly the jerk is doing that is illegal, cause ignoring your dog, not illegal. No, I’m not going to call the city. Not until he starts leaving the poor puppy out in bad weather, again. And I couldn’t tell if the dog was left out in last night’s rain, as it could have just wandered under the deck.

Pitfalls in Diversity: Diversity and Social Capital

Since I finally got around to hearing about Robert Putnam’s study E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century” in less conservative circles I thought I might approach it here in this blog since out community is so diverse. My own observations in Shaw are that like people do come together and sometimes those groups that come together do have ‘cracks’, not breaks, along other differences.
I’m half way through reading the article and I find it disheartening about what is written about investment in the community. But I want to be a realist, especially in what I can do about getting the neighborhood to that bright happy future many of us hope for. So read the article and tell me what you think and how it applies to our changing hood.

Marion St Yardsale this weekend

Hi Mari,

I was wondering if you might post a note on your excellent blog about
this Saturday’s yard sale over on Marion Street.

neighbors on Marion and Q streets are organizing a yard sale from
9:00am-2:00pm on Saturday, August 18th, in the empty lot on Marion. The
lot is located between 1515 and 1521 Marion Street. And of course
Marion Street is the 2 block long street between 6th and 7th, as I’m
sure you know.

We’re hoping to get a good turn-out, or in the
least turn it into a social event and hang out with the neighbors for a
few hours.

Here’s what I just posted up on the MVSNA blog:

Thank you in advance. And I’m looking forward to following your
blogging as you shift to a more historical focus.