A mix of cheap and pricey

Maybe I would make sense to a marketer, or not. I love the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market (this week’s info at BACA Blog) and I will buy several items from the vendors there, even though they are more expensive than products I’d get at a regular supermarket. However, the quality most of the time is superior to the Giant or Safeway and neither of those places give me the experience of chatting with the producers.
On the other end, I shop at the messy and chaotic Florida Market where I get items from the Mexican Fruit Stand. I complained to my roommate that the avocado I bought there cost me a whole $1. Last week it was 50 cents. It seems that avocados are supposed to be more than $1. I’ve been spoiled. The fruit stand is where I get my onions, garlic, potatoes, pineapples, bananas, mangoes, lemons and limes. I go through a lot of lemons and limes. Sometimes I do spot organic items at the fruit stand, most of the time, not.
Where quality matters I may go with the local and organic items. When I’m probably going to boil the bejeezus out of them or they will get lost in the background of other flavors, I’ll go with the cheaper items. But the way I see it, the cheaper stuff saves me money so I can buy the higher quality items.

When tranny hookers attack

From the Shaw Neighborhood Yahoo Group via the GLLU Newsletter (gllunewsletter@ gllu.org):

On 5/25/09, at approximately 2:30 a.m., members of the First District responded to a call for an assault in the area of the 600 block of K Street, N.W. According to the victim, he walked in the area confront the prostitutes in his neighborhood. As he was admonishing them, one of the women, who the victim described as a male-to-female Transgender individual, grabbed him between his legs and made sexual advances towards him. The suspect fled the scene prior to the officer’s arrival, however her identity is known. The victim was not injured.

I had thought the development round there had removed some of the gals from the area, I guessed wrong. But then again I’m not over there at 2AM. The lesson here is keep a safe distance from the working girls, they fight back.


This sort of is related to an earlier post “Is this neighborhood safe?”, but that was about the streets. This is a reflection about home.
My house came with bars on the doors and windows. The front 1st floor window had an AC cage big enough for a monster sized window unit. No air conditioner I’ve ever had ever filled that cage, and it jutted out so far I was constantly in fear of beaning myself on the head when gardening. When I had the big renovation done in 2007 a neighbor inquired if I was going to remove those bars, as others had done after so fix up. Uh, no. Fast forward to a month ago when I had the neighborhood handyman remove the A/C cage, with the idea of replacing the bars with something that was flush with the building. Well he removed the cage and left the bottom half of my window bar-less for 2-3 days. Those were 2-3 anxiety filled days.
Problem was that window did not lock. It gets stuck and you could break your fingers trying to open the damned thing, but it does not lock. Also a few months ago two houses on my block were broken into, and one of the burgled houses had just put new bars on the windows.
So honestly, as much as I would like to not have bars on my windows, I don’t think I’m there yet. I’m not at that place where I would feel at peace having no bars on my front first floor window. I know that our neighborhood would look much more inviting if there were no security gates on the doors or iron work on the windows. But despite the great and wonderful changes there is still that sticky element of crime. Even if the only thing worth stealing is the TV, I still want to keep out thieves (and zombies, but that’s another post). I do entertain the idea of changing, not removing, the iron work to something more aesthetically pleasing.

Lunch options in Penn Quarter

Dear Wagamama,
How dare you make me wait until 2010 for tasty ramen.

I thought I took a picture but apparently, no. Yesterday I spotted signage on 418 7th Street stating that the noodle chain I fell in love with in London will be coming in 2010. Better yet, it will be close enough and priced about right to make a regular lunch spot.

Cheap House on 4th Street

1604-1610 4th St
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

The yellow one is 189K, per Redfin. That is cheap, and I take it the bank finally took it over as it was sitting at $350,000 for what seemed like a year and had now dropped below $200K. This baby appears priced to sell.
Here is what I know, which isn’t much. The property was owned by a guy whose name I keep messing up, starts with a ‘K’, who owns or owned several rental properties in the area. This was one. The house has a basement and similar homes have rented out the bottom part, but I don’t know if those are legal basements. It has no real front yard, and a very shady back yard. The back yard is big enough to park a Smart Car, or maybe a classic Mini Cooper. There used to be a family in the house until Mr. K encountered his financial problems.

BFM and a teaspoon of Rolling Thunder

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Besides the bikes that a few of my neighbors have, I figured the rumbling I’d hear would be limited to them and a few of their friends. Nope.
Sunday at the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market, where I wandered over to get pasta and strawberries, I saw a parade of motorcycles lead by the police. This is not a good picture, but back on Florida Ave is where a small portion of the bikes can be seen. It was a good bunch, men, predominately Afro-American, on shiny big bikes, waving to the people and honking their horns. Traffic was blocked for several minutes and it went on long enough to make me wonder if I could get back to the other side of Florida.
The mini parade went on long enough that as they were passing my attention went back to buying things. I really like the Copper Pot’s pasta sauces and meat filled pastas. I’ll admit, I’m not that big of a fan of the spaghetti, but I like very, very, very thin noodles. Last night I had the lamb angelico(?), the lamb stuffed pasta,with a cream sauce I made from cream, white wine, garlic, a bit of lemon juice and some sage growing out in the yard. OMG that’s good. The week before I had the rabbit pasta, which is very delicate and requires a delicate sauce. So far the lamb is my favorite.
And there were two vendors selling strawberries. Last week I made strawberry frozen yogurt with those strawberries and that very smooth yogurt found at Timor’s. That was very good and no I didn’t give any of that away, like I normally do with a lot of my ice creams. So this week, I bought some more strawberries, from both vendors and once again made strawberry frozen yogurt, and pina colada sorbet. Both have booze in them so that limits who I can give them away to.
Unlike store bought strawberries, these in season, local kind, don’t have that tasteless white center I often find. The farmer’s market strawberries are tasty throughout.

Intern Housing Advice: $500 a month will not get you an apartment in Penn Quarter

Followup from Intern Housing Advice: Scope your location. This is my advice to young ones who are coming here from where ever for an internship, fellowship or whatever to avoid the scams that haunt the housing boards on Craigslist.
Pretty much almost all the listings on Craigslist for DC apartments under $600, if they actually are in DC not College Park or Crystal City, smell fishy or are mislisted. This is obviously a scam, using someone elses pictures. Well obvious to someone familiar with the city.
So let me quickly go over the scam. Say you are an intern looking for housing and you see this great ad for an apartment in DC for $450. You email the contact in the ad and they are willing to rent it to you sight unseen. You then send/wire/Paypal the deposit+ 1st month’s rent or the application fee to this person you don’t know from Adam, for a place you’ve never set foot in, and your money is gone.
Cheap rent is to be had in group houses and rooms for rent. Typically an honest ad will give an intersection the place is near and mention the neighborhood it’s in. Group houses may also be funished, or at least have furnishings left over from the last roommate.

How I’m Going to Die

One day a car is going to hit me, I swear.
Yesterday, riding the bike to work I’m in the f’ing bus/bike lane, and it doesn’t help that the stretch of 9th St is pockmarked and uneven, when a car swoops up behind me. IN THE BUS/BIKE ONLY LANE! The bloody thing could have hit me as I was trying deal with the bumps and dips in the road.
A few days before that when on foot, I was crossing Rhode Island along 7th Street and a car turning on to RI doesn’t even pretend to slow down. I was in the crosswalk and I had the light, though the little red hand was flashing. But still.
Once again I say, I’m more likely to get hit by a car than shot. Despite the shooting spree that has popped up around here, the four wheeled monster is still my greatest danger. I’ve been here now for eight years and the sound of random gunfire has gone down while my near misses with cars have gone up.
And while I’m ranting, wear your bike helmets people! Stop at the light and look both ways before crossing.