Join Theater J for Neighborhood Nights!


By Anton Chekhov, Translated by Ari Roth from an adaptation by Carol Rocamora
Directed by John Vreeke
Starring Naomi Jacobson, Jerry Whiddon, J. Fred Shiffman and Alexander Strain

$15 Tickets on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7:30 pm with code “Dupont”

Call (800) 494-TIXS or click here

Running through July 19

Don’t miss this summer classic performed by an all-star DC cast!

“Lively, solidly built and frequently funny…and productions of Chekhov that achieve that particular trifecta are rare indeed” – Washington City Paper

“A production that revitalizes and freshens some tried-and-true Chekhovian arguments by sifting them through a Jewish strainer” – Washington Jewish Week

“Innovative production… Ari Roth’s daring in rewriting the play is a risk that pays off and rewards the audience with a new perspective on the drama” – DC Theatre Scene

Performing Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 8:00 (except for the 4th of July), and Sundays at 3:00 and 7:30

Discussions follow all Sunday matinee and Thursday performances

Visit for more info

Random Lunchtime babbling on Bundy Park

A couple of weeks ago I signed a petition in favor for a dog park at Bundy. I don’t own a dog and have no plans to own one in the immediate future. However I do benefit from having a neighborhood with responsible owners with well trained dogs, like I benefit from living on a block dominated by homeowners. It’s not my house or my dog, but the actions that the homeowners and dog owners take, or have incentives to do, that improve the neighborhood and improve my quality of life here.
I will also note that I don’t live in Ward 2 where the proposed parking lot/field is. I’m over in Ward 5, so my opinion doesn’t matter or count. But I have an opinion and Ward 5 owners over in the Truxton area would more than likely use it, and it is very unfortunate that our voices won’t count.
One could say it is a children vs dogs, white vs black, adults vs children, greenspace vs pave the world, or a slew of other A vs B. For me ‘A’ is comprised of those residents who wake up within comfortable walking distance (everyone has a different comfort level) from the parcel of land in question. This includes white residents, black residents, Latino residents, Asian residents, multi-racial residents, grandmas on fixed incomes whose companions are little yippie dogs, single women who got dogs for security, kids that pestered their parents to get a dog, other people with dogs and their friends who may not have dogs, but like dogs. What I have noticed with the increase of having neighbors with dogs is there are people walking around in the morning when I go to work. Those people are more eyes on the street adding to my personal safety. There are people walking around in the evening when I run errands. There are neighbors, people I’ve met at BACA meetings or other gatherings, who are out, available for a quick word, a wave hello because they have to walk the dog. More people on the street encourage more people to get out and walk, dog or no, which improves the health of the resident community.
For a while my dog owning neighbors would walk their dogs in the alley, which in turn, discouraged drug stashing and other negatives that were problems.
I consider a convenient location as something that you can walk to at a regular pace in 10 minutes, 15 maybe. The Shaw dog park is past my 10 minute range and I walk fast, so a convenient location is Bundy.
Another point, Shaw as a whole has a lot, a lot of social service organizations of various sizes that do a lot of great work from providing day care for children of families with AID/HIV, homeless services, counseling, food distribution, poverty advocacy, you name it, it comes with the diversity of the neighborhood. One would hope that new social services moving to the area would become good neighbors. Unfortunately with the sensitivity of the function of Safe Shores, I can see how it could develop into a fortress to keep out the community in order to maintain privacy and security. That sort of thing would not make the surrounding area safer or secure. Besides asking for variances and other permissions, I don’t foresee much future interaction with the surrounding community. I can foresee walking by a darkened parking lot at night, making that corridor of P Street scary and dangerous.
The other thing is does Safe Shores really need 100 parking spaces? Since the organization’s parking space would come from government owned land that we believed slated for community (and one hope ‘community’ in this sense means nearby residents) use, the community should question the need for the number of spaces. Does it need 25 spaces? 30? and why. This isn’t Largo, MD or other parts of suburban Maryland where parking is a given. This is central, Old City DC, and free parking isn’t a guaranteed right. Nor should it be automatically given no questions asked to non-profits and other organizations no matter how nobel the mission. Safe Shores will not be the last social service locating to the area if history is a guage. I understand counsellors and parents coming from other wards will need parking, but how much?

Before the ANCs

Everyso often I see on other blogs commentary about the ANC system here in the District. Suggestions on how to improve them varies, but I wanted to share something, which may or may not add to the discussion. The ANC system came about after Home Rule in the 70s and are in line with the Ward system. Before Home Rule there were the civic (black) and the citizen (white) neighborhood associations that would advocate for city services.
I noticed, when poking around in early 20th century DC history, some associations’ borders kept changing or had proposed changes due to population changes or other reasons. In 1925 the North Washington merged with the North Capitol and Eckington Citizens Asssociations to become the North Capitol Society. The reason was the two groups tended to overlap and replicate each others work.
Even after the ANC system, there were changes in size and number. The system that was put in place in 1974-1976 does not look the same as the one we have today. So changes can be made, because they have been made.

Historic house in LeDroit

1900blk 3rd St NW
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Yesterday I wandered over to 3rd Street NW to admire the history. Please note this house, the chain link fence, the history! Some folks know the significance of this house, which currently is a private home from all indications. So please do not harass the occupants. Up until a few days ago I had passed the house on a few occasions without noting its importance. Then one day I was cleaning off my desk at work and there was this brochure for the National Archives’ Regional Archives- Southeast Region in Morrow, GA. As objects of interest they had on the brochure national registration cards for notables who at the time probably weren’t that notable when they filled out the card. Of the five cards there are the names and then current addresses for Huey Long, Jr., George Herman Ruth, James E. Carter, and Harry Houdini. And also some guy named Ed who lived on 3rd Street.
The house was one of several homes occupied by Edward Kennedy Ellington, also known as Duke Ellington. He was 19 when living at the house pictured.

How not to run a green campaign

I walked home from work, and found DDOE’s Green.DC trash strewn all on my street’s sidewalk. Little door hangers like you see pictured, weren’t even on the fence. They were on the ground in front of the gate like someone didn’t even try. Later, walking around the neighborhood, I saw more of these things on other fences, on doorsteps, on security door gates, but not on any actual doors, as the items are designed to go on. More than often I saw them on the sidewalk, in the gutter, in treeboxes and in the streets.
And to date this witnessing, I had a continuous soundtrack of Micheal Jackson music playing from various houses along my route, as the King of Pop had just died a few hours ago. I swear yesterday/this morning someone (can’t remember who, PoP?) blogged about the “Green” trash littering the neighborhoods and someone from the DC government saying that was a mistake and they’d clean it up.
Maybe I could suggest to DC Green to just stop. You stop now, and don’t distribute anymore at this moment, you’ve cut down on trash by prevention. Then I suggest oh, an hour or two in training distributors on the finer points of the door notice. Note that it is supposed to go on a door. Not a fence. Not a gate. But a door. More specifically, a door handle. A door handle is the thing people use to open a door. I recommend the guy who distributes the Chinese carryout, which managed to make it to my mailbox. Though not correct, better than the sidewalk in front of my house.
Maybe the city can lead by example by not trashing my hood like a bunch of thuggy teenagers with a finished bag of Rap Snacks.

Hanover Civic Association Meeting

I’m posting this here because I got a very recent question about the Hanover Civic Association and my basic answer was ‘Idunno’. The northern half of the TC is Bates, which is what I know more about, the southern half, below P Street is Hanover.

On Thursday, June 25 at 7:00 pm members of the Hanover Civic Association will meet at the Armstrong School to entertain presentations on the recent DC Government decisions providing:
(1) the Cooke School for social, health and after-school programs and housing for 40 families by the Latin American Youth Center, and (2) the potential development of the vacant lot located at the intersection of Q Street and Florida Avenue, NW into 27-units of cooperative housing.

Both projects were presented at the Bates Area Civic Association meetings, but the meeting tomorrow will give us an opportunity to learn more.

Both projects will increase the number of housing units as well as the mix of diversity in our community that many neighbors welcome. However, is the new housing an indication that government is giving our community increased attention? How will the new housing improve our neighborhood? How will it increase the tax base? Will the new housing be compelling enough to spur development of commercial establishments, sit-down restaurants, and retailers along the North Capitol corridor? Will the need for social services increase in the neighborhood? Will the programs be open to current neighbors?

Comissioners Sylvia Pinkney and Anita Bonds

Will do history for food/ keyboard

Here’s the thing. I need a new keyboard for the old Mac. The current one is kinda cruddy and it would be a simple task to ride on over to the Apple store in Arlington, but I’ve noticed that I haven’t been across the bridge to Virginia for what seems like a year. And thus, I have discovered this personal record of not going somewhere and would like to extend it to Thanksgiving (I may want to hit up Pentagon City for Christmas).
So what is this to you? Well if you live in Truxton Circle or one block off on the New Jersey side or the New York Avenue side, I will do an address history for you in exchange for a new keyboard. Since I have a lot of data related to the constantly dropped Census project and can hit 3 repositories for DC history on my way walking home, it would be a sort of easy for me. My qualifications? Seriously, if you need to know, is a MA in Early Modern European History from UMASS-Amherst and an MLS (grad degree in Library Science) from UMCP and over 10 years working in libraries and archives. So this is a deal.
But you’ll get what you exchange for, meaning I’ll give about 5-10 hours of work and no more than $10 worth of photocopies. Also no packaging, just raw data. I like to leave interpretation up to the user.
So, who wants to get me a keyboard?


There is a fair amount of unhappiness on the Shaw Neighborhood Listserv. Part of me is a little detached as it’s over in Ward 2, Jack Evans Land, and I am over in Ward 5 (dang Ward system separating us from the rest of Shaw), so as a voter I don’t have Jack, I just got jack. But, Bundy is on the edge, close to the TC. I’ve not nothing useful to add but links.
DC Gov Responds on Bundy Parking Lot– from the BACA blog
One unhappy email on the Shaw Listserv, and a response from Jack Evans.

No surprise this happened as BACA had been surprised about the future use of the Cook School.

Take the 70 or 79

First, my prayers are with the families and victims of those who lost their lives on the Red Line, and with those injured. Please keep all the riders of the Red Line in your thoughts or prayers as WMATA deals with this tragedy.

Now, how are you going to get to work tomorrow? There is the 70 bus. The long accordion bus that rides up 7th Street. You can take that to Silver Spring. You can also take the 79 Express bus, that also gets you to Silver Spring. You can catch both of them at the corner of 7th and Rhode Island at the Asbury Dwelling building.
Buses will be packed if WMATA has the tracks between Fort Totten and Takoma Park are shut down. It is possible they’ll have trains sharing a track, maybe not.
There is a bus the J2(?) that goes to Silver Spring from College Park Metro, which is on the Green Line. The the the C2(? Sorry I’m guessing the WMATA site is overloaded so I can’t check my bus info, I’m working from memory) that goes to Wheaton from College Park.
If anyone has any other info about buses that get to the north part of the Red Line?

The new guys

This is one of those posts I fear because as soon as I write something positive, a gang of fire-bomb throwing drug dealing door to door con-artist ax murdering plant thieves descend upon the neighborhood. But here goes….
We are no longer up for sale. To my knowledge all the houses on my street have been bought or are under some serious contract. The New New Guy, as opposed to the New Guy and the Other New Guy, was at his place with a contractor and happy to get the neighbors. We got 3 new guys. I had already met the Other New Guy when he was Potential Buyer Dude, and I was probably a little stand offish early on. Mainly because I didn’t know if he was an investor or a person with intentions of living on the block. But now he’s the Other New Guy and I’ve already done the neighborly thing of lending him tools. So for the most part our block (once the two new guys bring in furniture and the other place is confirmed sold) is stabilizing. The old families aren’t going anywhere, there are only a handful of houses rented out, and the majority of the households are rainbow collared** middle class.
And Sunday was just a lovely day. The Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market was good and I enjoyed the Confit Duck Ravioli from Copper Pot. I bought a bunch of cherries and made several batches of cherry liquor to sit. Got strawberries to make more fruit spread and blueberries for my own yogurt mix in.
Besides the monsoon type rains, the neighborhood looked great.

**Some families are middle class through prudence and good financial habits, some have businesses where they work with their hands and get dirty, not everyone is a desk jockey.