I'm just saying

R St and NJ
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

1701 NJ Ave NW is up for sale, again. I swore I’ve seen this place pop up everyso often. Even though there is an open house for this it’s priced at a 2008 “make me move” price, $729K . Considering a more spacious and private home across the street at 1718 NJ Ave sold for less than $600K (with parking, small back yard and a separate rental unit), it’s not signaling that the owners are in any hurry to move.
During our last big snowstorm the owners had their own private walkways shoveled but failed to make any effort to shovel at least one of their sidewalks. Amazingly, the shoveling went about 1 foot past the front gate and stopped about 5-6 inches from the neighbor’s sidewalk shoveling efforts, creating something very uneven. The rear of the house is nothing but parking, and whomever was hired to shovel the driveway parking and just enough of the alley for a car, dumped some of the ice right in front of the path of the unshoveled sidewalk. Bad, enough not to shovel the sidewalk, but to dump and block, that’s bad.

Please secure your rear

I just came from a unrewarding task. While putting my trash can away I noticed not 1, not 2, but about 4 home security issues of concern that could result in a break in or theft from a home or yard. Now if it was just one house, I would go to that person’s house and knock on their door and point out that their back gate latch is unlatched, their rear security door (iron door) is wide open or any of the other concerns I noticed. But with 4, screw it. I’m just doing one and that one, the person wasn’t at home. I left a note.
I’m not repeating it with 3 more houses.
So folks I know the snow probably kept you out of your back yard and away from your alley access. Well the alleys are mostly walkable now and wood warps (why your back fence gate is open), so check your rear.

BACA block captains wanted

There is a workshop for folks interesting in becoming block captains on March 11 from 7-9PM at the 5th District police headquarters. I gather the goal is to improve the safety of the community. If interested please contact Jim Berry at jamojam at msn periodthingy com. Ask about the car pool.

A gold plated DC education

My friend Nathan of DC Education Blog is back and blogging and reports here and here, that DCPS spends about $28,000 a student. Not that each student gets $28,000 worth of school, books, facilities, teachers, as there is the court ordered Special Education which costs more.
I took a look at the numbers, which is almost pointless because I don’t do math. The libertarian Cato Institute’s look at the numbers are in this Excel spreadsheet. Which somehow led me to the audited enrollment for DC Schools because I wanted to know the number of students behind those numbers which I don’t really comprehend. Something else I wanted to understand but didn’t see numbers were comparisons of how much per student was spent in NoVa or PG or Montgomery counties.

Marion Barry

Marion has mojo, a particular political mojo that allows him to get away with anything. If you could bottle his mojo it would be as valuable as that unobtainium stuff in the movie Avatar. It would make any politician invincible, so they can sleep with anyone, not bother with federal taxes, be sloppy with city funds and be a shoo in around election time. If you could bottle his power, you can rule the world, or Ward 8.

A few things revisited

a grocery store in ne
On the Eckington listserv there is all this back and forth about the old Safeway and hoped for replacement. Please take the Harris Teeter off the list. According to an old press release HT is scheduled to open Winter 2010/2011. According to a recent DCMUD post (hat tip eckington blog), that date could be November 2010.
Honestly Eckington/Edgewood area, I don’t see what that area has to attract the kind of store y’all think you deserve. The two favorites according to Debbie Smith’s poll were Trader Joe’s (which tends to like small spaces with hidden parking) and Wegmans. What no Balducci’s? I left the Logan Circle are a few months after the Whole Foods opened, and from what I remember the civic authorities of that area showed how the population of Logan/Shaw (and Dupont) could support a Whole Foods. The Soviet Safeway, the O Street Giant, and the no-name grocery in the area were no competition for the kind of shopper that would support WF. If y’all can prove that a national or regional grocery chain can thrive there despite a Giant nearby that happens to be very convenient to a metro station with many buses, go for it.

and regarding sidewalks and the problems for those in wheelchairs (from Scott Roberts list)

See this 2/17/2010 message from ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti:

Bloomingdale does it again: another resident is helped!

Once again, Bloomingdale residents have shown their concern for their neighbors and done it with more than just words. This past weekend I heard from Angela xxxxxxx who uses a motorized wheelchair to get to and from college in Rockville, MD. She makes that daily trip using Metro. That trip is long and difficult on the best of days (Angela has some hairy stories of having to drive her wheelchair down Michigan Avenue from the Brookland Metro Station when the buses have not run), her trip became impossible after the snow storm because she could travel barely 20 feet from her property before the sidewalk became impassable for her wheelchair.

After meeting with Angela and hearing her situation and what she needs to go back to school, I called on a number of residents for a major operation: get Angela from her home in the xxxx block of Flagler Place to the bus stop at North Capitol and W Street, about a third of mile. And once again Bloomingdale responded. Many, many thanks to Sara Kaufman and Mike McNeil of the Unit block of W Street, and Dodd Naiser, Alastair Pakiam, and Brandon Skall of Flagler Place for joining me to widen the path on the sidewalk and for chopping out a lot of ice so that Angela could make her way safely to the bus stop and back. We went with her on a test drive back and forth. She couldn’t believe that people would do so much to help her.

Thanks everyone!

Please clear the sidewalks.

Owner of 304 Q Seeks Zoning Variance

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Anyone know what this is about?
I just noticed “Zoning Variance for Renovation of 304 Q Street, NW ……Jason Bonnet, owner (5c01)” as an agenda item on the ANC 5C agenda. If there is a zoning application it isn’t on the BZA schedule as far as I can tell. Good lord knows I don’t want to go to the ANC meeting just to find out. But on the other hand, if there is a plan to squeeze a bunch of people into a smaller space than is suitable for the neighborhood, then that needs to quashed asap.

Timor, Timor, How We Love Timor

There is an article (PDF) out on the greatness that is Timor Bodega. Don’t let the closed gate fool you, he’s open. The article mentions Timor owner Kim Wee’s winter veggie box program and the Union Street soaps. Last I looked he was out of Black Tea and Sage which is an awesome soap. The tea embedded in the soap give you some scrubby action in the shower, and bonus is you get to rub yourself with caffine in the morning. I also have the oatmeal, which is more nubbly than scrubby, not as great as the black tea. There is a Cinnamon Orange bar that smells wonderful and keeps my bathroom smelling great hours after I’ve showered.
The yogurt is the best. I’ve been spoiled by the yogurt there, as I got some yogurt at Giant and found it watery in comparision.
When my cousin returns to eat me out of house and home, she will get the sourdough bread hiding in one of Kim’s freezers. She raves about it. Sometimes she won’t wait till the loaf is completely defrosted that she starts picking at it and eating it. It makes for a good ingredient for my french toast, too.
Timor is very unique not because of what it has (or doesn’t have, which at times can be frustrating) but because of the atmosphere created. Remember back two years ago when Kim opened Timor, he had the dairy case and just one low aisle of shelf stable items. Now as he’s past his second year anniversary with us, he seems to have found some sort of system, balance, method (whatever) that works, and the shelves are taller and there is more stuff, but you still have to ask him if he has X, because it might be in season and it is in the back, in a hidden freezer, or something. In that back and forth in figuring out what works, and what doesn’t something wonderful was created. And in that two years we have pointed to Timor as a neighborhood asset. Yes, it’s in Bloomingdale, but close enough to the border to be enjoyed by Shaw people.

Safeway at RI and 4th NE

Really I should stay of this. But the store that was closed for a short period due to a rat infestation. It is a store at the top of the hill and about 1/4 of a mile from the Giant near the Rhode Island metro station. I’ve been in the Giant a few times. I know people hate it. I’ve been okay with it, but haven’t been in enough times to say if it’s any worse than the O Street Giant. I’ve been in that Safeway once and haven’t felt any deep need to return.
So on the listservs there is this clamoring to keep the Safeway from closing. Harry Thomas has gotten involved. There is some sort of petition for a Harris Teeter.
Okay, someone enlighten me. Someone ‘splain to me how the politicos are supposed to convince a private business to land on top the same old unprofitable rat’s nest? As Safeway said they aren’t making enough money in that spot, how is a Teet supposed to make it work?
Anyway good luck with that, but since a Harris Teeter is slated to open near the NY Ave metro, I don’t see one popping up anytime soon 1 mile away.