Five Reasons to Keep My Security Bars

NOTE: This was an unpublished draft that for one reason or another I did not publish on the date given. In order to clear out my draft folder on 12-16-2013 I chose to publish it. However, I won’t vouch for the completeness or accuracy of it, and it most likely does not reflect my opinion anymore.
1. Zombie Attack.. unless they get up to the 2nd floor then I’m screwed.
2. Gardening. I hang window boxes and trellis from them.
3. Flier holders. An alternative to placing them in my mailbox or fence.
4. Target for the Newspaper Guy. Aim for the door, not the plants.
5. The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. incident. You can’t arrest me if you can’t get in…. without a warrant of course.

Low flying helicopters

Okay, maybe they are actually looking for or at something when they are hovering over my area at a low altitude. But dang it they are loud, and sometimes at different hours annoying.
The day after one of them whirlybirds has been flying overhead I check, hit ‘flight tracking’ then flights to try to find the annoying thing and see how low it was flying. Typically the police copters are UNK, but I know what they are and when they where here, I just can’t gauge how low they were flying. Wednesday, around 4pm, the skies were busy and UNKs flying below 1000 feet.

No I will not join you on Facebook

It isn’t you.
It’s me.
And I’m not joining Facebook or getting a MySpace account and to maintain a level of privacy (and the right to change my mind a million times without any grief) I ain’t twittering.
The blogs are enough.
What I really want to do is be able to do before the computer and the Internet, curl up and get completely lost in a good book. Ocassionally I’ve been able to find a ‘can’t put it down’ book, but the time for it, seems to be gone. I’m afraid if I even consent to one more time suck, the ability to enjoy and feel the great pleasure of a good book will be lost.

Free Shrek showing

For some odd reason:

Film: Shrek, December 12 at Archives I

Beautiful princesses, handsome princes, witches, ogres, and fire-breathing dragons turn up in almost every fairy tale. They’re all in this computer-animated adventure, but their roles, and the surprising plot twists, are anything but expected in this fun adaptation of the children”s book by William Steig. Features the voices of Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy. (2001, 90 minutes) Saturday, December 12, at noon in the McGowan Theater at Archives I.

Archives I is the National Archives downtown. I’m guessing the entrance will be the Constitution Avenue side. Too bad you can’t mix that with a little neighborhood research, as the downtown National Archives building has the censuses for DC (as well as the rest of the country), DC building permits, and a whole bunch of DC wills.

Does this mean the end of the Methodone McDonald’s?

A few days ago Scott Roberts mentioned on the Bloomingdale blog that the methodone clinic down near the messy intersection of NY and N Cap is closing. Comments to that post say that they are just going to relocate and are still open. But when they do move how much of an impact will it have on the southern TC border? And will the methadone McDonald’s be less methadoney?

Monday Miscellany

Well someone is “thinking” about redoing the look of that prison school on New Jersey, called Dunbar.

The BACA blog announced that North Capitol Main Streets has announced an effort to clean up North Capitol from RI to NY Aves.

Somehow my Truxton Circle updates started up again. For a while I got nothing, and now, for no reason I can tell, I’m getting the updates. It’s a Thanksgiving miracle!

Speaking of the TC, I have restarted the TC Census project by bartering with my cousin. In exchange for a big ole spreadsheet tracking the 1900 era residents of the TC, their occupations and such, she gets to live with me free and I feed her. So far, she’s discovering occupations that no longer exist like milliner, coppersmith, and compositor. It appears that a number of folks worked down at the GPO on North Capitol, a walkable and bike-able commute.


Well Corduroy, Cork and Etete are Shaw (or close enough) area restaurants that made it onto Tom Sietsema’s Top Restaurant Recommendation list.

Bread for the City is launching a blog, and having a launch party. It’s going to be at the Big Bear Cafe on Oct. 24th at 5pm. See more info here.

Yes, kids trick or treat here. Buy candy what you don’t give to kids, dump at your office and feed to the hungry interns. See past posts on the topic of trick or treating here and here and here.

In the sad tale of apparently two nice guys, one a homeowner the other a contractor, Stu Davenport, good guy AND competent contractor steps in and saves the day. Stu is also a 5C ANC commissioner and co-owner of Big Bear.
The horror story told in the Washington City Paper’s blog The Housing Complex reminds us that if you are having major work done, don’t expect DCRA to protect you. If you’re paying over 10K for some guy to rip up your house it is on you to take a look at his previous work and talk at least 2 or 3 of his most recent clients. I do remember talking to David’s clients, and he’d done work for some friends of mine whose house I admired. It’s great if a contractor is nice and well meaning but you really need to check that he knows what the heck he’s doing.

Truxtun, townhouses, and misc

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

How was your weekend? Mine was supposed to be spent finishing up the Ten Days of Truxtun, which I didn’t do, so no Tom Truxtun today.
Somewhere among the row of townhouses on 4th Street, one has popped up for sale recently, making 3 houses on 4th Street on the market. I’ve been inside 2 of the 3. Going from highest to lowest is 1714 4th St NW on the market for $519K. It’s got an apartment downstairs and I haven’t been inside. It is next to a green space neighbors carved out of an abandoned lot, and parking that according to records is another lot, but looks like part of the road. On a smaller lot with no off street parking and no alley is 1547 4th St NW at $479,900. I’ve been in it. From what I can remember the basement is not a separate unit. It is also on the same block as the mosque. But residents of that block tell me they sometimes mentally block out the calls to prayer. Lastly is 1619 4th St NW on the market for $439K. The backyard is deep and has a wide alley. An alley wide enough for dump truck to go through, so trash is collected alley side. One could park in this backyard or if you have a compact car, carve out some parking and have a decent back patio. The fireplace in this house is a gas fireplace, and not the old fashioned find wood and throw it in kinds. That fireplace does warm up the house pretty nicely. A few things I dislike about the listing is that the neighborhood listed is “Convention Center/Shaw”. Well at least the Shaw part is right.
If you have questions about the neighborhood surroundings of these houses feel free to email me at mari at inshaw punt com.
Miscellany? Friends don’t let friends get Obama chias. I would take a picture of the current state of the Obama Chia, but it looks so wrong. The chia is so uneven and spotty, it is sad.

Hodgepodge of Stuff

There are links of stuff from other blogs I keep meaning to comment on or share with others but for one reason or another don’t so I’m going to try…

Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale has a post on this week’s BACA meeting and the LAYC issue.

PoP reports on a Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market hater who wants the joint shut down.

There’s supposed to be a DDOT presentation regarding Richardson Place on October 8th. I don’t know where or a what time.

The 5th St Hardware store is offering personal shopping and 9 volt batteries (between 10/5-10/11 for fire safety week). For the personal shopping order before 1pm and pick up by 5.

Longview Gallery on 9th St will be having a grand opening party on the 22nd. RSVP by October 19th to info [at] .

Blagden Alley has an email in regards to the Dr. Ximena Hartsock issue and the disapproval of her appointment as Director of Parks and Recreation.

The condos being built on the 400 block of Rhode Island have a website. However I disagree that Big Bear recently opened and it isn’t a weekend Open market. It’s the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market! The market has a name, use it. And whomever drew that map, needs to be hit with a newspaper.

And lastly the effort to hinder one’s first amendment rights with an ounce of crazy and a stay away order has been defeated. A neighborhood bully, who shall not be named, filed for a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) against the CCCA prez, as part of that bully’s tactics of trying to silence critics, when the usual threats and insanity doesn’t work.

What’s in a name?

I’ll probably get back to my regular blogging after Labor Day. But I wanted to start blogging about a topic I keep coming back to and that is neighborhood names. Part of the problem is I’m not from Washington, DC. A lot of us aren’t from the District. And some few natives I have known, hailing from other parts of the city aren’t necessarily familiar with all parts of town. Armed with ignorance and unencumbered with any childhood attachment of names, we get into petty squabbles of if where Bloomingdale ends and Eckington begins and if Bloomingdale is a part of Eckington at all.
Why does it matter?
When I went home to Florida and when I started looking to buy property I noticed that place names aren’t uniformed or well known or even written in stone. Some time back my mother said we lived on Tucker Hill. Which, when she told me this was news to me. It was the name of a cemetery not too far from the house. But not the name of the cemetery closer to the house. When I was looking for property close to my mother Tucker Hill was not a neighborhood search term. It was ‘West something’. When I checked the municipality’s property tax website, it was ‘West something else’. The only commonality was it began with ‘West’.
Growing up it seems that everyone just used landmarks and street names as neighborhood identifiers. You lived over there by that elementary school, the library, or on this street near the old Winn-Dixie. And it helps to know that the vacant box strip-mall was a Winn-Dixie in the first place. Friends in cul-de-sac neighborhoods hardly referred to where they lived by the developer’s name. Turkey-Pine-Willow-Creek-Run-Farm all sounds alike after awhile. It was just the sign you turn at. There were a few developments, retirement villages whose names wound up describing whatever happened to be near it. But those were the few, everything else, 50th St near the Publix out on Pine.
So I come here and I live hear in the District. The DC tax website says I live in Old City. The mid-20th century urban renewal projects of the National Capital Planning Commission say I live in Northwest and later the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area. Efforts in the 80s by the District government describe the particular area where I currently live and where they then were selling properties is Truxton Circle. There was a circle in the early 20th century. It’s gone now. It’s parts rotting in a park elsewhere. There was a post office of that name. That went away in the 60s or 70s. Google and several other maps and some DC Planning brochures currently call it Truxton Circle. Then came the eight Wards in the 70s and Shaw got divided by four wards, most of Shaw is in Ward 2. I’m in Ward 5. Somehow a small block group grew from Bates Street and it now describes the northern part of Truxton as the Bates Area Civic Association.
Dunbar High School on New Jersey Avenue looms over the neighborhood. You can see the top of this tall ugly prison-like building from the corner of Florida and North Capitol. And I am near it, so I concede on that point that Dunbar could be a description of the neighborhood, as in ‘near Dunbar’. It’s tall enough and takes up enough acreage to be a landmark. Yeah, there was a nicer looking Dunbar, and a more notable Dunbar before the current building, but that’s gone. And it is so close to several other schools, Cook (no e), Armstrong, Slater and Langston.
So where do I live? Old City? Ward 5? ANC 5C? Truxton? Shaw? Bates? Northwest? Over by New Jersey near Dunbar? All of the above.