Monday, June 26, 2006

The Less Poetic Side of Rain

While my friend Healeyhoo provided a wonderful poem which warmed my heart, and reaffirmed how much i appreciate her, the downside of the rain has been felt by many. Our bretheren in Bloomingdale, and to a lesser extent here in Eckington, have felt the wrath of getting so much rain in a short time. Many people have shared stories about the tons of water that has ruined or at least sullied their basements.

I got off pretty well. I spent an hour this afternoon, and another hour this evening working in the unfinished basement moving a very small amount of water. Friends from CapHill, brookland and other areas have been less lucky. I almost feel bad that I was lucky.

For all of you struggling to get things dry; godspeed. I hear that National Wholesale Liquidators still has dehumidifiers and shop vacs available, while home depot and Fragers do not.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Rain, rain, rain

There is something very cathartic about the rain. Perhaps it is the sounds of thunder, and the white noise created by millions of droplets hitting the pavement that creates an orchestra of sound. The white noise is very soothing, and seems to make me very introspective. As I sit here on my porch watching the lightening and enjoying the peacefulness, I can't help but think about how great the rain is.

I have flowers everywhere in my yard, all which are enjoying the liquid nourishment they are receiving. Daisies, Hibiscus, lillys and others are doing great. They are joined with herbs which are starting to get going. Hopefully good culinary arts will follow.

The rain has meant something very different to me since moving to DC seven years ago. In a city that often has red ozone alerts, a ton of trash on the streets and general city filth, every time it rains hard like this is an oportunity for cleansing, or renewal. In otherwords, DC is getting a much needed shower.

People are off the streets, it is quiet, there isnt a firecracker (or gunshots) to be heard. It is a nice change of pace. I tend to do a million things until my body and mind are exhausted. this weekend has been more about relaxing and enjoying my house and neighborhood.

It could also be that the clouds and rain are preventing my directv from working which is giving me a few moments to reflect, rather than staring into the boob tube.

Hopefully all of you are enjoying this time as well.

Darwin Award for the weekend

Saturday evening I left the friendly confines of the district, and headed out to Crofton MD for a bbq. The drive was surprisingly quick, it took me only about 15 minutes as traffic on 50 was light.

While on 50, there were two moron on crotch rockets (motorcycles) doing the dumbest stunts imaginable. They were riding extended wheelies at over 90 miles an hour, weaving in and out of traffic, looking back at one another without paying attention to the road in front of them. But my favorite was the guy who was riding the bike at nearly 100 mph, side-saddle and then riding on the side of the bike, hanging on with only his arms as he rode with both feet dragging flat footed on the left side of the bike. it is the dumbest thing i have ever seen attempted on a vehicle. I was curious if Dr. Darwin was looking down and scratching his head in the same way I was.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sad News from the Tune Inn

It is with great sadness that I provide an update from the Tune Inn (my favorite DC Bar). Metrocurean broke the story, and has done a fantastic job capturing the essence of the bar, and the passing of the owner.

My condolences.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


-Apologies for not posting as regularly as I would like. Composing posts from work is becoming less of a good idea, and therefore will be a good bureaucrat, and blog from home. This will reduce the frequency of posts, but hopefully will improve the content. Please keep visiting.

-St. Martin's. The hearing to consider the convent for historical designation has been delayed. this has been covered well by Scott Roberts. I am wondering what caused the delay? Regular red tape, or lobbying by an outside source? Those that want to send a letter in support of the designation, let me know. some in the Eckington hood have some good model letters you can crib from.

-Mayoral candidate Fenty was with a few staffers on NY ave this am holding signs. Can he catch Linda Cropp? Does Marie Johns have a chance in hell?

-Someone busted the lock to my back gate in the middle of the day. wonder why, and who would do that. nothing appears to be missing, and nothing is destroyed. Bored neighborhood kids?

-the house across the street has finally sold, closing was last week. new neighbors coming in. We will see if they will be good for the hood.

- My garden is blooming. Iris', daiseys and the trees are lush. Now if I could only keep up with the weeds and the mowing!


Thursday, June 15, 2006

St. Martins HPRB Hearing Postponed

Thanks to Scott Roberts for this update:

Dear Friends
David Maloney, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, just informed me that the St. Martin's School and Convent application for listing on the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites originally scheduled for June 22 has been postponed. When the new date is set we will contact you with that information.
In the interim, thank you for your comments regarding the nomination. We will retain your comments and include them in the HPRB packets when the nomination returns to the agenda.
Bruce Yarnall
Education Program Manager
D.C. Historic Preservation Office

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Here is a random assortment of non-sequitor thoughts.

-From the Bloomingdale list: From a 1st Street NW resident: "A word to the wise: We planted a pretty little young Japanese maple in front of our house last summer. This morning I walked outside to discover a gaping hole where the tree had once been and no tree. I can only assume that someone has stolen it in the hopes of selling it on the black decorative tree market.

-Related, a neighbor on First St NE recently had all of the plants on his front porch stolen. Is there a market for this stuff, or are there green thumbed theives around.

-Fireworks: they are being mentioned everywhere. They are noisy, and are difficult to distinguish from gunfire unless you are close. What I am wondering is- Is using firecrackers a good way to mask gunshots by "evil doers".

-Saw a kid no older than 14 drinking beer out of a 22 oz can last week.... Do the markets sell to them, or does a buyer do it. In a related note, a good, yound kid on my block was drinking his soda out of a paper bag. I was going to say something to him, but he was gone before I could scold him about it.

-MPD was staking out the community center softball field last night. It was good to see.

-Houses for sale. there are four houses for sale on my block. I wonder if they will be sold to gentrifiers, or will continue down the path of disrepair.

Friday, June 09, 2006

St. Martins Revisited

The waters have been fairly calm over the past several months in regard to the proposed redeveloment of the St. Martin's housing project in Eckington. I believe there has been some back and forth about the size of the project, none of which has been resolved.

However, about a month ago the St. Martin's Covenant building was nominated for Historic Preservation status. This would conceivably make development of the area more difficult for St. Martin, as they had intended to raze the old building.

The hearing for the meeting is coming up, and our good friend Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale has dug up the following information....

Recap: St. Martin's is interested in demolishing and razing the convent building on its site in order to clear the property for its all-new-construction rental apartment building. The historic nomination has temporarily halted the demo/raze permit for the building.

The convent -- as well as the St. Martin's School -- will be on the agenda of the Thursday, June 22, 2006, Historic Preservation Review Board public hearing.

Recall that ANC 5C voted to support the St. Martin's housing project for the Eckington site behind the leadership of Cleopatra Jones, a parishioner at St. Martins.

(He) asked Bruce Yarnall of the DC Historic Preservation Review Board how residents could express themselves regarding the historic nomination of St. Martin's convent & school, which are on the 6/22/2006 HPRB public hearing agenda.

To provide your feedback on this nomination for Historic Preservation of St. Martins covenant, please mail email or fax comments to

Tersh Boasberg, HPRB Chairman
Office of Planning/Historic Preservation Office
801 N. Capitol Street, NE #3000
Washington, DC 20002

They can be faxed to : See above at: 202.741.5246

They can be e-mailed to: See above at:

In all instances, please have individuals reference: St. Martin's School and Convent HPA 06-10

I STRONGLY recommend that comments for and against reach us no later than COB 6/14/2006 in order to include the material in the HPRB Board members mailing that goes out on June 15. Any received after June 15 will be presented to board members the day of the meeting.

The official agenda for the meeting can be found
-What are the consequences of this passing? Will St. Martin's be in a position to look for other ways to make their housing project work? Will it erase any good tidings that have may be remaining?
-What are the options if this passes or fails?
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have not yet decided on my position, and whether I will submit a letter to the board. I am a 200 ft Club person, so it is very important to me.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I knew I had good taste

The good people at Esquire magazine have named my favorite bar, The Tune Inn as one of the best bars in the south. While I really dont need the validation of a fancy schmancy magazine with half naked people and cologne samples in it, the accolade is kinda cool. I also have problems with calling DC the south, but that is another issue.

Hopefully this good press wont prevent me from grabbing a stool, grabbing a beer, and watching my beloved Red Sox on NESN.

Congrats Tune Inn.