Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Property Values Take 2

Part of this story is very positive. Property values going up is generally a sign of good growth in the commercial sector, coupled with stability and rising property values in the residential sector. From an investment standpoint, it is nice to know that those who have purchased homes have seen a 22% increase in property values.

This is a double edged sword though. As we are well aware, this also means that it also became that much more difficult for people to stay in their homes, or to purchase in Eckington.

Another concern is ensuring that our good friends at the Office of Taxation are calculating their tax rates and property taxes correctly. I am going to be somewhat obsessed with this issue for a while. The good old office of taxation has decided to raise my property value an insane amount. This is the second time that they have dont this. I am considering an appeal. Have any of you done this?

Property Values- Take 1

Friday, February 23, 2007

EC-12 Update

EC 12 Update From Brian Brown (Taken From Scott Roberts Bloomingdale listserv)

See this update from Brian Brown:

I apologize to the community for the delay in posting this on the 19th as I promised. I have been so focused on keeping the timelines I've set for the firehouse I forgot to forward an update.

The EC 12 Firehouse restaurant is moving forward. We have been assured that the XM/Sirius merger will not affect their working relationship with EC12.

We have worked through most contract issues with the city and we have submitted a project plan with proposed timelines to the city. The architects are working on the building plans required for the permits.

We have meet with DCRA (building permit division once) for a preliminary review and initial plan comments and soon as these comments are incorporated and the system schematics complete, we will be applying for
the building permit.


A Rant on Taxi Service

Living in NE DC is a wonderful thing. We have history, we have beautiful homes, and great neighborhoods. Transportaion continues to be a vexing problem for everyone. For some, it is the fact that most taxi companies wont come to my house in Eckington. However, this summer i realized that DC Cabs (a consortium of independant operators) would come to my hood. They often took a long time, but they would at least come to the house.

This morning, I called a cab at 8am, so i could get to work on time. My car was parked downtown. Over 1 hour later, no cab, no call, no nothing. So, i trapsed to the bus stop. Which was late, as it often is. I finally hailed another cab down on RI who took me downtown.

A couple questions: Why is it so difficult for cab companies to live up to reasonable expectations? What cab companies do you readers use to get too and from Bloomingdale, Eckington, Shaw etc? What is the new CEO of WMATA going to do about consistantly late and early bus service?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

North Cap Main Street Survey


Please participate in this survey. Many thanks

NCMS, Inc. Community Needs Assessment Survey

NCMS, Inc. is conducting a Community Needs Assessment Survey to gather residents' input regarding the neighborhood commercial corridors located on North Capitol Street between New York and Rhode Island Avenues, and at First St. and Rhode Island Avenue, NW.

The survey will only take a few minutes to complete. You can access it using the following link:

Your responses are important to us and will provide NCMS, Inc. with important statistical data that it can use to lobby for commercial revitalization funding and other important services.

Vicky Leonard-Chambers
President, NCMS, Inc

Finally Open

While The Pug is not in Eckington, and more in the , I am happy to report that the Pug is open on H St NE. The bar has been in limbo for nearly 3 years, but according to the Post is now open. I am an unabashed fan of Tony T, and Dive bars, so this is great news. Tony is a great bartender, who will treat you right. Give it a try.

Additional link at Frozen Tropics

Here is the excerpt of the article in the post:

The Pug

Since 2005, I don't know how many times I've said the Pug was "coming soon," but it's finally open on H Street NE, just down the block from the Palace of Wonders and the Red & the Black. And unlike the vast majority of the bars associated with Joe Englert's empire in the Atlas District, the Pug doesn't try to knock you out with a theme. Okay, so there are framed pictures and posters of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier and other heavyweight greats on the exposed brick walls, and a couple of TVs in the back of the one-room bar routinely show footage from classic bouts. But really, they seem like afterthoughts -- just part of the tavern's decor.

Owner Tony Tomelden -- famous on Capitol Hill for his decade of service at Capitol Lounge -- has a legion of fans that run from cops to congressional staffers, and crowds have been good so far, vying for the window seats or stools at the sturdy wooden bars. Instead of pouring pricey microbrews, Tomelden's offering Schaeffer in cans and Natty Boh in bottles, both of which pair well with shots of Jameson's Irish Whiskey, which is kept in jug-sized containers. There's no food available yet, but the kitchen should be online in the next few weeks.

Sadly, there's no jukebox -- Tomelden decided that after years of listening to other people put torturous music on the Lounge's internet jukebox, he'd rather control the songs himself with his laptop. Shouldn't be a big loss, as long as you like classic ska, punk and outlaw country.

The best thing about the Pug -- short for the pugilist -- is that it's not trying to lure crowds with sword swallowers or bands. It's a neighborhood bar with friendly staff, cheap beers and space to meet up with a couple of friends. Can't ask for too much more than that.

-- Fritz

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Big Bear Info

In an effort to support those businesses in the Eckington/Bloomingdale neighborhood, existent or planned, here is an update on the Big Bear Coffee Shop.

XM and Sirius

This has been covered all over the mainstream press including the Washpost, city paper, and the Eckington listserv. But if you havent heard, XM and Sirius satellite radio, have announced that they intend to merge. This merger is still subject to governmental review, and there are no clear signs about how this will impact Eckington, and the XM building. Some have postulated that considering the legal and statutory issues that need to be resolved, remaining in DC would be a prudent choice. However, it most certainly will be a financial analysis that will guide the CEO and Chairman to determine the locasion of the satellite giant.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Grilling in the Face of Adversity

After a slightly gluttonous trip to the grocery on Friday in which i purchased nearly 15 pounds of meat and poultry i needed to actually cook some of it. As I attempted to fire up my grill, i realized that alas, i was out of propane. I trucked it up to Home Depot to make the exchange. I was in the store for only a scant few minutes. I walked out into blizzard like conditions that would be more at home in Buffalo, NY.

Not to be deterred, I went along with my bbq, and used my rotisserie on my grill for the first time. I made my famous spice dry rub, soaked the wood chips, and smoked/grilled a chicken and a huge slab of ribs. Everything came out wonderfully. What a great way to spend a cold snowy evening.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Killerz

This topic is all over mainstream media, but just want to say "What the heck is going on with the Metrobus'?" Three people killed over the last week by buses.

Please be careful out there. The ice and snow is not helping matters.

(Updated: Pedestrians are also culpable. Yesterday during our momentary blizzard, i spied a pedestrian, dressed in all black, crossing RI avenue against the light. People need to stay in crosswalks and walk with the light. While two were killed following these rules, it still reduces your chances of getting hit by a car or bus.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Water Fountain of Evil

The Washington Post is reporting on additional problems with the Districts drinking water. Lead levels in 5 schools have exceeded federal levels over the last 16 months. These aren't just regular DC people, which is bad enough. These are EFFING KIDS that are being subjected to unacceptable lead levels. Why this story hasn't gotten more traction, in both the press, or the DC Government is beyond me. The Water Authority continues to endanger our kids and our citizens without abatement. They continue to lie to their customers, they have falsified reports and test to the EPA, yet nothing has been done over the last two years.

I have send letters to the mayors office, former City Council Man Vinny "the big O" Orange and Elanor Holmes Norton. Only DEL Norton responded, stating "i am in contact with the proper authorities on this issue, and will respond back in 3-4 weeks". It has been about 3 weeks since that letter, we will see what she comes up with.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Icy Mix Sucks. I spent well over an hour and a half today shoveling my stairs, walkway and my portion of the sidewalk. Even after all of these years of living in cold-climates, I still hate shoveling. But, the sidewalk is safe and passable for all. Hope you enjoy it Mr. Postman! Having the end unit means double the shoveling.

The process was also hampered by my selection of snow removal tools. My snow shovel was "liberated" last year along with other garden implements. So, i was using a square bottomed dirt shovel. After a while, I was reminded of Cool Hand Luke. If only there were a sunglassed guard to whom i could inform, "takin' it off here boss". But there is a sense of satisfaction in clearing the sidewalk that makes you feel good. Even though i am quite certain that in any moment, I may need a nap, and an advil for my back.

I haven't yet ventured out to work, but imagine that it will be quite a treat. between crazy SUV owners, and the others who seem to have difficulty properly navigating the regions roads during sunny weather, the commute should be quite a treat today. Drive Safely.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Joys of Being a Bureaucrat

I don't really thing that the weather is bad enough for OPM to let people leave early, but I certainly don't mind. Sitting at home this afternoon seems like the perfect thing to do. So, I am going to enjoy today, and inshallah tomorrow at home. Amen.

There have been several pipes bursting in the greater Truxton Circle area. Make sure your outside spigots are turned off, and that your basement is warm. flooding for you and your neighbors isnt fun.

I would like to take a moment to thank a few people for all the things they do in the hood; Mary, Steven, Joe, Stephanie, Kathy, Susan. You are all great people, and you have no idea how much I appreciate all that you do for the hood.

Tax refund- It wont be a vacation I want, nor a new flatscreen tv i "need". It will have to go right back into the house. I have the only house in DC where heat doesnt rise. My upstairs is 10 degrees colder than downstairs. this is not a good thing. And perhaps is a contributing reason why there arent very many visitors to the upstairs. So, alas, i will have to get some insulation for the attic. How lame is that?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Traffic Woes at 395 and NY Ave

My morning commute across the river was sidetracked this am as the 3rd St. Tunnel (395) was closed this am after a garbage truck flipped over and lost all of its contents. Traffic was backed up forever.

On thursday a pedestrian was hit and killed by a cement truck in the NY Ave 3rd St tunnel intersection.

And in general, what exactly is DDOT going to do about the messed up traffic in our area from dowtown to the B/W Parkway on NY Ave?

Friday, February 09, 2007

St. Martins Zoning Meeting Part Deux

According to initial reports, the second part of the zoning meeting in regard to the St. Martin's project went well for Eckington neighborhood. The presentation was apparently very well laid out, and has focused on the real problems of the project such as size, traffic and parking.

Over the coming weeks, there will be some paperwork filed and a final meeting in March for the zoning board decision. I am very happy to hear this news, hopefully an equitable decision can be reached.

I would also like to mention that all of those who have been active in this process should be lauded for their dedication and perserverance. Thank you to all of you who have worked so hard on this.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Coming Back Home-- Wishing I Hadn't

-It was extremely difficult to get on a plane this am, realizing that there was 20 degrees here in DC, a couple inches of snow and howling winds. After nearly a week in Miami, I didnt want to come home. The first reason was the weather, the second was that one of my friends lost a dear, dear friend.

- Velvet in Dupont has the best post
on our friend "Esther" who's black lab died way too suddenly this weekend. She has been in very rough shape since then. She rescued her dog, Angus from Labrador Rescue, and he became a huge part of her life. My condolences to her, and all of her friends who know how much Angus meant to her.