Monday, May 28, 2007

black rainman

it was a non-traditional memorial day for me. i spent most of it inside studying up on arabic, but by the time i got outside, there was really no humidity. i think it was actually more humid inside the apartment (with the a/c on) than it was outside.

went to eat at matchbox. (first time there, it was nice....good pizza and a nice building they have there too. it's much bigger on the inside than on the outside.) then we went to go see once at e street. it's a great movie, starring glen hansard, the lead singer of the frames. it was so funny to see songs performed a few feet away from me on the screen that i'd see a couple weeks ago at coachella.

afterwards, we grabbed some ice cream next door at giffords. the roasted coconut is quite good, and the 72% chocolate is just what you'd think it is.

the best part of the evening, though, was what always happens when i'm downtown somewhere after dark. meeting a character. and this time it was black rainman. that's how the guy is marketing himself. if you run into him, he'll ask you to name (at least) 20 countries, and he'll give you the capital and some background information on the country. like rwanda ("one man dies, and the blood of a million are shed"). quite impressive, really. and he got the rest of our good pizza (and a little change as well)...

Friday, May 25, 2007

parking ticket

i always park on seaton in front of my place. on tuesday, when i went to move my car for street cleaning, there were no open spaces, so i moved over to s street. unfortunately, the days that the street is cleaned there are switched, so i got myself a parking ticket. of course, i didn't realize that until just an hour ago. of course, there was a note on the ticket requesting to have my car towed, and the city apparently never got around to that, so i guess part of the joke is on them....

....i've got to take something positive away from this!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

new condos at 3rd and florida

i just got back from the open house for the new condos that are on the northeast corner of 3rd and florida.

pretty decent on the inside, and the 3rd floor is much nicer than the 2nd floor (ceilings are about 3 feet higher, i believe). i asked the realtor there about the retail on the first floor, and she said that there will be a coffee shop in the larger space, with an outdoor patio on the s street side of the building (in the little fenced-in area there). she said that there is nothing going into the smaller retail space just yet.

now, if we can just convince someone to move into the space at 1st and seaton...

Friday, May 18, 2007

even the homeless hate the cabbies

quick note: i was downtown at the corner of 9th and H, biking back to work after a quick lunch break, and a garbage truck went through the intersection southbound on 9th in the left hand lane. a cabbie in the right lane cut across traffic (and in front of the garbage truck) to get to the left curb. the garbage truck had to slam on the brakes and lay on the horn to keep from hitting the cab. there was a homeless guy standing next to me on the corner who yelled out "[screw] that, run him over!"

i looked over to him and said "damn right" and he said back to me "you goddamn right."

i'm glad to see that i'm not the only one who thinks the cab drivers in this town suck.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

when do you call the cops?

so, the usual drunk guys across the street are fighting (it's a bunch of posturing for the most part), but one of them just pulled a large knife out and threatened to stick the guy he was yelling at. there's been plenty of screaming, swearing, and disparaging for the last 15 minutes out there. and as i'm writing this, a police van drives by, and they all get up and go their separate ways. anyway, keep your eyes peeled if you're walking on the 1800 block of first street. those harmless drunks are armed.

Friday, May 11, 2007

progress next to dc mini mart

i still don't know what's going into the old t-mobile space next to dc mini mart, and i'm not home during the day to ask the workers if they have any ideas, but, here are some pictures. you can see the new brick they're putting up for the entrance (i'm assuming a door and two window setup here).

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

show of force at 1st and S

it's 8:45 p.m., and i'm just getting home from my arabic class mid-term (don't ask, i think i did well). anyway, there are at least 10 vehicles from the fire department at the corner of 1st and S. a couple of neighbors were outside asking what was happening, and to the best of my knowledge, someone spilled something flammable in the alley south of S street, and the fire department is there to clean up the spill. hopefully not TOO serious, but man, what a show of force!

wonderful way to start the day

well, i'm just about to hop in the shower, and i hear the same guys who are outside every morning waiting for the liquor store to open. 7:00 a.m. and they're asking "have you got anything to drink?" tell me that's not a sign of alcoholism.

and of course, i glance outside to see what the day is like, and one of them is urinating on the abandoned business across the street. there's a nice puddle of urine slowly spreading towards the sidewalk now:

as the well-dressed people walk by on their way to work, the men ask for money to fuel the day. another beautiful morning in bloomingdale.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

trees down

ddot cut down a few dead trees on the block yesterday, leaving stumps with "ES" sprayed on them in fluorescent orange paint. does that mean "eliminate stump" or "eradicate stump"? i hope they do grind out the stumps so new trees can be planted there. i'll put a picture of this up later (unless they get rid of the stumps today) since my camera is magically working again!

UPDATE: well, there's a picture. the sun was setting, so i had to cast a shadow on the tree to keep the paint from being lost in the light, and it's a bad angle so you can hardly read it. someone left a comment about stumps being ground down on w street the day after being cut down, so we'll see if the city comes back around to grind this stump really soon.

Monday, May 7, 2007

concert crowding

ok, this might be proof that i'm just getting old, but am i the only person who gets a little miffed when people crowd into the teeny-tiny places between you and the people in front of you at a concert? i went to see fields and blonde redhead at the 9:30 last night, and there was a decent sized crowd, not too crowded. stephanie and i kept a small but reasonable amount of space between us and the people standing in front of us, but some people saw that as an opportunity to wedge themselves into that space.

she didn't mind so much and told me i was being stand-offish for not making space for these people. i felt like if i move back for one group, another will move in and i'll keep getting forced further and further back. what do you think, am i in the wrong here? i don't want to be a jerk, but i think that once you've staked out a space on the floor in a general admission concert, it's everyone for himself at that point.

and don't get me started on the hundreds of people at coachella last week who felt like they absolutely HAD to push forward to be in the front row, even though they arrived 20 minutes into a set and there was absolutely no room within 100 feet of the stage...

UPDATE: here's dcist's review of the concert.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

wouldn't see this much where i grew up

just being observant while i try to study for arabic class.

a nice big old lincoln pulled up in front of my place with some oldies blaring. the guy in the car popped the trunk, got out, got a beer out of a cooler in the trunk, poured it into a to-go cup, tossed the can in the garbage can (thank you!) and then just went back into the car to sit and watch the world go by with his beer. i could think of more exciting places to relax, but hey, to each his own.

Friday, May 4, 2007

more construction today...

...both natural and man-made.

i was back in the neighborhood for lunch today (my parents were driving through town and wanted to see the apartment), and i saw the door open in the space next to the dc mini mart on 1st, and there was framing work going on inside. i didn't have time to stop and ask about what's going in there, but i will if i get the chance. good to see that that empty space will at least be occupied by something soon.

in addition, it looks like the UFA has put up notices on the 100 block of seaton and are going to take down some of the dead trees. the new ones that they planted in november are doing great. hopefully they'll grind stumps too and prepare us for a few more new trees that we can nurse to maturity...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

restaurant at 1st and seaton

well, sorry for the lull here, but i was on vacation in california at coachella and joshua tree national park (also checked out big morongo canyon preserve on a tip from a joshua tree employee).

anyway, i was just downstairs pulling some of the weeds that are growing up around the place (and my roommate's motorcycle), and a guy came up to look in the window of the still-vacant space below our apartment. he introduced himself as a restaurateur from chicago who has just moved to nova, and he's looking for a space to open a restaurant in dc. he asked me if i'd like a nice restaurant downstairs, and said he was looking to open a quality establishment. he said his broker pointed him to the space downstairs.

i talked up bloomingdale for a minute or so, and told him it's a growing area. he said he was aware of the big bear. so, who knows, maybe something may be happening here soon.