Thursday, July 26, 2007

help clean up shaw

chances are, if you live in bloomingdale, you probably go through shaw a lot, if not to it to shop for groceries, go to restaurants, etc. well, the neighborhood is starting a monthly neighborhood clean-up in august. here are the details.

sure, it's not our neighborhood, but i think it would be mighty neighborly if some of us helped them out. (we can always sell them on our farmers' market and fancy new cafes while we're there!) who knows, you might make some new friends too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

rita's water ice coming to convention center?

i love rita's water ice. i bike up to the one on rhode island avenue in woodridge occasionally when it's a nice day. turns out they just opened their second location in the district up in columbia heights. that got me curious, so i went to their website, and a little poking around got me to their franchise page.

check this out: go to their franchise page and type 20001 into the zip code box. you can click on the gray marker on the map nearest to the convention center, and you'll see something similar to what's at the right here. it says there is a franchise sold for the "convention center (area)", whatever that means. maybe one is going in there, maybe it's going somewhere else on 9th street. looks like something for shaw rez to check out!

Monday, July 23, 2007

renewing my faith in humanity

5:30 pm this afternoon, i was on my bike heading eastbound on L street, and the light at 13th street was red. there was a woman on a bicycle at the light, and a bmw 3 series sedan with virginia plates behind her. i came up to the intersection in the lane to the left and pulled up alongside the woman on the bike. the man in the bmw laid on the horn 4 or 5 seconds later. i ignored him (cars honk a lot for no good reason when i'm on my bike), and he honked again. i said out loud, without turning around, "hold your horses, you'll get to virginia before the day ends." at this point, i could sense the car moving towards me from behind.

now, i've had cars play that fun game called "let's see how close we can get to killing the bicyclist" because they must think it's funny to scare the hell out of 165 pounds of flesh and aluminum with their 3000 pound vehicles. so i figured this guy was just going to try to intimidate me with his car (meanwhile, there are only about 10 seconds until the light changes). turns out this guy is pulling HALFWAY UP ON THE CURB to try to drive around me and the other cyclist. i turn around, with what must have been the most incredulous look on my face, to see this guy rolling the window down. he yells, "you're an asshole. i could have turned right on red if you just get out of the way."

now, at a deep level, he's right. and i could have been eating his entrails if he just would have let me disembowel him and turn it into sausage. but i'm a vegetarian, so i guess that wouldn't work now, would it?

anyway, i was ready to lose it, but the light was green, and it was time for me to go. he proceded to shout "you're an asshole" a few more times, and i couldn't come up with a good quip, other than "you're the asshole" (yeah, i'm pathetic). so i biked away as he hammered it and headed down 13th street, back to his home somewhere across the potomac.

i caught up with the other biker, and she asked me if i was from around here. turns out she was in town from NYC, and she wanted to know if DC drivers always treated cyclists like that. i told her it was unfortunately common in my observation, and she said she never sees it that bad in new york. i'm sure there are jerks up there too, but what i really want to know is why was this particular guy so peeved. i'm not going to go into the obvious, like how he could wait 30 seconds at a light if the vehicle in front of him is going straight ahead, be that vehicle on two or four wheels. no, what i want to know is this: virginian, or beemer driver? which is the least redeeming quality?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

are you doing your part for your neighborhood? (a plea for action)

over at renew shaw at the beginning of the year, shawrez asked everyone to do things to help make our neighborhoods better places. some of those recommendations included volunteering at places in the neighborhood like the library (when it opens) and at the schools, and also cleaning things up when you can. i try to take the time to pick up garbage when i'm walking around the neighborhood (except when i'm on the unit block of t street, that block is beyond my help right now). i know it doesn't seem possible right now, but it would really help things if everyone would just clean up their treeboxes every day when they walk by.

some people are always going to toss their garbage on the street, there's really nothing that can be done to change their attitude. we just have to do what we can to mitigate their lack of care for the neighborhood.

now, another thing you can do is fill out councilman thomas' survey for ward 5 residents about what we'd like to see changed and done in our neighborhoods. if i may recommend something, i'd like to lobby for everyone asking him to do what he can to push along the construction of the metropolitan branch trail.

i went biking this afternoon, and realized i could get up on the constructed portion of the trail where m street crosses under the tracks. it's a great view from up there, and really kind of peaceful right now. of course, if it was busy with bikers, that would be a great thing too! go check it out if you get a chance. you get a good view of the new ATF building and soon-to-open 2nd street from the trail. (just be wary right now, the north end of the constructed trail, under the new york avenue bridge, is a homeless camp right now, and i didn't want to bother them this afternoon, so i kept my distance).

let's all ask councilman thomas' office to keep the pressure on all the parties to get this trail completed. it'll be a great addition for the bloomingdale and eckington neighborhoods.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

trolley fire

in case you hadn't heard about it, one of the tourist buses that is supposed to look like a trolley ignited on the 1100 block rhode island ave nw yesterday evening. how is this related to bloomingdale, you ask? because it happened right in front of my old house! check out dcist and dcfd for more pictures.

picture from dc fire department

Friday, July 6, 2007

jail time for fireworks!

ok, just needed to get your attention, because if i wrote a nondescript title for this post, no one would read it, since there are a million other neighborhood blogs commenting on fireworks as well. here's all i have to say: i can live with the fireworks. i knew coming in that people in dc love to waste their money on this stuff. good for them. me, personally, i spend my money on rent and other necessities, but that's my thing. here's the rub: garbage. yeah, i rant about neighborhood cleanliness all the time. i know we're never going to be able to eat off the neighborhood sidewalks, but what i'm asking is something simple from the mothers who stood outside at midnight celebrating the fifth of july with their progeny.

pick up the trash.

the skeletal remains of roman candles, sparklers, and other junk litter the corner in front of my house. would it have been that difficult to, afterwards, pick up the mortar shells and spent canisters of your revelry? it's the least you could do to show respect for your neighborhood.

that's it, not an terrible request, just one neighbor hoping for civil reciprocity from others.