Friday, November 30, 2007

UPDATED: an open letter

thanks to mari over at, i have a new recycling bin. there's a house next door to her that was foreclosed upon, and they left some recycling bins behind. public property, says i. see, there is a benefit to the housing downturn!

here's the original post:

to the ignorant person who took our recycling bin:

i'm assuming that you'll never read this, because you're probably not bright enough to turn on a computer, let alone get on the internet. you took our recycling bin. we don't have an alley entrance to store it in, so it has to sit out there in the open on seaton place. pretty tempting, wasn't it. just had to take it, didn't you? bet you steal things from whomever you want to whenever you want to, don't you?

well, if there's some kind of fairness in this universe, you'll get held up soon, or have your house broken into. happens in this neighborhood frequently enough. i hope you're the next victim.

toodles. jerk.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

map of proposed school closings

i thought i'd throw a map together really quickly showing where all the schools are that the mayor and chancellor proposed closing today.

the map is here.

i'll add a few extra features if i have time.

something at 81 seaton?

the sotheby's real estate sings are out of the window at 81 seaton (along with the poor little handmade sign that had been there for ages touting "hood luv", a t-shirt and tattoo place that was apparently stillborn). are we getting a real tax office here, or is this just an advert in the window? other signs of life here include new paint, exterior lights on at night over the doors, and a new satellite dish that's been installed on the roof.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

why a new giant at 7th and O is doomed to fail

the nicest ship in the world will still sink to the bottom of the ocean if the crew steers it into an iceberg.

that's the best analogy i can come up with for what could happen with a shiny new giant grocery store on the corner of 7th and O in the new construction that roadside development is hoping to build. i've ranted about that giant before, and i don't want to beat a dead horse (too much), but a nice new restaurant with the same management and staff isn't going to be making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

i stopped in to the store after work to get some groceries, and had some of the usual issues with slow check out lines, etc., but i also managed to have a cashier who couldn't make change and failed to properly scan the items i was buying. if giant can't find minimally competent employees to staff their stores, they're not going to be able to succeed in creating a store that people aspire to shop at. there are certainly good employees there, but every terrible one leaves a much greater impression than five good ones.

Monday, November 26, 2007

end of street sweeping announced

it's this friday, november 30th. no more jockeying the car back and forth from curb to curb.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

big development to the north of bloomingdale

here's a quick update from michigan (we're supposed to get up to 4 inches of snow tonight....fingers crossed!!!):

on the express' website today, you can find a story about the armed forces retirement home development project. the image to the right comes from the master plan document you can find here. page 149 of this 154 page PDF has a map of the overall plan for the AFRH area.

overall, as it stands right now, this doesn't look good to me. too many large buildings with imposing facades and not enough differentiation. the whole thing is monolithic. it reminds me of a bad public housing project. i don't think that, if built this way, this will be considered such a nice place 20 years down the road. it needs more character, less rigidity. but, i suppose that rigidity is something you might expect from the military.

Friday, November 16, 2007

dc's biggest holiday

no, it's not one of the holidays that the whole country observes (like independence day), or that a lot of the country observes (like christmas), or even an official DC holiday (emancipation day).

i'm talking about that day when, after the leaves have fallen off the trees and there's a real chill in the air....the day that DPW stops making you move your car to the other side of the street!

i know that day is coming soon. i just wish it was here already. i'm leaving to go home for the week, and i'm going to have to have friends move my car around while i'm gone. oh well, at least by the time christmas and new year's get here, i know i can park my car in one place and leave it there, safe in the knowledge that the only thing i have to worry about is someone breaking into it or stealing it. that's so much more reassuring than worrying about the ticket writers...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

november shaw clean up

check out treebox vodka for information about this month's shaw neighborhood clean up:

Join us Saturday, November 17th for the Shaw Monthly Clean Up. This is our fourth installment as we continue our clean ups and tree planting. This event will be in support of Shaw Main Streets and treebox plantings between the 1300 and 1400 block of 9th street. This will finish our plantings we started in September!

Here are the details:
Saturday, November 17th
9:00 AM
Meet up at 9th and O streets (outside of Azi's)

Don't forget. For the people who's third time this will be there is a free prize!

Tell your friends and neighbors as we hope to have a big crowd to finish off the treeboxes and celebrate the continued improvements along Shaw's main business corridor.

UPDATE - new grocery store coming?

the original post is still below, but ANC6C05 commissioner alan kimber left this comment on this post:

Please note that my choice of words may have been a bit too strong. My *understanding* is that Harris Teeter has made some level of commitment to locate at 1st & M Street NE. It is not clear how firm the commitment is, and my understanding is that a lease has not yet been signed (these things take a while).

I do know for a fact that they pulled out of the (non-binding) "commitment" they had to locate at 3rd & H Street NE.

Alan Kimber
ANC Commissioner, 6C05

here's the original post:

are we going to be getting a fancy new grocery store really close to bloomingdale? according to this, at the blog of ANC6C05 commissioner alan kimber, we are.

specifically, here's the money quote:

3. Harris Teeter subsequently pulled out of its non-binding commitment, and has now committed to locate in an approved PUD project called Constitution Square at 1st & M Street NE [my emphasis] (adjacent to NY Ave Metro station).

here's a blurb about the building at the official noma BID website. might be awhile, but this sounds promising.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

ANC2C meeting

i just went to the ANC2C meeting on chinablock tonight. i wanted to drop off a copy of the petition showing support for the o street marketplace reconstruction that roadside development wishes to get moving forward on.

there was a quick motion to have the ANC send a letter to the zoning commission (i think, i forget which of zoning commission, planning commission, BZA, or whatever other organization is in charge of all of this) in continued support of the project. it was approved unanimously. here's hoping that it all goes through, because the redevelopment of those two blocks is KEY to making that area better.

after that, there were a couple more presentations, which i'm sure will be covered more extensively on other blogs, but the gist is that the church at 9th and G which was going to be replaced with a residential building is now going to be replaced by an office building, because PN Hoffman, the developer, has decided that the housing market is too soft downtown.

also, the proposed day spa at the northeast corner of 7th and P was not given support by the ANC. commissioner chapple, whose SMD the property is in, rescinded earlier support he had given for the development, stating that further interest may exist for the parcel, so he'd rather see what other proposals might come forward. sounds like mayor fenty and the development at poplar point in southeast.

the whole ecca computer issue was brought up as well, and that led to the gaveling of the meeting. the chair states that there is still an ongoing investigation, and that the ANC shouldn't interfere in that investigation (sounds like she took her talking points from george bush in the scooter libby affair!).

anyway, the biggest thing that i took away from my first ANC2C meeting was that the meeting isn't run very well. i don't think the chair is very familiar with parliamentary procedure (i should know, i was a parliamentarian in college). in fact, the woman giving the presentation for the 7th and P day spa (a former commissioner here in 5C) had to direct the chair how to run the meeting at one point!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

one of my favorite houses

ok, here's one that's far outside of bloomingdale, but i biked past it this afternoon and just had to take a few pictures to share. this house is on the southwest corner of R and 15th NW, and the color details are just amazing. i didn't get a good shot of it, but the retaining wall is even color-coordinated with the house! look at the railing over the garage...they've even put a little life into that too. amazing colors.

old tena market

some landscaping progress at the old tena market at the southwest corner of 2nd and rhode island. still no idea if it'll be a market again, or if something new will be added to the neighborhood.

police guarding our corner

here's a shot of the police out on the NE corner of 1st and seaton, keeping an eye on things at night last week. at least that vacant store serves a good purpose sometimes--it makes a great potential launching pad.

painting on 7th street

here's some painting work i saw being done on the west side of 7th street between Q and rhode island while i was checking out the new bike lanes today (see below). i don't know what these buildings are planning to be used for. anyone in shaw have some ideas?

new bike lanes!

i never saw this announced anywhere, but they put bike lanes in on 7th street NW from N street up to florida ave. hate to nitpick, but it would be nice if they grinded out the old lane stripes and added the little bike painting to the lane to make it a little clearer what's going on there.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

progress on vacant buildings

there has been a lot of talk recently in nearby neighborhoods about vacant properties and getting them taxed at the proper rate, hopefully pushing the owners to sell or fix up their building and get them occupied. i personally believe in the broken windows theory and that the sooner we can get places fixed up and occupied, the increased activity on the street will help deter crime and any of the other negative issues we have to deal with in the city.

with that in mind, here's an email i got from a friend here in bloomingdale this week:

Good afternoon,

This is in response to your inquiry about the property located at 59 R Street NW; this property is registered with the Office of Vacant Property. I have sent the owner of record a Notice of Violation to clean and secure the property, at which time he/she has 10 days to complete. If this not done DCRA will perform the abatement and bill and fine the owner of record. I will also forward this property to the Office of Tax & Revenue to start the tax reclassification process. DCRA does appreciate any and all information about vacant nuisance properties in the District of Columbia, so that we can bring them all up to code as quickly as possible.

Allen W. Smith