Friday, November 21, 2008

st. martin's apartments groundbreaking ceremony

today was the groundbreaking ceremony for the st. martin's apartments complex in eckington. there was a lot of concern expressed on neighborhood listservs and blogs over the last couple years regarding this project, which will bring 178 apartments to the corner of summit and T streets NE, across the street from mckinley tech high school.

one of the big neighborhood concerns stems from the fact that 50 units in the building will be dedicated to the mayor's housing first program, which will take people off the street and out of homeless shelters, giving them the stability of their own apartment. some neighborhood residents believed that this was "warehousing" by putting this many former homeless in one location. i don't wish to get into the politics of this story one way or the other, but i'd like to just show a few pictures from today with some brief comments.

here's the old convent on the site, which will apparently be moved down the hill somewhat, closer to the corner of summit and T streets (away from the camera at this angle).

shovels and a fake pile of dirt were set up in the parking lot beforehand to the used for the ceremonial groundbreaking. there were seven speakers in the tent this morning, including opening and closing remarks from the emcee, ed orzechowski, the CEO of catholic charities of DC. following his welcome to the crowd, we heard from leila edmonds, the director of the DC department of housing and community development, allison ladd, the associate executive director of the DC housing finance agency, and michael kelly, the executive director of the DC housing authority.

in this photo, councilman harry thomas, jr., of ward 5 speaks, with community members around him (including robert brannum, alice thompson, and current and former ANC commissioners. councilman thomas, sporting a ballcap, talked about the long road that it took to get this project off the ground.

in a cheesy comment, he noted that he had driven from the wilson building in a v8-powered SUV, while mayor fenty had driven over in his smart car. councilman thomas told mayor fenty that he should abandon the smart car and get back in something with "more horsepower" so he could make it to these events more quickly. all things said, i'd much rather that those driving would all follow the mayor's example instead of barreling around in gas guzzlers like the councilman.

here's that smart car of the mayor's, parked outside of the tent, and not taking blocking sidewalks and street corners, like a lot of the other cars at this event. just sayin'...

speaking of the mayor, he had a lot to say about the need for low-income housing in the city.

the archbishop of the catholic church, donald wuerl, spoke as well and offered a prayer.

after the speeches, the assembled dignitaries left the tent to turn the ceremonial first shovelful of dirt. construction (mostly clearing and grading of the site) is already underway, as rumbling dump trucks made clear to everyone at the site.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

who the heck is urbanturf?

as a connoisseur of many, many local blogs, you sometimes notice that a lot of blogs are covering the same story.

that's ok. often, one blog approaches a story from a different angle than another, and you learn different things from different people. i feel like it really gives you a stronger understanding of local stories (which is one of the best things about hyper-local blogging in the first place).

so, i thought it was interesting that at least three of the citywide blogs here in dc all started pushing this relatively new blog called dc urbanturf by giving guest real estate (pun intended) on their blogs to this new "home buying guide."

dcist, dcmetrocentric, and now prince of petworth all have guest posts supplied by urbanturf on their sites. it would appear that whomever the folks are behind urbanturf (check here for some brief bios) are doing a really good job selling themselves to the heavy hitters in the dc blogosphere.

Friday, November 14, 2008

bloomingdale civic association meeting on monday the 17th

remember, monday at 7:00 p.m., it's the monthly meeting of the bloomingdale civic association (at st. george's episcopal church on the corner of 2nd and U streets)

here's a reminder from association president cassandra costley:

Please join us at 7:00 p.m. St. Georges Episcopal Church (160 U St, NW). We will host the District's Water and Sewer Authority's (WASA) public forum on its 20-Year Plan to Control Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). Some of Bloomingdale's newer neighbors may not be aware that this community's failing CSO system has been the cause of significant flooding and property damage in this neighborhood. So, you can learn what has been done and is in store for Bloomingdale. This meeting is also your opportunity to learn more about the $2.2 billion plan to control pollution in the Potomac and Anacostia rivers and Rock Creek. WASA and its customers - you - are spending more than $2 billion to reduce 96 percent of the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in our waterways. Please attend this meeting to learn more about this water pollution control program, flooding, share your views, and find out how you can help reduce pollution in our area creeks and rivers and control flooding.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

yoga district grand opening schedule

here's the information on yoga district's grand opening this weekend:

yoga by day,
art & music by night

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yoga District, with its not-for-profit mission to bring affordable yoga classes to diverse communities in eco-sensitive environments, is having a Grand Opening & Winter Peace Benefit. Proceeds will benefit Delfa Hercules' family & the Peace Initiative.

  • 9am-9:45am: Meditation class, all levels ($5 donation suggested).
  • 10am-11:15am: Yoga 1-2 class ($10 donation suggested).
  • 11:15am-12:30pm: Open House, Meet the Teachers, Winter Peace Initiative Volunteer Sign Up, and Art Exhibition by area artists.
  • 12:30pm-1:30pm: Vegan / Vegetarian Chef Cooking Demo- Light Lunch will be served ($6 donation suggested).
  • 2:00pm-3:15pm: Flow Yoga 1-2 ($10 donation suggested).
  • 3:30pm-4:45pm: Kids Yoga (ages 5-9) ($10 donation suggested).
  • 6:00pm-?: Music, live graffiti art, art by local artists, freestyle performance, open mic, drinks & munchies ($10 donation suggested).
1830 1st Street NW (purple building)
202 265 YOGA

Copyright 2008-2009 Yoga District LLC.
All rights reserved.

Steve Abate
Studio Assistant Manager

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

reconfiguration of a major intersection?

before the election last week, ted mcginn, a candidate for an ANC seat in SMD 5C02 brought up some of the things that were discussed at the edgewood civic association meeting that would affect his SMD in the near future.

(ted is also one of the principals behind the bloomingdale farmer's market every sunday.)

anyway, one of the things that was brought up was that ddot was planning to implement a "virtual traffic circle" at the intersection of florida and new york avenues beginning in february of 2009. needless to say, i was rather intrigued, and asked ted for more background. he directed me to this website, which is home to an old corridor study that ddot did for new york avenue from mt. vernon square all the way to the maryland line, where one can find the map below (modified with a few corporate logos by yours truly):

if this map is correct, florida avenue will be turned one-way westbound (towards U street) from the eastern end of the ATF building over to the XM building. eastbound traffic (towards trinidad and gallaudet) will be routed onto 1st street NE, then will have to make a left turn onto the short stretch of O street that is usually used as a loop for current eastbound florida avenue traffic to get onto eastbound new york avenue.

the site says this is a "temporary" solution, but it appears that a final solution for redesigning this intersection hasn't been agreed on. leave a comment and let everyone know what you think about this. i, for one, am not a big fan of one-way traffic, as it seems to make roads more apt to be racetracks. of course, eastbound traffic would be doing anything but racing through this redesign...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

blogroll changes

i took a look at my blogroll, and decided it was time for some major changes. there were a few blogs there that are dead, and new ones that i've been following for a while now via RSS. so, just so you have a better idea about what i check to keep up on news here in DC, here are the changes to my blogroll.


  • free ride—the express newspaper has removed newsiness from its blog, and just sticks to info about "going out". not my thing, thanks.
  • new kid on the eckington block—guess eckington can't support that many blogs. this one has only posted once in 2008.
  • climbing the mount—looks like this blog died out about 3 months ago. hasn't been anything new from mt. pleasant since early august.


kwame brown—where's the action?

just a quick question for kwame brown as he most likely cruises to an easy reelection today. back in june, you were here in bloomingdale to discuss things you could do to help our neighborhood. one thing that was brought up was how the house (pictured here) at 1727 1st street nw is boarded up, crumbling, a nuisance property, and owned by an absentee landlord from bethesda. you said you'd get that house worked on, get something happening with it.

it's been almost 5 months, mr. brown, and still nothing is happening at the corner of randolph and 1st streets. i know you don't need to come back to us for 4 years to ask for our vote, but it would be nice to fill this promise to the bloomingdale community before then.

will CPR work here?

on the southwest corner of 5th and rhode island nw a few weeks ago, someone drove up over the curb and ran over this parking sign. it's still lying there, face down. i think the patient might be dead, jim.

copyright infringement?

does anyone from washingtonian magazine want to tell me if the new name for the former lowest price gas station on the southwest corner of rhode island and new jersey avenues is breaking any copyright laws?

new streetlights for rhode island avenue

i was biking down rhode island avenue on monday, and i saw a sign announcing construction and lane closures at the corner of new jersey avenue. turns out that the right-hand lane was being closed for this:

i saw two of these on westbound rhode island (between new jersey and 5th, and between 5th and 6th streets nw) and one on eastbound rhode island (at 8th street). i asked the construction workers what was going on, and they said they were installing the bases for new streetlights. guess this stretch of rhode island won't be so dark at night anymore!

fixed in time for election day

a couple weeks ago, i pointed out the typo in robert vinson brannum's signs announcing his run for the ward 5 school board seat. well, just before the election, looks like he has new signs up.

i have to say, bravo! these are much easier to read from a distance (as in, you can actually tell who the signs are for without needing to get very close). well done, sir, and good luck today!

1823 1st street nw—bloomingdale's public restroom

check the guy in the light blue shirt. he's not checking for leaks in that building's windows. this isn't the first time that i've brought up the area in front of 1821 and 1823 1st street here in "downtown bloomingdale." it's a place where a lot of guys with nothing else to do hang out all day. the usual crew needs to heed nature's call once in a while, and it seems that most of the time, that entails walking around to the alley behind shearard's accounting to relieve themselves. sometimes, you just can't wait, so the stairwell at 1823 serves as a men's room.

going to the dc citizen atlas tells me that the owner of the property is l. g. mckinnie. anyone know how i can search for this person's contact info to see what they think about their property being reduced to a urinal?

why change from duke city?

saw on prince of petworth that duke's city on u street was undergoing some renovations. while i was across the street at the saloon on saturday, i took this picture. looks like they've changed the name to "indulj." god, that spelling is lame, but it looks like this is their new direction.

Monday, November 3, 2008

interesting voting map

just a quick link to fredo alvarez's blog for a cool map showing when polls close across the country tomorrow.

by 7:30 p.m. DC time, ohio, virginia, and north carolina will all be closed. three of the biggest swing states in this presidential election will be (potentially) able to be called at that point.