Sunday, May 31, 2009

new mural in bloomingdale

interesting new mural on the side of the house at 73 W street nw (took these pictures minutes before the fire on tuesday in the post below)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

fire on the unit block of rhode island avenue nw

sean had it here first. right after i got off the bus this evening, five fire trucks, a couple ambulances, police cruisers, and other fire department vehicles came down rhode island avenue from both the east and the west, converging on what i believe was 67 rhode island avenue, the house to the left of the cream-colored house in google street view above (i couldn't verify this completely as i couldn't get that close. i'll correct this post if i was incorrect).

below are a few pictures of emergency vehicles on 1st street, rhode island avenue, and in the alley. it smelled like an electrical fire. does anyone reading this have any more specific information?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

met branch trail—is pepco backing out on its deal?

it's been a long time since i last wrote about the metropolitan branch trail, but the folks at eckington (way better than spotsylvania) have been staying on top of things, and they found a potential doozy this week.

the plans for the trail have included connections to many eckington streets, with the southernmost one happening at the right-hand side in the above image, in the bend of harry thomas way, across what is (or has been) pepco property.

the local communities, eleanor holmes norton, ddot, waba, and everyone else who has been fighting for the construction of the trail have spent years cajoling, pleading, and urging pepco to allow a connection to be built across their right-of-way. according to this post, it looks like pepco has reneged on the deal to allow bikers to cross this short stretch of ground.

now, i should stress looks like. we're not sure yet, and eckington (wbts) has promised to update us as they look into it. if the trail connection has been cut, though, i think it'll be time to use the gears of persuasion and get our elected officials to twist pepco's arms (again) to make this happen...

Friday, May 15, 2009

more old houses lost

i've written about my distaste for tearing down houses before, and i really hate to see us losing traditional row houses. the area in the triangle between new york avenue, florida avenue, and north capitol street (on the east side of north capitol) used to be full of them, but one by one, they get torn down, and the city loses some of its history.

sure, these houses probably weren't worthy of capital losses, but they still could have been fixed up.

there has been a lot of discussion about demolition on the eckington listserv, where some neighborhood residents were thrilled about the recent demolition of an old house. i was opposed to the demolition. i understand the this specific house was probably beyond saving (though it wouldn't have to have been that way if the city had just enforced the law and made the owner take care of the house before it reached this state). but it sets a terrible precedent, especially in the mind. i fear that people just think vacant=tear it down when it comes to a lot of our old buildings.

anyway, here are some pictures of row houses on the unit blocks of florida avenue and p street NE being town down. i spoke with one of the men on the destruction crew (can't call it construction, can you?) and asked if they were recycling the bricks. he said no, they would simply use them as fill for the hole in the ground that would remain. i told him that people would be willing to pay for nice old bricks like that to be recycled, and he seemed interested, but it was too late for much of that.

i asked what was coming to this space, and he said an apartment building.

when i asked if it would be as ugly as the place next door, he told me he hadn't seen any plans...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

pictures from the northeast corner of 1st and seaton

courtesy of lana labermeier, proprietor of big bear cafe here in bloomingdale, we have some photos of the interior of the commercial space at 1821 first street nw (the northeast corner of 1st street and seaton place in downtown bloomingdale—the link will take you to the listing on

there has been a lot of speculation regarding what could happen with this space. i've heard various stories of local residents or groups of residents wanting to put in a pizza place (which seems to be the standard bloomingdale rumor!), a deli, a bar (another go-to rumor until we finally get a bar), or even a taqueria. of course, someone's going to have to buy the place first, and do some substantial rehabbing before anything happens there.

now, in addition to the interior photographs, i promised exterior shots yesterday, and here they are, courtesy of my roommate nolan:

here's hoping something moves in that can utilize that great, wide space that's screaming for cafe seating on seaton place!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

activity at 1821 1st street nw

courtesy of my roommate, it looks like something is happening at 1821 1st street nw. they're hauling stuff out of there. he has pictures, i'll update this post with them later today.

Monday, May 11, 2009

another new bus line

last month, we discovered a new bus line running on rhode island avenue.

looks like that wasn't the only one...

Friday, May 1, 2009

safeway upgrades skipping over the edgewood store?

from the eckington listserv on thursday, the story is that the edgewood store, located in the rhode island avenue center at 514 rhode island avenue, NE, is being skipped over for updates that other stores, like the one on 17th street in dupont and the social safeway in georgetown have received or are slated to receive in the near future. here's the message:

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Safeway Rhode Island Avenue NE, Store # 0271, Div.# 35 needs our support in a major way. Out of the 17 Safeway's in the District of Columbia, somehow we have been passed up once again for renovation. As the community came together with CM Harry Thomas, Jr & Mayor Fenty this month which was beautiful! We need the same for our community grocery store. Safeway Corp. requires written feedback via comment cards, letters and/or on-line responses. Safeway comment cards are available at the customer service desk & Please lets come together for another great cause, OURSELVES!

Robert Boyer

Please forward all written feedback to:

Eastern Division President
Safeway, Inc.
C/O Customer Service Center
2750 S. Priest Drive
Tempe, AZ 85282-9969
i'm not sure how true this is (i haven't taken the time to write and find out from safeway corporate), but it's true that the store could use a bit of an update. it's not a bad safeway (i have gone there for groceries many times), but it just can't stack up to the new one in the mount vernon triangle these days.

go ahead and let safeway know that all parts of the city deserve great stores, not just the northwest part of the city.

interesting new blog

here's a very focused new blog. the DC GIS department has created a blog focusing specifically on its master address repository, which is the database of addresses in the district. it's pretty wonky, but if you're a geographer (like yours truly), you're sure to see intersting stuff here in the coming months.

check it out here!