Monday, January 29, 2007

sufjan, protests, and donuts

well, i got up early, and my girlfriend, roommate, and i went down to the kennedy center to get sufjan stevens tickets on saturday. not early enough, as dcist points out, though i do protest the 'hipster' epithet applied to everyone there. there were a lot of older folks, little kids, and just regular old fans of free concerts there, interspersed with the 1000s of hipsters...

the only good thing to come out of it all was introducing said roommate and girlfriend to fractured prune donuts. we stopped off quickly at their dupont circle location beforehand to grab something to eat and drink in line, and they were both quite impressed with the quality of the donuts. the roommate was particularly impressed with their apparent ability to quickly destroy a hangover.

after all that, my girlfriend headed off to work and my roommate and i went down to the mall to check out the protest. some clever signs, some uninspriring anarchists, and just a general feel of calmness in the face of the craziness that is our nation's current political situation. we did get called to the mat by a 10-year old as we left the mall. he called out, "i support our troops". i think he was impugning that we don't. little wanker...i should have offered to engage him in debate, but something tells me that wouldn't have gone too far.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

more useless traffic knowledge!

they activated the crosswalk signals at 6th and rhode island tonight. they weren't on when i came home from work around 5:45, but they were on when i biked back downtown at 7:00. there was a van parked on the corner from some 'traffic solutions company' or something like that.

but the interesting thing was the accident! oh boy, the accident. i didn't have time to stop and see what had happened, but there was a car sitting on the median on the east side of the intersection, and another car down at the corner of rhode island, r, and marion. there were police on horseback and car debris all over. looks like it was a fun smash-up. anyone know what happened?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

it's beautiful outside...

...and i have no camera. first snow of the year, and i'd love to take some pictures, but my camera is dead. you see, when i was down in georgia for christmas/new years, i took my camera out in my kayak on my last day there. unfortunately, when my brother and i were pulling the kayak out, i managed to stupidly forget that the camera and my cellphone were in the breast pocket of my life-jacket. both fell out into the water! i was able to get them out pretty quickly, and we got them home and dried both out, but the phone was dead and the camera just turned on and off, but did nothing else.

i got a new battery for the cellphone, and it works fine now, but the camera is still kaput. so here i am with no way to record today for posterity. ho hum.

Friday, January 19, 2007

going meta here

alright, i don't want to do this much, but i couldn't believe that this blog got print coverage in the express this morning (and in the express' blog, free ride, yesterday).

i'm wondering if i'll be hearing from someone in the Fenty administration sometime soon?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

update on 440 rhode island ave nw

biking into work this morning, there were some guys clean up trash and (it looks like) moving the fence there back off the sidewalk. i'll know for sure tonight, but it looks like the squeaky wheel got the attention here.

UPDATE: yep, they moved the fence back a foot, so it's just on the edge of the sidewalk now. it's good, because people can pass each other without walking in the road now. yay!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

anthony williams is still the mayor!

ok, check this out columbia heights - mount pleasant transportation study. look in the upper right corner.

apparently, at least deep in the bowels of ddot, tony williams is still running things.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ANC5C meeting


links to some groups that were on agenda

i went to the first anc5c meeting of the year tuesday night. it was amazing to see that we got out at 9 pm. i went to a few dupont circle anc meetings back when i lived over there in anc2b, and there were times when the meetings ran for nearly 5 hours. of course, we didn't cover all the of the things listed in the full agenda for this meeting (only really got to item seven), but what was covered was handled well.

the officers were elected as follows:

chair: Anita Bonds
vice chair: John Salatti
treasurer: Allison Defoe
financial secretary: Barrie Daneker
recording secretary: Silas H. Grant, Jr.
corresponding secretary: Kris Hammond
in addition, Marshall R. Phillips, Sr. was chosen as parlimentarian, Mary Lois Farmer-Allen was chosen to be the historian, and Derrick Holloway was selected to be the sergeant-at-arms.

the only election that was truly contested was that for vice-chair, where Marshall Phillips, John Salatti, Derrick Holloway, and Barrie Daneker ran, and after one round of voting, Phillips and Salatti were tied. in the second round of voting, salatti won 6-5, with chairperson Bonds casting the deciding vote.

presentations from Michael Henderson of the MPD, councilman Harry Thomas, Jr., Pat McGuire of Trinity University, Heather Deutsch from Rails-to-Trails, and Larry Williamson from a WASA subcontractor were all pretty well received. i won't go into depth, as i'm sure more information will be found about these presentations elsewhere.

as we were approaching 9 pm at this point, and many people were getting up and leaving the meeting, the last presentation was given by Alice Thompson, the neighborhood services coordinator appointed by mayor Fenty. Ms. Thompson was certainly animated, and talked a good talk. i have to admit, i was quite concerned with some of her glib assertions though.

she promised that speed cameras would be coming for every block of north capitol from new york avenue up to michigan avenue. a citizen of bloomingdale asked why R, S, and Seaton have brick sidewalks while Randolph does not. Ms. Thompson quickly promised to look into brick sidewalks for Randolph. she even said she'd be interested in brick sidewalks herself. some of the ANC members were visibly concerned with Ms. Thompson's promises of quick results on many of these issues.

interestingly enough, as the meeting wrapped up, Ms. Thompson came back to talk to the Randolph Place resident about brick sidewalks, and she admitted that she didn't care for brick sidewalks, because she said the city does a poor job maintaining them.

i was a little concerned with Ms. Thompson's demeanor at this meeting. though some of the things she promised went over quite well with people, she seemed to be promising to do things that she wanted (she claimed as much a couple times) without getting wider community input. to his credit, Mr. Phillips made sure to admonish her a couple times that she has many other constituents that she should make sure to consult first.

the remaining items were skipped over. the amount of chatter in the room was so great at this point, that, with me sitting in the back of the room, i couldn't hear what was going on up front. suffice it to say, i believe the rest of the agenda was postponed for the next month's meeting.

please comment if i got anything terribly wrong here.

empty lot at 440 rhode island ave nw

i bike/walk past this empty lot every morning on my way to work, and it's been surrounded by a chain link fence for as long as i can remember. there is a sign up now advertising a sale of the property, but also the potential of a condominium to be built there. it's a little confusing, but there is a phone number to call, which i called this morning. i wasn't looking for information on the property though, i just wanted to see if the property owner(s) could move the chain link fence off of the sidewalk, which is getting narrowed as the fence encroaches upon it.

the woman i spoke with on the phone promised me she would contact the right people on her end to look into things, but she said those fences are common at construction sites. i'll be interested to hear what kind of a response i'll get back from them (i was promised a return call this afternoon). as there's been no active construction there that i've ever seen, the explanation that the fence is a common construction feature is a little dubious. i'll update this posting later if i hear more.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

new crosswalk signals

ok, i know this isn't something big to get excited about, but there are new pedestrian crosswalk signals up at 6th and rhode island nw (map). i bike down rhode island to work from bloomingdale every day, and i've always noticed the lack of pedestrian signals there. it makes it a difficult intersection to cross safely. but, friday evening, i noticed that signals have finally been put up (though they haven't been activated yet.

i bring this up because i wrote a letter to the relevant council, ANC, and DDOT people about this a month ago, and i was promised a fast response. looks like everyone has come through. it's always good to see services delivered by our local government.

why the name?

alright, i'm back from georgia, and i spent most of the last week catching back up on things, and this blog was at the bottom of my priority list. suffice it to say, i'll be spending a little bit more time with it know that i can. anyway, the blog title...i thought i should explain it. bloomingdale is the DC neighborhood that i live in. it's mainly located in northwest DC, and generally is considered to center on first street nw.

now, getting anyone to agree on what exactly the precise limits of bloomingdale-proper are seems to be difficult. from what i can tell, the most common 'definition' of bloomingdale is that the southern end is florida avenue, the northern end is michigan avenue, north capitol street marks the eastern edge, and 2nd street is the western edge. of course, i've seen some places that say the houses along the short streets between bryant and girard on the east side of north capitol street are part of bloomingdale as well.

the southern half of bloomingdale is often cannibalized by eckington, and the northern half gets eaten up by ledroit park on most maps. bloomingdale is kind of a red-headed stepchild, then, at least when you're trying to talk DC neighborhoods with people.

so, if anyone wants to give me the definitive definition of what makes bloomingdale 'bloomingdale', i'd be happy to hear it!

now, the (for now) part of the title is simple. i'm renting here. now, i really like the neighborhood, but i don't know how long i'll be around here. my goal for this year is to buy a house in DC, and there are a lot of neighborhoods out there, so who knows where i'll end up. when the time comes, maybe the blog's name will change...