Friday, August 31, 2007

did i just meet mr. ray?

anyone who is on the shaw listservs or follows the comments on a lot of the shaw blogs knows mr. ray. he always posts stuff like this or this, posts that get people talking. sometimes people are riled up by what he has to say, but what he says always keeps the conversation moving forward about what needs to be done in "le slum historique".

anyway, i saw someone picking up trash on the corner of 9th and Q a few minutes ago as i was heading home from work, and i stopped to thank him for doing so. he said he's been doing so for 21 years. now, if you click on that second link above, you'll see ray mentions that he's been here for 21 years. so, i think i just met mr. ray. he was busy and i was in a hurry though, so i didn't get his name.

if you're out there, ray, hi there! i'm the guy on the bike who lives in bloomingdale!

Friday, August 24, 2007

feeling feisty today

commenting a lot on the dcist boards today. i've been called a tedious pedant already, let's see if i can up the insult-o-meter to something a little more vitriolic, like bourgeois douchebag, or maybe we can go all the way to 11 with fascist gentrifier!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

morning observations

in order from home to work:

1) there is someone who lives on the 200 block of rhode island avenue who picks up the garbage regularly: it's usually the cleanest block in the neighborhood. either they're on vacation or the rain from the last couple days has kept them off the street, because there was a lot of trash on the sidewalk this morning.

2) there is no left turn from inbound rhode island onto new jersey during morning rush, but i still see people do it every day. and without fail, they have maryland plates and are talking on a cellphone. how about posting an officer there one morning, MPD, and writing some tickets? it would be a great revenue booster for the city. ;)

3) there was a crew taking those stupid answer war-protest posters off of electrical boxes at 6th and rhode island this morning. lawsuit or not, the city is cleaning up after those children. way to go DPW!

4) i think the police were out on horseback between logan and thomas circles last night. how can i tell? there's horse manure all over the street. maybe it was a group of cowboys, i could be wrong...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

every block has its own personality

i just walked around the neighborhood a little this morning, picking up some trash as i walked along and paying close attention to the vibe you get when walking on each block. it's evident that bloomingdale sure isn't homogeneous.

here's the bloomingdale farmer's market. it's on first street, which, far and away, as the main street of bloomingdale, presents a good face. almost all of the old houses from florida avenue north to the mcmillan reservoir are still there, and they've by and large been taken good care of. there are few vacant houses, and those that are vacant seem to be getting fixed up:

the house on the left (with the ugly faux stone facade is being gutted right now, and the boarded up one next door has been like that for as long as i've been in the neighborhood, with no apparent movement forward, though a sign is out front that looks like someone was trying to do something with it recently.

when you get up to the block of 1st between seaton and rhode island, you hit 'downtown bloomingdale'. while it's admittedly a long way away from being the nice neighborhood business district that it could be, changes have been noted lately.

here's the vacant space next to dc mini mart. other posts have noted the progress here, but no one seems to know quite what is going to go into this space. does anyone out there have some concrete news?

i've also taken a close-up shot of the detailing in the eaves. it's really a great job, waiting to call attention to whomever ends up leasing that space.

even the space on the corner of 1st and seaton has been cleaned up today. new mulch, no weeds, and it looks like it's ready for the rumored seafood restaurant to move right in.

now, over on 2nd street, some things are the same, but there's a lot that's different. first of all, there is some bright new paint on a vacant commercial space:

no idea if this is going to reopen as a corner store, or if it'll become something else. as you can see here, this building has changed quite a bit, but i'm surprised that they did nothing to fix the roof. it's obviously sagging and looks like it's not very sound.

there is residential reconstruction going on on 2nd street, just like 1st street, but this example at the corner of 2nd and randolph has not moved forward in a long time, and is a magnet for empty liquor bottles, trash, and high weeds:

up and down 2nd street between florida and rhode island, there are houses that are not in as good of shape as those on 1st street. some have garbage piled in the front yard, others have awnings falling off the porch. it just appears that the homeowners on 2nd street overall don't have the same pride in appearance that those on 1st street do. i don't think there's any real reason, it's just an example of how things in this city can be widely variable over short distances....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

back from a long hiatus

i'll post something more substantial soon, but i just had to give a quick note to say that i'm back. i was out of town on vacation and business since july 25th. some thoughts:

pikas are amazingly fun.

grand teton is a beautiful park. i need to hike in the backcountry more.

yellowstone is smelly in parts, but quite dramatic all over.

san diego is an interesting town...i need to spend more time there to get a good appreciation for it. balboa park looks amazing, it's a shame i could only spend a few minutes there.

it's good to be settling back in for a while. san diego was the first trip for my new job, hopefully one of many more to come. that picture above are my friends brody and hilary, who got married in idaho at the beginning of this long trip of mine.