Tuesday, January 29, 2008

geoge will. well.

i read all the op-eds in the wapo, just because i feel like i should be informed what the washington opinion makers are saying. not that it's necessarily enjoyable reading. david broder is boring, michael gerson is formulaic, and then there's george will.


that's a sentence in george will's world. he uses it in every other column.


is it a verb? is it a noun? the world may never know, with regards to mr. will. i hear he's a "well-respected" writer, but his nasty tic of using the word "well" as a stand-alone sentence, is, how do i say....well....stupid, annoying, self-aggrandizing, pompous, and overbearing. george will is one of the people who feels like his opinion really, really matters. and maybe it does. but it doesn't mean we have to like his annoyingly egotistical writing.

Friday, January 25, 2008

today's business to boycott: usairways

i'm sitting in the airport in charlotte. let me just say that the people working at the gate for usairways are, as the kids say, "teh suck".

rudeness to the point where it's comical is not the kind of thing you want to deal with when you're trying to transfer from one flight to another and you just want a little information about why flights are delayed.

usair is usually cheap, and since they fly out of DCA, you can get to a lot of places straight from DC, but hell, they just seem two-bit compared to some of the other carriers...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

play the band game

from the dceiver:

play the band game. here's the debut album from the master and his pupil. i have to say, this came out pretty damn well!

Monday, January 21, 2008

meters or zones? cartographers to the rescue!

there has been constant back-and-forth around dc about whether fares from place a to place b would be cheaper or more expensive with meters in taxicabs, instead of the wonderful zone system that is the bane of some people's exsistence.

me personally, i don't care. i have been in 3 or 4 taxis since 2000, so i don't really have a dog in this hunt. i feel that i know the buses well enough to get anywhere with them, and when the weather is nice, i've been known to bike anywhere from rfk to tenleytown, so i don't rely on the stinking pricey taxis to get me around town!

but, as a public service, here's the tool that the brilliant cartographers at the washington post have been working on and were finally able to make public this weekend. i was happy to be able to help beta-test this project, and it's pretty cool. punch in any two addresses in the city, and you'll be able to compare the current zone fare to what's a damn good estimate of what the meter fare will be between those points. check it out...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

p street construction, logan to dupont

finally! check out this press release from ddot:

FYI. *

*FOR RELEASE*: January 16, 2008
MEDIA CONTACTS: Karyn Le Blanc, 202-671-3490
*P Street, N.W. - Road and Sidewalk Repairs to Begin *
*Three Month Project To Improve Streetscape *

(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to begin repairs on the road and sidewalk on P Street, NW from DuPont Circle to 13th Street on Tuesday, January 22, 2008.

Repairs will include replacement of damaged sidewalks, gutters, bus stop concrete pads and the upgrade of all wheelchair ramps in the work area.

Work hours are 7am to 3:30pm, Monday thru Friday.

Work is planned to be completed by March 30, 2008 weather permitting, and plans to resurface the existing road pavement are slated for spring of 2008.

Vehicular and pedestrian access will remain available throughout construction. DDOT reminds motorists to use caution when traveling through the work zone.

Karyn G. Le Blanc | Acting Public Information Officer & Public Affairs Specialist | Office of the Director | District Department of Transportation

desk 202-671-3490 | fax 202-671-0650 | cell 202-497-4572 | www.ddot.dc.gov
Serving with Integrity and Excellence


of course, reading this, it's interesting to note that they consider the project extent to run from dupont circle to 13th street. shouldn't they just say dupont circle to logan circle? 13th and p never really meet...unless they're going to pave right up to general logan's statue... ;)

seriously though, it's going to be nice to see the potholes and rough sidewalks go away, especially between logan circle and 15th street. i'm just surprised that they're doing this before the work is done on the new condos at the corner of 15th and p.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

northeast corner of U and 14th, NW

just a quick shot of the construction on the long-neglected northeast corner of 14th and U. it's about time that the blight on this corner finally goes away.

whoever makes the washington globe lights is getting rich

wow, the washington globe light, which is pretty much ubiquitous in DC, has really been put to use in the reconstruction of the underpasses under the railroad tracks north of union station and south of florida avenue. check out some of these pictures:

here are a whole bunch of the washington globe lampposts on K street. they just fit in with an inch to spare here.

here they are turned on in the L street underpass. again, you can see just how tightly they fit in. it's also interesting to note how the new lampposts are being put in the middle of the travel lane here, so i assume that this is going to change from a 4-lane to a 2-lane underpass, with more room for pedestrians and bikers (if so, YAY!)

here are the steps that bikers will have to use to access the metropolitan branch trail. hopefully these will be a temporary thing until a real ramp can be built here, but it's not certain that these won't be permanent, we were told at the met branch trail meeting on thursday evening.

to wrap things up, check out all of the brand new washington globe lampposts on L street heading east towards 1st street and north capitol. there are tons of them, and some in the street again. more room for non-motorized traffic, the better, says i.

armstrong school work

here's a shot of armstrong from 1st street, just south of P. windows are all boarded over, and if you go to the other side of the building (behind dunbar, sorry, i don't have a picture of that right now), you can see a lot more activity happening over there.

thank goodness this building is going to be put back into use!

goodbye to watha t. daniel (for real this time)

well, i think we can finally say that the old bomb shelter at the corner of 7th, R, and rhode island is finally coming down. i received an invitation for a ceremony to commemorate the demolition of the building next tuesday, january 22nd. it's at 1 pm, and i have a job, so i can't be there, but it looks like the whole thing will be a rubble pile by then.

after that, we can start the countdown clock on when the new library will be built and open to the public. any bets? i'm opening with november 2011. anyone want to take the under on that?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

whole house is an advert?

check out this house. this is on 10th street just north of u street. you can see it when you get out of the east entrance of the u street metro station. i'm not advertising personally for this real estate company, but would you buy this house? do you think the future owners will have a clause in the lease that says they have to keep this "mural" on the wall for an extended period?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

you want more metro? how about this...

richard layman has this post up on his website right now about a proposal for a metro line that would connect eastern DC with alexandria via the wilson bridge. click on the map to the right for a doozy of a proposal to add more lines and extend things like crazy out into the hinterlands.

i'm not suggesting that this get built (some suburban extensions make sense, of course, but this map doesn't do much to increase connectivity within the district). i got this map from a website that has since been taken offline, but there are detailed descriptions of where the right-of-way for these extensions would be, if you're interested, you can leave your email in the comments, and i'll send that information your way. i think the pink and brown lines on this proposal are great, as they would really help connect some of the areas in northern virginia that you just can't get to easily right now.

we need to fight for the met. branch trail!

if you get scott roberts' daily bloomingdalian email, you knew that there were a TON of community events tonight, from a PSA meeting, to a schools meeting at emery, to the metropolitan branch trail meeting at big bear (as well as star wars), and wine tastings at timor. if you want to go to everything in the neighborhood, you're stuck. too much to do around here. why can't bloomingdale be dull and boring, eh? :)

seriously though, a lot was going on tonight, and it would have been fun to drop by a couple other things, but i was busy, so i could only hit the met. branch trail meeting before i had to go off to a casey trees meeting at their downtown HQ.

here's the deal with the bike trail -- things are ready to move forward, but there's a roadblock that's keeping us from getting this trail extended up in to the neighborhood. that roadblock is pepco. basically, ddot has a contractor selected to pave the trail, but there is a small amount of right away from just north of new york ave. to R street that pepco is dragging their feet on (see this map for an approximation of where the issue is). ddot can't officially let the contract for the trail without money from the federal highway administration (don't ask me why they're involved), and the FHWA won't give the money until ddot has ownership of the right-of-way. ddot won't have the right-of-way until pepco and their lawyers get on the ball and draw up the necessary papers to deed things over to the city.

it's been sitting like this for ages. i asked the ddot representatives at the meeting how we, as interested citizens, can help push things forward. the ddot folks were knowledgeable, but they don't have an answer to that question yet. they did say they would let us know what to do as soon as they do. basically, it looks to me like we need to have the mayor, councilman thomas, and delegate holmes-norton (who had a representative at the meeting) to ride pepco and let them know that they're mucking this whole thing up. i'm sure the right applied pressure could get them on the ball here.

email fenty's office and thomas' office and let them know you want them to act on this. i know that the ddot people are doing their best, but i've learned that, in dc, the only way to get things done is to get someone who's at the top of the ladder to intervene. we need to raise a stink so our leaders realize we actually want this trail. get on it, people!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

new location for garden district

looks like garden district is opening up a second location (this is on the southwest corner of 14th and church). doesn't it seem kind of close to their current location, just a couple blocks up the street?

of course, from what the sign says, this would appear to be more of the "home" in a "home and garden" store. guess they're branching out (bad pun intended).

construction on one block of 11th street

here are a few pictures i took this morning on 11th street between P and rhode island. there is a LOT of construction on 11th street, from mass ave. all the way up to florida ave. there's a lot to cover here, and it looks like the guys over at renew shaw have started to do just that. here's a sample of one block of 11th street's renewal:

this was a one-story shell (actually just a fa├žade, there was nothing behind it) that is being turned into what looks like four floors of condos.

here's an empty lot just north of the house on the northeast corner of 11th and P. i actually called when there was a for sale sign on the lot to see what they wanted for it, and it was north of $700K. guess it actually sold. i've seen the lot listed on the HPRB list recently. seems that the owners plan to build a four story building here as well.

while this isn't on the same block (it's south of P street) it catches your eye while standing on that block. four new row houses were built next to this larger condo building that's going up. it seems like all of the many empty lots that existed on 11th street that served as trash-strewn parking spots will be replaced with housing before the year is out. the increased density in the neighborhood should lead to some of the vacant and underutilized commercial space on the street getting fixed up soon too.