Saturday, September 26, 2009 4:17:55 PM
The official start of the building of the Tenth Street Park
took place yesterday at 10:30 am. There was a good crowd, 70-80+. Just about everyone was there.
Groundbreakings are sort of like funerals, only happy. You get to see a number of people you haven't seen in a bit and talk a bit about common interests and catch up on other matters.
There is always a tripod of some sort at these things.
Standing quietly in the background was Jim Loucks, who helped get the concept of fixing that lot up many years ago. Without his initial work, and persistence, it wouldn't have happened.
Jack was there, as was the Mayor. Jack and some of his people have been tracking and helping with Jim for a long time. Also note the Convention Center in the background. Jack was major in making that happen, too.
The Mayor and his people were, of course, pivotal. Here he is with Stacy Hannah, President of the Tenth Street Park Project, with its $1M budget, and Bob Maffin on the left.
And finally, the "groundbreaking". Calling this "ground" is a bit of an overstatement, and if it is "ground", its been broken a long time. But it will be nice soon.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 6:19:19 PM
Mari has a post
in her InShaw blog
that reminds the editor of 20+ years ago around here even though she lives in the Truxton Circle area. It's interesting also in that it might serve as a marker for the edge of renovation.
She also makes the point that her neighborhood now votes harder than years before. It not clear whether one should think that politicians and city agencies respond first to voters or to people who are active in fixing their neighborhood as well as demanding services. Perhaps heavy voting is more consequence of a hardworking neighborhood.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 4:19:44 PM
It's finally happening. We're going to have a park on Tenth, between L and M. The announcement is
The website for the folks who made this happen is here
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 1:54:49 PM
We're not talking about the Wednesday wine tastings here. We're talking about "selling singles".
In the on-going attempt to make the world a better place, the cognoscenti have found a blunderbuss that's going to solve the problem of loose beer cans in the 'hood. In certain areas, the selling of single cans of beer would be prohibited. For a beer oriented summary, see here
The editor is not against giving a liquor store or two a hard time on selling singles via the "voluntary agreement" route. That guarantees, to some degree, that the local neighborhood has a problem with a liquor store and needs to give a strong nudge to change its ways. Designating a whole ward as so far gone that it needs to have the liquor store default position be "no singles" seems like overkill. Perhaps it's close, but "close" only counts in horse shoes and nuclear weapons. The City Council decided to skip the horse shoes step, which was already in the hands of the neighborhood via the voluntary agreement. If a neighborhood can't negotiate amenable voluntary agreements, that neighborhood has far more serious problems to fix before it graduates to controlling single beer can sales. The "do something" urge is understandable. The editor remembers when having no beer cans in the front yard was a rare day. The editor also remembers that entrepreneurial folks in alley would buy six packs, take them back to the alley and sell singles. When the folks in the alley (Blagden Alley, Naylor Court) decamped, the beer cans in the yard almost totally stopped. Seems like any loose beer can (or especially soda pop can) is from someone passing through.
The good news is that Modern Liquors has been granted an exception to the ban. They can sell singles.
Usually, Jeff and Anna sell the higher end singles. You know, the ones costing $10.00 or more. But Jeff can envision the day when someone from the new Convention Center Hotel (groundbreaking before the first snow is expected) walks up and asks for two Bud Lights. Since we're a tourist town, that seems like normal thing. DC should accommodate those folks, even if they come from Salt Lake City.
Congratulations Jeff and Anna, and congratulations to ABRA. And congratulations to the community for supporting the exception.
Monday, September 21, 2009 6:03:47 PM
Theresa (DuBois) sent out one of her emails this am, bragging about the new CC web site. The editor can see why. It looks good, and helps the incoming conventioneers. But it is a work in progress.
There's the "Click here
to view a listing of the Shaw neighborhood businesses." And it's just a listing, with addresses. It's certainly not a user friendly map for people who may not know what's north or west when they walk out of the CC on the first day. Nothing extra on what kind of food the restaurants serve, and so on. But that will come along.
The downloadable parking lot map lists the spot where the ground will be broken for the new CC hotel quite shortly.
And the editor has a concern about the parking for handicapped section:parking placards/permits or license tags in the following locations:
North end of 7th Street between L and Mt Vernon Streets (3 metered spaces)
South end of 9th Steet between Mount Vernon Place and L Street (3 metered spaces)
South end of 9th Street between L Street and M Street (3 metered spaces)
South end of 9th Street between M Street and N Street (3 metered spaces)
The editor did a post on most of these places a while ago here
. The upshot is that they don't seem to be "reserved for" handicapped but "accessible to". The above entry from the CC website seems to say exactly the opposite. We shall see.
Thursday, September 3, 2009 2:01:27 PM
The editor has gone by the corner at Ninth and L (where Central Lock used to be) many, many times over the last thirty years, and has always been fascinated by the side of this building.
He went down to the signing of the Convention Center Hotel bill (August 12) and took pictures of the event. Nice pictures, nice people and all, but not really exciting enough to make a post. But he had the camera along and finally got the picture he wanted. For years he's walked past this corner and said that he should get the camera and come back, but something always came up.
The outlined stairways are the last remaining shadow of the building that was there. One can almost imagine the inside of the place. Soon that will be gone.Update!
Si Kailian sent along a couple of L Street pictures. Bad spelling is noticeable, of course, almost as bad as this blog! Hope these are left alone for a few years to welcome the Convention Center Hotel. It would give the people from Des Moines something to talk about when they get back home.
Sunday, August 30, 2009 8:03:30 PM
The editor occasionally looks at the web tracking software provided by the blog provider, Opera. It gives visiting sites, not individuals necessarily, and also the "referrer", which for Google involves the query string that got the page that lead the user to the blog. (That kind of explanation was not immediately clear to many people a while back, so they invented "Object Oriented Analysis" to clarify things.)
At any rate, one of the visiting sites lead him to this page
. At teh top of the page is this picture
And at the bottom of said page, is this:
It makes a nice addition to the post here
. And an interesting historical site as well.
Friday, August 28, 2009 3:27:20 PM
Jeff Harrison at Modern Liquors was recently given a matchbook cover from the old days. From that, he has developed posters and T Shirts.
Note that he has some of the proceeds going to the Tenth Street Park Project
and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
So just grab one or two the next time you go to one of the wine tastings. It's really history.
The editor and his wife first saw Modern Liquors and met Ed and Anna in 1978, when we bought a place on M Street. It was not as grand then as apparently it was earlier in life.
Sunday, August 23, 2009 1:41:04 PM
Walking back from Saturday poker at the former BeBar on the west side of Ninth, 1200 block. Across the street, about 5-6 people are lined up against the wall, about 10 feet apart with one or two blue shirts for each wall pusher, one of whom is sporting handcuffs. At least two 3D Pepsi cars parked, flashing lights. Two more show up from the north, sirenless, make a slow U-turn to double park on the east side of Ninth. Blue shirts get out to join the action, or make conversation on a slow, rainy night. Can't tell which from across the street. Scotty comes out, talks with some of the officers. Sees us wave. Waves back. We check with Jeff at Modern Liquors.
He doesn't have any idea of what's going on. This is very unusual.
Jeff calls Scotty. It was a "domestic dispute". [Note. That was originally "domestique dispute", but the spell checker barfed. The editor is more used to the word being used as in the Tour De France here
. A "domestique dispute" would be something else.] A domestic dispute ["2D"? 3D does a 2D?] with two 3D types having dinner in the same restaurant? Darwin Award
The editor has left out the name of the establishment so it won't show up on google. But we all go there a lot. He does recommend that when you are two-timing someone, do as the experienced Washington politicians do and pick a restaurant well away from your normal stomping grounds. Arlington actually has some nice spots.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009 3:25:42 PM
Well, the day
finally arrived. The editor left all of his change at home and took anything not necessary for the day out out of his pockets as well. Even left the laptop at home. Took the subway (the editor went to college and grad school in New York) down to the Navy Memorial, and went through the drill.
Got called in the second batch, which was a large one. One guesses murder if it's going to take that many, but it wasn't. The judge was good on the PR stuff. Serious, but a bit relaxed. Not full of himself as many of the judges the editor has seen over the years.
The judge had the appropriate questionnaire for the type of case. The prosecutor read his list of probable witnesses. For the first time in 30 years the editor actually knew one of the witnesses, a 5D officer.
On questioning by the judge in front of the bench, the judge asked how well he knew him. The editor replied that he'd played poker with him for over a year on a weekly basis. The judge excused the editor right there.
At any rate, given that the editor also has lived around here for 30 years and has worked with the police to clean up drug problems, he would have been tossed anyway. The editor is fairly sure he could be fair, and just reason from the evidence presented, but defense counsel shouldn't take a chance.
The editor was home for lunch.
Friday, August 14, 2009 4:07:55 PM
Several years ago, various residents and business owners in and around Blagden Alley began to complain about the lack of stop signs on the north/south leg of Blagden Alley. The cross alley is not really visible and there have been many close close calls. The north/south alley is often used as a cut-through route by non-residents.
And the years went by. The old stop sign got painted over somewhere in those years. Joe Madison, one of the Mayor's Ward 2 people, gave it a shot. Jack Evans' office has made several tries. Mark Bjorge really thought he could get it done, and he was really good. (Joe was good, too, but is now covering some territory in the boondocks.) Finally, Andrew Huff and Francisco Fimbres, who have replaced Mark and Abby Peterson have done it:
And, as a bonus, from one of the Alley denizens:Bonjour Hal
Blagden alley was bustling this morning [Wednesday, Aug 12] with DC employees.
2 trucks to put No Parking signs everywhere
One guy to cut all the green of the alley on the ground
And one big sweeper to clean up...
Just to let you know, Bonjour a madame
Michel “the camera man”
Monday, August 10, 2009 4:18:58 PM
It's not news, but Blagden Alley and Naylor Court have squirrels. No oak or hickory trees, but fat, energetic squirrels. Also, at least from the squirrel point of view, there is a modern set of highways
for them away from the normal streets and dangers.
The editor went out on the porch last Thursday evening to watch the Alley traffic, probably at 7:15pm. The "Outdoor Cat" was there. He's a long-ago neutered feral cat, once part of a band of four brothers. One of them has become a neighbor's "Lefty", and the other two have been killed by traffic over the last ten years or so. It's quiet. The pedicab people are returning up the alley to HQ in the middle of Blagden Alley.
Then you hear, and see, a squirrel in the cherry tree. The editor is slow at times, and wonders what the squirrels stay around here for when they could migrate to wooded parts of the land and and become Brunswick stew. Nonetheless, the squirrel is here. He's standard gray squirrel, nicely sized. "Nicely sized" means that when he was hunting squirrels with his grandfather, this squirrel would have impressed his grandmother before she turned him into fried squirrel for supper. Zaftig
is the modern term, perhaps.
Anyway, said squirrel climbs the cherry tree whose trunk is on the western side of the back lot, goes out the eastern limbs to a tree on the eastern side of the yard, and then to the brick fence between the editor's yard and the neighbors.
He knows that the cat is there, and doesn't seem to care. The cat knows he's there, and is interested.
Pretty soon, the squirrel is down on the ground,
and the cat is really interested, but more curious than agressive. After all, he's just been fed.
The squirrel munches on flower bulbs, gets his fill, and exits stage left, where he came in.
And the editor went back inside to see Final Jeopardy
Saturday, August 8, 2009 3:32:00 PM
The editor admits to being behind the the times occasionally, but he saw saw something for the first time a month ago which is cheap and really handy. He cooks out on the Weber grill using real charcoal several times a week when it's not snowing. Well, perhaps a bit warmer than that, but not a lot. One of the problems has been dragging the bag of charcoal out and back each time. It gets old.
We were in the Frederick Lowes (even better than the one in Alexandria) and noticee this thing
It was $10 of $15, if he recalls correctly. And it's just the handiest thing. The charcoal can stay outside. It's well designed and easy to use. The editor doesn't know if it's been around for a long time, but it just seems so obvious.
Friday, August 7, 2009 3:49:09 PM
The evening sky over Blagden Alley, looking WNW from a back porch, can be rather nice. This was last Sunday.
If one zooms in a bit, and tweaks the histogram a tad, you can see the always watchful Perpetual Plastic Santa guarding the Alley last Monday from atop Rent-A-Wreck, a fine local business.
Monday, August 3, 2009 1:37:41 PM
I haven't checked too many other sites, but there is an article on DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier in Parade Magazine here
. In case you're one of the Sunday WaPo readers who just rips open that yellow plastic sac [sic] and goes straight for the funnies and coupons, Parade Magazine is in there, too. It has a nice article about how the crime situation has improved in "Our Nation's Capital". It gives Lanier a good bit of the credit, and the editor agrees, to an extent.
The improvement didn't begin with Lanier, however. Back when he first moved here, the editor didn't know what he was seeing in 3D, having come from Foggy Bottom and having no real need to concern himself with the police. He dutifully went to the 3D monthly citizen meetings, along with several others from the neighborhood. Somehow the image was not quality or discipline in the command structure. Not that everyone was sloppy or bad, but the editor had the feeling that it was often more a question of getting to retirement than to pounding on DCRA to help close a vacant, but drug infested townhouse, what with the extra effort that would take. There were many really good people, but enough time-servers to dilute the quality.
Sometime after the departure of Chief Fullwood things started to look up. Internal management quality became much more important to the police force. The demographics of the city changed as well. All of which is part of an on-going change in DC. The editor hopes that continues. It certainly looks as if Lanier is doing her part.
Friday, July 24, 2009 12:28:26 PM
Many moons ago, while still living in Foggy Bottom, the editor somehow got slightly out of synch with the DC real estate property system. Not a money question, but misunderstanding of timing or something.
At any rate, he wound up on that list that comes out every so often of those who are behind and will have their property sold at auction in the next month. A neighbor called and mentioned that the editor was on the list. So he cleaned up the (slight) mess.
The list was published in the District Weekly this Thursday. The editors wife, who usualy checks the neighborhood crime listings and remarks how many are committed at Tenth and M, also checked the property tax rolls. Saw a neighbor's name. Called.
He had not known he had a problem, and in fact should no have been on the list. But he was. Seems that DC decided that he had improperly claimed the homestead exemption because he lived in his own house and the bureaucrats were doing retroactive corrections.
So if you see a neighbors name on the list, call the neighbor. You all read it, don't you? I mean, if the WaPo is delivered that day. The neighbor may not know about the list. And, of course, if you get on the list, call Sherri Kimbel (who lives in the neighborhood) at Jack's office, 724-8058.
Friday, July 24, 2009 12:13:13 PM
About a year ago, the editor gave up on home delivery of the WaPo as the delivery part had been stochastic for too long. He walked over to First Cup and got the paper, usually between 6 and 7 in the morning. Their papers were delivered by a different distributor from those on home delivery.
The must have recently transferred the home delivery guy to the business/corner news stand route. Monday: No WaPo, First Cup, Modern Liquor, or blue news box at Ninth and M by the Convention
Center. Tuesday, ditto. Wednesday and Thursday, actually like old times. Friday, back to ditto.
Thursday, July 23, 2009 3:13:12 PM
Poker, at least the "free" kind, is reappearing in the neighborhood. It will be upstairs at the "The EFN Lounge and The Motley Bar" at 1318 Ninth Street. There will be two sessions, at 4:00pm and 7:00pm on Saturdays, beginning August 8.
It is run by the "Stars-n-Bars" group, whose Maryland/DC locations are listed here
. The main page for Stars-n-Bars is here
There are several poker leagues in the area, of which Stars-n-Bars is one. The editor and wife play in that league, but many of the players also play games in another league, especially in the Frederick area. There are also some bar leagues in DC.
A measure of the activity of the Stars-n-Bars offerings is the regional points totals
about a month and half into this quarter. Points are 25 for playing but not making the "final table", which is to say the last 10 in the tournament. (Stars-n-Bars uses 10-player tables.) There is a schedule of points awarded by finish in the top 10, with adjustments for how many players started the game. You will note that many players on the points list have a ton of points. They are mostly from the Frederick area, where there is Stars-n-Bars poker seven nights a week and midday on weekends. Some people like it a lot, obviously. Also, the Frederick players seem to dominate the quarterly and annual tournaments (if not always getting first place). Wonder why. There are prizes for winning, or getting a ton of points, such as entry in the quarterly regional tournament. The prize for the annual tournament is a buyin for the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
If you enjoy poker, give it a try. It's "free" although the reason a bar hosts the tournaments is to make money by the players buying food and drink. Some of the evening games up-country sound like they make their bars a lot of money, and the food and drink there is not expensive.
The other reason for playing, besides simple fun, is that if you want to go to Atlantic City and play at the 1-2 or 3-6 tables, you had better (1) be used to all of the protocols and (2) be pretty good. These "free" tournaments are very good for both. Or, you can use the experience to go to the volunteer fire department cash tournaments in Charles County and come out ahead.
(*) Texas Holdem, of course. In the tournament format, it moves very quickly.
Thursday, July 23, 2009 2:43:20 PM
OK. The editor received a notice for jury duty. Happens every two years. In 30 years, he's actually served once, but as an "alternate". That's because one of the questions is "have you seen a felony?" and the answer, if you live in these parts, it "yes", if not "once a week". But even with a "yes" on the "have you seen", the court folks still seemed to want another warm body. Then, when they found out where the editor lived, the just let him go.
At the top of form, a notice says that one can fill out the questionnaire on-line at such and such a url. He tried. Got a "500 server error" after some servelet spit out a 503 about bad parameters. Usually that means that the website still needs work. So he went back to doing it by hand.
Over the years, the jury duty thing has gotten easier than it used to be. Which is to say that the jurors are now treated more like sheep and less like cattle. Just kidding. Obviously, one has to assemble a lot of people, get certain rules in their head, and ship them out in bunches to the various courtrooms. Many of the people are less prone to follow instructions than the majority, but most finally get the drill. The staff has actually made the waiting process before being called relatively comfortable. Not joyous, just comfortable.
Thursday, July 16, 2009 2:12:32 PM
Finally. From the ever present Theresa DuBois:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 14, 2009 202-249-3217
WALTER E. WASHINGTON CONVENTION CENTER HEADQUARTERS HOTEL FINANCING APPROVED
BY D.C. CITY COUNCIL
Groundbreaking for Washington, DC Marriott Marquis anticipated this fall
(Washington, DC) – The D.C. City Council gave the final legislative approval Tuesday for the public financing component for the District’s new 1,167-room Convention Center Headquarters Hotel. Groundbreaking for the hotel is slated for this fall with an opening anticipated in the first quarter of 2013.
"The Convention Center Hotel project has become a wonderful example of effective District government at work – with the unwavering support of the mayor and the tremendous effort of the council, we are poised to break ground this fall on this vital project for the District," said Gregory A. O'Dell, CEO and general manager of the Washington Convention Center Authority.
The $537 million, four-star hotel will be one of only three Marriott Marquis properties in the country and located across the street from the Convention Center at the northwest corner of 9th Street and Massachusetts Avenue, NW. The developer will be Quadrangle Development Corporation, an established Washington, DC-based firm with a successful history in commercial real estate development, including hotels. Their locally-based minority partner is Capstone Development, LLC, whose principal has a long history in hotel development. The Authority and the District Government will be paid for the use of their land through a 99-year ground lease.
“Our customers have told us since the beginning that a headquarters hotel is a necessity for Washington, DC to be a competitive meetings and convention destination. The new hotel will allow us to not only maximize the Center’s economic impact but will also create jobs for District residents during construction as well as operations of the hotel,” added O’Dell.
This headquarters hotel construction is also expected to spur other redevelopment projects for the continued economic revitalization of the historic Shaw neighborhood, which the Convention Center calls home.
About the Washington Convention Center Authority (WCCA)
The Washington Convention Center Authority was established for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, equipping, maintaining, and operating a new convention center in the District of Columbia. The Authority engages in activities deemed appropriate to promote trade shows, conventions, and other events closely related to activities of the Convention Center.
Since opening its doors in 2003, the 2.3-million-square-foot Walter E. Washington Convention Center has proven to be essential to the economy of the District of Columbia, generating nearly $400 million annually. For more information about the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, call 202-249-3217 or visit www.dcconvention.com.
External Affairs Manager
Washington Convention Center Authority
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:21:45 PM
OK, it's not at all neighborhood. But if you look here
you'll see a table full of pastries come to life. An explanation is here
It's totally safe for work, but not if you're on a diet.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 6:58:58 PM
OK. it's really about parking and street cleaning. What else.
However, the new $2.00/hour parking meter fees works out to seven and a half cents per quarter. Reminds one of that song from DamnYankees
. That's eight quarters for an hour. By the time you've put in that many quarters, you've used up half an hour.
The current rant comes on a "move your car or we'll ticket it" Tuesday. So he went out to move the car. All of the spaces in the the neighborhood on the non-sweeping side were taken. So he had to park at a meter for a couple of hours across from The Old Dominion Brewhouse. In doing so, he learned a couple of things. He took some pictures. First, here is the 1200 block of Ninth Street, at about 2:30p.
Notice the empty parking spaces. A few months ago, when the editor fouled up and had to go to the meters on Tuesday, it was often difficult to get one of those spaces since so many cars were parked there. Not now.
So we've doubled the parking meter fees and probably cut the revenue by a factor of 5 or more. There are certainly block face by block face revenue reports, and it would be interesting to see the before and after numbers on the doubled fees. Those reports might show that for many parts of town, the fee doubling was, if not a major league screwup, at least a AAA league one. It has other effects, as well. Notice the empty spaces in front of Old Dominion (second picture, rad banner). Those use to have lots of customers in them.
Now back to the street sweeping thing. Two pictures:
These were taken before the street sweeper came, with two cigarette butts being pointed out. They were still there at 2:30pm, before which time the street sweeper should have been by.
So the ediitor spent several dollars to park at a meter for receive a city service (clean streets) but the service was not delivered. Not a really big surprise.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 3:43:28 PM
Via a Mike Benardo email, Desi has died.
I presume more later. Damn. He was too young.
Friday, July 10, 2009 1:57:02 PM
The editor started on 1234 Ninth here
. The fixation on 1234 is really a celebration of the Long View Gallery moving in there, but the history of what has gone on in that building is fascinating.
Before City Lights it was some sort of auto repair center, and that's covered nicely in Preserving DC Stables
in this post
. In researching the address a while back he kept coming across a reference like 1234 9th Street NW
T & W Auto
Washington, DC 20001
He and wife bought in 1978 and moved into the (mostly) renovated house in 1980. He doesn't recall an official auto shop back then, although the alley was in informal auto repair spot for many a shade tree mechanic. But without the trees. The City Lights
referenced in the last post may well have begun after he moved in by a few years.
After City Lights
moved on, and the City Lights
go-go joint died aborning, it was soon 1234 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Lots and lots of those vendor carts being towed out of the alley in the morning and back in the evening.
Then it changed hands again, perhaps after a period of vacancy. Now it was to be a charter school. The announcement of the first presentation thereon was here
, in the old, pre-blog Blagden Alley and Naylor Court newsletter. Let us just say that the community was not as enthralled as some people expected. Somehow, "charter school" did not equate with "good thing". Discussion dragged on over the goodness of the school, for example this hysterical page
from the Blagden Alley and Naylor Court news.
Sometime in the next year, the charter school thing went south. It did involve lots of difficulty, ADA issues, pollution issues (think of all those oil spills many moons ago), and historical preservation issues.
So 1234 Ninth lay dormant for a bit. Now it is nicely alive. Over thirty years, it has been interesting to watch.
Thursday, July 9, 2009 3:01:09 PM
Some time ago, the editor posted this page
. As he's mentioned before
, the blog provide has a statistical tracker on their blogs, and it shows (for free) about the last 30 hits.
Many days, two or three hits to that page come from the strangest places, usually from a google query. For example, today we have this
. That's Sweden, Hungary, and France. Actually, there were two from France.
Just interesting what people will google, that'a all. The editor does wonder how so many different folks get to that page, however. The Swedish image google for "Maine Coon" doesn't have their picture in the first few pages of the google
. Maine Coon Cats are a bit large, aren't they?
Thursday, July 9, 2009 2:39:12 PM
Mike Benardo, ANC 2C06, has a notice out:
The DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) will be providing a construction update meeting for the reconstruction of 11th Street, NW from L to O Streets, NW, on Tuesday July 21, 2009, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
Construction on the 11th St. NW project began in December 2008. Come and hear how construction is progressing and what construction activities are planned for the coming weeks and months.
The public meeting will be held at the Asbury United Methodist Church, 926 Eleventh Street, NW, Washington, DC (Access is through the side entrance on 11th Street).
There really is visible progress. The editor thinks that when the repair and upgrade of Eleventh Street is complete, renovation of the properties on the street will proceed. And a certain liquor store will become a memory, just like the "Gas Station From Hell" at Eight and M now is.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009 7:16:53 PM
This is not totally neighborhood. In fact, barely at all. It is, however, a particular bugaboo of the editor.
It refers to this article
in the Washington Examiner, entitled Police chief denounces 'cowardly' iPhone users monitoring speed traps
. And no, the editor has received two speeding tickets in his lifetime, one of which doesn't really count and will be discussed below.
The editor has for some time viewed speed traps and red light cameras as simple revenue generators. He has been driving downtown and around DC and the Metro area, for a long time. He simply does not recall a person in DC being pulled over after blatantly running a red light. That says that police aren't everywhere, of course. It also says also that most other people have never seen such a stop either. The editor knows what can happen when the police watch for such problems: They see them. For several months, before the Convention Center was built and this neighborhood had a far worse drug problem, the Mike Smith type of cops--well before Mike Smith--would catch red light runners at Ninth and M. Not so much to stop red light running, but to get an excuse to search cars for drugs. It helped.
But let's face it, the didactic effect of seeing a red light runner pulled over isn't all that high on the civic concern list. Revenue is, and now it can be automated and contracted out.
The editor has read about the iPhone thing for a week or two now. Sort of finds it a bit inventive. But it isn't really new. If you're concerned about speed traps, try here
. They have Ellendale, DE in there, as they should.
Ellendale is a little wide spot on Highway 16 in Delaware between Greenwood and Milton. The editor can understand being careful about a 25mph speed limit in the town. But they have something up their sleeves: When you leave the town headed east to Milton and Rehoboth, and you see wide open road,. the speed doesn't go up for a few hundred yards. Nothing there, just no increase in speed limit where almost every other town puts it. So you speed up, to say 35. Then they get their revenue. The editor has not stopped for anything in that town, nor spent a cent there in at least 30 years.
The editor is aware that many studies say that red light cameras and speed cameras increase safety. He is also aware that other studies differ. The only thing almost all of the studies have in common is that they bring extra revenue to their jurisdictions.
Sorry for the rant, but that's why they invented blogs.
Thursday, July 2, 2009 7:03:09 PM
From Theresa Dubois (and we thank you Theresa for the updates) see below.
15,000 at a convention is a lot. The phrase "There is no official shuttle bus operation associated with this convention" means that a large number of attendees are not staying at hotels, but with friends or local organization contacts. That means a lot of those people will drive ("Drive, He Said
" (1971)) and often park in the neighborhood, since many of them will know their way around. So if you leave your current parking space and come back, you'll get an historical walking tour of Petworth or Truxton Circle as you walk back from your new parking spot. Might be interesting.
If you want to get on Theresa's lists, contact her at TDubois@dcconvention.com
. As a side note, parking problem are not hers, but the event organizers.
Washington Convention Center Authority (WCCA)
Issued: July 2, 2009
Washington Convention Center Authority (WCCA)
Issue Date: Thursday, July 2, 2009
Islamic Society of North America's 46th Annual Convention
July 3 - 6, 2009
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center will host the Islamic Society of North America's 46th Annual ISNA Convention from Friday, July 3rd through Monday, July 6th. Overall event hours are 8:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. each day of the event. Estimated attendance is projected to be upwards of 15,000.
There is no official shuttle bus operation associated with this convention. You may anticipate increased use of the Mount Vernon/7th Street-Convention Center Metro station as well as greater than usual pedestrian and vehicular traffic within several blocks of the Convention Center. No road closures are planned at this time.
Be advised that heavy vehicular traffic is expected on M Street between 7th and 9th Streets NW during move-in and move-out of the ISNA Convention, as follows:
Thursday, July 2nd 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Friday, July 3rd 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon
Monday, July 6th 12:00 noon until 11:59 p.m.
Thursday, July 2, 2009 6:08:22 PM
Let's use "CCH" for the "Convention Center Hotel" for the next few years. It really sounds as if it's a gonna happen. If the WaPo is right, and the other rumors/scuttlebutt(*) the editor has heard are true, we should have "shovels in the ground" in a couple of months.
(*)The Opera spell-checker bought "scuttlebutt". Amazing.
Thursday, July 2, 2009 5:23:39 PM
A fun (from today's vantage point) article
about the old neighborhood. Ruben Casteneda, who wrote it, and Linda Wheeler, who also handled the neighborhood well, makes one want the old Post back.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 1:49:43 PM
The editor has been remiss in not letting out a rousing "Huzzah!" about the Long View's move to 1234 Ninth Street, which was announced here
, in RenewShaw.com
. It's been a long time for 1234.
When the editor moved into the Blagden Alley and Naylor Court neighborhood, the property was occupied by City Lights, which supplied lighting to various theatrical productions around town and had an inventory of several million dollars. The editor was always amazed that that there wasn't a major theft from the business, but their security must have been really good.
After a while City Lights moved elsewhere, and the property was vacant for a few years. It was one of those places that led to a certain depression in the community, in that it sat there vacant after having been a real business. The feeling was, among many, that this slum would never improve. There was among some the feeling that anything, yes anything, was better than a vacant property.
Then came a proposal from an AMG Corporation, which wrote a piece for the March 1992 newletter:
March 1993City Lights Night Club by Alton Gayle AMG, Inc.
AMG, Inc. has leased with an option to buy the City Lights building, located at 1234 9th Street, N.W., between "M" and "N" Streets. This building was previously used as a lighting production warehouse. We plan to develop the property as a nightclub. A hearing will be held in May 1992, concerning the issuance of a liquor license.
Our plan is to renovate the building to convert it to a nightclub, keeping the name "City Lights".
The building exterior will be kept the same, except for the addition of a door. The nightclub will have an international flavor, featuring various types of music, such as jazz, calypso, top 40 and reggae. The interior will be tastefully decorated to attract and maintain a mature professional clientele. A light fare menu will be served.
With the proposed redevelopment of the District of Columbia owned property, located directly across 9th Street, AMG, Inc. anticipates being able to support an upscale restaurant as well as a nightclub, in the future. Currently, the District of Columbia property is planned for development as an underground Convention Center with mixed-use development above ground.
We view the development of "City Lights" nightclub as a spark that may spur economic development along 9th Street. With new development in the area, others may begin to position themselves to take advantage of the major revitalization planned for the Ninth Street Corridor.
The was the proposed logo:
From a September, 1992 newsletter, probably by the editor:City Lights Out
The City Lights nightclub has apparently died aborning. There is a regulation that certain kinds of liquor licenses are not permitted within 400 feet of a church--if the church objects.
The Salem Baptist Church objected. The District measured, and came up with 420 feet.
So did the applicant's surveyor. That's to the Church "lot", if one doesn't count the parking lot, which the applicant's lawyer said you shouldn't since it was purchased at a different time than the "church lot" and had a different lot number and there was maybe a different comma or initial in the ownership title and "church lot" really meant to the front door, anyway, not the edge of the lot, and so it was beyond 400 feet.
But there was also something in the regulations about the "shortest distance" across public space, not down the block and square across the street. So they remeasured on the bias, and lo and behold, it was well under 400 feet. Pythagoras (and Euclid) did not live in vain!
I do expect the lawyer to appeal on the basis that the curvature of the Earth was not taken into account.
The community exhaled, since City Lights
was to be a go-go club. Those were active in other parts of the District then, with the requisite number of shootings and killings.More in Few Days
The editor will fill in more on 1234 in a bit.There is Always a Blog...
After reading that AMG piece, you're probably saying to yourself: Isn't there a blog about unnecessary quotation marks? Yes, it's here
. And the never satisified among you, and you know who you are, then probably asks about apostrophes. It's here
The editor saw these when he was checking InstaPundit
Friday, June 26, 2009 1:51:18 PM
There were City Council hearings on the proposed convention center hotel this Wednesday. To the editor it sounds as if the thing will move, and if it moves groundbreaking would be in a very few months. The editor testified, as did many others. In general, the community would like to see it built, as would the editor. The editor also believes that the uncertainty of its being built has caused several years of delay in the renovation of Ninth Street. But that's in his testimony below:
The Testimony of Harold Davitt
Past President of the
Blagden Alley and Naylor Court Association
Committee on Economic Development
Committee on Finance and Revenue
Joint Public Hearing
June 24, 2009
John A. Wilson Building
B18-310, the “New Convention Center Hotel Amendments Act of 2009.”
Thank you, Chairman Brown, Chairman Evans and Councilmembers. My name is Harold Davitt, and I am here today for as a private citizen who has lived for 30 years on the 900 block of M Street, which is one block north of the proposed Convention Center Hotel. I have also served from time to time as President of the Blagden Alley and Naylor Court Association, which is the association representing the neighborhood directly west of the new Convention Center.
Today, I would like to talk to you about the impact of the lateness of the Convention Center Hotel on the community immediately to the north of the proposed hotel.
When the groundbreaking for the new Convention Center took place in 1998, the impression of the community was that the commercial part of the neighborhood, Ninth Street between L and P streets, would finally bloom. It didn’t. There has been some commercial renovation, but not the serious makeover expected. The opening in 2003 has added two restaurants and some smaller retail, but that’s it. The development on Ninth Street has been essentially locally oriented, either to the neighborhood or to the District. Some businesses have have bought and renovated long vacant properties because it is in the central city, the neighborhood has a strong historical character, and it’s affordable gallery or office space compared to K Street locations. As the vacant properties become occupied, Ninth Street does improve somewhat. The neighborhood’s residential renovation has been in full swing since the mid-1980's and generally complete several years ago. The few vacant residentially zoned lots have been built out with condominiums.
If the redevelopment of Ninth Street proceeds as it is doing now, then Ninth Street will be of local flavor, oblivious to the possible tourist revenue across the street at the Convention Center. While interesting to the neighborhood, it should not be satisfying to parties concerned with maximizing revenues from the convention trade. Instead of getting the tourists out of their hotel rooms in various parts of the District and into local restaurants and points of interest on their way to and from their conventions, we will be leaving them to their hotel food and the cable channels.
This neighborhood would like to see serious renovation which includes orientation to the convention and tourist trade. It would add to the personality of the area, but it will not happen if the convention center hotel languishes. I have seen several real estate deals die because of the unpredictability of the “elephant in the room” at Ninth and Massachusetts. While the current economy is not helping, the problem of indecision with respect to the Convention Center Hotel impeding development has been ongoing over the last few years.
We have been through this before. Early in the 1980's I recall preliminary neighborhood briefings on proposed developments, which of course needed slight upgrades in the zoning map and thus needed community concurrence. Leaving aside the quality of the developments proposed, it showed that serious businesses with serious zoning lawyers considered the neighborhood interesting.
Then the proposals, the upzoning requests and other commercial feelers to the neighborhood dried up by the late 1980's. The certainty that a new convention center would be built here was in the air. I have talked with people who know that history, and the only obvious place in the late 1980's was where the current convention center is located.
The minuet concerning the construction of the Convention Center Hotel has done the same thing to the neighborhood over the last few years. It has certainly slowed the development of Ninth Street, but it has also forced developers away from thinking that they can profit by serving the conventioneers and they must now orient to local clienteles. This direction of locally-oriented renovation will take more time, but will happen. If that happens, then the influence of the Convention Center on the renovation of the neighborhood will be far less than envisioned.
We are a tourist town. When we build a convention center, it should be make money. There should be a return on our investment. We have interesting neighborhoods for the metropolitan population, but none outside of downtown which say to the tourist: Spend your money here. Because of the delay in the building of the Convention Center Hotel, we may have already lost the opportunity to nurture such a neighborhood right next to the Convention Center.
In poker terms, our new Convention Center was a large opening bet. If we are afraid to place the appropriate continuation bet, we must have decided that we have a weaker hand than we thought. And the other players will notice.
The new Convention Center Hotel is an expected adjunct of a big-league convention center. We do need it to start now, or the lot should be sold for near term development for other purposes. The opportunity costs of delay are very high.
Thank you very much.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 6:28:24 PM
The following made it to a number of neighborhood mailing lists....
From: richard rogers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 11:29 PM
Subject: [ShawNeighborhood] 100 Proof/Why The Convention Center is a failure.
To: mvsna <email@example.com>, ShawNeighborhood@yahoogroups.com
If the new convention center is so great and a wonderful success, why is the 1,800 sqft 1st floor condo which is occupied by Modern Liquor(9th and M) for sale for $300,000. including the inventory(booze and Utz)?
The reply was....
Subject: Modern Liquors
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 10:54:02 -0700
Thank you for your concern, but it is unwarranted.
Yes, Modern Liquors--the business-- is for sale...to myself. I am in the process of buying it from my mother-in-law, who is retiring, so there is no need to worry about the business closing due to the perceived failure of the new Convention Center. I have run it for the six years, and plan to continue doing so.
In the future, I suggest you do a little research before you blast email the city.
Monday, June 22, 2009 2:55:56 PM
This has no relevance to Blagden Alley or Naylor Court, but only to this blog.
The editor spent many years in the computer world. The various computer grammars of the several languages he had to learn sorely tested what the Benedictines and Jesuits had tried to inculcate. Over time, he thinks he has gained most of that back.
However, he finally looked http://www.nyu.edu/classes/copyXediting/pubstyle.html
to check whether the four seasons are capitalized. He was sure at some earlier point in his life, but the quality of writing and editing he is exposed to there days is not necessarily good training: See, for example, the Saturday morning letters to the editor section in the WaPo. At any rate, the NYU "PUBLICATION STYLE" has:Seasons are lowercased (spring, summer, fall, winter) unless part of a proper noun (Dartmouth Winter Festival).
The last part was the reason for this post. His high school debate partner was one year ahead of him, and went to Dartmouth. Sometime during the editor's senior year, he saw the former debate partner. He was describing the "Dartmouth Winter Festival", which he called the "Dartmouth Winter Carnival". He commented that Bennett Cerf
had said that "if all the girls at the Dartmouth Winter Carnival were laid end to end, he wouldn't be surprised". Since Cerf went to Columbia, the editor wonders how he could have said such a thing.
Thursday, June 18, 2009 1:29:20 PM
First of all, apologies for not posting the last week or two. The editor was upgrading his computer for the first time in five years. It's now an AMD Athlon X2 5200 on an ASUS M3A76-CM with 4GB memory (I know, XP can't handle all of it!) and three 500 GB SATA Seagates. Since he does a lot of compiling in of a large C++ project, it's just marvelous. It's also an unexpected pleasure to hear the new audio built into the motherboard.
He had a post on a possible "emergency" law for this summer here
. One of the comments (OK, the only one) was:I don't understand the "emergency" orders. It seems like trouble pops up every summer, yes? (At least thats the way I remember it the past 8-10 years). What is keeping the politicians from actually enforcing normal laws - and if that isn't working - putting through well thought out laws through the normal process? It seems like emergency legislation comes out every summer, 2 months goes by fighting about it, then it's too hot for crime, so the legislation works for a week or two in September before it's repealed. Perhaps it's just me thinking with a non-elected brain, but if the problem pops up every year, start working on bills in the fall so they are fully vetted and passed by the time summer hits?
The editor thought the bill had problems, but then he saw this
in the Washington Examiner. He really does consider this good news. Great news? Probably not. But good.
Over the years, one of the tools the police have used is a "stay away" order, meaning "don't hang out on these specified blocks". They are very tough to get, and can only be pursued for a few really bad individuals. And probably only make sense when the bad guys are isolated enough to go after, as opposed to members of a large herd. Back when, there were anti-loitering laws. They worked.
Then they were thrown out, and the trouble in various neighborhood just got worse, The police had no real control until someone got killed, a store robbed or several houses burgled. The "stay away" orders seemed to get the good guys some control back.
The reason for this post is here
, in Mari's InShaw
. The corner of Ninth and M was that way for a while. Up at the "Fish Market" at Ninth and N (now the Exchange), there was a far worse crowd. Being seen with a camera within a half block of there was not a good idea. It still smelled like the Fish Market many years after it closed.
The editor guesses that the new law will have a noticeable effect where the local PSA LT is solid. For the other PSA's, good luck. It will mean more next year after the police have developed a feel of how the courts will handle the changes. That doesn't happen overnight. At least the effect will be a year earlier than otherwise.
In a bit of a response to the comment, the editor is farily sure that the bill is a package of things that have been discussed for a while, and are a compromise of what can get passed and what the police really wanted. Will it cure really bad problems? Doubtful. There are, however, lots of corners and blocks which are not bad and not good, but with a serious nudge could get a lot better in a year or two. Gentrification is incremental. In twenty years, Mari is going to be writing about what those blocks were like "back when". This set of new tools for the police and courts will help move that along. And yes, things are always worse during the annual Global Warming.
Thursday, May 28, 2009 6:55:25 PM
From Stupid Quotes
"This is no longer a slum neighborhood. I haven't heard of a Cubs fan being shot in a long time."
- Anonymous Wrigley Field Neighbor, Chicago, IL
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 4:24:30 PM
The editor uses the Opera blog. As an attached goodie, it has the last 20 or so references to the blog. That is from what site and how "referred". In other words, if one is at site ABC and viewing a page in the blog (or any web page) renewshaw.com (utterly aside: since we're into historical stuff, shouldn't it be reOLDshaw.com?) then that information is collected by the service that Opera uses. It's not fancy. Happens all the time. If the editor wanted to pay a few bucks a month, he could see all of the collected data in databaseable form. Bigtime blogs do that.
It's sort of jarring, though, when he sees
5/26 4:47:30 PM <-- Zulu Time
Washington, District of Columbia, US <-- where visitor is (theoretically)
188.8.131.52 <-- Visitors IP Address http://bloomingdaleneighborhood.blogspot.com
<-- Where the link was hit
AL JAZEERA INTERNATIONAL <-- Who visitor is (theoretically)
bloomingdaleneighborhood.blogspot.com had a reference to these O Street photos
. AL JAZEERA INTERNATIONAL clicked that link. And now the lowly little blog finds itself embroiled in the Mideast Crisis. Wow.
But the question remains: Why was AL JAZEERA INTERNATIONAL visiting http://bloomingdaleneighborhood.blogspot.com?
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 3:06:52 PM
The editor saw Jack Evans at the WCCA Advisory Committee meeting last Thursday. His major topic was essentially what was in his recent newsletter:
The Mayor has proposed the “Omnibus Anti-Crime Amendment Act of 2009” to strengthen our crime fighting tools. My colleagues have made various proposals as well. Given the recent homicide at 7th and M Streets in Shaw last week, and the shocking incident in Adams Morgan this past weekend where two police officers were shot, we need to do everything possible to get the upper hand on criminal activity.
Particularly important to me are the gang-related provisions, which I think will be useful countering gang activity in Ward 2 and through out the city, as well as increasing penalties for the use of stolen cars in the commission of a crime. It’s bad enough when a criminal steals a car, but even worse when they use that vehicle for a drive-by shooting or other crimes, which has been an unfortunate and emerging trend. There are also a variety of proposals to increase gun possession penalties that make sense as well. Together these proposals are aimed at fighting crime and disrupting the activities of gangs to make our city safer.
The Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, on which I serve, has already held two hearings on the legislation, and I believe it is incumbent upon the Council to move forward quickly on the emergency version of the legislation in June. Under normal legislative procedures, the Council would vote twice on permanent legislation and then it would go through a 60-day Congressional review period. Obviously, the summer would be long over by then – thus it is absolutely imperative we move the most important parts of this legislation forward on an emergency basis on June 2nd so we can give our police officers and the US Attorney the tools they need to combat crime. So before my thoughts turn to summer vacations and other pleasant things, I appreciate we have some important work to do first to help make everyone’s summer happy and safe.
The editor remembers remembers LT Mike Smith and his crew talking about the importance of "Stay Away" orders over the years. He doesn't recall that there were many of them, but against certain people, usually prostitutes, the police believed they held down crime. He also remembers that they took a lot of work on the part of the police down at US Attorneys offices and the court house.
Commander Kucich was at the meeting and allowed as how it would be a good thing. Not a total solution, but would help. The editors experience over the years is that many of the nagging, year-after-year crime problems go away after the police and the US Attorney and the Councilman manage to get a little change here and there and finally the people involved in the crimes (which include prostitution and drugs) go somewhere else. The editor should weep for the places the lowlifes go, but we've done our time. Now it's someone else's turn.
The omnibus bill above moves the "stay away" level of proof from "beyond reasonable doubt" to "preponderance of evidence". In other words, somewhat easier. And for this Summer, that means that getting one in place for certain individuals on certain corners of the Far Side might actually happen.
"Emergency" legislation just fits this coming Summer and the attendant problems. The normal procedures for implementing a law mean that there's a pretty good chance it might be in place next Summer. Let's hope the Council moves quickly.
As a side note, the WaPo had a chin puller in the Outlook section that an individual who has his name on such a stay away order might be hobbled for life. Poor dears. Actually, the editor guesses that getting on a stay away order takes real work and a bit of a record anyway. The piece seems not be available on-line. It must have just floated away, as happens when objects have no weight.
Friday, May 22, 2009 11:57:58 AM
The editor confesses to rarely texting. But it can be fun to watch.
Yesterday afternoon, crossing M Street at Ninth and M, he looked at the light and saw that it was against him, and since a car was at the intersection, didn't cross. But the car didn't move. He saw that the driver was texting, and since no on was behind him to honk, he just kept on concentrating.
Finally light changes. Texting completes. Driver takes a right on red.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 6:37:22 PM
One of the commenters on the last post referenced the Tally-Ho stables in Naylor Alley, a picture of which is found here
, which is about the "Shaw" Historic District. I say "Shaw" because Naylor Court and Blagden Alley are in the Blagden Alley and Naylor Court Historic District, amazingly enough. With the number of pictures from the BA&NC HD in the Shaw HD brochure one might surmise a bit of envy. The editor would not do so, however.
But that's not the point. The drawing of the TallyHo stables seems to correspond to
which looks like the DC Archives, on the south end of the eastern north-south segment of Naylor Court. (The editor loves to write that kind of stuff!)
The former stables seen here
is on the conjectured segment of Naylor Alley.
Another structure in Naylor Court probably was
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:12:12 PM
The editor posted a pair of pictures labeled as "Naylor Alley"
forwarded by the blogger (bloggerette?) Inshaw
. Among other things, it reminded him of the time the Blagden Alley and Naylor Court Association moved the summer picnic into Naylor Court. He thinks it was the first or second year of such, and as we were setting up, say 5:30pm, and older black gentleman stopped and watched from O Street. The editor invited him in, be he declined. We chatted a bit, and he said he remembered playing as a child in "Naylor Alley", but that he had lived in PG County for a long time. The editor had impression that he might have moved there while young, and had not been back much, if at all, since.
It would also be interesting to know when "Naylor Alley" became "Naylor Court". It is probably in living memory, as in maybe the 40's or 50's? And why was it changed? Because one can have residences in "Courts" but not "Alleys", or not alleys at that time?
How was the name changed? On what authority or in what bureaucracy? Was there a prominent landowner who got something started? Some Do-Gooder trying to do the Right Thing? Just a point of interest.
One of pictures was
In the previous post
said he couldn't recall where in Naylor Court that would be. Now he thinks he knows:
Given the foliage, he can't match the left side, but the right side looks right, with a small structure fulled in at the right.
Monday, May 18, 2009 3:10:31 PM
This time, it's the west side of the 1200 block of Tenth Street. And, no, the editor did not consider "West Side Story" as a title, as that would be too precious. And, yes, he thus will never write for the WaPo Style section.
From some pictures Jim Loucks and Brad Smith took back in the mid-1980's.
The red townhouse is Brad and Jim's. It will appear here a good bit.
And some of the original renovators, including Larry Peterson from across the street.
of Jim Loucks in 1252. Jim is not just a renovator. Over the years, he has been a consistent voice of reason on preservation matters and a strong liaison with the District and the various authorities for the interests this community. A good portion of the character of this part of the world has been influenced by Jim.
One more, a bit farther south on the block:
With that last one in mind, look at it today
The curved glass is nice.
Those units to the right of Brad and Jim above are now this:
Another simple doorway renovation from the old days:
There are several more of the old and new photos in the album (touch "photos" at the top of this page).
Friday, May 15, 2009 2:32:50 PM
Lisa Amore again
points the editor to things happening in the area. The link is here
So the editor went to Google, which was working today, and typed in "murder washington dc convention center". The first hit (ambiguous word here) was of the NBC story referenced above. The second is the Convention Center main page. They must have payed for placement, since "murder" isn't in the text of the home page.
As a neighborhood occurence, it's frighteningly close.
When you think of DC as a tourist town, as you should, it's also damn bad for business. This google entry will now show up for the nest year or more when conventioneers and convention planners check out the town. We tend not to think of DC as a tourist center, but we make a major portion of our revenue from the tourist business. This hurts.
When 3D reimplements "community policing" in this area, maybe it won't happen again.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 1:48:34 PM
The editor was asleep, then heard what sounded like four gunshots, not evenly spaced, several houses away. Then three more farther away a bit later. Having lived here too long, he thought serious firecrackers and went back to sleep. The folks at the Whitman didn't.
Lisa Amore wites:
No.. that was not fireworks that you might have heard at around 10:50pm tonight. It was gunfire.
I heard 2 shots as I was walking in my door from just coming inside with Bruno. I quickly heard about 4-5 more shots, and leaped to the window as I was grabbing my phone to call 9-1-1.
I witnessed a guy in a black hoodie and black pants on foot, and another guy on a bike. They were moving relatively quickly, but not necessary running or taking off on the bike. The shots that I witnessed took place right near the tree in the grassy expanse directly across from The Whitman front door. They then proceeded towards 10th St.and Blagden Alley (where my neighbor...says that they divided.) Within about a minute, there was yet more gunfire, most likely from a semi-automatic weapon (per another neighbor), as the gunfire was much quicker. This seemed to happen further North and West of us.... possibly in the direction of 10 and N Sts...
When the cops finally arrived, they were concentrating at the corner of 9th and M St's in front of the Convention Center, possibly where someone else was hit. [Name deleted] on the 1st Flr. said that he saw the shooter(s) running from down M St. toward where I had seen them... but turned and shooting toward the Convention Center.
The cops cordoned off the grassy area with police tape, and found at least 6 bullet casings, but no blood, and no evidence of anyone being wounded at that location.
It would be great if we cound find out more information about this if possible, to share with the rest of the folks in the building. A lot of people came out front / outside, when I was back down there explaining to the cops where they should look for the casings. Everyone was greatly concerned.
A friend, neighbor and ABC7 reporter convinced me to go downstairs and give a statement to the detective.
In so doing, we found out the following:
From what the detectives can tell, amazingly - no one was hit. There are no traces of blood anywhere.
In a strange coincidence, the ambulance on the SE corner of 9th and M St's at the time of the shooting was actually treating someone for a completely different circumstance, and they had simply not left the scene yet. However... the cameras on the Conv. Center did catch suspects on camera shooting at other people at the corner of 9th and M, and the people who were being shot at in that incident fled down 9th St. The cops then found bullet casings on both sides of M St. Bullets apparently hit a jeep that was parked in front of Whitman unit #120. Two more vehicles (a VW and a Volvo) were hit as they were parked in front of 911 M St, across the street. The majority of the casings, however, were found in the grassy area and on the sidewalk directly across from the front door of The Whitman. Finally, they did also tell us that there was a report of gunshots fired at 13th and N St's.
At present, the investigation is obviously still ongoing, and they have no suspects yet.
Monday, May 11, 2009 1:50:14 PM
From about the mid 1980's, the old one
Note that it isn't just that the places have been "fixed up", it's that someone seems to care. Trees are planted and maintained. Streets are clean. The houses are painted, and repainted when appropriate. An utterly different world. The Hopperesque bleakness (see here
) is gone.
It is also weird. When you live through it, a house is renovated here, a block there. Even when a block was renovated, there were always a few houses left undone, often for many years. After a while, they also get done. You remember the last few years, not the "start". The photos really do remind of what you can think of as "normal".
Sunday, May 10, 2009 8:16:05 PM
Over the many years the editor has been in the territory, he has come to judge the degree of "gentrification" by a number: the daily parking rate at the lot at Eleventh and M. He does recall $2.50. He considered it progress when the number went to $3.00. It's now $9.00. The downtown rates were $9.00 or $10.00 and up bacj when.
As the neighborhood improved, the rates went up....
Well, the District apparently thinks we just doubly gentrified from a few weeks ago. The hourly rate on the meters on Ninth Street has gone from a dollar an hour to two. He recalls that this was also tried three mayors ago, under Sharon Pratt Dixon Kelly. (Some wag in the WaPo or Loose Lips remarked that "SPDK" surely stood for "she probably doesn't know".) She had the rate rescinded rather quickly after complaints from merchants.
It's nice to know that we now thought by the authorities to be in Georgetown's league. But we aren't. (We're down there with the Nationals, in whatever league they are in.) We also have struggling businesses, many of which depend on people parking at the meters. Perhaps someone will interview the owners and ask what this does to their businesses.
Sunday, May 10, 2009 8:00:51 PM
Over the lsst few posts and the next however many, the editor is showing the contrast of the 1985 Blagden Alley and Naylor Court world with that of today. Here is a simple picture showing the contrast:
Just a baby carriage in front of a house on the 1200 block of Tenth Street. There was no such picture in 1985. Yes, there were a few babies. But the simple fact that the baby carriage is there to be photographed contrasts with 1985. In 1985, the baby carriage would not be there. It might be on Fourteenth Street being sold to a passer by.
In 1985, if it could be stolen, it was stolen. Period. The contrast of then and now isn't just in pictures. If there is any political incorrectness about the above fact, the editor doesn't really care. That's just the way it was.
Monday, May 4, 2009 3:19:40 PM
Jim Loucks has forwarded scans of some of the photos he took (and some others) in the mid-80's of the 1200 block of Tenth Street. Here's one of them (many more later...)
That's 1219, 1221, 1223 Tenth Street, with 1225 (I guess) on the left.
Here's the early May version
You'll notice several things: Trees are flourishing. 1225 on the left is where it was, and the other three are glorious. Here's more detail:
and, on a sad note, the notice on 1225
The editor understands that it's been condemned as structurally unsound. There have been buildings like that, left for many years with nothing done and then unrecoverable.
More on the 1200 block of Tenth in a bit.
Friday, May 1, 2009 3:12:24 PM
Did you ever have an old photograph sitting around and you wondered what it was? Here's one, and it's s place the editor sees every day.
First, the mid-80's photo:
and the current photo:
The way the editor identified it was by bringing the old picture up in his photo editor and zooming in on the sign. And it's right across the street.
Amazing how much memories fade.
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