Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Proof that God exists

I know we've been over this before but I was stuck at work a little late tonight and I was dreading the wait taking the metro home. All for naught, that gorgeous Yellow line arrived in three minutes. I can't quite explain how beautiful this is. Even with the distractions of ipods, magazines, blackberrys whatever the wait for the metro can be excrutiating. No longer will I have to count ceiling tiles when I'm waiting for the green line after working late. I can't explain the pain of running down the stairs at Gallery Place, being so excited that a train was arriving only to see the dreaded Yellow line to Mt. Vernon Square. It was like a sledgehammer to the chest. No more. I am toasting the genius who ever got this idea off the ground.

Sweet sign real estate at Sweet Mango Cafe


Sweet Mango Cafe sign, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

As posted earlier this is the big Brown banner outside of Sweet Mango Cafe. I have, however, recieved an email from Candidate Lisa Bass telling me that she has arranged a banner of her own which should be displayed at Sweet Mango in March. So we'll just have to see. As for the Fenty sign that you can still see in the window: Isn't that the political equivalent of leaving up christmas decorations a little too long?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Scratch the last post on Kilroy's - I'm giving them another chance

Sorry, I didn't read the comments of the "Kilroy not me" post. I now have. I'll try going in the morning next time. I really do want these business to survive. I'll attach the comments below in case you missed them.

Geoff said...
I use Kilroys weekly and I really like it. Basically, the woman who works the afternoon / evening shift can be grumpy. Don't take it personally - I'll let them know about this post and hopefully she'll become a little friendlier?If you go in the morning Ryan (owner's son) and Ms. Vivian (works up front but has been away with health problems lately) are very, very friendly. They know me by name and are always extremely pleasant. Support Kilroys! Please don't let this one experience ruin it for you. We need decent businesses like this to thrive in Petworth.

1/29/2007


Meghan said...
I agree with Geoff! Morning trips to Kilroys are the way to go--It's actually a nice way to start the day (really). Ryan, Ms. Vivian and Ryan's Dad have been nothing but great to me and my pounds of clothes. I've had no problems with the dry cleaning quality and really appreciate when they go the extra mile--which they often do. Sorry you had the bad experience.

Another reasons to love Petworth

On my walk to the metro this morning a nice young mother pushing her baby stopped me and asked if I was walking to the metro. I said yes and she asked if she could borrow my cell phone because she was walking to the metro too. I thought it a little odd, but why not. So I loaned her my phone and she called a friend and gossiped a bit while we walked to the metro together. It was a bit bizarre but quite beautiful I think. I don't think I could imagine myself in Woodley Park walking to the metro and asking to borrow someone's phone, or someone asking me to borrow my phone. It is like we are all one big family and of course we loan each other our phones. Whew, finally one nice thing that happened today!

Kilroy Cleaners take two

Well, unfortunately the good people of Kilroy cleaners refuse to speak with me. Man, I'm having a bad day. Anyway, I had the same experience. Why do you think this is? It is clearly bad for business. I've never understood people who were in the service industry who are rude. Especially since this is the sole employee I've seen there. This was beyond rude, she wouldn't even talk to me. Should I have asked what her problem was, or what her problem with me was? My mom says I am a very good person. I am really confused.

So I'll leave Kilroy cleaners with the fine words of a young Bob Dylan: "We never did too much talking anyway..." oh sorry I think I may have used that song already.

Farewell reader DJ

Boy, I really pissed off a reader or former reader in the "Where is the outrage?" post. I guess I should be careful what I ask for. He certainly provides plenty of outrage. Go to the comments section if you'd like to read the full fury. But he concludes:

" I will not be reading your blog anymore. I suspect I won't be the only one. My opinion of your closed-mindedness is not based on this one post by you. It's your theme."

Holy cow, am I closed minded? I don't think my libertarian, homosexual, Peruvian dog would think so. We get along just fine despite our differences. But I guess I haven't blogged about that so how could DJ have known. What I find really funny is that he tells me he is not reading the blog anymore. As though this will really hurt me. He is like the type of person who cancels a magazine subscription when they write one story they disagree with. Well, P.o.P. is a free service with no advertising so I believe DJ is really just depriving himself. As a nihilist I can respect that.

So DJ, I'll leave you with the fine words of a young Bob Dylan "Goodbye is too good a word, so I'll just say farewell".

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Smile, new crime camera

DCist reports new crime camera going up outside the U Street metro. Do we want one at the Petworth metro?

By the by, I've really been enjoying the one exit at Petworth metro. I always felt there was a divide between folks who exited on the east or west side. Now that we all exit from the same side I feel a real unity. No more East/West divide, we are all Petworthians now!

I just fell off my high horse

I feel better now.

Where is the outrage?

Last week the Washington Post reports the second in command for homeland security for Prince George's county was involved in a shooting in his home. He shot two furniture movers who were unarmed and they are still in the hospital. I understand that this PG County police officer was involved in other controversy in the past. Now, I ask you, where the hell is the outrage that these two unarmed furniture movers were shot multiple times by a police officer in his home? This is appalling to me. At first the two were held in custody while still in the hospital. I understand that the mainstream media is waiting for the full investigation to come out but come on! This cop shot two unarmed people and I don't hear a peep of protest. I hope when more information comes, there will be a louder protest. Especially because this guy was the #2 officer in charge of homeland security for PG County. I am sickened. I hope more info comes out soon and I hope that the media reports on it because this apparent misuse of power is shocking and sickening. I hate to make this a racial thing but would there be more coverage if the cop was white, or if the movers were white? Where is Rev. Sharpton? I don't care what the color of the shooter or apparent victims are but whenever there is a shooting of unarmed people by a police officer I demand justice.

Sweet Streets are coming to Georgia Ave.

I briefly attended the Lower Georgia Avenue Trasportation and Streetscape Improvements meeting on Sat. While I missed the opening presentation I was able to collect the printed material. Unfortunately it is only in hard copy but I was told that you can read about the outcomes in two weeks at www.ddot.dc.gov.

I look forward to reading all about it. When it is up I'll post a link.

We really need to improve our schools

Check out this add on Craigslist "Must have knowledge of basic filing skills to insert and retrieve application packages from file cabinets" Is that for real? Insert and retrieve application packages? Umm, isn't that just opening up a drawer and pulling out a file? Are our schools that bad? Then the ad requires Microsoft Office skills, ok that is normal but I'm thinking that might be the proper first skill to list because I'm guessing if someone doesn't have the ability to open a file cabinet then they might not be so good at Microsoft PowerPoint. Then again, I can't spell very well so who am I to judge.

Petworth Rowhouses


IMG_5200, originally uploaded by iceman882.

A typical street in Petworth found on Flickr. Gotta love those porches. Jane Jacobs would be smiling. I have been reading Jane Jacob's Death and Life of American Cities and she would love Petworth's porches.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Breaking news: I saw two police officers walking the beat!

This is phenomenal news, great news, unbelievable news, ok it's not that great but it is pretty cool. On perhaps the coldest night of this winter I chatted with two police officers who were walking down Upshur Street, past Domku. My jaw dropped, I stuttered a bit partially from the cold, partially from shock. I asked them "hey are you guys part of the new foot patrols?". A resounding Yes was the answer. So credit to Chief select Lanier. She is a woman of her word. I really do think this is great news for the residents of Petworth and DC in general. Bravo, and keep up the good work. I win the bet though. I believe I was the first one to spot a foot patrol. Let's hope it becomes a regular thing.

Domku Scandinavian and Slavic Cafe in Petworth

A picture of the phenomenal Domku that I often talk about. Thanks to Xiann from Flickr for the photo.

New Logo


frog prince, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Voila, the new Prince of Petworth Logo. Thumbs up or thumbs down?

I have regained my faith in humanity

Many, many thanks to Sean from the bloomingdale blog who has schooled me in the ways of blogs and technology. He taught me how to put links into posts, put pictures into posts, and of course showed me how to put the coolest frog logo in the world up on P.o.P. So my sincerest thanks to Sean. There are still good people left in this world.

And this is great news for readers of this blog. Shortly, I will be adding pictures, and lots more links to my posts. So stay tuned...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kilroy don't kill me

I had such a good dry cleaner in Cleveland Park. Those people were amazing. They smiled, they were fast, and they were professional. I'd pained me to give up this great dry cleaner. It is kind of like finding a good dentist, when you find one you stick with them. But no, a new dry cleaner was opening up in Petworth and I was going to support it. Because I am good person. I am caring person. I have illusions of grandeur, wait, I'm digressing. So, I have frequented Kilroy Dry Cleaners on Upshur St. on multiple occassions. They all have been less than pleasant but tonight takes the cake. I enter the store at around 6:30 in the evening relieved that it was still open because I've been wearing the same shirt the entire week and last week. So, I say "hello, how are you doing?" Silence. Deadly silence. The woman behind the counter looks at me like I had just strangled a kitten. Ok, I'm cool with that, maybe she was just having a bad day. So, I begin to count out my shirts, 1,2,3...19. That is pretty impressive. Anyway, my 20th was a flannel and then she decided to speak to me. We don't do that, she growled. Yikes, I quickly took it off the counter and awaited my ticket. But she simply stared off into space, in complete silence. I wish I could properly explain what her eyes looked like. I honestly felt that if I looked in to them my heart would immediately stop beating. Then fire flew from her finger tips as she rosined up the bow...no, wait a second, that is from a song. But you get the point. Finally, she finsished her day dream and printed out the tickets. Whew. I was relieved. So I said thank you, have a good night. Silence. deadly silence. I froze. I was confused. Maybe she didn't hear me. So I said, thanks. Nothing. Not even a grunt. So I just stood there confused. What the hell was going on? I literally just stood there for like five minutes. So, I say when can I pick them up? She growls a day. I say thanks again. Shit, at this point all I needed was a grunt or a nod. And I'm literally bewildered by the silence. So I'm standing there and she says "that's it". I swear if she had a gun she would have shot me dead on the spot.

Has anyone else had an experience like this at Kilroy Cleaners on Upshur St? I'm still a little stunned. And I have a strong suspicion that I'm not going to get all my shirts back. Oh well, I'm going to see how the pick up goes, but if I recieve the same reception I'm afraid I'm going to have to go back to the dry cleaners in Cleveland Park and that makes me very sad.

I'd imagine he also opposes incest

The Washington Post reports today that "Fenty Against Illegal Guns". That was the link to the metro section from the Post's home page. Hmm, I'm no political expert but that seems like a pretty safe stance to me. I can imagine the internal debates that took place before finally choosing a side: Well, there are a lot of illegal gun owners in the District and that may mean a lot of voters. But no, Fenty took the high ground and is against illegal guns. Well, bravo I say. The courage of this man makes me proud to be a Ward 4 resident. Actually the article is not bad, I should really just be making fun of the Post lead in but it was too good to pass up.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Allow me to get serious again

I would like to bring attention to a comment I recieved under the "Petworth Pride" post. I will include the entire post and my response but basically a gentleman talks about gentrification and the fact that when he went to Domku he was the only black person there and as a result he won't be returning. I was very disturbed by this sentiment. Do you agree, disagree, what have your experiences been like?

reuben said...
Hi. Im a 50 year old DC resident ( and I currently reside in Brightwood-your neighbor to the North). I am also a black man. I read these blogs with interest, and, alas, sometimes with bewilderment and concern.. Like you (all)-I am frustrated when folks are so cavalier about , say, throwing trash on the street, but what does it mean when a fellow Petworth resident says things like ( and I paraphrase here)"things will improve as the neighborhood continues to change". Hmmmm. Now I know that good, progressive folks like to say that gentrification is about class, not race. But when the dust clears, who (largely) remains? The diversity folks claim to crave somehow disappears... It's a paradox, I think. Like the time I went to Domku and found myself the only black face in an otherwise black neighborhood. I wont be back. Enjoy, new DC residents. I aint (necessarily) mad at you. No more than I am mad at the kids tossing wrappers around.

1/23/2007
Prince of Petworth said...
Reuben thank you for your comments I think they are very important. I'd like to address two points you make first gentrification and second Domku.

I'd like to be completely clear that I think the "neighborhood changing and improving" has to do with neighborhood pride, less crime, less garbage and more restaurants, bakeries, etc. This is not an attack on the current residents who as I have mentioned many times are the backbone of the community. Diversity is key and essential to Petworth's reputation and fortunes. I do consider myself progressive. And I think the emphasis our development has on affordable housing and mixed income rentals will help keep the neighborhood diverse. Also, many of the old time residents have homes that are purchased and in the clear. So I don't expect a mass migration of any sort. We need to work together to build a neighborhood that we all can be proud of.

Second, as far as Domku is concerned, one of the things I love about Domku is the diversity of its patrons. You have old people, young people, "hipsters", parents, babies, black and white. I believe that Domku does attract many of the "new" residents but that is not at the exclusion of the old residents. I'm sure the owner of the place would love all the business she can get. As for you never returning because you were the only black person there, I find that very sad. I think you should give Domku and the neighborhood restaurants another chance. I know for a fact that there have been many black patrons there. Anyone else have some thoughts?

I forgot to mention it snowed the other day

In my haste I didn't realize it snowed the other day. Apparently everone was talking about it. So, sorry about that. It snowed in Petworth too. It is gone now. Breaking news: we may get a single snow flake this afternoon. I suggest you put 20 pounds of salt on all sidewalks, lawns, roads, and just to be safe you should probably tape a couple of bags of salt to your shoes. Safety first.

Ward 4 election getting major coverage in the post

Please see page B5. (ed. note: when I reference post articles the link will always be in the title to take you to the article, until I get tech savvy and learn to put links in the actual post.) At any rate this is a very good article on the fact that Fenty has endorsed Muriel Bowser.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Damn dawg, you got a dog?

Well one of my neighbors got a dog. They let the dog out in the backyard every morning. Anywhere from 5:30-7:30 in the morning. The dog barks. Loudly. It is cold out there. And the backyard isn't even all that big. Hell, if I were staring at the alley in the cold every morning I'd be barking too. Now I got to call bullshit on this move. When I had a dog, I walked the dog every morning like clockwork. That is what the dog wants. That is good for the dog. That is healthy. Now, you let your dog out in the backyard every morning so it doesn't get any exercise and barks like a communist dog. This is not fair to your neighbors or to the dog. On a scale of 1-10 how passive aggressive is this post?

.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Thank you Wonkette

As previously posted I was a little upset at how the folks over at Wonkette joked about the Holocaust. Amazingly they linked to one of my other posts that very same day. I then read a post they did on the home that is selling where the British volunteer for Gov. Mark Warner was killed trying to protect his girlfriend in Georgetown. Well they referred to him as the "British Jew [who]was savagely murdered in the driveway". I thought it came across as a little callous so I was happy to see that today they posted that the house sold but this time referred to the home as " The one where an aspiring British politician had his throat slit in the driveway last July." (http://wonkette.com/politics/real-estate/28-million-georgetown-murder-scene-bought-by-aspiring-media-mogul-natch-230379.php) To me that reads much better. They could even have said British Jewish Activist and I wouldn't have cared. But to refer to him as the British Jew sounded a little derogatory. So thank you Wonkette for being a bit more sensitive.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A taste of India at Domku

Domku's Indian Menu this weekend was terrific. The place was packed. And for some reason it had a very strong Park Slope feel to it. I think that is another reason why Petworth is a phenomenal place it has a very strong Brooklyn vibe. Like parts of Brooklyn, based on my experience at Domku, there seems to be a baby explosion in Petworth. Which is nice. Unfortunately the service at Domku still needs a little work. It did take about a half an hour just to get our drinks. So I'd like to echo something that I read in the comments section of Petworth News: Domku should get some bread to put out while people are waiting. Bread, just bread, and maybe a little butter will make all the difference. Having said that, it was still great to see the place packed and the food was delicious. They even had some sweet Indian themed tunes. Gotta love it.

3 bucks for apple juice?

I love Columbia Heights Coffee, it has very fast wireless, great people and a cool vibe. Unfortunately I witnessed someone order a hot apple cider as I was waiting for my coffee. Wouldn't you know it, a hot apple cider equals Mott's apple juice heated up with a cinamon stick thrown in. On the coffee front I thought it was quite funny that the beautiful blonde cashier was explaining to the Ethiopian man working the coffee station how to properly make the coffee. She looked like she was from Sweden. Now Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. Is it just me or is something wrong when a Scandanvian type is explaining to an Ethiopian how to make coffee? Or is that just a horrible stereotype? However, the coffee was delicious and that is the bottom line.

Otis, not my man!

I was walking up New Hamsphire crossing over to Otis Street, when I saw a beautiful orange and green sign with a big 7 in the middle of it. There are those out there who for some reason share a love of 7 Eleven stores. The coffee, the convenience they are beautiful in their own right. So at this point I was quite giddy, strolling across Otis when I get a better look. Damn, it is a fake 7 Eleven, 7 Days or some crap like that. I love the mom and pop stores, but to toy with us like that is criminal. Next I'll encounter a Dinking Donuts and really freak out.

Where's our heritage?

I was walking home through Mount Pleasant this morning and I kept encountering these Mt. Pleasant Heritage signs that also pop up in Adam's Morgan and the U Street area. So where is our heritage? Petworth of course is the location where Abraham Lincoln wrote much of the Emancipation Proclamation for starters. Where are our signs? I know we may have bigger issues to deal with but I think we are just as entitled to these signs. ANC reps: Hook us up!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Washington Post reports FBI not so slick

"Seven weapons, including two submachine guns, were stolen last weekend from an FBI agent's vehicle in Southwest Washington, the agency said yesterday."

Hmm, thank God the FBI doesn't use horses often in their line of work. Can you imagine a thug on a horse with a submachine gun? As reported earlier a horse resonded to my minor traffic accident and here in Petworth I've passed a cop on a horse a few times walking back from the metro. I like the horses, it has a bit of a Mardi Gras feel to it. So I guess a few stolen submachine guns isn't all that bad, could've been a lot worse...

DC North Article on Ward 4 Candidates

Ingrid Drake from the DC North newspaper has a nice article on Ward 4 candidates. But to find out what they are reading you'll still have to check in with Prince of Petworth.

http://www.capitalcommunitynews.com/publications/dcnorth/2007_Jan/34-39-DCN-0107.pdf

Wonkette crosses the line

Forgive me for being overly sensitive and forgive me for posting outside the Petworth realm but I read a disgusting post from Wonkette yesterday afternoon and nobody seems to care but me. Wonkette was writing a post about the possibility of some blogs, that make a certain amount of money and have grassroots political influence, needing to register with Congress. Please read the offensive language from Wonkette below (http://wonkette.com/politics/fascists/democratic-leadership-to-register-bloggers-issue-blue-hats-229708.php):

"By that definition, Daily Kos would have to register with Congress and
then wear a yellow star or blue hat...Lock him up! Arbeit macht
frei!"

Since when does being "snarky" allow one to trivialize the Holocaust? What's next a hilarious lynching joke? Maybe they'll follow up with a good rape joke. For those who don't know, Jews were forced to wear Yellow stars by the Nazis before and during the time they were placed in ghettos. Then, at many concentration camps (most famously Auschwitz) the gates would read "arbeit macht frei" which means work makes you free. Which was false hope. Oh yeah, 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Millions of others including homosexuals, political prisoners, gypsies and others were killed as well. Ha, a holocaust joke that is hilarious Wonkette.

The Holocaust is not a joke, not a punchline. First you make it a joke, then it becomes trivialized, then it becomes denied. Ha, ha, ha! That is a good one Wonkette. Wonkette is "snarky" and often funny and certainly quite influential in DC. Therefore, you have the responsibility to be better than that. And apologize.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

P.o.P. Breakfast tip #1

Do not under any circumstances try to boil an egg in your microwave. And most definitely do not place said egg in a pyrex measuring cup. Egg explodes, pyrex bashes through the micro and you are left with egg on your face. Literally.

Petworth Pride

A commentor left a post earlier today saying that Petworth was "raggedy" and was planning on leaving the neighborhood. And it got me thinking. I'll complain from time to time, particularly if I think it is funny but this is my neighborhood, this is my home, and I love it. So I'd like to list the top ten reasons to have Petworth Pride:

10. Ample parking
As previously noted we have great parking, period. For those who have lived in more congested areas they realize just how much of a pain in the ass that can be. For those who don't drive we have the metro now serviced my Green and (sometimes) Yellow lines.

9. Local Politicians

We have terrific ANC leaders (for the most part). For example my new ANC leader Kevin Hummons just distributed one badass newsletter. And based on all the interviews I've been doing, I'm pretty confident whoever wins is going to represent Petworth properly in the city council.

8. Trees

We have awesome residents who love trees and have planted Cherry blossom trees and others in the local parks. We also have that awesome tree in the middle of Grant circle.

7. Location
Petworth is like a suburb in the city, we can enjoy the insanity of the city and then retire to our calm homes and maybe sip a beer on our porches. We are spitting distance (sometimes literally) from Columbia Heights, Wonderland Ballroom and all the development there. We are a stone's throw from the awesome U Street corridor. Or if you dig the Maryland thing we're not far from Maryland. To the west we are an apple's throw to Rock Creek Park and awesome hikes, and a little further west to the lovely Cleveland Park neighborhood. And if you dig the Hill we have North Capitol street to cruise on down to that neck of the woods.

6. Petworth News

Bill Crandall of Petworth News has done a terrific job keeping us up to date with all the goings on in Petworth. It looks like the Grant Circular is going to be a terrific addition in that vein as well.

5. Temperance Hall

One real sweet bar with whiskey and one hell of a vibe.

4. Positive Development

I for one am siked about the development coming on Georgia Ave. And of course I can't wait for the Mocha hut.

3. Old Soldiers and Sailors Home

Great golf and great people.

2. Domku

No list about Petworth would be complete without Domku. Domku and its owner Kera have been true trailblazers. They have brought us borscht and much more. They have brought us good eats, pool, darts, spectacular music and of course the passion to make a restaurant succeed on Upshur St. as well as having the perserverance and courage to continue to strive for its improvement.

1. The People

Petworth would be nothing without its people. Without sounding too sappy this means all its people. Its long term residents who could teach us a thing or two about Petworth, its new comers, and of course its children. Petworth may be "raggedy" but it is real. We don't have to be Georgetown. Hell, we don't want to be Georgetown. We are Petworth and those of us who live here knows exactly what that means.

So I'll continue to pick up garbage and bitch from time to time but please know that this bitching comes from love of the neighborhood. When I get in a bad mood I'll post the top ten worst reasons...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Petworth or New Jersey?

Why is it sometimes I leave my house and I am damn proud to be from Petworth and sometimes I leave my house shaking my head? This morning as I opened the door and looked on to my front yard I couldn't tell if I was in Petworth or New Jersey. Trash was everywhere. And at 8:30 in the morning dressed properly for work, it really sucks to pick up other people's trash. On top of that I see a guy walking down the street fling a huge bag of trash in the empty lot on New Hampshire and Quincy. Now I'm really shaking my head. To top things off as I get to the escalator of the metro there is a guy spitting on the escalator. Twice. Now that is just wrong. WTF? This is unacceptable. I felt like that Native American in the commercial with the tear rolling down his cheek. We cannot let this aggression stand. Right?

Anonymous commenters

I am starting to hear some complaints about anonymous commenters. Particularly those who criticize the council candidates. Should I forbid anonymous commenting? I am hesitant because I do not want to stifle debate. Thoughts?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Introducing Ms. Muriel Bowser candidate for Ward 4 City Council

On Sunday I had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Muriel Bowser at Petworth's very own Domku restaurant. I met with Ms. Bowser promptly at 10 a.m. and I was pleased to see that she had already arrived and was waiting for me. Ms. Bowser insisted that I call her Muriel so I will do so throughout this post to avoid any confusion with the other candidate Bowser. Muriel had a bit of raspy voice presumably from constant campaigning. Muriel had a tea and I had a coffee (and later some borsht). So we proceeded with our interview with the sweet tunes that Domku always spins humming in the background.

Background

Muriel is a native Washingtonian and currently lives in Riggs Park. Muriel graduated high school from Elizabeth Seton and grew up in the neighborhood of North Michigan Park with her parents and five siblings. She noted that her father was one of the first ANC's ever elected. She attended Chatham College in Pittsburg, PA where she received a degree in history. She came back to Washington, DC where she worked for a couple of years in the private sector before receiving a Master's degree in public policy from American University in 2000. Muriel currently works for Montgomery County as the assistant director for the Silver Spring regional center. This center essentially focuses like a mini town hall representing 150,000 residents. Muriel believes that this experience will serve her well should she be elected to Washington's city council. Muriel made it clear that should she be elected she would completely devote her work to the city council. Muriel became an ANC member for Riggs Park in 2004. Muriel is perhaps best known as the Ward 4 Precinct Coordinator for the Fenty 2006 Mayoral Campaign. Muriel has received Mayor Fenty's endorsement.

Muriel had worked with then Councilman Fenty in her position as an ANC member of Riggs Park. She noted that they worked closely on a range of issues including a gas spill, development issues and bringing a new recreation center to the area. As Ward 4 coordinator for Fenty, Muriel was exposed to the entire Ward and all the issues it faces. She believes they work well together because they share similar leadership styles.

Public Education

Muriel believes that this issue is important to all residents. "Where our schools go our city will go,” she explained. The fact that the city is not graduating half of our kids is a huge problem according to Muriel. She said that this is a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed. She believes that we now have a strong executive to work on this problem and she supports Fenty's plan for the schools. She believes it is extremely important that our kids graduate with the appropriate skills so that they can participate in the economy. She said that we need programs that are worthwhile to the kids. She believes that these programs should equip our kids with the requisite skills so that they can go right into the workforce. She also believes that there are greater socio economic factors at play. She firmly believes that we need to make sure that our schools attract a diverse student body. Ultimately the schools should attract students that could go to private schools but choose to go to our public schools.

Crime

Muriel believes that we need to face the known criminal activity currently in our communities. She continued, "We need focused efforts at removing the problems that we know exist." She believes there is a vicious circle at play whereby the criminals are arrested and go through the system quickly and then return to the community without any viable alternatives to distract them from returning to their crimes. By making opportunities available we can break the vicious cycle, she said. At the same time she believes that the police have a job to do. She is adamant that we cannot have drug dealers taking over our communities. Rather, she argues that the police need to become involved with the communities. She said "obviously, we need to see the police on the street and we need them to come to community meetings but the police need to be involved before the problems arise." If the police get involved in the community before the problems arise and participate in regular community gatherings then there will be a solid trust built, she explained. It is essential that the police get to know the residents so that the residents feel comfortable and trust the police should a problem arise, she explained. Muriel supports the use of police cameras but only as a tool that can help them do their job better. She was concerned that the cameras may simply push the criminal activity a few blocks away from the cameras.

Litter

Pride and ownership of the community is essential to battling this problem according to Muriel. She believes that we should take advantage of tools that exist like anti-littering campaigns but it is also up to local residents and community associations. She said, "If we see trash we should pick it up". However, we have to make sure that the city services are also doing their part. In particular she mentioned that the city needs to make sure that trashcans are emptied when overflowing and to make sure that other basic services are fulfilled. She explained how the issue of litter is actually quite important and cited the broken windows theory. She explained that if there is trash on the streets, then that may lead to people placing graffiti on walls, which could lead to greater crimes. She explained that if the issue of litter remains unchecked then the neighborhoods would continue to slide. "We have to draw the line", she said "and why not draw the line at litter." She believes there should be a zero tolerance policy toward litter. When pushed to explain how a zero tolerance policy would be implemented she advocated a marketing campaign. However, she reiterated that the city has to do its part so that residents know they are not alone in this battle.

Development on Georgia Avenue and the Old Soldiers and Sailors Home

Muriel would like to make sure that the residents have their say in what types of development occur. She believes that the office of planning has done a great job starting the process with their great streets program. Specific issues that need to be addressed are parking, public safety and litter. She encourages a strong monitoring process to ensure that these issues are addressed. When asked what she herself would like to see occur, Muriel mentioned that she would like to spend her dollars in DC. Therefore, she would like to see a sit down restaurant, a coffee shop, a grocery store, a hair salon, a dry cleaners but she explained that we need to make sure that we have entertainment for our seniors. She would like to see any development mixed to ensure that we can "eat, dine, shop, work and play." She believes that this type of development will continue to attract people to our neighborhoods. She did mention that this development should be sustainable to ensure that there are not adverse environmental effects.

When asked about the availability of green spaces to residents in the Old Soldiers home, Muriel explained that green space is important throughout the Ward. She said that we need to be creative to make sure each community not only has green space but also to ensure affordable housing. She said that affordable housing and green space are hard to quantify but they are invaluable. Regarding green space, Muriel explained that it was essential to have public spaces where our kids can play, where our pets can walk and where we can maintain our fitness. Furthermore, she said, these public spaces are vital to community development so that people can go outside and congregate. One way to achieve this goal is work closely with the adjacent affected communities like Ward 5.

Proposed Homeless Shelter move to Georgia Ave.

Muriel mentioned that she often hears that Ward 4 cares very much about those less fortunate but that Ward 4 is already shouldering its fair share. She believes these types of programs should be spread out throughout all the Wards. Therefore, she does not support the move.

Yard Signs

Muriel explained that she heard of only two people that received her yard sign in error. In one case she explained that local neighborhood kids moved one of the signs. However, she was adamant that anyone who receives a yard sign in error could have it immediately removed. Furthermore, she will personally apologize to whomever this happens. But since she has only heard of two instances, she does not believe this is a big issue. She believes it is resolved.

For Fun

Muriel is currently reading Barack Obama's Audacity of Hope.

Musically, Muriel is an intense Prince fan (ed note: Prince the musician not the Prince who is writing these words.) but she enjoys a wide range of music and is currently listening to Nina Simone.

Muriel doesn't get to see too many movies but is a big James Bond fan and is looking forward to seeing Dreamgirls and the Pursuit of Happyness.

In Sum

Muriel Bowser is clearly one of the front-runners for this election with the support of Mayor Fenty. Like Fenty she is quite young and certainly brings a lot of passion to Ward 4 politics. She didn't seem to be pandering to issues of particular interest to Petworth residents. However, one of my concerns is that she didn't seem to have too many innovative or new ideas to address the standard problems facing our community. I do believe she has the passion and the intelligence to be a strong advocate for Ward 4. I only hope that her youth and relative inexperience will not affect her ability to work with the current council members.

If you would like to learn more you can visit her website at www.muriel4ward4.com

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Georgia oh Georgia, I've got Georgia Ave on my mind!

The Washington Post has a terrific article today on the proposed and actual development taking place on our very own Georgia Avenue. This is uber exciting news for those who are interested in a Mocha hut, organic grocery stores and sidewalk cafes. The beautiful thing is that this development will not remove "the grits" from Georgia Avenue. We will still have flavor and continue "to be real". All we need to hope for now is a Dunkin Donuts...and maybe some better public schools. I for one am extremely excited about the potential. Are you?

This old house ain't so old anymore

As we have learned the shell on Upshur and New Hampshire has finally sold. Well, I just walked by it and there is a full crew at work gutting the place. This is very exciting. It is a beautiful corner house and I can't wait to see what it looks like when it is renovated. Unfortunately I am not too tech savvy but stay tuned and I'll post photo updates on its progress. Looks like it is going to be pretty sweet.

Good borsht and even better music

I just got finished interviewing Muriel Bowser at Domku please stay tuned for the full report tomorrow. But I just had to add that Domku not only has terrific borsht but it arguably has the greatest music selection of any restaurant I've ever been too. They play an eclectic mix of blues, jazz, indie, and world music which I gotta say is absolutely fantastic. So, I'm happy to report that the place is packed and the music is great. If anyone went to Wonderland's brunch please write in and let us know how it was. While Domku plays the greatest music I'd say Wonderland has the greatest jukebox...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Brunch at Wonderland

The wonderful Wonderland bar in Columbia Heights is now offering brunch from "10ish to 4ish" according to the Brightestyoungthings blog. All you can eat bacon plus egg sandwiches and pupusas. Might be worth checking out but let us not forsake Temperance hall and Domku!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ever wonder why you can't find a cop when you need one?

I think I may have a partial answer. Obviously a minor traffic accident brings out the force in full but we've already covered that. I found out the answer at least for the Metro Transit Police this morning. At 8:30 am if you were at the Georgia Ave.-Petworth metro station then you know the answer too. Well, when I went to the metro this morning still smarting from my bad parking spot I noticed a metro cop and his dog. Ok, nothing unusual there but then I noticed another and another. Fortunately I was not armed so I had nothing to fear. But I did find it unusual. So, thinking this might be of interest to you all I inquired with the cop with the coolest hat if they were doing an exercise or something. His reply was more of grunt but another officer with him handed me a little card like the ones a mute person would give you if they wanted you to buy a pen or something. At any rate the card says "Targeted Train Inspection...to inspect stations and train cars, and to engage customers in conversation about our efforts to provide a safe Metrorail system."

Ok. Well, I think the fact that I had to stare and oggle at the officers and finally approach one with a fancy hat to ask what the hell was going on leads me to believe that they haven't yet accomplished the engaging customers part. Secondly, there didn't seem to be to much inspecting going on. Thirdly, when I actually got on the train the cops simply stuck their heads in for a second and turned around. The cops, of which I counted 15 and three dogs seemed to be grouped in threes having their own little conversations certainly not "engaging customers." Maybe they should bring a cop on a horse next time if they really want to make us feel safe.

Oh well, I guess I shouldn't complain. Cops work extremely long hours under less than optimal conditions and there are some very good ones out there. For the good ones I am grateful.

On a side note regarding MPD's new initiatives under Chief designate Lanier - I haven't seen any foot patrols yet. Have you?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lazy days of winter

I'm going to spill another secret about Petworth: we have the greatest off street parking in the district. I used to live in Cleveland Park and if I found a spot within a 20 block radius of my apartment I was ecstatic. I mean I would be so happy I'd be near tears, jumping, dancing, praying...you get the point. Now, that I've been living in Petworth I've gotten so, so spoiled. There used to be an unwritten rule that the "spot" in front of your house would be left open for you and more times than not it is. But this morning I had to park two houses away. Two houses away is all of about 30 feet. And I was like damn! This is bullshit, what the hell is going on here... I've calmed down now and remember what it is used to be like and now I'm smiling. I'm cold but I'm smiling.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ms. Bowser allow me to introduce Ms. Bowser

So, I'm emailing Bill from Petworth News and a revelation occurs: not everyone may realize that there are two very unique and distinct Ms. Bowser's running for Ward 4 city council. I have interviewed Ms. Renee Bowser and it is posted below. However, this Sunday I am interviewing Ms. Muriel Bowser with the post to follow. Of course there is only one Prince of Petworth so don't let anyone tell you differently.

A little glide in my stride

Just another reason why I love living in Petworth: So I'm walking to the metro which I do every morning and have done for the past 4 years when I pass a gentleman in front of his rowhouse. Nothing unusual here, he lives a few blocks away so we don't know each other but we do say hi. He is probably about 70 years old and this morning he says to me "hey, you walking a little stiff, you need to put some glide in your stride." My God, how beautiful is that? So I've been putting some glide in my stride all day and hope you all do the same.

Petworth getting major props from the Post

So I went to the "dc bloggers summit" put on by the Washington Post. I wish someone took off their shoe and slammed it on the table because I'm afraid to admit it wasn't very exciting. However, to inflate my ego a little, I actually sat down at a table with a guy who actually reads Prince of Petworth. But wait more exciting news to come. Mr. Marc Fischer of RawFischer from the Post actually reads the Petworth blogs as well! Jesus, that almost makes up for the fact that there wasn't any liquor at the bar. I had to settle for sparkling water which was actually quite refreshing.

Mexico is going out of business! Where will I get I get my sombrero?

Like many Petworth residents, I extend the neighborhood all the way down 14th Street to Logan Circle. I often like to walk home so I feel a sense of ownership of the neighborhoods from Logan to Petworth. Now I am very sad to report the closing of 100% Mexico located on 14th Street near HR 57. Side note: HR 57 is fantastic so if you haven't checked it out in a while you should. Sorry about that, back to Mexico. I often pass 100% Mexico on my walk home from work and have always wondered - how the hell does this store stay in business? I regret ever thinking that and now feel somewhat responsible. This store featured sombreros, lots of mirrors for some reason, and mostly what my people call tshotkes. Note: that is not how you spell tshotkes. But it basically means knick knacks. I'm going to miss 100% Mexico because it was always fun to look in the window and dream of one day buying that beautiful sombrero. Now fortunately further up 14th Street there are some new very fancy clothing stores. Of course I get all my clothes from my Dad so most clothing stores seem fancy to me. At any rate I am hesitant to admit that they have some very good looking manequines. So I got that going for me. So for now I'll wish a fond farewell to Mexico and wish its owners the best of luck.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fore!

I am an avid golfer. Not a good golfer but an avid one. At any rate, I love my neighbors by the by, a new neighbor had moved in and saw me loading golf clubs into my car. He asks me, so where do I golf, and could he come with me. So, insincerely, I say sure, sure no problem, next time I go. So, I talk to another neighbor to commiserate and say "damn, isn't that weird, this guy who just moved in wants to go golfing with me." I continue "now that is awkward as hell, I don't want to spend 3 hours with a guy I've never met before." Cringe factor: the other neighbor was on his porch the whole time and overheard the conversation. Brutal. Now he won't even talk to me or even really look at me. Now, I realize I can be an ass, but I apologized and he still won't talk to me. Suggestions?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Car crash, train derails, maybe I should just walk

According to the Washington Post a green line train derailed at Mt. Vernon Square today. Maybe they weren't used to the new yellow line trains going through. How the hell does a metro derail anyway? Well, here's to a really long commute tomorrow. Bring a book!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Introducing Ms. Renee Bowser candidate for Ward 4 City Council

Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Renee Bowser in her home on 2nd Street in our very own Petworth. As many remember from an earlier post this was our second attempt to meet and this attempt, I am happy to report, resulted in no injuries.

Ms. Bowser is originally from Philadelphia, PA. She left Philly in 1979 to attend Bryn Mawr College after which she attended law school in North Carolina and following that received an LLM from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Ms. Bowser arrived in Washington, DC in 1983 and has lived in Petworth since 1989. Ms. Bowser's career in DC began as a labor lawyer for the federal government. Currently and for the past 21 years Ms. Bowser has been an attorney for the United Food and Commercial workers International Union (UFCW). Ms. Bowser was proud to note that she is the only labor candidate in the race and is a member of the DC Statehood Green Party.

In her 20s Ms. Bowser volunteered for the first black elected official in Pennsylvania, Hardy Williams. In her capacity as a volunteer she mostly worked on housing issues for him. In her past Ms. Bowser has also been active in anti-apartheid causes and was an early supporter of the African National Congress. Closer to home in Washington, Ms. Bowser has twice served on the DC Commission on Human Rights. Additionally, this is her third term as an ANC 4D02 commisioner of which she was the chair in 2006. Ms. Bowser ran unsuccessfully for City Council against Adrian Fenty in 2000. Although she was proud to have taken 11% of the vote in that November election.

Public Education

"We don't need to get rid of the school board to improve the schools." said Ms. Bowser. "We have to make sure that the money is going to the right places." explained Ms. Bowser. At this point Ms. Bowser rattled off a series of numbers and statistics which seemed pretty impressive to me but then again I am a simple person. Ms. Bowser was adamant that the current "per pupil formula" needed to change and currently acts as a drain on the public schools. "Children are not widgets" said Ms. Bowser. I don't really understand what the means but it seemed like a great quote. However Ms. Bowser did recount a story she had heard on one of her many walks in the neighborhood. She recounted the story of a parent of a student at Shepherd Elementary School, who said that each parent has to pay $500 a year and pay for the school's librarian and books. Ed note: as I am not working for the Washington Post, I haven't confirmed that fact. Nevertheless, Bowser explained that it was ridiculous for parents to be paying for these things while the city continues to add more schools. Ms. Bowser would work with the current school board to try and correct these problems. She prefers working with the current school board to Mayor Fenty's plan of taking over the schools. Ms. Bowser explained that the system set up in NYC which Fenty hopes to mirror has not even worked all that well. She noted that test scores had actually gone down in NYC. Ms. Bowser believes it is essential to prioritize the improvements needed to the DC public school system to put the money where it is most needed.

Crime

"You are not going to police your way out of these problems." said Ms. Bowser. She explained the role that DCRA plays in not addressing the litter issue. She believes the DCRA needs to be completely overhauled. She believes that the city puts its allegiance to the developers rather than to the individual residents. While Ms. Bowser does support community policing she believes the overall problems need to be tackled "Ward wide". She explained how many of the issues are interconnected. She suggests tackling transportation issues, alley issues, and others together. She believes with better organization it will put more pressure for positive change. She then went off on a bit of a tangent explaining that a lack of organization resulted in the loss of DC general and is "why we have a baseball stadium." She also explained the problems of the formula racetrack in North East near the RFK stadium which took place a few years ago.

Economic Development

"The comprehensive plan is so vague to me that we don't know where they are in the process." said Ms. Bowser. She believes that this development must improve the city. She believes that we "don't have to give anything away" because the developers want to be in the city. She feels that the community was prosper as well and that there is no reason to give away this valuable property. She believes we have to be in on the ground floor with regards to the Old Soldier's home development. Again she stressed the importance of unity here. She argues that there will be more power and influence if those who are interested in affordable housing, green space and safety all stick together and use one voice. This will result in more muscle to influence the development.

Potential Homeless Shelter move to Georgia Avenue

Ms. Bowser is not against the move to Georgia Avenue but does feel that it needs to be strictly monitored and policed to make sure that there isn't public loitering.

She would however like to see a moratorium on group homes in Ward 4. They need to be monitored as well to make sure that they adhere to regulations.

Gentrification

Ms. Bowser does believe that gentrification is a problem due to its affect on affordable housing. She feels that we need to make sure that the housing crisis doesn't become more severe as a result of gentrification. But she concluded that "people want people who are good neighbors.

For Fun

Ms. Bowser is reading the Great American Job Scam by Greg Leroy and recently read a book about Ella Baker.

She listens to a lot of world music, African music and blues.

The last great film she saw was Hotel Rwanda although she enjoyed the Constant Gardner as well.

In Sum

Ms. Bowser is clearly a passionate person who is willing to fight for residents of Ward 4, particularly those who are less advantaged. Meeting her was like running into a tornado. She speaks very quickly on a diverse area of topics. She was running up and down the stairs and answering telephone calls throughout our meeting. I was a little disturbed to see how much time she focused on issues that were not directly related to Ward 4 ie the baseball stadium and DC general hospital. But back to the brass tax, Ms. Bowser is smart, experienced and full of ideas.

If you are interested in learning more you can visit her website at www.RENEEbowser.org.

Interesting math from the Washington Post

According to the Post, Stanislav Shpigelman ( a beautiful name by the by) has been "sentenced to 3 1/2 years and one month in prison." What the hell is that? Why not say 3 1/4 years and four months in prison? Or 3 years and 7 months. I guess they are having fun with fractions. What about 3 7/12 years in prison? Are they jackasses or is it me? What a second...don't answer that.

I am aware the Jets suck

However, Billy Bragg is fantastic.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A.C.A.B. or are they?

A very reliable source from the Metropolitan Police Department has enlightened me to the new initiatives from Police Chief Lanier. The below is from a memo being distributed to police officers. Let me know if you feel safer. I believe these are positive initiatives although I don't know how revolutionary they are. First reader to spot "an official on foot" patrol gets a free beer from me. Happy hunting.

Primary goals:
1) Increase engagement of officers with the community
2) Increase visibility within community

Initiatives:
1) "Adopt a block/park" - full court press effort for officers to become familiar with every resident on a block or area, to include distribution of officer contact information, working with them on issues with their block (to include issues like trash and abandoned car removal, street light repairs, etc.), and encouraging community invovlement in PSA meetings
2) Increase in focus mission units to prosecute warrants, and increase jump outs and other drug enforcement-related activities like buy-busts, etcl.
3) Officials on foot (Sgts and above)
4) Youth iniatives and a youth court
5) Increased use of reserve officres

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I guess you can't always get what you want

And in this case what I want is my car back. At first I was quite pleased with the service of Autobody shop on Upshur between 12th and 13th but then I tried to get my car back. They called me at 8 am letting me know it was ready to be picked up at 10. Great wonderful news. I said I'd be in at noon on my lunch break. Sure no problem they said. Ha! So a good buddy drove me from downtown DC to pick up the car at noon. And guess what? They forgot to "wash" it so it wasn't ready. Could I come back in a half an hour they ask? Sure. We go get some lunch and watch an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. So obviously after watching the genius of Larry David I was back in a good mood. And at 12:40 they give me my car back. Only, the locks don't work. Ha! Are you kidding me? So then they tell me just wait 10 minutes and we'll fix it right away. Sure 10 minutes, that's not so bad. So 10 minutes becomes 20 minutes which quickly becomes 30 minutes. At this point I start cursing. So they say, nicely and apologetically at least, can I come back and get it at 4:30? Wonderful. Sure I've only wasted 2 hours so far. At last I return at 4:30 and they promptly set the alarm off whilst looking for my keys - which only took about five minutes to find. Although with an annoying horn blaring five minutes actually feels like fifty. At least they were quite nice about the whole thing.

Two lessons from this ordeal: Number One - Be careful which day you pick to quit sniffing glue; and Number Two - Don't make a left hand turn from the right lane...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Yellow Line! Hath my eyes deceived me?

I was on a walkabout today to see what trouble I could get into and trouble I found. But this is the good type. After walking the town a bit I decided to get on the metro at U Street to go to Pentagon City, when I notice that beautiful yellow stripe at the top of the metro sign. And sure enough the yellow line arrived in one minute! I couldn't believe it. I have been dreaming of this. Well, I did my errands at the mall still flying high about the new yellow line stops when I head back into the metro assuming I can take the same yellow line back. But no, on the return trip the yellow line stopped at the usual Mt. Vernon Square. WTF? That is the biggest tease I have faced since Tania. But worse. I expect to ride the metro every day...wow, my mom reads this so I have to watch my analogies.

So what the hell? Is the yellow line going to stop at Petworth metro or not? I'm confused, somebody help me, please.

The more things change. . .

Ah, it's good to be back. I'm telling you, I spent the last week sitting on the coast of northern California listening to the waves crash on the rocky coast and all I can say is that I feel far more at peace sitting out on my porch drinking a cup of coffee. To me Petworth = Tranquility. Despite, the dogs, the trash and the car crashes! I am excited about this new year. I still have about a half a dozen Ward 4 candidates to interview and I have no doubt some interesting Petworth encounters. So a sincere Happy New Year to all. Stay tuned for the proper return of the Prince.