Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Beer the cause and solution to all of life's problems"

once said the great Homer Simpson. Well the Post gives us an update for Ward 4 on the sales of single beers in its district briefing:

"A bill that would ban the sale of single cans and bottles of beer in parts of Northwest Washington got new life yesterday."

Apparently a federal appellate panel ruled in favor of the DC government against two businesses wishing to sell single beers. The bill was passed by the councilman Fenty in 2004 but never took effect because of the court case, reports Elissa Silverman of the Washington Post.

The ban should affect 73 liquor stores in Ward 4. It is not clear to me when it will be applied. I say the sooner the better!

It's that time of year again

The envelopes have arrived. Is it good news or bad news? Well the Prince of Petworth has the homestead deduction so it doesn't really change things too much. That's right, the 2008 property assesments are in! And they went up although not as insanely as in past years. According to the Washington Post today District assessments for Petworth went up 16.72% from 2007. I thought the market has cooled, no? At least we are not Brentwood which saw a 46.60% increase from 2007. So how did everyone make out?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm gonna get wasted and make lots of photocopies

I sometimes live vicariously through Columbia Heights. Columbia Heights News reports they are getting an upscale wine shop and a fed ex/kinkos. I found this out reading the great food blog metrocurean. The wine store will be called d'vines and will feature over 1000 varieties. Sweet. You can pick up some wine on your way to the bed and breakfast in Petworth! My prediction was pretty damn close.

Catching a cab to Petworth?

Good luck. Although it used to be a lot worse. I remember some years ago when I would get into a cab in Adams Morgan and tell them that I was going to Petworth and they would actually laugh at me. Things have gotten much better now. There was a time when cab drivers were terrified of Petworth. Even if they hadn't driven there before, they told me that Petworth was a "wild west" and they wouldn't go there. I would usually curl into the fetal position and refuse to exit the cab until they took me. I was stunned at the time and it was quite a pain in the ass having to beg cab drivers for a ride home. I have to say it has gotten a lot better today. Not only do cab drivers not laugh anymore they usually know exactly how to get to my house without any directions. Progress, slowly, slowly but progress indeed.

Now if we could just catch a cab from Petworth...

[Ed. note: disclaimer, I realize not all cab drivers behaved this way, I realize I am generalizing, but for the most part based on my personal experiences it used to be a real pain in the ass catching a cab to Petworth and it is nearly impossible to catch one from Petworth.]

Like the film 'The Departed'?

I'm sorry to write about films for just a second but I feel obligated. The Departed was an entertaining film but it reminded me of a film from the late 80s early 90s called "State of Grace" starring Sean Penn. Also a a neighborhood gangster flic about the gangsters being infiltrated by undercover cop of their own. So check out State of Grace. One of the greatest films of this genre of all time. I can't believe none of the movie buffs have made this comparison before. Kudos to Scorcese but State of Grace is far superior.

Double parking plagues Petworth

This is a problem. I'm sorry to air our dirty laundry. But this is a real problem. In Petworth, I have learned that people are able to park their cars anywhere they like. I know this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it really pisses me off. This double parking is common along New Hampshire Ave outside Sweet Mango cafe and the little bodega nearby, outside Upshur street and really anytime some of our regal residents want to run into a store. Now correct me if I'm wrong but I was brought up that when you want to run into a store even for just five minutes you park your car in a legal spot. Is that just a New York thing? No, I'm pretty sure I've seen people park legally in California too. Now that I think about it, people also park legally in Cleveland Park right here in DC. So what makes us so special in Petworth that we think we can double park in rush hour on a major road just because we need to get a soda? What is this freaking sense of entitlement and where does it come from? It is such a blatant disrepect that it shocks me everytime. I don't dare honk because, well... I've already documented my cowardice. But, I'll tell you what, I think very bad thoughts about those drivers. I think I'm begining to place too much faith in karma.

Guess who I bumped into today?

Ward 4 candidate Muriel Bowser was going door to door in Petworth. I said hello and she remembered our interview, which shocked me. I've got to say she was very friendly. Well, I'm not really sure where I am going with this. Sometimes when you type things you realize that they are not actually all that interesting.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Snow!


Snowy Grant Circle, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I would lose my blogging license if I didn't note the fact that we got some snow today. It makes Grant Circle look more beautiful than ever.

Introducing Mr. Artee Milligan candidate for Ward 4 city council

Neither rain nor sleet nor snow will stop the deluge of candidates for Ward 4 city council. Earlier today I had the great pleasure of speaking with Mr. Artee Milligan. Mr. Milligan would not let a little snow stop him as he showed up for our meeting prepared for the weather with a yellow stocking cap on his head.

Background

Mr. Milligan grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and graduated from LSU with a degree in accounting. He worked for Exxon Mobile for over 20 years and was known as "the fix it man." Mr. Milligan is an expert in "process reengineering." He moved to Ward 4 in 1994 and lives in the Shepherd Park neighborhood. He got interested in the race for city council because he said "I'm going to live and die in ward 4 and I love ward 4 and Washington DC." Currently, Artee J. Milligan is Executive Director of Metropolitan/Delta Adult Literacy Council. He has been in this position for the past 4 years and is very proud of his record of graduating 30 students per year. His organization helps students who drop out of the public school system to achieve their GED and if they desire to attend a community or 4 year college.

Mr. Miligan explained that he feels the pulse of ward 4 residents and he will use his record of success and hard work to make sure that "we are making the community better."

Development

Speaking of Domku, Mr. Milligan explained that "these are the kinds of places we want in Ward 4." He continued, "ward 4 is missing the right kind of retail development." He seeks to encourage development whereby everyone benefits. He hopes that this development will keep tax dollars in DC as well as create jobs for its residents. He cited living in a low density environment as one benefit of living in Ward 4. "We need to manage our density to retain our quality of life," he explained. He hopes to guide this development as a representative of Ward 4 by providing "extraordinary customer service." Milligan explained, "I know that residents want clean streets, safe communities and the right kind of development...people won't have to call me to get these things done because I will already be working on them and they will happen automatically."

Alley Maintenance

I recounted a story to Mr Milligan about a car that pulled up in my alley blasting music while its passengers relieved themselves against a garage. I asked him what was the appropriate response. Mr. Milligan suggested that I call 311 because long term data would be compiled that could be used by the police later on. The theme of data collection and analysis was one that emerged throughout our discussion. Mr. Milligan was actually quite passionate in his response, insisting that our alleys are not properly maintained and patrolled at present.

Public Schools

Milligan does not support Mayor Fenty's plan to take over the public school system. He believes that the mayor and council should focus on improving after school programs, improving early childhood development and ensure that test scores and graduation rates improve. Ed. Note: I have to admit, Mr. Milligan cited a number of statistics here to back his claims but quite frankly I couldn't write them down that fast, but his access to these statistics were quite impressive to a layperson like myself. Milligan believes that Dr. Janney and Robert Bobb should be given the chance to succeed before they are judged. He has a lot of faith in those two gentlemen. If they do not succeed then they should of course be held accountable. Finally, Mr. Milligan was adamant that no vote should take place on Fenty's plan before a ward 4 representative is elected. Milligan explained that there is just too much at stake in this matter for ward 4 not to be represented.

Crime

Mr. Milligan summed up the solution in one word: jobs. Then another word: opportunity. He cited more statistics here about DC unemployment jumping to 6.3% coinciding with an increase in crime this past January. Quite simply Milligan explained that more jobs equals less crime and more opportunity equals less petty crime. He believes the issue of crime is closely tied to the education system. He explained that the city needs to invest more in technical and vocational training to provide opportunities to its residents. As a councilmember Milligan said he would push for greater funding and explained that "just because a student drops out of the public school system doesn't mean that the city is no longer responsible for that student." He told me that 75% of those folks in prison do not have a high school diploma. He believes if we can give these residents opportunities they will then have something at stake in the community and "those with a stake in the community don't go to jail."

When asked about community policing Milligan said that he would like to see it on a routine basis and not just as "a flavor of the month" like when a murder is committed. He says that community policing is not a panacea rather it will tax a mix of initiatives to reduce crime.

Homeless Shelter

He believes the Mission Shelter should stay where it is on 14th Street. He believes that the Petworth community does not seek this type of development.

Old Soldiers and Sailors Home

Milligan believes that the local ANCs should help design and shape the development that will occur in the old soldier's home. He did, however, emphasize the importance of affordable housing which he explained was a quality of life issue. He would like to see affordable housing for our first responders and teachers. He said the development is a good thing when everyone benefits not just the wealthy. With affordable housing providing living accomodations for cops, firefighters and teachers then they will have a greater stake in their job as well. He explained that there was a big difference when people live and work in the same community rather than working in DC and going home to Virginia or Maryland.

Campaign funds

Mr. Milligan was joined by his campaign manager, Devlin Hilman who incidentally was wearing a matching yellow snow cap. Mr. Hilman is a 100% volunteer as is all of his staff. He explained that his volunteer staff is the equivalent of a six figure campaign war chest. However, he explained that this race is all about filling Mayor Fenty's shoes and that he knows he can get the job done. He does not believe that any campaign should be excluded just because they haven't raised a certain number of funds. He was very proud of the committed staff that he had assembled. Having said this, Mr. Devlin reminded Mr. Milligan that today was his 51st birthday. To celebrate his 51st birthday he will gladly accept $51 campaign contributions.

For Fun

Last great book read: The Four Agreements about life experiences and being able to accomplish anything you want to. Mr. Milligan did say that he also reads lots of statistic based articles. "An article that has a lot of data really gets my blood flowing because inside the data is the way to make our lives better." said Milligan.

Musical taste: He likes everything except heavy metal. Last music he listened to was Prince's new album but he enjoys a wide variety.

Last great movie: Crash

In Sum

I was extremely impressed with Mr. Milligan. He was sharp and he certainly knew his statistics. I'm sorry I couldn't do justice to all the statistics he cited. Whether we discussed, schools or crime or the homeless shelter, he did not hesitate in responding and provided very clear and consise answers peppered with supporting data. I also liked his comments about development and the importance of not losing our low population density. My only concern is that he came off a little bit like a calculating businessman. He was a little detached from some of the issues where I would have liked to have seen a bit more passion. Nevertheless, even if detached he certainly appeared to know what he was talking about.

To learn more you can visit his website at http://milliganforward4.com/

Portrait of a Petworthian - Keith

Name: Keith

Location: 5th and Quincy

Duration: 2 1/2 years

Backstory: moved from Hampton Roads but originally from Detroit. His friend had a house in Petworth and moved to NY. As Keith was moving to the area for a job he encouraged him to move in and take care of the house. Keith loves the neighborhood and is now looking to buy a house of his own. Although, he fears it may be too expensive to buy in DC. Nevertheless he is looking in Petworth and Takoma.

Favorite haunt: He just found Domku yesterday in the Washington Post. Although he gets a lot of information from his friend in NY who still keeps up to date with Petworth as well as Petworth News. Outside of Petworth, Keith really enjoys Bohemian Caverns and Busboys and Poets in the U Street area.

Job: A buyer for a defense contractor

Best part about living in Petworth: The people tend to be very nice and friendly.

Note about the shirt: This is a Manchester United jersey but Keith actually supports their arch rival Arsenal. Your secret is safe with us!

You gotta be kidding me

The 'Welcome Petworth' banners are gone. Well, two of the banners are gone. I can't believe it. If it were one, I'd think ok, maybe it just fell down. But the fact that two are missing leads me to the very ugly conclusion - vandals! How long were they up for before this happened maybe two days tops. Freaking ridiculous. I understand not everyone loves the design of the welcome to Petworth banners but I think they are terrific. I suspect the vandals didn't tear them down to make an artistic statement. Ms. Carol Herwig deserves a lot of gratitude for getting them up. To be rewarded like this is appalling. Two banners appear to have been ripped down on Taylor and New Hampshire. I really feel like spewing a string of curses towards the culprits but what will that get me. We need to put the banners back up! Every time they tear them down we just need to put them right back up. We can't let these [insert curse word] win! We need to show greater determination and strength than these hoodlums, and I doubt that will be a problem. Thanks again to Carol Herwig for her efforts. Of course maybe the wind blew them down, is that possible?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Petworth's Bravest Pt. 3


Petworth Predators, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

This is the brand new Seagrave 2006 recently put into commission by the DCFD. These guys have more Petworth Pride than anyone else I have spoken to by far. These are the unsung heroes who reply to call after call without getting recognized. In fact this vehicle was just returning from a call when I got to the station. They have a badass logo on the side captured in this photo. So thanks to Petworth's Bravest who are always watching our back.

Petworth's Bravest Pt. 2


Seagrave 2006 front, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Notice the 'Pride of Petworth' right above the grill.

Petworth's Bravest Pt. 1


Seagrave side, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I'll have a taco, a borsht and a whiskey please

Congratulations to El Limeno (I still can't get the damn squiggly line, I have a mac) Domku, and Temperance Hall for getting highlighted in a Post article today: 'New Restaurants Help Revitalize Petworth Neighborhood'

I couldn't agree more about El Limeno, really a fantastic joint. I think everyone knows my feelings on Domku and Temperance. So eat and drink often!

Mmm, beer

The DCist has a terrific post today on the battle being waged to ban the sale of single beer in the H Street neighborhood north of Capitol Hill. Apparently, Mt. Pleasant passed the ban already and then Ward 4 councilman Fenty wanted one city wide that didn't pass due to lack of scrutiny. I for one am all in favor. Just its effect on litter would surely be worth it. Now, I know people like to jump to conclusions so I want it on the record: I love beer. And I often find the artwork on single cans of Old English to be spectacular. Having said that I believe there is a significant correlation between single beer can sales and litter. So do we want the ban for Petworth as well?

Move to the right or you might get wrecked

Ever encounter the problem when tourists or slow people are standing on the left side of the escalator and holding up the line? I'm sure we all have faced this annoyance. I finally found a successful way to resolve this problem. On the escalator this morning after encountering the problem a large guy kept saying in a rather sing song voice "move to the right or you might get wrecked." And it was like magic, they moved. I like how he sort of sang the threat to make it a little less menacing. Now I can't get the tune out of my damn head. Move to the right or you might get wrecked...of course if I sang that I'd probably be the one getting wrecked. Oh well...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Welcome to Petworth


Welcome to Petworth, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I noticed on Petworth News that Petworth has recieved some beautiful new welcome banners. You can notice one in the top corner of the picture below. Above, is a close up of the banner. They are great! Makes me a little less sad that we don't have our own heritage trail. Petworth established 1899 according to the banners. Dig it the most.

Welcome to Petworth where Christmas is year round

Christmas count, still going strong as of Feb. 21st!

Cool Storefront house Petworth

I've always loved this house too. It appears to be an old storefront that is connected to the corner rowhouse. Think of the possibilities.

Miami Beach in Petworth?


Miami Beach Petworth, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I love this house. Very cool colors. It doesn't matter how cold it is when I pass this house, I always seem to warm up a little, and for some reason the sun always seems to be shining.

You could eat off of this sidewalk


Clean NH, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

This block of New Hampshire is one block north of the previous post. The difference? 3800 NH Ave has a terrific crew. Every morning I see their people outside cleaning up, in the freezing weather, rain, snow, whatever they are the best. And it shows. If we could have more house/apt management like that, well, the photos speak for themselves.

Old English filled my mind...


Dirty NH, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

And I found a blog post. This is a filthy section of New Hampshire Ave, check out the next post one block up.

Pedestrians be wary

Got this at 9:05 am from DC EMA:

DCFD and MPD are on site at Georgia Ave & New Hampshire Ave. NW, treating injured pedestrian.

Ward 4 Special Election Web Site

I was sent an email this morning telling me about a website covering the Ward 4 special election. You can access it here. It was started by a guy named Jeff Steele who says:

"This website is non-partisan and unaffiliated with any organization. It is a private effort aimed solely at increasing access to information about the upcoming election."

It has lots of good info on the candidates including upcoming events. I think it is worth checking out.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Beautiful anonymous neighbors


winter sidewalk, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

A friend of mine had a recent tragedy and I had to light out of town quickly. This was shortly after the snow we had and I didn't have time to shovel my walk. I started feeling bad because I know I have been angry when I am forced to walk through unshoveled paths. So my flight was very early in the morning and I figured I'd have to shovel at night when the snow was frozen. But to my surprise and delight when I came home that evening my walkway was already shoveled. And not just the sidewalk but the path all the way up to my house. How beautiful is that? This is a perfect little example of the type of community we have in Petworth. People look out for one another. I have neighbors who watch my house just as I watch other people's houses. And from what I've heard this is very common in Petworth. So I'd like to thank my neighbor for shoveling the walk. It meant so much to me given the situation I was in. Good neighbors and a good community is a beautiful thing.

Riding high on the metro

Now, I don't like to judge but I was going to the metro the other day when an unmistakable smell hit me in the face. It was the smell of a Grateful Dead concert, or a Phish show, and instantly associated with Bob Marley. The fact is some kids love getting high outside the Petworth metro station. Now, I wouldn't write about it if I haven't witnessed it on more than one occasion. I like to think that I am not too naive. Now, if it was Friday night or Saturday night I wouldn't think twice about it but when it is Tuesday morning at 8 am and sub freezing weather, it makes me think our youth may have a problem. And they most certainly were young kids. I hope the candidates for Ward 4 address this issue. Am I just totally out of it or is this normal behavior for high school or maybe even junior high kids?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Will you miss me?

Wait, don't answer that. I will be incommunicado for the next couple of days. Stay tuned for the next "Portrait of Petworthian" coming on Monday. And have a safe and festive President's day.

Remember 2 weeks ago

When it snowed like one inch. If memory serves I believe every street including the little side streets had a good one inch of salt deployed by trucks. And I remember this distinctly because there was so much salt that when all the snow melted there was still a good half inch of salt layering the streets, and you could taste it every time the wind picked up. Anyway except for the big roads we don't seem to be as lucky this time. Maybe they were a bit over ambitious a couple of weeks ago and used up the salt stockpile? I don't know. As they say in Burma "It just don't make no sense."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It may be stormy outside


Petworth Sun, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

But the sun always shines on Petworth!

I haven't hallucinated in years

But I thought for sure I was hallucinating on the metro this afternoon. So check it out, on the red line metro between Metro Center and Gallery Place the most bizarre thing happened. I was staring out the window to take in the views, all right there are no views, I was staring at the window to see if I was balding, anyway, that is not important...what is important is that as I was staring out the window, I saw a freaking television commercial. It was the weirdest thing. I know we've all seen some of the trains with advertisements but this was an actual video commerical of a television program. It was something like "Day Break" staring Taye Diggs. But that's not important, what is important is that the masters of metro or at the very least their IT guys have figured out how to broadcast commercials in metro tunnels! Obviously there is no sound but the images pass you by as you look out the window. I really thought I was losing my mind. Has anyone else seen this? I wonder how much they got paid for it. Well, if it keeps our fares low, I'm all for it. Of course, it is possible that I had way too much fun in college...

$375k? I'll give you $160k

Deal! Or so it seems. It always interesting to look at the home sales posted on Petworth News. The prices seem quite strong except for one instance of a house on Jefferson Street that appears to have sold for less than half the asking price. I guess they must have really wanted to sell.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This house rocks


02-12-07_0826, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Now this house has the spirit. It has the spirit for every single holiday. It is decked out on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and now it is decked out for Valentine's Day. Plus in the Spring, they have a terrific garden.

Mussolini's inner feelings?

Today's Washington Express had one of those small snippets located at the top of the page in the print edition:

"Experts are examining diaries thought to have belonged to World War II era Italian leader
Benito Mussolini. However, a British historian familiar with the writings said they contained
'nothing seriously new that the world needed to know'."

A possible entry can be found below.

May 22, 1943

Dear Diary,

Gosh, Adolf can be such a jerk!!!! He keeps hounding me. Why can't I beat the Americans? He keeps pushing and pushing me. He can be so mean. I told him I was trying as hard as I could. But no, that just isn't good enough for him. I don't know what he wants from me. I'm trying so hard. I tried growing a moustache like him but he just called me fat. And I've been dieting for three weeks. I can't do anything right. Well I'm going to show him, at least my fellow Italians still respect me...

Love,
Benito

Bed & Breakfast in Petworth

Yeah that's right. No longer do you have to go to a quaint town in New England or some of the "posher" neighborhoods of DC. Now one resident in Petworth is advertising a Bed & Breakfast on Craig's List. Only $65 a night. What's next a wine and cheese shoppe?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Portrait of a Petworthian

I'm happy to announce a new feature on the Prince of Petworth. I will be posting a snapshot of a local Petworth resident every Monday. If you would like to be featured or know someone I should feature please email me at princeofpetworth@gmail.com

This week I am proud to introduce Will Potter. Will was kind enough to let me interupt his scrabble game at Domku Sunday afternoon.

Job: Freelance reporter

Time in Petworth: Over 2 years.

Moved from: Mt. Pleasant

Current Location: 9th and Longfellow, I'm up north

Favorite hangout in Petworth: Domku or Temperance

Favorite aspect of living in Petworth: It has a great feel. My neighbors always say hi when I am doing yard work or working on my bike.

Petworth's Champs Elysees


Grant Circle, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Petworth's luxurious wide boulevards are captured here ending in the fantastic tree in Grant Circle.

Introducing Ms. Lisa Bass Candidate for Ward 4 City Council

One thing we should be happy about the special election for Ward 4 city council is that we don't lack for candidates. It is my pleasure to continue the series with an exclusive interview with Ms. Lisa Bass. We sat down this afternoon at the well known Domku cafe.

Background

Ms. Bass is a native Washingtonian who has lived in Ward 4 for 16 years. She grew up around the corner from Domku and fondly recalled a great burrito shop she used to go to as a child. She attended Powell elementary school, Macfarlane junior high school, and Notre Dame academy in the district before graduating from Northwestern University. After graduating from Northwestern she worked for a few years at a public relations firm where a whole new world of "civil rights culture and black intelligencia" was opened up to her. After this experience she transitioned to radio journalism eventually becoming news director. Currently she runs her own public relations consultancy firm.

Politically, Ms. Bass consulted on the Marie Johns for Mayor campaign as a communications director. After recovering from some health problems she consulted for Vincent Gray's successful campaign for Chariman of DC City Council. Her experience working for Gray's campaign inspired her to run for city council on her own. She explained that she had worked for many unsuccessful candidates and gives much credit to Mr. Gray because his was her first winning campaign. She explained "I knew how to lose, Vincent showed me how to win."

Ward 4 Vision

Ms. Bass explained the four components of her vision for Ward 4. We discussed her cleaner and safer streets agenda. "What I mean is that it takes a much more holistic approach," she continued "For me cleaner streets requires looking at social, economic and cultural forces in all of our communities." She explained that certain communities in Ward 4 need to accomadate the needs of ex offenders coming back into the community. Further explaining the holistic approach she told me that the approach requires greater communication among the community, civic associations, the governement and the police department. She suggests that we build up the communities "block by block." This method would join the strengths of the older residents with the passion of the newer residents to unite as one force. She believes that "we truly need to unify, that is the way to build a community."

Crime continued

"Neighbors tend to know where the criminal activity is", said Ms. Bass. The police need to work in tandem with social services to establish services for young people in order to give them productive activities to focus on instead of stealing. She supports the ideas of recreation centers to be placed throughout the communities so that the young people will have safe diversions to occupy their time. Furthermore, she explained that it is essential to target the needs of the ex offenders so that they will not revert to their criminal ways. Finally for the 22-32 year old generation she advocates the establishment of a community summit to look at the drug trade and consider ways to curb it. This summit would bring together social scientists, judges and other criminal justice practitioners to get at the root causes of the "dilemma".

Schools

The problem with our public schools did not develop overnight and will take some time to correct them, according to Ms. Bass. She believes that some level of takeover is needed at this juncture. However, she does believe that the school board should remain the body that interfaces with parents and that the school board should be held accountable with the executive on resolving these issues. She believes that we have a real opportunity now to fix many of these problems because of the resources that now exist in the District. Finally, she believes that a project management approach should be taken so that the issues can be properly analyzed to determine where the weaknesses exist.

Georgia Avenue Development

Ms. Bass believes that local government has a role to play in this development. We should make sure that the developers address the needs of the community. If you are coming into the community then you need to be part of it and some developers do that but the government can ensure that it always happens, she explained.

When pressed what she personally would like to see she replied "I wish that we had more places like Domku across Georgia Avenue."

Old Soldiers Home Development

We need to preserve green spaces, she said. The need to be very careful about the development in that respect was very important to Ms. Bass. She explained that green spaces give Washington its character and that we need to take a careful look at any changes to ensure that green space is preserved.

Proposed homles shelter move to Georgia Avenue

"I think that homeless shelters should not be concentrated in any one community," said Ms. Bass. She returned to the holistic approach idea for this case. For example, she said that many homeless people have mental health issues and therefore it would make sense to have the shelters in close proximity to those facilities for it to make sense holistically. She believes this issue would need to be carefully analzyed before making a final recommendation.

For fun

Last great book read: "The Support Economy" by Shoshana Zuboff.

Last great movie seen: "It has been a while...something about an airplane and Jody Foster..."

Favorite music: "I like Jazz and R & B. My taste is pretty eclectic because my father was a musician, but music is one of my favorite things."

In Sum

Ms. Bass was a very thoughtful candidate. She carefully thought out all of her responses before replying to my questions. I believe she would be an equally thoughtful councilwoman. She consistently advocated analysis before offering a solution to many questions. I liked the fact that she didn't offer any "silver bullet" solutions but I'm also concerned that her knowledge of certain issues was not extensive. Just my personal feeling.

If you would like to learn more you can visit her Website at www.lisabassforward4.com

Master of the obvious

The Saturday Washington Post provides us with the best article title of the day: "CIA Worker who stole underwear, valuables has mental problems, psychologist says." Well, I'm no psychologist but that seems like a pretty safe assumption to me.

Friday, February 09, 2007

It's a Christmas tree...in February.


Christmas in February, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Alright nobody loves Christmas more than I do...ok I don't exactly celebrate Christmas but I appreciate its cultural significance. I just want to preface this with the fact that I am not a hater.

Ok, first of all it is a very blurry picture because it was freezing out when I took the picture. Oh yes, that's right this Christmas tree is an outdoor Christmas tree. At any rate it was freezing outside and my hand was shaking a bit, also I have to tell you it is a bit uncomfortable photographing people's houses in the middle of the night walking home from the metro.

Ok, enough of the backstory. I support the celebration of the holiday and I can even understand being so excited that you want to put a tree on your front lawn but what I'm having a bit of difficulty with is the fact that it is still there in February, for Christ's sake. Uh, oh that may have been a poor choice of words, and for that I apologize. I think we have to live in the now. Christmas is over, it was great, we got lots of presents, many of us saw our families but I think it may be time to move on.

All about the Benjamins?

Post continues its coverage of the Ward 4 council race with some more extensive fundraising reported. Wanna guess who's in the lead?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm happy for Columbia Heights, really I am

So I was checking out Columbia Heights News and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that they were getting not only a Starbucks but also a Dunkin Donuts. They don't replace great indie places like the new 14 & U or Columbia Heights Coffee so hopefully the neighborhood can support all of them. Dunkin Donuts coffee is awesome, it is cheap and delicious. Now, I hate Boston with all my heart and people from Boston love D&D so I tried to hate it but I couldn't, it is that good. Well, Petworth, only two more years until Mocha Hut opens up!

On other Columbia Heights development news, it turns out the Whole Foods won't be coming to 14th St, but I think the Giant on Park is pretty good, so I don't think the news is too crushing, especially if you have seen the lines at the P Street Whole Foods location. Did I mention that Columbia Heights is getting a Dunkin Donuts? Those lucky bastards...

Another Petworth Perk

Like other stops on the Green Line (and Yellow Line) Petworth has a sweet collage painting.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Scooter Libby and Sandra Day O'Conner walk into a bar...

It sounds like the begining of a great joke but I swear I saw it last night. I was meeting a friend for a drink at the Tabbard Inn in Dupont, which by the by is a fantastic joint. It feels like the living room of, well, of a nice Inn. But anyway the first thing I notice walking in is former Supreme Court Justice O'Connor having drinks in a wingback chair. It was kind of sureal. You know when you see someone quite famous but you're not sure who it is, I was thinking, oh shit that's Ann Richards, the former Governor of Texas but no she died, holy cow that is Sandra Day O'Connor. Then my friend arrives and we sit in the corner and five minutes later Scooter Libby walks in. He heads straight to the restaurant with his own little group. I'm thinking damn I don't think I belong here. Anyway, I wish I could say that the two were drinking together, or got stumbling drunk or that they got into a fight, or were having torrid love affair, or they were cursing Dick Cheney...that would be exciting. But no, none of that happened, the most exciting part of the evening was thinking that I saw Ann Richards, because she very likely may have gotten drunk, got into a fight and most certainly she would have cursed Dick Cheney!

Creative language

Yesterday's post had an article on Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky facing new charges. The Post explains the prosecution "...President Vladimir Putin's highly successful campaign to tame Russia's oligarchs using its politically pliant justice system." I'll repeat 'politically pliant justice system'. Hmm, if you are going to say it, just say it. Corrupt, despotic, autocratic, I don't know but politically pliant justice system sounds like watering flowers with urine.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Unfortunately, my wallet doesn't say "bad mother******" on it

Do you remember in the movie Pulp Fiction when John Travolta's character is talking about how he found his car was keyed when he got back from Amsterdam? He said it would almost be worth it to have his car keyed if he could catch the person doing it. This is how I thought I felt too. To no one's surprise I spotted lots more garbage today. I swear people are throwing it on my street just to piss me off. So my blood boils for a while. I had been listening to some Pearl Jam so I was feeling pretty tough. That was my first mistake. So I'm walking and I see a parked car and the window opens and a bag of trash is thrown out the window. I tell myself this is it, I'm going to go over there and let that person have it. You can't throw garbage on the street right in front of me, I though to myself. This was my second mistake. So I walk over to the car with a real tough scowl on my face ready to be bring justice to my small part of Petworth. When I'm about three quarters of the way there, I notice that the car is full with about five guys who could probably play offensive line for many football teams. I wish this was on video tape. I mean I was flying over there and I literally did a one hundred and eighty degree turn practically in mid air when I saw who was in the car. It must of looked hilarious, I can't imagine what the guys in the car were thinking. I decided to err on the side of caution. If I was walking fast towards the car I was practically flying away in my retreat. Damn it, Pearl Jam almost made me get my ass kicked. I'm pretty much banking on karma to correct this injustice. Please tell me karma really exists...

Tragedy in Petworth

Washington Post reports that a bicyclist hit and kills a pedistrian in Petworth. According to the Post the accident happened while the man was crossing New Hampshire. That is horrible and apparently it happens frequently. So be careful out there.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Christian coach winning the Super Bowl...

What's next a Christian President of the United States? Since the Super Bowl was last night I feel obligated to make some Super Bowl commentary. I was listening to the Super Bowl celebration when Tony Dungy, the Colts coach, was given the microphone. He said he was more proud of being a Christian coach than being the first black man to coach the Super Bowl champions. I think it is wonderful that he is proud of his religion but I'm not sure it trumps his historic victory. I understand that it shouldn't be a big deal for a black coach to win the Super Bowl but I do think he dismissed the significance too quickly. Halle Berry understood the significance when she won the oscar for best actress some years ago. Hopefully in a few years time it won't matter, with sports, acting or politics. But a first is a first and should be acknowledged as such. Congratulations to coach Dungy and the Colts.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Coolest house in town?


8th and Varnum, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I often drive by this house and am always blown away. This house is located at 8th and Varnum and is perhaps the coolest looking house I've seen in Petworth. This looks like a house that superheroes may live in, or at the least some very cool cats. Check out the wrap around porch with swinging chair. Also the colors are wicked sweet, not sure if it comes out in the picture or not. If you have seen other cool houses in town let me know at princeofpetworth@gmail.com so I can capture them too.

Outrage articulated properly

I was very happy to see in this morning's Post a terrific column by Marc Fisher about the PG county officer who shot the furniture movers. As we know one of the movers recently died from his wounds. I understand the investigation is currently ongoing but Fisher does a terrific job articulating my concerns. Mr. Washington is the officer who shot the movers. Fisher writes:

"Whatever happened last month, the long list of allegations about Washington's aggressive, in-your-face behavior raises powerful questions about just what he is doing in a position of authority in county government."

That's all I was trying to say. This is a good example of why we need professional journalists. I had the outrage but couldn't express it properly nor did I have time to do the investigative work done by Mr. Fisher. Please check out the link if you are at all interested. Kudos to Mr. Fisher for capturing the concerns that I and many others have towards this case.

El Limeno


El Limeno, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

After reading all the good buzz on Petworth News I had to check out the new restaurant El Limeno. (Ed. Note: I haven't figured out how to put the cool accent over the N.) El Limeno is located at 2nd and Upshur, NW. I am happy to report that the dinner was perfect. The decor was very cool, lot's of paintings, chandeliers, and other latin style decor. I was happy to see that they were also showing a soccer game on the tv. Also, there was a phenomenal jukebox playing sweet latin tunes. The waitress was fantastic, prompt, kind and good recommendations. They started us off with delicious free chips and salsa which I almost filled up on but thank God I didn't. I took the waitress' recommendation and had the crab enchilada. It was excellent, overflowing with crab. And for those who are itching for a post dinner drink - our very own Hitching Post is right across the street. My only concern is that it is very similiar to El Torogoraz, I hope there is enough demand for two El Salvadorian style restaurants. I know I'll be back.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A little fixer upper


NH, Upshur, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

So this is the house that sold for a ridiculous amount of money on the corner of Upshur and New Hampshire. I think the picture does it justice. It is a real shell, but I've seen tons of workers gutting it, even on the weekends. This is a positive development as it has been a shell for years now. One thing of possible concern is that I saw multiple electrical monitors being installed which leads me to believe it may be turned into condos. Not sure how many more condos this market can handle. But, hopefully it will look pretty sweet when completed. I'll update when there are significant changes.

I feel safer already, seriously, I do

Despite what some readers may think I am hugely supportive of all the law enforcement agencies in DC. So I was delighted to read in the Post and also in DCist that metro police have set up a special unit to combat robbery on the metro.

Now we also learn via dcist That the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is targeting our cities most violent criminals. As DCist noted they come up with the absoutely absurd acronym MVP. The Examiner explains

"Under Operation MVP, which stands for Most Violent Persons, detectives will identify the most dangerous predators in certain areas of the city. Each week, special operations officers and U.S. Marshals will capture the criminals and hand them to investigators before sending them to jail. The investigators will interrogate the offenders to see if they have any information about related crimes."

This is good news but MVP? Doesn't MVP have a positive conotation? C'mon guys. I appreciate the gesture and wish you luck in the endeavor but you almost make it too easy for us to make fun.

In all seriousness I DO believe that these are positive programs and I hope for their success.

Mao, he is not


yow! twice the ming, originally uploaded by hifiny.

I am not a tall person. That is ok. I have come to accept it. Now yesterday I read that Sun Ming Ming a Chinese basketball player for the Maryland Nighthawks is 7 foot 9! Now let me explain the problem. This shatters a dream of mine. I come from a long line of short people. I'd say I'm 5 foot 6 on a very good day. My uncle at one point claims to be 5 foot 8 of which I am extremely jealous. At any rate my father (also 5 foot 5 and a half as he likes to say) had the opportunity to travel to China. He loved the country. The culture, the food- he was quite complimentary. However, a real light shined in his eyes when he discussed one aspect of the trip. What I remember most is that he said, very seriously, that he felt tall there. So I always had this dream to hang on to...I could to travel to China and be tall at least for a few weeks. But now I see Sun Ming Ming. And we all know the great Yao. I am happy that the nation of China has produced such basketball players but I am very fearful that my dream of being tall for a few weeks has been shattered.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A novel idea: Garbage cans

I've had a revelation on my trash strewn walk to the metro. There are practically no garbage cans on New Hampshire Avenue! This may contribute to all the trash on the ground. I'm no genius but, well, I'm no genius. I digress, at any rate I just read the City had a $300 million dollar surplus. Maybe we can use some of that dough to get some trash cans for New Hamsphire Ave. ANCs hook us up please.

Breaking news: No fire at Farragut North

It was quite a treat to arrive this morning at Farragut North with out smoke, flames, 1000 people on the platform...actually there still were 1000 people on the platform but at least there was no fire.

Do you like Baltimore, do you like art?

Sean from the Bloomingdale neighborhood is putting on an art show in Baltimore this Friday. If you are interested this is the info:

"As part of the fells point first friday art loop, there will be a reception for my solo exhibition at Touchet Gallery in baltimore on friday February second. thats THIS friday! If you haven't already seen my show "Worshippers of the Invented Sun", please try to come out."

Friday February 2. 5-10 PM
Touchet Gallery

http://www.touchetgallery.com
536 S. Ann Street (corner of Ann and Fleet, just off broadway)
Baltimore, MD 21231
410.522.2280

A vote please

So it got me thinking, reading the comment from the reader who was delighted with Sweet Mango's food and ambiance... So I'd like to take a little informal vote. What are people's favorites out there? Your choices are Colorado Kitchen, Domku, Temperance Hall, Sweet Mango Cafe, Hitching Post, El Torgoraz, or name your own favorite establishment. I'd love to learn about some secret gems that may be out there. I know it is a bit of mish mash between bars, restaurants, etc but think of the one place you absoutely couldn't live without. I'll start the voting off with a vote for Domku. If you can please say what you like best about your choice that would be even better.

Speaking of voting I've seen lots more lawn signs out there. I think in a few weeks we are going to have a very colorful neighborhood.