Archive for April, 2007

Second Major Fire Guts Georgetown Public Library

The second floor of the Georgetown Public Library is a complete loss, and with it goes much of the archive of the Library, some of which predates the founding of our nation. According to, several of the area fire hydrants were not in working order, due to an issue with water pressure. According to WTOP, this is a frequent problem in Georgetown and other elevated areas of town.

Wait. Hold on a second. You’re telling me that these fire hydrants are purely decorative? That’s got to be cold comfort to all of Georgetown all of a sudden as they realize the fire hydrant that’s just up the street may be as useful as your neighbor’s garden hose when it comes to putting out a serious fire. Seriously, how does a city like DC not be able to push the pressure it needs to fire hydrants. That seems like a basic service…

Georgetown Library also burning

The Georgetown Public Library is on fire, too, in a fire that looks to be as destructive as the one at Eastern Market. What’s with the local landmarks catching fire all of the sudden?

Support this Avon walker

My darling girlfriend and I have known Jennifer Eubank for a bit over a year now. She’s one of the dozens of friendly and helpful vendors we’ve met by exhibiting at Eastern Market. She’s also one of the half-dozen or so who have helped to make our efforts less profitable by making stuff so great we buy their things rather than taking our hard-earned dough home with us. Ah well. I like to call DG’s ring from jdell designs “the boobs ring,” which is worth it just for the chuckle.

This coming weekend Jennifer will be doing the Avon walk to help raise money for breast cancer issues. Precise details about how the money is spent can be found at the Avon Foundation’s website as well as in the GuideStar data on the charity.

You can support Jennifer’s walk by going here and making a donation. She’s got a personal motivation to be in the walk.

I am doing this in honor of my sister, Gail, who has been battling breast cancer for more than 5 years now. I am completely committed to walking the full 39-mile walk May 5 & 6 in Washington, DC. My sister Beverly is joining me for what will most likely be the most important thing we have done in many years.

She’s already hit her fundraising goal but more is always better. She’s going above and beyond to increase her funds intake, too. Aside from offering to give a free pair of earrings from her stock to anyone who pledges over $150, she’s added a line of pink jewelry that she’ll be selling from this point forward. She’ll be contributing the profits from the sales of them to the Avon foundation so she can keep the giving going past the day of the walk.

You have to support that kind of dedication.

A beer tragedy

Ack! Since Nice Mirror didn’t get into the Manayunk art show this year, my darling girlfriend and I thought “oh good – maybe we won’t be out of town for the Old Dominion Beer Festival this year like we were last time.” Well, we may not be out of town but we won’t be at the festival either.

We really tried to make it work, but if you have looked at our ‘festival grounds’ (the lot behind the brewery), it is under excavation and construction. We explored other locations, but it was critical that we kept it close by, and ultimately we could not find a site that would work with our traditional dates. Old Dominion appreciates your loyalty to our great beers, our great people and a great summer event. As disappointing as it to all of us, we could not in good conscience put on a beer fest that did not live up to our high standards. We know the Beer Fest is a great tradition and much-loved happening, and we are already planning for a return run in 2008.

This is just heartbreaking! I hate to torment you with tales of something you won’t get to enjoy this summer, but the festival has been fantastic both times I’ve been. Affordable sample size beers from a few dozen breweries, good music, great food, interesting vendors…. *sigh* I’m going to have to go drown my sorrows now…

The future of Eastern Market

In a flurry of Twitter messages this morning, my friends and I all wondered what the eventual fate of Eastern Market would be. Mayor Fenty is promising to rebuild, but will the character be preserved? Will Starbucks be permitted to open a store there in exchange for a rebuilding grant?

The Washington Post reported this morning:

In continuous operation since 1873, Eastern Market was designed by noted architect Adolph Cluss and is a recognized National Historic Landmark. The market sits just off Pennsylvania Avenue SE, on the neighborhood’s eastern edge.

Wondering exactly what National Historic Landmark designation means for a property that needs to be rebuilt, I checked out the National Park Service’s National Historic Landmark Program page, only to discover… Eastern Market is not, in fact, designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Wondering how I caught, in 5 minutes of Googling and using NPS’ own database, what the WaPo fact checkers had not (hey guys, did you take the morning off?), I noticed that the National Register of Historic Places is a separate list, also maintained by the National Park Service. Eastern Market does indeed appear on this list.

What’s the difference? I’m so glad you asked:

Escort Service Hard Ball: Palfrey 1, DC Politicos 0

Randall L. Tobias

Did you see who was the first to fall from grace when Deborah Jeane Palfrey, accused DC Madam, gave her confidential call girl contacts list to ABC News? None other than Randall L. Tobias, the deputy secretary of state responsible for U.S. foreign aid. The WashPost says:

On Friday, Randall L. Tobias resigned as deputy secretary of state one day after confirming to Brian Ross of ABC that he had patronized the Pamela Martin firm.

Speaking yesterday on “Good Morning America,” Ross said Tobias told him Tobias’s number was on Palfrey’s phone records because he had called “to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage.” There had been “no sex,” Ross quoted Tobias as saying, and that recently he has used another service, “with Central American gals,” for massages.

Now that was smart of Mr. Tobais. As the director of President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, he learned that the best way to practice safe sex is not to have sex. Now he knows the best way to practice safe politics is not to practice call girl massages.

The question is, who is next to get the call? Palfrey gave her list of 10,000 to 15,000 phone numbers to ABC News for free and ABC is expected to air a report on Palfrey and her clients on “20/20” on May 4, during sweeps.

I for one, can’t wait to see who is next…

Free Stuff


I’ve always dreamed of living the life of a yard sale junky — always on the hunt for treasure, always filled with the hope of finding a 1959 Fender Stratocaster for $50 or a complete vintage 12″ Boba Fett figure for a buck or an old picture frame with an original copy of the Declaration of Independence hidden inside.

That dream will always be out of reach to me, as it requires getting up early on weekends. I only get the Mondays where those who had a yard sale found it easier to put out a “Free Stuff” sign than gather up the leftovers for the trash man.

So if you need that black thing, whatever the heck it is, or a half-used notepad soggy with morning dew then rush on over to 44th St. NW, near the intersection of Reservoir Rd. Forget about the rug, it’s already sitting by my door.

Horrific Fire Guts Eastern Market

Eastern Market Fire - Washington Post Photo The weekend, for so many people in DC, means Eastern Market. The produce and arts booths that fill the indoor/outdoor market, the lunch counter, the market stalls and the non-existant parking, these are the things that draw the crowds to the 134-year old historic hub of DC’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Built in the Reconstruction era, it’s beautiful South Hall, which houses butchers and cheese shops, produce and more, is an iconic landmark for Capitol Hill.

Mayor Fenty has pledged to rebuild the site, saying, “We’ll bring it back 100 percent. How could we not? It’s too much history to let it get burned away.” It took 160 firefighters to douse the blaze that started around 1am this morning. The fire seems to have begun in the dumpsters behind the building, then spread inside. At this time, it’s not known whether or not this is an accidental fire or an arson, but I have a feeling this is the number one priority for the police and fire departments today.

Market events will be cancelled for weeks to come as the investigations continue and the repairs ensue. This City is a poorer place for its absence. One of my first dates in this town was lunch at the lunch counter there. Mona told me that it was the only place she trusted to get her a good pastrami sandwich. She was right, it was incredible. And now it’s an empty burned hull.

Photo Credit: Nikki Kahn – The Washington Post Photo

Green Line to National Airport?

This is an odd WMATA Metrorail sign for the Green Line: National Airport.

When the train arrived it was a Yellow Line train, suggesting that while Metrorail has its lines right it is not adjusting to the off-peak Yellow Line extention.

Might WMATA stop the confusion and make the extension both permanent and full service? Those of us who ride and work on the Yellow Line/Green Line would be appreciative.

5 days till the Avon walk

One week from right now the Avon walk will be over. Last year the walk brought in 5.6 million bucks in the DC area and I presume this year well do at least as well. I discovered today that one of the other craft vendors we know is walking and tomorrow I’ll share her story and motivation with you, along with the link to make a donation to her team.

If you’re walking – or know someone who is – you can drop me an email if you like and include the link and a brief explanation of why you’re walking and what it means to you. I’ll post the first four I receive, once a day, Tuesday through Friday this coming week. Mail me at (No attachments, please, or it’ll be automatically scrapped. If you want to add a picture I’ll give you another opportunity to mail me something or you can provide me with a Flickr link.)

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