Archive for April, 2008

Riddles encountered on today’s travels around town

The view from the window at Windows Cafe

–How did Ledroit Park (or Bloomingdale, as some seem to call it) wind up developing? It’s compressed into a small area around 4th and T NW and is very isolated from other developments around town; I rode through there on my bike and thought I was in California for a second–and then whoosh, it was gone.

–What’s up with Ethiopian cafe owners? Seems like all the newish cafes in town are owned by Ethiopians: Cafe Sureia in Brookland, Windows Cafe on 1st and Rhode Island NW, Azi’s on 9th NW, Sidamo Coffee and Tea on H St NE, and I think I saw a new cafe on Georgia around Irving. Oh, and Columbia Heights Coffee was bought by an Ethiopian couple about a year ago. Not complaining, that’s for sure–just curious and impressed.

–What’s going on at the corner of V and 14th street, catty corner from Busboys and Poets? There’s often a big crowd there–mostly black folks, but not the glamorous hipster crowd that hangs out at B&P. I’ve seen that crowd many times but there’s no sign indicating anything interesting there.

–Does Metro have express trains now? And if so, why does the red line express skip the Bethesda station, of all places?

–Why do train operators tell passengers, while the train’s in motion, how many cars the train has (as in, “This is an 8 car train”), when it’s illegal to move between trains?

–Is owning a home really so much better than renting, when you add everything up? If the only affordable houses are so far off in the suburbs that riding metro–post-fare hike–costs up to $10/day, and driving and parking cost double that and climbing, can you really argue it’s so worth it?

Baskin Robbins Employs Seven-Year-Olds

Okay, maybe not, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at this sign. I guess with all the computers nowadays and the emphasis on assessment testing, things like penmanship have gone by the wayside. At least it wasn’t done in Crayon.

On a separate note, my lovely wife and I were able to enjoy a few 31-cent scoops this evening after supper. Definitely worth every penny.

Photo: Baskin Robbins Originally uploaded by carlweaver

Do Or Die for the Wiz

It’s halftime in Cleveland, and the Wizards are up 45-43 on the Cavs. I was talking with my bartender yesterday about their chances against LeBron and his gang, and his only response was, “Every time you drive for the basket good things happen.” Either we’ll get through and score, or we’ll get the shallow-benched Cavs on their heels and in foul-trouble.

Here’s hoping they can come up big tonight. Go Agent Zero & The Wizards!

Edit: And it’s DO! Caron scores 32, as the Wiz best the Cavs 88-87.


A Small Note On the History of Today

My friend Ben sent this email today, pertaining to the 219th anniversary of the swearing in of George Washington. In our town, amongst all the scandals and gotchas, the lobbyists and their unlimited cash, the frustration of the common man, and all manner of other injustices, we tend to gloss over, or merely canonize, those who stood on the ragged edge of history and dared to make government about the people, and not about the whims of a tyrant.

On this day in 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington took the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.

Our first and last unanimously elected leader, he had six years earlier resigned as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army – keeping his promise to the American people that he would be no monarch. When told by painter Benjamin West of Washington’s impending resignation, King George III was said to have exclaimed in shock: “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”


Kensington Painting Exhibition on Friday


Please join Shara Banisadr and her students to celebrate unconventional ways of painting. They request that youRSVP so they know how many people to expect. You can visit the site about this event here and see others’ works as well.

The above painting is by local artist Kristin Bruch, a very talented and interesting young artist. As I have said before, I am not schooled in such highfalutin’ things as art history or art appreciation, but I know what I like and her work is drenched in it. Come on down and see Kristin’s work and that of many other artists as well. Here are all the specifics:

Reception: Friday, May 2, 2008
Time: 6:30-8:30

Location: Kensington Framing & Gallery
10805 Connecticut Ave
Kensington, MD 2089

Keep eating

Photo courtesy of Rakka

On the heels of Free Ice Cream Day comes Baskin Robbins’ $0.31 scoop night, so you have no excuse not to continue your sucro-lacto overload. I don’t have a snazzy Google Map mashup to share with you but their online store locator will turn up one reasonably close to you, often inside a Dunkin Donuts location.

Maybe only interesting to me, but about ten years ago I did a little looking into Dunkin Donuts franchises. You had your choice at the time to purchase just the DD franchise or you could get a combined franchise with Baskin Robbins and/or TOGO, what they were then calling their sandwich shop. If you went with just the DD franchise you only had to have half a million cash on hand, for the trifecta it was close to a million. Entrepreneur magazine seems to think they’re worth it, though, with rankings consistently in the top 20.

Perhaps it’ll be interesting to the pro-localization set – According to the magazine’s profile not a single one of those Baskin Robbins’ is company owned, so any one you patronize is either owned by an individual or a group with a few stores. If you’re one of those people who gets their dainties in a wad over corporate coffee that might matter to you.
big ole ice cream cake, courtesy of Rakka

Cancelled Dulles Rail Project Uncancelled

This reeks to me of some sort of graft problem. Like the originators of the project just hadn’t put some form of welfare in their initial proposal to run Metrorail tracks all the way out to Dulles Airport.

But, now that the final bribes and blowjobs have been given to the (in)appropriate people, US Department of Transportation is reversing its non-funding of the Dulles Rail Project. That means, if all the rest of the bribes and other corruption are properly completed on their schedule (included in Appendix B5 of the new plan), we should have a Metro link to IAD by approximately 2025.

Okay, more like 2015. Maybe. If we’re lucky.

Two People Shot at Vocational School

Two people were shot this afternoon at the Excel Institute, a vocational school associated with the DC Public School system, this afternoon around 2pm. The gunman, identified by one witness as a student of the school, then carjacked a series of cars before he was caught by police. The victims were identified as a student, and the director of the school.

Neither of the victims received life-threatening injuries, but both were taken to the hospital. Apparently, the suspect was caught when his stolen car was involved in accident that injured a police officer and a pregnant woman.

Here’s hoping he gets a speedy trial and a lengthy sentence.

Plans for the Weekend

Orange by Carl Weaver PhotographyAre you the type of person who starts thinking about weekend plans around 4:30 on Friday or do you start planning Monday morning when you say hi to your homies and play catch-up at the water cooler? Me, I like to keep an open mind all week and see what develops, but this weekend is a bit special because I am donating blood on Saturday, which I am a bit embarrassed to say is something I have not done before, and then on Sunday I am leading a photography class, something I look forward to and have not done in a while. It’s good to get back in the groove with teaching and sharing and hope to do many future classes.

How much of your weekend is planned this early in the week? What’s going on in your neck of the woods that we should all know about?

Photo of Orange by Carl Weaver Photography

"Sounds in the Square" 2008 Concerts

Photo courtesy of stgermh

The Golden Triangle BID announced their summer lineup for their popular “Sounds in the Square” concert series. The concerts are free at the Farragut Square Park on Thursday evenings in May and June from 5:00 to 7:00pm. Rain dates will be held in September.

This year’s series will feature concerts by some of the area’s most popular bands like No Second Troy, and local favorites including Everyone but Pete and JunkFood. So if you’re looking for some great local music fused with warm summer evenings in the middle of downtown DC, this might be your thing.

The current schedule is:

May 8 No Second Troy
May 15 Justin Jones & The Driving Rain
May 22 Everyone But Pete
June 5 JunkFood
June 12 The Kelly Bell Band
June 19 Crowded Streets
June 26 Reflex

You can check for any updates at the Golden Triangle’s website and if you’re myspace-savvy, add them as a friend.

OmegaBand, courtesy of stgermh

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