I did a little shoveling of icy slushy stuff last night, only after I heard my neighbor doing some shoveling. I shoveled the space in front of my house and then a bit more for my neighbors. I made a crooked path, for that is my way. I pressed the snow shovel down against the pavement, made several little pushes to pick up the ice then pushed the ice into the gutter. None of this makes for a straight path.
I was thinking that I was so thankful that we have concrete sidewalks and not brick as this would have been harder and possible more damaging to my plastic snow shovel. It crossed my mind to grab a neighbor who expressed an interest in brick sidewalks and have him compare shoveling the two. I decided against it. I can tell you the difference. With the concrete I can place my shovel down against the pavement and push until I hit a square that juts out or until my shovel has gotten too heavy. With brick, I am constantly hitting uneven bricks which ruin by flow and nicks my shovel more often. And so, if I get the engery to mess with bricks I don't do as much of the red stuff as I do of the grey stuff.
I hear the opening for the 2 Wal-Marts in the District was quite popular. Lots of crowds and a few protesters, just in time for the Christmas shopping. I will be avoiding Wally World, not because of some philosophical issue regarding wages. Nope, I just hate crowds. I'm not going anywhere near a shopping mall (unless it is the dead mall of PG County*) this month. Then there are predictions that the urban Wally Worlds will kill local businesses.
I wouldn't blame Wally World. I'd blame Amazon. I recently got Amazon prime, to save on shipping and I love, love, love it. I have done about 95% of our Christmas shopping on-line, and a majority of that through Amazon. I've also begun shopping for things for myself and having everything shipped to the Help's job.The only negative is that it isn't instant, and once Amazon sent me the wrong thing, but they fixed it so it's all good.
I won't do all my shopping through Amazon. There's food and my desire to support some local businesses. On Small Business Saturday I bought Christmas cards from Pulp, and contractor trash bags from Logan Hardware. I need to buy a light for my bike, I'll probably get it from the bike shop on 7th. I need to walk over the Old City Green to get some pine garland, if they have it. And I seemed to have misplaced my good headphones, so I'll wander over to CVS or Walgreen's or Radio Shack (I stopped boycotting them for bad service) to get one set, and get backups from Amazon. I realize my not walking into a brick and mortar store has some impact, which is why I try to make the time to walk into stores I support.
I can't let it go, but those who hate and bad mouth Wal-Mart but still shop there are hypocrits. They are like the alcoholic who blames the liquor store for his plight but keeps buying the Velicoff. In this city there is no real excuse. In DC there is this place called Target. It is on the green line. Buses go past it and there is parking in a garage nearby. Either acknowledge your strange freaky love for the low prices or walk the talk.
From the Eckington List, in a letter to John T. Salatti:
We have finalized the mail out of the passes to the remaining wards, which includes Ward 5. I can confirm that the bulk mail has been submitted to the US Postal Service and residents in the area should expect to begin receiving their passes by the end of next week. Please feel free to share with your neighbors that they can contact the DDOT Call Center at (202) 673-6813 should they have any questions on the status of the delivery. However, we request that they allow at least one week for the mail process to be complete.
The passes are the nice little visitor parking passes you give to the contractor working on your house, or the housesitter or relatives visiting out of town. With workmen, demand the pass back before sending the final payment. I'm guessing, we'll get them in January.
So six showed and we had some great dinner conversations, one about the new Giant. We pretty much agreed that the old Giant was a Ghetto Giant and the new Giant is nicer. Some liked the layout, but some were disappointed that the old structure didn't have little stalls and it was like a regular old Giant. Then there was a short exchange about what to call the new Giant. I think Gentry Giant won out. The rules are the descriptors have to have the same first letter as the name of the store, like Soviet Safeway.
I've been in the new Giant several times so far, mainly to pick up a few things. The store is big, the parking is underground and there appears to be bicycle parking, unless those waist-high poles weren't meant to be bicycle parking. I do remember talking about the loss of the surface parking lot, the hustlers and other characters who hung out at the old lot, at the dinner table but I don't remember where it all led.
D'Artagnan section in meats. I want to buy the $22 package of boneless quail or the venison, but I don't. The last time I saw venison in a grocery store, I was at a Wegman's, and I think that may be the audience this Giant may be trying to go after.
On one of my visits, the Help and I just looked around. There is lots of evidence of this Giant being the food source for young single professionals. Well besides lots of Lean Cuisines, there were other heat and eat, or cook and eat, or pick up and eat meals. The sushi from the sushi bar, the soup & salad bar and the hot bar was self serve pick up and eat. Then there is the pizza counter and the deli counter. I really didn't pay much attention to the cafe. Not too far from the pizza were these single serving meals of a meat and starch in plastic. I gather you nuke that. In the meat section were these $5 stuffed chicken breasts that you cook in the oven. One was enough for both of us.
When the apartments along P & O Sts are all done this area is going to be very different with a new spirit. Maybe this revitalizing spirit will move down the street and get those empty spaces in the Convention Center filled.
There are various things that make me wince. A wrong note when someone is playing a familiar tune, grammar* and poor use of a word or concept.
I winced and winced hard when I saw a video on youtube created by a middle schooler who contacted me. She was doing a project for school and had to make a short video on a topic, she chose gentrification. The video is so-so content-wise for the first 20-30 seconds and then went downhill.
About a zillion years ago I first met the Help (now spouse) at the end of judging for National History Day. I judged videos and digital projects. I was blown away by what the kids produced. obviously some were influenced by Ken Burns, except one. A girl from Bethesda, her video was horrid. It has been well over ten years since then, but I can still tell you why the Bethesda video was a horrible waste of VHS tape**. So I was reminded of that after seeing the not-so-great youtube video on gentrification.
I emailed the Youtubber and tried to be a sensitive and helpful adult to a child who lives in a well-to-do homogeneous country where gentrification is truly a foreign topic. Love the internet, it is so international. I made some suggestions for a few tweeks to the first part to make it a little less vague and a bit more accurate.
For the rest I mentioned ways to improve the video from either an anti- or pro- gentrification stance. For an anti-gentrification piece for her grade level, I suggested focusing on housing. An image of evictions could make her point, and for the call to action part I thought she could do something supporting 'affordable housing'. The pro-gentrification suggestions were to keep the first part to show the negative but the rest to show the upside. What would the upside look like? Maybe it could be an image of a vacant house with boarded up windows and trash in the yard, then the next image of a similar house, fixed up with curb appeal. I mentioned new businesses, which an image of a hipster in the doorframe of his shop could show.
Even if she doesn't take those suggestions I do hope she removes the "filler" and the parts that show that she doesn't know the topic. There was a generic call to action in the video that could have better applied to the topic of preventing air pollution or saving baby pandas. The filler was too obvious. Even if the teacher doesn't know a thing about gentrification he/she will certainly pick up on the uninformative parts where the student is filling up screen time. It is the equivalent of playing around with fonts and justifications to make an 8 page paper into a required 10 page paper.
This almost totally slipped my mind, but since we're on the topic of history. I'm going to copy and paste this one:
Please join us on Thursday, December 5th, from 6-9:30pm for the 7th Annual DC Community Heritage Project Showcase! This program celebrates the work of 18 grantee organizations who have created innovative and exciting new projects that interpret and preserve Washington, DC's historic landmarks, neighborhoods, and culture!
The program will be held at the brand new Dunbar High School (101 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001) Please note the venue change.
RSVP for the Showcase at:
You are guaranteed to learn something new about DC!This year's projects include:
For well over a year the Help and I have been working on his church's archive. We've done most of the heavy work. Right now we're waiting for certain preservation supplies to get ordered. Anyway, in the meantime, we're getting known as the people doing the church archive. This weekend before Sunday school, while we were waiting in the atrium for coffee and tea to appear, an older member handed us a 1929 church directory. I did the membership part of the archive, so I took quick a look at it just a scan of one of the pages.
Upon the page I flipped to was a resident of Truxton Circle. You'll have to click on the image to get a close up, but my eye landed on Miss Nina Lapham of 21A Bates St NW. I got all excited, speaking with a high pitched voice, which bounced around the atrium and probably woke up the dogs in the neighborhood. It is not like I hadn't looked at the directories before for possible Truxton residents. The Help's church started in 1912 in NW Washington, DC, before heading out to PG County in the 50s-60s (I also did facilities but I couldn't give you dates of the different moves off the top of my head). In those early years, when the church was at Randolph St. and New Hampshire Ave NW, most members lived in the District. When flipping through those directories it seemed most members live in upper NW. On this page, not too far from the TC lived a Mr. & Mrs. Guy Hoyme at 42 Q St. NE.
Once we are done with the Help's chruch, I want to move on to mine. I know for a fact that my favorite Truxton resident of the past, George Glorius, worshipped at Immaculate Conception at 8th and N. I know he and other members of the family are in those church records somewhere.
I believe I have gotten gifts for everyone who is getting gifts fotr Christmas and those items are going to Help at his job because he can accept packages. Before the Help, there was Nora Bombay, who lived in, moved and returned back to the building with the underpaid concierge. And before Nora, I worked at a place where I could recieve and mail off packages. We also have friends in the burbs with porches.
It's that time of year again when there is a spike in stolen packages, when theives think you're getting something good. The friends and relatives in the Sunshine states tend not to send us anything, except food baskets, which I'm okay with if they get stolen. But they never do get stolen, lucky me.
If you get stuff from the wonderful Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy and there is a chance a thief following the FedEx truck or a keen eyed crook passing by will take your stuff, you need to invest in your social network. First off, offer your friends the chance to help you. Friends at work, friends at church/temple, friends in the neighborhood, friends who can accept packages at home or work. Secondly, are you a regular somewhere? Is there a bar stool with your name on it? Do you show up so often at a place you might as well work there? Maybe that place can accept a package for you. I've heard of dry cleaners and other business that accept packages for their super regular customers.
There are other options not involving friends, such as using a mailbox sevice, but we should look to involve our friends in our lives.
Maybe in the beginning, the smaller classes went with the small building at 1302 9th St NW where Reformer began earlier this year in January. The studio expanded later into the neighboring building, yet the classes remained small. Huling claims it was not anything planned, it just happened that the space became available. In the original studio there are hooks for TRX straps and 6 movable Reformer Pilates machines. The second building allows for a full TRX and bootcamp studio on the ground floor and space for mat classes and ballet barre classes upstairs.
Reformation Fitness offers several classes at different levels. My class was a Studio Mat Pilates 1.5. I should have found something in the 1.0 range considering I hadn't been inside a gym for about a year. Despite my limitations I got a really good core workout, and I felt it two days later in the right areas. Overhearing the conversation of one of my classmates, the Reformer workouts are challenging and maybe you might not want to take classes too close together.
Functional training, is the focus of Reformation Fitness where the goal is to help clients build strength from the inside out, learning techniques to help with one's goal.
Classes are available by going to their home page at reformation-fitness.com and signing up for classes. At this time there are specials for group reformer (the classes with the reformer machine), studio classes (power yoga, mat pilates, TRX/kettleballs, pointe/barre) or personal training. There was some mention of a 55+ program for 2014, as well as other planned programs for the coming year.
I am very interested in returning to Reformation Fitness, with the Help (my spouse) because of the experience I had and the instruction. The Help has some minor issues (he was a preemie) and I could see where he would greatly benefit from the small classes and personal attention.