Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Make a BID

That's Business Improvement District.
Some business neighbors desire to create a business district in the area between the Golden Triangle (which includes lobbyist row and other high-profile names such as the Mayflower Hotel and the Spitzer family commerical real estate across the street, the Dupont BID and the Georgetown BID. To quote them, We look impoverished compared to our neighbors. Keeping up with whatever family the saying mentions. And guess what. I would be part of it. For free, because I don't live on a commercial property (only the most dedicated employees of a company do!) So according to their plans. an alternative to a mandatory tax increase that would last five years or more is a business association. When I consider that DC's tony hotels (and their decently affluent guests) are mostly in this district- and I notice that there isn't much retail on the streets- I suppose all the money flows across the creek to...Georgetown, and the Golden Triangle. Exactly.

To Make a Historic District

Let's look at some photos from 50 years ago. Some things may still be the same, some things not. Porch additions, adaptation for new technology like big ground-mounted ac units, and, of course, the widespread installation of floor-to-ceiling glass. Now look at the picture and everything's still the same. It's not necessarily Peter Pan, though. It doesn't want to become young again! Naturally there's some things that are important to save, such as Mount Vernon or the Key House (Wherever the park department lost the thing), or the Old Stone House, last first generation tract-land house in Georgetown, or Dumbarton and Olive Street (The name: last street designations to not be changed to the DC Alphabet system). And, arguably, certain rows of buildings on streets that are of significance. I know a person who moans of the Old Georgetown requirement that recycling pails must be smaller than a certain size). But is it necessary to keep large swaths of 42 neighborhoods in a midsize city? It's dangerous too. I consider the story of the Takoma Park (a fiercely anti-nuclear power town :( preservation board that wouldn't let someone change out their lead paint ridden shades at will. Bad for their children. And then there is the radically Brutalist (raw concrete) building two blocks from the white house that the owners want out with (The Church of Christ, Scientist. They allege that it's a maintenance havoc). It was like a 15 year battle with preservationists. But there's nothing really historic about that building that couldn't be replicated. And anyway, there's a lot of neo-Brutalism- a milder for of said style, and anyway, if someone really liked the school of architecture- they could build their own bunker- I think a Brutalist shed can be made with ordinary driveway concrete. Now about a Victorian neighborhood...

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Major Fire in Georgetown- smoke smelled over 1 mile from Wisconsin avenue, smoke cloud over Georgetown, large Fire Dept Response. No other details available.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

AC Gilbert

Globe, Erector set Ferris wheel, art project with lots of electrical wire and small rods, 4 oversized books. The Erector Set may be called the "has-been". Invented early in the last century, it "transformed how boys and toys were made". Girders and bolts that rile of industry that made Gilbert a rich man. But of course change in consumer tastes and handing over of ownership took a toll on this dynamic toy. Then in a society that now profits mainly in the service sector, why bother with tools and the type of satisfaction that doesn't come instantaneously?
What gets me is e-Monopoly, the electronic form of the monopoly game. It really helps cut down on banker dishonesty, but it doesn't allow you to readily flash your bling maybe an atm next?

But boys aren't made from soft assets.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chinatown DC

From thousands, DC Chinatown has less than 700 Chinese inhabitants. What happened? Suburbanization and Americanization? The aspects that people like about an 'authentic' Chinatown may contradict the ideal living situation. Lots of people in one place? Goods at minimal price? It doesn't sound like American dream. When developers started taking interest in the property at the western end of Chinatown- then the east end of downtown when City builds a Convention Center (early 1980's) and displaces some people, but as a government they build an apartment building a few blocks away for them. There goes part of the neighborhood . You know, the area around there has been so developed in the last 25 years that I can't image the low-rising tenements and small buildings. Then in the '90's the 4-block MCI center takes out another chunk. And guess what happens after the stadium moves in? Gentrification! Changes in the law instituted to preserve Chinatown's character prevented urban renewal and required businesses to display a sign in Chinese (no doubt that some of the signs are fudged). So that's DC Chinatown.

Conclusion- for delicious, authentic Asian food and products in the DC area, consult a directory, steer to Annandale or Rockville, and bring a car. DC doesn't really have a Chinatown anymore in the traditional sense. I read somewhere that the DC area hosts the 3rd largest US Chinese population, but you can't pinpoint that because of full integration. Now isn't that better than a self-segregated Chinatown?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Review

It's pretty much summer, and I've been away from school for about 3 weeks. I'm a little disoriented, sweeping, in one hour, from school to summer job. But then come disorienting dreams. They only tend to happen when I get more than 8 hours of sleep. Some summer dreams from the past include:

-Forgetting to pack merchandise for a 8-week stint
-If my world was limited (Camp Incarnation - I must have watched the Truman Show that night)- I took a canoe and ran into the gym wall.
And most recently:
-Chinatown Montreal and New York blend in a dream and half of it is nowhere to be found
-Walk from Columbus Circle all the way up to the GWB and become disappointed, because I didn't go all the way to the tip (for those who don't know NYC topography, that's 6 miles without completing the seventh.)I also stopped at Thai Pan, a Thai restaurant where I was given some rare coins, including the 1956 Franklin Half Dollar and 1794 Mozart Coinboy (Does not exist in real life). Then I have a cherry Yogurt and plan to go to Chinatown the next morning, and finish walking to Inwood- the tip (never did). This was Friday night's dream.

-Summer vacation disappears as I enter time warp as I read an article about the 1999 Half Dollar being overvalued, and everyone else tells me about their summer. Of course this was after finding a treasure chest (it always happens this way!)- Saturday night's dream. And I do have a 1999 Half Dollar in my pocket.

So before I get disappointed about my summer-

Go somewhere away- Enjoyed the mountain air in Front Royal 2 weeks ago. Really enjoyed last summer vacation- this is the second time I bring it up post facto. (although I didn't like the 3:30am phone ring!)

Things to do:
Find out what's east of the Capitol
Take a multi-transfer bus trip to Rockville(for $1.25) via Glen Echo and Great Falls
Spend more than 1.5 hours in Richmond
Help society (details to follow)

Summer vacation before Summer- enjoy the sensation of American kid freedom, start to want to do Summer homework to get it over with.

Before July 4- start doing summer homework but eventually lose pace (didn't happen last year, thank goodness), start summer activity (camp or work); it's not too late that one must mourn summer

July- forget that you're on a summer break and that time is ticking

August- uh-oh. There isn't much time left. Hopefully, summer homework is done. Washington DC really empties out, I'm typically away the first week on vacation.

back-to-school- enjoy the really cheap sales on school goods- FREE glue, 1 cent folders, and other purchases that makes you feel that it's the 1920's. Oh, and accept that summer is almost over.

Friday, June 19, 2009


At first, I thought the movie was going for the most dirty words in a film (Rated R- South Park the Movie), but it was only gratuitous before the action startef- one hour and 18 hostages. Can Denzel Washington as Lt. Zak Garber (whups- in the new film he's a train controller caught in a bribe scandal) save the passengers from John Travolta before they're annihilated one a minute past the deadline? Maybe it's my partiality to mass transit movies, but I give the movie full ratings.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WiFi Wishes

And for all the hotels and hovels that are willing to sell you an internet connection for $10, the local 3-star hotel (Washington Suites) will give it away for less. Anyway, I've been thinking of entering telecom as another aside for side cash, above Amazon who likes to take a 255 commission chunk. Anyway, what do they do with all the money?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An Adventure

A trail called Glover Park
Under a damp tunnel and an old trolley bridge
up, up, up hill and over the sewage pipe and across a creek.


For some reason, I'm not being allowed by blogger to add a new post, so I have to extenuate here

I just received a report from the White House that there are ambulances and many police cars at the white House. I sure hope that everything is OK. There is no more information than this on the incident.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Swamp and Bridge- Wilson Bridge Bike Lanes

After coming back from the pool yesterday, I loaded my bike onto an express bus down to the Wilson Bridge, Maryland side. It was on the news that the new bike lanes were open on the new 12 lane span. So I get off at "Wilson Bridge" stop, wiht the bike, and head parallel to the Beltway by going down the walkway at Oxon Hill Farm- the one that leads to the visitor center and barns- I ask the rangers where to find the path. They say around the fence- I try the first roa. It lead about 300 feet to a shed. I then go down the paved road that went to the water. An idyllic marshland southern farm. The road turned to dirt, and to rut marks. It ended at a pile of Jersey barriers. Promising, but no lead after a minute in a brush. I then tried down another clearing. A wobble in the mud made both my shoes get wet. An organized grove of trees grown wild. A line of vines. Sight of the bridge- but there was a fence- and it wasn't the correct freeway. Sweating and overwhelmed with mosquitoes from the swamp, I pushed back after seeing a few decayed animals-large ones, and got back to the road- a great relief for a person who thought he'd need the state trooper to pick him up (the cell phone made me feel secure). So I get to the trail, which was the one that the rangers were probably talking about. I head up a while, and pull over to a subdivision at the first chance. Going up the road with the most traffic, I find a folded dollar, and came out where I had gotten off the bus. determined, and only having lost an hour, head back to the bridge. from an outcrop I tried to spot the bike trail. Two abutments far off was what I identified as the access point. I coast down the road in National Harbor, and end up on the shoulder of the bridge- I remembered, 3 12' lanes and a wide shoulder. I maneuver across an exit ramp and onto the safe side of the guardrail. When I reached the trail overpass, I pulled my bike 6 feet up, and myself as well. That is when I hurt my thumb. But I came out unharmed. I scouted on the other side of the overpass, and found out that the trail came from the National Harbor riverline area. I reached the foundation of the bridge, and there was an inspirational sign about this tristate project (MD_DC- over water_VA) I pulled out my camera for a shot- no memory card. But At least I found how to get there! It was a great view, great experience as I made my way to Washington St (VA 400), the end of the trail. A glass sound barrier made the final half mile very quaint as I passed above the cemetery. And I made it. My week's journey. I'm going to take Little Brother sometime- but I'll spare him from the swamp part of the trip.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Incident- Shooting at Holocaust Museum

Sometimes, one gets in the way of news in the making. An ambulance assisted with one police car sped from 14th street onto K Street, NW. From a small glimpse into the ambulance while the victim was being moved into the ED at GWU Hospital, appeared to be in ok condition. For the record, shootings in downtown Washington News crews are already on the scene, including Channel 7, about 1:32pm. According to other news sources, there was a big response of area crime forces onto the scene.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

L"Hippo Lemonade

As I was going to finish I never did a lemonade stand before, in real life, that is, so I thought I'd do some 'entrepreneurship', as it is called when older kids are involved. So since it was not raining yesterday, I went out.It didn't net big with soda cans and water bottles, probably because it wasn't that typical Washington summer day, everyone else got their drinks from the vendor near the Subway entrance, and the low-visibility cooler didn't help much. Maybe once I find the big blue one I'll try again, but the main point is that I finished L'Hippo the comic book- 7 years after Santiago and his Adventure of the White Blood Cell King.

Short story- A French Hippo comes to America and has it out with the Nigerian Embassy over a lottery scheme.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday Drivers

After six days of work, I came across a Sunday. But I had a prior appointment for that date, and thus, did not end up in New York for old schoolmates' graduation. So I was in a Fire Room again, ten minutes prior to mass, and being given the directions: Follow the Thurifer inside the gate. Boat bearer. At St. Thomas, that was the job of the portico ledge. But the job was made easier by the MC, who is being seen off to West Point the Military Academy (just 45 scenic miles north of NYC). Enjoyed wondering whether the smoke was bad for my health or not. After that, listen to the webcast of the St. Thomas service before getting some mountain air, where I drove about 4 miles on Skyline Drive. Would have driven faster than 30mph except that there was a steep incline. The double solid center line is actually quite helpful to stay on one's side of the road, to help avoid collisions on that narrow road. But we descended to the vineyard plains and passed through (Little)Washington, no stop on go,finding ourselves on a scenic byway and somehow on I-66 in Prince William's County.

Congratulations, St. Thomas class of 2009!
Massimo, Matthew, William, Danny, Aidan and James

Found It

What is in your bed? Mosquitoes, not bedbugs, two pillows, two sheets, a bathrobe, a heavy blanket that hasn't been used in two weeks except on cold mornings. And what about a digital camera? By four mornings of early waking and two other wake-ups, I did not see it up there. Last Sunday, May 31, was the last time I had it. I professed the wonders of ready-baked chicken and its lusciousness on a bed of lettuce between two pieces of whole grain bread, with some mayo. Then, after not bringing my camera on the bike ride, it went missing for a week.
I missed filming more JangooVision, and a shot of summer rolls with shrimp and cellophane noodles (no, it's not plastic). Other than that, I held up pretty well.
So as I was searching for my Lifeguard shirt on Saturday, I came across it. I found the shirt at the bottom of a hamper, and the camera, in bed, as well as my Smartrip card, in the bottom of my backpack, along with a bottle of water and muffin, date, May 29.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Life

I got into typing a biography. I was inspired by Zak's writeup of the inspirational buildup of BFFK (refer to jangoonow.googlepages.com and click on affiliates). I started it back a while ago, but I only started to get comprehensive
I even put words to describe this decade: A trying time that shows the whole range of humanity. Yes, I give a cheery view for the next decade. But year by year, I recall events good and bad.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Back when I was little, there were 5th anniversary events

As I was thinking of Finnegan's Wake, whose genre is called "Sui Generis". This is purposed to be a very interesting and creative genre of writing that has appeared in the past century. Or, in simpler term, a style of its own: creative. If I come across a copy of this book, I'll read it. And maybe I'll go and try to get my own sui generis.

Don't forget to give 3 quarks to Mr. Mark.