Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo from PoPville Flickr user oconnicole

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. I’ll open this thread every Monday and Friday. So anything good happen to you this long weekend?

56 Comment

  • Rave: The post and others are questioning the makeup of the Metro Board and advocating it’s overhaul. THANK GOD.

    Rave 2: I bought some running shoes at Potomac River Running store last night. Good fit so far.

    Rant: $10k for re-pointing the FRONT of the house.

    • Unless you have a huge house, that price for re-pointing is ridiculous. I got three bids under $6,000 for three stories tall, 22 ft wide of brick repointing in October 2009. My next door neighbor, with almost the same area of brickwork, also got three (different) bids under $6000. Shop around before you sign a contract!

      • Butter Joints in the Historic District….I’ll shop it around, though. My fiance and I look like suckers so we always get the initial markup. It’s annoying.

        • I paid a retired cement guy $900 to do all the repointing that didn’t require a ladder. It’s not perfect work, but it was $900 for the entire side of my house up to about 10 feet. $900.

    • We just paid almost the same, with Renaissance Development. They came highly recommended on PoP and everywhere else we looked. We decided it was worth it to go with them – although they were the most expensive – because they clearly know what to do with historic brick. You cannot use cement or modern mortar on old brick. Having seen what cement did to a brick fireplace inside, I am glad we didn’t take any chances with the rest of the house.

  • Rant: I’m not sure if there’s a solution here, but it seems an unintended consequence of your (PoP’s) daily wanderings is that most posts don’t show up until later in the afternoon (or evening) when you’ve had a chance to type/upload. It’s not everyday, but it is quite frequent. People might comment more if you posted one item every few hours instead of five items (Door of the Day, House of the Day, etc.) all at once. (Yesterday was a good example.)

  • Rave: Red Beans & Rice!!

  • Rave: Saw Avatar in Imax 3D this weekend. Incredibly looking movie.

    Rant: Saw Avatar in Imax 3D this weekend. Incredibly stupid, boring, predictable plot.

  • OH MY GOODNESS the traffic in Columbia Heights is so bad. I am pretty sure it’s the worst traffic area in DC. 14th street is a parking lot!

    on a positive note… once we got to the DCUSA parking garage it was great. it was pretty full… lots of people, lots of cars, but pretty efficient and cheap. haven’t people complained about it on this site? that it was a waste and is always empty?

    • Vonstallin

      Thats what everyone wants…I forget the word they use…basicaly they want to pack everyone into popular places like that section of 14th street.

      it will only get worst.

  • Has anyone else noticed about 10 times as much dog poop on the streets recently? Coincidence that it started after the new bag tax?

    • good point. I thought it might be from the snow. I figured people thought if their dog poops in 2 feet of snow, there’s no need to clean it up.

      • It was the snow and the cold rain. I found this week that more dog poop has been attracting more people poop in the alley.

        • I thought at first it was the snow too – but even the big plow piles have been melted for a couple of weeks now and the poop keeps coming. I think about 75% of dog owners are responsible picker-uppers under any circumstances, 5% complete A-holes, and probably about 20% who are now just leaving it because they don’t have an easy pile of plastic grocery bags around.

    • Vonstallin

      Did notice more dog poop…I just assumed that with less people out more owners said fuggit and stop picking up the hot steaming turds.

  • Revel:

    Felicitations are in order for our Prince.

    Congrats on your front page article in this month’s issue of The InTowner Newspaper.

    You are joining very good company with professional journalists Tony Harvey and Peter Wolff in this excellent production of one well established and devoted community newspaper that’s come out every month since 1968.

    I know many young people, and many more don’t even pick up a newspaper anymore, but this is one excellent community newspaper with regular columns including Scenes from the Past featuring a different property every month by writer/historian Paul Kelsey Williams.

    This tie in of old and new is wonderful.

    Well done.

  • Why Buy A Home In DC

    1. Close to work
    2. Close to cultural and social activities
    3. Can live without a car
    4. Aesthetics — more interesting than suburbia

    1. #1 from above doesn’t count if you work in the burbs
    2. A hassle ridden commute if you work in the burbs
    3. Increased taxes.
    4. Racial tension
    5. Increased crime
    6. High real estate prices for much less of a home
    7. Difficult to keep a car, particularly a nice car if you
    want one.

    Given this it seems like only #2 & #4 remain as compelling reasons to buy a home in DC.

    What do people think of #2 as an advantage.

    I’ve made that argument to myself for moving to various places, but I found that I don’t go out much on work nights. Since I am only socializing/culturizing on the weekends I can just as easily live somewhere else and drive in on the weekends.

    No getting around #4, some burbs are nice, but most are the Kafkaesque alienating tracts of the same house over and over again where all the trees have been plowed down.


    Why pay the ridiculous price for homes in DC?

    • Disadvantages:
      1. If you work in the burbs, become an activist and make public transit or your office provide something to go out there so it’s easier to live in DC.

      2. The reverse driving commute is just fine except for Fridays.

      3. I seem to be taxed the same in DC as in MD. But I actually like living in a society and don’t mind taking on the subsequent responsibilities.

      4. There is increased racial tension, but that’s because Mont. county suburbs are almost all white and PG county is almost all black. Although I’ve been told the NoVa suburbs are pretty diverse, but I don’t know if they have racial tension or not. Anyway, a diverse community seems healthier even if there is racial tension because then we can all work out the tension instead of ignoring it. It still exists in the homogeneous suburbs, but since people don’t see it everyday, it’s blown out of proportion when they are faced with it.

      5. I don’t think there’s increased crime – I have family in Poolesville, Silver Spring, Rockville, and Bethesda, and they see the same amount of crime that I and my other family in Chevy Chase DC, Takoma DC and Capitol Hill see.

      6. My house in DC is already too big, and I don’t think they make anything smaller out in the burbs. So I’d pay more for smaller space to have to deal with less. Also I get better services from paying higher taxes: i.e. public transit to cultural things – which leads into advantage #2: We go out on weeknights all the time. The American Art and Portrait galleries are open til 7 and the Westminster Jazz church has shows on Mondays and Fridays we go to. Plus there’s Bohemian Caverns, Blues Alley, etc.

      7. I don’t know how to drive, so don’t own a car, and if I lived in the suburbs, all I could do is order books, movies and groceries off amazon and limit my interaction to neighbors, so I’d have no new perspectives on life/world/events, I’d stagnate and might as well just be dead.

      Advantage #4: DC houses are old and therefore not just aesthetically nicer, but structurally sounder than the outer burbs. The closer burbs with the exception of PG county are just as expensive.

      • Live in the city because you like the city good and bad. Live in the suburbs because you’re tired of the reverse commute, the lack of parking and the day to day crime BS/”gentrification” BS. But, there’s not a right answer.

        4. Is completely incorrect concerning MoCo. Belies someone who’s not spent too much time in MoCo. It’s only true if you live in Potomac or Chevy Chase and send your kids to private school. If you live anywhere near Gaithersburg, Rockville or Wheaton, there’s more actual diversity than in DC. It’s not Urban AfAm diversity it’s Latino, African-African, Middle Eastern, etc. I’m pretty sure that will be true of other counties around as well. The decreased tension is because the county is generally more selective based on income, not race.

        5 Is bogus.

        7. Is lame.

        Advantage 4 is patently untrue. Have a structural person come in and give you an estimate on fixing 100 years of brick deterioration. Structurally sound? Go get a construction degree lame-o.

        • I live in Montgomery County, Silver Spring. Lots of middle->lower class blacks and whites living in proximity.

          I think you are right, I think it is the combination of race+class that drives a lot of the DC tension.

      • MoCo is almost none black, but it is very significantly Asian and really really Jewish. Koreans, Chinese and Indians are not white per se. Jewish people are but are ethnic minorities.

        I have never heard anyone say that MoCo is all white before given how Asian it is.

  • Rant: One of these days I am going to leave for work and never come back. Which leads to todays word of the day; disingenuous. If you go on vacation with someone who doesnt like you, its not really a vacation. And I should foot the bill too, right. So maybe no vacation this year. Why spend time with someone who doesnt like you, or want you (as a guy these can be two different things). All i have learned is that you are disingenuous.

    but the good news: Last-car-greenline-columbia heights brunette is back. There in the middle of the car next to me. I know you from somewhere, we’ve met.

    • if you aren’t married to this person, believe me as someone who is trying to work out these same issues after 15 years of marriage, do not get married to that person until all issues are resolved and set yourself a deadline for all issues to be resolved before you move out. Remember, there might be things you’re doing that contribute to this issue that you’re blind to, so consult a professional.

  • rave/rant: apartment hunting. not sure how I feel about it. I’ve found a bunch of 1BRs that cost less than my current studio, but I really like my apartment (aside from loud neighbors and trashmen that bang the garbage cans at 7 in the morning in the marble lobby). Current rent is going up $1290/month in the first year and up to $1300 the year after that. Grrrrrrrr. Okay that was definitely a rant.

    rave: finding a new apartment without loud obnoxious a-hole trashmen

    raveiest: C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS game this weekend!

  • Thanks for using my picture!

  • Rant#1 – Another day, another escalator outage at the Georgia Ave metro. Came home last Friday and of the three escalators at the West entrance (you know, where the new escalators were placed not that long ago) only one was working. Which one? Of course, the down escalator.

    Rave#1 – I had my choice of two escalators I could walk up on Friday.

    Rant#2 – The bag tax. I’m sorry but I just don’t get it. It’s ridiculous to force people to do a mental calculation of how many plastic bags they will need for a cart full of groceries. And none of the Safeways I have been in has offered paper bags as an alternative. I use plastic bags for everything from cat poop to bags for trash containers. I don’t just throw them in the trash.

    Rave#2 – Took my shopping dollars to Virginia this weekend and at no extra charge I got all the plastig bags I could stand for my groceries.

    • Vonstallin

      same here…went to Target on RT1 Potomac yards and shoped. Oh and the bag tax is on all bags…paper and plastic, big and small…that sucks.
      I noticed that the carry out have not charged me a bag tax yet.

    • So you drove to NOVA with gas @ $2.75/gallon and sales tax on groceries to avoid having to pay 5 cents per bag but no sales tax on groceries in the District. Under no circumstances is that a rational or and fiscally sound choice.

  • Actually, there was an extra charge, since VA has a food tax that DC doesn’t have.
    I’m so sorry that figuring out how many reusable bags to bring is so mentally taxing for you. Things must be tough.

    • Wow it’s day of the trolls. So you’re telling us that you can look at your shopping cart and tell the cashier exactly how many bags you should be charged for? How about they enter that AFTER they actually give you the bags? I’m pretty sure that’s what Marcus meant. Sorry reading is so mentally taxing for you.

      • What? Re-read the post that you’re criticizing.

        • “a mental calculation of how many plastic bags they will need for a cart full of groceries”

          Marcus didn’t say reusable bags…

          I’ve had cashiers ask me BEFORE they ring me up how many plastic bags I’ll need. Senseless.

          • so why dont you just high ball your estimate and rest easy that you will not have any bag shortage catastrophes once you get to bagging… you can give your leftovers to marcus, as he hasnt been able to locate the aisle in the store where they actually sell trash bags, or found the biodegradable bags that wouldnt entomb his cats shit forever in a landfill. that way you both are happy, and the river clean up program gets a few extra cents. hooray!

  • I have neither a rave nor a rant, but a “quality of life issue,” I guess.

    I have an awesome neighbor who’s lived on our block forever. He knows everyone, and he’s tuned into the neighborhood in ways, after only 2 years, we can’t yet be. The problem is, he’s always telling us about scary stuff going on around us – shootings, murders, bodies found. Seriously scary stuff. But when I try to use the MPD-4D listserv or the City Paper to confirm his reports, I come up empty-handed.

    I have zero reason not to believe him, but would of course LOVE for some (all!) of his crime reports to be wrong. Are there other ways I should be searching for records of these crimes? Or is there just no public record of major crimes in my neighborhood?

    • He’s probably got a police scanner. The amount of crap that goes on in this city that no one hears about is borderline insane. The hitch with a scanner is you only get part of the story. That ‘body found’ could just be someone dead of natural causes, or a decomposed animal in the woods. The gunshots though – yeah, there are many many more than anyone wants to admit. Shotspotter doesn’t even catch them all, and the stats for those are staggering.

      You could ask questions on the list serv, but a lot of incidents have no papertrail. Folks not wanting to press charges/make a report or leaving the scene before the police arrive. Your neighbor is probably right about what goes down in the neighborhood though…

      • Very interesting – you could definitely be right about the police scanner. But say an entire family – man, woman, child, and a relative or 2 (cousin or aunt or something) was murdered. Would there really be no record of that? Shots I can definitely believe no record of, but this scenario (similar to something he mentioned to us) going without any record seems insane.

        If my tone sounds strident, please know I’m not challenging your opinion at all – I’m just incredulous and would really like your take.

        • No- a multiple homicide like that would almost certainly be made public unless there were some truly bizarre circumstances around it. Even then – someone’s going to call the press or Mayor’s office when handful of bodybags start getting pulled out of a house.

  • Rant: If DCFD is going to run up my street in the middle of the night, must they use all sirens and horns on FULL BLAST? I must be alone in thinking that their sirens are too loud. It is not normal that a passing fire engine should inflict actual, physical pain.

    I guess I should think of the children.

    • When you combine the fact that a lot of cars have really good soundproofing and most car stereos now have at least 6 speakers [and the volume goes to 11] trust me – they need those sirens and air-horns to get the message across. Add to that the greater chance that some folks out driving in the middle of the night are probably intoxicated/high and yeah – they’re going to blast everything they have, especially when they come up on larger intersections, driveways, or side streets with a limited view down them.

      • It is nearly impossible to miss a fire engine’s emergency lights at night. Are you saying that they need to adequately warn drunks in sound-proofed cars with their stereos blasting *and* their eyes closed?? Police routinely respond along the same streets using only their lights, and run their sirens only in short bursts as needed.

        • Not sure what DCFD’s policies are, but most fire department’s policy dictate that all ‘priority’ calls require lights and sirens be on at all times while responding. Police policies likely differ from this for operation security reasons, and the fact that a police car can brake and swerve to avoid a dipsh*t driver MUCH easier than a 30,000 to 50,000 pound piece of fire apparatus holding 1,000+ gallons of water.

  • Vonstallin

    Rant: at work and sleepy…I love dreams when I sleep, but the last few weeks they have all been Nightmares. So i am the walking Zombie with no sleep.

  • Kalorini

    Rave: I have some incredible friends and I really value that. Keeping me busy so I don’t become more down-in-the-dumps than I already am.

    Rant: Moved the final things out of my ex-boyfriend’s place. And he’s being a huge tool about everything. Hopefully, now I can start moving on from all this?

  • GiantSquid

    Rant: Husband wants me to make more money even though I quit my career of seven years to go back to school and went straight from school into an internship for a year. 50K job ain’t gonna happen overnight hun, especially when graphic designers are a dime a dozen. Think before you spout your frustrations because words can hurt. So now I’m bummed.

    Rave: Teaism’s carrot cake scones are a small, but tasty consolation.

  • Rave: Brewed my first batch of beer this weekend! Nut Brown Ale. I’m pretty stoked to see how it turns out.

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