Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Sidewalks of Shame, nominee
Photo from PoPville flickr user dullshick

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 weekend?

77 Comment

  • The 96 bus was not running to Wisconsin Ave. this past weekend. Why did NextBus insist that it was? If buses aren’t going to run, I’d rather be told “bus not running” than be given false assurances.

  • Nearly TWO YEARS after the fire at 3145 Mount Pleasant St. NW displaced nearly 200 residents, the burnt-out hulk of the building still looms treacherously over the neighborhood. Now there is an added danger–no-one has shoveled the front of this building, leaving residents to tramp over the long stretch of sidewalk down this busy main thoroughfare. Currently there is a long, VERY icy path in front of the building, leaving stroller-pushers and handicapped residents no way to pass but to walk in the street. Certainly this is not the only building to have failed to shovel after the snowstorms–but given the abuse the neighborhood has already taken from the slumlord who owns this wreck, this is really adding insult (and possibly more injury!!) to injury…

  • Thank you very much for your kind notes about my car fire. Luckily no one was hurt, nor was anyone else’s property damaged.

    After four different towing attempts, the latest is that my insurer will make arrangements to move the vehicle to their totaling yard Tuesday. I do again apologize for causing this inconvenience to my neighbors.

  • rant: perhaps for someone more articulate than me (and maybe also for someone with a car), but i can’t stand it when people leave a chair/cone in the street. just because you dug the spot out doesn’t mean you own it. it’s illegal and it’s just plain rude

    • Really? I’d daresay the people who spent hours digging out a spot only to have someone else pull into it and park leaving them with NO PLACE TO PARK despite all their efforts would disagree. The person who put in the work, IMO, gets the spot.

      • yeah, but the people pulling into the spot had to dig their car out from somewhere as well. and honestly, great, you dug your car out. congrats. that doesn’t entitle you to park there forever. it entitles you to drive around the city. the end.

        • yeah but what if you dug your car out and had to go to work as i did? i didnt put a chair or cone in the spot but it sucked having to find a new spot after coming home from work. i work at a hospital by the way so we dont close. also let me be clear, the spot i am referencing is in my building’s parking lot. also applies to side streets.

        • Actually I didnt dig out shit cause my car is safe and dry in the garage but I watched my neighbors and I can empathize with their efforts. Unlike you.

          • that’s right, i don’t empathize with selfish people who break the law. you move your car, you have to deal with finding another spot. you don’t have to right to keep the spot forever. i empathize with people who have to drive around for an hour on roads with terrible conditions because some decided they own public space.

            if you were that concerned with having a place to park, move somewhere that has parking. public parking means anyone can use it

          • Like I wrote earlier, but you seemed to miss, my car is safe and dry in the garage. I didn’t dig out a car and don’t have to fight for a parking space. But many of my neighbors spent hours digging and redigging after the plows came through and dumped snow back into their spots and I felt badly for them when another car pulled into the spot they had cleared and then didn’t move again for days and days.

            You seem angry. You should go shovel some snow from a parking space and release that frustration.

    • Here’s the way I see it…

      There are PLENTY of unshoveled spaces left on my street. If you need a spot so bad, shovel one of those out yourself, just like I did. That’s right, I shoveled out a spot that didn’t even have a car in it to begin with.

      If it’s an emergency, just move the cone/chair/whatever. Nothing’s stopping you.

    • saf

      We have a neighbor who does that all year round.

      Can’t stand her. And yes, it is illegal and just plain rude.

      • it is illegal — I called the mayor’s hotline to check (after driving around forever trying to find a new spot) and they said to call MPD to report it.

  • Does anyone else’s tap water taste even more chlorinated than usual? Usually I think my filtered tap water tastes great, but it is awful now. (And yes I’ve changed the filter recently). And I smell like I’ve just gotten out of the swimming pool after my shower. I live on the 3600 block of New Hampshire.

  • Emmaleigh504


  • Yes I’m all rants…

    Rant: That the Post Office at 14th and T still hasn’t shoveled the snow on its sidewalk.

    Rant: The continued cluster f* if you attempt to get info on when DC cabs can charge the “Snow Emergency” surcharge (Rate 3). I called 311 this morning and was told it was in effect. I called back this afternoon and was told that they didn’t know and I should call the taxicab commission tomorrow.

    Rant: I gained 3 pounds during Haiti support efforts at work and now 3 pounds due to Snowmageddon.

    • As of 9am this morning, DC is back under a snow emergency, so yes, they can currently charge the surcharge.

      • But Friday and Saturday when there was still a “Snow Emergency” in effect cabs were not supposed to charge the emergency rate per the Taxi commission (I called).


        And does it really make sense that cabs should charge the emergency rate starting 9:00 this morning when there isn’t a a snowflake in sight? Shouldn’t we be encouraging folks to take cabs instead of driving and parking in snow emergency lanes???


        • I hear ya’. I took a lot of cabs over the last few days and it was really sporadic. In the end the only one that charged me anything extra (even though some asserted that they could have) was the VA one bringing me back into the District from Old Town, but he was such an idiot, I would have gladly paid him triple just to be at home and away from him.

          • Don’t get me wrong–I believe in paying (or tipping) for cabs braving the weather. Friday night, my cab was caught in the gridlock downtown and it took me over an hour to get home. We hit the max DC rate of $19 about 3 blocks from my house even though the cabbie was charging the “normal” rate. I gave him $40 for the $19 fare. If he had been charging the emergency rate and I was aware he was doing it incorrectly, I would have paid it and given him a small tip.

            So I’m a passive-aggressive wimp…

        • Just saw a DDOT tweet that says the snow emergency is NOT in effect for cabs, so they can’t charge you the increased rate. Happy cabbing!

  • Rant: What the hell, Wisconsin Ave in Tenleytown? Does nobody shovel their damn sidewalks?

    Rave: Awesome Valentines Day with the boyfriend (who I”m pretty sure is reading this)

    Rant2: New apartment neighbors think it’s a fantastic idea to smoke in their apartment and then air it out by opening their front door and making the common hallway reek. 1) Open your damn windows or 2) Go smoke on your balcony!

  • People must realize they don’t own the public streets and these are not private parking spaces. I too shoveled snow from on top and around my vehicle. I know if I were to move my vehicle, someone would come an park into the clean space I shoveled. My advice, leave your vehicle parked in this snow melts and avoid someone taking the space you clean. Catch the Metro bus or subway. If you move your vehicle, then it’s on you. Tough luck!

    Native Washingtonian

    • i find it amazing that so many people just didnt bother digging out at all. unfortunately for me, i need my car to get to and from work most days and i was digging it out last sunday. leaving all that snow/ice on your car is not good for the car and more than likely if you havent shovelled out from that first storm then your car probably wont start, depending on the type of car and what kind of condition it’s in of course.

      • I shoveled out after the first storm, haven’t bothered since the second. There’s not much snow on the car itself anymore but it’s completely surrounded. I’m not going to bother until I absolutely have to. I can metro to work – it’s going to take me an hour plus as opposed to the 20-30 min drive, but I just know I’ll never be able to park again when I get home, so the longer commute is worth avoiding that headache.

      • I’ve had my car give me problems before when I left it idle for 2 months, but I’m not clear why being covered with snow for a week would cause a car not to start.

        I decided to run mine while I (partially) cleared it off this weekend. It started just fine – and I had let it sit through 3 bouts of snow! (if you count the few inches we got the Tuesday before the big storm)

    • How about a polite note taped to a stick & stuck in the shoveled-out pile? “Hi neighbors, shoveling out this space was a lot of work and I would really be grateful if it were still open for me when I return home at 6:00.”

      And aren’t there any social networking sites trying to connect people up for ride sharing? Traffic is going to be bad for a while because of the reduced lanes.

  • Yeah, the water has been rant-worthy lately. With little media fanfare, WASA has switched back to chlorine for a few months, to kill all the yucky biofilm that their regular chloramine doesn’t. Of course, the reason they switched to chloramine is because the old chlorine treatment was causing crazy-high lead levels in DC’s water.

    DC water. Now even less un-leaded than last month.

  • I have a question and I hope someone will be able to answer it? Why do some consider being Jewish is a race? Judism is a religion and blacks, Cubans, or Puerto Ricans can be Jewish. Jews in the United States and in Israel are of the Caucasian race and is considered white. I didn’t mean to offend anyone who’s Jewish by making this comment, but I wanted someone to explain or educated me on this issue. As a child, I use to hear my parents mention some Jews were cool with blacks, but when I saw the people they were talking about, I saw white people.

    • I call Jewish people an ethnicity.

      There are many white racists who don’t really consider Irish, Poles, Italians, Spanish and Portuguese “white.” you barely see that anymore, but when I was a kid in the 70s- some relative would be back from Harvard like “Those lazy portogeese!”

    • Where to even begin?

      You should not confuse the terms Judaism (which is a religion) with Jews (who are a race of people).

      Now, whether we still use the term Gray for people of origin from that area is a discussion for another day.

      Instead, let’s look at this… I’m white, ok? But I’m Anglo-Saxon. I cannot draw a Venn diagram for you, but please do so on your own. Now, a person is white, ok? But they’re Jewish. See?

      Just because somebody is “white” does not mean that they come from a common origin. The world is a big place and various pockets or people are (or were) interbreeding in general isolation. Does my whiteness make me the same or similar person as somebody who is a white Slav on the other side of the world? No, of course not. It’s just a general skin pigmentation.

      White is this big word that really means nothing. It means nothing of my culture, it means little of my ancestry, and says virtually nothing of me…other than my preference for sun screen.

      So all of us white people can meet up at Starbucks and be different races still.

      Don’t confuse human migratory patterns and geographical isolation with the four color terms that race has broken down to in modern times.

      Without writing a thesis here, is this helping you?

      • This doesn’t make much sense. Thank goodness you aren’t writing a thesis.

      • “from that area?” Do you really believe that Jews all come from The Land of Canan or something? Do you take the bible literally and talk of tribes and whatnot? Because that’s what those shouting black pirates do at the metro. Are you one of those people?

        You have a rather juvenile understanding of very basic anthropology. Jews in the United States don’t originate from an “area” unless you’re talking about the area in between Persia and Spain.

        Read a book before you write about this like you’re an expert.

  • Correction:

    I have a question and I hope someone will be able to answer it? Why do some consider being Jewish as being a race? Judism is a religion and blacks, Cubans, or Puerto Ricans can be of the Jewish religion. I am black and I am a Catholic. Jews in the United States and in Israel are of the Caucasian race and is considered to be white. I don’t mean to offend anyone who’s Jewish by making this comment, but I wanted someone to explain or educated me on this issue. As a child, I use to hear my parents mention, some Jews were cool with blacks, but when I saw the people they were talking about, I saw white people.

    • ward4dc,

      i am a jew and i consider it to be a race just like any other (cuban, puerto rican, irish, chinese, ethiopian, etc). some people may not though. depends on who you talk to. in my mind, whereas most races can clearly identify with a country (like all of those above that i listed), the ashkenazi jews of central and eastern europe were spread out over several countries. ethnically, i am jewish. my family’s nationality is russian and polish. my religion is atheist.

      some reading here:


    • I don’t think there is any easy answer. From a google search:
      “It is now clear that our human “races” are primarily cultural creations, not biological realities. The commonly held belief in the existence of human biological races is based on the false assumption that anatomical traits, such as skin color and specific facial characteristics, cluster together in single distinct groups of people. They do not. There are no clearly distinct “black”, “white”, or other races.”

  • Rant:

    Why is is the condos on the southeast corner of 15th & Q, NW can never shovel their walk? They manage to shovel their driveways bone-dry, but don’t touch their sidewalks. Inexcusable.

    And how about those morons on Q Street near 14th that dug their cars out by throwing snow all over the alley, rather then piling it strategically. Now the alley is impassable at the 14th Street end. What’s the point of shoveling out the car if you can’t get it out the alley?

  • correction: i consider it an ethnicity, not a race. races are (at least as far as i know) black, white, asian, indian, etc, right?

  • Thanks Charlie for you comment, but Puerto Rican, Cuban is not a race of people. There are black Puerto Ricans and Cubans. The late great Salsa singer Celia Cruz was Cubana, but her race was black. I too am Puerto Rican, but my race is black. If you saw me walking down any street, you would see a black man with nappy hair and Negriod features. I can assure you, whites in America and the police see a black man. If my former GW University friend Johnathan who’s Jewish was walking down the street or seen in an upscale department store in Frendship Heights would be seen as a white man and he wouldn’t be followed around in the store as if he’s going to steal something. Please take a trip to Cuba, Puerto Rico, or Panama and you will see black people who look just like blacks in all parts of D.C. speaking Spanish. Their Nationality would be Puerto Rican, Cuban, or Panamaianian. When I speak in Spanish in D.C. on the streets, whites, blacks, and Central Americans look at me as if I am from another people. They are shocked to see a black person speaking Spanish.

    • hey ward,

      yeah, i agree. i corrected my statement to say ethnicity, not race. it is my understanding (and i’m no expert on the subject by any means) that ethnicities are subsets of races (so for the black race you have various ethnic groups in from all over africa (again, i’m no expert so i can’t comment on what they are)). in panama (where i have been- beautiful country) you have black people there but they aren’t ethnically panamanians. their nationality is panamanian. their race is black. and their ethnicity is from wherever they came from. (and their family nationality is also from wherever their ancestors came from (say nigeria, for example)).

      i am racially white, ethnically ashkenazi jew, my nationality is american, but my ancestors were russian (among other things).

    • I hate to be a jerk but I have to remind people…

      I have been followed around Maza Gallerie on Wisconsin Ave like I was going to steal something many many times to the point where I don’t go there anymore. When I was a teenager and in college this was a terrible terrible problem for me.

      However I am a white WASP and pretty wealthy as these things go.

      I have also been in two situations where I was waiting for my girlfriend in a store where a black person turned around and yelled at me for “following them like they were going to steal something” when I was a customer and never even saw them! Happened out of town once and happened at I think the Woodies or Hechts in Metro Center.

      This is a pet problem I have with this issue- why is there an assumption that white people don’t get hassled by security guards in the mall?

  • Charlie, I’ve been told, Mayor Adrian Malik Fenty is an Atheist too. Fenty doesn’t belong to any church and I’ve never heard him mention God/Jesus by praising him.

    I guess, there are a lot of Atheist in the United States.

  • P.S. Charlie I don’t have issues like Tiger Woods, because Tiger Woods would be considered a Negro just like myself and any other black man including Obama, based on appearance, skin color, facial features, and hair texture.

    President Obama have said many times, he’s a black man, but I have never heard Adrian Fenty acknowledge he’s a black man. The one drop rule have always applied in the United States since slavery. You have fair skinned blacks like Lena Horne, former N.Y. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Dr. Charles Drew who looked white, but they were considered Negroes/black.

    • I am acquainted with Adrian Fenty’s mother and she used the term “mixed-race son” before. But I mean, you know, she’s white and was married to Mr Fenty in the 60s so the mixed-race aspect is probably a big deal to her.

  • I grew up on the 60’s and I didn’t hear the term mix-race. Kids or people like Fenty, Obama, Hallie Barry were considered to be black. Whites in America always defined non whites race. I am sad to say, the one drop rule still applys today. I do know, Adrian is uncomfortable in discussing race or racism. In Adrian’s mind, racism doesn’t exist, but if he were to read some of the racist comments being made about him by whites on the Washington Post blog and others, this would be an awakening to or for him.

  • neener, please take a look at the picture of former New York Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. He looks like a white or Caucasian male, but he’s considered a Negro, black, African American. Maybe liberal Democratic Senator Harry Reid was correct by saying, whites in America prefer or feel comfortable with light skinned articulate Negroes.


  • If you’re still defining your politics by race alone, you’re probably getting screwed by the people you support.

    If you require Fenty to define himself as a “black man” in order to lend him support, or if you think that he should help you because he’s black and you’re black and the people you don’t like are white, then you’re screwing yourself. It’s a 40 year old political philosophy that peaked decades ago and really didn’t help the last generation that much. You’ll notice that 95% of the people you hear espousing the philosophy of race are civil rights era aged. They can’t live in the now so they live in the past.

  • Charlie and Neener, thank you both for your open discussion on this topic. You both make excellent points.

  • Ragged Dog, I am an Independent. The Democratic Party have pimped blacks for over 40 years with their welfare socialish programs. Both the Democratic and Republican parties suck and each party don’t serve their constituents. They serve themselves, lobbyist, and big business. Scott Brown’s election by the people in Mass, was an awakening for the Democrats. I don’t have to define Adrian’s race, because whites in America will define that for him as they have done since slavery.

  • Rant: It’s snowing again. That means Charlie Jones and I will have to “argue” on another thread later this week about digging out parking spaces.

    Rave: Um. It’s Monday?

  • Raves –

    1. Finally saw my Arlington friends yesterday! Took at least 18 “rides” through the star tunnel at the National Gallery East wing with the 5 year old goddaughter, who pronounced it awesome.

    2. I can still juggle snowballs!

    3. Drove for the first time in – however long it was since the pre-snow days – my battery hadn’t died and I got in and out of the alley (8 inch deep ruts through packed ice) with remarkable success.

    4. How damn lucky I am to have the worst blizzard result to be a tiny leak from a ceiling vent and a longing for fresh arugula.

    Rants –

    1. Not enough raves here today!

    2. People piling up trash on overflowing street cans. Is is just that anyone dumb enough to spend 5 bucks on a cup of coffee at starbucks is inherently also too dumb to pour out the dregs/ice before throwing away the cup? And maybe even crushing it, or poking it down inside other cups? And people are dumping their household trash there as well. Come on people – think!

    3. My snake just made a godawful enormous stinky poop.

    And not quite a rant, but a suggestion. . .

    1. Keeping sidewalks clear is an ongoing process, with melt/freeze and slushy tracking from unshoveled neighbors – if you walk by someone chipping ice, shoveling etc. a “thank you” in passing would be really nice.

  • Rave: I was walking to Union Station this morning, and I saw a car with a sign inside the front windshield that read, “THANK YOU [SNOW] SHOVEL ANGEL!” (I can’t remember if it said SNOW or not.) My guess is that someone random dug out their car to the owner’s delightment this morning. It made me really happy to know people are out there like that.

  • Rave – 13 people showed up for a Sat. open house for my CH basement apt. (Featured here a couple of weeks ago) So far 11 want it.

    Rant – They are all really nice and I hate having to choose.

  • RANT: the sidewalks in front of a BURNED OUT BUILDING HAVEN’T BEEN SHOVELED~!?!? HELL, none of the sidewalks in Mt. Pleasant has been shoveled- I walked from 20th and Park to Harvard street and fell TWICE…the richer the home owners, the less likely they are to give a CRAP about shoveling their sidewalks.

    • Is there a group home in Mt. Pleasant that actually shoveled their walk? I don’t think so. Wait til spring when they have their outdoor parties… I think they’ll be receiving some noise complaints — why cut them any slack if they can’t shovel even one time?

  • Rave – Winter Olympics. The NBA All-Star game was actually good. (Not Jordan, Bird, Magic good) but good. I love Sir Charles.
    Rave -Going to Puerto Rico, Kids back in school (I am tired of I-Carly)
    Rant- line from post article “If those jobs go away, Donohue said, Washington could become as unaffordable for the working class as Manhattan.” I love DC and I hope there is always a place for teachers, cops, construction workers and all good citizens

  • Rant: The police giving $250 parking tickets for parking on northbound Connecticut Ave even though all the snow had already been completely cleared on that side of the street and there was absolutely no snow falling (pretty lame early calling of the snow emergency if you ask me). I could understand if the city had done something on the southbound lanes to remove all the huge mounds of snow, but with absolutely no city employees visible on Conn Ave except for the officer writing tickets, it seems like blatant highway robbery if you ask me!

  • Rant: The idiot who on Saturday was shoveling his car out on N Street in Georgetown and dumping the snow in the middle of the previously neatly plowed road. He had filled a ten foot section of the street with about five inches of snow, covering the entire width of the road. My car almost got stuck in it. I should’ve called the police.

    Rave: Just got my first flat panel TV delivered today. It’s beautiful. And I can use the new snow as an excuse to spend quality time with it.

  • Drew, I am now just seeing your comment. No, your comment was not helpful, but confusing.

    Quote by Drew: “So all of us white people can meet up at Starbucks and be different races still.”

    I am a black man and if I were to go into this same Starbucks with all the whites of different races as you put it, my blackness would stand. My point, racism in this country have always existed with most whites regardless of origin seeing themselves as being superior to blacks or the black race. The liberal redneck Senator Harry Reid made the statement about light skinned Negroes without a Negro dialect is accepted or preferred by whites in America. Here you have a so call white liberal white Democrat being truthful on how he and other whites feel when it comes to preferring light skinned Negroes or mixed raced people like Adrian Malik Fenty, Barack Obama, and other mixed race people with a black and white parent. As a brown skinned black man, I have experienced racism from whites/Jews based on my skin color and features preferring lighter skinned blacks or mixed race people. Many white gays and straights in America prefer or will accept white or light skinned Latinos/Hispanics over the black race. According to the U.S. Census, the majority of Latinos consider themselves white, not brown, colored, or Negro. Desi Arnez was a good example. His Nationality was Cuban, but his race was white/Caucasian. I say to whites in America, try being black in America for one day and come back and tell me of your experiences. White males in this country whether they be Jewish/European have always been afforded privileges that I will never be afforded in this life. How many whites in America ever thought about what it would be like to be black in America or wished they were black? The answer would be none, but I can assure you, there are blacks in America who have wondered what it would be like to be white or pass for white. Many light skinned blacks with straight hair and keen features passed for white during segregation/Jim Crowism and is still doing so in 2010.

    • But this is an absolute non sequitor. There are plenty of racists of all color. Never said there wasn’t. There always will be. Harry Reid is among them. I don’t understand how this is at all related to whether Jewish people are white or not.

      The point is that white is not a singular thing, nor is black for that matter. There are various groups that make up the term. There are different people under an umbrella term.

  • P.S. John Mayer recent racist comments about black women and his using the N word reenforces thoughts in my head on how most whites in America and some white Latinos view blacks or the black race.


    • And how are you any different? you rant about how all whites view blacks or the “black race” the same, how is that not being racist on your part. apparently, according to you, all whites, no matter their background, by pure nature of the color of their skin view blacks as inferior and as better than darker skinned individuals. seems to me you’re basing that on someone’s skin color which is the very nature of racism.

      your original question was is jewish a race–the answer yes. not quite sure how that turned into a rant on how in your opinion whites are so racists, but whatever.

      • You are wrong Susan, being Jewish is not a race of people. Jews in the United States are white/Caucasian and it stats that on their birth certificate. Sammy Davis Jr. was black and he was a Jew. Whites like you prefer not to deal with race or racism. You or no other white/Caucasian have never walked in my or any other black person shoes in America. Have you ever thought about what it would be like Susan if your were black for one day? Better yet, have you ever wished you were born black Susan? Your been born white regardless of being a female have afforded you privilege. I as a black man will never be afforded the same privilege as a white male.

        Do blacks create policies that put a disproportionate number of whites in prison? Do blacks pass legislation that affords black schools more funding than white schools? Are black homes worth more money than white homes simply because they are in black neighborhoods? Do blacks in the middle class make 30% more than whites? Blacks may have strong prejudices against whites based on history and current injustices but to equate that with white racism is either naive or extremely uninformed.

  • Rave: “working from home” today included a 20 mile bike ride. glorious

  • \Does my whiteness make me the same or similar person as somebody who is a white Slav on the other side of the world? No, of course not. It’s just a general skin pigmentation.\

    Actually you’re remarkably wrong about this. Humanity’s been evolving for over 6 million years, and Homo sapiens came to Europe as recently as 12,000 years ago (more likely about 30,000 years ago). To believe that you and a Slav are all that different would tend to make you a subscriber of the Tower of Babel sort of world view, like Read a Book says above. It’s difficult to argue with the religious, but you should understand that science tells us the opposite of what you seem to be claiming here.

  • Raves:
    – The cool features on Metro’s website that allow you to see when the next bus or train will reach a particular stop.

    – The folks clearing snow from the roadways of main and side streets in my hood so that parking spaces are cleared and people don’t feel they have to resort to a space saver when they take their car out.

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