Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Blinkofanaye

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?

42 Comment

  • Rave: Public Pools on hot days.

    Rant: Francis Pool ejects all kids for 15 minutes every hour. One way to ruin a father’s day trip to the pool is to have to keep a 3 year old out of a pool for 15 minutes when it’s 90 degrees. (This is the same pool where the lifeguards decided to charge me money to park last year.)

    Rave: Great new playgrounds at DCPS, but, Rant, they are all in Ward 3 — Janney, Murch, Eaton…

    • How is Francis Pool other than adult swim & parking issues? Crowded? I just moved a few blocks away, but haven’t been yet.

      Rant: I only got 2 hours of sleep last night.
      Rave: I am surprisingly awake and functioning quite well (at least for now..)

    • This is actually standard at almost every pool I’ve worked and it’s probably even recommended practice by the Red Cross.

      Kid’s are typically incapable of self regulating their energy and exhaustion levels. When a kid gets tired playing baseball, he can sit down and there’s no harm. If a kid gets tired swimming in a pool, which happens more quickly because swimming is a higher metabolic activity than other sports, he is likely to drown.

      Since most parents can’t be bothered to actually supervise their children at pools, and they treat lifeguards like unpaid babysitters, it’s important to mandate a rest period for kids. Get your kids a juice box, bring an umbrella for shade, and suck it up. it’s for your kids own good.

      • Not to mention: sometimes adults want to swim without getting caught up in the middle of a chicken fight or some other such splashing shenanigans…

        • Yeah, but that’s actually a byproduct of the mandatory kids rest, not a cause of it. you can always rope off parts of the pool for swimming only. The pool at Haynes Pt does this and thus far I’ve never had to pay to park.

        • In the kiddie pool?

          • Kids die in the kiddie pool too. I’m not commenting on what happened at this specific pool on this day –who knows, maybe the lifeguards were understaffed and they were rotating 15 minute breaks, but the fact that it’s a kiddie pool has no bearing on whether kids at a pool need a 15 minute break every hour or not. Parents leave their kids unattended and unsupervised in kiddie pools all the time.

    • rave: I love adult swim! Hooray Upshur pool for doin’ it on the 45s.

      (uh captcha just called me names: butt bonehead)

  • Rave: Summer trip this week! Heading to Alaska and escaping this ridiculous heat!

    Rave: I’m dating someone and it is going really well.

    Rant: weekend hangovers that last all day :-/

  • rant: killing in Brightwood Friday night. Brought back bad memories of the ’97 execution of an MPD officer at that same location in front of the Ibex Club [now Brightwood Bistro]. It sucks that some blocks/intersection are so damn shady for decades and decades.

  • Rave: Had a wonderfully productive weekend!
    Rave: Really enjoyed my time with my boyfriend this weekend after having recently gotten over one of those stressful periods.
    Rave: PORTUGAL won this morning!!!

    Rant: Turns out, I have to give up my cat for adoption because no one in my circle of friends wants a cat and my boyfriend is too allergic to her to come over AND she’s too social to hang out by herself with no other kitty friends all day. 🙁

    • Happy – We’ve been thinking about adopting a second cat for the past few months – if you haven’t already found a home, please drop me a line! I can be reached at caitindc (at) gmail (dot) com. Hope to talk to you soon!

  • I will never understand the children of today. So much murder and bloodshed that is bring down the whole city.

    • Perhaps they can’t understand why so many people who perpetually have interests in seeing them pushed out of the city even care about them.

      I don’t know, after living in this city, specifically on Randolph & Hanover, for over 25 years, I can honestly say that the people in charge and the people moving into the city, really don’t care about us. Us being, the impoverished, the people of color, and in many cases, the children of individuals plagued by the crack epidemic.

      It’s extremely hard to grasp how strongly crack and PCP hit Washington DC during the time I grew up here. ..and we are still seeing the effects today.

      You had/have babies raising babies, it’s cyclical, especially when drugs and subsequently violence are involved in the equation.

      I was having an excellent conversation with my wife yesterday, who went swimming at Banneker Public Pool because of the glorious weather. She was approached multiple times by black folks who asked if they were allowed to use the pool. Think about that for a moment.

      We are not that far removed from the 1970’s, where pools in DC were still segregated. Now, instead of pools, we’re pushing people out of established neighborhoods to build condominiums to fit some sort of ‘standard’ or to rehabilitate rowhouses that housed HIV-plagued squatters, which I personally experienced on my current block in Ledroit Park.

      So yeah, it’s not only the system that roots against us, it’s also the people moving in and even the mentality of some of the residents who currently live here.

      The times that we as black people and longtime residents of the city, who couldn’t escape during the white/black flight to PG & Montgomery Counties in the 60’s and 70’s, do get someone who wants to fight for us, they’re often crucified for one reason or another.

      A great example of this is Marion Barry. If you mention him to the new residents and long-term residents on the other side of Rock Creek Park, his name is dragged through the mud. He deserves a lot of it too, for that matter, especially in recent days. ..but for many of us long-term residents, he represents one of us. He was looking out for us, while simultaneously padding his pockets.

      He was responsible for getting a lot of local, black and latino owned businesses into the District. He was a direct reflection of us both politically and personally. I don’t think I know anyone I grew up with here in DC that wasn’t affected by crack or had an immediately family member on crack, PCP, or doing ‘boat’ as we called it. He did a lot for us in the late 70’s and into the 80’s that other people in charge have not. Initiatives are needed and he recognized that.

      ..so yeah, basically DC Youth have no one rooting for them. They’ve been pushed out of neighborhoods, schools, businesses and everything else. Many come from broken homes who are still reeling from major drug infestations. I think it’s easy to criticize them, but you have to absolutely understand how we grew up here.

      • I’d have to say that while I agree with a lot of what you’ve said (in general terms), you go to great lengths to lay the blame for all the ills in the black community at the feet of “The Man”, essentially.

        And it certainly is a sad state of affairs when you claim Marion Barry as a hero of some kind. It’s true that he’s been vilified, but deservedly so, as you say. Nobody was out to get him because he was ‘helping’ the black community. Scores of white politicians have lost their positions for much, much less than being a crackhead. Let’s not forget that despite all the bad things he’s done, he’s STILL miraculously in office. Unfathomable!

        There are plenty of other people, both black and white, who are working tirelessly to help the youth in this city (and all across the country), and who would be an infinitely better choice as a role model. The tragic irony is that a lot of the kids who desperately need help have been taught at home not to trust white people (I’ve heard it come out of kids’ mouths), so they reject the help because it doesn’t come from someone who “looks like us”. And so, you get the Marion Barry’s of the world, who line their pockets while sucking the life out of their own communities.

        And by the way, I was once told by a group of black kids that the public pool was only for black people. Racism goes both ways.

      • At this point we are on our 2nd or 3rd generation of DC parents not living up to their responsibilities, expecting to be able to live and do as they please without any repercussions, and leaving their kids to raise their siblings and not be tempted by a quick $1000 dealing. So where do we stop the cycle? Is it by letting parents and kids continue to get away with antisocial behavior without repercussions? No successful society anywhere in the world lets children get away with this crap.

        It doesn’t help any kid get an education, or survive to not hold him responsible for his actions. Everyone with a brain understands that the parents are the root of the problem, but that doesn’t mean the solution has to be soft on the kids. In fact, blaming X, Y or Z cause of the problem as an excuse to do nothing has been shown to make the problem worse in DC.

      • “we’re pushing people out of established neighborhoods … to rehabilitate rowhouses that housed HIV-plagued squatters, which I personally experienced on my current block in Ledroit Park.”

        And the alternative to re-habbed houses was better? Really?! Look, I can absolutely see the downsides to the Big G: creating an economic environment that through increases in tax assessments makes staying in place less affordable for folks on fixed or limited incomes. It’s change and it’s big and scary but it’s also the way cities work. Neighborhoods, especially in D.C. it seems, have surprisingly limited capacities for hindsight that often don’t stretch any further back than “for as long as I’ve lived here”. I probably only live but a few blocks from you, [email protected]:40, and I highly doubt the (probably immigrant) gentleman with the *very* Italian name who first owned my house in the 1920’s would have recognized the neighborhood in 1990. I also doubt that the children of current residents will recognize it 30-40 years down the road. Hell, DC north of RI Ave was mostly farmland and “country” estates not much more than 120 years ago!

        • Actually a lot of the current ‘residents’ moved into the houses after the ’68 riots when white families literally abandoned their houses. The guy I bought my house from literally had people hand him the keys to the houses they owned and left without payment.

          So to pretend that the folks who are being “gentrified” out had some long standing ties to the properties and neighborhoods is not always true.

      • BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. You’ve got it all figured out so what’s the solution. I don’t believe the pool story – unless they were beamed here a la Star Trek. That’s incendiary nonsense and you know it. You have the whole speech down that we have heard a million times over, riddled with half truths, exaggeration and bitterness. WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER! I guess you would leave it all blighted and bring back the “check”. We inhereted these issues and some people are trying to improve things, if you don’t agree with the method then please I ask you again. WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER? Finally if you align yourself politically and personally with Barry then you need to go to.

    • Right, because murder and bloodshed are unique only to the children of today.

      • This applies to children of the future as well, so don’t you ever forget that.

        • I’m not sure you’re making much sense, so you might want to elaborate. “the children of today” is the same crap people have been complaining about since the greeks and romans, so you’ll need to add a little more weight to your comments to be properly understood.

          • Anonymous 2:40 – Even working from the assumption that everything you say is true, is there no bright side? Real estate values are up in neighborhoods hit hard by Crack. Parents / residents who endured the tough years will be able to pass on wealth in the form of valuable homes to their children. Gentrification is still driving up home values for many black home owners in DC, in many cases to levels they never anticipated. You have to acknowledge that DC is better now than in the crack years. Yuppies can be annoying but they ain’t dangerous. How many people have really been displaced? In Columbia Heights for example much of the new construction was on vacant lots. I agree that Barry is not the villain people make him out to be he did not line his own pockets.

            Now, what do we do to get kids to stop shooting each other? I am conceding crack was terrible, the kids face tough odds and Barry did some good. Tell me what needs to be done to ‘save the children’ and then tell me who should do it?

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Planted my balcony garden.
    Rant: Had dream that all the plants died.
    Rave: The plants were still alive this morning!

  • Rave: The BayScaping in my front yard looks great, thanks to DDOE’s RiverSmart Homes program. Perhaps it will inspire my neighbor to turn his concrete and dirt yard into something a little greener.

    No rants, life is good!

  • Rave: Ikea butcher block table tops; you’re my new desktop of choice. Solar panels arrive this week.

    Rant: Heat, humidity and the mosquitoes. Effin mosquitoes are back.

  • I’ve noticed that Sauca now has a truck very near to Pedro & Vinny’s.

    I can’t bring myself to leave PnV for it. My question to y’all is simple – Should I?

    • Yes, yes you should. They’ll be in that same spot every Monday though but I must say, Sauca blows P&V out of the water.

      Go there, you wont ever regret it.

  • Big Rave: I used the recycling center at Ft. Totten for the first time. It was well organized, the workers were wonderful and I got rid of tons of stuff to be shredded and old tv’s and computers. I was in and out in twenty minutes.

    • I had a great experience with Ft. Totten’s recycling center, too. I held on to a mercury thermostat and a bunch of computers for almost two years, thinking they’d be such a hassle to recycle. Not true. Done in less than 5 minutes. Everyone was really helpful.

      • I think I’ve almost scored a free cup of coffee from my frequent trips there. It’s so easy to get in and out, but I wish they had one “late” evening per weekday to drop stuff off.

  • This post was the most self-pitying load of crap I’ve read in a while. And lauding Marion Barry for padding his pockets while \looking out for us\ was just icing on the crap cake. How, prey tell, was Barry \looking out for us\? Are you really so ignorant that you believe the lip service he’s paid to poor people for the past 20 years while doing nothing– absolutely nothing– substantive to help \the impoverished\?

    A lot of \us\ grew up poor in crack-decimated neighborhoods who didn’t turn out to be gang-banging destructive criminals. And most of the kids today are not junior thugs. Stop making excuses for those who are.

  • Rant: The interminable revitalization project on 14th St in Col. Heights
    Rave: The potential revitalization project on 14th in 16th St. Heights.

  • Rave: The two beautiful potatoes I found growing in my composter when I emptied it yesterday. Somehow, despite the complete lack of light, some potato scraps I threw out months ago grew into new fruit!

    Rave #2: Beans and zucchini from my garden are awesome. Looks like I should have my first ripe tomatoes in a week.

    Rant: Lack of independent wealth which would allow me to become a gentleman farmer.

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