Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user elliotmitchell

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?

98 Comment

  • Rant: Mother’s Day breakfast in bed.

    Why is this a rant? Because it was delivered at 5:30am. By the cat. And it was alive.

    Sure, it’s the thought that counts (good kitty), but there are some gifts that one ought to keep for oneself.

    Rave: my cat’s an awesome mouser.

    • Emmaleigh504

      That is one of my worst fears.

      • I am fortunate not to be afflicted with rodent-phobia. I recognize that it’s the sort of experience that would have some people sleeping on the couch for a week.

    • oh, that’s awesome – yikes! Our porch pets (feral cats we feed) like to bring us dead rats. I’m careful to say “good kitty” and act really happy as I pick it up with a plastic bag to throw away. And thankfully, they only leave gifts on our porch 🙂

    • yugh! Our cats were great mousers, too. If bringing not-dead-yet mice into the house counts.

  • I am so sick and tired of how expensive this city is. This is not NYC or Boston, or LA, where the price of apartments could almost be justified because of what you get for living there.

    This is DC. Everyone who comes here comes here to work. There is no reason apartments in frickin Eckington should be AT LEAST 1300 for a studio without utilities. No reason at all. It makes no sense. I make a very good salary compared to other people my age in the rest of the country. Why on earth am I unable to afford my own place in this city unless I’m making, as a single woman without kids, at least 50k?? Why? That’s like what, the median US household income? And I’m unable to afford an apartment.

    It’s just frustrating. I GUESS I could live out in Beltsville or Silver Spring or something. Pay $1000 for a 1 bedroom, and live on the interstate every day for a commute. Oh, that’s right. I don’t have a car 🙁

    • You didn’t specify, was this a rant or a revel?

      Just kidding, of course. And I hear you. Unfortunately these prices are determined by the the market and in the market, prices go up much more easily than they go down (or even stay the same). The word “fair” can take on very different meanings depending on which side of the deal you’re on.

      • IMHO, I think DC is great city, comparable to the others you name, and others do to, which may explain the rents. I’m really sorry, though, that the younger folks like you moving here and helping to make it vibrant struggle so much because of the rents. I hope you find something that suits you. Best of luck.

    • You could live in College Park or Greenbelt and take Metro to work.

    • the reason dc housing is so expensive is b/c the dc population went up by 30,000 people in 10 years – thats huge. also dc has 4/5 riches counties in the country therefore moving to the burbs doesnt save u any money.

      • me

        Yeah, if by “moving to the burbs” you mean moving to somewhere in Arlington or Fairfax. But there are plenty of places surrounding DC that aren’t that wealthy and don’t command those types of rents.

    • “Everyone who comes here comes here to work.”

      This is a completely untrue statement, not to mention dismissive of a good portion of 600,000 people, many of whom have — gasp — set down roots or already have them here.

      I hear you on the lack of affordable, decent options, but the lack of those options shows that the market disagrees with you.

      • Rent so high?

        “everyone who comes here comes here to work”

        don’t you think that statement says it all. NYC, LA, etc.. etc. might be great places to live but not without a job. DC is one place were people have been able to either keep or get jobs in the last few years. What does that mean… Rent goes up. People don’t want to pay for gas or drive, move closer to the city. Rent goes up. Not in Brookland. I work, my wife stays home with our son, in a large detached home with parking and yard.

      • How about “the vast majority of people move to the DC area for work, either directly through job opportunities in the area, or indirectly through graduating from a college in the area and getting a local job”?

        There really is no other good reason to move here.

        • Change it to “the vast majority of people I’ve known” and you have a point.

          Otherwise you’re making a blanket statement, the truth of which you really have no idea. Just because you and your friends have a common experience doesn’t mean that it’s everybody’s, or even that of the “vast majority.” It could be, but you have no right to make that statement unless you have some hard stats to back that up.

          Kind of like a 3 year old thinking that the world goes away when he closes his eyes. They’re both self-centered mindsets.

          Believe it or not, there are people who were born here (like my kids), others who moved here for school and decided that they liked it, and still others who have family in the area and decided to be closer to them. I’m assuming that you believe the old canard that “no one is from DC,” right? Maybe not in your circle, in which case you need to get out more.

          • You’re conflating my statement “non-DC natives who have moved to the area” with your group “all people who currently live in DC”.

            People who move to DC, by and far, do so for the jobs – plain and simple. And yes, there are many people who were born and raised in the DC metro area, my fiancee being one of them – but those are not the people I am talking about.

            But thanks for equating me to a self-absorbed 3 year old who doesn’t know any DC natives. It sounds like you’re highly offended about the fact many people are here simply for work.

          • My apologies for the 3 year old remark — my back was still up about the original poster, who stated that the only reason rent could be high in DC is because of transplants who in turn come here for only one reason. Because there isn’t anyone else here, right? And even if there were other people here, they could never afford to drive real estate prices higher. And besides, no one ever moves here because they just like this city better than others.

            You’re correct that most adults don’t move without some type of economic prospects. However, that’s different from moving solely because of the job.

            Comments like those from the original poster are often repeated with their cousins (e.g. “no one is actually from DC”) by people who make me start agreeing with Courtland Milloy’s “myopic little twits” comment. And that just pisses me off even more, ’cause I can’t stand Courtland Milloy.

          • Calm it down. This is a blog, not a courtroom. And your kids will probably move away from here, too, ending up someplace because their jobs take them there.

    • The way rents have been going up recently is obscene. Less than a decade ago, you could have a very nice 1BR in Columbia Heights for like $750/month. Just a little more for a similar apartment in Mt. Pleasant or Adams Morgan. Anything in that price range today is going to be close to PG County and far from decent public trans.

    • And do not underestimate DC. Yes, it is not yet a NYC, LA, London, Moscow, or Tokyo, but it is the capitol of the U.S., a city that is turning around, has lots of spending by corporations, lobbyists, etc., including expensive corporate housing within the city, continues to attract investment capital, more start-ups, and is becoming more attractive as a place just to hang out and do stuff. Why the DC hate? Have lived in different states and countries, visited most major cities and many minor ones, and this a really nice city.

    • Agree completely. I REALLY want to live alone once my lease is up in the fall, but it’s going to eat up a full 50% of my salary if I do. The cost of a car erases any savings you’d get by moving to the suburbs. The only affordable option here is roommates, which completely sucks.

    • HA, 1K for a 1br in Silver Spring? In my dreams. Way to be off by 50%+.

      • Well, I guess you could be talking about out towards PG or something, which would make your “I would need a car” comment make more sense. My bad.

    • Seriously. My partner and I would like to buy a home but it is SO unattainable here if you still want to have any money leftover at the end of the month. And that’s if you can afford the downpayment! My former college roommate (single, age 25) bought a house on her own last year for $135,000 in our home state. I wanted to barf. I was so jealous.

      My family thinks we are so rich – and to be honest, we make great money compared to what they make. But they don’t get that we fork over SO MUCH MONEY for our 1br apartment.

      I really shouldn’t complain. We have a great life, make good money, and have money leftover to put in savings every month. But WOW I hate the prices here.

      Subrant: Increasing rent with no raise!!

      Ok, rant over.

      Rave: The weather!

      • Don’t be discouraged. My partner and I (late twenties) boughts a rowhouse…it’s attainable!

      • me

        The couple that bought by place about 6 months ago (close to $600k) literally had almost no money to put down. They got a FHA mortgage and only had to pay about $40k in closing costs, and the rest is covered by their mortgage. Can you believe that they are now paying $3600/mo, not including electric/gas/cable/condo fees??? That seems ridiculous to me. And the wife thought it was a great deal for them… I don’t know where they were renting before…

    • I’m with you on DC being so expensive! You could try affordable buildings like 3 Tree Flats (Georgia Ave) – I work for a nonprofit and several of my colleagues live in buildings like this in Silver Spring (brand new high rises close to the metro – that they like a lot). Most buildings like this have a min/max salary for each apartment – I’m thinking someone single making in the mid-30K to 50K range could qualify. It’s a brand new building and looks like it will be really nice.

      The building with the Yes Organic Market in Petworth is another affordable building.

    • Affordable housing is available in Brookland, Trinidad, Anacostia, Deanwood, Congress Heights, parts of NW, other communities etc.

      Many of those communities have an intelligent, diverse population, ample public transit, beautiful housing stock etc.

      What’s the problem?

    • Can someone please explain to me why Boston is so much more desirable to live in than DC. Other than the fact that rent is cheaper.

      • The thing I love about Boston and NYC is you have better ethnic neighborhoods (Greek/Italian/Asian, etc) and the associated restaurants/markets/street festivals. You have some great options in this city, but it just isn’t the same.

        Plus the crime in DC is way worse then comparable neighborhoods in Boston.

      • Boston is the most segregated city I’ve ever been to. No way would I want to live there.

    • You make an excellent point. Rents in DC are becoming too pricy for many residents living here or would like to move here. It’s ridculous!

    • tiredofdcprices:

      Agree. You don’t have to charge 1300 for a studio. It’s stupid. Obviously for an adult who wants to live alone — studio is as small a space as you can get, so that bites.

      I’m with you and I would like to ask fellow residents: Please don’t participate in this market. Please. Please suggest new prices, and leave.

      It is going to make suckers of all of us.

      The developers and landlords know well what average government workers make and they know what %50 of your salary is– for the smallest possible space: A STUDIO!! 1300 for a studio.

      I also think residents need to seriously consider taking stronger actions, particularly to move out of the city and create new neighborhoods.

      Personally, I am looking forward to something like that. I’ll find someplace with public transit, jobs, safety, diversity… there’s enough around here or even farther, and more reasonable prices.

      I would hate to be a tool in the next Georgetown. It’s just not what I want.

      I will do it. I hope some of you will join me.

      That’s just my 2 cents. I know some of you will be pissed! Oh well.

      • The average American spends about 50% their salary on housing and car expenses combined. Figure if you live in Eckington for a $1200, subscribe to Bikeshare and Zipcar for use as needed while making around $40k, then you’re about as well off as the average American in terms of housing + transportation expenses to income ratio. Rents are only high because people can afford higher rents as a result of not having car expenses.

      • me

        Create a new neighborhood? Are you on drugs?

    • DC is more than just a city “where people come to work”. It’s a beautiful, interesting, historic city where some (horrors!) actually make a life for themselves, have families and raise children. Please don’t treat it as a stop off… If you don’t appreciate it then definitely make it a point to check out your options in the ‘burbs…

  • Rant: I think Pepco is out to destroy me. I HATE PEPCO.

    Rave: We are supposedly in for a lovely week of weather, and today is a good start. 🙂

  • You should consider moving to NYC or Boston or LA if you love them so much.

    I agree with you on everything past the fifth sentence, though. There’s no reason I should be paying twice as much in rent as on a mortgage payment in a different city, all for a tiny apartment in a “nice” part of town where people still get mugged on the stoop.

  • rave: nice mother’s day dinner last night with kids and ex.

    rant: ex had a bit of a meltdown at the end.

    rave: my garden is almost planted and I ordered patio furniture.

    rant: have to work all week during the beautiful weather.

  • We all should. Especially you, with retirement age closing in on you.

  • Rave: Nice weather all week.

    Rant: I’m indoors all week.

  • Revel: Brookland’s community yard sale rocked this weekend.

    Revel 2: I brought my dog and she couldn’t have behaved better.

    Revel 3: I brought my husband and he actually had fun.

  • Revel: My boyfriend moved in last week and it’s been amazing thus far. It’s nice to be able to see each other daily.

    Rant: My week is starting off totally suckily because my grandmother has gone missing. Dementia set in but unfortunately the Portuguese government wouldn’t mandate she get put in a home because her mental state “wasn’t bad enough.” Now we’re going on 24 hours since the last time she was seen, and she’s somewhere (in Portugal), without keys, identification or even her glasses and dentures. And to add insult to injury, we can’t get on a plane today to go take care of things because of the stupid TSA rules that you can’t buy a flight less than 24 hours from when you need to fly.

    • Edit: At least that’s what airlines have told me about international flights and I couldn’t find any same day international flights available.

  • Rave: Two-hour Rock Creek Park bike ride into Maryland, sucessfully completed before the rain came.

    Rant: Apparent need for more apartments to alleviate the shortage in DC (and high rents). I remember five, six years ago, if you looked out over the skyline, all you could see were construction cranes… is that sight coming back?

  • Rave: More gardening accomplished this weekend. I love that last year’s plants are looking more and more well established with each passing day. I’m already excited for next spring and the spring flowers haven’t even finished blooming yet.

    Rant/rave: Celebrating my birthday on Wednesday and feeling a little in a funk about getting another year older. Almost to the point that those cheesey “aging women are like a fine wine” self-help books seem like a good idea. Then again, I think maybe I’ll skip the book and go straight to the fine wine.

    • Rave – You’ve made it through another year! A very ill friend made me realize what a huge accomplishment that is. Congratulations!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: migraines

    Rave: my little balcony garden is really thriving. My dill seedlings are growing nicely. Can’t wait til I can harvest them.

    Rave: nice quiet day at work today.

    • houseintherear

      My rant is the same! And the constantly changing weather is not helping. The only thing that helps mine is exercise, but my back is “out”, so exercise is out for the time being… migraines are the pits.

      • Emmaleigh504

        For a while, I was taking Gabapentin for something completely unrelated and the side affect was very few headaches of any kind! Sadly, I’m not taking it any more.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Be sure to send me a photo of your balcony garden!

    • If you like baking bread you can use the fresh dill to make dill dough.

  • Rave: The ribs in that picture. They look damn good. Probably not as good as the ones I cook in my Big Green Egg, but pretty damn good.

    Rant: Pollen allergy, hangover.

    • Hey I was wondering about those Big Green Eggs. How is it compared to traditional charcoal or gas grills?

      • The Egg (and other ceramic cookers) is awesome. I’ve had mine for 12 years and I have no complaints. They’re not cheap, but I think they’re worth the price.

  • Rant: People who toss their McDonald’s bag out of their car windows.

    Rave: I caught a woman in the act of tossing her McDonald’s back out of her car window and I got yell lots of horrible things at her.

    Rave: I was walking my dog at the time, so I wasn’t able to go over to her car and rip her head off.

    Rave: Since I wasn’t able to rip her head off, I am not in jail, today.

    • [email protected]

      Melissa, I am glad you aren’t in jail. I hate when I see people litter in my neighborhood. I see Corona bottles and trash all over the place.

  • Rant – even though I got a permit to install a/c, and the folks in the permit center said it was the only one required, the inspectors disagree. I can’t get an inspection until I get more permits. Why can’t they have clear guidance on what permits and what inspections are required? Why even bother until they fix it?

    Revel – my house can now chill.

    • Did you use the homeowners help center? DC is still a people talking to people government, not a process oriented government.

      It’s helpful to give names to people so they can talk on the phone. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

  • Rave: Finished staining the trim on 2 of my interior windows. Sashes, fine trim and jambs completed with one layer of varnish.

    Rant: I hate the way the stain set in the jamb extensions made from the wood from Home depot. It’s too dark and blotchy. Stupid pine.

    Rave: Wool and Sheep Festival in How Co, MD. I had the best lamp sausage.

  • It would be nice to hit the Mega Millions or the Powerball. I could afford to move out of my current neighborhood plagued with apathetic residents. I would like to move near Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenues, NW. The majority of the citizens there demand law and order in their neighborhoods. Money isn’t everything and it doesn’t make some happy, like Charlie Sheen. I can assure you, if I were to win a million dollars, I would be happy. LOL

    • Where do you live now?

      • I live near 14th & Missouri Avenue, NW. It’s depressing live around apathetic residents that don’t care about crime, gangs, and litter. When I drive over to Friendship Heights, I feel very happy inside. Driving back east of the park to my Ward 4 neighborhood, I become depressed.

        • I wonder what percentage of DC ‘gentrifiers’ tell their friends who live in Bethesda / Clarendon how lame and suburban they are but are secretly miserable living in their own DC neighborhood. I spend lots of time in the very same area and most of the neighbors are nice take care of their homes. Many have endured much worse and are encouraged by the progress the neighborhood has made. No one speaks of the neighbors who drive other older neighbors to doctors appointments. There are bad apples but to imply that people do not care is not fair.

        • JoeEsq74, I am a native Washingtonian, not a gentrifier. Talking with another neighbor who’s an Attorney and resident. He’s realize, there are so many apathetic people in our neighborhood. When he post important information on the civic association list serv about crime or robberies, no one responds. We have overcrowded apartment buildings and trash littered on many neighborhood streets. I don’t see this on Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues, NW. Many of my neighbors don’t attend the civic assoication, 4A ANC, 4D MPD PSA, and 4D CAC meetings.

          • The fact that you are a native Washingtonian does not mean you are not a gentrifier, but that is not worth arguing about. We could also debate why WI / CT Avenues are well kept compared to GA / MO Aves but those debate on blogs are never positive.

            My wife was raised in the neighborhood family still lives there. They pick up trash, fight gang graffiti, support the local shops and most of the neighbors are decent people. I know of multiple households where families have taken in children not their own and I already mentioned the people who drive elderly residents to Dr’ appointments. You are talking about posting an a list serv? Really? – with all the seniors in the area? Overcrowded apartments, you realize some people are struggling. Do you really know your neighborhood? There is no excuse for trash or crime but you are not the only one standing up against the negative. Residents may not attend meeting but it does not mean they are not doing their part.

      • Joe Esq74, I am not here to debate you about the quality of my current neighborhood. As I stated, if I were to win the lottery, I will move out of this Ward 4 neighborhood into Ward 3 where the majority of residents take pride in their neighborhoods by not trashing them. On the overcrowded apartment issue, it’s unsanitary for 6 to 10 building to live in a studio apartment. Overcrowding would not be tolerated in west of the park period.

        • Correction:

          On the overcrowded apartment issue, it’s unsanitary fo 6 to 10 people to live in an studio apartment. I am struggling too, but I live with lot’s of people or families. I keep my surroundings clean and I take pride in my neighborhood. Joe Esq74, I don’t know where your wife’s family live and nor do I care.

          • “I don’t know where your wife’s family live and nor do I care.”

            No worries, it was not my plan to introduce you to MY family. I will say this too often people hop on a blog trash a neighborhood and their neighbors, but those neighbors don’t read or post on the same blog. The people who read the blog walk away with a one-sided view of a neighborhood. I am saying the people in your neighborhood seem to be decent people and I offered you reasons why. I am saying your neighborhood is pretty good most people get ‘upset’ when you speak ill of their neighborhood. I am not trying to debate but I am offering an alternative view of your neighborhood if it got you to take a second look at your neighborhood I would be pleased. Your attorney friend who agrees the neighbors are apathetic may be interested to know that there is a neighborhood attorney who has provided free legal service to multiple shop owners, to a woman abandoned internationally by her husband and to a woman who was ripped off for 10k by a downtown attorney who was supposed to get her legal residency.

  • My other rant, I am having severe allergies/sinus congestion problems this season. I’ve tried Mucinex, Claritin, and Allegra. None of these products have helped me.

    • Have you tried honey? Eating a spoonful of local honey a day, made from the local pollens, is supposed to help allergies. Go to the farmers markets and ask the vendors exactly where their hives are. I’m sure they’re used to this question. Get as close to home as you can.

      • WDC, thank you. I put some honey in my oatmeal this morning, but I haven’t tried a spoonful daily. I have 2 jars on honey in my kitchen cabinet. There’s a farmers market in Takoma Park on the weekends. This season, I’ve had it very bad with allergies/sinus. I have a humindifier in my apartment and I keep the windows close.

    • Vinnie, maybe try Zyrtec? Claritin works fine for me so I’ve never had to check out other antihistamines, but it’s the only major over-the-counter one (or at least the only other one I can think of) that’s not in your list.

      • By “it” in the above I meant “Zyrtec.”

        • Thanks texdoc. I have to be careful with the over the counter meds. I have high blood pressure and I take medication for it.

          • me

            Definitely check Zyrtec our and see if you can take it with your meds. I’ve gotten allergies pretty badly this year, and it’s the only thing that works for me. And it doesn’t make me drowsy.

          • Vinnie, I hope you’re able to find something compatible with the blood pressure medicine. Allergies are no fun. 🙁

            I just saw the following in the New York Times and thought I’d post it here… a study shows that local honey doesn’t do anything to help allergies:


  • Rave: Bet on the winning KY Derby horse
    Rave: Got hooked up with a free car wash at Mr Car Wash
    Rant: Summer school starts this week

  • Revel: I went on a hike this weekend and really enjoyed the views and feeling like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible jumping from rock to rock.

    Rant: It’s Monday and nice outside, I wish I worked for a virtual office on days like today.

  • Rave: Scotland might become an independent country soon
    Rant: The lack of media attention to this important development

    • I wrote a novel in 1994 with Scottish independence (radical separatists – ancient shipwreck) as the plot – Jacobites and everything! “Crooked Island.” (WTF! You can buy it for 2 cents now on Amazon! I think I need a stiff dram!)

      • Don’t know why that came up anonymous. Not like I’m embarrassed about my 2 cent novel. . .

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