Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo of ‘Commerical’ “sign in Columbia Heights on Kenyon Street just east of 14th.” by PoPville reader Jack

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. But please no personal attacks. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

65 Comment

  • Last night on 18th Street NW towards Columbia Road NW, right in the neck of the bars / restuarants (in front and past Grand Central all the way almost to the McDonalds on the corner), there were lots of camera crews and lighting fixtures set up…. almost like a movie scene or a photo shoot. Anyone know of what was going on?

  • claire

    Rant: Even though I’m signed in, I’m being told to “sign in or register” to post a comment…

    Rave: Delicious dinner at Oyamel last night!
    Rant: They were out of grasshopper tacos.

    Rant: Three nights in a row of not enough sleep has left me feeling really run down.
    Corollary rant: I feel like I am so much more sensitive to the amount of sleep I get than others – “not enough sleep” the past three nights has actually been 6 – 7 hours.

  • Rave: Got some really great praise from a coworker who works with our Russia holding on my resume and experience. Although I haven’t met this person face-to-face, we have a nice rappport over email, and his words were really encouraging!

    Rave 2: Another holiday party today. 4th free work related lunch in a month!

    No rants today!

  • rant: WAY too much activity for me in the past few weeks. every weekend has been overloaded with stuff to do and i need a day to relax. i cannot believe it is only thursday.

  • Rant: a friend of mine who lives in SW needs to get out of her neighborhood. About a month ago she saw a cab driver get shot by two young men who just opened up his doors and started shooting just outside her door as she stepped out to hail a cab. Last night when heading home came upon a lot of police activity and found out that a young woman had been mugged and had her “head based in” (as the cops put it, the same cops then told her to “get out of the neighborhood). She is tired of the violence, living so far from where everyone goes out and and feeling scared to walk around her neighborhood at night. She knows she lives in the city but refuses to accept that her quality of life in her neighboorhood should be sacrificed and accepted as just part of “city life”
    Rave: I have an amazing boyfriend who understands her situation and has no problem with her coming over to stay with us whenever her roommate it out of town so she doesn’t have to stay home alone.

    • SouthwestDC

      What part of SW? I used to be a big cheerleader for that area, but like your friend I was driven out by all the crime. With its proximity to the water, a location that is convenient in many respects, and all the development happening nearby, it’s only a matter of time until SW explodes. But I personally couldn’t wait around and continue being a crime victim until that happened.

      • Not to be rude, but I would not hold your breath waiting on the “SW to explode.” They have been saying that s**t for years and nothing has happened, save a grocery store (where you have to show your receipt upon exiting from all the theft), a CVS and theatre opening. There is simply not any reason to live down there aside from cheap(er) rents. Period. SW: been a dump, will remain a dump.

        Also, H Street is already “exploding” and I doubt the District will throw more grants or development money at neighbourhood revitalization projects in this economy. Not anytime soon anyway…

        Hope you’re friend finds a new place soon.

        • SouthwestDC

          There is already a ton of development going on in Near Southeast, which is right next to the eastern border of SW (check out JDLand.com and you’ll see what I mean).

          But really, cheap rent is the only reason to live in SW? That’s news to me. I did not choose the area because it was cheap, nor did my veternarian (who bought a house there and absolutely loves it), nor did my partner’s colleague at a very prestigious IT firm…

          I chose SW because of the location and because some of the blocks, like the one I lived on, are very charming. I could easily walk to work from there, and I was very close to Barracks Row/Eastern Market, the National Mall, and Penn Quarter/Chinatown (I often walked to those too). I loved being near the water, having the fish market and a grocery store right there, and being able to hop on the highway in less than 5 minutes. Most of my neighbors were awesome, like the lawyer at the end of my block that was always enouraging people to get out and make the neighborhood even better. Unfortunately a contingent of criminals there are ruining it for everyone.

          • To each their own, but I think you’re wearing rose-tinted lenses. There is a reason the development down there is nil, the rents are cheap(er) and people are not to move there in droves. Don’t take it personally, it’s just my opinion. None of my friends would move there. I have lived in DC for 10 years and I wouldn’t move there, nor do I hang out down there. And my aversion to the area is not so much safety concerns as it is the fact that no one goes down there without reason. There is nothing down there but a few apartment buildings, a grocery store, a CVS and a theatre. Oh and Cantina Marina. And ghetto. Yay. No thanks.

          • …”nor do I hang out down there.”

            Yeah, that’s part’s obvious. 🙂 Maybe you should expand your circle of friends! There’s more to DC than just NW. Despite its size, I could spend a whole day doing interesting things in SW. The lighted boat parade and bonfire a couple weeks ago was so much fun!

        • I don’t know where all this hate is coming from. I’ve been in the SW for 2 years now, and not interested in leaving. The rent is great, the neighborhood is up and coming (seriously, there was a delay, but I’m seeing work again, hooray!) and yeah, there is crime, but there is crime everywhere. I honestly don’t see any more crime coming out of SW than the other quadrants, but personally, I feel safer than I did in the NW. I am seriously hoping to buy a house here when I can afford to.

    • Scary! Tell her to get out as soon as her pocket book allows. Or at least, I assume that is what is limiting her choice. I think it’s said that I have to compromise my own happiness/safety because I don’t have the money to pay the rent.

      • You could sacrifice your location instead. I’m sure there are “safer” areas to live in than SW DC that cost the same amount of money, but they might not be so convenient to the mall, the waterfront, the ballpark, whatever.

        • Yeah, lots people live in SW because they’re DoT or Navy Yard employees and it’s really close to work. I don’t think the rent is actually that cheap there.

    • That sounds very scary. It is all a trade-off. Does she want safety? Does she want to feel like she is living in a “city” environment? Does she want an inexpensive place to live? I make VERY little money at my job – nearly all of it goes to pay my rent but my top priorities were safety and not having a roommate. I live in small studio in friendship heights. It is a distance from down town, but taking the metro is easy and convenient. It is more than I’d rather pay, but I’ve never felt unsafe. I’d rather pay a few hundred more each month and cut back on going out/shopping in order to feel safe.

      • It’s not really a financial issue. Her roommate found the place (around 4th and G) through Craigslist and it is a great place, but frankly not a whole lot cheaper than I pay for my place on 13th and U. She just left the house hunt to her roommate and didn’t initially have any preferences.

        What I find amazing is that there are so many families in her neighborhood, but she said that is part of the problem. During the daytime there are plenty of people out and about, but after about 7pm it is a ghost town because everyone has gone inside with their kids.

        She loves the city life and wants to stay. She is willing to accept that there will be incidents like this that are beyond her control, but I think a big factor is that there isn’t much of a people presence to mitigate the feeling of being alone down there.

        And thank you for everyone’s concern, she is fine but I think it is wearing on her mentally and my heart really goes out to her.

        • Best of luck to her!! I know for many, finances limit housing options – so it is good to hear that is not the case for her.

        • MsNesbitt

          I used to live at 4th & G SW, too. I never experienced this kind of violence on my block, though I do understand the general unease of walking around alone at night. Like the commenter above, I am a huge cheerleader for SW DC; I’m sorry to hear your friend has had so many of these experiences in the neighborhood.

          • It’s more than just walking at night. I was the victim near 4th and G of an armed robbery at 1:30pm nearly two years ago (coincidentally my move-out day after living there incident free for a year). No iphone, no ipod. Just a purse and lunch from Potbelly’s. I’m not sure much has changed in SW.

    • I live in SW too (at 4th & I) and am disturbed by the recent group of muggings. I have a feeling that, like the recent group of crimes against taxi drivers, it’s a couple of rotten people who are behind all of them and once the police get them, crime will be back down to normal. It’s worrying and I don’t like it. Even with doing the “right” things like not displaying valuables or talking on the phone while I walk around, it seems like there’s not much we can do to fight back…all I feel like I can do is get a good description and call the cops fast if I get mugged or witness something.

      With that said, I love SW. I like that it’s quiet, yet close to the metro and quite diverse. I like being near the waterfront and that my rent, if not cheap, gives me more than the same money would in other neighborhoods. I have nice neighbors and a community garden plot and I can leave my apartment at 6:45 and be in my seat for a 7:05 first pitch at Nats park. I’m hoping that I can buy there before the new development (which does really seem to be happening) raises prices too much. While I want less crime and feel awful for the victims, I feel at least as safe in SW as other neighborhoods I could afford, and the crime stats bear this feeling out.

  • SouthwestDC

    Rave: Got a 99 on the final I thought I screwed up on, earning me an A+ for the class. And I should be getting an A in my other class as well. After more than two decades of formal schooling I’ve finally mastered the art of efficient and effective learning.

    Rant: Need to come up with a good idea for my research project next semester.

  • Super rave: Just found out last night that I’m going to be an Aunt! Brother and his wife are expecting in August.
    Minor rant: Didn’t buy the Petworth onesie at the handmade market last Saturday, you know, just in case…

  • Rave: Tomorrow marks one year since I graduated college and the end of the “intern” period of my life. Thank goodness!
    Rant: It’s been a year and I don’t have a full-time job. I’m in graduate school full-time so I’ll discount that fact for now.

  • me

    Rant: Without going into details, I have to be taken off of a project at work due to bureaucratic hold-ups. Such a pain.

    Rave: Still employed, just not doing much of anything. (And I get to work from home for most of the time until they get everything straightened out!)

    Rant: Getting 2 cracked fillings redone today and I HATE getting teeth filled.

    Does anyone have any tips for not getting stressed out before going to the dentist? I know I could just sit here and think good thoughts or whatnot, but I seriously hate the dentist and as novocaine doesn’t work well on me, I still feel a bit of the procedure. Any helpful hints out there in PoPville?

    • You may be one of those people who need a lot more novocaine. Tell the dentist, he can shoot you up with plenty more. If he won’t, then you can ask for the gas or go someplace else.

      • me

        Thank you, but I should have given more details. I get as much novocaine as allowed for my height/weight, which is about 4-5 shots. They don’t have gas, and due to my stupid insurance, I’m pretty much stuck at this place. I’m bringing my iPod to listen to during (which should help a bit), but man, I am already getting nervous.

        • I have a hard time believing that it’s really the only dentist you can get to that takes your insurance. If you have that much anxiety about this particular one, you should make the effort to find another.

          • me

            It’s not anxiety about this particular dentist. All I said was that this one doesn’t have the gas option (which I used to have while growing up, but again, never really helped that much). The dentist is fine, I just hate going to any dentist and getting any cavities filled. I chose this dentist because with my DMO, I have to choose a primary care dentist from a list of providers, and this one had good reviews. I like the dentist, I just hate cavities and dental procedures.

    • Do you have an iPod? Listening to music might help distract/relax you!

    • I don’t have much dental anxiety because it’s really not at all bad… assuming your dentist isn’t terrible with needles. I’d try some deep breathing, in through your nose, out through your mouth. And even just letting your dentist know you have anxiety might help them help you calm down.

    • Xanax + iPod.

    • I recommend watching the movie ‘Castaway’ or at least the scene where he has to dig out an infected root canal with the blade of an ice skate and no painkillers or antibiotics. Makes me happy to have a modern dentist every time.

    • SouthwestDC

      I got three fillings a couple weeks ago– this was the first time in my life that I needed any and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t get the novocaine and didn’t feel a thing. My dentist is so gentle!

    • anon. gardener

      When I’m in the chair, I wiggle my toes and concentrate on that. Or pinch my arm really hard and concentrate on it. Novocaine makes my heart race, which makes my anxiety worse. sometimes they have an alternative to novocaine – maybe something else would work better for you?

  • Rave: biological clock is ticking and we’re doing something about it!
    Rave: so excited for the next phase of our life, knowing things don’t always go as planned.
    Rant: when things get this good, I can’t help the feeling the other shoe will drop because it’s too good to be true.

    • Mother of two says: Go out for drinks/theater/dinner/movies/concerts/ scuba diving/skiing now, every night, as often as you can. You have been warned.

  • Rant: The new PoP site is really buggy when viewed on an iPhone. Bring back the mobile site please!!

  • Tried to present some potentially helpful info to a forum poster who asked about tankless water heaters but I don’t really have an interest in registering a user name to do so. For what it is worth, the answer is below. Perhaps someone who is registered to post in the forum can direct the original poster’s attention here.

    “I don’t have a tankless water heater but considered getting one after a bathroom renovation and did a lot of research on them. One of the things that will affect the heater’s ability to heat cold water is the amount of BTUs that the unit operates on. The greater the temperature differential (the difference between the tempearature of the ground water and the hot water temperature you are looking for) and the water flow (the gpm of hot water you desire – the more people, fancy bath fixtures, etc., the more gpms you want) the more BTUs are needed to heat the water. When I had a plumber affiliated with a tankless heater company come to look at my place to see what I could install (this was a free visit) I was told that based upon the BTUs being supplied by my gas line I could only get a relatively low capacity (low gpm) unit because of the limited amount of BTUs left after accounting for other gas-powered appliances in my house – which in my case was only the hot water heater and the furnace. I believe you can have your gas line upgraded to supply more BTUs but you have to pay for it and it’s not cheap. A high BTU unit would have operated perfectly fine on my low capacity line until Winter whn my furnace kicked in regularly. At that point the BTUs available to heat the water would drop significantly, causing the unit to be ineffective. This BTU issue may be the cause of the complaints you’ve heard about poor tankless water heater performance in winter. I believe that if you check on Washington Gas’ website, there is some way to determine the total number of BTUs being supplied to your house. Come to think of it, the information may even be on your gas meter. You can look up the average temperature of ground water for this region to get a sense of how much it will have to be heated. Download and study the installation manuals and spec sheets for any unit you consider. All the info you need to make a smart choice will be there. Good luck.”

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I’ll add it thanks!

    • Would you mInd listing the plumber? We have been having lots of problems in our rental with ours and the first plumber did not seem that knowledgable.

      • I think it was Graydon Plumbing but I can’t recommend them based on any substantive work they did for me. I came across something on their site that said you could get a free consultation for the installation of a tankless water heater so I took them up on the offer. The guy was perfectly nice but all he did was total up the BTUs I already use and subtract that number from the BTUs available on my gas line. He then told me what model water heater would work in my situation and gave me a written estimate for installation.
        For general plumbing work I have had good experiences with Pete Lambden and Sons – 301 229-9922.

    • I found this table on the interwebs:

      BTU/Hr (x1000)

      Pipe Size\Feet 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
      1/2 174 119 96 82 73 66 61 56 53 50
      3/4 363 249 200 171 152 135 127 118 111 104
      1 684 470 377 323 286 259 239 222 206 197
      1-1/4 1404 955 775 663 588 532 490 456 428 404
      1-1/2 2103 1445 1161 993 880 795 734 688 641 605
      2 4050 2784 2235 1913 1696 1538 1413 1315 1234 1165
      2-1/2 6455 4437 3503 3049 2703 2449 2253 2096 1966 1857
      3 11412 7843 6299 5391 4778 4329 3983 3705 3476 3284

  • Rave: Santa Clause is coming today! Kids waiting outside my office! o<:-)
    Rant: Santa is here b/c I work in a hospital and kids are too sick to see him otherwise.

    Rave1: Boyfriend is coming for lunch today, and we have dinner plans as well! He hasn't had a weeknight off in a least a month.

    Rave2: Just saw my former Executive Director honored at the White House as a Champion of Change.

    Rant: Stuck on the red line this morning…of course, the red line…was 15 minutes late to work due to a malfunctioning train that we were stuck behind.

  • Rave: After a lot of hard work and dedication I have lost 7lbs (and counting). It feels awesome. And the best part is that my regimen has felt effortless, even in the midst of the neverending holiday party temptations. I feel so much more in control and energized.

    Rave2: Three day-weekend to visit the fam!!

    • Allison

      Congratulations! There’s nothing like regaining that “healthy inside” feeling. I need to start taking care of my body myself now that finals are over!

    • SouthwestDC

      What did you do? I’ve been trying to stick to a 1200 calorie/day diet, which hasn’t been too difficult, but I only lost a pound or two before hitting a plateau.

    • I found a diet book at the Petworth Library used book sale last week and have been trying to follow it. It emphasizes weight training along with calorie management. The idea is that muscle development requires calories and burns the fat calories first. It also distinguishes among carbs (pasta/white bread etc. bad; fruits/veggies good).

  • Rant: I absent-mindedly left my credit card along with my payment after leaving Paul Bakery over the weekend.

    Rave: The waiter kept it and put it in the safe for me upon my return – thanks waiter #003!

  • Rave: Daily Horizons Coffee blend from Starbucks. So good.

    Rant: My commute on the Circulator this morning. I take the McPherson to Woodley Park Line and all I can say is ‘Wow’ at the amount of time it took to get down Columbia Road. So much congestion. Anyone else experience this?

  • Rave: Found a contractor that not only comes into DC, is reliable and does good work. They even do weatherproofing, which our old house needs.

    Rant: Every other contractor out there who does not respond to calls/emails! Is it really this hard to give people money?

  • rant: I was nearly hit by a bicyclist riding on the sidewalk this morning – they whipped around the corner of Dupont Circle & P St (by the CVS). I have no problem with bikes riding where I can expect/see them, but this person made a very unsafe decision and it nearly cost me.

  • Rave – Movies @ the Lincoln Theatre http://dcmud.blogspot.com/

    Rant – A while back BofA notified me my credit card had been compromised and they issued a new card. This week, only two months after receiving the new card I find a fraudulent charge. Public Service Announcement – Please actively monitor your credit card activity especially during this season. I rarely post anymore but I thought this might actually help someone.

    I have to say the neighborhood debates are the most amusing and likely the least productive debates on the site. People like me who have been in DC about 15 years remember when anything east of the park was a no-go. Luckily I never listened but I was always careful. Calling someone’s neighborhood ‘ghetto’ (a word that is used very loosely now I notice) or a dump is a little harsh.

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