Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Vileinist

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 and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

78 Comment

  • Rant: Columbia Heights metro escalator — so gross. It isn’t working and there are egg remenants (Halloween, I suppose), a ton of candy wrappers, and even more cigarrette butts. Come on people, find a trashcan!

    Rave: Weekend! Fall weather!

  • Rave: My beautiful new random width white oak floor stained ebony.

    Rant: My dog that left a perfect animal print trail around the edge of the room after breaking in before the top coat dried.

    Rave: I have a roof over my head and electricity so I need to stop whining!

  • Rave: Had an awesome birthday dinner at Blacksalt last night. They even sat us in their reserve room that is through a couple sliding doors back behind the wine cellar.

    Highly recommended. I had the pompano for an app, halibut for the entree and finished with the peanut butter crunch. It was all so damn good, can’t go wrong. Oh and can I say that both fish had wonderful crust but the halibut looked like something from a magazine cover. I swear it looked like a over-sized lightly toasted (like the color of the orange/brown PoP uses) marshmallow. Perfect!

    Oh and I must say that our waiter Celestin was so on point, extraordinary service all around.

    • Glad you liked your meal and experience. I went to blacksalt once– it was the most expensive meal and the worst meal I’ve ever had. I don’t blame the restaurant. I ordered the 4 course tasting menu with wine pairing. The tasting menu is up to the chef— each meal they brought was “rarer” than the previous. The chef plated things like raw sea anemone eggs next to it’s cooked mother. I couldn’t even choke the food down…all for $200 pp. I walked out of the place starving. If I ever go back, I’m ordering off the menu.

      • Yeah, I thought about getting the tasting menu but once he told me the way they do it, I was like no thanks. And given your unfortunate experience, I see that I made the right choice. Go back and order what I recommended and I promise you will love it.

    • I haven’t been back in six years, when they tossed out half of my perfect swordfish (even after I had asked for a box). It was like trashing a work of art. It was really offensive, so, never again.

    • Going there for my anniversary dinner. Can’t wait!

  • Rant: How do we have days of warnings and preparation for a massive hurricane and yet we still have 95 deaths in US and Canada. My god. My heart goes out to those families who have lost everything and lost their loved ones.

    …rave?: My family in Jersey and NYC is ok. Damage galore but they are ok.

    • I know. I was reading about the poor mother whose children in Staten Island were swept away and, although I don’t know the details, my first thought was why they were out in the storm in the first place. Maybe there was a valid reason but I think often times people just don’t heed the warnings. I was guilty of this myself as I was out and about until about 4 pm the day the storm hit. I did not have my kids with me, mind you.

    • Sometimes people get the order to evacuate and choose to stay in their homes.

      • I know that and understand that but I know all of the deaths weren’t because people consciously decided to stay.
        Others were from live wires outside of evacuation areas, trees falling through homes, people unable to evacuate because of medical conditions, heart attacks.
        It’s just so sad.

        • Yes I am sure this is true. Some of the deaths unfortunately were very preventable though.

        • Or people died because they, literally, had no where else to go and no way to get there. This is especially true of the NY’ers who rely on public transport to get everywhere. Also, it seems that many deaths were also caused by people who were in the process of fleeing – they just decided to leave too late. So sad.

    • Honestly, is there nothing more selfish than staying your home when ordered to evacuate because of impending disaster? Rescue crews are not permitted to just ignore emergency calls, so choosing to stay in harm’s way doesn’t just put you and your family in danger, it also puts in danger the rescuers, as well as *even more people* who rescuers won’t be able to attend to because they’re rescuing your inevitably endangered butts.

      I feel for people feeling Sandy’s effects, but I just *cannot understand* the decision not to evacuate when ordered to do so.

      • This is not correct. In most areas, if a mandatory evacuation is ordered, staying is at your own risk. Rescuers will not be required to assist until after the immediate danger has passed.

        • But the issue is – the immediate danger (hurricane) passed and people still died from gas leaks, falling trees, etc. afterwards. Rescuers are still putting their lives at risk down the shore getting onto barrier islands with gas leaks and live wires to look for people who did not (or could not) evacuate.

      • There is a map of the deaths on Staten Island and many of the folks who died were outside of the evacuation zone. It’s a storm so it’s hard to predict. Please don’t blame the victims or make assumptions without having all of the facts.

        I agree that it’s selfish to not leave if you can but it is not often as easy for many people due to finances, disabilities, age, lack of transportation, etc.

  • Revel: A guy on the red line train was carefully studying other passengers and he drew pictures of their faces. They were completely unaware they were being depicted in drawings on their way to work. Not bad depictions either.

    • I saw a guy do this once too except he gave the sketch to his subject (a man) right before he exited the train. The guy seemed really surprised and didn’t really have time to react before the doors closed.

  • Rant: Did anyone else get trapped on the red line last night!? What a mess!

    Rave: We should be thankful Sandy didn’t impact us the way it did NJ & NYC. So really, there isn’t anything we can rant about at the moment.

    • I got caught in a little of it. We stopped at Friendship Heights, where the driver announced that we would be holding for a little while because of single tracking. About 2 minutes after that, they offloaded the train and told us to go wait on the other side of the platform for a new train. After about 10 minutes of that (with no new train in sight), they loaded us back onto the train we’d just left and we headed on our way.

      I felt lucky because I only got home about 20 minutes later than usual, but it was weird.

  • Rant: Sidewalk Bikers and their bells

    Ding Ding! Every time I hear a bike bell ring behind me it puts me in the worst mood. It’s not my responsibility as a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk to jump out of a bikers way, it’s a bikers responsibility to slow down and pass with caution. The bell makes me feel like cattle. If a bikers that worried about ramming into a pedestrian, then they’re probably biking too fast for the sidewalk and should be in the street. I liken it to a car, honking at a biker to pass, and we all know how much bikers love it when you do that.

    Rave: Kittens.

    • I certainly agree that bikers should slow down and pass pedestrians safely. But, many pedestrians–perfectly sober pedestrians–weave when they walk. It’s quite remarkable. Most bikes are very quiet, so that a weaving pedestrian will not be aware of the bike. Any responsible cyclist, even one who has slowed down to pass safely, should alert the pedestrian of the bike’s presence. So, my question to you is, what would you prefer? A bell, “on your left,” or no warning at all?

      Let’s just get out of the way that it is legal in most parts of DC to ride on sidewalk. Let’s also get out of the way that responsible cyclists should generally ride in the street but that there are times when this is really not safe or feasible.

      • Walk your bike on the sidewalk. Just a thought. It seems that bell confuses people more than it alerts people IMO.

      • I rarely ride my bike on the sidewalk because I feel so guilty when I scare the living daylights out of pedestrians when I pass them and I hate when bikers do that to me. If there is an area that I don’t feel comfortable riding on the road- I walk my bike on the sidewalk. Sometimes I use crosswalks to cross the road becuase I don’t trust turning left on some roads that have fast traffic (Penn Ave) and even then, I ride super slow and let people walk past me instead of cutting them off. And I basically do all of this because I bike in the same area often and don’t want to piss off my neighbors because they will NEVER FORGET.

        • Thanks for being a conscientious and law abiding cyclist (even when you’re going beyond the letter of the law). Wish I could give you a gold star!

        • Same here. Also, I think the sidewalks are usually more dangerous because they’re so uneven (especially the brick ones we have in Capitol Hill).

        • While there are many sidewalks in DC that are too narrow for bikes and pedestrians, there are also many that are not. Here is an example. Try riding up Mass. Ave. west of Rock Creek Park in rush hour. Cars are driving like it’s the freeway, and it’s uphill, so a bike is even slower than usual. I’m not going to walk my bike for several miles simply because it would be suicidal to ride in the road. So, if I come upon a pedestrian, should I ding-ding, speak, or give no warning? I usually say “on your left” in that situation.

          • You should slow down to a speed that allows you to react and avoid the pedestrian even if he or she makes a sudden move as you’re passing. And if there’s not enough room to pass safely, then don’t pass.

          • That is a good point- I doubt I’d say anything in that situation because I’d be going so slow it wouldn’t startle people so much, so unless someone is clealy in your way… I’d just mosey on past. I don’t bike in that area- mainly Capitol Hill/Eastern Market and the narrow sidewalks are full of oblivious tourists so that’s why I just avoid the hassle of trying to guess the actions of pedestrians. I’ve learned my lesson of thinking someone is walking stright so I try to squeeze by them and then they stop and turn and I have to jump off my bike in a very un-ladylike fashion.

          • To answer your question, I personally prefer when bikers say “on your left.” Just make sure you do it from a few feet back and not from directly behind me. That’s scary haha.

          • dcd–I already said that I slow down to a safe speed, and the premise here is that there is enough room to pass safely. I don’t think it’s reasonable not to warn at all. Believe it or not, many pedestrians will get pissed if you don’t warn them of your presence. Some people don’t like bells. Others don’t like a bike coming too close when they randomly lurch toward the bike’s path as it passes them. I’m going to stick to “on your left.”

    • @ Walker. If something as simple as the sound of a bell from a bike puts you in the worse mood you really have more serious problems. Take a deep breath and try to appreciate the positive things in your life rather than getting put in the worse mood because of a bike bell. Geez!!!! Life is too darn short to let the little things get to us.

      • Honestly, the bell more often than not startles the living daylights out of pedestrians. And then there is often confusion about which way to move, as some bikers go around on your left or right, depending on how narrow the sidewalk is and if there are any obstacles on either side. It’s just aggravating and adds an extra layer of anxiety to random people’s already busy lives.

        While bikes are not illegal on the sidewalk except in the downtown areas, they really are not suited for most of DC’s sidewalks since they are rather narrow and we have a lot of foot traffic here. This is also why I don’t buy most bikers’ arguments that cars should treat them as equals on the road; if you are a vehicle, then why are you on the sidewalk?

        I think the city needs clearer and consistently enforced regulations for bikes. They are neither vehicles nor are they pedestrians and the city needs to take the proper steps (and spend the money) to make sure that cyclists can travel safely in the city without putting themselves (or others) in harms way. Something similar to Amsterdam is needed for DC – sidewalks with no bikes allowed, physically segregated two-way bikes lanes, and motorist roads with no bikes allowed.

        • Personally, I get much more startled by runners coming up from behind me (regardless of whether they shout “ON YOUR LEFT” or say nothing).

          • I’m an avid runner and I sympathize with you. I often feel like I’m going to startle people no matter what I do, so I just try to take the widest berth possible when I go around; sometimes I sing when I run so that helps too, I guess.

            Having said that, some pedestrians are very unaware of their surroundings, and I don’t have much sympathy for them.

          • Carry a box of tic-tacs when you run. Then they’ll hear you coming!

    • mtpgal

      On Halloween, while walking home from work, I had a motorcycle cop squeeze by me at high speed on the sidewalk with no warning. I was passing a lamp post no less so it was a very small space. I’m also 8 1/2 months pregnant and not so agile on my feet/able to take a hit from a motorcycle just at the moment. All this because the police insist on going down Park Rd. between 14th and 16th when they know it’s narrow and always backed up due to the lights. It reeeally pissed me off.

    • I also get put in a bad mood when pedestrians have walked right into me because they had their face buried on their smartphone and not payinag attention to where they were going. Cell phone use on sidewalks shold be banned. If someone is so important that they have to read their email they should be required to go to a designated “email reading zone” and do so. This would help make our sidewalks safer.

    • I actually appreciate it when cyclists on the sidewalk ring their bells or call out “On your left.” It startles me sometimes, but I’m much more startled when a bike whizzes past me wiithout warning. I nearly collided with a cyclist who did not announce himself and who I wasn’t aware was about to pass on my left, when I suddenly made a left turn on the sidewalk to enter a store.

  • Rant: I’m at my ends with my roommate. I’m tired of our house smelling like their pets, they took a shower last night and then again this morning for 40 minuets, used all of the hot water so I took a cold one, and they leave all of the lights on all the time. Oh and they talk to those damn animals like they are people. I’m fed up with this crap.

    Rave: I have a job and I’m alive so things aren’t that bad.

  • Rave: Brother is in town for the weekend from Germany for a last-minute getaway.

    Rant: All the “SMH”ing and *shake my head*ing on twitter and facebook. Shut the eff up about shaking your head or I will punch you.

  • Revel (or rant?): I am too honest. Sears shipped me a Dyson vacuum instead of the microwave I ordered. Although I thought about keeping it, I am returning it. I just want my microwave!!!

  • Rave: Working at home. Work is so much more relaxing when I don’t have to commute.

    Rant: Nothing right now.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: @sweden keeps posting pictures of adorable kittens and occasionally a cow.

  • talula

    Rave: Seeing my NYC friends on Facebook organizing volunteer efforts and donating to help those in need after the hurricane. Wish I was home right now and able to join them. At least I can donate money.

    Rant: I’m moving this weekend and I’m super stressed out.

  • Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser is having a Town Hall meeting on crime Saturday November 3, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. at the Fourth District Community Room to discuss gun robberies in her Ward. I wonder will it be a waste of my time by attending this meeting? I’ve gone to crime meetings before with MPD officials and the Police Chief to be told the same old story.

  • Rave: Based on a recommendation on this site, i checked out Murry and Paul’s for breakfast this morning in brookland. fantastic place. old old old school lunch counter. totally my kind of greasy spoon. i will go often.

  • Revel: Family and friends in the NYC area have power and are doing well.

    Rant: I just moved up to the area permanently and have been trying to garner up the courage to ask an old friend who lives in the area for coffee. We just drifted apart and I don’t want to seem needy or obnoxious/stuck in the past.

    • MsNesbitt

      I think you could easily send a message about wanting to catch up, and just focus on learning about what’s new in his/her life now, versus what happened in the past. I don’t think I would take an invitation for coffee as being obnoxious, though of course, I don’t’ know the exact circumstances of your friendship.

      • Agreed, this is not needy at all. It’s not like you’re asking to move in with them! Talk about what you’ve been up to since you’ve drifted apart. No need to focus on what happened before your falling out, unless some sort of resolution would be required to be able to move on. Good luck!

  • RANT: Bloomberg, please cancel the damn marathon. The whole situation is totally ridiculous. This is nothing like 9/11 since so many more people have been displaced and the destruction is much more widespread. There’s no quick bounce back to “normal” life from this. I have lots of friends in hotels right now who are worried about being kicked out for marathoners & their supporters. They don’t need this stress right now. I know you and Ms. Wittenberg are tight and that you’re trying to help out your friend, but you are flushing your legacy down the toilet.

    • I think “flushing his legacy down the toilet” is a bit much, but I agree that giving the NYC marathon the green light is one of the worst ideas possible.

    • Nope – let ’em run. I liken it to the friends in Brooklyn without power who still sucked it up to get in costume and take their kids trick or treating on Halloween. People want normalcy, and there’s a reward in being part of a show-must-go-on mentality. Stiff upper lip and all that. As I remember, the Marathon leaves Staten Island by 9:00 am anyway.

    • Although I’m sure people think the decision to hold the marathon this Sunday is unthinkable, I can understand the thought process. Following an event/crisis such as Sandy, his decision is to try to make normal and make stable the city as quickly as possible. One of the best things you can do when so much has been upturned is to try to make things as normal and stable as possible. It really does help. I know it sounds counter-intuitive. Anyway, this will only serve well if the massive efforts to help people, clean up and restore their day-to-day details to areas deluged and torn apart across the city at the same time.

    • NYC has a lot of hotel and therefore hotel rooms. Not all marathoners stay in hotels. I know there are a lot of displaced people who are in hotels, too. Sandy brought a lot of challenges to the city as did 9/11, though not all the same ones. The death toll was higher and people jumping from the top floors of the World Trade Centers is, well, unforgettable. So let’s ditch the comparison between these world-changing events and each do what we are able to do to help with the relief and recovery efforts.

    • Spoke with a Manhattan friend today and she thinks Bloomberg is letting the Marathon go forward, in part, as a way to force ConEd to move as fast as possible with the power restoration. Might be a stretch as a theory, but it’s not unbelievable.

      • I have a hard time believing that Con Ed is dragging its feet on getting the power back on. It’s not like they can just flip a switch. Electricity is very dangerous.
        In any event, the point is moot because Bloomberg just announced that the marathon is being cancelled.

    • It’s not necessarily letting the marathon go on, it’s taking city resources away from rescue and relief efforts and devoting them to the marathon that’s the no-no, in my humble opinion. If they want to mark the course and let people run, with full disclosure that they will have minmal city support, let ’em go. But all the generators, police, etc. for the marathon can be diverted to more pressing needs.

  • Rant: Just read about the nor’easter on the way next week. Damn

  • He’s a dude, not a bro, so they probably wouldn’t click. His roommate, however, might fit in with them. Send him/her the link to the ad mtpdude!

  • Rave!!!! My crappy coworker is leaving! I’m so happy that I don’t even care about the extra work I’ll have to do or the late nights I’ll have. Just happy she’s leaving.

  • Neither rant nor rave, just a question:
    Are comments with links to other webpages embargoed until PoP (or some bot) can check them? A lot of comments include URLs, but when I have tried to post one it never seems to show up or gets posted much later.

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