Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

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.

136 Comment

  • Rave: Bike assembly finished a day early! Eagerly picked it up last night and rode it over to the Argonaut despite the weather for the DC Brau tap takeover.
    Rave: Handy Bikes in Navy Yard. He works out of his apartment but does fantastic work at great rates. Definitely consider using him for your bike needs.
    Rave: It will be in the 50s/60s this weekend. Major bike riding is gonna get done.

  • I’ve been living here since 2009 and I think this might be the first year that that the Potomac has frozen. This was previously an annual occurrence, yes? Would people go out on the frozen river back in the 80s and 70s?

    • People used to go out on the frozen Canal and Reflecting Pool. I don’t recall anyone out and about on the Potomac in the 80s or 90s, but I just googled it, and there’s a photo in the Post from 1977 of skaters on the river.

    • I don’t remember the river freezing over on a regular basis, but I do remember going ice skating on the canal.

    • I saw the Potomac frozen almost every year before the late eighties. I remember in the early eighties, my father mentioned that while eating lunch at Hogates, he had seen the seagulls catching fish at holes in the ice and fighting over their catch while standing on the frozen Potomac. Enjoy the sight of it, you may never see it again.

  • Rave: our new CEO is an inspired choice, I’m pleasantly surprised my conservative company picked him. Though it was really the consultants and governance folks who aren’t employees. Our management never would have made such a sharp turn on its own.
    Rant: how long until he cuts the dead weight?
    Rave: my boss emailed me that I did a good job on an important thing, then he came over to my desk to add to that. A little recognition goes a long way, I’m very happy with the feedback.
    Rant/rave: all I can think about are paint colors and color schemes. Should I use grasscloth for texture? I am pining over dark colors, I might take the plunge in the bedroom and keep the rest light.

  • Rant: broken pipes
    Rave: at least it was outside, so our house didn’t flood…

    • My coworker’s BF’s condo in Annapolis burst its pipes yesterday. The entire place flooded and since he’s on the top floor, it cascaded down into the two apartments below him. Totally f#cked and massive amount of damage.
      Does home owner’s insurance cover burst pipes due to the cold?

      • homeowners should cover burst pipes and the damage done but the condo should be responsible for what’s in the walls – probably need to check with the condo’s master insurance policy and between the two should be covered…

        • Thanks. I passed along this info to her. They are just under a TON of stress and frantic. The heat is out in the condo due to water damage and clean up crew is coming in to begin cleaning. It sounds awful.

    • My condo building had a pipe burst yesterday. Rave – it was on the outside of the building.

    • Ugh this is what we’re worrying about too. Our kitchen pipes are still frozen as of this morning and I’m really worried it’s going to thaw and crack today. I don’t know how likely it is to crack once it’s frozen, but I’ve been hearing a lot of horror stories.

      • Im assuming my kitchen pipes are frozen in my basement rental because no water is coming out of the kitchen faucet since tuesday. bathroom and laundry room is not affected. Not sure what to do, just wait for it to thaw out? any measures I can take?

        • Can you see/reach the affected pipes? In our case, the frozen pipes are behind the cabinets in the wall. There is an access panel behind our stove, so our contractor attempted to thaw it out yesterday using a heat gun. Nothing happened so we assumed the frozen part was in an area that wasn’t reachable. Not much you can do but wait in that case.

          • Well I followed earlier advice and turned the valve inside of the apartment that feeds the outdoor spigot off. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with the water feed to the kitchen sink, but when I turned the valve back open to test, nothig happened. So I’m not sure exactly where the frozen areas are. I figured I’d just wait for warmer weather to try messing with it. the pipes where the shut valve is located were wrapped in a thick styrofoam so hopefully it prevents anything major from happening. fingers crossed.

      • Shut the upstream valves!! Now, before it thaws!

        • You mean the ones that are in the kitchen? There are two valves located behind my stove that control water to the sink, which is the only thing in the house not getting water. Everything else is fine.

        • Do the pipes show any sign of cracking before they thaw? We inspected our frozen pipes (PVC) yesterday for signs of breakage and did not see any. I figured it would be fine to let them thaw since they look to be in tact.

  • Rave/Rant: Starting to roll the ball on getting into private equity, VC, or a lbo firm…. but its difficult to get into lol

  • Rant: I guess this is marginally better than the unattended light trucks that get posted on the site of recent shootings. But I can’t help but think that the residents of this neighborhood would rather have a police car readily available. Not surprising that this is happening in Trinidad. You’d never see this solution offered to residents of other “more established” ‘hoods in response to an uptick in crime.


    • That’s bizarre — on multiple levels. And you’re right, this sort of solution would not be offered to residents of other neighborhoods. Thanks for posting this!

  • binntp

    Rave: I started a running regimen a few months ago and am now up to 5 miles!
    Question: That said, does anyone have preferred running routes in the northern NW area? I have been logging my miles in a sort of rectangle between 16th St heights, Petworth, and down to Florida Ave/U St. As I pick up distance, I’d like to be able to run 5-7 miles from home in Petworth and back.

    • you can pick up parts of rock creek trail by the zoo/admo and take it to georgetown (p street) and then back through city streets. might be more than 7 mi if you are starting in 16th st hghts but it’s a nice way to mix up the city running.

    • epric002

      congrats! i’m also new into the running bit. do you ever run in RCP? i tend to only run on weekends so we (me, husband, dogs) run on beach drive when it’s closed to cars on sat & sun. also, do you have any recommendations for running shoes?

      • binntp

        I’ve had a lot of luck with Asics Solyte. I have fairly high arches and have never had any pain/problems with their shoes.

      • Running shoes are highly personal. I recommend going to Fleet Feet in AdMo, I’ve had great luck there even though I’m a difficult size. The people there really know what they’re doing and they will let you run right outside to try them out. I know it’s pricey, but you’re paying for the service and hopefully to stay injury free. I usually order my replacement pairs online cheaper until the style gets discontinued, then go back to Fleet Feet for a new style that fits my feet/stride, rinse, repeat.

        • I buy all my running shoes at Fleet Feet. They have great services and will recommend shoes for your body mechanics and running style. I have always thought their prices were very reasonable but have never compared online.

        • Potomac Running (locations all over, I’ve mostly used their Cleveland Park store) will do the same — have you run on a treadmill in various shoes, look at your stride in each, and make recs. Running shoes are definitely not the shoe to buy b/c you found them on sale or like the color.

        • Another recommendation for Fleet Feet – they know what they’re doing. I’m planning to go there today to buy a new pair of shoes : )

        • epric002

          for all those who like fleet feet for their shoes- have any of you tried their sports bra fittings, and if so, what say you? was happy to see they cover that on their website, but am interested in hearing from someone who’s tried it.

    • I’d think about running through Mt. Pleasant and into Cleveland Park, and then back. Or go across the Calvert Bridge connecting Woodley Park and Adam’s Morgan, and make the whole thing a big loop. There are some good hills and interesting houses to look at.

      • Yup, I also do that loop – nice mix of hills and flats.
        Start at U/17th, up 16th, through Mt. P, take Klingle and Porter Road into Cleveland Park, south on Connecticut, cut across Calvert bridge into Adams Morgan, down 18th, and back to home at 17th/U Street. 5 miles, takes me about 40 minutes.

    • Go to the park! Depending on where you are in Petworth, the easiest entries are off of Arkansas between 14th and 16th, Blagden Ave, or Morrow Drive (off of Kennedy street). There are so many great trails to run- don’t just stick to the paved areas!

    • binntp

      Thanks for all the recommendations! I have not really run in Rock Creek yet but I think it’s worth a try, since I’m pretty close to Piney Branch Pkwy. I’m a little anxious about too many hills, though I have managed to conquer the one near Cardozo!

      • gotryit

        Hill running can be a lot of fun! Hard the first few times, but addictive. I kind of miss Pittsburgh hills.

    • From Columbia Heights, I run up 14th St. to Colorado, north on Colorado to 13th, north on 13th around Ft. Stevens Park, a few blocks down Georgia to Missouri, down Missouri to Kansas, Kansas to 13th, and south on 13th. My run is 6 miles. Most of it is residential, pleasant to look at, and with minimal stop lights.
      I sometimes also run into Rock Creek Park and up Beach Drive on the weekends when it is closed to traffic. That’s a really nice run, but then you have to gird yourself to run uphill at the end to get out of the park.

    • Check out MapMyFitness or other apps/websites where you can see routes that people have made public – you can see the distance and elevation change.
      If there’s an area you’d like to run that’s more than 3ish miles away from your start, consider taking the bus there and then run home rather than running a loop. Easier to time in that direction, you definitely don’t want to run out then have to stand around waiting for a bus to get back home!!

    • My favorite route starts at my apartment at 16th and spring, down to the whitehouse, then to the monument, out to the lincoln memorial, back up thru farragut, catch 16th street back up at K, and back to the apt. nice variation of uphill/downhill, very scenic and generally fun. NOTE – DO NOT run full speed towards the whitehouse. You WILL get moved-on by secret service…your Personal Best isn’t worth getting tackled over.

    • I love all these suggestions for running routes. I’d love to know what music people listen to for their runs!
      I just found a remix of the Jackson 5’s ABC by The Reflex. It’s 7 minutes long and it makes me feel like I’ve only been running for 7 seconds. I put it on repeat and the miles slip away. I also really like De La Soul’s Nike+ run mix.

      • Look up a DJ named Greg Wilson. He has a Soundcloud page that you can stream from. Great mixes of 70s/80s funk & house – he’s the master of the remix. Perfect for running (or just dancing down the street).

      • Although I listen to music frequently at home, I don’t when I run. I prefer the sounds of the city. Crazy, huh? I also think it’s safer to be able to hear cars.

        • binntp

          I also run sans music. Tried a playlist, but found myself spending more effort shuffling songs than paying attention to my run. I like to hear the world around me more.

        • no music for me either. much, much safer – especially being a woman – I like that I can hear what’s going on around me.

    • I live a couple blocks east of Georgia up near Moroni/RAS/other closed restaurants, and love going into Crestwood. It’s pretty hilly, and relatively quiet. No real sidewalks (at least where I am) though, so watch for cars.

  • Rave: 2 interviews since the new year. Both went very well, I think in part because I didn’t really prepare for them. No nerves, no rambling, just owning it. I think it also helps that I’m at a point in my career where I’m not trying to impress anyone because I have experience, skill, and merit. Long gone are the days of trying to BS my way through interviews hoping that someone would give me a chance. This is a really nice feeling. Now here’s hoping for an offer I can’t refuse!!!!!

  • Rant: Need a haircut, and am so sick of having to pay $75+ for it (I’m a female). The only places I can find are these crazy high-end salons…I really would love a mid-range salon that is walking distance (Bloomingdale/Shaw).
    Rave: No longer sick. Hooray!

    • Have you tried Luna’s Hair Design? It’s definitely no frills, but it works for me! I usually get a trim (nothing fancy) and Alicia always does a good job. I think I pay $35.

      • I will second the recommendation for Luna’s. I go to Iness and pay $40 for a cut and blow dry. They’re fantastic for the price!

    • I go to Nikki at bang salon in Chinatown, and love her. I’ve had so many bad haircuts in this town and she’s the only one that gets it right, she’s really good! And I think her haircuts for women are around $50.

    • My roommate uses Rusty at VSL and I think it’s $45. She swears by him. I use Zhen from Dupont Nails & Spa (followed her from several salons) and she charges $55. Worth a shot to see if you like them! Dupont Nails & Spa recently expanded to an upper floor on Connecticut Ave but you can reach it through the 20th St address.

    • These are awesome. Thank you everyone!

    • justinbc

      My girlfriend went to Bravado recently and liked it OK. Wasn’t as good as some of her favorite spots in DC but we were in a rush before going out of town and they offered a 20% coupon off services on your first visit (check the website).

    • I go to Meg at Eastern Confederate. It’s not walking distance for you, but she gives the best haircuts I’ve ever had for $55, I believe.

      • I’ll second that. Great haircut, reasonable price. I’ve also heard a lot of feedback about Bang, and pretty much everyone’s experience varied WILDLY depending on the individual hairstylist–if the commenter above recommended a specific stylist, that’s probably safe, but I’ve had friends and colleagues who went to Bang and got some of the worst haircuts of their lives.

      • Seconding Eastern Confederate. Just went for the first time last week – Ryan cut my hair and he did a great job!

    • I have been going to Huey at PR at Pranters in Metro Center for a few years. I have difficult hair that he has managed to tame. A cut and style is $35 or $39.. something very resonable like that.

    • I second the recommendation for VLS – I usually go to Vilma, but have had good experiences with others and it’s relatively inexpensive. I think I pay $30-35.

    • Have you looked at Bang Salon? I know a lot of people who go there and with their lower level stylists a haircut is around $40.

    • I’ve gotten couple trims at Bravo–a new hair place on Park Road between 14th and 16th. No more than $40 each time and they did a nice job with my long layers…would recommend too. Plus five minutes from my apartment so that’s nice.

  • rant: burst pipe in my apartment
    rant: plumber has already rescheduled twice!
    rave: pipe only flooded the tiled area so no real damage

  • Rave: I have a solid, secure, decent-paying govie job.
    Rant: I am too chickenshit to quit for above reasons, despite languishing here for 3 years.
    Wonder: I jumped to sign a lease for a 1br in Petworth by the metro for 1375, I wonder if it’s a good deal.

    • Depends on the location and condition of the apartment.
      I think it’s a pretty decent deal if you’re within a 5 minute walk to the Metro.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Emergency vet folks at Union Veterinary Clinic. When our cat suddenly collapsed of a heart attack (Meow Meow from a last week’s Animal Fix) they were extremely prompt and responsive on the phone in terms of what to do. They were very consoling at the vet and we never felt rushed to leave after the bad news. They held her ashes for 2 weeks now while we were gone on a trip, and send a nice, caring card in the mail for when we returned.
    Rant: The people at Banfield (PetSmart’s in-house care) were the exact opposite in demeanor. My girlfriend called to cancel her wellness plan with them and they berated her with a dozen questions rather than being sympathetic, which of course just made her tear up more. I had always recommended them to people for ease of service, but not again.

    • So sorry to hear about Meow Meow

    • Kalorama_Kat

      Very good to know about Union Vet and Banfield, and so sorry about your loss. Going to squeeze Flanders and Loon extra tight tonight.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Sorry for your loss.

    • Very sorry to hear about your kitty 🙁
      I second the rave about Union Vet. I have been going there for close to 5 years with my two dogs and have always felt they are truly caring (not to mention one of my dogs isn’t the easiest patient and they have been great with her).

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Union vet is a spin off of the Dupont Vet clinic. I liked Dr. Herwald and Dr. Julie who has since passed away.

  • Rave: Started using Hinge (a dating ap of sorts but it links you through facebook with single friends of friends that are also using it).
    Rant: First match was someone I have already gone out with!
    Rave: Glad that I know him well enough and kept in touch so that we can have a laugh about it and maybe grab a beer to catch up.
    Rant: Will I ever get off this stupid dating merry-go-round?

    • You will dont give up! Maybe take a few weeks off and say ‘NO’ to people if they ask you.

      I feel you, i have dated both people i meet in real life through friends and those through online (i very rarely approach women at bars, thats not why i go out). I have found that both ways are great. However, people you meet online are probably a little ‘flakier’ than if you have a mutual friend. That being said, i kind of like dating someone completely out of my social circle. I feel like i can be more open and honest with them. I recently met a girl who messaged me on OKCupid and for the first time it seems like there is long term potential (we have gone out about 6 times now), compared to the other 4 people i met there which was just one date (which is completely fine!!). Although the girl i am seeing now has said she has had several horrible online dates, compared to me which i always thought they were ‘fine’ maybe a little boring but never horrible by any means, so that might be different if you are a female.

      • justinbc

        +1 to dating outside your circle, and online dating is the perfect segue for that. I thought OKC was a fantastic venue for meeting people to date and a few who became friends.

  • Rant: The National Book Festival will no longer be on the Mall.
    Rave: DC is trying to ban styrofoam food containers.

    • Your rant is my rave. I like the concept of big open events on the Mall, but anything on the Mall in the summer (and September here is more often than not still summer) is brutal. I hope the Smithsonian Folklife Festival follows suit, to be honest.

      • Aww, no, I love the Folklife Festival on the Mall! Last year I volunteered a few days, and the heat was tolerable.

    • I got majorly rained on last year waiting in line for a book signing. One year indoors is OK with me.

  • Question: Anyone interested in renting an English basement unit half a block from the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro, available early March? (My tenant is looking to move in with someone.) The unit has a large bedroom/living area (14’10” x 11’9″), a full bath, and a brand-new kitchen. Rent of $1250/month includes utilities (electric, gas, water). No smokers.

  • Kalorama_Kat

    Rave: New to DC from Boston and liking it way more! Moved to Kalorama with Flanders and Loon, my little Belgian kitties (they’re still skeptical). Everyone says go to Popville so here I am. Already a lot of cat things, this is great. And so much information to take in about the city. Bookmarked.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Welcome to DC – glad you like the site!

    • Keep your bourgeois complaints to a minimum and you’ll do fine here, kiddo.
      I like Boston a lot, but the weather is much nicer here. The rent is probably slightly cheaper here, too (depending on where you live, obvi). Definitely less racist here than Boston, so that’s a plus if you’re a POC (but please avoid Virginia for your own safety). We also have cheaper flights, due to having 3 airports within 45 minutes of the city.

      • The racism in Boston is really shocking for such a liberal, educated city. I recently met a guy who was visiting from there and couldn’t believe the things that were coming out of his month.

        • justinbc

          I think entirely too many people confuse Boston long term residents with the large number of students in higher education there. The disparity is pretty great.

        • One of the most head-shaking comments I ever heard about DC came from a Boston resident: “My sister’s thinking about going to Georgetown for undergrad… but I don’t want her to because of all the black people.”

      • after many years of reading this blog, many, not all, of the commenters remind me of the female character in the song Common People by Pulp…

    • Welcome! 🙂 If you ever have any questions about DC, no matter how obscure, you’ll be sure to get answers here.

      • Kalorama_Kat

        Thanks all! I grew up in Belgium and moved to Boston for school. It was a major culture shock, and not because it was a different country. DC just fits my sensibilities so much more, and feels so international and diverse compared to Boston. Don’t get me wrong, I knew some great people in Boston, but by and large it felt very provincial and I found it difficult to not be conspicuously not from there, if that makes sense. I’m happy to totally blend into DC and keep my bourgeois complaints to my cats, who are both complete snobs.

    • Welcome, Kalorama_Kat!
      If you haven’t yet found a vet for your kitties, you might be interested in this thread: http://www.popville.com/2012/12/dear-popville-can-anyone-recommend-a-veterinarians/

  • Rave: I’ve been fighting a cold for the past few days — and I’m winning! Ginger tea, tangerine juice, Robitussin, and coldcalm! So what if the coldcalm has belladonna in it …. :-/
    Rave/Rant: New toys and new technology! Struggles actually USING said new toys and new technology. 🙁
    Rave: The weekend is going to feel positively toasty!

    • One more Rave: I just saw this list of the CityPaper Jazzies a few days ago. There are truly some gifted musicians in this city! Yep, I feel blessed!


      • That is a good list, I even recognize some names. My only issue is that as a swing dancer, I feel like our musicians and music get totally marginalized in these lists. A long time DC area band leader launched a new big band in 2013 and it’s incredible, but it’s not listed. Every time I try to get the event I work with listed on DCist’s jazz picks or something it’s totally ignored, even though it’s about the music, community building, and learning. Plus we dance on U St, the home of Duke Ellington!
        Okay, we did hire Bria Skonberg last year and the Post did a nice piece on her ahead of it, but they left out all of the info about the event, including that she was playing last, so we had to deal with all the angry customers. But there were a lot of customers, so you win some, you lose some.

  • Rant/rave: Had an amazing time in the Bay area visiting my best friend and her husband, but reentry to work and the cold has been rough.
    Rave: Joining the Anthony Bowen Y! I keep telling myself that access to a heated pool and sauna will get me through the rest of winter.
    Rave: Lots of exciting changes for loved ones this year. I’m feeling very optimistic about 2014.

    • How much did you pay? I live down the street and should really join. A sauna would be VERY convincing…

    • I called about rates and they said it started at $70 a month. That seems crazy to me for the YMCA. I thought it was supposed to be an affordable community resource!

      • $70 per month is the top of the sliding scale. Not sure what the pricing looks like on the other end. But honestly, compared to other gyms in the area and the Y’s amenities, I think that’s really reasonable. I joined for the classes (I usually do yoga, barre, and spin in studio settings and realized I was spending way too much a month on classes). I figured the Y was a cheaper community option.

        • How do you like the yoga at the Y? Was there an initiation fee? And what’s their “sliding scale”? Is it based on income?
          If I went, I’d most do yoga, cardio equipment, and some weight machines. And that GLORIOUS sauna!

    • That facility rocks! I make sure to cushion my work-out time by an extra 15 so I can go hang inthe sauna. It makes cold days a little more comfy. Also- $70 is VERY reasonable for the area. Last I checked both VIDA & MINT were over $100 a month.

      • I wish we had something like that here! I would gladly drop the Jazzercise and yoga classes I’m taking and spend a little more for a facility with saunas!

  • Rave: Watching New Jersey politics this week from afar!

    • It was only a matter of time and there’s going to be a LOT more revelations.
      Romney passed over Governor Sandwiches for VP once they did his background check. Christie is knee deep in NJ political muck and Team Romney quickly saw him as a liability – his “purchased” appointment as U.S. Federal attorney, his wife’s “part time” $400K/year job at a series of financial firms, real estate giveaways to campaign donors, anonymous donors funneling money to him, ties to organized crime…..the list goes on.

      • wow, lots of serious allegations you’ve made – buying a U.S. Attorney appointment, illegal campaign contributions, organized crime, oh my.
        I’m a Democrat and no Chris Christie fan, but I think if you’re going to level those types of accusations, it would be good to provide some reputable sources for what you’re saying.

        • The guy is corrupt as can be. Look into his dealings with John Ashcroft. His brother’s defrauding of investors. Christie’s work as a top lobbyist at SIFMA.
          The guy has a paper trail ten miles long and that’s just what’s known at this point.
          There’s two ways to get ahead in NJ politics: (1.) be independently wealthy (Corzine) or (2.) be corrupt as f#ck (everyone else).

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Work is driving me slightly insane, so I’m find it difficult to care if I do a good job or not.
    Rave: Everyone else here is feeling slightly insane so we are helping each other out.

  • houseintherear

    Rave: Small victory… I put a collar on my cat last night, and he didn’t seem to notice.

  • wolfpackwx

    Not to burst your bubble, but it will be raining all day Saturday. Though, Sunday does look nice! (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Washington&state=DC&site=LWX&lat=38.895&lon=-77.0373#.Us7pErTW5Zw)

  • Loehmann’s, noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! don’t go!!!! I don’t typically have strong attachments to retail stores, but after losing Filene’s Basement, where am I supposed to get nice clothes for reasonable prices? (and no, TJmaxx and Nordstrom Rack are not acceptable substitutes). Plus the staff at Loehmann’s were always much nicer than most other department/discount stores.

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