Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

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.

145 Comment

  • Rant: I’ve been laughing at people who were saying that the city has oversalted, but when the wind blows and you can taste salt, and cars are so covered in salt that you can’t read their license plate numbers…well, maybe the they overdid it. I’ve never seen this before. And this is coming from someone who grew up in an area of the country that got a lot more snow and ice than this.

    Rave: Off to a warmer place tomorrow.

    • I’ve seen a few places around “NoMa” where the salt is an inch deep. That is not an exaggeration.

    • I suspect that Vincent Grey wants to take no chances. Nothing can tank a reelection bid in this city like a botched response to snow.

    • Kalorama_Kat

      The sidewalks resemble the Utah salt flats. People blasted me for my anti-salt stance last week; I know you need to have some de-icing, but my overriding point was that the volume of salt is overkill and that the difference between some salt and ALL THE SALT is fairly negligible, especially when the snow and ice is gone in a day or two but the salt remains for weeks.

      • Revisionist much?? You were ranting about ANY salt. You were claiming that salting at all had a negligible effect on melting ice. Come on.

        • Geez…settle down.

        • Kalorama_Kat

          Ranting is a needless insult. I spoke to the harmful effects of salt in 1-2 comments and then people demanded more answers and I tried to accommodate that, and then people questioned my sanity and mental competence so I stopped coming here for a while. I claimed the massive salting had a negligible effect on driving conditions compared to less salt, slower driving, and alternatives like sand. I never argued that salt doesn’t melt ice, that’s just dumb. Look around town. It is covered in a layer of salt. I think that is a bad thing and that we should be able to explore ways to alleviate that.

      • You were rightly blasted for your anti-salt stance because you supported it repeatedly with arguments that were factually and scientifically inaccurate. And as Anon 12:19 pointed out, your stance then was not what you are now claiming it was; or if it was, you communicated it very, very poorly.

        • Kalorama_Kat

          Honestly, for heaven’s sake. The city is covered in a layer of awful salt. Is that totally cool with you? Surely it was overkill. I wrote that you can use a lot less salt and use alternatives like sand (which are more effective for the lower temperatures we were experiencing). I wrote that the best remedy is slower driving and that it was a fallacy to think people would be dead in the streets if there wasn’t a massive salting effort. I am not an expert in this field and never claimed to be. I am trying to employ common sense and experience living in colder, icier climates where they do not ruin their cities with salt and where there isn’t an attendant ice genocide. Winter happens. So sorry to offend your sensibilities by contributing my opinion on the salt epidemic.

  • (Amused Rant): Yesterday, while I was crossing the street (in no way looking for a cab), a cab pulled up between me and the sidewalk, honked at me to get my attention and the driver began gesticulating that he was available. As I was standing in the middle of the road, I waved him off impatiently so, you know, I could get out of the road. The driver proceeds to then roll down his window and YELL at me: Who do I think I am waving him off, he’s not my butler, and I can go F myself. DEAR DC CAB COMMISSION–THIS is why I take Uber.
    Rave: I’m enjoying sharing the story.

  • Rant /rave : very few comparable apartments for rent as the one I’m about to put on the market. Great for less competition, I suppose, but having trouble figuring out pricing. It’s a 2 bed, 1 bath fully legal basement apartment with more than usual natural light, nearly new washer and dryer, no parking, new ac/heat pump, otherwise not fancy but very serviceable appliances and such. Was thinking in the neighborhood of 2000. Previously rented it at 1750 but that was set three years ago and we didn’t raise the rent for the folks that stayed. Any thoughts?

    • It depends how close you are to the metro. When we were in the market for a new place to rent a few months ago, we would have paid up to $2500 for a two bedroom nice basement apartment within a 5 minute walk of the metro. The further from the metro, the less we would have considered it. If you are within 15 minutes, I would say up to 2200ish. I know the metro isn’t a concern for everyone, but for us it was a huge factor.

      • It’s about a ten minute walk, maybe 8 if you walk fast. Thanks for the feedback!

        • Which metro? How close to shops, grocery etc.? For a comp. I rent out my legal basement – 1/2 block from CH metro – 900 sq feet – 1 enormous bedroom – pretty new and good light etc., w/d for $1875.00 which includes water, cable TV & wifi. $100 extra for parking.

          • Oops – comment got posted below by accident – It’s neat the Columbia Heights metro. We’re in Mount Pleasant, so also convenient to the 16th St busses, the H series, and the 42/43. Thanks! I’m getting the impression that $2000 is definitely reasonable – and plausibly on the low side of the market average, which is what we’re going for. We’ve had good luck finding really great tenants that stick around for awhile with that strategy.

          • We paid $1900 for a 2 bedroom basement in MtP (10 minutes to metro, but right off the MtP main drag) EIGHT YEARS AGO. Get yours, friend. That puppy will go for well over $2000.

          • @wdc:
            You were drastically overpaying years ago, lol

          • Nah, it was an AMAZING apartment, for a basement. I feel good about it. πŸ™‚

        • I think 2100-2300 would be well priced for Mount Pleasant. At least in my opinion it would be (as a late-20s moderately incomed renter, haha).

  • Rave: Working from home means working at The Coupe; reminds me of being in college πŸ™‚
    Rave: Warmer weather!
    Rave: final fitting appointment for my first bespoke suit today! ready to feel like a boss
    Rave: getting my girlfriend back after her mom was in town for a week!
    Rave: so many raves

    • Crappy service makes you think of college?

      • Well I was more referring to working on a laptop from a coffee shop/diner makes me think of college, but dang. The hate is real!

    • Bespoke clothes are swell! Sounds like you’ve got one foot in the corner office and one foot on the gritty, salt-stained streets of Columbia Heights — kind of the female Jay-Z of (whatever field your in, let’s just call it) on-line data marketing! πŸ™‚

  • Rave: Great dinner out with coworkers last night
    Rave: Awesome night of sleep after great dinner out
    Rave: Friday! And I have a lot of fun social events planned for the weekend.
    Rant: Have not been able to find the motivation to work out this week. I’m feeling very lethargic.

  • rant: my long term s/o has an in person interview in NY next week

    rave: it’s a dream job

    rant: I’m stuck in DC indefinitely due to my job

  • skj84

    Rave: It’s warmer! I actually overheated walking to work today.

    Rave: Looking forward to the PoP Happy Hour tonight!

    Rant: Not really a Rant as much as a query-A friend and I were discussing work clothes and I mentioned as a nearly 30 year old woman I’ve never owned a suit. Friend was appalled and insistent I would never move up in this city not owning a suit. Honestly I don’t like suits and I work in an industry where they aren’t really worn, not mention I have plenty other non suit business wear like jackets, business skirts and dresses. I have plenty of power outfits that are not suits. PoP what is your opinions? Are suits a necessary evil if I want to move up in DC?

    • binpetworth

      Re: suits. It depends on your profession. I own one suit, which I use solely when I do conference presentations and the once-in-a-blue-moon Hill visits. I can get away with nice trousers, cardigan sets, dresses for all other meetings and events. Especially if you rarely meet with lawyers/policymakers, I wouldn’t worry about buying a suit.

    • I’m a nearly 30 year old man and I haven’t bought a suit since high school. I guess I have no chance of ever going anywhere.

    • epric002

      depends on your industry- sounds like you’re dressing well for the environment you work in. i do like the idea of “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a suit. now if you plan in interviewing for different kinds of jobs, a suit is probably a good investment. final thought- you can buy a suit but not wear it as a suit (wear top and bottom with different outfits), but then you have it if you need it.

      • Agreed, I think it doesn’t hurt to have a suit on hand for interviews. Maybe this is becoming outdated, but it was drilled into my head by the college career office that you always, always wear a suit to an interview (and the fact that I went to school in New York, and a number of classmates were focused on jobs in finance or consulting might have influenced the career advice, as well). In community economic development, I almost never wear suits, except maybe for events with VIPs like funders, or Hill visits (but even then, I see plenty of people not wearing full-on suits), but I still wear suits at interviews–because I figure, you never know. Your prospective employer might not be as casual as the current one; or for example, I have some colleagues who wouldn’t bat an eye if an interviewee wasn’t wearing a suit, but others who are older-school and would really frown on it. I don’t think it’s necessary to move up, but it can’t hurt. Two pieces of advice: 1. If you get a suit and wear the pieces as separates, just be sure you wear and dry-clean the two separate pieces more-or-less equally, otherwise one piece can maintain its color while the other fades over time. 2. If you feel “blah” about traditional suits, and those aren’t common in your industry anyway, try looking for a suit that has some unique or vintage-y elements. Every once in a blue moon, J. Crew sells some suits like that. I bought one about 5 years ago and I’ve gotten occasional yet great wear out of it–it passes muster as a suit, but still has some “pop” to it. And I’m not much of a shopper myself, but if you like prowling stores for hidden gems, I’m sure the consignment shops have some suits with character.

    • They say to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. I’m not sure that’s good advice, because people keep looking at my funny when I walk into work in the Senate dressed as a National Park Ranger.

    • If anyone at my workplace showed up in a suit, everyone would assume (probably correctly) that they came from a job interview.

    • Depends on your field.

      I didn’t buy a suit until my last year of grad school. Got it for job interviews. I now just wear it for weddings and the ocassional top-level meeting I have to attend. Those above me in my office don’t wear a suit either (except when having to go to one of those meetings), so not really feeling obligated to do so.

    • “Are suits a necessary evil if I want to move up in DC?”
      That totally depends on how you define “move up in DC”. If you define it as the ultra-conservative “old school” DC way, then absolutely yes. Otherwise the answer is maybe or no.

    • ‘Are suits a necessary evil if I want to move up in DC?”
      You may be asking the wrong question. Try instead: “wouldn’t it be nice to have one flattering, exquisitely tailored garment made of lovely fabric in an elegant color to pull out (and wear like body armor) for particularly big professional moments?” Sarah (above) can probably give you hints.

    • I love suits, but nearly never wear them as such. My favorite look is a black sheath dress with matching suit jacket. It’s a suit without being all, “look, I’m wearing a suit!” Also, no need to wear a button-front shirt (I hate em).

  • Rant: Slept funny on my shoulder and it’s killing me now!
    Rave: Loving the thread about DC rent prices. Really interesting to me for some reason.

    • Talking about money honestly is always interesting because it’s treated as such a social “faux pas” in American culture. Go to China – it’s a lot different. Often people will ask how much money you make and how much you pay for rent the first time they meet you. It’s pretty crazy lol.
      The American issues with money come directly from our unaddressed psychodrama between capital owners and labor. Just another way of keeping workers uninformed.

      • I’m not so concerned with it anymore now that I own, but when I was renting I would constantly ask people what they paid for rent, though usually they are acquaintances at least. I just like knowing what the average is and I’m paying too much/too little, which is why I enjoy the thread so much.

        ….and I actually just realized I like to ask people their mortgage and interest rates now. So I haven’t changed either, ha. I’m just nosy!

      • One of the things I find fascinating about Jane Austin is that within pages of meeting any significant character you know their precise income — “they say he ten thousand a year.”

    • I like it because I just doubled what I was paying for rent by moving into a 1 br, but the apt I found is by far on the low end of rentals around here. Makes me want to buy though… Crazy to see how much money some people make though!

  • Are the results of the food truck lottery published somewhere that I can access? I know about food truck fiesta, but I would like just a list of what trucks will be near me each day of the week.

  • binpetworth

    Rave: Warm enough to walk to work without freezing my ears/toes/fingers.
    Nor really a rant: I’m comfortable posting on PoPville but feel incredibly socially awkward about the thought of ever going to a PoP happy hour. I can meet strangers in smaller, intimate settings, but the idea of just showing up at a bar not knowing anybody really freaks me out. Anybody else feel the same? Anybody ever want to do a mini-HH to get to know a few people before diving into the deeper PoP waters?

    • I feel the same way! I can’t make tonight’s happy hour anyway, but I feel like I’d want to bring a friend along so it wouldn’t be so awkward when I first arrive. I don’t really ever get social anxiety but this does seem like it would cause it! So yes, mini-HH would be fun.

    • skj84

      I’m usually the same way! Put me in a social setting where I know at least one other person and I’m fine. Put me in a situation where I don’t know anyone and I get really shy. However I feel comfortable with the PoP Happy Hour. Even though I’ve never met any of you, I do feel like I know people! I’d love to do a mini happy hour one day.

    • pablo .raw

      I’m not sure yet if I’ll be able to make it, but I’m up for the mini-HH! at least we know each other!

    • There was a reader organized happy hour last year which was a great way to meet a few PoPville people. Some of them were at the last happy hour which was nice, but I also met lots of new people at that event. PoPville is a friendly place and you’ll have no trouble meeting people.

    • I feel the same way! I want to go to the happy hour but I get so shy and awkward trying to socialize with a bunch of people I’ve never met before. How does the PoPville happy hour work anyway? Do we all wear name tags with our usernames on them or something?

    • I’m just concerned about going and greeting people with, “Hi, I’m anon.”

    • saf

      I’ve been to several PoP happy hours.

      Dan is the only person, other than the people I went with, from here to say hi.

      Oh, wait, that’s not right. David T was at one, and we chatted.

      So I haven’t ever actually met anyone from here at a PoP happy hour.

    • I’m awkward, but I’ll still be there. So hey, we can all revel in our communal awkwardness.

    • austindc

      Yeah, mini-HH seems a lot easier to do. I would be in for that. There are four members of popville that I want to buy a round for because I totally dig their style.

        • Yeah, which ones?! I’ve thought that a completely juvenile (and totally fun) FQOTD would be “Who is your favorite PoPville commenter and why?” or “How well do you know your commenters?” And then have all the lurkers and anons spew forth the knowledge they’ve gleaned from their years of lurking.

    • Agree! It would be nice to do some smaller, neighborhood specific ones. Bloomingdale anyone?

  • Rant: missing the PoPville happy hour tonight πŸ™
    Rant: we moved cubicles AGAIN last night. They gave me the wrong phone so we spent an hour playing “plug in the phone and see what extension it has” bingo.
    Rant: I think just having a new desk set up is giving me a headache.
    Rave: IT replaced my really dirty, letters rubbed off keyboard when they moved my computer. That was a nice surprise this morning.
    Rave: thrifting date tomorrow!!! I have been so looking forward to this.

    • epric002

      where are you going thrifting?

      • The Goodwill in NE, the Salvation Army in Hyattsville, and maybe also Fia’s in Petworth. There aren’t a lot of reviews for the two around H St NE- Mike’s and American Rescue Workers’ Thrift, but we might try those as well. I want to mix it up a little from my usual MoCo stores.

        • I like the Value Village on East-West Highway, there’s also a huge thrift shop on NH just past the beltway exit. It might also be a Value Village.

          • Do you mean the one on University Blvd? I can’t find one on E-W.
            I have been to the one at NH and the beltway, it’s actually Unique Thrift and Value Village together. I think all of their stores in the area are under new management and I don’t like them quite as much now. I got a tip that the Goodwill in NE is good and it’s not far from the Hyattsville Salvation Army, which is the thrift store brand of my youth, so that holds a special place in my heart.

          • saf

            The Goodwill on South Dakota was in the process of prepping for carpet replacement last time I was there. (about a month ago).

          • Thanks for the tip! I just called and they said it was done last month.
            Going to their website reminds me how much I love Goodwill. They have discounts for all kinds of people, a pretty good social media strategy, and there’s a blog about Goodwill fashion. The only disappointing thing is that their customer loyalty programs are regional, so the card I have for the store I used to go to in CT doesn’t work at any of the cards here. I don’t need an identical looking Goodwill card for every region.

          • Your right, it is on University. I know where it is, just not the address πŸ™‚

        • jim_ed

          I recommend the Goodwill at Georgia and Quackenbos is Brightwood – they have a great book selection. Also, if you’re in MoCo, it’s not technically a thrift shop, Uptown Cheapskate on Rockville Pike has a lot of really nice clothes for dirt cheap. I’ve bought several high end shirts for less than $15 buck there.

          • I’ve been to Georgia Avenue Thrift Store, which is the one on GA at Quackenbos. It’s good, I’ve found good clothing and bags there, though their housewares are not great, but it’s a bit cramped. It’s not that far up from where I live or from Fia’s, so that might be a possibility.
            I work near the Uptown Cheapskate, but I keep forgetting to check it out. Thanks for the reminder!

        • Goodwill got some bad press recently about how they treat their staff – apparently some get paid $2/hr or something absurd.

          • houseintherear

            And the upper admins’ salaries are through the roof. πŸ™

          • Oh, I didn’t hear about this. I follow them on twitter and I think they advertise job openings and the hourly wage, but maybe they’re not actually paying that?
            My only even tiny defense of high salaries for execs at charities is that they need to encourage really good people who could get a lot more money elsewhere to A. apply and B. stay. Of course, I would hope the mission and the work would do most of that heavy lifting, but money is still a factor for the vast majority of people.

    • And I said, I don’t care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I’m, I’m quitting, I’m going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they’ve moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn’t bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it’s not okay because if they take my stapler then I’ll set the building on fire…

  • Rave: Some of the recent posts here have had me thinking about my personal Washington landmarks, many of which have not existed for decades.: Giffords Ice Cream shop in Silver Spring; the polar bear place we went for frozen custard; the Kalorama roller rink; the duck pond at Soldier’s Home; Waxie Maxie’s’ the ice rink at Fort Dupont; the Kennedy St. Playground; the corner store on Upshur Streets where we used to get pickles; Crisfields; Hogates; Dale Music; Melody Records; Chuck Levin’s; Velatis Candy. I could go on and on. But my rave is also a Thank You to PoPville for setting off this nice wave of nostalgia!
    Query: Wondering how Valentina is, and hoping that things are better.
    Rave: The Cambridge Satchel Company. I needed a functional bag — and now I’ve got one.
    Rave: Getting to spend time with a friend that I haven’t seen in a while. I really love us. And it’s wonderful to have people in my life that I can be my deepest self with.

  • Kalorama_Kat

    Rave: did anyone see the sky around 6:50-7:10 this morning? It was an incredible shade of light pink, a great way to start a Friday.

  • from Columbia Heights metro – I’m in Mount Pleasant, so we’re also super close to the 16th street busses, the H-series, and the 42/43. Thanks!

  • Rant: we’re looking into turning a half bath into a full (basically just adding a shower) and the contractor is saying the permits will cost around $10k. That can’t possibly be right can it?

      • Thanks! I did some research this morning and I think we would just need a few postcard permits, but I don’t know what else is required for the permit application. My guy was saying he’d need to get drawings done which would add significantly to the expense.

        • We did a 203K FHA renovation a few years ago and paid our HUD Inspector $800 for drawings. You can google the list of approved inspectors and maybe find one from there. (I would share the name of my guy but I can’t recommend him for other reasons.)

        • pablo .raw

          there’s an office (I think it’s homeowner’s center) that works pretty well in case of small renovations like that; the gentleman there is very nice and I’m sure he’ll explain what you need. The regular permit process takes longer because you have to go to different reviewers, but this guy checks everything himself.

        • If the contractor handles the permitting, the cost is much higher and takes more time. If you handle it yourself, you can do it cheaper and quicker through the Homeowners Center (which contractors cannot use). Go down there and talk to the people at the Homeowners Center before you agree to anything or pay any more to anyone.
          You’re also getting multiple bids, right? Honestly, this contractor sounds like he’s trying to take you for a ride. He should have explained this to you. I wouldn’t trust him.

          • He’s a friend of my wife’s. He’s licensed in DC but apparently hasn’t done any work here because he doesn’t know the permitting process at all. We are still in the process of getting bids (recommendations for contractors are welcome!).

        • You don’t really apply for postcard permits. The DCRA website has a list of the kinds of renovation and repair work that can be done pursuant to a postcard permit. If whatever you are planning to do is on the list, you fill out the form online, pay the fee (which I think is $35), and get a .pdf of the permit to post in your front window. I don’t believe there is any provision for submitting something with a postcard permit “application” because no one is really reviewing it. You are certifying that what you are going to do falls within the scope of work that can be done under the postcard permit.

  • Rave: DC gov has put a lot of information online in customer friendly ways.
    Rant: There is unclear and/or contradictory information on my issue. Or I’m an idiot (also possible). Does anyone know about Certificates of Occupancy if renting a condo–just one–that you own in a multi-unit development?

  • Rave: Just read that DC had a $321 budget surplus for 2013.

    Rant: High taxes. Maybe it’s time to cut them!

    • Wait, you think the taxes in DC are high? Jeez, to me they seem dirt cheap.

      • Me too! Then again, I grew up in New Jersey πŸ™‚

      • Highest I’ve paid but I’m from the Midwest. Regardless, why not let the tax payers have their money back/ Lower the tax rate!

        • Because shit – like recessions and sequestrations – happen.
          DC has pretty good city services, so I’d like to see them not cut those in the bad times. A financial cushion “rainy day” fund brings stability during times of stress.
          I heard VA has much lower taxes, if that’s your thing. But yeah, Virginia.

  • Rave -Teds on 14th, I heard it was pricey but no more so than Eggspectations in Silver Spring and Teds is better (food / decor / service). The new buildings make 14th look a lot different, but better. (It has to be great to be young, healthy with a few bucks in this City, but I guess that’s the case in any City)
    Rave / Rant – Places open so fast I can’t try them all and still go to places I already like.
    Rave – The NPR ‘Crack’ series. I missed the worst of this period in the District having only arrived in DC in 1995. That said I do remember the rougher days along 14th, U, and in Shaw / Columbia Heights. I was warned ‘don’t go east of the park,’ ‘Don’t go east of 16th,’ glad I did not listen.


  • Rave: I’m going to break my hermitage and show up at the PoPville party tonight.
    Rant: Silence after a job interview. The waiting is worse than outright rejection.

  • Rant: People who feel the need to stand in the doorway when waiting in lines so long that they go out of the establishment. It wasn’t so bad today, but yesterday, when it was 20 something degrees outside, I saw a bunch of people who didn’t have enough room to fit inside in line who chose to prop the door open and stand in the doorway. I don’t quite get it. Makes way more sense to wait with the door closed so that the heat inside the space stays inside.

  • Rant: On all of the ‘let your voice be heard’ ads for Metro, what on EARTH is that lady holding? Sharp stick? Needle? Its scaryyy..

  • Neither rant nor rave: Wondering where Emmaleigh504 is these days.

    • And whatever happened to Mr.T? And a few other regulars who disappeared on us.

      • Maria moved to Ukraine but shows up here on occasion. Another regular person (Caroline?) moved to Argentina. Where have all the (old) PoPsters gone?

        • I think you mean Claire with the food blog? Mr. T is alive and well in DC but he must have matured to the point where he doesn’t comment on blogs anymore. πŸ˜‰

  • Rave: It is 48 degrees right now. I’m going for a lengthy bike ride around town Right Now.

Comments are closed.