Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user eric cuevas

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.

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112 Comment

  • Rant: Metropocalypse seems to have brought out all the commuters who just learned how to ride a bike. I’ve never seen so many people who can barely stay up on two wheels. Biking to work is cool, but some of you should consider taking the bus.

    • I’m a daily biker and I’m not sure I’ve seen a ton of extra bike traffic on my route but it definitely seems like there is more car traffic since the metro-meltdown started (and especially this week with safetrack). Either way with more people in cars, on bikes, and walking, it’s a good reminder to be extra cautious.

    • hammers

      I want to start biking to work (4 mi) but I’m afraid of the learning curve. and traffic. and such.

      • You’ll be fine. I started four years ago and it was scary at first. Just a couple of things to remember – most importantly, don’t be in a hurry. The earlier you are the easier it is. And don’t presume they see you. I think WABA has lessons too.

      • Ha, me too! And it’s about the same distance. I’ve developed a plan: (1) trying to ease myself into it by riding more after work to get used to riding in more traffic (we usually just putter around the neighborhood on our bikes during the weekends); (2) ride to/from work on the weekend to scout out routes; and (3) maybe take a WABA city biking class. Do any regular bike commuters have any tips?

        • HaileUnlikely

          I’m in more or less the same boat as you are. I have not taken one of the WABA classes but numerous experienced cyclists have recommended them to me. They have a real beginner one and one called “confident city cycling.” The latter might be appropriate for you. I’d honestly need the beginner one.

        • Andie302

          I’m a slightly uncomfortable biker and I always feel 100% better when I’m in a dedicated lane. Try to pick a route that has as much of those as possible, even if it’s slightly more out of the way.

          • +1
            Don’t be so hung up on taking the most direct route to work. I think that’s where many newbie bikers go wrong, trying to share lanes with big cars and angry drivers before they have the proper experience. Yes, Rhode Island Ave and Florida Ave may be quicker, but the lanes are very tight and the drivers are crazy. Use routes with dedicated bike lanes as much as possible. And get a rear-view mirror! You will be much less paranoid if you can easily see what’s happening behind you, especially if you need to pull out into a lane of traffic. There are mirrors that will clip onto your helmet, if you use BikeShare.

        • In addition to the previous excellent suggestions, I recommend the following:
          -going slower than you can gives you more time to react to whatever is coming across your path and means you’re somewhat less sweaty when you get to the office. I don’t ride with a garmin to avoid the temptation of going faster.
          -if a car is turning right, don’t creep up on the right hand side, instead wait for a break in traffic and go around to the left of the car
          -practice riding in a straight line to prevent inadvertent weaving back and forth from the bike lane into the traffic lane. I did this by picking a painted line on a bike path and seeing how long I could stay x inches from the line. If only I could learn to swim in a straight line. 🙂
          -wear bright clothes and use lights at night.
          -be predictable, which includes signaling when you are turning and obeying traffic laws
          -If you haven’t ridden your bike in a long time, take it into a LBS for a safety check
          -pump your tires at least every other day to prevent flats
          -if you live in Arlington, I think groups are meeting to commute in together. Check out waba’s forums.
          -enjoy your ride!

        • Not a bicyclist, but please keep an eye out and don’t run into pedestrians! (particularly at intersections with 4-way stops)
          I get that it’s irritating, but please at least pause/slow down at a stop sign rather than fly through. I’ve nearly gotten taken out more times than I can count, and seen even more cases where a car had already started moving into the intersection without seeing the bicyclist. If you’re riding on a sidewalk, please also be extra careful. I got hit by a bicyclist while trying to board a bus because he was riding too close to the end of the line and I took a half-step back to let someone past without knowing he was there. Despite nearly everyone wearing headphones, a bell or vocal alert is very much appreciated.
          A side note, also be careful around alleys. Someone I know ended up in the hospital because she ran into a car that was edging out of a blind alley. If not for her helmet the injuries would have been far more serious. A parked car’s door and mirror also took out another friend a while back.

        • a few tips I noticed that were not stated (all of the above are pretty great though):


          2. Alert the people you want to pass or are coming up on. This especially includes other cyclists. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been riding along, veer a little left in the lane only to almost hit silent, passing cyclist. It’s unnerving & a simple warning (“on your left” “passing on your left”) would suffice.

          3. Don’t salmon (go down a one-way road the wrong way). It’s very dangerous. It only takes a minute to go up a block and bike the right way.

          4. Since you’re new to this, try to stay on the right side of the bike lanes so faster, more experienced riders can pass you safely. Also, try to stay at the same speed. When the weather gets nice and everyone starts riding to work, I notice that people will speed into downtown and then slow down, pedal fast at certain blocks, but then stop pedaling and coast for a block… these erratic actions can cause accidents & are mildly annoying.

          5. Pedestrians>cyclists>cars. Assert yourself to cars, you have every right to be in the lane, but follow the laws and always.be.alert. I am always looking at parked cars ahead of me for drivers who might open a door, scan for potential jaywalkers, redlight runners, cars coming out of alleys, glass or nails in the road, the list is endless. It’s exhausting at first, but it becomes second nature and is, obviously, worth it.

      • Same! I’ve started taking smaller trips on CaBi, sticking to roads to dedicated lanes and that’s helped. I also plan to do a practice run bike commute on a weekend so I get familiar with the route.

      • I know it would be kind of depressing but consider trying your commute on a Saturday or Sunday on your bike with a friend. That way you can take your time and make adjustments when you see the traffic patterns. Also, it will give you a bit of confidence. I definitely rode in the streets in DC only on weekends for a while and it helped me get used to riding with traffic.

    • maxwell smart

      100% agree. Due to Safe Track, I have seen an increase of people on the roads (drivers, cabs, cyclists, pedestrians) who clearly have no idea what they are doing. My bike commute went from usually DC awful drivers but mostly okay to downright terrifying. Within 2 blocks of leaving work yesterday, I witnessed: driver going wrong way down 1 way street, driver going through intersection at RI/Connecticut/M on wrong signal, driver making illegal right turn, 2 cabs parked in bike lane, cyclist(s) not stopping or looking at red light, drivers going straight in turn lane, pedestrians using bike lane as sidewalk. All this in 2 blocks!

    • Strangely, my Vespa commute this morning was extremely calm at 830am. Traffic on my route was significantly lighter than usual. I’m thinking a lot of offices must have implemented telecommuting once the powers-that-be experienced the horrendous traffic the past few days.
      Also, the north-south light timing seems to have changed – I flew into work and did not stop at most of the lights I typically hit.

    • Truth. Definitely more bikers, and inexperienced bikers. Now im not a spandex wearing professional, but i ride my route every day of the year, know the timing of the lights, have an idea of traffic flow. Im all for more bike commuters, but my commute tuesday was NOT enjoyable. I hate to say it, because i am a member, but the worst offenders seem to be bikeshare users. I’m not of the thought that you have to make a full stop at a stop sign on a bike, but you should slow down, and you MUST stop if theres a car with the right of way approaching. Many times that car will let you go, but slow down and wait for their signal to do so. End rant.

      • It’s really interesting that you think the worst offenders are bikeshare users. I think there are probably some pretty bad bikeshare bikers, but there’s a station near my apartment and they always seem a lot more cautious than the cyclists who come ripping through red lights at incredibly high speed.

  • Rave: Today’s picture. That’s just too amazing for words.
    Rave: Early morning walk with the other Mrs. Rabbit. We really need to get back into that habit.
    Rant: I cannot get myself motivated to work out for the life of me lately.
    Rave: First cherry tomatoes of the season are on the plant! I’m really excited since they’re Matt’s Wild Cherry so they should be candy-like.

    • Enjoy those early morning walks! My wife and used to go on weekly early morning walks pre-kids, and it was such a nice way to stay connected.

      • Early morning walks in the summer are the best! Especially on the weekends. It’s amazing how much quieter the city is on a Saturday before 9 or 10 am.

  • Rave: loving this weather.
    Rant: not loving the return of allergies. blargh.

  • Rant: I heard a woman screaming last night around 10 PM and believe it was a robbery at NJ and P. Saw a couple of kids run off shortly afterward, but not with any detail to be helpful. I’m just so goddamn sick of this shit. It happens ALL THE TIME in this city. I’m leaving. This is no place to raise children.

    • I spent my morning bus ride getting yelled at by a crazy person and finally got off the bus and walked the rest of the way. All I could think about was how much I need to get out of here.

      • Not to sound cynical but I’m pretty sure these are both relatively standard city issues that you’ll likely bump into in any city in the U.S. at some point.

        • Accountering

          You can thank Ronald Reagan for this!

        • It’s the frequency with which it happens. I have lost count of the number of times the police have been to my house to retrieve footage from our security cameras for various crimes. It’s probably in the 50+ range over the three years I’ve lived there. That is INSANE.

        • Definitely not implying this is DC-specific. Definitely sucks regardless.

  • Where can my friends and I go dancing tomorrow night, in the general vicinity of 14th and U? We’re not 22 and not looking to hook up.
    Equally valuable would be advice on places to avoid!

    • Oh, that sounds like fun! Enjoy!

    • It’s pride this weekend, so the gay bars will be hopping! Dancing at Town, Nellies, and Cobalt are all sort of in that area. My favorite non-gay dancing spot (actually might be my favorite over all) with amazing music, although very crowded is Codmother, also on U

    • It’s pride weekend. I think black cat is having a party tomorrow night, but I imagine most events would have a good mix of something not top 40 with low chance of guys wanting to hook up with you.

    • Tropicalia? U Street Music Hall? Flash (somewhat further afield)?

      • second Flash. Great music, non clubby feel.

      • Just an anecdote and maybe it was an off/weird night, but the only time I’ve been to Tropicalia I got groped by three different men in the span of 30 minutes and left teary-eyed.

        • That’s crazy and disturbing. I think it may be highly dependent on the music policy/promoter for the night. I’ve never seen anything like that on the Fort Knox Five nights, which tends to draw an eclectic crowd.
          Any idea which party this might have been?

          • I don’t remember at all. I was meeting some friends there and didn’t really recognize any of the music. I do hear good things about it so I may give it another chance…

        • While I wasn’t groped, there were definitely some aggro dudes at Tropicalia last time I went. Reggae night. More of the come up and grind on your without your consent kind.

    • 18th Street Lounge or U Street Music Hall. As a someone who likes to dance, but hates clubs I’ve had good times at both. Marvin opens up their dance floor on Saturday as well.

    • Tropicalia, 18th Street Lounge, U Street Music Hall, or Flash for proper dancing without the gross touchy-feely meat market vibes. Black Cat can be good, depending on the music that night.
      I’d avoid Marvin, El Centro, Lost Society, Masa 14, and Saint Ex like the plague.

      • +1 to your avoid list. I’ve been aggressively hit on/touched at Marvin, Masa 14, and Saint Ex. Saint Ex also involved getting elbowed in the face while trying to exit.

    • Excellent suggestions, thank you all!
      I had wondered if Pride was going to make all the nightlife spots intolerably crowded, or inspire them all to charge high covers or something.

      • I can only speak for the women parties, but they do a pretty good job of picking a large venue so it doesn’t get *too* crowded. However, last year (at Howard Theatre) was pretty packed and the cover was also pretty high. That was the main women’s party though so I am guessing covers at other places wouldn’t be as high.

        • It’s been a couple years since I’ve gone, but the Booty Rex women’s party at the Black Cat is really fun. A lot of people go, but they spread out over all the rooms so it doesn’t seem overly crowded (this is also great for dancing because you can pick whichever room has the best music).

  • Rave: I inherited my former roommates king size bed in the move. King size bed brings me joy, I can spread out to my hearts delight.

    Rant: I don’t have any King size sheets or comforters. This means I have to purchase all new bed sets. And I need two additional bed risers. I can’t seem to find anywhere that sells risers separately.

    Rant: I’m having one of those moments where I really wished I drive. I need to pick up party supplies and chairs this weekend. Which means finding a ride with my aunt, or ubering all over the city.

    • Car2go! It really is fantastic. Metro to Target, and Car2go home?

      • I don’t have a drivers license. Usually not an issue, I get around just fine. But on occasion my decision not to get a license comes back to bite me. Funny thing is I do have a Car2go membership from when I had a learners permit.

        • Yeah, I had to SCREAM at the same guy twice to leave me alone at Saint Ex. To the place’s credit though, the second I found a bouncer, he tossed the guy out.

    • Accountering

      Amazon! 🙂

      • good point! I’m usually never home to accept packages, but so far nothing has been stolen off my front porch. Just need to figure out a way to get bulk booze and ice.

        • hammers

          ya know, pretty much everything can be delivered these days. Maybe even a service like task rabbit or one of the grocery shoppers can do these chores for you?

          • Accountering

            Agreed – there is that liquor delivery service! I am sure they deliver ice. I would say you may pay a bit more overall, but it will save a bunch of time and headache to not have to deal with all of this.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Agreed. I am fortunate to have one of the best liquor stores in DC, which also has extraordinarily good deals on large quantities, two blocks from my house. If I didn’t, I’d either figure out how to get myself to the store and then Uber home, or else investigate whether you get it via Taskrabbit or similar.

          • InstaCart!

        • Do you mind sharing the name HaileUnlikely? I live in an area that is a bit of a deadzone for groceries and liquor store’s. I figure I’m either gonna Uber to Costco and back, or Metro/walk to the Harris Teeter. I’ve been looking for a solid liquor store. Other option is to make the trek to Chevy Chase. The liquor store on the MoCo side is being closed and they are selling everything for 20% off starting tonight.

          • HaileUnlikely

            My go-to place is Morris Miller, but it’s right at the DC/Silver Spring border at the intersection of Georgia/Alaska/Kalmia/Eastern Ave, way far from where you live (I remember the approximate area from the roommate discussions…) You’d have to buy a ton to come out ahead of buying closer to home after factoring in the cost of the Uber ride.

          • Wait – which store is this?

          • DLC Chevy Chase Retail Store at 11 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Of course this happens after I move from MoCo.

  • Rant: Train randomly offloaded one station before mine, and I was late to work.
    Rave: The picture for today…I saw that guy at the con and it was one of the best cosplays.
    Rant: Super tired. I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night with sinus pain all week.
    Rave: It’s my Friday!

  • Rant: Like several others here, feeling pretty f-ing fed up with the city right now. Tired of non-stop sirens tearing up and down the street at all hours of the day, sick of walking past crime scene tape and/or swarms of cops and not knowing what happened now, sick of watching kids deal drugs, sick of being harassed by crazy people, sick of pollution, etc. I need a week in the country or something.
    Rave: All things considered, I recognize that I live a very privileged life and I’m grateful for the good things, like kind friends and neighbors, a safe and comfortable apartment, enough money to at least pay my bills, and a job that I love. I am really lucky.

    • houseintherear

      In recent months I’ve been doing weekend trips to airbnb/home away houses within a 2 hour driving radius. It has seriously helped me chill out about the frustrating crap re: city life. Fairly cheap to rent down in Southern Md and out in rural Va, too!

  • Bear

    Rant: Going to have to give my team a talking to about how shit talking your coworkers/superiors isn’t an appropriate way to vent frustration.
    Rant: Doubly annoyed because the target of the shit talking is passionate, dedicated, extremely hard working, and produces good results. Can she be difficult to work with? Sure. Did she write one of the best proposals I’ve seen since I started in this job? Absolutely.
    Rave: I think I’m feeling the baby move but I’m not positive. Little, regular flutters that I would probably miss if I wasn’t sitting still in a quiet office.

    • You know that involuntary twitch you get next to your eye sometimes? That’s what the first baby movement felt like to me. Just like a little jumpy muscle, but in a place there had never been twitches before. 🙂

      • Bear

        YES! This is it. It’s further back than I expected, near my sacrum, but it’s happening regularly for the last 2-3 days.

        • So fun! I was surprised by the location the first time, too. I had imagined the baby to be somewhere around my belly button, but of course, it’s waaay down in the pelvis at this point.

    • If you think it’s the baby, it’s the baby. You’ll be the only one who can feel it for awhile. I used to drive my husband crazy trying to get him to feel a kick, and then the moment he’d put his hand on my stomach, it would stop. Enjoy your private time with the baby!

    • The first baby movements definitely come on softly. They always felt like little tickles to me (which was a bit much sometimes since I’m extremely ticklish).

    • My sister in law said it felt like a goldfish in a plastic bag of water.

  • Rant – Tried and failed to get up early for a run this morning. Even the beautiful weather was not enough to get me out of bed. Why can’t I be a morning person?
    Rave – Beautiful weather!

  • question: planning a bachelorette party for ~10 people in DC. nothing too stripper-y. just a nice dinner and/or drinks. does anyone know if any of the cocktail or wine bars around here let you reserve a table for a large group on a Saturday night? for example – just googled Columbia room and it looks like they only take parties up to 6 for the champagne flight or the tasting menu. any experience (positive or negative) or recommendations? thanks!

  • Rant: Overzealous government drones . . . er, investigators.

  • Accountering

    Rant: Ran into the Shaw Tripping guy last night. Was biking south on 7th just past Rhode Island, saw him, and he ran across the street at me with his hand out. I yelled at him, he stopped, and then went and bothered some other people. In the span of 2 minutes while I was on the phone with 911, I saw him put his hand in someones face, and force a guy to run to get around him… This is a little dude, and he is going to mess with the wrong person in short order, and get badly hurt. I hope he gets the help he needs.
    Rave: Andie and I booked flights to Munich for Oktoberfest! We are going to be there from 9/15-9/25, with a few days in Munich, and then some time spent touring the country. Very excited!

    • May I ask what he looks like? Some guy shoved a page of scribbles in my face this morning and said, “Snoop Dog! Gonna shoot you, cracker!” and then kept walking. Sadly, I don’t think it’s the same guy – just another looney toon.

    • Oh! Love your rave! That will be so much fun!

    • Munich is a ton of fun! Have a blast!

  • Rave: Beautiful run last night on the mall – weather was perfect.
    Rant: All packed for a trip to SoCal for the weekend. Stressed about making a real early flight out of BWI, the lines there lately for security have been absurd. Ugh.

    • For what it’s worth, I had a 7 am flight out of BWI to San Diego last week and security took no time at all. I think by the time I parked and shuttled to the terminal it was about 5:45 am.

  • Revel: field day! I volunteered to have wet sponges thrown at me since I don’t think any other teachers on my team will and I’m the cool teacher!
    Revel: managed a short run but with some walk breaks. I run faster on the streets than my slow 12 minute mile on the treadmill. I’m ready for tomorrow!
    Revel: the weather!

    • You’re going to be great! I am so much faster outside than on the dreadmill. I can rarely make it through 2 miles on that thing.

      • I’ve been using it almost exclusively except for the past few weeks. In the beginning it was because I didn’t want to push myself to go too fast and then burn out. But I think now I’m getting a better feel for what I can do, although I’m still in the 11.5 minute mile range.

      • I Dont Get It

        Dreadmill…so true LOL.

    • Yes!! Me too–so much slower on the treadmill! So many people will say the treadmill is easier and therefore you can go faster but that has never been the case for me. But that always means if I train on the treadmill, I usually surprise myself with my time during race day! Good luck 🙂

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Still lovin’ this weather!
    Rant: I had to take the lid off and weed my compost box this morning. I don’t think this is how it is supposed to work.
    Rave-ish: I need to break out of my comfort zone and get off Shaw Island for brunch this weekend. Any can’t miss recommendations for brunch for the new to me, SE Water St restaurants?

  • Rave: Perfect weather. Finally the spring that we didn’t get.
    Rave: The baby slept almost 7 hours last night. I slept for five straight during part of it. That’s the most consecutive hours of sleep that I have had in three months. Amazing.
    Rant: I am dubious that this will continue.
    Rave: Thursday! Almost at the end of this work week.
    Rant: I feel like I’m turning into one of those people who can only talk about my spawn. Yuck. But it is hard not to have tunnel vision.

  • Rave: After reading about everyone’s struggles and frustrations about living in the city, I think it’s safe to say that I have lucked out. I really have loved living in my neighborhood, and will miss it a great deal. This time next week, I will be spending my last night in the city as a resident!
    Major Rant: This also means that soon I will have to switch my license and car registration to MD. Not only will it be a huge pain in the ass, but I will soon be a real MD driver again. I am hoping this does not mean I immediately start driving like a complete asshole.

  • Andie302

    Rave: Today is a great day! Excited about our upcoming trip, the weather is gorgeous, I’m going to see my best friend tonight, I’ll be back in time for a fancy outing later this weekend. All is well!
    Rave: It’s my Friday, so I think that’s contributing!
    Rant: Now to start back on working on shrinking my waistline.
    Rave: Signing up for the 10K across the bay, so training for that should help! Once I start 🙂

    • 10k Across the Bay was an great run last year, but the logistics were a nightmare. There was so much “hurry up and wait” – so bring your patience both before and after the race! Good luck!

  • That One Guy

    Rave: It’s my Friday.
    Rant/Rave: Have to go up to NJ this weekend.
    Rant: Realizing I don’t trust either Hillary or Donald to oversea a police state–with regard to the current state of surveillance–if anything should happen.

  • Rant: Dating angst! Lots of in-relationship experience, very little understanding of how the interstitial space works. Do I initiate every other interaction? If I initiate twice, is that bad? If I’m really with the right person, will I feel good/liked enough that I won’t worry about this stuff?
    Rave: Weather!
    Rave: Cats!

    • I’m intrigued, but I don’t totally understand. You’re dating someone new, but you have a lot of experience being in a relationship? And you’re trying to find out if there is something wrong with your initiating two dates?
      Some people are planners, some people are not. Some people care deeply about “traditional gender roles,” some people do not. If you like the guy (I’m making up genders because I feel like it (also, pronouns)) and you want to spend time with him and you think you’re a relatively sane person who is acting within the bounds of reason, then keep asking him to spend time with you.
      I’m pretty over caring about what “I’m supposed to do” and a lot more into doing that I think I should do or want to do. If the other person is down with that outcome, it works out, if not you don’t have to spend a lot of time wondering if what you did was “right,” you just know it was what you wanted to do.

      • Great feedback, thank you. The dating/relationship disconnect is that I was in a relationship for many years living with someone (and we moved in pretty soon after we got together), so the “initiation” part of spending time with each other just sort of happened. We broke up, thus the dating confusion.
        I think the idea of caring less about what you’re “supposed” to do makes sense for lots of areas of life… and especially for dating. I’m just nervous enough that I’m obsessing over small details, and worrying that things that probably aren’t significant will have Great Implications for the future. I think my past experiences have primed me to worry about “bad precedent,” because I though a lot about how I should have known X based on Y behavior… lots of “if only I had paid attention, then…”

      • I like this approach very much, and it’s pretty similar to the one I’ve been taking….unfortunately, nothing fabulous has come of it yet, but at least I’m not making myself miserable worrying about doing anything other than what I feel like doing!

  • There are always a few people loitering right before you get to the doors in Union Station. I was walking that way this morning and as I passed a taller woman, she moved toward me which made me at least a little nervous as I had my purse on that side and it wasn’t zipped up. I kept walking and as I almost got to the door, suddenly someone slams into me and I turned around to see a girl with a backpack running away. I think she kicked me in my low back. I was too stunned and upset to say anything. Also a guy who had been standing with the group had been following me, which I realized when I turned around. He followed me into Union Station. It could have been a coincidence but I had made eye contact with him as I passed the group and then as he followed me inside. It was a pretty unsettling experience.

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