Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And It's a Wrap....

Well, it's been one week since I packed up a 22' moving truck and drove off into the sunset with all my belongings.

When I embarked on this blogging venture, I thought I'd actually stick it out and watch my neighborhood transform.  I thought I'd be like my first D.C. landlord who told stories of how Logan Circle used to be the red light district---except in my case, I would be the one saying, "I remember when, Barry Farm used to be..."

Ah, but such is life.  After six solid years, it wasn't the neighborhood that got me, it was my condo association.  The drama day in and day out of which utility bill to pay and which court order to ignore, because people weren't paying their condo fees, was just too much for someone who actually pays their bills on time, in full, each and every month.  Not having heat during some of the coldest days this past winter, made coming home after a long days work, so physically/mentally challenging that something had to give.  And after nearly running my savings dry trying to help pay said delinquent bills because my neighbors couldn't be bothered, I realized, I had bought into what some might call a "money pit" and that it was time to move off the property. 

The decision to leave did not come lightly, but the reality was--my home was no longer my sanctuary and I dreaded being there.  So I waved my little white flag, admitting defeat and packed up. 

And with that said, I've decided to make an early exit from the blogging scene.  I wish everyone the best--not only the other River East bloggers, but to the residents--the ones I left behind.  I'll always hold a special place in my heart for those of you that made me feel welcome these past six years.  Keep up the good work and if you find yourself on the other side, in NE DC--come say hi--as this is where I'm hanging my hat (for now at least).

Friday, October 22, 2010

US Coast Guard Headquarters Update

As you can see from the aerial shot taken August, 29, 2010 the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Building on the St. Elizabeths West Campus is well under way.  The project is in the first stage of the Department of Homeland Security’s consolidation and when complete in the first quarter in 2013, the building will feature an 11-story office building providing about a 1.2 million square feet facility for 3,860 employees, a separate central utility plant, and two seven-story parking garages.

In the month of August, it was reported that one million cubic yards of dirt had been moved from the site.  Now that's alot of dirt!  The project represents a new record for Clark (in dirt hauling that is).  Previously, the biggest excavation completed by Clark was at the Walter E Washington Convention Center project.  That hole required moving 1.3 million cubic yards of dirt; upon completion, the U.S. Coast Guard's will have moved more than 1.6 million.  Trucks have been hauling dirt an average of 16 to 20 hours a day except on Sundays.  Also noted, many of the trucking companies used to haul the dirt, were located in Ward 8--so woohoo for supporting the local economy. 
The photos provided below reflect progress during the month of September.  If you're interested, a number of construction contracts were awarded last month, so be sure to follow at GSA's St. Elizabeth's website.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Groundbreaking: Matthews Memorial

Well it looks like Matthews Memorial Terrace is finally ready to gear up.  Friday, October 8th, at 9:30am is the ground breaking. 

PGN Architects is working with Bozzuto Construction to build this 5 story, 130,000 square foot building consisting of 99 one-, two-, and three bedroom apartments.  The project is slated to deliver July 2011.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"There Goes the Neighborhood"

Reposting this video, after spotting it on And Now, Anacostia.  Definately a must see, for us Barry Farm folk.  Especially with the part noting that the city will begin tearing down the Barry Farm Dwellings next year...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yes, There's Less Traffic. But Isn't It Illegal?

On my way into the office this morning, at the intersection of 13th and U St SE, four police officers on motocycles drive past me, hop the curb and begin driving down the sidewalk.  I find this to be a bit surprising, since this particular stretch of sidewalk isn't overly wide and a little further down, there is a bus stop in between the street and the building at the corner.  The bus stop is typically quite busy in the morning with children and adults, and I just can't imagine that driving down the sidewalk is appropriate for these officers (especially four cycles deep).  But perhaps they were responding to the scene of a disturbance?

Well, actually no.  The officers were merely exercising their right to do whatever the hell they wanted to.  After I crossed Good Hope and began to merge onto the 11th Street Bridge, I noticed that the same police officers were about 10 cars ahead of me, on the overpass.  Any emergency in sight? Ugh, nope, sorry--just sheer impatience on their part.  Way to set a good example, MPD.
* sorry to have not included a picture of the actual event, but I thought driving and taking pictures (w/ my phone), was probably illegal too...

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Jim Graham for Ward 8"

I was reading a conversation with Jack Evans on DCist this morning and began to wonder, what if the District could no longer get federal dollars unless they replaced their current council members with a new leader, er, by playing musical chairs (politics style)?

For example, while acknowledging and citing each Council Member’s stronghold, we maneuver him/her to a Ward that is “struggling” in that area. Each Council Member would be required to serve their new neighborhood (no, ifs, ands, or buts) just as strong (if not better) than they do their current Ward.

Take for instance, Jim Graham. If you go to his website, he boasts that Ward One is the most diverse ward in the District of Columbia. Now, I’m not endorsing "Jim Graham for Ward 8”, but I would like to look at his achievements in Ward One and see how they would apply to Ward 8. We could do this, with any number of the council members (Mary Cheh, Jack Evans, Tommy Wells, Kwame Brown, etc). I just happened to pick, Jim.

One achievement Graham cites under public safety is that he worked with neighbors and the ANC to block the opening of an offender halfway house in Adams Morgan across the street from an elementary school. He also ensured that Ward One supported its “fair share” of convicted felon halfway houses’ beds by reducing their number from 62 to 13 (emphasis mine). Graham also led the initial effort to focus public attention on slum property conditions, which resulted in the creation of the “hot property” list and consequent criminal prosecution against slumlords. And last but not least, Graham successfully pressured the DC Housing Authority to improve the pace of rehabilitation of boarded-up properties.

Just looking at that list alone, Ward 8 might see an interesting, if not impressive transformation if Graham were our leader.

So, I challenge my readers to select a new leader for your Ward.** What do you think your new Council Member would bring to the table, that your current leader does not? Do you have a thought as to how any of these Council Members would perform under different pressures, then the ones they face in their current wards?  And going back to my analogy above, would Graham survive Ward 8--could he turn our struggling ward around?  Answer in the comments below.

**Rules being: you cannot elect your current leader and you have to pick from the currently elected members of the Council: David Catania, Harry Thomas, Jr., Jack Evans, Jim Graham, Kwame Brown, Marion Barry, Mary Cheh, Muriel Bowser, Phil Mendelson, Tommy Wells, Vincent Gray, Yvette Alexander, Michael A. Brown. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sheridan Station Webcam

WCS Construction, oh how I love thee.  First you post progress photos of construction to your website, and now you have a live webcam?!

I'm telling you, this is too cool.  Sheridan Station 24/7! (yes, I'm a construction geek).