Thursday, October 23, 2008

You coulda fooled me...

From the Baltimore Sun: Race is expected to be a factor in W. Va vote.

"I'm not voting for that n--, and I ain't no racist when I say that either."

-- Anonymous West Virginia Democrat

And I thought the red-state plumbers and builders and blacksmiths or whatever, who don't even know the difference between gross and net income and consequently will vote against their own financial self interest, were ignorant.

West Virginia is now the frontrunner for the "hairy mole on the ass of the United States" award, ousting Alaska. What are we, in 1950? Jesus. Get a grip rednecks. Or lay off the meth. Whatever. Just do something other than confirming the stereotype of your stupidity.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Columbia Heights Circa 1913

From a photography blog called Shorpy I found a little photo retreospective of the corner of 14th and Irving. Where DCUSA and Target now tower over Columbia Heights once stood the "Arcade Market," capable of accommodating hundreds of merchants. It opened in 1910, complete with "a balcony for ladies that overlooks the entire market." The marketplace was formerly a streetcar barn, which accounts for the large arched doors.

The last remaining piece of the original structure is the facade that was preserved on Irving Street and will be home to the incoming Elwood Thomas grocery.

Check out the high-resolution photos of the first two (click on the photos to enlarge, or visit the original source using the links to see ridiculously high-resolution versions of these photos). There are some incredible details captured, like the man changing the lightbulbs on the "Bowling" sign, and the two women looking out the window above the cigar store.

Arcade circa 1910

Arcade circa 1925

Facade in 2004:

Today (more or less):

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Impalin' The Truth

"That her performance was considered anything but a
farce doesn't show how high Palin has risen, but how low we all have sunk. "
-- Michael Goldberg, The Guardian

The article is well worth reading. I apologize in advance if the picture gives you nightmares.

Meanwhile, as the Dow continues to plummet, from a Wall Street Journal editorial yesterday entitled Biden's Fantasy World:

"In any case, Mrs. Palin may not know as much about the world as Mr. Biden does, but at least most of what she knows is true."
-- Editorial Staff

What kind of drugs are they taking over there? As their wealth is evaporting under the failed policies of George W. Bush, they continue to justify ignorance and trash experience.

Well, here's one bit of good news: Independent Voters Move Toward Obama. Even if the conservative press sniffs all the glue in every hobby shop from midtown Manhattan to Capitol Hill between now and the election, at least money still talks to the average American. Yep, those maverick, joe-sixpack-lovin', folksy heroes of the Republican army sure screwed ya good! Looks like the curtain may really be coming down this time.

I just hope these events speak louder than a wink and a nod, doggone it.

Columbia Heights Day Pictures

It's all over, and it was a lot of fun. The turnout was good. The tents and activities were pretty busy throughout the day, despite the open field itself seeming somewhat sparse at times. I thought this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, since it meant there was plenty of space for people to relax and watch the music, or play frisbee, or an impromptu game of foursquare. The vibe was good and there were plenty of fun things to do and see over the course of the day. I ran into lots of people from around the neighborhood, both new and old friends, and felt generally that there was a lot of good energy throughout the day.

While I think we did a great job pulling this together, there are definitely some things that could be done differently to make the event even better. Part of this is my own impression from being there, and part of this is from reading some of the criticism that came out on a couple blogs yesterday. One of them seemed to have sparked a little firestorm, which I already made a comment about this under my original post before Columbia Heights Day and I won't say anything more about that here.

From this point forward I think what's important for us to do is take the online feedback from individual attendees for what it is - individual experiences. While myself (and obviously some others) were surprised to read from a neighbor who said she didn't find much interesting going on, the fact that she didn't mention any of the major activities should tell us that we didn't do a very good job of letting attendees know the day of the event what was happening and where.

So lesson number 1 for next time: We should make the events schedule and a detailed map of the grounds more readily available. This could be in the form of large posters at various strategic points throughout the grounds, or flyers available at the door. I think I like the first option better from a waste standpoint.

I have some other thoughts, but we haven't met as a group to discuss how it went for everyone, so I don't want to say anything else here. But regardless of what went wrong, I think there was a lot more that went right and throughout the day I saw hundreds of people laughing, playing and enjoying themselves. So I'll close by sharing a few pictures from the event.

Coverage so far:

Columbia Heights Day - Good Times (Prince of Petworth)

Columbia Heights Day (Creative DC)

Columbia Heights Day - Dull Times (City Desk)

Columbia Heights Day Pulls Community Together (The Hilltop Online - Howard U Student Paper)

All my pictures here on flickr. I have more still to upload.

More pictures from others on Picasa

Free Yoga @ 10 AM with Quiet Mind Yoga

Rise and Shine Yoga

Petting Zoo

Dog, Meet Camel

Cupcake Eating Contest by Sticky Fingers Bakery


Food line

Food Frenzy


Four Square

Early Morning Coordination

Allison Making It Happen

Best Buy/DCUSA

Best Buy and DCUSA



Friday, October 3, 2008

Palin Drone

I don't usually get into too much of the political analysis and ranting, except about local stuff, because that's usually got a lot of humor value. But I came away from watching last night's debate with a few thoughts. First, the moderator of the debate mostly sucked. Sarah Palin came right out and explicitly said she would not answer the questions. And so she didn't, she simply chanted one of three scripted monologues that she had memorized, never having anything to do with the question. I can't believe the moderator didn't even call her out on this.

But never mind that. I had some deep thoughts about what might happen should they be elected. So without further ado...

Pros and Cons of a McCain/Palin Presidency


1. Constant use of term "Joe Sixpack" could result in trade embargo from China, effectively tripling the cost of most products sold at Wal-Mart and consequently plunging 46% of the US into poverty.

2. Maverick in Chief is constant reminder of stupid Mel Gibson movie of same name.

3. Palin's folksiness even more irrating than George Bush's.

4. Hippie names become popular among conservatives. Consequently you can no longer assume someone named "Sierra" or "Rainbow" smokes pot.


1. We will have the world's hottest leader when McCain dies, dramatically improving relations with banana republics and most European countries.

2. Palin is even easier to make fun of than Dan Quayle.

3. Saturday Night Live will be funny again.

4. Cute accent reminds you of Fargo.

5. Potential for combining Bristol's shotgun wedding with the inauguration in January; could be the drunkest party in DC history.

6. Moose steaks available in area supermarkets.


The economy may collapse but there will be awesome entertainment in DC.


Buy property in Canada but bring your DirectTV dish with you.