Sunday, May 2, 2010

Random Neighborhood Thoughts, Pt. 2

The latest in a continuing series of posts that are basically a series of disconnected thoughts. Best for those of us with ADD.

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OK, I get that people enjoy dining al fresco, particularly when the weather is nice. But is dining outside along 14th Street really that enjoyable of an experience? Between the noise and fumes emanating from the Metrobuses, the general cacophony of 14th Street traffic (particularly motorcycles and EMS vehicles) and random people approaching you for a "friendly chat", let's just say that I've dined outside in better places.

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It will be a nice day once Metro is able to update its fleet of buses and get everything running as quiet as, say, the G2 along P Street. The 50 line buses can sound like a jet engine taking off when they accelerate--which is amplified when the Metrobus driver stops and accelerates a dozen times in the space of a single block.

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Speaking of buses, I meant to write earlier about the story from a few weeks back noting that the District was stepping back from Circulator expansion out of concern that it was competing with the Metrobus system. My question: why is that a bad thing? If people gravitate towards a system that offers greater frequency and reliability, a simplified route and fewer stops (meaning you get to your destination faster), that should say something to the Metro powers-that-be. Your job should be to present District residents with the most dependable and reliable public transit possible; if Metrobus is failing in that regard, fix it. Don't cut back on Circulator expansion simply because it's perceived to be stealing riders from Metrobus.

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Switching gears a bit...I'm impressed with how the Room and Board building is coming along. I'll be the first to admit that the prospects of yet another furniture retailer along 14th Street didn't exactly send me rushing into the streets with giddyness. But they're doing a fantastic renovation on that building, and the customer traffic they will bring into the neighborhood can only serve to help the other local retailers. It's also nice to have a new business enter the neighborhood that doesn't provoke some kind of alcohol-fueled controversy.


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For all the talk about how DC's homicide rate continues to plummet (and that is a *good* thing), why no talk about how gun crimes are going up through the roof? It's good that the triggers aren't getting pulled as often, but for anyone on the wrong end of a gun robbery the experience can be traumatizing. Yeah, DC's something like a thousand times safer than it was 20 years ago, but let's maintain some perspective.

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OK, seriously, WTF is with all of the tagging going on in the neighborhood? We raised this back in February, with assurances that it would be addressed. Yet, near as I can tell, the volume of tags has only increased. The Verizon building next door to Cafe Salsa got hit sometime last week.

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I noticed that the 11th Street streetscape project is finally wrapping up. A mere 10 months over schedule. And people wonder why business owners get nervous whenever a streetscape project is announced? To see what a *really* messed up street looks like, head over to H Street NE. That one is a real mess.

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And finally...yes, the Caps loss to Montreal is beyond disappointing, yes Bruce Boudreau should be brought back, and no, Jaroslav Halak is not the second coming of Patrick Roy or Dominic Hasek. He just played like it.

Now I've been reduced to rooting for my other favorite team: whoever is playing Pittsburgh.

8 comments:

Erica Amina said...

I was fine with everything you said until you started badmouthing my Penguins! There's a reason Sydney is still in it and Ovenchicken is not. Caps SUCK! :-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's a bummer when public transportation gets in the way of restaurant expansion on 14th street.

Amir said...

Though I appreciate the point about murder rates and violent crime, it's also important to keep in perspective the crimes that do occur-- crimes involving guns have NOT gone "up through the roof" (anecdotal evidence notwithstanding). There have been a total of 14 gun crimes (12 robberies, 2 assaults) since Jan 1 this year within 1500 from 14&U. That compares to 12 such crimes in the same period of 2009. That up, but not significantly so. Meanwhile, city-wide homicides are down nearly 30%.

Emilio Marty said...

A question here regarding street scaping. Is it worth whatever the city spends to install granite curbs and brick gutters? I have no idea what the cost is, but it's something I've always wondered about. What about their durability? Can someone enlighten me? Granite curbs I possibly can see, but surely the brick gutters of yesteryear were not built for today's street-parking vehicles. They look nice and all, but at what cost?

Ryan Anderson said...

I've noticed the increase in graffiti in the neighborhood, but a lot of it seems kinda cool. Aren't we all at least a little entertained that there's a new tagger in the area who goes by "A4ism"? That's downright clever.

Anonymous said...

I must admit I never have understood the obsession with eating outside here in DC. Outside is fine in an internal courtyard, or if you are on a roof deck, terrace, or balcony but sitting on the sidewalk?

Ryan Anderson said...

Seriously? Eating outdoors at a sidewalk cafe in the spring is one of the best aspects of DC.

Anonymous said...

Ryan - I like easting outside especially during sprint. But at a sidewalks cafe. UMMMM no.

Dogs pooping, car horns, police/fire sirens, joggers, homeless/beggars, fear of getting whacked in the head by passers by, crowds walking by within inches, exhaust fumes, diesel bus engines, shouting, etc. All that just pisses me off and no amount of nice weather makes up for that shit. The sidewalks of DC are not as wide as the Champs Elysee.