Archive for the ‘gentrification’ Category

Bicycles = Elitism?

December 5, 2011

Bicycles = Elitism?

It’s back! That 21st century city transportation question:

“Are urban bicyclists just elite snobs?” Will Doig, Salon.

Earlier iterations:

“Are Bike Lanes Expressways to Gentrification?” Paul M. Davis, Shareable

“Bike Lane Backlash, Even in Portland,” Sarah Goodyear, Atlantic Cities

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Will Ben’s Next Door Serve Jelly Roll?

August 25, 2008

Will Ben's Next Door Serve Jelly Roll?
Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton performed on U Street 20 years too early to get a chili dog at Ben’s

Washington, DC’s late-night culinary institution, Ben’s Chili Bowl,  celebrated its 50th anniversary this week. The Ali family, owners of Ben’s, will be opening a second establishment next door, at 1211 U Street, NW, called (as of this writing) Ben’s Next Door, where patrons will be able to buy beer and salads as well as cheese fries, half smokes, chili dogs, and burgers. NotionsCapital respectfully suggests putting “jelly roll” pastry on the menu, in honor of Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton.

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Faux-Redneck Festivities on TV

July 8, 2008

Faux-Redneck Festivities on TV

The Woodsboro Tavern in (where else?) Woodsboro, Maryland recently hosted the wedding of a couple from a farm off MD State Route 194, reports Pamela Rigaux in the Frederick News-Post. The wedding was recorded by a video crew and will be featured on Country Music Television’s My Big Redneck Wedding, hosted by Tom Arnold.

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Banner Banality

July 2, 2008

Banner Banality

An off-topic note on Northeast Washington’s esteemed Frozen Tropics neighborhood blog set me off on a rant about those ubiquitous lamppost banners. Hate ‘em.

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March on Potomac Gardens

May 18, 2008

March on Potomac Gardens

Washington, DC’s Capital Hill East web discussion group has proposed an anti-crime march on the Potomac Gardens public housing community. This has set the blogosphere boiling but has yet to make it into DC newspapers and broadcast media. It will. The proposal, no matter how well-intentioned, is certainly un-neighborly; some may consider it divisive, racist, elitist, and downright ignorant.

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Noise, Neighborhood, Newbies

May 6, 2008

Noise Neighborhood Newbies

“An individual, thinking himself injured, makes more noise than state”
Thomas Jefferson

Noise: Any unwanted sound. Noise can be loud or soft.
Syllabus, Tooling University

It’s back. The District of Columbia Council reconsiders the “Dave Billl” today. The bill amends the District of Columbia Noise Control Amendment Act of 1977, (D.C. Law 2-53; 20 DCMR § 2799.1) so daytime noncommercial public speaking will be considered a “noise disturbance” if it exceeds “70 decibels when measured at a distance of 50 feet from the source of the noise.”

The bill is the result of exhaustive lobbying by a guy named Dave who bought a house in Northeast Washington, near the commercial intersection of 8th and H Streets, NE, where several bus lines intersect. The intersection has been an important shopping location for African American working people since the 1920s, even after the riots of 1968. This”agora” has attracted street preachers of various political and religious philosophies, poets and musicians. If Dave is familiar with this tradition, he is not sympathetic to it.

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NPR Sports Story Strike Out

April 1, 2008

NPR Sports Story Strikes Out

National Public Radio’s All Things Considered aired a story on Minor League Baseball yesterday. Reporter Jeff Brady (“spends time playing tennis, gardening and remodeling his century-old home”) attributed the phenomenal growth in popularity of the minors to the adoption of “quirky,” “innovative” team names, amusing costumed mascots, and good marketing of the same.

Baseball people would fault the piece for failing to distinguish between MiLB (Major League Baseball’s “farm teams”) and the many other minor and “semi-pro” leagues, and similar sins of omission (example: Albuquerque had the Dukes long before the Isotopes arrived). I’ve got a grass-fed beef with the NPR tale because it failed to explain the rationale for the menu of minor league team names, a rationale central to the lifestyle of the NPR audience demographic and intimately related to the reason NPR Will Eat Itself.

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Who’s Preaching to Whom?

March 23, 2008

Who’s Preaching to Whom

Like three-quarters of the world’s population, I do not come from a cultural background that includes proselytizing, and I consider it somewhat rude. Those who proselytize, however, are eager to share their One True Right Answer – spiritual, political, commercial – with the rest of us, even though like most of the world I’d rather they kept their joy to themselves or shared it with like-minded folks somewhere out of earshot. I guess that takes the fun out of prophecy, though, because street corner preaching persists.

For over twenty years, the intersection of 8th and H Street Northeast and has been a place where Prophets like to share their Answers with us Multitudes. The intersection of two bus routes serving residential areas without many other services, it is a commercial area, loud with the sound of voices, recorded music and Metrobuses. If you wish to speak to several people at once, amplification is required.

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Crime Target® or Big Box Paranoia?

March 13, 2008

Crime Target or Big-Box Paranoia

New residents of Washington, DC’s Columbia Heights neighborhood don’t know whether to pee or buy tube socks.  The hipster’s morally-acceptable Wal-Mart®-equivalent, Target®, has moved into the gentrifying ‘hood, but rumors of street robberies of customers are spreading. Press and police statements have been less than helpful, and rumors like this do not help property values. Does anything help property values these days?

In any case, the Metropolitan Police Department has re-assigned officers to the area around Target® to assuage the fears of the consumer class. Bar owners must pay the city $55 per officer per hour to patrol outside their establishments. Does Target®?

Image By Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license. Credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. 
“Sopwith Camel®,” “Wal-Mart®,” and “Target®” are registered tradenames; tradenames and logos are used to avoid brand confusion.

Travel Advisory

January 2, 2008

Travel Advisory

San Francisco, charming city of hills and cable cars, has long lured tourists with cultural and counter-cultural attractions, but recent events might give travelers pause:

Sara Jane Moore, would-be assassin of President Gerald Ford, was paroled from a nearby prison Monday, after 32 years.

A woman with drug-resistant tuberculosis took a commercial flight to S.F. and spent a week loose in the city before checking into the hospital.

Good-bye, Liberal credentials: Workers at three Sonoma County vineyards ousted the United Farm Workers union; so many Black residents have left that the city formed an African American Out-Migration Task Force.

The quaint City by the Bay is becoming an agglomeration of high-rises, a “city of the very rich and very poor, a boutique city and not a real one.”

And San Francisco’s reputation for fine dining for all tastes is not an unmixed blessing . . .

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