Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Bagel Day

September 11, 2017

Bagel Day

Tuesday was Bagel Day at the software development center, and I favored Bagels & Baguettes near Stanton Park. There was a line when I got there, around 8:30 AM. The shop is near the Senate office buildings and the Heritage Foundation, so there is a TV tuned to CNN to keep news-obsessed customers occupied.

By the time I got my two dozen hot bagels, the damnedest thing was on that television. An airplane had crashed into a World Trade Center tower in New York, and the building was on fire. It was September 11, 2001.

I went to the office break room and put out the bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon. I guess I was making coffee when the second plane hit the other tower. I figured people still had to eat.

The developers were plugged into the Web, and learned as much – or as little — as anyone that morning. We knew a third plane hit the Pentagon and heard the false report that a fourth had hit the White House. There was a rumor that a plane had hit the Capitol, but we were two blocks away and would have heard that.

I scanned on the radio, but the news stations were clueless. I heard some good eyewitness reporting from New York over Pacifica, which I hadn’t expected. I put it on the telephone intercom and went through the office, turning intercoms on for some, off for people who had already heard enough.

I called the boss, got the word to send folks home, and surfed up reports on school system closings and Metro. The Red Line at Union Station was shut down until early afternoon. Phones at schools were busy, cell phone systems overloaded. I helped negotiate carpool rides for suburban commuter parents anxious enough to try the crowded roads, shut the center down, and walked home.

It was a quiet walk. There wasn’t a plane in the sky. All civilian aircraft were grounded. I kept the radio off and waited for the Wednesday paper.

Versions of this have been posted here each September 11th since 2007.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pSK

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

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Tax March 2017

April 17, 2017

Tax March 2017

Tens of thousands of citizens marched in Washington DC Saturday to demand that Donald Trump release his tax returns, as every American president has done since Watergate. Mr. Trump made many promises to do this before and during the campaign, then reneged. After a 2-hour demonstration on the U.S. Capitol grounds, protesters marched past the GSA-owned Trump International Hotel to the Lincoln Memorial.

Senator Ron Wyden and U.S. Representatives Jamie Raskin and Maxine Waters spoke, but the big surprise was an appearance by the Chief Executive himself, who released his tax returns:

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Sugar Snap Peas

September 26, 2016

Sugar Snap Peas

On February 25th, First Lady Michelle Obama visited the FoodPrints class at Watkins School on Capitol Hill, and brought some seeds from the White House Kitchen Garden for the school’s Edible Schoolyard garden.

What does the school’s garden look like this season?

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Bagel Day

September 11, 2016

Bagel Day

Tuesday was Bagel Day at the software development center, and I favored Bagels & Baguettes near Stanton Park. There was a line when I got there, around 8:30 AM. The shop is near the Senate office buildings and the Heritage Foundation, so there is a TV tuned to CNN to keep news-obsessed customers occupied.

By the time I got my two dozen hot bagels, the damnedest thing was on that television. An airplane had crashed into a World Trade Center tower in New York, and the building was on fire. It was September 11, 2001.

(more…)

Conflict of Interest on Pennsylvania Avenue

August 29, 2016

Conflict of Interest on Pennsylvania Avenue

Presidential candidate Donald Trump already has a home on Pennsylvania Avenue, a few blocks from the White House. It’s a $200 million hotel project he’s developing in the Old Post Office Building, a historic property owned by the federal government and leased to the Trump Organization for 60 years.

As Steve Perlstein observed, it’s “curious” the government “… would choose to pass over established, deep-pocketed hoteliers such as Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton in order to choose a lead developer who has spent so much time in U.S. Bankruptcy Court that he qualifies for elite frequent-flier status.” Part of the appeal might have been due to Trump’s financial bait-and-switch. Trump’s bid included funding from his Californian investor pal Tom Barrack, the guy who had sold him the Plaza (Trump sold it for a huge loss). After Trump got the Old Post Office contract, Barrack pulled out and Trump off-shored the financing, borrowing $170 million from Germany’s Deutsche Bank instead. The collateral? The federal lease on the tax-payer-owned property.

Remember, the historic Old Post Office Building’s landlord is the General Services Administration (GSA), a federal agency.

“You’d be kidding yourself if you don’t think the president of the United States has influence over this. And [Trump’s] taken no affirmative steps to separate himself from this conflict of interest. I don’t know how this is not a bigger issue. It’s crazy.”
— Jessica Tillipman, George Washington University Law School

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2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 28, 2016

2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is back in Washington DC, June 29th to July 4th and July 7th to July 10th. You’ll find it on the National Mall between Fourth and Seventh streets, north of the National Air and Space Museum. The free festival features Basque culture of the Old World and the Americas (music, dance, craft and foodways), music of California, and the cultural impact of Immigration.

The festival schedule is here. See you on the line at the food concessions.

Festival map. Festival blog.

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Shortlink: http://wp.me/p6sb6-o3B

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Gyrocopter Jockey Gets Jail Time for Buzzing the Capitol

April 26, 2016

Gyrocopter Jockey Gets Jail Time for Buzzing the Capitol

Last fall Florida mailman Douglas Hughes flew his gyrocopter into DC restricted airspace and landed on the Capitol lawn. Dressed in his mail carrier uniform, had letters addressed to each member of Congress protesting campaign finance laws. Immediately arrested, he soon pleaded guilty to flying his gyrocopter without a license into DC’s restricted airspace.

Mr. Hughes was dismissed from the US Postal Service for his unauthorized airmail delivery. Last Thursday he was sentenced to 120 days in federal prison. That’s a pretty light sentence for threatening Congress with a … a…. Wait.  What the heck is a gyrocopter?

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Bohemian Caverns, 1928 — 2016

March 28, 2016

Legendary jazz club Bohemian Caverns has expired, the victim of a suffocating live entertainment climate. Founded in 1926 in the basement of a corner drugstore on U Street, Washington’s “Black Broadway,” it became DC’s hip jazz spot in the 1960s, a place where the “in crowd” could see and hear Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Shirley Horn, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Bobby Timmons, Nina Simone, and Charles Mingus.

The Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded a live album in the Caverns in 1964, returning the next year to interpret Billy Page’s “In Crowd,” a pop hit for Dobie Gray. The RLT’s live version became a hit single as well.

More:

“Last of the Bohemian,” Michael J. West, Washington City Paper

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-nuo

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Cherry Blossom Webcam

March 24, 2016

Cherry Blossom Webcam

Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin; that’s springtime in Washington, DC. The National Park Service says we’re entering the peak bloom phase. If you can’t get down to the Tidal Basin today, keep track of blossom progress on the Cherry Blossom Webcam.

NPS Tidal Basin cherry tree locator map

National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-nus

Image (“Cherry Blossom Webcam, after After Hiroshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Cherry Blossoms Dawdle in DC

March 18, 2016

Cherry Blossoms Dawdle in DC

The National Park Service oracle says the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms will not reach peak bloom today after all due to recent cold snaps. Look for beautiful blooms on March 23-24.

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Shortlink: http://wp.me/p6sb6-nsS

Image (“Cherry Blossom Viewing at the Tidal Basin, after Hiroshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.