Blog Archives

One Year After Obamas Move In, Washington Losing its Black Majority

It used to be “the Black Broadway.”

Washington D.C.’s U Street N.W. neighborhood has long been considered an African-American cultural epicenter. Duke EllingtonDuke EllingtonDuke Ellington, Pearl BaileyPearl BaileyPearl Bailey and Sarah Vaughn were among the legendary performers, who played at a string of nightclubs and theaters along the thoroughfare.

That’s ancient history now. One year after the country first African American president moved into that big White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington’s half-century status as a predominantly black city appears to be nearing its end.

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Today’s Greenlines: Clotheslines, Bike Paths, Farmers Markets, London Deforestation + More

This trend doesn’t seem to have hit DC yet, at least I haven’t seen many clothes hanging in my neighborhood, but people around the country are apparently fighting for their rights to clothesline.

The Streetsblog Capitol Hill picks up an AP story about how a majority of Americans recognize that they could play a role in helping the environment but don’t usually back up the talk with actions. Hmmm, the same thing could be said of world leaders.

A London exhibition of giant tropical tree stumps dramatizes rainforest deforestation. Check out the story and photo on the Guardian site.

The Washington Post reports from Indonesia on “A CLIMATE THREAT, RISING FROM THE SOIL”

DC Metrocentric gives an update on Penrose Square in Arlington, a rare example of an older suburban shopping center being revamped as a denser urban village with a pedestrian friendly mix of shops and housing.

The financially troubled Allegro apartments in Columbia Heights sold for $77.5 million, DC Metrocentric also reports.

We Love DC offers its five favorite bike routes.

DC nonprofits say they are seeing more demand and less moolah to carry out those services, Washington Business Journal reports on the survey.

Columbia Heights residents are meeting Saturday to discuss plans to bring a farmer’s market back to the neighborhood.

Morning Coffee: Smart Appliances, Unisex Fish

The New York Times’ Green, Inc. blog says “smart appliances” designed to save on energy usage are arriving in stores around the country. The catch: the “smart” grid that would allow these appliances to put their energy-busting technology to work is still a dream on Washington policymakers drawing board.

The toxic stew of chemicals in the Potomac River is killing fish and altering their sexual development, according to the Potomac Conservancy‘s annual “State of the Nation’s Rivers” report, covered today in The Washington Post. The report, reportedly, makes no conclusions on the human health impacts. What goes unstated, however, is that our drinking water here in DC comes from the Potomac!

Ryan Avent laments the lack of car sharing in DC, while The Heights Life picks up on the rejoicing on city listservs now that parking-space hogging street cleaning is suspended until the spring.

Washington Business Journal says Montgomery County may opt for a more permanent but costly light rail instead of a bus for the planned 14-mile Clarksburg to Shady Grove line. The vote is set for Nov. 17.

Greater Greater Washington posts on a new report grappling with what the metropolitan DC area will look like in 2050. The take away: Revamping aging suburbs into denser, more pedestrian friendly communities of the future will be no easy task, David Alpert notes.  The Coalition for Smarter Growth is holding a forum tomorrow night.

Park View DC has the goods on last night’s ANC1A meeting in which developers discussed plans for the former Central Union Mission property at the southwest corner of Newton and Georgia Ave.

Morning Coffee – Local Edition

The New Columbia Heights blog is advertising the free bike light giveaway by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association tomorrow at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza and in Adams Morgan.

Why I hate DC complains about complaints from Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) that he and other residents were broadsided on this week’s 15th St. bike lane construction.  It posts the contents of a letter from Graham taking city officials to task for the lack of notice about the temporary loss of parking spaces on 15th street.

Over in my old neighborhood, the Park View blog urges residents to demand new green space as part of the planned redevelopment of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH). The retirement home’s lush rolling landscape is some of the only greenery in the neighborhood – too bad it’s not open to the public. The author, who has clearly perused many tedious DC planning documents, concludes things are likely to stay that way without a community outcry.

The Durable Human blogger Jenifer Joy Madden alerted me to her post on how locavores can save the world. You can find it here.

This Sunday, there’s going to be a conference on climate change at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel. The subtitle: “Humanity’s Leap in the Golden Age.” The keynote speaker is Supreme Master Ching Hai, who is described as “a world-renowned spiritual teacher, artist, and humanitarian,” who “campaigns to promote a benevolent lifestyle without animal products.” A load of very esteemed academics are also slated to speak. I don’t know much else but it’s free – you gotta like that! Here’s the website.