Archive for January 14, 2009

Chefs Settle Down in ‘the Real D.C.’

Posted in Neighborhoods, Restaurants on January 14, 2009 by Kent

The New York Times reports that in Petworth, Columbia Heights, the U Street district and even the dicier parts of North Capitol Hill, a little restaurant revival is under way. Washington neighborhoods that for years were considered too dangerous or too poor for a viable sit-down restaurant are suddenly entertaining quite a few. You can read the full article here.


I Just Have One Thing to Say – Metro Observation

Posted in Inaugurations, Metro on January 14, 2009 by Kent

If you can avoid Metro in any way, shape, or form come the 20th, my advice to you would be to do just that. There hasn’t been a problem free day for Metro since January 9th, which I find very disturbing.


This morning I encountered a new twist. Transferring from the Yellow/Green line to the Red line in the direction of Shady Grove, there was an immobile crowd at the top of the functioning escalators. As you can guess, it isn’t necessarily safe to have an escalator throw you into a group of people that can’t move knowing that more people are right behind you that also will have nowhere to go. And why was this crowd at the top of the escalators? … because the Transit police were preventing people from moving to the platform to board the trains. I presume because they wanted the platform crowd to abate prior to adding more folks to it. Once a train came through, they allowed my group to proceed.


It strikes me that Metro officials are trying out crowd control measures to be prepared for the projected Inaugural crowds. However, the bottom line as I see it is that they neither know how to control crowds and keep people safe doing so, nor do are they able to keep the trains running in a timely manner.

Jim Graham Introduces Funding Bill for Metro

Posted in Commuity News & Events, Metro on January 14, 2009 by Kent

The Washington Post reports that Jim Graham has introduced a bill that furthers the process of securing $1.5 billion over 10 years in federal funding to buy rail cars and buses for Metro. Graham is expected to become chairman of the Metro board of directors this month. Graham’s bill also adds another provision — requiring the federal government to contribute funds every year to maintain federal membership on the Metro board. The Virginia board members support this change and have asked the Virginia legislature to approve it. For it to be adopted, all  three jurisdictions would need to pass supportive legislation, and then it needs to be approved by Congress.

Memorial for Clover Adams

Posted in People, Petworth, Rock Creek Cemetery, Saint-Gaudens, Augustus (1848-1907), Sculpture, White, Stanford (1853-1906) on January 14, 2009 by Kent

Last week, in commenting on the site of the Hay-Adams, I included a bit on the purported haunting of the hotel by the Spirit of Marian “Clover” Adams, who committed suicide in her home on that site in December of 1885. Being an accomplished portrait photographer, she used potassium cyanide, a chemical she had on hand for developing her photographs.adams-memorial

Her husband commissioned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and architect Stanford White to create a memorial to mark her grave in Rock Creek Cemetery. The haunting Adams Memorial is probably the most famous of all monuments in the cemetery. Erected in 1891, the memorial has no markings. While the central figure is commonly referred to as “Grief” — a name that Cover’s husband, Henry Adams, disliked — Saint-Gaudens’ name for the bronze was The Mystery of the Hereafter and The Peace of God that Passeth Understanding.adams-memorial-2

Then and Now

Posted in Then and Now, Washington Monument on January 14, 2009 by Kent

washington-monuement-stump We all know what the Washington Monument looks like, but not everyone knows what a struggle it was to actually get it completed. Its construction took place in two major phases. The first being between 1848 and 1856. The first image to the left is a photo ca. 1860. The second phase began around 1876 and lasted until complete in 1884. The Civil War and a lack of funds caused the intermittent break.

monument-completedWhen work began again, some of the earlier work had to be undone so that work could progress, causing the monument to remain in its stumpy condition for about 25 years. Even though stone from the same quary was used for the entire structure, the lapse of years caused the stone to be slightly darker, resulting in the noticable line between the older and newer parts of the structure. (Historical image courtesy Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. #LC-DIG-cwpbh-03248 )

Still Looking for that Little Black Dress?

Posted in Fashion, Inaugurations on January 14, 2009 by Kent

Next week, there will be hundreds of black-tie events. The fancy dress shops in the nation’s capital are rolling out their wares for inauguration events. And in a city that still has places that do business the old fashioned way — perhaps no place caters to its clientele quite like Harriet Kassman. NPR featured Harriet during last Monday’s Morning Edition. Click here to hear Nina Totenberg interview Harriet.

This Date in History

Posted in January, Sports on January 14, 2009 by Kent

January 14, 1973: Superbowl VII — The Miami Dolphins beat the Washington Redskins, 14-7, in Los Angeles and became the first, and presently the only team in the NFL to complete a perfect, undefeated season.001309540