Archive for January 15, 2009

Jersey Barriers Ready to Go

Posted in Downtown, Inaugurations on January 15, 2009 by Kent

 

jersey-barrier1Here’s something I’d like some feedback on. As I’m sure many of us have seen – especially those of us that work near the Mall, Capitol, or White House – Jersey barriers appeared early this week. Currently, they are all on sidewalks or roads that were closed due to Obama’s stay at the Hay-Adams.

 

jersey-barrier2What I want to know is why they needed to spray-paint the locations of the barriers prior to installation and placement, and how long its going to take for the paint to wear off. Its bad enough that my neighbors wall got tagged a few weeks back, now we have to see sanctioned defacing as well.

Streetlamps

Posted in Downtown, Streetlamps on January 15, 2009 by Kent

streetlamp One thing I’ve noticed about DC is that we seem to have two basic types of streetlamps in the city. We either have dull modern lamps, or, we have the basic 1920s style lamps with urn shaped globes. Because of this, I decided to see how many different types of streetlamps I can find that used to be on our streets.

This lamp appears to be a gaslamp, and was on the NW corner of H and 16th Street, NW, ca. 1890.

Got Mail — Frankly, I’m Surprised They’re Trying

Posted in Commuity News & Events on January 15, 2009 by Kent

According to Washington NBC News, the Postal Service will make every effort to provide retail and delivery service to customers on January 20; however, congestion and road closures may prevent them from providing normal service. No deliveries will be made on Jan. 20 in the 20004 and 20006 ZIP codes. Disruptions are expected in the following ZIP codes: 20001, 20002, 20003, 20005, 20024 and 20037.

Sometimes, a Good Suit is a Good Suit

Posted in Fashion, Inaugurations, Presidents on January 15, 2009 by Kent

According to the Washington Post’s Reliable Source, Eisenhower was the first president to eschew the top hat and tails at his inauguration and wear a nice business suit. His reasoning: “to make the modern automobile and the silk hat meet in any kind of a compromise that takes convenience and comfort into consideration, is a complete impossibility”. Obama is also expect to wear a good suit for the occasion.eisenhower

How Many Czar’s does a Democracy Need

Posted in Commuity News & Events on January 15, 2009 by Kent

I read on Tuesday that D.C. Police have appointed a crowd czar to help manage the unprecedented number of people expected in the District for the Inauguration. Metro has had a safety czar, Obama stated that he wants an energy czar, and we’ve all heard the term drug czar which dates back to 1982. What I want to know is … why have we so completely embraced a term associated with despotic rule, and how is it compatible with democratic principles.

I’m not even going to go into how tired I am of hearing this term attached to just about every problem, but I do question why we need these czars. Its as if we subconsciously recognize that bureaucracies don’t work, and rather than fix them, we appoint a strongman with unprecedented powers to go after a problem without having to go through normal channels.

 By appointing these czars problems can be tackled more aggressively, but studies have shown that superior solutions generally come from a group working together. So, what’s the answer?

Obama’s Limo

Posted in Presidential Limousines, Presidents on January 15, 2009 by Kent

The Secret Service released pictures yesterday of the new armored presidential limousine that Obama will use during the inauguration and as president. The new Cadillac model of the presidential limousine was made by General Motors Corp and unlike other presidential limo models it does not have an official model name. A few more details can be found hereobama_limo1.

Air Force Memorial

Posted in Monuments and Memorials on January 15, 2009 by Kent

air-force-memorialOne of the newer additions to the Capitol skyline is the Air Force Memorial. I have to say, when it was being erected, I hated it. Now that I’ve had time to think about it and get used to it, I still hate it. I find it to be one of the least imaginative blotches on the landscape that could have been thought of. Perhaps the nicest think I can say about it is that it caused the powers that be to at least tear down one of the buildings of the Navy Annex to make room for it.

model-plane-standJust because something is big, doesn’t make it good. Just because something cost a lot of money, doesn’t make it good. When I see the memorial, it reminds me of all those model airplanes we made as boys. Each and every one had a swooping stand to display the model. All the memorial did was bring three stands together, and forget the models at the top.

I also firmly believe that the only reason it was erected in Arlington is because 1) It wouldn’t have passed the strict requirements the District imposes on memorials (think about the WWII memorial and the lengthy review process it went through) and, 2) I’m betting that there is a long term plan to incorporate this land into Arlington Cemetery some day.

I don’t oppose what the memorial stands for. Far from it. But I do wish that design excellence would be the primary goal, rather than focusing on a known architect, or the least controversial design, or what ever else leads to such a blight on the skyline.