Archive for February 9, 2009

President Obama’s First News Conference

Posted in Presidents on February 9, 2009 by Kent

AP Obama 2008Well, here I sit listening to President Obama’s first news conference, and I’m conflicted. He’s smart, he’s eloquent, but he also tends to be a bit long winded.

Don’t get me wrong, I like him. Its also refreshing to see a President clearly comfortable enough with the media that he’s going to say what he wants for as long as it takes to say it. Still, I think that he’s going to need to learn to be a bit more succinct.

Although, to me, the gem of the evening was when he said he didn’t come into office “all ginned up to spend” billions of dollars. It was also nice to see him be able to smile and have a lighter moment when he was asked what Vice President Biden was talking about.

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Then and Now

Posted in Petworth, Then and Now on February 9, 2009 by Kent

new-hampshire-and-upshur-1927Then: New Hampshire between Upshur and Grant Circle on March 13, 1927. (Image courtesy of Historical Society of Washington, Reservations Photograph Collection, #RE 193)

new-hampshire-and-upshurNow: Same view in 2009. Trees have matured (obscuring the view of Petworth Methodist Church), the streetlamp, median, and street car tracks are all gone now.

Visit to Congressional Cemetery

Posted in Barney Circle, Capitol Hill, Congressional Cemetery on February 9, 2009 by Kent

Wm. WertCongressional Cemetery was first established by private citizens in 1807 and later given over to Christ Church, which gave it the name Washington Parish Burial Ground. By 1817 sites were set aside for government legislators and officials. The cemetery is still owned by Christ Church but is now managed by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery (APHCC).

Congressional Cemetery2I’ve been to the cemetery before, but was pleased to see upon this visit that there is a lot of work being done. Last time I remember a lot of mud. This time, I discovered the roads are being paved, brick walkways are being installed, and some of the monuments have been restored (but I have to say, most of the monuments are in great shape).

0151Being one of the older cemeteries, many of Washington’s prominent early residents are interred there. The cemetery is on the banks of the Anacostia River, and has some interesting monuments to see. I’ll highlight some of the more interesting things to see in the next couple of days.017

Cafe 8 for Sunday Brunch

Posted in Capitol Hill, Food, Restaurants on February 9, 2009 by Kent

Cafe 8While meandering around Capitol Hill this weekend I decided to check out Cafe 8 for brunch. I’ve passed this place a couple of times, and really liked its street presence. Also, Matchbox had a 40 minute wait, which is something I rarely will do. Lets face it, for me to wait 40 minutes it better be made out of gold.

So anyway, being hungry, it worked out good for Cafe 8. The cuisine leans toward Mediterranian and Greek. I liked that they have a brunch menu on Sundays. There was variety without having too many choices. That tends to be a good thing. It was also nice that there is some outdoor seating in front, and then an enclosed open air patio in the back. Both were full.

The indoor ambiance wasn’t anything to write home about, but it is on par with Banana Cafe, which is down the street. Both comfortable and pleasant. There wasn’t any music playing … which I found odd, but then again, I didn’t have to yell above any noise to talk to my partner.

Unfortunately, the kitchen was behind, so the food did not arrive as timely as it could have. The place did not look to be packed either, so I don’t know if they were down kitchen staff or not. The waitress was pleasant enough, though, and did everything in her power to make the experience as nice as possible.

The food, when it arrived, was good, and two people can dine there for about $30, which seemed reasonable. I would go back, but with the caveat that time from order to table would need to improve. All in all, if you want to spend a lazy day on the hill, this could be an enjoyable part of it.

Etta James Now Claims Humor Defense

Posted in Entertainment, Inaugurations, People on February 9, 2009 by Kent

etta-jamesVSbeyonce

Last week, 71-year-old singer Etta James was caught on tape stating that she can’t stand Beyoncé. In particular, Ms. James was furious that Beyoncé had sung “her song” At Last at the inaugural ball for President Obama. Now, after being publicly caught being ugly,  stating that she would “whip” Beyoncé for singing that song, Etta is using the humor defense. She claims it was all a joke. So what was it. Deuling Divas, hurt feelings, or just so much hot air?

Adams Morgan Taxi Stand Experiment a Failure

Posted in Adams Morgan, Transportation on February 9, 2009 by Kent

The Examiner reports that the D.C. Department of Transportation issued formal notice Friday that the 90-day pilot program to herd the crush of D.C. cabs that overrun Adams Morgan on a typical weekend night into an organized taxi stand had been postponed, but the taxi stand was actually discontinued in December, about 30 days in. DDOT has since pulled its directional signs from the 18th Street area, deeming the trial a failure. Full Examiner report here>>

Unrealized Dreams — The Capitol

Posted in Capitol (The), Unrealized Dreams on February 9, 2009 by Kent

The District of Columbia was formed in 1791 to be the seat of Government. Shortly afterward, it was decided that the Capitol’s design should be chosen by a public competition, and advertisements began appearing in American newspapers in March 1792. The entries were disappointing to the judges — Washington, Jefferson, and the Commissioners of the District of Colombia. Most of the entries survive to this day. Here is an elevation and cross section of a design for the Capitol submitted by Samuel Dobie in the 1792 contest.dobie-capitol-designdobie-capitol-design-cross-section