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A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Do Unto Others: One member of the Crestwood email list has a heretofore unaddressed option for dealing with the ruckus caused by new benches at 18th and Argyle streets NW. They write, “Hey, here’s an idea…let’s just go and plop these park benches that everyone’s so excited about in the side yard of—I don’t know…maybe a random pick from one of the neighbors who’s so eager to get benches. I mean, if the neighborhood needs benches to foster a sense of community, then why does it matter where we put them, right? Anyone want to offer up a parcel adjacent to your own property? Or maybe just right in the tree box in front of your property. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Oh…right. Some of the residents don’t want sidewalks (you want to talk community?), so they don’t have tree boxes. Well, then, how about right in the front yard?”
For Taquitos Only: Though New Columbia Heights is firmly committed to not buying produce at neighborhood 7-11s, readers have a slightly more positive outlook. One says, “The produce at Giant is generally pretty gross, and if I can get in and out of 7-11 (which is closer to me) and avoid Giant’s lines, I would probably do it.” Another writes, “this is very GOOD – a public health strategy to those that primarily get their nutrition from 7-11/sonya’s market/etc. Similarly done in Harlem bodegas, increased successful.” But some are skeptical. “If Target could make such a huge deal (ads around the entire city) when it started carrying produce a block away from a grocery store, I don’t see why 7-Eleven shouldn’t do the same. As to whether the quality of the produce will be well maintained and if it will be by weight or fixed price remains to be seen,” writes a commenter. And another retorts, “well they’ve always had the freshest taquitos, cigarettes and gatorade so i don’t see how this would be any different.”
Itsy-Bitsy: Of recent discussion on the Chevy Chase email list has been the “dangers of gardening barefoot,” with the most egregious threat being the black widow spider. One member shares their encounters with the creatures, writing, “This is correct. I have personally found that stacks of garden pots are a favorite hiding place for black widows! Always wear gloves when rooting around your garage or shed. I killed one making a web in a corner of my front porch last year, and a handyman found one dangling from the garage door a few years ago.” For preventative measures, the member suggests, “printing a detailed image of a black widow so everyone in the household knows how to identify them.”
Whimsy on the Hill: The Hill is Home writes an ode to the neighborhood’s lawn art, with this colorful passage: “Clearly the sense of humor and joie de vivre that inspires entertaining yard personality is not limited to the Hill, but my frequent sidewalk double-takes make me grateful that neighborhood associations don’t squelch the creativity of my neighbors. Can you imagine if the families who put their porches under the care of watchful trolls were blackballed or fined? Of course, there are times I wish folks would ‘curate’—who can actually use that word in passing without air quotes?—their collection…with a more discriminating eye. But more often than not, my sense of wonder and appreciation trumps my inner ‘that’s tacky’ voice.” Of course, the wish for “curation” was directed at the much-maligned toilet-as-flower-planter decoration that appeared on a Hill East lawn several weeks ago.