A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.

Signs of the Apocalypse? A member of the Takoma email list writes of odd avian behavior. “I’ve spotted three dead birds on the sidewalks in the last couple days (Takoma Metro, south underpass; Takoma Theater; and another location that escapes me at the moment). And yesterday a (living) pigeon stood on the sidewalk under the Metro bridge without moving or even appearing alarmed as my dog and I walked on either side of it, my dog sniffing the top of its head before moving on, disinterested. I thought I would mention it in case anyone else has noticed anything odd going on with the birds in our neighborhood.” A second detailed description of a bird’s every move comes from another list member, who writes, “Something’s definitely up with birds. I let my dogs out into my backyard today, and there was a bird on the ground, just inside the fence. My dogs, being dogs, immediately lunged at the bird. A normal bird would fly off immediately, but this bird couldn’t get off the ground. I yelled at my dogs to “leave it” to no avail, and one of my dogs pounced on the bird several times before the bird managed to escape under the fence. I watched for a minute, and after making a couple of pathetic attempts at flying, the bird hopped lamely across the street and into a neighbor’s yard. Not normal at all.”

Benched Bravery: Inquires one member of the Takoma email list: “I think this came up yrs ago but it sure would be nice to have a few benches in Marvin Caplan Park (on Alaska Ave). I’ve been finishing up my daily jogs there for 18 yrs and would welcome a respite where I can sit down for a few after jogging. Very few parks this size in the City are lacking benches—-why is this one?” Someone suggests, “Because some residents near the park did/do not want to have benches because they fear that homeless people would sit or sleep on them. A bench was even donated many years ago but had to be placed on the Shepherd School playground. A couple of years ago the issue was raised again and again a bench was vetoed. You will notice that the bus shelter at Alaska and Kalmia also does not have a place to sit.” And another adds a few words of wisdom: “The bus stop has had seating for about 2 yrs now and guess what, no loitering to speak of. A neighborhood afraid to put benches in it’s parks needs a sip of bravery and two shots of courage.”

Buzz in Near Southeast: JDLand summarizes the big announcement that Forest City Developers will bring a Harris Teeter and several new restaurants to Near Southeast, which presently has a considerable dearth of dining options. Unsurprisingly, commenters on the blog are uniformly excited by the news. One writes, “This is great. I thought the 880 NJ Ave scaling back was a bigger let down than most of you but a haul including a Harris Teeter, 24/7 diner, bakery, brewery, etc at the Yards is outstanding.” Writes another, “No more Safeway for me! This should be a message to the Half St folks to get their plans moving because the money is flowing into the area – feels like 2007/08 with all the positive news. If I were Akridge/Monumnet I’d be coming up with tenants real quick.”

Brickhead: New Columbia Heights has an update on the brick-throwing that Room 11 and Meridian Pint were subject to last week. DCist reported then that “Police responded to the scene shortly after the vandalism occurred, and the vandal was apparently caught on video by cameras outside Meridian Pint. The suspect is a white man, who was outfitted in all black clothing and a mask, who first hit Meridian, then moved south on 11th Street and broke a larger window at Room 11. Room 11 appears to have gotten the worst of it—the brick thrown there went through the large window which featured the bar’s logo.” New Columbia Heights says, “DCist sources says it was a white guy in black clothing and a mask. I wonder why someone would do this? Maybe the moron is an anarchist? Or somehow anti-gentrification or anti-bar? Either way, he’s a dumbshit.”

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