Welcome to my blog!

I used to blog here mostly using local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and then found myself posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. These involve fabric recycling or re-use and refashioning of clothes, or other frugalities. I've left up the previous blogs and may occasionally revert to those topics again. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Parking in the Sunflowers in DC

I forgot to publish this photo when I snapped it while waiting at the bus stop at the corner of P and 16th Streets NW last summer. This "No Parking" sign 'grows' among the sunflowers that someone had so nicely planted in the tree box alongside the church there. I believe this is the Foundry United Methodist Church which President Clinton occasionally went to when he was in office.  These tall flowers certainly made standing waiting in the heat for the #G8 WMATA bus a lot more tolerable as it was late again (!) and watching traffic really isn't that interesting! A big thank you to whoever planted these! Blessings on you!

Friday, February 24, 2012

McMillan Park as it is Now Before the Deal is Done

I learned recently that the city is moving forward with yet another plan to develop McMillan Park and fearing once again that I will forget to photograph it before the developers move in and wreck it I snapped these photos with my handy cell phone camera as I walked by last Sunday. There's just something about these strangely shaped towers, the vista with the manhole covers, the cobbled brick ramp and how we just don't recognize this sand filtration water cleaning technology anymore. That it was once powered by donkeys is also interesting. We hardly remember the number of lives that were saved by the clean water it produced. Of course, this new plan might be another plan that doesn't happen as there have been charges that the development office didn't follow procedures and once again the DC taxpayers are being bamboozled.  See this blog for the most recent challenge to the bureaucrats. I've lived nearby this site for over 25 years and remember when it was sold by the US government to DC in 1987. There's been years of talk and proposals and political grandstanding and everyone seems to forget that it was paid for by us taxpayers and we should have some say in what happens to it and it should be developed with open and transparent processes. After all, WE bought the site from the federal government in 1987 with $9.3 million of OUR money.
 
Here's  the history of McMillan Park taken from the BloomingdaleDC history site. The site is bounded by North Capitol Street, Channing Street, First Street and Michigan Avenue, NW.  The historic McMillan Park sand filtration site and McMillan Reservoir are part of a chain of public green spaces established in Senator James McMillan's 1901 plan for beautifying Washington. Following the death of Senator McMillan in 1902, the grounds of the site were renamed McMillan Park. In 1905 the sand filtration plant to purify the city's drinking water was built. The grounds of the site were designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The site was designated a historic landmark by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board in 1991.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Perfectly Cracked Steps and Tilting Brick

There's just something about this very imperfect front yard with its tilting brick column, mismatched wood fence, cracked concrete steps, and useless leaning wrought iron gate that appeals to me. I even like the uneven mortaring of  the bricks and the slightly off-center cap on the brick column.  This "mess" is located on First Street NW and whenever I pass by I find myself enjoying this not-so-neat juxtaposition of materials.  While it's probably a hazard for pedestrians to enter this house yard as the steps are so damaged, you  have to admit there is evidence here of someone trying to make their front yard look better than just dirt and concrete.  But it looks like snow and ice and rain have done their inevitable work and heaved everything out of line. Other front yard entrances on First Street are very neat and tidy, even architectural, and that's what everyone likes and presumably wants.  However, this home-made attempt surely tells us that weather and water are more powerful than our sometimes good intentions. And, wouldn't  you agree, the palette of colors here -- reds, beige, grey, greens, white, black --  is enjoyable just on that basis alone?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DC's Disappearing New York Avenue



Just the other day I noticed that New York Avenue NE -- just before the BW Parkway begins -- is disappearing from what it used to be. There is no longer the Hess gas station nor the string of car and equipment businesses, nor the fast food joints on the south side of the street. In fact, it looks like they've all been abandoned and some sort of development is going to occur.  The properties are abandoned and fenced in, as if someone has been quietly buying the land for some purpose.  I wish I had photographed this sstreet section when these businesses were still alive and bustling but somehow I missed that moment and only have these.  It's not that these are amazing and wonderful looking buildings but it seems like the pace of development in DC is so fast that before I know it a streetscape has completely changed very quickly. So, before it's gone, I decided I'd better take a few photos or I might regret it like I regret not having photographed a couple of other unique sites and buildings within a mile or two of where I live.  Before I almost realize it, a bunch of buildings are torn down and some giant newscale building goes in. I know this is how cities grow and presumably improve, but I get used to what I've seen and feel I must mark the change somehow even if it's only in this blog.