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!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Free Art All Over Bloomingdale

sculpture garden on 1st NW
Mural on W St NW
You really can't wander around in our section of the city very long without seeing some of the free art just lying in wait for your enjoyment. I've captured some of it here -- there's the iron lady sculpture on First Street, and there's now often a seasonal outdoor installation at the intersection of T and RI Ave, and for those who like to take walks up the alleys there's a huge colorful mural on the side of a house on W street. There's others if you go look but these were just a few I saw on a recent walkabout.
Easter Art on RI Ave NW


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hess Gas Station in Bloomingdale Shaw LeDroit Park

View of Hess gas station from bus stop on RI Ave NW
I really don't know why I like the Hess gas station so much that is at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and New Jersey Avenue (and near Florida Avenue) in NW as much as I do. Maybe it's because of the great location, maybe it's because gas is always less per gallon than the other nearby gas stations, maybe because it's easy to drive into and usually there's an available pump, maybe because there's a Dunkin Donuts "alliance" store there and they have great coffee, or maybe because they have car vacuum cleaners and an air pump that works. I asked a friend whether he liked it and said no, he didn't and the reason was that he always had to wait to pay for gas as the cashier was taken up with people buying just one soda or a pack of cigarettes or lottery tickets.  He just wants to get gas, pay for it, and go. I think I'll start a poll on this one and see what comes up. How do you like your neighborhood gas station?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lots of blooms in Bloomingdale's Crispus Attucks Park

I just had to take a walk in Crispus Attucks park the other morning to see all the flowering trees and bushes and anything blooming on the ground. The pink and white magnolias were out, as well as the little blue and white eyebrights and of course some lovely purplish hyacinths.I did spy some dog poop left behind on one of the pathways but decided not to foul up the flower pictures here with that! Although you can see that photo on twitpic via the twitter.com connection below (after the Yelp thing) or if you follow me @jeniferjs.These are not the only flowers gracing the park so you will have to go walk there yourself to see everything else.  And it will be a great walk too. And, mind the poop, or scoop your poop, as appropriate.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ole Wreck of a Bloomingdale House

On another alley walk I found this gem that surely is a thorn in the side of its neighbors. I didn't go around and check out the front of this house but the back was this lovely ole wreck of a thing, with busted windows, broken fence, rotting upper floor walls and a big tree trunk with vines growing all over. I think I was in one of the alleys behind First Street NW but I can't be sure. You just know it's home to a lot more creatures than humans: it's sure to have a few birds and a mouse or two who have taken up residence, and maybe one of those mysterious raccoons I keep hearing about.
 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Toilets in BloomingdaleDC Alleys

Alley behind First St NW

Alley behind First St NW
Every once in a while I take a walk through the alleys behind our houses in Bloomingdale just to see what there is to see, to avoid traffic and to get a different view of things. Yesterday's walk elicited two toilets.  One seems to be positioned in a back yard where I assume there are people working on the house and the plumbing isn't working  yet. Or maybe -- so my mind rambled -- it's like that situation in the book "The Help" where the householder didn't want to share her toilet with her domestic servants.  I was also fascinated by this standing plastic toilet being red and white and blue. Is there something all American about toilets that I don't know? The other toilet has less to say about itself as it has clearly been abandoned and knocked over, lying in the alley behind a house that may have been renovated recently but I couldn't discern that.  I've seen these thrones kept and used as planters for geraniums but this one's previous owner apparently is not into that type of recycling. You just never know what you are going to see in the alleys behind the houses.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Vintage Corner Stores in #BloomingdaleDC Neighborhood

New Reservoir Market
Cookies Corner Market
Micro Market
Flagler Market
These are the local stores near me that seem to be open all the time and are probably in walking distance of most people in the area. There were at least two others I can think of, but they've not survived. These stores are for just when you need a cold beer, or some milk or have a craving for potato chips, or you just gotta buy a lottery ticket or need a packet of cigarettes or some ice or that one little thing you need to complete making a dish for dinner or breakfast. I've bought mayonnaise, potatoes, syrup, eggs, pancake mix, candy, ice cream, wine and incense in these stores. Most of them have ATMs as well, but I've never used one. These days they have been smartened up a bit: they've nearly all had some paint or other "freshening up" in the past few years presumably to compete with the trendier stores in the neighborhood. They share the characteristic of being the front room of a house, most of them have tin stamped ceilings, collections of beer lights and some of the securest windows and doors you can find.  Since I've lived here for over 20 years I've heard stories about all of these corner stores -- people shot inside, people shot outside, people dealing drugs, people fighting, etc They are part of the history and character of Bloomingdale so  I decided to photograph them recently for fear they'd all be swept away one day as the specter of development and its impact grows.

Sunbeam Market



Flowers and Unleashed Dogs in #BloomingdaleDC Park

Crispus Attucks daffodils
Flowering trees
Unleashed dogs with scofflaw owners
Sign says" ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DOG ON LEASH"
On a recent walk in the local Crispus Attucks park I saw the very welcome signs of spring like flowering trees, tons of daffodils out, and some crocuses and hyacinths. I also saw someone working on the plants, cleaning out the winter debris. I also chucked out a bottle of vodka (empty!) found in the flowers.  Some local people -- scofflaws -- seem to forget that this park is NOT a dog park and were letting their dogs freely roam UNLEASHED having a great time tearing about in the "dog" portion of the park.  I guess some local residents think we all like dogs and dog poop or maybe they can't read the signs all over the park which advise users of the local rules.