Sunday, October 30, 2005

WEEKEND: Struggling to Unpack

I'm back in my apartment, though I'm struggling to muster the energy to move stuff back into its proper spot. The place looks pretty much the way it was, now with more electrical outlets. I'm wrapping up some other writing and I hope to have those up in the next two days.

In the meantime, a quick Halloween weekend update:

1.) AFTER SEEING A LOT OF COSTUMES at a couple different parties this weekend, I have to say that the lamest last minute costume has to be Clark Kent. Plenty of guys back in college bought those blue t-shirts with the Superman logo on it (or perhaps they were gifts from girlfriends) and they've all been sitting in an old t-shirt pile tucked way back in their closets. All they do is wear a button down shirt and have it partially undone.

Clark Kent, bad effort.

2.) I WAS RUNNING SOME ERRANDS with a borrowed car this weekend and I was reminded with one trip to the Potomac Yard Target why I like not having a car. Much like New Orleans' below sea level bathtub, the parking lot in front of the Target traps cars behind levees of landscaped berms. The process of pumping the place dry is an ugly sight, especially on a Saturday afternoon.

3.) SPEAKING OF TARGET, the construction site at the future Columbia Heights Target has been crowded with demolition crews readying the 3100 block of 14th Street NW (between Irving Street and Park Road) for the DC USA complex and its 1,000 car garage.

The new target will solidify Columbia Heights' resurgence as one of the District's top retail and shopping crossroads, much like it was before the riots. I was up in Petworth at a Halloween party and was reminded of the need to restructure the 42 bus line. The lack of direct bus service between the upper 14th Street corridor and Farragut Square via Dupont Circle will be an impediment to its growth. Currently the much-loved/much-loathed 42 bus (Mount Plesant to downtown via Dupont Circle) gets you close. It would make sense to either reroute the 42 to loop through Columbia Heights and then to Mount Pleasant or bring back the old 40 route and run it to the Columbia Heights station at Irving and 14th streets NW and perhaps then north into Petworth via 14th Street or to the Petworth station (at Georgia and New Hampshire avenues NW) via Park Road.

As gentrification becomes more entrenched in the two-syllable streets (Monroe, Newton, Otis ... Upshur, Varnum, Webster), the lack of transit service from the upper 13th and 14th Street corridors over to the Farragut Metrorail stations via Dupont Circle will limit development in those areas. That's me with my crystal ball.


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