More housing?

CJUF/Lowe Acquire Dupont Hilton for $290M

The company is also set to announce another DC deal in the coming weeks, CJUF managing partner Bobby Turner reveals: a $70-million mixed-use project in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. The residential component will have a significant affordable housing component and there will be retail on the ground floor.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information the article has about what’s going on in Columbia Heights. The rest of it is about the Dupont Hilton, which is of less interest to me.

Anyway, just what Columbia Heights needs – more housing! I like that they’re including affordable housing, although they probably had to, so it’s unlikely that we should give them credit for caring about the community. But as far as I know, the unfinished projects at the Metro – Kenyon Square and whatever the other one is called – are having trouble selling all the units, and it’s the same with Allegro further north. And I know some of the row-house-to-condo conversions that we looked at before we bought back in January are still on the market.

All of this suggests that a new housing development is not in anyone’s best interests. Now, CJUF undoubtedly knows something that I don’t, because they didn’t get to be a large investment fund by making dumb decisions. But I can’t imagine what they could know that goes against the indications that housing in Columbia Heights either is outpacing demand, or is stubbornly overpriced. Neither of these options make for a really profitable new housing development.

Support the American Heart Association by running

LHH – Lawyers Have Heart

By participating in this event, you will not only help to strengthen your own heart through exercise, you will also help raise funds vital to the education programs and research of the AHA

On June 9th, I’m doing my second 10K.  The first one was a success.  This one is going to be hotter, and I’m going to the DC Improv the night before, so I should be all ready to run at 8 AM.  Then we have our flag football end-of-season barbeque.  Should be a good weekend.  I may sleep all day Sunday, though.

I have to wonder how much this race actually helps the American Heart Association.  It costs $30 to sign up.  I get a t-shirt.  They have to pay some people to run the event.  I can’t believe that any more than $5 per person actually goes to help the cause.

On the other hand, I’m really running this race for me.  If I want to help a charity, I’d rather just give them money.

A really long walk

DSC_5755On Saturday, the wife wanted to go to Dumbarton Oaks to see the gardens. It was a nice day, so we hopped on the 42 bus down to Dupont Circle. The park is at 31st and R NW, so we figured we’d just walk down R, only about ten blocks.

Well, it appears we misread the map or something, because R doesn’t go all the way through. We hit Mass and headed north, past all the embassies, around the Naval Observatory, and finally into Georgetown. By this time we were hot, tired, and hungry, so we stopped for lunch at The Bean Counter on Wisconsin. I don’t know if it was just that the restaurant was air conditioned and we were starving, but that sandwich was delicious.  The service was good, too.

Then, we finally made it to the garden.  It’s a nice self-tour.  There’s a map, so the wife was happy.  They have a ton of roses, including the one up and to the right.

When we finally made it home, we determined (using Map My Run) that we’d walked about 5 and a half miles.  I think maybe next time we’ll take the bus a little closer to 31st and R.

Now Im a donor and an independent

I got my DC license today. It was a pretty painless experience, contrary to what I’d heard about the DC DMV.

I had two choices to make that I had totally forgotten about. No, not whether or not to lie about my weight. I’ve been losing weight, and last I checked I was under 200 pounds, so I’m good with my real weight. The questions were my political party and whether or not I wanted to be a donor.

First, the donor question. I’ve never been one. It kinda creeps me out. I mean, I’m not so paranoid that I think the paramedics are going to let me die so some adorable little kid can have my liver. And I do, on some level, like the idea of saving some lives with my body parts after I don’t really need them anymore.

But I also like to think of myself as solid all the way through. I don’t like the idea of veins and organs and whatnot. Frankly, it makes me queasy. I nearly failed biology in high school because of it. Or maybe it was because I was lazy and bored in class. Whatever. The point here is that I don’t like thinking about my organs or what’s going to happen to them.

However, as I was filling out the form, I decided that my desire to help others outweighed my queasiness at checking “Yes” on the donor section. So I’m a donor now. I’ll try and take care of my organs. Someone might need them one day.

I also decided to register to vote in DC as an independent. I know that means I can’t vote in the primary, and that pains me a little. I know that I don’t get to vote on a lot living here, and I shouldn’t be voluntarily giving up opportunities. But I just couldn’t bring myself to register with a party. I might change my mind if there’s an important primary, but right now I can’t do it.

I was a Democrat when I was little because my parents were. I had a Dukakis sticker on my lunchbox in middle school. I didn’t really know what that meant. I know that one of the guys in my class who had Republican parents gave me a lot of crap about it. Then, in college, I was a Republican, probably because a bunch of my friends were, and it seemed like a good idea. I really do agree with a lot of the Republican ideals. Not that the current crop of Republicans demonstrates any of those ideals, but that’s not the point.

The point is that I don’t see either the Democrats or the Republicans working for the people. Their first responsibility is to the party, and I can’t get behind that. Do people really go into politics thinking, “I really love the RNC. I’m going to dedicate my life to increasing their fundraising power”? I can’t imagine they do, because I like to have a little more faith in human nature than that.

So I’m an independent and a donor.  I’m pretty happy with that.

Fewer lights, more pincers

Empire State Building Seeks Best of the Brightest via Gizmodo

With the new lights, though, the Empire State would be able to feature “dynamic new patterns,” said James T. Connors, the general manager of the Empire State Building Company.

Just what NYC needs.  A huge, gaudy, brightly colored display.  When this sort of thing is confined to Times Square, it’s kind of cool.  I still remember the first time I walked out of the subway into Times Square, and the overwhelming-ness of it all.  To be fair, it was only a few years ago.  But still.

And I’m not a New Yorker.  I love to visit the city, but I don’t live there.  But I can’t imagine that any New Yorker really wants a huge, animated American Flag waving over the city.

Maybe they’d be better off if they got their own Anti-Terrorist Pincers of Doom like we did.  Rumor has it that over 30,000 terrorists have already been captured and impaled by the pincers.  How many terrorists has the Empire State Building caught?  That’s what I thought.

Metro doesnt understand economics

Metro Considers Increasing Rail Fares –

“Because of declining real estate values, we have holes to fill of our own, and now we’re being presented with holes in Metro,” said Kauffman, a member of Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors. “It’s not like we have a stockpile of green putty to fill the gaps.”

Wonderful. I was just talking to my friend and host in NYC yesterday about how much nicer the subway is in New York than Metro is in DC, and how Metro is expensive here.

I love how they want to combat a slower-than-expected increase in Metro riders by a fare increase. It’s like the pay phones, facing greatly increased competition from cell phones, doubling the cost of a call in a few years. And what happened there? The pay phone has become nearly obsolete. Not that they had much chance of competing, so maybe it’s not a good analogy.

But it’s Econ 101 – the way to fix slow growth is not to raise the price. In fact, they might want to consider lowering rates. And the article mentions discounts for SmartTrip riders (SmartTrip is the permanent card that replaces the paper cards, if you ride Metro more than once every six months it’s worth the SmartTrip). I had no idea there were discounts for SmartTrips. Maybe they should try publicizing this. You can discount all you want, but if people don’t realize it’s cheaper, it doesn’t do you much good.

Its interesting to live near D.C.

Wild Blue Wonder –

The wife and I were driving from her office in the city to Arlington to take my grandmother on some errands when we passed this new monument, and what looked like a circus or something or other happening at the Pentagon. I didn’t know anything about it, but apparently she had heard something about a new monument. So we surmised that this was the dedication ceremony. I have to say that, from 395, the monument is kind of dumb. I mean, it’s big and shiny and sharp, and I guess it probably strikes fear in the hearts of terrorists or something. But it’s sort of ugly.

But, whatever. Art is subjective, and I’m picky about my art. I’m happy to honor the Air Force, as they’ve done a great deal to protect my way of life.

Anyway, my real point was that part of the ceremony is an air show. As I was turning off of Spout Run Parkway, we heard a loud plane overhead that turned out to be one of these.USAF B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber Plainly visible, right overhead through my open sunroof on this sunny and brisk day, a friggin’ stealth bomber. I’m not usually one to get all worked up over something like this, but these things cost $2.2 BILLION each. And, it’s a stealth bomber. That’s pretty awesome. We saw a few other planes (And heard even more), some that I recognize from video games and whatnot. But the stealth was the highlight.

Anyway, I hope that hotlinking to isn’t going to cause any problems. At least they aren’t likely to goatse (Link to worksafe explanation, for those who don’t know) me.

Edit: Didn’t realize that the image was too big for IE, since I avoid using IE as much as possible. So I made it smaller.