sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 23, 2014

mayor no more
posted by soe 4:10 am

Marion Barry has died.

The feisty, unapologetic, larger-than-life Barry may have been dubbed “Mayor for Life” facetiously by D.C.’s City Paper, but he made the designation his own and wore it like a mantle. Never was he without an opinion about the city or about how something affected it.

His entire career was devoted to helping people, first at SNCC (where he served as its first chairman), then through the non-profit he co-founded, and finally through the city political machine, where he served on the Board of Education, in the Council (where he was shot in the line of duty), and as mayor. And he did many good things for people and for the District over the years.

However, it cannot be said that Barry lacked pride in what he accomplished or in himself. As with many people (particularly men) in power, he seemed to feel himself above the law — and a victim to it when it took him down. Certainly it can be argued that his own addictions made him slower to react as drugs became a growing problem in the urban landscape.

His misdeeds and personal failings will paint how the nation remembers him. And it isn’t wrong for those things to be counted in a final tally.

Yet, I understand how he continued to be elected to the council to represent Ward 8, something that outraged and confused many of my peers as we moved in from elsewhere with our own desires to see and help D.C. move forward with its urban renewal. In an area of the city where poverty, unemployment, illness, and past mistakes haunt a large percentage of its residents, I can see how they would have seen Barry as continuing to represent and champion their views. When they — or their kids — needed jobs, or a turkey to put on their tables at Thanksgiving, Barry came through for them, or at least seemed to make an effort at a time when the case could be made that their needs were considered far below people in wealthier sections of town.

Say what you will about him (and people will say plenty in the coming days), I really believe Barry cared about his constituents — and they about him.

May he rest in peace.

I should not be allowed to write just before bed because I misspelled Marion Barry’s name as Marion Berry when I first published this and awoke realizing the mistake I’d made. My apologies for the error.

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September 23, 2014

posted by soe 2:02 am

I had a pleasant weekend that began with an outdoor film in the park at Dupont Circle.

Loony Toons in Dupont Circle

As is proper, they began with Loony Toon cartoons and then moved on to The Maltese Falcon. I’ve seen the end several times, but had always missed the set-up, so it was nice to see that part this time. The weather was a little cool and I hadn’t brought a warm enough layer, so I dozed a bit in the later sections. We followed that by coming home to our cozy apartment and pulling up a French animated film on NetFlicks: The Painting.

On Saturday, we biked down to the Yards to meet John and Nicole for VegFest. We had some tasty vegan doughnuts and some dairy-free ice cream, and I followed it up with a veggie slider a local restaurant was debuting. The festival was enjoyable, but the sun was beating down on the parking lot the event was being held in and after a couple hours, we were all glad to grab a cool, shadowy Metro. John and Nicole headed home, but Rudi and I stopped in Shaw to hit the D.C. State Fair. (No, D.C. is not a state, but we have aspirations and crafty, farmy folks.)

Fibery Entries for the D.C. State Fair

Here you can see the entries into the crochet and knitting categories (there was the D.C. flag category and the baby hat category). Aren’t the first-place mittens lovely?

Blue Ribbon Mittens at the D.C. State Fair

The Coffee Bar was only a few blocks away and I cajoled Rudi into going there instead of home. He was glad once we had drinks and chairs, and we ended up staying until they closed.

On Sunday, while Rudi was riding his first 100-mile bike ride of the year, I slept in, hit the farmers market, came home to veg for a while, and then remembered the Corcoran Gallery is closing for an indeterminate amount of time beginning next week. I biked down there and spent a couple hours looking at art. I took a bunch of photos, so maybe I’ll post about that in more depth later. In the meantime, this is Giuseppe Croff’s The Veiled Nun, and that veil and her face under it is a solid piece of marble. Impressive, right?

The Veiled Nun at the Corcoran Gallery

I finished off the weekend with an ice cream cone; a trip to the garden to water, harvest, and plant lettuce; and the premiere episode of Madame Secretary, which we both liked quite a bit.

It was a full weekend!

Weekending along with karen.

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March 25, 2014

errandonnee 2014
posted by soe 10:59 pm

Remember when I did the Coffeeneuring challenge last year? Well, Mary at Chasing Mailboxes also hosts a winter biking challenge focused on encouraging participants to run errands via bicycle. The Errandonnee ran for two weeks and required completing 12 errands from a minimum of seven (of 11 categories). You also needed to rack up at least 30 miles in the process and document the process with photos.

Because Rudi is out of commission and couldn’t participate this year, I decided to take part on behalf of the Burrow. However, my bike is living in the office parking garage at the moment, since it crowds the space Rudi needs for crutches, which meant I needed to use Bikeshare to complete my quest. It was fine, but definitely meant I had to think about the process more than I would have with my own bike.

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January 4, 2014

winter wonderland
posted by soe 12:42 am

It snowed last night, and this morning we awoke to this:

Icy Tree


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November 27, 2013

coffeeneuring, part 3: the conclusion
posted by soe 3:09 pm

Below, find the third and final Coffeeneuring report. (Links to Part 1 and Part 2.)

Ride #6: Nov. 3
The Coffee Bar, 1201 S St., N.W., Washington, D.C.
2.6 miles

I’d biked past this place in Shaw several times and seen people sitting out in the sun, so wanted to make sure we made it over. And, frankly, after such an eventful Coffeeneuring ride on Saturday, something close and easy sounded really good.



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coffeeneuring, part 2: the big chair ride
posted by soe 4:11 am

Yesterday, I wrote about my October Coffeeneuring rides. Today we get the four first ride I did in November:

Ride #5: Nov. 2
H Street Coffee House & Café, 1359 H St., N.E., Washington, D.C.
17.38 miles

This was my epic ride of the event. Following a stop at the Meet Market craft fair, I had decided I was going to head across the river to Anacostia’s sole coffeehouse, Big Chair Coffee. To get there, I rode down to the Tidal Basin,


past first the marina,


then the fishmarket, and then Fort McNair. I pedaled through Buzzard Point and over the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. It’s worth noting that the center of the bridge is a drawbridge and it gives your stomach butterflies to pause there, even if the clouds and the view of Alexandria are magnificent.


The view of the east side of the Anacostia


is far superior to that of the west.



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