Thursday, April 17, 2008

“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point.”


An empty table, La Madeleine restaurant, Bethesda, Md., lunchtime, April 16, 2008

The French mathematician, poet, and philosopher Blaise Pascal said in his Pensées: “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point.”

The Pascal quote translates loosely as, "The heart has reasons whereof reason knows nothing."

Fountain, Bethesda, Md., April 16, 2008

And that, Dear Reader, sums up why I started this new blog while putting my Arcturus blog in a temporary hibernation. That's actually what I did -- all 408 entries have been saved into draft.

I'm not actually trying to hide this new blog -- that's not even necessary because Mr. Deneb (that's his new name here as Deneb is a most remarkable star) and any of his friends who read my other blog are not going to put any real effort into finding this new blog. And if they should find it, at some point in the future, I'll have already made my point.

The pictures included in the rest of this entry are from the approx. 15 mile walk (!) that Gary, Gerry, and I took on Sunday on a circuitous route from College Park, Md. (where we went on the Metro) back into D.C. via College Heights Estates, University Park, Hyattsville, Brentwood, Mount Rainier, and across the D.C. line via Michigan Park and Brookland, around Soldiers' Home and west on Upshur St., NW, to 16th St., NW, where we caught an S4 bus back to the gayborhood.

And just what is that "point"?

Well, let me explain.

Recall that in early December, I changed the URL to my blog so that I would remove the option he had of choosing to NOT read my blog. That's because it's when he stops reading that I get upset. But my effort to hide my blog failed because he and/or one of his friends who reads my blog found it via the profile page, which did not change (I forgot about that).

Speaking of hidden things ... behold the "hidden passage way" between the UMCP campus and College Heights Estates (CHE) that gives you walking access to CHE and University Park. It was like finding the Northwest Passage when I discovered it, after having been told about it.

The problem now is that by my reckoning, he stopped again -- around the first day of spring last month was probably the last time he read it directly, although he has one or two friends who read it who tell him what I write about him -- and I (unwisely) made a fuss about it on my blog.

In basically admitted to knowing that he was for most of the past two years a semi - regular reader of my blog and I can't say I blame him, esp. to see what I was writing about him, which was rarely anything bad, he has probably completely vanished from my blog.

So to recoup what little dignity and control I have left, I have started a new blog. Specifically, "Arcturus" is in a sort of cyber -hibernation after I laboriously took all 408 entries and put them back in "draft" mode. I also took down the links and profile description/image. The blog can be recovered. Nothing is deleted.

A house on Chansory Lane, College Heights Estates, Md., April 13, 2008.

In this way, I am deluding myself, but hopefully in an internally mentally affirmative way, that I am keeping him and his friends from finding the new blog (or at least for a while), and thus -- even if it's all theoretical and ultimately nutty on my part -- taking away his option of choosing to not read it, ending the whole blog reading episode on my terms.

Got it? There's a certain internal logic to it, at least as I see it.

I will probably "re - awaken" Arcturus in a few weeks and may even merge these two blogs. There is a way to do it with a swapping of administrative privileges between two users (who can be the same person).

A weeping cherry tree in full floral bloom in a yard of a house along Wells Parkway, College Heights Estates, Md., April 13, 2008.

The rest of this entry just contains pictures from the walk. Oh, except for one last thing: that dream of a heavy presence and someone knocking on a door or window -- but no one was there -- was, I like to think, the Ghost of My Blog and My Feelings Rejected.

Boo.

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Woodberry St., University Park, Md., April 13, 2008. I have a friend who lives on this street.

*Technically, since the east-west running streets in Univ. Park and Hyattsville are alphabetized 3-syllable, many extending disjointedly out of the District and thus a continuation of the "third alphabet," "Woodberry" is the 3-syllable "W," although the D.C. 3-syllable is "Whittier." The 3-syllable "V" matches up between suburbia and the city, though: Van Buren St.

The floral-named (not syllable-based) "4th alphabet" does not extend out into Maryland at all but remains in D.C. proper (Aspen to Verbena).

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A house on the weirdly named street "Claggett Pineway," Univ. Park, Md., April 13, 2008. Note the Obama AND Hillary signs in the yard. Alas, that's probably not going to happen, and I'm increasingly confident that America, which ALWAYS does the stupid thing, will elect Grandpa Keebler Elf McCain, thus accelerating our late stage Imperial decline.

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Behold below a blue gazing ball, also known as a yard globe ... though its origins stretch back deep into the Middle Ages ... they are the quintessential American lawn furniture, along with plastic chairs, pink flamingos, and lawn jockey and/or Virgin Mary statuary.

This is in the 6200 block of 44th Ave. in what is technically a small part of Riverdale Park west of Rt. 1 - Baltimore Ave., though more typically it's referred to as the Hyattsville, Md.

Yes, the "44th Ave." refers to the fact it is 44 blocks east of the U.S. Capitol (0,0) origin for the D.C. and suburban Maryland address system (Arlington is on a separate grid). The north-south numbered thoroughfares are "street" in D.C., not "avenue."

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This is the house my long ago friend D. used to live in. It is located at the corner of 44th Ave. and Oglethorpe St., in Hyattsville. There are two 3-syllable "O" streets (Oliver and Oglethorpe) -- not sure why. Riverdale Park's little fragment west of Rt. 1 ends at Oliver St.

There is a sweeping view to the south and southeast toward (awful) Prince George's Hospital Center on a hilly rise near Bladensburg and Cheverly (though still technically Hyattsville), Md.

D. used to live here for a time in the early 1990s (before I knew him). The last I heard, D. was living variously in Windhoek, Namibia and Boise, Idaho. D., once one of my best friends, was the guy I drove across country with that Memorial Day weekend 1999 from Seattle back to D.C. It didn't go well.

He is also the one who dumped me off during a fight waaaay southwest of D.C., by like 30 miles and 17 miles from the Vienna Orange Line terminus, in the wilds of Prince William County, just west of the Manassas Battlefield on a cool, lovely day in April 2003.

That effectively ended our friendship, though we've since talked and even had dinner once (at McDonald's on 17th St. in the gayborhood) when he was passing through D.C.

Phil rescued me. As he has many times since.

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Classy.

The 4100 block of Longfellow St. (yes 3-syllable "L"). My friend Gary lives near Longfellow and 16th St., NW (in D.C.), which is 41 + 16 = 57 blocks west of this spot.

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More gazing balls / yard globes, this one in the 4000 block of Longfellow St., Hyattsville, Md., April 13, 2008.

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Cozy house in Hyattsville, Md., April 13, 2008. It was a cloudy, cool kind of day.

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We then reached Upshur Street as it runs through Mount Rainier Md., the small, working class enclave named for the awesome Mount Rainier some 3,000 miles away in Washington state. I've written about this on my other blog. I used to live in Seattle, Wash., and I've been to the base of Mount Rainier (Wash.) three times.

The Mount Rainier - Upshur Neighborhood Mini Park in Mount Rainier, Md., April 13, 2008.

The name "Rainier" has special meaning to me, as does the name Upshur, which is the 2-syllable "U" name, named for the ill-fated Secretary of State Abel Parker Upshur, who died an untimely death. My reason is purely coincidental to this park/street/town combination and involves Mr. Deneb, but I won't say anything more. The M-NCPPC stands for the Maryland - National Capital Park & Planning Commission.

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Gerry and Gary on a see-saw in aforementioned Mount Rainier - Upshur Neighborhood Mini Park, April 13, 2008.

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Gerry on a swing in the same park.

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More sad irony for me ... the street sign at the intersection of Upshur St. and Mt. Rainier Ave.

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Eastern Ave., marking the DC - Maryland line, as seen from Barnard Hill Park on the DC side looking toward the Maryland side. (Upshur St. disappears for a time. Randolph St./Bunker Hill Rd. runs on the south side of this park and Varnum St. on the north side.)

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The 3800 block of 26th St., NE, as seen from Randolph St., NE, just inside Washington, D.C. Randolph St. is called Bunker Hill Rd. on the Maryland side. Bunker Hill Rd. then reappears at 24th St., NE, heading off to the WNW, it being a much older route to the regular grid. Randolph St. makes a slight turn to continue due west.

Got it?

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A taped up sign in a storefront in the 2000 block of Bunker Hill Rd., NE, for a business that moved.

The Burma Shave part is VERY funny if you know what that refers to -- that was a witty sense of humor the person had who taped up this up.

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This is a view of the above-ground portion of the Metro Rail Red Line tracks between the Brookland - CUA Metro Station and Fort Totten Station, as well as the CSX/MARC Brunswick / Amtrak train line that parallels it. This is from the Taylor St., NE, bridge, one of three bridges between Michigan Ave., NE, and Riggs Rd., NE. The campus of Catholic University of America (CUA) and the grounds of the National Shrine (about which I've written a lot -- oh, yeah, Pope Benedict XVI is in D.C. this week) -- are in the distance on the right beyond the red brick building (one of the buildings on campus).

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One of the structures on the grounds of Soldiers Home National Cemetery / Armed Forces Retirement Home, located in the "unit block" of Harewood Rd., NW, just across North Capitol St., which divides the District into its NE and NW quadrants.

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The entrance to Armed Forces Retirement Home at 2nd St. and Upshur St., NW, at Rock Creek Church Rd., NW. I've written about this spot before, and posted other pictures, including in the early days of my Arcturus blog.

The view looking west "down" the incline of Upshur St., NW, from the 200 block. There is a strangely out of place restaurant at 200 Upshur St., NW, called The Hitching Post.

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And the last picture ... the 1500 block of Upshur St., NW, approaching 16th St., NW.

Sigh.

We caught the S4 bus for the remainder of the way back to the Dupont area. I live close to the intersection of 16th and U Sts., NW,(that would be the "first alphabet" or single-letter "U" street), on New Hampshire Ave., NW.

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A few other items ...

I'm actually going to campus tomorrow instead of work, but it is work related as I have to do some research in the library. The policy school is having an informal "prom" tomorrow night at RFD in downtown D.C. Then on Saturday night is a group dinner party.

--Regulus

7 comments:

krzysztof said...

Bryan, I think The-artist-formerly-known-as-Arcturus said that you are his wind (that was a comment under the previous entry).
BTW, that's to Bryan again, I have a vague recollection of talking with you on the phone late at night a few days ago. But it doesn't make any sense to me cuz I don't know your number.

Regulus yes, the word 'Arcturus' is indeed all over the internet however all one needs to do is grab a sentence from the Google cached version of the previous blog (those are retained fro a while) and then search again for that phrase. If it has been moved to the new blog Google will find it.

Now, I haven't read the new entry yet so I can't comment on that

Regulus said...

You sure have a lot of time on your hands.

Anonymous said...

You were on my street (Woodberry)! University Park's street names were changed in the late 30's/early 40's to match up with DC's system (why, I have no idea). Woodberry used to be "Lanhardt," which doesn't exactly flow as nicely. Pineway used to be Pine Street, Oakridge Road was Oak Street... apparently the new names sounded tonier.
... And Exxon was Esso, and you could see a movie and get a steak dinner for 5 cents and still get a penny back!

-JohnnyReb

krzysztof said...

I'm fairly good at multitasking

Regulus said...

JohnnyReb: I was referring to you, of course, as my friend on Woodberry Street!

I think the street names were changed when the addresses were standardized to the the D.C. grid system.

Pennies for a film? I hope that wasn't a peep show of some sort.

We should aim to do lunch at some point next week. I came to UMCP campus today for work purposes.

Kristof: I know, kitten.

bolshoipavel said...

I'd NEVER heard of gazing balls! (I've experienced gazing at balls, but that's another blog.) The things you can learn here! (And gazing balls are easier for me to understand than weather patters or the dimensions of the universe.)

Bryan said...

Krzysztof, yes indeed, that was me you spoke to, very briefly. Nice accent. I have a thing for voices.

As for the wind thing, I think Mr Regulus was implying that I am not even fit to smell any noxious odors that might spontaneously happen after he ate at a Mexican reaturant.

I said what I did because I do give a darn about him.

Regulus, check the 3rd pic in this post. I got an X. Could be me, could be blogger. I can see it now though. I'm only mentioning it because I know you wouldn't want the post to be..??? uhhh... not right.