Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tacoma the Malamute, Marion Barry, Ulysses S., and the Bald Cypress Tree Along U Street

Sun-bedazzled sky as seen from the 1500 block of Vermont Avenue NW just north of Logan Circle, Washington, D.C., 5:38PM June 23, 2013.

I took this picture last week on my bike ride down to the Mall (Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial) and back. I have some decent photos of that ride that I still intend to post (but at this point I have such a backlog of planned entries).

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Sorry for the lack of updates. I just ran out of time today. I'm not even going to try to post a musical interlude entry. Rather, this entry is just a VERY brief update and includes some pictures of Wendy's dog Tacoma, a 4 year old Alaskan Malamute, that I took last Sunday in Wendy's small but cozy apartment in Columbia Heights.

Wendy's Alaskan Malamute dog, Tacoma, in her apartment, Washington, D.C., 5:01PM June 23, 2013.

Wendy purchased her from a breeder in South Carolina a few months ago. Tacoma has already given birth to several litters of puppies and is now spayed. She had 21 puppies in all in those four litters. Wow.

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I had a good gym workout this evening that again included a six mile jog on variable incline (elevation gain of 830 feet) lasting a bit over 1 hour and a half hour swimming (16 back-and-forth laps or 32 lengths of the pool that equals about 1/2 mile) with some modest weight-lifting in between. I also have a pair of goggles (cheap petrochemical laden junk made in China but they worked fine, and it is much better to be able to see clearly in the water and not have chlorine-irritated eyes afterwards for hours).

Wendy and Tacoma in her apartment, Washington, D.C., 4:06PM June 23, 2013.

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I actually started to post an entry but it ran all vitriolic and lengthy and I simply ran out of time. I'm going to Old Ebbitt Grill (the Old Bar) tonight, possibly with Gary. Then I'll go to No. 9 and/or Nellie's.

Wendy's dog Tacoma in her apartment, Washington, D.C., 5:12PM June 23, 2013.

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Last night, I went out to No. 9 and Nellie's, but it kinda sucked overall. The night ended on a good note, though, and not only because did I not spend or drink that much. In addition, while walking home along U Street from 9th to 16th Street, through the usual 3AM weekend hour shit-show, I found a $50 bill on the sidewalk near 12th Street. It was right in front of a group of young, yelling, howling urban D.C. sorts who didn't even notice it in the sodium vapor street lamp light.
 
Crowds at 14th and U Street NW, Washington, D.C., 2:39AM June 29, 2013 as seen in my blurry cellphone image. It's quite an eclectic mix -- a mélange -- of people these days, but mostly young. The guy on the bicycle is an MPD officer.

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One doesn't normally find $50 bills just lying around, but there was Ulysses S. Grant scowling back at me. Of note, the last "large" sum of money I found was along on U Street about 5 years ago in front of some boojie nightclub (the sort with velvet ropes and ginormous bouncers in suits). In that case, as I recall, it was about $120 in twenties, tens, and fives.

This is a picture of a tree that fascinates me: A bald-cypress tree planted (along with another different variety tree nearby, both of which replace previous trees that died / were removed) on U Street NW near the corner of 14th Street NW right in front of the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, 2:39AM June 29, 2013.

This tree was planted within the last two years and it has survived one and possibly two hellish summers (I'm not sure exactly when it was planted). At one point last summer, it was so hot, all the needles fell off and I thought the poor thing was dead, but it quickly came back -- and this year it is quite lush and fecund and grown noticeably. Yet I'm still fully expecting it to have a very short lifespan in that location. As an aside, bald-cypress trees are deciduous conifers.

As for the Reeves Center (pictured at left, date uncertain), it was built during the 1980s heyday of former Mayor-for-Life Marion "Mobutu Sese Seko" Barry that has been aptly described in this 2011 Washington City Paper article as "a symbol of wasted opportunity and government dysfunction."

It was built when the U Street Corridor was still under the surf of cheap liquor stores, seedy bars, scary night clubs, and wig shops, ghetto-blasted shell from the 1968 riots. Toward the the top of the east side of the building in big white letters is the dedication date -- September 27, 1986 -- and Barry's name.

Best line from that article: "On the seventh floor, you can see what it would be like if the Rapture happened and only took employees from the District Department of Transportation." -- Ha ha -- "DDOT decamped for spiffy new modern digs on M Street SE in Navy Yard earlier this year. In its wake, the agency left a depressing maze of high-walled cubicles, outdated furniture, stained carpet, and plenty of trash."

Tomorrow, I may take a bike ride, weather-permitting. The weather today was sunny and late June warm with no showers or thunderstorms (after yesterday's deluge) but more are forecasted tomorrow into next week.


Above, yours truly with Tacoma in Wendy's cozy little apartment, Washington, D.C., 4:59PM June 23, 2013. She is a very fluffy dog with disposition and oddly quiet.

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OK, that's all for now. I'll try to update this blog tomorrow. Next week, I am going to be very busy at work even with the shortened work week.

--Regulus

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