SmartBike DC Starts August 11th!

Yes, It’s true. I have just spoken to a representative from SmartBike DC and she has confirmed that the public will be able to check out bikes starting August 11th. Visit to sign up. The cost is $40.00 for one year of unlimited bike usage, pretty reasonable I would say, considering in Paris is was thirty Euro.

I’m very excited for this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked by those empty stations while I was running late for something just wishing I could hop on and pedal my way there.

SmartBike locations; click for more info

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for rapid expansion of the network. The more people sign up right off the bat, the faster they’ll get the hint that they need to expand.

Now go sign-up!

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City Vista gets its GREEN!

So on a recent visit to City Vista I was pleased to see that there were people enjoying the green at City Vista. Granted they were construction workers on their lunch break it was still nice to see what the space has the potential to be.

Mount Vernon Triangle gets it’s first manicured park. Too bad it’s not accessible to the public.

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High gas prices means America finally gets a clue

by Mediocre Bad Guy

So after listening to a whole days worth of Fox news trying to tell me that my paying 4 dollars a gallon is actually good because it’s feeding the oil companies profits which in turn helps my portfolio… bleh bleh bleh. 

The good news is that because we here in the Triangle live in an urban environment we can easily walk, take public transportation, or if we really need a more personal way to get around we can easily hop in a taxi. Our European counterparts have made another means of transport a staple in their cities, motorcycles and scooters can be parked anywhere, consume much less fuel, and are sometimes even a bit sexier. Let’s start a new segment focusing on solutions for more sustainable urban living, shall we?
This weeks featured green machine is the new Vespa Granturismo. With 12″ wheels this baby promises to offer a ride typical of larger bikes with the ease and comfort of a scooter. Starting at only $5,299.00 it will cost you about as much as the premium package on your last car. Sell that 40k parking space and invest the money! The parking space is doing nothing for the economy. 

Vespa Granturismo 200 – Image courtesy of Vespa
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Dumont Contract holders form Yahoo group

Contract holders of units at the Dumont West are getting together… Our neighbor, DC Jeff, over at District Chatter has formed a group for those of us who have signed contracts for units at 425 Mass to get together and voice our opinions. If you’re part of the bunch check out the yahoo group and request membership. 

More power to the people!

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Wishful Thinking – Part 2: Parks in the Triangle: continued

Thinking about parks the past couple of days has got me wondering… Do americans really value the time, money, and effort it takes to keep these urban patches of green pristine? It seems to me that government run parks usually fall into disrepair rather quickly. Washington D.C., the capital of this first world country has a hard enough time funding it’s own National Arboretum let alone maintaining the mall (which is a nothing more than a large stretch of grass). How can we expect complex gardens to survive with this apathy towards our landscapes? 
Can we take matters into our own hands? 
By far the most beautiful urban landscapes I’ve seen have come in the form of urban gardens. Public patches of dirt where the community comes together to plant flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Let’s take a look at some examples…
Clinton Community garden – NYC (Courtesy of the Clinton Community Garden)

Culepeper Community garden – UK (Courtesy of Fin Fahey on flickr)

Fenway Community garden – Boston (Courtesy of bettlebrox on flickr)

Could we handle one of these in the Triangle? Or are we limited to the handful of planter boxes on our rooftops? Let’s imagine the possibilities.
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Wishful Thinking – Part 2: Parks in the Triangle

Some of the most exciting urban opportunities created by Pierre L’Enfant’s vision of DC come in the form of pocket parks; formed where the diagonal avenues meet the orthagonal street grid of our capitol city. The Triangle has not one or two but several of these parks.
Parc Citroen – Paris (Courtesy of vincent.m on flickr)

Having spent the past year in Paris there is a special place in my heart that understands and yearns for the full potential of these spaces. Currently these parks serve but a portion of the Triangle’s population, some of them crazy and some of them four-legged. I have yet to see a good cross section of the Triangle’s population enjoying these little pockets of green in our neighborhood. 

Millenium Park – Chicago (Courtesy of eddieq on flickr)

Perhaps the problem lies in the lack of adequate landscape, hardscape and streetscape. Why don’t we take a look at some beautiful parks across the world for inspiration as to what these prime pieces of urban greenery can be if we dedicate ourselves to the public realm of our neighborhood.
Paley Park – New York City (Courtesy of chrislworships on flickr)

To be continued…
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Opinion Poll: Funny Business?

I’ve been monitoring this months poll and have been surprised to see the results jump over the last couple of days bringing the i5 development (which was previously trailing the arts development by a large margin) come to a practical tie. However, I would just like to mention that this poll was meant for the regular audience of our neighborhood blogs to voice their opinions and not for employees of the companies vying for the proposals to necessarily participate in, skewing the results.

I monitor the access to our blog quite often but since this poll has been posted there has been a large increase in traffic from this domain / referral which you can see is the domain for the developers of the i5 project… I’m putting two and two together here and wondering if perhaps that large jump came from the 27 hits we’ve just received from that domain.

Any comments? Thoughts? Below is the traffic detail for that domain as it pertains to the Triangle blog.

On a lighter note I’m finally done with my thesis and will now be able to devote more time to posting on the blog so stay tuned for more activity on the Triangle blog!

UPDATE: I just took a nap, 3 hours and an update to the website stats later and has jump to the 11th largest source of traffic to our site since march. And now the i5 proposal has jumped in the lead. Spooky?

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Development in the Triangle: 5th and Eye.

This Thursday the former city museum will host a presentation by the 4 short listed developers of the District-owned parcel at 5th and Eye streets, NW. It is crucial that as many neighborhood residents attend as possible so we can make our presence known and have our say in what we want our neighborhood to look like in the future.

And for those of you who are tired of hearing me talk about neighborhood happenings when you’ve never seen me at any of them brace yourselves, I’m back in the district, ready to make my debut. Say hi to the short, dark-haired man… it’s me, I’ll be there ready to get in on the action.

In preparation for the meeting here are the four shortlisted developers, check them out:

The meeting will take place this Thursday, May 1st from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at The Carnegie Library at 801 K Street. This is the site of the former City Museum, smack in the middle of Mount Vernon Square.

See you there!

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Man’s Best Friend in the Triangle

Recently we received an e-mail request to post some information regarding neighborhood dog parks, dog walkers and pet-friendly establishments. This rather vague post is more so a call for information since I am not a dog-owner and have had a pretty difficult time finding pet-related resources downtown. It seems to me that despite the many pet owners in my building, downtown is not a very pet friendly place. Do our four legged pals have but mere tree boxes to relax in? Are they welcomed at any of our neighborhoods businesses? Most importantly where do people exercise and play with their dogs?

Share with us your knowledge about downtown doggie living.

In the meantime here are a few links relating to Dog-related news in the district:
Adams Morgan Dogs – Supporting Dog Runs in the District with specific focus to Adams Morgan
DCDOG Dog Park Task Force – Petition to enact new dog friendly public park regulations
MetroPets – Directory listing of pet sitters and other pet-services
Doggeeks – Dog parks in Washington D.C.

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Starchitecture in the District?

I was reading the NYT and came across this interesting article about big name architects being featured prominently in new developments across the city. There are many exotic, beautiful, and sometimes groundbreaking new designs going up in Manhattan and many of them in the residential sector. Now why is it that we seem to not have ANY of these headed our way? What little “starchitecture” we do have is woefully diluted and dated. Where are the hot young talents of today? Wouldn’t you like to see them flourish in our fair city?

Architect Jean Nouvel stands in one of the apartments at 40 Mercer courtesy of New York Magazine

Why not put DC developments on the map?

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