A bedraggled young man was anxiously waiting at the corner of Woodmont and Edgemoor today here in shiny Bethesda, MD, DC’s once sleepy and now shockingly gentrified and urbanized suburb. Right outside the Metro entrance and the bus bays, this high traffic spot has, increasingly, become a home for the street scammer.
The man waved to get my attention and called out earnestly: “Excuse me, sir! I’m very sorry…but could I use your phone?”
I don’t mind that DC has imported its street people to the suburbs. It’s one of those things that walks hand-in-hand with the growing population of wide-eyed transplants. My only complaint is that the street scams lack originality at this point. I knew what this guy wanted the moment I saw him. I could run through the scam he was about to pull before it even began — it’s as familiar as the old “Is your refrigerator running” joke. And, yet, every time I encounter this scam, I stop and listen. I secretly hope that there’ll be a new element in the strangely rigid and rehearsed scam. There never is, though.
Continue reading ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Halfway House…’
I have to keep updating or else Amazon will delist me on the Kindle whatever store.
So…I figured I’d post a rebuttal to Lonnie Martin’s latest blog entry wherein he talks about getting lost in Prague and says that American cities — and, specifically, Washington, DC — are well planned out. This is in hopes he’ll write a rebuttal to me dissing the Transformers comics.
Continue reading ‘Hi! It’s Labor Day’
I have a dream. I’m going to move to New Orleans and open up a DC-themed bar. I’m going to call it “In Session” and set it up somewhere posh where we can pick up tourists and commuters. For all the expats, it’ll be a true home away from home.
The first thing I’ll do is raze any historic buildings that are in my way and then build a faux-French Quarter style building that is, somehow, cold, brutalist, and unwelcoming.
Continue reading ‘In Session’
A couple years ago, I decided to pick up every coin I found during my daily walks around Capitol Hill and obsessively record the findings in the forums. For the last few months, though, I’ve not had much luck. A part of me blames this on the economy. As things get tighter, and as we get more fretful, maybe we’re all stopping to pick up those pennies… Maybe I can chart the downfall of America through the nearly 200 posts in that forum topic.
But, more likely, the culprit is the wave of gentrification that’s swept through the DC area. Namely, the creation of the artificial neighborhood of “NoMa,” which spreads from New York Avenue up to Union Station, weaves around and down 2nd Street, and spiritually engulfs historic Capitol Hill and the revitalized H St. Corridor. “NoMa,” which stands for “North of Massachusetts Avenue,” because we want to pretend we’re like New York, is a business/residential district in the formerly dystopian northeast of DC. In the last decade, I’ve watched it change from a decaying warehouse district populated by whores, pushers, bloodied strippers, and madmen, all watched carefully by roving gangs of vigilantes, into a glittering collection of office buildings, cafes, markets, and condos that start at $3000 a month.
Continue reading ‘Vanilla City’
Great Society is ten years old.
Much of the Southeast quadrant of Washington, DC is riddled with crime and poverty.
The redevelopment of the H Street Corridor in Northeast DC is in full force, which will revitalize buildings untouched since the 1968 riots that erupted after the assassination of Martin Luther King when parts of H Street were nearly burned to the ground.
Chandra Levy is still dead.
Continue reading ‘A Nightmare in DC: Chandra, Southeast, & Other Rotting Corpses’
Two inches of snow is what we have right now in the DC area. Two years ago, the city would have come to a standstill and I’d be home right now, having vodka with breakfast, watching episodes of The Wire, and standing, naked, in my window as the private sector workers trudged sadly to work.
But, thanks to the Snowpocalypse of 2009-2010, and the repeated, empty-headed challenges from northern transplants that Washingtonians should man up, here I sit at my insane day job, where every sober moment feels like an entire lifetime slipping through my fingers.
Here’s the thing about DC and snow days – we need them. Half an inch of panic is just fine. We need the day off not because we’re afraid of the snow, or because our government response to snow removal is roughly equivalent to that of a small town in Namibia. We need it off because we’re all about to crack. All the time. Snow days save lives, folks!
Continue reading ‘The Importance of Snow Days’
As I sit here trying to live up to my own asinine writing challenge, I figured I’d take a stab at writing a quick review of 2010 since, honestly, 2010 has been a pretty fucked up year.
Like every year since the premiere of Galactica 1980, I’m glad to see it end.
Continue reading ‘Nacho’s 2010 in Review’
I’ve completely failed at my Two Novels and a Baby project. It had me depressed for a few weeks… But then that feeling passed largely thanks to the main reason I haven’t been able to focus on writing a novel – I work six motherfucking jobs. I have just enough energy to pause outside the gun store and mutter dreamily, “If only…if only…”
Continue reading ‘Flights’
After nine years, I’m sad to report that the so-called “NoMa” section of Capitol Hill really sucks when it comes to drinking. I’m talking about the Mass Ave stretch…and beyond! NoMa being the wholly imaginary neighborhood “North of Mass Ave” which is Union Station and the dismal former-ghetto rolling down past the bus station to New York Avenue.
Any news item – a new bar, a closure – is exciting, and so I latch onto it in the hopes that something will break up my sad workaday life.
I hate working, see? I want to be a drifter like David Banner. Isn’t that what that show was about? Angry drunk drifter who befriends small boys?
That’s what every show in the 70’s was about, I think. Highway to Heaven! That was the 80’s, right? But that’s even worse. Two homosexuals, one big and simple and the other with a predatory intellect, travel the country in a windowless panel van taking advantage of the weak and the needy.
Continue reading ‘Capitol Hill Drinking: The Cap City Rumor’
Since 2004, I’ve gotten off at the New York Avenue Metro station every morning, walking down 2nd Street to my office near Union Station.
It’s a walk that I never would have taken when I was young. A walk I wouldn’t have even imagined taking even in the 90’s. When I was a kid, that section of DC was akin to a dark fairy tale. The stuff of nightmares.
Continue reading ‘2nd Street’