Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Capicostia Spirit

Capicostia photos


by Mel Dyer

A 'Capicostia' blog? Again?

Kinda trying this on. Feeling it out.

Capitol Hill + Anacostia = Capicostia?!

I think River East needs a blog that speaks to the frustration and quiet hysteria of what it's like to live here, but, sometimes, feel some small part of you might belong on the other side of the river, ..where political intrigue and urbanity slink down the sidewalks, stopping for the occasional latte or imported beer.

Mmmm...I'll cop to the angst. Even if you won't.

There's something about living here, ..in Penn Branch, Fairfax Village, Pope Branch, Dupont Park, Twining, Hillcrest, the Randall Highlands and probably Fairlawn, too, ..that's different than living in other parts of River East, and the culture-angst is something only we can understand. When you think about it the only thing separating us from Capitol Hill and everything the Hill represents--sophistication, culture, history, relevance, style--is a stupid bridge and a river, and, while it seems rather inconsequential, we all know it isn't. Not in D.C. and, especially, not over there, ..West-of-river.

Capitol Hill. Georgetown. Downtown. No'Ma. Adam's Morgan.

There's a fleeting anxiety among some of us, who live in the neighborhoods along Pennsylvania Avenue, that we're unfairly characterized as less intellectually sophisticated, less cultured (appreciative of history and the arts), less relevant and less stylish than our Capitol Hill. I would dare say some of us feel unfairly lumped in with the neighborhoods bordering ours, where crime, drugs and other inner city problems regularly make the six o'clock news, ..much to our collective embarassment.

It's something that creeps into your psyche, when we're tooling around Barracks Row or shopping the Harris Teeter grocery on Potomac Avenue or unwinding at Trusty's Bar, this angst, I'm talking about, ..when we find ourselves comparing our GORGEOUS, hilly, tree-lined roosts to the stately old cobble-stoned streets of historic Capitol Hill, where the important people carry on.

When we try on a sidewalk cafe like a shoe we might be buying, ..and finding it fits very well, indeed. Maybe, better than Fairfax Village?

Then, we think about those same crowded streets, with parking meters everywhere and no off-street parking, and we laugh out loud! Sucky parking! What a lucky stiff I am in Penn Branch! East-of-the-River ..from Barney Circle straight out to Ward Nine.

In Capicostia.

Capicostia is a state of mind.

[Third Edition]

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Calls For Resumption Of Power Transfer Talks In Sudan

Sudan's military council calls for resumption of discussions on power transfer - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


Bent Out Of Shape About Little Archie's Missing Title? Don't Be...Here's Why!

There's a reason Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, newly born son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, won't properly be 'His Royal Highness', ..and it's got nothing to do with his mother being a commoner or a biracial African American woman.

And so long as he's 'Prince Archie' to you and your aunties, ..does it matter?
What does any of this have to do with living, between bloody Capitol Hill and Anagoddam'costia? Absolutely nothing. TownAndCountryMag.com breaks it all down for us, here.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Let There Be Loft: A Rant

by Mel Dyer

Just finished browsing DCLofts.com and found one--ONE--converted loft property in Southeast, on Capitol Hill (of course) called the Bryan School Lofts, ..which are all sold outThe Bryan School was done by award-winning Abdo Builders, and probably cost a vital organ AND a limb to own. Frankly, they are a little too polished for my tastes--scrubbed of all the rugged, Industrial Era charm that ought to be evident in converting an old school, garage, trolley car barn or factory into functional living space. These Abdo lofts look like the Sex In The City ladies hang out there.

They're sissy lofts, and I hate'm.

Lofts used to be the large, unattractive, slate gray ruins of an obsolete industrial era that no style-conscious yuppy would be caught dead in. In the 1950's, lofts were places, where a large, lower income, working class or struggling immigrant family could stake a claim in the steamy, jazz-scored urban experience...the Big City. They were open frontiers for the poor, but, ambitious. They were blank canvases upon which a large family could build a promising, new destiny, painted in bright, exotic, loud, un-American colors, ..beaded, piered, book-cased, crated and rice-papered off into whatever wondrous shapes their world-weary, colonized, disenfranchised minds could imagine...and all of that at an affordably low rate.

These struggling Mexican, Nigerian, German, Russian, Puerto Rican, Korean, Welsh, Irish, Chinese, Peruvian, Italian, Jamaican, Hungarian and (back, then) Afro-American families made virtual mansions out of these lofts, some of them were so huge. Coming to America's big cities with little more than the clothes on their backs, a big, ugly, renovated meat-packing plant or cannery was all many of them could afford.

Firetraps, some of them were called.

Now, those same families needn't even look at the word 'loft' in the classifieds, because they know, or will learn rather quickly, that these miracles of urban housing are priced out of their reach. Were my great-great grandmother, Rosana, and great grandfather, George - both Mexican American farm-workers, who could not speak English or read their own names in print - my great grandmother Eliza and their two boys, George and Edgar, to come to the Washington, D.C. of today from the old Republic of Tejas, they would be forced to live in the most inhospitably cramped, dilapidated, roach-infested, crime-ridden apartments the Distict has to offer, because all of the big, dreary, drafty lofts they were once able to afford have been gobbled up by greedy real estate developers with no vision or appreciation for the future of this country, beyond a respect for capitalism.

Because some rich, flamboyant bubbleheads have decided they want to play artiste in the big, gritty city, taking the only place they might be able to afford into vulgar, track-lighted, steam punk expressions of conspicuous consumption.

America can and should be so much more than consumption of the frivolous.

Anyway, I am looking for crappy, UGLY, sensibly priced lofts that no one in their right mind would want to call their home ..in River East. There's no reason that River East, with our ancient and abandoned, Industrial Era garages, factories and schools, should be short on loft-living opportunities, and there is no reason River East should not be the place, where the experimental, revolutionary shot was fired - the place, where working middle and lower income people took back the Loft! I am so sick of seeing irresponsible urban planners, greedy developers and corrupt politicians herding large populations of working people into immutably small and inhospitable places, and throw their hands up in apoplexy, at the crime, dysfunction and blight that results.

And I want mine, Capicostian. If you find any, please contact me [My media info at the bottom right of this blog.] and let me know.

My best to you and yours...and thanks, all.

[Originally published in 2010.]

ANC-7B Naylor Dupont's Website Is Still Under Construction

It's really small, not very informative ..and boring. Like Naylor Dupont...sometimes.

Have a look.