Sunday, March 8, 2020

COFFEEHOUSE COMING TO PENN BRANCH!

by Mel Dyer

"Great coffee, delicious food..."

That is the slogan for The Highlands, an Ethiopian-owned café, - a coffeehouse AND restaurant, stylishly smooshed together - slated to open, this summer, in River East's best neighborhood, ..my own Penn Branch.

Penn Branch and surrounding ANC Seven Bee presently has no full-service restaurants, coffeehouses or gathering places of any sort for its middle, upper middle and working class residents - no place to celebrate a little league softball victory, a graduation ..or a promotion. When the urge to power-gab overwhelms us, clusters of Branchers drift into the middle of our quiet, tree-lined streets. Sometimes, we lean into each others' cars, while we are, out there. We obstruct afternoon strolls, with chatty clots, along our sidewalks. We hobble into each others' homes, ..crippled by the strain of standing in a driveway, for HOURS, having deprived our legs of healthy circulation. It's abominable.

Comparatively, there is something wholesome and American, in the Rockwellian sense, about following a friend or neighbor down to the village pub, diner or spot. It's a wholesome, American something most of us Capicostians haven't had the pleasure of experiencing, in several decades. Some of us, born after 1975, have probably never experienced it, on this side of the Anacostia.

So, this is hopeful news.

Hopeful, why? It was reported that Anacostia was supposed to get a Starbucks, last February. It never came. Before that, Ben's Chili Bowl dropped out of a deal to open at Penn Branch Center, when requisite subsidies, from the Fenty Administration, became unavailable. Branchers know well to believe nothing, until we see it.

I am particularly proud to announce that the owner, Mr. Moe Garay, is, himself, a Brancher. Another pinprick of hope that this could actually happen...

Jair Lynch Lands Restaurant, Office Tenants At Southeast D.C. Shopping Center Redevelopment

Did Anyone Ask WOMEN Why Elizabeth Warren Wasn't Winning?


by Mel Dyer

Has anyone asked women, why they aren't voting for women presidential candidates? Who they want to vote for? Why more women didn't vote for Elizabeth Warren, in the Democratic primaries? Considering that women still outnumber men, by roughly SEVEN percent, in the US population, must we ask how women party nominees and presidential candidates keep losing?

Where were the women for Warren?

Why aren't we asking women what kind of presidential candidates they want to vote for? When women want to elect a woman for president, I think women will let us know. Furthermore, there won't be a blamed thing anybody can do to stop them.

For the interim, all of the speculation, as to why Senator Elizabeth Warren is not on her way to becoming the Democratic Party nominee ..is a little too late. Read...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/05/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-drops-out.html?fbclid=IwAR39aWhyV8-XXyWGyGT2fsZags7Md13al67apUCdmbIiucbcuxmqgwsKJfw

63rd Independence Day In Ghana, ..My Ancestral Homeland!

by Mel Dyer

I'm a proud American, but, I'm also Ghanaian.

On March 6th, 1957, Ghana claimed its independence from the British Empire - the first African nation to do so, from a European colonial power. It makes me tremendously proud to see Ghana, for the first time in this nation's history, celebrate this most important day, in the Asante Region, from which my maternal grandfather's Akan ancestors came. Many famous Ghanaians, like British High Commissioner Baron Paul Boateng and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Anan, come from this storied place and its people.

Considering all we have survived - Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Reconstruction, Jim Crow - Akan strength, grit, determination and God's grace ..is why we're all here, today.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, GHANA!!!


Thursday, March 5, 2020

So What Is The Biden Magic, Exactly?

by Mel Dyer

For Gen-Xers, like myself, there is more to backing Vice President Joe Biden for President, than Obama Era nostalgia.

College-age supporters of Bernie Sanders don't understand why so many of us are putting our bets on the Gentleman from Delaware. We remember the good, ole days, ..when watching the Old Joe Biden work his magic, in the Senate and on the campaign trail...

Went something like this.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

On Speaker Nancy Pelosi Ripping Trump's $#*+ Up, After The SOTU

"Alone, before a pack of wild, hungry dogs...", take their measure, stand your ground ..and, if you are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rip up a State of the Union speech.
 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Will Trump’s Nigeria Visa Ban Create Unintended Opportunity For America's Most Highly Educated Immigrants?

by Mel Dyer

"...With Nigerians being the most educated immigrants in the US, there’s been a swelling of talent in business and professional circles, including some of the world’s biggest companies. It follows a long history of the US as a popular destination for Nigerians seeking tertiary education (economic spending of Nigerian students in the US last year reached $514 million) with the aim of getting employed in the US and, possibly, resettling there after obtaining green cards. “That path no longer exists but, for me, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing,” says Aboyeji.

One possibility could see an increase in returnees to Nigeria and possibly working remotely for US employers but there’s a more intriguing prospect for Nigeria’s tech ecosystem. “Some of these people can also decide to come and work for high growth African companies,” Aboyeji says. “That could be critical for the ecosystem going forward..."

The Donald Trump Administration's speculatively racist travel ban on Nigeria, counter-productive to America's development of a strong IT workforce, poses a temporary setback to the African nation's growing technology and telecommunications industry, at a crucial time.  Nigerians, preparing to thrive in the surrounding global market, will almost surely turn it back around on them, ..into economic success, at home.

Count on it.

And when a future Democratic president trashes Trump's travel ban, some of those highly educated, law-abiding, entrepreneurially inclined Nigerian immigrants may be looking to settle their families, right here, in Seven Bee...cultural gentrification! [Hope so! We need that.] That, among other things, is what the above article ..has to do with us.

Anyway, the headline pretty much says it all.  Read it, Capicostia...

https://qz.com/africa/1793108/trumps-travel-ban-on-nigeria-hits-booming-tech-ecosystem/

The King's Speech, At National Theatre In Washington


No/Más - Claustrophobia - 12/7/19 - Atlas Brew Works - Washington DC



by Mel Dyer

Live music, nightlife, culture...bla'bla.

Not over here, kangaboo.  Not in Capicostia.

This video takes a peek at what the hottest clubs in the Atlas (H Street, NE, between Union Station and Hechinger Mall) have to offer. It's about a month old. Enjoy it, anyway.

What does this have to do with you or life in Seven Bee, the so-called Pennsylvania Avenue Corridor? Not a bloody thing, of course. Get used to it...

And watch.

Marvel Studios' Upcoming Black Widow, A Special Look


Apartment Hunting Near DC



by Mel Dyer

A few months ago, a cute vlogger couple went apartment shopping, near Washington.

What does this have to do with life, between the Hill and Anacostia? Not a bloody thing. Stories about cute, optimistic couples happen, somewhere else...everywhere, but, here. Nobody wants to come here. Nothing worth sharing with the world happening, over here...

Most of the time.

Get used to that. Then, look at this video.

[You can always send me some current news and prove me wrong, Capicostia.]

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Baker Street (Live) - Gerry Rafferty


 
My late father, Lewis Edgar Dyer, a Spanish Creole chap, originally from North Carolina, and a proud Penn Brancher, LOVED this song, Gerry Rafferty's moody, seductive, complex BAKER STREET.  At the time of its release, its edgy sophistication left exotica, Motown, Woodstock and punk twisting in the rearview.  There was nothing like it!  It was ahead of its time, and it's no surprise that it inspired some of the most iconic music of the 1980s, ..or that it has become the Hipster Anthem...
 
Even if the hipsters have forgotten that.
 
Anyway, ..Daddy would play it, over and over again, on the family Victrola; so, naturally, it continues one of my favorite songs.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Capicostia Spirit


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Young, Penn Branch Latina, With Autism, Earns National Honor In Arts

 
"...She was about two years old before she really started understanding and comprehending me,” she continued.

Maybe it was because she was home alone with her father at seven-weeks-old when I went back to work and they bonded. He would talk to her only in Spanish and when I would come home, she did not quite understand me,” said Graham interviewed at her Penn Branch home on P Street SE that she shares with Anna Elizabeth’s father Efren Martinez Montero.

In Ann Elizabeth’s case, her crayon became a life line, earning her a national art award..."

A Penn Branch girl, living with autism, who is an artist...and Afro-Latina?

Though I am not, myself, autistic, ..my sister is. My family is Cameroonian, Ghanaian, Mexican AND American. We are also artists and proud Branchers, since 1965 [I was born in 1969]. So, we check ALL of those above boxes, and we are so proud.

Congratulations, Anna.

Russian Government Resigns, As Putin Pushes Constitutional Facelift

 
"...The move follows months of speculation in the Russian media about whether Putin will attempt to stay in power beyond 2024 without changing the constitution or forming a unified state with friendly neighbor Belarus.

Critics have suggested he is considering various options to remain at the helm, including by shifting power to parliament and then assuming an enhanced role as prime minister after he steps down in four years.
Another option often mentioned is his heading a state council, a body that Putin said Wednesday he thought should be given more powers under the constitution..."
 

Friday, January 10, 2020

More Projects Coming To D.C.'s Opportunity Zones..But Opportunity For Whom?

by Mel Dyer

There is a good reason, why I do not feel DC's Wards Seven and Eight are not ready for statehood.

Our River East wards do not presently have sufficient industry and commercial investment to generate enough revenue to adequately support police, EMS, sanitation, public schools and other services, ..on a municipal level. We are not as ready to be towns or municipalities, as some of the other parts of town, ..like Capitol Hill and Georgetown. Presently, our Capicostia (ANC-7B) neighborhoods are poised to become the prospective 51st State's poorest, most abject districts. How will that go for us, when the folks, downtown, decide we should start shouldering more of our own economic burdens?

So, when I read about these so-called 'opportunity zones', I am somewhat hopeful...encouraged. Some would argue any development is good development, for Seven and Eight. The question for us, River Easters, however, is...opportunity, for whom?

Read. Please...

8 Major Projects Planned In D.C.'s Opportunity Zones: Developers including MRP Realty, Redbrick LMD, Douglas Development and MidCity have large-scale mixed-use projects planned in D.C.'s opportunity zones.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Skyland Or Sousa City? Ready For Statehood?


by Mel Dyer

I am not a fan of proposed D.C. statehood, as I do not presently think Wards Seven and Eight are poised to benefit from it, ..but imagine the possibilities for a new River East!

Ever wonder what would happen to our River East neighborhoods, if Washington, D.C. became a state...was it Douglass Commonwealth (DC)? Will our eight wards become eight, new counties? Will the Advisory Neighborhood Councils, within those eight wards, become distinct and exciting, new towns?

Let's start, right here, ..with Seven Bee. Presently, we're a cluster of obscure neighborhoods, between historic Anacostia and Capitol Hill, with no unifying culture, civic relevance ..or identity. Imagine us, suddenly, our own municipality, ..just like Washington, DC.

What would we call ourselves?

1. Davistown, DC - taken from historic Fort Davis
2. Hillcrest City, DC - named for historic first neighborhood of ANC-7B
3. Randall Springs, DC - named for the first developer of the Southeast hills
4. Skyland, DC - inspired by what might become Downtown ANC-7B
5. Sousa City, DC - named for historic John Phillip Sousa Bridge
6. Barrington, DC - for late ANC-7B resident and beloved D.C. Mayor, Marion S. Barry

Imagine that hilly, historic, pseudo-suburban ANC-7B, with Skyland (above), as its downtown nerve center, is now an incorporated city in the new 51st state of Douglass Commonwealth. What should our new, shining city on a hillcrest be called?

We want to hear from you! Please leave your pick of the above SIX town names, in the 'Comments' thing, below.

Remember This From The Infiniti Commercial? Hannah Williams & The Affirmations!



Hannah Williams & The Affirmations - 50 Foot Woman [Official Video]

Japanese Scientist Michio Kaku Compares Indian Education System With America's



by Mel Dyer

I think that what Dr. Michio Kaku is saying in this YT video is that America's education system doesn't prepare us to compete, at the college level, in math and the sciences. I would have to, however reluctantly, ..agree with him.

I wasn't exposed to the celebrated 'British system' for math education, until I was in my sophomore year of high school - summer school, in fact - and easily performed at the highest level, after having struggled with math for years, in American schools, making Cs and Ds. The following fall, I went back to performing poorly in math - the American system having pretty much destroyed my confidence, in my natural mathematic abilities.

Wondering what any of this has to do, with living in Capicostia...with you or your family, specifically? How are the kids of (ANC) Seven Bee measuring up? Are they ready to dominate [Yes, liberals...dominate. It's what every other nation is striving to do.] the Global Marketplace?

American schools must become more competitive, globally, in the sciences.

Capicostia's Best Homes - House of Secret Awesome

The best way I can describe the house, at 3706 Bangor Street SE (20020), in Hillcrest, is to say that [Sigh.] ..it's like a plaid shirt, on a CALVIN KLEIN model. Seriously...this must be seen to be believed.

You're welcome.

https://www.trulia.com/p/dc/washington/3706-bangor-st-se-washington-dc-20020--2090399395

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Capicostia Spirit


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Public Safety Much Improved, At Our Penn Branch 7-Eleven

BATMAN remembers the old Penn Branch being rather lively.
 
by Mel Dyer

The public safety situation has much improved, at our Shops at Penn Branch, since the publication of my last article on the subject.

The CHARACTERS and panhandlers no longer gather in any number, noticeable enough to alarm, annoy or distract from keeping ourselves safe, going about our business, there. Penn Branch no longer operates in an environment that attracts criminal opportunists; so, let us assume that the prospects for intimidation, purse-snatchings, slightly more violent smash-n-grabs and straight-up ARMED ROBBERY ..are significantly less, than before.

Chronic vagrancy is not tolerated by the 7-Eleven stores in Cleveland Park, Chevy Chase, Georgetown or Spring Valley - I've been to those stores - and I can tell you it is not tolerated in Penn Branch, either. I have spoken with the owner of our 7-Eleven, and, believe me, ..she is working so hard to keep her store and storefront, a hospitable place to shop. Furthermore, she invites all of us Branchers to share our concerns with her, before we silently start passing by the Shops at Penn Branch, for other places, ..west of the Big Dirty and out of town.

Chronic loitering distracts us all from keeping ourselves and our families safe from potentially more violent crime. That's the big deal. That is why we cannot tolerate it.

Keep telling our Penn Branch store owners and cashiers to pay attention to what's going on outside their stores AND to call the police, when they see loiterers and panhandlers, gathering. E-mails, tweets and text messages - WRITTEN complaints - make the most impact...

But let's start out with a conversation.

[Second Edition]

White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane


Skinny Parents Are Going To Hell, Too: A Rant

by Mel Dyer

Time-travel! Of all the great super-powers I can dream of waking up with, THAT is the one that I would find most useful, ..for awhile. If only I could turn back time...

If I could turn back time, every time I was about to eat something sweet, buttery, fried or fatty, ..I would just pop myself back there and knock it out of my pudgy, little hands! If only I could go back in time ..and avert the cosmic disaster of my ever becoming fat.

Seriously, ..no slice of cheesecake (my favorite), pile of Doritos, cup of coffee (my second religion), steak, ribs, Mama's spaghetti, Daddy's Dungeness crabs, a pizza, an enchilada, soul food (ALL of it) - none of it is worth the crapload of misery that comes from touching these things. I would send every morsel back to the kitchens. If you're feeding your kids this stuff, before they even know what a good life, in a fit, attractive body, has to offer them, may God have mercy on your souls...

Especially, if you're fat!

Fat parents are going to Hell, ..because you know how you got that way. Yes, you do, ..and shame on you, all. Skinny, show-offy, sumbich parents are going to Hell, too, but, you fatasses are going to get there, first, ..because you're heavier, and you'll probably drop faster.

Like the doomed, thoughtless, deluded HELL-BISCUITS, you are!

What does all of this mean?

Food is FUEL. That's all it is. Eat enough to keep from passing out or getting a goddam headache...that's it. Pinch your kids' noses closed, when they eat, or drown everything on their plates in VINEGAR, so it all tastes the same (nasty), ..if you love them.

For what? A happy life, in tiny, box cut trunks (like Daniel Craig's in CASINO ROYALE), which I cannot presently wear, with any dignity. That's what. If that sounds shallow to you, you haven't turned fifty, with UNCLE FESTER staring at you from the mirror, every day.

Trust me. Box cut trunks are worth it. Box cut trunks are for time-travelling superheroes and ANGELS. Worth it!

What does this have to do, with living between the Hill and Anacostia? Not a gadblamed thing.