Saturday, January 31, 2009

sunny and cold

MLK cut outs  & Obama connect the dots drawing

tax services 

Murray & Paul's restaurant

Yesterday afternoon I burst out of the house for a walk and some light shopping. I wanted to stretch my legs and get a few things while Keith was in a SLR digital photography class downtown. I walked with my Kodak point and shoot camera up to the Brookland post office and mailed some bills. Then dropped back down twelfth  street to the CVS pharmacy, built in an art deco style movie theater, where I hunted for rechargeable AAA batteries. I continued down the street to the YES Organic market for a few specific groceries. Along the way I decided to collect some images of the ORANGE stuff that is everywhere on twelfth street because it has been too long since I had a good orange show and tell on my blog. I found that there are orange caution cones, fencing and big striped barrels where the city is having the street scape "improved" without taking into account there is a law on the books saying they have to remove the poles and wires from the street and put them underground. I fear all the work they are doing  to replace the curbs and reshape the street scape is a wasted effort.  I suspect much of it will have to be redone to comply with the "underground the wires" law which is what all the people who live in this area think we want and deserve. I am in favor of the underground project for a few reasons. First, esthetically it will greatly improve the look of 12th street our commercial shopping area. Second, it will allow beautiful trees to grow and shade that busy neighborhood shopping and commuters corridor which are now hacked up annually to make the wiring safe from falling branches. Third, it will reduce the power outages from violent weather and traffic accidents. 
The money has been allocated to improve the street scape by an under ground placement of the wires as well as the new curbs, bump out shapes to improve pedestrian safety and new street lamps. There have been major discussions on our local Brookland discussion boards and list serves. Our voices are being heard but whether or not the government can force PEPCO, our power company, to comply with their laws is something we do not know. It seems PEPCO is trying their best to avoid burying the electric lines and removing the unsightly poles. 
The good news is that the streets are getting a little more space for walkers and shapes are going to take away a little more concrete and open up some grassy areas where rain can get into the ground and nourish the trees. 

Besides lots of orange cones I also had a delight when I noticed a kindergarten school window display celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. day and Obama's inauguration. Their sign says "Yes We Can" the slogan from the Obama campaign and further down it reads "Yes We Did" the celebration of him being the first Afro-American elected as president. I felt a very warm feeling seeing how important this is to the children of my community and all the fine work of coloring and cutting. I instantly remembered back to when JFK was president and how his death impacted my life at 8 years old. I remember the earlier "duck and cover" bomb raid drills we did along with the fire drills at elementary school in the early 1960's. I heard a story from my neighbor Chris the baker that downtown on the day of the inauguration that he a man fully grown was so crowded trying to get through the security check points that the crowd was lifting him off his feet moving him along. He saw small kids down on the ground with adults all around them in that press of excited people. That brought back memories of being a smaller person among tall adults and that wasn't  a very pleasant experience. Little me wanting to see what all the adults were excited about and not being able to unless dad or some tall guy lifted me on his shoulders to look. Shoulder riding was a lot of fun when it happened and now I don't get to do that anymore. I wonder what memories the kids that attended the inauguration will have when they grow to be my age of that day or the kids in that class will remember how charged the entire city was about the change that came to Washington DC. 50% of the people who live in Washington DC are Afro-Americans and most of them are descendants of slaves. How sad it has taken this long to bring them the liberty we all deserve under the US Constitution and Declaration of Indepenance. Even the Republican party that lost the elections to Barak Obama have joined in the elect an Afro-American excitement. They elected an Afro-American Michael Steele who is a former Lt. Governor from Maryland to be the party leader for the next 4 years. We adults may be getting the race issues closer to correct now and  the kids are paying close attention and will remember for a very long time how exciting this time was for them and how concerned adults felt anxious for the future. 

1 comment:

mberenis said...

Obama is a great president. His presence is impacting grants like no other president prior. Grant funding for minorities and middle class have increased nearly 10,000% in the past week.

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