Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Intoxicated Cleaning Services Inc.

The scene: 7 a.m Monday morning, Columbia and 18th.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blockbuster, a loss for Adams Morgan

Here are a few of things that were wrong with the Blockbuster in Adams Morgan.

-- From time to time, areas in the store had to be roped off because of water leaking from the ceiling.

-- If the line was long, checking out a disk could take, it seemed, forever.

-- A rental cost more than a rental download off iTunes.

-- You needed to clean the DVD before using it if you wanted to watch uninterrupted.

But I will really miss the place.

A sign announcing its closing was put up Sunday.

Everybody knew this coming. Ever since Blockbuster closed its 17th Street store in October last year, it was clear what was going on.

Blockbuster, the company, is a mess. The stock was selling for about 14 cents this morning, down from its dizzying heights of $1.50 last year. It was delisted this year from the New York Stock Exchange.

This rental store was a favorite. I often stopped in there at night when the apartment was feeling claustrophobic. The selection was tiny compared to online, but its physical displays invited serendipity, exploration and escape.

In the winter, you could duck in there to wait for the bus. Nobody seemed to mind.

No one complained if you left without buying a thing.

Over time I learned who on the staff might be willing to share an opinion of a movie.

For Adams Morgan itself, the loss of this prominent retail store adds to its emerging retail identity crisis for this neighborhood.

U Street and 14th are getting a wonderful mix of retail and restaurants. There’s a real balance to what’s going to there. But the weight of Adams Morgan is to nightlife catering to the under 30 crowd.

There are a few wonderful exceptions, Idle Time books, some eclectic record stores and what not. Some interesting home furnishing stores. A new wine shop, and coffee houses.

Adams Morgan has a lively pedestrian vibe to it, especially on the weekends when everyone is out and about running errands. The community feeling is very powerful, eclectic, and at its core, has a tremendous amount of energy to it.

But the neighborhood’s business environment feels as if it is in a rut and moving in a quirky, uncertain direction.

Retail stores aren’t being replaced and my worry is that the Blockbuster will end up like Miss Pixie’s (which move to 14th more a year ago now) vacant.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A mother searches for info about a dog's owner

I was walking by Walter Pierce Park just as this happened, but did not realize what had taken place until some messages about it appeared on the Adams Morgan neighborhood mailing list.

What I saw was a man, perhaps in his 30s, who held his fairly large golden hair dog tightly against his body while apologizing to a woman with a baby. The baby was crying. The dog owner seemed stressed and upset, but my initial impression was that the dog probably startled and scared the child.  To stop and linger would have been rude and this is all I can recall of it.

But since this incident, the mother has posted messages on the neighborhood mailing list in an attempt to locate dog's owner.

She needs to confirm that the dog was up-to-date on its shots; without that confirmation, the baby will go through some rounds of preventive shots.

The photo above is of a sign outside of the dog park entrance at Walter Pierce Park.

As of tonight, there's been no word. I would recognize the man if he was with his dog. It was a larger Lab or Lab-mix. Her message above offers additional details.