Uptown Theater? Up or Down?
I make the rules and I break them. Heres the news. The events and classified ads come later.
Does anyone have anything affirmative or otherwise to report on candidates for the school board? Ive met a few, read about a few, and havent found a candidate to vote for. Your thoughts?
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Im still confused. I do vote for Carol Schwartz every chance I get. This time, if I vote for her and Sam Jordan, doesnt she get just as many votes as if I vote for her and Brazil? If so, how does using my second vote for Jordan hurt Schwartzs chances of coming in second to Brazil? Unless youre saying that I could vote twice for Ms. Schwartz (that would be OK with me).
Lucy Mallan LucyMa@aol.com
If you only love one candidate, dont vote for two just because there are two spots. Heres why. Suppose your candidate (lets say Carol) and your far away second choice are tied at 50 votes before you vote. If you just vote for Carol, she will have 51 and the other bird will still have 50. But if you vote for both Carol and O.B., they will still both be tied. Worse, if O.B. starts out one vote ahead of Carol, your double vote will keep him/her ahead, but your bullet vote (just for Carol) will tie them.
One of the candidates for shadow senator/representative wrote me asking for clarification of what I meant when I called that vote a "sideshow" .What I meant is that as nearly as I can tell it has no importance whatsoever. I did not mean to say anything about the particular candidates or their conduct leading up to the election (I havent been following that at all). I also applaud peoples willingness to serve their city unpaid. What I am not convinced of is that the shadow positions do anything at all, either for the city or for statehood or for anything else.
Something has been bothering me for almost four years now, and maybe one of our more politically oriented subscribers can resolve this problem. Bill Clinton lives at the White House. His former residence was the govs mansion in Little Rock. He has no official residence in Arkansas (unless its some hidden villa at Whitewater). Ergo, is Billy Boy required to vote in DC or is there some special political prestige type exemption that will allow him to vote in Little Rock? I have a nagging suspicion that hes going to vote in Little Rock and, if he does, how come he can and we cant .Not that Id want to vote in Little Rock, but you know what I mean...dont you? To save some sleuth from reading between the lines, Im a registered Democrat in DC.
Spend some cash on your trash. To Carl Bergman: Re super cans, swallow your civic pride and truck on over to Strosneiders (sp?). Theyve got em.
To answer Carl Bergmans question: D.C. residents have a lot to complain about, but the process of getting a new supercan isnt one of them.
That was my experience, anyway. When we needed a new one a year ago, I phoned the Dept. of Public Works, explained what I was after, and was told to send a check for around $57 to the agency. A couple weeks later, the supercan showed up, with our address painted on the top. (I just happen to have the white pages within arms reach, and the number to call is 727-4825.)
By the way, and to change the subject, I came to like having last winters potholes on residential streets they kept commuters from driving like Mario Andretti. Too bad so many have been filled in.
Uptown Theatre Renovation
As a 5 foot 7 inch patron of the newly renovated Uptown, I found the seats to be the most comfortable I have ever experienced in any movie theatre. The sound and screen are impressive too.
Randy Lilleston Lilleston@aol.com
In response to David Goldsteins comments about the new seats at the Uptown Theater: I recall hearing something on WTOP about these seats. Basically, the ones in the rear five rows of the theater, on ground level, are much more uncomfortable than the others. I cant remember the reason, but they dont recline and definitely feel different, according to the reporter who tried them out.
Also worth noting, according to that article: The Uptown apparently uses a projector bulb thats approx. half the recommended illumination, as I recall (dont hold me to the percentage but its something Ive definitely noticed at the Uptown...its like watching a movie through a bit of a fog). I imagine it would cost Gods own money to get a bulb for that theater that is capable of projecting at the recommended brightness. For the showing of "Vertigo" that launched the remodeled theater, the producers of the reprinted version of the movie lent the theater the brighter bulb.
David Hunter Hunter@usia.gov
I also took in the fabulous new uptown theater this past weekend and found everything to be very nice, except the seats. They really make watching a show uncomfortable. So much for the "New Uptown".
John Keefe firstname.lastname@example.org
I, too, miss the comfy, cushy, sit-down-and-sink seats!. The new ones feel like some new-fangled orthopedic experiment. The fact they dont recline forced my face toward the lower third of the screen, preventing a vertical view of Vertigo.
Evan Roth email@example.com
I found the Uptown seats comfortable, although I wish they DID rock. I like the addition of the cup holders. The best thing, though, is that the sight lines are great, at least from the seat I was in (the middle of a row about halfway back from the screen). Instead of a head in front of me, there was a nice open space between two seats. The rest of the renovation seemed okay, although there was nothing to it that really jumped out at me. The most important renovation was done months ago: fixing that great big wonderful Cinerama screen.
Liz Hoopes firstname.lastname@example.org
I, too, saw Vertigo at the *new and improved* Uptown theatre. And theres no mistaken that David Goldstein is on the money. Those new seats definitely belong in a chamber of horrors. What lunatic approved them?! We were lucky enough and had the room to sit one apart from each other. But even the arm rests are too close. What a disappointment. Its a shame they had to install airline seats, though. (The bright side: I bet the seat cushions float!) The place does look fabulous however. Oh well, life
DC Drivers Licenses
There is a rumor spreading among the high school set that DC has changed the minimum age for obtaining a drivers license from 16 to 18. Does anyone know anything about this? I havent read anything about it in the Post, dc.story, etc. My 14 ½ year old daughter is quite distressed!
Carl Bergman wrote about concerns re-using vanity tags from previous vehicles. I ordered and got one a long time ago that said "Art Deco" in NY State. Six months later I got a $4,600 DPW bill for parking tickets in NYC from use of the plate 8 years previous. Despite the fact that I was 12 when the tickets were issued, it took a year to clean up the mess. I havent ordered any since.
P.S. What happened to the man that offered the free wooden ladder? I need one badly, and he didnt reply.
Historic Chevy Chase DC will host a lecture on Wednesday October 30, 8:30 pm at the Chevy Chase Community Center on "The Cultural Diversity of Rock Creek Park." Our speaker will be Stephen Strach the Cultural Resources Manager for the park. Come and learn more about the cultural resource (not just the natural ones) of one of the most well used national parks in the United States.
A Walking Tour of Chevy Chase DC will take place on Saturday November 16 at 9am. For cost and further information contact the Historical Society of DC on 202-785-2068
Our Main Street Chevy Chase Project has just put in its fall order for benches to replace the badly deteriorated ones along Connecticut Avenue here in Chevy Chase. We were able to purchase four with funds raised throughout the year. Two of the benches will be memorials to local residents. One is Sally Dessez Miller, granddaughter of the architect who designed the Chevy Chase Apartment building on Chevy Chase Circle and one for Dr. Stanley Kirstein, who was a local doctor. Look for them to be in place around the first of the year.
If anyone is interested in working with a non-profit community group that focuses on the history of Chevy Chase DC and its environs, we are looking for folks to help us with many different projects. Also if anyone is interested in serving on our Board of Directors, let me know, we will be electing new Directors just after the first of the year.
A friend in Manhattan lives near Emerald Planet, a self-proclaimed "wrap and smoothie parlor" on Great Jones Street. When I walked by it last week, I assumed it was some kind of beauty salon, since nail parlors advertise "wraps." Then I saw my friend had a menu from the place on her refrigerator. The ambiguous terminology could lead to a certain amount of confusion if the wrap craze takes off here.
Lynne Mersfelder Lmersfelder@ocean.nos.noaa.gov
The wrap concept is simply great. I had them at various locations in Seattle and Calif and was waiting (not so patiently) for the wave to hit the east coast! Where I taste tested there were many good veggy options and we simply dont have enough veggy restaurant options in the District. I keep asking/hoping that the "Vegetable Garden" (Chinese Vegetarian) in Rockville will open a satellite in Dupont Circle/Adams Morgan.
On the topic of veggy restaurants, does anyone know restaurants where one can find mainly vegetarian, organic food, or even brown rice on the menu? Besides "Food for Thought," Nora and Asia Nora, I can hardly think of one in the District. Would love suggestions anywhere in the tri-state area (or quasi state as the case may be).
Aleros is the third in a series of "Mexican" Restaurants that have occupied the space on the NW corner of Ordway and Connecticut. The previous two occupants were mediocre at best. Happily, I can report that Aleros is rather good. We have eaten in and taken out on many, many occasions and the food has always been good. The owners are painfully aware that their predecessors had terrible reputations. I recommend the restaurant. And no I have no pecuniary or personal interest in Aleros except that its nice to have good restaurants succeed in the neighborhood.
I share your desire to see neighborhoods with their own unique character and set of businesses; thats why I live in the District, rather than out in Virginia where I work, where all the amenities are there but theyre all provided by the same set of national chains that surrounded my office in suburban Boston. But lets not get hysterical; the people running Starbucks, Boston Market, et al, are not "rapists," theyre astute business people who have successfully taken their companys resources and invested them to produce growth and profit. And its not that easy to just come into a neighborhood without dealing with zoning and neighborhood issues; you say you dont "imagine" they seek the consent of neighbors, but have you ever talked to someone whos tried to open a restaurant in a city neighborhood?
Incidentally, Boston Market, in its original incarnation as Boston Chicken, was actually lauded as a hometown success story in its early days in Boston. So if any local DC businesses take off nationally, you can expect to hear people complaining bitterly about how Pop Stop #325 or the new Childe Harold at the mall is ruining America.
Philip Murphy PhilMurphy@AOL.com
I was amused to read that someone is dense enough to compare the marketing of coffee to rape, of all things. Unfortunately, Washington is full of those who are so pure of soul that all commercial activity is offensive to them. I often wonder what people like "BiggJuggz" think goes on in marketing departments of companies like Starbucks. They must picture some sinister scene out of a Fritz Lang movie where top-hatted monopolists stick pins in huge maps and laugh while helpless yuppies buy $2 cups of coffee against their will.
In fact, Starbucks lives and dies by the consent of the neighborhoods they locate in. I know its a cliché, but "BiggJuggz" can always choose NOT to patronize Starbucks if he is so angry about national companies invading his neighborhood. Odd though that he would say Starbucks has no regard for local character. Wake up a smell the Latte fella Nothing could be more appropriate in Cleveland Park or Dupont Circle than Starbucks. Now, if they opened up in Benning Heights Id begin to wonder. On the other hand, maybe "BiggJuggz" would be more comfortable in a neighborhood that can boast of having no profitable enterprises whatsoever.
We can always count on such vigilant DC citizens as "BiggJuggz" who will not rest until all private industry is chased out of our beloved wasteland.
Gaelyn Davidson email@example.com
I guess these sentiments cycle around just like fashion. On 10/22, S. Marcus (BiggJuggz@aol.com) complained about Starbucks infiltration of perfectly good neighborhoods (an "invasive and hostile process - much like rape," he says). Well, I agree.
But theres nothing unique to Starbucks about this. In fact, I got a shot of deja vu---thought to myself, "gee, isnt that exactly how folks used to feel about Dominos a few years back?" And Im sure there was similar resentment about Howard Johnsons and McDonalds and gad-only-knows how many other franchises before Dominos and Starbucks.
All of these chains gobble up choice real estate and put local, non-chains out of business by appearing on every corner and initially undercutting prices. As with Dominos, once your favorite local coffee shop goes out of business (because they dont have the franchise resources to compete), Starbucks will raise their prices. Spend the extra nickel or dime on the business that has an interest in your neighborhood.
The decision to turn UDC into a community, rather than a 4-year, college is much more than a budget decision. If thats what we should have in the District, so be it. But it should be decided for educational reasons, and the agreement for surrounding Universities to treat UDC graduates as residents needs to be spelled out and to be an integral part of the plan.
Perhaps many of our students need a 2-year voc/prep setting they can attend, and for these students a 2-year setting is appropriate. Others of our students (and also the students who have been "prepped") have a right to a low-cost 4-year college, just as students of other states do. Moreover, a lack of 4-year college opportunity for DC students might well accelerate the move out of the city for ambitious students and their families. So lets consider the proposal to change the nature of UDC on its merits, not as an item in the budget.
Regarding jury forms that asked for my race and marital status. This reminds me of the first time I got that form. I refused to answer any of the questions and got a call from the petty bureaucrat in charge of jury selection who informed me that they were returning the form to me and if I did not fill it out completely US Marshals would hold me until I did so, all of this under the authority of a federal law he cited. I called my lawyer and sure enough they have the right to ask and make you answer, also for pulling the mans chain I wound up serving on a Grand Jury 3 days a week for 18 months, lots of fun but thats another story.
Jean Lawrence JKelLaw@aol.com
I have an opinion on jury duty that massively contradicts the eight grade citizenship class view that seems to be prevailing ("a privilege and duty of our citizenship") .I was called to jury duty three times in DC, gave up a days work in my small business, was herded around the halls, and each time finally had to (tearfully) explain the circumstances of my 1981 multiple rape and robbery crime in front of the courtroom before being excused. I also was contacted once by a federal grand jury which thought it would be nice if I donated 2 days a week for six months or so. I believe it is a total imposition to expect productive people to, in effect, hand over their time and peace of mind, not to mention money, to help the least productive people in our society, those with emotional problems or poor impulse control, achieve some rarified semblance of "justice." Why should I completely involuntarily be dragged through the hoops to participate in the life of the sort of people who damaged me so totally and lastingly? What are THEY doing to fulfill THEIR citizenship? I did not feel like doing it, did not do it, and will not do it. Let the criminal class play out its sad, stupid, destructive role in this comedy without me. I dont want to be in their movie. That may not be the popular view and Im sure its not politically correct but its how I feel.
Home PC Computer Assistance. Ill help you choose and buy the best model for the lowest price, get your computer up and running, teach you the ins and outs of Windows 95 and applications, show you how to maintain your system, build special applications for you, and get you up and running on the internet. $60/hour. 202.244.4163.
Jeffrey Itell Story@intr.net
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