Carpeting – NO!

October 16, 2017 | Front Page, jeblog

As many of you know I am not a fan of carpeting. Perhaps, it is because I was a child of the 1980’s. I still have the memories of mauve plush carpeting with the thickest padding ever throughout our home (wall to wall). I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention visiting my aunt and having the opportunity to “rake” the carpeting to make certain the texture was all flowing in the same way. Let’s just say going forward…NO.

Here are a few reasons that you should avoid carpeting:

1. Allergies: Carpeting is a dust collector. The more you walk on it, the more dust that is created. It also holds the dust and dust mites. Yes, there are things living in your carpet.

2. Toxic Chemicals: Carpets are manufactured from synthetic materials that contain toxic chemicals. If you question me, walk into a carpeting showroom. The smell you are inhaling is gas/chemicals from the fibers, color/dye, fire resistant coating and stain proofing.

3. Maintenance: Carpet is nearly impossible to maintain on a daily basis. Even if you vacuum and shampoo regularly, small dirt particles will penetrate the weave and “live” in your carpet.

4. Stains: No matter how diligent you are with your with maintenance, all carpets stain – even stain proof carpet stains especially in areas where there is constant spillage or wears on the fibers.

5. Matting & Crushing: When the carpet is new it looks fluffy and pleasant but, after a little wear, it begins to look smooshed. Nothing looks good smooshed (not even mashed potatoes).

6. Wear: High traffic areas are going to start to have a worn appearance.

7. Durability: Carpeting does not last as long as hardwood flooring or many other types of flooring. Some carpets can last 10 to 15 years. Depending on the quality of the carpet, traffic and how you maintain it, the carpet could last a little longer. However, it will never last as long as a hardwood floor.

8. Dirty: It’s just dirty no matter what. The dirt even accumulates under the weave and padding.

9. Children & Pet Maintenance: I am not going to get too specific therefore I leave you with this – vomit, blood, diarrhea, etc.

10. Color: You are committed. After you install the carpeting, it is in your home until you change it again.

David Brown
Mulberry Seed Design

15 Minutes from DC to Baltimore?

October 16, 2017 | The Scoop

The idea of a train connecting DC to Baltimore in 15 minutes is a bit closer to becoming a reality.

After completing a federally-funded environmental study, the Maryland Department of Transportation and planners for a Superconducting Magnetic Levitation have three proposed routes for the journey between DC and Baltimore.

The main route that has been publicized would have a station in either the Mount Vernon Square/Chinatown area or near NoMA/Gallaudet Metro station, a stop at BWI Marshall Airport, and a final stop in either the Westport, Port Covington or Federal Hill/Inner Harbor neighborhoods. The tunnels for the routes could either run alongside the Baltimore-Washington Parkway or parallel a portion of Amtrak’s lines.

The project planners hope to have a route approved by mid-2019, paving the way for design and construction to begin later the same year. After completion, the line would eventually be extended northward to New York City.

(Urban Turf)

The Granite Craze

October 16, 2017 | The Scoop

It hasn’t always been that way. In 1986, when legendary graphic designer Deborah Sussman used granite countertops in her kitchen, the New York Times called it a “down-to-earth” choice. The next year, it was singled out as a cutting-edge material in the Los Angeles Times, but still too expensive for most people. Throughout the ’80s, granite was still jockeying with marble for favor among California yuppies.

So how did granite go from niche countertop to mass fixation? American imports of granite have increased about tenfold in the past 20 years. It’s not only changing consumer tastes that caused the shift — big global market forces have a hand in the granite takeover as well.


Luring Amazon

October 16, 2017 | The Scoop

Top Maryland officials are preparing to offer Inc. a massive, historic tax incentive package if the retailer moves its second headquarters to the state.

“It will be the biggest incentive offer in the state’s history by a mile,” said Douglass Mayer, spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan, who declined to reveal details of the incentive package, citing competition from other states.

As the final days tick away for the deadline to send a proposal to Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) to locate its second headquarters away from Seattle, the hype is growing for hundreds of cities and states, Maryland included.

Already, the state has invested more than $50 million in tax incentives for two Amazon distribution centers in Baltimore and Cecil County. Another package totaling at least $16.2 million is awaiting a deal under negotiation in Baltimore County at the former Sparrows Point steel mill site.


Critical Processes in Public Spaces

October 12, 2017 | The Scoop

In a place like New York City, residential and public space are both so scarce that residents “rent” social time at bars, cafes, and cultural institutions. Shopping, which became a quintessential American pastime of postwar culture, remains a dominant way of using the city. But as purchases come to depend less on in-person transactions, brands are pivoting towards driving sales through aspirational experiences where the store becomes a more flexible backdrop for performing identity.

New strategies for branded space necessarily harness real estate, consumer spending, and cultural production to the mechanics of social media platforms. It’s worth thinking critically about these processes in order to better approach how both brands and people are renegotiating a public sphere—one that is reproduced by audiences more and more fluidly distributed between offline and online “spaces.”

(The Atlantic)

The Anthem Opens

October 12, 2017 | The Scoop

The Wharf DC, the much anticipated $2 billion development along D.C.’s Southwest waterfront, begins its grand opening celebrations tomorrow. Alongside more than a dozen restaurants and considerable retail space, the development will be a music hub with three new venues opening.

Union Stage, from the team at Jammin’ Java, and Pearl Street Warehouse offer more intimate settings, but it’s The Anthem, the venue from I.M.P.—the company behind the 9:30 Club—that is anchoring the entire development. The room hosts its grand opening tomorrow with a sold-out Foo Fighters performance.

“We’ve been looking for the next step up from the 9:30 Club probably for fifteen years,” says Donna Westmoreland, I.M.P.’s chief operating officer. “We looked at every space and every existing building that could be re-purposed in the D.C. area.”

Westmoreland and Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P., became aware of the waterfront project in 2010, and also caught wind of a need for an arts/cultural anchor tenant. Hurwitz contacted PN Hoffman, the principal developer, and the partnership began. The company had already been toying with the idea of focusing on local restauranteurs and retailers to occupy the space, so the idea resonated of having an independent, local promoter establish a performance space.

The result of this seven-year collaboration is a $60 million, 57,000 square-foot space that can hold between 2,500 and 6,000 people depending upon its configuration. This flexibility was a key component to the plans because I.M.P. has had to rent spaces ranging from Strathmore to the Patriot Center, and The Anthem had to be able to cover the gamut.

Terrible Traffic Tonight

October 12, 2017 | The Scoop

There are three major events taking place within a few blocks of each other in Southeast D.C. on Thursday that could cause a lot of headaches on the commute home.

“All signs point to Thursday evening being a really bad commute in the District of Columbia,” said WTOP’s Dave Dildine.

The first is the grand opening of The Wharf.

“We’ve been gearing up for a bad traffic day with the grand opening for months,” Dildine said. “But now with Game 5 coinciding, we’re likely to go from bad to worse.”

The grand opening alone is expected to bring in nearly 20,000 visitors and some people who live in the area are already concerned there won’t be enough buses to accommodate everyone.

“Basically you should be able to count on the bus arriving every 10-15 minutes tops,” said Councilman Charles Allen, D-Ward 6. “And right now, you’re waiting about 30 minutes.”

One of the centerpieces of The Wharf is a new concert venue, The Anthem, which will be playing host to a sold-out concert for the Foo Fighters on Thursday. Doors open for the concert at 6:30 p.m.


To Uber or Metro? Depends on Where You are Headed To…

October 11, 2017 | The Scoop

With Metrorail ridership declining due to maintenance issues and unreliable service, it stands to reason that a lot more people are relying on alternative forms of transportation like ride-hailing services. But how much time does an Uber or Lyft really save you on your journey?

A new post from District, Measured seeks to answer that question with a graphic representation comparing the costs and times of various trips — both long and short trips that require no transfer between Metro lines and trips within DC that require a transfer — and an interactive tool comparing the travel times of both Metro and Uber.

Based on the 114 trips studied, trips within the District that would require transferring between Metro lines are generally faster via Uber X than Metro, although those trips tend to be $5 to $15 more costly than a train fare.

For example, a commuter would save 15 minutes on a trip from Union Station to Benning Road if they used Uber X rather than Metro. There are some instances where this doesn’t hold true, though, as it is 10 minutes faster to take Metro to get from Columbia Heights to Eastern Market than to take Uber, assuming that trains are running on time and there are no service issues. For trips outside of the District that don’t require a transfer, an on-time Metro can be a better value, as the trip from Metro Center to Bethesda is 14 minutes shorter by Metro than by Uber.

(Urban Turf)

Nitrogen Coffee Arrives in DC

October 11, 2017 | The Scoop

Tyler Philips is on a mission to stop you from drinking iced or cold brew coffee.

“Ice coffee has two big things wrong with it: It’s stale and quite watery,” he says. “Nitrogen coffee, on the other hand, drastically extends the shelf life of the brew—about two months—and maintains a consistent flavor each pour.”

Philips is the owner and operator of Alchemist Coffee Co., a nitro coffee brewer and distributor, which recently took up residence inside Tastemakers, a food incubator space in Brookland (2800 10th St. NE).

Next month, Philips will open his production facility to the public with a retail coffee shop serving high-quality nitro coffee from several rare roasters, as well as local favorite Ceremony Coffee Roasters from Annapolis.