Keeping the city’s juices flowing

The DC Office of Planning is having public meetings now about the Florida Avenue Farmers Market near Gallaudet. They have to be quick about it. Within 180 days of recent legislation on developing the area, they must make a decision about office space, retail space, and residential space, all taking into consideration “absorbing” the new residents and employees it would draw in. I went to one of these meetings this week, where all sorts of people who have studied that jagged swath of northeast DC space reported and others who are involved in city planning discussed. When they were done, residents passionately testified and complained and urged. Some actually gave advice and shared visions, which was the point of the meeting (I was happy to see awareness that big guys might be out to get the little residents, awareness raised by the toil of many a community organizer, but in this case the rage was misplaced and a tad embarrassing. These were not evil developers they were talking to, but sympathetic city employees). Continue reading


Two shades of green

Two little somethings for the kiddies and the grown-ups, both to help you consume green.

1) Green buying and investing

A great resource for this is Co-op America. As part of your Earth Day celebration, check them out. You’ll find tips on social investment, the Green Pages directory of Earth-friendly businesses and products, and more.

Co-op America is good for the grown-ups because it gives practical ways to go about your normal business more sustainably. Want to paint your bedroom? The Green Pages will tell you where to buy environmentally-friendly paint. Want to invest in socially responsible companies, but not sure which will deliver with dividends? Check out their investing resources. It’s a very adult way to consume with integrity and preserve the environment for our kiddies.

2) Green food

green egg omelet-lg

Who hasn’t wondered what Dr. Seuss’s green eggs and ham tasted like? Well, here’s a way to find out. A kid-pleaser, for sure, but you could also think of it as a gourmet twist on omelets or scrambled eggs for the adults. When my dad used to make this, he was even more excited about it than the kids who were going to eat it. The scallions are my innovation. I don’t think he’d mind. Continue reading

Looks like the real thing and tastes even better

In these violent and trying times, it’s good to know there are completely ridiculous things like this around.

At the beginning go of the video, you’re probably thinking, This is a device that makes your ice cream look like a bowl of spaghetti. That’s pretty wacko. But see how your opinion changes when you discover it comes with attachments to make lasagna-style ice cream and even sweet and creamy asparagus spears? NOW who’s wacko? That would be you, for rashly thinking so little of the Spaghetti Ice Cream Maker.

Once smitten, twice shuddering

A rule for judging eating establishments: try them more than once before gushing to your friends. I learned this the hard and embarrassing way today. My new policy will be to make two visits to a place to be responsible about my reviews.

For months, I’ve raved about this pizza place in Dupont Circle, having been smitten by a generous (and, to my recollection, very good) slice I had once. It’s a bare bones Chicago-style pizza joint called Alberto’s. Continue reading

I’ve gone to the dark side and I don’t care

Let’s talk about sustainability. And let’s talk about how New has become a bad word. And let’s talk about how I’m writing this on my new, beautiful MacBook, sipping fair trade coffee in a vegan café. Our lives are full of choices, causing many of us to constantly weigh our net impact. We are forever asking: Buy new? Or scrimp, save, and settle?

Paper is just one part of this question. I consider a page printed on only one side as a piece of paper only half used. I’ll gladly stick it in my printer and use the other side. My sheet of paper is committing the noble act of turning the other cheek. Continue reading

A few mouthfuls and a little more than an earful

This is a conglomeration of thoughts on dining out vs. eating in and fleshy temptations. Bear with me.

First, the Dining Out Dilemma.

I want to respond to comments by Ava and Brion a while ago. Ava made a good point about how dining out is not only easier than cooking for yourself, but can even be cheaper. Brion mentioned a few perks to cooking for yourself, including the fact that you can fit the flavors and portions exactly to your taste. He pointed out that cooking can be quick and easy, even for a group, especially after a little practice. Thanks for bringing this up! Continue reading