What’s in YOUR sewer?

I took a look in the gutter in my block the other day.  One of my neighbors had a guy working on their HVAC system and the guy accidentally spilled the fuel oil tank that he was taking out. I and the other neighbors got involved a bit to try to keep our local (and greater) environment clean as possible.

The EPA also came out to check it all out. While he was poking around, I got a chance to see into the storm sewer collection inlet. It doesn’t look great, but it was kind of what I was expecting. DPW doesn’t help much with this because they spill almost as much trash onto the alley as they collect twice every week. They make a mess, but that is how the city’s trash is collected. In the future, we may have other methods. I do know the bum that drinks the MD 20’s though. I will tell him to dispose of his bottles properly next time I see him.DSC07308I

Classic Turn-of-the-Century Capitol Hill Iron Stairs

On a recent walk through the neighborhood, I slowed down and took a close look at a lot of the cast iron front stairs at a handful of houses on my walk.  Many of the houses in these pictures have a mix of original cast iron and newer iron elements.  Many include fully-original cast iron elements with iron connecting components.


I was like whoa!!…

One day I was just working on a house and, out front, this happened!

I was working on a house a few months ago.  I came outside in the middle of the day and saw a little truck half wrapped around a light pole.  The speed limit on this road is about 25.  It was just the most peaceful and pretty day other than this, and I have no idea what happened, but, today, when I started cleaning off hundreds of old pictures from my camera card, I came to this and still am scratching my head.

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A simple lesson for DPW workers on how to paint…

Here in Capitol Hill, we have some of the best DPW workers in all of DC.

But, funny story, I pulled up to a meter just off of Mass Ave, NE the other day.  My eyes drifted toward the pavement as I dug into my pocket for change and I was shocked to see what is here in the photo below.

First, whoever painted this parking meter pole didn’t prep the substrate before they painted.  Second, they got more paint on the brick paving than they did on the pole.  Maybe the city doesn’t get enough tax revenue and maybe they couldn’t afford a tarp, but they could have used an old newspaper for FREE!

So, anyway, I just had to take a picture because of how ridiculous it looks!

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Spring Gardens and Yards in Capitol Hill

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Today was a beautiful day in Capitol Hill. The flowers have bloomed and spring is at its best. This week, we did a complete makeover on a yard by adding three garden beds and over 25 shrubs, perennial grasses, and flowers. We also added eco-friendly drip irrigation and re-routed storm drainage to provide irrigation to planting beds.

Some of my pictures from a walk around the neighborhood follow, showing the best aspects of the neighborhood we live in.

The Rear Ell

The Rear Ell

A lot of the homes in our Capitol Hill neighborhood have a rear ell.  I have been interested in the rear ells for a long time.

The Rear Ell- Marked Up

For one, I thought, initially, that the ells were all built as part of making an addition without underpinning the neighbor’s building, where the neighbor had the “first mover’s advantage” of not having to worry about undermining an existing structure.

But over time, as I became more interested and looked a lot closer, I began to see that so many were built at the same time as the original structures.  This article helps to explain the purpose of the original ells.