24 August 2010

petworth free store on saturday 28 august!

Petworth Free Store #2 will take place this Saturday 28 August, 8am-11am @intersection of Rock Creek Church Road, Illinois Avenue, 4th Street & Randolph Street. Click here for map.

It's like a yard sale but everything's FREE!!!

DONATE what you don't want and TAKE what you do!

find us on facebook: Petworth Free Store
find us on twitter: @petworthfree
email us: petworthfreestore@gmail.com

NEW FEATURE: post what you'll donate & what you want on Facebook & Twitter



no large furniture items, please!

see you on saturday!

19 August 2010

handwashing vs. dishwasher

i miss my dishwasher!

Since moving into a place w/o a dishwasher, I feel like I spend half my time washing dishes. What used to take <15 minutes has easily morphed into 1 hour+.


Because there's a lot involved in washing dishes:

*dishwashing liquid
*hot water
*cold water
*a strategy for executing the last three

I like to place all the silverware in the container first. Plus some bowls and cups. With a sponge, I clean the bowls and cups first and then place them directly in the sink. And then I wash the silverware and place in bowls and cups. And then I rinse with hot water (yikes!) and place in the rack.

We have a small rack so it fills up pretty quickly. Then I dry the dishes and return them to their designated spaces.

Then I start the process all over again. I probably wash, rinse, dry and return at minimum 10 intervals. And then in between I use another sponge to wipe up excess water. And then I also refresh the water, usually right before I wash the pans and the removable stove parts.

Yes, we use a lot of dishes. We prepare mostly all of our dishes from scratch. And there are usually at least 3 entrees for dinner. Which means at least 3 pans. Sometimes we have leftovers which means a leftover bowl to clean and a pot. As well as preparation bowls. And Mara likes to have a separate bowl for each of her dinner items!

(And then I also wipe the kitchen table, sweep the floor (usually moving the chairs to the living room to do so), mop and take out the trash, which involves multiple doors and multiple keys and and walking to the front of the house to get shoes.)

whew! I'm tired just writing about it.

The Green Lantern column @Slate has addressed the handwashing vs. dishwasher debate. If one has 2 sinks (1 w/ hot soapy water and another 4 rinsing w/ cold water) and scrapes off hardened food, then environmentally it is better to hand wash than use a machine. But the Green Lantern admits that the time saved w/ a dishwasher may trump the environmental benefits.(For those of you lucky enough to have dishwashers check out the column to learn how to be most efficient w/ your dishwasher, including making your own detergent.)

Fellow handwashers unite, commiserate and share your time-saving & fun-inducing strategies for making handwashing less sucky.

17 August 2010

cfp: 'dirt' conference

The New York American Studies Metro Association (NYMASA) announces a call for papers for its 2010 conference:


Saturday 4 December
St. John's University in Downtown Manhattan

Dirt is among the most material but also the most metaphorical and expressive of substances. This conference seeks to explore how people imagine, define and employ the various concepts and realities of dirt. What does it mean to call something dirty? How do we understand dirt and its supposed opposite, cleanliness? How do we explain the points at which we draw the line between clean and dirty, what we embrace and what we refuse to touch? Drawing on multiple disciplines, we hope to uncover and foreground the (often unconscious) centrality of the metaphors and actualities of dirt to U.S. cultures, values and lived experiences.

Among the possible formulations of this keyword include animals & animality and sustainability.

We seek proposals from all academic disciplines and particularly encourage "nontraditional" presentations, including performance, visual art, mixed-media, and pedagogy.

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to nymasadirt@gmail.com by Friday 10 September.

Sarah E. Chinn
English Department
Hunter College,
City University of New York (CUNY)

Click here 4 more conference details.

16 August 2010

cfp: animals & humans in the middle ages & renaissance

22nd Barnard Medieval and Renaissance Conference
4 December 2010
Barnard College, NYC

Animals and Humans in the Culture of the Middle Ages & Renaissance

An interdisciplinary conference that will explore some of the many ways in
which the human-animal connection and ‘divide’ was imagined, employed,
figured and explained by people in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Special attention will be given to the multiple constructions and fluid
and tense nature of the boundaries between wild and civilized. We seek
proposals that go beyond animal figuration and instead focus on literal
and metaphorical interactions between humans and other animals. Papers
might consider texts on husbandry, falconry, hunting, companion animals,
warfare, bestiaries, fables, encyclopedias, heraldry, visual arts,narrative, philosophy and theology, and analyses informed by current critical animal theory are especially welcomed.

Plenary speakers:
Laurie Shannon (Northwestern University
Bruce Holsinger (University of Virginia)

Plenary panel:
Aranye Fradenberg (UC Santa Barbara)
Paula Lee (Arete Initiative, U of Chicago)
Karl Steel (CUNY Brooklyn College)
Sarah Stanbury (Holy Cross)
Julian Yates (U of Delaware)

Please submit a 1-page abstract and cv to conference organizer: Laurie Postlewate by 1 September 2010.

14 August 2010

rooted in the earth book is out!

Dianne Glave's Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage is available for purchase. Encourage your local bookstores to get it. It is also available @amazon and as a kindlebook.

Check out her blog of the same name here.

Dianne and I are making plans for an interview via skype.

Read my earlier post here.

06 August 2010

8 blocks make a world of difference

Mara and I just moved 8 blocks away from our apartment to a house and it feels so different in so many ways.


1. We are now in a completely residential area and it is quiet. On our former street, there was a 2 hour window, between 2am and 4am, of quiet. This was, in large part, due to the questionable/often-raided house directly across the street from us that had some ties to the apartment building next door to us where illegal drug selling & prostitution took place. But we also heard buses, sirens and people coming home from late night fun via the subway.

2. We have to take a bus to get to the main action. At our old place, we were the main action: we walked out of our apartment and the subway, 6+ bus lines, stores, a library, a post office, 2 playgrounds and Zipcars were right there. It made it so easy not to drive. I definitely sympathize more with people who drive. Nextbus is my new best friend.

3. We don't hang out outside as much. In our old neighborhood, people were always out and so there was always someone to talk to. In the new neighborhood, the mosquitoes rule. They make it quite unpleasant to hang out.

4. Trash talk: There is no litter in our new neighborhood. It was awful in our old neighborhood. With Safeway, corner stores & carry outs, our streets & yards served as garbage cans.

5. We can recycle now! The DC government gives all home owners recycling cans. Apartment building owners with 4+ units are required to hire an approved trash collection company that picks up recycling but mine didn't.

6. Main similarity: the ubiquitous whiff of mice & rats in the air.

How has a recent move impacted how you move through the city?

05 August 2010

chocolate & arugula's 1 yr anniversary!

On 31 July 2009, chocolate & arugula went live! Click here 4 my 1st post.

And I'm still excited about the blog. More so, in fact!


Because I see so many more ways that black & green and identity & energy intersect, converge, conflict & confound, especially in cities. And this renewed interest in the city is taking me back to my dissertation: "Claiming the City: African Americans, Leisure and Urbanization in Washington, DC, 1902-1957." At its core, my diss is about space, mobility and identity. I argued against static & fixed notions about the racialization of space by showing how blacks physically, virtually & dreamily moved throughout the city.

In 2010, I am finding (sadly) similar limited notions about who uses the city, i.e. who bikes, who goes to the farmers market (!) and who shares it with a dog. So, I'll be writing much more about idealized notions of cities. (And I'll admit to my own valorizing.)

I will also be writing about the actual, ideological and gis remapping of cities, especially DC, from black to green. From 2001-2003, I directed the DC's African American Heritage Trail project, where we remapped the city using historical and contemporary coordinates. Recently, the city has done a virtual and material green remapping of the city. And I can't wait to compare these racialized/colored mappings.

I will also be doing my own videos, webinars and interviews.

And, as always, I look forward to your comments.