Adventures, History, The Daily Feed

Snowpocalypsi of Yore

Photo courtesy of
‘Ice mask, C.T. Madigan, between 1911-1914 / photograph by Frank Hurley’
courtesy of ‘State Library of New South Wales collection’

During this past weekend’s Snowpocalypse, when I was hunkering down in my blazing warm apartment, watching Mean Girls, eating curried pumpkin soup from Whole Foods and sipping on Macallan, I couldn’t help but wonder what a Snowpocalypse would have been like 100 years ago sans Goretex, Under Armour, Smartwools, central heating, snowplows/snowblowers, TV, etc. and without a widespread use of electricity. In a word, I surmised people were cold.

Fortunately, DC blog Shorpy features an particularly awesome photo post a 1918 Snowpocalypse that reminds me just how great this city and residents are. These DCers don’t look cold at all.  They’re trudging through the snow, hats on, wool coats buttoned, on their way snow be damned. Of course, the photo doesn’t convey the intensity of the  storm or the level of hardship endured, but it does show the resilience of our ancestors. DCites do their best when faced with heavy snow fall.  We will not be cold. We will not let the snow win. Both the 1918 and 2009 Snowpocalypsi were storms well weathered by our nation’s capital.

Featured Photo

Feature Photo

‘Boulder Bridge’
courtesy of ‘architeuthis dux’

If you guessed that our photo pool would be filled with snow pictures this week, you were right and deserve a prize. Almost as many pictures as millimeters of snow, and we rounded up some of the best yesterday. That’s not going to stop me choosing another snow picture as our feature photo for the week.

When the first failed attempt to purchase the land that would become Rock Creek Park was introduced in the Senate in 1867, Sen. B. Gratz Brown of Missouri, chairman of the Public Buildings and Grounds committee, said of the proposed park, “it has running water; it has rugged hills; it has picturesque scenery; it has abundance of varied forest timber; it has a native undergrowth blushing with beauty.”

It is this “picturesque scenery” that photographer architeuthis dux found when he wandered past the historic Boulder Bridge. Built in 1902 to carry Beach Drive over the creek, the bridge seems to have been waiting for this snowfall and photo opportunity. The snow, the creek, the quiet serenity, even the slight sepia coloring all combine to create a stunning picture that many won’t believe is inside the heart of our city.
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The Daily Feed

Snowbank Blocking Pedestrian Crossing

Plowed snowbank blocking pedestrian crossing in Clarendon

Some snow plow operation in Arlington has seen fit to pile this massive snowbank right on top of a pedestrian crossing outside Clarendon Metro, forcing walkers to walk around it, on the road, dodging ice and skidding cars to get across Wilson Blvd. Hey, Arlington, I know it’s hard to figure out where to put all this snow, but if you’re trying to encourage walkability in the county, you’re doing it wrong.

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The Daily Feed

Best. Snowpeople. Ever.

Cheers to Snowpocalypse!

Cheers to Snowpocalypse!

The population in DC has grown substantially in the past few days, as scores of snowpeople have taken up residence. I met a new “neighbor” this morning, sporting lei and Santa hat, real metal buttons, candy blue eyes and, best of all, a drink complete with orange snow.

Here are a few more creative snow folks from the We Love DC Flickr pool. Got more? Add ’em to the pool!

News, The Daily Feed, WMATA

WMATA Back to Strength

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Not Full strength, mind you, as Metro Access is closed today except for medical trips for dialysis, etc, but buses and trains are all running today, to all stations. They dug out 106 miles of track below the 8″ mark to let trains pass safely, and thanks to the works of the DDOT Plows, the bus routes are clear enough for passage. Be safe out there.

The Features, Weekend Flashback

Snowpocalypse Flashback: 12/18 – 12/20/2009

Photo courtesy of
‘Great Blizzard of ’09’
courtesy of ‘pixelmasseuse’

Snowpocalypse! Amazingly, several of our intrepid area photogs got out and about over the weekend and captured some fantastic shots of our area under nearly two feet of snow. (Yes, I’m jealous. A little.) So while most of us lounge around on our ‘enforced’ day off today, reminisce of our winter wonderland ‘event’ while sipping hot cocoa and listening to holiday music.

You don’t even have to go outside!

And if you have any snow photos from the weekend you want to share, make sure you drop them in our WeLoveDC Flickr pool!

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The Features

Federal Government Closed Monday

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Tomorrow just got a whole lot more interesting. The Federal Government has announced that they’ve closed all agencies and offices tomorrow:

Federal agencies in the Washington, DC, area are closed. Nonemergency employees (including employees on pre-approved leave) will be granted excused absence for the number of hours they were scheduled to work. This does not apply to employees on leave without pay, leave without pay for military duty, workers’ compensation, suspension, or in another nonpay status.

Emergency employees are expected to report for work on time.

Employees on alternative work schedules are not entitled to another AWS day off in lieu of the workday on which the agency is closed.

So, enjoy your snow day, DC! It’s gonna be a good one.

Update 5:50pm: Arlington County has also closed offices and services for Monday.

Update 6:26pm: George Mason University will open at Noon

Update 6:46pm: Falls Church City Government will open at 10am

The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

WMATA to Stay Underground-Only In the Morning

Photo courtesy of
‘The Metro in winter’
courtesy of ‘afagen’

WMATA has announced they will not restart bus service or above-ground rail first thing in the morning, and will likely not resume service right away. There are a lot of factors at play here, including temperature and speed of plowing, but if I were a betting man, I’d say Bus service back on track by noon, and rail by 3pm. But, that’s entirely up to the good folks at Metro, so watch for more updates as they happen.

The Daily Feed

Bolt Bus Cancels DC Service for Tomorrow

Photo courtesy of
‘Bolt Buses’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Via the Bolt Bus site, we’re seeing that bus service is drastically affected for tomorrow:

“Due to the approaching winter storm, we have decided to cancel the following services on Saturday, December 19, 2009:
Between New York & Washington all schedules are cancelled.
All service for December 20, 2009 has been cancelled.
Please continue to check our website for information concerning service on December 21, 2009.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you.”

The Daily Feed

Soviets Can Handle Snow

Soviet Safeway by maxedaperture

I have been hearing from friends that grocery stores in the area are fresh out of the basics: milk, bread, and toilet paper.  Oh, and by “hearing”, I mean via photos on Flickr and Facebook updates – sorry, I forgot that nobody actually speaks to each other anymore.  So I decided to go to my local grocery store to see how they’ve weathered the storm.  My conclusion: the Soviet Safeway at 17th & Corcoran is stocked full of everything you need to survive.

How is your local grocery store doing?  Tell us in the comments. Continue reading

News, The District, The Features, WMATA, WTF?!

Metro Closes Above Ground Service at 1pm


Metro has just announced that they will discontinue above-ground rail service at 1pm today, until the snow has stopped. That will close 39 stations until the snowfall has been managed.

In addition: Metrobus and Metro Access will stop running at 1:30pm.

The reason for the closures at 8″ of snow is that if the third-rail is covered, it can no longer transmit the necessary running power for the trains, meaning you could get stranded by the snow. Once they’ve cleared up the snow, they’ll return to normal service, but I’d expect that to be tomorrow at the very earliest. You can read more about Metro’s snow policies on their site.

Steven Taubenkibel of Metro has just said that road conditions are far too treacherous to continue service. For the remainder of the day, they’ll run empty deicer trains on the above-ground tracks, so you may still see trains on the tracks, but there will be no service there. They are emphasizing safety, asking people to stay off the roads so they can be cleared for service.

The Daily Feed

Ford’s Theatre Cancels “Christmas Carol”

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Ghost_Bear’

We received this from Ford’s Theatre regarding today’s performances of “A Christmas Carol“:

Ford’s Theatre has canceled both performances of “A Christmas Carol” for Saturday, December 19, 2009. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change, but we felt it to be in the best interest of our patrons and staff. A decision regarding Sunday’s performances will be announced tomorrow.

Patrons who purchased through our authorized ticket distributor, Ticketmaster, will be contacted early next week concerning their refund. Patrons who purchased directly through Ford’s Theatre will be contacted by Ford’s Theatre; if they have not heard from Ford’s Theatre by Monday morning, they should contact the Ford’s Theatre Box Office at (202) 347-4833. For tickets purchased through any other outlet, patrons should contact that vendor directly.

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The Features, Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 2/27 – 3/2/09

Photo courtesy of mindgutter
North by East West, courtesy of mindgutter

No, you read that right – the title of this week’s flashback does include today. Because you know, it’s a surprise three-day weekend for some (Not me. Boo!) and there are already some great Snowpocalypse ’09 photos showing up in our Flickr pool. (Which, if you’ve not submitted any, what are you waiting for?)

The cold caught some of us by surprise, but by and large, didn’t kill anyone’s plans. Lots going on in the city, and you guys were out in force! So here’s an extra-large edition of the Flashback, chronicling the varied tastes of all our awesome area residents and regional visitors.

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Petworth, The Daily Feed

Neighborhood Snow Plow Check

washington dc by wayan
Photo by Wayan

While DC has been quite efficient in plowing the main roads, I had no trouble driving to the White House at 8am, what’s the situation in your neighbourhood? Especially now that most folks need to commute to work.

Here in Petworth, New Hampshire Avenue and Upshur Street NW are both passable, if a little muddy, but the side roads are still piled high in Snowpocalypse drifts. I’ve watched several cars fail to make the gentle Varnum Street Hill from Grant Circle eastbound.

Is that the same on Capitol Hill? Dupont? Or Brightwood? Shout out and let us know if you’ve seen Mr. Snowplow on your block yet.

The Daily Feed

Snowpocalypse Shutting Down IAD

Photo courtesy of
‘going nowhere fast’
courtesy of ‘booleansplit’

If you think you’re flying out of Washington DC tomorrow morning, like I thought I was, you best call your airline right now. United has canceled everything before noon out of IAD, BWI, and DCA. Calling in a panic to my special frequent flyer line, I got one of the last empty IAD to SFO seats for all of Monday. For everyone else, welcome to the madness.

Word is that all the major airlines are canceling their flights before noon and rerouting other flights, telling folks it will be Wednesday before the snowstorm overflow passengers will all get to their respective destinations.