Uh – Oh Julia’s in Columbia Heights Robbed and/or Vandalized?

0407090712, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Yikes, a reader sent me this photo that clearly shows Julia’s front door smashed (14th and Park). I don’t know which makes me angrier – if it were vandalism or a robbery. Two steps forward one step back. Anyone talk to the owners (I’m actually in Austin, TX until Thursday)?

In sorta related news, the plaza in front of Julia’s is getting another facelift. I really do believe this plaza has the potential to be an amazing people watching/hanging out spot.


99 Comment

  • I wouldn’t jump to conclusions unless we know for sure what happened. Could have been a construction accident too.

  • What are they doing to the plaza? Are they doing work on pipes underneath or something or is there an actual facelift?

  • I saw the same thing yesterday am at The Heights. The side door was completely shattered…glass everywhere.

  • Crime Update – turns out it’s not just Julia’s.

    1. I found out last night from my Property Manager that Julia’s was indeed HELD UP – mid day as well.

    2. And on my way home last night I noticed that The Height’s was having a large piece of wood being worked on… they too were broken into the previous night, sometime after closing. The criminal smashed their way in and stole several items.

    3. AND, might as well make it a prime number, the 3rd instance was one of the dry cleaners in the area [not sure which one] was robbed as well, their cash register was stolen.

    4. Yes, sadly there is a fourth, a young woman was mugged early Sunday morning on Kenyon street near the school as she was walking her dog.

    Perhaps it’s time for a neighborhood [or in this case a block] crime meeting.

  • I agree. Time for a neighborhood crime meeting.

  • The plaza at 14th and Park has a lot of potential, but continues to disappoint. There are few green spaces in the revitalized 14th street area between Columbia and Otis. Thus, few areas for residents and shoppers in the area to be part of the public space, other than to shop. The plaza should include benches, tables (heck why not chess tables), as well as actually green space like grass.

  • I can’t have nice things!

    We need to find out who did this and lock them away. People who can’t follow the rules of society should be cast away. They don’t contribute and they hold the rest of us back from making progress. What’s worse are the people who cover for those who commit crimes.

    If you know that your son, brother, husband, daughter, sister, or wife did this, you need to report them.

  • Off with their head!

    Dismemberment for all crimes… Littering, robbery, etc… That might prevent something!

  • Living in this city (and anywhere, I guess, but certainly more so here) is so odd in that we reside beside and walk the streets with complete and utter sociopaths, people whose whole way of thinking is so far from mine that it boggles my brain. In spite of the fact that I’ve lived witnessing the daily effects of this phenomenon (violence, crime, and litter) for 20+ years, I still find it astounding.

  • They need to turn the plaza into a public gallows and stockade rather than a park with a fountain, trees and benches as planned!!

  • I’d be curious to know if these paving stones are being used in these crimes to break the glass. Looks like a virtual arsenal out there now.

    I helped a woman tape some plastic over her car window in the rain about a week or so ago, and she echoed Anonymous at 8:52, saying simply “Can’t never have nothing.” She just sounded so depressed and beaten down.

    This makes me so sad, and for all of those chain-store haters who want locally owned businesses, you should speak up for bike patrols and other measures to keep this stupid stuff from happening. A break in at a small mom and pop shop can be much more devastating that at a mega store. The reserves are not always there, financially or psychologically to deal with the idiocy of such criminal behavior.

  • I have Number 5 – A couple was accosted by a group of young men trying to rob them (the men circled them and pushed/threatened to “make them pay”) while coming up the Columbia Heights metro station on Saturday afternoon around 4:00 IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. No one came to their aid, and there was no metro police at the station. They made their way up and ran into the middle of Irving Street to flag down some help.

    Sadly, I know this because they’re my out of town friends. They left us down at the Cherry Blossoms to go get their car near my apartment and return home. They’re really shaken up.

    I’m sick of this.

  • This is terrible — I really hope that one of the businesses that was robbed had a videocamera that caught the bastards in the act. But if the robbery of Julia’s occurred mid-day, why did they need to smash the door?

  • Awful. More of the appropriated “I’m getting’ mine” philosophy (for want of a better word). It’s like people are assuaging their fears, regrets and worthwhile sadness by trying to be as “anti-altruistic” as possible.

    Everyone has a degree of selfishness, but this is an overt attempt against one’s natural empathetic tendencies to prove something to themselves. People harp on the objectification of women and glorification of violence that permeates popular culture, but it all stems from this need to project invulnerability and entitlement, which is to the detriment of both the individual and community.

    I think about his every time I nearly get run over while crossing the street by another uber-polluting Cadillac Escalade the with “Blessed” license plates.

  • OH, they also said the men were throwing rocks and pennies at them, just like what happened to PoP. Unfortunately they were from out of town and did not expect this kind of treatment.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if these are the same type of people who robbed Julias.

    PS – The same thing happened at Five Guys a few months ago and it’s still not fixed. Why must people destroy good things?

  • Maybe more of our tax dollars need to go towards: Police and family planning (please use a condom – you’re not ready to have kids and if you have kids, they’re more likely to grow up to be criminals because you’re not ready to raise them) rather than pouring them into failing schools and welfare programs.

  • Maybe more of our tax dollars need to go towards police and family planning (please use a condom – you’re not ready to have kids and if you have kids, they’re more likely to grow up to be criminals because you’re not ready to raise them) rather than pouring them into failing schools and welfare programs.

  • On the other note – from the plans posted by the city, this looks to be getting a fountain…yet I cant understand why they are laying down new pavers if they’re going to put something as structural as a fountain here. I’m also curious as to what they’ll do with the trees if a fountain goes in.

  • JR, you should have warned your friends to be on their guard. What is normal in DC is utterly shocking to most outsiders. Tell them its their own fault as we have been their colony for so long 😉

  • I have the same complaint about people who spraypaint or “tag” walls of buildings and write their names into wet cement. It’s not even good vandalism. Most of what you see is really sloppy hand-writting. WHY MUST YOU DESTROY NICE THINGS??? DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN A DUMP???

  • Level the block of Columbia between 13th and 14th, including Trinity Towers and watch the crime drop precipitously, but I know that will never, ever, ever, ever, happen

  • what the hell is a crime watch meeting going to do? You’re going to still be WATCHING people getting robbed. The best thing is for the general public to insist the DC lessen its gun laws even further. The criminals will have them regardless.

  • CH Metro situation with the couple: I see that all the time would love to help, but me saying something makes me infinitely more likely to catch a beating than the likelihood the kids are going to drop a beating on the people they are harassing in the first place. So I’m not going to do it until we get concealed carry. So, never.

    Related: I saw a young women assault a police officer on the platform at the Petworth station last night at 5:30. He was going to give her a warning for eating on Metro. She tried to run onto a train, he grabbed her arm, she hit him. He controlled her, ignored her tirades about his “touching her” and about the police, and wrote her a ticket instead of giving her the warning. It was very professional. He should have stepped on her neck and booked her for assaulting an officer.

  • So, what are we doing about this? I’m new to the neighborhood and I don’t know how to best make myself heard. ANC? Police meeting? Anyone have the contacts?

  • Seriously … how does this sh*t happen at 4 pm in a busy Metro station and NO ONE helps out the victims?? I think 4 guys trying this and getting confronted with an angry mob of law-abiding folk would go a long way to letting the bad guys know there’s a new sheriff in town. We need more people like the guy who tackled and pinned the thug who roughed up the old lady.

  • @ Anonymous 10:35’s Related: I like that.

  • It’s the projects, stupid. Until we redevelop the housing projects into something that doesn’t just warehouse section 8ers, it’s going to happen forever.

  • If we can somehow enourage people who are not ready to have kids to not have kids, the cycle stops.

  • Any possibility this is related to the string of robberies on Columbia Rd a week or two ago? Metro Liquors, BancoAmerica, and some other place (a bodega I think) were all robbed in a matter of days by three guys.

  • On Saturday night (4/04) around 830p there were three Guardian Angels standing near Five Guys and the Columbia Heights metro stop.

    To those who are wondering about the landscaping of Civic Plaza (yes, that’s the name of the plaza under contruction), a fountain is being built.

  • Huh. My bedroom window is on an alley (at basement level), and last night, as I was laying in bed (sick) watching some sweet, sweet Nova on Hulu, I overheard some kids walk by loudly bragging about breaking windows. “Did you see how it shattered?!” “Damn, that was the shit!” “I grabbed that shit and ran, son.”

    I turned down my speakers and sat there silent until they walked by. Last thing I wanted was them to notice that some dude in the basement heard them. I wanted to call some kind of police tip line, but had no idea who to call.


  • @ Anon 10:47

    Impossible. Despite our great strides, humans have yet to transcend the urge to procreate.

  • IN RE: to SG’s comment at 10:43– Not to be a complete elitist A-hole, but I am not sure eliminating the “warehouses” with mixed income developments (like Highland Park where I live) is the best Idea either. We’ve certainly had our share of issues with these residents– from stolen checks and identity fraud, to the frequent smell of marijuana on the elevators, to my latest favorite– one of the subsidized housing residents cars being parked in our Garage with a window bashed in… lovely and comforting sight to see on the way to my car this morning…. All i can say is that I am not paying this kind of rent to live in an effing Ghetto. The community response needs to start with us– but should also include the Property Managers who are banking on us maintaining our leases… at this rate– I will be looking at other neighborhoods when the lease is up.

  • why why why are they redoing this square again? why not just do it once? the stones were fine, and the concrete was environmentally terrible… now paver stones, which are better, but seriously – why are we paying for this 3 times?
    i mean, maybe it’s not tax dollars – i could be jumping to conclusions. but i bet i’m not…

  • @ springroadintoaction: Call 911. I called a 3rd District substation when I saw some people dealing on my street and they told me to call 911 to report these types situations and they will alert officers in the area.

  • Um, springroadintoaction, the number is 911. Are you effing kidding?

  • Well, we’ve been through this plenty on this blog, but here goes: our Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary has been chaired by Phil Mendelson for at least five years. Mendelson is rather soft on crime and an expert on the constitutional rights of criminals and suspects. Concern for crime victims of the neighborhoods doesn’t seem to come up. Also, juvenile crime (a huge factor) is outside the law enforcement system and rather is the domain of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, part of the Department of Health. Clobert King has written a series of stunning articles on how bad those guys are for the Washington Post. DYRS basically doesn’t believe in incarcerating young men, no matter their crime. Further, on turning 18, offenders are given a clean slate, so they have several offenses to commit before facing serious time. In short, while our police may be arresting guys, they are back on the street very quickly. Also, the police follow a “rapid response” model that is anything but, and would only work in areas where crime is infrequent, not where crime is rampant like in DC. Instead, the need to establish constant, pervasive presence, which politically Mendelson has been unwilling to do, and which is likely impossible given current budget cuts (we bought baseball instead).

    For an interesting review of our situation, search local papers for 18 year old Ransom Perry Jr., who was awaiting trial for carrying a loaded gun and had an extensive juvenile record when he killed 14 year old Arthur Daniels recently. His release and presence on the street were approved and condoned by every aspect of our judiciary and legislative branches. Were I Mendelson I’d resign in disgrace or fall on my sword, instead he held a town meeting where he said nothing more could be done.

    Note there are two pending bills of interest as far as I know:

    Bill 18-138, the “Omnibus Anti-Crime Amendment Act of 2009”
    Bill 18-151, the “Public Safety and Justice Amendments Act of 2009”

    Both are moving nowhere as they were submitted by the Mayor, and are thus caught in the crossfire of mayoral-council fighting.

    Your only option, and I realize it sucks, is to vote against all current elected officials (Fenty, councilmembers, etc), and vote for a “law and order” ticket if one materializes. However, you won’t get to do that until next fall, and then any changes will take some time to implement. I don’t think any quick solutions are possible.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that my standards are simply out of step with the elected leadership of the city, and many of its residents.

  • Has anyone ever wondered why there were no businesses here before? This is why? Some people are just bad for business. Bad for the community. You can’t live around them. You can’t cater a business to them. And when you do, you had better charge high prices to compensate yourself for the risk. As such, mainly “Chinese” and other carryouts open. And they “tax” the residents for the risk they incur for doing busines swith them. This ain’t rocket science. It is economics. When Julia’s gets her bill for the window, she has to socket to someone. And if her store gets broken into enough, well she just closes down.

    Parts of SE/NE and PG CTY are in an even worse condition. They have hardly any retail options. Newsflash: It ain’t because of racism or poverty. Walk a few blocks up 14th St. (Parkwood) and you will find a self sufficient Latino neighborhood with a grocery store, beaty supply, etc. Now go all over SE/NE and you won’t see any black owned grocery stores, restaurants, hardware stores. Nothing! Not even a black owned liquor store. It ain’t happenstance. Collectively, it must be “ok” to engage in this type of behavior. Otherwise, it would have been stopped a long time ago. No excuses.

  • I think about his every time I nearly get run over while crossing the street by another uber-polluting Cadillac Escalade the with “Blessed” license plates.

    are you joking or serious? I’ve seen that VERY SUV drive horribly on, I think, Irving st.

  • police tip line???

    my god, how does an adult not know about 911? Do we have to put up flyers listing it?

    In the summer I call 911 about once a week.

  • Yeah, 911 is great for leaving tips to investigators.

    Then they show up at my house, where I stand outside and say “some kids” walked by an hour ago and I didn’t want to open my curtains to see who they were.

    The kids would have no idea who called it, who called them in, and where that guy lives.

    And the first thing I want is bullets in my living room.

  • KG,
    They have Section 8/affordable housing in Highland Park? That is the building right above Dunkin Donuts right? How much do they charge them? What size units do they have in that building? I always think of section 8 being 2-4 bedroom homes and apts. Since there are so few 2-4 BR apts in the city, I didn’t think sec8 would be in that building.

  • 911 is supposed to be the catch all number, but its impossible to use as a way to get non-emergency info into the system. For example, a few weeks ago I saw a seedy guy in the alley who wanted to sell me a ladder he “needed to get rid of to feed his kids.” I suspected it was actually my neighbors ladder, so I got my phone and called 911. The dispatcher said that since I didn’t see a crime he couldn’t send a unit, and perhaps I should call 4D. I call 4D and get told to call 911. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Luckily my neighbor came home, it was his ladder and when we moved on the guy he ran. My neighbor called 911, and they sent a car some several hours later. Car did not stop, get info, or anything, just cruised through the alley and was off.

    Actually, from the perspective of avoiding any real work, 911 is a brilliant way to do so.

  • What do you expect when an affluent community invades an economically disadvantaged community? People are acting out. It’s not acceptable, but it’s very understandable.

  • Thanks Pennywise, for your enlightening posts. I shudder to think what awaits this summer with a horrible economy/heat/lack of police oversight.

    We need to get on this NOW, unfortunately, it seems the city leadership, frankly, doesn’t care.

  • Are you KIDDING ME? INVADES??? There are so many things wrong with that statement. Progress is a good thing. A clean neighborhood is better than a dirty one. A neighborhood without crime is better than one with crime. Those two statements are objectively true.

  • springroadintoaction: Oh please. You don’t even have to leave your name or number, you don’t have to wait around, you’re not reporting a crime, you’re reporting that you may have seen the perpetrators of a crime, and you may have helped the police find them. If you want, you can even send a text to 50-411. Get real. I can’t believe it, but it think we need to do the “Call 911” posters again.

  • Anonymous Says:

    April 8th, 2009 at 11:17 am
    What do you expect when an affluent community invades an economically disadvantaged community? People are acting out. It’s not acceptable, but it’s very understandable.
    So how do you explain their behavior in Ward 7,8 where there has not been an invasion of an “economically disadvantaged community” by an affluent community?

  • springroadintoaction-

    As a 15 year resident of DC, you’re fantasizing.

  • Invasion? Interesting choice of words. It’s so sad that there’s a market for fresh food and consumer goods now.

  • The community response needs to start with us– but should also include the Property Managers who are banking on us maintaining our leases… at this rate– I will be looking at other neighborhoods when the lease is up.

    Tell the property manager that either that car gets fixed or you cancel your lease and see what they say. Complain to the property manager about the marijuana smell every time.

    I’ve found that after about the 12th call, things magically get fixed.

  • I read this blog to find some interesting things in the neighbourhood. The comments I’ve read today are pathetic. Most comments on here are how proud people are that they live in this area. You have chosen (and are proud of) living in a semi-gentrified area, SUCK IT UP. Economy goes down, crime goes up. Shocker. Sadly, most of you decrying this behaviour are just like springroadinaction (ah, the irony), you would do nothing but blog about when you saw or heard about crime.

  • First of all, Pennywise is right. The first few times I’ve tried to be active in engaging crime, I ran into the same hurdles.

    Secondly, the scenario I described, I’ve witnessed. Kids found out who called them in (the 911 call is available as evidence), and a couple days later, the guy’s living room had bullets lodged in the wall.

  • What do you expect when an affluent community invades an economically disadvantaged community?

    how many ways are you ignorant about DC?

    An african american GS 12 government employee who lived in Columbia Heights for 25 years may look economically disadvantaged to you, racist, but they aren’t. They may dress in a cultural style that isn’t up to your preppy standards, but they aren’t economically disadvantaged just because they listen to rap.

  • Highland Park is the one with Potbelly, Five Guys, and Commonwealth.

    I have no idea how big the units are but I assume 2 bedroom (I think that’s the largest floor plan we have).

    Also no idea how much they charge. But my partner assures me that the units are not the same finishes (you know– granite, stainless, etc.) as the non-subsidized units… so I assume they’re more affordable. Whatever– if you were to discount the rent for all of the crime in the neighborhood, and add to it the number of apartments that overlook the homeless shelter on Irving, you may as well be living free. the “glitz and glamour” that the building tries to portray is really just that…. i’m a total sucker who accidentally fell for it last fall…. sigh…

  • It’s not the african american GS 12 government employees who lived in Columbia Heights for 25 years that are committing these crimes.

  • This conversation has obviously devolved. @really? – I’m a new resident who is disheartened at the crime and came here looking for real actions I could take (read above). Obviously, I like living here, or I wouldn’t have chosen it. But how does not just accepting current situations (“shocker!”) and wanting to improve the neighborhood make me ‘pathetic’?

    The usefulness of this thread is apparently up. But thanks for everyone’s great insights – I feel more informed about my neighborhood and the inner workings of DC now.

  • REALLY Says: “you would do nothing but blog about when you saw or heard about crime.”

    Pretty sure several of the comments on this blog are individuals trying to figure out how we can make voices heard and create the change we want to see. Comments like yours to just “suck it up” are the exact apathy that will get us nowhere. move on to another posting if it is paining you to see the negative way that this is impacting residents who indeed, DO want to be proud of the neighborhood they want to liv ein.

  • Its statements like Really?s that I cite when I say that my standards are out of step with many of the residents. I suspect that many people who lived in DC during the crack wars, or children of such people, have such low standards that crime is just part of life. The idea of no victimization and violence is literally unheard of. So, those of us from elsewhere, though we’ve lived here for decades, are in a small and politically ineffective minority. If you are able to move to more affluent neighborhoods, where crime was never so rampant, standards are higher, as are services. Sadly, most of us cannot afford that, hence flight to outer suburbs, where prices are affordable and local standards higher. We can also think of this as the “Barry effect”. Or a consequence of having large blocks of voters comprised of convicted felons.

    It indeed frustrates me as I see the problems as systemic, not the failure of individuals to take action or call 911. By systemic I basically have come to blame Phil Mendelson.

  • I think about his every time I nearly get run over while crossing the street by another uber-polluting Cadillac Escalade the with “Blessed” license plates.

    are you joking or serious? I’ve seen that VERY SUV drive horribly on, I think, Irving st.

    I too have seen that same behemoth and always chuckle to myself…good luck finding parking buddy…hope you like filling your tank…I’ll bet that thing is bigger than your room in your grandmas house! Now get out of my way so I can cruise my bike past your gridlocked ass… 😉

  • KG,
    So are there Section 8 people or affordable housing people there? Damn if they have section 8 in there at the rents they are charging, it won’t be long before that building becomes like a building from The Wire. If you can pay that much money to live there, you will move before spending an inordinate amount of time complaining.

    People with means move before raising their blood pressure complaining 12 times for results. That is what people lose sight of.

  • JR, if you want a suggestion about what to do about crime, please write to and/or stop by the offices of the mayor, your councilman, and the chief of police and directly ask: “Why are there exactly zero MPD officers walking a regular beat around this high-crime neighborhood?”

    Keep asking that question until you get results, and don’t settle for the typical bullshit “We’re doing the best we can” line. Force them to serve the people.

  • I find it hilarious that so many of us are turned off by the same irony that we might have witnessed once or twice for 10-30 seconds by that Blessed car.

  • Re: the car, the best thing I saw years ago was a young guy with a paint pen. When a car cut him off in the crosswalk, he calmly walked behind the car, and as he passed it, penned a nice gold line across the back of the trunk. Subtle and low key yet totally effective.

  • Nate, that’s an unfair comparison. The building is fine.

  • CP: they will earnestly look you in the face and tell you they are doing all they can. Then laugh at you as you leave. Your more effective bet is to find a candidate with an anti-crime platform and pump money into them. If they get elected, great, if not, perhaps they scare some crime talk into our existing elected idiots.

  • People with means move before raising their blood pressure complaining 12 times for results. That is what people lose sight of.

    Look, I have a vendetta against lawbreakers, misogynists, etc. I was straight edge. I follow the law as closely as possible and definitely am not involved in any illegal drugs or murder. same thing basically.

    After an incident I call in, I write it up for about 10 minutes and send the incident description to the mayor. Then I submit the same incident description to the DEA, usually, and the FBI. If it takes place on school grounds then I write a different note to Michelle Rhee’s office. I made contacts there. I also write anonymous notes submitted to the mayor’s office. Periodically I cut and paste these descriptions and send them to Jim Graham and the MD State Troopers. Most of the drug crew I deal with live in PG County. If the incident involves the endangerment of children then I call CFSA. In the few times I’ve done that, the incidents involving the Baby Mamas stopped cold and they never returned! Hopefully a visit from CFSA woke them up enough to cut that stuff out. When given the choice between smoking that rock or losing their baby, they simply never returned to the block. CFSA is the neutron bomb- the crew might exist, but the ladies disappear.

    in one case it took three calls to CFSA to get one family to stop, but they know that they are being watched by the neighbors and that drug use is not acceptable on the street.

    Also, and this is key, I talk to the grandparents, moms and dads involved and get their names and addresses, collected their personal information from Verizon and the DC Tax office and I keep an excel spreadsheet with this information. The police happily provided me with arrest reports on the individuals. I provided the police with the definitive links between street names and real names.

    DC Real Estate tax office:


    Get to know your neighbors people. Don’t let it get out of hand when you have the power to stop it. When their children get into college they won’t even know they had you scaring the pants off their parents to thank.

  • At the very least, perhaps this week or weekend would be good time to try these businesses or visit them again. They will need to replace these windows and would probably appreciate the support of their neighbors.

    Both the Heights and Julia’s are locally owned businesses, something everyone says they want. Now’s the time to put up or shut up AND show your support.

  • Nate:

    I live above Dunkin – Lofts of Columbia Heights. Their not Section 8, they are Affordable Dwelling Units (ADUs) or sometimes called “workmen’s housing” like the EYA townhomes near the new baseball ballpark. They are much lower end finishes, but they are not for rent – they are for sale. Half the units in the building are market rate, half are ADUs. ADUs were sold for somewhere around $275k for a one bedroom (no parking) and there are restrictions on what the owners can sell them for for 5 years, and they can not be rented out. i think they are about 750 ft^2, with pretty much all the basic appliances – dishwasher, washer / dryer / built in microwaves, etc.

    PS – this type of behavior is exactly why there is zero retail on my block outside of Dunkin and a cleaner. Meanwhile there are roughly 4 vacant storefronts. Nobody wants to move in there when there is so much space around the metro, and around U street.

  • my bad – 10 year restriction on sales of ADUs

  • Neener… you rock. Keep it up. I’ve always gotten the impression that on my block, I’m the only one that calls the cops.

  • Point well taken Neener, thank you. My particular problems are not on my block, which is awesome, but rather during my commute and other travels on Georgia Ave for the most part, or around my local HS. So, I don’t know who to call all these numbers on. Also, it seems your solution is the best response to a bad situation (ie lousy law enforcement and governance) and you really go above and beyond with it. I wonder how many people will go above and beyond versus simply moving as soon as they can. How many people have that kind of time? I work constantly and barely keep myself out of the gutter, and now I need to make sure my neighbors kids are looked after as well? Something seems off with that… Or I want some tax dollars back.

  • Luckily there’s a lawyer with kids down the street who became the loudmouthed “yuppie face on the street” so I could play “Good cop” and buddy up with the rough families long enough to get everyone’s name, age, etc. There is a history of white hippies on our block who I knew and I seem to sort of blend into them even though I’m much younger.

    I am also not such a jerk in real life as I probably come off in email.

    Please go search myspace for your street name. I found the myspace page for the crew on my block and then I had like 150 of their friends and out of that group, identified 5 people by matching street names to myspace pages. That was time consuming, but I did most of it one day while sick and bookmarked all the pages. I matched comments about the 5-0 locking up [street name] to an actual arrest.

    The thing is that all you need to do is save all this correspondence in one folder in Outlook and go search through the incidents you reported. all of this can be done online during lunch.

  • If the neighbors aren’t looking after the kids (which they’re not), and the police/teachers/city council/mayor/gov’t agencies/public entities are not looking after the kids (which they’re not), and WE aren’t looking after the kids (which we’re not, except for Neener apparently), then basically the kids are looking out for themselves, and being kids, they don’t make the best choices, as we’re seeing all too clearly. In order for it to stop, everyone needs to pitch in, the public entities we pay taxes to, the parents, and you, me and Dupree too. All three wheels have to spin for the tricycle to move.

  • Pennywise,

    Nobody is saying I don’t desperately want to move! It’s a longstanding disagreement with my wife. I came from a wealthy and crime-free neighborhood but wanted something authentic and funky- when I was 25! Now, 15 years later?

  • I want a farmer’s market at the plaza.

  • Neener, very few people have the persistence or the determination to be as diligent as you. This must be some shock for you to come from a wealthy family and experience this. So, by your experience, is it in fact true that white people coming to the hood gives them a kinda street cred or a living on the edge persona? I hear it all the time but never had a close enough white friend to ask.

  • Whoever mentioned CFSA is right on point. Whenever I have a bad tenant, I always call them first. There is always a violation to report. Heck you can even make up a claim. They have to come out. With the Banita Jacks case and other follies, they all over any report of child abuse. Usually, the parents shape up because the children represent a source of income. They don’t want to lose that.

  • As a honkey who lives in an area that my rich friends call ghetto, I can atest I moved there as it was the only house in my price range etc. I was not seeking any street cred at all. I admit I used to like much of DC as you could get weed and hookers at all hours, but in my elder years I want quiet and such.

    Feel free to “ask a honkey” anything else…

  • Bryan,
    275K for an ADU? That is a lot of money for an ADU

  • I’m in the same boat as Pennywise. I live in CH because that’s what I could afford to buy. I have enough street cred from Cali vato days to last me a lifetime.

  • Neener, very few people have the persistence or the determination to be as diligent as you. This must be some shock for you to come from a wealthy family and experience this. So, by your experience, is it in fact true that white people coming to the hood gives them a kinda street cred or a living on the edge persona? I hear it all the time but never had a close enough white friend to ask.

    Well the persistence and determination and the wealthy part were all pretty much linked when you think about it. Couldn’t be wealthy without the persistence… My parents were actually gov’t employees who lucked into buying just the right house in just the right neighborhood in 1963. Much of that was based on them coming from farms and wanting to buy the biggest yard they could get just across the border from DC. 45 years later you do the math. What is key to me is that always being diligent is creating successful crime management projects as well as creating wealth and managing staff.

    Since I spent a lot of time in DC since I could ride the metro alone, crime wasn’t a huge surprise to me. The REAL surprise was learning that parents of criminal teens encouraged their children to be criminals. I had always presumed that these crew members were pulling the wool over their parents, not that their parents used them to get cocaine. I forget the exact date, but within the last 4 years I heard the crew’s 50 year old mother joke with another older woman that she asks her son for “that snow white for the clubs.” THAT blew my mind.

    Hmmm…. street cred. It has been my experience that the average white adult man doesn’t recognize street cred as a commodity.

    When we were punk rockers and collected antiques and all that, it was a pretty natural thing to stay in the city where the clubs were and out of the boring suburbs. Remember that over all the cities have cooler residents involved in more interesting projects.

    Street cred really comes down to the communities in white America who value African-American culture (essentially the cachet to living in the city) for its authenticity and those that disregard it (are either real or semi racists).

    So I can definitely talk about living in DC and get strange looks and questions like, “but you don’t have a decent yard, you don’t have a garage.” At lunch my CEO basically lambasted me for not living where he does in McLean since he has a 20 minute commute. Uh… and today your house would sell for what, 1.8 million? So I can’t even use the commuting story to tell people why I live here.

    I no longer view the authenticity factor in city living with the same high regard I once did. To quote Chris Rock, “Keeping it real? Real dumb!” So with that lack of empathy for keeping it real or not hating players, I can sometimes come across as pretty harsh. But then again, I’ve kept my nose clean for so long I’ve lost perspective on those that don’t/can’t.

    I just watched the movie Superbad the other day and I realized how incredibly different the teenage perspective is when you’re doing everything for the first time- drinking and smoking seems so much different. the police seem so much different. So I chalk up a lot of city cred to that- life seems wild if you don’t know anything about it, but not so much when you know all about it. That’s probably why my friends travel to other countries, because there’s nothing in the USA they don’t really know about.

  • Ok that explains it Neener. I thought you were of the old money ilk. Not that one brand of green spends better than the other.
    You always hear the chatter that whites (hope that is politically correct) move to the city out of guilt or to somehow prove they are hip. That is the reason why I asked.

    You mentioned the whites that value AA culture. Surely, you have drawn some opinions and validated/invalidated some stereotypes after living here for so long. I would LOVE to hear them. From anyone on this board actually.

  • Neener,

    I will follow your example of contacting many different govt agencies and local officials. Can you please post contact information (ideally phone and email/url) list of who you contact when you observe an incident? I will endeavour to do the same. Hopefully others here will as well.


  • Nate – no doubt on the price. “Affordable” is a pretty generic term around here. As a matter of fact, about 6 months ago they sold an ADU for the same price but without the restrictions. I don’t know why, but my guess is because nobody with the income levels it takes to qualify for an ADU could get a loan for that amount. The EYA townhomes I think have income restrictions of $86k to over $100k. It’s hard to imagine a family with a 6 figure income getting a “subsidized”, “below market” unit. They are holding lotteries of qualified people to see who gets the right to buy one.

  • Nate, I moved here for school many years ago as my hometown in the midwest was thoroughly rusted. Then I got some freaky DC job that gives me experiences so I can work really only in DC or Geneva, Switzerland. So, I’ve stayed for 15 some years due almost entirely to the unique work I do and love. I’ve always lived in DC, and at some point realized I was aging and should buy a house. With my income and preference for not commuting via car and house with basement and small yard, I was confined to only a few areas of the city. There was no hipness or coolness coming into play as far as I know. I value my own culture and respect that of others, and wasn’t really seeking to become a proxy AA by moving here. All in all, I love my black neighbors (and Latinos and the possibly Vietnamese family somewhere around the corner). There are some houses that are problematic, but that percentage is no higher/lower than I’d see on roughly any middle class street in America. What has shocked me is the ability of roving men to wreak havoc on my area, whether through theft or violence, and the inability of MPD / DC gov to stop them despite how incredibly obvious and recurring they are. By extension, the local tolerance of crime and vastly differing attitudes towards it in the AA community that I know (not to sound cliche, but I’ve got black friends), are of interest. Some are harsher than me in their wish for retribution, others say enough black men are locked up. I can agree with the latter on things like drug charges, but the tolerance for violence among certain segments of the AA community just blows me away. And I hate the litter, but that’s somewhat minor comparatively.

    There, I am sure I somehow offended a great many people, so lemme have it 😉

  • Interesting, Neener. You can ask learn a lot on a blog. Things you would never ask in person, you can ask on a blog…

  • Dontcha mean PENNYWISE? 🙂

  • Let’s face it. Columbia Heights is giving Tivoli North a bad name!

  • Neener –> “Remember that over all the cities have cooler residents involved in more interesting projects.”

    That’s why I moved here!

  • So, next time, call 911 and Operation Livelink.

    Cops often will show up within a few minutes. Call sooner rather than later. It’s legal and encouraged to call before a situation reaches its climax.

    Operation Livelink Columbia Heights:

    202-870-9855 or 202-870-9856

    Operation Livelink Mt. Pleasant:


  • I’ll join Neener and Nate in their very well expressed complexities of long-time living here.

  • I’ve started a petition for residents who want more cops walking the beat. Please sign the petition and ask your friends and neighbors to do the same. Please publish and pass on this address to all who may be interested: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/walkbeat/petition.html

  • Has anyone stopped by Julia’s to see if they’re open today despite the busted door situation? I’m thinking about stopping in after work, I suppose it’s a good time for their customer base to show them a little love.

  • when the ledroit park market got repeatedly burglarized a few years ago we took up a collection to help them repair their door. might be a nice thing to do in this case too.

  • Did anybody notice the window was broken from the inside?

  • PT- that is not necessarily what you’re seeing in that photo if it’s reinforced glass.

    You could have the initial rock crash through the window and then 10-30 seconds before the cracked glass falls. At that point it falls wherever. That’s not true defenestration because of the door handle- that stopped the entire door from caving forward.

  • Bryan – Are you sure it is only a 10 year restriction on selling the ADU units at 2750 14th St / Dunkin Donuts? I heard it is more like 20 years.

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