Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

100 Comment

  • Rant: I made the mistake of reading all the comments on yesterday’s post about Columbia Heights Village (I live nearby and was curious to know what that line was for) and now I am in a terrible mood and grumpy about the world. People are the worst.

    Revel: At least I can sit here at my desk and stew in peace and quiet because no one is at my office yet.

    Rant: Yeah everything is just pissing me off now.

    • I share your stew. Might need to take a break from PoPville.

    • I am in the same stew! I hate posts like that.

      • I think PoP should consider not putting up posts like that. I would like him to explain why they are good for the community. I am starting to think that posts like that are a cynical play for pageviews because similar posts tend to engender so many comments. I don’t want to participate in a forum centered on that.

        PoP, please explain your editorial policy on putting up posts like that. Explain how it’s not race baiting.

        • I sent him that information because I had been curious about what the line was for, and guessed that the many readers of this blog who live in the neighborhood might also be interested. Can’t speak on his behalf, but perhaps the post was an attempt at informing the public.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          Anytime something controversial is posted I’m accused of race baiting and page views. Andy, you’re better than that. I’ve said it a million times, posts like this receive far FEWER page views than dining/retail posts. It was posted because a reader sent it in, and it is an unusual sight. Things out of the ordinary are posted all the time.

          This discussion could’ve gone in many different directions. I can’t control how people react. Sometimes the discussion gets out of control. You can pretend people don’t have different opinions, even ones that are objectionable. Like it or not, I am under no such illusions.

          I standby who I am as a person. I standby who I am as an editor. I’m saddened by some of the discussion but I don’t for a second regret my decision to post it.

          • I think it was fine to post, as I myself wanted to know what the line was for yesterday. Just sad that the mere mention of public housing sends people off their rocker.

          • R-E-S-P-E-C-T for PoP from this reader.

          • I am with you PoP.

          • I’m not better than that.

            I think you could guess the responses that the post would receive and I didn’t appreciate your decision to post it.

            I appreciate your explanation that it didn’t receive the number of pageviews that dining/retail posts receive.

          • Argh. I miss the frog icon. Makes me feel like I can converse with my animal brethren.

            I do agree, a spirited discussion with multitudes of opinions are a good and healthy thing. Some people cross the line into bigoted or trolling behavior, but those people are in the minority. I’m glad the majority of people here are decent folks.

            Really, there are strong, sane arguments for and against things like Section 8. We should hear everyone out. If you don’t understand the other side’s rationale, you really don’t have a reason to believe what you do. One of the great advantages of blog interaction is that you’re exposed to views beyond your specific peer group.

        • Race-baiting? Seriously? Please explain how it *is* race-baiting, since you’re the one making the accusation.

          • hey, everybody! here’s a photo of some poor black people in a line looking for public assistance! let me know what you think!



          • Prince Of Petworth

            Yeah, that’s what I said. Take care of yourself andy – I won’t be engaging with you anymore.

          • hey everybody,

            if you’re wondering why there’s a long line of people on the 2900 block of 14th street, here’s what’s up! it’s cold out! there are people of many different races and ethnic backgrounds!

          • andy, the post yesterday said nothing of the kind. If that’s how it read to you then you need to acknowledge that that’s your interpretation rather than Pop’s intention.

          • Yes. It’s only my interpretation. I’ve crossed the line myself and I regret it now and will live to regret it in the future. Others may as well. I hope that we, the gentrifier community, will grow into our roles and responsibilities in this city, but yesterday’s post showed me something that I really didn’t want to see in myself and others. And I think the best way for me to deal with my feelings here is to move on. I wish all of you the best – you’ve all given me some very good times.

        • I didn’t think the thread was out of line. There were some ignorant, ugly comments, but a lot of valid questions, suggestions and explanations as well. Kind of like any intelligent discussion on a difficult, contentious topic.

    • This is exactly my rant for the day. As a minority citizen of PoPville, there are times when I feel most unwelcome and depressed by the sweeping, awful generalizations people make here. Sadly, this blog can be an anonymous, comfortable place to display bigotry. That thread yesterday was no exception.

      • i’m a white person and the bigotry and prejudice in the comments often makes me feel unwelcomed too. it’s hard to comprehend the ignorance often displayed.

        • I agree. I don’t know if it’s because I grew up in an economically diverse place, where plenty of people around me were poor, but it never would even occur to me to express that much hatred towards people less fortunate than me–regardless of whatever problems I saw in the public housing system or whatever character flaws some of individuals might have. Like, it wouldn’t even cross my mind. Sometimes I feel so out of place in DC!

          • I feel the exact same way! I grew up in an economically diverse neighborhood, and feel like DC is way more segregated in terms of the “haves” vs. the “have nots.” I’m glad there are at least some people in PoPville who aren’t so judgmental and ignorant!

      • How could anyone possibly know if they’re a minority citizen of Popville? It’s completely anonymous.

        I’m sorry you feel unwelcome. I like to think that most of us are good people that care about the community. Unfortunately it doesn’t always come through in some postings.

        • if you ask a sincere question, you may get an honest answer.

          • That was an honest question. I don’t know what would make you think otherwise. It’s unfortunate that I need to qualify my question on here as ‘honest’ or ‘sincere’ for it to get an honest answer. Thanks for the vote of confidence (and to clarify, that’s a sarcastic thank you).

            Let’s be realistic here, you can’t possibly know if you’re a minority when the entire commentariat is anonymous.

          • I’m black. I was born in DC. I grew up in Petworth and attended public schools in DC — including Park View. My parents were both born in DC. In many respects, these demographic attributes make me a minority in Pop-ville. Am I positive? Nope. Am I sure? Yup. Does it matter to me? Sometimes.
            I enjoy having the opportunity to learn from people with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and opinions. Do I sometimes read opinions that make me feel angry? Yup. And sad? Yup. But I still welcome the opportunity. And I appreciate PoP for creating this unique commmunity.
            So this is a Response/a Rant/and a Rave. Thanks Pop! (And I, too, miss the Frog!)

        • I assumed they meant minority in the general sense (i.e. not white).

          • Yes, I believe this is what the poster meant

          • Interesting, thanks. I suppose it would be clearer had it said, ‘as a minority and citizen of PoPville’. The way it was written made me think of DC (even though PoPville reaches a much wider audience), which is 50% black and 38% white according to Census. Thanks!

      • Imagine being a convervative (or independent who rarely votes) democrat here (or on any other dc area blog.) Post anything negative about the president and you’re a RACIST! It’s even worse on some of the other blogs, where posting anthing slightly right of center will get you banned.

    • Ditto!

      Between that thread and comments on a WaPo article dealing with the rights of abused immigrant women (I know, I know – I should have known better than to ever click on that comments section), I’m thoroughly disgusted and depressed with humanity.

      What happened to everyone’s empathy?

      • Yeah, I learned long ago to NEVER read Washington Post comments–or comments on pretty much any news article outside of the heavily-moderated NYTimes. Nothing makes me feel worse about the state of humanity.

      • I read the article (which was insightful), but I knew when I saw illegal immigrants being granted legal status, I knew what type of comments to expect. Needless to say, that was one time I avoided reading the comment section.

    • I’m really bothered by the reaction to this post too. I sent PoP the picture and information because I assumed that people nearby would want to know what the line was for — I work across the street and wondered myself. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by the amount of negative commentary that resulted… but I was. It really bothers me that people can’t get past whatever negativity/ignorance they have about public housing to just see the sadness in the fact that hundreds of people were waiting outside for hours to get on a waiting list for something they probably won’t get, especially when that something is (in my mind) a basic human right to housing.

      I think the comments on this post demonstrate a need for understanding among PoP readers of how programs like Section 8 or TANF work. We might be in a better place to comment on the functionality of the systems if we had a basic understanding of elibility requirements and benefits proffered (and funding sources, although I have less knowledge about that). I wrote to PoP about a month ago expressing that a one-off feature about different benefits programs might be useful, and the reaction to this post has made me more determined to see that happen (also, more terrified to see the resulting comments).

    • I didn’t read the comments for that post, but I used to answer the phone in a Senator’s office and I can assure you that I heard enough to convince me that a) there are crazy and hateful people in the world who I want little to nothing to do with on a daily basis, and b) there are also many thoughtful and well-meaning people out there too. I stay away from reading the comments on controversial posts on PoP in order to avoid the trolling comments — it’s too bad, but it probably makes me more productive at work anyway!

    • Can we distinguish a little bit between the claimed lack of empathy and comments about Section 8 housing. I don’t lack empathy for the plight of the poor in DC. In fact, I more than don’t lack it, I make efforts to help a couple of organizations in particular that are front and center in the struggle against poverty in DC. I don’t say that to say “yay me” because really it is miniscule what I do. I say it to try to give a little window into my perspective.

      Having said that, I do complain (and have complained on this site) about concentrated public housing and its deleterious impact on a community. That is not a generilization of poor people and the fact that one chooses to complain about that in response to the post means nothing about how they generally feel, act, and respond to the crisis of poverty in this country and city.

      I live in Columbia Heights and have for 8 years. I celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood. It is largely what makes it a great place to live. But the criticisms of crime that I have and the philisophical beliefs that I hold that public subsistence is not a way out of poverty are real and valid. Please don’t tell me I am heartless and racist because I am neither and I don’t think most of the commenters are either.

      • I think this is a very good and very important point. I didn’t really read the comments in yesterday’s post, but in general I totally agree that one’s opinion of a program or policy does not equate to one’s opinion of the people who use it.

      • @Anonymous (11:41). YES. Thank you. We should be able to argue logically and with no name calling on this important issue. It turns out, you can actually see concentrated public housing as an anachronism that has long outlived its original purposes and not be a racist at the same time. There are interesting points to be made on both sides of this argument. While there will be some people with nasty comments, I wouldn’t outright dismiss those who oppose Cabrini Green-style housing projects. There are valid reasons for disagreeing with those kinds of developments nowadays…

        • If you’re going to refer to the current thinking in housing policy, you need better info. First, “public housing” is housing owned by the DC Housing Authority, a quasi-governmental entity whose stock of units is known as the “projects” ala Cabrini Green. Much of public housing was redeveloped in the past 20 years under Hope VI. Note that DC has the HIGHEST number of HOPE VI projects that demolished obsolete and decrepit public housing projects and replaced them with mixed income projects. That’s been done numerous times in DC, including Ellen Wilson, Capper Carrolsburg, etc.

          The Section 8 projects are PRIVATELY owned and operated, most often by for-profit entities. Those owners have a stake in a fully occupied property rented to tenants who pay their bill and don’t trash the place. Some are mixed income. Tenants are often employed, so there is a mix of incomes from senior or disabled people on SSI, to people with jobs with earnings that could be $64,000. Over time, the incomes can increase and the subsidy goes down, meaning the household can pay more and more of their own rent cost — that helps induce people to work. But, the household does not necessarily need to leave because income goes down.

          While the idea of mixed income housing is considered beneficial, it does not mean that every 15 unit property needs to be a mix of incomes. It’s the community that needs a mix of incomes.

      • I totally agree with you that it is totally fine to oppose these policies and it doesn’t mean you don’t support the plight of the poor! But that post didn’t need to become a serious policy fight (it was just a “hey, if you were curious, this is what was going on with that crowd of people today” type post), and it definitely didn’t need to be so crazy angry. It was people’s RAGE about this particular issue that surprised me.

    • Agreed.

      I have just recently returned to PoP after a hiatus because of this very issue. The lack of context provided for some of these posts opens the flood gates for uninformed and ignorant comments that I was more accustomed to seeing on WTOP then on our friendly neighborhood blog. More and more this blog (in my opinion) reenforces the already negative stereotype (and yes, it is a stereotype) of entitled, white gentrifiers that most long-time District residents hold. Blog posts like this are what writers like Courtland Molloy use to justify the fact that these new residents are nothing but “myopic little twits.”

      Reading the post from yesterday (and several others of a similar vain), I couldn’t agree more.

    • I agree. The majority of posts were simply awful. It depressed me that so many people who live in my neighborhood are so hateful, contemptuous, and really have no idea what it is like to be poor. The vast majority of people in Columbia Heights Village are perfectly decent neighbors.

  • Rant: Some people are wound so stinkin’ tight all the time that I think they might spontaneously combust at any moment.
    Rave: I’m not one of these people and don’t regularly interact with anyone who is!

    Rave: Living Social Zipcar membership offer came at the perfect time!

    Rant: Bored and not billable at work. Very few new projects at the company lately, and most only involve the most senior staff. Not sure what the rest of us are supposed to be doing…

    Rant/Rave: Looking for a new job.

    Rant: Trying to find a home to buy in this city. I am hoping the next month or two brings more inventory. It seems like the best stuff is gone within a week, and the rest just sits around.

  • me

    Rant: I don’t understand how a good majority of the DC workers found collecting thousands in unemployment won’t be prosecuted and how many still have their jobs.

    Rant: Piggy-backing on yesterday, I just received an email that said “Did you hear from Mary on yesterday?” ARGH!

    Rave: It’s almost the weekend, plus am having a free lunch with a Director at my firm today. I really hope the lunch meeting turns out in a super positive way regarding where I’m going with this career.

  • Rant: HR staff not holding confidential material of colleagues confidential, HR staff who make judgemental and biased decisions on people’s pay, allowances, and such due to whether or not they like the person, etc. etc.

    Seriously- who do you talk to when HR is the issue?!?

    Rant/Rave: Been in since 7AM but leaving at 12:30 to hang with my mom all afternoon!! Then a yummy dinner with hubby and mom 😀

  • Rant: People whom I thought cared about me trying to micromanage my life and my decisions.

    Rave: Being confident, strong, self-respecting, and independent enough to disregard them and move on. Won’t have to have any forced contact with these people starting in 4 months.

    Rave: Having friends and family support me and believe in me without unnecessary judgment.

  • rant: i think my hair is longer on one side than the other.

    rant: getting to bed earlier the last couple days, but STILL feeling like a total zombie in the mornings.

    rave: pay day, and FSA payments coming in.

    rave: coffffeeeee

    rave: a new opportunity coming up, providing me with ambition and motivation.

    rant: unfortunately it has nothing to do with work, but more like personal time, so it’s all i can think about while i am working.

  • Rant: S1 bus.

  • Kalorini

    Yesterday, while my boyfriend was taking out recycling and bringing in some packages, our tiny 7 month old kitten escaped unnoticed (I thought she was milling around in the closet). 15 minutes later, someone knocked on our door, holding our kitten. He said she was outside, scared, and trying to get out of the hallway by running down the stairwell.

    RAVE: The guy who knocked on our door to return our kitten. You’re the best, neighbor. I owe you a 6-pack of beer, once I find out which apartment you live in. (If you are said person, please email PoP so I can properly thank you!)
    RANT: My unobservant boyfriend, and the resulting fight that occurred.

  • Rant: My yahoo email got hacked and it sent out spam mail to everyone in my contacts

    Rave: Everyone figured it was spam and didn’t click on the link except for my stupid ex boyfriend that cheated on me with some dirty face girl 😉

  • So the US Embassy Baghdad put out a request that Iraqi national staff of the various projects attend this Saturday an Iraqi high school choral group singing in honor of Black History Month.

    This would be on a Saturday ( typically a 1/2 work day 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ) from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. It would be at the Embassy in the Green (International) Zone which would mean about an hour’s wait time and full security scrutinising, humiliation, and hassle at the gate of all those invited because going into the Green Zone is like preparing for a river trip up the fucking Amazon.

    The BULLSHIT of this is dumbfounding. One, I’d venture that 99/9% of Iraqi’s at this time don’t give a flying fuck about “American Black History Month”, two the security costs of this probably is (I shit you not) at least over $15,000 bucks, the personal danger it can put the Iraqi’s in is incalculable; three, what a FUCKING waste of time because of some FUCKING bureaucrat asshole’s ego project. Hubris combined with stupidity combined with an unchecked budget is deathly.

    This kind of shit and government waste should be prosecutable.

  • Rant: I won’t name any names, but I’m so frickin’ tired of the restaurant I live next door to, thick smoke from the grill there rolls through the neighborhood all day making everything smell like charcoal and burnt chicken, the trash trucks that go there every morning wake everyone up at 7am, they attract annoying neighborhood bums to hang out because they pay them for odd jobs, and they have a power washer that keeps everyone up until 10pm. I often wish this place would go broke even though they have decent food. They really need to put in more work to be more considerate of the neighborhood.

    Rave: Its 2 days away form Friday 🙁

    • me

      2 days away? It’s tomorrow! Be happy!

      • Haha, Its 2 working days away from the good part of Friday! 😛

        As for the restaurant, If 2 people could name it off the bat, then you know there’s a problem with the way its being run.

    • From the first part of your rant I would guess you’re talking about Sweet Mango. I don’t have an opinion on the place (never eaten there and don’t live in the immediate area) but when I pass it all I think is “Jeez, I’d hate to live right here” because of the potent exhaust from the kitchen.

      • Yeah I figured it was Sweet Mango as well.

        • It is reallllly good. I say give them a shot. As far as living next door, totally can understand that. I always like the smell walking by, but I can’t imagine if that was the smell, everytime I took my dog out to take a #2. Sorry 🙁

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Camper has some adorable new black flats and I NEED new black flats.

    Rant: I cannot afford said adorable flats at this moment.

  • claire

    Rave: I have tomorrow off so today is like my Friday!
    Rave: Cooking up some roasted chickpea fajitas tonight.
    Rave: Came up with a food business idea that I think I could actually implement at some point in the future.

  • Rave: Got to work early and caught the figurative worm.
    Rave: Professional dance debut on Sat – wish me luck.
    Rave: That pic.

  • Rant: The DUPONT METRO!!!! At approx. 6:00 last night the down escalator stopped working. Instead of letting people walk down, they blocked it off while trying to fix it, thus NO ONE COULD GET DOWN to the metro! After 10’ish minutes they stopped the up escalator and made it a two-way walk. All of this in the rain. It was RIDICULOUS!!

    Rave: After giving up and heading towards Farragut North, decided to stop at Shake Shack for dinner. Mmm, Shack Burger…

    Rant: Soooooooooo bored today. Sooooooo bored. This has been the longest. Week. Ever.

    To be continued…

  • Rave: I got off the waiting list for next month’s Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial conference! I’ll get to spend a whole day geeking out on Civil War stuff, plus I’ll get to see me dissertation adviser, who is one of the speakers.

    Rave: Because my employer considers this to be professional development, I won’t have to take leave to attend.

    Rant: My back still hurts. Stupid back.

  • Rant: still job searching. COnsidering going back to school for graphic design

    Rave: good evaluation today

    • why considering graphic design? I ask this as a designer trying to hire designers. there are hundreds of designers out there desperate for work.

      my only advice to you is this: if you have talent, then go for it. but you’ll need to take a really hard look at yourself to determine if you are being honest in your self assessment. you should also have friends be brutally honest with you and probably do multiple informational interviews with professors/professionals and show them your work to get honest opinions.

      I’m rejecting tons of people with horrible portfolios and it makes me sad for the field of graphic design. there are so many awful ones out there. if I could find just one person with a decent amount of talent, taste, and intellect, I’d hire them on the spot.

      also, if you have to take out loans, don’t go. entry level design positions require long hours and don’t pay very well. you’ll never repay your loans.

      • Hey TS, take Anonymous’s advice with a very large grain of sea salt. Designers tend to be some of the most scathing, pessimistic people on this earth and are often not a source of verbal inspiration if you’re considering the field. If you have the desire to do it you should go for it. Although, don’t just do it on a whim. Find out about what typical day is like — do informational interviews with current designers, see if you can shadow a designer for a day just to get a feel for it. Also, maybe take an introductory class before committing to a program. I say if you think you have an interest in doing it, find out more and go for it. Best of luck!

        • ha, there’s probably a reason we’re “scathing and pessimistic”. but never bad advice to take everything with a grain of salt.
          one more thing to do… think about the debt you’d incur and then go on aiga’s salary site and see if it would be worth it. personally, I think if you already have a bachelor’s, there’s no reason to get another one. I also know a handful of designers even older than I am who went for their masters degree and they are making less than I am only with this prestigious debt to pay off. whoops. if you can’t get a job and want to go back to school, get a phd or something.

          I have 13 years of experience and am finally making decent money, but I spent 10 years working my ass off, living in crappy apartments, giving up having a car or nice vacations because we simply do not get paid what we’re worth. what’s funny is that now I’m in a position with more power and opportunity, I’m totally burnt out. so yeah, I’m pessimistic. I love design and what it can do, but if I could do it all over again I’d become a doctor.

      • tend to agree with you on that one, I have a friend whose design skills are stuck in 1999 and who can’t put together a working website, and yet wonders why he can’t find more work 🙁

        • ha, I wonder if there are as many people as bad at their professions as there are bad designers. my hunch is yes, it’s just easier to suss them out in my field. out of the 10 or so designers I am friends with, I’d only hire one of them.

          • As another design professional, i’d like to add that not every degree is the same. I’ve seen people apply for a job at my firm with graphic design degrees who couldn’t design their way out of a hole. But as a general rule, as long as your portfolio kicks ass, you are in. And it’s surprisingly hard to find good designers, especially in DC.

        • There’s Cargo Collective site for those of us who can design but can’t program websites.

  • The clanging from that construction site at Georgia and Lamont is going to be the death of me.

  • RANT: Looking for a new job…
    RAVE: Looking for a new job!

    RANT: Longest week ever.
    RANT: Still a week away from a three-day weekend.
    RAVE: Two-day weekend coming up. Better than working.

    RANT: Not enough time in the day. Or I don’t have enough motivation. Rant, rant, rant.

    RANT: So annoyed with some people on Twitter right now. I can’t believe some people are so narcissistic. Also, when people meanly joke. I hate that, too. WHY?

  • talula

    Rave: My BFF is visiting DC this weekend!! I haven’t seen her in months and I am ridiculously excited.

    Rant: The lack of snow this winter.

  • Rave: Free flight on SW Airlines thanks to my cousin got me back to DC after the funeral. Thanks CUZ.

  • Rant: The Ward 5 Special Election. I’m really terrified that one candidate, who has proven to be quite bigoted and close-minded, may win. Can’t help but feel that residents are judging this candidate by his age and color and aren’t really educating themselves. I guess I need to let it go and hope for the best.

    Rave: My cable box stopped working last night, but Comcast is coming tomorrow to get it fixed. Their customer service was fantastic– color me shocked. This is a rave only because I have tons of reading to do for grad school by tomorrow, and now I won’t have tv to distract me tonight!

  • Rant: Sneezy symptoms feel like allergies, could be head cold, what is up? How could be getting hayfever in February?
    Rave: Good neighbors, friends and fellow parents making life easier.
    Rave: Hubby returned from family funeral, so glad to feel him I mean see him again hee hee.

    • me

      In regards to your allergies, I have ridiculous allergies. Bad hay fever, allergic to cats (but I suck it up, because mine are too awesome), plus am allergic to a ton of fruits. Mine have been flaring up lately as well. Might I suggest a) an air purifyer with a HEPA filter and b) if you live where you can actually do this, cleaning out your air ducts? Also, I have started running a humidifier while I sleep. The dry air lets all sorts of crap and dust through the air, and this has also seemed to help me. Last recommendation- there is a product that I think is made by Benadryl, but I can’t remember. It is basically a little tube of dry gel that you put a little on your fingers and rub onto your nostrils. It supposedly catches some allergens before they even enter into your system. I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect or not, because I find that idea to be too silly to work, but it actually helps me. Good luck.

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