I’m wondering if you know anything about people that set up tables on sidewalks during the daytime to repair watches. Specifically, I’ve seen a man outside of the Foggy Bottom metro, and occasionally a man around 17th and P NW. I need to get a battery replaced on my watch, but don’t want to schlep downtown if these guys aren’t going to be around. Any idea of their schedules?”
My friend and I are considering renting a two-bedroom basement unit in Shaw. The unit itself is amazing: 1000+ square feet, all newly renovated in a beautiful old apartment building, with lots of windows receiving light from southern and eastern exposures, and a washer and dryer, all at a very reasonable price — about double the square footage we’re seeing in other properties around the same price. The only catch: no window bars anywhere, at all.
We’ve asked the landlord if they’re willing to install them, but received a response saying no, that it’s too difficult given historic district regulations.
My question: is there a good number of people living in basement units without window bars that have had no problems or break-ins whatsoever? Also, if you don’t have bars, is there anything you’ve done to make the place safer?
This place really is a steal, and we both love it. We’re just very concerned about the safety issue. Advice appreciated!”
I live in Mt. Pleasant and for the past several months I’ve been watching with amusement, but more recently with alarm, at what is going on in a back yard a few doors down from me. As you can see from the attached photo, the homeowners have constructed a wooden retaining wall 5 or 6 feet high that is (surprise, surprise) already failing. Meanwhile they’ve constructed another one uphill from it, using the same flawed construction method. An architect friend who saw this photo has made some rather dire predictions, saying that catastrophic and potentially life-threatening failure is not just possible but likely. Is it even legal to construct a retaining wall like this without a permit? Am I being a busybody, or should I report them to DCRA immediately (as my friend suggested)?”
We’ve had our burglary alarm go off twice in the last week. There was no physical evidence of attempted break-ins (like damage to windows, etc.), but I am thinking about installing a few outdoor security cameras. I know that some of the readers have security camera setups, and was wondering if they had any recommendations? I’d be particularly interested in a wireless, battery operated configuration, but am curious to hear what other folks are using.”
I was wondering if you might know about any plans to establish community wireless mesh networks in DC. I had no idea these even existed until reading about them in the
_blank"> NYTimes and what a great idea — I would love to organize internet access with neighbors and not deal with the big companies. Based on some quick google searches, it seems that Mount Pleasant had/has one, but what other areas of DC? I live in Petworth, for what it’s worth.”
On October 14th, we had one of PEPCO’s energy wise thermostats installed thinking it would both reduce our energy costs and provide an easy way to regulate our home’s temperature while we’re away since you can access it online. However, since installation, our energy bill has literally more than doubled all the while we’ve had it on colder temperature settings. We called to ask if there were other people experiencing a similar problem, and it seemed like PEPCO’s representatives were very unfamiliar with the program/ equipment. We’re curious if anyone else has had the same issue.”
The last two times I’ve taken a cab, the driver has had a built-in system as well as a Square. In the latest one, they had one of those great NYC-style video systems in the back, and the system appeared to be working normally, but when it came time to pay, the driver pulled out his cellphone and swiped my card on Square. I asked for a receipt and he gave me one of the old-style paper slips.
I assume this is a tactic to avoid reporting fares–claiming the square income as “cash” perhaps–and I’ve heard that taxis are not permitted to use square as their credit card system. But is there any good reason for me to insist on using the built-in-system? Have other people encountered this?”
Since reading your post regarding guest parking passes, I’ve been waiting to receive mine but it’s never arrived. Today I called DOT to learn that residents in Zone 2 (I live in Shaw) will not receive these passes. Do you know anything about this? Please tell me it’s not true and it’s all a bad dream.”
My husband and I put in an offer on a townhouse and lost to higher bidder. The house next door (a shell) is now for sale. We would love to find out the name of the contractor or builder who did the renovation on the house we lost and hire them to renovate that property. We contacted the realtor and she did not know the name of the contractor. Is there any other way to track it down — building permits, etc.?”
My husband and I just got married this year. We also bought a condo together this year and did some renovations on it. Additionally, I have significant student loans and I am currently participating in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and making income-based payments. All of this is a long way of saying that we think this is finally the year where seeing a tax professional is probably worthwhile, since we’re not sure Turbotax can walk us through our best options here. Do you or might any of your readers have recommendations for a tax professional for us to go see? Our coworkers and friends mostly seem to use Turbotax or do their taxes themselves, but especially with my student loan situation (which presents a question of whether it’s better to file jointly or married filing separately) we feel like a professional would really help but we don’t know where to start in finding someone good.”
Package theft gets covered a lot here. I’m curious if anyone has tried any of the various “secure” package delivery systems on the market (things like elephant trunk or Sammy Sak) and, if so, what their experience with using the product has been. Are they as secure as advertised? Any difficulties getting delivery companies to place packages in them?”
I rent from a newer apartment building in the Navy Yard neighborhood. I have a contract on a new-construction condo that was originally due to be delivered in December. I got a 6-month lease in my building to coincide with the condo’s delivery. Now the delivery date has been pushed back to late January to mid-February. My building just sent me notice that my lease will be ending at the beginning of January. If I choose not to renew my lease for a year, I will be on a month to month lease with a rent twice my current rate- an increase of over 2k. Since I can’t do anything to quicken the delivery of my condo, is there anything I can do about such an egregious rental increase? Is such an increase legal? Btw, I moved here last year from Atlanta. So, I don’t have any family with whom I can live in the gap time between the end of my lease and my condo delivery, whenever that turns out to be.”