church bells
Photo by PoPville flickr user Mike Maguire

“Dear Popville:

In recent days, from my window in Park View I’ve heard church bells sounding the Westminster Quarters, the clock bells melody in E major typical to Episcopal and Anglican churches.

The sound comes from south of Park View, perhaps near Howard, Shaw, Ledroit, Bloomingdale, Eckington, or thereabouts.

Anyone know which church is playing this and whether it’s a new development? I can’t believe this has been going on every 15 minutes for long without me noticing it, because the tune brings joy to my heart — remembrances of the bells at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine during my childhood in uptown Manhattan.”

weak sauce
Photo by PoPville flickr user Andrew Pasko-Reader

“Dear PoPville,

Trying to find out what my rights are as the tenant and what my landlord could do on his side.

Basically, I sent my 30 days notice to the property manager, which he acknowledged. He asked me to tell him when he could do the move-out inspection and I emailed asking if it had to be a weekday or could be a weekend and also asking that they give me notice before showing the apartment since I have a dog (even offered to help show it so the owner didn’t have to come down from NY). No response. I email a week later asking again and offering a few dates that work. Still no response. I finally email again on the 7th of the new month asking when they can do it so i can get my deposit back and they schedule for the next morning.

Fast forward EXACTLY 45 days to last friday (when they need to return the deposit by law) and I get an email saying that because I didn’t “turn in my keys” until the 8th, they’re keeping a week of rent. (more…)

overcharged

“Dear PoPville,

On Saturday I filled up my car with diesel at the Shell station at 1765 New York Ave NE (right at the corner with West Virginia Ave). I was overcharged by 30 cents a gallon – the price on the receipt was $2.559 while the price displayed outside the station. I told the station manager who was not particularly concerned.”

bag of rotting fruit

“Dear PoPville,

This is an odd one.

For the second time this month, someone has left a bag of rotting food (usually a variety of fruit but this time also a bagel!) by the back door of my basement apartment on the 1300 block of Monroe St. This mystery person walks passed our garbage cans, up the parking pad, and down a set of step to drop off these “packages” near our back door. My landlord suggests calling the cops but I’m pretty sure they would laugh me off phone since this probably only counts as littering.

I’m curious if this has happened to anyone else in Columbia Heights or if I’m just lucky.”

IMG_4246

“Dear PoPville,

I’m trying to find some info on an accident victim.

There was a crash in front of my house late Wednesday/early Thursday, around 1am. A grey/silver moped rear-ended a car stopped at a red light at Georgia and Irving NW, across from Bruce Monroe park. He must have been going pretty fast. I heard the accident from my front bedroom and ran outside. A woman was already calling 911, but no one was assisting the man. I ran into the 77 shop on the corner there and asked for a clean cloth. They didn’t have one, supposedly. Maybe they didn’t understand what I was asking. They only offered me paper towels. I then ran back into my house to get a clean bath towel. The rider was laying in the middle of the street, bleeding profusely from his head. His helmet had come off on impact with the rear window of the car. I applied consistent pressure to the wound with the clean towel for about 10-15 minutes until the ambulance arrived. I kept talking to the man, trying to keep his eyes open, and keep him awake. He asked me repeatedly what my name was, and I told him. I couldn’t seem to get him to tell me his name, where he was going, or where he was coming from. He murmured at some point that his mother was in Colombia. His phone was dead (or possibly broken from impact) and because he landed on his head (twice) he may have had spinal trauma, so I didn’t want to move him to try and find his wallet.

When they took him away he held on to my hand and wouldn’t let go until the paramedics forced him to. They wouldn’t let me go with him because I wasn’t a friend or relation. And I don’t know which hospital they took him to. (more…)

adoption
Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

“Dear PoPville,

Is there a possibility to do a post on people’s experiences with surrogacy or adoption? We are a gay couple looking into local, international, and private adoption or surrogacy and would love to hear people’s experiences with difference agencies, adoption of younger/older kids, issues with kids coming from homes with abuse or drugs, etc.”

shoe_drop
Photo by PoPville flickr user Caitlin Faw

“Dear PoPville,

There seems to be an incredible amount of rooms/apts/houses being offered in DC on airbnb. I am truly amazed at the volume. All the hosts I know of seem to have no trouble getting guests and if you don’t mind the hassle of flipping the space between guests, everyone seems to find it very lucrative. It’s all win, win, win.

So… when will the other shoe drop? What’s the impact of all these airbnb listings in DC? It’s not like there are MORE tourists/students/interns visiting DC now than in prior years. So what’s the catch?

Are the area hotels suffering?
Is the rental market suffering (b/c people want to air bnb their spare rooms/apts instead of renting)?
Is this sustainable?

I have a hard time believing this can all be so rosey for much longer.

What do others think? Are there too many airbnb listings in DC to be sustainable?”

window
Photo by PoPville flickr user Chris Williams

“Dear PoPville,

I’ve tried reaching out to DCRA, OTA, and am thinking about paying DC Tenants for a consultation, but I thought maybe the PoPville community would have some insights.

I’ve been a 9 year renter of a unit from The United House of Prayer that has several floor to ceiling walls made up of window panels (like a lot of Suzane Reatig’s designs). Over the past year, several of the large and small window panels have captured fog and condensation in between the panes, most likely indicating a broken seal and leak of the filler gas. For the last 11 months I’ve been trying to get the landlord to fix or replace the windows, but they are being a combination of non-responsive and outright refusing to address it.

Do I have any rights here as a tenant to have them fixed? The cosmetic side is bothersome as I’d like to be able to see clearly through my windows, but there’s also the concern that the seals are broken and they’re probably far less energy efficient than they should be.”

image1

“Dear PoPville,

I recently bought an unfortunately pink house in Northeast DC that I am looking to have painted. I received a job quote from a reputable company for $14,000 and from a local handyman for $4,500. Paintzen, a NYC startup that was cast as the Uber of house painting by a Wall Street Journal blogger, quoted me $2,200. This seems way too good to be true. I’ve been scouring the internet/Yelp/house blogs for evidence of a scam but am coming up with nothing but rave reviews. Paintzen requires a 10% deposit at booking, but they won’t provide me with a contract or invoice prior to payment other than the initial quote that was embedded in an email. Has anyone else used this service? Is it legit?!”

driveway
Photo by PoPville flickr user Julian Ortiz

“Dear PoPville,

I purchased a home that has a driveway (in SE, where people have driveways), well, partial driveway. It looks like a driveway used to be there, but when the city was redoing the street or DC water was redoing plumbing lines, or whoever, they curbed the end of the driveway, making it unaccessible. Strange, I know. So, I have the driveway beyond the curb the city put in.

I found older pictures of the home, and neighbors have confirmed this to be true. Now, if I want it to turn it back to a driveway, I will have to pay thousands of dollars for drawings, permits, etc. This is something the city did when the house was abandoned so clearly no one stopped them or said something.

Any recourse I can do? Where do I even begin here?”