howard_theatre
620 T Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I attended a party the night of Friday, October 17, 2014 at Howard Theatre. While walking up the stairs at the venue, I was approached by a man in the stairwell who I did not know and who would not leave me alone, when I turned around to walk away from him, he grabbed my butt. I hit him away from me and he pushed me twice, causing to to grab the railing to keep from falling down the stairs, and causing my cell phone to fly out of my hands. When I pointed him out to security, I was told by different security guards, “We’re closing in 30 minutes anyway, what’s the difference?” “He’s a street n____, and street n____s kill bitches for causing scenes like this.” and “Technically you were attacking him since you followed him out of the stairwell.” Not only did security fail to help me, but they blamed me for this attack.

I filed a police report with a DC Sex Crimes detective that night, and emailed a letter to Howard Theatre on Sunday the 19th (to which I received no response.)

This is a venue that hosts many concerts and events. The specific party is part of a celebration for Howard University’s homecoming and is attended by many college age women. I would like to know that they are going to do something to ensure that women are not accosted and that security is not negligent at future events.”

Update: A change.org petition has been created here.

peep_inn_dc

“Dear PoPville,

You know, you posted these photos a while back about the Peep Inn and the old bar on Georgia Avenue. Before it is knocked down (That is what the real estate guy on the sign told me when I called), it would be interesting know if people know anything about the old “PEEP IN” bar — how long ago it was open, what was it like, etc etc etc, what the history is. Was it even called “PEEP INN” or is that recycled glass??

I’ve always been fascinated by this place! Would love to get some insight into its history. I even called the DCRA and liquor license bureau to find out, but nothing came up. Clearly it was a bar.”

Peep_cocktails_church_jesus_georgia_ave_shadow
4900 block of Georgia Ave

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“Dear PoPville,

On my morning commute today (via the S1) I noticed ads on the bus for Louis Farrakhan’s latest diatribe, called “The Time”.

Mr. Farrakhan has a long history of hateful sexist, racist, and anti-Semitic speech and recently even accused the government of spreading ebola to kill black people. While I respect his right under the First Amendment to spread such contemptible speech, I do not believe public transportation should broadcast this message via paid ads.

I wonder how the broader community feels about this?”

Ed. Note: Metro has previously faced criticism for pro and anti Israel campaigns. At that time The Post reported that metro was sued “on First Amendment grounds, a federal judge in Washington ordered the ads to be posted.”

croquet

“Dear PoPville,

I thought I had dodged a bullet when I saw three individuals on ATVs ride past me on my way home just now. But as I got closer to home, things took another turn. On Warder Street, I encountered the scene captured in this photo. Talk about sketch! As if Park Morton doesn’t have enough problems — now this.

Perhaps your readers know of something that can be done? Surely these people do not own this land, and have not cleared any croquet-related activity with the city. Yet there they were, using it with abandon. It’s so unnerving to be going about one’s business in an urban setting and then be confronted with a group of people wielding wooden clubs. When I looked at them for what must have been a second too long they made some sort of joke among themselves and just laughed.

You would have maybe hoped that this element would be too distracted by the Nationals to be on a street corner, menacing passersby with mallets and the threat of an errant ball. But no. I risked taking a photo but obviously I didn’t want to get very close. But I just had to let innocent people in the area know to beware. The last thing I want is to turn on the news tonight and see a report about Park View’s wicket problem.

Knowing that you care deeply about safety issues in the community, I wanted to let you know. Please keep this note anonymous, as I would be worried about possible retribution (I live on a street nearby).”

Ed. Note: Hilarious. Though I’m not sure if the woman hit by an ATV resulting in a broken pelvic bone, broken tailbone and a left broken leg, and other injuries would agree.

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Photo by PoPville flickr user wolfkann

“Dear PoPville,

I began the process of interviewing for group houses with the same apprehension that accompanies me in most social situations. Would there be a place for my introverted self in a city of outgoing, happy hour-frequenting DC socialites? Five weeks in, I have rephrased my question. I’ve made my best attempts at convincing future housemates that I’d be an asset to their home, modeling my responses off the sound logic of Goldilocks: I’m not too quiet, but not too loud; not crazily clean, but not too messy; down to hang, but never clingy. Despite my guarantees, I’m beginning to wonder if my physical dissimilarity to Goldilocks is working against me. I now ask myself: Could there a place for me in a group house if I’m not white?

The majority of the group houses I’ve visited – and subsequently been rejected from – have had a total of zero minority residents. In one house, the cheerful blonde who answered the door and provided a tour didn’t ask me a single question before showing me the exit. “We’ll text you!” she said encouragingly. Unsurprisingly, I later got a text that she had chosen someone else. In other interviews that provided greater opportunity for conversation, I tried to highlight different aspects of my personality: Dancer at Group House One, dog-lover at Group House Two, and artist at Group House Three. But no matter how I present myself, the fact remains that I am brown in a sea of white. In a city where my generation prides itself on being progressive and inclusive, where is the diversity in living arrangements?

I feel the pressure on the other end of the process as well. I am trying to fill my room in the house where I currently reside with two other South Asian women. After a few interviews, we began to wonder whether people felt uncomfortable in our all-brown residence. We agreed that perhaps only two of us should be at home during the interviews, as to not overwhelm anyone’s white sensibilities. I even considered asking a white friend to come over to put interviewees at ease. The combination of my experiences has made me question whether people’s “gut feelings” can ever truly be color blind. As a plethora of recent research shows, implicit bias seeps into every area of our lives, affecting our interactions, relationships, and decision-making. Research from the Urban Institute that has tracked racial discrimination in the housing market over time has found that it stubbornly persists today; in controlled experiments, minority homeseekers are still told about and shown fewer housing units than their white counterparts. Everything we know about implicit bias suggests that it would have a significant effect on decisions as personal as selecting a stranger with whom to cohabit a home.

It remains unclear whether I will ever find a spot in a group house. To my fellow twenty-somethings: Let’s put our progressive ideals into practice and check ourselves on even the most subtle forms of bias. Oh, and if you’re looking for a housemate, you know who to call.

Shebani Rao is a researcher at the Urban Institute. The views expressed here are hers alone, and are not intended to reflect those of the Urban Institute.

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“Dear PoPville,

Question – is there anything PoP readers think we can/should do about this? In front of our house this morning, a car pulled up, man and woman in a heated argument, windows down, car moving forward, then stopping, blocking the road. At one point the man got out and the woman tried to drive away. The man managed to get back in while the car was moving. An elderly neighbor and I happened to be outside observing the whole thing, wondering what if anything to do. The car stopped again a couple of car lengths away, and the guy yelled at the woman “If some f*cking old lady [presumably our neighbor] calls the police, I’m going to punish you.” In the moment I wasn’t sure what to do and didn’t have the presence of mind to get a license plate…and not even sure if it’s something I could/should have called the police about anyway. Except for that last comment… I’m just left feeling very unsettled. Thoughts/comments/suggestions appreciated.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC

“Dear PoPville,

I live in Adams Morgan and there is a vague notice posted in my building from the City saying that the water will be shut off for 6-8 hours, Tuesday, starting at 7 pm. Is it just me or is this absurd? Our front desk person thought perhaps the work would end at 7 pm, but the notice is kind of unclear. Is nighttime construction work a common practice in the city? If so, is the water usually turned off during the whole window of time?”

Ed. Note: When I lived in an apartment building near the Zoo it was not uncommon to have daytime water cutoffs but we never had one at night. Anyone else ever have one at night?

parking

“Dear PoPville,

Is this person serious?

We got two moving pods delivered. We weren’t there when they were delivered but the driver placed them down with the openings facing each other and enough room between them to easily load large items. And then this jackanape comes along and just parks RIGHT in between them so the doors can’t even open. Do the signs technically say no parking from 7am to 5pm? Yes they do. But where’s the common courtesy?? We got one friend to help move heavy items but now we cant and we have no idea how we’re going to get those items in. Virginia plates for what it’s worth.”

Ed. Note: jackanape is my new favorite word.

Is it possible that the car was there and the moving company placed the pods around it? Still not cool but not quite as jackanapish if that happened. Of course, this is a good reminder to please not park between moving pods.

photo
3501 13th St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

UIP property mgt Inc. the new owner of 3501 13th St NW, which bought the building in June for $6 million, promptly filed civil suit in July to increase the rents of every tenant in the building for $991.55 (I have attached PDFs of some of the court docs). They want to add another $991.55 to the preexisting rent of every unit in the building. The attached doc that I sent was scanned from the packet the city sent. It outlines the proposed “temporary” surcharge by unit.

UIP rent increase (PDF)

UIP court doc 1 (PDF)

UIP court doc 2 (PDF)

In what would appear to be an attempt to make an end run around various DC laws regarding tenants rights, UIP justifies this “temporary” rent increase in the name of making improvements to the property. Clearly, this doubling of the rents of most tenants would be a defacto eviction for most of the tenants of this section 8 housing.

The tenants (of which I am one) were notified on the 15th of September by the DC Office of Administrative Hearings that they were required to appear in court on Oct 24 at the Office of Administrative Hearings or risk losing the case.

Now, UIP may not succeed in this opening gambit in it’s attempt to force the people who live at 3501 13th from their homes. However, the crass disrespect towards the people who live at 3501 13th is demonstrated by the fact that they filed a suit that will require working people to take a day off and go to court to head off a cynical ploy by their landlord to evict them by other means.”