9th and I Street, NW. Rendering via CityCenterDC

“Dear PoPville,

A question someone sent in about legal construction hours has led me to a question of my own. I live in city center next to the new Conrad Hilton construction project on I st. Generally the noise has not been terrible and I’ve been able to deal with it but now they have added all night lighting that shines directly towards the building and is extremely bright. The lights are on literally until sunrise during hours there is definitely no work going on – is there any restriction on this?

The apartments come with built in shades that are semi transparent and let in a lot of light as it is. They are more difficult to replace than you’d imagine so changing them isn’t an option due to the design of the apt.”


“Dear PoPville,

I can’t imagine I’m the only one who finds these Metro ads disturbing as all hell after an election was won by the KKK’s chosen candidate.

I know this is just an ad for a TV show, but for far more people in this country that I would have thought just a month ago, this is what Making America Great Again looks like. The Metro is terrible enough without having to be reminded of white nationalists’ rise to power.”

Ed. Note: In November of 2015 Amazon pulled some ads from the NYC Subway. There is also a similar debate going on about this statue of liberty ad after a huge one was placed in Times Square.

Photo by PoPville flickr user Bossi

“Dear PoPville,

How hard is it to evict a tenant that is not paying rent?

I know that tenant rights are very strong in this city but I have a tenant that has not paid rent for a few months. I have done everything I can to work with the tenant but this has not helped. I finally filed for an eviction notice, had the tenant served with papers, and a court date has been issued. Does anyone have any experience with this and know how long it will take for the tenant to actually be evicted?

To be clear, this is not a tenant who appears to have any financial hardship and did sign a lease for an upscale building in DC.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

“Dear PoPville,

On Tuesday I flew on Southwest from BWI in a race to be at my fathers bedside before he died. I wasn’t myself…on accident, I left my laptop at the TSA security. When I boarded the plane I realized I hadn’t slipped it back in my bag. I disembarked and the Southwest folks told me I had 4 minutes to get it. I took off running. I did not have the presence of mind to tell them about my father’s imminent death. The laptop was not at the security. I ran back to the gate to watch my plane leave without me. I left on a later flight and did not make it home prior to my father’s passing.

I am a small business owner. That laptop is the core of my business life. I do have it backed up, but it will still be painful in the extreme for me to recreate things that fall into the gap from my last back up.

It goes down as one of the worst days of my life. (more…)

750 E Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

So this is odd. It’s been closed for awhile but the liquor license poster still lists Austin Grill and is asking for “renewal”.

There is work going on inside.”

I’m pretty sure the renewal placard is just so that whoever takes over the space will have an active liquor license to use. As for the work going on – anyone know who’s taking the space?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Ted Eytan

Ed. Note: To be honest, I’m still processing this whole thing. OP explains to me in response to my query:

“It was such a weird experience – I almost wish I could track the woman down to find out whether she was part of a movement or protest. Or, it’s totally possible that she was just crazy. In any case, it had an impact on me for sure.”

Regardless of how it happened, as far as the conclusion: “White Americans cannot sit idly by and let People of Color do all of the work to bridge the undeniable racial divide in this nation.” To that I do agree.

“Dear PoPville,

Realizing my White Privilege on a Sunday Run

Two miles into this run and I’m really in a groove. I have made it a habit of going on a long run in downtown DC on Sunday afternoons as a chance to reflect and get some good exercise in before kicking off the work week. Today’s air is especially crisp and clear, and I am relishing every step of this run, as I know today could very well be the last mild Sunday before the polar vortex descends upon the city and hovers above for what will feel like eternity (i.e. until March).

The two mile mark on my usual path happens to be at the Trump International Hotel, a sight that, over the past few months, has generally elicited visceral responses of anger, disgust and disappointment considering the divisive state of affairs in our country. Today, my mindset is different. Perhaps I have been moved by a rush of Thanksgiving-induced gratitude over the past few days. As a gay, white man, life has moved forward pretty much as normal after the election, despite my worst fears. I wasn’t laid off. The stock market didn’t crash. No one is calling for gays to be rounded up into camps (yet). Washington hasn’t descended into chaos. I am feeling cautiously optimistic that a Trump presidency won’t have as much of an impact on my day-to-day life as I initially thought during my post-election grieving period.

As I trot passed the hotel entrance, I notice a young (early 20’s), female, black woman begin to jog alongside me. At first, I think that our paths have coincidentally overlapped for a few moments, but then I see that the woman is wearing dress slacks and a sweater, and she is carrying a messenger bag – definitely not your typical DC jogging attire. I skip to the other side of the sidewalk, and it becomes apparent that the woman is following me. She skips alongside me and begins mirroring my every move. A little unnerved, I ask “Can I help you?”

She replies, staring straight into my soul, “I don’t know, can you?” (more…)

Photo by PoPville flickr user Columbia Heights Climber

“Dear PoPville,

Was walking home on P b/t 15th and 16th just before 7pm tonight [Sunday] when a guy on a bike rode up behind me. Like the other poster mentioned, his bike had a ton of lights on it – was really distinctive. Weird that a pervert like that would ride such a distinctive bike! Thought I might be in his way on the sidewalk but he slowed down and said every week he does a scavenger hunt…there’s $500 at stake, and could I help him with the scavenger hunt. Then he took out his phone and showed me writing on the phone. Read it very quickly but it said something about taking photos of the bottom of a woman’s foot. I said no and walked away and when I turned around he had crossed the street and was talking to some other women with the same shtick.”

Ed. Note: Back in September a reader reported in a rant/revel:

“Rant: I had a really strange experience last night (Sunday) at 8th and Florida. Wondering if anybody else has ever had this happen? A guy was being friendly with my dog. He then asked me for a favor. He was doing a scavenger hunt for charity (“cancer”) and needed pictures of the bottoms of people’s feet. I agreed he could take a quick photo of my foot but was quickly put off when he seemed to take multiple shots (they were “blurry”) and then asked me to point my toes like a ballerina. I put my shoes back on and walked away with no further trouble from the guy. This seems really strange.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user weheaton

“Dear PoPville,

I live in a condo, as the Craigslist-found roommate of the condo owner. I have a lease with terms for paying X amount through June 2017. The condo owner informed me a couple weeks ago that she is going to have the closets and bathrooms renovated (which includes the closet and bathroom that I use exclusively), and that my rent will go up when these capital improvements are completed.

She pointed to a section of the lease that says “The Landlord may increase the Rent for the Property upon providing to the Tenant such notice as required by the Act [DC law].”

She will not give me a break on rent for the time in which I am not able to use the bathroom I am paying for, and this rent increase is taking place during the lease term, when I was obviously not expecting it. It’s a condo, so exempt from rent control.

Is this legal to do to a tenant during a lease? I am having trouble parsing the DC code on exempt housing. Next stop DC Landlord-Tenant Resource Center?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user District Shots

“Dear PoPville,

We moved to DC on October 28, into an apartment that is owned by a couple overseas and managed by a local real estate services company. Since the day we moved in, our shower has been broken. It only runs at 120+ degrees Fahrenheit or freezing cold. We let them know immediately and the issue is finally being fixed tomorrow, when they can shut the entire building’s water off. It will have been three weeks without us being able to shower in our apartment. We asked for a deduction in our rent ($25 for every day we haven’t been able to shower) and the real estate company said they will have to check with the owner.

We just want to know in case they come back at us with a “no”, do we have any sort of tenant rights here for rent abatement?”