Photo by PoPville flickr user Kevin Wolf

“Dear PoPville,

I was upstairs in my room last night on the third floor of my Logan Circle townhouse, which I share with 3 other people, when a homeless man walked in. I left the door unlocked because my roommate couldn’t find her key and was planning to come home shortly. When my roommate came home, she went upstairs to the third floor and saw a homeless man, African American and middle aged, with a hoody, hiding behind a bookshelf. We hid in my room and called the cops who promptly came. The guy had walked out before the cops got there though so he’s still on the loose.

Please tell people to lock their doors, especially if they live in a group home and have roommates with varying schedules. Thankfully the guy didn’t take anything or attack me, but it could’ve been a very bad situation.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Lorie Shaull

“Dear PoPville,

I am looking for recommendations for long-distance movers. My husband and I are moving from DC to Chicago. We got a few good quotes, but the movers we spoke to said they want to use a full tractor-trailer and I think that would be a logistical nightmare based on where our apartment is located in Adams Morgan. Any tips for long-distance movers who have experience with urban moves would be appreciated!

Otherwise I think we will hire movers on both ends to pack and unpack and then drive a U-Haul truck ourselves. If anyone has tips on that method that would be helpful too.

(I saw this was a topic in the forum a few years ago but didn’t see a lot of advice posted there.)”

no smoking
Photo by PoPville flickr user District Shots

“Dear PoPville,

We live in a rowhouse in Petworth, next door to a heavy pot smoker. Even when all of our doors and windows are closed, our house still smells like his pot. This is happening every day. it is a big problem for us because we have an 11-month old, and we’re pretty sure babies should not be exposed to pot smoke. We’ve talked to our neighbor about it, but he is not willing to accommodate us. The smell seems to be coming through the basement, but we don’t understand how.

Can pot smoke go through brick walls? We’ve been trying to fill in the gaps in the mortar but that doesnt seem to be making any difference. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem, and if they have any suggestions. How is his pot smoke getting into our house? Could an air purifier get rid of the smell? Is there anything else we should be trying?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

“Dear PoPville,

A few days ago I signed the “DC for $15” campaign’s petition to raise the DC minimum wage to $15/hour. Today I saw another canvasser for the cause and asked him if he was getting paid at least $15 hourly for his work. Nope. Minimum wage, he said. What’s wrong with this picture?

Glassdoor indicates the average DC canvasser annual salary is $22,590, which comes out well below $15/hour. I didn’t do further canvasser canvassing, but it seems plausible that these folks are getting paid less that $15/hour; I don’t know if there are any incentives on top of the base pay.

Here’s the page for the initiative; looks like it’s sponsored by Working Families.”


“Dear PoPville,

I have row house in DC (just east of the NoMa metro) and am interested in a pop-up and pop-down (about 750 feet a floor) (Zoned R4 – I’m familiar with the regs (35 feet)). It’s a two storey house that was built in 2002/2003. No basement, just crawl space. I spoke to one developer & architect team and they wanted to charge just for coming to give an estimate. That’s new to me (coming to give an estimate / bid), although I understand time is worth money and almost everyone related to the construction industry is extremely busy (so much construction in the area). I’m serious about it and have lined up a home equity line of credit. Does anyone have any experience with this? Can recommend a team? I’d like to get a couple estimates before deciding to pick someone to go with. Any guidance would be appreciated.”

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…)


“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.”


“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…)