“Dear PoPville,

We have a neighbor on the 1800 Block of Vermont Street NW who decided over 6+ months ago that the parking spot in front of his house is now officially his and while the rest of us have to jockey around for parking spots and move our cars during Street Sweeping days/hours he doesn’t.

You can’t tell from the photo since his car is 99% of the time covered with a grey tarp but it’s an older Red Mustang Convertible and the only time we saw it uncovered we saw he (young guy – possibly college age) did have DC Tags but a Registration/Parking Permit that expired October 2014. He’s also so brazen that the few times when the car is not there we’ve seen orange traffic and construction cones blocking the spot so no one else can park there. Then a few hours later he’s parked there again with the cover on.

The next door neighbor once politely (although I wasn’t there to confirm) asked to him to play by the rules and was apparently cursed out (again I wasn’t there) and physically intimated just by his large size and have since left notes, called 311, and even flagged down an MPD who have said as long as the cover is on it he can park here forever because DDOT and MPD don’t want to be responsible for any potential damage by removing it to ticket or tow him.

One one hand we give him props for figuring out a way to outsmart the system. On the other we’d like him to follow the same rules as all of us and gain (if he doesn’t renew his plates) a much needed additional street parking spot. Anything we can do to get him to move the car or get someone in DC Government to assist?

BTW – These pictures were taken during Street Sweeping hours yesterday.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Kelly Bell

“Dear PoPville,

I had about $1,500 worth of guitar pedals stolen out of my trunk in Shaw a few weeks ago, filed a police report, reported to insurance, and figured that was that. However, one of the pedals was a custom job (one of its kind in the world) so I set up an eBay search for the text on the pedal. Sure enough, I got a hit a couple of days ago, and it appears that somebody in Edgewater, MD is selling off my gear. That unique pedal is gone now, but another one that is obviously identifiable as mine (broken knob and scratch patterns match my photos). Based on the seller’s other listings (large number of random tools and electronics), dollars to donuts says he’s in the business of selling stolen items. I called the detective who was assigned to my case and he’s telling me there’s nothing they can do because the seller is in Maryland. Any advice on how to pursue this further? I’d love to get my stuff back, and I’d think MPD would take an interest in a felony-level theft that’s likely tied to many more cases.”


“Dear PoPville,

The story starts in Harrisonburg, VA today. I was out riding my motorcycle in West Virginia all weekend and I load it up onto my trailer. I pull out onto the interstate and looked in my rear view mirror. I notice the license plate zip tied to my trailer barely holding on. I pullover and notice that all the zip ties have failed except for one. When I left from DC on Saturday, they were fine. I guess this trip was the moment they decided to get brittle and fail. I cut the remaining zip tie and bring the plate inside my truck for safe keeping, with plans to reattach when I get home since I don’t have any zip ties with me.

I drive back to DC and enter the District and am on Constitution Ave. I’m in the middle lane and there’s traffic on all sides of me. All of a sudden I notice an officer from the U.S. Park Police put his lights on as to motion for me to pull over. I can’t pull over because of traffic. So I stop and stay put. As soon as traffic clears around me, I pull over immediately to the right.

Officer from Park Police pulls over and immediately pulls in front of me as if to block me in. He gets out and immediately begins to accuse me of trying to “run” from him. Apparently when I was pulled over in the middle lane of Constitution he had gotten out of his car and was approaching me. I don’t know, I didn’t see him, it was 8:30 PM at night, and that part of Constitution is not well lit. He accuses me of making “eye contact” with him in my left hand rear view mirror, but I have no idea what he’s talking about and I tell him so.

Anyways, I ask him why he’s pulled me over, and he says he can’t see the license plate on my trailer. I say to him, “I have it right here, it almost fell off earlier today so I brought it in, I’m about to go home and reattach it”. I reach over to grab it and he pulls a gun to my head. Fortunately he doesn’t fire it. After wasting 20 minutes of my time, he comes back with a ticket for “improper display of license plate”.

This officer was completely unprofessional. When he came back with my license and registration, he gave both back to me, along with a ticket. While I was trying to put my license and registration back in my wallet, he grew impatient and simply threw the ticket on my lap. Completely unprofessional.

This officer is a danger to society. Nobody should have a gun pulled to their head in a routine traffic stop.

I can’t quite make out his name on the ticket, but his badge number is 976.

As soon as I got home tonight, I reattached the plate to my trailer.

This most likely won’t even go to court. The ticket is a standard DC MPD ticket, which will be adjudicated through the DMV. For these kinds of tickets, if anything is fishy, the examiner usually dismisses them without a court appearance, I plan to submit the above story along with a photo of my tag mounted properly on my trailer. I give it a 90% chance of being dropped. I still plan on going down to Hains Point today to file a complaint with the Chief. I’m not concerned about the fine, just the complete lack of professionalism exhibited on the part of the Park Police.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user available_photons

“Dear Popville,

I recently purchased a house with radiators that have been painted over many times and are now peeling. We like radiator heat, and we like the look of nice radiators, so were hoping to fix them up somehow. Has anyone tried to restore their radiators? Did they do it themselves or use a local company?”

Ed. Note: Here are some old recs from 2010 but if anyone has more current ones please add to the comments – thanks!

Photo by PoPville flickr user Kaitlyn Karpenko

“Dear PoPville,

I’ve been a resident of Adams Morgan for 3 years now and this evening I witnessed something I’d never seen before.

Around 9:30pm this evening, I was walking eastbound on S Street NW, towards 18th Street and I noticed a Lincoln car was parked right at the intersection f 18th & S Street NW and the passenger side door was open onto the sidewalk. As I walked past the open door, I saw two figures, both African American, arguing and the man was on top of the woman (who was in the passenger seat) trying to force her to do something. It’s unclear exactly what he was trying to force her to do, maybe shoving her or physically dominating her in some capacity. Whatever the case was, she was screaming for him to get off her.

I stood and watched the scene unfold for about a minute, before realizing that this was a pretty bad situation. So, I pulled out my phone, and yelled that I was calling the police. After I yelled it a couple times and told the man he better get off her because there were other witnesses (including other cars nearby), the man got off the woman, got out of the car with his hands up and faced me. He had the car keys in his hand and essentially “surrendered” and I told him to start walking the other way. I said, “Look man, she’s upset. She doesn’t want you near her, so give her some space. Start walking or I’m calling the police.”

And the man walked away from the car when suddenly–another man, a white man in a red polo shirt and khakis and presumably college-educated, approached me from behind and started yelling in my face, “What the fuck? It’s always the man’s fault isn’t it?! This could be this guy’s car!” (more…)

diplomate move
Photo by PoPville flickr user Tyler Nelson

“Dear PoPville,

We live on a busy street in Dupont and had spots reserved legally through the city for our u-Haul. We paid the $55 fee and posted the signs the required 72 hours in advance. The morning of our move, a diplomat parked right in the middle of our spot (DC problems, right?). The city can’t ticket or tow them, so we are screwed trying to find new parking for a box truck in the middle of our very busy neighborhood, having to walk our heavy book cases, mattresses etc all the way down the block. Anyone ever had a similar issues?? Is there anything that can be done?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

“Dear PoPville,

After 5 months of a terrible experience with a contractor for our 6 week kitchen reno and historic house rehab, we’ve gotten the help of a lawyer to terminate our contract and start the process of getting our money (and cabinetry held hostage!) back. (And no, we’re not holding our breath).

It seems that everytime I ask for recommendations for a new contractor, I get the “I know someone NOT to use” response. Anyone out there actually have some glowing reviews to offer for a general contractor? A big plus if they have experience in maintaining and rehabbing original character elements of a historic home.

Thanks — Displaced Petworth Peeps”

citation photo

“Dear PoPville,

I live on Capitol Hill. I was recently mailed a $75 citation for littering. Enclosed were an abundance of photos of my recycling bin, which someone had emptied of cardboard boxes (my empty mail with my address) and taken for their use, leaving my labeled cardboard beside another bin. I see people wedging oversized recycling between bins daily, and have been taking pictures of it, along with overstuffed recycling, broken furniture, boxes of political books no one takes, and every other sort of recyclable junk sitting around.

In this instance, when someone took the second bin, they placed the only remaining bin on top of the boxes they have moved. We normally have three bins, but as soon as they are emptied, people move them into their yards. The cause of the issue in my case is so blatant, someone wanting a used bin for their residence, that it infuriates me to know DC has the gonads to send someone such an expensive citation for it.

It seems I either pay the citation or take off work to schedule a hearing, either way throwing away money. Between my girlfriend and I, we have had both our vehicles broken into, a bike stolen, and mail stolen from our porch. This is generally a safe neighborhood, but I find it ridiculous that this is what the police spend their time doing rather than keeping people and property safe. Generating revenue is so obvious in our neighborhood.”


Photo by PoPville flickr user J LaBerge

“Dear PoPville,

My wife and I just bought a rowhouse that still has an older service pipe made of lead. We want to replace it before we move in. We know that there are options — contracting with DDOE’s approved list of contractors or finding our own contractor — and that we could coordinate with DC Water to do simultaneous public-side pipe replacement for either option. And, of course, there’s the option to do some advance digging ourselves to save money: our pipe is in the front and would require some excavation about 7 feet down and 15 feet long.

Might PoPville have any recommendations for which option to pursue or process suggestions in general? Fishing for lessons learned here.”