Gingham
Photo via instagram

What kind of instagram scavenger hunt should we start in DC?

“So I came across this and thought it pretty funny. Scavenger Hunt – JCrew Gingam Shirt addition.

What kind of instagram scavenger hunt should we start in DC? What would be a good item that we see all too often, sometimes in packs, sometimes ironically, and sometimes when we least expect it?”

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Photo of an “old volvo” by PoPville flickr user Phil

Tips for new DC dog owner?

“I’m hopefully getting a dog in July and was hoping for some tips about raising a dog in DC. I just read someone else’s post about how pet owners really need to lookout for chicken bones on the street– something I would have never really thought about. Any tips like that or suggestions on dog walkers/good dog parks would be much appreciated. I live in Bloomingdale, so suggestions about Bloomingdale, Shaw, & Petworth are especially appreciated.”

One reader responded:

Congrats! Here are some tips…

– Dog parks are great for off-leash exercise, but avoid them at peak hours (after work) until you know your dog well. Interacting with a bunch of stranger dogs can be scary. Always keep a close eye on your dog while you’re at the park because you don’t know the other dogs. There is a nice dog park in Langdon Park, which isn’t too far from Bloomingdale and it’s usually not crowded at all. The 11th street dog park is closest to Shaw, it’s fine but can get busy.

– There are always delicious treats on the street, so keep an eye on your dog when he/she is sniffing around to make sure they don’t find one.

– Grooming by Em on Rhode Island Ave is the best grooming I’ve gotten in the area and by far the best price.

– Dogs ARE allowed on the metro if they are in closed carriers. Ditto to cabs, they aren’t allowed to deny you if the dog is in a carrier (doesn’t mean they won’t, but they shouldn’t).

– If you Uber, text the driver and let them know you have a dog once they accept the trip. Most don’t mind but they’ll appreciate the heads up.

– The arboretum is my favorite place to walk with the dogs. It’s beautiful and huge. Dogs have to be on-leash but if your dog is friendly, you’ll meet lots of other friendly dogs to say hi to.”

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Photo of an “old volvo” by PoPville flickr user Leonard Jewler

flipped condos — reselling issues

“another implication of the stories about condo flipping: issues with reselling

What, if any, are the ramifications of something related to a conversion going wrong after the we (the unit’s first owners/residents) complete a sale to new owners? To what extent could we be on the hook financially and legally? To what extent would it be the original builder and seller? We of course would disclose anything we know of that’s an issue, but what about things there’s no sign of? Does it fall into the category of “that’s homeownership”?

Likely we’ll just sit down with a real estate lawyer, but leave no stone unturned; some of you may have experience/knowledge with this, and others might be able to benefit from the topic, as well . . .

Thanks for any insights you all might be able to provide.”

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Photo of an “old volvo” by PoPville flickr user psinderbrand

mechanic recommendations?

“My VW needs a new catalytic converter. I thought I found a good mechanic, but work they did a while ago has actually contributed to my need for a new catalytic converter now. I am interested in recs for good mechanics, but particularly if they seem to have an emphasis on VWs.”

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“Screaming at 4am

Loud distressing screaming this morning at 4am near 13the and Fairmont. I called 911 and they said they received several calls. Seemed like the cops took forever and they couldn’t seem to find her. Anyone know is she received help? Hope she’s ok. Anyone know anything?”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

TOPA 101 for Neighbors?

“I’m looking for some insights and advice on DC’s TOPA – not from a tenant or homeowner/landlord perspective, from a neighbor perspective.

The row house adjoining ours has a tenant who’s almost 2 years into the TOPA process. In the meantime, the house has fallen into a dangerous state of disrepair. It’s a public safety hazard on a number of fronts – it’s teeming with all manner of vermin, has poison ivy growing everywhere, reeks of urine and animal feces, is a tinderbox waiting to go up in flames (if it doesn’t collapse first), has garbage strewn about, several areas of standing water breeding mosquitos, attracts addicts and the like.

The owner has desperately been trying to sell the place but the tenant’s got everything tied up in court. I can’t say for certain but from what I’ve learned of the situation, the tenant has no real intentions of owning the home except for any chance he has at a piece of the sale when it flips. It has all the markings of someone abusing the law but what I care most about is the state of the home itself. Does the tenant have responsibilities to maintain and care for the property or is that all on the owner? If he’s trying to use TOPA does he have to prove that he’s capable of caring for the property? If there’s a real public health problem do we as neighbors have any recourse? I feel rather helpless while this cesspool of a home continues to throw up a symbolic middle finger to the rest of the block and keep me worried that I’ll have to grab my 17 mo old in the middle of the night and flee because it’s caught fire.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Leah L.

ground-level deck, building code, inspection

“I’m trying to convince myself that I could install a small ground-level deck in my backyard. I.e., a wooden deck that essentially rests on the level ground (on buried concrete anchors) and has it’s deck surface only 8-12 inches above ground level. A call to the DCRA Homeowner Center suggests I buy a survey drawing on which to indicate where the deck would go, and then also provide a drawing detailing how the deck would be built, and they can issue permits. I began tip-toeing into DC building codes just to make sure I addressed things, like how deep to bury concrete pilings below frost line, what size 2x boards to use, etc, but quickly got beaten down. I welcome any wisdom in terms of how to best find all the info I need so I can make sure to check all the boxes and build this thing that seemed fairly straightforward until I called DCRA. E.g., can I avoid putting rails and stairs since it’s so low to the ground? Many thanks.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Leonard Jewler

Memorial Day Weekend in DC – what to do?

“We’re usually away for the long weekend but this year we’re sticking around. What sort of fun things are happening in around DC to keep us occupied?”

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parking

Great parking job by Parking Enforcement

“Seen on Calvert St about 5:30pm May 14th: Parking Enforcement parked next to a perfectly good empty parking space, blocking the bike lane.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

Ethical Mani/Pedi Options?

“After reading the NYTimes articles on manicures/pedicures in NYC, I’m wondering if there is reasonably ethical option for manicures and pedicures here in DC. Some place that pays the technicians a legal wage? Makes arrangements to protect their health? OR someone who works independently? Obviously, I’m aware that this means paying more – significantly more, maybe – for an ethical option. Which is fine by me. Thanks.”

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