canabis color

So about those long lines you’ll see on Friday…

Cannabis Sees No Color:

“Cannabis is a Healer and a unifier for all. Our Cannabis Community represents healing for all. This event is to show the world that this one plant has the power to stop and prevent division and bring people together. We want people you to come share the good vibes with us. Friday July 29th from 11am to 11pm, we will host the Biggest #FreeTreatFriday that this city has ever seen. We are gifting treats, clones, seeds, goodie bags and more through out the city in ALL 4 Quadrants SW,NE,SE,NW!! Locations of the giveaways to be announced by Thursday July 28th via e-mail. REGISTER NOW!!! Please note all must be over the age of 21, we will card EVERYONE. No ID, No treat. (more…)

MLK_Library
9th and G St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Has anyone written in about MLK Library / G Street lately?

This was never a great street, I’ve been working near here for 12 years. But in the last six months it has gotten insane.

I’ve seen two guys being attended to by Fire/EMS for ODing in the last month. Both times drug deal were still going down within 10 feet of the medics. This is all in the middle of the day during lunch.

I don’t know if it’s synthetic drugs or something else. But addicts down there have gone from mellowed out and sitting in the shade, to full on aggressive/crazy, running around screaming.

The DEA DC field office is 2 blocks south of here, yet it’s a virtual open air drug market during work hours.”

peace
Photo by PoPville flickr user District Shots

“Dear PoPville,

This past weekend, my partner and I were laying on a blanket in the park at Georgia ave in between Irving and Columbia, minding our own business. We noticed a man sitting nearly who was talking/yelling to himself some nonsense, but we just ignored it. Not long afterwards, the man came over to us and started yelling at us about how “a man shouldn’t lay with a man” and that “we couldn’t even reproduce.” In addition, he told us we “weren’t even from here,” threw his birth certificate at us, and told us that we need to “stay in our place, stay down, stay powerless” along with about 5 minutes of mumbo-jumbo non-sense. Although this man clearly had a mental illness to accompany his bigotry, some of it was coherent enough to know that he was upset we were 1. Lesbians and 2. Not white.

We were both pretty scared and I was worried he had a weapon. My partner kept her gaze away and I just sat there and nodded, saying “yep” and “ok” even though I really wanted to say please leave us the F*** alone, you homophobic xenophobic a**hole. When he finally walked away, I was conflicted between the fact that I didn’t stand up for my partner and myself, but also glad that we didn’t risk escalating verbal or potentially physical harm.

As I’m sure this type of confrontation frequently affects those who are queer and/or people of color- how do you handle it? What is your balance between maintaining your dignity and ignoring the hate for your own safety? Has this happened to others, and what have you done that has made the situation better/worse?”

28291637546_68806eec6b_z

“Dear PoPville,

Unfortunately, I have an update on this story posted by a reader last August.

Sunday, 7/3 evening around 5:20, I was harassed by the same man under very similar circumstances on Mt. Pleasant Street outside of Old School Hardware. I was heading north when this man approached from the opposite direction. As we were passing he began yelling at me to move aside, stating that I had bumped into him, and calling me a ‘f$%&ing bitch’ — note that I never actually bumped into him or nor was I in his way … I was parallel to him by about a foot. I had headphones on, so it took me a moment to register that he was actually yelling at me, but as I was registering this as we passed, he then aggressively and forcefully punched me and grabbed my breast.

After the shock of what had just happened set in, I approached some bystanders who said they had heard the altercation but had not seen it. Another bystander told me they had seen him heading toward The Raven so I began to head that way (critique this as you will, but I wanted to get a photo of him as the above mentioned story came to mind and I wanted to see if they matched). I then saw the man walking back up toward the other end of Mt. Pleasant Street where I had first encountered him. Upon doing so, I snapped a photo of the man (he is in the black) and immediately moved to follow up with the police officers idling on the corner of Mt. Pleasant and Lamont. The police questioned him and he apparently had no memory of the encounter (though he’d also just gotten into multiple altercations with staff and customers at Sportsman’s Liquors who also spoke to the police). The police then let him go on about his business without further follow up.

Just a reminder to be mindful when encountering this individual.”

good people
Photo by PoPville flickr user Julian Ortiz

“Dear PoPville,

I was on a bus going up 16th St last evening and the traffic was crawling. Coming close to Columbia Rd I saw one reason for the slowdown – a car being pushed up the street by two people. No easy task in rush hour, and in today’s heat and humidity. Vehicles were making room for the car to be pushed over until it was in the curb lane.

Then I saw a pedestrian step off the curb, get behind the car and start pushing. A few feet up the street someone else got behind the car and started pushing the car. A few feet more, another person joined in to help push the car onto a side street and out of heavy traffic. The people who helped push the car then walked off in different directions. A random act of kindness, as seen from an S2 bus.

With all that happens in our sometimes not-so-fair city, there are also times when the kindness of strangers shows up in unexpected places.”

pain

From the Brookland listserv:

“Stroller tires slashed on porch last night

We have twins and leave our large double stroller on our porch. It’s an old model that is really worn down so I haven’t been concerned about it getting stolen but I was still really surprised and frustrated to find this morning when I went out to go on a jog with my babies that all four tires were totally flat, but the rest of the stroller was intact. They worked yesterday so they were definitely slashed or popped.”

fireworks kids
Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

10 years and counting for PoPville…


image1
via MPD

From MPD:

“Good evening. Throughout the night we have received many calls regarding illegal fireworks in the community. The Third District officers have been working extremely hard and have seized several hundred pieces of fireworks so far. I realize that the night is not over and there are still some areas lighting illegal fireworks, so our teams are still out patrolling and recovering the fireworks from the community. We appreciate your patience and continued support as we work on this tonight. Thank you and be safe.”

fireworks_confiscated

and

“I just wanted to share with you some of the firework recoveries that have been made in the Fifth District this Fourth of July season. The officers have been working extremely hard and have made approximately 2300 individual seizures of fireworks. I would like to commend them on their efforts for a job well done.”

pain sculpture

“Dear Former Neighbors,

As a favor to the folks who will simply stop reading and disregard whatever is written below based solely on race, let me save you the time and start by saying that my wife and I are black. I say this not to elicit snark or engender sympathy or because it should matter, but just as a basis of fact in a city where you can’t seem to have a conversation without taking race into consideration.

I moved here in late 2003 after college and a tour in the Marine Corps. Like so many other people, I moved to the region for work. I thought I’d be here for a short time but life happened, and I made the District my home.

Oddly enough, all of my positions and jobs were in MD or VA, but I was one of those who enjoyed urban living and made the reverse commute. I endured the embarrassing things our elected officials did and the backwater way our city operated because the urban-ish lifestyle seemed to be one that I should endure these things for.

We aren’t looking for a trophy or a gold star, but my wife (former Navy) and I (atleast on paper) are the kind of residents jurisdictions try to lure. Highly paid DINKS, we pay a lot in taxes but use relatively few public services as we’ve yet to have kids. We actively participated in and tried to improve our community. We both had spent years (5 and 7 respectively) tutoring DC middle and high school students in STEM courses. Kid-less, we still participated in the yearly DCPS summer “all hands on deck” to help clean, paint and landscape local schools before school started, occasionally volunteered at the local hospital, food banks etc.

I met my wife here. We started out buying a condo in Woodley Park, then made the jump and bought a row home in on Kenyon street in Columbia Heights in 2006. At the time, there were fewer people living or socializing in Columbia Heights. You were confronted by the occasional day-drunk and discarded used condoms on the sidewalk, but the neighborhood then was significantly different, and for the first few years we lived there and it was the picture of urban renewal. More than a billion dollars of private development in the neighborhood took form in a matter of a few years, and even more since. DC schools have always been atrocious but at the time we had decided to try to stay in DC regardless and simply “hope” that there would be significant short term educational gains, or resigned ourselves to pay for private school when the time came.

Then a few years ago the positive changes in Columbia Heights seemingly started to reverse. The streets of Columbia Heights filled with unbelievable quantities of trash. It was as though people from all over DC were coming to Columbia Heights specifically to throw trash on the street. The amount of crime skyrocketed. Robbery’s, assaults, burglary became a more frequent issue. Not a week went by in the last couple of years living there where at least one car on the short street I live on hadn’t gotten broken into. I had to get one of those roll down steel doors across the back of my lot because all of a sudden, out of nowhere 4 years after we moved in, people started breaking into homes via the alley. Nearly every house (15 in total over 6 months) on our block got hit, some twice and despite the cops taking prints and finding the criminals already had been in the system, there was seemingly no consequence to their actions. People also started defecating with some regularity in the alley and on the sidewalks. Constant pleas by the entire neighborhood to the ANC, the police the Council member go ignored for months and years. The only time someone from the ANC or Council gets involved is around election time, and the involvement stops immediately after.

At least 2 or 3 times a year I would walk out of my house in the morning to go to work and find some passed out / strung out guy on my lawn or adjacent neighbors lawn, covered in his own urine or vomit or actively hitting the crack pipe in the middle of the day. People started ripping out landscaping plants and bushes we (or my neighbors) had planted, apparently to take home and plant because they simply disappeared. Who does that?

A new and very visible drug trade has appeared in multiple places in the neighborhood. Unbelievably the most visible example is right at the Columbia Heights metro stop where it happens in full view of cops who sit there in their cars on their Facebook, or otherwise couldn’t care less. And I am not talking about weed here, but serious narcotics.

The straw that broke the camels back was when I apparently had the audacity to remind a young twenty something that my lawn wasn’t his trash can as he walked by and threw his discarded chicken wings on my lawn. I was standing less than 10 feet away when he did it and decided to ask him what he was doing.

Like all young thugs I’ve encountered, he “ran hot” which meant he went from zero to full-rage in about a millisecond. After ~20 seconds of screaming every four letter word and negative gentrification invective in the book at me (he and I are the same race but that seemed to elude him), he started towards me, pulled up his shirt to show me his gun and told me he was going to shoot me (I’ve actually cleaned that language up quite a bit, I will let your imagination run with what he really said). I grew up in rural VT, hunted in my childhood, spent time in the Corps and am extremely comfortable around firearms, but I had never had one pulled on me before, or the threat of it. I simply reacted out of fear, grabbed him by the neck with one hand, put my hand on his gun with the other so he couldn’t draw it and slammed his head into the retaining wall in front of my house while trying to disarm him. (more…)