A reader pleads:

“What in the world is going on with heavy road construction at 11pm in the middle of a heavily populated residential area [ Capitol Crossing at 3rd and Massachusetts Ave, NW]? Please post something about this so we can try to get this under control.”

Doesn’t seem like anything can be done:

Construction activities during this phase will generally occur during the following hours:

· Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
· Saturday and Sunday work, scheduled only as needed, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

Happy news for Federal workers (and me since I follow the their schedule :) )

From The White House:

“Executive Order — Closing of Executive Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government on Friday, December 26, 2014

By the authority vested in me as President of the United States of America, by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. All executive branch departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Friday, December 26, 2014, the day after Christmas Day, except as provided in section 2 of this order.

Sec. 2. The heads of executive branch departments and agencies may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts thereof, must remain open and that certain employees must report for duty on December 26, 2014, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.”

photo 2
Photo courtesy Golden Triangle BID

Ed. Note: A few folks have been writing in about where to buy Christmas trees – you can find our discussion and recs here.

From the Golden Triangle BID:

“The sidewalks of the Golden Triangle will be filled with Santa’s helpers, who want to make the holidays easy for everyone. They will be offering free gift wrapping of Golden Triangle holiday purchases at the following locations:

Dec. 1–19 from Noon–2 p.m.

Mondays: 1133 Connecticut Ave. (in front of H&M)

Tuesdays: 1746 L Street (in front of Sarar Menswear)

Wednesdays: 1133 Connecticut Ave. (in front of H&M)

Thursdays: 1746 L St. (in front of Sarar Menswear)

Fridays: 1122 Connecticut Ave. (next to GAP)”


From Uber:

“Back when we launched  uberESSENTIALS this summer, it was available to a limited number of riders throughout DC. Today, we’re excited to share that we’ve opened up UberESSENTIALS to all DC riders.

It’s never been easier to get the everyday items you need in 10 minutes or less. Our curated selection can help you restock the medicine cabinet, snack drawer, cleaning supply closet, and so much more.

We’ve also improved the ESSENTIALS experience for users. Now users can shop right in the app and get the same fast, quality service expected of Uber.(Note: the improved uberESSENTIALS is up and running on iOS, and will be ready for Android in a few days. )

To celebrate, we’ve partnered with our friends at Dunkin’ Donuts, and this week only, users get a FREE 8 oz package of Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Ground Coffee with every order. Plus, if users enter the promo code DUNKIN in the app, their first uberESSENTIALS order will be FREE up to $20.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Laura_Grageda

“Dear Galaxy Note 3 Owner,

It was really cool checking out your phone last night. It is so big! It was basically the perfect size to block out me having to see any of that annoying band playing in the background. The way you held it directly in front of my face definitely helped obscure the view and blocked those God awful bright lights they kept flashing in my eyes.

I am really impressed with the features that your phone the size of a laptop possess. How much memory does that thing have? You must have taken at least 80 pictures! I am glad you didn’t waste time just standing there watching that [again, annoying] band, but instead were chronicling the event for later. You are going to love those pics. So jealous. And the quality looked so sharp –those photos absolutely capture the feeling of what it was like to be there. It felt like I was seeing a live show through your screen. And if they didn’t, oh man, I am sure that video you took of their most “popular” song definitely did. I mean, you got the whole thing! That will be a real treat for you to go back and watch over and over and over again in the comfort of your own home, when there are not all those jerks standing around you trying to strain the heads to NOT look at your phone.

I was so embarrassed for that idiot with the iPhone. Remember when he pulled that wimpy thing out and tried to take his own picture? He only got one! And then went back to talking and laughing with his friends. How is he going to remember what it felt like to be at a live concert like that? It is people like that that really get to me. That guy is probably going to go through life just experiencing things as they happen to him. What, no pictures?! I bet he doesn’t even post the ones he does take to Facebook so everyone can see exactly what is happening that moment in his life like you did. I think I hate that guy.

I am sorry we didn’t exchange information. But I have no doubt that I will run into you again at another show. And at a hockey game. And in that new restaurant. And that art gallery. And on the sidewalk (for some reason). I cannot wait for all the times that I will get to look at your great big phone instead of being pestered by the stupid crap that is going on around me. It doesn’t even have a filter!

Accidentally Living My Real Life”

“Dear PoPville,

Street Altercation in Penn Quarter

On Sunday afternoon on the 600 block of E Street NW I heard yelling of obscenities from a few hundred feet back. I was unsure what was going on and kept walking. The yelling stopped but a few moments later it resumed and sounded much closer. I turned around again and realized it was a mid 20’s black male on a bike hurling verbal abuse at a white couple. It was now clear to me that he was the source of the initial yelling and was biking on the sidewalk from group to group getting very close to people and violating them verbally. He called the woman in the white couple the c-word and said he would rape her. I knew he’d bike over to me next. Sure enough he did. I decided I wasn’t going to just silently take it. As he berated me I called him a b*tch, a coward, unleashed some f-bombs, and said I would beat his ass. He began to biked off and I kicked tire real hard. He continued to pedal away furiously but his anger over his bullying being dished back made him eventually circle back to start following me.

At this point I was on a very busy sidewalk on 7th street in front of Carmines. I was ignoring his constant stream of “You F’d up. I’m gonna get you” verbal vomiting. I decided to walk between the tree boxes and the parked cars so he would not be able to bike directly behind me and cheap shot me. As I was walking I noticed a 3/4 full cup of some kind of iced coffee sitting on the sidewalk. I picked up figuring I needed something to stun him if he attempted to get violent. I crossed 7th street and as he followed I kind of got boxed in in front the Protein Bar. I saw he had a metal U-lock in his hand and intended to use it as a weapon. He remained on the bike and flailed at me with the U-lock twice. While he didn’t come within 18 inches of hitting me with his pathetic flails I clearly needed to get out of this situation. I threw the iced coffee in his face and then sprinted down the block and around the corner into a bar to have a beer. I looked back over my shoulder a few times while I was fleeing and luckily he did not follow me.

While I didn’t want to merely ignore the street harrasment like I had done dozens of times before I recognize I didn’t handle this well. I needlessly put myself at risk. I escalated rather than diffusing the situation. In hindsight I should have remained calm, filmed him with my phone and told him I’d call 911. Still, the coffee on his face was a little priceless.

This was not a disheveled looking unstable homeless person. He was clean shaven. Had a nicer and newer winter jacket on than I had. This was not mental illness triggered. I would say it was anger and racist rage from a cowardly anti-social individual who was getting his jollies off verbally assaulting random people.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

“Dear PoPville,

I live in the basement apartment of a homeowner who is my landlord. A few weeks ago, my landlord threw a wicked loud party that raged on late into a Tuesday night. When I sent her a text message about it (at 12:00am), I received no fewer than twelve angry text messages in reply, ranging from “I can’t wait until you move out” to “Do not contact me again”. I was instructed to contact the property manager (her close friend) about issues moving forward. He and I had a lengthy conversation, the result of which was basically in addition to being her birthday that night, the landlord is having “personal issues”, so her response was warranted given the context. I’m over that, though a little bitter. I was given the option to break the lease and move out, something I’m considering for January. Needless to say, the tension certainly is enough.

Now, she has turned on the ancient forced heat furnace. She alerted me to this and added a caveat that the furnace has a “hum”. Apparently, that “hum” is a loud, constant, high-pitched ringing noise that permeates through the concrete walls. What’s more, it seems to resonate through the vents in my apartment – and it’s still freezing cold in here.

I measured the noise at a peak of 75 decibels inside my unit, furthest from the furnace (using a smartphone app, efficacy unknown). According to DCRA, any mechanical equipment noise will be measured at the property line (so, outside). I can’t hear it from there, so I wonder if going to them would make any difference. I have sent a text message to the property manager and have not heard a response.

I worry that first, there is a real issue with the furnace. I also wonder which will explode first – the furnace, or my brain.

Do I have any recourse here, except the noise cancelling headphones I just purchased? How’s the rental market in January (or next week, for that matter)?”

“Dear PoPville,

I live near Blagden Alley. Within the last couple of month’s I’ve seen prostitutes on several occasions hanging around seemingly looking for business. They just started construction a few doors down from us and now they’re around more frequently. This morning on my way to work there were 3 on the corner of 10th and N and a few interested construction workers walking by. I walked by a cop parked over by 12th and told him, and he drove off in their direction. Not sure what he can do if they’re not actually transacting, but hopefully will scare both parties into thinking twice before coming back to that corner. Is there anything else I could do in situations like this, especially if I didn’t happen to walk by a cop? I don’t know if 9-1-1 is an appropriate option as there is really nothing illegal going on with them standing around. Just not something we like to see in the mornings or at any time of the day, especially in our own neighborhoods. I’m wondering if other people have experienced similar situations and how they’ve handled them?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

“Dear PoPville,

I have a question regarding leaf removal from sidewalks. I live on a residential street in Kalorama, some of the houses are single family-owned, some have been subdivided into condos/apartments. This November I’ll be completing my first year on this street and I’ve noticed there are about three houses in a row that never clear the sidewalks of leaves or snow. I thought I heard once it’s the property owners who are responsible for cleaning the sidewalks but I wanted to make sure. Is this something I can go to 311 about or am I just stuck with the mess? Please note, it’s not the unsightliness of trampled leaves or the muddy snow (although it does look bad) that’s getting my goat, it’s the fact that I also have neighbors who don’t clean up after their dog’s waste resulting in hidden landmines.

I know at least one of these houses has been converted to condos/apartments but there’s nothing indicating who owns/manages the property. If this is something I can go to 311 about, will they be able to figure out who to contact or will they simply leave a note on the front door (a note that will most likely go ignored and end up on the sidewalk)?”