I saw about 40-60 ATVs and dirt bikes cruising through Columbia heights Sunday afternoon. It was pretty amazing, loud and obnoxious. Kind of like a DC version of Sons of Anarchy. I’m wondering if anyone saw the same “parade” on Sunday, got any pictures and if this is a new kind of DC gang that I am not aware off.
Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99
Thanks to a reader for sending this depressing fact from the Washington Business Journal:
“The average balance among District residents with student loan debt in January was $47,390, compared with the national average of $29,339. Maryland ranks second highest, with average student loan debt of $33,727.”
Category: quality of life
A reader sends a great experience he shared with yelp about the Columbia Heights Giant:
Look, you’re not on yelp to look for a review of this grocery store, because you know what to expect when you go into any chain supermarket; that’s how these stores are designed. The effusive purple and yellow of Giant is ubiquitous; it permeates the aisles, the uniforms, and the signs throughout the store. You know where to find jelly, magazines, and the occasional rib-eye (but only if it’s on sale). You have your Giant card memorized and can probably find seven different means of egress in the event of a fire. Sure, each individual store is different: longer lines in some places, uninformed staff in another, but if you need groceries, and this joint is within walking distance, you’re going here, because the entire neighborhood does. Now, this isn’t the best stocked Giant I’ve ever been to, nor are the deli workers particularly fast about their meat slicing, but I am writing this post specifically to relay a story of customer service done right.
Continues after the jump. (more…)
This note made me really sad and angry. From Georgia Avenue.
Category: quality of life
Photo by PoPville flickr user thisisjamesj
Thanks to a commenter for pointing out in the morning rant/revel. Business Week writes:
The District of Columbia’s been known for political dysfunction, but when it comes to leisure it has become the nation’s leader. The nation’s capital has an expansive series of parks to go with its lively districts, such as Logan Circle and Foggy Bottom. D.C. rivals Boston for its depth and quality of schools. Staying busy: Residents can shop in Georgetown or check out such cultural centers as the Smithsonian’s museums and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Seattle was ranked number 2 and San Francisco was awarded the number 1 spot.
Category: quality of life
By your own private creek near Normanstone Park.
Category: quality of life
Photo by flickr user MShades
Basically, I have a question about what is the correct policy for handling near fist-fights in restaurants. Should you just separate the patrons and allow things to go on and hope it doesn’t break out again? Or should restaurant managers identify the person who “started it” and eject them?
Here’s why I ask:
My friend and I went to a restaurant downtown for drinks after the White House tour on Wednesday. We were heading in, and there was this man and his family in line to be seated for dinner. Since we were just getting drinks, the guy in front of us asked this man (who had a baby in his arms, it should be noted) if we could just squeeze past into the bar. He told us no. We told him that we weren’t trying to cut in line or anything, and he said no again, we could wait. I asked why, and like any standard lunatic (but this time holding a baby), he told me that I was a b**** and I wasn’t getting past. Anyways, things escalated to the point where he actually chased the other bar-goer into the bar area and had to be physically restrained from attacking him by other guests. Management or really any restaurant staff was nowhere to be found. Anyways, things calm down, and the man is actually seated! Appalling both my friend and I, and the women who were just waiting behind us an not involved. It must’ve appalled the other guy who was nearly attacked, because he and his friends left immediately.
I went to ask the guy at the host stand why this lunatic was seated after nearly attacking an innocent man and was told that it was a “misunderstanding.” I explained that it really wasn’t, and I felt this guy was pretty dangerous, but apparently he didn’t care. Meanwhile, this lunatic’s wife ran up to the host stand, from the table, to tell me I didn’t know what I was talking about and wasn’t there and that I should leave. Since apparently the restaurant wasn’t going to keep lunatics out of their establishment, my friend and I went somewhere else.
So, anyways, what is the deal here? I called the restaurant twice now to express my concern with how they handled this. The manager just tells me that it was a “misunderstanding,” and that they followed their policy of “separating” parties when fights break out and that it was fine. But it really wasn’t. I was legitimately scared that I would be beat up for the first time in my life. Am I insane for thinking this was handled poorly? Or should the restaurant change their policy?
Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu
Every year readers write in warning of package thieves around this time of year. Here’s one reader’s frustrating experience:
Thursday, while my wife and I were at work, my parents were at our house taking care of our daughter. Around 4PM, my dad observed a black female (medium height, slightly more than medium build, red in her hair) pushing one of those collapsible grocery carts down our street. She got to our house – stopped, looked both ways – and scooted up the stairs. She grabbed a package that had apparently been left for us by the mailman, hustled down the stairs, back onto the sidewalk and started walking away.
My dad busted out the front door (along with one of our dogs) and confronted her. At this point, she turned sweet as pie and started saying that the girl who lives in the house had asked her to come by and pick up any packages and hold them for her. This is not true. She continued and said that the package in question was a special present for the woman of the house’s boyfriend. My dad pointed out that the woman who lives there is married, so no boyfriend. Her response “Oh, she has a boyfriend too!”.
Anyway, mad dad calls her on her BS and takes the package away from her. She walks off towards Grant Circle and say’s she’ll be back to visit her friend. It’s worth noting that her collapsible cart was full. There was a blanket or jacket of some sort on top, and it was not clear what was in there. Obviously, my guess is that there were more packages in there. Also, obviously, she never came back to check in with us.
The next day, my wife stopped our mailman and told him what had happened. He immediately knew who the woman was, because a person fitting the exact description had tried to take packages out of his mail truck a few weeks prior with a similar story that she was to hold packages for friends (even though she didn’t know what names were on those packages). He gave us her address, which I’m not going to list here because I don’t want to be responsible for vigilante justice. It is fair to say, however, that if you’re in one of the houses near Grant Circle with a sign on your door about packages being stolen, I believe the culprit leaves very near to you.
So Thursday, my parents called the police to report the attempted theft almost immediately after it happened, but after a few hours of waiting, they had to get home so they left. The police were then supposed to come over on Friday to get a statement from my parents, but never showed up.
After a phenomenal effort by 4D officers to say anything to avoid having to fill out paperwork or make any sort of effort, we finally got them to take a proper police report Saturday morning. We fought through half an hour of the officers at the desk of 4D HQ trying to throw reasons at us as to why they could not do anything. Some highlights included “She just sounds like she’s crazy” and “it’s the mailman’s fault”. We outlasted them and they took a report.
I received a follow-up call from the officers attempting to confirm the address of the woman we believe has been stealing packages. I gave it to them and truly hope they are acting on it.
So that’s the story. Whether she is indeed crazy, or if she’s Robin Hood, or if she’s just making extra money selling stolen stuff, I really don’t care. She tried to steal a Christmas present for my baby girl – I just can’t shrug that off.
I look forward to seeing these every year. It’s from Mt. Pleasant Street and Park Rd, NW.
Happy Holidays! Just wanted to share some images from the 1600 block of 4th Street NW, where we got into the holiday spirit and decorated all of the trees on the block.”
Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012
With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to send out a warning/heads up/reminder to the community regarding packages left on your porch. This story also has some positive aspects regarding amazing people in our community.
Today (11/29/2012) I received a note in my mailbox from a good Samaritan regarding packages stolen from my front porch. Apparently, 2 adult men (potentially of Hispanic ethnicity according to the witness) in a red convertible (car brand not known) were throwing lots of empty boxes in the alley by Delafield and 8th St NW. There is a homeless man who lives near the alley and he saw the guys. He managed to write their licence plate number down (note… not with a pen and paper, but by scratching it into a wall with a nickel or nail). He then let the woman who lives in the house backing up to the alley and/or her lawn care guy know AND he grabbed one of the boxes that had the address still on.
The boxes had the the address information torn off most of them, but there was one they overlooked; it had my roommate’s name and our address. The lawn care gentleman brought the box to us, tried to ring the bell, spoke with our neighbor, and left us a note and let us know what was up. I called him and he gave me all of the details he got from the man and let me know that he, and the homeless man, could be contacted by the police for a report. It turns out 3 of us in the house had boxes stolen.
I filed a police report this evening. I’ve never filed a police report before, but the officer came out right away and went to check out the alley to see if the other boxes were still there.
I’ve lived in Petworth for 4 and a half years and have never had a package stolen. I’m sure there will be people who would say “oh gosh, you can’t have anything delivered to your home when no one is home,” but that is ridiculous and not something I think any of us should have to fear.
The purpose of this email is to let everyone know to be on the lookout, especially with the holidays upon us, for this car or for anyone taking a package from their neighbor’s porch. Additionally, I want to thank – publicly- the people responsible for alerting my roommates and me to what happened. It is so easy for people to see someone littering, especially someone like the homeless man who may be skittish of drawing attention to themselves, and look the other way. However, these neighbors went out of their way to try to let someone know and were willing to speak with the police. My roommates and I can get the businesses to reimburse us/ship us new products, but knowing that our neighbors are looking out for us gives us a better peace of mind.
I apologize for such a long email, but I do want to thank TJ, the owner of Neighborly Lawns, for coming to our house AND bringing the box they found. If I can do anything, I’d like to draw some attention to his business. I promise (for the cynical) I don’t know this man, have never used his services, and haven’t even met him in person. However, he took to time to do this for strangers, so if you need grass cutting, landscaping, hedge trimming, or anything else his number is 202-706-0022 and email is email@example.com. The least my roommates and I can do is pass along his information!
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Obviously we haven’t heard anything yet from the police. I hope this hasn’t happened to anyone else in the neighborhood. Hopefully by speaking out that we can all continue to do an amazing job looking out for one another.
Another reader warns:
Package Thefts/1000 Block of Irving St, NW
I don’t know if other area residents are having the same problem, but my house has had 4 UPS packages stolen off our porch this week (before my roommates and I figured it out). It’d be great if you could send out a quick warning to PoPville. This was multiple packages over multiple days, so I suspect that this is not a random occurrence and that other houses in the area may be targeted as well.
I’ve been trying to get Washington Gas to come restore my service for the past two weeks. There was an issue with the building’s account when I moved in, which meant that bills were piling up without me being aware – when I checked the account online, I saw completely different numbers. When they finally shut off the gas, I called and realized the problem, got it resolved, and scheduled someone to come turn it on. This was Thursday, the 15th, and the appointment was “between 7 and 5″ on Friday, the 16th.
I’ve since gone through 5 attempts to have it turned on – the 16th, 19th, 20th, 27th, and today, the 28th. Each time I get no phone call, no sighting of their vehicle, no nothing, but each time they have some excuse: couldn’t get into the building, couldn’t find the management office, no one answered when they called, etc. I’ve taken two days off work to sit and wait for them, I’ve gotten my property manager to sit and wait, I’ve given them my manager’s cell phone, my cell phone, the password to the door, etc. For today’s visit, I suggested that they just come to my apartment, so there’s no trouble finding the right room, and I will lead them to the meters. They wouldn’t even need to call – just knock on the door. After waiting all day with no show, I call and learn that they came this afternoon, but couldn’t find the meters.
I am livid. It’s been nearly three weeks without cooking gas (and no microwave!). Each time I call, though the support staff are polite and (attempting to be) helpful, I get the same “we’ll reschedule for tomorrow” line. Only tonight, after I apologized to the poor woman on the phone for my vocal frustration, was I finally promised a call from a manager tomorrow to follow up. I have absolutely no faith that tomorrow’s attempt to restore service will be successful, and I refuse to take more time away from work, where people are starting to wonder why it takes to long to manage a simple task. My property manager is similarly angry, but there seems to be nothing I can do. The customer service line is impenetrable so far as trying to reach someone higher up. Washington Gas has a monopoly, and as a renter I have no choice in how I run my stove.
Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80
Wishing everyone a peaceful, tasty and Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful to all the incredible residents of PoPville who make everyday an interesting one for me. Hoping your day and time off is filled with fun! Safe travels to those on the road. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures!
Category: quality of life
Photo by PoPville flickr user Sanjay Suchak
I live on the 800 block of Rock Creek Church Rd NW, near the Petworth metro. It’s a small 3 story building with a patch of gravel along the side big enough for a few cars to park there. Along the side of the building there are signs that say “no parking, private property, violators towed.” My boyfriend, who lives with me, has been parking his car out there for months because we got the approval of one of our neighbors who is also the “groundskeeper” so to speak. She takes care of the building – cleans it, keeps it in order, etc.
When I came home from work today, she left a note on my door saying that the landlord came by and said we couldn’t park there unless we paid a fee (first time hearing about this fee). I looked out the window and my boyfriend’s car and not only a huge tow sticker on the window but also a $250 ticket!! The violation states: P344 Veh Pri/Pub Prop w/o Consent – but we got consent from our unofficial building manager.
One thing I don’t get is that our landlord came to our place this morning (11am) to leave this note, but did not call either me nor my boyfriend to warn us. Instead he must have called in the car to the police because by the time I got home from work (2pm) the sticker and ticket was already on the car. Is this allowed??
Do we need official consent or is word of mouth from the building keeper enough? Shouldn’t the landlord have called us first instead of reporting our car? In addition, there were three cars out there – one only got a tow sticker and no ticket, and the other car didn’t get anything!! Is this personal?? We’ve been great tenants, I don’t understand. Thanks for any input/advice you have to offer.
How awesome is this?
The Kennedy Rec Center is located at 7th and P St, NW. The horseshoe pits are located behind the tennis court on P Street. One needs a bit of repair but the other one is ready for a game!
Wow. That's horrible. I cannot believe the audacity of some people. Did she not thin you...Random Reader Rant and/or Revel
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