imaging balloon

A reader reports at 8am:

Balloon over downtown. Super big balloon. I thought there were airspace issues with downtown DC.”

Ed. Note: Our first sighting was back in October 2009. Last year we learned “The balloon was launched by Digital Design and Imaging Inc. to take aerial photos of the District’s skyline as part of the joint Height Master Plan the DC Office of Planning and the National Capital Planning Commission are conducting in response to a Congressional request.”

Here’s a closeup shot @ep_jhu sent us after a sighting last July:



I am now indebted to Tim for life for sending this marvel from Petworth:

“What the Helen of Troy? Or does this belong in sweet city rides? Or caption contest? It’s a triple threat! Genius work, until it rains. They drove it around, pumping 80’s rock to the neighborhood and having a great time.”

Not sure how the inspection renewal will go but love it while it lasts!

DC Plates


“Dear PoPville,

Any idea about this license plate? expires in 2017, it says on the plate. so strange.”

Previously DC DMV has told us it is “a low tag, and they are assigned by the Mayor or the Council.”

Update: Another reader sends:

“Here’s a better shot of a different plate held by one of our lucky citizens that doesn’t omit the taxation wo representation logo.

Also, this website lists virtually all license plate and other quirks specific to the District. It is meticulously thorough and, oddly, run by some folks in Rhode Island.”


what the

“Dear PoPville,

Wondering if you or your readers know what this contraption is used for? Obviously with the nuclear security Summit security measures have been increased and put in place. I found two of these around the convention center, and totally unaware what this is used for. Is this some type of nuclear detection device? Or something related to EM fields?”


“Just a heads up about the security measures around the convention center (I’m sure that’s all anyone is sending you today). Certain sidewalks are totally inaccessible for handicapped folks, including fences dividing sidewalks in half and curb cuts blocked. The pictures of the sidewalk are from N Street at 9th heading toward 10th, and the blocked curb cut is the corner at 9th and N.

Nuclear summit fun times!”


Laura Hayes ‏(@BTMenu) tweets us:

“This is what #Shaw looks like. Just tried to lift a heavy planter so a guy on a wheelchair could get out.”