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Dear PoPville – What in the Helen of Troy is This?

by Prince Of Petworth January 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm 9 Comments


@jamesggilmore tweets us:

“the shine is back on 14th, between Monroe and Park. Same stuff as before. wet when the pavement elsewhere is dry, kinda greasy looking, and a little slippery on the mosaics and grates.”

Anyone else notice this? Some sorta de-icer?


  • Anonymous

    Dont know but it reminds me of one of my gripes with the Petworth metro—CONSTANTLY WET FLOORS even on dry days. Wet metro tile > banana peels and soap.

    • Anonymous

      Same with the entrance to the U Street metro at 13th. Always nasty and slick, even worse when it’s been raining.
      I think it’s just an unfortunate feature of this type of tiling. My guess is that this is sort sort of locally made tile that cut into different shapes depending on the what the buyer wants (hexagon pieces for Metro, rectangular for city sidewalks, etc.). The tile reminds me of the stuff that they used in McDonald’s restaurants back in the 80s.

      • James

        Original submitter here… I don’t think it’s the tile, because (at least from what I’ve seen) it’s just that one block of 14th that has the substance on it, despite the same paving tiles being in use throughout Columbia Heights.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, noticed this too, it’s weird

  • pvjdp

    I don’t know about this intersection, but they are always pressure-washing the sidewalks (made of the same brick) around 18th and N. I think it’s the DuPont Golden Triangle cleanup guys. They do it around 7/8 in the morning and they have to stop pressure-washing to let people pass through. I think it’s just a huge waste of water.

    • Anonymous

      They do it to remove the loss and other stuff that folks leave overnight :(

      • Anonymous

        Loss=piss. Typo

      • KenyonDweller

        That weird glossy coating was put on top of all the chewing gum, so it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with cleaning. I wish the would pressure wash that area occasionally.

    • James

      I don’t think it’s pressure-washing… it’s still there at night when I come home from work, and you can see where people tracked little bits of it it across the street crossing Park and Monroe. It’s more like grease than water… there are places along the edges of the sidewalk where it looks like it’s stained the tile, like grease stains on any porous surface.


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