Washington, DC

For those keeping track of the Meridian Hill Park fountain roller coaster. Thanks to Andy for sending this photo of the fountains back in action.

And seriously, everyone knock wood – right now!!

And check out this timelapse from Chris S.

“A early/late spring 2019 timelapse project shot at various locations in one of Washington, DC’s most vibrant parks. Drum music recorded at the Sunday drum circle.”


15th/16th between W and Euclid Street, NW

Last week we we broke the great news that the fountains were finally fixed and flowing. Then they overflowed and were turned off. Such is life in PoPville these days. But forward we shall march.

Thanks to Lauren for the excellent update:

“It started up again yesterday and is still on!! It is amazing. Hopefully will stay on and not just being tested.”




15th/16th between W and Euclid Street, NW. Photo by Mike Smith

Broken supply water line – fixed!!!

Thanks to Mike (and everyone else) for sending:

“The fountains are on! The NPS just turned them on.”

Update from Erick:

“Short lived currently overflowing”


Like the fountains, unfortunately this is a question we discuss annually.

“Dear PoPville,

Is there an update on the fencing/grass revitalization of the southern half of the mall in Meridian Hill Park? A couple years ago, NPS fenced off the northern half of the mall and the grass made a comeback, but this year neighborhood dog owners have been using the fenced off area as a dog park and the area has become more of a dirt pit than it already was. It would be nice to have grass up there again, so more people could enjoy the park.

Although it’s unclear, it seems like the plan was to fence off the southern half to minimize foot traffic so the grass could come back; it also seems unlikely that NPS intended to make the area a dog park, considering that signs in the park say dogs are required to be on a leash at all times. But, until NPS prevents dog owners from letting their dogs off leash within the fenced area, I don’t see how the grass will have a chance to take root again.”


Danny Harris is a DC-based photographer, DJ, and collector of stories. In September, he launched People’s District, a blog that tells a people’s history of DC by sharing the stories and images of its residents. Every day, People’s District presents a different Washingtonian sharing his or her insights on everything from Go Go music to homelessness to fashion to politics. You can read his previous columns here.

“People think that I am African, but I have lived in Washington my whole life. My parents are from South Carolina and came up here in the early 40’s. I grew up in a terrible neighborhood called Sursum Corda. I did a lot of dumb things as a kid. You know, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. My Mom always said, ‘If you hang with the wolves, you will howl.’ It’s true, but I didn’t understand it at the time. Now, I tell that to my sons. I am blessed to say that I was never locked up. I have never been in trouble with the law. Getting in trouble with my parents, that’s a different story.

“I think that dancing and drumming really saved me from taking the wrong path. I started drumming when I was eight years old. I was playing football for the Boys Club when I heard this drumming coming from the basement of the Boys Club. I was immediately drawn to it. I escaped from practice to find the drumming class and stayed there with my helmet and shoulder pads on. I was mesmerized, and have been ever since. I started dancing a little later bit later.

“All of the dancing we do at Meridian Hill Park is from West Africa. I have been dancing and teaching at the drum circle for 20 years now. It all started because one of the lead drummers, who I knew because we performed together, invited me to come out. There was dancing here before me, but not a lot of West African dancing. You know, a lot of people say that I sound and move like I am from Africa. I guess I can just mark the accent and movement so well. Sometimes the accent comes out and I don’t even realize it. It’s funny, one time I was performing and this guy from Guinea came over to me afterwards. He thought I was from Guinea, too, and neglecting our country by not dancing at the embassy and for ‘our’ people more. As he spoke, he got more excited and eventually starting cussing me out in his language. I said, ‘Look man, I am not African.’ He felt really embarrassed and apologized.

“I guess I just transform into someone different when I dance. It is like a spirit takes over me. One time, I was driving by the U.S. Capitol and they had the Zulu dancers performing. I was in the car with my wife and son. The drums captured me and I jumped out of the car while it was still moving to get to the music. My wife had to jump in the driver’s seat and take control of the car. I guess I just have it real bad for drums and dancing. My wish in life is to go to Africa and dance my heart out in Senegal and Guinea.

“I would say to everyone, you need to come up to the park and join us on Sundays. Who needs to pay for a class when you can come and dance with me and the drummers for free. Trust me, you aren’t going to find an experience like this anywhere else here.”

You can find Thomas and the drum circle in the upper area of Meridian Hill Park on Sunday afternoons.


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