I've been talking with someone who lives in Baltimore and works in DC, and we have been comparing DC and Baltimore. We got on the topic of Jehovah Witnesses which led to talking about other people who show up at my door. However, it seems the other people I get beyond JWs are a DC thing, and others, I'm guessing a Shaw thing.
1. Religious People
- These are your Jehovah Witnesses and more rarely Mormons. Everyone gets them, and everyone has their own opinion on the topic, so moving along.
2. Political/ Advocacy
- They want you to sign to allow such and such on the ballot and they will come door to door to get those signatures because standing outside the metro and accosting people apparently wasn't working. Lately, I had someone from Save the Children show up on my door. I believe they wanted donations. So, no.
- No I do not want to change from Pepco or switch to a cable company.
4. Wrong door or Alica don't live here no 'mo
- This happens less these days but in the early days when I arrived and the neighborhood was truly gentrifying with lots of subsidized homes and transition and change, you'd have people showing up at the wrong door. In a row of townhouses they all look alike and it doesn't help that the colors of the house changed and the fences changed when someone was looking for an old friend. Or when a house that used to have subsidized renters or so-in-so who was living with grandma has now been replaced by random white people. I got someone who was looking for someone three doors over who moved a while ago. I'd heard stories from other people who had people at their doorstep looking for people who moved several years ago.
I'm hearing fewer of these stories and I take it as a sign that Shaw is no longer 'gentrifying' it is gentrified. The middle-class and typically white people are no longer replacing poor black families, they are replacing middle class white people. There are still subsidized houses being replaced by market rate renters and owners, but not to the level it was in the 90s and 00s.
- The door to door salesperson still lives. I think Capital Meats may have changed their name, but they do come around every so often. Typically, i say no. There have also been people hawking subscriptions for the Washington Post and other publications. Um, no.
6. Handouts/ Cons
- This is seems special to neighborhoods like Shaw. I put handouts with cons because sometimes until later, until after you think about it or write about it on the neighborhood email list, you may discover it was a con. This winter we got a homeless couple at our door asking for whatever we could give. It was a cold night so we gave them a new hat and scarf I'd gotten as a present. I was planning to give those items to charity anyway, so I honestly don't care if it were a con.
Many years ago I got a woman at my door claiming to live around the corner, saying a relative was in the hospital, her car won't start or she needed gas because the hospital was in outer Mongolia Maryland, and she just needed something to help. I gave her a Smart-Trip card I found days earlier on the sidewalk.
Several months ago on one of the neighborhood forums there was mention of a white male going to doors claiming that he locked himself out of his house and had extra keys at work and needed money for a cab to pick up his keys. Like my lady with the relative in the hospital, he made a vague claim of being a neighbor. People who move to neighborhoods like Shaw tend not to know who their neighbors are, and con artists can use that ignorance.