Conversations I need to stop having in mixed company

I was in Georgetown talking with a woman when in the conversation I mentioned my usual neighborhood complaints of guys on the corner, drug dealing, the friendly neighborhood crackhead (formerly crack ho as no one has lately reported her doing business), and vacant houses. She asked “Now where do you live again?” This is when I realized I should have kept my mouth shut, as idle chatter about boyz in the hood and other transitional neighborhood woes don’t play well in other parts of town. I do remember responding to the question with humor.

There is bell ringing in my ear

I’ve been meaning to mention it, but have you noticed bells chiming, sometimes ringing off the hours in the past month or two? I have no clue where this is coming from. Scott is guessing that they are in the direction of St. George’s Episcopal on U St in Eckington/Bloomingdale. Anyone else have a clue of who is ringing the bells?

Books & seeds

I stopped by the Big Bear to check out their little library and pickup some coffee grounds for ye olde compost bin. Not much there on the bookshelf so I’ll be seeing what I can spare from my shelves, that might make for an interesting coffeehouse read.
Currently I’m reading Sudhir A. Venkatesh’s American Project and I’m only at page 87. It isn’t as much of a page turner as his Gang Leader for a Day, it covers around about the same material but is more academic, and talks more about the governmental bodies that play a role in the history and operations of the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago. There were a few things that have caught my attention so far in the book. One was the story of the Robert Taylor Homes starting off as mixed income housing and how policies helped turned it into a poor people warehouse. The second thing is the underground economy developing and the incentives for relatively benign activities to be driven underground. On this second thing, the underground economy included child care services, food and craft production, car repair, hair styling, subleasing, and under the table labor as well as criminal commerce such as selling stolen items, drugs, gambling, prostitution and ‘protection.’ What I find fascinating are the incentives that keep the non-criminal stuff underground. Anyway, when I’m done with the book I will add it to the BB library.
On seeds, I only got one bite for an exchange. I’ll try again. Any one want to engage in a seed swap meet?

Games Children Play

From the screaming and yelling the neighborhood kids are engaging in and a certain chant, I believe the kids are playing Jerry Springer. I’m not going to look out the window to see if anyone is playing the role of Trailer Trash Transvestite. And yes, I’m posting this at 10:55PM. And, yes, the kids are outside at 10:55PM. No, I don’t know why the kids aren’t in the house.

It’s 8AM Thursday, do you know where your toy sized dog is?

I’m not sure about the breed, but it wasn’t a bichon frise, and I’m not entirely sure if it was a shih tzu maybe a scotty but it was a little white dog on the 1600 block of 5th St NW without a human around that I met up with on the way to work. It barked at me and walked away (south on the even side of the sidewalk) as I tried to approach it to look at it’s tinkling tags. I walked about 30 feet off my normal route before I turned around and gave up. I’m not going to mess with a dog that doesn’t want to be bothered with me.
Anyway, if that’s your dog, that’s where I last saw it.

Halloween recap

Well it got to a slow start. 5pm, nothing. 6pm, nothing. 7pm, kids on the block hover on one side of the street and costumed relatives driven in hover with them.
Sometime between 7:30pm and 8:10pm an impromptu costumed block party breaks out, with blond little tykes in too cute costumes(with parents), running up and down the sidewalk around with black princess fairies, as teens in Scream/Jason masks gossip and josh around, while semi-un-costumed adults of the whole diversity rainbow give out candy and flit back and forth across the street. Passing slowly by twice was a police cruiser, whose occupant added to the festive spirit by giving a ghoulish laugh over the car’s loudspeaker. A few Latino trick or treat families stumbled on to this scene and one woman giving out candy had her costumed kids take pictures with the passing kids.
My favorite costume was the bloody skateboarding doctor. A kid/young adult went house to house on his skateboard and he had a blood splattered lab coat, face shield/mask, and a stethoscope. A few others on my block got a kick out of his get up as well.
Then the uncostumed gang of teens started showing up, and that’s when I turned out the lights and walked a few doors over to crash the Halloween party for parents. It was breaking up when I called it quits a little before 9pm. When enough big slovenly teens start running around and the cute kid numbers are nil, it’s not fun anymore.

Reminder: Halloween

Today is Halloween, and yes, kids do trick or treat in the hood. I know of at least three houses on my block giving away candy. I don’t know or think kids bother with condo buildings, but they will go to houses. Also be aware that the lame non-costumed losers will beg you for candy (if you are giving it out), accept it as part of the day. But there is no reason you have to give them the good stuff.