Trend of Troubling Incidences on Metro

I mentioned before about the terrorizing teens on the metro here and here. Checking the other blogs around Prince of Petworth has a report of an incident on the Red line, with many comments following. What got me was one of the comments of a woman who was targeted by two teenage girls who reached into her bags, and got a “what you want me to do about it” from the station manager when she reported it.

What should I do with this data

Because my study area of Truxton Circle for the 1900 census (actually all of the censuses) has angles and odd streets, my cousin will capture data for houses outside the study area. For example I have some of the 300 block of M Street, which is in Mount Vernon Square. Also parts of the even side of New Jersey Avenue, the 1100 block of 3rd, and a few odd houses that happen to fall outside the study area.
So what should I do with these bits of info? I won’t be factoring them into my study, but I would hate to just delete them. Any suggestions?

The sidewalk report

Sunday afternoon the people on the other side of the block decided to shovel their sidewalks. To be fair it was still snowing the day before, but that didn’t stop us on my side. We shoveled while it was still coming down, so when it stopped there wasn’t much to do, and the salt dried up the walk quickly. On my side of the street most of the sidewalk shoveling was done by 4 individual homeowners. With about 2 owners shoveling more than just the sidewalk in front of their own homes.
Africare the non-profit in the old Morse School on the 400 block of R is a good neighbor. The brick sidewalk had a nice wide and clear path along their vacant lot and building grounds. Unfortunately the end of the block is a block of ice in front of the individual houses that hug 5th and R. The northern corner of the 500 block of R is good until you get near the corner of 6th. That little park between Rhode Island, 6th, and R is nothing but an island of dirty snow mountains and ice. Which sent me out into the street. Along the Asbury Dwellings there is a thin clear path, where as across Rhode Island it appears to be one big glacial sidewalk, as it is after every snowfall. WMATA seemed to put down a minimal amount of snow melt around the station, but I did notice that many bus stops where shoveled enough so a couple people could stand on solid ground.
It’s too spotty for people in wheelchairs or motorized chairs to get around. Too many curb cuts have mountains of dirty snow or sheets of ice to escape the block. Brown slush, should a wheeled person decide to take it to the streets, is another hazard. I can imagine the slush, pockets of black ice and the regular motorized traffic (with limited swerving options) *might* keep the wheelchair bound off the streets.


Kim & milk
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

I wanted milk. (My cousin who is living with me has been drinking most of it so it was a surprise to find most of the milk gone). Today just screams for hot chocolate and Bailey’s, or hot cocoa and mint schnapps or hot cocoa and other fun additives. For that, I need milk. I could have trudged to Giant and maybe find milk.
Instead I decided to try Timor. A whole lot closer and much much better. Also Kim, who owns Timor, provides a level of personal service that Giant will never provide. I texted him to ask if he was open and if he had milk and he answered in the affirmative on both. So after putting on several layers of socks jackets and head scarves, I high tailed it to his store. When I was there he was doing some brisk business. There were like 5 people in that little bodega. Oh, an as of this writing he had full and 2% milk, half and half, cream and soy milk.
I love this neighborhood.

Perfect day for a party

1st big DC snow
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Hope y’all are toasty warm inside and not out.
This morning I was out shoveling my sidewalk, which didn’t help much as the snow covered it up again. Some other neighbors with shovels were out clearing off the sidewalks, going up and down the block. Which isn’t so bad. Good exercise, if you have cement sidewalks. Yeah, brick is pretty and all but it is a royal pain in the butt to shovel. I like to use a pushing method, where I just push the snow aside. My shovel marks are kinda curved that way. With brick you’re stopping more often and can’t get a smooth shovel motion going because the blasted bricks are uneven and several stick out to bump the shovel.
I was out for about an 1 hour (according to IT& B) and I am looking forward to hot cocoa or something to warm me. A neighbor had planned a brunch and I shoveled over to see if it was still on. Oh, it’s on. The conditions are great for a neighborhood party.

Teenage Train Terrorists Part II or You gotsa be startin’ somethin’

The last entry reminded me of an another incident that happened on the Green line involving a teenager who was trying to start something with people minding their own business.
I was on the Green Line to Greenbelt on Sunday morning to meet the Help in College Park to go to his church. I had my newspaper and was more than likely listening to something on the iPhone (sometimes I just leave the headphones on with nothing playing), minding my own business. The train was sparsely occupied and I was in the center so I could see three other people seated and two or three standing at the doors. The people near the doors got off except this one guy, I think. The guy got my attention, I can’t remember if he tapped my shoulder or waved me and said something. I took one head phone off and said, “What?” He said something, with a big smile on his face, sort of laughing. Whatever he said did not register in my mind as English. I probably said no thank you and “Good-bye” and put my headphone back on. He moved on and I saw him get off the train. Well a few more stops he was back on my car. This time he was getting into people’s personal spaces. He leaned over to one large woman seated and she leaned back then he moved over to a man about 50 something, maybe South Asian or Latino or Arabian origin, and really got into his face. I mean the young man put his face about 5 inches from the face of man sitting near the door minding his own business. The man responded and started yelling and cursing at the young man with an accent. The young man cursed at the man in clear English, started grabbing his crotch and making threatening gestures. When the train pulled into West Hyattsville they both got off.
He was looking for trouble and we metro riders minding our own business are easy targets. Him and the gang of teenage girls are creating an environment ripe for the next Bernie Goetz.

Teenage Train Terrorists

I have a friend who lives about as far from the PG Plaza metro as I do from the Shaw metro. He drives to the metro, parks in the garage and takes the metro into the city. One (but not his only) reason for doing so was to avoid the Northwestern High School kids. When I was commuting into Maryland I would encounter some Northwestern boys who I swear were trying to see how obnoxious or how ignorant they could be, loudly. Occasionally an adult, who wasn’t the bus driver*, would turn around and rebuke them. Very occasionally, because most of us just wanted to get to our destination and tried drowning out the degrading sex talk, the ignorant racism, and glorification of violence. Currently, my commute rarely has teenagers, and the offensive chatter regarding Latinos, the Plan to keep the Black man down and other theories, is at a lower volume.
Yesterday, I had some Christmas related shopping to do and was heading home around 6pm on the Green Line to Greenbelt. At Mt. Vernon Sq. three screaming yelling teenage girls boarded onto a crowded car. They remained loud and decided it would be fun to bang hard and loud on the Plexiglas partition during the ride. I’d been finding the ride home weary 2 stops before since I transferred at Gallery Place, and couldn’t wait to get the heck out of the system. Doors open and apparently the girls decided to strike out at everyone disembarking. They called the tall black man in his 30s or 40s and ‘old man’ and the thin 20-30 something woman behind him one of them snatched at the woman’s midsection.
I don’t know if they were trying to poke the woman in the stomach, or snatch something off of her person or what, but I turned around on the platform and verbally confronted the two girls who were on the door side of the partition.
“What is wrong with you!” I asked.
*giggle* giggle blah blah something. Probably an insult in there.
“What is wrong with you? Are you all right? You know what you did was wrong!”
“What you gonna do about it? Hit me?” one of the girls responded.
“No, I’m not going to hit you, I’m telling you, you did wrong.”
“You did wrong.”
*Door chimes*
One girl made a lame attempt at a kicking motion, but I was a good 4-5 feet away. The door closed with them still giggling. My heart went out to the poor people stuck on the train with them on the way to U Street and points beyond.
In practice metro riders tend to tolerate even the most obnoxious verbal abuse, no matter how racist, classist, sexist, homophobic, ignorant, or hateful. However, don’t you think that when it turns even slightly physical it should be called out?

* I have long ceased to belive Metro drivers will stop people from doing anything obnoxious or illegal, except when they have to move people to get a wheelchair on.

Euphemia Lofton-Haynes or Intellectualism doesn’t pay well

It has been twice in one week I have referred to Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes, first Afro-American woman with a PhD in Mathematics in conversation, not by name, but by accomplishment. Her connection with anything relating to me is that once upon a time she owned my house. She didn’t live in it, it was an investment property. She bought it, rented it out, and later sold it, as she did with several other properties in the area. It was just one of many in her portfolio.
If the quick biographies of her, very few, if almost none mention where she got the money for living the life of an educator and social activist. She was the only daughter (she had a brother) of a dentist, so she came from some level of comfort. She worked in public schools such as Armstrong and Dunbar, Miner’s College, and later the president of the DC Board of Education. Positions, though highly respectable, don’t strike me as highly lucrative. According to the biography provided by the university that holds Dr. Lofton-Haynes papers, “the Haynes’ family moved solidly into the upper-middle class, owning a substantial number of rental properties throughout the District.”
She is rightly known for her educational achievements, but what supported her ability to become the intellectual and activist was not her income as an educator. Right now I’m meditating on what that means.