That horrible stench on the 400 blk of Q St NW

I was walking this weekend toward the Giant and I passed by my alley and was assaulted by a smell that I’ve been working to keep out of my house for the past few weeks. It’s hard to describe because I don’t spend anytime analyzing it. I try to either run away from it or mask it. It’s chemically and strong and I think it is fake weed (maybe PCP, not sure if it has the nail polish remover smell). Whatever it is, it was horribly strong, so strong I kept smelling it as I walked a block down New Jersey Avenue.
Because the smell is slowly making it’s way into my house I’ve now had to give some thought to what to do about it. At some point I will need to talk to the source, or the owner of the house who lives in Maryland (I think). I was hoping that the build up would go away as the weather got colder, because I would smell this stench when a visitor would hang out in the basement stairwell smoking or opened up the basement door when the occupants were smoking away. The occupant hosts get togethers at least once a week or several times a week where he and his friends sit out in the back. The noise was one thing, but the smell, just makes my back yard unusable.
Have I called the police? In the past we called the Fire EMS because one time the strong smell got into the house. By the time the firemen arrived, the smell had gone. There was that time when one of the occupant’s guests was dividing up pot in the back yard into smaller baggies, but by the time I could figure out what was going on the guest had a “legal” amount of marijuana (or marijuana looking like stuff) that he was mixing with an unknown white-ish pebble like substance.
Yes, I have to get around to speaking with my neighbor the occupant when I run out of candles and air fresheners.

Know your public housing – In Shaw – Mari in the Citi

Gibson Plaza on 7thThere are plenty of places within the historic boundaries of Shaw that are mistaken for public housing that is not public housing or no longer public housing. What is public housing? That’s housing “owned and managed by the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA).” And what is currently owned by the city in Shaw and other neighborhoods, compared to the number of privately owned apartments is minuscule.

I’ve gone down the list of DC public housing and only the James Apartments at 1425 N St NW, and possibly Claridge Towers at 1221 M St NW (it’s on the boundary) are the only public housing apartments in Shaw.

The Northwest Co-Op 1 and 2, not public housing.
Asbury Dwellings on Rhode Island, not public housing.
1330 at 1330 7th St NW (formerly Immaculate Conception Apts), despite the smell of fake weed, not public housing.
The McCollough Terrace Apartments, strangely some of the few non-Suzane Reatig designed UHOP buildings in Shaw, obviously not public housing.
The Washington Apartments, not public housing.
The Gibson Apartments, (maybe formerly public housing?) but not public housing.

Now there is this other thing called Section 8, but that’s for another post.

Well a New Year A New Blog

Yes, I know I quit three years ago.

The In Shaw Blog as it had grown from its start in 2003 when the neighborhood was in the process of gentrifying and I wanted to describe where I lived, mainly to my friends, then other people found an interest. So for 10 years I blogged about my life in this neighborhood, the Truxton Circle part of ‘historic’ Shaw (see map left).
Now, 12-13 years later, I sorta wanna stick a fork in the ‘gentrification’ theme, but OMG it won’t die. It’s like one of those horror movie monsters that just keeps coming back for bad sequel, after bad sequel. But the problem isn’t gentrification, it is change. People don’t like change, it’s jarring. I and the Help (he’s my spouse & he likes the name) walked over to Glen’s Market in the Shay. when we turned on to 8th St NW, I exclaimed, “Where the Hell are we?!” The feeling was that we turned a corner and somehow got transported to Bethesda? Arlington? The whole thing was discombobulating until I was distracted by fancy food.
Since I love fancy food, the change of Shaw, LeDroit and Bloomingdale becoming foodie destinations delights me, to a point. I am happy that 15 years after landing in this neighborhood that the closest food joint isn’t some greasy fried take out, but somewhere with a cocktail list. I’m thrilled that the liquor stores that were like parasites have either closed, or have become better neighbors. However, fancy food and booze costs money and I (the Help is the designated teetotaler & unfancy food fan) need to resist the temptation of trying out this or that new place for the sake of our household budget.
So I have decided to change the blog, slightly. Instead of being In Shaw (the historically gentrified blog) it will be In Shaw- Mari in the Citi. Oh, I’ll still mention gentrification since it is the catch word that we throw around these parts like a hammer to describe neighborhood change. But there is change everywhere, in the neighborhoods where I travel and work and change in myself. I’m not the same woman who moved into the city in 2000. Time and the city have changed me, and I hope in a way I’ve helped change the city.
Happy 2016.