Monday, January 26, 2009

Life in the City

A typical Capitol Hill street scape

While many of you (the reader) live in urban environments, many of you don't. There is nothing wrong with either situation, but there are distinct differences.

In the almost two years since we have been in the city on Capitol Hill, one of the clearest differences is the proximity in which you live to your neighbors. For example, the block we live on, from a pure distance perspective, would probably only have about 10 houses on it in a normal suburban type area, but being in the city, it has about 30-40 row houses on it.

There are may joys to this aspect of living. You get to know your neighbors much more quickly than in a suburban environment where you simply pull into your garage each evening. You also experience life more with your neighbors. From walking to the park, metro or market together to dealing with minor or major housing mishaps (when your basement floods, so does everyone else's). You also learn to simply be more cognisant of your neighbors. Living in such tight quarters requires everyone to to live a little less for only themselves and a little more for others. While it might not be for everyone, we have come to take great joy and pride in it.

However, it does come with pitfalls for some, as evidenced by our neighborhood yahoo group, the New Hill East. The New Hill East listserve has around 1,700 hundred members that all live within a the Eastern section of Capitol Hill. This is generally East of 11th Street, West of 19th Street, South of H Street/Benning Road NE and North of M Street SE - approximately 125 square blocks. Each day, there are anywhere from 10-25 messages posted on topics from local crime to new development plans in the community and everything in between. Every now and again, the message board will get especially heated and it is really crazy to see people readily identified on their post by their name, email address and general street address so willing to make an ass of themselves for all to see. It is not usually like this, and most days are filled with banter on mundane neighborhood questions and answers, but sometimes it is just hilarious to watch it all unfold.

The message below was really the inspiration for this post and one of the funniest we have read in the last year. I am not sure if it will be funny to those who live outside DC, but Leah and I laughed for hours about this post. Ahhh, life in the city.


New Hill East Yahoo Group - Message 16,656
From: Arthur, 15th & A
Subject: Dog Shit at 15th and A Street

For the last several weeks somebody has not been picking up after his or her dog at the corner of 15th and A SE, in the grass on the south sidewalk.
There is SO MUCH SHIT in this grass lately that you basically have to jump across to get to your car. Didn't used to be this way--is there a new dog owner around here, or what? Help me out, people! I believe most of my neighbors do a great job of cleaning up after their doggies and that this is from irresponsible person.

-Arthur 15th and A


The Trone's: James, Misty, and Bella Grace said...

Hilarious! When James & I lived in Dallas we could completely relate! Every time James would step on a small strip of grass (which there was not much)- he would step on dog crap. I would never step in it... He would get so mad & I would just laugh! Oh, how I miss the city life...

Dr. K.Lo said...

Reasons # 37, 121, and 237 as to why I am not getting a dog. Oh yeah- there are at least three reasons in this post.

The Elliott's Adventures said...

that's why brad walks the dog at 11pm. no one knows that it's our dogs pooping in their yards! and we don't have listservs in south GA, so no one can complain:)
did love the atmosphere so much when we were there with y'all. glad we got to be a part of the block party,too!