That’ll be a Bud Forty

Washington, DC is bizarre: at once the most beautiful and the filthiest city I have ever lived in, and I’ve tried a few (Memphis, TN; Jackson, MS; Quebec City, PQ; Lyon, FR; Boston, MA; and now DC).  Filthy.  What impresses me the most about our yard, in particular, is that it seems to have some sort of magnetic force that draws empty bags of potato chips to it.  Here’s one stuck in the fence:

And another one that I stepped on getting out of my car the other day:

And of course, walking down the sidewalk by our house:

More, you ask?  How about these two right outside our front gate!

More compelling than the crinkly potato chip packages are the chicken bones that litter the sidewalks all over town.  I’ve managed to capture fewer of these in photos than I have the chip bags, but here’s one outside the Metro station by my house:

And another one on the sidewalk right out front:

While the photographic evidence seems to suggest these bones only come out at night, don’t be fooled: unlike owls or vampires (or even prostitutes, for that matter, although Keri may have something to say to the contrary) they’re around at all hours of the day and night.

The best shot I ever took was with my cell phone cammy, which is too old and curmudgeonly for me to upload the image here.  The carnage I came across one day, though, was impressive.  It was like I stepped through a tear in time and ended up in a bone yard: there were at least seven of them clustered around a no-parking sign on Warner Street at 5th.  I remember studying French in high school and reading about the problems Paris had with dog shit on the sidewalks, so they came up with Crottes Mobiles that drove around hoovering poop.  DC needs something more like a Bone Patrol.

In a new twist, one morning I opened the front door to find, sitting on the step like it belonged there, an empty forty of Bud heavy.  I thought for a second about kicking it to the curb along with all the other trash, but after a moment I picked it up and put it in the recycling bin instead.

Anyway, Cheeto-Frito-Dorito-littered front lawn and walkway will soon be a thing of the past, as we are downsizing and moving to a new apartment in Glover Park.  As Brendan, from big green moving, said to me on the phone this afternoon: “That’s a sleepier part of town.”  A wide grin spread over my face as I replied, “Yes, Brendan, yes it is.”  Jonathan promises to chant the call to prayer beginning at 5:45am when he visits, just so we don’t get homesick for Shaw (and the mosque across the street from which we have lived for two-ish years).  It has been a great place from which to sally forth as I’ve gotten to know the city, but I’m ready to move on.  Other than our neighbors, I won’t miss much about living in Shaw, although interestingly enough, the call to prayer is what I just might miss the most.

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8 Responses to That’ll be a Bud Forty

  1. Jeremy says:

    You know you’re going to miss the chip bags too.

  2. Keri says:

    Who is killing all these chips and chickens? What message are they trying to send?

  3. chris says:

    Yay for downsizing and quieter ‘hoods! But I have to tell you that I am beyond relieved that your cell phone pic of the bone collection didn’t make it online. Ew.

  4. Katy says:

    This is some of the most gorgeous photography I have seen in a LONG time. Suitable. For. Framing. Keep it up!

  5. Bianca says:

    You have captured my simultaneous revulsion and excitement about finding strange litter patterns.

  6. Michelle says:

    This is some impressive photojournalism Mr. G!

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