I have mentioned before that I live in a "transitional" neighbourhood or one which might be described as "iffy".  Lots of crime and colourful characters.

Last Sunday I happened to notice a couple of guys running down the street, past our house, followed by a heavy set girl – they didn't look like charity fun-run participants.  A fit-looking policewoman was catching up and a policeman brought up the rear at a (much) slower pace.   Police cars swarmed into the street blocking off the alley and the street – effectively trapping the teenagers.  There was a lot of gesticulating and shouting and separating and questioning.  I gave up watching because I have things to do so now I will never know what happened. 

Yesterday as I, and a whole lot of other people, were getting off the train at my station the doors suddenly closed trapping inside some who had been trying to get off along with passengers trying to travel further.  There was then a PA announcement that the train sitting at the platform would not be moving due to a  "Police Situation".  I don't know, but I always expected a "police situation"  might involve storm trooper type action or rubber bullets so I didn't wait around to see what would happen next….  neither did those fellow passengers lucky enough to get off before the doors closed.  

The trip home got weirder though as I was walking along the street I saw a man crawling, literally crawling on hands & knees, onto the road way – a 6lane roadway!  He crawled across one entire lane before staggering to his feet and continuing on with a drunken weave through the rush hour traffic.  People just stopped to watch this basically suicidal act – I don't suppose anyone was too keen to jump infront of traffic to stop him but it would have been a most unpleasant end to my day if he had been hit by a car or the proverbial bus.

Oh!  And on my way to work the other morning at 6.30am I was stopped by a guy who said "Hi, I'm from Kenya can you give me some money?"     I'm sorry, but that early in the morning, you have to come up with a better reason for me to give you money!    

This statue was somewhere in Rome -  it is called  "Boca de la Verdad" or "The Mouth of Truth".  You are supposed to stick your hand inside the mouth.  If you leave Rome with one less hand, it means you are a liar!    



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35 responses

  1. Hey, my comment doesn't make any sense. I could've sworn that the last paragraph of this post was entirely different just a minute ago. Are you editing?!(Feel free to delete both of these.)

  2. Oh – I'm sorry – it's late and I got confused about what photo I had actually uploaded! (the rubbing for luck one will be another day now). We could not stick our hands in the mouth as the church was locked – hence I still have both my hands.

  3. Oh shoot – and I was going to ask if you stuck your hand in its mouth. LOL You have so much excitement around your area! You could get some pretty newsy photos. About the most exciting things that I've seen is some guy defacating in a church yard along the highway and a beggar who needed money to go to Alaska to dig for gold.

  4. They need that for politicians but I suppose they would not only get their salary but disability too. Ha Ha You need to set up a camera and carry one around you would have a very popular as a web TV series Emjays Neighborhood kind of a perverted Mr Rogers you would say here comes Mr drug dealer lets see who is buying today! I need to sleep soon but it sounds like never a dull moment although a "Police Situation" sounds interesting

  5. LOL @ they didn't look like charity fun-run participants. Never a dull day in your hood is there? Good lord! the crawler. Hope he survived. And to drink a bottle another day. (P.S. I too live in an iffy hood. Heard gunshots one night, then witnessed a black dude dashing past. Will never know whether he was the shooter or running to help a homie.)

  6. I dream of travel but alas, it is only a dreamI am grateful to live in a very low crime area. Also, back here in the woods, we have a rather sheltered neighborhood. I like it that way.Hope you are well and safe. ~S

  7. LOL – I might have given that opportunistic beggar some money – you have to be tough to dig for gold in Alaska! I took some photos of a drug deal going down in my alley but it freaked me out a bit so I don't think I would be much good as an under cover photographer.

  8. Ha ha – that's probably true re the politicians! I need a hidden camera like the old candid camera – but with a wireless feed into my computer so that I can stay distanced from all the excitement.

  9. Yeah I know what you mean about gunshots – after awhile you get to be able to tell which are fireworks and which are gunshots. They were intermingled the night Obama won.

  10. I think the statue was originally part of a fountain. It would be interesting to know where the hand "legend" came from. I try to look straight ahead and ignore all the exciting things happening around me LOL.

  11. LOL …. interestingly this area is holding its own in the current slump – prices have dropped but not to the same extent the "better" areas have (of course they were probably way overpriced to begin with).

  12. I try to be aware of what is happening around me without staring it in the face. I would not walk around at night – say later than 7pm in winter. My trip home from work in winter gets me to the metro at 6pm and I'm in the door by 6.10pm. It is getting better though – at least now taxis will come here – drivers have told me that 3 years ago they would not. Never say never – one day you just might travel to where-ever it is that you dream of.

  13. LOL…. I always seem to have a story for the water cooler at work! I get the impression that some of the people in my area are proud of their "outside the law" activities. Perhaps you could set one of your books here – the author George Pelecanos has characters living in my area – even one in my street!!

  14. Yeah we have many of those iffy hoods here in Massachusetts. Sometimes it's crime sometimes it's just weird people who have no social etiquette. Too bad there's not a statue that will tell people how to behave correctly LOL. That would go well in our downtown!

  15. Goodness! I don't think I could live in an iffy hood like that..too scary. (But I love how you italicized the man in policeman. lol)They showed the mouth of truth in some Bollywood movie recently. It was part of the mandatory love scene where boy scares girl by pretending that his hand has been bitten off and the girl flies into his arms.

  16. Our hoods do ring similar. Your comment about how the taxis wouldn't go there a few years ago brings to mind the park half a block from my studio. It wasn't until recently that people could walk through past dusk feeling reasonably safe. It used to be Drug Central, you risked stepping over or god forbid into needles and other encounters with nefarious behaviors. If you walked through at the bewitching hour, you walked really really really fast and still it wasn't fast enough. But the town's *really* cleaned it up, it's now a real pleasure to be there. Not entirely without risk — what park is at night? — still, they town really rose to the occasion (as my town often does) and today you're more likely to step into peanut shells discarded by the squirrels than needles. That's progress!

  17. Yow!!!! (((Emjay)))that's all so scary/odd! I'm from Pennsylvania. give me some money!!Would that work, do you think?I LOVE that picture!~I can't sit here long enough to read all the comments above…so if this is a repeat, I'm sorry …re that statue…I guess you've seen this movie?

  18. We seem to have a "nice" balance of crime and weird .. LOL – which currently outweighs the "normal". I think if we put a statue around here it would get vandalised/stolen….

  19. Sometimes I wish for surburbia……. when I first came here DC was the murder capital of the world (in murders per capita terms)….. I don't think we hold that title anymore. Ergo – we are safer! (But the Washington Post had a story the other day about our murder rate with the rather sobering fact that our murderers are getting much younger which makes them more dangerous!)

  20. Yes I have seen Roman Holiday but I didn't remember that it had the statue in it. I think if you want any of my money, just by asking for it, you have to be inventive with a reason for wanting it. Something totally outlandish which will give me a laugh… generally at 6.30 in the morning I am not expecting anyone to talk to me. LOL.

  21. Oh – you just had to bring up the evil squirrels didn't you? LOL. That does indeed sound like progress though which is good. My council responded to a drug problem here by removing the shrubs the dealers were using to hang their "baggies" in! The house at the back of us which had a crack shack garage has been sold and the new owners are doing a fabulous job cleaning it up which has made our alley much safer.

  22. lol. oh jeez, i'd forgotten about your squirrel thang. removing bushes wasn't an option for this committee, there are very few bushes, mostly the park is home to a variety of trees from around the world cultivated by certain founding park fathers. and the uproar of cutting down these rare trees to clear out the riff-raff would be deafening, it wouldn't happen. mostly city commitment to clean up the park and increased police presence (i see them time to time driving through the park) has shifted the scenery considerably. just goes to show that committed action does provide results …

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