Public Nuisance

Not long ago, the Department of Neighborhood Improvement Services stapled this to our house:

"notice of violation"

And, yeah. Ok, fine. It’s entirely possible that we’ve been just the tiniest bit lax with regard to maintaining our curb appeal.

Thing is, though, when you’ve got Homicide House on one side and Flip This Duplex on the other* — not to mention, in-between, all the drunks who like to pass out on the lawn at night and leave their empty, brown-bagged tallboys behind — you start to feel like Martha Stewart by comparison.

Anyway, here are some sample violations that we might have committed:


If you’re having trouble deciphering this poorly xeroxed, crumpled sheet of paper (with no visible phone number), allow me to interpret:

1.) The Grass is Too Damn High! This seems self-explanatory.

2.) Junk Vehicles. Um, do they mean our car? Because we can’t do anything about that.

3.) Indoor Furniture…should be indoors. Fair enough. We did have a couple of wooden chairs sitting outside for a few days while I was sanding and finishing them. But compared to the ripped-up, upholstered couches I see lining a lot of porches around here, many if not all harboring vermin, this still strikes me as a pretty minor offense.

4.) Numberwang. Our house numbers may or may not be regulation size (!!!), even though the previous owners are responsible for this.**

And so we’ve spent many of our off-duty hours tidying up. I think it looks pretty good…but I guess we’ll know for sure when/if the City slaps us with a fine.

*And don’t even get me started on the gang-related graffiti that ornaments nearly every third structure and signpost on our block. (We are, judging by the designs, a Blood neighborhood.)
**I grew up along Rural Route 5 (R.R.#5) in Pennsylvania, which was not initially paved. This was followed by stints in residence halls and apartment complexes, so I wasn’t really aware that this was a thing. But I guess it is.

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