"I recognize that there is a lot of gentrification in DC, but what causes me more stress is how transient this city is. Even where it is not transient, people who come from the outside act like it is. Many of them don't involve themselves locally, which seems disastrous to me. I make an effort to know everyone in my neighborhood.
"I had a friend in from out of town recently and we were in my neighborhood, Mt. Pleasant. A lot of people I knew were out on the street and many came up to me to say hello. Some of them didn't know my name, but had nicknames for me because I am always out and around. One guy calls me Pee Wee. Another guy calls me Dorothy because he says my bike looks like it is from The Wizard of Oz and another guy calls me Hat Man. We stopped about every 15 feet to talk to people. My friend looked at me and asked if I was running for office here. You know, DC is a nice community and it is easy to know a lot of people here.
"I am someone who thinks about my own funeral and how many people will show up. I think if we throw a good buffet, we could get a couple of hundred people from my neighborhood. Even without a buffet, we could probably get at least a couple of dozen. Considering that I don't own anything here: no house, no business and I can't really do anything for anyone here, I found it pretty easy to make inroads into this community by being humane to people here. I also hang out in the same places and order the same things. It makes me a regular and makes life easy for the wait staff. At Tryst, I get double espressos all the time. At the Diner, I get a BLT sandwich with home fries instead of french fries. They don't even ask me anymore. For me, DC is an interesting place. It is a very local place, a very neighborhoody place."