Last Saturday morning, I volunteered with the ULI Young Leaders group to help clean up the NoMa BID. Good chance to network, get in some much needed community service and see a new part of town. I thought we would be painting under New York Avenue to make way for an art installation. Not sure where I got that idea, but wow was I in for a surprise.
After a brief introduction by Liz Price about how much the area has changed (seriously, this is no joke. If you haven’t been to NoMa recently, you won’t recognize it), she told us that ULI was given 3-4 different projects to choose from and “we” chose the hardest and dirtiest. “How is painting that dirty?” I thought. Ha!
To get to the heart of it, we were shoveling trash behind the Florida Avenue Market. Pounds and heaps of trash. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was mostly residential trash – some left from the homeless, some from the self-storage place located conveniently above the site, and some from VA and MD! Who knew people would drive to the District to dump their junk?
And to look at the photos you would think that this place had never been cleaned – oh, no – as recent as last year they did the same clean up. And by “they” I mean the awesome and hardworking folks at DPW whose job it is to clean this junk up throughout the city all day, every day. This post goes out to you, guys. I was in pain for the next two days and smelled like garbage. Just looking at these photos bring a very real stench to my nose. Never have I been so thankful for my desk job, and so thankful that these hardworkers were willing to do this for all the idiots that dump their trash where it doesn’t belong.
I’ll let the photos say the rest…