Thursday, June 28, 2007

Detention center or domicile?

Bars, bars, bars, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

It is quite common to see bars on basement windows. This I can understand. But what is up with bars over every single visible window. I realize I am judging. I don't like to judge. But seriously, it looks awful. And worst of all, it makes the neighborhood look awful. Just like the bullet proof glass at our bodegas makes it look like we live in some kind of war zone. So I ask you: is this necessary? What about a simple alarm system or dog? I'm telling you, these pretzels are making me thirsty!


oden said...

The answer is "no" it is not necessary to have bars. It's a state of mind. The house we just bought on 3rd Street is going to lose it's bars and gain a somewhat confused watchdog. If a determined thief wants in, he (or she) is gonna get in. Buy a dog (a real dog, not a pocket dog), they are 10 times better than bars and they scare off salesman and rotten little children too. ;)

Regarding the bulletproof glass at the quickie marts... THAT really makes me laugh. Back in Houston the riskiest job in town is a quickie mart gig, and even though a dozen quickie mart attendants get shot dead every year (in a good year), you never see that useless glass. If i'ma gonna shoot you dead I think I can manage to reach through the little door and shoot you, bust down the flimsy access door and shoot you, or just wait outside and shoot you later because you made me so mad you wouldn't let me shoot you in the first place.

I think a lot of people in DC still live in the mind set of the '90's when things were really crazy. They are no different from my relatives who, no matter what statistics and facts I tell them, still think DC is the most dangerous place to live in the world. Compared to places like Philly and New Orleans, DC is like Mayberry (well, maybe a little more interesting). Back home in Houston, now 2nd only to Philly for murder rate in large metros, I was more likely to get shot in the head for my car or my wallet, statistically speaking, since stranger-on-stranger homicide is less likely here in DC, but my mother still is frightened I'll be murdered walking down the street here. Some perceptions are just very strong.

I'll trade petty crime (and firecrackers) any day over being executed for my stuff which happens with frightening regularity in cities like Houston and New Orleans these days. Who knows how long it'll take for DC to shed the "murder capital" image... god knows that cities like New Orleans are trying hard to take the crown.

Lindsay said...

Smaller dogs are still "real" watchdog options, I would just like to add. To my neighbor's dismay, I am sure, my two dachshunds raise quite the ruckus on anyone who steps foot on our property or even walks past our house. And I know a lot of folks with bigger dogs (labs, etc) who would just as soon lick someone to death than rip their leg off.

oden said...

Dachshunds are better than bars, but what's their barking like? The Somewhat Confused Watchdog is a sight hound mix and has a great hound-like WOOF, even though she'd be scared of your Dachshunds. She also barks at anything coming within 10 yards of her door. I guess some dogs won't bark at people coming to the door or window, but won't most of them? I dunno, I don't have a lot of dog experience.

Anonymous said...

where i'm from (miami)....bars on windows are totally acceptable and not a representation of the crime in the neighborhood, just the owner's comfort level/paranoia. when you drive through a middle-class neighborhood in miami, about every other house has bars.

just interesting to see the differences in cities. when i see bars here in dc, i automatically assume the area WAS or IS a little shady. not saying that's right, but that's my reaction.