‘Twas the night before Christmas. The temperature outside was 64 degrees, but inside the old buildings where units lack controllable thermostats and cooks were busy preparing side dishes for the next day’s meal, it was hot as h#*l. The uncommonly warm December weather forced many residents to run their air conditioners. Ahhh!
But wouldn’t you know it, someone was not feeling the holiday spirit. A grinch stole one of the packages left by UPS in Building ’28. Another (or perhaps the same grinch) vandalized one of the Christmas ornaments in the lobby. It’s too bad that some people are so miserable in their life that they could care less about spoiling the joy for everyone else.
You would hardly know that it’s the Christmas Season because the weather has been warmer than milk left out for Santa. As in years past, building 5928 is the first to put up Christmas decorations. Lights in the lobby, colorful garland wrapping the handrails, and even bells and bows outside the building entrance. Inquiring minds want to know — will the lobbies in the other two buildings remain as naked as a Kardashian on a magazine cover or will some creative residents volunteer to decorate the doors?
Several years ago, and for a few years, FGC held a contest with prizes going to the residents who best-decorated their unit door. Recognition was also given to the building that had the most outstanding lobby door. Many residents eagerly participated in the contests and competed for the cash prizes. The event was ultimately discontinued, but the tradition of decorating unit doors remains. If there were to be a prize given for the first door decorated each year at Christmastime, it would likely go to Hazel Williams — the “First Lady Door Decorator at FGC.” Pictured on the right is her colorful door this year.
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Never let it be said that FGC is not keeping up with the times. The June blog post showed a list of upgrades being made on the property. The following changes can now be checked off the to-do list:
If there is truth to the timeworn cliche that says “All good things must come to an end” then the reality is that Florian Gardens has seen better days.
In previous posts, I’ve mentioned how our cooperative has changed over the last decade. Most of our members, especially the long-timers who have been here since the beginning, are law-abiding citizens, and we all maintain camaraderie. But some — and I emphasize some — of the newer members do not display that neighborliness. What’s worse they are bringing in people to stay with them who exhibit the kind of unacceptable behavior that ruins communities and lowers property values. For example, last week the police were called three times to the same building for disturbances created by someone staying with a member.
While the board of directors does its best to screen applicants and accept into membership those who we feel will reflect positively on our community and respect our property, there is only so much that can be done without the cooperation of all residents. Background checks, police reports, and references from employers and former landlords may help validate the character of potential members, but unfortunately, even the most vigilant effort is not foolproof.
Formerly, FGC was a place where nearly everyone knew everyone else. We especially knew the people living within our building, but that is no longer the case. Unfortunately, some of the unauthorized tenants show blatant disregard for the co-op by ignoring the rules. And while landlord-tenant court makes it difficult – but not impossible – to remove members who are continuously behind on their carrying charges, the board will pursue every legal recourse against residents who disregard parking, sub-leasing, and other regulations. Our mission is to ensure that co-op rules are enforced and that our property values do not decreased due to negligence and criminal activity.
In the coming months, several significant improvements will be made or are already underway to improve the appearance and security of our property. Some of those changes are:
New reflective signs will be installed to replace the old signage on each building and elsewhere.
Exterior lighting will be improved and increased throughout the property including in the driveway, parking/dumpster area, and near the gate
A cameras surveillance system will be installed on the property with cameras strategically placed at each lobby door, in the laundry rooms and where needed
Emergency LED lights will replace existing incandescent exit and emergency light fixtures in each building
Comcast will fix the cable boxes on all three buildings and (hopefully) will eliminate the exposed wiring that hangs outside the boxes
Larger trash dumpsters will replace the existing dumpsters and the dumpster area will be revamped
A wrought iron fence, similar to the one on 9th Street will be installed to border the parking area
The parking area will be repaved
A new roof was installed on ’28 and new downspouts are soon to follow
Laundry rooms will also receive a facelift
In the meantime, here is a head-shaker tip: According to a recent NBC news report, in order to afford a home in DC one must be earning an income of at least $78,503.56.
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