Tambourines and Elephants

It's not all crackheads and dealers wandering the streets and alleys of Capitol Hill.

We sit on a Sunday morning at the table in our "dining room" (what was once the house's front porch, until it was walled in and given tiny windows in the '70s), eating pancakes and watching the world go by.

A smarmy-looking middle-aged man pulls to the curb across the street in a school-bus-yellow Porsche to let out a woman half his age. The walk of shame, Emily astutely observes. She's clearly dressed in last night's clothes, and she's asked Porsche-man to let her off somewhere near her home, but not exactly in front of it. As he drives away, she walks off down the block, eyes on the sidewalk.

An mixed-bag assortment of six strange looking people squeeze into a tiny sedan and drive away.

People park their cars right in front of the "NO PARKING ANYTIME" signs, perhaps assuming that the unwritten fine print on the sign says, "...unless you really want to." I consider calling out the window to tell them that they'll be towed if they leave their cars there, but decide that I'd rather just leave them to their fate if they're dumb enough to park right in front of the "NO PARKING ANYTIME" sign.

A group of men who don't appear to have had any close association with a bar of soap in quite some time shamble down the street, one of them screaming, "Fuck you man! Fuck that shit!" and other Algonquin-Round-Table-worthy bons mot. Emily, continuing to be an astute observer of life outside our window, says, "Hey, look, a meeting of the minds!"

The crackheads do remain quite a presence. We were awakened at 7:30 this morning by a pair plying their trade not five steps from our bedroom window. "Hey," Emily says, yelling out the window and deploying our usual refrain, "this is private property!" I somewhat less than amused at this disruption of our pleasant Sunday morning lie-in, take a different tack. "Get the fuck out of here! I'm calling the cops next time!"

However, our efforts and those of our neighbors do seem to be making a difference. Emily watched a cop searching one of the Local Businessmen (or perhaps one of the Loyal Clientelle; it's often difficult to tell the difference) and telling him, "Don't hang out on this block anymore!" The police presence in the past few weeks has definitely been higher (so to speak).

The cops, overworked as ever, told our landlords that their basic plan is to keep pushing the Local Businessmen east along Colfax Ave. until they're in Aurora. Then, I suppose, it's Aurora's problem. Hardly an ideal solution, but probably the best we're going to get right now. On a philosophical level, I'm all for a real, meaningful solution to the drug problem. On a more practical level, I'd just like to have the drug problem not occurring in my front yard.