It's kind of scary to be in the area when something goes down.
My drive home involves several blocks of 1st NW in Washington -- while it certainly isn't the roughest part of town or even close to it, the liquor store on the corner is directly across the street from a park where people pass the day hanging around, the practice football field for a school that used to be open on that street is now often populated by men trying to grab a few zzz's in the grass, and the police presence is strong. It is rapidly changing as young couples and condo developers are descending on the gorgeous, historic row houses (there is now a coffee shop with wi-fi and a bodega that was recommended for its paninis in an article in the Washington Post describing a perfect tour of DC on a Segway), but it still appears a little unsteady.
The trip down this street is usually uneventful. Sometimes it's fun -- I once saw two neighbors chatting over a fence, passing flowers from their window boxes to one another. Sometimes it's comical -- I once saw a woman sitting in a wheelchair use the cane she was carrying to pop the guy who was pushing her in the head. Sometimes it's poingant -- I once saw a man sitting in the sunshine on a low wall early Saturday morning, who I would bet didn't have a home to go to the night before, pause and stare off thoughtfully with a look I would recognize anywhere as someone trying to think of an answer to a crossword puzzle clue. Sometime's it's redundant -- I once had a woman tap on my car window asking for money, less than politely, 'cause she was pregnant; the same woman had done the same thing 5 times before over the last 2 years with no sign of being pregnant or having babies. And sometimes, like today, it's a little scary.
I was sitting at a red light across from said liquor store and park when what seemed like out of nowhere 1 marked police car and 3 unmarked cars pulled onto the sidewalk on either side of street. Vic and Shane got out and put a couple of guys against the hoods of their cars. A few people who had been standing around took off. The light turned green. I went through the intersection and held my breath that all would stay cool. It did.
Imagine what it would have been like on a Segway.
The photo is from here