Bienvenidos to mi barrio!
“Paul, I’m not going to live in this sketchy neighborhood!”
“It’s a great neighborhood, honey. You just need to be a little patient.”
“I don’t want to be fucking patient Paul! I don’t want to live in this god-damned neighborhood!”
In the last several years I have seen many couples make it into my lovely barrio of Columbia Heights. Yes, it is mine. Many have stayed and have come to love the “eccentricities” that come with life in the ghetto. El Guapo welcomes them.
I welcome their Burberry coats, grey Volvos, and Asian babies. Mi barrio is not so bad once you give it a chance.
That man laying on the grassy part of the sidewalk? That’s Paco. Don’t mind him. He’s just resting his eyes after a hard night of drinking. He will wake up in the morning and call you an expletive when you walk by. In time you will smile, shake your head and say: Oh, that crazy Paco. Where will he pass out next?
That tall woman who wears short skirts in the middle of the winter? That’s not a woman my Chanel wearing friend. That’s one of our local transvestites. They mean you no harm. If you’re lucky, she will comment about how she can handle your husband in ways he has only dreamed. In time you will say: Oh that crazy local transvestite. What will she say next?
Are you thirsty after a long day of house hunting in a city that has priced almost todo el mundo out of the trendy areas? Don’t worry my friends. In Columbia Heights there are two liquor stores on every block. You will soon find your palate adapting to the many varieties of malt liquor. Just don’t think you’ll be able to buy a single beer in our neighborhood. Our very own Adrian Fenty made sure of this. He felt it was better for alcoholics to buy 6 beers instead of just one. Gracias Adrian Fenty!
Are you curious about the “Fuck YU” that is spray painted on the wall and the sidewalk? No te preocupes con eso. That is just the way the neighborhood kids welcome you to their neighborhood. Your tax dollars will go towards funding the area schools. Who knows? With your help, in five years, that welcome message may just be spelled correctly.
Pupusas? What is a pupusa? The pupusa is a gourmet delight that is sure to make you forget that low carb diet that is constipating you. Remember Paco? Did you see his mustache? Do you think that his mustache would be so shiny if it weren’t for the $1 pupusas he eats daily? Claro que no! You can have a complete meal of delicious Central American cuisine for far less than you pay for that Starbucks in your hand.
No, that isn’t a cat silly gringo! That’s a rat! Yes, of course you can feed it. Just please don’t give them any soda. The 1968 riots are rumored to have been started by a couple of hyperactive rats. You’ll get used to them. Are you wondering why the rats in Dupont aren’t as big and shiny? Three syllable word. Rhymes with Mumusa. Give up? Si, these rats eat the leftover pupusas. The one you just saw knocking over a Geo Metro with its tail can do tricks for food.
That noise you hear? That’s called Reggaeton. In time, you will be able to fall asleep to the peaceful chants of Daddy Yankee, Orishas, and Don Omar. A ella le gusta la gasolina. Do not worry. We turn the boom boxes off around 3 AM.
El Guapo welcomes you to the neighborhood of Columbia Heights! Bienvenidos. If you have any questions regarding ghetto/barrio/favela living, please do not hesitate to e-mail me directly.