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Monday, April 06, 2015

Former H Street Merchant Seeks Impressions/Experiences of 8th & H

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Photo provided by Jacob Ayubi

Over the weekend I spoke with the owner of 8th&H Furniture & Mattress which formerly occupied the now vacant space next to the Rite Aid on the south west corner of 8th & H (the previous tenant was an athletic shoe store). He told me he had to close the store due largely to harassment of customers and employees by people who loitered on the sidewalks and steps outside the store and all around the general area between the X2 bus stop and the stop for the 90/92 buses. To clarify one point below: the business was an LLC, but Mr. Ayubi, his wife, and his father personally guaranteed the lease (these days it is common for a landlord to require such a personal guarantee). I wanted to share his note in case any of you would like to offer your impressions of 8th & H, or share your stories of the intersection/people sitting on the steps/loitering in area surrounding the store. Frankly, I think a good broader discussion of issues in that immediate area is overdue. Please share in the comments. Those wishing to assist Mr. Ayubi can also email him directly at jacobayubi[at]yahoo.com. The following is his story:


In August 2013 when I opened up my store on H street with the hopes and dreams that every entrepreneur has. I wanted to be successful, I wanted to give my customers a quality product at a great price and I wanted to be a part of the H Street family. Unfortunately immediately after I opened up I realized that there was a problem. My problem was the 10-20 regular loiterers that hung out directly in front and to the side of my store.  There was a lot of drug dealing and drug use. On a daily basis drunk or high people would come into the store and yell at me and my employees. They would threaten us.  They would get in our faces. I sent letters to Lt. Godin and commander Hickson at MPD. They were very receptive to my issues but the police department is seriously outnumbered. There was only so much they could do. I begged my landlord to please help me but they did nothing.  Often times these intimidating men would sit on along the windows sills running down 8th St or on the two front steps leading to our front doors or sit on the railing along the front or on the handicapped ramp to the store.  They would not get out of the way of me or my customers. They made it clear that this was their neighborhood and we weren't welcome. I can tell you countless stories from my seven month pregnant employee being assaulted in the store to my own pregnant wife being intimidated. I opened the store so I could make more money to support my growing family. Just before Christmas 2014 I asked the landlord to terminate my lease. They said that they wanted to work with me but because of the coming holidays they were short staffed and we could reconvene after the holidays.
On January 13, 2014 my wife went into early labor by six weeks. It was a life changing moment. We had our first child, a boy and we named him Benjamin. We call him Benji. With the business costing me about $12,500 out of pocket to run a month it soon became apparent that we couldn't afford daycare and I watched Benji as a stay at home dad and brought him to work with me. The daily barrage of intimidation and not knowing what would happen next really took a toll on all of us but especially my employees. Morale was very low. In November 2014 I finally called it quits. My wife, my father and I personally guaranteed the lease. My wife a fourth grade Fairfax County teacher. My father has worked in conflict zones for pretty much my whole life, I'm 40. My father has been in Afghanistan for the past six years. He turned 65 this past March. He comes home to retire in a couple of months. Right now the landlord is suing us personally for about $100,000. They claim that there are no drug dealers or people under the influence on the corner of H street and 8th street. They claim that men do not sit on my front steps and on the railings and stand along the handicapped ramp or sit along the windows running down 8th street. Also they claim that people do not congregate in front of Rite Aid.
I need help. I'm not asking anyone to make up stories or not tell the truth but I know that there are people who have seen with their own eyes what I'm claiming. If not the abuse that took place inside the store they can probably corroborate my claim that men sit on my front steps. Men sit on the front railings. Men stand in the handicapped ramp. Men sit along the window sills. Men congregate on that corner and they are involved in drug use. Many people in the past told me that they are intimidated by the people that hang out on that corner. I just need some people to corroborate my side of the story. This amount of money that the landlord wants to sue me for will literally ruin me financially for the rest of my life. They will come after my wife. They will come after my dad and his house that he's worked his whole entire life to create. I need help. Can you please help me?  Do you know people that would be willing to help me?   I have until April 14 to send opposing counsel letters/emails from people that can corroborate my story. I'm available to you via phone, email, text or in person. You may forward this email to anyone that you feel might be able to help. Thank you for reading all of this.
Below I've attached a picture of my wife Meghan, my boy Benji and me.
Best Regards,
Jacob Ayubi
http://www.dc-furniture.com

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

ugh. no comment..

Anonymous said...

That's a really horrible corner and for the life of me, I have no idea why it is allowed to continue like this everyday. It really is a cesspool in an otherwise developing area.

Sorry about your business, you should have checked out that corner first. It's always like that and I can't imagine choosing to shop at any place near that intersection. Just full of bad humans.

Anonymous said...

It is a terrible intersection for pedestrians. I will not shop at the Rite Aid as I don't want to deal with the gauntlet of bums hanging around outside. Just being a block away the CVS doesn't have the same problems with people harassing you for money as soon as you exit the store like they do at Rite Aid.

The furniture store was not my style of furniture (more press board stuff instead of wood) but there are too few retail options around. That corner won't see good / sustainable retail until the city decides to finally do something about cleaning it up. Not having a loitering law on the books doesn't serve areas like that well.

Bryce Harper said...

Unfortunately it will take a while before the ratchet factor of that corner is outnumbered by decent folks who just want to go about their business. There is absolutely no excuse for public drunkenness and harassment, no matter who you are or how long you've been here. I am sorry the business owner couldn't make it work.

Anonymous said...

I live around 4th and H, and I sometimes walk down to the other end to meet friends for drinks. Walking past 8th (particularly walking by the crown fried chicken area) always sucks.

It makes me not want to go out alone to meet with my friends for drinks if they are going out on H street, EVEN THOUGH I LIVE OFF H STREET. The walk back just sucks. Yes I could avoid it by walking down I street, but that feels even creepier late at night because it is quiet and dark...

But I've literally had my path blocked and had people harassing me/following me when I walk past that block.

And it's only a few blocks away, so it doesn't warrant taking a cab.

Annoying it's allowed to stay like that...

JohnnyInDC said...

These guys have no right to destroy these businesses by their constant disruptions. I've lived in this neighborhood for nearly 20 years and I cannot think of a single time that I've passed 8th and H Street and NOT seen people loitering there. Rain, snow, sleet, 100-degree heat, day and night. There's always people hanging there. It's gotten so bad that I stopped patronizing any of the H Street Connection businesses because I was tired of wading those all these dudes selling stuff, all these dudes yelling at each other, all the drug and alcohol use, and having to step over all the trash and liquor bottles, despite there being a trash can every 20 feet. It's just out of control and I for one can't wait for the developers to knock this whole block down and start over.

Anonymous said...

Too bad he didn't put cameras outside for evidence :/

Anonymous said...

That's such a terrible intersection and a terrible element that hangs out there. It's a cross-roads for buses that go to a from terrible neighborhoods....the 90s buses and the X2. It's the perfect storm of cross-town bad neighborhood transport.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine you'll have trouble proving there's loitering at 8th and H. Everyone who goes by there sees it. Why not set up a camera now? You should be able to get more than enough footage before the 14th.

Anonymous said...

yes that area is a really bad ugly nexus of sorts.

people loitering, littering, lunatics.

it doesn't seem like the landlord did anything to help you get these people off the property? have you done anything to get them off?

it shouldn't be hard to get evidence. i'd like to see some bum or anyone grab a phone out of my hand while taking a pic of him/her.

for a future business there, i would suggest getting a few respectful bouncers to help out. they would definitely stop people from coming in and harassing anyone. some initial kind respectful asking to get off the property should be used. perhaps handing out some literature on resources for help would be a good idea too.

if the next business, turns out to be a bar/restaurant, don't do what the Queen Vic does: serve them. serving them doesn't do them any favors. they can buy food/beverages much more nutritious than from a bar. plus serving them encourages them to hang out around the area and stinking up the bar while i watch soccer

most of that element is out there during the daytime. a business that operated longer might have better luck. most of the unsightly element is non-violent, but it sucks that their life choices have to mess up other people's lives

Anonymous said...

That corner is a monstrosity. It would be very easy to set up a camping chair and camera across the street on any day to film to very behavior Mr. Ayubi describes. For the landlord to say that doesn't exist is simply disingenuous. Getting off the bus on that corner is being deposited into a sea of shouting, shoving, uncouth humans milling about. When walking H street, that corner is particularly concerning and often requires crossing to the other side of the street. The harassment, screaming, physical altercations between people, lounging all over railings and steps make it incredibly difficult and distasteful to walk along and access the stores adjacent to the 8th and H street intersection. It is easier and seemingly safer to choose other options.

Anonymous said...

Everything the author writes is true. He didn't mention the stink of urine behind the corner businesses (his former one and Rite Aid). I feel sorry for the good businesses in the H Street Connection which suffer because of what is allowed to exist at the corner oh H and 8th NE. When I was looking at buying a condo a couple of blocks away, my then boss drove to to that corner and asked me if I wanted to live two blocks from that. I didn't but I bought anyway. That was in 2002 and not much has changed. I don't think the situation will improve until the H Street Connection is leveled and high end retail/residential use takes over. That will generate enough revenue for private security. In the meantime, take out all seating areas. That will make it harder for the decent people who just want to ride the 90 or 92 bus but will make it harder for the loiterers.

Anonymous said...

The corner is horrible, but why didn't you know that before you signed the lease? I'm assuming that the location should have been taken into account in the lease price. I took the X2 from that stop for years and saw plenty. But all of it is very public and shouldn't surprise anyone who spent even 10 minutes checking out the neighborhood.

I do wish something could be done to clean up that intersection. Why doesn't H Street have a business association that pays folks to clean up? I always see people like this working on Barrack's Row and Mt Vernon Triangle. Even the Bank of America across the street is always gross and covered in litter. The businesses who want a nicer street need to join forces and organize street cleaning and beautification.

Anonymous said...

That corner and the H Street Connection are an absolute blight on the entire area. Its positively disgusting.

Want to improve this block...build this now.

Rappaport Expects H Street Connection Redevelopment in 2016

http://districtsource.com/2014/11/rappaport-expects-h-street-connection-redevelopment-2016/

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that the reason that the landlord didn't help, is that he wants to build something new there.
Supposedly some of the tenants have been getting their leases cancelled.
Don't know how a new structure would get rid of the loitering though.

inked said...

1:17,
Everything in there is coming down. A reader sent me a note the other day indicating that a GameStop employee told me they had to vacate the premises by 12/31/2015. So demolition is coming pretty soon.

What do you mean when you refer to canceled leases?

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a horrifying sequence of events. Yes, this corner has a lot of loitering that absolutely affects businesses. I avoid it as much as possible. I hope this business owner isn't in as dire a situation as it seems-- every business needs an exit strategy that shows exactly "when to call it quits" before such a situation arises. It sounds like the landlord is being a bit unreasonable but it sounds incredible that this business operated for almost another year after the owner clearly determined there were huge monthly losses.

Jacob Ayubi said...

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories. I completely understand your frustrations with the corner of H street and 8th street, and with the shopping center in general. The people that loiter there daily and are involved in illegal activities are in my opinion dangerous people. I've seen three men jump one man and beat him senseless. A woman relentlessly punched and slapped her 3 or 4 year old daughter on the front steps. The police came and arrested the mother because there were obvious signs of the assualt. Drug dealing and drug use were a constant not only outside the store but on a few occasions inside the store. The biggest insult it that the landlord claims that none of this is true. I think if they acknowledge what's going on they'll have to do something about and wouldn't that be great for all of us. I asked them to place security guards in the center but they refused. I appreciate everyone for their input and for speaking out. I really need your help in conveying this message to the landlord. If it wouldn't be too much trouble please email me directly with your thoughts, complaints and concerns regarding the corner, the front of my store, people sitting on my front steps and the center in general. My email is jacobayubi (at) yahoo. Thank you very much.

Jacob Ayubi said...

We spent tens of thousands of dollars just to open up the store. It was because we had personally guaranteed the lease that I tried and tried to make things work. I paid the rent and my empoyees out of pocket. This eventually had to end because I simply ran out of money. That's when I called it quits. I offered the landlord $20,000 but they turned down my offer. Because my dad is a guarantor they want to come after his house. It's just a bad situation. If you want to write me directly and let the landlord know how bad conditions are at the center that would help me out tremendously. Thank you for your time. jacobayubi (at) yahoo

Jacob Ayubi said...

My lease was to end on 12/31/2015 as well. They will be tearing down the center.

Jacob Ayubi said...

One of the draws of doing business on that corner was the bus stops in front and on the side. In late 2012 and early 2013 before signing the lease I did spend a lot of time on H street. I loved it and still do. H street is full of life and fun restaurants. I saw how busy the corner was. Every time the bus dropped off people or people on the bus saw the store it was like free advertisement, so I thought. It was only after I moved in and stripped all of the black paint off of the painted windows (along the 8th street side) did I realize that there were about 20 people who were just regulars on that corner. As an outsider it just looked like a busy bus stop.

I need people to convey to the landlord how awful the center is. If it wouldn't be too much trouble please send me an email jacobayubi (at) yahoo. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Jacob - you should contact the local media, such as Russ Ptacek at WUSA9:
w w w.wusa9.com/local/call-for-action/
w w w.wusa9.com/local/russ-ptacek-investigates/

I've seen his investigations on TV, and this seems like its up his alley. I can imagine it would bring unwanted attention to the shopping center that the landlord wouldn't be able to ignore.

- Resident of Near Northeast

Anonymous said...

That intersection is horrible. I wish that Bank of America took a greater interest in securing that entire area. At times I do not feel safe leaving the Bank as there are always folks harassing and I don't want anyone to assume that I have any cash. I have intentionally avoided that Bank if I knew I needed to withdraw money.

I don't know the answer to clean-up that intersection as long as the 90s and X2 lines meet, but it's not all the bus lines. There are people who hang out there who are not waiting for the buses. It's a miserable and unsafe place and I do not understand how or why anyone would open a business at that intersection.

Jacob Ayubi said...

Dear neighbor,
If it wouldn't be too much trouble please email me with your thoughts about the center, the corner, the front of my store and the property directly in front of the rite aid doors. A few minutes of your time would greatly help me. Thank you very much. Jacobayubi (at) Yahoo.

Jacob Ayubi said...

Hi Bryce,
I think the once they tear down the center and build a new center it will greatly improve the neighborhood. I don't think you guys will have to wait too much longer.

If it wouldn't be too much trouble would you please send me an email regarding the center, my corner and the front of my store? Your email could help me tremendously. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you. Jacobayubi (at) Yahoo dot com.

Jacob Ayubi said...

Dear Neighbor,
Thank you for sharing your story. I really need people to send me direct emails so I can convey your concerns to the landlord. As I mentioned before they reject that there are problems at the center. If it wouldn't be too much trouble please send me an email jacobayubi (at) YAHOO. Thank you very much.

poo poo said...

i refuse to walk past a block in each direction of 8th and H. i have only had bad experiences there. the last time was some guy trying to sell me "candy for the white boy" (baggies of crack). i ignored him and kept walking, and he followed me, aggressively mocking me and becoming belligerent. i see people sitting around the establishments there all the time - including the store when it was there. maybe the guy suing you is part of the ring of thieves and dealers and drunks that plague that place! either that, or they are so used to it they just don't see it or care. i say they must be part of the problem. that area is crazy. i even parked my motorcycle outside the rite aid, and came out only to find some kids crouched down and looking at the wiring and jiggling the lock on the wheel. i can only assume that it remains this way, because key folks let it stay that way, probably because it's their "normal". they enable it because they grew up that way, and that's all they know, and that's just fine. i feel for the owner. sucks that someone took a risk to try and make the place a productive area, only to be outnumbered by negative elements, and then sued. there's something terribly wrong with people that are fine with that situation. again, i lump them in with the problem that plagues 8th and H.

Anonymous said...

I didn't even realize the business shut down because it's surround by the plague of loiterers and worthless people. enough is enough. This is a good topic for the next anc meeting.

Anonymous said...

Who are they and where do they come from? When you want to clean vermin out you must find the nest and the food source first.

Are you sure this isnt just one class of people looking down their noses on another class that do not have the same opportunities or luxuries as the new people who just moved in? Folks been living here since H street burnt down and no one cared until now?

Jacob Ayubi said...

Dear Resident,
Thank you very much for the information. I think your idea is brilliant. I will contact Mr. Ptacek. I think landlords should provide a safe area for their tenants and for the customers visiting their centers.

Jacob Ayubi said...

Hi Johnny,
In the past 20 years you must have seen lots of changes. I think things are slowly getting better. You're right though once they tear that center down and rebuild it will make a huge difference for H street. I'm very excited for the whole community. I fell in love with H street but I just picked the wrong place to open a business. As I had mentioned before I did scout out that location for months. This gave me a good reason to eat at all of the restaurants ;-). As an outsider looking at that corner I didn't realize that those 20-30 troublemakers were the same people day after day, to me it just looked like a busy bus stop. Only later did I realize. It was too late. If you could please write me an email regarding the people blocking my entrance and the people sitting along my windows and the people blocking the Rite Aid entrance that would help me out tremendously. Obviously this center is a sore spot for many people. Let's make sure future landlords pay for private security so we can live in peace. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. I do appreciate you very much.

Jacob Ayubi said...

My email is JACOBAYUBI (at) YAHOO. Thanks again.

Jacob Ayubi said...

I actually ran out of money. :-/

Jacob Ayubi said...

Usually bus stops are great because they drop people off directly in front of your store but this one was obviously a bit different. I didn't realize that people were using it as cover to conduct criminal activity. If you have time please send me an email in regards to the center and the people standing in front of my store or along the side or sitting on my front steps. I need eyewitness. Your help would be greatly appreciate. Send to: jacobayubi (at) yahoo

Jacob Ayubi said...

That's a great idea. Would you be willing to send me an email telling me your thoughts about the center? It would help me out tremendously. Thanks.

Jacobayubi (at) yahoo dot com

Jacob Ayubi said...

Dear Friend,
I agree with you in that the landlord does not care and they don't acknowledge the problem because then they'll have to take responsibility like hiring security guards. Please send me an email explaining your discontent with the center. Your voice matters. If we stand up to slumlords then in the future they'll know better not to let their shopping centers "go" in the future. How else will they know? Let's make them care. Email me: jacobayubi (at) yahoo. Thank you very much.

Jacob Ayubi said...

Hi,
I did hire a door guy. He was a local from the community and everyone knew him. He would have to ask people to get up off the front steps every 10 minutes. That was his job. He was kind and respectful and it worked for about 2 weeks and then they ignored him and called him names like "traitor" and "uncle". This made him irate and now I had even more problems. I had to let him go before he hurt someone or someone hurt him.

If you have time please write me an email explaining how you feel about the center and the front and sides of my store. The landlord denies that we have problems there. Email me please.

Jacobayubi (at) yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

This corner has been a issue for 15 years I lived in the neighborhood. The people are aggressive & rude. For the record I don't turn my nose up at anyone. Many hanging at that corner are not part of the community. There are plenty of areas where people hang out on H Street but the public urination, swearing at people, fighting, & some refuse to step to the side even when you say excuse me is the worse there. Go sit for 2 days & record everything that happens on that corner with a cell phone. You will have enough footage. Get statements from the other shop owners who have not closed.

Tom said...

I think the commenters are slightly overreacting here. That corner isn't all bad. For starters, it is a great place to go shopping for all of your incense and body oil needs. Also, while I too detest going into the Rite AId, luckily many street entrepreneurs will rob the Rite Aid for you and sell deodorants, socks, hats, gloves, shampoo, and other necessities at deep discounts. It is also a great place to take a piss, pick up a hooker, and score some drugs. If you're lucky, you can do all three transactions with the same vagrant. Finally, the X2 stop at H and 8th is actually free! It is the only bus stop like it on this side of the Anacostia. All you need to do is swipe an empty SmarTrip card, and when the bus makes a weird buzzing sound, that means you can ride for free. I see folks take advantage of this great perk everyday. So, all in all, the corner offers a lot of local, trash-to-table retail we all claim we want. I bet y'all look at the corner differently now that I pointed out the positives.

pat said...

I've been living on Benning Road since 2011,
I go out routinely on H St but I hate going to that strip mall. Been there twice and it just radiates trouble
and bad karma.

Went to the Subway there, with my business partner, he's 53, 6'1 in great shape, I'm 5'9 and i was convinced that several of the men hanging out on outside the rite-aid wanted to assault me.

Also wanted to use the ATM at the BofA before it shut down, and was pretty sure that would be the start to a robbery, so i skipped it.

I won't go to the Rite-Aid there, I prefer
going to the Wallgreens in china town or the Safeway.

Anonymous said...

I'll say one thing for the 8th & H NE intersection: If I want frank commentary on the perkiness of my breasts or the shape of my ass, those guys *always* deliver. Literally always. I never have to worry to myself "Jeez, I wonder if I have nice big ol' titties" or concern myself on whether or not my ass is sufficiently "juicy" with those fine fellows hanging around. Sometimes I offer them frank assessments of their own appearances by way of fair exchange, but they don't seem to appreciate it very much.

Anonymous said...

we don't have to put up w/ this harassmant on that corner. we have the number now. there are far more decent people avoiding this corner than there are those loittering on this corner. if you see someone harassed, stand up for your decent, hard working at a legal job, respectful neighbors. i'll do the same for you

Doug said...

Jacob,

You knew these loiterers were there when you opened your business. You took a risk and you signed and guaranteed the lease anyway. How do you figure you are not responsible to pay he money?

pat said...

A tenant controls the inside of the property, the landlord controls the outside, particularly the parking lot.

The landlord has allowed some fairly rough characters to hang around. The Autozone had this problem, they hired a uniformed cop who keeps trouble out.

The access steps are the landlords issue.

Anonymous said...

As AA male, i seriously do understand the comments here. I've lived in the area for about 5 years now. I walk by that intersection daily. I've never had any problem with any one. In a lot of ways, H&8th is 'downtown SE' the buses coming from SE drop off alot of passengers, not to mention passengers transferring buses, the public services office is a block away too. What are yall really expecting? H st isnt where 'you' people want it yet. I hate hearing these stories how scared yall are of the people. Do you even try to say hello, be cordial, or something????

Anonymous said...

As EA male, let me tell you something. Your ghetto friends standing on the corner there are RACISTs and SEXISTs. They don't bother you because you are an AA male.

Anonymous said...

i don't understand how this is the landlord's responsibility. If you see illegal activity, call the police.

Annoyingmous said...

Anon 2:34pm -- I'm confused. It seems like you're suggesting that the appropriate response to someone telling you that your tits look hot, or someone trying to sell you drugs, or (to bring it back to the original issue) someone coming into your store and harassing/threatening your employees, is to be more friendly? Really?

pat said...

"I hate hearing these stories how scared yall are of the people."

Considering i was at that corner walking home
late one evening, and suddenly some disheveled
african american man saw me from across the street saw me and started charging across the street at me,
i took off running and he took to chasing me until i guess he ran out of steam.

So, i mean maybe he saw me drop my wallet, and wanted to alert me, but, i suspect he wanted to relieve me of my wallet.

Anonymous said...

@2:34,

As a fellow AA male -- you know damn well what these white and other folks are talking about. Face it, we have a serious coonery and baffoonery problem at 8th and H. These folks aren't do us any favors, so let's not bother defending their behavior or trying to sugar coat its effect on the neighborhood. It will be a fine day indeed when the Connection is no' mo'. This black man will be dancing a jigg when that day comes and all the ants go scurrying somewhere else. They need to take their trifling asses back to SE. Sad thing is, most of these cats don't know wants coming. C'mon Rappaport, hurry up and put that whole in the ground!!!

Anonymous said...

Been here 12 years; That corner is a lot better than it used to be. Sure it's still 'old NE', but at least there's no 'preacher' telling all the children that I'm the "White Devil". I mean sure, God hates me because I'm white, that's a given. But the kids are smart enough to figure it out on their own these days, right?
Really, It's not like this is 'my' neighborhood. All I did was buy a house here and restore it to it's former glory. But let's face facts people: a neighborhood isn't really 'yours' until you care enough to burn it down.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me why these folks scream at each other from across the street or even when they are close enough to have a private discussion?

I notice most are btw 40-60 some even have canes, walkers they are the chocolatte in this chocolate city another 20 years no one will even remember their or mine silly ass

Daniel said...

@jacob:

I think you should seek legal counsel. Grab a video camera and video tape activity. Have you explored this route? I think many may be eager to have their name involved in a potentially messy legal situation and are hesitant to email you directly about their stories. This is clearly a unpleasant corner and no one lacks stories. I think they lack a good reason; the landlord is being unreasonable and I think people doubt that any amount of stories will change the landlords mind. The landlord knows exactly what they are doing and are simply trying to squeeze people for money until they can tear that "mall" down. Best of luck-sorry to hear you are in this situation.

heyktb said...

I bought several pieces of furniture from this store when if first opened. The owners were kind, eager to please, polite and genuinely excited about becoming an addition to our neighborhood. I was certainly psyched to have some legit retail on the block. I was concerned for their safety however when I heard racial/xenophobic slurs directed their way. I'm used to being called a cracker bitch when I walk by that corner. Much as it used to really bother me, and often still does, I am somewhat immune to it by now. But to hear those awful things said to this family was horrible. The assholes that hang out on that corner are total deadbeats, degenerates and douchebags.

Anonymous said...

Right, that's white privilege for you. You think just because you move in somewhere, everyone who's been there many years before you are supposed to change their ways and go away. And just like an uncle Tom (Anonymous Apr 7, 2015, 7:14:00 PM) to be embarrassed by the actions of other blacks whom you don't even know because they make some uppity white gentrifiers feel uncomfortable.

I agree that Ayubi knew what he was getting into when you signed the lease. If you can't make money on a busy corner, you don't deserve to be in business.