We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Not much thrives in the unit block of Florida Avenue NW. There’s a crumbling sidewalk, an abandoned lot filled with old car parts and a broken toilet, and several overgrown tree boxes. Amid the blight, in one of the tree boxes, sits a display of red and yellow tulips. They’re cheery, colorful, and—on closer inspection—plastic. Neighbors aren’t sure if they count as an improvement or not. “I guess they’re all right,” says Allen Collins, a longtime resident of the street. “The guy who put them there moved out to Virginia a while ago, but he left them here.” Collins says that he doesn’t much like the flowers himself but isn’t inclined to take the display down. “It’s not my taste, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” he says. “But I don’t know—I don’t know much about plants. Real or fake.” —Sarah Godfrey