Best Street Closure

17th and K Streets NW, Nov. 24, 2009
A man stands on top of his white van parked smack in the middle of 17th and K Streets, with lighted Molotov cocktails in hand and signs demanding justice and my $200 million dollars. That was the scene on one eventful afternoon last November—when, finally, traffic halted for something more exciting than an abandoned package. Kyung Song Kil provided postprandial entertainment from his van, as media, police, fire, and rescue personnel swarmed the scene. It was better than a drug bust: Kil lit the rags he’d stuffed in beer bottles, throwing them onto the street. When it appeared that police had convinced Kil to come down, the crowd booed, urging him to return to his perch. The standoff lasted a little more than a half-hour before firefighters arrived with a stepladder, convincing Kil to come down from his rented Econoline platform. He didn’t say much. Kil was arrested and charged with weapons possession; his case is pending.