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Garbage collection and businesses affected by government shutdown

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WASHINGTON, DC -

Washington today is a tale of two cites: at Farragut Square in Northwest life seems pretty good. Many K streeters hitting up the food trucks, taking advantage of this sunny Friday afternoon.

But down along the Mall, around most of the federal buildings, near all the museums - it's a different story.

"It looks like a Ghost Town here," says Laphena Westray, a Department of Energy employee still on the job. "No tourists. You look out the window where I work nobody's walking around. I just hope they come to a resolve quickly."

Take a closer look and you'll see garbage piling up. DC Mayor Vincent Gray today saying city trash collectors would start picking up litter in some federal parks. And you can forget about finding an unlocked bathroom anywhere near the closed monuments and memorials.

"And unfortunately people are using the corners of the restrooms (to relieve themselves) like right by the doors," says Nyla Pipes, visiting from Florida. "It's really disgusting. People are desperate."

As for businesses impacted by the government shutdown, there are too many to name. But at La Plaza, a Mexican and Salvadoran restaurant on Capitol Hill, the lunchtime was a dud.

"I have kids, I have family and my business is slow going," says restaurant owner Henry Mendoza. "I mean, who's going to take care of us?"

Mendoza says this is about as bad as he's seen it in the 12 years he's been serving hot meals on Pennsylvania Ave Southeast.

"It's going like downhill," he tells us. "We have to do something."

Fox 5 News has been hearing all kinds of stories of hardship caused by the government shutdown. From barber shop owners to car dealers. Here in the city and out in the suburbs.

Imagine trying to feed your family with the proceeds from a business like a food or clothing cart parked near a federal building with few workers inside.

"Not that much happening," says Frank Lloyd, who says he's operated his African-themed clothing cart on Capitol Hill for nearly 30 years. With not a single customer to attend to, Lloyd was sitting in his van parked nearby. "So we just have to deal with the consequences."

Which are growing even by the hour.


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