Annotated Guide to 2012


By the time December rolls around, it’s hard to remember November, much less January or February. The daily grind of modern life—experienced 140 characters at a time—is biased toward the present, the more immediate the better. You remember how much you hated those D.C. cab color schemes (unless something else has squeezed into that mental space in the week since they came out); you probably forgot about the push in January to make wheelchair-accessible taxis.

 That’s where our Annotated Guide to 2012 comes in. The year-in-review pieces in national magazines will be filled with the 47 percent and “You didn’t build that” and Carly Rae Jepsen and Apple Maps. But you also spent the last year wondering if people would stop asking whether D.C. is hip (they wouldn’t), whether Mike Daisey’s return to Woolly Mammoth would be in disgrace or triumph (both), if the Wizards would improve this season over last (nope), and whether the D.C. Council could ever learn to stop worrying and love Uber (yes, but only after thousands of emails). You mourned Chuck Brown and Lawrence Guyot and Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson, you elected David Grosso, you listened to Fat Trel, you saw “Song 1.” You didn’t call your neighborhood SoMo (we hope), but you did call your football team playoff-bound (well, we hope).

 So before 2012 retreats into the memory hole, here’s a chance to take a final look back at all that stuff and more. Did we leave anything out? Probably. But don’t worry—a few weeks from now, you’ll barely remember it. —Mike Madden


Anacostia Can you power economic revitalization with arts and culture?


Benoit and Sergio House music's masters of knowing when enough is enough
BlackBerry Overtaken by the iPhone and Android, even in federal Washington
Brauchli, Marcus The man who was forced out of the Washington Post
Brewpubs They're the new brew thing.
Brizill, Dorothy Even a fire couldn't stop D.C.'s good-government watchdog.
Broth From ramen to pho, it was everywhere.
Brown, Chuck He wound us up.
Brown, Sulaimon He was right, after all!
Bubble Busting What is the Hirshhorn Museum up to, exactly?


Certified Business Enterprise A fraud-plagued program that everyone knew about and no one fixed
Charcuterification High-end meat: The leading indicator of high-end real estate
Chef Tourism You say "inauthentic," they say "inspired by."
Chestnuts Playing it safe on local stages
Civil Rights Republicans They are the 12 percent.
Conferential Drift The NCAA's game of musical chairs comes to D.C.
Cooke Jr., Fred The embattled politician’s first call
Corcoran Gallery It's not moving, but its troubles aren’t over.
Crowdfunding The wisdom of crowds comes to business plans.
Curators How art parties took over D.C.


Daisey, Mike After plenty of agony, and not much ecstasy, he returned to Woolly Mammoth.
D.C. as Soap Opera Don't worry, the TV camera always makes you look sleazier.
D.C. Burners The bureaucracy goes to Burning Man.
Democratic National Convention D.C. got no love in Charlotte.
District of Caligula Sometimes a $14 cocktail is just a $14 cocktail.
DIY, Legalized Submerge and its discontents
DIY, R.I.P. Where have all the art spaces gone?
Doughnuts The new, new, new cupcakes


E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse The year in federal investigations
e(merge) Performance artists were the annual gallery fair's stars.
Endless Elections Just keep voting until they tell you to stop.
Everybody Beats the Wiz New uniforms, same results for the local NBA team


Fat Trel D.C.'s hilarious and acid-tongued hip-hop hope
Flooding Rain, rain, go away from Bloomingdale.
Food Truck Lobby To fend off regulations, the upstarts got organized.
Free D.C.? Forget statehood, we'll take budget autonomy.


Gandhi, Natwar District's CFO gets another term, and then heavy scrutiny
Gin Local booze is back.
Grosso, David The first "reform now!" candidate to win a D.C. Council seat, but not the last?
Growlers Beer to go goes big.
Guyot, Lawrence The civil rights veteran became D.C.'s own legendary activist.


Hail to the Pigskins Fight for old D.C.—with a less racist name
Hank's Oyster Bar Jamie Leeds fought the law, and Jamie Leeds won.
Heat Yes, it was hot enough for you.
Hip-Mex Hipsters, meet gourmet tacos.
Hipness What's not cool? Arguing about what is.
Homicides D.C. leaves the murder capital days well behind.
Horse Head Guy D.C.'s own Hurricane Sandy meme
Howard Theatre The "people's theater" returns, with an opulent interior and rock for bearded dudes.
HR-57 The jazz club gets location 3.0.
Huge Tracts of Land Someday, this will all be redeveloped.
Hydrological Locavorism Drink the water—then boast about it


“I Am Go-Go” Kwame Brown's boast at Chuck Brown's funeral
Iago At American Dance Institute, the show must go on, villain or no.
Interstate Marriage Equality Maryland joins D.C. in recognizing gay marriage
Issa, Darrell D.C.'s best friend in Congress?


Jackson, Jimmy “Junebug” D.C.'s jazz scene said goodbye to a beloved drummer.


Lincoln Theatre A grand old U Street NW music palace sits empty.
Liquor Laws Drinking in D.C. gets a little easier.
LivingSocial Today's deal: 10 percent off the company's workforce


Macau on the Potomac National Harbor prepares for casino gambling.
Maxibar José Andrés expands Minibar.
Metro Map Metastization New lines! Rush Plus! New names! Transit cartography gone mad
Miller, Emily A one-woman gun-rights advocate
Mobile Preservation Can't tear a historic building down? Just move it.
Moran, Jason The Kennedy Center's new force for the jazz avant-garde


National Theatre Prime real estate, dark nights
#NATITUDE Tweet, tweet, tweet for the home team
Navy Yard The city's only neighborhood with an ice rink, a trapeze school, and no grocery store


Olympic Fever Keep the Summer Games far, far away.
Our Three Sons D.C. politics: No longer a family affair


Paper Surcharge No SmarTrip? That'll cost you.
Parties, Major Libertarians get a ballot line of their own.
Pepco From derecho goat to Sandy hero, with a little help from low expectations
Pizza Darwinism Survival of the fittest Italian restaurants on 14th Street NW
Playoffs Getting there is half the fun.
Pot Smoke it if you got it.
Prince of Parody Satire goes straight.


Race and the D.C. Council The Wilson Building in black and white
Readymade Spirits On draft or in bottles, cocktails on demand
Red Palace Farewell to an H Street NE music venue
Rieger, Wendy The new Pat Collins?
Riot Act Business disputes just aren't that funny.
Rookies This is Bryce Harper and Robert Griffin III's town—we're just living in it.


School, In Charters: Everyone's doing 'em.
School, Out Can closing buildings help save the system?
Shops, Dirty Asian Excuse us, Marion Barry?
Six Days of the Panda If they can't save themselves, why should we help them?
Sockets Records D.C.’s best indie upstart pulls the plug.
SoMo The SoHo-ization of D.C. neighborhood names
Southwest Can it become Vancouver on the Potomac?
Statehood Visits Vote free or die.
Storytelling Did I ever tell you about the time...
Streetcar Waiting The trolley forecast: delays, then more delays
Swagger-Jacking What we talk about when we talk about U Street


Tech Hub Can D.C.'s economy move beyond the federal government?
Transgender Hate Crimes It isn't getting better.


Uber The official automotive transportation service of myopic little twits?
Union Market Every D.C. foodie trend in one building


Yuppie Hardware Welcome to the golden age of bougie DIY