Live in D.C. long enough and you notice how many Washingtonians consider themselves experts on the District. Read the online comments on a Washington City Paper article, and you notice that dynamic just about instantly.
Our readers frequently have intelligent, illuminating, counterintuitive (and, OK, sometimes infuriating) reactions to our work. It’s in that spirit that once a year we put them in the assignment editor’s chair. Last fall, we solicited their queries about life in the District—and were relieved to discover our readers still find D.C. mysterious. They asked questions about the politics of so-called “speakeasies,” the vagaries of gentrification, the city’s historical dearth of mafiosos, and the catchiest D.C. anthem you’ve never heard. Lots of readers wondered about the District’s physical quirks—a long-abandoned building, a nonsensical address, and a set of curious holes in the ground—while others, understandably, had questions about political ethics and transparency.
In the end, we picked our favorite 27 questions. Welcome to the Answers Issue.