City Desk

Chatter: Maxi Rads

cover-issue1877-lgWhat you said about what we said last week

The District Sentinel’s Sam Knight paid City Paper Arts Editor Matt Cohen the highest compliment in a comment on last week’s cover story on D.C. punk band The Max Levine Ensemble. “Jesus I feel like I’m about to get high in the woods before physics class,” he tweeted. “this @wcp story on the max levine ensemble is takin me back.”

The good feelings continued on the D.C. subreddit. Yling reminisced: “I remember the first time I saw TMLE at St. Stephen’s in Columbia Heights. They were my first introduction to the DC music scene. Certainly, their music is not for everyone, but they genuinely seemed like nice guys and this article seems to confirm that.” Pancakeseh offered a suggestion for newbies: “These guys are the best. Super smart guys who are in it for the people and the music. Check em out if you haven’t yet, Ok smartypants is a good album to get their ‘gist’.” Even comments that weren’t completely complimentary ended on a positive note. “the sound grew on me, still not my favorites, but they’re so much fun live i don’t actually care,” trashpile wrote.

Gumburcules’ Reddit comment began innocently enough—“Wow, of all the high school punk bands I used to go see in, well, high school, the Max Levine Ensemble was one of the last I would have expected to last this long. Good on them though. Someone’s gotta keep punk in DC alive”—before it turned into a surprisingly heartwarming allegation: “Also I am pretty sure [bass player] Ben Epstein’s brother used to threaten to beat me up in elementary school, but he never got around to it. I don’t think his heart was really into bullying.”

Department of Corrections

Last week’s City Lights pick for Saturday featured an incorrect spelling of musician Suz Slezak’s name. In addition, Swings’ first album, Detergent Hymns, was inadvertently called Divergent Hymns in a Discography column.

MPD: Officers’ Conduct Was ‘Necessary and Reasonable’ During Detainment of Black Teens


An internal review released by the Metropolitan Police Department today finds that officers' use of force to detain teenagers Jason Goolsby and Michael Brown was appropriate.

The 55-page, partially redacted review, as first reported by the Washington Post, concludes that the officers' stop-and-frisk complied with MPD policy and was "reasonably necessary to bring [the] situation under control." Officers detained the teens after responding to a fear of robbery call at a CitiBank on Pennsylvania Avenue SE on Oct. 12; part of the incident was recorded by Brown and went viral on social media.

A march in Goolsby's name was held the day after the incident became public. Attorneys for the pair organized a press conference two days later, saying Goolsby and Brown were detained because they are black. (The firm representing them declined to comment to the Post on the report today, pending review.)

Read more MPD: Officers’ Conduct Was ‘Necessary and Reasonable’ During Detainment of Black Teens

Buy D.C.: Thanksgiving Warmth

Each week, Buy D.C. will highlight shops and items you can only find in the D.C. area. It's curated by Kaarin Vembar, fashion and beauty writer, and co-host of the ​Pop Fashion​ podcast.


Fall for It

Celebrate the season by sharing a warm cup of joe with friends. Autumn blend coffee, $13.99. Compass Coffee. 1535 7th St. NW. (202) 251-7402


Out of Pocket

This petite, nutmeg-colored wallet will keep your sundry items all in one place. Matine Prima mini wallet, $35. Cherry Blossom Workshop. 2128 8th St. NW. (202) 319-2979


Mull It Over

This blend of spices includes cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel. Put it on the stove with some cider and enjoy the added bonus of a sweet-smelling kitchen. Mulling spices, $8.50. Each Peach. 3068 Mt. Pleasant St. NW. (202) 525-1725


Wrap It Up

A fleece scarf will add a layer of warmth as you brave blustery days. Fleece scarf, $1.89. Dollar Star. 3129 Mt. Pleasant St. NW. (202) 462-7900


Snug as a Bug

Keep your baby close with this machine-washable wrap that encourages bonding between child and adult. Moby wrap, $47.96. Dawn Price Baby. 325 7th St. SE. (202) 543-2920

Dozens Planning to Fast at H Street Walmart on Black Friday as Protest Against Low Wages


Like workers who fasted at Reagan National Airport during one of the busiest travel days of the year, employees of the Walmart at 99 H St. NW and local community members will forsake food this Black Friday to protest what they believe are low wages and unfair labor practices.

Capitalizing on a day which Walmart historically pioneered as a prime sales opportunity (so much so that its stores have opened on the night of Thanksgiving), more than 100 people are expected to begin the fast in D.C. at 9 a.m. on Friday, while hundreds across the U.S. follow suit as part of a "nationwide day of action" that will conclude a 15-day-long campaign. Advocates say they hope to highlight the plight of Walmart workers "who go hungry every day because of low wages and hours."

Read more Dozens Planning to Fast at H Street Walmart on Black Friday as Protest Against Low Wages

District Line Daily: Give It Up, D.C.

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

Our annual giving guide is here, featuring local charities (with modest budgets) that are trying to do good in the District. We partner with the Catalogue of Philanthropy, an independent organization, to ensure your money will be used well across a variety of groups: educational, environmental, and more. Happy early Thanksgiving to all!


  • A local hotel union is lobbying the D.C. Council to regulate home-sharing companies like Airbnb. [Post]
  • More pedestrians were killed from 2009 to 2014 than were vehicle occupants, according to AAA. [WTOP]
  • The District says it will announce new replacement shelters for D.C. General in the coming days. [WAMU]
  • Walls of Books—a 2,400-square-foot, 30,000-volume bookstore—opens in Park View on Dec. 12. [Arts Desk]
  • A D.C. cellist has raised more than $200,000 with a Kickstarter campaign to make music for… cats. [DCist]


  • Farmers Market or Food Court?: The two are mixing at venues across D.C. thanks to more prepared food.
  • Kay WalkingStick: The National Museum of the American Indian has an exhibit on the landscape artist.
  • Dancing MPD Officer II: Another D.C. police showed off her fancy footwork at a charity event Monday.

Read more District Line Daily: Give It Up, D.C.

Unobstructed View: Thanks to Those Who Make Sports Possible


John Wall

Thanksgiving makes me sentimental. I have a friend who makes it a point to thank everyone she knows personally, saying that this is her high holy day. I don’t go that far, but it’s definitely a holiday that puts me in a reflective mood. It’s a time when, rather than focusing on the inevitably of death and sadness and failure, I can remember the positive:

The Caps are off to a hot start! The Nationals’ young star, Bryce Harper, just won the National League’s MVP award after an individual season that was a joy to watch (even if the team’s season wasn’t)! The Wizards backcourt is similarly fun to watch! Maryland basketball is electric! And even the local NFL team, despite yet another atrocious loss, remains firmly in playoff contention thanks to their awful division!

It’s a fun time to be a fan of D.C. sports, despite everything. On this holiday, if on no other day, it’s worth focusing on that fact.

And my sentimentality doesn’t stop with the big names.

Back when I worked retail, one of my favorite things to do was to open the store on Thanksgiving. The day would start slowly, but once people got sick of their families and the relentless cheer of the holidays, they’d go looking for anything else to do. There was no customer quite as happy as the one finding an open record store.

In those college days, I was almost as happy to skip the holiday myself, so I’m not one to boycott stores that are open on Thanksgiving, or assume that all their employees are miserable to be there.

In years when I wasn’t doing the retail thing, football was the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving Day. We would cook the traditional meal, but we rarely did the Norman Rockwell sit-down dinner; the whole day was instead spent carrying plates of food into the living room to eat while the game was on.

When I eventually wound up being invited to Thanksgiving at friends’ houses where this was not the norm—where I was expected to behave like a functioning human being and sit around a table and have some kind of ridiculous conversation—I remember those holidays less fondly than the years in which I was peddling music.

So I’m not one to diminish the importance of football in relation to the holiday, either. It’s worth at least acknowledging the many, many people—the NFL equivalent of Target cashiers and managers—who get the football to you.

There’s a sentiment that, hey, a few teams each year have to play on Thanksgiving, but—as with so many other things—the players and coaches make tall dollars and if they have to be away from their families for a holiday, well, they can buy 12 turkeys on the following Thursday to make up for it.

This misses a number of details.

For example, it’s not just the players who are working on the holiday. All the support staff needs to be there: equipment and medical and training, of course, but also PR and and sales and community relations, as well as the stadium staff, and the increased police and security presence that a game requires. The TV production crew. The beat reporters and the national writers and the bloggers. The radio crews from both teams. All of their producers and spotters, and many, many more.

The teams that aren’t playing on Thanksgiving generally still hold practices—maybe a truncated session, maybe a walkthrough, but there’s activity at the facility. And that activity also requires a more streamlined version of that support crew—medical, media, PR, etc. They’re all hoping to get home for dinner, but there’s always the chance that something happens to prevent it.

And those people, whether at the game or just stuck at the facility, are pretty much not in a position to reschedule a makeup Thanksgiving.

So while I’m being sentimental, it’s worth sparing a moment to thank all those people as well, alongside Bryce and Ovi and Wall, and even the hope-inspiring parity of the terrible NFC East.

Follow Matt Terl on Twitter @Matt_Terl.

Photo by Keith Allison

This Week’s Page Three Photo

500 Block of Indiana Ave. NW, Nov. 21

500 Block of Indiana Avenue NW, November 21 

Page three photos are also in this gallery.

Uber Creates Safety Advisory Board


As the popular ride-share company continues to grow locally, Uber today launched a six-member advisory board of national experts who will consult with executives and staff on safety issues in the jurisdictions it serves.

Joe Sullivan, Uber's chief security officer, told reporters during a press conference call this afternoon that the company will solicit feedback from the board to bolster accountability among its drivers and customers. Though the board hasn't met in person—which will happen for the first time next week—and the dynamic between its members and Uber staff has yet to play out, Sullivan said the company is "very excited" to bring together a panel of experts, which includes transportation, technology, and law-enforcement professionals.

Read more Uber Creates Safety Advisory Board

MPD Officer Goes Head-to-Head with Kids in a Dance Off

Another week, another video of a D.C. police officer showing off some footwork with community members.

At what appears to have been a "holiday feast" for locals featuring Washington Football Team vet Clinton Portis, a Metropolitan Police Department officer started dancing to Dlow's "Bet You Can't Do It Like Me" ("turn up!") with a couple of kids. Watch her and the surrounding crowd heat up the gym floor at the event:

District Line Daily: Remembering Marion Barry

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

Monday was the one-year anniversary of former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry’s death. A memorial commission last night recommended four ways to commemorate Barry’s life, including placing a statue or bust of him at the Wilson Building and renaming school facilities and Good Hope Road SE after him. Barry was 78 when he died.


  • Two men were shot—one fatally—near Pennsylvania and Minnesota avenues SE Monday night. [NBC4]
  • The D.C. Court of Appeals is considering whether to adopt higher standards for admitting experts. [Post]
  • The District’s tourism industry and government are responding to visitors’ concerns post-Paris. [WTOP]
  • Nearly seven out of ten residents support D.C. statehood, but advocates for the cause say work remains. [City Desk]
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser Monday announced that the Convention Center will get some new retail. [Young & Hungry]


  • “Run, Hide, or Fight”: Those are the options D.C. residents can exercise in case of a Paris-style attack, says the District's police chief.
  • GDP, Mapped: D.C.’s economy grew slower than those of nine other major U.S. metropolitan areas in 2014.
  • Rusty The Red Panda: We learned Monday that he won’t be returning to the National Zoo anytime soon. At least Bei Bei will debut in January!

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Will Sommer (tips?

  • Big support for the statehood in the District, not so much in Congress. [Post, LL]
  • Gun lovers say Cathy Lanier missing the point. [Times]
  • Trans activist charged over Columbia Heights protest. [Blade]
  • More on Lanier's mass shooter talk. [City DeskPost]
  • Have Tom Sherwood and Mary Cheh made D.C. flag tattoos no longer cool? [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Matt Cohen (tips?

  • Local production company Aboveboard Productions is shooting a comedic web series about D.C.'s marijuana industry. [DCist]
  • Your D.C. Flag tattoo is no longer cool thanks to Kojo Nnamdi, Mary Cheh, and Tom Sherwood. [Post]
  • Check out a new track from Virginia rapper Peter $un. [Arts Desk]
  • The new Jason Bourne movie will shoot in D.C. soon. [Post]
  • Sherwood True's new photo exhibition at Pyramid Atlantic looks at Phoenix's counterculture. [Arts Desk]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Jessica Sidman (tips?

  • Quarter+Glory to bring cocktails to 14th Street NW via New York. [Post]
  • Batter Bowl Bakery rebrands as Uni Bistro under new ownership. [District Cuisine]
  • Ten cozy places to drink by the fire this winter [Washingtonian]
  • Hot new soups for cold weather days [Eater]
  • Matt Baker to preview his upcoming restaurant, Gravitas, at Dolcezza. [Express]
  • Where to eat and drink out for Thanksgiving [BYT]
  • An update on Petworth's new restaurants [Petworth News]

Support for D.C. Statehood at Record High, But Work Remains


If a Washington Post poll is to be believed, support for D.C. statehood is at a record high: 67 percent of District residents say they want it, up a significant 10 points from just five years ago.

Some of that rise may have to do with the issue getting some national attention in August, when comedian John Oliver aired a segment devoted to residents' fight for equality on Last Week Tonight. Social media was abuzz with clips from that episode, as grassroots activists and local pols took pride in the fact that their work over the past several years in part made it possible. But what remains, in concrete terms, to be done?

Read more Support for D.C. Statehood at Record High, But Work Remains

When Will D.C.’s Most Beloved Runaway Red Panda Return?

red panda

What's small and furry and will remain in Virginia for the near future? Rusty, the National Zoo's adorable red panda, who's lived at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal since last year. The District sorely misses its favorite escape artist.

Our curiosity was then piqued when news surfaced about Masala—a red panda housed at the Sequoia Park Zoo in California—being rescued Saturday night after having escaped from officials Thursday. Our thoughts naturally turned to Rusty, but National Zoo spokesperson Jen Zoon tells City Desk that "there are no plans to move [him] right now," since the little guy is participating in a survival plan to increase his chances of breeding. "Construction on the [zoo's] red panda retreat began the first week of November 2015 and is expected to last several months," Zoon adds.

Oh well; it was worth asking. Besides, giant panda cub Bei Bei will be on display starting in January. Eee!

Photo by Janice Sveda/Smithsonian's National Zoo

Map: D.C. Economy Grew Slower Than Other U.S. Major Metro Areas in 2014


A new report by cost-information website shows that the D.C. region's economy grew anemically as compared with other major U.S. metropolitan areas last year.

Although the country's gross domestic product increased 2.3 percent in 2014 (up 0.4 percentage points from 2014), "Washington, D.C. had the lowest GDP growth in the top ten [most populous] metropolitan areas at just 0.3 percent," according to the report. GDPs rose in nearly 3 out of every 4 metropolitan areas analyzed by the site; the Dallas, San Francisco, and Atlanta metro areas grew the most among those 10 at 8.5, 5.2, and 3.0 percent, respectively.

The website finds that "professional and business services" saw the highest growth among other industries, including wholesale and retail trade, finance, insurance and real estate. But to really see economic growth, consider moving south to Texas: The Lone Star state had the two highest growth rates of all metro areas studied—Midland (24.1 percent) and San Angelo (11.4 percent).

Photo via h/t CityLab

District Line Daily: Statehood Now Trending

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

Roughly seven out of 10 residents say they want D.C. to become a state, according to a new Washington Post poll. While most residents have supported statehood since at least the 1990s, momentum appears to be building: Support for statehood has grown by 10 percentage points since 2010. Want to (permanently) show your love for the District? Maybe get a D.C. flag tattoo like Mary Cheh, Kojo Nnamdi, and Tom Sherwood did Friday.


  • The D.C. government disbanded a homeless camp Friday, and some of its residents didn’t want to go. [City Desk]
  • Police are looking for a driver who left the scene of a fatal crash on East Capitol Street Saturday. [Post]
  • Cathy Lanier says people should be ready to “run, hide, or fight” in active-shooter situations. [City Desk]
  • A report by the Office of Revenue Analysis shows D.C. may not have a robust “gig economy.” [City Desk]
  • The District activated its first hypothermia alert of the season Sunday as temperatures dropped. [Borderstan]


  • Feuding Founders: What’s next for the Metro riders’ union after its creator left the group weeks ago?
  • Fall Fashion: How should you dress for cycling during the fall? Gear Prudence has some advice.
  • Small Fry Fried Catfish: How does the Park View smoke-shop and fry house’s sandwich stack up?

Read more District Line Daily: Statehood Now Trending

D.C. Police Chief on Paris-Style Attacks: ‘Run, Hide, or Fight’

MPD Chief Cathy Lanier

Active-shooter events like the recent atrocities in Paris and Mali that left scores of innocents dead have put many people on edge. "What am I supposed to do," the anxious thinking goes, "if I were in that situation?"

D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier, in an interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes Sunday evening, had an answer: "Your options are run, hide, or fight." During a segment on how law enforcement responds to mass shootings, Lanier told Cooper that the Metropolitan Police Department has stepped up its training of officers for such emergencies in light of new ISIS threats, a type of training that local departments across the U.S. have conducted regularly since the Columbine massacre in 1999. Still, Lanier went on to explain, if a person cannot escape an active shooting but is "in a position" to incapacitate a gunman, doing so is "the best option for saving lives before the police can get there"—typically at least five minutes after a 911 call.

Read more D.C. Police Chief on Paris-Style Attacks: ‘Run, Hide, or Fight’