City Desk

Capital Bikeshare Plans Weekday Service Disruption

Bike commuters will have limited access to Capital Bikeshare over two days in the middle of next week.

Starting Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m., members will only be able to rent a bike from any given station a single time until Capital Bikeshare completes a software upgrade 16 to 24 hours later. That puts the expected end to the disruption somewhere between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Websites and apps (including Spotcycle) that show users how many bikes and docks are available at each station won't work during the upgrade period. Riders in search of open docks will be at the mercy of the Bikeshare gods.

Non-members—people using credit cards to rent bikes—won't be able to rent bikes at all. From Capital Bikeshare: "Because credit card rentals at stations will not be available, we will temporarily stop kiosk membership sales for 3-day passes on Saturday, January 31 at 7 p.m., and temporarily cease all 24-hour membership sales on Monday February 2, at 7 p.m."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Buy D.C.: Mind, Body, Spirit

Each week, Buy D.C. will highlight shops and items you can only find in the D.C. area, curated by Kaarin Vembar, owner of personal shopping and wardrobe editing service Closet Caucus.


Chatter: Call and Response Response

cover-issue1834-lgWhat you said about what we said last week

Can we just say it again? We love that you loved our Answers Issue! @ebnert has the right idea: “Live like a local and read @wcp’s “The Answers” issue,” while @ErinLauer summed up how we felt about working on the issue: “seriously, one of my favorite weeks of the year. So glad I’m not alone in wondering about many things.” But we want to assuage @Ombresque’s concerns, who tweeted “I know I’m late to the party, but: awesome.” Don’t worry, it was on newsstands all week, so there’s no such thing as late to this party. Washington City Paper is always a seven-day rager.

Regarding the actual questions themselves: nevermindtheend voiced an (apparently) popular opinion about the futility of using 311 to report needed repairs in the District: “It’s all well and good to tell people to use 311 to report pedestrian signals that are turned the wrong way, but the 311 system is handled very poorly.” Ah, so that’s why the public has taken to grouchily tweeting DDOT about busted lights.

But not everyone loved the questions, and that’s ok. “Bruh, white folk really don’t have enough to worry about…” tweeted @HimDownstrz about our investigation into local archery laws and practice ranges. Noted.

A Tale of Two Tonys

And then there’s the “tasty drama” (@spkr4thedead51’s term, not ours) going down between Tony’s Breakfast and Tony’s Place. There’s one vote for one of the Tonys (@gwennie_thepooh tweets “I love Tony’s on Kennedy Street. They are really nice and the food is delicious”), except… that’s a different Tony’s entirely. We know, it’s confusing. Kes voted for Tony’s, but not the new/old Tonys (did you catch that?) “The simple fact is, Tony’s Breakfast is still better. It just is. I’ve tried both just to be fair, and new/old Tony’s Place just isn’t as good, service- or food-wise. Sorry new/old Tony’s, them’s the breaks.” @BryanWeaverDC helpfully let us know “my college girlfriend married one of the guys from Tony! Toni! Toné! – but I can’t remember which one.” Just to clarify: can’t remember which Tony (an on-theme problem) or which college girlfriend (a perhaps rarer, but no less real, problem)?

Finally, some resolutely practical advice from @Neil_Irwin for the Tonys: “Call Famous Ray in NY to arbitrate.” @Neil_Irwin, you’re the King Solomon of carryout disputes.

Are You Gonna Hate That?

There appears to be very little love for frozen yogurt among our readers, but Ms. Yuck already has her sights set on the next trend dessert she wants to beat a retreat: “I can’t wait for all the cupcakeries to go. If you stand in line for cupcakes, you really have a damn problem. Yuck.” Consider yourselves on notice, innumerable cupcake joints of D.C.

Department of Corrections

Thanks to eagle-eyed crossword fan Carolinda Hales for pointing out that the grid we printed last week didn’t match up with the clues. This week’s updated grid can be found on our Facebook page, or contact ehazzard@washingtoncitypaper.com to receive a copy via email.

District Line Daily: Major Development Projects in Flux

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

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Five major development projects could undergo substantial changes or be forced to start from scratch as the Bowser administration reviews the Gray administration's selection of developers and new requirements for affordable housing.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • A water main break forced several restaurants to shut down on 14th Street NW last night. [NBC4]
  • Another day, another vote against a more radical redesign of the MLK Library. [Housing Complex]
  • Two D.C. Fire and EMS employees are facing felony fraud charges after spending thousands of dollars on gas for their personal cars. [WTOP]
  • A former Bowser staffer got Councilmember Brianne Nadeau's endorsement in the race to replace Marion Barry. [Loose Lips]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Major Development Projects in Flux

District Line Daily: A Woman’s Place

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

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

When did D.C. politics break the gender barrier? Longer ago than you might realize.This week's cover story is a history of women in D.C. politics.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Shadow campaign mastermind Jeff Thompson gave $1 million in 2006 to a school tied to a former D.C. health director. [Loose Lips]
  • Few groups spent more money lobbying D.C. officials last year than Uber. [WAMU]
  • Top aides to Muriel Bowser are pulling in big salaries. [Post]
  • D.C.'s reputation as a transient city is well founded, with low-income residents especially likely to have left over the past decade, according to a new study. [Housing Complex]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: A Woman’s Place

Gear Prudence: Get Outta the Bike Lane, Runners!

gearprudence

Gear Prudence: While biking around the city, I frequently encounter runners in the bike lane or cycletrack. On one hand, the percentage of road surface dedicated exclusively to cyclists is pathetically small, and the infringement of that space by a non-cyclist may understandably elicit a hostile response, such as “DON’T RUN HERE, ASSHOLE!” On the other hand, in the grand scheme of things, having to dodge a runner from time to time isn’t such a big deal. So what’s the proper reaction? —Remorseless Usurpers! Now Scram!

Dear RUNS: Yes, runners using bike lanes are annoying. No, it’s not the end of the world. Yes, they shouldn’t be there. No, you shouldn’t run them over. Yes, you could say, “Hey, don’t run here!” No, they won’t care. It’s not like they’re accidentally in the bike lane; it’s a pretty purposeful decision underlaid by various rationalizations ( “the sidewalk is too crowded,” or “the sidewalk is blocked,” or “the sidewalk hurts my knees,” etc.), similar to the thought process of all other non-bicyclists who ever find themselves advertently where they shouldn’t be. And while you could try to make this point by riding your bike around a high school track, dinging your bell at each runner you pass and insisting that you had no idea that bikes shouldn’t be there in spite of a wide variety of context clues and an outright prohibition, it’s probably better to learn to accept the stray bike lane runner, roll your eyes at them as you pass, and not let your frustration overwhelm you. —GP

Gear Prudence: How do I tell a bike-commuting coworker that he smells pretty rank after riding into work? —Nasty Odors Souring Employment Read more Gear Prudence: Get Outta the Bike Lane, Runners!

Here’s Where You Really Shouldn’t Crash Your Drone in D.C.

Somewhat surprisingly, the drone that crashed into the White House grounds earlier this week was being operated by an employee of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a military intelligence unit that provides maps and data for U.S. law enforcement and national security operations. (Less surprisingly, it was being flown in the middle of the night by someone who'd been drinking.)

In the spirit of the mission of the NGA, we at Washington City Paper offer this handy map detailing where you really, really don't want to crash your drone in the District. Flying a drone anywhere in D.C. or its immediate area is illegal, so it's a bad idea no matter what. But simply taking your quadcopter out for a spin in your back alley probably won't land you on cable news. Crashing a drone into one of these locations, on the other hand, probably will. And remember, you can trust City Paper for all your drone-related service-journalism needs.

Correction: This post initially omitted the hyphen between Geospatial and Intelligence in the agency's name, and also abbreviated it incorrectly.

District Line Daily: More Income Inequality

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

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

The gap between high and low earners in the District is at its highest in 35 years, a new study from the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute says. Hourly wages for low-income workers have been flat since 2007, while they've climbed steadily for the top 20 percent of earners.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • The Metropolitan Police Department granted eight concealed carry permits, effectively ending the longstanding ban on carrying handguns in public in D.C. [WAMU]
  • Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is taking over for Don Graham as the head of D.C. CAP, a nonprofit that helps D.C. students get into and graduate from college. [Post]
  • D.C. has an exciting new municipal slogan, "We Are Washington DC." [Loose Lips]
  • The maker of the drone that crashed on the White House grounds is disabling its devices from flying in D.C. [The Verge]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: More Income Inequality

So Your Snowstorm Was a Bust: Advice for New York from D.C.

snow_mxp-8

The world awoke to the news that the Great Blizzard of 2015 had mostly spared New York City. Here in D.C., we didn't really care, since anyone who likes snow here spent all of Monday grumbling about the fact that this storm was already forecast to miss us; the inch or so we got was exactly what local meteorologists said to expect.

But we do have some experience here with snow that doesn't live up to hyped expectations, or with watching a storm soar past us to the northeast (which is what this one did—don't try telling anyone in Boston there was no blizzard). After all, in December 2013, the federal government shut down for a snow flurry that dropped less than two inches on the District proper. So here's what our experience has taught us to do in the face of wintry disappointment.

1) Ignore the haters. So you and your civic leaders panicked a bit about a forecast that turned out to miss, and now you're sitting on a fridge full of perishables scavenged from your local grocery store in yesterday's frenzy. But if the storm had done what the models said it could do, you'd be the only person on your block with an ample supply of kale. There's no shame in being prepared, and now's your opportunity to test out all 20 or so kale recipes on GOOP.

2) Enjoy the snow you have. For the last few winters, D.C.'s seen storms dump snow everywhere else on the Acela corridor except here. Embrace it! Go shovel the sidewalk, even if the sun will clear it for you on its own soon, and marvel at how quickly you got through a chore that you remember being back-breaking. (Must be all that kale!) Are there "Snow My God" drink specials at your neighborhood bar? Go partake of them, without any of the hassles involved in getting around after an actual blizzard. But don't partake too heavily: You'll have work tomorrow. There's just not that much snow.

3) Learn some wintry humility. You may be tempted, the next time D.C. locks down in response to an overhyped weather report, to mock your Beltway-bound friends and relatives. But you didn't see us laughing at Atlanta last February, because we knew there'd be some obnoxious New York transplant saying something stupid on Twitter the next time the government opened on a two-hour delay for sleet.

4) Wait 'til next time. Hope springs eternal among snow-lovers here, which is why even the post on the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang that said this storm would be pretty minor got 1,000 comments. Just because you have absolutely no meteorological training doesn't mean you, too, can't obsess over long-range computer weather models. Start getting excited for the next storm now. And when that's a bust, too, now you'll be that much more familiar with the resulting feeling of loss. (It's sort of like being a Knicks fan that way.)

5) Whatever you do, don't shut down the subways. That would just be a complete overreaction. Wait. What? Oh.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

District Line Daily: “Pop-Up Megaplex”

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

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

The crowdfunding platform EquityEats has subleased five floors of a building formerly occupied by LivingSocial so restaurants seeking funding can host pop-ups. The facility, described as "a movie theater but for foodies," is set to open this spring.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • D.C. is spending millions of dollars sheltering the homeless at motels. [Housing Complex]
  • The family of the woman who died in Metro's recent smoke incident is expected to sue for $10 million. [Post]
  • Under a D.C. Council bill introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson, distracted driving would have more severe penalties. [WTOP]
  • A rookie D.C. firefighter was arrested on gun charges. [NBC4]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: “Pop-Up Megaplex”

Map: Where Pedestrians and Cyclists Have Been Struck in D.C. This Year

In 2014, pedestrians and cyclists were struck by drivers of vehicles at least 515 times in D.C. That number is already 29 in 2015, according to Struck in D.C., a Twitter account that compiles tweets from D.C. fire and police, as well as affected parties. (A few of last year's incidents, it's worth noting, involved cyclists hitting pedestrians.) Jeff Wetzel became No. 5 on Jan. 11 when he was was struck in the 1800 block of Q Street NW.

Wetzel was heading home on Q Street from the Dupont Circle farmers market when he was hit by a woman driving in the bike lane. The woman made contact with Wetzel on the passenger side of her car. “She centered herself between the parked cars and assumed it was all for her,” he says.

Read more Map: Where Pedestrians and Cyclists Have Been Struck in D.C. This Year

District Line Daily: Metro Back-and-Forth Continues

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

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

The D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency released a report over the weekend about the deadly Metro smoke incident that contradicts information from WMATA. Radio encryption did not play a role in the communication problems, the report says.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • A small drone landed on the White House grounds. [CNN]
  • Footage from D.C. police body cameras begins to provide evidence in trials. [Post]
  • Meet some of the people competing to be the Racing President mascots for the Nats. [Post]
  • One pedestrian is killed per week in the D.C. area. [WTOP]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Metro Back-and-Forth Continues

Buy D.C.: Swag

Each week, Buy D.C. will highlight shops and items you can only find in the D.C. area, curated by Kaarin Vembar, owner of personal shopping and wardrobe editing service Closet Caucus.

Chatter: A Brunch With Fame

cover-issue1833-lgWhat you said about what we said last week

Rob Kunzig’s cover story on George Pelecanos’ food and flavorful hometown received a warm welcome from readers who hinted at some territorial feelings about D.C.’s food scene (and would probably bristle at our use of the term “scene,” here). “Thanks, @wcp. Good to acknowledge @pelecanos1’s great #DC crime novels & his proud shunning of #foodie foolishness,” tweeted @McDorchester. @kimberlyrobin37 fangirled for a second: “Had no idea that at CF Folks I was sitting at the lunch counter of a George Pelecanos coffee shop.” “Fun profile of George Pelecanos in @wcp, told via his favorite restaurants,” tweeted @mathitak. But @robwein may have put it best (and we’d expect nothing less from a fellow writer): “The great ones make it look easy–#Pelecanos.”

Deliver Us From People

Things got a little more heated in response to Jessica Sidman’s column on Washington’s new and dizzying array of delivery options, “New World Order.” Surprisingly, hardly any accusations of laziness were hurled, and it was more a question of whether this city needs such a service. “Can D.C. sustain a coffee delivery service,” wondered our managing editor @wcpsarah? “No way Josè,” replied the aptly-named @DCoffeeSnob. “The best part of coffee is the atmosphere in a shop. That’s why people pay $5 for a latte.” But commenter swagv was plainly confused. “Why is Tony Chen practically being cited for inventing coffee delivery services when they have existed with trucks and bicycles throughout the world for several years now? Is this the ‘if it’s new to you, it’s new problem?” But JoDa is apparently a fan of the delivery-everything-all-the-time concept: “I’m happy to fork over a few dollars for the delivery, just on a cost/benefit analysis. Not having to put on shoes is just an added bonus.” And upon learning that Bud Light is the most popular beer Klink delivers, @grperk started trend-spotting like a seasoned pro: “Is Bud Light the new PBR?”

It Takes a District

Jayme McLellan, founding director of Civilian Art Projects, wrote us to share some of the credit given to her in Kriston Cappsreview of that gallery’s January exhibition. “Working in the arts in D.C. for 18 years, I can safely say there are many, many other key actors, important figures, and very talented artists also lifting up the scene. No one can do it alone.” McLellan gives credit to “Transformer, DC Art Center, WPA [Works Progress Administration], Hamiltonian, Artisphere, Katzen Museum, Kreeger Museum, the Hirshhorn, NMWA [National Museum of Women in the Arts], Provisions Library, Arlington Arts Center, Pleasant Plains, Hemphill, G Fine Art, Curators Office, ConnerSmith and the (e)merge art fair, Project Dispatch, the Pink Line Project, Anacostia Arts Center, the many DIY spaces ... and so so so much more.” Did you get all that?

Hot-Blooded

And finally, @bcbolin vocalized what we were all thinking, but too shy to say, about the Fifty Shades of Grey-themed cocktail now available at City Perch in North Bethesda: “hot peppers by your stuff??”

Department of Corrections

Our cover story, “Hard Boiled,” misspelled Woodward Table chef Jeffrey Buben’s last name. It also misstated the location of the former Jefferson Coffee Shop. It is located on Jefferson Place NW, not Jefferson Street.

District Line Daily: Metro Miscues

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

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

During the recent smoke incident on Metro, firefighters reportedly had difficulty using their radios because D.C. Fire and EMS made changes to its radio system without alerting Metro.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • The head of D.C.'s Office of Planning under Mayor Tony Williams returns to find his waterfront vision largely realized. [Housing Complex]
  • After a trademark dispute, D.C.'s Three Little Pigs is changing its name. [Young & Hungry]
  • The safety crisis at Metro has put Mayor Muriel Bowser's cautious leadership style in the spotlight. [Post]
  • Metro could face more than 50 lawsuits over the smoke incident. The attorney representing many of those affected formerly worked for Metro and says she no longer rides it. [Housing Complex]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Metro Miscues

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