City Desk

The Needle: Housewife Haters’ Edition

Tune In or Tune Out? The Real Housewives of D.C. has its big debut tonight! Aren't you excited for television that will be as nourishing as iceberg lettuce? As Mike Riggs already told us this week, D.C. has some magic suckage effect on reality television. But it's confusing to those out in the American hinterlands who hate "D.C." enough as it is! This newest iteration of Housewives could increase the risk of domestic terrorism here in our fair city. Nobody wins in that scenario, except, maybe Michaele Salahi. -8

A Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom! Another new grocery store in the District? Here's hoping that a Whole Foods at Washington Circle will thin the herd of George Washington University undergrads who can sometimes make the line at Trader Joe's on 25th Street NW intolerable. It may also create safer traffic conditions outside the "Georgetown" Whole Foods in Glover Park and at Whole Foods' P Street NW location, too! +3

The Sweet Smell of Garbage: Normally the excessive heat is something to complain about. But when we were walking down a superheated Champlain Street NW in Adams Morgan this afternoon, the odor wafting from a garbage truck smelled like a tasty and juicy hamburger! Certainly a turn-off for vegetarians, but it's win for everyone else! +2

Strap on Your Fanny Packs! After a lousy 2008 and 2009, D.C. tourism honchos are predicting a bit of a turnaround next year, thanks in part to convention business. Among those organizations whose members will soon by buying spots on Tourmobile, lining up at the Spy Museum, and otherwise pumping their dollars into D.C.'s tax base: Teach for America (February) and the American College of Surgeons (October). The District will also host the Fancy Foods trade show the next two years. To woo non-conventioneers, officials say they're planning on reviving the "Date Night" hotel-and-a-meal promotional campaign, and on publicizing the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. As long as they don't try to pull off these two come-ons at the same time, this is good news. +3

You Cross the Line (With Expired Tags), You Do the Time: WTOP weekend contributor Nycci Nellis (also the force behind TheListAreYouOnIt.com) had just crossed into D.C. from Montgomery County when she was pulled over for driving with expired tags. It seems Nellis was three months out of date. The results: She was "handcuffed and locked up in two jails for hours." And don't go accusing  D.C. Councilmember Phil Mendelson of being soft on car-registration miscreants. "If the issue is whether or not this is excessive, the fact that the tags have been expired for three months is excessive," he tells the station. (Mendelson also acknowledges that "[w]e are looking at the whole issue of citation release. The idea that this person could have been taken to one police station and given a ticket seems to be a bit gentler.") -4

No Sales Tax Holiday? The District repealed the summer sales tax holiday. Time to hit up Maryland and Virginia for tax-free back-to-school purchases. -2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 42 Today's score: -6 Today's Needle rating: 36

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  • Kim Chi Ha

    What happens when we hit zero?

  • Widness

    can the needle go negative?

  • Michael E. Grass

    Depending on what happens to Michaele Salahi during the duration of "Real Housewives," The Needle could inch back up. Don't give up hope!

  • rt

    Typical negative WCP, their happiness is always at zero. Don't be so self-loathing guys! Smile a little and have some fun! Guess it's what happens when you allow transients into the hen-house.

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