City Desk

The Needle: Diplomatic Real Estate Edition

Today's Needle Rating: 51

Embassy for Sale: If local real estate listings are any indication, there may be some budget cuts on the way for Central African Republic. The nation just put its embassy's office space up for sale, for $1.3 million. Diplomats aren't usually fond of giving up anything in the way of comforts, so if a country is unloading part of its mission's property portfolio, chances are they really need the money. Note to any aspiring international real estate magnates: The listing says the building, in Kalorama, is "in need of work." -1

United in D.C.: The only major D.C.-area pro sports team to win a championship this century, D.C. United is also the only tenant at RFK Stadium besides the occasional concert or high school football game. Baltimore has been trying to lure the red-and-black north, but now comes word that United is looking at several sites for a new stadium here in the District. The bad news: The city can't actually afford to spend any money on a facility for D.C. United. The good news: Would anyone really notice if the Nationals were evicted and that ballpark got turned into a soccer stadium overnight? +2

The Potomac Is Not Our Oyster: There are few pleasures as simple as sitting out by the water on a sunny day and prying open fresh oysters as they're harvested. Alas, you won't get the chance to do that on the Potomac any time soon—the Potomac River Fisheries Commission has ruled against a proposal to allow oyster farming on piers along the river. Oyster farming is being used in the Chesapeake Bay to improve water quality (the bivalves filter the water) and increase the oyster population (the better to eat them on the half shell or fried up in po' boys). The Potomac, apparently, is going to stick with its preferred catch: Transgender fish. -2

Cold as Ice: Thanks to La Niña, the region still hasn't gotten much in the way of real snow this winter. What we've had plenty of is the dread wintry mix—which, meteorologists say, we can look forward to even more of tonight. Sleet, freezing rain, snow, slush, and whatever other gross muck nature can throw down will begin this evening and continue through the morning. Only 62 days until spring! -2

Friday's Needle rating: 52 Today's score: -3 Bonus for MLK Day: +2 Today's Needle rating: 51

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