City Desk

The Needle: Mothership Connection Is Upon Us Edition

If You Hear Any Noise, It's Just the Smithsonian and the Boys: The District may or may not still be Chocolate City, but at least one Parliament song will live on in the city for quite some time. The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture has acquired the group's mothership—a replica, dating from the 1990s, of the original, which is now lost somewhere in Prince George's County. Don't go looking for Star Child quite yet; the museum doesn't open until 2015. If this doesn't set the stage for a big P-Funk concert on the Mall to mark the opening weekend, we'll be disappointed. +3

Stopping Optional: When news broke a week ago that Metro operators had driven trains through red lights at rail yards, officials said it was "a concern." Apparently not enough of one to do much about it, though; two more similar incidents happened since then. This time, the agency says it'll give a safety briefing to remind train operators of the importance of paying attention to signals. We think we'll stick to the bus for a while. -3

Lost in the Flood?: Waterfront bars and restaurants in Georgetown took a, ahem, bath last month, after heavy rains flooded the Potomac, which, in turn, flooded the Washington Harbour complex. This time around, with a new flood warning, the complex decided it might as well go ahead and raise the retractable walls that would have prevented the damage last time. In other words, don't plan on boating home from Sequoia this weekend. +1

Breeding Like Lobsters: The only thing better than lobster rolls fresh off a truck? Lobster rolls fresh off a second truck. Red Hook Lobster Pound, which demonstrated last summer just how long people are willing to wait in line to pay $15 for a sandwich (quite long, it turns out), doubled its fleet for this summer. The extra truck is likely to mean service expands to Montgomery, Arlington, and Fairfax counties in the 'burbs. In other words: Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a lobster roll truck. +1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 61 Today's score: +2 Today's Needle rating: 63

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