City Desk

The Needle: Curried Sheep Edition

That Real Estate Management Firm Sure Plays A Mean Pinball: Most museums in town have powerful financial backers—in the case of the Smithsonian Institution, for instance, the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (which, admittedly, isn't quite as strong a guarantee as it used to be). The National Pinball Museum, on the other hand, doesn't even have much protection in its lease. Which is why Vornado Realty, owners of the Georgetown Park Mall, can kick the museum out with only 60 days' notice. The bad news: A quirky new museum looks like it's now out of business. The good news: About 900 classic pinball machines are likely to be on eBay soon. -2

Nothing Beats Suitcase Meat: When trying to smuggle meat into the country, it's probably best to tell the Customs and Border Protection agents who ask you at the airport if you've got anything to declare that no, you don't. Otherwise, you can wind up like the man caught at Dulles today with 90 pounds of cooked, curried sheep meat, hidden throughout all six of his suitcases. The worst part about getting nabbed? He probably had to pay the airline's extra weight fees for nothing now. +1

Home Is Where The $25 Million Is: Who says the real estate market isn't coming back? The most expensive home for sale in D.C. sold recently, with an asking price of $25 million. The house, Evermay, sits on a 3.5-acre property in Georgetown; it dates to the early 1800s. Of course, since the original asking price was $49 million, maybe this doesn't mean it's time to start dreaming of flipping your Columbia Heights rowhouse as a get-rich-quick scheme quite yet. +1

Happy Holidays?: The list of entertainers slated to appear in D.C. for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July seems like it was put together by throwing darts at the Hollywood phone book. For the Fourth: Steve Martin playing banjo! Josh Groban! Little Richard! For this weekend's Memorial Day parade: Gary Sinise! Pat Sajak! If the Wheel of Fortune isn't your thing, there's always George Clinton playing for free in Rockville. Maybe next year District officials should just offer a free police escort to anyone willing to headline one of the summer holiday spectaculars; at least that would mean we'd probably get Jay-Z. -2

Friday's Needle rating: 62 Today's score: -2 Today's Needle rating: 60

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