City Desk

The Needle: Ciroc Edition

Inspect Yourself: Free booze is not, apparently, one of the perks of being a liquor regulator in D.C. So say Alcoholic Beverage Control officials, who suspended investigator Jermaine Matthews for allegedly accepting two comped bottles of Ciroc vodka and two comped bottles of Ciroc Peach last week at upscale lounge Josephine, where a waitress says she was attacked by a customer without Matthews doing anything. Thanks to the ludicrous markup for table service in nightclubs, that's nearly $1,300 worth of liquor. Matthews says he didn't take anything, because he was working, but industry types tell the Post giving free booze to the liquor patrol is de rigeur. Hey, it worked for Nucky Thompson-2

Where The Streetcar Ends: Taking the planned streetcar to Union Station will give you a good workout. New plans out show the "connection" between Metro and the car line will involve walking several blocks, because the design everyone assumed the system would take got nixed by Amtrak officials. Maybe next time, the city should hold off on announcing new transit systems until things like "where does it run from" and "where does it run to" have been resolved? -3

Tacos Are Back: Every Thursday, Washington City Paper staffers have an editorial meeting to plan stories for the next week. And up until this fall, every Thursday, the meeting would be followed by a pilgrimage up the block to Unity Park, where a market of vendors selling foods from Latin America drew a decent crowd for cheap, good lunches three days a week. The market got kicked out in September, but it's now back, in Columbia Heights—and with longer hours and more days open. ¡Que sabroso! +3

The King: Sure, Alex Ovechkin may be playing badly, and the Washington Capitals may be slumping as a result. That doesn't seem to have fazed Russian tennis pro Maria Kirilenko, who the hockey star announced via a Twitter post he's dating. The post included a photo of the two of them with Ovechkin wearing a t-shirt reading, "It's Good to be the King." Great, great, we're happy you're happy. Now get back to scoring goals, King Alex. -1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 70 Today's score: -3 Today's Needle rating: 67

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