City Desk

District Line Daily: Ramshackle Sheds, Fidelio

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from Washington City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to citydesk@washingtoncitypaper.com.

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Good morning from Washington City Paper! It's Monday. Nine years ago today, President George W. Bush ordered the launch of the invasion of Iraq. Now we are all shocked and awed.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS: Feds investigation into campaign cash now turning toward a transportation firm that donates to District pols. [Times] Fight brewing over handicap parking. [Examiner] Simmons: Rick Santorum has a public relations problem on statehood. [Times] President Barack Obama sipped Guinness at the Dubliner. [WJLA] The cherry blossoms peak this week. [WTOP] Official list of Metro track work modifications. [WTOP]

YOUR DAILY QUALITY-OF-LIFE MEASUREMENT: On Friday, City Paper's Needle ticked up two points, by sheer grace of the Friday bonus. The bad news: Georgetown University's first black undergraduate dies. The good news: The National Mall gets its first BikeShare station. Take a look here.

SIX CITY PAPER STORIES FROM THE LAST 72 HOURS TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

Jack Evans Announces Mayoral Bid (Not Really): LL wonders what will happen if the current sweeping federal investigation sweeps Mayor Vince Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (next in line to the mayoralty) right out of commission. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans may step in to fill the gap: He'd "take a hard look at" going for mayor, a job that would require him to drop his consulting gig at Patton Boggs. To that end, Evans said he would "figure out a way to make it work."

City Wants to Preserve Ramshackle Fish Market Shed in Redevelopment: Housing Complex's Lydia DePillis finds that the District is trying to historicize the sheds at the Maine Avenue Fish Market where patrons can stand up at tables and eat fresh crab: "The currently unused Oyster Shucking Shed and Lunch Room, a pair of ramshackle buildings surrounded by vending machines and ice boxes, will become a 'centerpiece,' according to a spokesman for the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. They've submitted an historic landmark application for the seemingly nondescript structures, which were built in 1916 and are now literally falling apart inside. They retain enough integrity, though, to "serve as reminders of the Southwest Waterfront's historic commercial and maritime industries."

Mexican Institute of Sounds Gets Political: Contributor Reese Higgins interviews Camilo Lara, band leader of the Mexican Institute of Sound about the group's next album, Politico. Lara tells Higgins: "My previous records were more naive because, probably Mexico was more naive in those times. But later, since, what you read in the news and see everywhere—it’s true, and it’s happening. I felt the need to become more political and more open on that. I share some of those thoughts and I think it’s important to put something on it—I’m not saying I’m going to be like Bob Geldof or something. But it feels very political—not only in Mexico, you could say it in England. It’s a tough time for the world, so it’s interesting to add some of the spiciness of that to your music."

The Matchbook Isn’t Quite Dead: LivingSocial’s Little Box of Fire Sticks: Young & Hungry continues his semi-regular survey of matchboxes in local establishments. Apparently they're super popular at LivingSocial's new venue: "The folks at LivingSocial, at least, seem to think there's some use in having the things around. 'We put them out because a lot of people like matches; they are practical and serve as a great takeaway for our consumers to remember their evening at 918 F Street,' says LivingSocial spokesperson Maire Griffin."

George Clooney Arrested Outside of Sudanese Embassy: Yes, that happened.

Fidelio At The Kennedy Center, Reviewed: Sayeth contributor Mike Paarlberg about Beethoven's only opera: "The cast of Fidelio is strong all around, but not without soft spots. Melanie Diener is wonderful as Leonore, handling some demanding duets with skill and grace, including one with tenor Simon O’Neill at the end that contains particularly tricky runs. O’Neill (Florestan) leaves your ears ringing with an impassioned and, mostly, loud aria opening Act II. Eric Halfvarson, as Rocco, has some weird thing going on where he sounds like he’s about to sneeze for a good part of Act I. He eventually settles into a less apprehensive, dramatic timbre that’s nevertheless better suited to the Wagner roles he normally does. The Choral Arts Society, doubling as both chorus and prison population, is generally excellent. Jeffrey Gwaltney is quite good in a minor role of Prisoner #1, as is Kyle Ketelsen as the government minister."

SWOON-WORTHY PHOTO OF THE DAY: George Clooney

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE: City Paper will be sponsoring a series of D.C. Council candidate debates this month.

At-Large: TOMORROW! Tuesday, March 20, 8:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW (guest moderator: NBC4's Tom Sherwood)

Ward 7: Monday, March 26, Ray's the Steaks East River, 3905 Dix St. NE, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. (guest moderator TBD).

OF NOTE: TODAY! International Anti-Street Harassment Week starts, with a week's worth of events here in D.C., including an art exhibit and a forum featuring WMATA representatives on Mar. 22 [PDF].

LINKDUMP AFTER THE JUMP!

LOOSE LIPS DAILY POLITICS LINKS, by Alan Suderman (tips? lips@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Washington Post editorial endorsements: At-large: Sekou Biddle; Ward 2: Jack Evans; Ward 4: Muriel Bowser; Ward 7: Tom BrownRon Moten; Ward 8: Jacque Patterson. [Post]
  • The Post has more deets about Jeff Thompson's fishy money order donations [Post]
  • The Times reminds that there's something fishy with donations from a Thompson-linked company [Times]
  • Thompson's accounting partners says firm standing strong [Informer]
  • Congress screwing around with D.C. lucrative commercial real estate market [Post]
  • Early voting starts today [DCBOEE]
  • Canadian displeased that Marion Barry didn't show up to City Paper/WPFW debate [Winnipeg Free Press]

REAL ESTATE AND DEVELOPMENT LINKS, by Housing Complex blogger Lydia DePillis (tips? housingcomplex@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Another residential building for Southwest. [DCMud]
  • Stables project gets zoning go-ahead. [EastShawDC]
  • More furniture to Georgetown. [Curbed]
  • Why D.C.'s income inequality matters. [P&P]
  • Why the Randall School developers need more time. [SWLQTC]
  • Praise be—Bikeshare on the Mall! [WAMU]
  • Landlords panicking over shrinking federal leases. [Post]
  • The history of a toxic site in Spring Valley. [NYT]
  • Group home coming to Marshall Heights. [Post]
  • Bad move, Howard U. [Examiner]
  • Lesson of Cathedral Commons: Don't build on Wisconsin Avenue. [MarketUrbanism]
  • Car2Go's aggressive marketing blitz. [TBD]
  • How a non-profit developer flubbed massive plan for Brooklyn. [NYT]
  • Grumbling about new bar near Howard Theater. [Left4Ledroit]
  • Burned-down Cafritz property to be subdivided, sold. [WBJ]
  • Today on the market: Featured on HGTV's Curb Appeal!

ARTS LINKS, by Jonathan L. Fischer (tips? artsdesk@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • So: You probably heard about this weekend's Mike Daisey to-do. Wayyyyyyy more about that today on Arts Desk. [Poynter/AP/This American Life]
  • The National Gallery of Art has uploaded 20,000 images of its collection to its website, and they're copyright-free. [Post]
  • The Chris Richards take on Fat Trel [Post]
  • The vast majority of Theater J showgoers would life Spinoza's excommunication. [Theater J]
  • All the gamer eye candy at Smithsonian American Art Museum's GameFest [Eye Level]

FOOD LINKS, by Young & Hungry columnist Chris Shott (tips? hungry@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Remembering La Chaumiere's Gerard Pain [Post]
  • Wagamama is sure taking its sweet ass time. [HuffPo]
  • G Street Food 2.0 opens this week. [Dining Bisnow]
  • ChurchKey is pouring cult fave Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout tonight. [DC Beer]
  • Murray & Paul's Restaurant is narrowly spared in minivan crash. [WJLA]
  • The Orange Spoon is coming to the West End. [Prince of Petworth]
  • Et Voila! puts chocolate in your cocktail glass. [Girl Meets Food]
  • The Hamilton serves gospel brunch. [PQ Living]
  • We, The Pizza now delivers [Facebook via Eater]
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