City Desk

The Needle: Hot Again Edition

SmarTrip Getting Smarter: Some day soon, paper farecards may be a thing of the past. That's because Metro is planning to unveil new SmarTrip cards that cost less than the $5 the current cards run you—which, coupled with a $1 surcharge for paper cards that kicks in in July, means even tourists may well just throw down for a plastic version. Which would be good news for your ability to navigate the Metro system expediently, but bad news for your ability to feel smug doing it. +2

Virginia Is For Drones: They do things differently in the commonwealth south and west of the District, which is why Virginia allows things like concealed weapons and doesn't allow things like same sex marriage. And soon, if Gov. Bob McDonnell has his way, they'll also allow remote-controlled police drones to fly overhead, just like the U.S. does in such un-Old Dominion-like places as Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Such a development would be "great," McDonnell said this morning—prompting us to wonder if he'd forgotten that the state's motto is "Sic Semper Tyrannis." -2

Fish, Upscaled: Only in the D.C. of 2012 would a sign generate quite as much agonizing contemplation as the one on Fish in the Hood, the Georgia Avenue fish fry spot that's been pleasing customers for over 15 years. When owner Bill White changed the branding of the restaurant, technically named Bill's Seafood Kitchen, to Fish in the Neighborhood, was it a sign of gentrification? Or simply of careful copy editing? Either way, the stuff's delicious. +1

Unofficial Summer Officially Here: The solstice is still weeks off, but Memorial Day weekend has always marked the start of summer–just ask the hordes of people somewhat self-consciously wearing white pants out all over town now. Appropriately enough, the holiday weekend also brought an end to the pleasant springy weather D.C. had been enjoying, shuffling in a wave of oppressive, humid, hot air that by August may have you ready to move to Alaska. Don't worry, though, cataclysmic thunderstorms will roll through this evening. -2

Friday's Needle rating: 47 Today's score: -1 Today's Needle rating: 46

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