Author Archive for Jonathan York

Farewell, Capitol Hill

Despite the gunshots in the street, despite the eggings and the muggings and the overpriced food, Capitol Hill didn't suit me. I moved out at the end of July. Since then, I am told, the streets around Eastern Market have turned desolate. Hot winds blow through them; skeletons lie in the sun while the tumbleweeds [...]

Judge to Youngin’s: Knock It Off

Youngin's Towing and Auto Body needs permission to sink its hooks into any more cars.
Under a restraining order issued last Thursday in D.C. Superior Court, "Youngin's shall be prohibited from all towing, except instances where they have an explicit agreement in advance with the owner of the vehicle to be towed."
While the judge's order is [...]

Metro Kills?

This morning on the red line at Metro Center, a woman was trying to board my car. This was a difficult task, since the doors had closed on her. The entire right side of her body was outside the train, and had we started down the track, she would have split into even halves. Now, [...]

City Files to Shut Down Maverick Towing Outfit

The city is finally saying in court what car owners have said in private for years: James W. Gee is ripping us off.
In a lawsuit filed Friday, D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer asks the judge for an injunction to shut down Youngin's Towing and Auto Body once and for all. Readers may remember that the [...]

York to Dogs: Avoid Sole Food

In May I started seeing the owner of an intelligent, well-trained Basset mix. The dog and I seemed to have an agreement from the beginning: I would stay out of his way, and he would stay out of mine. Faithful to my end of the bargain, I didn't cover my girlfriend in kisses when she [...]

Want Condoms at CVS? Meet the “Power Wing.”

Until last fall, condom-buyers at many CVS locations were required to ask a grumbling attendant to leave the counter, trudge to the back aisle, and take out a selection from a locked case. Public health students at George Washington University didn't think anyone should endure that, especially since D.C. has the highest AIDS rates in [...]

Home Sweet Home

On Sunday I was riding back from Philadelphia. I was on a Chinatown bus, the little boy in front of me was trying his best to become a monkey, and the young man beside me was explaining his medical history. It was an epic history, full of terrible surgeries in distant places, and colored with [...]

MLK Finally Declared Historic

Don't tear down MLK, the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board said on Thursday.
The board granted historic-landmark status to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, giving the deteriorating glass-and-steel building a legal protection against getting demolished.
Former Mayor Anthony A. Williams broached a plan last year to sell the building and build a new central library [...]

Mister York’s Neighborhood

Late on Saturday night, I searched YouTube for clips of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. This famous PBS series molded me as much as television could. With no sarcasm and no hidden meanings, it tried to explain life: How trumpets are made, or how it feels to be angry, or what it means to have a friend. [...]

Found Nutcase Ramblings of the Day

Discovered on an Orange Line Metro train on Thursday:

Catcall Management Strategies?

Joe Eaton recorded a remarkable account of the motives behind street harassment. One question I wish he had explored, though, is how to dismiss a harasser. Some women play along, some get angry, and some pay no attention, but what works best?
The most impressive dismissals I've seen were back in college. The storefronts across from [...]

Gay, Latino Police Units Not “Decentralized” Yet

D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier will postpone a decision that might "decentralize" the award-winning Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, as well as the department's Latino Liason Unit.
According to police spokesperson Traci Hughes, the decision won't go into effect until Lanier meets with gay and Latino activists "just to make sure their needs are addressed. But [...]

DCRA of Little Help to Aspiring Landlords

Petworth resident Tasha Harris wanted some extra cash, so the 35-year-old Freddie Mac manager decided to turn her basement into a rental unit. She hired Alex Shekhtman, a Gaithersburg contractor who agreed not to charge more than $100,000 for the work. Harris put down $4,000 for the plans and $5,000 for the deposit. After Shekhtman's [...]

Of Houseboats and Laundromats

Two of my friends want to live on a houseboat next year. The plan strikes me as an extreme reaction to housing costs in the District, but it also fits them. Two young Texas men who want to hold on to their mid-20s should live on a boat. Hanging off a pier in Southwest, their [...]

Apologies of a Frisbee-Tosser

To all the people I hit in the face while throwing Frisbees for City Paper in the Capital Pride Parade: I'm sorry. I was aiming for your hands. I really was. But it was impossible to control those little discs. If you don't believe me, try throwing one from your own moving vehicle; I swear [...]