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Within Sight And Gunshot

This indignant map exposes the seamy underbelly of 1890s Washington, D.C., naming and locating “saloons” and “bawdy-houses” in the so-called Murder Bay neighborhood, located east of the White House. The Library of Congress, which holds the map, tells us that it’s a newspaper clipping from the 1890s, without a known author or publisher. (Slate.com)
posted by The Whelk on May 15, 2014 - 14 comments

WJSV Complete Day

Thursday, September 21st, 1939, radio station WJSV in Washington, D.C., recorded their entire broadcast day -- from sign on, to sign off. The entire day is available here.
posted by PHINC on Sep 21, 2013 - 46 comments

DC May Look to Raise the Roof(s)

Washington DC has had restrictions on the heights of its buildings since the first year of its existence, thanks to its namesake -- George Washington himself laid down a limit of 40 feet in 1791 (and then suspended the limits, as did several of his successors). The limits waxed and waned over the next century or so until the U.S. Congress, in its capacity as the over-government of America's capital, laid down the Heights of Buildings Act of 1910, setting the upper limit of any building at 130 feet. Now that the city is gaining population again (for the first time since the 1950s), developers and officials may be looking to release the federal height restrictions and give control to the city government (which already has zoning limits in various areas that further restrict heights). The WaPo provides a visualization demonstrating what the skyline might look like if the limits are raised, or even if areas filled out to the current Height Act maximums.
posted by Etrigan on Sep 14, 2013 - 65 comments

Shady Grove and Foggy Bottom sound like Westerosi names anyway...

You know how you had heard there was a cool video out there showing the growth and construction on Capitol Hill rendered in 3D animation and you were all, eh, I'll watch it once somebody puts it on the same page as the Game of Thrones theme so that I can get the full experience? Well now you have no more excuse.
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 17, 2013 - 16 comments

Enough

An open letter to Dan Snyder (Owner of the Washington Professional Football Team). [more inside]
posted by Groundhog Week on Jun 13, 2013 - 126 comments

"As the hymn says, you can lay your burden down."

The Things They Leave Behind. "When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss — all 400,000 of them." (Via.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2013 - 26 comments

"But what is the sane response to an insane situation?"

My So-Called Stalker [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 26, 2013 - 43 comments

¿Sí Se Puede?

The November 6th elections saw a lot of historic decisions made in the United States -- the first black president re-elected, marijuana legalized for the first time in two states, gay marriage affirmed by the voters in four, and even the first openly gay senator. But perhaps the most underreported result yesterday came from outside the country altogether: in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a solid majority voted to reject the island's current status and join America as the long-fabled 51st state. How the bid might fare in Congress is an open question, but both President Obama and Republican leaders have vowed support for the statehood movement if it proves successful at the ballot box (while D.C. officials ponder a two-fer gambit to grease the wheels). Though it would be the poorest state, joining the Union might bring economic benefits to both sides [PDF]. And politically, some argue the island might prove to be a reliably red state, despite the Hispanic population, although arch-conservative governor and Romney ally Luis Fortuño appears headed toward a narrow loss. But the most important question here, as always, is: how to redesign the flag? (Puerto Rican statehood discussed previously.)
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 7, 2012 - 108 comments

“[I] am a serving officer in the Iraqi Special Forces,” he said. “We don’t wear underwear.”

The Worst Marriage in Georgetown
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed on Jul 6, 2012 - 47 comments

National anthem on an electric violin made out of a bat

If you were watching the Orioles-A's game from Camden Yards tonight, you saw a guy playing the National Anthem on an electric violin made out of a baseball bat. This is how that looks and sounds. This is the guy talking about and showing off his Louisville Slugger violin. And this is the Washington Post profile of Glenn Donnellan, a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra and the maker and player of the world's only electric baseball bat violin.
posted by escabeche on Apr 27, 2012 - 15 comments

Teddy Wants You!

You probably already know that mascots wearing over-sized caricature foam heads of the four Mount Rushmore presidents race around the bases during home games for the Washington Nationals. You also probably know that Teddy has never officially won a single race.

Did you know that if you are over 18, 5'7" to 6'6", can run from center field to home plate in 40 seconds, dig the costume, and are available for 35 home games in Washington, DC, that you can become one of them? [more inside]
posted by juliplease on Feb 8, 2012 - 35 comments

Wayside School Is Not Funny In Real Life

In 1972, Washington, DC opened the doors to the HD Woodson Senior High School. It was the city's first new school in twelve years, and the first to be constructed after riots devastated the city in 1968. Like its sister school across town, it had been built to withstand another riot, and protect its students within its fortress-like walls. For a time, it stood as the pride and joy of the city's school system, featuring a diverse range of academic and vocational programs in a state of the art 8-story building complete with escalators, science labs, and a six-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community. By 2008, however, things had gone horribly, horribly wrong. The building was literally crumbling, many of its original facilities had closed due to neglect, only 13% of sophomores were proficient in reading or mathematics, and violence was a daily concern. Facing no other choice, the city closed the school in 2008, and demolished the brutalist structure shortly thereafter.

After a three year series of delays, next week, students will begin classes in the newly reconstructed HD Woodson High School; a 3-story state of the art building complete with elevators, science labs, and an eight-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community -- leading many to question: Will it work this time? The correlation between architecture and academic performance is not well-studied, and previous efforts have been inconclusive at best.
posted by schmod on Aug 18, 2011 - 49 comments

But where did the German newspapers come from?

Hidden Tunnels, Bugs, and Bigamy: A Strange and True D.C. Story: "Reports indicated that the tunnels were long and extensive – that they may have reached as far as Rock Creek Park. Some electric lighting was discovered inside. For days, wild theories abounded – was it a Confederate soldier hideout? A stop on the Underground Railroad? A liquor depot for bootleggers? A counterfeiter’s lair? Or maybe a secret laboratory for 'Dr. Otto von Golph’s' experiments?

None of the above." [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 8, 2011 - 41 comments

It's not the spectacles and pagaentry.....

The mayor of Washington DC has been arrested, along with 6 of the 12 members of its city council, during a protest today near a US Senate office building, objecting to the city's use as a bargaining chip while negotiating the 7th Continuing Resolution to avoid a government shutdown last Friday. The bill prohibits the District of Columbia from locally funding abortion services, and imposes a locally-unpopular school voucher program. Had the government shutdown taken place, the DC government would have also had to suspend most of its operations including trash pickup. For those of you keeping track, Vince Gray is the 3rd (of 6) DC mayor to be arrested while in office. [more inside]
posted by schmod on Apr 11, 2011 - 93 comments

Rights, Politics and Corporations

Though the District of Columbia just welcomed its first same-sex married couple under its new marriage equality law, neighboring Virginia is dealing with the possibility of further restrictions to GLBT residents. The newly-minted state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is advising (read: instructing) Virginia's public colleges and universities that, because the state assembly has refused to add sexuality to its classes of discrimination, that for public colleges and universities to use discrimination policies which include gays and lesbians would be beyond their authority. Gov. McDonnell rescinded previous executive orders from Govs. Kaine and Warner in order to remove sexuality from the list of discrimination protections, but today responded to the controversy by directing state agencies not to discriminate against gays. And it all has something to do with Fortune 500 Company Northrop Grumman.
posted by Navelgazer on Mar 10, 2010 - 56 comments

"Real men marry women"

When Washington D.C. began licensing same-sex marriages last week, this story came out on the paper edition of the Washington Post with this photo on the front page. (WARNING: the photo depicts two men kissing) The paper received complaints from upset readers, some of whom canceled their Post subscription. Andrew Alexander, the Post's ombudsman, responds: "There was a time, after court-ordered integration, when readers complained about front-page photos of blacks mixing with whites. Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change."
posted by Baldons on Mar 10, 2010 - 86 comments

Bye Ben, and thanks for the Chili.

Ben Ali, co-founder (with his wife Virginia) of Ben's Chili Bowl, died yesterday. Ben's is a favorite spot of politicians, actors, sports figures, and everyday people of all backgrounds. Back story on Ben's and some video of Obama at the bowl. [more inside]
posted by serazin on Oct 8, 2009 - 30 comments

Jimmy Smith Park

Jimmy Smith Park. Breadcrumbs so you can find your way back: Jimmy Smith Park -> About -> Rivers Park -> Dreams about Drunks -> The evolution of previously.
posted by xorry on Feb 21, 2009 - 11 comments

Stand on the right, pass on the left

Tips for Visitors from a D.C. Resident
posted by Navelgazer on Jan 18, 2009 - 80 comments

More Than Photo Op or Foil

"The last eight years, in terms of engagement, [Washington] D.C. has just been a photo op for the president, or a foil," says Tommy Wells, a social worker turned D.C. Council member. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Dec 22, 2008 - 27 comments

"...a liberal who's been mugged..."

A discussion about "white fear" and "black crime" [more inside]
posted by neroli on Dec 5, 2008 - 91 comments

First, we need to find out where he stands on legalizing Tickle-Torture...

Who is the mysterious Shadow Candidate for Shadow Senator of the District of Columbia? Marx Cafe Bartender Damien Ober, kind of. Ober wrote a series of campaign ads (which can alternate between provocative, sophomoric, and simply creepy, depending on your point of view) in response to D.C.'s lack of congressional representation, and hired an actor to sit in the darkness portraying his unnamed candidate. After viewing the videos on youtube, however, the D.C. Libertarian Party has decided to give him a for-real shot at the for-fake position.
posted by Navelgazer on Oct 16, 2008 - 11 comments

Two Americas Separated by a Common Capital City

Two Washingtons: Washington, DC is defined by its income inequality. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Sep 6, 2008 - 34 comments

D. C. Shrines, Washington's Other Monuments

Washington's Other Monuments is a photoblog by photographer Lloyd Wolf chronicling "the many sad memorials erected by friends & family to honor murder and other violence victims in the Washington DC area. These spontaneous, homemade, heartfelt creations are found on streets throughout the region. They are often the only physical tribute to the many slaying victims." Washington Post article. [via Eddie Campbell]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 4, 2008 - 18 comments

Taxation without Representation

Senate kills bill to give D.C. representation (L.A. Times). [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Sep 19, 2007 - 76 comments

ArtDCFilter: Hopper, Durand, Adams

This fall is going to be a good season for some giants of American art in Washington, DC. Edward Hopper comes to the National Gallery from Boston. Asher Durand opens at the Smithsonian. And Ansel Adams travels to the Corcoran.
posted by silby on Aug 1, 2007 - 10 comments

The boundary stones of Washington DC.

The boundary stones of Washington DC.
posted by Wolfdog on May 9, 2007 - 52 comments

Murder

Murders in Baltimore City/Washington D.C., displayed on Google's map of the area: 2005, 2006, 2007.
posted by stammer on Feb 3, 2007 - 38 comments

The McMissile Case

Virginia woman could get 2 years in prison for throwing McDonald's bag - a jury in Stafford County, Virginia has recommended a two-year prison sentence for Jessica Julia Hall, a 25-year-old mother of three, for throwing a bag with a soft drink inside into the car next to her. She was convicted of a felony offense after getting into an altercation with another driver on I-95 between Fredericksburg, VA and Washington, DC - widely considered to be one of the most congested stretches of road on the East Coast. Anyone who drives in the DC area can tell you how overcrowded the highways are. It gets worse in the summer when the tempratures rise and tempers flare. This could be an example of excessive justice, or perhaps juries in this area have had enough.
posted by smoothvirus on Jan 5, 2007 - 146 comments

Executive Elm Toppled, Bushes Intact

Pull out a US $20 bill. Take a look at the picture of the White House. See that tree peeking in from the right, the 140 year old elm that's been there since Andrew Johnson? Well, it's gone. Yup. Fallen over, thanks to the soaker summer storms which have been hammering the Mid-Atlantic in recent days. Cleanup has started, but no word on whether the $20 bill will be needing another update.
posted by brownpau on Jun 26, 2006 - 38 comments

"Man down"

At approximately 9:20 PM (ET) on January 6th, David E. Rosenbaum, a longtime reporter for the Washington bureau of the New York Times, was found lying on a sidewalk in Washington, DC. He was disoriented. He was bleeding from the head. He was vomiting. And, as it turned out, he had been assaulted and robbed. [more inside]
posted by scrump on Jun 20, 2006 - 49 comments

This is what democracy looks like

This past Saturday was host to anti-war demonstrations in cities throughout the United States and even internationally. In Washington, DC a march, which was accompanied by a later benefit concert, drew over 100,000 people (estimates vary). Rallies in San Francisco, London and Los Angeles drew thousands more. Though there was some mainstream coverage, it was largely overshadowed by hurricane news. [more inside]
posted by nTeleKy on Sep 27, 2005 - 61 comments

Hot squirrel-on-squirrel action

Evolution, social harmony between those of different colors, and rodent roofies: "He used to smear a tree behind his Silver Spring home with a mixture of peanut butter and Valium and then tattoo the squirrels that he found passed out below."

All this and more in the story of the ongoing displacement of the grey squirrel by the black squirrel in the Washington, D.C. region.
posted by NortonDC on May 19, 2005 - 22 comments

Marion Barry is my homeboy

"Hey, darling. Love you. Need your vote." Politics without presidents: a soulful portrait of former DC mayor Marion Barry. I was really impressed by the dog in the left-hand corner of the picture. (registration required)
posted by chinese_fashion on Sep 13, 2004 - 8 comments

Gunman Loose in The Capitol

A friend reports that she's in lockdown in her office at The Canon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. due to a man wielding a .38 pistol. The Canon House Office Building houses 1/3 of the members of the United States Congress. Offices are now being searched for the gunman. He is supposedly a shorter man with dark hair and white shirt. News first emerged of the gunman around an hour ago.
posted by ericrolph on Oct 30, 2003 - 32 comments

File a claim, lose your coverage

Isn't this what insurance is for? DC/Baltimore got pounded with snow a few weeks ago and it's caused some issues throughout the region. It seems that folks are reluctant to file claims because their home owners insurance carriers are liable to drop them. I know that life isn't fair, but isn't this why you pay for insurance?
posted by cpfeifer on Mar 10, 2003 - 20 comments

As Man Lay Dying, Witnesses Turned Away

As Man Lay Dying, Witnesses Turned Away "D.C. police released a startling surveillance tape yesterday that shows a daylight killing at a Northeast Washington gas station and witnesses doing nothing to report the crime or tend to the victim as he lay bleeding on the concrete." Is this just a product of D.C.'s crime and chaos or signficant of a more callous nation?
posted by owillis on Feb 15, 2003 - 46 comments

Victorian Secrets of Washington, D.C.

Victorian Secrets of Washington, D.C.: haunting photos and thoughtful essays documenting one man's fight to draw attention to D.C.'s neglected architectural heritage: "This site won't be much of a beauty pagent because we 'll concentrate on buildings that are vacant, abandoned, deteriorated, distressed, or just plain at risk because they are standing in the path of development . . . if even one Victorian finds an angel because of our page, we'll consider it a thousand percent return on investment."
posted by ryanshepard on Feb 14, 2003 - 13 comments

slugs invade new york

Prepare for the worst... says Mayor Mike, as NYC faces down a crippling transit strike. For starters, cars carrying fewer than four people could not enter or leave Manhattan over any bridge or through any tunnel on weekdays, 24 hours a day. Commuters wishing to get into the city by car would need to pick up strangers -- and the city will facilitate this with staging areas. Unflappable New Yorkers are at least a little flapped. But the practice of strangers hitching rides with lone drivers isn't new to NoVa: There, they are called slugs and body snatchers. [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Dec 10, 2002 - 32 comments

Surviving a Sniper

Surviving a Sniper A great article about saving one of the D.C. sniper victims: The doors to the Bowie Health Center had just been unlocked, and Tom Lyons was catching up on paperwork before the usual parade of cut fingers, sore throats and headaches began. [...] He was savoring one last cup of coffee when he heard someone shout for him in the hallway. We've got a gunshot wound!
posted by tommyspoon on Oct 17, 2002 - 27 comments

Does "Tiktok Easy Shop Big Box" remind anyone else of something from a Phil Dick novel?

Does "Tiktok Easy Shop Big Box" remind anyone else of something from a Phil Dick novel? The deli-size vending machine comes to DC's "raffish" Adams-Morgan neighborhood. Will Your Town Be Next?
posted by adamgreenfield on Aug 29, 2002 - 38 comments

It's Marching Season!

It's Marching Season! There's an godless american march comin' to DC this fall (November 2) "Our leaders, including the President, must stop calling the nation to prayer, or claim that we are a "Christian" country..."(Amen to that!!!) and "We must remember to not "feed the fundies" by engaging in arguments with religious protesters and hostile "prayer warriors" who want to "save" us."From what I understand, this will be the first big march on Washington since our new wartime laws have been implemented....will atheists become "unlawful combatants?" Anyone up for it?
posted by amberglow on Aug 14, 2002 - 52 comments

"PETA Wins Right to Have Newest Party Animal"

"PETA Wins Right to Have Newest Party Animal" Judge orders the D.C. Commission on the Arts to allow PETA to display an entry in an ongoing public street art exhibit featuring elephants and donkeys, entitled "Party Animals Public Art Project".
posted by mhaw on Aug 8, 2002 - 40 comments

Don & Mike v. Opie & Anthony.

Don & Mike v. Opie & Anthony. O&A are hot in New York, but D&M are doing poorly there. The opposite is true here in DC. At the risk of perpetuating a lie by posting this story here, I can't help but think that the on-air fight between these two radio programs from Infinity Broadcasting seems a little contrived. Anyone on metafilter, or any other online forum, knows that a flamewar and controversy breeds interest.
posted by crunchland on May 28, 2002 - 25 comments

Ben's Chili Bowl,

Ben's Chili Bowl, a Washington, DC institution if ever there was one, has put up a site. This eatery was opened in the 50's, when U St. NW in DC was the 'Black Broadway', survived the riots (and the ensuing economic disintegration) and is going strong today, still run by the family that opened it. Next time you're in DC, go in and order a few half-smokes just like Bill Cosby does - he and his wife had their first date there - and say hello to Mrs. Ali. If you already live in DC, rejoice in the new online ordering interface and have your chili cheeseburger waiting for you when you breeze through the door.
posted by GriffX on May 11, 2002 - 12 comments

A good New Yorker piece

A good New Yorker piece on George Pelecanos, who is my favorite crime author not just for his skills, but because he sets his novels in D.C.
posted by GriffX on Apr 2, 2002 - 6 comments

The Dark Side

The Dark Side of the Washington National Cathedral. Is this real? If so, why would they put an icon of evil on the outside of this place, "intended for national purposes, such as public prayer, thanksgiving, funeral orations, etc.,and assigned to the special use of no particular Sect of denomination, but equally open to all."
posted by zanpo on Dec 20, 2001 - 22 comments

The US’ World War II Monument is expected to open in 2004. The 7.4 acre monument has been roundly criticized as both “seriously flawed” and “off-key”. Apart from these critiques, I wonder if the US memoralizes too many wars and not enough peace.
posted by raaka on Nov 25, 2001 - 26 comments

On September 30th, there was a peace protest in Washington D.C.

On September 30th, there was a peace protest in Washington D.C. I'm surprised no one else linked to this -- about 50 students from my college attended and joined the crowd of a few thousand. I would have gone, but I'm dubious about the efficacy of public protest despite the fact that I'm an affirmed pacifist. What do you folks think? Will a totally non-military action be an appropriate response? (And is there any possiblity of the US acting in such a way?) Is the loss of a single additional human life in this new war justifiable?
posted by tweebiscuit on Oct 3, 2001 - 109 comments

Missing, presumed dead in NYC.

Missing, presumed dead in NYC. Dead at the Pentagon. While we talk about understanding the terrorist's reasons for the attack, please remember that each number we see scroll across tv is associated with a human being - who's only crime on September 11, 2001 was having the nerve to go to work or visit an international landmark.
posted by owillis on Sep 20, 2001 - 20 comments

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