Welcome to the first Hill Buzz of 2020 and the first SNOW BUZZ of 2020 as well! As you may know by now, it *might* snow today starting at 3 p.m. and even though the Office of Personnel Management doesn’t want the door to hit you on the rear too hard starting at 1 p.m., it looks like schools are letting out right as the snow starts. Why not focus all our attention on this perennial local drama, instead of thinking of the winds of war?
In news that is honestly more humorous than sad, Halloween-year-round bar Beetle House lasted less time than my kids’ candy leftovers. Seriously. We still have Halloween candy, but these people are gone. I’d like to take the opportunity here to salute neighbor Lisa Banusiewicz, also known as @omgitslisab on Instagram, who called out the owners of Beetle House on the off-handed arrogance and ignorance they displayed on an interview with Eater’s Gabe Hiatt back at the end of September. Lisa called for a boycott of the place until the owners apologized to their new host city’s nightlife scene, but no one else supported her. Lisa was then subjected to fending off threats and possible legal action from the owners of Beetle House, who tried to intimidate her and belittle her for speaking her mind and calling to boycott. Lisa, you were courageous and you called it from the start. I’m sorry people were less than kind to you in return (although that one tailgate photo was not great, even if it was ironic). Eater
Last year (I don’t get tired of this chestnut, so you’ll be seeing it a lot. #sorrynotsorry), there was a gas leak that shut down Navy Yard metro and parts of the green line. It also forced evacuations around several buildings in the area. Pretty crazy stuff. The Hill
Speaking of the Navy Yard area, Skanska sold its gorgeous building at 99 M Street SE for $163 million. I can’t tell– is that a good deal or a bad deal? Money tends to lose its value when you have nothing to compare it to. At almost $700 per square foot, the sale is apparently a very good deal for Skanska and for the neighborhood. Where’s my fainting couch? Commercial Property Executive
Any and all conversations about our homeless population should start with realizing that they are people who want to be treated with dignity and respect, just like anyone else. A local photojournalist chronicled some of the homeless residents of the neighborhood, focusing on those who live in the encampments near Union Station. Spend some time looking at these faces and filling yourself with empathy. WUSA-9
One of the first homicides of 2020 (or last of 2019?) happened in our neighborhood and I hate that this is how a local family had to start the new year. PoPVille
The tally actually stands at six homicides as of today, but WAMU has a recap of the first four homicides of the year. Why is the homicide rate the highest it’s been in years, even as our city is safer and more prosperous overall? So many questions.
New Mediterranean restaurant Mekki opened recently in the old Las Placitas space and they had a big party with a belly dancer. Guess my invitation got lost in the mail, huh guys? I love belly dancers! Eater
Hey, do you still need to take down the holiday tree but are not sure what to do? I wrote a little something you might find useful. The Hill is Home
Did you miss the goodness of Trickling Springs products over the holidays? (Oh, the eggnog….) This Washington Post article takes a look at the grim fallout of a business built on the solid religious principles of the Mennonite community, but which was taken down by garden-variety poor business practices on a large scale.
If you’re tackling the new year with the best of intentions and loads of shiny resolutions, take heart in knowing that the DC area is in the top 20 percent of American cities where you can actually stick to your good intentions. We’re no San Diego, California, where apparently everyone follows through on their betterment plans, but it’s not a shabby position. Check out more fun facts over at WalletHub. Related: I’m suddenly craving a steak burrito as big as my head and stuffed with french fries, which doesn’t seem like the stuff resolutions are made of, but is a thing I totally have eaten in San Diego– with zero remorse.
Hyper-local pride: The OurStreets app (formerly How’s My Driving DC) has generated a lot of buzz. The makers of the app are profiled on the Washington Post. A huge congratulations to Mark Sussman and Daniel Schep, and thank you for taking active steps to making our streets safer! If you have loved How’s My Driving, make sure you sign up for the release of OurStreets here.
You may have seen our tweets about Medium Rare closing on December 31, but in case you missed it, here is a write-up from WTOP. Although everyone has differing opinions on each and every restaurant, you cannot fake the commitment to the community that Medium Rare displayed since 2014. The most notable show of solidarity was their generous meal donation in the aftermath of the Capper Senior Housing fire in September of 2018. We will miss you on Barracks Row (even if we grumbled a little about your tables taking up too much space on the sidewalk).