It’s a frigid but bright Tuesday.
Many of you have breathlessly followed the news that a snowy owl has been spotted around Union Station. Looks like our plumed friend honored its name and was a harbinger for the snow last week. From your collective observations around the Ward 6 and 7 area, we got an average of 8.6 inches, so well done snowy owl. Want to see more pictures and learn a little more about this beautiful and mysterious friend? WUSA has a little more info and more photos, but dubiously calls the area around Union Station “downtown,” which feels incorrect.
The owners of As You Are, the bar and queer space coming to 8th and E Streets SE, came before the ANC alcohol board Ono January 6 and the meeting got very heated and lasted three hours. WCP recapped the meeting, sharing some of the highlights (and lowlights) of what was said. Ahead of the meeting, a reader sent an email asserting that opposition to AYAB was “unanimous” among neighbors. You can see that tweet below:
The writer of the above email, Pope Barrow, seemed a little more open to change and a lot less confrontational when WCP talked to him the following day.
City Paper checked in with Barrow on Friday morning to see if he’d had a change of heart. “As You Are could either agree to reasonable closing hours or select a location on Barracks Row that is not so closely exposed to residences,” he responded in an email. “I don’t speak for other neighbors, but personally would be happy with either of those options and I would then eagerly welcome them to the neighborhood.”
By the way, the porn studio he refers to in his letter was the back of Capital Video Sales, which occupied the space where Tortuga Bar is now. For a wild look at the area, read this 1984 article from the Washington Post.
There wil be a follow-up special ANC meeting on Tuesday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. You can find out more information and connect here.
Over the weekend, many supermarkets around the Hill were very, very empty. The luck changed yesterday: Safeway is back!
We miss JDLand’s regular blogging, but it is nice to see a retrospective of Capitol Riverfront with her photos in the Hill Rag.
Sunday night was busy around Hill East. First, a person appears to have sat down on top of the third rail at Stadium-Armory Metro, and they were later struck by the train. The person was not killed and was rescued, but trains were single-tracking for several hours.
As if that were not scary enough, there was a partial house collapse in the 1800 block of A Street SE. ANC commissioner Denise Krepp tweeted that she’d asked DCRA to inspect the property (which sported a stop work order on the window) but no such inspection appears to have happened before the building tumbled down.
Have we reminisced enough about January 6? Last week, I asked you to send in anything you may want to share and reader Kevin Goldberg sent us a link to a personal and professional reminiscence that focuses on the meaning of the First Amendment. “The First Amendment allows only clearly defined and limited regulation of speech for a reason: No matter where the lines are drawn, there will be attempts by government officials to overstep.” Freedom Forum
I also had the privilege of hearing a first-person account of the day from former Capitol Police and Capitol Hill resident Winston. Winston was on duty that day. You can see him in the picture below– he is the officer on the far right, protecting a door at the West Front of the Capitol. He suffered physical and emotional trauma on that day. It was indeed. Before I was standing there, they were entering thru that door. Of this scene, he says, “As we pushed forward to secure it, I was punched in the face, knocked on my back and beaten. I remember lying on the ground in that moment thinking: this is where I’ll die. As I feared I’d be stabbed or shot with my own gun.” Winston is especially appreciative of the Metropolitan Police Department, whose actions truly saved the day. “They are the real heroes, and they suffered just as bad if not worse than USCP.” These days, Winston is healing through art and you can follow him on Instagram at Winston Watercolors.
DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton also shared a reminiscence on her site. You can read it here. As a Capitol Hill resident, I am particularly grateful for this statement from Delegate Norton:
The Capitol must remain open to the public after the coronavirus pandemic has ended. I have introduced a bill to prohibit the use of federal funds to install permanent fencing around the Capitol Complex. This is a part of my longstanding commitment to keep federal public spaces in D.C. open to the public.
A reminder that this person is still at large, one year later. Inside Edition
Here’s a parting thought from 13th and E SE, where delivery trucks keep making things unsafe for pedestrians.