GASP! I almost neglected to participate in the time-honored blog tradition of making New Year's lists! My apologies to all! However, I felt inspired this week after coming across this piece of journalistic wonder from the Washington Post. Our favorite charticle/listicle/crapsicle author Monica Hesse teamed up with Dan Zak to tell us what's up for the New Year. I think they were off the mark a bit, so herein I present THE WIHDC 2K10 LISTICLE.
OUT: Foam and small plates, as well as Tapas
IN: Eating challenges
When Man v. Food came to the area, there was no legitimate eating challenge in the District of Columbia. As the recession wears on, people will no longer want to drop $200 for a meal of sample-sized foamy bits. They will want over 72 oz of steak, a side salad, a twice-baked potato and they will want to eat it in 30 minutes or less.
OUT: Non-profit scandals
IN: For-profit scandals
Last year we saw Marion Barry get in hot water over the funding of apparently bogus non-profits. That matter is still under investigation, but at the end of the day Barry was doing it all wrong. Come on Marion, you don't want to be shown up by Fenty and his pals, do you?
OUT: Food trucks
IN: Food troughs
Everyone's got a food truck these days, it seems. You've got the cupcake truck, Sweetgreen has one, and then there's the Fojol Brothers. In 2010 I'd like to see an emergence of cement-mixer style trucks doling out whatever food is trendy (coconuts, monkey brains, etc) via a trough. Let's talk serious for a second, though, about Fojol Brothers. First off, what's the big deal? Second off, why is no one offended by their ridiculous web site and attire? Imagine if someone had a fried chicken and watermelon truck and wore black face.
OUT: Monica Hesse
IN: 1,000 monkeys with 1,000 typewriters
Washington Post is testament to how the paper has no idea what it wants to be. Her piece on hipsters and the Columbia Heights Target was just nonsense, and I'm not surprised Henry Allen was put into a fist-throwing rage over a charticle. Style sections will always have some fluff, to be sure, but Hesse just seems out of touch and her work reads like it's she's trying way too hard to be "hip."
OUT: Real World: DC
IN: Meet the Natives: DC
I've mentioned the Travel Channel's "Meet the Natives" show, and the concept could be extended in 2010 to enhance cross-river relations. Take a delegation of DC natives, born and raised East of the river, and introduce them to people in upper NW. We can show them the luxuries that aren't currently enjoyed in that part of the town, such as a full-service grocery store. Many people in Wards 2 and 3 have no idea how the other 70% live, so we can rectify that with some good, old-fashioned exploitation reality television. After all, who are we kidding--other than for the occasional high school or church service project, most people in upper NW rarely venture east of North Capitol Street, let alone across the Anacostia.
OUT: Prince of Petworth
IN: We Love DC
I'll be honest that I avoided We Love DC for a while because of the cheesy name. Over the past few months they have found a place in my RSS reader, and I think they are poised for some growth. Advertisers should take note! I've had my spats with PoP over the last year or so, and it seems his community has been dwindling a bit lately, and no one has been impressed with his site since he announced he was blogging full-time. I expect to see less of this mindless blogging in 2010 and more of the feature-style writing that We Love DC (and others) are presenting.
OUT: Shutting down homeless shelters
IN: Soylent Green
For Mayor Fenty and the city's deep budget problems, this seems to be the next logical step. Don't bother outfitting the street sweepers with cameras, just add scoops to catch any people who are in the way. "Soylent Green ...it's PEOPLE!"
OUT: Adrian Fenty's law school buddies
IN: Adrian Fenty's Oberlin College buddies
While the medical marijuana legislation may have been floating around for years, in 2010 we expect to see strong growth in the District's hacky sack sector. Fenty may also strong-arm grant-makers at the Humanities Council to fund more spoken-word coffeehouse events, as well as an effort to bring a 3-day Phish festival to Rock Creek Park. One new proposed piece of legislation would end the District government's workday at 4:20 pm.
OUT: Fancy beer bars
IN: Fancy beer at ironic locations
OUT: Car fires
IN: Metro fires
Crime has been up on Metrorail lately, and this is expected to continue into 2010. With Metro on a limited budget, we may see the already annoying rowdiness escalate quickly. Teenagers who can't figure out how to hotwire cars to joyride and then set on fire may resort to just setting Metrorail cars on fire during off-peak hours.
OUT: Ted Loza
REALLY, REALLY OUT: Jim Graham
Graham will be facing some opposition in this year's election, which could prove very tough. There's been little news on the fate of Ted Loza lately, but having your Chief of Staff arrested for bribery is never good for your campaign.