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Archive: City life

Raw Fisher: Toast

If today's weren't the last installment of Raw Fisher, I might be writing about a small victory -- the District's decision yesterday to save the Eastern Branch and two other Boys & Girls Clubs, a cause I've tried to champion here for years -- or about Half A Tank, a new blog chronicling a journey across the Washington region and beyond by a Post photographer and writer searching for the stories of this recession. But today is the end of this particular road, and so I thought I'd use this last moment to offer readers one final chance to explain...

By Marc Fisher | June 4, 2009; 07:21 AM ET | Comments (12)

D.C. Library At The Cutting Edge?

Normally, that's a headline you'd expect to find on a piece about budget cuts or service reductions at the ever-beleaguered D.C. Public Library. But as Raw Fisher moves through its final week here on the big web site, there's good news to report about one of my biggest hobbyhorses over the nine years I've been writing the column in The Post: The sorry state of the District's public libraries. For the better part of the last decade, I've been hammering at the city government over its failure to invest in turning decrepit, pathetically underused libraries into the kind of...

By Marc Fisher | June 3, 2009; 08:06 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Iron Fist Of Cleveland Park's Politburo

A classic Only-In-Washington story is shaping up in Cleveland Park, where Not In My Backyard zealots have managed for years to stymie plans to upgrade a pathetic 1950s supermarket for fear that people might actually drive to it and use it. A relative handful of residents have been able to turn their opposition to Giant's expansion plans for its shop on Wisconsin Avenue NW into a virtual roadblock--and that has so frustrated supporters of the plan that some of those supporters decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Recently, they signed up as members of the Cleveland Park...

By Marc Fisher | May 27, 2009; 08:24 AM ET | Comments (28)

A Capital Success: How Did Leonsis Do It?

Last year around this time, I foolishly wrote that a Game 7 is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a climax that summons everything a fan has to give and brings strangers together in a frenzy of hope, desire and expectation. Well, here it is again. The Washington Capitals, in case you haven't noticed, have gone from just another lousy D.C. sports team with thin, fickle, and emotionally uninvested crowds to the talk of the town. You don't have to look back too many years to find all manner of news stories and blog items speculating that Washington's hockey team would be...

By Marc Fisher | May 13, 2009; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (48)

D.C. Lets Church Tear Down Brutalist Atrocity

In the eternal battle between the people who live in the city and an arrogant elite who think they know better, score one for the people: Mayor Adrian Fenty's representative yesterday sided decisively with members of the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, ruling that they must be allowed to worship in the church building of their own choice, despite efforts by historic preservationists to landmark the much-loathed structure. D.C. planning director Harriet Tregoning has ruled that historic preservation zealots trying to force the church to keep its concrete bunker of a building on 16th Street NW near the White...

By Marc Fisher | May 13, 2009; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (38)

Binary Man: Add Food To Metro's Mix?

Binary Man is torn: He loves Metro's tough-guy attitude in sticking with its total ban on food and drink in Washington's train system through all these years. On the other hand, having grown up riding New York City's subways, he also relishes the pleasure of eating lunch while reading the paper and riding to his next destination. In the end, Binary Man's antipathy toward rats wins out. Metro is hardly rodent-free, but it's a far sight better on that count than some of the country's more permissive transit systems. Keeping food out of Metro has worked just fine. So...

By Marc Fisher | May 8, 2009; 08:32 AM ET | Comments (14)

Psst...The President Ate Here Last Night

The word first got out via a text message sent with great urgency on Friday night. The president of the United States had stopped in at a neighborhood chili joint in Bethesda. Barack Obama had taken his children to an event at the Imagination Stage children's theater and then "came across the street to visit Hard Times Cafe, where he had chili and wings," according to an email that repeated the text message. That email begat another email and onward through the ether. Obamamania being what it is in certain circles, pretty soon a couple of Washington Post reporters...

By Marc Fisher | May 6, 2009; 07:55 AM ET | Comments (4)

How Many Don'ts Does It Take To Ruin A Friday Night?

Restaurants and bars pour big money into their images--the logo on the sign outside, the look inside, the acoustics. Then along comes the government to order nightspots to clutter up their showcase entryways with signs announcing that the establishment doesn't serve anyone under 21, that pregnant women shouldn't drink, that the business doesn't discriminate and that people shouldn't smoke. Now, the District's Alcoholic Beverage Control board wants to add one more sign to the flurry of announcements greeting folks headed out for a good time: Board member Mital Gandhi has proposed that all eateries and bars licensed in the...

By Marc Fisher | May 1, 2009; 07:22 AM ET | Comments (13)

Couple's Nuptials a Hiatus From Life on the Streets

She had heard all the lines, knew all the games. So when Dante White's first words to Nhiahni Chestnut were "I want you to be my wife," his chances did not seem strong. "I said, 'You are really putting it out there,' " Nhiahni recalls. But her retort came with a smile. Something about Dante made his preposterous opening line seem not just plausible, but a downright heart-melter. Such are the mysteries of love: Come Saturday, Dante and Nhiahni will marry. People will journey from every corner of Washington to see them exchange vows -- wealthy Georgetowners and people who...

By Marc Fisher | April 26, 2009; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (3)

Most Livable City: Bethesda?

Magazine ranking stories are like In/Out lists and movie Top Ten lists -- I know I shouldn't fall for them, but I do. Now here's Forbes magazine, purporting once again to list the most livable cities in the country. I'd have skipped right past this -- really, I would have -- but for this utterly strange factoid: The geniuses at Forbes list as the second most livable city in these United States Bethesda -- yes, our Bethesda. Leaving aside the fact that Bethesda is not a city -- heck, it doesn't even have its own government, let alone lots of...

By Marc Fisher | April 20, 2009; 08:33 AM ET | Comments (69)

Requiem For A Washington Of Song

The conductor, Kurt Masur, had met these hundred voices just a few days before, but though he was frail and shaking in his old age, he bounced up on his toes, gripping the air as if to pull anguish and reverence from the chorus before him. "Mere phantoms, we go our way," the Master Chorale of Washington sang out last weekend, a shimmering collective voice floating above the National Symphony Orchestra. "Mere vapor, our restless pursuits." From the chorister seats in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, these singers -- by day, lobbyists and lawyers, teachers and shop clerks -- poured...

By Marc Fisher | April 19, 2009; 09:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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