The One Where DCSpy Blogs Again But Sets Expectations

Okay, so it has been awhile. Three years to be exact.  The last time you left your faithful spy, she had abandoned her perfectly acceptable government-adjacent job to become a goddamn lawyer–a confusing and seemingly pointless endeavor that culminated in her taking a bar exam, mentally breaking down during said bar exam, showering with her clothes on like Tobias, and then somehow passing said bar exam to only land a job that can be summarized as follows:

(photo courtesy of this amazing lawyer coloring book by Sad and Useless)

Sigh.  And so, in a moment of existential crisis, after buying a year’s worth of costumes for her beleaguered hedgehog (known here as DChog to protect his identity / job at the crinkle tunnel factory), DCSpy decided to blog again.

And dear reader(s), so much has happened in DC in the past three years!  Eckington is a thing I know now! There are working streetcars on H Street! A Dupont underground!  Philz Coffee!  The rat colony behind my apartment has a new leader! People aren’t as into cupcakes as they were at one time! Angelina Jolie is single and supposedly teaching at Georgetown!

I will do my best to update the blog at least weekly with recommendations around our fair city and other general musings, but please know I say this with the distinct possibility I might abandon the idea entirely  in a month.  For now,  the posts will be short and definitely pointless, but they will be on the internet.  I will also be tweeting I guess, although past practice indicates it will likely be a jumble of DCSpy writing, deleting and re-posting virtually the same tweets ad infinitum.  Twitter is taxing on the neurotic.

Happy Halloween my beloved District!!

Oh hi DC. It’s been awhile since we chatted on this medium. Why you ask? Well, in our 22 month hiatus, your lovely spy attended law school, broke down as a human, abandoned everything she loved, was rebuilt as a poorly functioning lawbot, and then promptly short-circuited in her lawbot body due the bar exam even though she is nearing 3o and should be able to take a goddamn test. I now return to you as shards of twisted metal and obscure latin phrases to blog about pointless DC things and beg for your love and forgiveness.

So with that, happy halloween!!! Halloween in our fair district is fantastic — if only because the embassies give out candy, dauschunds look like hot dogs, and every building is haunted by administrations past (seriously even Wok n’ Roll in Chinatown was once the boarding house of Mary Surratt – the first woman executed by the U.S. government for her role in Lincoln’s assassination– and is therefore known to be haunted).

Sushi with a side of ectoplasm

Ironcityspy and I will be going out this weekend to a murder mystery party as Sam and Suzy from Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom — a reality that is so insufferably hipster you should probably just poison some craft cider and put us out of our misery. If you are unfamiliar with Wes Anderson, just  assume our halloween will look exactly like the clip below — a movie trailer that is both parody and something I would seriously want to be an actual movie:

That being said, if you are in the district and looking for a party this weekend, I would check out both Eventbrite and Brightest Young Things to get the most comprehensive list of DC, MD, and VA activities. OR if you are lazy, you always could just dress up, drink at your house, and then take awkward photographs in front of national treasures. OR if you are even lazier, you could just eat Cheetos,  find a cat, force it to dress up as different U.S. presidents, and photograph it in front of terrible backdrops of national treasures that you drew.

Regardless, happy halloween and trick or treat!!! (Or as they say in Canada, “Halloween apples!!!” because God even their devil’s night is earnest)

The Marine Corps Marathon is very, very happy to be back in DC.

The annual Marine Corps Marathon concluded yesterday, marking another successful race  despite increased security. But that is hardly noteworthy compared to what I found yesterday while looking up road closures:

 Source: MCM website

Source: MCM website

Too subtle for you?
Must. resist. puns.

Must. resist. puns.

Yes friends, I give you the most important map since DNA was sequenced. Normally I’d think this was some sort of divine coincidence — but you can’t look at that tip penetrating the U.S. Capitol and tell me this isn’t the work of staggering genius.

- IronCitySpy

Oh, why did we choose this moment to end our 22 month hiatus you ask? Obviously you aren’t familiar with scripture:

“… and when a giant phallus reveals itself, rejoice!  The gentle blog will rustle from it’s ancient slumber.” - The Bible, probably.

Hey DC, this is a really dumb intersection.

Dear DC,

Please explain in what plane of existence one needs to inhabit in order for this intersection to make sense?

19th and T NW

This intersection is on IronCitySpy’s daily commute home. It’s also the home of IronCitySpy’s daily-vehicular-near-death/near-homicide. While it looks like a perfectly normal 4 way stop , look closer — only two parties are required to stop. The other two can zip on through. While a 2 way stop isn’t asinine on it’s own (well it kind of is), consider the following:

  • Parked cars are allowed to flank both stop signs. While seemingly benign, this actually creates a sinister Catch 22. In order to see if there is on-coming traffic (that is not required to stop), I must move my car into said intersection in order to see past the cars (and likely getting hit by said oncoming traffic in the process). Or, I can just assume there are no cars coming and try to bulldoze my through (again likely getting hit by oncoming traffic, which again is not required to stop).
  • This intersection is also the mecca of pedestrians/bicyclists. And not just any pedestrian/bicyclists, but some sort of weird Bermuda Triangle of douchery where 30 somethings that assume it’s appropriate to travel by longboard are genetically drawn towards. The rare moment when you see there is no oncoming traffic, you can bet a carnival of “Paperboy” characters will descend all around you — seemingly with the sole objective of being run-over by your vehicle.


DC, your transportation network is an easy target and is ripped on quite a lot. But this is an easy win and a quick fix. Make 19th and T NW a 4 way stop. If you do, you’ll gain a fan for life. But do it quickly, because at this rate I’ll be incarcerated for running over a dude juggling fire*


*Paperboy, anyone?

Fall is back, DC citizens squeal with excitment

Fall is back in DC (also presumably everywhere else) and if my Facebook and Twitter feeds are any indication, the regional population couldn’t be happier. So I suppose you have come here to read what just about every other blog is writing about: favorite fall activities, favorite fall drinks, favorite fall fashion, etc… If this is the case, I’d suggest heading to one of those. As my general feelings on fall can be summed thusly:

IronCityspy's present mood. Credit to for the perfect image.

As is well known to our longtime reader(s), DCSpy and I love the Summer. We love the sunlight, long hours, warm weather and trips that are synonymous with those glorious 3 months. So when I read twitter statuses that say “So excited to wear scarves again!!!” Part(most) of me dies inside. Don’t you people realize you have like 8 months of scarf weather!


DCSpy tends to be of the opinion that as long as Fall is here, we may as well embrace it. This position is anathema to me. Summer, in many ways, is like my best friend. I look forward to it before it arrives, can’t get enough of it when it is finally here and I am terribly sad when it leaves. Fall is Summer’s murderer/rapist. But unlike typical murder-rapists, I am then forced to hang out with the thing that forcibly sodomized and stabbed my best friend. Then I have to hear about what a great guy he is by literally everyone I am associated with!  Look, he may have some good jokes and can turn the occasional phrase, but at the end of the day he still left my beloved Summer in a dumpster behind the KFC.

It is because of this that I will be curmudgeonly during any and all fall activities I am forced to participate in. Yes apple picking and Halloween may be fun, but they can’t replace my best friend.


P.S. Not to clog my inbox about the Fall vs. Summer argument again, but I have one question for the Summer haters. When you go on vacation, do you go somewhere that is 60 degrees and overcast? No, you go somewhere that looks like this:

Year-round Summer!


DC apparently horrible place for women to meet men. Ladies?

According to this recent article from the Daily Caller, single women are having a hell of a time finding suitable men in our fair city. The article suggests two main reasons for this:

  • Washingtonians are married to their jobs. Because we are so career oriented, we have no time for relationships
  • Women outnumber men by a surprisingly large amount. There are 112 women for every 100 men.

Accurate approximation of IronCityspy

The first point seems dubious to me. While it’s true we are a career obsessed city, we work far fewer hours than the majority of the big cities. Moreover, places like New York and Chicago are never uttered in the same “it’s hard to find men” breath. While I think it’s true people that are career oriented tend to get married later (as do most educated adults), I doubt it will cause men to not date.

The second, actuarial point seems far more accurate to me. Because there are greater numbers of the fairer sex, it allows us men to be something that we rarely are; picky. While I am certainly setting myself up for an onslaught of hate mail (shock), there is a nice cemetery to this. Throughout our entire lives, men have to compete with each other to win women’s affection. I personally find it sort of nice to be in the other camp for a change.

Maybe I should rethink this whole DCspy thing. I mean, it’s been great and all, but apparently I am in demand. Plus I could start referring to her as a “Spinster”, which would be excellent.


Oh, and ladies, I do have plenty of single friends that aren’t career obsessed. I mean, they tend to be of the small and ginger variety — but they’re out there. Don’t all start lining up at the door.

You are saved — I Spy Things DC is back

Gather round my children. Your long, dreadful march through the desert is finally over. Dry your eyes — I Spy Things DC has indeed risen. And what better way to reassert ourselves in the blogosphere (why does that word even exist) than offensive religious imagery?

Typical introduction to IronCityspy


But I think some explanations and caveats are in order. DC Spy was forced to slow down her frenetic pace of posts due to an enormous amount of first year law school commitments (volunteering, participating in competitions and general law school rigor). Then, come finals, she had no choice but to simply abandon this blog — and in essence all of you. Now here you are, starved and half deranged from months in the wilderness. What’s that? Why didn’t I fill in the gap with my usual weekly posts? Look, Madden 2011 doesn’t play itself.  I had a very promising young quarterback that needed developing, and, well, it’s called commitment.

Anyway, there was a window there where Spy sincerely considered closing down this blog for good — especially while she spends the summer in Germany helping Russian Oligarchs make more money. But in the end, the enjoyment we get from writing this silly blog and the shocking amount of good-will we’ve received from all of you was simply too much to ignore. So away we go, with a slightly new format. IronCityspy(me) will be handling the bulk of the posts, while DC spy will take over my old slot of ancillary ones. So what does that mean for the content of this blog?

Honestly, we don’t know. I can’t guarantee I’ll keep up with her absurd pace — and half the time my “posts” will be nothing more than pictures with quasi witty captions. But when I am inspired, I do tend to write about places in DC I love, DC absurdity, religion and of course politics (*not stupid partisan hackery — I’d rather blow my brains out than read more of that). Spy will compliment me with fashion, restaurants and her other typical musings.

So what’s today’s DC topic? Really?  Look, I need to walk before I can run so you’ll have that tomorrow. In the meantime, in honor of DC spy, enjoy this cat video.


My work is done.


*For those that are inclined to partisan hackery, please follow @filibstr — though good luck not defenestrating yourself after reading a few tweets.

DC Spring Obsessions

Happy Earth Day! As I sit here in isolation, I started clicking around what’s new in the world. Much of this is from DC – as that is the universe of a SPY. Since my DC exploration has temporarily stalled, I invite you to enjoy these wonders – so that I can live vicariously.

So dear readers, enjoy the things to do…

…and things to covet…

…and things to accessorize…

…and things to preserve…

…and things to wear to a fancy party with a horse…

…and things to just take in….

Enjoy the weekend guys! See you next week.

Museum of the Americas, DC Fashion District at Long View Gallery
Glamourai (in Balenciaga), Ring from Charm in Georgetown
Female Tie by Ginger Roots Design, Necklaces by Claranette
Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Shenandoah
Outfit by Urban Chic, Dress by Line & Dot at Treat Boutique
LOVE sign at Dupont Circle (in honor of VA is for Lovers)

Embracing Anglo-Irishism

This is always a strange day for me, as I imagine it is for many of my non-Irish brethren. As I watch the throngs of DC’s Irish American community stumble from pub to pub, I feel small pangs of envy washed away by annoyance. As much as I abhor nationalism, there is something nice about a group of people getting together to celebrate their common history and culture. Granted if I were to judge the Irish culture purely on today’s events, let’s just say it wouldn’t go very far in disproving any stereotypes.

Anyway, the annoyance comes from far more insidious roots.  It is not uncommon for me to see blatantly anti-English posts on acquaintance’s facebook walls or even posted on those very same jovial pubs. While it is definitely not unwarranted (massive understatement), it did always irk me a bit. England has been, by and large, a force for good in this world — and I don’t want whole swaths of my friends to discount it.

So I had a typically very mature and respectful reaction on most St. Patrick’s days — I wore orange.

But recently I’ve been doing some family digging, and found that like most people from Northern England, there seems to be some unspoken immigration from Ireland on my grandfather’s side (strangely coinciding with Spy finding out about her own Anglo-Irish heritage). This has certainly caused me to reevaluate everything — but it has led me to an epiphany. When Ireland and England can forget their petty differences, spectacular things can happen. Don’t believe me?

Oscar Wilde

The Beatles

Olivia Wilde

God, how did I not come to this conclusion before? I mean seriously, it doesn’t get better than that. So I guess for the first time ever, sincerely have a great St. Patrick’s day and don’t completely hate on the English. Without them, none of the above would be possible.


P.S. I would be remiss not to inform you all the Anglo-Irish marriage did cause perhaps the most unholy abomination to ever be released:



Great Gatsby video game: Perfect for the DC intern that has given up on life

Morning Intern!

How’s your spring internship in the big city?! Since it’s March, I assume you have now ceased bragging to all your little friends back home about how you  won this important assignment interning for the House of Representatives to finally realize, despite your oversized suit and stupid name badge, that all you do for 6 hours a day is print documents, arrange someone’s outlook calendar and stare at the wall (assuming you even have access to an outlook calender.) Only 2 more months to go!

But fear not.  I have found something that will take up 4 hours of your mind-numbingly boring day while simultaneously appealing to your now regrettable liberal arts major. It’s the Great Gatsby video game for NES (circa 1980s), and it looks like this:

Well done sport!

Click here to play the game

It’s wonderfully retro, free and available online. The game’s protagonist is Nick Carraway. Armed only with a fedora, you battle waiters, drunks, flappers and gangsters as you follow the green light to find Gatsby. It’s the Great Gatsby that F. Scott Fitzgerald would have never wanted ever. It’s perfect. So play it, before the hipsters kill it for all of us.

But now, it looks like someone needs to get back to work. That pile of constituent mail isn’t going to read itself.