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.

Woman Dies After Falling From W Hotel — Jesus

Apparently a very intoxicated lady plunged to her death last night, falling from the top of the W Hotel bar. Witnesses saw her climb over the fence, then “dangle from her hands” (as opposed to what?) from a ledge before falling. Authorities aren’t yet ruling it a suicide or just a drunken accident.

You'd have to work to get off of this.

Assuming this isn’t a suicide, my initial thoughts are how stupid and sad this is. She really had to work to get to where she was (as the above picture illustrates) and it’s shocking for her to die in such a vulgar and extreme way. I feel very bad for her family.

My second thought is; “how the hell hasn’t this happened at Local 16, Cleveland Park Bar and Grill or dozens of other local watering holes?  Absolutely no disrespect to either establishment, as I’ve frequented them both more times than I care to admit. But half the time I’m shocked I’m even able to make it home. So when you couple that with my abysmal coordination, the fact I am typing this now is an utter affront to science and the natural world.

Not exactly good for keeping drunks from falling off -- or White Walkers

I know two and three stories aren’t usually enough to kill someone, but still you’d think we’d hear more about this. At any rate, this is a very sad story and I really don’t think the W Hotel could have done anything differently to prevent this. I’ll let you know if anything new comes of this.

-IronCityspy

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.

-IronCityspy

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.

DC has trouble implementing technology from 1859

“Why hello there tourist from some far away land! Welcome to Washington, D.C.,  the world’s most powerful city!  We represent the epicenter of the planet’s most dynamic economy, unparalleled resources and the most mighty fighting force the world has yet known! What’s that? Why do our Metro escalators, a technology perfected in 1889, never, ever work? Well, aren’t you a smart ass.”

Yes, in yet another blow to Metro (though to be fair, no one has died for a while) Metro has announced it will need to close the Dupont and Foggy Bottom escalators for an entire year to perform comprehensive repairs. Seeing as Metro is the perpetual piñata for us DC bloggers, I am sure most of you have heard this by now. And not to pile on, but why does Metro continue to fail at implementing a technology that was essentially perfected around the same time as the radio?

That 1859 is not a typo

I am all for Metro finally addressing the problem directly and not just throwing a few bandaids on it — but the escalators have been in constant disrepair for the better part of a decade. Something tells me if they had been honest with themselves and done this earlier — a year’s worth of repair probably would not have been necessary. Hopefully they learn from this.

-IronCityspy

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.

-IronCityspy

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

DC’s indifference to Georgetown basketball is infuriating

With yesterday’s snoozefest of an NCAA national championship mercifully over, my mind started wandering to college basketball as it pertains to DC. We’ve recently had something of a renaissance with this sport, as the plucky mid majors (George Mason and VCU) and the traditional power (Georgetown) all having reached the final 4 in the past 5 years. While no shortage of ink, copy and air time has been spared for the little guys, I find myself fairly irritated by the decided lack of coverage Georgetown has received locally.

While I am not from these parts originally, I’ve had the pleasure of having been educated and lived in NOVA, worked all throughout Montgomery county in Maryland and now live firmly within the borders of the District.  As such, I’ve interacted with just about every sort of bloc that has come from this region. And it seems unless you went to Georgetown (as our beloved Spy did), the general reaction from the region’s denizens is a shoulder shrug and to talk instead about the big state school.

I mean come on!

It’s almost comical how frequently this occurs. If I am at work with some folks from Rockville, all they discuss is their love of Maryland basketball (despite having gone to some stupid school in Colorado or something). Or if I turn on my favorite radio program the Junkies (sarcasm), all the Virginians want to do is call in with utter disgust that Virginia Tech was denied a bid. Maryland, VA Tech? Really? I understand if you went to these schools, but everyone else really doesn’t have an excuse. Maryland has been wallowing in mediocrity for over a half decade and Tech has only just generated a competitive program. By contrast, Georgetown while serially underperforming, has an excellent program and consistently ranks as one of the top schools in the country. More to the point, it’s actually in DC and has a long and glorious history of excellence and breaking down racial barriers.

You are loyal to THIS?!?!?!

I get why some people dislike Georgetown. The students are typically very smart, often wealthy and sometimes (but not always) come from a landed family. Moreover, private schools and those affiliated with Rome (sorry about those posts again Mr. Ratzinger) make themselves pretty easy targets. But Georgetown is DC through and through, and it is usually far closer to where you grew up and live than any of these other big state schools. So come on DC, put aside the class and religious warfare for once and get behind a program that actually can make us proud. Oh, and what the hell is a Hokie anyway?

-IronCityspy

Why I love DC in the spring and some restaurant news

Actually that is sort of a disingenuous title. I tend to hate spring. I mean, I like spring in the abstract/Walden Pond sort of sense – the slow retreat of winter, the budding of tulips, daffodils and other lovely flora, the idea that soon bbqs, beaches and warm days will be the norm. However in real life, spring is a tease. It is hot, then it is cold – it is June and it is still cold even though it should be summer and spring should have ended like ages ago but it didn’t.  It rains all the time.  Spring breezes are cold breezes. Sometimes it will randomly snow. I hate pastel colors. Basically, I like spring for about 3 weeks – then I want summer.

Soothing April showers!

However, the one thing my warm-weather self will admit is that DC is very pretty in the Spring. Exhibit A, the dog park near my house:

Seriously, could anything look more idyllic? Also since we are talking about new flowers opening and rebirth after winter and other poetic things, the U Street area will be getting a host of new restaurants just in time for spring.

  • Standard, the burger joint, has already had a soft opening next to Home Rule at 14th and S St (Borderstan)
  • Pizza No. 17 opened at 17th Street at Q, next to Agoura (review forthcoming, as I stopped by)
  • The Pearl Dive Oyster Bar and BlackJack Lounge is set to open “late spring/early summer” at 1612 14th St (14th and U)
  • Boutique steakhouse Lost Society will be opening in the Spring at 14th and U (14th and U)
  • Touchdown a sports bar has opened on U Street at 13th (no word as to its companion chipper – Codmother) (U Street Girl)
  • Oh and don’t forget a new Dunkin Donuts will be classing up the space next to the Gibson on 14th (DCist)
  • And, further afield, we have Medium Rare, a new steakhouse that just opened this week in Cleveland Park (PoP), the Queen Vic a British pub opened on H Street (for drinks only now, kitchen should open soon) (check their FB page) as well as many new places lined up all over the city that will be disclosed on ispy in time

I mean, all of these things sound amazing – make spring’s Russian roulette of weather worth it. They are also all within walking distance of my house. SCORE. Happy spring!

Of course the missing Bronx Zoo Egyptian Cobra has a Twitter account

So as you may or may not know, New York City’s Bronx Zoo has closed their World of Reptiles exhibit after an Egyptian Cobra went missing on Friday afternoon. Yes. A cobra – as in a deadly and venomous 20-inch snake. It looks like this:

Before it broke out of dodge, it was being held at a separate facility not accessible to the public. Although zoo officials believe that the cobra is most likely hiding somewhere within the facility grounds, they have alerted the public out of safety – stating that cobras seek closed in spaces and do not like going out in the open. Well, unless they are hungry that is, which is how the keepers hope to find it.

Have they found it? Of course not. However, despite living in the shadows the cobra has managed to establish a twitter account. And it is quite amazing. You can find it here: BronxZoosCobra. Some tweets include:

I mean. He is quite witty for a snake in hiding. Anyways, to my New York friends… good luck and godspeed. I have read that it is an adolescent, which means, upside, it’s smaller than most, but downside, it has rudimentary control over its venom so could easily kill you. It is also likely filled with angst and wearing a Hot Topic sweatshirt.

Yikes: Pilots forced to blindly land at National Airport and other district news

Hi beloved reader(s). My apologies for abandoning you. As some know, I am currently in law school and stupidly signed up for “moot court,” a sublimely nerdy competition which consists of reading a 150 page case packet, writing a brief and arguing before a panel of your overly critical peers for nothing save marginal satisfaction and your name on some engraved cup. I am now officially eliminated. My Achilles Heel? Making “eye contact with my eyes and not my body.” What? Exactly. Time to file that in the “regret I put in the effort” bin.

My life in an image

However, now that this foray into law school overachieving has imploded, I can get back to the light of my life – DC news. And I can’t think of a more appropriate and terrifying place to start than airplane miscommunication.

According to the Washington Post, in stupendous DC fashion, two pilots were forced to land blindly at National Airport at midnight yesterday because they contacted the control tower and nobody answered. They called, other controllers in other places called, they used the “shout line,” which is loudspeaker in the tower – radio silence. Through talking to one another and nearby controllers, and a bit of luck, the two pilots safely landed minutes from each other and hit nobody on the runway.

Image that entered everyone's mind

So how did this happen you ask? How did two planes carrying 165 people simply call the control tower and have nobody answer? Well, the FAA won’t say exactly, but this is what the nearby TRACON controller wagered:

Well, I’m going to take a guess, and say that the controller got locked out. I’ve heard of it happening before

Locked out?!?!?! Yes. This is because the Washington National control tower from midnight to 6am is staffed by ONE GUY. And apparently a year ago pilots had to land blindly another time because the guy left his key card in the control room before leaving and found he couldn’t get back in. The FAA in their infinite wisdom has now suggested that more than one person would be better.

Maybe National could stand an upgrade?

If this terrifies you from flying out of DC because you will eventually have to fly back in (understandable), here are some other district headlines:

  • Overly obvious study says that Burleith neighborhood hates Georgetown students. And they’ve got numbers. Of the 500 homes in the region, 100 they say have the potential to be ANIMAL HOUSES. Toga! (City Paper)
  • D.C. suing Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline et al.  for charging customers full hotel taxes rates, while paying D.C. discounted rates. Priceline negotiator! (Examiner)
  • Leo DiCaprio shooting Clint Eastwood Hoover flick in downtown DC this weekend. Catch him if you can! (see what I did there? With the movies? Wit.) (WaPo)
  • Oh yeah, and there is the Cherry Blossom Festival. That also exists this weekend
  • Spring has sprung and the farmers markets are reopening. Add Penn Quarter to the open list (WeLove DC)

Yikes: A month of DC metro headlines

Convenience - brought to you by WMATA

So in my mind, I felt that DC metro has become a hotter topic of late. It seems like everyday the news reports that Metro escalators are slingshotting people, ipods are getting stolen, or politicians are trying to ignore the malfunctioning elephant in the room, which is easy to do since they don’t actually ride the metro. But then I wanted to proof. I wanted to see whether Metro was really that newsworthy, or I was just surrounded by people that constantly complain. After taking 30 minutes to search February headlines, the results are in. And, well, Jesus WMATA:

Feb 8 – DC Metro escalators just cleverly disguised “surprise stairs”

Feb 10 – Metro Board Floats Idea of Ending Weekend Late-Night Service

Feb 11 – House Republicans propose deep cuts to Metro budgets

Feb 14 – Metro equipment found at worker’s home

Feb 18 – Metro Grade: How dirty is Metro, and does it matter?

Feb 19 - Escalator falls apart at Foggy Bottom Station

Feb 22 – McDonnell treads carefully on Metro funding

Feb 23 – Metro Explores Corporate Sponsorships

Feb 23 – Electronic Device Theft Problem On Metro

Feb 24 - Serious crime on Metro hits 5-year high

Mar 3 – D.C. ACLU Preparing to Sue Over Metro Bag Searches

Mar 4 – Congress could cut Millions from Metro and MARC budgets

Yeah. So in one month Metro has succeeded to be broken, broke, dirty, dangerous and discriminatory (allegedly). It’s customers and employees both steal things. Republicans and Democrats, both local and national, are united in not wanting to give it more money. It’s broken escalators terrify old people, it’s new proposed service cuts terrify the young. I doubt corporate america will touch it. And, lest we forget, last November this happened:

Video: L’Enfant Plaza Escalator Malfunction: MyFoxDC.com

The Los Angeles times reported on this accident last week. Yes beloved reader(s), WMATA dysfunction has gone Hollywood. I am not sure what will happen in the coming months, but from one SPY, in one google search, conducted in one hour, it doesn’t look good.

Oh, and the metro will be awful this weekend. From 10 p.m. Friday through midnight Sunday, the Orange Line between Stadium-Armory and New Carrollton will be closed. There will also be no Blue Line service between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road. The Washington Post reports that there are no good bus or train alternative to the free shuttles. Details here.

Happy Weekend!