RSS

Tag Archives: DC

Diner in Blanc

Heard about this. Unfortunately was too busy to deal with the drill. A couple of my staff who are foodies did. Sounds like it was a blast!

 

D.C.’s Snobbery-Free ‘Diner en Blanc’ Showed Washington at Its Partying Best

White people are crazy.

Let me rephrase: People who dress entirely in white—from head to toe—and schlep white tablecloths, white chairs, and white plates and napkins to the middle of a city to eat cold food with thousands of strangers, also dressed entirely in white, and who pay for this form of social masochism, are crazy.

I reached this conclusion weeks before I donned a pair of white linen drawstring pants, a white Guayabera shirt, and a pair of white espadrilles (which look good on no man) to join 2,000 strangers for Diner en Blanc, the foodie flash-mob franchise that rolled into Washington on Saturday night.

I was a guest, but my fellow diners (“dinerers”?) had paid upwards of $100 per couple to join this culinary club.

The Washington event sold out weeks earlier. Weeks!

The attendees were told to meet in groups at pre-assigned locations around the city.

Many of them had taken the Metro from the hinterlands of the D.C. suburbs. They flocked like little white lemmings, hiking their hemlines up from the dirty street corners, and waited patiently until 6 p.m.

Only then were they informed of the soirée’s secret locale, and they set out en masse.

I’d been tipped off to the venue early.

I stood outside the Carnegie Library in downtown Washington, just across from the city’s convention center, and watched streams of crisply dressed revelers, looking very hungry, hauling folded tables and chairs, linens, and baskets towards the library’s handsome lawn.

Some carried their gear in Rubbermaid bins strapped to luggage carts. Plenty towed roll-aboard suitcases filled with cutlery and cold salads. One woman pushed her supplies in a wheelchair.

Again, I reminded myself, people had paid for this privilege. Why? Washington is lousy with public parks and open green spaces. Did these revelers require instruction to enjoy themselves? When did they become allergic to spontaneity?

The city has been transformed over the past two decades into an urban consumer playground that can accommodate both the very wealthy who can afford to live there and the multitudes that come to shop, to eat, and—apparently, as “Diner” proved—to commune with total strangers.

The evening’s attendees had religiously adhered to the Diner en Blanc International-enforced dress code, helpfully emailed to patrons a few days prior. “Wear White. Please no ivory, cream, off white, a dress with a black belt, light khaki pants, or any other color.”

I realized my espadrilles were ecru and became anxious at the thought of a “Diner” enforcer confronting me with an ultimatum: Either the espadrilles went or I did. I wasn’t sure which outcome I’d prefer.

“Dress Elegantly or Very Elegantly,” the email said. Dangerous advice. More than a few women wore wedding dresses. Mens’ white jackets flirted with Zoot suitterritory. I did spot one man in a cream dinner jacket. I guessed he’d made it past the color guards.

“Very Elegant” also meant guests could wear a “mask, gloves, wig, or fascinator.”

For inspiration, guests were encouraged to consider Marie Antoinette, and to feel free to imitate her, provided that their wigs were “original” and of “high-quality” and, perhaps it went without saying, but it was said, “white.”

Washington is rather late to this white social craze. Diner en Blanc began nearly 30 years ago in Paris when, the story goes, a group of friends met up for a picnic in the Bois de Boulogne, a large public park on the western edge of Paris, and wore white so they could find each other.

I put aside for the moment why friends would fail to identify each other without dressing like Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island. Perhaps they weren’t very good friends.

In any event, the founders clearly tapped into some thwarted social longing.

Thousands of people had been waiting to join this white army. The concept became contagion, and ‘Diner’ has now spread to Paris, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Abidjan, Cape Town, Canberra, Auckland, Vilnius, Moscow, Shanghai, Singapore, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and now Washington. ...Read the rest here…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 2, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Washington DC Goes Clean Power

Washington DC has closed a deal to supply 35% of the city’s Power from Wind Farms in Pennsylvania.

Now, if they could only put wind vanes in Congress to harness the hot air, and a methane plant to harvest the bullshit…The other 65% would be free.

DC Mayor Touts New Obama-Backed Wind Power Deal

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser

 

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the commencement of a deal with a power provider that would allow the city government to produce 35 percent of its energy from wind turbines located in Pennsylvania.

At a press conference Wednesday, Bowser thanked the Obama administration for “all of their hard work” pushing clean energy regulations and said the deal would help the city keep in line with Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

“The District of Columbia is not a city that denies science or the facts,” Bowser said. “We know that climate change is real.”

Since 2012, the city government had been buying Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs, to power its buildings and facilities. The RECs allowed the DC government to buy green energy it wasn’t actually using, but now the city will get wind power directly from a wind farm in Pennsylvania…

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 14, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , ,

Battle With the Bloviate – Hannity Ripped By Norton-Holmes

Hannity gets miffed Eleanor Holmes-Norton, the Congressional Representative from Washington, DC won’t all into debating his racist baiting…

Hannity tries to use a tried conservatwerp racist technique, which is to try and force the other person to argue on behalf of their racist imagination. Ergo – to become the perfect foil for their poor argument. Holmes sticks to her guns…And Hannity looks like a fool.

Way to go, Congresswoman!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Faux News

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Former DC Mayor Marion Barry Dead

Controversial DC Mayor Marion Barry has passed away…

To a lot of the residents of the DC area, Barry represented both some of the best of the area, and some of the worst.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 23, 2014 in Giant Negros

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Getting the Criminals Off the Streets in DC…Means Arresting the Police

Big City…Big Crime. Corruption on the part of Civil employees is a threat in any government. When it is the Police though, it has an impact on community trust and impacts the ability of the good cops to do their job.

The District of Columbia has more policemen per capita than any city in the world. Between the dozen or so local and Federal Police Departments (FBI, Secret Service, Customs, ATF,  etc), quasi police organizations such as the Federal Protective Service, the Transit Police guarding the city’s bus and subway system, and a host of private police guarding various buildings and facilities – there are actually enough police in DC to station one on every street corner in the city…several times over. During the riots of 1968 after MLK was assassinated, they actually did that with some small help from the National Guard.

A pic of some of DC’s finest. Insofar as this poster knows, none of the Policemen shown in this picture has done anything untoward or illegal.

110 D.C. Police Officers’ Arrests Since 2009 Leads To Questions, Scrutiny

Police officials in the nation’s capital have been facing recent questions about headline-making arrests — not of hardened street criminals but of their own officers.

In a single month, one District of Columbia police officer was accused of taking semi-nude pictures of a 15-year-old runaway and another was charged with running a prostitution operation involving teenage girls. A third was indicted on an attempted murder charge, accused of striking his wife in the head with a light fixture.

Police say the arrests aren’t representative of the entire department, which includes about 4,500 officers and civilian employees. Still, more than 100 officers in the last five years have been arrested on charges ranging from traffic offenses to murder to money laundering, and the latest instances have increased concerns about training, supervision and accountability. The D.C. Council has set a hearing to discuss the problem and Police Chief Cathy Lanier has met with residents to assuage fears of a misbehaving department.

“We don’t think we have a department out of control, and I think that oftentimes is the image that is portrayed,” she said in an interview, noting that the majority of arrests are not for on-duty corruption but instead involve off-duty misconduct that is harder to police.

The hearing Friday will focus on how applicants are screened and what services are available to prevent alcohol abuse and domestic violence, two prevalent problems, said Councilmember Tommy Wells, who chairs the public safety committee.

“I think it’s extremely important that the public have confidence in our police force and we’ve had three high-profile cases of serious police misconduct, albeit generally off-duty,” Wells said.

Police department figures show the arrests of about 110 police officers, for both on- and off-duty conduct, since 2009. Many of the arrests involved traffic violations or involved cases that were dropped or ended in acquittal.

Among the most serious cases was Richmond Phillips, who received life without parole last year for the slayings of his mistress and baby daughter. Wendel Palmer was convicted last year of sexually abusing a girl who participated in his church choir, while Kenneth Furr received a 14-month sentence for an armed altercation that began after prosecutors say he solicited sex from a transgender prostitute.

Lanier has said many of the arrested officers were brought onto the force during a time of lax hiring standards and wouldn’t be qualified to serve today. She said that in some cases the arbitration process has required the department to rehire officers it fired. She said the department has dramatically tightened its recruitment practices to mandate polygraph exams and that only one of about 25 applicants is now hired.

The department also tracks warning signs like missed commitments and abuse of sick leave. And it requires officers to report off-duty arrests, which Lanier contends can make the numbers look worse than in cities that lack that requirement.

“I feel comfortable that our recruiting process, the background screening we do, is as tight as we can get,” Lanier said at the meeting. “But I also realize that there are people that are on the police department that came through at a time when there was not that strict background (check), and those are the people that we want to make sure that if they are involved in misconduct, that we weed those people out.”

But resident Khadijah Tribble, 42, told the chief she was unconvinced the misconduct was isolated.

“Aren’t these trends troubling and isn’t it worth our due diligence to do a thorough, independent investigation of this trend?” Tribble said in an interview.

Robert Kane, the director of the Drexel University criminal justice program who has studied police misconduct, said the number of arrests wasn’t necessarily shocking for a big-city police department.

At least 43 New York City police officers are known to have been arrested between 2011 and 2013 on charges including gun-running, drunken driving, perjury, a ticket-fixing scam and a cannibalism plot. A Los Angeles police officer was charged with stomping a handcuffed woman who later lost consciousness and died. Dozens of Memphis, Tenn., officers have been arrested in recent years.

Kane said that on-duty police misconduct can be reliably defined, off-duty misbehavior by officers is studied less often.

“We know what factors explain police misconduct, when police officers stop people and extort money from them,” he said. “What do we know about officers who walk into a liquor store when off-duty and rob it at gunpoint for some beer?”

In D.C., the first of the recent arrests was on December 2 when officer Marc Washington was charged with taking semi-nude pictures while on-duty of a teenage runaway who had just returned home. Authorities say after responding to the girl’s apartment, he directed her into her bedroom and told her to undress so he could photograph injuries. He was arrested after the girl alerted her mother, who contacted police. Soon after being released from jail, Washington was dead from an apparent suicide.

The following week brought the off-duty arrest of Linwood Barnhill Jr., a 24-year-veteran who was charged after police came to his apartment and found a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing. The girl told police Barnhill had photographed her and offered to pay her to have sex with other men, allegations also made by a second teenager. His lawyer says Barnhill never threatened anyone.

Lanier acknowledged the arrests, especially for on-duty conduct, have shaken the department. But she said she hopes the sight of handcuffed officers sends a message to other officers who would break the law.

“We would like the officers to know that if there’s somebody in our midst that is committing criminal conduct and we become aware of it, we will lock them up,” Lanier said. “We don’t need somebody else to lock them up. We will lock you up.”

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2014 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

If You Build It…Maglev Train

Evidence that the Tea Bagger types haven’t quite reduced America to Third World status…Yet.

Organizers line up big names to push new high-speed rail line linking D.C. to N.Y.

The privately owned Washington company that last year began lobbying to build a high-speed rail line between Washington and New York has lined up some prominent names to press its ambitious plan to improve congestion in the Northeast corridor.

The Northeast Maglev, the 25-employee company founded in 2010, is looking to develop a high-speed magnetic levitation system that would bring passengers from Washington to Baltimore in 15 minutes and to New York in 60 minutes, at speeds of 311 miles an hour.

The company, which according to its chairman has raised $50 million in private funding, plans to announce today it has enlisted several of the region’s business and political leaders to join its advisory board: Under Armour founder and chief executive Kevin Plank; former chief executive of Northwest Airlines Doug Steenland; former transportation secretaries Mary Peters and Rodney Slater (now a lobbyist at Patton Boggs); and George Pataki, Christine Todd Whitman and Ed Rendell, former governors of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively.

The board is being led by former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, who is now an adviser at DLA Piper, the international law firm that the Northeast Maglev has hired to lobby on its behalf before Congress.

The rail line would include stops at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. The project is unrelated to Amtrak’s $151 billion plan to develop a high-speed rail system — that would go from Washington to New York in 94 minutes — in the Northeast corridor by 2040.

The Northeast Maglev chairman Wayne Rogers said his firm does not have a cost estimate for the entire project but that the Washington-Baltimore leg would cost at least $10 billion. He said he expects it to take at least three years to navigate the regulatory, environmental and planning process and another 10 years for construction. The company is working closely with engineers from Central Japan Railway, which operates the bullet train in Japan.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 3, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Last Colony (Washington, DC) Vows to Ignore Shutdown

Washington DC is unique among all principalities in the United States in that Congress – specifically the House – must approve all spending for the city. This means, if there is a Government shutdown the non-emergency city services would be shut down as well. This is particularly galling to DC Residents as it is their tax money paid to the city which operates the government, not Federal monies as is not uncommon in the rest of the country. So Congress has the authority to tell the DC Government how to spend it’s own tax money…

This has led to any umber of disasters as the Republican Congress has forced the city to adopt their confederate policies, such as school vouchers and limits on health care.

The Libraries are toast, too!

So…What happens if there is a shutdown in DC?

1. Parks, museums, and the Zoo closed: All Smithsonian museums, federal monuments, the National Zoo, and public facilities in National Parks like Rock Creek Park would be closed. Because tourists probably won’t realize it in advance, they’ll probably flood downtown Starbuckses and Potbellies with bored out-of-towners.

2. Libraries and recreation centers dark: All D.C. libraries and recreation centers will be closed, giving kids fewer places to hang out after school, which means who knows what kinds of trouble.

3. Department of Public Works off duty: Trash collection would be suspended for a week, as well as street sweeping, which this time of year means some very clogged drains.

4. Circulator offline: While the Metro would stay open and WMATA buses would keep running, D.C.’s super-convenient Circulator buses would have to stay in the garage.

5. Permit offices and the DMV shut: The Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs are closed, meaning even longer lines for licenses, permits, and car registrations when the shutdown eventually ends.

6. No parking enforcement: Okay, you probably don’t mind that so much, but it does cost the city money and could lead to shortfalls down the road.

7. University of the District of Columbia shuttered: You might not be the one with your academic year interrupted, but at least sympathize with the poor students who’ll likely have to make up the class time later.

8. Potential loss of city equipment and buildings: The city has a master lease on pieces of equipment like traffic lights, computers, and public safety vehicles, as well as a contractual agreement to use facilities like the Unified Communications Center, which controls all the city’s emergency systems — as long as payments are made on time. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton warns that they could be repossessed if the city lacks the budget authority to do so. And in any case, ongoing worries about the city’s ability to use its own money could make it more expensive to borrow, which the city has to do every year for capital expenditures.

Yeah…This stops, too!


Mayor Gray designates all of District government ‘essential’ to avoid shutdown

Mayor Vincent C. Gray moved Wednesday to designate the entirety of the District government as “essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property,” in a bid to allow city services to continue during a federal shutdown.

Gray announced his position in a letter to the federal Office of Management and Budget, which is handling preparations for a shutdown that could take place if congressional leaders fail to reach an accord by Oct. 1.

“I am writing to inform you that I have determined that all operations of the government of the District of Columbia are ‘excepted’ activities essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property and therefore will continue to be performed during a lapse in appropriations,” the mayor wrote to budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Gray’s posture is unprecedented for the District government, whose budget comes largely from locally raised taxes and is set by locally elected officials but is ultimately appropriated by Congress. During past shutdowns, in keeping with federal guidance, the city has designated public safety and some other crucial functions as exempt from shutdown but curtailed many city services, including libraries, recreation centers and trash pickup.

The letter comes a day after Gray and D.C. Council members openly debated ways to defy the federal shutdown and keep the city government operating.

On the good side – these guys are out of work!

It is unclear how President Obama’s budget office will respond to Gray’s broad definition of “essential.” Requests for comment made to the agency Tuesday and Wednesday have gone unreturned.

In a statement issued with the letter, Gray said it is “ridiculous” that the District “cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they’ve paid for without Congressional approval.”

“Congress can’t even get its own fiscal house in order; they should be taking lessons from us rather than imposing needless suffering on us,” he said. “I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction.”

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 196 other followers