It was a big year here at Borderstan. It was also a big year in our neighborhoods. Restaurant openings, restaurant closures, crimes, fires, weirdness — the news never stops.
But what did you read? Here’s a look back at some of our most popular stories of 2015:
Madam’s Organ “fart fine”
Adams Morgan blues bar Madam’s Organ was fined $500 in June for leaving its windows open while a live band played there in 2014. Regulators said the Adams Morgan bar was fined specifically for violating a settlement agreement brokered in 2008. But why were the windows open in the first place? Madam’s Organ’s owner, Bill Duggan, said a band’s drummer “opened the window to let [a] fart out.”
Though Duggan tried to push back against the fine in July, he ultimately did pay up.
Man shot in head in Adams Morgan
A man was shot in the head on a busy street in Adams Morgan in August. Though little was known about the shooting after it occurred, dozens of witnesses came forward to describe the harrowing crime.
The victim survived the attack, said police at an Adams Morgan ANC meeting in September. The investigation is still ongoing.
When Guy Fieri comes to town
D.C. erupted into a frenzy when we broke the news that Guy Fieri was coming to town in October. Where would he go? What would he eat? Would he ramp his signature red convertible?
Though his visit was shrouded in mystery, we eventually caught wind that the mucho grande food fan would end up wolfing down bread, cheese and meat at Bub and Pop’s on M Street.
Street artist defaces Ben’s Chili Bowl mural
A street artist going by the name “Smear Leader” affixed the grinning visage of Kim Jong Un on top of the Bill Cosby mural at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street in October.
The news sparked a larger debate: Was this an act of artistic defiance or vandalism? In an online poll we conducted, 46 percent of you backed the artist’s decision to deface the mural.
Former site of “men’s parties” sex club becoming a J. Crew men’s store
In a poetic twist, J. Crew appears to have its sights set on opening a location in a Logan Circle building that once held the infamous “men’s parties” sex club. Though the company has tentatively set a May opening date, the building still appears to be in the early stages of a full rehabilitation.
Bartender saves the day at wine and tapas bar on 14th Street
When a masked man started waving a knife at Barcelona on 14th Street in August, one quick-thinking bartender saved the day by knocking the would-be robber out.
The Islander says goodbye to U Street
Longtime family-owned Caribbean restaurant and lounge The Islander left U Street in July, and many locals were sad to see it go.
“The soul of DC is dying everywhere and being replaced with boring $500K condos,” wrote one Borderstan commenter. “Hats off to the owner and staff for serving our community for so long,” wrote another.
Faux speakeasy really nails the theme
A faux speakeasy called The Speak was shut down in November for too closely resembling a real speakeasy. According to regulators, the bar was selling alcohol without a valid liquor license.
Photo via Facebook / Madam’s Organ
From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.
New Year’s resolutions, the year’s first, great conflict. To make them, not to make them. Scoff at them, secretly envy the temporary discipline of our peers. Personally, I think the nature of resolutions is best captured by Mark Twain:
“Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion.” (via The Paris Review)
So in the nature of getting into the “looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion,” we thought we’d share our resolutions for 2013, may you help keep us accountable and participate in public shaming when we fail!
Health, Our Old Friend
- I will exercise everyday. That is my resolution. – Luis Gomez
- I’m giving myself three months to “get right” again. Get back into good habits like cooking at home, moving more, reading, writing — things I know make me happy! – Alejandra Owens
- Fewer happy hours (of the non-coffee kind), read the books I have bought over the last few years, write down my family’s traditional Indian recipes! – Aparna Krishnamoorthy
Home Cooking, Revived
- I’m resolved to making home cooked meals more frequent and extraordinary. – Jonathan Riethmeier
Relationships & Creativity
- My resolution is to send a hand-written piece of mail out to somebody different every week. – Namita Koppa
- I made a DC-to-do-list of 10 places/things in DC I haven’t seen or done yet and would like to get to. – Laetitia Brock
- I love mail, so writing hand-written notes is one of my resolutions too. – Ashley Lusk
- My resolution is to start a creative writing journal and set aside time biweekly to actually sit by myself and do it! – Chelsea Rinnig
Live That Life!
- I have lots of little resolutions. One is as simple as getting the mail everyday. Yup, it’s time to be an adult. – Rachel Nania
- I try not to make resolutions, but I am going to try to take more risks this year, and also would like to learn how to make fancy cocktails at home. – Katie Andriulli
So, Borderstanis, what are your New Years resolutions?
It’s that time again… a look back before we start 2013.
All week, we have been counting down with the most popular stories of the year in each one of Borderstan’s content categories. Today, however, we present to you, the Top 25 most popular stories (overall) that appeared on Borderstan.com in 2012.
The web is forever, so they say. Posted stories continue to get hits a long time after originally going up on the site. As a result, some of the most-read stories for the year were sometimes published the year before — especially if they were published late the year before.
The Top 25 Most Popular Stories of 2012:
- Meet Julie Mason, White House Correspondent, Neighbor (Michelle Lancaster)
- Hank’s Forced to Shut Half of Patio; Owner Seeks Community Support (Borderstan)
- 6:30 PM Monday Gun Robbery, 1400 Block of P Street NW (Cody Telep)
- Man Shot in Vicinity 17th and Corcoran NW Saturday Afternoon (Luis Gomez)
- How to Succeed at Chipotle Without Really Crying (Scott Thompson)
- Stabbing at Tabaq Bistro Early Saturday Leads to Temporary Closure (Cody Telep)
- Plans Unveiled for the Louis at 14th/U; Will Remake Famous Corner (Matt Rhoades and Luis Gomez)
- Food and Development: The Italians are Coming! (Luis Gomez)
- 10 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Graduated From College (Scott Thompson)
- Police Tips: Protect Yourself From Robbery, Assault (Borderstan)
- Batch 13 Liquor Store Coming to 14th Street (Borderstan)
- Why Do Ginkgo Tree Berries Smell Like Dog Poo? (Borderstan)
- Weather Closings, Delays Listed at WTOP.com (Borderstan)
- Bethesda Bagels: We are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Like, Ever. (Melanie Hudson)
- Where is DC’s Gay Neighborhood in 2012? The Winner is… (Borderstan)
- Update on 17th and Corcoran Shooting: Second Suspect Sought (Cody Telep)
- The Story Behind Bakehouse, Coming Soon to 14th and T (Rachel Nania)
- The Coffee Bar: Borderstan’s Newest Cafe (Jonathan Riethmaier)
- Beyond Neverland: The Art of (Finally) Growing Up in Washington, DC (Scott Thompson)
- Fire at Mid City Deli Building, 14th and P NW (Luis Gomez)
- 10:15 PM Shooting on Saturday, 1400 Block of R Street NW (Borderstan)
- Meridian Hill Park Getting a Face Lift (Luis Gomez)
- Update on Early Saturday Morning Shooting, 1100 Block U Street NW (Borderstan)
- 2 Victims in Early Sunday Morning Stabbing at 14th and U NW (Borderstan)
- New Citizens’ Organization Seeks Different Path for 14th and U (Borderstan)
From Katie Andriulli. Email her at katie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @kandriulli.
Hey guys, how was your holiday? I ate my body weight in lasagna and watched Mrs. Doubtfire with my parents, so basically par for the vacation course for me.
Luckily for you, the weekend is already upon us, and it has a few things going for it, not the least of which is that it’s the last one of the year (good riddance to 2012, amirite?) So let’s see what’s on the agenda.
Give your holiday-addled liver a brief reprieve tonight and stare in wondrous, childlike joy at holiday lights in the shape of lemurs at the National Zoo. Their annual ZooLights celebration (which is free, by the way) runs from 5 pm – 9 pm and ends on New Year’s Day.
Stop reading this, and go watch this CBS Sunday Morning interview with Georgetown grad Bradley Cooper. How cute is he? Eat some popcorn for dinner tonight and go see Silver Linings Playbook, because he and the movie are both equally delightful.
Bibiana restaurant is kind of incredible, which is why I’ll forgive them for calling their black truffle tasting dinner tonight “Truffle-rama.” The three course menu will set you back $60 (because, truffles) but admit it: you’re sort of curious to see how they’re able to make a dessert out of them.
For the first time in (maybe ever?) Washington has a shot as seeing TWO of its professional sports teams make the playoffs in the span of a year, which is almost as good as having Congressional representation. Even if you haven’t watched one Skins game this year, Google RGIII and head to a bar to watch them throw down against longtime rivals the Cowboys in the last game of the regular season. Because DC is DC, there are more sports bars here dedicated to out-of-town teams than the Skins, but Borderstan stalwarts Nellie’s, Solly’s and Stoney’s are all good locales to catch the game, which starts at 8:20 pm.
I’m sorry you guys, but objectively speaking, 2012 was pretty terrible (there are a lot of reasons why, but may I present Exhibit A and Exhibit B). I don’t begrudge you the chance to pay a bunch of money to spend the night trying to avoid getting rail drinks spilled on you. However, if you’re more like me (re: a 85-year-old woman in a 30-year-old-body) you might be more inclined to go out and grab an awesome dinner, or head to one of the many bars around town that will be cover-free and low key tonight.
Better yet, stay in with some takeout, some friends and some whiskey and play the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest drinking game (take a shot every time Seacrest has more money than you). You’ll forget all about the year that was in no time.
Whatever you do, have fun, be safe and remember to take the metro or a cab home if you’ve had too many cocktails. Take it from this guy: starting the New Year off with a DUI is so not chic.