by Tim Regan October 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm 0

Glen's at The Shay, photo via’s Garden Market has moved a step closer to opening its new location in Shaw.

The Dupont-based business has applied for a liquor license application for its forthcoming location at The Shay (1924 8th St., NW). According to the application, the new Glen’s aims to serve local beer and wine in a “communal eating space.”

Glen’s owner Danielle Vogel said at an ANC 1B meeting three weeks ago that she hopes to open the new location some time next month.

In May, Vogel told the Washington City Paper that employees at the forthcoming Glen’s would sling $4 beers and freshly prepared salads, sandwiches and entrees alongside locally sourced groceries.

“It’s going to feel more like a bodega,” Vogel told the Washington City Paper. “You’re going to be completely enrobed by the bounty of the region.”

The new Glen’s will also include a large beer garden and sidewalk cafe with seating for 51 people.

Photo via

by April 16, 2013 at 10:23 am 0


At-Large DC Council candidates, from left: Matt Frumin, Perry Redd, Elissa Silverman, Patrick Mara, Paul Zuckerberg. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]

More than 150 people watched the five of the candidates in the April 23 special election for a DC Council seat take part in the Loose Lips At-Large Candidates Debate at the Black Cat, yesterday evening. The April 15 debate was sponsored by Washington City Paper. Attending candidates were: Democrats Matthew Frumin, Elissa Silverman and Paul Zuckerberg; Republican Pat Mara; and DC Statehood Green Party candidate Perry Redd. Democrat Anita Bonds did not attend.

The event was moderated by City Paper Editor Mike Madden. The candidates were questioned by Tom Sherwood of NBC4, James Wright of the Washington Informer, and Alan “Loose Lips” Suderman of the City Paper.

Democratic Candidates Try to Isolate Mara?

The opening Q-and-A section from journalists gave an opportunity for the other candidates to isolate the lone Republican. Some efforts were more successful than others.

  • Suderman asked the candidates if they would post recent personal tax returns on their campaign web sites. All immediately said “yes” except for Mara. Mara said it would support disclosure of tax returns for all elected councilmembers.
  • But will you, a candidate, post your returns, Suderman pursued.
  • “I would consider it,” said Mara. This met with boos from the crowd.
  • Finally, Mara agreed to post his returns “if all the other candidates did the same”.
  • Sherwood noted that, nationally, Republican party opposes gay marriage and that a Michigan state Republican official had recently characterized homosexual lifestyles as “filthy”. How did Mara reconcile this to DC Republican’s support of gay marriage?
  • “This disgusts me greatly,” Mara said, before detailing the long history of support for gay marriage by both DC Republicans and Mara personally.
  • “I’m the only one who testified at the Wilson Building for gay marriage,” Mara said. “I lobbied conservative members of Congress.”
  • Mara then said it was unfair to tie him to the national GOP, just as it was unfair to tie other candidates to the current Democratic corruption in DC government.
  • The other candidates, except for Paul Zuckerberg, said the national Republican party’s position was “relevant”.
  • “I don’t think Pat should be dinged for what some yahoo said,” Zuckerberg said.
  • During the later audience Q-and-A period, Mara stood alone as the only candidate not endorsing mandatory sick days for restaurant workers whose income depended primarily on tips. Mara said this measure would “discourage small business in DC”.
  • In his concluding remarks, Mara characterized himself as a “very moderate Republican”.
  • “I’m never ever ever going to be a true member of the Wilson Building club,” he said.

Ugly Moments on the Racial Politics of DC

Wright asked the candidates what they would do for “people who feel that Washington is not for them anymore.”

  • Answering second, Redd began: “What you posit here is a factual thing.”
  • He then began to talk about “new residents”.
  • Tom Sherwood interrupted to ask him if meant white people.
  • Redd avoided a direct answer to the question.
  • Then he said, “Check your conscience.”
  • At this point, Redd then began to inaccurately cite the poem by Martin Niemoller that begins, “First they came for the communists, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist”.
  • Redd said, “When they came for the Jews …”
  • Members of the audience began to boo Redd.
  • “Are you booing me?” Redd asked in angry disbelief.
  • Tweets sent at this point indicate some spectators thought Redd was comparing DC gentrification to Nazi Germany.

I don’t think this comparison was his intention. I think he meant to say that, if you are well-off today but don’t help the less-well-off, then one day when you are no longer well-off, no one will help you. Perhaps some of the audience, having progressed past their first beer by this point, were not prepared for this level of nuance.

However, Redd never had the chance to finish his quotation or explain his meaning completely.

Tom Sherwood began the next question by observing the proportion of DC’s population that is African-American has declined from 70 percent to 50 percent.

  • “It’s called ethnic cleansing!” a woman shouted from the crowd.
  • “I can’t hear that,” Sherwood said.
  • “Ethnic cleansing!” the woman shouted louder.
  • Sherwood went on to note recent remarks by Anita Bonds on WAMU. She said: “People want to have their leadership reflect who they are. The majority of the District of Columbia is African American. … There is a natural tendency to want your own.”
  • Sherwood asked the candidates what they thought of this remark.
  • Answering third, Redd said, “It is a fact that many African-Americans have that belief … We want to be respected. When whites are in control, they don’t respect the most wronged.”

All Candidates to be Full-Time Councilmembers

All candidates supported the abolition of “pay to play culture” in DC politics and said they would have no outside employment during their terms as councilmembers. Perry Redd went further, saying he would only serve one term and he would employ an “open source software solution” so every telephone call and every meeting he attended could be monitored by the public.

Still Anybody’s Race

A poll reported yesterday that Anita Bonds has the lead among voters with a land line responding voluntarily to an automated survey. However, 43 percent of respondents said they had yet to make up their minds.

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by April 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

"Best of DC"

Time to party with City Paper’s “The Best of DC 2013.” (Luis Gomez Photos)

Imagine an evening of eating and drinking at some of the city’s best restaurants. Now, imagine doing it all in one place.

Washington City Paper’s Best Of DC 2013 fete is this Wednesday, April 10 — and the evening features just that: the best DC has to offer. The evening will feature tastings from 50 Best of DC winners and finalists. Plus, there will be five stages for live entertainment.

The event is at Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Tickets are between $75 and $115 and can be purchased online.

Sample of What to Expect

We don’t have room to list all of the artisans/mixologists/restaurants, but here’s just a sample of who will be there (as you can see, there are several places from the neighborhood):

  • Range
  • Cashion’s Eat Place
  • Ted’s Bulletin
  • Jack Rose
  • Buffalo & Bergan
  • Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato
  • Kapnos
  • Shake Shack
  • Hank’s Oyster Bar
  • Café Saint-Ex
  • Masa 14
  • Bar Pilar
  • Virtue Feed & Grain
  • Zengo
  • Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
  • El Centro D.F.
  • DC Brau Brewery
  • Chocolate City Brewery
  • Port City Brewery
  • 3 Stars Brewery
  • Ruddy Duck Brewery

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by December 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm 2,353 2 Comments

"Erik Wemple"

Erik Wemple. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

Here at “Borderstan People,” we like to profile local movers and shakers who are spicing up the neighborhood in a variety of ways. Recently, we caught up with journalist Erik Wemple to catch his beat.

Currently a media critic at The Washington Post, Wemple formerly served as editor of the Washington City Paper and did a stint with with the short-lived In this interview, Wemple discusses everything from trying to keep up with today’s fast-paced and integrative field of journalism, to Borderstan coffee shops and safety tips.

Borderstan: Where did you grow up?

Wemple: I grew up in Schenectady, New York a few hours north of New York City on the New York State Thruway.

Borderstan: What got you interested in politics and/or the media?

Wemple: I think my interest in politics and media came from my father, who served nine terms in the New York State Assembly. He very much enjoyed “working” the media. And I’ve just always had a knack for writing and reporting.

Borderstan: How did you get your start as a journalist? What does a “typical” day entail? What recommendations or tips do you have for journalists getting their start?

Wemple: I worked my way in to journalism slowly, beginning decades ago when I edited a newsletter on federal export regulations. It was a lot of work – a lot of reporting, a lot of meetings in dingy federal office settings, a lot of calling around to industry types and asking precisely what were their problems and priorities were. Never underestimate the corporate confusion over U.S. re-export controls.

Then I started freelancing for Washington City Paper and the InTowner, among others. I really began to get into it, and I got a job at City Paper, eventually becoming the publication’s editor. After eight years, I caught on with TBD and hired the staff there. From there I moved to the Post. It’s really not a very compelling career story, to be honest.

Borderstan: You’ve been in roles from editor to blogger. What has been the most rewarding, memorable, or challenging?

Wemple: It’s tough to attach a superlative, but this current gig is plenty challenging. The challenge is to have something to say about media-related news stuff, as well as to do conceptual stuff and quirky fare. Keeping things fresh is a handful. Thank god there’s cable TV out there – without it, there’d be a fodder deficit. was also quite a challenge, needless to say. We were charged with trying to launch a profitable local, web-only news site from scratch, and we failed (though we didn’t have a lot of time to succeed). That said, I really loved working on the project. The lesson from it, and it’s a pretty narrow one, is that any organization that tries to knit together a traditional TV news operation with a news site driven by print folks has a lot of managing ahead of it.

Both media cultures have their strengths, but they also have sharp incompatibilities. And I’m not talking only about the different personalities of the folks who do TV and those who do print. A good TV story needs, first and foremost, visuals, something that most print journalists think about secondarily, tertiarily, or not at all. Usually not at all.

In this vein, it’s hard for me to compare working for the Washington Post to, which I’m frequently asked to do. Both are media organizations, and right there the comparisons stop.

Borderstan: How has journalism’s shift to the online environment changed the profession, and how have you adapted to these changes?

Wemple: Journalism’s shift to the online environment has changed every aspect of the profession. I’ve adapted to these changes by scrambling, quite frankly. Scrambling to keep pace with the social media imperative. Scrambling to understand search, scrambling to figure out why my embed code didn’t work, scrambling to figure out why the copy desk says it can’t get access to the post I just filed, scrambling to appreciate why “via” is such a key component of a good tweet, scrambling to watch three cable news channels at virtually the same time and gauge Twitter feedback at the same time, scrambling to nail interviews via phone, e-mail, DM and FB, all at the same time. Just scrambling.

Borderstan: It seems your interest in politics brought you to DC, but what brought you specifically to Borderstan? When did you come here, and what about the neighborhood caused you to stay?

Wemple: I bought a two-bedroom at the corner of 15th and O Streets NW in 1991 for a song. The neighborhood attracted me because at the time I was concerned about my environmental impact on the world; I wanted to live where I wouldn’t need a car too much, where I could commune with others who felt the same way about the planet. And that is all a total lie.

In truth, I moved to Borderstan because it was close to work, and the apartment was better than other places I’d looked at. The environs at the time were a bit dicey, though I had no idea about the degree. For instance, 15th and O taught me to look fixedly at the mirror when I brush my teeth. That’s because one night, as I was brushing, I was gazing through the back window, which overlooked what was then an empty and open lot on O Street NW between 15th and 16th Streets.

Everything looked pretty quiet, though I noticed a Subaru station wagon that was wiggling a bit down there. A little squinting brought into focus a little flagrante delicto inside the Subaru, which I’d prefer to have missed. As I’d later discover, that lot and other spots in the vicinity were popular refuges for fellows who’d cruised nearby blocks for prostitutes.

Worse were the smash-and-grabs. I had a 1986 Honda Accord – nothing sexy, but still a target for monthly break-ins, even though I learned early never to leave anything in it. No matter. One time, I hopped in the car ready to go to a friend’s place and she didn’t start –  didn’t even turn over. I checked things out and found that someone had stolen my battery. On my way back from the 14th Street Trak Auto, trapezoids burning from the weight of my new battery, it hit me: The thief wasn’t after the old battery; the thief was after the replacement battery. Determined not to fall prey to such a scam, I took to parking the car miles away, on an unregulated street in Ward 3. I’d run or ride my bike to fetch it.

Now to answer the question of why I’ve stayed: Because I don’t do change that well. Once I’m in a place, it’s hard to move me. Someone recently told me that she’s “so done with DC” I believe that, but I have no idea what that feels like. They say people have trouble imagining their deaths, but I see mine as falling flat on my face on a piece of concrete between 12th and 18th Streets NW, south of Florida and north of Massachusetts. Hopefully not too soon.

Borderstan: What are some of your favorite Borderstan spots for drinks, coffee, dinner, to get a good book or have a meeting?

Wemple: I’ve got two young kids who aren’t quite ready for swillfests at Stoney’s and don’t have the palates to appreciate the flatbreads at Birch & Barley, so my hanging out at neighborhood joints is limited. That said, I’ll put in a good word for Java House. It predates the boom in the neighborhood and has a feel consistent with its age. It’s just a nice space with nice ownership and nice clientele. Peter Rosenstein and his crew are always there talking civics; my family and I go on Wednesday mornings each week. It’s always a good time.

Borderstan: Anything else you would like to share with the readers of Borderstan about your life or work?

Some safety tips: Watch yourself at the intersections of the bike lines on 15th Street. People tend to be preoccupied by auto traffic and may step off the curb, ignoring a cyclist who is just about to clip you. I hector my kids to watch out for the cyclists, because they whisk by very fast.

Another hotspot is the southwest corner of 16th and Q, right there in front of the PETA offices. I’ve seen a car plow right into the sidewalk there, because it had swerved to get clear of a car turning left from 16th southbound onto Q Street east. When waiting at that intersection, get behind a tree or light post.

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by July 26, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,258 4 Comments

From Ashley Lusk and Mike Kohn. Check out Ashley’s blog, Metropoetrylis, find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her at ashley[AT] Find Mike on Twitter at @mike_kohn or send him an email at mike[AT]


Wafflegate: How one local business and Groupon started a news feeding frenzy (Luis Gomez Photos)

We recently learned about the closing of Back Alley Waffles as the news broke on Monday.

However, more surprising than the closing of the establishment is how owner Craig Nelsen informed clients of the restaurant’s closing. Nelsen posted a sign on the door stating that the business went under due to the “bloodthirsty business practices of Groupon.”

It didn’t take long for a picture of that sign to go live and for the news and accusations to start flying, as bloggers, neighbors and local papers worked to get to the bottom of the story.

Admittedly, we personally were among the masses with an initial reaction to side with the much-admired local business, over the aggressive and very large company, Groupon. But as the day went on, and the articles and interviews came out, the full-story unraveled, leaving all initial reactions (including our own) a bit one-sided.

Jessica Sidman at Washington City Paper reached out to Nelsen and was met with no response. Readers of the article, however, quickly contributed comments, blaming Nelsen’s voluntary participation in the Groupon model and his signature of acceptance of their terms.

“I doubt one lone Groupon offer could sink a whole business,” wrote one commenter in the article’s comments. “Surely there were some other financial problems and the owner is conveniently blaming all his problems on Groupon. Any prudent owner would have contacted any of the thousands of other small business owners who have participated in Groupon deals to understand how the payment process worked.”

Nelsen, himself, responded to these comments in The City Paper article and merely incited more responses against his position.

“I opened the waffle shop because I was struggling financially with my art gallery, so, yes, I was under-capitalized from the outset,” wrote Nelsen. “And, yes, I should have read the fine print on the contract, just like I should read the fine print on my Comcast contract.”

Tuesday morning, Business Insider was able to reach Nelsen for an extensive comment on the nature of Groupon’s business, and it published the story right away. Later, however, the story unfolded further as Business Insider” confirmed Groupon’s side of the story, complete with actual numbers and financial terms.

It is regrettable that Back Alley Waffles will no longer be serving steaming waffles along Blagdon Alley. But even more regrettable is the feeding frenzy and blame game that we, as reporters, bloggers and concerned neighborhood residents sometimes play.

Here at Borderstan, we love our small and local businesses — they are what keep our neighborhood unique and thriving, and we make an effort to cover them and profile local businesses. But at the end of the day, we, as well as other publications, are in the business of informing people, not taking sides.

These days, there is a fine line in journalism between delivering news quickly and delivering the whole story accurately — and supporting our local businesses, which form the backbone of our community and commercial corridors. We hope we can continue to keep our balance on that fine line, and keep our readers abreast of the latest community news — including local businesses.

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by July 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm 1,911 0

From Ashley Lusk. Check out her blog, Metropoetrylis. Find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her at ashley[AT]

Author’s Note: At you’ll always get food news from writers who actually eat in our neighborhood. They know where to find the newest rooftop bars, the brunch with unlimited mimosas, and the best vegetarian options in the city. That’s why we’re giving you a chance to get to know the writers who bring you the best eats Borderstan has to offer. So, grab your fork and take a seat at our table.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

"Sarah Lipman"

Sarah Lipman is one of Borderstan’s food writers.

Sarah Lipman is a food writer for Borderstan.

What’s the best resto in DC? Why?

Lipman: Vidalia: southern-inspired food that’s classic yet imaginative. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Describe your food writing style; what kind of story are you looking to tell?

Lipman: I want to taste as many different things as possible, connect with the fantastic city of DC and concisely tell the Borderstan readers all about it.

Which food writers are inspiring you right now? Who do you look to for food news?

Lipman: I loved Chris Shott when he was writing for Young & Hungry, and I’m now enjoying what Jessica Sidman has to say as well. The Bitches Who Brunch are a guilty pleasure.

What is your version of comfort food?

Lipman: Mashed potatoes and Thanksgiving-style stuffing. Warm and buttery, these dishes make me feel like I’m surrounded by family.

What is the cooking tool you can’t live without?

Lipman: My phone — to call for takeout or reservations.

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by June 12, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,615 0

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

The Washington City Paper has posted its list of the area’s most valuable restaurants, and Borderstan’s cuisine is well-represented. Don’t confuse this for a simple “best restaurants” list — rather, it is a diverse survey of the places where your money is best spent.

How do the folks at WCP make such a distinction?

Each food contributor is asked to respond to the question, “What makes your dining experience valuable” in his or her own way, and the results are appropriately diverse: some selections are noted for their ambiance or vibe, while others are featured strictly for their food and/or price point.

Borderstan restaurants offer great options. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Borderstan inclusions are:

  1. Taylor Gourmet
  2. Great Wall Szechuan House
  3. Bar Pilar
  4. Standard
  5. Blind Dog Café
  6. Sundevich
  7. Little Serow
  8. Sushi Taro
  9. Smoke & Barrel
  10. Estadio
  11. Obelisk
  12. Komi (of course)
  13. Brasserie Beck made the list as well, and although it lies beyond the borders of, um, Borderstan, I’m giving it a nod because it’s a personal fave.

Note that five restaurants on the list are on 14th Street and three more are on 17th Street NW. Get eating!

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by March 16, 2012 at 9:30 am 1,575 0

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]

Reporters at the Washington City Paper will be taking a 5% pay cut, effective this week as the paper’s owner searches for a buyer for the paper (and sibling publications Creative Loafing Atlanta and the Chicago Reader). DCist reports on the news and includes some interesting points of information.

Washington City Paper Up for Sale. (Luis Gomez Photos)

For example, this change in ownership is not exactly unprecedented — it was owned by the Reader until 2007, when Creative Loafing bought both publications out. In 2008, Creative Loafing declared bankruptcy and was bought out by Atalaya Capital Management. Amy Austin, City Paper publisher, told DCist she was aggressively looking for a local buyer for the paper. Blogs like ours want and need local publications such as City Paper to thrive.

The future of local papers, even of the mostly electronic variety, has been a hot topic in journalism for some time. With the traditional dailies in jeopardy, it seems only too obvious that the smaller budget publications would be facing even greater pressure to meet numbers and cut costs.

Former DCist editor Sommer Mathis opined to Borderstan in an interview last year that while digital was the future, content was still king when it came to what outlets would survive. I suppose only time will tell if that is the case for Washington City Paper.

The dedication, hard work and great content produced at so many great local publications, including WCP is essential for good local news coverage. Here at Borderstan, we are crossing our fingers for the best outcome for the publication and its staff.

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by February 2, 2012 at 9:31 pm 1,993 0

Bike signs at 16th and U Streets NW (Luis Gomez Photos)

By Michelle Lancaster. Got news, a hot tip or want to complain about what is or isn’t in this? Let her know on Twitter @michlancaster or via email at [email protected].

This piece from the Washington City Paper  has something for everyone.

If you think bikers needs to do a better job of following the rules, you’ll be cheered by news of the Ride for Responsibility.

If you yearn for the days where bike messengers ruled Lucky Bar, then you’ll want to join in the Fixt of Fury alleycat races in the future.

The alley race sounds ridiculously awesome, with checkpoints all over the city and a kegger at the conclusion of the race. But the work done by the Washington Area Bicycle Association is worthwhile, if a bit more mundane. After all, that’s the point.

Related Posts

by September 12, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,933 0

"Borderstan" "Joan Hisaoka Gallery" "U Street NW"

“VESSEL” opened September 9 at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at 1632 U Street NW. the gallery reopened after a major renovation and expansion of the space. “VESSEL” is part of The 9/11 Arts Project. See the story in the Arts & Entertainment section for more information. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Ashley Lusk. Check out Ashley’s blog Metropoetrylis and find her on Twitter at @arlusk.

Unless you decided to head out of town this weekend, it was hard to miss the somber cloud that settled over the city as residents reflected on the September 11, 2011, attacks on New York and DC. Remarkably, the heavens cast mercy on bedraggled Washingtonians with an audacious blue sky and temperatures hovering around 82 degrees.

A Quiet Memorial

As President Obama recited Psalm 46 at Ground Zero in New York City, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gathered at the Pentagon to pay homage to those killed when American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The digital divide seemed to evaporate as masses rushed to Facebook and Twitter to share their memories in a reflection of national grief.

A Good Day for a Run

Due to the torrential downpour we saw last week, the Nation’s Triathlon was officially down one event as the swimming leg of the race was dropped. Not to be deterred, thousands of triathletes participated in Sunday’s event where they completed a 40K bike ride and 10k run.

7th and Rhode Island NW Parcel Up For Sale

The Housing Complex blog at Washington City Paper reported last week that the parcel of land at the northeast corner of 7th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW is back on the market. The city had originally planned to build affordable housing at the site, but those plans were scrapped and the land will go out for bids from private developers.

Drop It Like It’s Not

On Saturday Washington City Paper reported that the charges made by Redskin’s owner Dan Snyder against the paper and its reporter Dave McKenna had been dropped. Earlier this year Snyder sued the paper for allegations of antisemitism and potentially libelous statements. WCP issued a statement saying, “Now we’re eager to get back to our business of covering the city’s politics and culture — including its sports culture — without this distraction.”

Speaking of Football…

Sunday marked the return of the NFL football season with game and drink specials all over town. The Washington Redskins played against the New York Giants Sunday night, leading the game event with a special memorial to the firefighters of September 11 — and even came away with a 28-14 win.. In addition to a wax display from Madame Tussuad wax museum, game day fans received American flags upon entrance, according to The Washington Post. Did anyone see any of the players in league-sanctioned memorial gear?

by August 10, 2011 at 11:00 am 4,137 2 Comments

Mike DeBonis, Luis Gomez Photos, Borderstan

Washington Post columnist Mike DeBonis in front of  Capital Manor Cooperative on W Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster.

The streets of Borderstan are rich with journalistic talent – and we’ve got you covered for insider scoop; from our January interview with  Julie Mason of Politico (formerly of Washington Examiner) to our June interview with Harry Jaffe of the Washington Examiner and Washingtonian….we get you the work story, personal story, Borderstan story and everything in between.

… And now, I’m pleased to welcome our latest addition: Mike DeBonis, Washington Post reporter who covers local politics and government (DeBonis came from Washington City Paper.) DeBonis’ unbiased coverage of local politics and the inner-workings of the City Council over the past four years has earned him the reputation as the tough but fair reporter who leaves no stone unturned.

In addition to his day-to-day Post deadlines, DeBonis blogs on all things D.C. You can check out his breaking news and musings at District of DeBonis. As you’ll read below, DeBonis has strong ties to his current job, local journalism, the streets of Borderstan and the glory that is Fast Gourmet. 

Profiles like DeBonis’ are part of our ongoing series featuring “Borderstan-grown” people of interest.  For others we have featured, check out interviews with featured personality Shi-Queeta-Lee and novelist Joe Flood.

Borderstan: Thanks for agreeing to be the one who answers the questions instead of asking them. Tell us about your move to D.C. — when did you arrive and what brought you here?

DeBonis: I will have lived in D.C. 11 years later this month. I moved here in 2000 to attend Georgetown University. At the time, I thought I was going to be big into politics. Then, I realized I didn’t really care for my fellow students who were also going big into politics. I ended up a Russian major, but mostly I worked on the weekly newspaper. I started freelancing for Washington City Paper while a student and when they offered me a job just before my last semester, I decided to graduate early and take it because it was the only thing I was qualified to do anyway.


by April 13, 2011 at 10:25 am 2,878 1 Comment

Washington City Paper, Council candidate forum, Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos

Tuesday evening: The City Paper’s forum for five candidates in the DC Council At-Large race was at the Black Cat. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Matty Rhoades

The seemingly endless long march toward the April 26 special election for an At-Large City Council seat continued Tuesday evening with yet another candidate forum. If this is Tuesday, we must be at… the Black Cat. (Okay, this was only my second forum, but the media coverage alone is wearing me down.) The difference between the candidates on a number of issues is minimal (Corruption Bad! Education Good!) and anyone would be hard pressed to compete with the antics coming from the Wilson Building right now.

Check out Borderstan’s non-political profiles of candidates Bryan Weaver and Patrick Mara… look for Josh Lopez Thursday.

Bryan Weaver, DC Council candidate forum, Black Cat, Luis Gomez Photos, Borderstan

Under the table: Council candidate Bryan Weaver’s shoes. (Luis Gomez Photos)

But onward the candidates march and last night’s forum was sponsored by The Washington City Paper — the paper’s Loose Lips column to be more specific. The requirement for an invitation was that a candidate had to have 10% support in a poll or have raised at least $10,000 in campaign contributions.

The five candidates out of the nine in the race who passed the test were Joshua Lopez, Patrick Mara, Vincent Orange, Sekou Biddle and Bryan Weaver. The questions came from CP’s Alan Suderman (the current Loose Lips), NBC Channel 4’s Tom Sherwood and “DC Politics” host Chuck Thies.


by March 29, 2011 at 6:15 am 2,232 0

Dupont, Logan, U Street, Borderstan

Best of D.C. 2011: Lots of winners in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area.

Matty Rhoades and Alejandra Owens contributed to this post

Last Thursday the Washington City Paper released the results of its annual reader poll, Best of D.C. Readers voted in four categories: Goods & Services, People & Places, Food & Drink and Arts & Entertainment. In addition, the City Paper has a shorter list of some of its favorites.

As in past years, there many winners in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area and we have listed them below by category. Since there are too many local winners to call out here, we will simply note which establishments/places/people received a 1st, 2nd or 3rd Place in more than one category (we’ll call it a Special Mention).

Special Mentions go to Whole Foods, The Phillips Collection, Wagtime, Busboys and Poets, Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, U Street (the area), Nellie’s Sports Bar, Buffalo Billiards, ChurchKey, Lauriol Plaza, Komi, Sweetgreen, Local 16, Town Danceboutique, 9:30 Club, Black Cat and U Street Music Hall.

We give Nellie’s Sports Bar an Extra Special Mention for being recognized six times in the City Paper reader poll. The U Street establishment received two 1st Place awards, finished in 2nd Place twice and in 3rd Place two times. did not place in the Best Local Blog/Blogger category, but we appreciated hearing from readers who said they voted for us (thanks!). 2birds1blog won this category for the second year in a row; 2nd Place went to Prince of Petworth and 3rd Place to DCist.

However, Borderstan co-founder and co-editor Luis Gomez took 2nd Place in Photography Services (Luis Gomez Photos). Luis is responsible for site design, photography and much more here at



by February 25, 2011 at 7:00 am 1,562 0

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email. You can follow him on Twitter @TomOnSwann.

Washington City Paper, Best of D.C. 2011 reader poll

Voting closes March 15 in the Washington City Paper’s reader poll. (Image courtesy of City Paper)

The Grammys and the Oscars aren’t the only awards on people’s minds this month. The Washington City Paper’s Best of D.C. 2011 reader poll is in full swing; final day to vote is Tuesday, March 15.

City Paper’s annual online reader poll seeks to find the Best of D.C. in dozens of categories from best lounge to best yoga studio. Last year, 225,000 votes were cast and businesses in the Borderstan coverage area raked in the honors — 30 businesses in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area were winners and another 33 were runners up.

When you go to vote, we hope you will for Borderstan in the Best Local Blog/Blogger category. While you are at it, please throw your support to Luis Gomez Photos in the Best Photography Services category. Luis is co-editor of Borderstan and provides most of the photos you see on the site. He also has his own photo blog, One Photograph A Day and chronicles the life of Lupe.

New Twitter Category

The poll has also added Best of D.C. Twitter categories for #bestfoodtruckontwitter, #bestdctwitter and #bestfaketwitter. We’re having a blast tweeting the latest and greatest news happening in Borderstan so, if you’re on twitter would you consider voting us for BestDCTwitter? Be sure to mention @borderstan, @wcp, and the hashtags #bestdctwitter and #bestofdc.

Here’s a sample tweet because we know you guys are busy: I vote @borderstan for #bestdctwitter in @wcp’s #bestofdc contest. They’re keeping us up to date on all the latest news!

by February 4, 2011 at 5:00 am 2,446 0

DC City Council At-Large candidates Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan

February 3 at Judiciary Square: Eight candidates running in the April 26 special election to fill an At-Large seat on the DC Council participated in a candidate forum Thursday night. From left: Vincent Orange, Stanley Mayes, Joshua Lopez, Patrick Mara, Jacque Patterson, Sekou Biddle, Bryan Weaver and Alan Page. Biddle was appointed to the seat until the election. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Michelle Lancaster. Got news for Michelle? Send her an email.

Pickup Artist Alert: Dupont Circle

This Saturday, if someone asks if it hurt or compliments you on your dress you should probably just ignore them. You didn’t fall from heaven and your clothes do not need to be on his floor and these are not just bad lines. A master pickup artist is teaching classes, says We Love DC. There goes the gayborhood!



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