From Michelle Lancaster. Talk to me on Twitter @MichLancaster.
When we found out that Harry Jaffe had moved to the Borderstan area, we knew he’d be perfect for one of our Q& A profiles of interesting residents. A blunt, combative journalist and columnist for local media (some assuredly call him a gadfly and cynic), he currently writes for The Washington Examiner and Washingtonian magazine. His specialties are the D.C. government, crime and the local media itself (he writes a column on The Washington Post called “Post Watch”). Jaffe is currently known for his prolific stories and columns on crime and the DC police.
Along with WRC-TV reporter Tom Sherwood, Jaffe co-authored Dream City: Race, Power and the Decline of Washington, D.C. in 1994. As Washingtonian describes it, the book “remains the definitive tale of Marion Barry’s rise and fall, from 1965 to 1994.” You really should read it.
Here’s Jaffe in his own words: he talks about moving to Borderstan, the journalism business and some of his colleagues in the media — and Marion Barry, too.
Borderstan: Housekeeping chores! Thanks for agreeing to be on the ‘other’ side of the desk, Harry! Let’s start with the basics: what brought you to D.C. and when?
Jaffe: I arrived here in 1978 to work as a press secretary for Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. I lasted less than a year on the “flak” side of the news game before I switched to States News Service and then a host of news outlets, including Regardie’s Magazine and then Washingtonian.
Borderstan: What has kept you in D.C. as a journalist?
Jaffe: I have always preferred local reporting rather than covering national politics; it’s more of a contact sport where you write about people and places that you can see and feel. I have been lucky enough to find news outlets in D.C. that will pay me to write about the local scene.
Borderstan: How did you end up in our neighborhood?
Jaffe: Call it a typical story of downsizing: I had raised my three daughters in Chevy Chase, D.C.; once they had moved on to college and such, I was in the market for a smaller homestead. I had lived in the Dupont Circle neighborhood back in the early 80’s, but moving back was not an option. Way too expensive. So my wife and I searched for a neighborhood where we could walk to stores and bars, which had bike lanes, where the architecture was genuine. Then she found a great place at a good price.
District Condos at 14th & S
Chain-link fencing has gone up around the former Whitman-Walker site at 14th and S NW — which should be the next step toward demolition of the block on the west side of 14th from S north to Swann St (the Whtman-Walker building facade will be incorporated into the development). The District Condos project will have 125 residences and 18,000 square feet of ground floor retail. Developers have a target completion date of spring 2012. See 14th & S Project to Be Named “District Condos” for more details.
Thursday Benefit for Freedom to Marry
Partner Perfect is sponsoring a Freedom to Marry event tonight at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams store at 1526 14th St. NW. All proceeds benefit Freedom to Marry, which works for same-sex marriage rights.
DC Jewish Film Festival Opens Thursday
The Washington Jewish Community Center at 16th and Q NW kicks off their Jewish film festival tonight. It runs through Dec. 12, and tickets can be purchased in advance. Two films are already sold out, so move quickly!
How to Fix the Liquor License Process
Greater Greater Washington has some thoughts on how DC could better handle voluntary agreements and liquor licensing. Given the months-long process Hank’s Oyster Bar has gone through, it seems clear that the existing system is not working as efficiently or smoothly as it could. We’ll see if ABRA (and the DC Council) pays any heed.
Best Bars 2011 Voting at Washingtonian
It’s time to reward your favorite local watering hole by voting in Washingtonian‘s Best Bars contest. Personally, Bar Pilar’s Bloody Mary is up there in our book.
Speaking of Bars, DC9 Reopens Dec. 15
After a hearing today, ABRA came to an agreement with DC9 and the bar can open its doors on Dec. 15, Washington City Paper reports. Several security provisions are in place and another hearing will be on Jan. 19, when the coroner releases the autopsy report.
Thank you, Borderstan readers. This blog was listed by Washingtonian magazine as one of 10-best local blogs in the metro area. The April issue has a feature story on Washington-area blogs, “Can’t-Miss Clicks.”
With it is a sidebar article,”All Over the Map-The Best Local Blogs,” which lists 10 blogs in the metro area that focus on a particular neighborhood or area. Borderstan is listed as one of those top-10 local blogs:
BORDERSTAN (borderstan.com). The name of this neighborhood blog plays off the fact that the area it’s focused on falls somewhere between Dupont and Logan circles. The site is about all things to do with its locale, from crime to restaurants.”
Oddly, this particular article is not part of Washingtonian magazine’s online content. Go figure.