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Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.
Ball is life: March Madness, aka the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, starts today. The University of Maryland is the only local team with a presence in the men’s matchups—a number of Virginia schools also made it—while the DMV is represented in the women’s tournament by UMD and Towson. Barack Obama has shared his brackets since 2009, but we have yet to see a March Madness prediction from Donald Trump. Maybe we should create a bracket for what fast food spots will be featured at the President’s winner’s dinner? (I’m pulling for Wendy’s—have you had those spicy nuggets?) That is, if it happens at all: last year’s victors, the Villanova Wildcats, were not extended a White House invite. Quell game time nerves during the unpredictable tournament with drink deals, courtesy of nightlife blog Barred in DC.
In news that will please the new urbanist memes for the transit-oriented teens: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser gave her annual State of the District address last night at the University of the District of Columbia. In her speech, Bowser declared the DC Circulator would eliminate its $1 fare. The bus has been offering free rides since January 28 for “Fair Shot February.” Now we can all channel our inner bus raccoon and ride fare-free.
Affordable housing was also at the center of Bowser’s speech, with a pledge to increase funding for the DC Housing Production Trust Fund. Bowser proposed guiding $130 million a year into the fund that supports affordable housing in the city, an increase from her first term’s $100 million a year. Bowser faced controversy for shuttering the DC General shelter in October and homelessness activists had a presence at last night’s address. Outside the venue, protesters held signs saying “keep DC for me.” Inside, attendees chanting “this is our home” were escorted out.
Highlights from the night also included a proposal to move the 2020 presidential primary from June to April and a plan to buy RFK stadium. No word on her current stance on Mumbo sauce.
A “perfect Washington story”: Former DNC chair Donna Brazile will join Fox News as a commentator. “Listen more, talk less. Be civil to one another,” she wrote yesterday. “These are the lessons and the attitude I will bring to Fox News.” Brazile’s new job is a “perfect Washington story,” Erik Wemple writes, “in which both parties set aside their principled objections in favor of their unprincipled interests.”
I’m your author, Brittany Shepherd. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter. Daniella Byck (email@example.com) contributed to reporting today. Please subscribe to this newsletter.
Look, I’m all about online growth. That’s why I agree with Anna Fitzpatrick—we shouldn’t judge politicians on their nerdy and lame tweets from 2009. But everything else should be fair game, right? I can’t get enough of Cory Booker‘s “I’m breaking up with sleep” joke that he keeps making in what feels like a dad joke Groundhog Day. Example one of many:
2012. "nu friend." the end. https://t.co/hkpzIZO3PW
— Anna Fitzpatrick (@bananafitz) March 18, 2019
Where do you think Booker likes to stock up on his best friend: java? The US Senator from New Jersey calls H Street corridor home in DC, so my bet’s on the Wydown.
— EGGVOTI (@advoti88) March 18, 2019
What’s on my mind: Is DC a safe space for celebrities? Actress Minnie Driver tweeted that she had a drink alone here last night without being recognized. May we all embody her “drinking alone and feeling French” energy.
What we have cooking at Washingtonian:
- Gamers rise up! Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is set in Washington, DC, and a designer shared how the team rendered the local world so expertly.
- Is Clarendon cool? One of Mexico City’s top chefs is behind a three-story restaurant there.
- Some of the most interesting examples of new architecture double as public libraries.
- Zebra-skin rugs are still a thing, apparently. At least in this bachelor’s wharf studio.
- Trump never dines out in Washington. Our food editor Jessica Sidman asks: so what?
- This couple is so cool that they own a Vespa together and featured it in their wedding!
Our pick for things to do around town:
DANCE Choreographer Akiko Kitamura’s work Cross Transit transforms Kim Hak‘s photographs of Cambodian culture into movement. A collaboration between Cambodian history and Japanese art, the work includes dance, film, and photography in a single show at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre. $29-$39, 7:30 PM.
Reparations have been a hot topic for 2020 candidates, and Ta-Nehisi Coates shares his thoughts on the conversation. Spoiler alert: he is feeling optimistic. (New York)
Is being a “foodie” more than understanding orange wine and uni toast? Josephine Livingstone argues taking on the title now requires thinking critically about the controversies and biases that mire the food industry (The New Republic).
Big events from Washingtonian:
Do you really love the drip coffee from Swings? Adore the sweets at District Doughnut? Our annual readers poll is now live–take it and let us know your favorite things in Washington. You could win two tickets to our fabulous Best of Washington party in June.