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D.C. has a new mile-long trail: Pope Branch. The Ward 7 green space was possible thanks to high school students working with the nonprofit Student Conservation Association.


There is not a single dedicated food critic of color at a major outlet in the D.C. area. For context, 41 percent of the city’s population is white.

When only white critics cover the District’s abundance of eatery options, a lot can be missed. As local industry sources say: “you don’t know what you don’t know.” 

“While I don’t write restaurant reviews, I’m the only full-time food writer at City Paper. The daily decisions of who and what to cover, and how, fall squarely on my white shoulders,” writes Laura Hayes

After having conversations with everyone from journalists to restaurant owners, Hayes writes about how the restaurant industry would be stronger if those who cover the dining experience were more diverse. There’d be greater empathy, organic exposure, and a lot more context. 

“I realize that some people don’t dig food writing, food criticism, and food journalism,” says Michael Twitty, a critically acclaimed, independent food writer. “It forces them to think about place, race, time, gender, orientation, ability. But all of those things impact your eating experience.”

The District’s diversity in journalism problem isn’t limited to food writing, but writing writ large. Black journalists, for example, are underrepresented in local D.C. newsrooms. Opportunities to change the status quo keep coming up. Northern Virginia Magazine is hiring a restaurant critic, at the moment. Amanda Michelle Gomez(tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com


  • Landmark moment for D.C.’s deaf community approaches as unprecedented bill moves through Council. [WAMU

  • D.C. had the second-highest undercount rate in the last decennial census. Here’s who is hard to count. [DC Policy Center]

  • Jeff Bezos has been renovating his D.C. mansion since 2016. A public records request shows his updated plan. [Washingtonian]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • The influential, and at times controversial, Rev. Willie Wilson retires. [Post]

  • Gov. Larry Hogan defends cop flag. [NBC, Twitter

  • A fare increase, late-night hours, and flat weekend fare are in Metro’s proposed budget. [Post]

  • Joe Biden was in Virginia yesterday. [AP]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Korean newcomer Anju gets high marks from critic Ann Limpert. [Washingtonian]

  • Lebanese Taverna to continue its expansion in the fast-casual sector. [WBJ]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Arena’s Right to Be Forgotten impresses with projections and set design, but not its story. [WCP]

  • Lonnie G. Bunch III’s appointment as the Smithsonian’s 14th secretary was made officially official. [Washingtonian]

  • Revisiting The Blair Witch Project 20 years later. [Kojo Nnamdi Show]

  • Jane Fonda spent the night in a D.C. jail cell after protesting government inaction on climate change on Capitol Hill. [Post]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • When the World Series champion Washington Nationals visit the White House this afternoon, at least one player won’t be present in protest of Donald Trump. “There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country,” pitcher Sean Doolittletold Post. “At the end of the day, as much as I wanted to be there with my teammates and share that experience with my teammates, I can’t do it.”

  • The Nats’ weekend-long celebration continued at the Capitals game last night, with lots of shirtless drinking and Adam Eaton doing his best T.J. Oshie impression. Oh, and the Caps beat the Calgary Flames, 4-2. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

  • Dwayne Haskins Jr. made his first career NFL start but the Washington football team continued its offensive woes. The team has not scored a touchdown in 13 quarters. [ESPN]

MAKE PLANS, byEmma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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