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Last week’s cover story by Elizabeth Flock drew unmitigated shock, detailing as it did the way eviction companies in the D.C. area exploit the homeless by paying them illegally low wages to put others on the street. What is perhaps most dispiriting is that circumstances today are even worse than they were in 1999 when Ta-Nehisi Coates first reported about the practice in City Paper.
“A truly vicious cycle,” tweeted @tenantspacny. “This is disturbing,” wrote @sfbrinton. “This is terrible. A disgrace,” agreed @jdelvecchio. We could go on. Harvard professor and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, also took note. “Please read this deep and novel reporting by @lizflock,” he tweeted.
In other words, the underside of this city’s increasingly gleaming exterior can be very dark.
Food editor Laura Hayes’ piece on why soup dumplings at Ten Tigers Parlour in Petworth cost $8 a pair—a price its customers claim on the restaurant’s Yelp page is too high—inspired reflection among readers. Hayes delved into customer expectations about the cost of ethnic food and how much the people who prepare it are paid. The restaurant’s soup dumplings used to cost $12. “Nice coverage @LauraHayesDC & stance @ChefTimMa, #consumers have responsibility to speak with $ as much as restaurants do with sourcing,” tweeted @DavidMuraskin. “Important thoughts on people devaluing + expecting low cost from ethnic cuisines,” tweeted @zwilliams720.
For at least one City Paper reader, the idea that $8 is too much for two delicious Ten Tigers dumplings was news. “Interesting that people thought $8 for their soup dumplings was too much,” kermitdc commented on our website. “I ate there a few weeks ago and thought that for the size and quality of the dumplings the price was fair.”
Don’t forget to take it to Yelp too, kermit.