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It’s not just you. We’re turning the page on arguably the worst year in the lives of many young District residents—and more seasoned ones too, for that matter. The general zeitgeist (bummed) is informed by a global sense of defeat and loss—among them Brexit, Donald Trump’s election, the Mideast humanitarian crisis, and the loss of so many beloved public figures (David Bowie, Alan Rickman, John Glenn, Prince, Carrie Fisher, and a seemingly endless list of others). District residents feel all that as much as anyone. But sadly, we’ve also suffered too many local casualties, not just treasured and influential personalities, but also hallowed gathering spots and, in some cases, certain sensibilities. We couldn’t include all that we’re mourning in these pages, but this covers much of it. Here’s to a better 2017. —Liz Garrigan

American Dance Institute

Rockville seems more like a sleepy suburban city than a center for contemporary dance. But for six years locals could see acclaimed performances at American Dance Institute, a small theater where choreographers like Jane Comfort and dancers like Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto could present and workshop experimental pieces. ADI, which opened as a ballet school in 2000 and shifted its focus to developing and presenting work from dancers in 2010, occupied a role that venues like the Kennedy Center and Dance Place, for a variety of reasons, could not. But the venue could never quite nail down its audience, despite different initiatives like bargain tickets and transporting fans from D.C. to Rockville in a party bus. After receiving a $500,000 Empire State Development grant, the organization decided to relocate to Catskill, New York, leaving local dance fans without a place to see this kind of work. —Caroline Jones

Angles Bar

It was situated in what is arguably the most obnoxious D.C. neighborhood for drinking—Adams Morgan—but dammit Angles was special. Not special in the traditional sense, mind you: There weren’t any particularly notable drinks or decorations. But it was special in the sense that it was a room, with four walls and a roof, that served decently priced alcohol, that was sometimes occupied by few or a lot of people, that was the perfect place to contemplate your own mortality. As I wrote in this year’s Best of D.C. issue, there was just something about Angles’ divey, unpretentious atmosphere—wood-paneled walls, jukebox full of corny classic-rock jams—that made it the perfect place to hunker down in a fit of existential loneliness, read the news, and wonder what the fuck the point of it all is. Now what? —Matt Cohen

The Argonaut

Residents who live near H Street NE and the starburst of Benning Road, Maryland Avenue, and Bladensburg Road refuse to believe the bad news about the Argonaut, a restaurant that has held up this intersection for more than a decade. The Argonaut Run Club still takes its name after the family-friendly tavern, even though they now finish their post-run suds somewhere else. Fans still tweet at the restaurant to ask if Tuesday is trivia night or whether Thursday bluegrass is happening. The answer’s no: For the third time since the Argonaut opened in 2005, the owners failed to pay their property taxes. While the Argonaut shut its doors briefly in 2009 and 2014, it’s been closed since July, and even the trickle of rumors about the restaurant has dried up. That won’t stop the neighbors who loved this place from peeking in the windows from time to time, over-romanticizing the kinda-terrible food, and longing for the return of a cozy, funky, pirate ship-shaped neighborhood joint for play dates, book clubs, birthdays, and last call. —Kriston Capps

Arts Spaces

It can be argued that arts spaces in D.C. died long ago. Or at least the idea that D.C. would make it easy for artists to find affordable, suitable studio and performance spaces. It’s unfair to say there are no more arts or live-work spaces in the D.C. area anymore because we have 52 O Street, Torpedo Factory, and Brookland Artspace Loft, just to name a few. But 2016 saw a number of developments that certainly felt like significant blows to places where creativity flourishes. Among them a lost fight to save Union Arts from being developed into a hotel, the announcement that the last art gallery in Gallery Place—Flashpoint—will soon close, and the last artist living in Blagden Alley being priced out of his studio-home. The city is currently developing a major cultural plan, which is set to drop in the spring. The plan is intended to address the issue of—and propose a solution to—D.C.’s dwindling arts spaces, but it’s still hard for most artists not to feel like they’re being pushed out of their own city. —Matt Cohen

Bacon at Sweetgreen

D.C.’s own hipster salad chain stopped offering bacon as a topping this spring. A press release trumpeted, “Simply put, you can’t be a healthy food business and serve bacon.” Screw that! Bacon was the only reason I ate at Sweetgreen in the first place. The crispy bits of hog were what allowed me to believe I was treating myself, even when the rest of my bowl was filled with a verdant pile of kale, baby spinach, mesclun, and arugula. Consider it the diametric opposite of people who order a burger and fries and then opt for a diet soda to convince themselves they’re eating properly. These days, I look at Sweetgreen’s menu and see new protein options such as roasted steelhead fish and sesame tofu. Boring! And definitely not indulgent. So if you’re looking for me at lunchtime, I’ll be at Cava Grill, where my otherwise healthy salad will be pimped out with a scoop of Crazy Feta. —Nevin Martell

Chris Barry Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Marion Christopher Barry

Chris Barry, the 36-year-old son of former Mayor Marion Barry, died in August after an apparent drug overdose. Like his father, Barry had a long, public battle with drug abuse, including several arrests. In an interview with City Paper last year, Barry discussed his struggle. “Everything in my life was just chaos, and you put something in your body that makes chaos seem normal,” Barry said. He followed in his father’s footsteps in other ways too. After Marion Barry died in 2014, Chris ran unsuccessfully in 2015 for the Ward 8 D.C. Council seat his father had held. “Christopher Barry’s untimely passing is a sad ending to the Marion Barry legacy,” D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said in a statement after the young man’s death. “Christopher never asked for the burden that comes with being part of a famous politician’s family.” —Liz Garrigan 

Joanna Blake

Joanna Blake was just breaking out as an artist when she died in a motorcycle crash in May. She was 39, far too young for her life to end, and far too young to be working at such a high level as a maker of monuments. Memorial sculpture is a calling that draws few sculptors, and the commissions typically go to a circle of grizzled masters. Blake scored big commissions anyway: She made the figurative bronze memorializing the Battle of Bladensburg in Maryland and also contributed to the National World War II Memorial. Blake will be remembered by the art community that she helped to build in Hyattsville, Maryland, near her home in Cottage City, and for qualities sometimes ascribed to her works: human, heroic, larger than life. —Kriston Capps

The Last Shred of David Burke’s Dignity

Chef David Burke has accomplished a lot over the years. His mantle is weighed down by awards, he’s opened a bounty of restaurants, and he has penned a pair of cookbooks. But his résumé includes some stumbles. There was a series of zero-calorie “Flavor Sprays” in such dubious flavors as raspberry bubblegum and mochaccino, which were as awful as they sound. And he’s been involved in a variety of lawsuits, ranging from entanglements with former business partners to charges of sexual harassment. Though he continues to be a highly successful businessman, he is the worst kind of celebrity chef—one who’s in it for the money, while serving up retreads rather than continuing to innovate. Burke’s reputation bottomed out when the Trump International Hotel announced that he would be overseeing its restaurant BLT Prime. Chef José Andrés, on the other hand, wisely bowed out after the Donald’s incendiary comments about Mexicans at his campaign kickoff foreshadowed the xenophobic, racist, misogynistic, and false statements to come. Burke’s decision to align himself with such a morally unforgivable partner was a crass, craven move that revealed his true colors—shit brown and soulless black. He may make plenty of cash at this venture, but it is at the expense of his dignity and the respect of many of his peers and diners who now see him as a shallow sellout. —Nevin Martell

Carnegie Library

It’s been a long, slow death for the Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square. President Theodore Roosevelt and Andrew Carnegie dedicated the building in 1903. It was D.C.’s first public library and first desegregated building—as ornate as Carnegie’s own mansion and as sturdy as “The Bull Moose” president himself. But after 70 years, the library became overcrowded, the city moved the books to a bigger building, and the Carnegie went vacant for a decade. Today D.C.’s citywide event space agency, Events DC, controls the building, using it as a venue for art shows and various expos. This year, Apple proposed taking it over as a flagship store. The company has recently displayed a penchant for selling computers in beautiful old municipal buildings, such as New York’s Grand Central Terminal. If the Apple plans go through, the company will share the building with the Historical Society of Washington, whose archives are currently closed due to mold. —Alexa Mills

William Christenberry 

In photographs, paintings, and sculptures, over a career spanning more than 40 years, Bill Christenberry captured the slow dilapidation of rural life in the American South. His favorite visual metaphor was kudzu, and he photographed perhaps hundreds of homes and structures covered with coils of vines, many of them located in Hale County, Alabama. In Christenberry’s work, kudzu signaled moral decay and lost decadence. Southern Gothic austerity figures largely in his photos, although he also favored a Pop Art approach to roadside signs, especially advertisements for treats like Tops-brand snuff and RC Cola. His prints and snaps of these fading glories serve as rural ripostes to Andy Warhol’s glamorous Campbell’s soup cans and Brillo boxes. Raised eyebrows have always followed Christenberry’s Ku Klux Klan tableaus—drawings, portraits, and sculptures that tracked his lifelong fascination with the KKK. Today, his works serve as a prescient warning about the creeping threat of moral rot. —Kriston Capps

City Hall Propriety

District officials aren’t always on the same wavelength, but a May confrontation between D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Mayor Muriel Bowser upped the ante in terms of legislative and executive branch spats. After a presser on D.C. budget autonomy at the Wilson Building—on the day the council was considering a plan to replace the D.C. General family homeless shelter with smaller facilities across the city—Bowser reportedly shouted at Mendelson in a hallway: “You’re a fucking liar! You know it can’t close in 2018.” Things came to a head because Mendelson had sought to re-engineer Bowser’s shelter proposal by requiring all the sites to be on District-owned land. In the end, he was successful, and the District hopes to open all the new shelters by 2020. —Andrew Giambrone


Gone is the District’s preeminent place for pierogies. (Let’s not pretend that Mari Vanna holds a candle to the Slavic spot that D.C. lost this year.) Domku’s sunny yellow dining room went dark in June after operating on Upshur Street in Petworth since 2005. Owner Kera Carpenter, who was once a Peace Corps volunteer in Poland, cited a 66 percent rent increase in a Facebook post about her decision to close. Popular dishes included comforting cabbage rolls, borscht, Swedish meatballs, and the aforementioned soul-hugging pierogies. Petworth experienced its fair share of loss and redemption in 2016. Chez Billy, Domku, and Crane & Turtle all shuttered, but it gained Ten Tigers Parlour, Himitsu, and Slim’s Diner, among others. —Laura Hayes

Zelda Fichandler

If you’ve seen any theater in Washington or, honestly, anywhere outside New York, you have Zelda Fichandler to thank. The Arena Stage founder, who died in July, helped start the regional theater movement, which brought dramatic works to cities around the nation. She served as Arena’s artistic director for 41 years. When it opened in 1950, it was D.C.’s first integrated theater. During her impressive tenure, the theater won the first Regional Theater Tony Award, sent several productions from Southwest to Broadway, and established a love for the stage in Washingtonians of all ages. Fichandler also spent 25 years as the artistic director of the graduate acting program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, training a generation of actors who have become Hollywood mainstays. Her singular contributions turned D.C. into a theater town where practitioners can make a living and audiences can escape the drama of urban life for a few hours. —Caroline Jones


I love doughnuts, but I’m not willing to settle for Dunkin duds. When done properly, the frizzled rounds or squares are worthy of a special-treat breakfast, an afternoon pick-me-up, or dessert. So I was over the moon when pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac fired up this palace of deep-fried delights (the name is an initialism for Golden Brown Delicious) in Dupont Circle. Her creations were as varied as they were inventive. There were straightforward options—like chocolate iced filled with chocolate pudding and PB&J—alongside less expected choices, such as grapefruit Campari and tres leches. Not only were there sweet treats, but MacIsaac’s husband, Chef Kyle Bailey, crafted a savory menu focused on fried chicken and other heart-clogging fare. It was the kind of place I went to utterly disregard my daily—no monthly—allowance of grease. Unfortunately, after three years and the departure of both founding chefs, the restaurant let its oil go cold for the last time. I will miss it sorely, though I think I heard my cardiologist breathe a sigh of relief. —Nevin Martell

Go-Go Demigods

It was a brutal year for the genre that originated in D.C. E.U. keyboardist and producer Ivan Goff died in November, less than two weeks after performing at the Freedom Sounds festival. Go-Go also lost producer and label head Preston Blue as well as former Petworth frontman “Go-Go” Lorenzo Queen, whose “You Can Dance (If You Want To)” was a huge radio hit in 1986. Another significant casualty was Byron “BJ” Jackson, a prodigiously gifted musician and longtime keyboardist for Rare Essence and Team Familiar. His first cousin, author Kato Hammond, pays tribute to BJ with a new children’s picture book, “I Want to Play, Too,” available on Amazon. —Alona Wartofsky

Gwen Ifill Credit: PBS Newshour / Creative Commons

Gwen Ifill

Career journalist Gwen Ifill died at age 61 of breast and endometrial cancer at a D.C. hospice center on Nov. 14. Ifill packed her living years with an astounding volume of love and accomplishment. She started her career as an intern at the Boston Herald American and went on to write for the Baltimore Evening Sun, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She started her television career at NBC in 1994. Five years later she became the first black woman to host a national political TV show when she began on Washington Week in Review. She later became the first black woman to host a vice presidential debate. Throughout her life—worthy of many biographies—she showed an unwillingness to shy from the truth, both in her daily life and in her work. She lifted up the people least seen in our society, and exposed those attempting to skirt the truth. —Alexa Mills


In 2008, a U.S. senator from Illinois ran a successful presidential campaign built around a single word: hope. But it was more than a word. It was an idea. The idea that the United States, then reeling from a pointless war built on lies and one of the worst economic recessions it has ever experienced, could overcome such dark times, with Barack Obama lighting the way. But in 2016, hope officially died. During a year in which we lost so many beloved figures in popular culture (Prince, David Bowie, Phife Dawg, Muhammed Ali, Leonard Cohen, Sharon Jones, George Michael, Merle Haggard, Gwen Ifill, and John Glenn, just to name a few), we also saw decades of racism, sexism, and general bigotry reach an apex with the election of an anthropomorphic puddle of racist diarrhea a successful businessman Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America. And just when you thought 2016 couldn’t get any worse, Carrie Fisher, the actress and writer who portrayed a literal embodiment of hope in the original Star Wars films, died in this year’s waning days. Fuck you, 2016.—Matt Cohen

Metros 4000-Series Carss 4000-Series Cars Credit: Ben Schumin / Creative Commons

Metro’s 4000-Series Cars

The longing for those rickety motions and funky smells is already kicking in. In November, Metro announced it would remove all its 4000-series cars—more than 80 in total, out of an entire fleet of 1,200 cars—from service. The reason was not so lamentable: Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the transit agency had identified a “small risk” that a speed-command system on the cars could receive the wrong signals and lead to a collision, particularly when a 4000-series car is at the front of a train. Out with the old and in with the new, we say. But even Metro’s more modern 7000-series cars have had issues. Earlier this month, some on the Red Line decoupled. —Andrew Giambrone

Millie & Al’s

Magical things happened when you took one of Millie & Al’s $1 JELL-O shots. Coworkers morphed into romantic possibilities, ex-girlfriends’ phone numbers showed up on speed dial, a skeleton danced, and one Jumbo Slice was never enough. The iconic Adams Morgan dive that provided these jiggly time capsules back to college closed after 53 raucous, glorious years in April. Cancer claimed both the life of original owner Al Shapiro and his love interest Millie in the 1990s and 1970s, respectively, but Al’s daughter Barbara Shapiro was able to keep the business going with gusto. It was an unpretentious, dollar beer kind of place with one of the worst bar bathrooms on record. It didn’t evenbother with a website until very late in the game. Yet somehow, it seems, half of this city met their spouse at Millie & Al’s. —Laura Hayes

Old Post Office Pavilion 

In its final years, the Old Post Office Pavilion was a sad place. A mini-mall slowly dying within one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, it peddled dubious food and cheap souvenirs to a captive audience of school groups. But in the 1980s, when the food and shopping court opened in the vast atrium of the Romanesque building, critics rejoiced. The Washington Post called it “one of the more spectacular open courtyards in the world” and predicted it would be key to the revival of downtown D.C. The Old Post Office Pavilion was of a piece with Baltimore’s Harborplace and Boston’s Faneuil Hall, the first generation of urban-development projects that used the power of historic architecture to draw people back to cities—a strategy still used today. It just didn’t work at the Old Post Office, which looked too much like an office building from the outside to attract enough visitors and suffered from a high turnover of stores. Now the 1899 building is a Trump hotel, the tired pavilion replaced by plush meeting rooms and a lobby dripping with gilt, crystal, and blue velvet. Donald Trump stabilized the structure but covered up some of its historic fabric, to the chagrin of preservationists. In the days since the election, the hotel has been at the center of inquiries about whether the Trump Organization has nudged, or pressured, foreign diplomats to book rooms and events there, and whether Trump himself will be in violation of his business’ lease with the federal government when he becomes president. Sad!

Less remarked on: a useful, if dingy, spot for ordinary tourists and office workers has been lost to high rollers. Food-court Chinese food is bad, but wine by the spoon is worse. RIP. —Amanda Kolson Hurley

Vincent Orange’s Council Tenure

As any living and breathing District resident knows, what’s best for good governance isn’t always consistent with what makes compelling newspaper reading. While this year’s political defeat for ethically-challenged at-large D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange—at the hands of political newcomer Robert White no less—was well deserved, it means a net upgrade in the professional stature of the legislative body, which translates to fewer outrageous shenanigans. At least Orange gave the D.C. journalistic community a parting gift: the opportunity to call foul on his trying to serve the remainder of his term in office while beginning his new gig as head of the Chamber of Commerce. —Liz Garrigan

Concepcion “Connie” Picciotto

In January, the District lost a human monument just across from the White House: Concepcion Picciotto, a Spanish-born peace activist who spent more than three decades protesting nuclear weapons and, eventually, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a still-active vigil in Lafayette Park. “Connie,” as she was known by friends and the world at large, died after leaving her post one night and making her way to the N Street Village shelter where she’d lived since October 2015. Associates of the storied protester said Picciotto, who often wore a wig and a helmet, was older than 80. She is remembered as a patron of free speech—and for the fortitude of her convictions. —Andrew Giambrone

Seth Rich Credit: Courtesy of the Rich family

Seth Rich

It was tragic enough that a promising young man’s life was mercilessly snuffed out when he was shot multiple times in July as he walked home in Bloomingdale after being out with friends. But then dark-web bottom feeders turned 27-year-old Seth Rich’s murder into a sick political parlor game. Hiding behind internet handles and committed to nothing but fomenting chaos and misinformation, these online trolls managed to convince a virtual syndicate of dimwits that the Democratic National Committee staffer’s killing was some sort of payback for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks. Never mind that there’s no evidence to support the odious claim. Meanwhile, his grieving parents are left to live not only with the loss of their son but with the lie being perpetuated online. As his father Joel Rich told City Paper in November, “How can people stoop so low?” —Liz Garrigan 

Michel Richard Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Michel Richard

When Chef Michel Richard opened Citronelle in Georgetown, it set the tone for fine dining in the District that is still felt today. He was, for many, a visionary with a big personality that matched his creative cuisine. “He was always the happiest person in the kitchen and always playing with his new ideas and making people smile and always pushing to do something new and different,” says Beuchert’s Saloon Executive Chef Andrew Markert, who worked under Richard at Citronelle. While Citronelle closed, Richard’s memory is alive and well at his second D.C. restaurant, Central Michel Richard. The French-born chef and James Beard award winner died Aug. 13 at age 68. —Laura Hayes

Science Club

Despite the best efforts of their BID, the Golden Triangle—the area of downtown D.C. roughly bound by K Street and New Hampshire and Connecticut Avenues—is still known in some circles as “Gonorrhea Triangle” or “Herpes Triangle” thanks to watering holes infamous for bar crawls, kickballers, and the smell of disinfectant. But for 10 years there was an oasis in this desert of debauchery: Science Club. Tucked away in a four-story brownstone on 19th Street, Science Club brought a touch of class (and an underrated vegetarian menu) to the neighborhood with DJed dance parties, stand-up open mics, and countless happy hours for the nonprofit sector. Apart from some chalkboards and a few bar beakers, there wasn’t anything “scientific” about Science Club, but it was a reminder that building a golden bar doesn’t take alchemy … just a light touch. —Chris Kelly

Credit: nick v / Creative Commons

The Sex Barbershop

Just beyond the bustle of H Street Northeast, there used to be a hidden Trinidad neighborhood gem known affectionately as the “Sex Barbershop.” The “Uni” on the Unisex Barbershop sign had burned out years ago, causing it to look like something out of the red light district come nightfall, much to the delight of neighborhood 12-year-olds (as well as this writer). It was a silly neighborhood curiosity that doubled as a handy landmark—as in, “I’m almost there, just passing the Sex Barbershop.” Plus, residents wary of the new development encroaching on their neighborhood could rest easy: who would fork over luxury building prices to live adjacent to a purported sex barbershop, whatever that was? Alas, nothing gold can stay. Councilmember Yvette Alexander drove by one evening and issued a panicked “think of the children” tweet about the sign, prompting owner Warren Easley to have it repaired. Though the sign has gotten the chop, the best takeaway was Easley’s sick burn to Alexander: “Is she a councilperson? I thought she lost.” —Stephanie Rudig

John Stabb

Even among D.C.’s most screwball characters, John Stabb was considered weird. In the 1980s, when all the hardcore kids would attend gigs in the same uniform—ripped jeans, dirty T-shirts, combat boots—Stabb would roll up in a flamboyant collared shirt and a suit jacket. And as the frontman of famed hardcore band Government Issue, he’d writhe about onstage and in the crowd like he was having some sort of seizure, tearing at his throat as he belted out lyrics. Most people grow out of such phases—get older, get a job, live in the real world. Not Stabb. To him, “the real world” was a social construct and something he wanted no part of. He instead devoted himself to music and the people he loved, doing whatever jobs he had to do to get by. Even in his final days, lying in a hospital with the love of his life, Mina Devadas, he wished he could be anywhere else with her. And that’s what she loved about him, “that there is this energy in him that is almost otherworldly.” —Matt Cohen

“Female-Friendly” STK

There once was a steakhouse called STK

That wanted the ladies to come and play

But if they wanted meat, it had to be petit

This gendering of eats caused its defeat

Sure, the corner it’s on is said to be cursed

But its PR stunts were the absolute worst

Who can forget the opening party with no food

Only temporary tattoos to get you in the mood 

—Laura Hayes


Douglas “Swipey” Brooks, an 18-year-old rap prodigy from Southeast D.C., was fatally shot in late August outside an apartment complex in Suitland, Maryland. Even in a city as jaded as D.C., where we’ve become sadly accustomed to senseless gun violence, the demise of a precocious young artist like Swipey struck an emotional chord among his contemporaries. The entire local hip-hop community mourned his death. Fellow rappers Wale and Shy Glizzy tweeted their condolences, and DJ Tony Redz from WPGC offered a heartfelt on-air tribute. Swipey dropped his new mixtape Sorry Not Sorry in July, featuring the standout singles “Intro,” and “Money Money Money” with famed producer Jazz Pha. One of Swipey’s most popular songs was “Best Friend” released in 2015 with Romilli, his frequent collaborator and partner in the group Trouble Squad. Swipey graduated high school with honors and was admitted to Morgan State University before his skyrocketing success led him to pursue his music career full time. His murder remains unsolved. —Sidney Thomas

John Wall Credit: Keith Allison / Creative Commons

John Wall’s Future With the Wizards

It’s no small feat to be the most dismal franchise in a city noted for sports misery. No free agent of any significance wants to play for the team, certainly not Maryland native Kevin Durant, who rejected the team’s advances last summer after a long-simmering, but very one-sided, courtship. General Manager Ernie Grunfeld has traded away more picks than he’s used in the past three drafts. The team is closing out 2016 in the bottom half of the standings in a weak conference. Attendance at home games has been embarrassing. Star point guard John Wall, now in his seventh season as a Wizard, knows more than anyone what this franchise has to offer. No savior is coming in free agency. After this season, two more remain on Wall’s contract. When it expires, it’s hard to picture him spending more of his prime basketball-playing years here. —Zach Rausnitz

The Washington Home

The Washington Home finally shuttered its nursing home and completed the sale of its Upton Street NW property to Sidwell Friends School on Dec. 15. The announcement last year of an agreement to sell the site set off a contentious 15 months, including an unsuccessful attempt by a group of the nursing home’s residents to block the sale in court. The Washington Home had provided long-term and end-of-life care at its Upton Street facilities since the 1940s, and previous sites dated to the 1880s. Now, just a small inpatient unit for hospice patients remains, and not for long. It’ll relocate in 2017 (leasing space from Sidwell rent-free in the meantime). Tim Cox, the CEO of The Washington Home and Community Hospices, says the nonprofit’s hospice unit will remain in the District. “We’re looking in all quadrants of the city, including the Northwest, especially since we’re the only inpatient unit in the Northwest,” he says. Meanwhile, after more than a century providing a place for the District’s sick and dying to go, the nonprofit has shifted mostly to caring for them in their own homes. —Zach Rausnitz

Washington Monument Elevator

Although few locals actually scale D.C.’s tallest masonry structure, no one will be able to until 2019. In September, the National Park Service closed the Washington Monument indefinitely for needed elevator repairs, following years of service disruptions and a 2011 earthquake that damaged the obelisk. (Visitors had occasionally gotten stuck on the elevator, the vertical equivalent of those anxious moments in Metro tunnels.) Then, at the beginning of December, NPS announced that billionaire philanthropist David Rubenstein had put up the money to get the damn thing fixed, an estimated $2 to $3 million. That makes him a kind of American hero: Since January 2012, Rubenstein has donated upwards of $50 million to park service projects. —Andrew Giambrone

Zema “Chief Zee” Williams Credit: Keith Allison / Creative Commons

Zema “Chief Zee” Williams

If you are a sports fan, you are almost certainly going to die with unfinished business. I’m sure some ancient Cubs fan slipped away peacefully just after the World Series parade, but there were many, many more who just couldn’t hold on through the extra inning of Game 7. Zema “Chief Zee” Williams, superfan and unofficial mascot of the local NFL team, died in July, just before the start of training camp. Fans, the team, and individual players have memorialized him, but there is still an essential strangeness to a late-season run at the playoffs without a single throwaway TV shot of Williams exhorting the fans. Even when sports cares about you, it doesn’t care about you enough to stop moving forward when you’re gone.—Matt Terl