Every week, we do our job by writing
about D.C. as we see it. And every week, plenty of readers are quick to tell us how to do it better. Those jerks.
Kidding! That’s how this whole journalism enterprise goes, and we frequently count on our audience to help navigate us toward wisdom. So, for this issue, we decided to put our readers in the assignment-editor chair.
Last October, we put out a call for your most nagging questions about life in the District. Color us impressed: Readers submitted smart, probing questions about the political influence of taxi drivers, the region’s native fruits and vegetables, the semiotics of soft restaurant openings, and the vast gray area of gentrification. Lots of readers wanted to know about the city’s physical quirks. (Why no J, X,Y, or Z streets?) An unsurprisingly large number of questions involved either rats, escalators, or Marion Barry.
Other queries—and queriers—were, well, interesting. A June Dostoyevsky asked, “How long before you do another racist story?” Likewise, one Heywood Jablome wanted to know about D.C.’s blue laws, asking, “Why on earth can I not buy some friggin’ vodka on Sunday, dammit?!?” Another reader wanted to know where he could find “good ole fashioned street walker action.” (Answers to all three inside!)
In the end, we settled on our favorite 32 questions. Welcome to the Answers Issue.