You know, I can’t decide what’s worseJason Cherkis’ stories or the fact that your paper dedicates three pages (“It’s a Shame About Ray,” 4/4) to them. I actually first thought of voicing my opinion about Cherkis when he wrote a lengthy cover story some months back about a woman and her dog (“Love Is a Bitch,” 3/15/02). For whatever reason, I didn’t. And to those of you who share my feelings, I apologize for holding back. Perhaps had I said something then, we wouldn’t be subjected to any more of his crap. But alas, I stood idly by.
Well, no longer. This week’s story takes the cake. In a city as wacky as D.C., I have to believe the Washington City Paper can come up with more pressing and interesting topics than what’s going on in Cherkis’ group house. I actually read the whole story, mostly to try and figure out if there was a point to it. Well, I couldn’t find one (other than the point that Cherkis likes to write about himself). Now, why the City Paper chose to put this story smack in the middle of a cover story on gentrification (“We Shall Not Be Moved”) is beyond me. (In fact, given the limited resources the paper probably has, why you even have him on the payroll is beyond me.)
Gentrification in D.C. is a serious topic, with many layers of complexity that ought to be explored. The incredible story behind Meridian Manor (“Mind Your Manor”) is worthy of a cover story by itself. By exploring the history of that project, and perhaps by also looking at how D.C.’s tenant-right-to-purchase law helps combat gentrification, your paper could have presented a far more interesting story on gentrification. Instead, we get to read about how poor Cherkis can’t sit on his stoop in Mount Pleasant any longer. How sad.