City Desk

Last Friday afternoon, the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) took downtown D.C. one more step toward Disneyfication when it sponsored a group hug in Farragut Square. The BID had hoped to make the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest public embrace—a record held by 482 Canadians. Many passers-by chose to remain at a distance. Howard Furner, an employee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. who participated in the hug, said he had a hard time convincing a colleague to show her civic softer side. “She said she didn’t know what kind of germs these people have,” remarked Furner. Even though a number of blue suits from BID-affiliated businesses offered their support, there simply wasn’t enough love to go around: The hug fell short of the Guinness record by approximately 200 people. —Shauna Miller