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It looks as if the southwest corner of Missouri and Georgia Avenues NW will once again feature heated arguments and even some pushing and shoving. This time, though, any shouting that takes place will focus on fabric and color schemes: The former Ibex nightclub has reopened as a furniture store. The go-go club closed in March 1997, after a patron shot and killed police officer Brian T. Gibson. “I wanted to convert the use of the building from night to day,” says building owner Zina Greene. “With home sales jumping off the charts in the neighborhood, what could be more appropriate than filling those windows with beautiful furniture at discount prices?” Greene asks. Carolina Furniture’s owners also say they’re happy to be part of Georgia Avenue’s revitalization. “They have a need for a furniture store in this area,” says Regional Manager Taisier Ramamni. “We’ve gotten very positive feedback from the community.”
Thunderstruck When the Metropolitan Police Department rolled out its new rapid-reaction team May 4, rank-and-file response was underwhelming. Police officials had hoped to recruit a daily average of 100 officers, who would get paid overtime to patrol summertime crime hot spots. Two weeks into its launch, however, the unit has fallen well short of recruitment goals. According to Executive Assistant Chief Terrance Gainer, part of the problem may be the unit’s name: Operation Rolling Thunder. “Some of the people in the department thought it was too militaristic,” says Gainer. Alternatively, officers may have confused it with the title of Bob Dylan’s mid-’70s “Rolling Thunder Revue” tours. Instead of switching gears completely, though, D.C.’s finest could have chosen a different rock tour’s name. Who wouldn’t love a summer police deployment called “Monsters of Rock” or “Survival of the Illest?” Alas, Gainer instead opted for the straightforward “Summer Mobile Force.” If the name change doesn’t jump-start things, Gainer says, the department will consider making the detail mandatory.
Hack Job In March, Mayor Anthony A. Williams signed a resolution to install meters in District taxicabs and sent it to the D.C. Council for a 60-day review. Several weeks later, Democratic State Committee members received packets warning: “Meters Will Kill The Cab Business and Free Enterprise!”
District cabbies have long opposed efforts to convert fare tabulation to a meter system, arguing that meters will cost riders more and discourage business. The change might have taken effect automatically if At-Large Councilmember Carol Schwartz had not
held a public hearing. After sitting through hours of hacks’ opposition, Schwartz asked Williams to withdraw his resolution. Williams conceded on Tuesday, saying he’d wait until the council had time “to obtain
the information required to make an informed decision.”
Dream County The June Wired magazine features a four-page color advertisement touting the high-tech lifestyle in Fairfax County. The ad juxtaposes laid-back Virginia with the high rents and harried lifestyles facing computer careerists in New York or San Francisco. “Sooner or later, you notice cracks in the dream: A commute that takes longer than the average Internet product cycle,” the ad reminds Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley residents—who may not be aware that the D.C. metropolitan area ranks second in traffic congestion. Of course, that’s not the promotion’s biggest sleight of hand: “When you’re making more at your job and wasting less on your mortgage, you’ll be endlessly tempted to spend the difference on yourself,” it reads. “Fairfax County works hard to see that you are indulged.” As proof, the ad’s front page lures hipsters with a photo of a sleek, all-white bar with half-moon comfy chairs, martini-glass-shaped bar stools, and cool patrons. “Don’t just think outside the box…consider a whole new ZIP code,” concludes the ad copy over the photo. We believe that ZIP code might be 20036: Close inspection of the frosted bar windows shows the logo for the downtown bar Dragonfly, with its street address above the front door: 1215, as in 1215 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
Reporting by Colin Bane, Jason Cherkis, Laura Lang, and Elissa Silverman.
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