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What you said about what we said last week.
Our last few issues of 2014 and first of 2015 dealt with reviewing the year that just ended and previewing the one that just started. Apparently, either what we wrote provoked a lot of debate, or readers decided arguing with each other in our comments section was better than arguing with relatives over the holidays.
“*sigh*…this is exactly why no one respects the D.C. dining scene,” wrote steve on Jessica Sidman’s 2014 Hungries column, which recognized some of her favorite food and restaurant moments of the year. “We’re filled with pretentious know-nothing know-it-alls who wouldn’t know the difference between chef boyardee and one of our ‘fine D.C. establishments.’ Case and point…..worst trend..steakhouses….umm, steak is delicious, steak is amazing, steak is American. Quite frankly we don’t have enough good steakhouses in the D.C. area…..what we DO have is places like Rose’s whose idea of steak is charging $120 for a steak the size of a sticky-note and covered up by some foi-gras-who the hell cares.”
That wasn’t even the grouchiest comment on the Hungries. “To infer that Jessica Sidman’s knowledge of food is ‘intermediate’ is in fact wildly hyperbolic,” posted Bobi Shofner, referring to Sidman’s reporting on a secret-ish document circulating in the restaurant world that rated and traded tips on how to serve local food writers. “A sophomoric knack for aggregating jargon, innuendo, group think, and gossip is not in any valid way commensurate with any actual knowledge of the art of cuisine. There was a time when the informed critical opinion of the WCP meant something.” Sidman’s job, of course, is to be a reporter, not a food critic, but she stuck up for herself: “If you don’t like what I have to say, you might as well stop reading and wasting your time writing unclever comments.” No reply from Shofner, so maybe she took Sidman’s advice.
Other readers were more excited about Sidman’s predictions for 2015 dining news. “In addition to The Dabney, Kinship and Momofuku, if John Shields finds a way to open and Zero Degrees Zero Minutes is able to find a place, 2015 will be the biggest year ever for D.C.,” wrote JT. “Woot!” tweeted @rebeccamkern.
In Housing Complex, where Aaron Wiener similarly rounded up his predictions for 2015 news on development, housing, land use, and transportation, readers mostly debated who deserves the credit for whatever is to come. “Mayor Gray has left the overall state of the District much better than he found it,” posted DCLukas. “Yes, the affordable housing/homeless issue is large, and more could or should have been done there, but otherwise, I think he did a spectacular job. I am looking forward to Mayor Bowser continuing the overall progress of the city.” Vince Gray’s former campaign manager Chuck Thies was (characteristically) blunter. In response to our question, “What’s ahead in 2015 for D.C. schools, housing, and transit?” Thies tweeted, “Bowser bowing on Gray’s stage.”
And finally, in our arts section, Kriston Capps took issue with a piece former Washington City Paper and Washington Post writer Jessica Dawson had written for New York magazine, which couldn’t seem to resist putting down D.C.’s arts scene as a useless backwater. “The continuing debate: is D.C. good for artists?” tweeted Linnea Hegarty, the executive director of the D.C. Public Library Foundation. “@dcpl is doing what we can to help make it so!”