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What you said about what we said last week
Is D.C.’s metastasizing boutique-fitness culture a sign of a city’s increasing emphasis on wellness—or just another outgrowth of its exploding wealth? “I have to say I think these places are such a ripoff. And people sadly pay whatever they ask,” wrote Lisa, commenting on Perry Stein’s cover story on D.C.’s fanciest workout options. “I did a one-month membership deal to [solidcore] and 1) it’s a snooty sorority girl room full of not so attractive annoying women 2) it is a cult fad and will be gone in 5 years. JUST GO TO A GYM PEOPLE!!!”
Pivoting off Stein’s point that gym classes offered by the Department of Parks and Recreation are outgunned by the marketing efforts of D.C.’s more upscale exercise offerings, Former Rez wrote, “DPR doesn’t need high-end marketing. It needs quality instructors and consistent, meaningful scheduling. Use its assets, meaning the grounds, and have some quality equipment, not just barbells. Get weight balls, jump ropes, kettlebells, etc. Try the formula at one or two spots and expand.”
One immediate takeaway from Stein’s piece: For the spin and CrossFit set, business is booming. Which may have inspired this tweet from Washington Blade columnist Mark Lee: “That day DC fitness businesses’ attempt to revive their effort to remain exempt from DC sales tax died.”
Others, naturally, were more interested in Darrow Montgomery’s sweaty photography. “Ever wondered about a world where @Darrow_M shot hardbody pics? Wonder no more,” tweeted Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis. A commenter was less circumspect. “Beefcake!!!” wrote Paul in VA. “BEEFCAKE!!!!”
Art of the Matter
A public-art fiasco in Anacostia says a lot about the outreach efforts of the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities—it placed a garbage-and-detritus installation in empty storefronts, then said it would take it down after residents complained, then said it wouldn’t, and finally was forced to remove it after D.C. fire authorities declared it a hazard—but at least as much about a broader kind of neglect. As Aaron Wiener reported in last week’s Housing Complex column, the storefronts that housed the controversial artwork are among 36 vacant or blighted properties owned by the Department of Housing and Community Development—properties that neighbors are eager to see sold and occupied.
The latest waffling is nothing new. “There was a community meeting planned to discuss DHCD’s multiple holdings in Historic Anacostia in late August,” wrote John M. “It was promoted through social media and Sandy Allen, now on DHCD’s payroll, passed out flyers in the neighborhood. Meeting was then abruptly canceled. No new date has been announced.” But John M suggested that the neglect of Anacostia goes deeper—that it’s not just the city’s promises of economic development that are little more than lip service. “The day when Corey Booker eats at a Busboys and Poets in Anacostia is the day the Washington football team is renamed the Nacotchtankes,” he wrote. “The issue is financing. Where will this come from? Is the market there? Is there interest? There are constraints and limitations that are not really discussed openly because of perception issues.”
Local food chains like Ben’s Chili Bowl are arriving at local airports, as Jessica Sidman wrote in last week’s Young & Hungry column, but be wary of that chili half-smoke. Reader Fluxgirl’s pre-emptive admonition: “Don’t you dare take on a load of chili if you’re going to be on my flight!!”