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Hip Factor: The New York Times had a classic trend piece this week about a questionable fashion item that is so gratuitously impractical that it can only be described as “hipster chic”: the monocle. So does D.C. have any of these cool half-glasses? According to a WTOP investigation, Washingtonians aren’t really buying monocles. But if hipness is measured by the prevalence of monocles, then being unfashionable may not be the worst thing. +3

Eternal Optimists:There may still be wintry weather in our forecasts, but more and more outdoor venues are starting to open for the season. This weekend it’s Dacha Beer Garden and Cantina Marina. +2

Strip Tease: The Glover Park ANC had wanted a neighborhood strip joint to take reasonable efforts to ensure their strippers enter the venue through the back entrance. But after some reconsideration, it decided that may not be the best idea. +3

Food for Thought: The Safeway grocery chain will be acquired by an investment group led by Cerberus Capital Management, the owner of several grocery store chains. The deal will bring together Safeway and Albertsons. Does this mean better things for D.C.’s Safeways? We’ll have to wait and see. +/-0

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 41 Today’s score: +8 Friday Bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 51