A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from Washington City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to citydesk@washingtoncitypaper.com.

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Good morning from Washington City Paper! It’s Monday. Today in 1982, officials broke ground on the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS: Mitt Romney expected to do well in D.C. primary. [Post] Iranian spies at D.C. lunch hotspots? As long as they don’t cut the line, we’re okay with that. [WTOP] One stop shopping for all pot producers. [WTOP] Hundreds rally for Trayvon Martin in D.C. [NBC Washington] New map, new Metro [Examiner]

YOUR DAILY QUALITY-OF-LIFE MEASUREMENT: On Friday, City Paper‘s Needle ticked up two points. The bad news: Mayor Vince Gray urges a resolution to let bars stay open later—we doubt it’ll happen. The good news: Usher launches a non-profit for D.C. students. Take a look here.


The Bikeshare of Carsharing Launches: Over the weekend, Car2Go—a new car-sharing service that you can use to pick up a car wherever, and drop it off wherever—launched. Lydia DePillis weighs the merits:”Is this a Zipcar killer? Car2Go has a low barrier to entry, with just a one-time $35 signup cost and no annual or monthly fees, so it wouldn’t be hard for Zipcar users to make the switch. And the flexibility of being able to park wherever, making use of transit for your ride back, is hard to beat. But Zipcar still has the advantage of size—Car2Go is launching with just 200 cars—and a multiplicity of models to choose from. Plus, it’ll still get to hang on to a larger number of those reserved curbside parking spaces it thought it had lost in an auction, since Car2Go decided it didn’t need them anyway (Hertz On Demand, the city’s third carsharing service, will get a few as well). Which means that resource won’t be diluted, as I’d feared.”

Official Name for the Hirshhorn Bubble: “The Bloomberg Balloon”: The fancy new installation at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has been known as the “the bubble” for a while now, but it just got a new, official name: “Why rename the Bubble? According to the Hirshhorn staffer, Bloomberg LP wanted to avoid the potentially negative financial connotations associated with the word ‘bubble.’ Hence: the Bloomberg Balloon.”

Edie Sedgwick Goes to SXSW—The End: After 14 days of dispatches, the trip is over.

Gut Reaction: The Smoked Duck Doesn’t Suck at Suna Pop-Up: Initial impressions of the eight-course, four-drink $119-per person dinner: My dining companions and I enjoyed the first dish, a kampachi tartare. The fish tasted fresh, though we initially had a hard time discerning the trio of garnishes that we were directed to eat separately (pickled radish, preserved lemon and rice gel) in the virtual darkness of the dining room. The brick walls were strangely shrouded in black cloths, lending the place an almost goth vibe. Tiny shrubs (presumably the non-photosynthesizing kind) adorned each table. I guess the low-light conditions have something to do with the whole moss theme. But this is supposed to be fine dining—not spelunking. How bout some candles or something, fellas?”

At Hirshhorn “SONG 1″ Lecture, Civilians Need Not Apply: Hirshhorn correspondent Kriston Capps has a gripe with ticketing at a recent lecture for a new exhibition: “Museum members who have given $500 or more were given first crack at the tickets. According to a museum spokesperson, 200 seats were set aside for VIPs; the museum’s Ring Auditorium seats 272. Inside the auditorium, that meant that all but three back rows of the auditorium were reserved for big-ticket visitors.”

A Significant Increase in D.C. Arts Commission Funding? Not Exactly. “Mayor Vince Gray‘s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 dropped today, and on first glance, arts boosters might be pleased with what they see: an increaseto the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities to $7,635,142 from $4,798,246. Unfortunately for them, the boost is not what it seems.” Jonathan L. Fischer has more.


BE THERE OR BE SQUARE: City Paper will be sponsoring a series of D.C. Council candidate debates this month.

Ward 7: Tonight! Monday, March 26, Ray’s the Steaks East River, 3905 Dix St. NE, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. (guest moderator: James Wright of The Washington Informer).


LOOSE LIPS DAILY POLITICS LINKS, by Alan Suderman (tips? lips@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Three-way race in Ward 5; Delano Hunter has had some recent legal troubles. [Ward 5 Heartbeat]
  • Tom Toles mocks District’s pols. [Post]
  • Doug Jemal almost got away with murder, if not for that pesky Colby King. [Post]
  • Mayor Vince Gray‘s budget includes longer bar hours and more speed cameras. [Post]
  • TWT has questions about Jeff Thompson‘s Medicaid settlement. [Times]
  • Thompson contract with CFO nixed, though not why you think, says spox. [WBJ]
  • Fire Department’s river rescue boat is obsolete, IG says. [Examiner]
  • Park Service less douchy than before. [Post]
  • Can’t tell if this is an endorsement of Vincent Orange. [Examiner]

REAL ESTATE AND DEVELOPMENT LINKS, by Housing Complex blogger Lydia DePillis (tips? housingcomplex@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Maryland mulling massive privatization. [Post]
  • The great Park Service thaw, and how far there is to go. [Post]
  • More of 14th Street moves to H Street NE. [PoP]
  • How DDOT rolled out new carsharing options. [d.ish]
  • Iran shopping for spies in yuppie D.C. [WTOP]
  • Changes at Popularise. [Urbanturf]
  • That’s an expensive bike lane. [Reuters]
  • Grumbling over a food bank warehouse. [Ward5Heartbeat]
  • Pooling energy purchasing power for small businesses and non-profits. [Post]
  • How Doug Jemal almost made a killing on a chunk of vacant land. [Post]
  • Congress micromanages federal leases, gets savings. [Post]
  • Builders pissed off about new local hiring requirements. [Post]
  • Today on the market: Very, very liveable.

ARTS LINKS, by Jonathan L. Fischer (tips? artsdesk@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Local art-blues outfit Laughing Man drops some hints about its upcoming sophomore full-length, Be Black Baby. [ReadysetDC]
  • Renwick Gallery inching toward a $20 million renovation. [City Biz]
  • Meet Bruce McNeil, photographic chronicler of the Anacostia River. [Post]
  • Bloomberg balloon gets contagious. [Ripe]
  • Local metal dudes Ilsa ink with A389 Records [Brooklyn Vegan]
  • Home news: Arts Desk contributor Tessa Moran made this artful film of the cherry blossoms. [Vimeo]

FOOD LINKS, by Young & Hungry columnist Chris Shott (tips? hungry@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • New York chefs invade D.C. [New York Post]
  • Feast your eyes on the goodies at Cleveland Park’s new Sugar Magnolia [HuffPo]
  • Last call at D.C. bars and restaurants could go even later. [DCist]
  • Chick-Fil-A launches a D.C. food truck on April 9. [NBC Washington]
  • Tax officials shutter Popeye’s in Logan Circle. [Borderstan]
  • A snob’s guide to Japanese food in D.C. [Eater]
  • Giant supermarkets vow to get rid of “pink slime”-infused beef. [WMAL]
  • Scarf some sushi at happy hour. [Post]