People look across the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.
Visitors at the Tidal Basin Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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Enjoy an evening of jazz with The U.S. Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note featuring famed American trumpeter, Jon Faddis!

Happy Monday, D.C. Spring appears to have officially sprung—we’re roughly 72 hours from the first pitch of the Nationals’ 2023 season and the cherry blossoms are on full display, as are the vehicles of people driving to see said cherry blossoms. 

Here’s the news you may have missed while stopped on Ohio Drive SW.

Stuck in a Cherry Jam

WMATA may have spent big bucks decorating Metro trains and buses with pink wrapping in an attempt to encourage visitors who want to see D.C.’s most popular trees to travel via public transportation, but that didn’t stop people from driving to the Tidal Basin this weekend. The predictable result? Near-complete gridlock and lengthy delays, with one driver saying she’d been stuck for nearly four hours. 

The U.S. Park Police say the temporary closure of two parking lots near the Tidal Basin contributed to the traffic issues. Those lots are being used as staging areas for Metro’s Yellow Line projects, and even Metro encountered significant traffic as it shuttled visitors toward the trees. Smithsonian station was switched to exit-only during portions of the weekend in order to manage the flow of people through the area. 

Many people took their traffic frustration out on WTOP, despite the radio station warning them in specific language, “Do. Not. Drive. To. The. Tidal. Basin. To. See. The. Cherry. Blossoms.” The reaction to the traffic was so acute that it reached Brooklyn-based writer Alex Pareene, who took his frustration out in a post for Defector

The solution to this conundrum, of course, is to avoid the area entirely and find a different spot in D.C. to view trees in bloom.

At least the red of the traffic maps and tail lights in the 395 tunnel brought the color of cherries to mind. 

More Questions After Officer-Involved Shooting

Friends and relatives of 17-year-old Dalaneo Martin, the young man a U.S. Park Police officer shot and killed in a stolen car last week, gathered to remember him and demand answers to their questions about the incident. The group, organized by Dalaneo’s mother, Terra, met last night on Benning Road NE and wondered aloud why he was shot when he was in a nonthreatening position. The family’s lawyer, Andrew O. Clarke, says Dalaneo was shot six times in the back.

The names of the two officers involved in the incident, one who was allegedly dragged behind the car and one who fired the fatal shots, have not been released. The Metropolitan Police Department’s internal affairs division is investigating the incident. 

Caroline Jones (tips?

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • Extended hours at eight D.C. recreation centers begin today! [Axios, DPR]
  • As the new chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Works, Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is calling for harsher actions to be taken against dangerous drivers. As of March 9, more than 780,000 vehicles in D.C. were registered, but only about 800 vehicles are booted monthly. [WUSA9]
  • The former Key Bridge Marriott is being condemned and the unhoused people who were using it as shelter have been asked to leave. Five of them have been connected with shelter services in Arlington County, but officials do not know exactly how many people have been residing in the former hotel. [DCist]
  • The first group of students to complete UDC’s bilingual program in education celebrated their accomplishments this week. Many of them provide child care and are required to obtain a degree under a 2016 law. [Post]
  • The Andean bear cubs who were born in November are officially on outdoor view at the National Zoo. As of this morning, though, they were still snoozing in their den. [Fox5]

By City Paper staff (tips?

  • D.C. insiders remain perplexed about who to turn to in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s government after John Falcicchio resigned amid sexual harassment accusations. His newly released resignation letter says his “decision is driven by some personal matters I must attend to and my interest in exploring other opportunities.” [Post, Twitter]
  • Rep. Jasmine Crockett of Texas, a former public defender, says her recent tour of the D.C. Jail gave her confidence that people confined there are being treated humanely. She was one of a handful of Democrats to tag along with Republicans visiting the jail to inspect conditions for the Jan. 6 defendants, who Crockett says the GOP politicians treated like “celebrities.” [Politico]
  • Some Northeast residents are pushing back on D.C.’s plans to rebuild a pedestrian bridge over I-295 after the old one collapsed back in 2021. Transportation officials counter that they’ve heard feedback from many people who support the bridge. Southbound lanes of I-295 will close from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. this week to allow for construction. [NBC Washington]

By Alex Koma (tips?

  • Irregardless on H Street NE has new a la carte menu and a new chef, Laetitia Chrapchynski. She comes to the restaurant by way of the Canadian embassy. [Eater]
  • Need a good spot for a first date? Whether you’re looking for a great patio, cocktails, or games, D.C. has got options. [Washingtonian]
  • Doro Soul Food and Peter Chang top Tom Sietsema’s list of favorite places to eat in March. [Post]

By City Paper staff (tips?

Credit: Daniel Rader

Signature’s Kaleidoscopic Pacific Overtures Reckons With the Roots of Musical Theater

Signature Theatre’s Pacific Overtures is an insightful, moving, and innovative examination of musical theater and […]

Credit: Camila Bailey

Famed High-wire Artist Philippe Petit Makes D.C. Debut

Elementary school students from six Title I District schools got a nontraditional lesson in architecture […]

Credit: Margot Schulman

Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s Is a Hangout Comedy That Packs a Punch

Clyde’s satiates the audience’s desire for work about regular people surviving on the margins of […]

  • David Adjaye, the celebrated architect known for designing the National Museum of African American History and Culture, has another proposal for D.C. [Washingtonian]

By Sarah Marloff (tips?

  • The Maryland women play top-seeded South Carolina in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament tonight. [Post, Testudo Times]
  • NFL owners are meeting in Phoenix this week and have paused their efforts to force Commanders owner Daniel Snyder’s removal. As the league continues to investigate the team, Snyder has declined to be interviewed. [Post]
  • Trinity Rodman scored in the 54th minute of the Washington Spirit’s home opener to lead her team over OL Reign. [WTOP]

By City Paper staff (tips?

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