By Esther Hidalgo, Host Committee Member
Washington D.C., like any other city, is not without its customs, codes and quirks. For instance everyone in DC walks to the left and stands to the right; this is especially important on Metro escalators, and long, leisurely Sunday brunches. You don’t have to live in the District to know what makes makes the city tick. If you crave an insider’s view into what life is really like inside the beltway, there are a few local blogs and websites that many Washingtonians live by. Not only are these sites a great way to familiarize yourself with D.C. culture and activities, they also provide insights about local news, issues, and life behind the hype. What follows is a selection of culture and news sites spanning a range of topics, interests, and quadrants.
General News and Entertainment
The popular website DCist.com, which was recently acquired and revived by NPR affiliate station WAMU 88.5 FM after abruptly shutting down in late 2017, covers District news, arts & culture, and food. For fun, check out their long-running, reader-contributed section called Overheard in DC at http://dcist.com/2006/01/introducing_ove.php
The Washington City Paper is an alternative weekly newspaper focusing on local news, investigative journalism, and the arts, as well as some syndicated columns, such as Savage Love, by Dan Savage. Past contributors and staff have included award-winning journalists such as David Carr and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Peruse their annual Best of D.C. list (https://local.washingtoncitypaper.com/publication/best-of-dc/2018) for local residents’ top picks for Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Goods & Services, and People & Places.
BYT (aka Brightest Young Things) publishes online articles, guides and event promotions about D.C. arts, culture, and dining. Check out the continuously updated Stuff to do in DC page (https://brightestyoungthings.com/articles/category/dc-stuff-to-do) or sign up for their DC Best Weekend Bets and Gay DC Best Weekend Bets newsletter (https://brightestyoungthings.com/about/newsletter) for fresh weekly list of popular, off the wall events and “to-dos”.
Bitches Who Brunch, which began as a food and Washington lifestyle blog, was founded by two friends who wanted to document their adventures while living in D.C. The image-heavy posts include reviews of fun new restaurants, bars and rooftop locations, as well as weekly roundups.
Bottomless Mimosa, another local blog founded by good friends, includes posts about brunch, Washington life, and “general nerdiness”. The blog, whose name is a nod to the tradition of area restaurants offering “bottomless” mimosas (continuously refilled mimosa drinks) during brunch, includes a page dedicated to brunch deals by neighborhood.
Music & Visual Arts
DC Rocks is a personal blog focused mainly on local rock music and DC culture, and features a monthly calendar of events and performances in the DC Metro Area.
East City Arts, bills itself as “DC’s Alternative Art Source”. The outlet covers visual arts and artists in regions in Eastern DC, such as River East, Brookland, Capitol Hill, and the H street NE Corridor, as well as areas “just outside the diamond” such as Hyattsville, MD, and parts of Northern Virginia. Articles include interviews with artists, reviews, classes and gallery events and artist talks.
Daily Campello Art News, which is maintained by local visual artist F. Lennox Campello includes postings for upcoming gallery receptions, exhibitions, artist calls and arts-related news updates.
A Selection of Neighborhood Blogs
Sociology in my Neighborhood: DC Ward Six focuses on social issues, such as race and racism, housing, poverty and gentrification that affect local residents in Ward 6 and beyond. The blog also includes links to interesting sociology tools and products, including links to Census data, and the NY Times Race Map.
Frozen Tropics blog posts information about commerce, events and general happenings north of Capitol Hill, along the H Street corridor, and in Trinidad in NE, DC. The page is well-organized, and features a helpful categorical drop-down lists of venues, storefronts, and locations.
New Columbia Heights is a neighborhood blog run by a long-time DC resident. The blog includes posts about the history of Columbia Heights, as well as news and reviews of local businesses, events and resident profiles. Check out the recent retrospective post about Anthony Bourdain’s visits to DC establishments.
According to Georgetown Metropolitan’s About page , the blog name is taken from an actual newspaper that was published “in the city of Georgetown, DC” in the early 1800’s. The blog is maintained by long-time Georgetownian Topher Mathews and includes articles about the history of Georgetown, as well as contemporary happenings. Washingtonians know that Georgetown is not the most easily accessible DC neighborhoo, but it can be done with the help of the NextBus trip scheduler posted on the site at https://georgetownmetropolitan.com/nextbus/.