What follows are two articles I wrote and submitted to Rock Creek Snark, a very fun Washington, DC theme satirical blog. They let me down gently, but I still wanted to share what I wrote.
Mayor Bowser Eyes Monorail as Alternative to Streetcars
Citing delays and budget setbacks on the H Street Streetcar project, Mayor Muriel Bowser has sought out alternate means of expanding the city’s public transportation system. On Friday, Bowser held an exploratory meeting with Lyle Lanley, a civil engineer who specializes in monorails. “We felt that other options needed to be on the table,” said Bowser, “once it was discovered that the streetcars cannot go around automobiles parked on the tracks.” Bowser went on to emphasize that, though the meeting was positive, it was still for information gathering. “We are still in the exploratory phase. Nothing is set in stone.”
Lanley, however, showed more optimism. Citing successes in North Haverbrook, Springfield, and Brockway, he expressed confidence that the system was ready to handle DC’s heavy public transportation ridership. “Can it serve our nation’s seat of power?” said Lanley, “It will move 10,000 folks per hour.”
The streetcar project many hoped would bring economic growth to the H Street Corridor has become mired in budgetary disputes causing indefinite delays. Bowser admitted that Lanley’s estimate for the cost of a monorail system makes the idea of scrapping the streetcars easier to swallow. She emphasized the need to help the up and coming neighborhood, stating, “H Street continues to grow while being served only by bus lines. The monorail will only magnify that growth.” Lanely echoed the Mayor’s sentiment by adding, “If you want H Street to be a nightlife spot, Monorail’s the best chance you’ve got.”
When asked if he felt WMATA was equipped to handle the monorail’s advanced technology, Lanely replied in the affirmative. He added that he personally ensures that only the most qualified operators are entrusted with the system.
Nevada Man Ditches Family to Find Portrait Gallery’s Adult Wing
Tuesday morning, several docents at the National Portrait Gallery reported encountering a man, who Rock Creek Snark confirmed to be Geoff Baldwin of Henderson, Nevada, asking cryptic questions about an unknown wing of the museum. Andrew Donahey was the first volunteer to report being approached by Baldwin. “He came around the corner kinda speed walking,” said Donahey. “He made a beeline for me, so I just assumed he needed a bathroom.” However, Baldwin asked Donahey a series of vague questions about the museum’s offerings, making reference to “more mature exhibitions.” Donahey, who had just returned from vacation, offered to find another guide, thinking there might have been a new exhibition of which he was unaware. “I flagged down Margaret, but he ran off.”
It became clear that Baldwin had approached other docents prior to the interaction with Donahey. Mike Gilbert, a volunteer who usually works the presidential portrait room, claimed to have seen Baldwin earlier. Gilbert claimed, “He kept walking back and forth. Eventually, I asked if he had been separated from his family.” Baldwin responded that he was visiting alone. He then brought Gilbert to a portrait of former First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland and requested to see “something like this, but more.”
|"Foxy" Frances Folsom Cleveland|
“I thought he wanted more First Lady portraits,” Gilbert said. “But then he started asking about a back room.” Baldwin then allegedly became frustrated when Gilbert did not respond Baldwin wiggled his eyebrows and inquired about paintings for adults.
It appears that Baldwin’s claims of being alone at the Portrait Gallery were untrue. A woman claiming to be his wife was reported to have visited the information desk asking if he could be paged. Janelle Martin said that she spoke with a Mrs. Baldwin who was searching for her husband, a man who fit Geoff Baldwin’s description. “I told her that, while I couldn’t page him, he had been by the desk asking where the really artsy stuff was, and I had directed him to the contemporary portrait exhibition.”
Gilbert was last seen staring at a painting of Sonia Sotomayor.