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City Paper’s best stories in 2021, as selected by its staff



Of the approximately 1,100 stories Washington City Paper published in 2021, some were expected to climb to the top. Earlier this week, we featured the 15 stories readers clicked the most this year. Now we get subjective and share the stories that have resonated with us over the past 12 months. The parts below, selected by City paper members of staff, celebrate the people doing interesting work in the district, explain how problems arise and how they can be fixed, and hopefully keep you from thinking about the pandemic, at least for a few minutes. —Caroline Jones

Photo of swimmer Lawrence Sapp by Darrow Montgomery Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Lawrence Sapp set to make waves at Tokyo Paralympic Games

By Kelyn Soong

Photo of a construction site by Darrow Montgomery Credit: Darrow Montgomery / file

The pandemic has sparked turf war in food trucks on construction sites

By Michael Loria

Culinary Editor Laura Hayes singled out two stories that highlight less covered topics: the Paralympic Games and the food trucks that serve construction workers. “My colleague Kelyn Soong does a tremendous job of shining the spotlight on local athletes who are both reaching new heights and underrepresented in other sport sections. This story taught me the S14 rating and made me a lifelong Lawrence Sapp fan, ”Hayes writes. “Michael Loria was an invaluable contributor to City Paper in 2021 due to his ability to tell stories about immigrant communities. I was fascinated to learn more about the different categories of food trucks and how they compete during tough times.

Photo of Angel Reese by Darrow Montgomery Credit: Darrow Montgomery

College athletes navigate the new world enjoying their name, image and likeness

By Kelyn Soong

Soon, City paperthe sports editor of and Sarah marloff, City paperThe arts editor, both pointed to Soong’s deep dive into how college athletes start to make money based on their name, image and likeness, thanks to a recent move. of the Supreme Court, as a highlight of the year. “Every varsity athlete has a unique experience and the new NIL rules only amplify that. I really enjoyed learning from the athletes I spoke to about the impact NIL had on them, ”Soong said.

Watercolor painting by Julia Terbrock Credit: Watercolor painting by Julia Terbrock

All policies are local

By Washington City Paper staff and contributors

This year began with the insurgency on the United States Capitol. While City paper tends to avoid federal news — we’re a local newspaper, after all — responding to this deemed necessary event. As Soong says, “I’m glad we’ve given local readers the space to share their thoughts and feelings. Darrow Montgomery and JM GiordanoThe photos brilliantly capture the surrealism of that day.

A painting of the Washington football team’s helmet on the field of RFK Stadium. Photo by Darrow Montgomery. Credit: Darrow Montgomery / File

Dan Snyder escaped responsibility for Washington football’s toxic culture

By Craig Hoffman

A lot has changed this year, but the dysfunction of the Washington football team was not one of them. Soong cites this story as an example, noting how Hoffman “strongly points out the absurdity of the NFL’s investigation into the Washington football team that basically did nothing to hold Dan Snyder accountable for promoting the game. ‘a toxic work culture’.

Wayson Jones and Michelle Parkerson outside the now closed ENIKAlley cafe. Photo by Darrow Montgomery. Credit: Darrow Montgomery

New documentary tells the story of a critical gathering space for DC’s black LGBTQ community

By Sarah Marloff

While the breaking news is almost always helpful, it’s just as important to revisit the history of places Washingtonians have forgotten or have never known at all. Soong, Marloff, and Michelle Goldchain, Editor-in-Chief of Audience Growth and Engagement, especially enjoyed Marloff’s take on a new documentary on ENIKAlley Coffeehouse, a gathering place for DC’s black LGBTQ community in the years. 1980.

Rotten Is this a multi-faceted look at survivor sexual assault and DC’s DIY scene

By Sarah Marloff

Valentine’s Day from Doug E. Fresh to Chuck Brown, Go-Go

By Alona Wartofsky

Once again Need another modification

By Rebecca J. Ritzel

Marloff also highlighted three reviews that exemplify DC’s diverse art scene. One is a book about the District’s DIY music scene, the other watches a musical featuring Britney Spears songs (which is especially fitting this year!), And another pays homage to DC’s signature sound. .

DC Housing Authority police car photo by Darrow Montgomery Credit: Darrow Montgomery

“Asshole” sergeant intimidates and harasses Housing Authority police officers, officers say

By Mitch Ryals

Several staff members called on Editor-in-Chief Mitch Ryals for a careful investigation of the police patrolling DC Housing Authority properties. The misconduct that fellow officers told Ryals about is heartbreaking. It is also essential knowledge for anyone who cares about housing in DC.

Photo of a rally of excluded workers by Ambar Castillo Credit: Ambar Castillo

What we can learn from excluded DC workers

By Ambar Castillo

Personal editor Ambar Castillo special attention to workers’ rights this year, focusing on the struggle of those excluded from pandemic-related benefits and other traditional benefits. These people perform essential tasks in DC, and Castillo’s stories are a reminder to lawmakers not to abandon them anymore.

Photo of Diego D’Ambrosio by Darrow Montgomery Credit: Darrow Montgomery / File

Iconic DC barber Diego D’Ambrosio dies at 87

By Bailey Vogt

Among those we lost in 2021 was a unique DC icon: Dupont Circle barber Diego D’Ambrosio. Personal editor Bailey vogtThe memory of ‘paid tribute to the tough but talented man who spent half a century styling political leaders and ordinary Washingtonians.

Photo of Nzinga Tull by Darrow Montgomery

The question of people

Through City paper staff and contributors

Photo of ma la wontons at Great Wall Szechuan House by Darrow Montgomery Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Roll in the dough

Through City paper staff and contributors

Staff photographer Darrow Montgomery said two very different issues came to her as 2021 highlights. While The People Issue brought together interesting Washingtonians for interviews and portraits, this year’s feed issue, Organized around the theme of dumplings and other dough-wrapped treats, Montgomery drove through the region to capture the best bites in the best light.

Columbia Heights Civic Plaza photo by Darrow Montgomery Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Temperatures in DC’s Heat Islands can be ten to twenty degrees warmer than in leafy neighborhoods

By Hola Cultura SPEL Team

Our partnership with Hola Cultura, a non-profit organization that works with emerging journalists between the ages of 16 and 25, was a highlight of 2021. Their reporting on heat islands and the impact of these hot spots on them. Washingtonians who live there have opened their eyes.

Photo of Don Zientara by Darrow Montgomery Credit: Darrow Montgomery

End of an Ear-a: The Legendary Inner Ear Studios closes a chapter

By Christina Smart

This story, about the closure of a legendary Arlington recording studio where bands like Fugazi, Against Me! and Foo Fighters have recorded and mixed albums, is classic. City paper. Contributing writer Smart christina taken from excellent quotes from the owner of the inner ear Don Zientara and founder of Dischord Records Ian mackaye and created a story about what happens when we lose a place of cultural consequence. Lots of other media wrote about Inner Ear as well, but our story, as far as we are concerned, was the best.