Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Washingtonian Magazine's Gaffe

Last week, I received the following press release from Councilmember Alexander's Office regarding negative publicity of Ward 7 in the Washingtonian Magazine. I bet you're wondering what got the Councilmember's panties in a bunch. A Ward 7 resident was able to track down the Washingtonian Magazine. Here's the entire article, the questionable language has been underlined:

Ray's the Steaks at East River
3905 Dix St., NE

Why Go: This break-the-model enterprise-a sit down restaurant on the neglected eastern side of the Anacostia River from restaurateur Michael Landrum-- is a fascinating study in contrasts, not to mention a bold sociological experiment. And guess what--the food's good, too. From gratis salads of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers to the ancherman-style selections of meat to wedges of great pie, a meal here harks back to a no-fuss kind of dining that has all but vanished. You can even find a $5 glass of wine.

What to get: Beer-battered jumbo shrimp, ten to an order; a neat twist on skillet-fried chicken, the bird cold-smoked before hitting the oil; the Presidential burger, the same on served at Ray's Hell-Burger and the lounge at Ray's the Classics; crab royale, a ten-ounce mound of lightly bound jumbo lump that's thrust under the broiler until golden-stellar Key-lime pie; silken mild-chocolate mousse.

Best for: Simply prepared American cooking at a great price.

Insider tip: Landrum fans unaccustomed to life east of Anacostia--and apprehensive about making the trip out there--might be reassured to know that the owner had hired greeters to man the door and watch over the block.

Miss V's 2 Cents
I get that the Washingtonian Magazine was "trying" address the perceptions that people have of East of the River. Good idea, bad implementation. Councilmember Alexander wrote a great response, but Miss V has her back and I'm going to give you the unfiltered response.

To Whom it May Concern:

I'm writing in response to your review of Ray's the Steaks East River in your June 2010 edition. I do not understand this "bold socioeconomic experiment" that you refer too. I know Washington Post and mainstream media have characterized East of the River as a bunch of poor, Black people who are on welfare and have nothing better to do that shoot up the neighborhood. Yes, Ward 7 is mostly Black, but rest assured that we have jobs, we know which fork is the salad fork, we drink wine out of a glass, and we tip the waitstaff. There is nothing "bold" about opening a sit-down restaurant in Ward 7. The only thing that is "bold" is the fact that you were "bold" enough to make the statement.

What do you mean by "those unaccustomed to life East of the River"? Do you mean unaccustomed to seeing so many Black people? Black people don't have the cooties. As a matter of fact I got my cootie shot in 2nd grade (circle-circle-dot-dot, Baby). The whole Insider Tip reads as "Don't worry, White people. There's security to make sure the scary Black people won't bother you."

All that being said, you get an epic fail for perpetuating stereotypes.


Miss V

Be Heard East of the River
Obviously, Miss V is going to respond to the Editor in a more professional manner. If this review offends you, I strongly encourage you all to email the Editor, John Limpert at editorial@washingtonian.com.

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