Friday, June 18, 2010

Why I care

After Tim Carman's little article, I decided to dine at Ray's the Steaks last night. I sat at the bar with my neighbor so I could talk to the staff, whom I think are some of the greatest people on the earth. We talked about the Washingtonian Article, my letter to the editor, and my response to the Washington City Paper. I jumped on my soapbox about why I get so annoyed by mainstream media. I decided to share why I care so much.

It seems that journalist are fascinated by what's outside of Ray's the Steaks. Miss V is fascinated by what's inside. Inside I see Ms Sherrie eating a bowl of crab bisque (which she is addicted too), Ronnie taking a photo of his meal (he has an entire collection on his phone), Sylvia conducting a community dinner, Justin is so busy chasing his toddler that he doesn't see me, and the elders of my community reminiscing about what Minnesota Ave was like before crack destroyed the neighborhood. I see residents from West of the River enjoying a meal East of the River without a care in the world about what's happening outside.

When "journalists" sit at the bar, they are observing the decor. When Miss V sits at the bar, I observe an Honor Roll Certificate bearing the name of a young man who lives around the corner. Mainstream media will never report that the staff of Ray's have taken this young man under their wings. The greeters who are "watching the block" are teaching this young man a proper handshake, saying "yes" instead of "yeah", going to college is important, and other life skills. Miss V met this young man and he told me wants to go to college to study math.

When "journalists" write about Ray's they focus on Michael Landrum losing money (it's been open 2 months people, relax) and it almost seems like they are waiting for it to fail. They will never write about Landrum's decision to give young men and women an opportunity for employment, when most of society would shun them. I've talked to the staff. I've heard their stories. One staff said to me last night "Michael didn't give me a hand out. He gave me a hand up. That's what I needed". Miss V has observed this young man's work ethic since the restaurant opened, and I will state that not only is he one of the hardest working members of the staff, but the pride he puts in everything he does is unmatched by anyone that I know.

Has mainstream media reported that the staff volunteer their time at the Boys and Girls Club around the corner? Or that the one of the staff has a great idea to open a skate park in Ward 7 based to give the kids something to do? He said that the kids are great skateboarders, but there is nowhere for them to go.

The food at Ray's is good, but I go there every week for the people. Pardon me, "journalists" if I'm a little sensitive. You see a restaurant. I see a community.


  1. Here, here! It is up to us to write OUR own stories! Brava

  2. Miss V.,

    I appreciate and understand your desire to defend your neighborhood. But I think you've missed the larger picture in what some journalists are saying about Ray's the Steaks at East River. And I know, for certain, you've missed two important pieces that I've written for the Young & Hungry blog about Ray's:



    Then on Monday, we will publish the photos of ALL the employees at Ray's the Steaks at East River, just because we understand how unique and powerful the place is.

    Your quick condemnation of mainstream media (the City Paper, by the way, is considered the "alternative" to the mainstream media) only creates more mistrust and division. I think we're all trying here to be fair to the business, to the neighborhood, and to the facts. I'd ask you for the same.

    Tim Carman
    Young & Hungry columnist
    Washington City Paper

  3. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for posting. I JUST posted a comment on your article. I do not consider WCP mainstream media. My post was just a general frustration that I have with media coverage of this side of town. It was just my thoughts from a conversation sparked by your article, but in no ways was this post directed at you or WCP specifically. I could have used anything as an example, it was just Ray's was fresh on my mind. The point of my post was how without the “emotional attachment” (for lack of a better term) one can look at things on our side of town and see one thing and someone else can see something different. I can't even begin to express how frustrating it is when people who don't live here try to tell you how you should feel about your neighborhood and when you should and should not be offended. This is something we live everyday. I’m a blogger and I was just blogging my feelings.

    I apologize if that distinction was not clear in my post.