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.