Where do you want to fly?

Photographs by Andrew Beaujon.

The Mount Vernon Trail offers unparalleled views of our nation’s capital and is a delightful route for cyclists, walkers, and joggers. It’s also a great place to see dozens of dockless scooters lying on their sides. I counted 34 along a three-mile stretch from just before Gravelly Point to the Roosevelt Bridge on my bike ride to work Monday morning—an average of one every 466 feet.

There’s a delicious air of mystery to many of these scooters, which have been left in places with no obvious egress from the trail. Were the riders sucked up to heaven in some sort of multi-modal mini rapture? Did friends with tandem bikes happen by? Or maybe the riders just hoofed it after the batteries ran out?

National Park Service spokesperson Jonathan Shafer says the agency doesn’t keep records on improperly parked bikes and scooters and suggests contacting the scooter companies when you see them strewn about. “Bikes or scooters that adversely affect visitor safety, orderly management of park areas, or threaten park natural or cultural resources may be impounded,” he says.

Some of the scooters enjoy a long stay on the banks of the Potomac because they’re so inconvenient to pick up. Scooter companies tend to employ freelance “juicers” who collect and recharge the vehicles, then leave them in convenient spots for other riders. But even the most motivated juicer would have to spend a lot of time if they wanted to harvest some of these scooters.

The scooter companies encourage people to contact them to report the vehicles, which are supposedly GPS-enabled but okay. I contacted all six that operate in DC, and most said they had a team that collects scooters; all encouraged park users to report strays. “In many cases, our team will locate and collect the vehicles on foot, such as on the Mount Vernon Trail,” a Jump spokesperson says. A Lime spokesperson praised the company’s “robust local operations team” and asks anyone who sees a scooter out of place to report it via the app or by texting 888-LIME-345. Bird says the company is “thrilled to see residents rely on options like Bird to commute from Arlington to DC and back” and asks people dismayed by the placement of one of the company’s scooters to report the fugitive in the “Community Mode” section of its app.

Rob McPherson, the general manager for Skip in Washington, DC, says that, for hard-to-reach scooters, the company pays higher rates that escalate until they’re picked up. It also allows rangers to pick them up. “This summer,” he says, “we are also hiring interns specifically to educate riders about proper riding and parking practices.”

I like these scooters and want them to succeed. But those interns and operations teams have a big task ahead of them: on Thursday morning, I counted 29 scooters along the same stretch of path.

Andrew Beaujon Washingtonian
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Where do you want to fly?

The final Rolling Thunder takes place on Sunday along the National Mall. Photograph by Meg Marshall.

THURSDAY, MAY 23

COMEDY Stand-up comic Michael Blackson, a.k.a. “The African King of Comedy,” was discovered by Ice Cube at a Mike Epps show, and that’s how he got his theatrical debut in the 2000 film Next Friday (as “Angry African Man”). Since then, he’s appeared in music videos (B.o.B‘s “I’ll Be in the Sky”), comedy shows (P. Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy), and more (Repos, Are We There Yet?). Hear his act live all weekend at the DC Improv. Through May 26. $45-$55.

ART “Queer as German Folk: Celebrating Fifty Years of Transatlantic Rainbow Friendship” will open in two locations: the DC Center for the LGBT Community and the Goethe-Institut Washington. The new exhibit explores the evolution of the LGBTQ+ community and its fight since the 1969 Stonewall riots, in both Germany and the US. See materials collected by Berlin-based curators Birgit Bosold and Carina Klugbauer, plus works selected by local curator Mary Claire Phillips from Washington-based archives. These two sides of the exhibit will show queer history in both Germany and DC, showing the similarities and differences in the fights for equality that still continue today. Phillips will speak at a special opening reception at the Goethe-Institut on Thursday night. Exhibit: Through August 23. Goethe-Institut opening reception: 5/23, Free (with registration), 6:30 PM.

FESTIVAL The Walt Whitman 200 Festival celebrates the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth with a series of events including poetry readings, workshops, meditations, and a tour through downtown DC. See films based on Whitman’s life (5/31 at Rhizome) or be part of a community reading of “Song of Myself” in Spanish, Tamil, Mandarin and nine other languages (5/23 at Busboys & Poets on K Street). Through June 3. Most events are free (and/or have a suggested donation).

FRIDAY, MAY 24

THEATER Fittingly for Memorial Day, the play Last Out—Elegy of a Green Beret will run this weekend at the Ernst Cultural Center at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale Campus. The play was written by Ret. Lt. Col. Scott Mann, who founded the non-profit The Heroes Journey to help veterans transition to civilian life through storytelling. Follow an Army Green Beret in Afghanistan, performed with an all veteran and veteran-family cast. Through May 25. $30 (Vets receive a $10 discount with the code VETERAN).

BOOKS Known for Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, Baltimore artist John Waters recently documented stories from his career in his new book Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder. Waters dives into stories from Hollywood, stories about music, and tales of the stars he’s worked with (or helped push into the limelight). Waters will talk about his new book at Politics & Prose. Free, 7 PM.

SATURDAY, MAY 25

TOUR Check out the inside of President Lincoln’s Cottage for a Walt Whitman and Lincoln-themed tour. Author/historian Garrett Peck will provide historical context of these men’s time in Civil War Washington, chat about their relationship, and draw parallels between their shared values. 5 PM & 7 PM, $25.

ART Lost Origins Gallery’s new exhibit “Moments Noticed” brings together 35mm street photography by DC/NJ artist Benedict Tisa from his time in Africa and Bangladesh with the Peace Corps in the 1970s. Most of the prints on display are more than 40 years old, although Tisa has reprinted a few (in large format) for this exhibit. Stop by Saturday night for an opening reception. Exhibit: Through June 9. Opening reception: 5/25, 7 PM, free.

SUNDAY, MAY 26

RIDE Now in its 32nd year, the annual Rolling Thunder Run is coming to an end in 2019, due to high costs and logistical challenges. But the ride will go on this year, paying tribute to service members abandoned after the Vietnam War and in tandem with a First Amendment Demonstration Run on Sunday to bring accountability for POWs and MIAs left behind. They’ll start at noon in the Pentagon parking lot (riders will begin gathering at 7 AM), travel through the National Mall, and end at West Potomac Park, where riders can remember fallen soldiers. All weekend, Humana, a Rolling Thunder sponsor, is working with the Vietnam War Commemoration Commission to present lapel pins to Vietnam veterans as a way to acknowledge their service and welcome them home at Thunder Alley (22nd Street and Constitution Avenue NW). Free to ride or spectate.

FILM French filmmaker Marcel Pagnol was the first filmmaker elected to the Académie française. His 1938 film The Baker’s Wife (La femme du boulanger), based on a novel by Jean Giono, follows a baker whose wife leaves him for a shepherd. His sorrow leaves him unable to bake his bread, but the townsfolk work to lure her back to town. The film’s screening at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium is the Washington premiere of a new 4K restoration. Free, 2 PM.

TRIVIA Now that Game of Thrones has wrapped up, fill the void in your Sunday with Game of Thrones Trivia at Port CIty Brewing. It’s time to collect all the minute details you’ve learned over the past eight seasons to vie for the title of trivia champion; teams can be up to 6 members. Rocklands Barbeque’s food truck will be on hand if you’re hungry. $7 (plus the cost of beer), 2 PM.

MONDAY, MAY 27

THEATER Woolly Mammoth presents the 2018 Obie Award-winner for Best New American Play, Describe the Night. This play traces seven people connected across decades of history, as fictional characters cross paths with actual historical figures (like writer Isaac Babel, Stalin’s secret police officer Nikolai Yezhov, and a character who may—or may not—be Vladimir Putin). The play blurres the lines between history and fiction, but it’s all (loosely) tied together by Babel’s recently rediscovered journal. Through June 23. $20-$89.

PARADE The fifteenth National Memorial Day Parade will take place along Constitution Avenue on Monday afternoon. The parade will honor the fallen soldiers who never returned home. Special guests and performers include Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, Kiefer Sutherland, Justin Moore, and The Voice Season 16 winner Maelyn Jarmon in her first public appearance since the show’s finale. Free, 2 PM.

LAST CALL: Here’s what’s closing this weekend

“Kenneth Victor Young: Continuum” closes 5/26 at the American University Museum.

“Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo” closes 5/26 at the American University Museum.

“Postmen of the Skies: Celebrating 100 Years of Airmail Service” closes 5/27 at the Postal Museum.

Catherine P. Lewis
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Where do you want to fly?

The Trump administration recently signaled it will consider granting pardons to at least four American soldiers who were  convicted or implicated in war crimes during the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of these, perhaps the most memorable is a notorious case involving the private security firm Blackwater, in which four armed contractors killed an Iraqi police officer, ten women and two children. (In that case, Donald Trump is considering a pardon for Nicholas Slatten, the only one of the four men who was eventually convicted.)

Yet the most unnerving pardon that Trump‘s weighing is the case we know the least about. Edward Gallagher, a decorated Navy SEALs Special Operations Chief, faces a court martial at the end of May. Gallagher is accused of spraying machine-gunfire on neighborhoods; shooting a teenage girl and an elderly man; and stabbing a fifteen-year-old prisoner in the neck while he was being treated at a medic station. (Gallagher allegedly boasted of using a hunting knife for the task, which he purchased from a company run by a former SEAL.) According to the New York Times, the accusations were first made by Gallagher’s platoon members, who are likely poised to testify as witnesses in the approaching trial.

Dr. Gary Solis, a former military judge who teaches the law of war at Georgetown Law Center, and who previously directed the law of war program at West Point, believes that the Gallagher case signals an alarming change in the Trump era. In past years, accused servicemen have drawn as little attention as possible to their cases. Gallagher’s team has taken the opposite tack, launching a media campaign that appears deliberately calibrated to win the favor of President Trump. The campaign’s website, JusticeForEddie, claims that the Navy is “making a mockery of the President,” while informing readers that the US Navy legal system is “sickening” and “perverted.” The campaign’s merchandise section, where proceeds go to supporting Gallagher’s cause, redirects visitors to the company which furnished Gallagher’s hunting knife. (The site claims to have raised more than $500,000 dollars.)

Lately, Gallagher’s allies have taken to Fox News. They appear to have a specific viewer in mind. “I just want to let the president know he’s being lied to,” said Gallagher’s wife, Andrea, during an April appearance on Fox, adding, “There is corruption from the top down involved in this.”

Gallagher is innocent before proven guilty, says Solis, but if he receives a pardon before trial, we will never learn which Gallagher is—a development Solis thinks has steep ramifications for future war crimes allegations. In an interview edited for clarity and length, Solis spoke with Washingtonian about Trump’s potential use of pardons, the history of American war crimes, and the military justice system.

You’re skeptical about a pardon in the Gallagher case, but also the other cases, too. Why?

Skeptical to say the least. I think this kind of witless clemency, these [possible] pardons are harmful not only to the presidency, but more significantly, for the military justice system. He doesn’t understand the ramifications of what he’s doing. He wants to make a ploy, a political play to his base, and he wants to play general. If he knew what he was doing, if he understood how it undermines the justice system when individuals are pardoned before trial—or in some cases, after trial—then he would know better. But he doesn’t know better. … It gives tacit encouragement to further misadventures in war crimes. These kids will say, ‘Well, you know, even if we get caught, if we can get the NRA, or the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or a letter wiring campaign, or the folks at Fox News to back us, well, Trump may cut us some slack and give us a pardon.’

How does Gallagher’s case compare to others you’ve studied?

I have prosecuted hundreds of cases, hundreds of courts martial. It’s clear to me what went on that day. Proving it may be another thing. But it’s clear to me that Gallagher had a God-like view of his persona, that he could kill at will, and that he even bragged about it—as we all know from the press accounts of statements he made about killing women and children—and then he had the balls to, allegedly, stab this wounded kid, this wounded prisoner, and kill him. And then have his picture taken leaning on the body as he re-enlisted in the Navy.

How rare would a pardon like this be?

For war related crimes? Lincoln gave pardons to some of the guys who were southern sympathizers. Carter gave pardons to the draft evaders. But what’s different about these cases is that these are criminal acts resulting in the alleged murders of others who were defenseless. In a time of war, yes, but it’s murder, whether in a time of war or not. If they exist at all, I’m unaware of them. I’m unaware of any case where a charge of premeditated murder has been pardoned by the executive.

Looking at the convictions, are these cases considered controversial—the kind of margin call that might warrant a pardon?

No, no. We did the right thing in these cases. For the most part, these are individuals who had ben tried and convicted under systems which have been developed [for decades]—the military system, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, was enacted in 1950.  These cases have undergone the critical assessments of historically-developed systems of justice, systems that have been carefully enunciated and have grown for scores of years. These are the systems which have determined guilt. And to now have Trump—he has no idea what these cases are about. If you were to ask him, ‘Give me two minutes on what Lieutenant Lorance did [who was found guilty in 2013 of ordering soldiers to fire on three motorcyclists in Afghanistan], and why you think he shouldn’t be convicted.’ He wouldn’t know what the hell to say. He’s doing it to appeal to his base audience.

I’m reminded of Trump’s calls for more waterboarding. Do you think this is Trump living up to the persona he built during the campaign?

It’s hard for me to say, [politics] is not my specialty. But it’s clear form any observer that Trump is a very tough guy—when someone else is doing it. Now he’s going to pardon guys? That’s good coming from a serial draft evader.

You served in Vietnam, and later wrote extensively about the My Lai massacre. Do you see any similarities between My Lai and these cases?

I don’t think they bear a similarity to My Lai. My Lai was a one-off in American military history—or modern history, if we don’t want to go back to Wounded Knee. But from the turn of the century, there’s never been anything like My Lai. Here you had about 500 unresisting women, children, and old men murdered by US troops. With not only the approval but the participation of their commanding officer, Lieutenant [William] Calley, and I would argue the company commander, Captain [Ernest] Medina. These cases, however, are different—like the Blackwater Shooter in Nisour Square. They don’t approach 500. That number alone puts My Lai in a unique category, in my opinion.

However, this case is like My Lai in one respect—that the American populace was behind Calley. All the way. There were marches for Calley. There were FVW posts who raised money for Calley, there were draft boards that resigned en masse in support of Calley and in opposition of his trial. This was before he even went to trial. One draft board raised the US flag upside-down in protest. “The Battle Hymn of Lieutenant Calley” sold a million copies in the first four days it was released.

Was this before or after the public learned about the crimes at My Lai?

I don’t think they did understand the gravity of his crimes. The American public was never made aware of the sexual crimes, the sexual mutilations that occurred, the serial rapes that occurred. There was one 10-year-old, one 11-year-old, two 12-year-olds and a 13-year-old raped. Well, this never made the news. Why not? Because the military did not want the American public to realize the depth and breadth of criminality of American troops in My Lai. It would undermine the effort in Vietnam, it would just kill the reputation of the Army for 25 years, inhibit enlistments. It would harm US efforts with its allies to continue the war, and it would be a negative for Nixon’s coming reelection campaign. So the best way to make this bad shit go away is to dismiss the charges—no charges, not trial, no publicity—and that’s exactly what happened.

We know about it because [Vietnam infantryman and My Lai witness] Ron Ridenhour wrote a letter to 30 US Senators and the Joint Chiefs chiefs. I think Ridenhour’s letter was just as important as Sy Hersh’s story [exposing the massacre], which Hersh got a Pulitzer for and deservedly so. Hersh didn’t know about these other 21 guys who walked. Calley took all the oxygen out of the room.

What about the Ridenhours of the story—the young men who call out their fellow servicemen. Would Trump’s pardons have an impact on them?

It’s an important point. Take Eddie Gallagher. Just as significantly [as his alleged crimes], he had allegedly threatened his peers on the SEAL team—that if anybody dimed him, they would face dire consequences from him. And yet they did. And that’s the answer. His SEAL compatriots turned him in anyway. The government can’t prove the case without some of them testifying. That’s what matters—there are still individuals who are willing to out to accuse those who omit war crimes.

This is an ongoing battle in the military. General Petraeus wrote an impassioned letter to everybody in his command in Afghanistan, urging them to not remain silent when they saw war crimes. There had been a survey conducted by the Pentagon, when we realized that it was a real problem—that is, that no Marine was willing to turn in a fellow Marine [whom] they knew had committed a war crime. We always have to fight that problem.

You’ve also suggested that in the Gallagher case, as damaging as a pardon would be, the real damage is doing it before the trial.

Trials are the greatest engine for the discovery of truth known to man, as far as I’m concerned. These guys need to go to trial. If they’re innocent, great. I don’t’ think any of them are innocent. But if they are, I’m going to respect the verdict of the jury. You’ve got to give the system an opportunity to work. That’s why we’ve gone through so much effort to have a military justice system that’s updated by the military and Congress every single year,

And when you give a pardon like this, just because, ‘That’s what they said on Fox’—[Trump’s] undermining the system, the same system that, to an extent, has put him in office. It’s part of the fabric of our government. I hate to see it undermined it in such an unthinking way.

Benjamin Wofford

Staff Writer

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Where do you want to fly?

Real Estate

Including an 18th century charmer in Old Town and a Truxton Circle loft

All photographs courtesy of Bright MLS.

Alexandria

Where: 202 Duke St., Alexandria
How much: $1,575,000
When:
Sunday, May 26 from 1PM to 4PM
Why:
Built in 1770, this charming four-bedroom, three-bathroom property in Old Town still has much of its historic character—including exposed wood beams, massive fireplaces, and walls of exposed brick and stonework.

Arlington

Where: 111 N Highland St., Arlington
How much:
$1,049,900
When:
Sunday, May 26 from 1PM to 4PM
Why: 
Nestled in Lyon Park, this four-bedroom, 1970s contemporary has tons of potential, with that floating staircase, vaulted, 14-foot ceiling, and ample natural light.

Truxton Circle

Where: 57 N St., NW, Unit 412
How much:
$749,900
When: Sunday, May 25 from 12PM to 4PM
Why: The one-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath loft at Chapman Stables is new construction, with skylights and huge windows, two terraces, and a sleek kitchen.

Petworth

Where: 4326 Georgia Ave., NW, #402
How much:
$679,900
When: Saturday, May 25 from 2PM to 4PM
Why: The two-bedroom penthouse has two levels, Juliet balconies, a den, and natural oak floors.

Benning Ridge

Where: 818 Hilltop Ter., SE
How much:
$395,000
When: Saturday, May 25 from 1PM to 3:30PM
Why: This cozy, renovated home comes with three bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms, original refurbished hardwood floors, granite countertops, and a backyard.

Kaila Philo
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Parenting

And your child may be featured in Washingtonian.

Do you have an adorable baby you’re eager to show off? Submit a high resolution photo of your little bundle of joy by June 25 for a chance for him or her to be featured in Washingtonian.

ENTER HERE

All entrants—who must be 3 years or younger—will be on display in a Washingtonian.com photo gallery and will receive a personalized digital faux Washingtonian “Cutest Baby” cover.

A panel of judges from Washingtonian and the contest’s beneficiary, Children’s National Health System, will select our “Judges’ Pick” titleholder. In addition, a “People’s Choice” favorite will be determined by reader votes. Both winners will each receive a full-page feature in the August issue of Washingtonian and a $200 Framebridge gift certificate.

Each submission is $30, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit Children’s National. Multiple entries of the same baby—but different photos of that baby—are permitted.

The only question left is which photo of your baby is the cutest to submit. Good luck!



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HAGERSTOWN, MD (May 22, 2019) – After scoring a run in the bottom of the first, the Suns offense wasn’t able to muster anything against the Intimidators in a 2-1 loss at Municipal Stadium Wednesday evening.

Gilbert Lara finished 3-for-3 with three singles, which helped the Suns (20-25) outhit Kannapolis (20-25), but they weren’t able to outscore Kannapolis after Francys Peguero (L, 2-3) tossed a wild pitch in the third that allowed Lenyn Sosa to score from third to put Kannapolis up 2-1.

The two teams traded runs in the first. Kannapolis started the scoring after Ian Dawkins shot a double off the left-center field wall to lead off the game. After Peguero retired the next two batters, he allowed a double from Alex Destino that scored Dawkins to break the scoreless tie.

Hagerstown answered right back in the home half of the inning. Lara started things off with a two out single and Jacob Rhinesmith kept the ball rolling, with a base knock of his own that moved Lara to third. After that, Johan Dominguez (W, 1-2) threw a ball that passed catcher Jhoandro Alfaro, which allowed Lara to scamper home from third to tie the game.

Peguero finished the evening with a quality start despite the loss. The righty has now worked at least five innings while allowing two runs or less in each of his last seven outings. After Peguero exited the game, the Suns were able to milk three scoreless innings from their bullpen to keep them within one.

Aaron Fletcher was the first arm out of the pen. The lefty spun two hitless innings while fanning a pair before handing the ball to Jared Brasher. The Alabama-native twirled a three-up three-down ninth to give the bats one last opportunity in a one-run contest.

It turns out Kannapolis’s bullpen was equally as strong. Lane Ramsey went through a scoreless seventh before Vince Arobio (S, 1) slammed the door shut, fanning a pair in as many innings to finish the game.

With the series tied and both teams vying for control of fifth in the Northern Division, Municipal Stadium hosts the third game of the set Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Tomas Alastre (3-3, 5.89 ERA) starts on the bump for Hagerstown, while Kannapolis works RHP Kade McClure (1-2, 3.25 ERA) against the Suns tomorrow.

There’s still plenty of time to head to the yard this homestand. Tomorrow is Thirsty Thursday night, meaning Municipal Stadium hosts beer specials beginning at just $2. The homestand wraps up with High School Pride night Friday. For tickets or more information call 301-791-6266 or visit hagerstownsuns.com

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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Food  |  News

The policy sets a new precedent for the restaurant industry

Sweetgreen is hoping to set a new precedent for parental leave in the restaurant industry. Photo courtesy Sweetgreen.

Sweetgreen is putting its restaurant competitors—and most American workplaces—to shame when it comes to parental leave. The DC-founded salad company will offer five months fully paid leave for all full-time and part-time restaurant and corporate employees nationwide to take care of new additions to their families. The policy applies to mothers, fathers, adoptive parents, and foster parents who work for the company at least six months.

“The goal with this was: how do we lead the conversation for the industry and think about not just retention, but also what matters to our employees?,” says co-founder and Chief Brand Officer Nathaniel Ru.

Previously, Sweetgreen offered six weeks paid maternity leave as well as “baby bonding time” for both parents that included one week leave per every six months the employees worked for the company. In researching a new policy, Ru says they found no real industry standard. “We saw things that were similar to six weeks, less than six weeks, more than six weeks. And we just wanted to almost start over and understand what’s most important to our team members and offer a program that’s just best in class,” he says. He’s unaware of any other restaurant groups offering store employees as much as five months fully paid.

PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States), a national group advocating for paid family leave, confirms that such a generous policy is rare. “I’m not off the top of my head aware of any other restaurant companies that are competing for talent with a [nearly] six months policy,” says spokesperson Shira Albagli.

For comparison, Darden Restaurants (the company behind Olive Garden and The Capital Grille, among others) offers salaried and hourly employees two weeks parental leave plus six to eight weeks of “child recovery leave” for birthing parents. Starbucks gives corporate employees 12 weeks and field employees six weeks. And McDonald’s has two to 10 weeks for corporate employees, according to 2018 data.

“Even just three years ago, the people who had the most generous policies were concentrated in the tech sector,” says Albagli. Perhaps it’s not surprising then that Sweetgreen thinks of itself as a tech company as much as it is a restaurant company. In 2018, Albagli says, there was a “rapid shift” in the private sector where 20 of the largest US employers introduced new or expanded paid family leave policies, impacting more than 5 million people.

“First of all, businesses want to compete for talent. Second of all, they see that it benefits their bottom line. Walmart and Google have reported that their retention of employees has increased as a result of policies like increasing their paid family leave,” Albagli says. “And it’s what doctors recommend, which is six months of paid family leave.”

For Sweetgreen, the move is part of a larger rollout of holistic employee benefits. In recent years, the company has launched a “family fund” to provide financial support to employees dealing with personal emergencies, whether their apartment burns down or they need money for a family member’s funeral. At the beginning of 2018, Sweetgreen also began offering equity to tenured store general managers—or “head coaches,” as the call them—in addition to corporate employees. Not a bad perk for a company now reportedly valued at more than $1 billion.

Jessica Sidman

Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

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Image courtesy of Chris McIlvaine.

If you’re a member of the Washington fitness world and want to share what’s in your bag, email Mimi Montgomery at mmontgomery@washingtonian.com. 

Who: Chris McIlvaine
Does: Physical therapist and strength and conditioning specialist at Quist MD in Chevy Chase DC (he’s also certified to help golfers with their mobility via the Titleist Performance Institute)
Approach to fitness: “To 
move and stabilize each segment of my body as optimally as possible. I tore my ACL three times in college, and I used to blame anything I could not do on ‘my bad knee.’ I then took a step back and realized that my hips, thoracic spine, and pelvis were not moving well and causing me to place undue stress on my knee. They were the problem, and my knee was the victim. When I work with patients, I try to take the same approach and find what is not moving or stabilizing efficiently, instead of chasing the pain. Look at the big picture because pain lies, movement does not!”

The Bag

McIlvaine keeps it simple with the bag he says “everyone had when they were a little kid.” His is personalized with a “C” monogram as a groomsman gift from a friend, has room for everything he needs, and is easy to lug around. Adventure Duffle, $60, LL Bean

Resistance Bands

McIlvaine likes these bands for their versatility: He uses them to add resistance for rotation-based exercises and when warming up with active isolated stretching. “You can also do chops and lifts with it,” he says, “which are some of my favorite stability exercises for golfers.” Gray Cook Band, $43, Perform Better

And McIlvaine uses monster bands for increased resistance on exercises such as a kneeling hip hinge. They’re great as a mobility or stability tool, can help increase your reps with pull-ups, and are easy to stash in his bag, he says. Monster Bands, $71, Rogue Fitness

Lacrosse Ball

“A lacrosse ball can be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on how you look at it,” says McIlvaine. “I like to test my range of motion during my warm up and if I feel that a certain motion is stuck, I may use the lacrosse ball to help free up some soft tissue.” The ball is good for trigger points because it targets specific spots a foam roller would miss, he says. Champion Sports Lacrosse Ball, $6, Amazon

Spotify Premium

McIlvaine has music in the family (his dad is an opera singer), so he needs to listen to it at the gym at all times. His go-to? Rick Ross. Spotify Premium lets him keep all his music in one spot—plus he gets a Hulu subscription with it, too. “I am still trying to convince my fiance that our walkout song to our wedding should be ‘Hustlin” by Rick Ross,” he says, “so hopefully this adds peer pressure.” Spotify Premium, $10 a month, Spotify

Headphones

Wireless headphones are a game changer, says McIlvaine—no more cords getting in the way of his exercises. “The battery life is amazing at 100 hours with the charging case, they are waterproof, and the Bluetooth connection allows me to walk around without my phone.” Mifo Wireless Headphones, $87, Amazon

Water Bottle

“I make sure that I finish 32 ounces of water before I leave the gym to offset the copious amounts of coffee that I drink throughout the day,” says McIlvaine. Patients frequently complain about cramping when they come into the clinic, and McIlvaine’s first suggestion is usually the same: drink more water.  Nalgene Tritan, $10, Amazon

Shoes

“The physical therapist in me does not like the arch support, but, man, do I look good in them,” says McIlvaine. “All half-kidding aside, I actually use them because my golf shoes are also Roshe Ones, and you try to practice how you play, even though I am not very good. There is something to training in similar shoes.” Roshe Ones, $75, Nike

Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and freelanced for PoPVille and DCist. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Adams Morgan.

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Christian Irabién talks about why ravioli is as Mexican as mole.

Irabién is headed to DC’s new Latin market. Photograph by Scott Suchman

You won’t find guacamole or tacos at Amparo Fondita when the Mexican restaurant opens in La Cosecha marketplace—Union Market’s 20,000-square-foot Latin sibling—this fall. Chef/owner Christian Irabién, an Oyamel alum, is part of a cadre of Mexican chefs pushing the boundaries of their native cuisine in Washington. Here, the Chihuahua native talks about his first impressions of the area’s Mexican dining scene, of-the-moment food city Mexico City, and more.

What’s the biggest misconception about Mexican restaurants?

While Mexican food is very rooted in tradition, it’s an evolving, organic living being that changes with time. Mexico is a giant melting pot of cultures and people. In Chihuahua, we had Chinese neighbors, Italian neighbors, a big Jewish community. There’s a lot of food being cooked using Mexican products that’s not in restaurants here because anything that falls out of the mold of a taco isn’t considered Mexican. One of our star dishes is ravioli. We’re making pasta every day—and stuffing it with requesón, which is like a fresh ricotta, and huitlacoche [a.k.a. Mexican truffles] and tossing it in a roasted-poblano sauce.

What were your early impressions of Mexican food in DC?

It used to be a Mexican-food desert when I got here. When I ate at Oyamel for the first time, it was eye-opening. I was working at these French and Italian restaurants. I hadn’t seen my own food presented in such an elevated way before. I grew up in Mexico in the ’80s, and it was like everywhere else—a big explosion of convenience. We’d buy mole paste at the market. To be able to eat a tortilla from nixtamalized corn, to see the complicated process for making moles—to take the same type of care and attention as other restaurants but with tacos and ceviches—it was amazing.

Why do you think there’s such an interest in Mexican food right now?

Everyone loves Mexican food. When it’s executed well, it’s one of the most beautiful things you can put in front of someone—from a plate of beans and tortillas to moles that take three, four days. A lot of it started when [Danish chef] Rene Redzepi did the Noma pop-up in Tulum. There’s something about having a large platform and social media like Rene does. Everyone was tuning in.

A lot of restaurants are drawing inspiration from Mexico City in particular. Why the focus there?

Mexico City is like New York or San Francisco or LA. There are big restaurants and big chefs. While there’s a lot of cool stuff happening throughout the country right now, food-wise the largest amount is happening in Mexico City—from the street vendors right up through [the high-end restaurant] Pujol. Also, the number of architects and artists who are living in the city and teaming up with chefs to do amazing spaces.

This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Anna Spiegel

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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HAGERSTOWN, MD (May 21, 2019) – Hagerstown opened their series with Kannapolis exploding for eight runs in the second frame to beat Kannapolis 12-5 at Municipal Stadium Tuesday evening.

After Jake Irvin (W, 3-3) struck out the side in the top of the second, the offense got right to work in the home half. Omar Meregildo led things off with a double off Kannapolis (19-25) starter Davis Martin (L, 3-4). After that, Ricardo Mendez popped a single over the head of Martin, which moved Meregildo to third. The Suns (20-24) opened up scoring after Mendez went to steal second and Intimidators catcher Michael Hickman airmailed second, letting Meregildo advance home.

Martin settled in after that, fanning the next two batters before walking Justin Connell. Following that, Kyle MarinconzGilbert Lara and Jacob Rhinesmith hit three consecutive singles scoring a pair of runs prior to Israel Pineda walking with the bases loaded to bring the score to 6-0, with four of those runs crossing in the second frame. Next, Omar Meregildo struck out swinging, but following a wild pitch with the bases loaded, everyone advanced safely to keep the inning rolling and put the Suns in front 7-0.

Ricardo Mendez and Tyler Cropley singled to drive in three more runs before the inning finished, giving the Suns a lead of 10-0.

The Suns first two runs came in the first inning when Jacob Rhinesmith smacked his first homer of the season over the right field wall to break the scoreless tie and plate Lara.

Irvin finished with 5.1 innings pitched, allowing four runs and fanning six batters before he handed the ball to Angel Guillen (S, 2). Guillen allowed a run to score over 3.2 innings in the save.

The Suns scoring completed in the sixth inning when Rhinesmith walked and Pineda singled to set the table for Mendez, who drove them both in with a double.

Mendez finished the day 3-for-5 at the dish, driving in three RBI, thus giving him four this season. He was one of six Suns to have multiple hits in Tuesday’s game. The lone Hagerstown batter to not reach base safely was Jose Sanchez, who finished the day 0-4 with three strikeouts.

The Suns scored more than 10 runs for the first time since they beat Delmarva 15-1 May 13 and scored eight runs in a single inning for the first time this season. Their previous highest run total in an individual inning was six.

Tomorrow, the Suns continue their series with the Intimidators with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. RHP Francys Peguero (2-2, 2.30 ERA) toes the rubber for Hagerstown and Kannapolis sends RHP Johan Dominguez (0-2, 2.81 ERA) to the bump.

There’s still plenty of time to visit Municipal Stadium during this homestand. The Suns play three more home games before heading on the road Saturday. Wednesday is Bark in the Park night presented by Pet Valu. Your four-legged friends enter Municipal Stadium for free thanks to our sponsor. After that, we’ll host Thirsty Thursday May 23, with beer specials starting at just $2. For tickets or more information call 301-791-6266 or visit hagerstownsuns.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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