Hosted by Niall McDonald '18 and Charlie Hansen '18
Produced and edited by Alexandre LaBossiere '18
By Emnete Abraham '19
As the holidays are fast approaching, it’s time to get into the spirit of giving; all that D.C. residents want this year is for the nation’s capital to become an official state. It’s been a long-standing debate between the District’s inhabitants and virtually everyone else. If the bumper stickers “No taxation without representation” that many D.C. residents proudly feature are any indication, the issue of statehood is an upset among the District’s people.
Because D.C. is not an official state of the U.S., it’s been denied several of the “perks” that come with the title. Washington, D.C. has a population bigger than both Vermont and Wyoming — both states more than 100 times its geographical size — but doesn’t have a voice in Congress. In 2016, D.C.’s GDP per capita was the highest in the country, yet it has to rely on the federal government to manage its budget. Furthermore, the District’s residents pay more sales taxes than 22 states, Wyoming included, along with the second-highest federal income taxes in the country.
Ever since 1801, when Congress took a chunk of Virginia and a chunk of Maryland to make a new, politically-neutral capital (the District of Columbia Organic Act), the fight for legitimacy in the eyes of the federal government has been a persistent one. Because D.C. isn’t a state, residents weren’t allowed to vote for president, something that didn’t change until 1961 with the 23rd Amendment — created specifically for the District, allowing it to have representation in the Electoral College, as if it was a state. Still, the District’s inhabitants didn’t have their own local government, having to rely on the federal one for the smallest of issues. The quick fix to this was the District of Columbia Home Rule, allowing them to (you guessed it) create their own local government, with a mayor and city council members. With all these laws and amendments and acts in place of the real issue, one might ask what all the fuss is about. Why won’t the federal government just make Washington D.C. a state?
Past arguments have centered around the unconstitutionality of the change, the Capital’s neutrality, and even maintaining the even number of states. Neutrality, in particular, has been a persistent argument opposing statehood. After all, D.C. only exists because eighteenth-century America wanted a capital where the federal government wouldn’t be swayed by the surrounding area’s opinions. However, those supporting the District becoming a state were quick to strike back. Numerous federal organizations, like the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Pentagon are housed in the neighboring state of Virginia. Since those opposing statehood have yet to speak out against this lack of neutrality, many supporters consider this a void argument.
Another argument on neutrality focuses more on a particular part of federal government: Congress. Opponents argue that securing Washington, D.C. as a state would upset the balance between Republican and Democratic representation in Congress. Because D.C. is a staunchly blue district, many fear that giving it voting rights in Congress would simply be “more votes in the Democratic Party,” as John Kasich, a former candidate for president, put it. However, this calls into question whether the opposition for D.C.’s statehood is more about the rivalry between the Democratic and Republican parties, rather than about allowing the people in the nation’s capital to have a voice in federal government.
Finally, some of the arguments against statehood take a more lighthearted approach. Opponents argue that they want to keep the number of states even, to which a Stuckindc.com writer responded “we know of a few stray Dakotas that could be merged without anyone really noticing” (Brio, May 31st, 2016). Others don’t want the burden of redesigning the flag, recalling textbooks, and fixing statues to match the District’s new title. In conclusion, the debate as to whether D.C. should stake its claim as the 51st state of the U.S. is still an issue, and one that won’t be ignored.
By Suzan Michalski '18
Washington, D.C. is the heart of the nation — not just politically, but culturally and historically as well. In recent years, the city’s cultural scene has flourished. People are moving in from around the country and the world, and the city has witnessed the opening of many new museums, restaurants, music clubs, and more.
At the heart of D.C.’s performing arts scene lies the Kennedy Center. It is home to the National Symphony Orchestra, a unique ensemble that not only performs classical music with world-famous guest musicians but has also collaborated with a wide range of popular music artists, from jazz musicians to rock stars. The Kennedy Center also hosts theatrical performances ranging from Broadway hits to its own original productions, as well as the Washington National Opera, one of the nation’s leading opera companies. The WNO hosts both classic and contemporary stories, including American produced stories through the American Opera Initiative. The Center also hosts its own Suzanne Farrell Ballet, as well as the Washington Ballet and other companies from around the world.
However, the Kennedy Center should not overshadow all the other venues that flourish in the city. D.C. is home to many smaller clubs where guests can watch various artists and bands perform. Those interested in jazz can pay a visit to clubs such as Blues Alley and Twins Jazz Club. There are also plenty of theatres around the city as well. Shakespeare enthusiasts can go to Folger Theatre and see an innovative and original production of a Shakespeare play. Many D.C. opera companies strive to go beyond traditional opera and experiment with new forms and styles. One new company, UrbanArias, dedicates itself to producing short, contemporary American compositions. Another company, In Series, aims to present classical opera in unconventional and innovative ways, and is also notable for its promotion of Hispanic culture.
Furthermore, Washington, D.C. boasts an extensive system of museums covering the art and history of the nation and beyond. No tourist’s trip to this city is complete without visiting several museums. Art lovers can wander through the National Gallery of Art’s East and West Buildings and see world-famous pieces dating from centuries ago to the present. There are also plenty of smaller museums such as the Philips Collection, a modern art museum notable for displays such as its Rothko room and Renoir’s masterpiece, “Luncheon of the Boating Party.”
For those particularly interested in American art, the American Art Museum features pieces from throughout the nation’s history, from folk art to contemporary American art. Or they can visit the National Portrait Gallery and see portraits of U.S. presidents, icons such as Marilyn Monroe, and other figures from American history. Those who would rather learn about art from across the world can check out places such as National Museum of African Art or the Freer Gallery of Art, which displays Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and other Asian works of art.
D.C. also features not only numerous monuments but museums dedicated to illustrating the nation’s history, such as the National Museum of American History. There are also countless museums dedicated to highlighting the experiences and history of the many groups that make up America, such as the National Museum of African American History, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Along with these museums, there are many historical buildings that have been maintained for public display. Such sites include the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, the preserved estate of the escaped slave and abolitionist who became one of the most important voices for justice and equality in the nation’s history. Or one can visit Ford’s Theatre, the infamous site of president Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.
Of course, there are still many more places to visit. The entirety of D.C.’s cultural and historical offerings is broad and everchanging. Visitors and residents alike have access to a wealth of institutions to learn about American art, culture, and history, as well as that from around the world. No matter their interests, everyone is sure to find something fascinating for them to learn and experience.
By Naomi Davy '18
Sure you’ve got your New York, LA, and Chicago prep schools with their high rises and beaches, but let’s be real. There’s no place like home, especially when you get to call D.C. home. Here are 7 reasons why Washington, D.C. is the best place for our Close:
1) The Diversity: By nature, D.C. attracts people from around the world who come here to represent different groups and cultures and ideologies. With over five universities right here in the city, there’s a healthy mix of young and older generation D.C. residents making the city that much more exciting. This international diversity and the diversity amongst the local population makes it truly the most powerful city in the world and thus the best possible place for our school.
2) The Restaurants: Any D.C. native will tell you that the restaurant scene is beyond compare. Every week I see at least one new restaurant on Connecticut, Wisconsin, or Downtown. There’s a reason the natives brunch like their lives depend on it. Seniors, if you haven’t already, take a free to go out and get some Buredo, Silver, or some of that og Open City French Toast. Underclassmen, too, if you dare.
3) The Politics: In a city where traffic could mean either a broken-down car or the Vice President’s motorcade, you don’t get to feign ignorance in this town. We live and breathe politics here on the Close and we are better off for it. Depending on who you are, it can often be discomforting to know that the President lives less than 20 minutes away. At the same time, we can expect classrooms filled with meaningful debate and lectures hosted by some of the country’s most influential people.
4) The Potomac: You know that feeling flying into Reagan National and it looks like you’re about to land on water, or when you come from VA over the Potomac and feel a little pride seeing the Cathedral to your left. From the new wharf to the Georgetown waterfront, the Potomac is a beautiful get-away from what can often be a hectic city. When you see it, you know you’re home.
5) The Weather: Right smack in the middle of the East Coast, you really can’t find a better blend of the four seasons. Sure, it’s unpredictable, but that’s half the fun. Coming back to school in the humidity until one day you have to go looking for your bean boots to prepare for the leaf piles of Rock Creek Park and the Olmsted Woods. After beautiful, albeit endless, winter, the river’s ice cracks to announce the perfect pink cherry blossoms that will soon line its banks. You know Flower Mart’s coming when you start to see students “doing homework” on the Cathedral lawns. All in all, if you hate one type of weather, give it a week and this city will shake it up for you.
6) The Cupcakes: I’m not gonna lie, I’m still mourning the loss of Something Sweet on Macomb Street, but any D.C. native will tell you that we are spoiled rotten by the quality of our cupcakes. Expect to hear us debating Team B&W versus Team Georgetown Cupcakes. And if you haven’t tried them, get down there immediately. While they are on the pricey side, I promise you you won’t regret it. They make for a great homeroom snack, too, by the way.
7) The Independence: Let’s be real, Cathedral kids make for the best j-walkers. Of course, there are some sketchy places in this concrete jungle, but we know we can handle it. D.C. forces us to learn the public transit system because sometimes traffic just isn’t worth it. It doesn’t matter if you live in Vienna, New Carrollton, or Narnia. If you go to school here, you are officially a city kid, and when you get older you’ll be happy you were.
By NM '20
Note: This article is satirical and is not intended to mock or insult the DC Statehood effort. It neither endorses nor rejects the effort.
To be a state, or not to be a state? This, my friends, is the issue on all of our minds. Taxation without representation, or taxation? A unique federal land establishment, or the new Rhode Island. These questions are more than passing queries; they are existential, uproarious gong-sounds for every student on the close. Taxation is a serious issue that directly affects the lives of many St. Albans and NCS students. Many long for the spending money they would have if they weren’t taxed personally. “If I was taxed with representation, everything would be different,” said one unnamed source. “You have no idea how often the issue of taxation crosses my mind,” said another. Now, to address the second query of this great triumquerate; DC as the new Rhode Island. The general student consensus seems to be that DC ought to make this great leap and become the new Rhode Island. Says another unnamed source: “I mean, look at Providence. That’s a real city. Think about how often you hear about Rhode Island in the news. I mean, it’s really incredible. Rhode Island is booming, an economic powerhouse.” This sentiment seems to encapsulate how pressing of an issue DC statehood is to the student body. In the stressful and busy world of school, no issue seems to be more pressing than that of DC statehood. I myself find the thought constantly flitting across my mind, like a Sisyphean fly that, chopsticks notwithstanding, hovers just out of reach of swatting. Ultimately, the sentiment is clear; opinions on the issue are murky. Though people differ in their outlook, the issue DC statehood is doubtless one that constantly preoccupies the minds of every STA and NCS student, from C Form to Form VI.
By NM '20
Narnia. C.S. Lewis’s magical, endearing, war-torn, and savage world that for so many years has captured the minds of young readers, teaching them the time-enduring lesson that closets can be physical portals to whimsical worlds of zombie lions and decidedly un-litigious witches. The Exchanged is here to answer the fundamental question: Where is Narnia? I think we can all agree we must journey far outside the District for this one, lest we disregard the rigorous journalistic standards that dictate a literal and meritorious interpretive stance. Let’s disregard the irrelevant argument that Narnia is a fictional world and hence doesn’t actually exist. I think we can all agree that that notion is simply preposterous. The initial perpetual winter suggests either the southernmost, northernmost, or high-altitude regions of our planet. This presents the following list of countries; United States (Alaska), Canada (North), Greenland, Norway (North, Jan Mayen, and Svalbard), Russia (North), Nepal, Chile (South), Argentina (South), France (the French and Southern Antarctic Lands), and Antarctica. However, the depth and intensity of the winter eliminates all but the coldest year-round regions; Alaska, France, northern Norway, and southern Chile and South America can be eliminated. However, the battle scene exhibited at the end of the first movie hints at both mountains and expansive flat regions, eliminating Jan Mayen, Nepal, and the French and Southern Antarctic Lands. We are now left with northern Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, northern Russia, and Antarctica. Nowhere in the movie are fjords depicted or mentioned; Svalbard falls short. Narnia also instantly became sunny and balmy in the later movies (likely the result of an extreme climate event)—no climate event could be so extreme as to fully melt the glaciers of Antarctica and Greenland without having calamitous effects on the world as we know it.
We have now narrowed it down to either northern Russia or northern Canada. The evidence seems to suggest northern Russia; no islands, geographical features that punctuate the landscape of northern Canada, can be found at all in the Narnia films, and a Russian Narnia presents a fascinating picture; three days from Nordvik, nestled away in a remote bar, a withered “бабушка” tells the tale of the place of the “лев, фонарный столб и злая ведьма, место магии, удивление и волнение, а также смерть и печаль.” Over a gallon of vodka, an old man looks up, responding “Вы знаете? Нарния была уничтожена Путиным более 20 лет назад после расследования правительством США рабства животных в регионе.” And Thenceforth they proceed, discussing the wonders of Narnia and its oddities. Thus, I think we’ve reached a conclusion; to find Narnia, one must only go to northern Russia.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis - Official Site
Age of Winter | The Chronicles of Narnia Wiki | FANDOM ...
The chronicles of narnia the lion the witch and the wardrobe -- the battle scene part 1
Geography of Alaska
Geography of Svalbard
By Natalie Kalitsi '18
Smith and Myers
Lil Uzi Vert
The White Panda
Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House
Lana Del Ray
Capital One Arena
Glow at Echostage
Tyler, The Creator
By Harrison Grigorian '19
The Close is blessed with a plethora of nearby culinary establishments. Whether you want to pig out on some Popeye’s fried chicken, try some Mediterranean cuisine at Cava, or roll with the classic Chipotle burrito, there is something for everyone. However, not all food is created equal. Enjoy the Exchanged’s official Close to Campus Food Awards.
The Up-and-Comer: Buredo
This new make-your-own sushi roll restaurant is sure to please Japanese food lovers. We currently have no quick sushi place in the area, and this relatively inexpensive shop will quench that thirst. The store is brand-new, so get out and give it a try and snap an artsy Insta flick before it gets packed with AU students.
The Soul Food Award: Popeye’s
Your stomach will never feel good walking out of Popeye’s, but your heart will. Indulge in fried chicken and flavorful biscuits while you eat faster than you thought you ever could. Mashed potatoes and gravy flow like Niagara Falls, while the red beans and mac ‘n’ cheese irresistibly await your fork. No one ever leaves Popeye’s wishing they had eaten more, yet your soul is quenched.
The “Ehhh” Award: Z Burger
The burgers are pretty good, the fries are plentiful but greasy, and the onion rings taste a bit off. For an alternative, you may try their average grilled cheese or the solid steak and cheese. The 85 different shakes are definitely a plus. Overall, I’ll give the burger joint a B+ or a solid mooch plus. It’s good from time to time, but not a Close area staple.
The Late Night Award: Steak and Egg
Steak and Egg might never become a place where people go during the middle of a hectic school day or after a busy day of sports. You have to find parking, the service is slow, and it can be too crowded. But there’s no better place to end up after a long weekend night with your closest friends as you feast upon some breakfast food and killer shakes.
The Overrated Award: Nando’s Peri-Peri
Nando’s is fine, I guess, but everyone seems to absolutely love it. Some argue that it’s great because you get a sit-down meal that’s rather inexpensive, but the chicken isn’t life-changing or anything. The sauce is either too spicy or not spicy enough, and the sides are average. I enjoy it from time to time, but I think some people drum it up like it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
The Chapel Cut Award: Bruegger’s Bagels (Closing Soon!)
Bruegger’s, affectionately shortened to Brueg, is the place to go during a free time. The service is great, they appreciate the roves of STA students that walk through their doors every day, and there’s nothing better to tide you over until lunch. The Western with extra chipotle sauce might be the official food item of the Close, and if you’ve never ordered it, it’s a must-try.
The Second Place Award: Chipotle
It’s great. I love it. There’s nothing like digging into this during a lunch cut. The way the rice and the chicken interact is unparalleled. The guacamole is breathtaking. Everyone loves it so much, it’s been shortened to “Chip”. It used to be the absolute Close favorite, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite good enough this year.
The Winner: Chick-Fil-A
The staff are impeccable . The fries will rekindle your faith in a higher power. Even the ketchup is so perfect in those packs. The spicy chicken sandwich brings tears to my eyes, and it’s not the spicyness. The nuggets are perfectly breaded. Walking in just brings a smile to my face. Thus, Chick-Fil-A wins the Close to Campus Award for Best Food.
By Mannan Mehta '18
This winter, there are many fun events for you and your friends or family to attend. From Zoo Lights at the National Zoological Park to the National Christmas Tree lighting, there is no shortage of fun this season. Here are a few highlights:
Zoo Lights - November 24th to January 1st, 2018
National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C.
Downtown Holiday Market - November 24th to December 23rd
Festival of Lights at the Washington DC Mormon Temple - November 30th to December 31st
Washington D.C. Mormon Temple
Nationals Winterfest - December 16th and 17th
Washington Convention Center
Tickets starting at $39.00
The Joy of Christmas - December 16th and 17th
Washington National Cathedral
Tickets starting at $25.00
National Christmas Tree - November 30th to January 1st, 2018
(Lighting happened Nov. 30)
The Ellipse near The White House
Georgetown GLOW Free Outdoor Light Art Exhibition - December 8th to January 7th, 2018
Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses of Worship
19 E. Church Street, Frederick, MD
(All ticket prices as of December 3rd, 2017)