Each week, WAMU 88.5's Metro Connection reaches across D.C., Maryland and Virginia to gather the sounds and stories that capture the current events, culture and personalities driving the Washington region.
Every summer, thousands of people descend on Ocean City from around the country and globe to work on the beach. Some hope to make lots of cash, while others just want to live a quintessential American experience, even if only for a few months. Bryan Russo shares the story of one Bulgarian student and gives us an update on how changes to the visa system are affecting both foreigners and the businesses that hire them.
[Music: "Sea of Love" by Tom Waits from Brawlers / "Work it Out" by...
Our culinary scene has long been compared to New York's, with some food critics concluding D.C. would be better off "if only it could be more like Manhattan." Turns out, we're on our way. Within the past few years, a flurry of NYC-based restaurants have migrated down the coast and set up shop right here in the District. Emily Friedman pops into a few of these eateries to find out what this trend means for the local food scene, and whether we're at risk of becoming New York's Greatest Hits....
Khadijah Ali-Coleman, a D.C.-born playwright, singer and poet, is "heartbroken" that many local artists leave this region to pursue their passions elsewhere. So she's created an online community where local artists can collaborate and commiserate. Jessica Palombo gets the scoop on Liberated Muse.
[Music: "Take Me or Leave Me (Karaoke Version)" from Rent Karaoke]
As we slog through D.C.'s hottest summer on record, we head to Virginia for the world's hottest peppers... visit the District's first fireproof house... and meet some local teens trying to stay out of hot water, after several brushes with the law.
But first: Washingtonians share their tips and tricks for beating the heat...
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks / "In The Summertime (Instrumental Track Without Background Vocal)[Karaoke in the style of...
You can find some of the world's hottest peppers growing in Tyson's Corner, Va. Tom Elder, the executive chef at harth, is cultivating his own organic peppers, from the Trinidad Scorpion to the Devil's Tongue to the world-renowned Ghost Chili. The peppers are all pollinated by Elder's very own bees, which, it turns out, work especially hard in the super-hot weather. Rebecca Sheir pays a visit to taste some fiery peppers, and lend a hand collecting honey from some heat-happy bees.
You don't have to be a meteorologist to know it's intensely hot in the nation's capital this summer. But why is this year more sweltering than most? And why does Washington seem to be among the hottest cities in the country? Environment reporter Sabri Ben-Achour goes in search of some answers.
[Music: "The Air That I Breathe (Made Famous By The Hollies)" by Omnibus Media - Karaoke Tracks from Great Ballads]
A Virginia woman is feeling the heat as she fights to get treatment for her four-year-old son, who has a rare form of brain cancer. Brennen's condition only responds to expensive proton radiation, but his mom was just laid off and lost her insurance. Now she's considering leaving the state to accept another position because she's so desperate to have benefits again. Courtney Collins talks with the family about how they're coping.
[Music: "Fire and Rain" by Various Artists from...
Here in the District, heat often goes hand-in-hand with crime. And for young people with little to keep them busy during the summer months, staying out of trouble is often easier said than done. Kavitha Cardoza met with two young men who've had brushes with the law, to hear how they're trying to avoid mistakes of the past.
[Music: "Fever (Instrumental)" by Essence from Eccentric Soul 009: The Big Mack Label]
What would you do if you lost a string of big-money breweries to fire? In the case of Christian Heurich, you build the city's first fireproof home. Rebecca Sheir visits the Heurich House, to see how extreme personal pyrophobia resulted in a remarkable 19th century house, which soon could become a National Landmark.
[Music: "Burning Down the House" by Tom Jones & The Cardigans from Reloaded - Greatest Hits]
On a blisteringly hot day, one of the most popular guys in town is the air-conditioning repairman. Emily Friedman tags along with an A.C. crew as they rescue homeowners and businesses from the summer swelter.
[Music: "Cool" by Andre Previn from West Side Story]
The tinkling music of an ice cream truck is an iconic sound of summer. But one local driver is serving up much more than ice cream to some of the District's poorest neighborhoods. Customers call him "Mr. Leigh," and as Lauren Landau finds out, he's something of a legend to the residents who visit the truck for guidance and advice.
[Music: "I Melt With You" by Richard Cheese from Silent Nightclub / "Hot And Cold (In The Style of Katy Perry) [Instrumental Only]" by Keynote Karaoke from...
Maybe you're trying to conserve energy this summer, and bravely turning off, or turning down, the A.C.? Or trying to save money, and forgoing your daily extra-tall-grande-venti iced coffee? Or thinking about digitizing old photos... bronzing baby shoes... transferring all your old vinyl to mp3? Whatever the case, we'll capture that spirit of Conserving and Preserving on this week's show.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks]
What do a wooden gavel, a double-tiered baseball trophy and an 80-year-old restaurant menu have in common? They're among the 4,000 artifacts in the U.S. House of Representatives collection. Rebecca Sheir visits the Capitol to talk with the House's very first curator, who's tasked with tracking down, conserving and preserving the artworks and artifacts that give a human face to the federal government's lower legislative body.
[Music: "Dill Pickle Rag" by Flatt and Scruggs from Bluegrass...
Matching longjohns. Kicklines in skis. Peeing on Santa's lap. Every family has these cringe-worthy moments, immortalized on film, that embody the particularly joyous brand of awkward that the holidays bring. And thanks to Mike Bender, co-author of Awkward Family Holiday Photos, the rest of us can rubberneck.
House and Senate negotiators are meeting to reconcile their two different versions of a new farm bill. If they don't reach agreement, the nation faces going over "the dairy cliff" – a reversion to 1949 farm policy that would cause a big spike in milk prices.
If your computer is infected with a virus or other forms of malware, disconnecting the machine from the Internet is one of the first steps security experts say you should take. But, someday, even physically separating your laptop from a network may not be enough to protect it from cyber evil-doers.
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