Axios D.C.

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Good Monday morning.

Today's weather: Foggy this morning, chance of storms this afternoon β€” high of 81.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios D.C. member Maria Langholz!

🍎 🩺 Situational awareness: America celebrates two of the most essential and trusted professions this week β€” teachers and nurses. Today kicks off National Nurses Day and Teacher Appreciation Week!

Today's newsletter is 962 words β€” a 4-minute read.

1 big thing: πŸ‘‹ TTYL, dating apps

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Single Washingtonians experiencing dating app burnout are turning to a radical idea: actually meeting people … in person.

The big picture: Singles are increasingly swapping virtual for IRL connections as a way out of what many see as a bleak dating app landscape and to feel less socially isolated post-pandemic, users tell Axios.

State of date: Meeting live means relief from the apps' endless messaging, flakiness, and ghosting, say users β€” not to mention possible harassment or scams.

  • Plus, many platforms require subscriptions for extra swipes, profile boosts, or the chance to interact with popular profiles β€” a move that "gatekeeps the hot people," one app user told Bustle.

What they're saying: "People are craving more authentic human interaction instead of just swiping on the apps all day," says Alexandria resident Sarah Goldenberg, who launched a local event series called Singles on Socials D.C., where single people gather at local bars.

  • She was inspired by her own frustrations with the constant screen time required of online dating. "[It] felt in some ways like a second job."
  • Between September when she launched the series and March, Goldenberg saw an over 240% increase in the number of attendees.

As TikToker Keara Sullivan put it, if you met your partner on an app two years ago, "You got the last seat on the last lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic."

By the numbers: The number of Eventbrite dating and singles events in the D.C. area grew 43% from 2022 to 2023, the company tells Axios.

  • The group Pre-Dating, which hosts speed dating events nationally, has seen a 41% increase in the number of participants at its D.C. events since 2019, says owner Linda de Lucca.

The intrigue: Even the dating apps themselves are reading the room and have offered in-person options, like Bumble IRL, Match's 72 Hours, and Tinder's Single Summer Series, while Hinge last year launched a $1 million social impact fund to fight Gen Z loneliness via real-life connections.

Keep reading

2. πŸ’­ Ted Leonsis, unfiltered

Photo: Kenny Giarla/NBAE via Getty Images

Ted Leonsis is getting to work as a booster for downtown D.C. and still has an eye for the Washington Nationals, the billionaire sports owner revealed in an interview on WAMU.

Why it matters: It's a 180 for the guy who just flirted with moving the Capitals and Wizards to Virginia.

πŸ›οΈ Driving the news: Leonsis will join city officials at a retail conference in Las Vegas this month and talk up the District as a place to do business.

  • "I would like to be named an honorary title. Maybe I can be the vice mayor of DDC, the downtown D.C.," Leonsis quipped last Friday on WAMU's "The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi."
  • "What we need is not only companies not leaving but we need to bring companies back in."

Behind the scenes: Leonsis was joined by D.C. Council chair Phil Mendelson in the Cap One Arena owners' box two Sundays ago.

  • He said final discussions for the modernization β€” predicted to span four years during off-seasons β€” are continuing.

⚾️ While the Lerner family has said the Nationals are no longer for sale, Leonsis still sounds interested: "Very, very much so. I love the team, I love the city. That would be a really great addition." (As Cuneyt has written about before, acquiring the Nats would make Leonsis the king of Washington pro sports.)

He threw shade at new sports owner David Rubenstein's pitch for deep-moneyed D.C. execs to buy box seats at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles.

  • "I didn't like hearing David Rubenstein the other day talking about 'let's bring people and go to Baltimore,'" Leonsis said. "What was that all about?"

3. Around the Beltway: GWU protest pushback

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

✍️ George Washington University president Ellen M. Granberg released a statement yesterday calling the pro-Palestinian protest encampment an "illegal and potentially dangerous occupation of GW property" and cited "antisemitic images and hateful rhetoric." The statement puts additional pressure on D.C. police to clear the encampment, now in its second week, which the department has declined to do when previously asked. (GW Hatchet)

🚨 Newly filed court documents detail the moments before a shooting at Dunbar High School in Northwest that injured a student on Friday. Witnesses described a vehicle that was driven erratically nearby before shots were fired β€” raising questions of a possible drive-by shooting. (Washington Post)

πŸ“Ί A former manager at Michelin-starred Fiola downtown was convicted of murder β€” and is now the subject of a new Netflix series by "Law & Order" producer Dick Wolf. (Washingtonian)

4. ♨️ D.C. gets warmer

Bar chart comparing average annual temperature change between 1970 and 2023 for D.C. and the U.S. Average temperature has changed by 2.3°F in D.C. compared to 2.6°F for the U.S.
Data: Climate Central. Chart: Axios Visuals

This may be little comfort, but D.C. is warming a smidge slower than the U.S.: Average annual temperatures are up 2.3 degrees between 1970 to 2023, compared to 2.6 degrees nationally.

  • Climate Central released an analysis that found all 50 states and nearly all of the 241 U.S. cities analyzed have warmed since 1970.

Zoom in: Reno, Nev. (+7.6Β° F); Las Vegas, Nev. (+5.7Β° F); and El Paso, Texas (+5.4Β° F) were the fastest-warming cities over that period.

Be a Local News Champion

Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

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Help us continue our mission to keep you informed by becoming an Axios D.C. member today.

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Join the club and make a difference!

5. 🏰 Castle for sale

Photo: Peter Papoulakos

A castle-like home with a juicy backstory is for sale in Chevy Chase.

The big picture: The home was once the gatehouse of the now-demolished Rossdhu Castle, named after an actual Scottish castle near Loch Lomond and built by D.C. socialite Daisy Calhoun in 1927.

  • Over her life, Calhoun married three times, entertained presidents like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, and built several estates.

The Rossdhu Castle was turned into a nightclub after the Calhouns lost their money in the 1929 stock market crash, and then apartments before it was razed in 1957.

Zoom in: The $1.8 million former gatehouse has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and 4,600 square feet, plus your standard castle stuff: fountains, a spiral staircase, and, of course, a turret for spying on your enemies.

  • It also has a small pond named, fittingly, Wee Loch Lomond.

πŸ₯£ Anna is making Marcella Hazan's minestrone.

πŸ”¨ Cuneyt is fixing a wobbly shelf.

🌴 Mimi is OOO in Charleston!

Today's newsletter was edited by Alexa Mencia and Kristen Hinman and copy edited by Patricia Guadalupe.