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TheRootDC
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Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 04/03/2012

1940 Census feeds America’s retro obsession

I watched the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship last night, and The Fray did a version of the National Anthem before the game that sounded like, well, a song by The Fray. Oh yeah, and go vote.


Black & Orange Restaurant, a burger place that is open until five in the morning. (Evy Mages - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
One of the biggest complaints you hear about this city is that everything shuts down too early . People who live in so-called “real” cities love to throw shade on D.C. as a cowtown because many places don't stay open all night. That appears to be changing, however. And Black and Orange on U Street is a prime example of that shift. The gourmet burger joint stays open until 5 a.m., even on weekdays. The Post's Robert Samuels reports on how "late-night dining might be the District’s new frontier."

Remember that story about the guy who donned a fake beard during a plot to kill his lover's husband? And then it fell off, foiling the plan? It's easy to laugh at, but we can't forget that there was a far more elaborate court case for this bizarre incident. Monday, Frank Cipriani, the Census Bureau IT supervisor, was convicted of attempted murder. The Post's Dan Morse explains how the faux facial hair wasn't even the most oddball part of the tale.

The truth is, black people have a tricky history with fried chicken . The food has long been stereotypically affiliated with blacks for whatever reason, even though it's clearly a universally delicious, even if unhealthy treat. And when you couple that with the unexpected sellout of one of the most authentic artists of our era, you've got yourself a huge letdown in many circles. Mary J. Blige singing about fried chicken for a fast food restaurant is something I never thought I'd see. Alas.

America's obsession with all things retro may be getting another era to pilfer . And now that data from the 1940 Census has been released by the National Archives and Records Administration, there's renewed interest in the decade prior. It documents the years of the Great Depression and, frankly, it's fascinating. All that aside, The Post's Maura Judkis breaks down some other aspects of life in those days and wonders if the ’40s may make a cultural comeback.

Don't look now, but baseball season starts in two days . In fact, the Nationals are already back in D.C. And while a decent portion of the roster is set, there is one lynchpin position that will determine whether or not this team is a legit playoff contender. If Ian Desmond can't put together his entire package of potential and blossom into a consistent player, the Nats have no chance at the postseason. Fortunately, he thinks this is the year that happens. The Post's Adam Kilgore reports.

Extra Bites

• Encyclopedia Brittanica announced last month that they would no longer issue a print edition. Old schoolers wept about an era gone by, but guess what: Now, they're flying off the shelves, so to speak. This is so predictable, but so awesome.

• Donald Trump's Miss Universe pageant officials finally did the right thing regarding Jenna Talackova. They overturned a previous decision to let the transgender contestant compete.

• "Angry Birds" is going to be a TV show this fall. That is all.

Check out my Facebook fan page, my Twitter feed, or e-mail me at clinton.yates@wpost.com .

Read more on The Root DC

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By  |  12:22 PM ET, 04/03/2012

Categories:  Lunchline

 
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