The hostage is the third-floor operations of the Black Squirrel, left in darkness because of a city agency that works at two speeds, slow and not at all. DCRA’s minions are not unlike Columbo, the television detective of yesteryear. They always have one last question to pose before they can issue a work permit. That question inevitably leads to another question. And then another. So the months pass; the seasons change. Couples fall in love. Couples fall out of love. A year and a half later, DCRA is still trying to reach an understanding with the space.
The latest question involves the capacity of the heating/cooling system. DCRA’s forward thinkers want to be certain that the patrons of the Black Squirrel will be sitting in a temperature-appropriate environment, although it would behoove any small-business owner not to have his or her customer base sentenced to a sweat box in the summer and an ice box in the winter. That probably would be bad for business.
Who knows what the next next hold-up will be? And there will be another hold-up. This, after all, is DCRA, a paragon of inefficiency and incompetence. And that is being kind. Mention DCRA to any contractor, plumber and electrician licensed to do business in the city and you will get a roll of the eyes and a series of four-letter words.