RIP Borderstan, a two-man show that gave other D.C. bloggers a run for their money (not to mention their clicks). In our 2016 Best Of issue, City Paper named the neighborhood-driven news site, owned by Arlington-based Local News Now, “best revival,” in part for its dedicated attention to bizarre crime (“Men Attacked With Chipotle Cup of Bleach in Columbia Heights”), residential development, restaurant openings, store closings, and a morning newsletter. It had returned from the void in 2015 after shuttering a few years before, cultivating a loyal audience.
So it was an extra bummer when Borderstan announced—six days before Christmas—that it would no longer publish. The news followed an expanded mandate for the website, run by co-editors Tim Regan and Andrew Ramonas, to cover the H Street NE corridor, NoMa, Bloomingdale, and Truxton Circle, in addition to its core areas of Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, U Street, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan. Advertising troubles ultimately doomed the site.
But under Regan and Ramonas, Borderstan had a good run, generating occasional scoops and staying on top of neighborhood controversies (among them, whether a developer ought to build a mixed-use project on Adams Morgan’s SunTrust Plaza). How did the two manage to do it all?
“Basically, our goal was to sharpen our focus and make it so we didn’t have to focus on everything all the time,” explains Regan, a former City Paper contributor who recently moved to Chicago. (Ramonas now works for Bloomberg BNA.) “It also made going to most or all of our [advisory neighborhood commission] meetings”—a staple for Borderstan—“a little more feasible. If breaking news happened, generally the one [of us] closest to it would run (literally, sometimes) to the scene.” Other leads for them: liquor licenses, zoning and building documents, and social media.
Borderstan: gone too soon.