How Do Utilities Innovate?

(This story was originally published on 1776dc.com. 1776 is a startup incubator in Washington, D.C.)

Clean energy such as solar power benefits a lot of people—plants and animals, too, for that matter—but it has long posed quite the threat to the existence of utilities companies. Now, as more people make the switch to powering their homes the Earth-friendly way, utilities must find new ways to incentivize customers to stay on the grid.

Some of the smartest solutions are the simplest, such as helping customers understand the cost of their energy use—both financial and environmental.

Opower, a software-as-a-service company, does this in a particularly inventive way. They provide households with detailed reports that compare homeowners’ own energy-consumption levels with the levels of their neighbors. Conserve more electricity than the family across the street, and you just might get a smiley face on your report.

“In most places, utility regulation hasn’t changed much since Thomas Edison,” Opower founder Alex Laskey said in a TED Talk. “Utilities are still rewarded when their customers waste energy. They ought to be rewarded for helping their customers save it.”

The idea came from a behavioral science study conducted at Arizona State University and California State University in which students hung a sign on every door in the neighborhood. All of the signs encouraged citizens to limit their air conditioning use, but they weren’t all the same. Each sign had one of four messages: One cited the specific amount of money they would save; one said it would protect the Earth from greenhouse gases; and another invoked responsibility to conserve resources for future generations. The fourth one employed social pressure, saying that most people in the neighborhood were already doing their part and switching off their air conditioners.

Guess which one made the impact.

As it turns out, keeping up with the Joneses is quite the motivator when it comes to conserving power. Rather than lose ecologically-minded customers, utilities companies are tapping into companies such as Opower to keep them around.

Of course, that might not be enough to convince the most environmentally conscious individuals who are choosing to go off the grid entirely. As solar panels go up, utility sales to those houses take a nosedive. So, how do utilities companies still profit off of these people? That’s where electric cars come in.

1776 explored this trend in depth last week, but here’s a great case study: Sempra Energy, a utilities company in San Diego, wants to bolster sales by installing 5,000 electric car chargers around the city. This project would increase access to chargers considerably, thus encouraging Californians to drive electric cars. It’ll cost $100 million, a bill that customers will foot for about 40 cents per month.

Eco-friendly citizens and utilities companies would both win—air quality would improve, and Sempra Energy would bring in more money. However, the project has received opposition for ignoring a key population. Electric cars are owned almost exclusively by high-income individuals, yet those who earn less would still pay for it in their electric bill.

As clean energy disrupts utilities, opportunities arise for savvy startups to step in and help large companies. Partnering with utilities can be a big step for a small business.

FCC Chairman: Broadband Competition Is Key for Innovation

(This story was originally published on 1776dc.com. 1776 is a startup incubator in Washington, D.C.)

In a speech yesterday at 1776, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced new plans to push for more competition between broadband providers, calling the current environment “lacking” of “meaningful competition.”

“Americans need more competitive choices for faster and better Internet connections, both to take advantage of today’s new services and to incentivize the development of tomorrow’s innovations,” he said to a packed room of policy makers and entrepreneurs.

During his speech, Wheeler expressed strong beliefs that public policy should protect consumers and accelerate innovation, not stifle it. Incentivizing competition will set the bar set higher for broadband quality. It should also precede government regulation, he said.

“This is the country that invented the Internet,” Wheeler said. “The future starts here in the United States of America.”

According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 75 percent of Americans have two or more choices of Internet providers if they want 4 Mbps access. Although this is the FCC’s definition of high-speed Internet, Wheeler criticized it as hugely outdated, calling it “yesterday’s broadband.” For comparison’s sake, a single high-definition video requires at least 5 Mbps to download.

 (Source: FCC.gov)

Most Americans only have two choices of network providers, though urban-dwellers are significantly better off. They are three times more likely to have access to high-speed broadband than those who live in rural areas. With a technology gap that wide, education and business can take a serious hit.

“As bandwidth needs increase, we cannot tolerate the broadband digital divide getting larger,” he said.

To start moving forward, Wheeler laid out a four-point action plan, which he called the “Agenda for Broadband Competition.”

“First, where competition can exist, we will encourage it…Second, where greater competition can exist, we will encourage it,” he said. “Third, where meaningful competition is not available, the Commission will work to create it … Fourth, where competition cannot be expected to exist, we must shoulder the responsibility of promoting the deployment of broadband.”

The effects of improved bandwidth would be felt across the country, but they would be especially advantageous for tech startup founders such as Tyler Feret. Feret is the founder of Meridix Webcast Network, a business that provides schools and organizations with the tools to broadcast their own sports games, in essence, a do-it-yourself ESPN.

“If you look at the way that our business has grown, it’s basically been exactly in parallel with the way that broadband has grown. We’re audio-video, so the faster that gets on the customer’s end, the more services we can provide,” Feret said. “Any competition within that market, it gives people more choice. It increases the speed. If we had to be locked into an office to get these speeds, we probably wouldn’t exist as a company.”

Feret had the chance to meet with Wheeler following the chairman’s speech to discuss how increased broadband competition would help startups such as his.

Wheeler acknowledged his goals are lofty, though he said he feels confident they are achievable.

“The work of the Commission to implement this Agenda will never be done,” he said. “New technologies, innovation, and market developments will continually redefine the reality of broadband service. Our goal is that whatever the new realities may be, competition is the North Star.”

Binge-Watching Guilt Is Self-Fulfilling

(This story originally appeared on New York Magazine’s “The Science of Us” blog.)

So, that post-work Netflix binge — you know, the one that feels so good until you’re shame-spiraling into your eighth consecutive episode of Orange Is the New Black? You can stop feeling guilty about it. Or that’s the takeaway from a new study published in the Journal of Communication, at least.

Previous studies on the psychological effects of media use as a form of relaxation have often contradicted one another. Some have hypothesized that they facilitate mental recovery from stress, while others have found that they cause people to feel guilty, depressed, and frustrated. The new study adds a bit of nuance.

“We are beginning to better understand that media use can have beneficial effects for people’s well-being, through media-induced recovery,” said professor Leonard Reinecke of Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in a press release.

The researchers found that watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the web can help you psychologically unwind, but the more stressed you are, the more likely you are to see it as procrastination rather than innocent battery-recharging. The guilt that follows can deplete the positive effects of your media use, thus rendering the chill time less beneficial. It’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy — the more you think watching TV is a waste of time, the more it will feel like a waste of time.

“Our present study … demonstrates that in real life, the relationship between media use and well-being is complicated and that the use of media may conflict with other, less pleasurable but more important duties and goals in everyday life,” said Reinecke. “We are starting to look at media use as a cause of depletion. In times of smartphones and mobile Internet, the ubiquitous availability of content and communication often seems to be a burden and a stressor rather than a recovery resource.”

So go ahead, click that “next episode” button. You might still be stressed afterward, but if there’s nothing you can do to fix that, might as well finish season two.

Why We Love Drunk Food

(This story and accompanying video originally appeared on New York Magazine’s “The Science of Us” blog. This was also my first published video.)

Chicken nuggets are delicious. Chicken nuggets, when you’re drunk, taste like hearing “Stairway to Heaven” for the first time. But what explains the power of these insatiable drunk munchies, a.k.a. “drunchies”? Why, regardless of our best dietary intentions, do we so often find ourselves headed straight to the Easy Mac or doughnuts when we’re under the influence?

Plenty of sober people crave junk food, of course, but booze ratchets up these cravings by messing with your blood-sugar levels. When your liver is all tied up processing excessive alcohol levels, it can interfere with normal blood-sugar production, resulting in a dip in your blood-sugar level (kind of ironic, considering how sugar-packed your cranberry-vodka is) that causes you to crave foods that will bring it back up. Doing so with an apple rather than buffalo wings is challenging under the best of circumstances, but when your inhibitions are lowered, you’re even more likely to choose whatever’s quick and satisfying in that moment.

Researchers at Northwestern University demonstrated this in one particularly delicious experiment. They left two groups of subjects, one drunk and one sober, with unlimited ice cream and told them they could eat as much as they wanted. The drunk group ate a lot more of the ice cream, and this held true even when the subjects ingested the alcohol unknowingly (quite an experiment …), suggesting it wasn’t simply about social or cultural norms pertaining to alcohol and food. Rather, the researchers argued, alcohol simply makes people more relaxed, and when people are relaxed, they’re more likely to indulge. The blood-sugar thing and the lowered-inhibitions thing, then, are a potent one-two punch straight to the face of healthy eating.

There’s also the simple fact that post-drinking food consumption tends to be strongly associated with fun. If you have happy memories of a post-party visit from Domino’s, you’re more likely to call again the next time you’re in a similar (drunken) situation. This phenomenon is best explained by operant conditioning, a type of learning in which a stimulus evokes a behavior which leads to a consequence, thus reinforcing the behavior (think lab rats, levers, and sugar cubes).

“The stimulus is a party environment including intoxication, the behavior is ordering pizza (a few times) at or after a party, and the consequence equals a good time socially (since the party continues, plus pizza is simply the food of the gods),” said University of Wisconsin-Whitewater psychology professor Meg Waraczynski in an email. “Therefore, ordering pizza or whatever in the party environment is reinforced. Do this enough times, and being intoxicated becomes a trigger for ordering pizza.” Or for dollar slices, or McDonald’s, or whatever else.

Of course, you can only analyze this stuff for so long before you want to go directly to the source: drunk eaters themselves. So Science of Us approached a bunch of revelers in Times Square at 2 a.m. on a Saturday and asked about their drunchie habits:

(Watch the video here.)

Women Get Punished More Than Men for a Common Speech Mannerism

(This story originally appeared on New York Magazine’s “The Science of Us” blog.)

As if women needed another hurdle to being taken seriously in the workplace. This time, apparently it’s our annoying voices. According to a new study from the University of Miami, women with a speech mannerism called “vocal fry” — that low, creaky, Kardashian-esque sound at the end of sentences — may be perceived as “less attractive, less competent, less educated, less trustworthy, and ultimately less hirable.” Men were also seen less favorably when they had vocal fry, but they were punished less severely for it.

In the study, young people were recorded saying “Thank you for considering me for this opportunity” twice — once in a normal tone, once in vocal fry. Then, 800 study participants listened to the recordings and were asked which voice sounded more educated, competent, trustworthy, attractive, and worthy of hiring. Over 80 percent of the time, and in every category, participants preferred the normal voice — and they tended to rate women who had it lower than men who did.

“Humans prefer vocal characteristics that are typical of population norms,” said Casey A. Klofstead, an associate professor at the University of Miami and author of the study, in the press release. “While strange-sounding voices might be more memorable because they are novel, humans find ‘average’ sounding voices to be more attractive. It is possible that speakers of vocal fry are generally perceived less favorably because vocal fry is accompanied by a dramatic reduction in voice pitch relative to normal speech.”

Excessive use of vocal fry was once regarded as a speech disorder, but today it can be heard in the conversations of many perfectly healthy young women. It is thought to have emerged as a trend from pop culture, particularly music. Makes sense for a generation that grew up hearing Britney Spears raspily croon, “Oh baby baby … ”

This isn’t the first time working women’s voices have been criticized. Back in 1995, Clueless brought with it the popularization — and derision — of Valley Girl “uptalk.” Adults naturally criticized a method of speaking in which, by ending sentences with a higher inflection, young people sounded less, like, confident and stuff? But almost a decade later, aUniversity of California, San Diego study argued that working women use uptalk for a perfectly valid reason. A rise at the end of a sentences serves as a signal that the person is not finished speaking, thus deterring interruption or floor-stealing. It’s not a sign of shallowness — it’s a strategy to be heard.

What’s concerning, as always, is the degree to which women are judged more harshly than equally qualified men. This study just serves as further proof that women’s success often depends on superficial details men don’t have to think twice about, which shouldn’t surprise anyone given that we live in a world in which commentators compare Jill Abramson’s voice to a “nasal car honk” and hear Hillary Clinton’s assertive tone as “shrill” and “nagging.”

All the Fake Sequels From 22 Jump Street

(This article originally appeared on Vulture. It was written in collaboration with three other interns.)

While the credits of 22 Jump Street roll, the audience is shown posters and snippets of over 20 fake Jump sequels: ridiculous movies like 27 Jump Street: Culinary School and 34 Jump Street: Return of the Ghost. When Jesse David Fox spoke to the directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, earlier in the week, Miller said they “wanted one final [homage] to sequels.” He added, “We found that the audience wanted to feel like those guys were gonna stay together.” He was correct. The result is really satisfying and easily one of the film’s funniest moments. So, without further ado — and with the requisite credit spoiler warning (if that’s a thing?) — here are all the fake sequels:

  • 23 Jump Street: Medical School
  • 24 Jump Street: Foreign Exchange
  • 25 Jump Street: Semester at Sea
  • 26 Jump Street: Arts School
  • 27 Jump Street: Culinary School
  • 28 Jump Street: Veterinary School
  • 29 Jump Street: Sunday School
  • 30 Jump Street: Flight Academy
  • 31 Jump Street: Ninja Academy
  • 32 Jump Street: Fireman Academy
  • 33 Jump Street: Generations
  • 34 Jump Street: Return of the Ghost
  • 35 Jump Street: Traffic School
  • 36 Jump Street: Military School
  • 37 Jump Street: Scuba Class
  • 38 Jump Street: Dance Academy
  • 39 Jump Street: The Electronic Game
  • 40 Jump Street: The Retirement Home
  • 41 Jump Street: Magic School
  • 42 Jump Street: Beauty School
  • 43 Jump Street: Mariachi School
  • 2121 Jump Street

Our Ancestors’ Faces Evolved to Be Able to Take a Punch

(This story originally appeared on New York Magazine’s “The Science of Us” blog.)

Evolution has done a whole slew of awesome things for humankind (I’m looking at you, opposable thumbs), but a new study from the University of Utah suggests a rather surprising benefit it conferred on our ancestors. According to researchers David R. Carrier and Michael H. Morgan, our ancestors’ faces may have evolved to be able to take a punch.

“We suggest that many of the facial features that characterize early hominins evolved to protect the face from injury during fighting with fists,” said Carrier and Morgan in their study. Researchers examined skeletons of australopiths, apelike ancestors of humans that went extinct 2 million years ago, and found that the strongest areas of their faces were the jaws, cheeks, eyes, and noses — the most likely targets in a fistfight. This was truer among males, who presumably did more fighting. This study disputes the previous theory that a diet of hard plants and nuts necessitated the robust facial structure.

Prehistoric Earth was a rough-and-tumble place. It was a struggle for every seed and berry, and if other australopiths tried to get in your way, you had to defend yourself. The human species has learned to use our words since then (except sometimes during spring break), so the size and strength of our facial bones has gradually evolved in the other direction over time, making us more vulnerable to being punched than we used to be. Keep that in mind during your next bar fight.

Three Un-Fun Facts About the Psychology of Traffic to Read While You’re Stuck in It

(This story originally appeared on New York Magazine’s “The Science of Us” blog. It was my first piece for them.)

It’s just about time for Memorial Day weekend. If you’re one of the lucky ones who escaped the office early to head someplace nice, you may be stuck in traffic at this very moment. What better time to explore the dismal social science of bumper-to-bumper interstates? Here are three not-so-fun facts about traffic.

1. That driver whose “Child is an Honors Student” may want to kill you.
If you find yourself stuck behind a car mummified in bumper stickers, you might want to think twice before honking. A Colorado State University study found drivers who pimp their rides — think decals, vanity plates, even dashboard hula girls — are significantly more likely to exhibit road rage. While you might expect more aggressive drivers to sport nastier vehicular accouterments, there were startlingly similar road rage levels between the stick-figure family decal and “I Don’t Get Mad/I Get Even” types. It all comes down to the fact that people with a propensity for territory marking appear to be a bit more aggressive, say the researchers.

2. You may be cheating on your spouse with your commute.
According to a study from Umea University in Sweden, couples in which one partner’s commute exceeds 45 minutes are 40 percent more likely to get divorced. More time on the road means more stress, boredom, and frustration, often rendering the commuter a crankier and less supportive spouse. But there is hope: If your relationship can stick it out for the first five years, your divorce likelihood falls to only one percent higher than that of non-commuter couples. It’s cruise control from there.

3. You don’t even realize just how much you hate traffic.
Feel like your commute is sucking the joy out of you? That’s because it probably is, according to a study from the University of Basel in Switzerland. Taking on a high-paying job with a miserable commute may pay the bills, but it doesn’t pay off. Those who make less money but have easier commutes tend to feel more satisfied overall, since the unhappiness of a lengthy commute can actually overshadow the pleasure of earning a higher salary. We’re not always the best judges of what will bring us happiness: It’s easy to put a dollar amount on, well, dollars, but the value of spending time with friends and family isn’t quite as tangible.

If you’re not depressed enough yet, this 2007 article from The New Yorker offers an excellent overview of what all our car-time does to us. Safe driving, everyone!

Recap: Social Learning Summit 2014

I did a cool thing last weekend. Let’s recap, shall we?instatweet

Social Learning Summit is a conference focused on social media and how it’s changing, well, everything. The AU Social Media Club puts it on every year, but until this year I never actually made the effort to go. I decided to attend this year because it contributes to three of my New Year’s resolutions: learn more for the joy of learning, be more proactively creative and have more adventures. Also, because I love the Internet.

The summit kicked off in the McKinley building, the School of Communication’s new home as of this semester. We heard from FCB Health, an ad agency with a focus on creative healthcare marketing. They had a lot to say about getting in on the social media conversation about your product–for example, Oreo’s SuperBowl blackout ad and their bold support of LGBT rights. They also told us what we all have been hearing, but still can’t hear enough: potential employers will Google your name. Spring social media presence cleaning, anyone?

After that, we heard our first keynote of the weekend from Chris Geidner. Geidner is the Legal Editor of Buzzfeed and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s 2012 Sarah Pettit LGBT Journalist of the Year. As a BuzzFeed junkie and aspiring journalist, I was particularly jazzed to hear from him–and he did not disappoint. He had excellent advice for budding journalists in the digital age. I got to ask him the question on all of our minds: in such a competitive industry where everyone is social-media-savvy, how can young people stand out to employers? In response, he stressed the value of great writing. He also urged us to find uncovered topics and cover them ourselves.

I woke up bright and early the next morning and was delighted to find Dunkin Donuts catering breakfast. (#blessed) Two cups of coffee and a doughnut later, I was ready to go. We all split up for panel discussions, which ran three at a time concurrently. I started off at “You Are What You Tweet,” a panel on food. We heard from Patricia Barbra (Managing Editor of Girl Meets Food), Claudia Holwill (Founder of Brunch and the City), Jed Gray (Founder of Sports Glutton), Melissa Musiker (Director of Food and Nutrition Policy at APCO Worldwide) and Nikki Rappaport (Brand Strategist at Cava Mezze Grill).

I never realized quite how much there was to know about food blogging! They dispelled the myth that bloggers get tons of free food. In fact, when they were first starting out with blogging, they had to spend a great deal of money on food just to get noticed. And money’s not the only cost. For most, blogging was (and sometimes still is) a passion project in addition to a 9-5 job. You just have to work on it on your own time. I especially loved that they urged us to be ourselves in our online presence. So many people my age try to act so different from their true selves online, and it shows.

Next up was “Brand You,” a panel on branding. We heard from Meg Biram (Online Marketing and Branding Consultant/Blogger), Shana Glickfield (Founding Partner with Beekeeper Group), Earl Wyatt (Radio Host and Digital Staffer at Ketchum), Amanda Miller Littlejohn (Personal Branding Strategist) and Alix Montes (Account Coordinator at LMO Advertising). Surprisingly, I knew almost nothing about branding beforehand. I really never understood what it was, or how it differed from PR or marketing. While I’m still definitely learning, this panel was an excellent intro!

We broke for lunch catered by Cava, then went on to a keynote by Joe Gizzi (Strategy Director of MXM Social). He broke down his points in a really engaging “Social Media’s 14 for ’14” list. We hear every day how much social media is changing the world, but I didn’t realize quite how much. Did you know 10% of Starbucks’s revenue is through their mobile app?

I went to a panel on entertainment called “There’s No Business Like Social Business.” The panel consisted of Haley Blum (USA Today Entertainment Reporter), Emily White (Executive Assistant to the Director at Billboard), Chloe Troia (Community Manager at MXM Social) and Candice N. Mackel (Owner/Publicist of Candice Nicole PR). It was so cool to hear about an industry that excites me so much! We covered music, TV shows and the abomination that was the How I Met Your Mother finale. #stillnotoverit

For my last panel of the day, I went to “The First Follow: Social Media and Startups.” It was a hard choice, because there were panels on journalism and fashion running concurrently–all my favorite topics! I decided to go to this one because I’ve been fascinated by startups lately, as I’ve been reporting on a food startup for a journalism project this semester. Stay tuned, more on that soon.

Anyway, at this panel, I heard from Morgan Gress (Editor at 1776), Tod Plotkin (Principal of Green Buzz Agency), Emily Rasowsky (Digital Strategist at Social Driver) and Pranav Vora (CEO/Founder of Hugh & Crye). I am obsessed with everything 1776 is doing, so I had been looking forward to hearing from Gress all weekend. I also met the other founder of Hugh and Crye, Philip Soriano, at a Kogod Marketing Association fashion panel earlier this semester. Hugh & Crye is such an innovative business, so it was really cool to get to meet the other half of the company’s brain.

Four panels later, it was time to wrap up the weekend. Melody Kramer (Digital Strategist/Associate Editor of NPR) gave the final keynote. She gave a brilliant speech on social media’s overlap with real life. For a conference where everyone was tweeting till their thumbs went numb, it was so refreshing to hear about the value of being a human rather than a brand.

I’ve been pondering what I loved about Social Learning Summit so much, and I think it comes down to the power of shared passion. It felt so inspiring to be in the same room, tweet in the same room and learn in the same room as so many students and professionals who share my interests. It ignited my love for social media and journalism even further and made it brighter and stronger than ever. Here’s to Social Learning Summit 2015!

Many thanks to everyone I met at Social Learning Summit–let’s keep in touch!

District Flea is Back

If you’re looking to fall irrevocably in love with second-­hand pink cowboy boots or a 90-­year-­old typewriter, then you’re in luck. District Flea opened for its second year on Saturday, Apr. 5.  Screen shot 2014-04-09 at 5.09.23 PM

District Flea is an eclectic outdoor market with one-­of-­a‐kind vintage clothing, furniture and other novelties. It also sells scrumptious eats and craft beers made by local small businesses.

Hugh McIntosh is the flea market’s founder and manager. Unassumingly schmoozing with customers in the microbrew beer garden, you’d never guess he’s the one who started one of the biggest open-­air markets in the D.C. area.

A close friend of the people who started the Brooklyn Flea, McIntosh found himself wondering why D.C. had no analogous scene. So, while working as a teacher and musician—and with no background in business—he decided to start one himself. It took about six months to find vendors and a location. Now that District Flea is in it’s second year, it’s already grown to be bigger than he ever could have expected.Screen shot 2014-04-09 at 5.09.03 PM

“I think this is becoming a full-­time job,” McIntosh said.

Ghazal Yazdanparast was a District Flea regular last year. On the first day back in business, she noticed many more vendors and a lot more variety than last year. Yazdanparast keeps coming back to District Flea because she never runs out of things to see, buy or taste. “It’s just something different in DC. It’s like a little taste of New York.”

Speaking of taste, arriving hungry is a must. From Cowbell Kitchen’s farm­‐to-­table breakfast sandwiches to the irreverently delectable Ravioli Revolution, it’s a struggle not to scoop up one of everything. District Doughnut, which until now has existed solely as a delivery service, peddles their circular treats here in person. The row of food vendors extends across the entire length of the lot.Screen shot 2014-04-09 at 5.09.14 PM

In spite of District Flea’s overall deliciousness, there is a noticeable learning curve. The wait times were surprisingly long, and some stands ran out of food by lunchtime. Bottled water was also snatched up quickly, leaving beer and coffee as the only available beverages in the market—a blessing or a curse, depending on who was asked. Many of these start­‐ups have never served a crowd of this size, so these issues are likely to dissipate in the coming weeks.

District Flea hosts some of the hippest vintage clothing and furniture merchandisers from local storefronts and online shops. In addition to the more trendy, upscale vendors, the market sticks to its homegrown roots with a few no-­frills one­‐man-­shows.

Screen shot 2014-04-09 at 5.08.54 PMStuart Morris’s business has no name, but it’s got history. He has been selling old house parts and antiques at various street sales since 1995, most notably the Georgetown Flea Market. He joined the District Flea last year. His favorite part of the District Flea is how friendly the crowd is—as well as the impressive size of the crowd in comparison to locations he’s worked previously.

“This makes Georgetown Flea Market look like a graveyard,” Morris said.

District Flea is located at 945 Florida Ave. It will be open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until October.

(This article was originally written for COMM-320, my Reporting class.)