WASHINGTON – We recently sat down with popular Washington Post columnist and WTOP’s newest contributor, Clinton Yates, and asked him 10 questions about himself.
You’ve been quoted as saying that radio is your first love. Was it love at first listen?
My parents got divorced when I was 10. Sometimes they would argue and yell, forcing me to my room. When they did, I listened to the radio. It was refreshing to hear people talk with passion in their voices that didn’t necessarily involve pain. When I couldn’t sleep, I’d listen on my clock radio.
You have a minute every day to talk about life in the DMV! What now?
Well, as a relatively young person in a fast changing city and metropolitan area, I hope that the thoughts I share can connect with people who’ve both been here a long time and are newly arriving. There’s so much growth happening all over, and it’s fun to be able to watch it firsthand.
What’s the coolest thing about living here?
Being able to say that you live in the capital of the United States of America. The city and region are so diverse in their histories, legacies and populations that you don’t have to go far to find a fascinating story.
What drives you crazy about living here?
People who treat the city like it’s an annex of their hometown or college town. This is very real place with some very real problems and highlights, and should be treated as such. But, that’s understandably difficult to truly grasp if you come from somewhere else. Alas, that’s not something I know anything about.
Where are some of your favorite places to eat and/or go out in D.C.?
I like Asian food a lot. Specifically soup. So I’m really into ramen spots these days. Taan and Sakuramen in Adams Morgan aren’t bad, but Daikaya is a favorite. For pho, it’s all about Pho Viet on 14th.
If you could be any D.C. sports figure for a day, who would you be and why? (Redskins, United, Caps, Nats, etc.)
Whoever the Nationals’ bullpen catcher is. That’s the best job in the world. I played a ton of baseball growing up and doing that gig is all the fun without any pressure. Can’t beat it.
Tell us about your dog, Tank. How did you meet him and how did he get his name?
Tank is a bluetick coonhound and a rescue. His name was actually already given to him when we got him. But, he’s lived up to it, as he’s a pretty big guy at this point. He’s got a great looking coat, and is a big fan of anything that smells like something he wants to eat. Which is pretty much everything.
Who’s the most fascinating person in the DMV?
Eleanor Holmes Norton. She’s led such a compelling and important life, and she continues to be a champion for causes that go otherwise unheard in a lot of today’s media landscape. They should name something really important after her, actually.
What’s your quirkiest habit?
I now watch old school 90s/00s sitcoms that I never watched when they were out. I don’t have any idea why. “Spin City” and “Reba” have been big on the list recently, along with “Girlfriends.”
If you weren’t a journalist, what would you be doing and why?
I’d probably be a graphic designer of some sort. I was really into that in high school, and still am. It’s just not where I specifically chose to take things from a career standpoint. I still spend a lot of time studying and admiring the design community because I just really like the concept of creation.
(A bonus 11th question)
What’s next on your bucket list?
I want to get a tattoo sleeve, after drawing it myself. I started on the sketches. But I don’t know if I’ve got the guts to do it. People always say, “but what will you look like when you’re 70?” One thing I do know, is that when I’m 70, I certainly won’t care about what my left arm looks like.