I was surprised yesterday when I saw that there was an announcement that the Metblogs network will close down at the end of the month. Right now I am on the remote island of Hatteras, NC enjoying a beach vacation on The Outer Banks.
For those that have see the update bar above me, here’s what I know: after struggling with operational costs the servers that house this vast empire of blogs worldwide has become too costly to maintain. Online revenue has take a hit in recent months and Sean had to make a tough decision.
Since announcing the news there has been an outpouring of support that may save DC Metblogs as well as the Metblogs site all over the world, but right now nothing official has been stated.
As the man in charge of DC Metblogs I can only wait and see what Sean, Jason, and the team out west figure out. It’s been an honor to take the reins of the site for the past year or two and I support everything Sean has done with this network. I think Washington, DC is one of the most blogged about cities in the country and I dare compare it to the likes of NYC and LA.
Right now the outlook looks hopeful but nothing is certain just yet, but what I can assure you is that I will continue to write and blog about my adventures in the Nation’s capital and I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride so far.
I’ll let the ad speak for itself- my apologies if you know the guy looking for a roommate/specimen:
I swear I’m not going to become a food blogger. But I do love food- and apparently people notice when I write about food.
After writing about my brunch at Liberty Tavern, Silver Diner across the street invited me to a dinner with other bloggers to try out their new Fresh & Local menu. The new menu features items that are locally bought ingredients, gluten and allergy free, and health conscious.
I was surprised that co-founder and CEO Robert Giaimo was bluntly honest about the demographic of his customers. He asked how many of us have dined at one of his establishments and then asked how many of us were sober while doing so. Since I live across the street from this particular location I was proud to keep my hand up (even though I think I spent the later night of a Cinco de Mayo there as well.) However since he understands his clientele he also knows where the future of dining was going- and wants Silver Diner to lead the charge as they become the Next Generation Diner.
I was also impressed by the other co-founder and Vice President of Culinary Operations Ype Von Hengst. A chef born in The Netherlands, he was not what I pictured Silver Diner’s top food man to be. He knew how to entertain the crowd, comparing the new local produce as food that wasn’t cranky from a week long trip across the country.
I will say this though- they certainly treated us to a feast and it was good- and fellow TMG alumni Lisa approves as well.
Silver Diner is located all over Virginia and Maryland- check out their website to find out where the closest one to you is and if they carry the new menu, which is being rolled out in phases.
In honor of Mother’s Day The Daily Beast (home of an extensive blogger roster including my republican dream girl Meghan McCain,) published a list of the Best and Worst cities for mothers, can you guess where Washington DC ended up in the ranking of the top 200 cities? Try 7th to last- right above LA.
The list took into account mothers per capital; quality of child care, schools, and maternity care; and an all-important metric: per capita searches on Citysearch.com for “Mother’s Day Brunch,” and “Hair Salon.”
That last criteria is where they lost me but take a lot at the DC compared to the top ranked city (Bosie, ID) and see for yourself:
#193, Washington, DC
Child care: 162
Schools: 5 out of 10
Maternity care: 35
#1, Boise, ID
Moms-per-capita: 61 out of 200
Child care: 20 out of 200
Schools: 7 out of 10
Maternity care: 63 of out 200
Pampering: 86 out of 200
With cities like Coral Springs, FL and Elk Grove, CA topping the list I wonder if this ranking is skewed towards smaller cities but then again these cities ranked high in child care and pampering. Again I don’t know about that last metric…
Other notable cities on the list: Arlington, VA (#37); Alexandria, VA (#127); Baltimore, MD (#130)- DC what do you think? Is it that bad out there for a mother and family in The District?
I never thought I would order food from a truck but these treats are not your typical tourist food trap.
Now that I’m working in Rosslyn I’ve become accustomed to the food carts that park themselves right outside the Gannett building.
Once I popped my food cart cherry I had to check out the other regulars, including District Taco. The breakfast tacos I had there were awesome, I ordered three which were probably more than I actually needed- good to note for future breakfast meals. (Also good for company lunches- NMS loves District Taco!)
The next food cart I’m trying to track down is Vietnamese sandwich truck Rebel Heroes. As a proud Vietnamese American, I know my mom would be delighted to hear that I’m actually actively seeking to eat Banh-Mi for lunch. New blogger friend Stacey Viera recently got to talk with owner Tan Nguyen who told her they are “revolutionizing the sub.”
Of course these mobile food providers join a growing list of DC area mobile restaurateurs. It appears that you can get everything from Pizza to Cupcakes from a truck. Even local salad chain Sweetgreen is joining in the fun with their Sweetflow truck. However some of the most well known DC food trucks specialize in more foreign cuisine.
Like many of the above businesses, On The Fly has an eye towards the planet and tries to run a green operation through electric powered GEM carts that haul their warez.
I’m sure there’s even more out there- I know that Pupatella is currently in the process to roll out around the Arlington area, what’s your favorite DC Food Truck/Cart?
As my co-worker/blogger extraordinaire Nisha can attest, the view is great from the Hay-Adams Hotel rooftop. I was there last week at a reception to celebrate the maiden voyage of OpenSkies Airline’s new “Capital to Capital” route from Washington D.C. to Paris.
The cuisine of Michel Richard Citronelle was served as well as this interesting little cocktail that you can see was in my hand that night.
The British Aiways owned airline is the only airline to offer Business Class-only travel between Paris – New York and Paris – Washington D.C. The airline already flies a route out of New York to Paris and plan to operate non-stop flights from New York to additional Continental European cities including Brussels, Milan and Frankfurt.
What does that awesome Old Spice ad have to do with the Washington National Opera? Not much, the spot is stuck in my head now thanks to a recent Ellen Show clip- but if you listen to the ad you could assume that the opera is one of those things she likes but you may not.
More of today’s generation enjoys watching tanned-up guidos on TV rather than talented sopranos and tenors. However the Washington Opera has worked hard to shed old perceptions that the Opera is for old, boring, rich stiffs. In fact with the Washington Opera’s Generation O program- the art has never been more accessible to younger crowds.
The program is free to join for students and young professionals under 35. Members receive discounted tickets and invitations to special events. The group is strong with over 15,000 members and sounds like a great deal according to Generation O Advisory Council Chairman Arthur Bochner, who wrote in a 2009 Washington Life magazine piece, ” Generation O tickets mean you can enjoy an incredible evening of opera for under $100 – ideal for dating in a recession. At the last performance I attended, my casually dressed friends and I paid $50 for notoriously expensive orchestra seats.”
It does sound like a bargain for a younger generation that can’t afford to go out to classy events like the Opera.
Generation O’s latest event will be A Late Night Affair on May 6th, a benefit for WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists, the company’s resident training program for artists on the verge of international careers. Event packages includes admission to a performance of The Marriage of Figaro as well as an after party at Circle Bistro following the performance where patrons can enjoy cocktails, hor d’ouevres, dancing, and have a chance to smooze with the production’s cast and production staff.
Those that are interested in joining Generation O or attending the Late Night Affair event can check out WNO’s Generation O page, but thanks to our friends at the WNO, DC Metblogs is very excited to be able to send a pair of lucky readers to the event for free!
We will be giving away a pair of tickets to WNO’s Late Night Affair, complete with tickets to the May 6th performance of The Marriage of Figaro and invites to the Late Night Affair party afterwards. There will also be a runner-up prize of a pair of tickets to the Figaro performance- sans after party.
What do you have to do to win? Just leave a comment below telling us what would be your “two tickets to that thing you like.” I will take all the names below and draw them out of the good ol’ Nationals hat on Sunday May, 2nd- you have til noon that day to enter.
- One entry per person (make sure you fill out your e-mail and name when leaving a comment!)
- In the spirit of Generation O only those under 35 may enter.
That’s it! So tell all your friends and leave us a comment below- good luck!
Thanks to Destination DC for the honor and be sure to check out DC Insider for your one-stop DC Blog stop.
DC is certainly a brunch city, and while I didn’t really like Washington City Paper’s best brunch choices, I recently experienced the brunch phenomenon myself at a really classy place.
I stumbled out of bed two Sundays ago with a headache and a growling stomach. My cell phone rang, it was my roommate Maricha asking me if I wanted to get brunch over at Liberty Tavern (where my other roommate, the who shovels snow with a rake, works.) I decided to give it a try and walked down the street.
We were lucky to get a table outside on what was a nice and sunny afternoon. When I went upstairs to check out the buffet spread my hungry eyes couldn’t of been happier.
Just check out some of the selections from the brunch menu:
- Frittata with peppers, tomatoes, green onion, mozzarella
- Scrambled Eggs with bacon, cheese, and veggies
- Brioche French Toast with warm maple syrup, strawberry sauce, apples
- North Country Applewood Smoked Bacon
- Dave’s Fluffy Biscuits, Honey Glazed Ham, Milk Gravy
- Roasted chicken chimichangas with sour cream, cheddar
- Smoked Salmon, capers, crème fraiche, egg
- Stuffed Leg of Lamb, spinach, pecans and spiced prunes with lamb jus
- Chocolate-Banana Trifle with Vanilla Pastry Cream
Just typing out the menu just made me hungry again- and I just finished lunch.
The only thing that would of made this brunch perfect would probably be mimosas, because what would brunch be without a little adult beverages? I don’t even think I’ve had mimosas yet but I wasn’t in the mood to be drinking in the middle of the afternoon- that will have to wait for my return visit to Liberty Tavern for brunch. The food is good and for what you pay it’s a great value. Plus I still need to figure out how to ask out the cute waitress with the short brown hair. Liberty Tavern you can expect me for future returns.
Liberty Tavern serves brunch every Sunday starting a 9:30 AM and lasting til 2:00 PM. They offer a buffet and a la carte options, I highly recommend the buffet.
3195 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
Sometimes I get my DC news from the media, sometimes I get it from pitches.
I got this one from overhearing my co-workers that sit behind me. Hey I heard Jumbo Slice and you got my attention (even though I haven’t been since the one time I went there in 2008.)
Sure it may not be the definitive food battle here in DC (no Peruvian Chicken battle? How about cupcakes, burgers, or Ethiopian food?) but the show should tackle a choice I never really thought much about when I am drunk and roaming the streets at 3 AM. I usually pass up Pizza Mart and go straight to the place named after the product I want to eat.
You can catch the episode tonight at 10 & 11 PM on The Travel Channel. Complete schedule can be found here.
In my lifelong quest for finding places where I can blog, I gave Murky Coffee in Clarendon a try and found it to be the perfect stereotypical coffee spot: kind of divey, free WiFi, and always overcrowded due to it’s perfect environment for studying or looking like a hipster.
When Murky became defunct last year, I was not so interested about a bakery opening up in it’s place, but when the plan evolved into a new coffee shop run by the folks at Liberty Tavern- I was more than excited to find another place to write my blog posts.
The new coffee shop, Northside Social, opened up this week and I was more than excited to walk down the street and give it a try.
Visit One: Tuesday April 6th
I walked into the old Murky space and saw that it was anything but. Fresh coats of off-white paint; metal buckets used as lighting fixtures; and green and white accents give the place a country/farmhouse look. The handwritten menu completes the feel that I’ve walked out of Arlington and into a place hundreds of miles further.
The place was busy but not crowded; it was only the second day of business for the shop and it helped that I walked in well after most 9-5ers were in the office. I took a brief walk around the place and saw that the back room was still there, however the furniture looked less like it was acquired from Goodwill. Upstairs I found a bar and additional tables. I decided to pull up a stool at the long counter-top and pull out my netbook. I was excited about the fresh new look and was eager top write about it. However I was disappointed to see that neither of the store’s two WiFi networks were functioning. I overheard an employee say that the WiFi, “was still evolving.”
Still I grabbed an ice coffee and pulled out some papers on my reading list. While I was there I met Marianne Tolosa, Northside’s director of coffee, who gave me more insight on the new space. During the day Northside hopes to be a premiere coffee stop during the day, and at night open up the upstairs bar and serve wine at night.
Visit Two: April 10th
I decided to give Northside another go after my first experience, I walked over on Saturday morning and grabbed another spot on the counter. I was happy to see that one of the two WiFi networks were working and I was soon busy typing away on my keyboard.
The crowd has certainly grown- a quick look at their Facebook page reveals a lot of buzz from the media and locals.
I started to write this post but my phone rang and I had to suddenly leave. A return visit on Sunday was a possibility- perhaps a necessity to finish this write-up.
Visit Two: April 11th
Something I learned about Sundays: forget about hitting up a coffee shop- the DC brunch crowd makes it impossible to find an open seat.
I decided to take the risk and walk down to see what the crowd would be like on Northside’s first Sunday in business. Just as I expected a line spilled out the door and the outdoor patio was well stocked with Arlingtonians. I peeked inside and saw that the counter, my new home at Northside, was completely open. I guess people didn’t want to sit next to the long line of customers but I’m not picky. In fact I’d welcome anybody that wants to read this write-up over my shoulder.
Clearly Northside Social is enjoying a fantastic opening crowd, and for good reason. A great location, refreshing new look, and the people of the Liberty Tavern restaurant group all come together to form a new coffeehouse that will be a complete success.
Despite some growing pains, I will enjoy the place much more after they get their WiFi up and running at full strength and perhaps the music is a tad on the loud side, there’s nothing wrong with Northside Social and from the long line behind me as I type this- I’m not the only one that thinks so.
3211 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, Virginia 22201
Hey, all you classic film buffs out there! Hey, all you folks who enjoy seeing films set in our very own city! Tomorrow’s TCM “Road to Hollywood” event is made just for you.
As companion events to its Classic Film Festival that’s taking place in Hollywood, Turner Classic Movies has organized several one-night-only screenings around the country, with each city showing a film set there. So, Bostonians can watch The Verdict, or Chicagoans can watch The Lady from Shanghai.
But we here in DC might be the luckiest of all! Tomorrow night at the Avalon Theatre, TCM will be showing The More The Merrier (1943). This classic of the screwball comedy genre stars the always hilarious Jean Arthur (whom you’ll recognize from that other DC-based classic, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) and Joel McCrea, and features an Oscar-winning performance by Charles Coburn. They’re all jammed together in one tiny apartment, when DC was stuffed full to the gills with war workers and soldiers during World War II. Naturally, hijinks ensue! If you’ve ever lived in those thousands of housing units that popped up all over the District and its immediate environs during the war, you’ll have a special appreciation.
The More The Merrier is hilarious, but it’s all in service of a great love story. It’s famous for one of the most romantic and sexy scenes in all of classic cinema:
We’ve all had a moment like that, right? When you don’t want to say goodbye, or hang up the phone, or close the door at the end of the night.
The screening will be hosted by TCM’s weekend host, Ben Mankiewicz and George Stevens, Jr. Tickets can be downloaded for free here, but seating is limited and first-come, first served so get there early! I know I won’t miss it.
My pal P.Q. sent me an invite to what appears to be a pillow fight scheduled for tomorrow at The National Mall. In recognition of International Pillow Fight Day, Capital Improv is organizing the local fight in Washington, DC. According to the invite over 400 people participated in last year’s fight and there’s already well over 1,500 RSVP’s for the event. It’s no surprise that the success of the snowball fights this winter have fueled interest in flash mob-type events like this one.
If you are interested make sure you read the complete rules on the Facebook invite: no down pillows, respect people with cameras.
The invite states to arrive with a pillow but keep it out of sight. Head towards the World War II monument side of the Washington Monument and wait for a fake shouting match to occur- that will be your cue to take sides and get in on the action. The fight will last for 15 minutes and then attempt to move to Dupont Circle.
Really ambitious for a pillow fight to move across the city.
This is it. The end.
The last Real World DC recap I’m ever going to write (at least til’ Real World 30: Return to DC.)
So let’s skip the pleasantries and just get it on- I’m sure you guys are sick enough of them, the show, or my recaps.
Maybe all of the above.
Drama In DC
Everybody Is Artsy Fartsy
After an entire episode that featured the cast doing nothing but good for the community- why not dedicate an episode where the cast does nothing but express their artistic side? It makes me wonder how would the show be received if instead of weekly drama- the cast would fit a pre-determined theme: one episode they are really artsy, in another they are social activists, in another they could be all fratty and party all over DC.
Then again that was pretty much the theme they chose for this entire season and pretty much the franchise.
Anyways this week the cast is getting their art on. Callie is organizing a gallery exhibition featuring her photography, Andrew’s paintings, and Emily’s poetry. Why not have Josh and Wicked Liquid perform in the space? Why not have Mike do some interpretive dance? That’s pretty much how he looks when he fights flirts with other guys. If only Ty had an artistic side to him- but alas that’s not the role for the angry black man on The Real World.
Callie is very concerned about Andrew’s ability to finish his paintings in time for the gallery show- and she has good reason too. As we have already seen, he’s not the most studious of artists.
Andrew complains that painting takes longer than photography- and he’s right, of course the fact you are complaining about it while walking to Public Bar doesn’t really strike me as a person who really has their priorities straight.
Andrew manages to finish the work in time but just barely- the paint is still wet on his work as he brings it over to the gallery.
The Art Show is a success and Callie manages to sell several of her photos, and provides the most unenthusiastic reaction while doing so.
The Panda Is Tamed But What Now?
Part of the reason Andrew’s been procrastinating more than usual is because he’s absolutely smitten with his new girlfriend Andrea. Hey if that was my girlfriend I would be absolutely there too. The summer is almost over however and the two face the same decision every summer camp hook-up has faced: what to do when everybody goes back home?
Andrew at first has cold feet about the idea of Andrea moving to Colorado with him but he eventually comes to his senses that this is one banging chick and the two make plans to live together after the show.
Happily Panda After.
Mike Gets More Political Than Ever
After arriving for his HRC job interview in shorts and a t-shirt, Mike finally puts on a nice suit like all the other Hill staffers in the city and heads to Capital Hill to pay Congressman Jim Moran a visit. He mentions how the Congressman from Virginia’s 8th district (hey I live there!) has a 100% voting record with HRC; thus the visit is nothing but a cakewalk for the HRC delegation.
I noticed the MTV crew did a great job condensing Moran’s quotes by cutting them up over a reaction shot of Mike. The edit job is worse than most campaign ads I’ve seen.
As the two part ways Mike reflects that he may have a future in politics. I think he does have a bright future- on THE RUINS 2!
In additional Hill lobbying, Mike has the big HRC National Dinner to attend. Good thing he made the smart choice of going out to Russia House the night before for heavy drinking and flirting with guys. Another good thing his idea is flirting is to fight with them- and ends up with a cut on his face along with a hangover the next day. Nothing a little cover-up can’t fix however.
So Mike attends the dinner with his father, Mike Sr. (I didn’t know there was a Mike Sr.), and they are amongst hundreds of others (including Lady Gaga, the cast of Glee, and my pal Suburban Sweetheart.)
Of course MTV does their best to make Mike appear to be more connected to the event by constantly cutting Mike’s reactions against every moment of Obama’s keynote speech.
The next day Mike, the Dad, and the rest of the cast march in the National Equality March. Fresh off the dinner and an inspiring Obama speech, Mike is all energized and ready to be proud of who he is. Along the trail he runs across an Anti-March protester and tells him off in a rather angry fashion.
While the moment itself could of been portrayed as a proud moment of Mike standing up for what he believes in, his father takes it a step higher and notes that Mike could of been more understanding and tolerant towards the opposition. Mike Sr. and son walk back to the protester to apologize and listen to his argument.
It was by far the classiest moment all season.
The Long Goodbye
Well now that the summer is over it is time to wrap things up at the house, which only means one thing: truth or dare night!
After watching The s#!t they should have shown special it was good to see more debauchery before saying goodbye to DC.
Why does MTV always draw out the goodbyes when it comes to their reality shows? When I was watching the Jersey Shore the cast left one-by-one, like they were on some sort of staggered time-table. God forbid we have one emotional group hug and they all go off in seven separate ways- we need the goodbye sequence to last half the final show!
Well one-by-one the cast leaves the house. My big joke was that Ty lived in B’more and really just had to take the Red Line north to Glenmont. Weird thing was Emily, who lives in the midwest, is the one seen walking to the Metro as the series closes.
And just like that it’s all over.
Where Mike demonstrates his commitment to Tanner: “I’m gonna be faithful, but I’m gonna flirt.”
Emily’s best guess on why Mike got a cut on his face: “You couldn’t make out so you decided to punch him?”
Andrew’s Puppy Love Ending: “I definitely want her to live with me- in my Star Wars, X-Men fortress.”
Andrew explains why I will always play Truth of Dare the last night I stay in the Real World House: “Truth or Dare is a guilt free way for the girls to get with the guys in the house.”
Mike: Provided some of the best moments of the season and really didn’t cause that much drama.
Callie: Besides being called fat, Callie remained level headed through-out the season, just as we expected. In this mess of characters you can’t help but like her the best.
Andrew: He lived up to his expectations in the first episode and it makes perfect sense that MTV casts a crazy kid that’s even more crazy about girls- only to find him fall in love in DC.
Josh: We didn’t see him a whole lot except when he was rocking out or unleashing his beast- but we didn’t disappoint in those few moments.
Emily: During some moments she was absolutely cool- during others she was as annoying as the rest of the cast.
Ty: He did a great job in his role as the token hot, angry, black dude. I should watch what I say however- he’s also the one that’s still an hour away from DC.
Ashley: I knew she was going to be trouble from the start and everywhere she went there was trouble.
Erika: While some things about her didn’t surface in the show, she also didn’t fail to bring on the drama.
Hey I Know That Place!
Rayburn Building: Home of Congressman Moran
Public Bar: Where to go when you should really be working on an art show.
Gallery Plan B: Where the Real World shows off their warez.
Russia House: Where flirting with guys is trying to punch them in the face.
Washington Convention Center: Site of the HRC National Dinner
Saki Asian Grille: Hey at least it’s not Buca.
Shout out to local DC band We Were Pirates, who’s music was featured in tonight’s and previous episodes. Their song “Don’t Forget” was that tune you heard while . You can see a complete music breakdown here.
And with that I can finally have my Wednesday nights back. Oh you can now stop putting up with my breakdowns- because they are finished.
Back to ignoring MTV til Jersey Shore comes back on.