Archive for April, 2005

School Bus, Trash Truck collide in Arlington

Major injury accident on Columbia Pike this morning between an Arlington County School Bus and a large trash hauler. As the bus turned left on to South Courthouse road, it was smashed by the trash truck, killing one child and critically wounding two more. The drivers of both vehicles were injured, but not critically. More information will be forthcoming.

A note on M83

This show was so good it defies description. To answer the question posed by my earlier headline, I would have to invent a new word.

M83 were shimmattering. (Shimmering + Shattering, in other words the unholy combination of music’s best yet disparate qualities in a way that seems sonically impossible and utterly mind-blowing to mere mortal concert-goers like myself)

Yeah it was that good, new word good.

God of Sandwiches

So Greta and I had a great weekend taking in the excellent M83 show at the Black Cat on Friday and watching Muse blow the doors off of the Cole Field House at the University of Maryland on Saturday.

We were both pleasantly surprised by the U of M as a venue. The show was held on the basketball court. Seating was general admission, easy to come by and the perfect distance from the stage. The high-ceilings made for awe-inspiring huge acoustics which created a big stadium sound in a small space (which Muse took full advantage of). And the parking and lack of club-cigarette stink made for a fast and refreshing getaway.

But what really sold this place for us was the post-show eats at Plato’s Diner. The diner is right on your way back into the city from U of M’s campus. You can’t miss the sign in all its neon glory.

Now me being from South Jersey (arguably the diner capital of the East Coast) I’m pretty critical of diner’s around the DC area. And while Plato’s wasn’t the greatest diner ever, it was a very nice surprise compared to the Metro 29 or that trendy one in Adam’s Morgan. Don’t get me wrong both of those diner’s are okay but neither of them featured the Mile High Meatloaf open-faced sandwich, which is without question one of the best sandwiches I’ve ordered at a diner ever; be it in New Jersey, DC or elsewhere.

The Plato’s Diner Mile High Meatloaf consists of two 2-inch thick slices of homemade meatloaf buried beneath a mile of mashed-potatoes topped with two onion-rings and smothered in BBQ gravy, all of it impressively stacked on top of two slices of fresh-baked sourdough bread. Mmmmmmmmm…

This thing was huge, delicious perfection. I couldn’t even finish it, which of course made for perfect baseball watching left-overs this afternoon.

So now Greta and I are rooting for more concerts at University of Maryland, because we’ll never have any other reason to hike back out there for the Mile High or as I’ve been calling it all day, god of sandwiches.

(Oh yeah, their Eclairs are pretty damn impressive as well.)

Keep an eye on your iPod

Apparently, iPods have been disappearing left and right throughout the area. About 50 were stolen in January, February, and March alone. On Friday, a man was actually stabbed near the National Zoo and had his iPod taken from him. Fortunately, the players can be tracked through serial numbers and song lists. I’d recommend writing down your iPod’s serial number, just to be on the safe side.

Local Boys Done Good

It appears neither the Orioles nor the Nationals have gotten the memo that they’re not supposed to be any good this season. The Nationals finished a three game sweep of the Diamondbacks, beating them 7-3, taking them to 8-4 for the season, a game and a half ahead in the NL East. The Orioles completed a three game sweep of the New York Yankees today, causing George Steinbrenner to have a small nervous meltdown and not a small case of buyer’s remorse after the game. He said “Enough is enough.” What, George, can’t stomach getting stomped by a small market team, three games running and five out of six?

Next up for the Orioles is a series with the Detroit Tigers (5-7) at Camden Yards. For the Nats it’s the Marlins (6-6), with Tomo Ohka starting against Dontrelle Willis at RFK. Tickets are available for both games.

One other thing…

The Nats announced their new mascot “Screech” the Eagle. Pictures are forthcoming, but any semblance of similarity to Dustin Diamond is likely superficial.

more lunch choices

Emily’s post reminded me that I had not yet taken the time to rhapsodize about some of my own favorite lunch spots. I started working downtown again three months ago and have been taking recommendations from my new coworkers. We’ve got the standard assortment of chain places and by-the-pound buffets, but I’ve also been introduced to some more obscure stuff.

Naan & Beyond has become the default choice at the office when we can’t decide what we want for lunch, or when it’s too cold to walk anywhere. It’s an Indian sandwich shop- you get tikka sandwiches, biryani, and samosas there for cheap. During the lunch rush, they’ve got the assembly-line thing down, yelling “chicken tikka chicken tikka sheesh tikka!” at each other while the girl at the end of the line asks each customer whether they want mint or mango chutney with their sandwich.

Perfect Pita has a location a few blocks from my office, as well as two in Alexandria. Their pita is just the right level of chewy and the hummus is strong enough to cure whatever ails you. When I go there for lunch, I usually get the Chicken Hummus Veggie sandwich, which is sort of football-shaped and heavy, and is a big lunch for $6 even with tax. A container of hummus, a container of tzatziki, and 5 pieces of pita was dinner for Tom and me the other night… $8.

Robeks is a chain, but they’ve only got one location in the DC area. They’re known mostly for smoothies and nutritional supplements, but they’ve also got sandwiches and salads and stuff. But none of that is the reason I go there. I’ve become a devotee of the Acai Energy Bowl. Acai is this Brazilian berry that has tons of antioxidants in it, and they mix it up with some bananas, blueberries, and just a little apple juice until it’s thicker than your typical smoothie. There’s granola at the bottom and on top, and then on top of all that is some more banana. I eat this for breakfast probably a little too often. When I walk in there in the mornings, the guys at the counter don’t even bother asking what I want anymore- they just ring it up as soon as I walk in the door. Mmm $5 fruity breakfast- it’s so tasty I have trouble believing that it’s good for me.

Where do you guys go to lunch?

My new favorite eatery

I have a new favorite eatery in DC: Java Green, located on 19th between L & K Streets (close to the Farragut metro stations). They’re a vegetarian place that has a lot of vegan and some Korean foods. They offer sandwiches, soups, specials (some of which are similar to bento boxes), and really good drinks.

You have to try the green tea frappe. I had the non-dairy version, and I couldn’t believe how good it was (Starbucks, eat your heart out). I spoke with the owner while I was there last time, and he is a tea snob in the best way. He creates all the tea drinks himself, and uses high-quality matcha tea, as opposed to the more common sencha type. They also have iced unsweetened green tea, which is something that’s pretty hard to find. I’m a bit of a tea snob myself, so I tend to notice these types of things.

The food is really good, too. I should warn that some of the sandwiches are a bit on the small side, so you might want to get a small side to go with it. Their “Green Specialties,” though, come with a lot of food.

Java Green has lunch specials during the week, and they recently started to open on Saturdays. They’re worth checking out, especially if you’re one of the many people who work in the area.

moby my boy

not to steal michael darpino’s fire as dc metblog’s totally wicked music expert, but i went to moby’s concert at 9:30 club last night and i have to say it was more than interesting. so here’s my take on it, as someone who’s a non-music expert and just likes what she likes.

1) opening act: buck 65. how could someone not like buck 65 open for moby??

dude! he’s canadian, that explains alot (j/k). actually, he’s remiscent of cake, but on super-speed. on stage w/two turntables and a microphone, he laid it onto the crowd with his lyrical rhymes. however, the crowd wasn’t getting into it…i think it’s because he stuff was a little deep to digest as an opening act.

i liked his beats so i spent sometime this morning reading up on him to get a better feel for his style. i’d give buck another chance, but that maybe far and few between. i’m having a hard time even finding samples of his music (that actually work)…it must be the canadian firewall that’s been put up (by us or them, i dunno, but their wav and real formats don’t work on my computer?!)

2) 9:30 ettiquitte. someone asked the post’s “going-out guru” about cameras at 9:30 club

Arlington, VA: I’m going to the Moby show tonight, first time to 9:30 club, what is the digital camera policy there?

Joe: It depends on the artist. Some bands don’t care, others don’t allow it. As for tonight, my guess would be that cameras won’t be allowed. Moby’s pretty high profile. Still, you can call the club directly and ask them. If you drive, bring the camera and if they don’t allow it you can just put it back in your car.

i wish i had read this *before* going there, but it wasn’t that bad. had the bright idea to snap a pic of moby (coz my neighbor did it — honestly!!), at which point we were pulled down stairs where the nice security guard deleted the pic and held our cameras til end of the night. the one and only posted sign was not very obvious, especially from the direction we came in. anyway, funnier point is that i had pictures from another concert of me and lil john (will save another for another entry) and as the bouncer was scrolling through, he was like, huh? lil john?

3) now onto moby. i went to the concert because someone had a last min extra ticket — i like his music, but had no real forewarning of what he’d be like live. there were things i definitely liked (the tech / rave flashbacks, his call-out to ILLINOIS!!! and laura dawn on vocals) and some that left me a little unsure (the heavy metal tribute and the slow version of underworld’s slippy boy). the line-up of the music was just too random for me as the mood went from intense to kitschy to ballad and back.

all in all, moby at a small venue is cool — see him upclose and get to know more about his influences and styles. but i’ll say that i’ve fulfilled my desire to see him live, that is unless someone takes away all the other instruments and he’s solely spinning beats.

Hidden Invasion

So this is the first I’ve heard of this, but then I don’t have cable, so I apologize if it is old news.

MTV is sponsoring a tour called College Invasion, which features the ever incredible Muse and a band called Razorlight(?).

Anyway, an MTV tour isn’t necessarily something I’d get all excited about, however, for once, they’re pushing a great band. Muse are friggin awesome, especially live and anyone who disagrees can suck it.

So yeah, long story short (well kind of short). The College Invasion is making a tactical strike at University of Maryland this weekend and, as far as I can tell, it isn’t being advertised anywhere. So if you wanna catch Muse, the best new-ish British band, they’re playing Saturday night at U of M’s Cole Fieldhouse for a measly 15 bucks.

This show is gonna rock. (No proceeds of the hidden invasion go to Al Queda.)

Shimmering or Shattering?

What is one to expect from tonight’s M83 show at the Black Cat?

The French electronic fuzz-miesters make their first ever visit to the District tonight. While their three near-perfect albums drip of Air meets My Bloody Valentine, full of beautiful soundscapes that would be equally at home in the lobby of a hip hotel in Paris, scoring a Michael Mann film or rocking your socks off at the local Shoegazer night; their live show is noted for its instrumental huge-ness with upwards fo 6 people on stage making a racket loud enough to shake the heavens.

Being a fan of both carefully crafted electronic beauty and the old screw-driver ripping across guitar strings routine, you can bet that I’m going to be there. Curious to see what type of performance we get from the M83 enigma, but pretty sure whichever it is I’m going to walk out of there with a smile on my face and a ring in my ear.

M83 w/ Ulrich Schnauss @ the Black Cat
$12 doors 9:30

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