Archive for December, 2005

Driving in DC today? Take heart….

…for no matter how bad the pre-Xmas trafic is, its way better than in Beirut.

As a legacy of their civil war, where kidnappings from your were common, and car bombs now claim ministers, Beiruties don’t stop for nuttin. Not stop signs, not traffic lights, not even for one-way streets. You read that right, they don’t stop for stop lights. As in when I stopped for a red light the cars behind me honked and those beside me didn

Happy Holidays!

The Night Before Christmas in DC
by: Michael Darpino

Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the city
Not a person was stirring
Not even G. Gordon Liddy.

The stadium negotiations were hung
By the council who �care�
With chances slim
that the Nationals would play there.

And the President was nestled
All snug in his bed
While visions of Crawford
Danced through his head.

Christmas Cross-Town DC Airport Dash

I dare you to top this trans-Atlantic trip home for the holidays:

While Jenn got lucky and just cruised through DCA yesterday, I’m about to attempt the mad Xmas Airport Scrum in not just one, but two DC airports.

With a last minute trip to Lebanon just now ending, I’m currently in Charles du Gaulle airport awaiting my flight back to DC. Arriving at Dulles around 1pm, I’m gonna do my best OJ Simpson high hurtles impression for after I exit the Immigrations/Customs madness, it’s off to National for me.

National on the Friday before Christmas. National on the Friday before Christmas with pounding jet lag. National on the Friday before Christmas with pounding jet lag after eleven hours on two flights, and facing four hours on two more flights.

Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this one. Oh, did I mention I have all of three hours to make this cross-town sprint + gate rush?

Q & A with Steve Anderson of


Long Island native Steve Anderson has been running a site about New York area highways for almost nine years. His thorough research has set the standard among “road geek” sites and made him a media go-to guy when it comes to highways.

In the early part of the century, Anderson expanded extended his reach to Philadelphia and Boston. Now, he is heading south down I-95 with, completing his coverage of highways in the northeastern megalopolis. is still under construction, but is scheduled to formally debut on New Year’s Day 2006. Check back with Metroblogging DC for more details then.

Q: What initially motivated you to get started on NYC roads?

More Stadium Drama

If you’re as tired as I am of this whole stadium drama, today’s news was just insult to injury. Apparently, Mayor-for-Life Barry decided he hadn’t messed with the system enough, and so he decided to collude with an owner-candidate for the Nationals:

Barry said yesterday that he had intended for D.C. entrepreneur Jonathan Ledecky, who is one of eight bidders trying to buy the Washington Nationals, to present a plan Ledecky had agreed to with Barry. If baseball sold Ledecky the Nationals, Barry said, Ledecky had agreed to cover cost overruns on the stadium and give African Americans a 40 percent equity stake in the team.

So, more backroom deals for the Mayor? Now, who’s surprised?

Better ask Santa for a cellphone cuz 35 cents won’t get you squat

Once I noticed this dead police callbox over on 11th and H, NW, I started keeping my eyes out for others. So far the only other one I have seen is on 8th and I, SE, but I am sure there’s more. The light no longer lights to draw attention to itself, there’s no phone to use to call for help inside its door. There’s not even a back to the thing anymore – you can see right through it. It’s an artifact from the days before coin-operated payphones were ubiquitous.

Well, maybe we should start bringing them back. I was prattling annoyingly waxing poetic about the callboxes of yore, my girlfriend interjected with her recent experience at Lucky Strike. Her cellphone battery was dead, so she asked the bartender where the payphone was. “Somewhere out there,” she was told. No payphone on the premises.

I’m going to start looking for disabled payphones now, I think. And keeping my cell charged.

Holiday Transport

I’ve made it to sunny (somewhat) Florida to spend the week with my parents, and I thought I’d let you know that at 5:30am on a Tuesday morning, DCA was relatively crowded…

I flew AirTran, which goes out of the “old” terminal, and they’ve taken the huge clunky luggage security machine out of the ticketing area to make more room – luggage screening has returned to the back rooms. This will really make a difference as this week progresses and the insanity begins, as space is at a premium in that area in the old terminal. Security moved quickly – there are three screening areas so that should help as well, and the agents seemed very on top of getting everyone through efficiently.

All in all I, though I vastly prefer leaving from the “new” terminal, if you have to leave from the old it seems they are really making an effort to minimize the glut. We’ll see. Good luck traveling everyone!!

Protein Fix

To send me off to Florida and the land of the all-you-can-eat 4pm dinner buffet, my husband and I went to the District Chophouse for dinner Monday night. We hadn’t been there in a while – we’d gone a few times when it was a pioneer on the Seventh Street revitalization project, and had liked it. Unfortunately it seems to be resting on past laurels a bit.

I still love the interior – tall ceilings, shiny brewery equipment, dark wood, and swing music. It’s a great atmosphere,
but atmosphere doesn’t count for everything.

Our waitress started off by commiting my current least favorite faux pas – we noticeably had just sat down, coats coming off, hadn’t yet opened the wine list, and she asks me what I want to drink. Right off the bat. This has been happening more and more when we go out and I wonder if it’s a symptom of the fast-and-furious dining style of power Washingtonians – those lobbyists probably know what they want immediately. I would rather actually rather look at the list for a few minutes and decide based on what I want to eat. Ah well. But that’s a relatively minor point – it was the food quality that really felt a bit of a let-down.

Schizophrenic Weather


Let the Coffee Wars Begin

Monday night I was rushing up Seventh Street, having left my DC Metblogs compatriots at a (very enjoyable!) Elephant & Castle happy hour and on my way to the District Chophouse. As I neared the corner of 7th and E Streets, I noticed an amusing instance of corporate fiefdoms. On one side of the corner is a new Starbucks. On the other is an almost completed Juan Valdez Cafe. I’ve never seen a Juan Valdez Cafe before, but it looks like the inside will be vibrant and colorful. In any case, these two coffee warriors are preparing to face each other down on one of the most popular streets in DC. Should be very interesting! If anyone has ever been to a Juan Valdez Cafe, share your experience – I’m fascinated by the prospect of a coffee war…

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