Archive for July, 2008

Summer films!

Ticket BoothDCist reminds me that Screen on the Green has begun!  Yesterday kicked off the 2008 run with the first Bond film, Dr. No.  Sadly, I missed the opportunity to follow Bond to the Caribbean and beyond, because I was sick as a dog yesterday.  By the time the show started, I was in bed.  Oh well.  Here’s the rest of the lineup:July 14 – Dr. No (1962)
July 21 – The Candidate (1972)
July 28 – Arsenic and Old Lace(1944)
August 4 – The Apartment (1960)
August 11 – Superman (1978)

Next week, you’ll note, is The Candidate, this year’s obligatory choice for the movie that’s political and/or set in DC.

Oh, but don’t think that Screen on the Green is your only choice, my friends.  No, no.  You’ll definitely spot me at Cinema Del Ray this week, for one of my favorites:  The Princess Bride, at 7PM Saturday.  And there’s still more:  The Bond festival continues.  (I’ll be the one dancing to the main titles for A View To A Kill.  Yeah, yeah, the movie stinks.  But hey, that’s my favorite Duran Duran song.  You wanna make something of it?)  Check this list to find the film(s) for you.

And if you don’t want to head outdoors, there’s always the AFI’s 80s fest (I heart Jake Ryan) or the National Theatre’s Bette Davis fest.  (Damn!  I already missed Dark Victory?  But, but, next to King’s Row, that’s Reagan‘s best work!  Good thing I haven’t missed All About Eve yet.)

What’s your favorite summer activity?

Photo by flickr user bossco, under a Creative Commons license.

Local coffeehouses winning the java wars

Despite the sluggish economy (and the recently-announced store closings from Starbucks), I opened my Post today to discover that local coffee shops don’t seem to be affected by whatever’s ailing the corporate behemoth. Post reporter Michael Rosenwald even writes that Arlington’s Java Shack seems to be flourishing:

In fact, [Java Shack owner Dale Roberts] is more than fine. His first-quarter sales were up 23 percent. The second quarter: up 12.5 percent. His foot traffic is up. His business is energized. Not only has Roberts survived an onslaught of Starbucks shops — there are several within a couple of miles — now he feels he is doing to them what everyone thought they would do to him: beating ’em.

I haven’t been by that particular store, but the smaller java suppliers I’ve tried seem to be doing a superb job at feeding the DC area’s coffee addiction. My new roommate is a fervent devotee of Murky Coffee‘s Clarendon location, and I loved patronizing their DC store until it closed down. I’ve been known to conduct college interviews at Misha’s in Alexandria and I can’t wait for Peregrine Espresso to open at Murky’s old DC location.

600 Starbucks stores closing down or not, there are still three outposts within a couple of blocks of my office in DC. I can’t imagine it’s a losing proposition to supply our fair city’s caffeine addicts (thousands of lawyers, lobbyists, government workers and staffers can’t go without!) Any favorite local coffee shops you, our readers, would recommend?

Alexandria doesn’t "heart" Norfolk Southern

Road-TrainIf you, like me, are a resident of the City of Alexandria City, you may have noticed a terse letter from Mayor Euille in the Alexandria news bulletin that arrived in your mailbox last week.  The Norfolk Southern Railroad has established an ethanol transloading facility at its yard in the West End neighborhood.  Now, apparently they own the facility and have gotten the National Surface Transportation Board to override at least some local ordinances.  The City Manager and City Attorney have admitted that communication (internal and external) was badly handled and the City Council has opened up their records and documents for public inspection.

In short, the City folks are displeased about this facility!  It is apparently located thisclose to an elementary school, and is also near the Beltway and the Blue line.

NSRR has bought some fire equipment for the City, including providing a quantity of the special foam that would be needed in the event of a fire, and conducted some training for Alexandria FD.  They’ve also agreed to certain time restrictions on the number of trucks coming and going from the facility.  I’m not sure what to think, myself.  I wonder how much of this issue stems from NIMBY-ism?  Did the railroad really just unilaterally plop an ethanol facility 600 feet from an elementary school and think no one would notice?   How real is the security concern? (IMO, not very, but then I am quite jaded about “security” these days.)  How real is the risk of fire or explosion?  We have all seen enough news reports of chemical factory or fuel dump explosions – with horrific effects – to worry about it, even though the probability may be incredibly low.

In any event — Alexandria has put together a website where you can read documents and correspondence, or look at a map of the facility and its neighborhood.  What’s your opinion — should we be concerned?

160-race losing streak.

Friday on ESPN’s FirsTake, there was an amusingly in-depth interview with team president Stan Kasten and President Teddy Roosevelt, trying to get to the bottom of why, in fact, Teddy has never won the Presidents Race at Nationals Park.  In watching the video, it became apparent that some sort of a fix is in, despite Kasten’s protests that “it’s inevitable” that Teddy will win.  I mean, slipping on a Banana in Pajamas?  When was the last time the BinP were out in public?  What other purpose could they have to be at the ballpark, other than to engage in some bipartisan plotting by Jefferson, Washington, and Lincoln?  And what about the Baltimore Oriole and his blatant clipping move (approx. 2:00) ?  Surely some sort of penalty should be assessed.  I mean, just because he doesn’t have the newest ballpark on the block any more, his has to act like a blue  jay?  Sheesh.  Well, turnabout’s fair play, as Teddy soundly whooped the bird in a match race between the two.  Hah!

Free Slurpee Day 7/11

Perfect for a hot summer day (it’s supposed to get up to 92) — go get your free slurpee today at your nearest 7-Eleven!

What a first day for biking!

Yesterday I rolled out my new electric bike for a new regimen of (fair-weather) bike commuting, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  But, what a day to choose.  It turned out that a young cyclist was struck and killed by a garbage truck in a tragic, but textbook, “right-hook” collision.  According to the Post, no charges have yet been filed, but the driver and cyclist were both identified in the paper’s coverage.  The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is having a memorial today, and hopefully the MPD will be following up as well. 

D.C. Assistant Police Chief Patrick Burke said that he used to commute to work on his bike along the street where Swanson was killed. With rising gas prices, he said he expects to see more cyclists and pedestrians in the streets.”It’s imperative that drivers are cognizant of this and that we all share the road,” Burke said.         

I’m thankful that most of my commute is trail-based – nary a garbage truck in sight.

We Love DC

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Dearest Residents of Washington DC,

Hey there. What’s up?

I’m Sean. I’m not actually in Washington DC right now, but I was born in there. True story. It was awesome. Also, you guys have super cool train stations. But you knew that already I’m sure. You also may or may not know, and more importantly may or may not care, but I’m one of the dudes behind this Metblogs thing. We make local blogs and stuff. Blogging in general, and about local issues specifically is a soul sucking, thankless, monotonous, time eating profession that makes no money. But it’s awesome and we love it. Actually it’s all we know how to do, so we just keep doing it. Can you guess why I’m posting something here? Go ahead and try. Come on, there are no stupid answers, only stupid questions. Give up yet?

That’s a shame, you should never give up.

congratufuckinglations.jpgWell, if by chance you happened to read the last buncha posts here you know that many of the writers of this fine site have walked away to start their own site which is called We Love DC and can be found at the web address www.welovedc.com. Didja get that? Let me link it again just to be safe: We Love DC, We Love DC, We Love DC, We Love DC, We Love DC, We Love DC. I forgot if any of them mentioned it so I figured it was worth a plug or two. Anyway, we here at corporate overlord headquarters would like to officially welcome them to the soul sucking, thankless, monotonous, time eating world of blog publishing that makes no money. It’s awesome. Really. I promise. Cross my heart. So yeah, you should check that out, it’s over at We Love DC.

On a completely unrelated note, we seem to suddenly have some soul sucking, thankless, monotonous, time eating blogging positions that pay no money open right here at DC Metblogs. Have I made this sound awesome enough yet. Have I mentioned it’s awesome? Because if not I should do that. Additionally we’re about as hands off as it gets here. We ask that if you write something for the site it somehow relates to DC, but otherwise you can do whatever the hell you want. I guess I should also mention we’ve got a bunch of readers from all around the world who might check out your stuff too which is kinda cool. If you are into that. Or not. Whatever. I guess that assuming you don’t suck, because if you suck they won’t read your stuff no matter what. Anyway, I know I’m quite the salesman and by now you must be scratching at your computer screen trying to physically claw your way into this site, but trust me, that won’t work. What will work is if you post a comment and let me know you’d like to give this a try. Then I can hook it up for you. That’s right, I’ll hook it up for you. Because you are that important.

Smooches. From me, to you.

PS – We Love DC!

Goodbye, All.

My time with Metblogs has been far shorter and less-prolific than most of the great people on the team. Still, I have enjoyed having this opportunity to talk to you and write about this lovely place.

In keeping with my minimal presence on the site, my sign-off here will be brief. I wish all our MBDC readers and friends well, and hope we will see some of you over at We Love DC.

Thank You Metblogs

Three years ago, I found Metblogs and it was a great home for me. I had so much to say, so much sass to get out, and this haphazard family gave me the opportunity to express myself in 1,187 posts and too many comments to count.

In that verbosity, I honed my blogging craft. I learned how to illuminate, motivate, and when needed, aggravate readers to effect change. Sometimes that change was small, Innocent Children followers may now know a bit more about Uganda, and other times I was humbled by the power of online rabble rousing; Free Our Streets is a case in point.

Now, I’ve gown in my blogging to be the publisher of OLPC News, a recognized leader in commentary on the One Laptop Per Child program. For me, OLPC News eclipsed Metblogs right about when Leslie Stall interviewed me on 60 Minutes. From then on, Metblogs was a low priority in my life.

And with this post, I’ll be exiting Metblogs. First, I’m joining the crew of We Love DC, in their new endeavor. Join us for the joy and conversation. Next, I have a radical change in my own life, one that will definitely rock my world:

Ziggy

Breakin’ Out the Wings

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A scant six months ago, I joined the wild and crazy crew here on MBDC; I was branching out in my blogscapades and wanted to try my hand at writing about the area that I’ve come to love.

Everyone here has been extremely good to me, one of the new kids on the block. The experience has been inspiring and has driven my creativity in approaching this area to new heights. I’ve been driven to explore this town more than I ever have before, in search of new restaurants, new venues, and new entertainment. Much of these experiences I’ve yet to share; sadly, I won’t be doing so on this stage.

Instead, I’m leaving MBDC and moving to We Love DC. My continued excitment over living here remains unabated. With our imminent purchase of a home in northern VA, I look forward to planting our roots deep into the soil and growing old with the District – inside the zone and through the Beltway. And sharing all of this with the great people of the area with more passion and freedom than before.

So thank you, readers, writers, commentors and the MBDC staff for taking a chance on and accepting the missives from one of the small fish in this vast pond. May your futures remain bright and your cameras nearby.

See you on the other side.

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