Archive for April, 2010

DC Metblogs Has Two Tickets To That Thing You Like (The Washington National Opera)

The Marriage of Figaro at Washington National Opera (Photo by Karin Cooper)

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.

Two rules:

  • 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!

DC Metblogs Now On DC Insider Social Media Page

We are excited to announce that DC Metblogs has been selected by Destination DC to be featured on their new DC Insider portal which includes local DC news, food, art, fashion, and sports blogs.

Thanks to Destination DC for the honor and be sure to check out DC Insider for your one-stop DC Blog stop.

My First DC Brunch

Photo courtesy of Flickr user somewhatfrank

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.

Liberty Tavern
3195 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 465-9360

Travel Channel’s Food Wars Pits Jumbo Slice Against Pizza Mart

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.)

Travel Channel’s Food Wars will be airing their Washington, DC episode which features the battle of the late-night, large-slice eateries: Jumbo Slice and Pizza Mart.

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.

Northside Social Told In Three Visits

An early construction photo of Northside Social reveals many places for sitting as well as a countertop that I've grown to enjoy.

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.

Northside Social
3211 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, Virginia 22201

The More The Merrier

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.

Pillow Fight Planned For This Weekend On National Mall, Dupont Circle

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.

Real World DC: Episode 14 Breakdown

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

Everybody is Artsy!

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.

Art show success!

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?

Why do I see a future furry fetish in the making?

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!

President Obama at the HRC National Dinner: he doesn't look too happy to be on MTV again.

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.

Look at the gun show at the March!

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

Last night in DC? Quick let's all make-out with each other!

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.

Memorable Quotes

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.”

Final Verdict

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.

Final Word

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.

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