Archive for the ‘Ballston’ Category

Charity Spotlight-Business-Best Buddies Happy Hour Thursday

So, very recently, I’ve stepped up my charitable responsibilities here in the District.  Now, while I think it might be a bit…much…if I were to suddenly start using this platform as a way to trumpet my own causes (Just in case you are curious), I do think it is a great opportunity to talk about your causes.  We invite you to write to to let us know about upcoming charitable events that benefit the DC area you think our readers might be interested in attending or participating in.  Each week we’ll try and pick one or two to showcase, so be sure to let us know why your event should be the one chosen!  Now, on to this week’s highlighted event:


It’s fall-so it’s football.  Thursday night marks the opening of the NFL season, and while Patrick has been fantasying it up, and I’m in near hysterics watching my team make questionable move after questionable move-I think we can both safely say that we are looking forward to Thursday.  Maybe you are too-and maybe you’re looking to celebrate the new NFL year with friends, loved ones-or to make some new friends or loved ones, or you’re looking for some end of the year charitable donations to make as an offset to all of the money you won in Vegas on the Super Bowl this year.

If any of these are the case, might I suggest the Business Buddies Mid-Atlantic Region Fall Happy Hour, which just so happens to coincide with the Thursday night festivities.  Business Buddies Mid-Atlantic Region (BBMAR) will host a “Reality Bites” themed fundraising happy hour at Front Page in Arlington, VA on Thursday, September 10 from 4:00pm-8:00pm. The organization of charitable minded young professionals will raise funds for Best Buddies Virginia (BBVA), a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of intellectually disabled individuals. Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at and proceeds will benefit BBVA.

The Arlington Front Page, right next to the mall in Ballston, will offer half-price appetizers and burgers, as well as $2 Miller Lights, $3 draft beers, $2.75 rail drinks $3.25 house wines and $4.50 John Daily’s (firefly & lemonade).

If you were going to go out to the bar to watch the game anyway, then maybe try and make a detour out to the Front Page and support BBMAR and BBVA.  You might just build good karma (for you or your team).

More about BBVA: Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

More about BBMAR: With many young professional organizations in the area, this one is unique in that it offers the opportunity to support an organization with a population that is often neglected and misunderstood. Through BBMAR, professionals in their 20s and 30s can engage with like-minded individuals and raise support for programs that enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through friendships and in the workplace. BBMAR will provide opportunities to attend networking events, professional development seminars and, most importantly, interact and participate with Best Buddies members in the various schools in the area.

DC Video: Arlington: The Rap

I have a truth to tell: I really don’t live in Washington DC.

I actually live in Arlington, VA; but lots of DC locals call it their home, and now I’m proud of it thanks to this wonderful video that I found Thursday night (thanks to FamousDC.)

So I hope you learn a little bit about the ‘hood I come from.


Rocklands Arlington (Re)Opens

Barbeque. It’s a controversial subject in these parts, and you need to look no further than Wikipedia’s entry on regional barbeque to see all manner of subtle protest of one state’s traditions over another. Some people prefer St. Louis-style ribs with a heavy tomato-based sauce. Others prefer North Carolina-style ribs with a good solid dry rub followed by thin vinegar-based sauce. Which one you choose specifies the kind of personal preference usually reserved for Religion, Politics or Sports Teams. It’s not a small deal.

When my friend Jonathan told me about the Rocklands re-opening on Lee Hwy in Virginia Square, I couldn’t have been more excited. For a long time, Rocklands shared a space with the pool-bar Carpool right off the Metro. But, apparently, the management agree expired in 2005, and since then Arlington has been left largely rib-less. Sure, tons of places served the dish, but none really gave it the deep and abiding respect and love that good ribs deserve. Four of us went over that way last night, the new location is next to the Georgetown Valet (and the Ron Paul Revolution World Headquarters) where Pica Deli used to be.

When you open the door, the sweet, tangy smell of barbeque wafts gentle out into the outside, followed by the hickory smoke that makes their food so good. Rocklands is an order-then-sit type of restaurant, with both family-style and individual-sized meals. Tiff and I had sandwiches (Lamb, Brisket) and some of their spicy onion rings, while our friends had a full slab of smoked ribs. As we ordered, they were moving full-sized briskets and pork shoulder from the smoker to the carving platform, and they were huge cuts of meat, steaming from the heat, and smelling like heaven to any barbeque lover.

Rocklands will be a favorite of ours, I’m sure. Welcome back, guys, we missed you.

3471 Washington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 528-9663

Miracle-Making Mary Canonized at Rock Bottom

I asked our waitress at the Ballston Rock Bottom Brewery if she knew anything about canonization of saints in the Catholic Church. She said she didn’t, although we agreed that probably death was involved and we were pretty sure that the person had to perform some sort of miracle.

Later on, Mary assisted my lovely wife and me with the mysterious disappearance of my wife’s Mug Club card – that precious card on which they tally up the number of beers you have had and give you such prizes as pint glasses, hats and a free trip to a liver specialist after 300 beers. I am getting there but still have a few more to go.

Then Mary did the impossible. She looked up my wife’s information in the computer, added one beer to the total and presented her with a new card. There was a blinding light and a choir of angels as the new card, in spirit the same as the old one freshly raised from its grave, slipped into my wife’s wallet. So let it be written. So let it be done.

Thanks, Mary, for a wonderful experience this evening at Rock Bottom Brewery. And although you won’t need it, I’ll put in a good word for you with the Big G, should I reach the pearly gates before you do.

U-Haul Washington DC Website Referral Rip Off

uhaul dc 20009

Are you moving? Do you want to use U-Haul, “your moving and storage resource” for a DC zip code change? Before you type in to make a moving truck reservation, go local.

Go Google Maps for UHaul.

Why? Because if you go to the main UHaul site, they will charge you a $5 service fee to tell the local U-Haul to call you back. Essentially $5 for the U-Haul website to give you a local telephone number.

I just realized this after I called the 1-800 number listed on the U-Hall website and tried to make a reservation for a moving van. They couldn’t guarantee me a reservation for my in-town move, saying they would have to call me back.

As I am in Egypt this week, gazing at pyramids on Giza Plateau, I asked for their number instead.

A $5 “nonrefundable reservation fee” later, they gave me the phone number of the U-Haul on U Street. Nice. Next time, if there is ever a next time with my half-million dollar mortgage, I’ll save the $5 and call the local U-Haul Company directly.

Before then, you can save $5 and have a better customer service experience. Just call your local U-Haul dealership directly and skip the scam website.

Rock Bottom Brewery: Great Beer, Good Food and Self-Help Tipping

I recently killed an afternoon after work at the Rock Bottom Brewery at Ballston Commons, one of my favorite places to sit and enjoy a brew. Rock Bottom has a wonderful collection of beers brewed on premises by a master brewer. The food is good, although limited for vegetarians, which puts a bit of a damper on things. I am always satisfied with the nachos, though. Even if the selection is not great, what is there is excellent.

At my most recent visit, however, I paid my $12 tab with a ten and a five and waited about 15 minutes, reading the City Paper, and never got my change. Granted, I had planned to leave the change as a tip for the waitress, but there is still a social contract between a server and customer that had been broken. I at least wanted the option to leave the tip rather than having her assume that I didn’t want my change.

Is this weird? I am not a bad tipper and left her the money in the end but she seemed really offended when I asked for my change, as if I had asked to return the plate of onion rings for a refund after eating them.

When did tipping become compulsory? I am a big believer in rewarding good service, but part of that good service should include not assuming that the change is yours to keep.

New Caps facility unveiled in Ballston

Don’t be blue,
The rumors are true.
The time is near,
It’s finally here.
Won’t it be great,
When all Arlingtonians can skate.
Sign up now,
So you’ll know how.

Yesterday, the Capitals announced that their new practice facility in Ballston would be named Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The announcement was really just a reason to get the credentialed media and others out there do a write-up about the facility; both broadsheet newspapers (The Post) complied (The Wash. Times). DC Sports Bog (source of the poem) was all over the story. On Frozen Blog and Puckhead’s Thoughts were there too and both have excellent coverage of the occasion too. Puckhead even has video.

The Iceplex or KCI (we’ll see which nickname will stick) boasts two regulation size rinks, one of which has seating for 1,200. There are training facilities and offices for the Caps and WNBA Mystics as well as a snackbar and a pro shop. Ninety percent of the time the rinks will be open for uses of than Caps practice, providing so much needed ice team for area leagues. Both the Georgetown and George Washington college teams, as well as six high school squads will use it as their home rink. There will be public ice time as well.

The first Caps practice there is scheduled for Nov. 7 and like all practices, is open to the public for no charge. It looks like this is going to be the second best thing to happen to the Capitals this century.

Hot Pads

Perhaps if Wayan’s couch guest is still looking for a place to stay, he should take a gander at HotPads appears to be a mash-up between google maps and wikipedia, offering a user-friendly at-a-glance look at available housing options inside the beltway.

Users can customize their search requirements by zip code, city, county or state, using a variety of variables. A quick Georgetown search turned up not a whole lot, whereas a quick search of my home zip code turned up two rental possibilities.

Looking for a roommate? You apparently can use that feature too, although it turned up zilch for me. This appears to be a great tool for relocation professionals who know naught about the new city they’ll call home. Doing a quick search of cities such as Seattle and Boston turned up a whole lot of useful information.

These three Notre Dame former college roommates moved to the D.C. area and created HotPads in early ’05, relaunching the site last month. The best thing about HotPads? It’s totally free.

Between HotPads and The D.C. Crime Map newcomers to D.C. can learn much more about prospective neighbours before they even put down a deposit. Say ‘sayonara’ to moving in sight unseen, suckers.

that’s some good peruvian food

Tucked away in Clarendon, right near the Jiffy Lube and Hess gas station, is a Peruvian restaurant consistently rated by the Washingtonian as one of the area’s 100 Best Bargains. Costa Verde is the kind of restaurant you know that you should try, and certainly mean to, but for one reason or another never seem to get around to it – or at least that’s how it was for me until I went with a few friends the other night.

Entering the restaurant, I felt some trepidation at the fact that there were many table available, but only a few filled – an unlikely sight at most restaurants in Clarendon on a Friday night. But I suppose we were just ahead of the crowd, because as soon as a complimentary bowl of roasted corn kernels had been placed before us, the restaurant was quite full. The corn kernels are noted in most reviews of this restaurant, along with the accompanying salsa verde, and with good reason. Though a bit starchier than I anticipated – I suppose I was prepared more for something along the lines of a Corn Nut – they are surprisingly sweet and can hold their own against the salsa’s purée of chilies.

One person ordered a tamale as an appetizer, and was compelled to share it with the rest of the table – it was big enough to be a meal in and of itself – and served with with chicharrón, a succulent, tender, and somewhat fatty morsel of pork. We also shared a rich bowl of shrimp soup. The creaminess of the dish is well matched to the hints of saffron, garlic, and other seasonings – though a touch too salty for some. We devoured both dishes with delight while putting away a few bottles of Pilsen Callao.


shave and a haircut – two boobs


When it comes to haircuts, most guys have only a few options. For some, its the hair salon ala supercuts, hair cuttery, bubbles, etc.. For me it’s the Ballston Barbershop – and honestly it’s been barbershops pretty much my entire life.

For Mike Blot and Rudy Lilly, though, these options were not enough. They dreamed of a place where men could get haircut, manicure, pedicure, body wax – without the discomfort that comes with places that are too feminine and don’t allow men to be… well men. A place with "a relaxing beach atmosphere with sports on big-screen tv’s, irresistible music, and female stylists who just happen to be as attractive as they are talented."

And so they founded Paradise Cuts and made the employee uniform – bikini’s and sarongs. You may have heard their commercials on the radio about how bikini’s make everything better.

How big a deal is this? Big enough for the Washington Post to cover the opening day. The article quotes Stylist Sheryl Cubbage, 36, who also plays guitar in a local rock band,
on the
appeal of Paradise Cuts:

"Men like visuals, so why not have a good haircut and a . . . good conversation. It’s about being pampered. Women get it all the time, so why shouldn’t men?"

Today, you can only find this hooters-does-haircuts establishment in Fairfax – but Blot and Lilly currently have plans to expand their network of sexy stylists to Reston/Dulles and Alexandria. Franchise opportunities can’t be too far behind…

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