Archive for the ‘Shirlington’ Category

Comics and Beer: My Upcoming DC Weekend

SPX - The Expo

You’ve probably noticed it even if you aren’t conscious of it directly.  Iron Man (on DVD as of yesterday) was the biggest movie of the year by far (edit: at the time).  Then The Dark Knight came along (edit:  which then become the biggest movie of the year).  In between Hellboy II and Wanted both came out and this book Watchmen on the best seller’s table at Borders.  Make no doubt about it my friend-comics are coming out of the long boxes in our basements and into the mainstream-so you better get hip and quick.

In your quest for comic book literacy there is only one thing better than going to your local shop and asking for a copy of Sandman or Maus:  Discovering the next great episode of graphic literature of course!  The place to do that just happens to be in our own backyard of Bethesda at the Small Press Expo.  This Saturday and Sunday the best and brightest of the comics newest and/or Indie talents will be on hand to sell you comics and sign your stuff.  I’ve gone to SPX a few times over my six year stay here and it is a great event for fans and non-fans alike.  Very often creators are happy to just talk with you for a while, sign books that you buy and give you deals if you buy a few (hey these guys are out there making a name for themselves!).  Also a great way to disabuse yourself of the notions that “comics are for kids” and “comics are all about super-heroes.”  They aren’t-and nowhere is that better done than in the small press. 

I’ll be there Saturday (super-geek that I am) so be on the lookout…for a bunch of people more famous, creative and important than I am that is!  You’ll almost certainly walk away with something you’ll enjoy reading and might even have a “Oh her? Yeah I met her back at SPX 2008” story to go with it some day!

Beer-That is all you need to know

If comics are not your speed (or even if they are-Saturday is a long day) The Commonwealth (particularly Shirlington) will play host to “Oktoberfest” hosted by Cap City.  After I’ve loaded up on comic books I plan on heading back across the river to get…well…loaded.  Responsibly of course!  For a mere $25 you’ll have access to over 30 local breweries and their 4 oz beer samples.  That’s 120 oz of beer for $25 (if you only go to each tent once that is!) also known as a deal.  If you don’t drink the event is free and there will be music and food available for all-so it might be worth stopping by anyway. 

I again will be there and will eventually be the guy either sitting down reading comic books trying not to spill beer on them OR the guy getting into a loud angry discussion about which of Earth’s Green Lanterns was actually the coolest. 

Author’s note:  If you do decide to go to both places you might want to do comics first only because impulse shopping goes up when you’ve been drinking and it’s much safer (and far more legal) to drive having bought too many comics then it is to drive having drank too many beers.

Way less cute when they give you lockjaw

Photo courtesy of ericbegin2000Although there’s a number of people in this town who could do with a good case of lockjaw, I personally think the frothing at the mouth could get distracting, not to mention a little worrisome for the tourists. So you should keep that in mind when you interact with our wildlife and when you ponder if you should keep Fido and Fluffy’s vaccinations up-to-date.

Just over the river in Arlington, a woman was bitten by a fox which turned out to be rabid. Apparently the shots you have to get now are less horrific than the traditional dozen in the belly, but personally I’d just as soon not experiment. The location where she got the bite is pretty densely populated and close enough to the District that we can be pretty confident that if there’s rabies in one place it’s also in the other.

The linked press release has some good information, though some of the advice strikes me funny.

Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people or pets.

Personally bats don’t scare me and I’m glad to have them around eating insects, but still – nobody had to remind me to keep them out of my house.

Red fox pup ( wild ), courtesy of ericbegin2000

Get on your bikes and ride! Vol. 1 – W&OD


As we enter our first spring like week of the year I am starting a series of profiles of area bike trails. I begin with my personal favorite, the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Park trail. In 2005 I rode the length of the trail from west to east in one afternoon.

An early example of the “rail-to-trail” phenomenon, W&OD was simply known as the “bike trail” to me and my friends when I was growing up. Now forty-five miles long, the flat, straight trail starts in Arlington, near Shirlington, and extends all the way past Leesburg to Purcellville. In actuality, the trail is part of W&OD Regional Park, which is the old railroad and current Virginia Power right-of-way (hence the high tension power lines), giving it dimensions of about 45 miles by 100 feet. Those 100 feet provide a buffer of nature through the most populated region of the commonwealth. Much of the Arlington portion traverses Four Mile Run Park while it parallels the windier Four Mile Run trail. Think of W&OD as I-95 to Four Mile’s US 1 and you get the idea of how the two trails exist together.

“But what the hell is a half-smoke, and how did it get here?”

In case you have not seen it yet, the CityPaper has an excellent cover story on D.C.’s “indigenous street food”, the half-smoke.

CakeLove Shirlington – coming Spring 2007

Get ready, my fellow Arlingtonians. We’re getting our own CakeLove in Shirlington in Spring 2007. The new location will combine a full bakery, like the CakeLove bakeries in DC and Silver Spring, but will also have some tables and cake-by-the-slice like at LoveCafe. Pardon me whilst I quiver with the anticipated sugar high.

Fortunately for me, the new location will be a block and a half from my gym, so I can go work out and THEN have a cupcake. I’ll be able to work it out so that the whole adventure will be calorie-neutral.

Now, about how many calories are in a CakeLove cupcake?

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.

virginia candidates for senate face-off tonight

Virginia Senator George Allen (R) and challenger James "Jim" Webb (D) will face-off in Richmond tonight. The 8 p.m. debate will be moderated be moderated by Russ Mitchell, an anchor on The Early Show and Sunday Evening News on CBS. Viewers in Northern Virginia will be able to watch the debate live on WETA (local channel 26).

So far, both candidates have spent a considerable amount of time issuing and responding to personal questions or attacks. For Allen, the central issues have revolved around his (supposedly hidden) Jewish heritage, his use of the word "macaca," and his office’s showcase of a Confederate flag and rope tied into a noose. Webb has been questioned about a 1979 article on women in combat. Although I am hoping the debate will provide a showcase for both of these candidates to present clearly distinguishable platforms – I’m afraid that most of the debate will end up focused on questions of character…



Allen is predicted to say "Well shucks, you know that I was a bit of a rebel in my younger days, so I’ve always liked having a Confederate flag and noose ready for when the South will rise again."

Webb will think "…jackass," while stretching his hands in anticipation of the vicious pimp slap he is about to lay down.


my endorsement: mike mcmenamin for arlington county board

Not to say that the Presidential and Congressional elections aren’t important – but I believe that local elections are the most important.  I would even go so far as to say the impacts of local elections affect us on a more frequent and direct basis than those of national elections – and this is magnified by “how local” it is.  

For example, if you own a home in Arlington County you may have noticed that taxes have been increasing faster than other areas in the Northern part of the state (Fairfax, I’m looking at you).  At the same time, zoning restrictions on single family homes are among some of the strictest in the state – and parking is a nightmare that grows worse with every new condominium complex and apartment building that is built.

So you assume that the money raised by these taxes must be important for providing some sort of service that you and your neighbors need.  Yet, capital projects for fire stations, libraries, and parks across the county are behind schedule and over budget.  Perhaps you live in the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor, Pentagon City, Crystal City, or Shirlington where there has been a lot of development and improvements over the past few years.  But like too many areas in Northern Virginia, the dividing line between these areas and the forgotten neighborhoods surrounding them is so stark – you can point to individual streets that mark the “boundaries” between us.  


I think Mike McMenamin sums up a lot of people’s concerns when he observes:

“Mr. Zimmerman has been on the Board for more than 10 years, during which he has doubled the County’s debt. The average yearly residential real estate tax bill has increased by nearly $2,700. Spending is up over nine percent – the largest increase in nearly 20 years. He even increased the car tax. Where did all of our money go?”


Are We Really That Indifferent To Neighborhoods?

Now, I realize that Daily Candy is just trying to help out one of their sponsors, but are we as bad as the author there suggests? “Folks in these parts just don’t seem to take the same pride in their neighborhoods as those in other towns.”

Sure, we’re no Chicago or New York in terms of our love for neighborhoods and names, and the District doesn’t officially recognize the names of the neighborhoods here, but I’d say there’s some serious love for the neighborhood in DC. Jenn even feels bad she can’t get into the ANC meeting!

What say you readers? Are we as neighborhood apathetic as Daily Candy says? If you’re feeling like you want to represent, though, check out DistrictTees or

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.