Archive for the ‘Washington DC’ Category

Capitol Hill Craigslist Ad Considered One Of The Weirdest By Consumerist

I’ll let the ad speak for itself- my apologies if you know the guy looking for a roommate/specimen:

h/t Consumerist

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.

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.

Full Kee The Darling Of Chinatown?

I’m not from the most culturally diverse place.

Despite this however sometimes I’m surprised at the selection of eateries in Washington D.C.’s “Chinatown.” I find it funny that I can find numerous Mexican, steakhouse, and fast food cuisine- with an Asian restaurant mixed in the mis-matched bunch. Chinatown back in my hometown of Boston blows DC’s version out of the water.

Granted there are some Asian touches that I suppose makes Chinatown a Chinatown: Asian lettering on the Ruby Tuesday’s, shady “trading company” stores where my friend Adam can buy herbal remedies made out of bee venom and tiger balm, and I suppose that big ol’ arch also effectively marks the neighborhood as Chinatown-like. Still I’m not too experienced when it comes to eating Chinese food in Chinatown.

So when I found myself in Chinatown after the Georgetown game this past Saturday, my friend Adam and I decided to actually find a Chinese food restaurant to have some lunch. After consulting Yelp we settled on Full Kee, who’s reviews were more polarizing than Avatar. We knew we were going to eat at the best, or the worst restaurant in Chinatown. It was a risk I was ready to take for my friend, and my loyal readers.

We were lucky to grab a table before the post-game rush came through the door. The cozy little place isn’t very pretty, but most restaurants in a Chinatown type district aren’t. The place fit the typical Chinatown image- complete with a butcher at the front window chopping up ducks.

While we ordered and waited for our meals my friend Wendi stopped in, hoping to get lunch before a Chinatown bus ride. She told me Full Kee was her favorite place and that we made a great choice. Her opinion was backed up by the long line that had already formed out the door.

The food was everything I expected out of a Chinese food restaurant: the chicken was covered in some sort of brown sauce, the duck was crispy, and the whole meal was certainly fat and greasy. It certainly wasn’t bad but I may need a repeat visit to decide if it is particularly good.

What do you think? Is Full Kee the best Chinatown has to offer or is there another place I should try?

Full Kee
509 H St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 371-2233
http://www.fullkeedc.com

Holiday To-Do: Visit The National Christmas Tree

Photo courtesy of Flickr user cop4cbt

Photo courtesy of Flickr user cop4cbt

A popular holiday destination for tourists, locals, and couples on dates; the National Christmas Tree has been on display for a couple of weeks since the The First Family threw open the switch earlier this month. After writing about the online lottery for tickets to the tree lighting I decided to enter the lottery and ended up with tickets.

The lighting event itself was great, braving the cold amongst others reminded me of The Inauguration but luckily this Obama attended event was a whole lot shorter. The event was filmed for PBS (and can still be seen on WETA Christmas morning at 8 AM.) where Randy Jackson served as MC, an interesting choice as my friend Carrie and I guessed the over/under dawg references. He dropped the tag line only once.

I was also surprised to see friend, actor, and Maryland native Diego Prieto on the program. He played Santa’s elf sidekick and got to meet Obama and everything. So cool.

The entertainment line-up included names like Sheryl Crow and Jordin Sparks. Common was also on hand- making me wonder if he gets called to work every major DC event.

My pal Diego got to meet President Obama!

My pal Diego got to meet President Obama!

Even though the lighting is long over, you can still visit the National Tree at the Ellipse. Besides the tree there are various other holiday displays including 56 smaller trees which represent the 50 states and other territories of the United States.

You can also visit Santa in his workshop through Christmas Eve- check the National Christmas Tree’s website for hours.

Two tips for your visit: wait til evening when everything is lit for the best visuals, and take the Metro- parking is close to impossible near the White House. The closest stops are Farragut West and McPherson Square.

American History Museum Announces Extended Holiday Hours

Are you, like me, going to be kicking around DC over the next couple of holiday-filled weeks and looking for something to do?  Well, the Smithsonian is here for you, my friend!  You can take the opportunity to visit Tai Shan before he has to go, or the new(-ish) Sant Ocean Hall.  Best of all, the National Museum of American History will be offering extended holiday hours this year.

  • Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 2, close at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, close at 5:30 p.m

America’s favorite collection of free museums will be closed on Christmas Day, but is open the other 364 days of the year.

Star Spangled Banner_Moving Light Table courtesy flickr user catface3

Star Spangled Banner_Moving Light Table courtesy flickr user catface3

Golden Triangle Kicksoff Outdoor Holiday Film Screenings

Photo courtesy Flickr user Larry Miller

Photo courtesy Flickr user Larry Miller

Fans of DC’s outdoor film festivals don’t have to wait til summer to watch movies outside.

The Golden Triangle neighborhood will be celebrating the holidays by screening holiday films on the wall of the Tiny Jewel Box on 1147 Connecticut Avenue. Films start at 5 PM daily starting today and includes a classic lineup of holiday flicks:

It’s a Wonderful Life – Monday, December 14
A Christmas Story – Tuesday, December 15
White Christmas – Wednesday, December 16
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Thursday, December 17
The Nutcracker – Friday, December 18

It will be interesting to see how a film will look projected on a building full of windows, and I don’t know where you would be place a chair and watch the films but it will be an interesting sight to see as you walk around after the work day ends.

The Golden Triangle BID is also giving away free dinners and horse-drawn carriage rides in conjunction with the screenings, you can head over to the Golden Triangle BID site to register to win.

The Sports Guy Bill Simmons Kicks Off Book Tour In DC Tonight

9780345511768_500X500If you aren’t listening to Bill Simmons’ B.S. Report podcast, then you don’t know what you are missing.

Sports fans may know him as the ESPN columnist that’s a die-hard Boston sports fan (which appeals to me as a former Bostonian), I know him mainly from his daily podcasts that feature interviews with his friends, fellow writers, and the occasional GM or actor. His experience writing for the Jimmy Kimmel Show has given him a broad background and network that makes his podcasts entertaining for both fans of sports and pop culture.

So you can tell that I was thrilled to hear via Twitter that Simmons will be kicking off his book tour in Washington DC with a midnight signing at ESPN Zone. He’ll be there tonight to release his latest book, The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy, and he’ll be signing copies that you can purchase or you can bring in your own copies to be signed (he’s already recommended going to Amazon or Wal-Mart to get the best deals.)

So if you want to know where I’ll be tonight, I’ll be the one with the Red Sox cap standing in line downtown- however I have a feeling there’ll be a lot of Boston caps in line, maybe I should wear my Nationals hat instead.

UPDATE: It was great to shake The Sports Guy’s hand and get him to sign my copy of the book with an insult to my Alma Mater (which neighbors his Alma Mater of Holy Cross.) The event was so big that they didn’t have enough books for everyone, and the line rounded the corner and went down three blocks- glad to see DC has a lot of Bill Simmons fans!

Ben Ali, 1927-2009

Today we got the sad news that Ben Ali, founder of DC institution Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, passed away Wednesday night of congestive heart failure.   Ben and his wife Virginia opened the restaurant in 1958 and it quickly became a fixture.  Its casual atmosphere and unforgettable chili half-smokes have been a favorite of visiting entertainers, DC luminaries, and everyone else in the city for more than fifty years.  It’s been an attention-getter for decades, and was the only business to remain open through the 1968 riots — and has remained a force in the neighborhood, non-stop, through all the changes U Street has seen over the years.  One thing that hadn’t changed for the past twenty-plus years was the sign behind the counter that read:  “List of Who Eats Free At Ben’s:  Bill Cosby.  No One Else”; that is, until the sign was changed to add the Obama Family (with the notation “but he paid”).

Ben’s has been featured in just about every travelogue related to DC that one can think of!   Recent expansions include the new Nationals Ballpark and Ben’s Next Door.

We at DC Metblogs want to express our heartfelt condolences to the Ali family.  Rest in peace, Ben, and thanks for creating such a great place for us Washingtonians to love.

Bens on U Street (wikimedia).  Thanks for everything!

Ben's on U Street (wikimedia). Thanks for everything!

Social Safeway Enters The DC Social Media Scene

Safeway 2912-20090929-110318Real DC Locals know that we have the odd habit of giving alliterate nick names to our Safeways. In fact I’ve been sitting on a half-finished piece on all the DC Safeways that I hope to finish sometime before the Redskins lose 20 games in  a row.

The Safeway on Wisconsin Ave, also known as “Social Safeway” hasn’t been so social recently since the location has been going through renovations like much of the other area locations (the Spanish Safeway has been sporting bi-lingual “under construction” signs.)

I was happy to recently discover that the store has embraced it’s local nickname, establishing an online home at socialsafeway.com- even though I just ran into it recently, the site was mentioned back in January 2009.

The site has a short history of Safeway in DC as well as an explanation of it’s DC Safeway nickname. You can also check-in on it’s construction progress through a webcam on-site. While the cam just shows your typical cranes and dirt, the time-lapse feature is a really cool visual to watch as compiles all the photos into one quick montage of construction.

Some of the features of the new Social Safeway includes:

  • Expanded Wine & Beer Offerings
  • Wine Steward with Wine Cellar
  • Sushi Bar Island Deli
  • Jamba Juice
  • Starbuck’s Kiosk
  • Huge Organic Produce Section
  • Hearth Oven Fresh Brick Oven Store prepared Pizza
  • Two Levels of Free Parking

The store will be two stories and include indoor and outdoor seating with a balcony overlooking Wisconsin Ave. The plans sound like it may resemble the design of the Wegmans in Fairfax that I’m a big fan of. If that’s the case, then I have to say that the new Social Safeway will be even more sociable than ever.

According to DCist, Social Safeway is expected to be finished by March 2010.

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