Archive for July, 2004

Memo to tourons: it’s not that difficult.

John Kelly’s column has some amusing suggestions for how to help the tourons grasp the “stand right, walk left” concept. Among them: T-shirts for the native Metro riders which read “Tourists Keep Right,” changing the name of Reagan National Airport to Reagan National Stand-to-the-Right Airport, and electrical shocks. I’m not in favor, however, of removing the escalators and putting in stairs instead.

In with the In Crowd

A couple of weeks ago, I went to an advance screening of Garden State. I was raving about it the next day and a friend said, “Tiff, how do you find all this cool stuff to do?” Really, it’s not that I’m cool. In fact, I’m sort of lame. I just pretend well, so I am going to let you in on my secret:
Sign up for the Inside Source. You know all that cool stuff they write about in the Sunday Source? Well, the Inside Source is where actual cool people invite poseurs like myself to come do cool stuff with them.
So go sign up- if you’re fast, you might score passes to another advance screening of Garden State, which I highly recommend.

Another One Bites The Dust

More bad news. Looks like the Shoegazer DJ night “We Fought The Big One” has been cancelled for tonight. It will resume operations in two weeks.
Geez, I feel like the Executioner today.


Looks like the Live On Penn concert series has gone the way of Lollapolooza and thrown in the towel. It’s no longer viable whatever that means.
If only our Tom had made his suggested improvements a little earlier.

Just Step Away From The Skittles and No one gets hurt

You read stuff like this, and your first thought is, “Dude. What the fuck?!”
Well, if you’re a pottymouth like me then that’s your first thought.
Then, your second thought is, “Damn, Gina, that coulda been me! I just popped an Altoid on the Metro on my way home last night because I reeked of cosmopolitans and sauteed onions!”
Well, if you’re a sauteed-onion-eating lush like me, then that’s your second thought.
But, here’s the thing: despite the obvious insanity of what happened to this woman, I sort of dig the maniacal enthusiasm with which the No Eating/No Drinking thing is enforced on Metro.
I think about how, every single time I go to New York and ride the subway I have to watch someone pooping on the train and I think, “Hell, yeah! Lock her Pay Day eatin’ ass up.”
I mean, I’m just thinkin’ that if you watch a twelve-year-old girl get detained for eating a french fry, suddenly, you have newfound bladder control, you know what I’m sayin’?
As for Willett’s position that she wasn’t “eating,” just “chewing,” uh…riiiight.

Ghastly. Just positively ghastly.

(Tom, don’t read this.)
This year, American Idol is holding auditions in our lovely city. They’re on Wednesday, August 18th at the Washington Convention Center. If you make it inside, say “hi” to Simon for me.

Prepare for amp-isphere re-entry!

If beautiful soundscapes descending into walls of guitar feedback are your kind of thing then the stars of the universe have aligned this week just for you. Due to bizarre cosmic conditions (the upcoming Curiosa Festival ) two great monthly Shoegazer DJ nights happen to fall on the same week this month.
First tonight at Café Saint EX is HEAD ON which features DJ’s Sarcasto and Sonic spinning the best of the old school, mid-nineties and current Shoegazer underground. There is no cover and the wall of feedback drops at 10.
Then on Friday at Marx Café is “We Fought the Big One” with DJ’s Trickster and Five-Year-Plan creating a mix of eclectic electronica, brit-pop and as advertised some rip-roaring Shoegazer guitar gods. The madness starts around 10:30 and there is no cover.

A Citywalk, Thanks to Metro

As we arrived at Farragut West this morning, the train stopped for longer than usual, the teeming masses slowly crawling by the train windows, headed for the escalators, countering our silent patience. The driver came on “Passengers, one moment please.” *click* *click* *click* *click* “Passengers, this train is now out of service, the track ahead in on fire.” Sure enough, the smell of smoke was acrid and thick against what was a second cool and crisp air from a *gasp* working air conditioner on a Metro car.
Stepping out of the car, the normally dimly lit station was even more murky and dark, smoke pouring out of the tunnel ahead, and people rushing up the escalators, coughing. Even the faregates seemed darking, the smoke haze making it hard to see. The smell of ozone and smoke was overpowering.
On the street at 18th and I, a block from the worst job of my life, I walked away from the smoking metro station, toward the White House. It never fails to awe me that you can walk right by the President’s front lawn. In the midst of a city, there stands the most powerful home in the world, beautiful columns, a tall hanging lantern, a perfectly manicured lawn, and snipers on the roof.
I turn at 15th St., walking down past a gorgeous building in Neo-victorian style, then the Headquarters of the American Bar Association, a pigeon perched atop the greek revival courthouse arch above their entryway, acting as both mascot and ironic totem. The Treasury is next. The head of all the fiscal policy these days. Odd that you can just walk right up to it, walk in, if you like.
DC just feels open, with its low skyline, wide streets, and impressive architecture, there’s always a reason to look up instead of just staring down at the sidewalk.
The Old Ebbitt Grill stands there, a Washington landmark, unassuming and simple. A samurai panda stands its guard at the door. The zen surrealism that is so becoming of DC begins to crowd its way to the foreground. I get my coffee, and I go to work.

Gambling in DC

Anyone who has been keeping up with DC news lately knows there is currently a controversy brewing over bringing legalized gambling (slots) to the district. The group trying to get the slots initiative on the ballot are having problems with the petitions they turned in.
How different would DC be, if gambling was legalized? I cannot imagine large casinos operating in the district–it just wouldn’t fit in well with the family tourist thing, not to mention school trips. The 24/7-ness of Vegas-style casinos would not happen here. However, I could imagine several smaller places where people could go & play a round of poker, as an alternative to a happy hour or an ESPN Zone. What do you think: would legalized gambling have a deleterious effect on DC residents or the tourism economy of the district?

Amateur Photo Shoots? Yeesh….

DC is a very photogenic city. Shortly after I moved here, I splurged on a digital camera and decided to play tourist. Digital cameras are have done a great thing by increasing the amount of photography, as well as by making it easier for amateur photographers to experiment. This has the natural effect, however, of increasing the amount of really bad photography.
For those of us who know we need a little help with our technique, there is Washington Photo Safari in which a professional photographer leads participants on walking trips around DC and helps them learn to take more attractive photos.
I haven’t been on one yet, but this looks to be worth doing.

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