Archive for April, 2005

High Occupancy Toll Lanes On the Way in Virginia

For those of you who take the beltway in Virginia, things could be on their way to getting a bit more interesting, commute-wise. VDOT has signed a contract with a pair of private firms to build a set of toll lanes along 14 miles of the Virginia Beltway, from the American Legion Bridge, down to the Springfield 395/95 interchange. The basic idea behind the whole thing is that people will either grab more people, to ride for free, or pay whatever the going rate is. What’s fascinating here is that tolls will be dependent upon how busy the road is. If it’s empty, it’ll be inexpensive. If it’s full, it will be expensive. A very interesting idea, indeed.

Better yet, no state money is going into the construction, which will all be underwritten by the two developers picking up the tab. Of course, we’re still looking at an open date, at the very earliest, of 2010.

Screech vs. Screech

Here’s an excerpt from a chat with Saved by the Bell‘s Dustin Diamond, a.k.a. Screech: Based on your experience playing the character “Screech” on “Saved by the Bell,” what might lie in store for the Washington Nationals’ recently unveiled mascot — having been named “Screech”?

Dustin Diamond: Concerning the new “Screech” mascot…
The mascot was named after the Eagle and the sreeching sound it makes. I’m sure it would ‘ve been funny though to see a giant foam Screech from SBTB out there though. Morale could go either way. Hey if the team lost a game then the mascot could beat up the new mascot for Hawaii, the Hawaii Horshack.

Happy Hour Review: Café Saint-Ex


Cafe Saint-Ex on 14th and U St. NW is the bar that I’ve been looking for a while. Good beer, good music, great atmosphere, and amazing decor. From the stained-glass airplane, to the vintage safety cards by the bathrooms, to the portraits of famous aviators, Saint-Ex has flight cachet up the ying-yang. To boot, their beer menu is excellent, featuring Belgian ales like Chimay and Allagash, microbrews like Magic Hat #9, various Dogfish Head beers and DC favorite Tupper’s Hop Pocket in addition to the major macrobrews. In addition, they offer sidewalk dining and tables on the ground level for their excellent menu crafted by Exec Chef Barton Seaver.

In addition to Café Saint-Ex’s ground level, there’s the lower level, Gate 54. A large space for dancing and eating, as well as a bar for libations and video monitors, in addition to a full DJ booth.

Though I’m sure they don’t need more press for this, they’re also the hosts of iPod DJ night which is coming up again on May 11th. I’ll be back before then, I assure you. If only for the Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale!

Presentation Magic!

For those of you looking to polish up your presentation and public speaking skills, Women in Technology is hosting a three-session presentation skills workshop in May designed to help you speak more confidently, interact with your audience, and set the right environment for your presentations.

It costs $100, which covers registration for all three sessions. You might even be able to get your employer to pay for your registration.

While you’re checking it out, poke around the rest of the WIT calendar- there are a number of networking and professional development activities, and the WIT people are a lot of fun (I should know, I am one).

Noise Complaint at the Warehouse Next Door

Last year my friend Diamond and I took a roadtrip up to Philadelphia to scout out the new crop of underground Shoegazer bands at the 1st Annual Pop-Noise Festival. So underground in fact, that over the course of the 10 bands or so, Diamond and I realized that we were the only people there other than band members and their parents watching the show. I’d imagine that it was a tad embarrassing for the bands to have an audience of just two people, however that didn’t stop them from rocking out shoegazer style for about 12 hours straight.

Without a doubt, the best new shoegazer band we found that day was a band from New York called A Place To Bury Strangers (with the exception of Alcian Blue who we had to skip to drive back to DC). These guys rocked like nothing Diamond or I had ever seen. Ever since then we have been waiting for them to come to DC to play. In fact I even toyed with the idea of promoting a show with them on my birthday just to get to see them again.

Fortunately I won’t have to go through the trouble of convincing them to play my B-Day, because this Thursday, that’s right–tonight, they are making the drive down from New York to play at the Warehouse Next Door with The Uncut and Ceremony.

Interestingly enough, APTBS’s guitarist was one of the guys in Virginia’s own Skywave back in the day. While the other guys from Skywave are now in tonight’s opening band called Ceremony. So tonight’s show will be sort of an unofficial Skywave reunion. I wonder if we will be lucky enough to hear them play a few songs together?

Either way, I am totally fucking thrilled that A Place To Bury Strangers is making the trek down here to play. It is indeed a rare treat. (But don’t sweat it if you can’t make it tonight because there is a rumour of an Alcian Blue/APTBS show sometime in May.)

A Place To Bury Strangers w/ The Uncut and Ceremony
@ The Warehouse Next Door – 1021 7th st. NW
Doors 8:30

Happy Hour!

Come one, Come all to the DC Metroblogging Happy Hour this Wednesday at Café Saint-Ex on 14th St. We’ll be enjoying some fine libations, as well as DJ RIBS and CAPTAIN TENACITY on the ones and twos. We’ll be there from 7pm on, look for us at the bar!

Café Saint-Ex is at:

1847 14th St.
Washington, DC 20009

Nearest Metro: U St./Cardozo/African American Civil War Memorial

Are you coming? Let us know in the comments!

Ah, Craig’s List, Home of the Intrepid

We’ve got a real interesting housing market here in Washington, DC. Folks are always coming and going, perhaps more so here than in practically any other city in the country. There’s a lot of moving around, and so landlords are forced to get creative.

Take this masterpiece, for example.

You gotta love good Craig’s List.


Looks like they may have caught the serial arsonist. A 50-year-old man was arrested and charged with at least one count of arson. The authorities think that a single person set 44 early-morning fires in the past two years.

Tennis, anyone?

Okay, this happened in a suburb of Baltimore, but since Baltimore doesn’t have a metblog, and since it’s so close, I’m posting about it here. A herd of Buffalo escaped from a farm near Pikesville, MD and caused a ruckus before eventually being corralled in a tennis court. And yes, there is a larger picture.

restaurant review: mendocino

hmm i can’t believe i’ve been on dc metblogs this long and haven’t mentioned one of my favorite restaurants. i hadn’t been in awhile, but got the chance to grab dinner on sunday w/ my parents in town.

mendocino is located on the east end of georgetown and is exactly what you expect from a california wine bar. the inside is light yet inviting — the first thing you notice is the warm wood tones of the bar and accents the walls. the bar has an extensive wine tap system w/ over 2 dozen wines available by the glass.


they have a cheese tasting available as an appetizer, entree or dessert whimisically grouped as “two goats”, “two cows”, “two blues” and “two sheep”. the fish entrees are all seared to a crisp outside and tender inside. my dad ordered the lamb and i got the chicken which were both juicy and quite flavorful. the only thing to be careful of is any of the potato sides, they’re a bit salty for my taste. dessert of a grappa sorbet, molten chocolate w/ pistacio ice cream and the rhubarb crumble pie were all so delectable…mendocino really serves some of the best desserts i’ve come across in dc.

a special bonus is on wednesdays at 5:30 — for under $20 you can enjoy wine tasting w/ an appetizer. really quite reasonable and at a great cozy venue. i think you can make reservations for the wine tasting and for dinner it’s definitely recommended…the place can only hold about 50 diners.


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