Archive for January, 2007

Yahoo Dumptruck

Check out these two yahoos who backed their filthy truck over the curb and onto the sidewalk across the street from me, in broad daylight and right in front of a bus stop no less, and then proceeded to dump whatever it was in the back end into the woods of the undeveloped property. I could not resist taking a quick shot from my office window to document their moronic behavior. Too bad the truck had no license plate on the front bumper. I don’t know who owns the land, but I’m sure I could find out.

I kept hoping a cop would come along just to see if they would stop to investigate what these idiots were up to. Sigh.

Fenty Upstages School Board?

With the weekend’s DC-area murder toll at 6, it was clear that Mayor Fenty and his Police Chief, Cathy Lazier, needed to do something to address the violence that spiked in the Shaw neighborhood, as well as in Southeast. So, he and the Chief unveiled at a 10am conference a cry for help from DC residents in identifying the perpetrators of this weekend’s gruesome crimes.

But why 10am? Why not 8am if it was really important? Or, maybe 1pm to catch the evening news? No, it was at 10am to pre-empt the DC School Board’s Reform Announcement and swipe all the attention away from the School Board’s response to Mayor Fenty’s desire to take control of the schools for himself. Or, at least, that’s what the Post’s DC Wire blog says is the case. Are you telling me that major news outfits are spread so thin they couldn’t do both? I’m not so sure… Clearly there are more reporters in DC than just one for each citywide beat?

Pay Phoning Home from Lauriol Plaza

Check this out. It’s a pay phone! When was the last time you saw, much less used, one?

This archaic bit of technology isn’t even in a convenient for conversation location – its in the men’s bathroom at Lauriol Plaza.

While I’ve had my share of bathroom cell phone calls, I think the days of a pay phone bathroom call are long gone.

Have you used one, recently? (pay phones, not bathrooms)

Happy Birthday Amico!

Silver Spring resident Peter Scaldaferri will turn 104 tomorrow. That’s pretty impressive. Peter immigrated from Italy in 1924 and has lived in his Four Corners home since 1959. Like his father before him he became a stone mason, working on the National Cathedral and countless other local projects.

So happy birthday buddy, and many more! I’ll be lucky if I make it half that far.

A small DC blogging world after all

How small is the DC blogging community? I am not back it the USA 24 hours before I run into AOL Joe at a random Dupont Circle house party .

As the name suggests, Joe blogs for the area’s largest consumer IT company and he seems to be everywhere.

From a Six Apart meeting to the Blogger Summit, Joe is stalking me. Is he stalking you too?

And just how small is the DC blogging community? Have you been to a blogger meet-up to find out?

Dinner at Viridian

A few weeks ago Jen was ahead of my darling girlfriend and I – we noticed her and her darling husband walking about twenty paces ahead of us on NW 8th St by Cafe Belga. This week it seems we’re leading her: we had dinner at Viridian last night, where she had brunch today. As she said, it’s right next to Studio Theater, where we were going to see “This is How It Goes.” I’ll tell you about that later, but let’s make this a Viridian kind of day, shall we?

Between the miseries of my employment and my personal idiocy – which caused me to leave the tickets at home, necessitating a lot more redundant driving than anyone should have to do – I was running a little late, so my darling girlfriend and our theater-going companions were there before me. While waiting for their chronologically-challenged companion they enjoyed the 5pm to 7pm $5 bar selections. There’s a sparkling, white, and red wine choice, all from Spain, as well as rail drinks and beers, all $5. There were also a few appetizer options, a cheese plate and sea scallops among them. Also on the special list were the two items I was too late to get a chance to enjoy more than one bite each of: mussels with celery, carrots, and chorrizo in saffron white wine cream sauce and an parisian saffron gnocchi. The mussels were a pefect texture and the gnocchi was delish. The gnocchi is normally an entree selection on the regular menu and I think I might opt for it next time we return.

Return we will, as all of the entrees we opted for were superb. My darling girlfriend had pan-roasted duck breast with bleu cheese potato gratin and toasted pistascio, I had boneless center cut pork loin with pear carpaccio and a pinot noir reduction and our companions had the seared barramundi with beet rissoto and the NY strip loin with arugula salad. All of them were great. Our service was a little off near the end, but nowhere near the way that Jen’s was – we just had a little longer of a wait before we could ask for the check than I would have necessarily liked.

Blurring the Boundaries

The unnervingly direct stare of Jessie Mann penetrates the viewer. Take a few minutes in Adamson Gallery at 14th and P, and see what I mean. Titled “Self Possessed,” it’s a small showing of twenty-seven prints, on display until February 24th.

The photographs are the result of a partnership between Jessie Mann (as model, though in some shots you see her with a shutter release) and Len Prince (as photographer). The Post review touched on the show’s teasing the boundaries between photographer and muse, creator and subject. Having posed for a photographer in my day, I understand how the partnership can be more complex than “hold your head like this; look over there and think of something sad.” It’s really a covenant you are entering into with another creative person – “I will convey your message, but you will immortalize my essence” – there has to be absolute trust to create something that indelible. It’s a powerful bond that’s very evident in this exhibit.

Brunch at Viridian

There are several “new” restaurants that I’ve been wanting to try for so long that they are now no longer really to be classified as “new” – Viridian has been at the top of the list for a while and I finally had a reason to go today for brunch after a gallery visit with friends.

A few doors down from Studio Theater at the epicenter of 14th and P, Viridian takes advantage of expansive windows and clean mimimal decor to really fit into the gallery aesthetic that is fast taking over that once sad corner of DC. It has a sort of airy, upscale feel undercut by the artistic types wandering in from the galleries and the theater, a place where little old ladies in fur and tattoo-ed urbanites mingle peacefully. At least, this afternoon!

I’m not sure how well the seemingly vast space translates at night, but it made for a pleasant brunch experience, basking in the sun streaming in through those wide windows. There’s a good selection of classic cocktails to ease into your morning- Bloody Mary, Mimosa, Bellini – and a menu covering kicked-up basics like build-your-own omelet or vanilla french toast, then branching out into intriguing selections such as blue crab with grits or smoked trout sandwich. There’s an emphasis on fresh, local, organic – the new buzzwords around here of late in the DC restaurant revolution.

We were pleased with everything we ordered and happy enough to want to return to try dinner, but I hate to say the service, though extremely friendly, was a bit lacking on the uptake – it was by no means crowded and I saw more than one diner craning their necks around vainly trying to meet a server’s eye. One of our party had to wait quite a bit for her simple salad while the three others were served first, explained as due to “computer trouble.”

Oh well, we weren’t too annoyed due to the fact that everything was good, we were enjoying each other’s company, and it was a lazy afternoon. Nothing like art, alcohol, and breakfast food to detox from a stressful week…

Jasper Johns at the NGA

Pop Art aficionados should be interested in an exhibit opening tomorrow at the NGA (map),
which runs through April 29th in the East Building, Upper Level, North Bridge, and Mezzanine.

Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955-1965 will feature paintings, drawings and prints from his first decade of work.

Johns was born in 1930 in Augusta, Georgia. At age 19 he moved to New York, where he studied briefly at the Parsons School of Design. Drafted into the Army in 1951, he was stationed in Japan until 1953.

After the war, he returned to New York where he continued to explore his ideas that feature iconic motifs such as flags, targets and maps. In 1958 he was “discovered” by Leo Castelli and his first major gallery showing was a huge success.

Although his work is most often described as “neo-Dadaist,” he was a major influence on Pop artists of the 60s, most notably Andy Warhol. Johns has even been a character in the Simpsons episode “Mom and Pop Art,” doing his own voice.

Antiwar March Map

Big antiwar march — who’s going (or went)? The following map (ganked and slightly modified from the Washington Post) should show you where to go — or what to avoid, depending on which way you lean or what you need to do in the area today:

map of the march

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