Archive for September, 2007

Colorado Kitchen Sunday Brunch

Were you hungry this morning? Live in northern Northwest DC? Then Colorado Kitchen is for you.

At 14th and Kennedy Street, on Colorado Avenue, the aptly named Colorado Kitchen servers up tasty treats on the weekends, like homemade donuts and poached eggs on lobster.

But be quick if you want to eat before noon. Colorado Kitchen opens at 11am and the line forms at 10:30am. If you are not in the first 25 people or so, you will have to wait for the second wave of seating and not get your food until around noon.

Still, the food is worth the wait, the donuts come out piping hot and will be fought over when they hit your table.

National Museum Day

Now, I would never want to detract from a burrito eating contest (um, I guess, since I’ve never seen one?)… but if you’ve wanted to see some of the museums along The Mall that take some cash to get in to, check out National Museum Day.

All the participating museum’s across the country open their doors and offer free admission for the day. I know most of them are free anyway – but not all, and there are supposed to be extra family-fun activities.

So get out there! Well, first spend some time outside before heading in since it’s such a BEAUTIFUL day outside!

Clarendon Day today

Just a quick note for those browsing MetBlog this morning looking for something to do this afternoon, today is Clarendon Day (oh frabjous day calloo-callay). So, blocking the main road to my house will be lots of fun food, art, 4 stages of music, and shopping in what the organizers say is “Arlington’s Biggest Party”!

It goes from noon to 7pm and is obviously metro accessible (I suggest you get off at the ‘Clarendon’ stop). There’s a burritto eating contest at 3pm, and an ice cream eating contest at 4pm. I’d suggest entering both.

Rockstars at the Book Festival

Don’s post about the Book Festival inspired me to go check out which authors would be in attendance. In past years, Bridge Household favorites Neil Gaiman and Neal Stephenson have been in attendance, so I generally think it’s a pretty worth event (and yes, Neil Gaiman is enough of a rockstar that people will wait until well after midnight for his signature.

I knew Judith “Miss Manners” Martin would be there to do a signing of her new travel book… but somehow I had failed to be aware that Jack Prelutsky would be here, in mah very own DC, to sign books.

Who is Jack Prelutsky, I hear you ask? He’s a freakin’ genius, as far as my brother and I are concerned. When we were kids, we had a paperback copy of his The New Kid on the Block. It eventually disintegrated from our repeated readings, accompanied by gales of laughter at such gems as “Ebeneezer Bleezer’s Ice Cream Store” and “Yubbazubbies.” But my personal favorite began:

Homework, Oh Homework
I hate you, you stink
I wish I could wash you away in the sink.

Maybe I’ll make my way down there this weekend. My brother is moving away to Wyoming next month, and he needs a housewarming gift.

The Bookfest is here

The countdown timer on the LOC webpage says it’s under 12 hours now till the Bookfest kicks off, and while I’m probably above-average (or below average, if you ask my lower back as I pack and move this weekend) in my book fetishism, I have to say two things in response to this.

One, really, we’re calling midnight the start time? Are there a lot of events tonight at midnight? Will Joyce Carol Oats and Terry Pratchett be rolling at the LOC-sponsored rave tonight? Someone warn Holly Black to stay off the brown acid, one of the brains behind the Spiderwick Chronicles doesn’t need yet more trippy imagery in her head.

Two, a countdown timer? Again, big book fiend here, but is anyone really counting the minutes to this shindig? You’re watching too many Halo 3 commercials, folks. “Saturday” would have done well enough. Toss an exclamation point in if you really feel the need.

The main page advertising the event is here but personally what I am always interested in at a book fair is the authors, who are listed by category here and alphabetically by name here. If you’re an autograph hound – or just one of us with a somewhat constrained schedule – the signing schedule is here. All the other non-time-sensitive stuff is listed out by pavilion over here.

Metro Malarkey

It’s human nature to complain about prices going up whether it’s the cost of housing, a gallon of gas, or a loaf bread. It’s well founded too, I mean who wants to pay more for something especially if you see little to no personal return? Does your car run better or go farther on a tank of gas if it costs $3.10 vs $3.05 per gallon? Why pay the extra nickel?

The answer is usually because that extra money is going into the cost of maintaining the system (or so we hope) and also due to the cost of other things going up. A loaf of bread used to cost 10 cents back in the good ol’ days, but the salary of the bread factory employees, the cost of the bread ingredients, and the cost to ship the bread to the store were far less.

Recently Metro’s General Manager John Catoe Jr. presented a plan to raise the fare of riding the subway, riding the bus, and parking fees, designed to “close a projected shortfall” and wouldn’t you know it, people are complaining. The plan is proposing bus fares to be increased from $1.25 to $1.50 (a quarter!) and parking fees to go up from $3.50 to $4.00 (fifty cents!).

One of the complaints is that urban riders, those who pay to park at Metro lots, are bearing more of the brunt of the increase. It’s just not fair! The fare isn’t fair! Why do we have to pay an extra fifty cents when the bus riders only have to pay an extra quarter? Jim Graham, our Ward 1 Council member, argues that the poor, disadvantaged people of DC can’t afford the extra quarter and will not support any proposal that raises the bus fare for his people. He argues that instead the parking fees should be raised even more since “the market rate for parking is much higher.”

I’m calling “boo hoo” on all of this. Not to sound insensitive, but we haven’t had a Metro fare increase in years that I know of and it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Tracks need repair, parking lots need repainting, employees want raises, gas prices are higher…it all adds up. Let’s say you ride the bus 30 times per month. Even if you are extremely poor, can you not afford an extra $7.50 per month? Or if you park in a Metro lot 20 times per month, it’s only going to set you back another $10.

I guess it’s not a question of if Metro fares will be increased, it’s a matter of how much and who will pay more, our “poor” citizens or our urban commuters? Either way, I’m sure people will find a way to deal with the extra costs whether it means working a couple of extra hours, carpooling with coworkers, or even canceling your HBO service. That is a sacrifice I could never make.

Photo by Grundlepuck

Go For A Walk!

This Saturday, you really need to go for a walk. Fall weather is here, meaning that you’re in the rare God-it’s-awesome-outside conditions that only seem to happen in late September/early October and then again from late March through early May. It’s “Walking Town DC” Day on Saturday, and there are 45 walking tours in DC that day, featuring “The Spies of Georgetown” and “The History of Brookland” and “More than Monuments.”

Better still? All the tours are free. Bring your cameras, though, and take photos for the contest, which could net you a season ticket to Arena Stage’s next season, and publication in the next See DC brochure.

Breaking News: DMV Sucks. (Shock! Horror! Startlement!)

IMG_1474.JPG I’m sure you’re all clamoring to be regaled today with yet another DMV entry after Don’s, so I am happy to oblige with this quick tip: when converting an out-of-state driver’s license at the DC DMV service center in Georgetown, said license is not considered a valid primary ID. Yeah, you read that right. See those requirements here. Real clear, right?

And if the lady at the desk says that “there is no birthday on that license” even though there is a birthday on the license, there is no birthday on the license. And we just wasted a morning because we didn’t bring a passport and our health insurance cards don’t have birth dates on them.

No Profanity, now!

Related Family Guy video, with some racial overtones:

The Modernist @ Blue Room Bourbon

Back in the day, I loved me some Blue Room. It was my best back-up plan as almost always scored a phone number or a kiss. Then I met the Betrothed Butterbean and my life changed.

So did the Blue Room. It’s gone, replaced with Bourbon. But just like I am the same guy, now with a new focus, Blue Room didn’t undergo too much change to be Bourbon. In fact, when the BB and I went there last night, we failed to see any difference. They even kept the massive chandelier!

Bourbon has changed it style a mite bit. Last night was The Modernist meet-up, “another evening of intellectual / libidinal stimulation.” And with free Belvedere Vodka for the first hour, everyone got the libidinal stimulation going, even the two clueless & overdressed sorority girls who came in for one round of non-vodka shots.

The intellectual stimulation was high-brow, with The Modernist promoter even throwing out “pretentious” as Porochista Khakpour read from her debut novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects and denied romantic relationships with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Sadly, she did not comment on the Iranian President’s sartorial sacrilege. It may have enlightened a few fashion victims in the room that it’s still a little early to break out the winter leather boots.

Still, the Blue Room Bourbon did not disappoint. Talent was impressive and wanting. Men were even hit on while going for free vodkas, with their girlfriends standing next to them! So men, leave the newspapers and head over to Bourbon on a Thursday night.

Moving adventures part two: the DMV

“If you got time to lean, you got time to clean” is one of the two things I most remember hearing at my first job, though there were many variations. “I bet that piece of floor will hold itself down without you, why don’t you go straighten some things up” and “you’re starting to collect dust, go wipe down the counters” were two other flavors of the goad.

The other principle didn’t have any clever flavors, and I only heard it once, when I argued with “you’re late” by saying I’d been there on time. “You’re on-time when you’re here and ready to work. Showing up for your shift on time and then spending ten minutes in back drinking coffee or putting on your tie is no different from walking in the door ten minutes late.” I don’t wear a tie to work anymore – thank grod – or wait on walk-in customers, but I still remember that lesson.

Well, nobody gave the folks at the Tyson’s Corner DMV that lesson, or at least not most of them. I showed up at the 8am opening time so I could do the trifecta of plate transfer, renewal, and address change before tomorrow’s move. You can, in fact, do most of this online if you don’t have any esoteric requests. The address change is pretty minor – they’ll send you a little card to keep with your driver’s license if you don’t want to get a new one at the $10 charge. As it happens I wanted to get the car done quickly so Arlington wouldn’t give me any crap about parking and I had some vanity plates from a car I sold that I wanted to transfer over.

So I put myself in my seat at 8:03 and waited for my number & letter combo to be called. There were a fair number of people milling about behind the counter that weren’t waiting on folks – only 3 windows seemed to be in operation, in fact – but there’s always a lot of that, or seems to be, anytime you’re waiting to be seen and are feeling hurried. A few of the folks in question, however, spent all their time at specific windows, and seemed to be doing things there. On more careful examination I realized they were prepping their windows to open. One was counting a cash drawer. Another was cleaning every apparent inch of countertop in her work area with an aerosol can and paper towels. Another had some papers she was shuffling.

Our of curiosity I took out my pad and made notes based on the big clock hanging behind them.

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