Archive for May, 2008

Rolling Thunder

It was pretty hard to miss all the bikers in town for this past weekend’s Rolling Thunder. We saw a whole bunch through Arlington on Friday and Saturday night, most likely missing Whitey’s that’s been gone a few years from its Washington Boulevard home.

The curb in front of Mexicali Blues was a lineup of some of the most beautifully cared for Harleys and BMWs and Hondas that I’d seen since I moved east from California. Shined up to a mirror finish on their chrome, and with a high gloss coat of wax on their beautiful hulls. The parking lot in front of my in-laws hotel was cram-packed full of bikes as well, parked three and four deep in the parking spaces.

I’ll admit to not understanding the loud factor of bikes, but I know they’re for a good cause this weekend, so roar it up, bikers!

rolling thunder 4 — Originally uploaded by schmiddi

Staycation (All I Ever Wanted)

My plan was simple. Sacrifice a vacation for a staycation. While almost everyone else went off to a beach house for some R-n-R, I would remain dutifully at home, slavishly sketching to get a headstart on design deadlines. At least, that was the plan.

Thanks to a crippling mental block that led to hours of staring at blank vellum and obsessively sharpening pencils (yes, I need to get Illustrator), the plan failed. However, once I accepted my fate and gave in, my staycation became enjoyable and allowed me to reconnect with life in the city.

A few high points:

Two blissful hours at the National Capital YMCA. Something so relaxing about turning off your brain and focusing on the body. Working hard and then channeling your inner Viking in the sauna. Heaven.

Brunch at The Heights. The glory of the poached egg, the decadence of building your own Bloody Mary, all at a civilized pace on a sunny day. Walking around Columbia Heights was struck by how beautiful the mature trees are that line Kenyon Street, how many “For Sale” signs are out, how radically different the streetlife is from years before.

Grilling in Adams Morgan. A friend’s tranquil backyard, a wood-burning grill, lamb, bottles of red wine followed by homemade limoncello. A perfect evening, topped with smores.

Low point (well, nothing is perfect):

Drinks at Vinoteca. Hot, crowded, loud. I wish they would just give in to the actual wine BAR concept, busting out the bar pennisula to the main dining room and open up the entire space for drinks. Having everyone crammed into the narrow front space is just not appealing. Oh, and adding flamenco in the tiny front alcove, further cramping everyone in the bar while the dining room remained empty and open, not to mention no sight lines at all – pricelessly bad idea. Why not use the upstairs lounge? Mystified.

Oberon, and the Fruits of the Farm

Some of us need no season to barbeque, and choose to do it year round, but Memorial Day weekend is the official start of the summer and the barbeque season. Yesterday, we fired up the charcoals, cooked burgers and dogs, and toasted our country’s fallen heroes.

This delightful fellow in the photo, though, is the thing I’m happiest about for summer. A mini-keg of Oberon, from Bell’s, now available from all manner of beer suppliers around the area. Went down mighty fine with all the food.

We’ve been working on doing more local eating, and last night’s barbeque was a lot of that. We had Buffalo from Cibola Farms in Culpeper, and pork and chicken sausages from Polyface Farms in the Shenandoah. We also had a ton of persian cucumbers and tomatoes from Toigo Orchards. Dessert was ice cream made with Toigo’s Bourbon Peaches, milk and cream from one of the other stands (I promise you a name next week) and also strawberries from Westmoreland Berry Farm. There are a lot of great local food options that aren’t at Giant or Safeway or any of the major stores. They’re at the farm markets in the region, and there’s very little between you and them.

Oberon. — Originally uploaded by tbridge

Have We Gotten to the Point Where This Needs to be Said?

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I applaud the Post for stating the obvious, when it’s clear that the obvious needs stating, but did they really need to write a whole article when that one sentence would’ve been enough?

A Very DC Question

From regular commenter Joseph Finn comes this question:

“Does the Librarian of Congress have to resign with each administration?”

Many political appointees to non-political posts do have to resign with each administration, only to be re-appointed by fiat of the new administration, but, as Librarian Billington has served as the Librarian of Congress since the Reagan Administration, I wasn’t sure if his post was “at the pleasure of the President” or some other term.

We’ve sent email to the Librarian’s office hoping to find out, but maybe you know? Answer in the comments!

Main Reading Room Ceiling — Originally uploaded by tbridge

Violence at 18th St Lounge?

Club violence is always something that kinda gives me the willies, and this example is no exception. Going in for my morning coffee this morning my bariista comrade was looking more forlorn than usual, and related to me that he’d seen the DJ stabbed at 18th Street Lounge last night. Said what had been “a really chill evening” was interrupted by major league violence and a major police response.

While the major media outlets (in my admittedly brief perusal) seem quiet on this, a venue like 18th Street Lounge us not a place I expected to see this kind of tragedy! Damn.

Update: Will the DJ from last night checks in below, entirely unperforated, to our great relief. He does confirm that there was a stabbing at the lounge last night. Our thoughts and well-wishes go out to the actual victim for a speedy recovery, as no one deserves to get stabbed while they’re just trying to have a good time.

Last Call — Originally uploaded by Adriaan Bloem

Falcon Virgo

I just got a text message from the DC Alerts:

MPD reports / Falcon’s “Virgo” exercise is scheduled for late tonight 5/21/08 beginning at 2345 hours into tomorrow morning 5/22/08 ending at 0600 hours. This exercise comprises a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Command Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, Civil Air Patrol, and NORAD. Residents in the area can expect flights to occur throughout the night

FALCON VIRGO! Could that name sound any more military or DC? It’s the name of the military operation that tests airspace security around DC. So, when the jets buzz out of Andrews at 2am this morning and have you reaching for your emergency response plan and the keys to the car, just shout “FALCON VIRGO!” out the window. It’ll at least make you laugh a bit.

Recyclables Bins Debut in Bethesda

Bethesda is working with Coca Cola and Honest Tea and the Bethesda Urban District to add street level recycling to their downtown. Sure, there are a bunch of trash cans there all ready, but no recycling options. That was, until yesterday, when Honest Tea President Seth Goldman helped kick off the project that’s been at least nine months in the offing. The Business Gazette first reported on this project back in September of last year:

‘‘People may recycle at home, but there is no place for consumers on the street to recycle,” he said.

Goldman recommended the addition of recycling bins next to trashcans on streets in the central business district.

Bethesda Urban Partnership, a nonprofit that promotes and maintains downtown Bethesda, providing trash pickup and other services, said it would be willing to help.

Nice to see Bethesda picking up some green sense for their downtown!

No Trash. Only Recyclables — Originally uploaded by Baku3

Vanity theft deterrants?

Photo courtesy of REPRESENT.CO.ZAI get a mailing from Arlington county periodically with a report on crimes that have occurred in the area, and stolen cars are listed in there too, like this section from today’s report:

  • STOLEN AUTO 05/14/08, VA XWR7413, 2007 Honda Odyssey, blue, 1300 block N. Danville Street
  • STOLEN AUTO 05/15/08, DC BF6112, 1996 Mercedes C220, blue, 400 block of S. 18th Street
  • STOLEN AUTO 05/17/08, VA YLX-2805, 1997 Honda Accord, Black (Recovered), 1000 Arlington Boulevard
  • STOLEN AUTO 05/16/08, VA KEH-2906, 2004 GMC Savanna Van, White, 1200 block of S. Clark Street

What I’ve noticed it that it seems like I almost never see vanity plates listed there. In some places this might not be a big deal but with 16% of the cars in Virgina having them it seems like they should show up more often… every 3 out of 20 cars stolen, really.

Am I failing to detect the pattern or do thieves not want to drive off with a more identifiable car?

car theft, courtesy of REPRESENT.CO.ZA

Friday Pick: The Jones @ The Rock & Roll Hotel

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Get ready folks. One of my favorite local bands, The Jones, is headlining at The Rock & Roll Hotel this Friday. Self described as “a kind of bluesy rock and roll”, this solid trio has a unique throwback sound and raw musical talent that is hard to come by nowadays. Think Stones. Think Hendrix. Think The Black Keys. Think The Jones.

I can’t think of a better way to kick off your holiday weekend than with a killer show at one of DC’s best music venues. There’s nothing like seeing local bands before they hit the big leagues, as these guys are sure to do.

The Jones
The Known Unknowns
In Technicolor
No Compromise

Friday, May 23RD @ The Rock & Roll Hotel
1353 H ST NE

Doors @ 8, Show @ 9, $10 cover

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