Archive for November, 2009

Party Crashers: The Complete Story On The White House’s Uninvited Guests

(Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

(Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

This past Thanksgiving my whole family gathered around the table and the talk amongst the meal didn’t center around my newly engaged sister or speculation on when I will get married, but on the Virginia couple that snuck into President Obama’s first Presidential State Dinner. It was a story that quickly dominated the slow holiday news cycle when I flew back to Massachusetts last Tuesday. It all started when Tareq and Michaele Salahi of Front Royal, VA decided to show up to the State Dinner welcoming Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.

According to Time, the couple drove up to the White House gates (which is allowed during State Dinners) and were turned away at first- but then hopped out of their car and walked to another entrance and somehow were allowed in by Secret Service. The surprising wrinkle was that the couple didn’t go around to this pedestrian entrance before getting their make-up touched up by the Bravo camera crew that was filming them. Bravo networks confirmed that the couple are in consideration for a spot in the upcoming Real Housewives of Washington DC.

Beats sending your kid up in a balloon I suppose.


Michaele and Tareq Salahi

As the couple worked the press cameras, they managed to mingle and snap photos with all of DC’s elite including Mayor Adrian Fenty, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, VP Joe Biden, ultimately working their way to shaking hands with President Obama in a receiving line. They also got to meet news anchors Katie Couric & Robin Roberts; as well as A.R. Rahman of Slumdog Millionaire fame.

After pulling off the party crashing of the decade, the couple posted photos of the event on their Facebook profile.

So who are Tareq and Michaele Salahi? Well they aren’t strangers when it comes to meeting famous faces. They have an entire Facebook photo album with the couple meeting Former President Bill Clinton, John McCain, Prince Charles, Richard Branson, Oprah, and President Obama at a previous event.

Michaele is a former Redskins cheerleader and Tareq is a board member on the Virginia Tourism board. State records link the couple in a family dispute over the ownership of Oasis Winery in Hume, VA. The story on their role in the winery is muddled even though their names are clearly on the website; the Warren County Report says that the couple are long disaffiliated with the winery.


It's ok guys, they know Oprah- they must be nice people.

The couple are not only wine socialites but are also heavily involved in polo. They founded America’s Cup of Polo, which links them to Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar- a possible inside connection for the two? Gawker explored the idea but Embassy denies any involvement. Fox News has even more information behind the couple.

The couple is laying low as Secret Service is trying to get in contact with them for questioning, the couple originally were booked on Larry King Live but the interview was canceled and the couple are quickly trying to sell their story.

There is a lot to say about America’s party crashers. The biggest debate is whether there was any threat to the President? Even though they went through magnetometers like every other guest, pundits are quick to say that a knife could of been taken off a table or perhaps anthrax could of been snuck in.

Maybe the couple could of coated their hands in poison like Mandy did when she tried to kill President Palmer in a season finale of 24.

I really enjoyed reading Michael Russnow’s piece on The Huffington Post that clearly reasons that The President is exposed more often than we like. Russnow is right, there are so many times that the President is exposed to people that aren’t given background checks- and in reality he wasn’t really in any danger.

So what about the couple? Gawker thinks that they are what America needs right now. Some think they should go to jail. Unless the secret service goes the “lying to a federal official” route it looks unlikely that will happen.

The bigger picture question is what does this say about society? With two extreme examples of what people will do to for fame, have we become a society that encourages more and more extreme acts for the spotlight?

UPDATE: The Salahis appeared on the Today Show yesterday where they not only claimed they were invited, but say that their lives have been ruined because of this ordeal


A True Black Friday Today As Abe Pollin Is Laid To Rest

Photo courtesy Wass/AP

Photo courtesy Wass/AP

As Americans all over will associate this year’s Black Friday with shopping, Wizards fans all over will certainly be a little more somber as Wizard’s owner Abe Pollin is laid to rest. 85 year old Pollin passed away this past Tuesday from  corticobasal degeneration, a rare neurological disease. In response to his passing, the team banded together and won one for Abe in a Tuesday night victory against the Philadelphia 76ers.

For those that will be in The District this today should note that there will be some street closings in NW where the funeral is taking place. According to the DC Police, Macomb Street will be closed to through traffic between Massachusetts and Idaho avenues, and 39th Street NW will be closed between Massachusetts Avenue and Newark Street NW. No parking will be permitted on those streets from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

In a statement, President Obama had kind words to say noting that, “Abe believed in Washington, D.C., when many others didn’t—putting his own fortune on the line to help revitalize the city he loved,” and that, “he was committed to the teams he guided, generous to those who needed it most, and as loyal to the people of D.C. as they were to him.”

There will be a public memorial service for Abe Pollin at the Verizon Center on December 8th.

President Obama Pardons Turkey, Setences Bird To Disneyland

President Obama experienced his first Presidential Turkey pardon, a tradition that he notes dates back to the JFK administration. The event was teased in a cheesy yet enjoyable video produced by the White House staff, and the ceremony which occurred yesterday was streamed live online and the video of the ceremony and his Thanksgiving remarks have been posted on YouTube.

The President was in a joking mood during the whole ordeal, noting that he was actually going to eat “the sucker” if it wasn’t for intervention from his daughters, Sash and Malia. He also says he wasn’t sure of exactly how to pardon the bird, waiving his hand in some sort of majestic fashion citing, “Courage you are hereby pardon, and you will live- in Disneyland.”


On behalf of all of us here at DC Metblogs I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, as your city captain I would like to say I’m thankful for having a great audience and I hope to continue to serve you guys well in this holiday season and beyond.

DC Video: Real World DC Trailer Released


Obligatory cast photo on The National Mall.

Just in time for the holidays only a couple of months since The Real World DC cast left The District, MTV has already launched the website for the latest installment of their flagship reality series complete with trailer.

Of course when you are telling “The true story of eight roommates in DC” you need to get an obligatory shot of President Obama and of course that’s the first thing you see in the trailer. Lots of “Real World” obligatories are to come as most of us locals have heard various stories about the drama that’s gone on this summer, and if you haven’t the trailer pretty much covers all the bases. Everything from roommate hookups, relationship cheating, and partying in Dupont Circle can be expected after watching the trailer. It basically looks like what you expect The Real World to be with an occasional politician cameo or DC backdrop for the debauchery.

There is a glimmer of hope that past all the drama and scandal the show could return to it’s roots as a progressive show that tackled big issues. Living in Washington, DC naturally makes you more aware of causes both political and social. The whole, “we’re a generation that can change the world” could mean that the show is less fluff and more substance.

But then again it’s only a matter of months before these kids are fighting other MTV Alumni on The Ruins.

The Real World DC premieres on Wednesday December 30th at 10 PM ET/PT. If you can’t wait til then check out RWDC fanatic Elizabethany and the stalkers fans at Vevmo, who already know way too much about the show and cast.

How To Escape The District This Thanksgiving

DSC02163aToday I’m escaping The DC Metro area early for Thanksgiving. I’ll be flying out tonight but I know many others will be taking to the roads today and tomorrow for Turkey Day.

Those that want avoid the more popular (and congested) escape routes should check out the Washington Post’s article on alternate routes out of DC. As someone that always drives home to New England for Christmas, I wanted to see if my favorite alternate route was there: avoid The George Washington Bridge and taking the Tappan Zee instead.

The suggestion was indeed included along with a route to avoid Delaware, which come to think of it, is indeed a pain in the butt for the smallest state in the Union. The Post suggests this route to avoid the Delaware tolls:

From I-95 north, take Route 279 toward Newark, Del. Take the first right onto Iron Hill Road. At the end, turn left onto Chestnut Hill Road. Then turn right onto Route 896 (South College Avenue). I-95 will be a quarter-mile down the road.

The article also outlines routes for those heading South and offers some tips which I fully agree with such as enrolling in E-Z Pass, it’s a total time-saver and I have it in my car for the sole purpose of speeding through tolls on the way back home every year.

So I hope everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving this week and if anybody else is driving to Boston this holiday season, here’s the route I take to go home.

Check Your Cranberry Sauce

No Snow-Globes For You!

No Snow-Globes For You!

Are you one of those intrepid Thanksgiving travelers who’s planning to actually — gasp! — fly on a plane to your Turkey Day Destination?  If so, the Transportation Security Administration has some handy tips on what you should not try to bring through the security screening checkpoint with you when you’re at the airport:

-Cranberry sauce
-Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)
-Gift baskets with food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings)
-Maple syrup
-Oils and vinegars
-Salad dressing
-Wine, liquor and beer

The good news is, anything you buy after you get through security can go on the plane, as usual; plus, pies are A-OK for boarding!

Oh, and here are a couple other holiday-type tips, in addition to the usual “3-1-1 Rule” basics.  If you’re planning to bring back some Black Friday purchases with you on your return this weekend, don’t pre-wrap.  The TSA might decide to unwrap your gifts if you’re selected for a random inspection.  Finally, don’t try bringing any snow-globes through security.  They contain an “indeterminate” amount of liquid, so they’ve got to be with checked luggage. My advice to you, dear traveler, is to ship your purchases home.  It’s easier than trying to bring them with you.

Ten DC Theatre Shows To Catch This Holiday Season

Edward Gero will play Ebenezer Scrooge in the Ford’s Theatre production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, directed by Michael Baron. Photo by Scott Suchman

Edward Gero will play Ebenezer Scrooge in the Ford’s Theatre production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, directed by Michael Baron. Photo by Scott Suchman

Now that I’m fresh off a show, I got theatre on the mind- so I thought I’d take a moment to see what’s going on in the DC Theatre scene this Holiday Season.

A Christmas Carol
Ford’s Theatre
November 23, 2009 – January 3, 2010

What doesn’t sum up the Holiday season more than the tale of Tiny Tim and Scrooge? Sure we know that Jim Carrey is starring the in Disney reboot of it in theatres but if you prefer live action rather than fancy CGI, The Ford’s Theatre is putting on a run of the classic show and is partnering with Bread for the City to not only provide an entertaining holiday show, but help out those less fortunate as well. Need another reason to consider checking out the show? Try cute kid actors on YouTube.

Toby’s Dinner Theatre
November 12, 2009 – January 24, 2010

Working on Rocky Horror this past fall I heard a lot about this dinner theatre in Columbia, MD. It maybe a trek for those in the Metro area but from what I’ve heard it’s a great destination when you wanna get out of the city; also it’s not only a show but dinner as well! For those that want to enjoy fine dining and fine entertainment can catch another classic as the story of a spunky Red-haired orphan and her dog comes to life and I’m very excited to see they casted a live dog to play Sandy (played by Belle the dog.) Toby’s also has a Baltimore location that is putting on Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

Disney’s Mulan
Imagination Stage

November 25, 2009 – January 10, 2010

This ain’t Disney on Ice. The 1998 film is now available in musical theatre format over at the Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD. The show is only playing weekends during it’s run but that also includes an after Christmas show on December 26th.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
Kennedy Center
November 24, 2009 –  November 29, 2009


The Pennsylvania Ballet performs George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.

The Pennsylvania Ballet puts on a new production of the Tchaikovsky classic. It’ll only be in the area for the week of Thanksgiving. If you happen to miss it’s short stay at the Kennedy Center, the upcoming production of Young Frankenstein looks promising as well.

It’s a Wonderful Life
Elden Street Players
December 11, 2009 – December 20, 2009

If you get sick of seeing James Stewart in black & white on TV, then head on out to Elden Street and catch their rendition of the Frank Carpa classic. Performances will be held Friday-Sunday with two shows on Saturdays and a Thursday show on December 17th.

Jersey Boys
National Theatre
Ends December 12, 2009

The Washington Post says that it’s a, “a smashing serenade of the muscular harmonies.” The Washingtonian calls it a, “sleek, seamless production.” The National Theatre is currently hosting the National Tour of Jersey Boys, the musical that depicts the story of  Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The show will be in DC until December 12th where it moves on to Detroit.

Plaid Tidings
Little Theatre of Alexandria
December 3, 2009  – December 20, 2009

If the above show doesn’t satisfy your classic rock hunger perhaps this show will. According to LTA’s site, “the charming plaid-clad quartet from Forever Plaid – are transported back from the cosmos to stage a nostalgic holiday party for world-weary Earth mortals.” Sounds like crooners are in this holiday season.


Watch out, Rent is going to invade DC Theatres for 2010.

Keegan Theatre
December 17, 2009 – January 17, 2009

The Broadway classic may not be a holiday show, but since the performance rights has opened up to local productions you are quickly going to see a lot of theatres taking on the show in 2010. Keegan is lucky enough to be one of the first theatres to put on the Tony award winning rock musical.

The Solid Gold Cadillac
Studio Theatre
December 2, 2009 – January 10, 2010

Amongst Holiday tales and Musical Theatre, I wanted to make sure that a good ol’ Farce was included and Studio Theatre’s production of Solid Gold Cadillac fulfills that requirement. The tales revolves around Mrs. Laura Partridge, a minor stockholder in a major corporation who takes on the board in a fairy tale wrapped-up as a comedy. Come to the show on December 5th and tickets are “pay what you can.”

Striking 12
Arena Stage
December 2, 2009 – December 13, 2009

The Arena stage maybe counting down the days til their new SW Waterfront facility is online but at it’s temporary space in Crystal City the show still goes on.  Striking 12 is combination of musical theatre and live concert, with the group GrooveLily performing a “concert-with-a-story” where the band plays the actors. Watching the YouTube clips of the performance, the show is definitely something different that the regular theatre fare.

Free Wi-Fi At BWI This Holiday Season


Photo courtesy of Flickr user Rexhammock

A lot of us will be taking to the airports this holiday season as we escape The District and go back to where ever it was that we came from (because nobody is really from DC right?)

Well if you happen to be flying out of BWI, you’ll be happy to find out that there will be free Wi-Fi for the duration of the holidays. I found out through Lifehacker, that Google will be providing free Wi-Fi at certain airports  now through January 15th. In some sort of Virgin America tie-in you will also have free Wi-Fi on every one of their flights too.

While I’m sad it doesn’t extend for Dulles and Reagan National, it’s certainly going to be a welcome perk for those that trek it up to BWI.

Red Cross Kicks Off Holiday Mail for Heroes

DSC_6037In celebration of Veteran’s Day pop singer Amy Grant could be spotted down the street from the White House at The Red Cross National Headquarters (you really can’t miss the 17th street building- it has a big red cross on it.)

Grant was in town to help kick off the Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes program, where you can take a moment to sign a card and send a message to those that are serving our country all over. If you missed your chance to sign a card with Amy Grant, you can still send a card to service members and their families through December 7th.

Send your cards to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Make sure you check the website for info on how you should make out your cards.


White House Tree Lighting Lottery Starts Today

2288462966_d675e0d484_bI used to remember when one would have to wake-up early in the morning and wait in line to see the Washington Monument. This past summer I was surprised when my friend LJ told me that you can now book the coveted tickets online. Now another popular Washington attraction is going online. Trying to obtain tickets to the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony would mean waiting outside in the cold- now you can vie for a spot amongst the 2,800 seats or 7,000 standing spots available.

Starting today you can register to enter a lottery for the free tickets needed to see the event in person. Registration for the lottery will last until 11:59 PM on Friday November 6th. Just head on down to the event website for more info.

The National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, scheduled for 5 p.m. Dec. 3 on the Ellipse, south of the White House.

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