Archive for December, 2009

Real World DC Cast On Twitter, Jersey Shore, and Tonight’s Premiere

Real World DC cast member Mike Manning in a "No H8" campaign photo

Real World DC cast member Mike Manning in a "No H8" campaign photo

Tonight the story of eight people in Washington, DC finally hits the screen.

I’ve been covering The Real World DC since move-in day, and now after months of sightings, stories, and run-ins; it’s time for Washington, DC to make its reality show debut on MTV.

For those interested in making an event of the night there are several options for you to choose from.

Perhaps the biggest viewing party will be at BlackFinn DC, where friend of Metblogs/RWDC Super-Fan Elizabethany is hosting a Premiere Party with Metromix DC, and Chris Wiggins of @RealWorldDCNewz. Real World DC cast members Ty, Ashley, Callie and Emily will be on hand to party as well as The Kane Show’s Samy K and WUS9’s Angie Goff, who will be presenting the “DC Lottery presents Best of 2009 Show” earlier that night. There’s no cover and there’ll be drink specials including $5 house wines and $3 Coors bottles. The party starts at 8 PM.

Afterwards BlackFinn attendees will get perks to move over to the after party hosted by RWDC cast member Mike Manning over at Halo.

Over at Tattoo Bar, RWDC Cast Member Josh Conlon and his band Wicked Liquid are hosting a party as well. There is a $5 cover and $20 buys you “VIP” access to Josh, so you can tap him on the shoulder when he’s actually on the screen. Tattoo’s event starts at 9 PM.

Nellie’s Sports Bar, a regular stomping ground for the cast this summer, will be hosting viewing parties every Wednesday.

Earlier this month I got to talk with Real World Cast members Mike Manning and Callie Walker to talk about the show as well as other current happenings.

My interview with Mike happened days after DC’s vote to legalize Gay Marriage. As a bi-sexual male, Mike spent his summer on The Real World working with the Human Rights Campaign and was back in DC to attend a banquet celebration of the event. He hopes that this historic move leads the way for other states to do the same, “it’s an issue that’s really important to me, close to me… it sends a message to the rest of our nation that if our Nation’s capital has the balls and the respect to allow people that love each other to marry each other, other states should take the message and follow it.”

On the show you’ll see Mike talk with lawmakers on The Hill about LGBT issues and he really learned a lot about himself as well as the issues during his time here, “I was a closet case [prior to the show] and I wasn’t expose to those issues in Colorado, so everything I learned in DC was new and I’m really grateful that HRC took me under their wing.”

Mike will graduate from the University of Northern Colorado this May.

Real World DC cast member Callie Walker

Real World DC cast member Callie Walker

For Callie Walker fame hasn’t affected her life yet, we talked right after she got off a shift waiting tables at a cafe close to her school, Sam Houston State University.

Callie spent her summer in DC working for the now-defunct Washington Blade as a field photographer. A native of Texas, she told me about how much she enjoyed all the diversity DC had to offer: from food to cabbies. “My favorite thing to do is to find out where my cab driver is from- they are all from different places and they all have different stories,” Callie says.

Her new found celebrity hasn’t hit the small town where she goes to school but outside it she’s already attracting attention. At the nearby mall, she’s already been recognized while shopping at Victoria Secret.

The political atmosphere of The District played a role in Callie’s time here and told me she really discovered politics and now identifies herself as a social liberal.

Thanks to Twitter and blogs, DC was well aware of the cast’s where-abouts at all times. To which the cast found somewhat annoying, “it was nuts,” Mike told me,  “we’d walk down the street, we’d go to a restaurant and 100 people would be there five minutes later because they got a tweet that we were in the area.” Callie also found it bothersome but realizes it’s a sign of the time we live in, “we’re just trying to be normal and experience DC normally and I think that maybe that took some of it away from us but I understand that’s generation we are- we’re the social media generation.”

In an ironic turn of events, most of the cast now embrace the tool that was the cause of so many headaches earlier. Most of the cast members can now be found on Twitter tweeting with all their fans.

MTV has been in the spotlight for another show that’s been a recent hit: Jersey Shore. Both Mike and Callie told me they’ve watched the MTV reality hit and had mixed reactions. ” It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Mike says,  “you have one guy that looks like Sonic the Hedgehog and he owns a tanning bed in his house and one little girl that lives off of alcohol, she looks like a Gremlin.” Even though Mike doesn’t think he’d fit in at the Jersey Shore house, he did reveal to me his favorite cast member on the show: Ronnie.

Callie on the other hand is a fan but prefers a different guy on the show, “I think the cutest one is not Ronnie, not the fist pump guy [Vinny], not The Situation, but the other one [Pauly D].

So will we see the Real World DC cast back on MTV after the show ends? Mike and Callie both told me they would love the opportunity if it came and Mike told me he would definitely do The Ruins if they came calling, “if somebody wants to pay me to jump out of a helicopter and grab a flag- I’m all about it.”

DC Metblogs Wishes You A Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from all of us here at DC Metblogs!

We will be taking it easy for the holidays, besides a couple of special posts next week we will be back in 2010 ready to write about what we’re thinking and what we’re interested in around The District.

See you in 2010!


Photo courtesy of Flickr user tenderlung

Screwtop Wine Bar & American Flatbread Headline New Face Of Clarendon

Screwtop Wine Bar one of many new additions to the Clarendon area

Screwtop Wine Bar one of many new additions to the Clarendon area

Watch out, Clarendon is about to get a whole lot hipper.

The Arlington neighborhood is already popularly known as the place to live if you are a young professional and the area is expanding with construction cranes filling the skyline, working to complete another apartment building. Along with additional residential projects, additional retail businesses are also sprouting up. On the corner of Washington & Fillmore, a few hundred feet from my door step, a new corridor of stores and restaurants are now open for business.

The Fillmore alleyway used to be a one-way street with nothing of note besides the local ABC store on one end and Harry’s Tap Room on the other, with a whole lot of nothing in between. Now a sleek new Gold’s Gym and a Le Pain Quotidien are in place and two new restaurants are ready to accommodate the locals.

Screwtop Wine Bar adds a new dimension to the already packed Clarendon food scene. Only six days old, the bar has actually been online for awhile, with a construction blog active since August. Screwtop offers a wide selection of small production wines and microbrews, which makes it the perfect place to find a try and taste something different. The restaurant also offers a Wine club where subscribers receive two bottles of a selected wine and cheese, charcuterie or chocolate for pairing.

Besides it’s angle for wine, what makes Screwtop a really interesting destination is the story behind its owner, Wendy Buckley. A former AOL executive, she left her six figure job at AOL to open the bar and has been since profiled in an AOL online reality series.

Another new face on Fillmore is American Flatbread, which offers an interesting variety of flatbread pizzas. Some of the specials include a Roasted Beet and Carrot Flatbread made with organic swiss chard, topped with all natural mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and pizza made with Virginia Ham, Apple, and Cheddar. American Flatbread is a part of Franchise that was founded in Vermont.

As more apartment complexes reach completion we can expect even more additions to the already bustling Clarendon scene.

Screwtop Wine Bar
1025 N. Fillmore St.
Arlington, VA 22201

American Flatbread
1025 N. Fillmore St.
Arlington, VA 22201

Metro Above Ground Service Halted And More About The Snow Apocalypse

My roommate Caroline is so cute when she tries to rake snow.

My roommate is so cute when she tries to rake snow.

I woke up early this morning to my phone- my mom was calling me because she heard that Washington, DC might get a little snow today.

That was an understatement.

I was still nestled in my bed and I told her that I already experienced the snowfall as I was driving home from Alexandria. There was a good amount of snowfall and I was stuck driving on the GW Parkway behind an entire convoy of dump truck plows.

After talking with my mom I decided to look outside and I saw two things: snow, and my roommate trying to sweep away the snow using a rake.

That was the first lesson I learned: next time make sure we have snow shovels.

I’m originally from New England so I’m not too phased by snow, it’s the reason I always carry a compact snow shovel and brush in my trunk. However I forgot that since I moved into Arlington, I should of thought of buying a snow shovel. I avoided the bread and milk rush but I a shovel would of been a good idea.

But it was funny watching my roommate rake snow.

Besides making sure you have a shovel I thought I’d share some other things I’ve noticed through all the social media buzz about snOMG.

Metro is not running above ground

It was just announced that the Metrobus and Metrorail system will close above ground operations at 1 P.M. With snowfall rising above 8 inches, Metro believes that by 1 PM the third rail that powers the cars will be fully covered.

Here’s the modified schedule the trains will run:

Yellow Line – Service from Pentagon to Crystal City only

Red Line – Service between Medical Center and Union Station only

Orange Line – Service between Ballston and Stadium-Armory only

Green Line – Service between Fort Totten and Congress Heights only

Blue Line – Service between Ballston (extended to Blue Line) and Stadium-Armory only

Everything is canceled

Virginia is in a state of emergency and I’ve already seen everything in Arlington county close down. I wouldn’t be surprised if everything where you are around is canceled as well. So make sure you go online and check websites if you have plans you are still committing to today and tonight. For instance I just received word that Ford’s Theatre is canceling tonight’s performance of A Christmas Carol. If you were expecting to go to a show or concert make sure you check ahead. Also it looks like the Smithsonian will be closed all weekend and flights in and out of DC are grounded.

Leave no man behind in the snow

I’ve seen a lot of messages and tweets mentioning the DC Hypothermia Watch Partner Program. If you see any of DC’s homeless residents outside, you can call the Emergency Hypothermia Hotline (800 535-7252) and a van will pick-up homeless people left outside and transport them to a local shelter.

Washington D.C. is under a snow emergency

Mayor Adrian Fenty has declared a snow emergency as of 7 a.m. and that means several things that will affect parking and transportation.

You can still drink

Some of you may have stocked up on Milk, Bread, and Beer and plan on drinking your way through the weekend. Those in Clarendon (like me) also have another option. Liberty Tavern is offering a happy hour between 2-5 today for those that mention they are there to watch the snow with the Capital Weather Gang. Luckily I can easily walk me way to there from my place.

And just remember, it’s been almost a year since Obama called us wimpy when it comes to snow.


Richard Linklater On Kal Penn And Orson Welles

Director Richard Linklater, Claire Danes, and Zac Efron (Photo Christina Wilkie)

Director Richard Linklater, Claire Danes, and Zac Efron in Georgetown (Photo Christina Wilkie)

For director Richard Linklater, his projects range from the artsy (Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly) to more mainstream (School of Rock, Bad News Bears.) However when the screenwriter visited DC he was here to present a more independent production. But indie doesn’t mean small, in making Me And Orson Welles, he traveled all the way to the Isle of Man in order to shoot in one of the only theatres in the world that could double for the famous Mercury Theatre.

Despite picking up an American distributor, the film was picked up all along the festival circuit with screenings at Cannes, Toronto, and and South by Southwest. Now the film arrives in Washington, DC for a run at the E-Street cinema.

I had the chance to sit down with Richard Linklater to talk about making this film and his time here in The District.

Linklater took some creative steps to making Me And Orson Welles, when he struggled to find funding for the film he took the production abroad and filmed in Europe, “when you can’t get money in the U.S. you go to Europe,” he told me as we sat down in his Georgetown hotel suite. Even though the film takes in the New York City, he shot all of the New York scenes on a backlot at the UK-based Pinewood Studios. “We took some photos but we never shot a single frame of film in New York- a lot of that was filmed with CGI,” explained Linklater, “we used a muddy backlot and built 42nd street, the theatre, a couple of shops on it.”

When it came to casting Linklater was equally as creative, visualizing where his lead actor would be instead of holding auditions or pouring through lists. “I think our Orson is probably British, is probably doing Shakespeare right now- and a month later I got an e-mail from the Novelist, there was a guy doing a one man show in New York.” That guy was Christian McKay, a former concert pianist who was acting in a one-man show about Orson Welles. After flying him to Austin for three days of screen tests Linklater knew he had his man, “the key is that he’s Wellisan himself- he’s a child prodigy, a genius.”

Visiting Washington, DC always eventually leads to talk about politics, and with Orson Welles know for his iconic film Citizen Kane, Linklater offered some thoughts on Welles chances as a politician if it ever happened, “Um no- I think he’d be a great orator… he’s just too gifted an entertainer, too gifted a showman, he had too many artistic gifts… I mean come on he’s the ultimate control freak- politics is about compromise.”

Besides screening his film he also got to visit The White House where he met a fellow actor, turned Obama administration official: Kal Penn. Linklater was really impressed meeting Penn and said if he didn’t know about his acting past he would of thought he studied political science at an Ivy League school, “I was like- wow what a story-he’s called a liaison but he’s more than that. I do different kinds of films and people go, ‘that’s really different.’ Well that’s not really different, different would be working at the White House for a year or two. Making a different film about something different isn’t different.”

Linklater’s film Me and Orson Welles is screening at the E-Street theatre, check out my previous post for details.

Holiday To-Do: Visit The National Christmas Tree

Photo courtesy of Flickr user cop4cbt

Photo courtesy of Flickr user cop4cbt

A popular holiday destination for tourists, locals, and couples on dates; the National Christmas Tree has been on display for a couple of weeks since the The First Family threw open the switch earlier this month. After writing about the online lottery for tickets to the tree lighting I decided to enter the lottery and ended up with tickets.

The lighting event itself was great, braving the cold amongst others reminded me of The Inauguration but luckily this Obama attended event was a whole lot shorter. The event was filmed for PBS (and can still be seen on WETA Christmas morning at 8 AM.) where Randy Jackson served as MC, an interesting choice as my friend Carrie and I guessed the over/under dawg references. He dropped the tag line only once.

I was also surprised to see friend, actor, and Maryland native Diego Prieto on the program. He played Santa’s elf sidekick and got to meet Obama and everything. So cool.

The entertainment line-up included names like Sheryl Crow and Jordin Sparks. Common was also on hand- making me wonder if he gets called to work every major DC event.

My pal Diego got to meet President Obama!

My pal Diego got to meet President Obama!

Even though the lighting is long over, you can still visit the National Tree at the Ellipse. Besides the tree there are various other holiday displays including 56 smaller trees which represent the 50 states and other territories of the United States.

You can also visit Santa in his workshop through Christmas Eve- check the National Christmas Tree’s website for hours.

Two tips for your visit: wait til evening when everything is lit for the best visuals, and take the Metro- parking is close to impossible near the White House. The closest stops are Farragut West and McPherson Square.

American History Museum Announces Extended Holiday Hours

Are you, like me, going to be kicking around DC over the next couple of holiday-filled weeks and looking for something to do?  Well, the Smithsonian is here for you, my friend!  You can take the opportunity to visit Tai Shan before he has to go, or the new(-ish) Sant Ocean Hall.  Best of all, the National Museum of American History will be offering extended holiday hours this year.

  • Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 2, close at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, close at 5:30 p.m

America’s favorite collection of free museums will be closed on Christmas Day, but is open the other 364 days of the year.

Star Spangled Banner_Moving Light Table courtesy flickr user catface3

Star Spangled Banner_Moving Light Table courtesy flickr user catface3

Chris Cooley Offers Shelter, Friendship To Tiger Woods

It’s been a long holiday season for Tiger Woods. Besides managing a scandal involving a growing list of women, yesterday news came out linking Woods’ physician with performance enhancing drugs.

Tiger has been laying low throughout all of this, isolated from the entire world. However there is somebody that wants Tiger to know he is ready to support him- offering both support and a place to crash.

In a recent video from Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, the football star offers Tiger a place at the Cooley mansion, saying that he could bunk with fellow house guest and backup tight end Todd Yoder. Cooley lists things the two could do which includes putting up Christmas lights, making rap videos, and playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour.

“I knew he could just use a friend who has his back and is there for him- and that friend could be me,” says Cooley in his video invitation.


Me And Orson Welles Opens At E-Street Cinema


Christian McKay as Orson Welles and Zac Efron as Richard Samuels in “Me and Orson Welles”.

Looking at the top films at the Box Office this past weekend the theatres were dominated by Disney films, sports epics, and something about Vampires. However I want to talk about a film you probably haven’t heard of that should be ranked up there amongst these other films.

This past weekend Me And Orson Welles premiered at the E Street Cinema, I had the pleasure of attending a media screening earlier in November. The Richard Linklater film is a historical drama that chronicles a week in the life of Richard Samuels (Zac Efron.) Samuels is a high schooler that is hired off the street by Welles to take on a role in the Mercury Theatre’s production of Julius Caesar. Samuels dives headfirst into life as a Broadway actor which involves flirtations with the company’s production assistant (Claire Danes) and glimpses into the life of the intriguing media icon that was Orson Welles (Christian McKay.)

After spending most of 2009 getting back into theatre in DC, I thoroughly enjoyed what Roger Ebert calls, “is one of the best movies about the theater I’ve ever seen.” The drama and energy of putting on a show is captured perfectly in the film. Even though people maybe drawn to see the names of Efron and Danes; it is McKay’s dazzling performance as Orson Welles that makes this film, which would otherwise be a typical coming of age film set against a 1930’s stage production.

Fans of Zac Efron won’t be disappointed however, his moments on screen make use of his strong acting and music skills. The screams from his adoring 16-year-old fans in the front row of the screening is approval enough for me.

With the big Hollywood holiday hits due out this week, I encourage you to take a break from the mainstream and check out what is a quality piece of work over at E-Street.

Stay tuned to Metblogs for an interview with Me And Orson Welles director Richard Linklater later this week.

Me And Orson Welles
E-Street Cinema

555 11th Street NW

Washington, DC 20004

(202) 452-7672


Golden Triangle Kicksoff Outdoor Holiday Film Screenings

Photo courtesy Flickr user Larry Miller

Photo courtesy Flickr user Larry Miller

Fans of DC’s outdoor film festivals don’t have to wait til summer to watch movies outside.

The Golden Triangle neighborhood will be celebrating the holidays by screening holiday films on the wall of the Tiny Jewel Box on 1147 Connecticut Avenue. Films start at 5 PM daily starting today and includes a classic lineup of holiday flicks:

It’s a Wonderful Life – Monday, December 14
A Christmas Story – Tuesday, December 15
White Christmas – Wednesday, December 16
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Thursday, December 17
The Nutcracker – Friday, December 18

It will be interesting to see how a film will look projected on a building full of windows, and I don’t know where you would be place a chair and watch the films but it will be an interesting sight to see as you walk around after the work day ends.

The Golden Triangle BID is also giving away free dinners and horse-drawn carriage rides in conjunction with the screenings, you can head over to the Golden Triangle BID site to register to win.

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