Archive for the ‘Special Events’ Category

Charity Spotlight-Business-Best Buddies Happy Hour Thursday

So, very recently, I’ve stepped up my charitable responsibilities here in the District.  Now, while I think it might be a bit…much…if I were to suddenly start using this platform as a way to trumpet my own causes (Just in case you are curious), I do think it is a great opportunity to talk about your causes.  We invite you to write to to let us know about upcoming charitable events that benefit the DC area you think our readers might be interested in attending or participating in.  Each week we’ll try and pick one or two to showcase, so be sure to let us know why your event should be the one chosen!  Now, on to this week’s highlighted event:


It’s fall-so it’s football.  Thursday night marks the opening of the NFL season, and while Patrick has been fantasying it up, and I’m in near hysterics watching my team make questionable move after questionable move-I think we can both safely say that we are looking forward to Thursday.  Maybe you are too-and maybe you’re looking to celebrate the new NFL year with friends, loved ones-or to make some new friends or loved ones, or you’re looking for some end of the year charitable donations to make as an offset to all of the money you won in Vegas on the Super Bowl this year.

If any of these are the case, might I suggest the Business Buddies Mid-Atlantic Region Fall Happy Hour, which just so happens to coincide with the Thursday night festivities.  Business Buddies Mid-Atlantic Region (BBMAR) will host a “Reality Bites” themed fundraising happy hour at Front Page in Arlington, VA on Thursday, September 10 from 4:00pm-8:00pm. The organization of charitable minded young professionals will raise funds for Best Buddies Virginia (BBVA), a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of intellectually disabled individuals. Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at and proceeds will benefit BBVA.

The Arlington Front Page, right next to the mall in Ballston, will offer half-price appetizers and burgers, as well as $2 Miller Lights, $3 draft beers, $2.75 rail drinks $3.25 house wines and $4.50 John Daily’s (firefly & lemonade).

If you were going to go out to the bar to watch the game anyway, then maybe try and make a detour out to the Front Page and support BBMAR and BBVA.  You might just build good karma (for you or your team).

More about BBVA: Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

More about BBMAR: With many young professional organizations in the area, this one is unique in that it offers the opportunity to support an organization with a population that is often neglected and misunderstood. Through BBMAR, professionals in their 20s and 30s can engage with like-minded individuals and raise support for programs that enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through friendships and in the workplace. BBMAR will provide opportunities to attend networking events, professional development seminars and, most importantly, interact and participate with Best Buddies members in the various schools in the area.

The Last Kennedy Brother

Last Wednesday, we all woke up to the news that Senator Ted Kennedy had passed away.  He’d been in the Senate since the age of 30, serving the Bay State for 47 years.

Saturday, we all woke up to news-channel remembrances and the funeral being broadcast from the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston before his internment at Arlington National Cemetery, next to two of his three brothers (the fourth, and eldest, Joe Jr. was killed in WWII and never recovered).  While I was watching, I decided to head down to view the procession as it went down Memorial Drive to the cemetery. I’d seen the Reagan and Ford funeral processions so making the trip down to ANC would just be keeping up my own little tradition. (Story continues after the jump.)

Waiting for the procession

Waiting for the procession


Restaurant Week Is A Good Thing

I love Restaurant Week!  My former coworker GW doesn’t mess around when it comes to his food, so each time RW is announced he is right on top of reminding everyone and we organize an outing, usually composed of employees and ex-employees of The Firm.  It’s a nice excuse for me to go over and visit old friends, but trust me, sometimes the grass really is greener.

Occidental Restaurant (
Occidental Restaurant (

Anyway…we went to The Occidental, which is one of those places that’s stereotypically Washingtonian (walls covered with politicians’ photos, luxe banquettes hiding the fat cats as they wheel and deal) and which I have always wanted to visit.  It is also, however, located in the Willard and is one of the more expensive places in town, so naturally I haven’t been there.  So, Restaurant Week is the perfect time to check it out.  This year’s price point, $35.09 for three courses, is lower than the price of several entrees on the regular menu, so that is what I call a bargain!

The place is, of course, beautiful; our server was crisp, friendly, and fast, and the food was omnomnom delicious.  Reasonable portion sizes, beautifully presented.  I had risotto, steak, and a chocolate dessert.  All of which was fabulous!  My companions each had different appetizers and one of them had a different entree, and we each tried a bit of the other.  I can tell you that everything which came to the table was wonderful.  The plating was nice, the aromas were terrific, and the flavors were great.  Our cocktails were even mixed well.

Now, Occidental is one of the best places around.  It’s not surprising that the food and drink were thoroughly enjoyable.  What was especially pleasant for me, was that the service was just as wonderful as if we were running up a $500 check.  Folks who complain about RW often complain that the service is bad because the places are so busy.  I’ve been RW-ing for long enough, though, to realize that the best bargains are at the best places.  Occidental, 701, Tosca, etc.  They know how to run their dining room, and they know that the real purpose of RW is to give a person like me a wonderful experience, so that I will go back and pay full price.

Which I will.

Bravo, Occidental!

DC Restaurant Week, August 24 – 30.  Don’t despair, many restaurants (including Occidental) are extending their RW offerings.  Book your table!

Romance Writers Of America National Conference Opens With Lusty Autograph Session

Photo courtesy of Flickr user meratspain

Photo courtesy of Flickr user meratspain

I don’t read books with Fabio or other scantily clad men on the cover, however my friend Lusty Reader does.

She told me about the Romance Writers of America, the trade association for romance writers, and how excited she was that their national conference was going to be in town starting today:

I had this idea it was like Comic-Con but for romance novel lovers. Hubby has taken to calling it “Rom-Con” ever since I mentioned it.

Makes sense, if you can imagine tons of male geeks hoarding a convention center over comics, then the inverse must be a hall full of women lusting over… well lusty literature.

The idea of a convention for the genre most associated with Supermarkets and Italian fashion models really piqued my interest. So I talked with the RWA and got some details of their big public event, The “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing.

Most of the conference is really geared towards the industry, with workshops and sessions for writers, agents, and publishers; but there is one public event that is sure to draw a huge crowd of hopeless (or hopeful) romantics. More than 500 romance authors will be signing books at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Exhibit Hall tonight from 5:30 – 7:30.

Admission is free and proceeds from book purchases from the event go towards ProLiteracy Worldwide. Since the book purchases are going to a good cause, it’s encouraged that you show up and buy your books rather than bring a whole stack of novels to get signed. If you do bring a book or two to get signed, think about making a donation, which will also be accepted as well.

For complete information on the event and a complete list of participating authors check out the RWA’s website.

And if you do check it out, I won’t be there but do say hi to my friend Lusty Reader.

Daily DC Item: Made in Hong Kong Film Festival Kicks Off

sparrow_poster_04You don’t need to check the tag in the back to find out where all these films were made.

All the films in the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival all hail from the Chinese city and the festival kicks off tonight with a screening of The Sparrow, a comedy about, “a gang of debonair pickpockets who come undone when a beautiful stranger enters their midst with a con of her own.” The festival will continue through August 23rd with a selection of films that have won me over based on titles alone. Such hits include My Mother is a Belly Dancer and Tokyo Gore Police.

While most of the films will be shown in Cantonese or Mandarin, they will be subtitled in English. Best of all, it’s all FREE (however tickets are required, get the tickets at the theatre an hour before showtime to avoid the Ticketmaster service fees.)

All shows are at the Freer & Sackler Galleries.

Screen On The Green 2009 Schedule Released

closeencounters-introI was excited to break the news that Screen On The Green will be back this year, and now we have confirmation on the four film schedule that starts on Monday July 20th and will run on Mondays til August 10th:

Looks like the film slate will mirror the Bryant Park’s Screen on the Green series also sponsored by HBO as rumored earlier in the Post. For more information check out the festival’s official website.

Daily DC Item: Develop Your DC Fireworks Plan

Photo courtesy of Flickr user CP

Photo courtesy of Flickr user CP

Last year I fulfilled my goal to see the DC fireworks on the 4th. I knew trying to go to The Mall to see them would be a storm of epic proportions, so I made a plan to see them from the Georgetown Waterfront instead.

This year the DC fireworks aren’t getting less popular so I’m starting to make my plan on where I want to see them here are some links I found to help you get your DC Fireworks Plan put together before this weekend:

Good luck getting your plan together!

Tattoos, But Not on Your Skin

Lastnight a friend and I went to the Twilight Tattoo given by the Third Infantry Division (the “Old Guard”) at Fort McNair in Southwest DC.  Fort McNair itself is nestled along the Potomac just south of the Waterfront Metro stop, and the parade ground in front of the old War College building provided a wonderful setting.  The weather was gorgeous, the soldiering was precise, and the crowd was enthusiastic.  There were lots of students from schools all over the country – we figured the loudest ones were those from Texas.  We learned that 2009 is the Army’s year of the NCO (who knew), “otherwise known as the backbone of the Army,” as the announcer made sure to tell us.  He took special care to introduce all the platoon sergeants taking part in the tattoo – most were Sergeants First Class.  Along with some hokey patriotic songs, we were treated to great demonstrations of skill and talent by the Army Drill Team, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and the Pershing’s Own Army Band.  But I think that my favorite part of the evening was at the end, when the soldiers were treated like rock stars by the visiting students on school trips.  They were walking up to rope lines and shaking the outstretched hands of nervous middle-schoolers, as if they were Madonna!  It was awesome and really got me in the mood for Fourth of July (which is my favorite day of the year to live in DC).


Since DC is in the middle of its own Military District, there are always lots of things to do and see if you’re interested in military affairs, or pageantry, at all.  There are several units which perform tattoos or sunset parades around town during the summer, and all of the armed forces’ vocal and instrumental groups give concerts all season long; mostly outdoors, and almost all free.  I’ve listed just a few choices below.  Check them out!

  • Twilight Tattoo – 3rd I.D., U.S. Army.  Fort McNair, 410 P Street, SW.  Wednesdays, 7 PM.  Free.  (Last tattoo is next Wednesday, July 1!)
  • Sunsets with a Soundtrack – West Steps of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC.  Free.  Most Fridays at 8 PM.
  • U.S. NAVY Band – US Navy Memorial – 701 PENNSYLVANIA AVE., N.W. – TUESDAYS, JUNE 2 – AUGUST 25 AT 8 P.M. Free
  • U.S. Navy Band – U.S. CAPITOL (WEST SIDE) MONDAYS, JUNE 1 – AUGUST 31 AT 8 P.M. Free.
  • Air Force Summer Concert SeriesWednesday and Friday nights at 8 p.m., from June 3 through Aug. 28 at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va. Free.
  • Marine Barracks Washington – Sunset Parade, Iwo Jima Memorial.  Tuesdays, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 2 June – 11 August 200.  Free.
  • And finally, the “President’s Own” Marine Band is playing tonight (June 25) at the Sylvan Theatre (Washington Monument) at 8 PM.

Virgin Fest Lineup Announced – And It’s Free!

Well, Virgin Fest is back for another summer.  What with Pimlico’s financial issues, there was deliberation as to whether the Preakness would actually happen, let alone another summer music fest.  However, Virgin have moved the Festival to Merriweather Post Pavilion, and renamed the Festival to “Virgin Mobile Free Fest.”  Yep, tickets this year are free!  You’ll still need to order them in advance, though (UPDATE:  tickets can be gotten via Ticketmaster starting at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday, June 27.  Free, except for those irritating “convenience” charges.).

The lineup for VF is, as usual, impressive (at least to this old fogie).  Headliners Weezer and Blink 182 will be accompanied by Franz Ferdinand, Girl Talk, Jet, Mates of State, Public Enemy, Taking Back Sunday, The Bravery, The Hold Steady, The National, St. Vincent, and Wale.  A Dance Tent will house the likes of Danny Howells, Holy F*ck (uh, that URL is NSFW), Lee Burridge, and Pete Tong.  Gates will open at 11 AM, and the show will last until 10 PM.

Tickets, as I mentioned, are Free.  They don’t seem to be yet available on Ticketmaster, but we’ll keep you posted on the “sale” date.  The Fest is encouraging attendees to donate at least $5 to The RE*Generation to help stem youth homelessness.  You can text “FREEFEST” to “20222” for a one-time $5 text charge,  or go old-school and donate online.

Get on out there and have fun, you crazy kids!

DC Video: Jason Bellini Investigates Homeless Line Sitters

Below is a very interested piece on a technique lobbyists are using to get into Congressional Hearings: paying homeless people to stand in line for them.


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