Archive for the ‘Courthouse’ Category

The Java Shack A Welcome Change Of Pace From The Coffee Grind

Courtesy Java Shack

Courtesy Java Shack

“I need coffee,” I said when I stumbled into my co-worker’s cubicle last week. I don’t know if it’s the stress of my job or my terrible choices of staying up late at night, but I find myself needing a caffeine boost more often than not recently.

I asked my co-worker if there was anything near our Court House office besides Starbucks that would be good for coffee, I like the ‘bucks but I wanted a change of pace (and give me wallet a breather.) She suggested Java Shack, right next to Mr. Tire where I get my oil changed. I’ve passed by the place driving down Wilson Blvd, but it’s a little set into the side street so I’ve never felt the urge to go there for coffee.

However after the reminder of it’s existence and an endorsement, I decided to walk on down.

The atmosphere really puts the “shack” in Java Shack, the hodgepodge furniture and overall lived-in feel makes it a place that belongs on the West Coast more than the East Coast. There were plenty of tables on the front patio and a few more inside, perfect for those looking for that Third Place.

I could tell that social consciousness was a big part of the store as well, from solar panels (for charging what?) leaning against the front window to the biodegradable cups and fair trade coffee. I don’t demand so much from my Batista but it was cool to know.

The prices were also right and I grabbed an iced coffee and walked out a happy man.

Java Shack will definitely get a return visit from me for mobile blogging and look hipster cool, I defiantely recommend it if you are looking for a homey feel that you just won’t get at any big franchise.

Java Shack
2507 N Franklin Rd
Arlington, VA 22201-3939
(703) 527-9556

DC Video: Arlington: The Rap

I have a truth to tell: I really don’t live in Washington DC.

I actually live in Arlington, VA; but lots of DC locals call it their home, and now I’m proud of it thanks to this wonderful video that I found Thursday night (thanks to FamousDC.)

So I hope you learn a little bit about the ‘hood I come from.


Velocity Five Flying Not So High


Velocity Five at Court House before Opening

I was sad to see it go.

Even though many of my co-workers were ho-hum towards King Street Blues on Clarendon Blvd, I was a fan. However it has since closed down, the space bought by entrepreneur Jim Speros so he could use the location to expand his Velocity Five restaurant chain. Even though I was disappointed to see King Street leave, I was anxious for Velocity Five to finish their renovations and open. I was eager to see what the new kid on the Court House block had to offer. The chain’s location in Falls Church appeared to get ok reviews.

I walked up with a friend to the new Court House location after it opened, Speros signed a 15 year lease when he purchased the property from King Street; and it’s proximity to the nearby Metro station made it worth every penny.

Walking inside I was immediately surrounded by rich mahogany.  The ambiance had a more refined feeling compared to Summer’s down the street. The layout of the space remained the same, it looked like King Street with sports memorabilia and flat screen TVs. The place opened right before March Madness and it looked like a place I’d want to go to catch my favorite sports teams.

However those are all the nice things I have to say about this place.

I walked up to an empty hostess station where waitresses openly counted their tips while ignoring our presence. We waited for 10-15 minutes until we were acknowledged by someone on the wait staff. I am a pretty patient person and I wasn’t going to make a big deal of it until I saw during the course of the night, other people walk inside to an empty station and wait like I did- some waited to the point they just sat themselves.

The lack of service didn’t end there- we were served water but then ignored and forgotten by the waitress for almost half an hour. Again I would love to say that the place was packed and we got lost in the shuffle, but my table was only one of three occupied tables in the entire restaurant. The waitress was busy flirting with the guys at the table across from us. I overheard some of their conversation and apparently someone at that table was a pro-athlete:

Guy #1: You have to guess what my buddy here does, I won’t tell you but I will tell you that he’s a professional.

Waitress: Hmm, well your friend is tall- is he a basketball player?

Guy #2: No but I get that a lot…

So while Pro-athlete guy was getting all the attention he needed I was slowly dying from starvation. I ordered a burger but I’ll be honest- the service experience really made the rest of my experience there pretty forgettable.

Now I really wanted to like this place, if I was treated a little better I’m sure I would of had great things to say probably, but Velocity Five at Court House needs to get their ducks in a row. I’m a pretty nice guy and I’ll eventually give you guys another chance- but til then you are on notice!

Velocity Five
2300 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 243-4900

Parking Fail

For our anniversary last night, I managed to get us a table at Ray’s The Steaks in Courthouse. If you’ve ever been to the shopping center on Wilson where Ray’s is hidden, you know that there are three other restaurants in the same little area, and that parking for that little shopping center is about 20 cars for what amounts to 80 to 90 tables. It creates a situation wherein parking to go to dinner is a combat sport, best undertaken with a healthy dose of bloodlust, and the luck of the Irish.

Between Guajillo, Ray’s, the Bistro and Pho 75, these are some popular little restaurants, the wait for which is usually a deterrent to actually going (well, except for Pho, where it’s crowded, but there’s always a spot at one of the cafeteria tables) and the parking situation made it equally bad. We managed to get a spot on Wilson about half a block from Ray’s, and considered it a moral victory, if not an actual one. As we were waiting for a lull in the traffic, we saw this guy in an Infiniti skulk through the parking lot looking for a departing customer, only to park his car in the no parking zone immediately outside the parking lot.

I applauded his ingenuity, treating the prohibition against parking as an invitation to leave his insanely expensive vehicle in a tow-away zone as some sort of gourmet treat for the rabid tow-truck drivers of Arlington to scoop up in their giant metal maw. I watched him head straight for the liquor store, which I thought was wise, given that his car may or may not be there when he got back. I mean, at least it gave him real options, in case he did get towed, right? Get a little Kahlua, maybe some Coca Cola, and you can get a nice little buzz on walking up to the Clarendon tow yard where they put your car when it’s snapped up by the towing company.

Sadly, we didn’t get to see how this story ended up, as we were to busy enjoying some sherried crab bisque and a giant NY Strip, and then heading off to the movies. But I’d like to think the jerk got his car towed.

Parking Fail — Originally uploaded by tbridge

Orange Line Derailment between Rosslyn and Courthouse

Washington Post Express has the details on an afternoon derailment between Rosslyn and Courthouse, that’s likely going to flummox your attempt to head out of the District. Trains are single-tracking between Foggy Bottom and Clarendon as it stands right now.

There’s no word on the number or type of injuries aboard the train, but it was a passenger-carrying train that derailed between Rosslyn and Courthouse.

Check out DCist’s pictures from the derailed train!

Neighborhood Day Street Closures

From Arlington Alert:

The Arlington County Police Department will close several streets in the Clarendon, Courthouse, and Rosslyn neighborhoods on Saturday, May 10, 2008, for the Battle of the Boulevard 10K Race and the annual Neighborhood Day Parade.

The Battle of the Boulevard Race and after-race activities will begin in Clarendon, at 9 am and finish at approximately noon.

The Neighborhood Day Parade will begin at Court House and proceed up Wilson Boulevard at 1 pm. It will end at Irving Street, at approximately 3:00 pm.

The streets that will be affected are listed below.

From 6 am to 3 pm:

*Clarendon Blvd. from Washington Blvd. to Highland Street
(Clarendon Blvd. will have a sound stage set up on it, from 7 am to 3 pm. The road will open when the stage is removed)

*Wilson Blvd. from Washington Blvd. to N. Highland Street

*N. Highland St. from Clarendon Blvd. to Wilson Blvd.

From 8 am to 11 am:

*Wilson Blvd. from Highland Street to Rt. 110 North @ I-395


Drive-thru walkups

It was late last night as we got off the Metro at Courthouse after the Nats loss. The Vicodin I’d taken to dull the pain after my wisdom teeth came out was wearing off, and frankly, in that situation I get might grumpy. Having only had a yogurt, I pulled into the Wendy’s at Courthouse & Wilson for a Frosty.

Now, the Wendy’s closes its dining room at 10 or so, but their drive-thru is open until 2 in the morning. Which is great, if you have a car. But as the picture here demonstrates, about a half dozen people last night took it upon themselves to just walk up to the window. Sure, two of them waited in “line” between a few cars, but the rest showed up unbidden, and the wait while they placed their orders was 10 or so minutes, holding up the rest of the line.

Folks. It’s a drive-thru window. It’s not a walk-up.

Drive thru walkups — Originally uploaded by tbridge

Dramatic Suicide Closes DC Court Lobby

A man leapt to his death from the 4th floor interior balcony at the DC Superior Court building this afternoon around 3:30pm. The lobby of the courthouse is still closed and considered a crime scene. If you have business at the courthouse this afternoon or tomorrow morning, be prepared to use the alternate entrances to the building.

If you’re a potential juror tomorrow, talk with Juror Services to find out if you’ll be needed for duty tomorrow.

Registered DC Officiant Search

Registered DC Officiant
My preferred marriage officiant

Looking to get married in DC, today’s lunch hour was spent researching the DC marriage requirements, and the Betrothed Butterbean and I have a problem: identifying our “wedding officiant”.

Now if either of us were remotely religious, or felt comfortable with paying a random stranger, finding a registered DC officiant wouldn’t be that hard. But we’re picky.

We’re wanting to be married by a friend or family member but the DC Superior Court says:

Religious celebrants and judges other than those of the D.C. Courts must be authorized by the Court and registered by the Marriage Bureau in order to perform legal marriages in the District of Columbia. The full name of the intended celebrant must be given at the time of the application for verification and placement on the license.

So that means we not only have to get someone we know registered with the marriage bureau, we have to do it before we can even get a marriage license, and who knows how long that process takes!

Do you?

Great Deals at the Arlington Farmer’s Market


It’s almost worth not getting blind drunk on Friday nights so you can be up early enough to hit the Arlington Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. It’s held right across the street from the Arlington Courthouse Metro Station (N. Courthouse St. and N. 14th St). The Market is open from 8am-12noon (but it’s hard to find parking after about 8am).

Unlike most grocery store food that comes from South America and has been in a warehouse for a few months, the vegetables found at the Farmer’s Market were picked at the peak of ripeness by local growers and brought directly to the market. If you can’t taste the difference between naturally ripened and chemically-ripened fruit, you owe it to yourself to buy some of the produce they’ve got there and learn. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten some of the best blueberries, cherries and blackberries I’ve had in a long time. They also have some delicious baked goods from local bakeries.

One of the best parts of the Farmer’s Market is that it’s also pretty cheap compared to supermarket chains. That 4lb zucchini I’m holding only cost 50 cents! You can’t beat a deal like that. By the way, if anybody has any good recipes that call for 4lbs of zucchini let me know…

Sure, there are a number of other comparable Farmer’s Markets in DC; the Alexandria Market on Saturday mornings and the Dupont Circle Market on Sunday mornings for example, but the Courthouse Market has the distinct advantage of being right next to my house.

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