Archive for the ‘Virginia’ 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.

Going Back To School: Obama To Speak At Wakefield High Today

President Barack Obama gestures as he addresses union workers and their families at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Monday (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Fresh from his Labor Day speech with the AFL-CIO (which I think is a very fitting event for Labor Day), President Obama will be in Arlington, Virginia today to talk to the children at Wakefield High School. After talking with the kids he’ll broadcast a nation-wide speech from the school around lunch-time. While the Principal at Wakefield High is excited to have The President in the school (“The building looks great and the auditorium has been transformed to suit a Presidential speech”), the kids might be a little disappointed to hear the lunch menu will be cold lunch in brown bags due to the speech. Also lunch is going to have to wait til after the speech- so kids eat a good breakfast before you come to school (remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day!) Oh well I’d put up with PB&J if it meant being able to see The President.

According to the released prepared remarks, Obama plans to say things like, “Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today?” and, “I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.” He’s also expected to say more inspirational things like, “Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.”

But seriously guys, Obama’s right- wash your hands.

Overall it looks like the remarks are pretty devoid of the rhetoric that would make some concerned parents pull kids from school. I side with the NY Daily News, Barack Obama is our President and he wants to inspire and impart wisdom to our children- like any good President should.

One last note, if you live or work in Arlington- be aware that the speech is going to cause some road closures today.

UPDATE: Looks like the newspapers weren’t the only ones with something to say about keeping kids from school so they can’t hear Obama, Jordan Peele (formally of MadTV) made a funny Obama reaction to all the talk on the issue.

But for those that want to see the real video you can find it below:


Taco Bell Truck In Rosslyn Today

Photo courtesy New York Times

Photo courtesy New York Times

Thank goodness I live in Clarendon and work in Court House. I don’t think I would be in good shape if I was any closer to the truck.

What truck you may say? Why the Taco Bell truck that’s giving away free food today in Rosslyn. Just make sure you check out it’s Twitter feed to get the latest info on where it is and line up to get a free taco- no base stealing required!

The Taco Bell truck appears to be a myth to some, reality to residents of Huntington Beach, CA. So if you are up to it, get down to Rosslyn and get on the hunt for the truck, there aren’t that many places it could hide- unless it’s pulling a shady “deep throat” like exchange.

UPDATE: It looks like the truck will be in Foggy Bottom until 3:30- however don’t go there expecting Chicken, they are fresh out.

Haunting Up A Good Time With Alexandria Ghost Tours


Photo courtesy of Flickr user dave_7

This past weekend I was invited out to join some of my friends on a Ghost and Graveyard Tour of Old Town Alexandria. Run by Alexandria Colonial Tours, the one-hour walk is guided by a costumed guide (complete with candle-lit lantern) and covers six-blocks around historic Old Town around King Street. Just as advertised, “your guide will abandon you in a graveyard!” My friends joked that the walk was pretty much a tourist trap but even as locals we learned a thing or two about some of the culture and traditions of 18th century America. I was intrigued that hand fans used back in the day actually conveyed more than a cool breeze. Some of the more notable stops along our South route tour included Gadsby’s Tavern and the historic Christ Church, who’s graveyard served as the final point in our tour.

Besides our tour guide, we ran into quite a few costumed actors along the route which added to the atmosphere of the story-telling whether they were placed on purpose or by coincidence. Our group did have a laugh when we saw one of the actor’s answer his cell phone and give directions to the tavern.

If you are interested in ghosts, history, or people dressed up in 18th century garb, then Old Town Alexandria should be your next stop.

Tours run through November 28th with tickets priced at $10 for adults, $5 for children 7-17. Check out their website for complete times and details.

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: Fairfax Responds To Arlington Rap

Everybody by now knows about The Arlington Rap (except my friend Rebecca who told me tonight at Happy Hour she never saw it.)

Well it looks like there maybe a Virginia rap battle brewing, local comedian Chris Culosi released today his own Fairfax response to the Arlington Rap.

Culosi raps that, Arlington isn’t the only place that, “has douchebags going to Starbucks to use the free Wi-Fi.” Culosi should note that Starbucks usually charges for their Wi-Fi, in Arlington we go to Panera and Cosi for the free Wi-Fi.

The production values aren’t as crisp as Remy’s original rap, Culosi manages to drop some beats at some more notable places in Fairfax like the Fair Oaks Mall and Fairfax Corner. However I think trying to tie Tyson’s Corner into it’s jurisdiction is a stretch.

I did enjoy the swipe he takes on Fairfax County’s stringent (or lack there of) adherence to the legal drinking age, and the fact Fairfax does have GMU while we have to toil with Marymount (does anybody go there?)

Culosi ends the piece not by visiting all the Starbucks, but by visiting all the Korean restaurants (bulgogi anyone?)

While the video has some funny moments, is it good enough to truly spark a Virginia Rap Battle of Narnia like proportions? I’ll you guys decide:


Update: Bayou Bakery Not To Open In Clarendon, Liberty Tavern To Open New Coffee Shop

Photo courtesy of Flickr user geekstinkbreth

Photo courtesy of Flickr user geekstinkbreath

In an earlier post I wrote about the future of the empty space where Murky Coffee once stood. It looks like David Gaus will have to find another place for his idea- a southern haunt called Bayou Bakery.

According to The Going Out Gurus, Liberty Tavern (now the owners of the ex-Murky Coffee space) and Gaus have parted ways on the joint venture, with Gaus retaining his concept and idea. Gaus is currently working to find another space which to make his Bayou dream come true.

Meanwhile there will be something in place of Murky come this September. The owners are working with Liberty Tavern chef Liam LaCivita to instead open up a coffee shop (how original) where Murky once stood. Liberty Tavern co-owner Stephen Fedorchak hopes that the shop will also include sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and “a few surprises” on the menu for the yet un-named shop.

Arlington Drafthouse Bankrupt

photos-marquee1If Obama bails anybody else out this year, I hope it’s the Arlington Drafthouse.

The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse has been a frequent destination of mine for cheap flicks and drinks. In fact I recently went there earlier this month to take in a screening of Adventureland. The place is a little out of the way in Arlington, located on Columbia Pike, a good distance from the Metro, but it always attracts crowds looking to enjoy the second-run screenings, stand-up comedy, or Redskins games during football season.

That being said, it was sad to learn that the Arlington Draft House has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to the Washington Business Journal, “Arlington Cinema Inc. listed assets of less than $100,000 and debt between $1 million and $10 million.” The report cites that the biggest chunk of that change is $5 million owed to landlord of the Montgomery Drafthouse, the failed expansion that was closed seven months ago.

While the lawyers representing the Drafthouse say that operations will continue under reorganization, I hope that the Arlington Drafthouse remains open for years to come. Like drive-in movies, the Drafthouse represents a unique movie-going experience that provides a needed alternative to the commercial monsters of AMC and Regal.

With everyone so down in the dumps over the economy we need entertainment more than ever, and that’s the value The Arlington Drafthouse provides to Arlington and the community.

Why I Don’t Want You To Go To Jay’s Saloon

Photo courtesy of Flickr user lifeinthedistrict

Photo courtesy of Flickr user lifeinthedistrict

When I first moved into my current place in Clarendon my roommates and I noticed a quaint little house around the corner next to the car dealership.

It was actually a bar called Jay’s Saloon and Grille.

At first the appearance was somewhat run down and somewhere between divey and dicey. We joked about going there and drinking with all the middle aged townies that probably frequent the place. It wasn’t until I organized a roommate happy hour at Jay’s that I found out what I was missing. I’ve already written that this place maybe our McLaren’s.

The Washington Post opens their review with the exact same thoughts I had when I spent that summer night at Jay’s:

I love Jay’s Saloon & Grille so much that I don’t want to tell you about it. I don’t want you to discover it. I don’t want it to be crowded and popular. I really love this bar. I would not write in the first person otherwise.

Now I know exactly what Shayla was thinking. As much as I want to tell everyone what a great place this is, I don’t want too many people to know. What gives Jay’s its charm is the fact that in location and environment, it is truly my neighborhood bar. I love how it always has the right amount of people, so it’s sociable but not too crowded. It’s the perfect place to relax after a tough day at work or a place to start before you head out into Clarendon or DC.

After that initial happy hour, we kept coming back again and again. My roommates were already recognized by the wait staff a week or two since discovery.

The cover of the menu looks like it’s circa 1985: the pages are typewritten with handwritten notes and former items blacked out with marker. But with the retro menu comes the retro prices- which looks like they haven’t been changed since the 90’s. The fare is standard- not bad but not great either, however the cheese fries are a favorite with my house. Jay’s Happy Hour is where the place truly shines $2 domestic bottles and deals on Budweiser and Coors Light drafts: $1.50 for a frosty mug of beer or $7 for a full pitcher. House wines — from the “Wine List” — are $2.95 per glass. It’s one of the best deals around town short of heading over to Recessions.

We typically enjoy drinks in the covered patio section in front of the bar. Astroturf covers the space that is full of plastic lawn furniture, Christmas lights, and if you look carefully- hung oil paintings that gives the place a more southern feel.

Inside there’s a pool table that’s been covered and unused every time I’ve been and a ramp takes you up to a bar and table area where you can find the townies I stereotyped earlier. However the crowd is actually a jovial mix of young professionals, and other people that make up streets around Jay’s- it truly is a neighborhood bar where the mood is low-key and relaxed.

On the weekends the place will get a bit more crowded that usual but I hope that during the week I’ll still be able to walk 100 ft out of my house and into the patio without having to hunt for a table.

Jay’s Saloon has so far been Arlington’s best kept secret.

Jay’s Saloon and Grille
3114 N. 10th St.
Arlington, VA 22201

DC Video: Clarendon Apple Store Shooting Video Released

The 4th of July holiday started on a disturbing note Friday when I heard from fellow Metblogs author Amy that there was a shooting at the Apple Store down the street from me. Luckily the victim will be ok but Arlington County Police needs your help.

Arlington County released video of the incident and is looking for anyone that recognizes the suspect.

Anyone who has information about this shooting or the identity of the suspect is asked to call the Arlington County Police Department Tip Line at 703 228-4242. Witnesses can also call Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).



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