Archive for the ‘Virginia’ Category

Q&A With Arlington Rap Creator Remy

untitled1Even though it only has over 600,00 hits (great numbers, but it’s no Evolution of Dance) the video, Arlington: The Rap, has made an enormous splash locally for creator Remy Munasifi. The video is only the latest in a series of successful rap videos and has caught the attention of just about every media outlet I can think of. All the blogs have raved about it. His profile has grown to the point he was a hot date commodity and he has earned himself a page on Wikipedia. I wish I had a page on Wikipedia.

So I had the honor to ask him a few questions and learn more about the man behind the video.

Patrick:I laughed, I cried, I begged for more when I ran into Arlington: The Rap. I went over to your site (goremy.com) and I wanted to learn more about you. After reading your bio I was wondering, do you consider yourself a comedian? A musician? A filmmaker?

Remy: I’m not sure. I’d probably go with, “entertainer.” That’s mainly what I’m trying to accomplish–to entertain. Usually through laughter though, sure.

Patrick: So do you have a day job or is your art truly what you work on day in and out?

Remy: I’m a full-time YouTuber. I’m a content partner on the site and have been for a year and a half now, which has been great. YouTube and Google have been very generous and supportive of their partners and do a great job creating and maintaining a great environment for filmmakers who want a home for their video content.

Patrick: One of the reasons Arlington: The Rap is so successful is the local appeal, after I saw it I sent it to all my Arlington/DC friends and I got it sent to me by other locals as well. You’ve been in all the local papers and TV stations, but have you seen any interest coming from outside the immediate local area?

Remy: Somehow some folks outside the area do seem to enjoy it. My chief concern throughout the process of making that video was that it had no widespread appeal–that it would be too geographically specific for folks to understand outside a one-mile radius of my neighborhood. I was surprised so many people enjoyed it locally though, I certainly didn’t expect that.

Patrick: Do you find that you’ve now created a big inside joke for all of us to share? Now when I tell people I live I Clarendon they reply with questions on my collection of brown flip-flops.

Remy: Somebody was telling me they had noticed a slight decline in the brown flip-flop levels around town. I haven’t seen the statistics. I suspect we’ll have to wait for the 2010 census.

Patrick: I’ve watched a number of your other videos and I have to tell you they are all great. Has Arlington: The Rap helped you get your YouTube channel more viewers? In other words, have other people started checking your other stuff now that you broke through with one?

Remy: Thank you for saying so, I appreciate that. I can’t imagine the video hurt anything. It’s the 12th most popular video on the channel, so there are some other videos that folks seem to like more, at least by that measurement.

Patrick: Also I noticed you do a lot of raps, is there anything that makes that your genre of choice? I think it’s funny that you have a lot of Raps yet your favorite iPod artists are mostly country artists.

Remy: After I made my first rap video, “Two Percent Milk,” I got a lot of positive feedback from people who said they really enjoyed it. I had enjoyed making the video, so I decided to make another rap and, two years later, it continues I suppose! Still having fun and I hope folks are still enjoying those videos.

Patrick: So I know you are busy with tons of video projects, what should we expect next from Remy?

Remy: I always have a list of ideas in my head, but it’s always tough to pick the next one to go with. I’ll probably decide in the next week and take it from there. I just hope folks will like it!

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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T1RMuoQnKo[/youtube]

Daily DC Item: Don’t Rain On My Primary Day

Photo courtesy Flickr user eralon

Photo courtesy Flickr user eralon

The bigger news out there appears to be the crazy weather (I woke up at 6 AM in the center of The Perfect Storm, the weather as I type this? Sunny.)

The story that should be a bigger splash? The Virginia Democratic Primary which opened their polls today as the three Democratic candidates for Governor face-off. At first I was a little interested in the race but now my interest has waned again. With more rain in the forecast today, I’m not expecting anything but lackluster participation totals for today’s race. That being said it’s no longer absolutely safe that front-runner Terry McAuliffe will walk away with a victory, who knows if Brian Moran or even Creigh Deeds could walk away with an upset.

Polls are open til 7 P.M. statewide if you are a resident and are itching to be vocal on the issue.

(UPDATE: And look what happened… Deeds upsets and wins it)

DC Daily Item: Vintage VA Weekend!

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Edit (I forgot the date and time-D’oh!):

Saturday, May 30th – Sunday, May 31st, 2009
11:00 am – 6:00 pm each day

Okay, so Patrick usually does these and my brain is a little fried from yesterday’s 8 hour car ride back from Bethany Beach, Delaware (hopefully you all found something a little bit better to do on your Memorial Day).  This exhaustion might explain why today’s DC Daily item is both on a weekend and in Virginia-but hey, this is what you’re going to get out of me today.

The Vintage Virginia wine festival is awesome, even if you hate wine (although, you’ll probably have less fun if you don’t like wine).  Each year what seems like nearly every winery in the Commonwealth (I counted nearly 50) comes to a big old field in Centerville and puts on a party.  There are performers, food vendors, massage therapists, artists and, oh yeah, wine.

And if you’re worried that this is some sort of stuffy wine tasting event with everyone standing around in fancy clothes eating cheese and talking about palettes and stuff-well that is sort of true, but not stuffy really.  Vintage VA definitely is more of a PARTY than a party, but not obnoxious-enough people running around to make you feel like a part of something and yet enough space to just be with your group.

And the wine is amazing.  50 some odd vendors x 4-5 bottles of wine to sample at each vendor=please have a designated driver.  It also means rock bottom prices on bottles of wine.  My usually plan of attack is to visit a bunch of vendors early, mark which ones I want and then limit myself to buying no more than a case total (I make it last most of the year, don’t worry).

Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 at the gate) and cheaper for kids, DDs and other non-parkaters of the grape.   They include a tasting glass and all the wine you can taste.

And for you “I’m scared of Virginia” folks, let me assure you that it is not nearly the drive you think it is and they leave the DC/VA gates open all weekend, so you’ll be able to get home.   So get your car group together and draw lots for who’s going to be sober-should be a great time!

Democrats Face Off In Virginia Gubernatorial Primary Debate Tomorrow

novaWell thanks to the rampant calls I’ve gotten from the candidates, I’ve become a smidge more interested in the Gubernatorial race in Virginia. While there’s only one G.O.P. candidate, the Democrats have a primary where three candidates will be facing off. The candidates: Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe, and Brian Moran will debate one last time at NOVA in Annandale at 2 PM. The post has an article up previewing the debate and will stream the event live for those that might want to check in.

I don’t know if it’s me becoming more interested in Politics (maybe I did catch the bug when I moved here) but if I have a minute tomorrow- I might check in. Then again I might be the only one, is anybody else really interested in the Governor’s race?

Will.I.Am To Rally With Terry McAuliffe Tonight At Clarendon Ballroom

william_8

Thanks to the phone banks with the Terry McAuliffe campaign, I heard that he and will.i.am will be down the street tonight at Clarendon Ballroom. The event is titled, “A Night with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas” and proceeds will go to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign.

This is less of a political message and more of a, “if you want to see will.I.am and don’t mind throwing money at Terry McAuliffe to do it- here’s your chance!

Terry seems to know a few famous people, later this week he’s holding a rally at NOVA in Annandale with Bill Clinton. Well that makes sense since he ran Hillary’s Presenditial campaign and is a former DNC chairman.


A Night with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas

The Clarendon Ballroom
3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Virginia
Monday, May 11, 2009 at 8:00pm
$20 Admission
$500 Co-Host (includes admission to a special VIP reception with Will.I.Am at 8:00PM and recognition at the event)

Velocity Five Flying Not So High

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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
http://www.velocityfiverestaurant.com/

Daily DC Item: If Obama Likes Hell Burger- Maybe I Do Need To Give It Another Try

Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg / pool / Getty Images

Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg / pool / Getty Images

“Definitely just saw Obama at Ray’s Hell burger. F Yes.”

Those the words I saw yesterday afternoon on Clinton Yates’ twitter account.

As I read those words I thought about dropping my things and running over to the Rosslyn establishment from my Court House office, however logic kicked in: Hell Burger is typically busy on a normal afternoon, what kind of place would it be if Barack Obama and Joe Biden walked in and had lunch? I wouldn’t of gotten anywhere close. At least I’m sure it wasn’t anything like the time a fictional Bill Clinton visited McDonald’s. I do have to say that I am at least jealous of my co-worker Kristen who was coincidentally next door at that time.

Linda Feldman over at the Christian Science Monitor has the best account of Obama & Biden’s last minute lunch out.

According to the daily guidance lunch was supposed to be, “in the Oval Office, closed press.”

But around 12:30 PM the White House Press Pool was assembled and put into a motorcade that took them to Rosslyn. It looked like Obama and Biden wanted to go somewhere new for lunch.

Feldman describes Hell Burger as, “a joint so new it still doesn’t have a sign up.” Ray’s has been opened since July 2008 which made me wonder if it will ever get a sign now that Ray’s The Steaks moved to Court House.

Courtesy AP/Huffington Post

Photo by AP/Huffington Post

Obama and Biden walked in the front door, the press came in the back; and I could only imagine the look on a patron’s face when they see the President & Vice President wait in line with you to order a burger. In what could only be described as classy, Obama turned to the Press Pool and offered to buy everybody lunch and just like a good Commander-in-Chief does, he delegated Caren Bohan of Reuters to take everyone’s orders.

After warning that they were going to order food for here and to-go, Obama let Biden toss in his order: a Swiss cheese burger with jalapeno peppers and a Root Beer. Obama then ordered a basic cheddar cheeseburger with mustard (spicy mustard if you got it), lettuce and tomato. When he inquired about fries he learned what many Hell Burger patrons already knew: they don’t do fries.

I wonder if the President asks for fries, do you just make fries?

Luckily the manager pitched him on the tater tots and he agreed on that instead.

They both paid for their orders in cash- with Obama picking up the tab for the pool.

“We’re paying, or these people [the pool] are gonna write about how we’re free-loading,” Obama said when the management offered to pick-up the bill.

Obama also threw a five-spot into the tip jar.

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Photo by AP/Charles Dharapak

They were then served at a table by the chef (curious how there was magically a table free when usually the place is packed at 12:30, but then again when you are the President things can be arranged…), if you take a look at the video they had table tent #42- too bad #44 wasn’t available.

They were back a little after 1:00 P.M- a very efficient lunch if I may say so myself.

Now after remaining on the fence on Hell Burger– I guess I should give it yet another try now that it’s been Obama-approved. However Hell Burger was popular enough pre-Obama, will it go the way of Ben’s Chili Bowl now that it’s been graced by The President?

Daily DC Item: Street Lines FAIL?

Courtesy of Loudoun Extra

Courtesy of Loudoun Extra

It looks like something straight out of FAIL Blog but it’s not.

The Zig-Zag lines you see there is not the product of drunken VDOT workers, it’s actually a new technique that is being tried out in Ashburn to reduce accidents at pedestrian and bicycle crossings. The technique of painting confusing lines to slow down drivers has already been used in Europe, and VDOT is one of the first in the United States to try it out for themselves.

If you are interested in seeing the work it has been placed along Route 7 at Belmont Ridge Road and Sterling Boulevard. And if it catches on it will be implemented in more areas throughout the region.

If you thought that wasn’t crazy enough the Loudoun Extra article on the story ends with, “VDOT officials aren’t sure what to expect from the zigzag lines but will try to gauge how they are working this week by placing “fake” pedestrians in the crosswalk to see what happens.” Fake pedestrians? Why does that sound like joy to a reckless teenager?

Protectors of Crystal City: Superhero Outdoor Film Fest!

A truly brilliant Image by flickr User Ian Boyd

A truly brilliant Image by flickr User Ian Boyd

The Super-heroes of DC Comics have always taken place in cities vaguely reminiscent of ones in the real world, but with slightly fantastic sounding names:  Gotham, Metropolis, Keystone,… Crystal City?

Yes-just outside our Nations Capitol, criminals fear to walk this summer.  The most accessible metro stop in the city will play home to not one, but 4 Super-heroes and 2 Super-hero teams.  The Crystal City Outdoor Film festival embraces it’s inner geek (although it’s decidedly less geeky now) and pulls 21 titles of spandex and capes off of its DVD shelf and onto the big screen-combining my love of being a hording, comic loving recluse and my love for being outside.  Starting May 4th with Spider-Man, and finishing with the masterpiece that is Batman: The Dark Knight on September 21, Crystal City pulls no punches and ducks no movies.  The good, the bad (Superman Returns; The Hulk) and the somewhere in between (X-men) there is something for everyone…that is if everyone likes comic book movies.

True story:  Last year when Screen on the Green did the original Superman I watched it with someone who, quite literally, knew nothing about Superman.  I mean-nothing.  Didn’t know what he could do, where he came from, what his deal was-nothing.  At one point she said “What’s the glowing green stick”-Uh…Kryptonite?  “Oh…like the song!”  The madness that put into my head…beyond description.  I don’t expect people to be versed in the many different colors Kryptonite, what they do or that it actually originated in the radio plays not the comics-but come on!

So fear not citizens of Northern Virginia, and come get you some education on these, the modern folk heroes of these here United States of America one Monday night at a time.

Click here for full movies and information.

Time: Starting May 4th, Every Monday at Sundown

Location: 18th and Bell Street – Courtyard Across from Crystal City Metro Station & Marriott Hotel

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