Archive for the ‘Penn Quarter’ Category

Madame Tussauds in D.C.?

Today’s edition of The Wash. Times reports that a Madame Tussauds may opening in the basement of the Woodies building. The potential here is amazing. I cannot be the only one who wants to see a reproduction of Nixon and Elvis meeting at the White House or Marion Shepilov Barry at the Vista Hotel.

What would you like to see depicted at a D.C. Madame Tussauds?

Te amo, Juan Valdez

Ah, escaping the Seventh Street horde. Two police officers, a family of tourists, two crackberry addicts, and me, relaxing in the new Juan Valdez Cafe at Seventh and E.

I’ve wanted to step in ever since I saw the signs go up, directly opposite a Starbucks. Aside from the poly-socio-economic implications of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Columbia taking on the Behemoth Seattle Mermaid, I was interested in what kind of space they would create and whether the coffee would tantalize.

Heightened Police Presence on Metro on Wednesday

Tomorrow morning, at a station that WMATA has not disclosed, transit police and a special K9 team will surveil the Metro platform during morning rush. There may be as many as 20 officers on the platform at any given time during the 90 minute rush hour that begins at 7:30am tomorrow. No word on whether or not Metro is under any specific terror threat or the reasons behind the random station policing.

If you happen to travel through this station tomorrow, let us know what you saw. Also, if you’ve got an opinion about Metro’s security, which has seen more crime lately than ever before, tell us in the comments.

Are We Really That Indifferent To Neighborhoods?

Now, I realize that Daily Candy is just trying to help out one of their sponsors, but are we as bad as the author there suggests? “Folks in these parts just don’t seem to take the same pride in their neighborhoods as those in other towns.”

Sure, we’re no Chicago or New York in terms of our love for neighborhoods and names, and the District doesn’t officially recognize the names of the neighborhoods here, but I’d say there’s some serious love for the neighborhood in DC. Jenn even feels bad she can’t get into the ANC meeting!

What say you readers? Are we as neighborhood apathetic as Daily Candy says? If you’re feeling like you want to represent, though, check out DistrictTees or

Got Property?

Bubble? Bubble? What Bubble?

Real Estate assessments are up 21% on average. Trinidad is up 47%. Congress Heights up 41%. Median House price in the District is $400,000 right now. But it’s not all painful news, as the homestead exemption’s up to $60,000, and the rate per hundred dollars has gone down to 92 cents, but that does make the annual tax bill on a $400,000 house over $3,000.

I know from personal experience that the assessments went up in Arlington, as I’m looking at yet another net increase in my taxes, though the rates won’t be set until mid April. How’d your assessment go this year?

Penn Quarter Musings

As resolved, Friday I strolled over on my lunch hour to TICKETplace to pick up some half-price tickets for that evening. I ended up with ?Guantanomo,? mostly out of guilt that I barely have ever patronized my local theater, Studio.

Wandering back through the blocks that make up the designated neighborhood of Penn Quarter, it struck me as so idyllic – in the unseasonal (but welcome!) balmy warmth, the quaintness of it all was very appealing. So it is a bit manufactured in places, but still somehow? I like it. I stopped into Teaism for my favorite, their addicting green tea/wasabi-spiked Salmon Ochazuke soup, and just lingered.

It started me wondering, who lives in Penn Quarter? It seems to me the swanky condominiums are designed to attract a certain set of forty-to-fifty-somethings, who feel possibly too hip for Georgetown. But I could be wrong, there could be younger folks living there. With a world-class repertory theater like Shakespeare, the new home of Woolly Mammoth, cool furnishings stores like Apartment Zero, and several delicious restaurants ? I?m really curious now, who lives there and do they think they?re as lucky as I do?

Last Minute Theater

Once upon a time I went to school in DC for drama and even acted here for a while, but after falling out of it I failed to really keep up with the local theater scene. It’s a shame, because DC theater is thriving, with choices ranging from top-notch repertory houses to cutting-edge fringes. I’ve been meaning to start seeing more theater for a while now, but the successful marriage of hectic scheduling and procrastination have managed to keep my resolution unfulfilled.

When I was a teenager I used to take the train into NYC with my friends, stand in line at the half-price ticket booth, pick a play from what was available, and that was it. No advance planning, beyond a very rough idea of what was on and what Frank Rich hated. So while thinking of a way to jump-start my resolution, I remembered that DC has a half-price ticket place as well, and am now determined to use it to end my theater-going slump.

TICKETplace, newly moved to 407 Seventh Street in Penn Quarter, sells discounted tickets every day for that evening’s performance. You can purchase them online (starting at 12pm) or in person (starting at 11am), and you can also sign up for a daily email listing the current offerings.

So tonight I’m off with a friend to see a play that we’ll just randomly pick from what’s available. Hopefully this will inspire me enough to continue with theater-going. We’ll see how it goes…

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