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In with the In Crowd

A couple of weeks ago, I went to an advance screening of Garden State. I was raving about it the next day and a friend said, “Tiff, how do you find all this cool stuff to do?” Really, it’s not that I’m cool. In fact, I’m sort of lame. I just pretend well, so I am going to let you in on my secret:
Sign up for the Inside Source. You know all that cool stuff they write about in the Sunday Source? Well, the Inside Source is where actual cool people invite poseurs like myself to come do cool stuff with them.
So go sign up- if you’re fast, you might score passes to another advance screening of Garden State, which I highly recommend.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Amateur Photo Shoots? Yeesh….

DC is a very photogenic city. Shortly after I moved here, I splurged on a digital camera and decided to play tourist. Digital cameras are have done a great thing by increasing the amount of photography, as well as by making it easier for amateur photographers to experiment. This has the natural effect, however, of increasing the amount of really bad photography.
For those of us who know we need a little help with our technique, there is Washington Photo Safari in which a professional photographer leads participants on walking trips around DC and helps them learn to take more attractive photos.
I haven’t been on one yet, but this looks to be worth doing.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Metro Cops Packing Heat?

This morning, as per my morning routine, I ended up at the Pentagon Metro station and I saw something a bit unexpected. Usually, it’s not uncommon above ground to see police walking around carrying submachine guns with ammo bags, but in the metro station itself, I found it odd to suddenly see someone walking around, scanning faces in the crowd, clutching a submachine gun.
Is there some alert that changed the presence of police in the stations? Anyone else notice a well armed policeman?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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“Free” Parking, TMBG, Boulevard and Saturday Night Out

Tonight I had a chance to go out to Live On Penn to catch They Might Be Giants and Fountains of Wayne with a few friends. The concert was great, but a few thoughts for the people who are running the show down at Live on Penn:

  • Beer was plentiful! As such, I bought many overpriced, undersized beers. Food, however, was a pain in the ass to get. Long lines. Lines that Didn’t Move. And only two choices? You had four beer trucks, three wine (okay, okay, Arbor Mist ain’t wine, but still) dispensaries, and only two vendors for food? WTF.
  • Gotta figure out how to better dispense with 7000 people all bound for the same metro station.
  • The extra long scratchy mix of “Hey Ya” was about 6 minutes too long. And I *like* that song.

Overall, TMBG was good, Fountains of Wayne was excellent. The six of us adjourned to Boulevard Woodgrill for some incredible dessert.
We metro’d back to Pentagon City where I’d left my intrepid vehicle at the garage there by the Best Buy. It was locked up tight at 12:30. We circled it, tried all the doors and gates. No such luck. So much for “free” parking on weekends. It cost me a $13 cab ride back to Fairlington. With luck, my car is retrievable tomorrow!
Damn Parking Nazis.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Out of SmarTrip Cards?

So, The Post says Metro is suspending SmarTrip sales. Apparently, they didn’t order more cards when they switched to the new “you need a SmarTrip card or you’re hosed” parking system this past month. And now they’re running very low.
Better yet, instead of accepting cash for parking until the crisis is over, they’re making people buy farecards for the appropriate amount and collecting those.
Good Lord.
Who the hell works for Metro anyway? Former occupants of the now-defunct DC General Psych Ward?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Movies Outside

Tonight marks the second installment of the Movies in Shirlington, with Seabiscuit going live on the screen along about 8:30 tonight. C’mon down to Shirlington for some Prohibition Porter, some awesome Indian food, some incredible Tapas, and stay for the free movie. They’re doing a Lord of the Rings flick next Thursday night, as well. Definitely good stuff. See you in Shirlington!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Paranoia Runs Rampant? Pshaw.

My friend Nelson recently talked about how DC lives in some sort of paranoiac state, all due to an Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle. Couldn’t be a bigger load of crap. I mean, heck, the author got three quarters of his facts wrong!
I love living here in the DC Area. I love seeing the Capitol, the White House, the Mall, the Key Bridge, the Potomac, heck, I even love the ugly ass FBI Building that’s three blocks from my office downtown. As my friend Lisa said to me last night, some people just aren’t cut out to live here.
I’m sure glad that I am!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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How about that local sports team?

My favorite DC spectator sport isn’t hockey, or football, or soccer. Oh no, my favorite sport to watch in DC is altogether different.
I love watching the cops pull trucks and buses over on Route 110 next to the Pentagon.
Route 110 toward Alexandria goes within spitting distance of the Pentagon. Seriously, from the passenger seat of my VW Beetle, you could probably throw a football through a window onto Rummy’s desk as we passed by.
So after 9/11, of course, that kind of proximity to the Pentagon made the Defense Department nervous- after all, it’s the side that didn’t get destroyed, and they’d understandably like to keep it that way. As you drive by there now, there’s a guy in an armored vehicle with an anti-tank weapon mounted on top. Usually, it’s pointed up, or at the ground, but you know something’s up when he’s got it pointed at the road.
Now there are cops stationed in marked cars, blue lights flashing, up and down that stretch of 110. This is frustrating, because everyone slows down when they see them even though the cops aren’t there for speeding violations. But it’s entertaining, because they are there to pull over large vehicles.
Trucks and buses are no longer allowed on 110 because it would be too easy to pack them full of something volatile and drive them into the side of the Pentagon. I guess my Beetle doesn’t frighten them so much.
Most of the tour bus operators and professional truck drivers have gotten used to the restrictions and have found alternate routes to get where they’re going. You don’t see too many of them pulled over anymore.
They did once have to pull over the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, because it’s classified as a “truck.” It frightened the driver, too. I’m sure the officers were just following the rules, but come on, the Weinermobile? A potential security threat to the Pentagon? Driven by terrorists? Why, the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile is as American as… as… well, hot dogs!
But then there’s moving season. Kids moving into dorms. Interns moving in and out of their temporary housing. Transient twentysomethings reaching the ends of their leases. And for some reason, they or their parents think the giant “NO TRUCKS ALLOWED ON RT 110″ or “TRUCKS MUST EXIT NEXT RIGHT” signs apply to all the trucks but the ones they happen to be driving. So they rent their Ryder trucks and head obliviously down 110, and get irritated when the local constabulary tells them that they aren’t allowed to drive past the Pentagon.
So whenever I’m stuck behind some guy driving a behemoth moving truck on 110, I whoop, cheer, and let out a Nelson Munz-like “Ha-hah” as he gets pulled over.
I’m sure karma will catch up to me eventually.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs