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Dave Matthews’ Tickets on Saturday

Saturday will mark the beginning of the summer concert season, when Dave Matthews Band tickets go on sale for his June 26th concert at Nissan Pavilion. Also coming to Nissan this summer are Jimmy Buffett (parrot heads rejoice, but get your seats on Ebay, it’s sold out) on June 15th, Mötley Crüe on August 13th, and Brooks and Dunn on August 20th.

I got to see DMB at Nissan two summers back, and parking issues aside, it was a great place to see a show, and DMB did not disappoint in person. Lawn seats are $39.50 and Reserved seats are $57.00.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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DC Metblogs’ Favorites: Happy Hour

We’re debuting a new feature today here at DC Metroblogging, called Metblogs’ Favorites, where our authors give out some of their very favorite spots to drink, eat, walk, run, take photos, become more culturally aware or take in the sights. Our first category is Happy Hour Spots. So delve deeper into the minds of our authors and enjoy this round of Happy Hour Picks.

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Giada de Laurentiis in town this weekend

If you’re looking for a Food Network TV Personality to stalk see this weekend, you’ll be happy to know you’re in luck. Giada de Laurentiis will be signing her book at the Williams-Sonoma on Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest this Sunday, April 3rd, from 1 to 2:30. Though I find her smile frequently larger than any smile ought to be and a little bit nervous and forced, her Italian cooking is absolutely top notch, and let’s face it, she’s got a gorgeous…kitchen.

You thought I was going to say rack, didn’t you. perv.

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Cheezborgers in DC?

Famous from John Belushi’s portrayal of their surly stylings behind the counter, the Billy Goat Tavern will be expanding to new metropolitan areas in the not too distant future according to Chicagobusiness.com. Looks like we get our own purveyor of sports-team-curses and cheezborgers. No word yet where the new BGT will appear, or even when, but initial reports tell us that they are no match for Five Guys.

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A moment of righteous indignation

I don’t know how many of you remember reading about Arlington’s implementation of OCR cameras last spring to help them catch drivers with unpaid parking tickets and property taxes.

I was sort of uncomfortable with it at the time, but can’t tell if it’s really my libertarian principles that are bothered or if it’s just that I know how bad I am with things like property tax paperwork. I mean, is it really and unreasonable search to read your plate number when your car is parked on a public street just because they use a camera and a computer instead of a human and a phone to do it?

But a line is being crossed: This month, the county began using the cameras to find, and possibly tow, your vehicle for everything from unpaid parks and recreation fees to overdue library books.

I’ve got to leave for work in a minute, so I don’t quite have time to go into the several levels of invective I’ve got reserved for county officials who think the theft a person’s source of transportation is an appropriate response to forgetful people who don’t return library books. I don’t have time to talk about what a monumentally stupid thing it is to deter people from the use of public libraries by threatening the family car should they slip up and lose a book.

But I do have time to point out the danger of giving this technology to a bureaucracy so inefficient and forgetful that they are still trying to tax me for a car that I sold over a year ago- No doubt, the tag number from my old car will be in their database of offenders, seeing as how they have threatened to put a lien on it. Good luck finding it, guys- the dealer where I traded it in sold it at auction. It’s probably halfway to Nebraska by now.

And this is but the smallest of previews of my rage should the situation in Arlington County reach the level of that in New Haven, CT, where people’s cars are being stolen from private driveways over tax bills as low as $85.

Have any of you fallen victim to the roving eye of Big Brother Arlington?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Mmm, steak.

I can’t believe Tom and I forgot to post about the restaurant we went to a couple of weeks ago. It was our anniversary and decided to try out Ray’s The Steaks in Arlington since we’d been hearing raves about it.

It’s a good thing we decided that a couple of weeks in advance, because Ray’s books up 2 weeks ahead of time. (The owner, by the way, is Michael, not Ray.)

Ray’s is in the same little “shopping center” that Pho 75, another of our favorite spots, is. It’s small and narrow, with bare walls and exposed ductwork in the ceiling. You can see straight into the kitchen as well. The wine cabinet is near the door as you walk in, and there are wine cases stacked up along the divider between the dining area and the kitchen. Yeah, it’s a special kind of ambience.

The menu is pretty simple- you have your choice of steaks with a choice of sauces, and they serve creamed spinach and mashed potatoes family-style to the table. When you arrive, they also bring you some Cajun-spiced mixed nuts and some amazing bread I can’t even begin to describe.

Tom had the crab bisque to start- I tasted it and it was amazing. The crab flavor was strong but not overpowering, and the bread went really well with it. The spinach is also excellent- just enough cream to make it taste good but not so much that you miss the texture of the spinach itself.

The steaks are cut onsite and basically go from the cow, to your plate. The chef also doesn’t season the steaks at all- not so much as salt and pepper, so do take the server up on the offer of a sauce- the steaks are good, but even the best steak can tolerate some light seasoning.

Because I had just taken that class at the Wine Expo, I chose the wine- the wine list is such that someone with only enough wine education to know that cabernet goes best with steak can still be confident in making a good choice. In case you’re wondering, Avalon’s Napa Valley Cabernet is worth picking up.

I had picked up some ice cream for us to share at home so we declined dessert, but we were still served two espresso-sized cups of hot chocolate. When I say “hot chocolate,” don’t confuse it with the powdered, just-add-water, beverage-in-a-packet stuff. This was smooth and creamy and without doubt the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.

And the bill? Well, let’s say it was noticeably less than you’d spend at a Ruth’s Chris or a Morton’s.

So pick a day a few weeks out and make a reservation at Ray’s. And get there early- parking is a real problem.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Baseball, Bush Twins and Budgets

While the Nationals are in the midst of their spring training throes, the front office is beginning to shape things up for opening day. In yesterday’s announcer search, 22 hopefuls squared off at the Bowie baseball diamond in what was rumored to be a steel-cage deathmatch, but turned out to be an annouce-off. Apologies to Sherry Davis, who was not notified of the change in time and came in her best wrestling tights.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is hard at work trying to convince Peter Angelos that in fact, he does not own the rights to the entire eastern seaboard’s television market. It’s a shame to see an owner so desperate to cling to what wasn’t but barely his to begin with behave in such an undignified manner. But we’ve come to expect nothing less from Pete.

Someone’s been Photoshopping the Bush Twins, and it looks like there’s a good chance the editor of Maxim will be experiencing some of that famous Cuban Hospitality down at Camp X-Ray. Take some sunscreen, my pasty New York friend.

Dear Leader, I mean, Mayor Williams also unleashed his massive budgetary figures on the unsuspecting populace yesterday. The budget weighs in at a hefty $4.9 Billion, with over $1 Billion in reserves. The Mayor is promising significant progressive tax relief for poor and disabled homeowners with hefty tax bills thanks to rising property values. If only this man ran Arlington County!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Orioles Pitcher in DUI: Alabama Has Different Alphabet

The report states DuBose informed Clark he had “a couple” drinks at the Cafe Gardens and Daquiri Deck in Sarasota. When instructed to recite the alphabet, DuBose allegedly said, “I’m from Alabama, and they have a different alphabet.”

DuBose’s alcohol level registered at .113 more than an hour after being stopped. The legal limit in Florida is .08.

First it’s Sir Sidney Ponson assaulting a judge in Aruba. Now, it’s DuBose drinking and driving. What’s next? Are the Orioles spiraling out of control, like their owner, with the threat of a new team in their backyard? Who knows.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Best Of… Metroblogging

For those that read just the DC Metroblog, we’re part of a larger network of 30 blogs in 30 cities around the world. Today we’re launching a brand new feature: Best Of Metroblogging. Aimed at exposing folks to a larger market than just their own town, Best Of Metroblogging will feature entries from all our cities across the globe. Take some time, check it out, read some of the best that Metroblogging has to offer.

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Best. Charter Bus. Ever.

Just a quick one- Tom and I were on our commute out of the District tonight, and as we were crossing Constitution Avenue, we noticed a large red-and-white tour bus preparing to turn right onto 14th St.

Emblazoned on the side of the bus was the company’s name:

“LAMERS”

Yeah.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Baseball Happenings

Amid horrific renderings of Casey at the Bat from Rep. Davis yesterday, baseball greats made their way to the Hill to testify before Congress about steroids and their effects on the game, society and cute little yellow fuzzy ducks. No word if Canseco or McGwire stuck around past their hearings yesterday to enjoy this city’s hospitality, but if this city may be judged by their treatment in Congress, they likely headed straight for the airport.

While our elected representatives grilled the players and the management about steroids, our Nationals were getting rained out down at Space Coast Stadium. Looks like things are shaping up for our Nats, though. They’re 8-7 with just a week or so remaining on the Spring Schedule. Tonight they face the Mets in a rare spring night game in Port St. Lucie.

For the curious, the Nats’ AAA and AA clubs are now beginning to fill their rosters from those who’ve not made the cuts, and so it looks like the New Orleans Zephyrs and Harrisburg Senators squads. Last cuts will be made in another week or two. It seems that much of the sod for the infield has been laid over at RFK, and you can watch their progress as we get closer. 17 days and counting until Opening Day in Philadelphia!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Simultaneous Promotion of All Interests

As some of you know, I started working for a large, multi-national staffing company in IT placements a couple of months ago (I really ought to update my bio). At my new company, one of our most foundational principles is “Simultaneous Promotion of All Interests.”

So in that spirit, allow me to draw your attention to the ad you see on the right, in the Blogads strip. Yep, that’s my name in that ad- Randstad’s IT practice here in DC is actively seeking IT people who are interested in new employment opportunities. If you are an IT professional who is looking for work or is ready for a change, I want to interview you. If you’ve got a friend who fits that description, I want to talk to your friend. Click through on that ad or the mailto link, that way I’ll know how you heard about us.

Just think of all the interests you’ll be simultaneously promoting:
- You (or your friend) can end up with a great new job!
- My coworkers and I get to do our jobs that much better!
- If the ad is successful, my company will buy more ads, which benefits Metroblogging DC!

Everyone wins!

It doesn’t cost you (or your friend) anything, so what are you waiting for? Click that ad and tell me you want a new job!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Bioweapons, Again?

Though, most often, it turns out to be a box of napkins, or perhaps some confectioners sugar, two Dept. of Defense buildings have been evacuated due to sensor systems reporting biological toxins in powder found in envelopes. One complex, off Route 7 in Bailey’s Crossroads, will be closed tomorrow for investigation, and the other, by the Pentagon, was investigated and cleared.

Driving by the DOD complex on Route 7, right next to the new Target, I was surprised to see the area cordoned off. I had no idea, however, that it was anything other than construction until I saw the nice men in camo uniforms step out of the caprice. More on this as it develops.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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DC Metblogs and Hal Straus of the Washington Post

Recently, DC Metroblogs had the chance to sit down with Hal Straus, Editor, Newsroom Technology and Site Tools with washingtonpost.com, and grill him about weblogs, The Post, and the evolution of Journalism. Below, in italics, are Hal’s responses. Any code in Hal’s responses is his and has not been added at time of publication.

DCMB: Tell me about how blogs got started at the Post? Is this an “embrace-and-extend” move on the part of the Post to help gain credibility, or is this an experiment in the evolution of Journalism?

HS: We’re always looking for ways to deliver and extend Washington Post journalism, and hope blogs will let us tell stories in different ways and engage new audiences. But this is definitely experimental for us. We know we have a lot to learn about what works and what doesn’t, not to mention the technology — and would really appreciate advice from anyone who’d care to give it.

It’s hard to say exactly how blogs got started here, or even when — Howard Kurtz, Mark Maske, Jay Mathews and Dan Froomkin among others have been producing online only columns for us for years that read a lot like blogs. Joel Achenbach did a daily online column called Rough Draft a couple years ago that featured a lot of reader feedback and certainly got him thinking about what we recently launched as Achenblog.

In the past six months, we’ve been hearing from editors and reporters at the Post, and from online producers, that we should think about developing features that are updated more frequently, that offer more of a voice and more opportunity for user comments. The challenge is to do it in a way that’s in line with Post journalism — that’s useful and a good read, that’s genuinely informative, that doesn’t take cheap shots. And just to keep things interesting, we think we want a mix of blogs that are locally focused (like Going Out Gurus) and nationally or internationally focused (like Rebuilding Weligama).

More in the extended entry.

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Colonials Head To Big Dance

Maryland? Nope. Georgetown? Not likely. Howard? Uh uh. GW? Absolutely.

The Colonials are headed to the NCAA tourney after winning the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship and an Automatic Spot at in the Magnificent 65. It’s their first bid since 1999, and everyone seems to think it’s the biggest upset since time began here in DC. Not so fast, there, amigo. Maryland may have beaten Duke twice this year, but finished the season 1-5, plus an ACC Tournament loss to Clemson in the first round.

For the first time since 1993, the Colonials are the only team from DC headed to the Big Dance. They’ll start in Nashville, TN, as a 12 seed playing fifth seeded Georgia Tech. Looking for the bracket? ESPN has it all ready for you.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Nationals Single Game Seats On Sale Today

Those wanting seats to single games at RFK for the Nationals this season should run right out to the Nationals Ticket Schedule Website starting at Noon today. Seats range from $7 to $45 for the mere-mortal seats, whereas $95 will buy you lower diamond box seats. The Nationals had a great start to Spring Training, but now are a mere 5-5. Don’t expect amazing things from this year’s squad, but there are some certain high points on this squad: Josh “Monster” Rauch who looks down to Randy Johnson (he’s 6’11″), 19 year old shortstop Ian Desmond may not be expected to make the opening day roster, but you can bet we’ll see him from time to time, T.J. Tucker, who is working on a new cut fastball and a change-up, and Endy Chavez, who we’re trying to craft into a leader. These Nationals will be wonderful to watch simply because they are ours, but I think there’s a good chance we could have a team that could be crafted into a playoff contender over the next few seasons. Get some tickets today, head for the Metro, and remember nights at the ballpark when you were a kid. Create some memories of your own, for this is a game that has marked the time while this country has grown up. Gets some peanuts and crackerjack, or maybe a frosty adult beverage and let time float by on a Sunday afternoon.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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let me get spastic for a minute

Wow! Did you guys get to hang around outside today at all? It was gorgeous… I walked several blocks to pick up lunch and then spent two hours walking around visiting clients and not once did I have to mutter, “Good God, it’s cold…” It was so… joyous.

Oh, what? It’s supposed to snow tomorrow? Crap…. Freakin’ DC weather.

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Local Blogger Joins White House Press Corps

Garrett Graff over at Fishbowl DC has joined the White House Press Corps, the only blogger amongst their number (let’s not talk about the whole sordid, creepy Gannon/Guckert thing, okay? I’m still scrubbing that image from my retinae.), and he’ll be covering the President’s life for a while. We’re glad to see that the White House has recognized some new media outlets and we look forward to Garrett’s continued reporting!

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Cardozo Closed Again!

Seems like nothing can go right up at Cardozo High School. It’s been closed twice in the past two weeks when mercury droplets were discovered on stairwells. Each time, EPA crews have come through to clean up the spilled mercury. Well, let’s make that three times, as Cardozo will be closed on Monday due to still more mercury found on the campus. Councilman Graham is pretty teed off since they should have fixed it right the first time.

“This is either gross incompetence or the most willful criminal behavior,” Graham said. “This is surreal. Either we’re not really cleaning up the building or someone is out to get us here . . . This is really astounding.”

Looks like some fun questions will need to be answered.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs