Legacy articles

High Occupancy Toll Lanes On the Way in Virginia

For those of you who take the beltway in Virginia, things could be on their way to getting a bit more interesting, commute-wise. VDOT has signed a contract with a pair of private firms to build a set of toll lanes along 14 miles of the Virginia Beltway, from the American Legion Bridge, down to the Springfield 395/95 interchange. The basic idea behind the whole thing is that people will either grab more people, to ride for free, or pay whatever the going rate is. What’s fascinating here is that tolls will be dependent upon how busy the road is. If it’s empty, it’ll be inexpensive. If it’s full, it will be expensive. A very interesting idea, indeed.

Better yet, no state money is going into the construction, which will all be underwritten by the two developers picking up the tab. Of course, we’re still looking at an open date, at the very earliest, of 2010.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Presentation Magic!

For those of you looking to polish up your presentation and public speaking skills, Women in Technology is hosting a three-session presentation skills workshop in May designed to help you speak more confidently, interact with your audience, and set the right environment for your presentations.

It costs $100, which covers registration for all three sessions. You might even be able to get your employer to pay for your registration.

While you’re checking it out, poke around the rest of the WIT calendar- there are a number of networking and professional development activities, and the WIT people are a lot of fun (I should know, I am one).

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Happy Hour!

Come one, Come all to the DC Metroblogging Happy Hour this Wednesday at Café Saint-Ex on 14th St. We’ll be enjoying some fine libations, as well as DJ RIBS and CAPTAIN TENACITY on the ones and twos. We’ll be there from 7pm on, look for us at the bar!

Café Saint-Ex is at:

1847 14th St.
Washington, DC 20009

Nearest Metro: U St./Cardozo/African American Civil War Memorial

Are you coming? Let us know in the comments!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Ah, Craig’s List, Home of the Intrepid

We’ve got a real interesting housing market here in Washington, DC. Folks are always coming and going, perhaps more so here than in practically any other city in the country. There’s a lot of moving around, and so landlords are forced to get creative.

Take this masterpiece, for example.

You gotta love good Craig’s List.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Screech: Our Bastard Love Child Mascot

As I was riding home from last night’s Nationals game, I found myself reading HomeStand, the rag paper handed out at Stadium/Armory Metro and along the sidewalks leading up to RFK Stadium. In the paper there was an article on the genesis of Screech, our new fluffy mascot, where it was revealed that he (?) is the bastard love child of Slapshot and Youppi!

That’s right, kids, Screech is not only a cross-breed between and eagle and a….a…a…thing, but worse still, Youppi! split town looking for other work before Screech was even hatched! Rumor has it that in addition to being the first mascot tossed from a baseball game, he’s also bisexual.

Folks, we’d best not let the Faith and Family Council hear about this, or poor Screech will be ostracized. But in the meanwhile…can I just say? What. The. Fuck. Who thought this would be a good idea? I mean, I’m glad we didn’t go the back alley abortion route, that would’ve just been wrong, but who says that just because it’s some other local mascot’s kid that it has to be our mascot? Couldn’t we at least have considered some other Eagle for the job? I mean, Sam the Eagle has to be looking for work, he hasn’t had a gig since the LA Olympics were done, or maybe we’d be better off going to the other Sam the Eagle instead. I don’t know, but if I worked in the Nats front office, this has got PR nightmare written all over it: nepotism, bastardy, out-of-wedlock children, genetic-engineering…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Senators Who Flickr?

I’ve got a few Flickr tags in my RSS reader, one specifically for Washington DC, and I was rather surprised to see that Senator Evan Bayh has a flickr account. He’s got some very nice shots of him and his family up there, but I’m betting it’s not him actually doing the uploading. Looking at his tags, I’m guessing this is the start of his grass roots campaign for 2008.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Federalism? What’s that?

So let’s say you bought a house out in Virginia near a Metro station. It would be clear to you from the purchase price of your house that housing is at a premium, particularly near Metro stations. And let’s further say that you’re involved in the local politics of the area surrounding your new home. You would be especially familiar with the difficulties of developing Northern Virginia from the sleepy little towns prevalent in the 70s to the three-piece-suit-and-Red-Bull havens for the entire micro industry surrounding the business of government that they are today. You would further be painfully aware of the difficulties Metro has in funding itself, and how that contributes to poor service throughout the region, especially on the Orange and Red lines.

Now let’s further say that the largest homebuilder in the country wants to develop some spare land near that Metro station from WMATA and add a bunch of high-density, smart-growth new housing. What do you do?

If you’re Congressman Tom Davis (R-NIMBY NoVa), you try to legislate the development out of existence. Because you don’t want all that smart-growth, high-density housing near your house.

And really, God forbid The Honorable Congressman Tom Davis shoud live so close to so many new constituents. I mean, doesn’t he deal with enough of those people at the office? Does he have to actually run into them at the grocery store?

Is it not the sworn responsibility of Congressman Davis (whose office phone number is (202) 225-1492 and office fax is (202) 225-3071) to intervene in local land use matters in order to maintain his personal lifestyle? It’s not as though minor matters like the federal budget or the war in Iraq are demanding his attention. And certainly he knows what the development needs of the area are better than Fairfax Board of Supervisors does. After all, why should Fairfax have the same level of autonomy that Davis wants to give the District? And if the federal government doesn’t fund Metro, why should Metro try to find new revenue sources with which to expand service?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Man Hurt in RFK Fall

Apparently, there was a major incident after the game last night. A man fell from the 500 level of the stadium down to the 100 level concourse, hitting his head on the railings between levels. He was airlifted by the US Park Police to DC General and later, Washington Hospital Center, having suffered multiple broken bones and serious multi-system trauma.

Ow, dude.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Washingtonienne back in the News

Sure, it’s not surprising to hear that in a town full of powerful people, there are a few who will trade sex for power. However, that seems to have been brought to the forefront over the last few years, what with Monica Lewinsky and Jessica Cutler taking up some real limelight here in the District. Now, expect to see Cutler’s face back in the media, as her book The Washingtonienne will be out in the next two months.

No word as of yet if she’ll do a public book signing.

Also due is a work of fiction by Ana Marie “Assfucking” Cox, or, as many know her Wonkette. Don’t expect much more than tabloid writing here…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

School Bus, Trash Truck collide in Arlington

Major injury accident on Columbia Pike this morning between an Arlington County School Bus and a large trash hauler. As the bus turned left on to South Courthouse road, it was smashed by the trash truck, killing one child and critically wounding two more. The drivers of both vehicles were injured, but not critically. More information will be forthcoming.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Local Boys Done Good

It appears neither the Orioles nor the Nationals have gotten the memo that they’re not supposed to be any good this season. The Nationals finished a three game sweep of the Diamondbacks, beating them 7-3, taking them to 8-4 for the season, a game and a half ahead in the NL East. The Orioles completed a three game sweep of the New York Yankees today, causing George Steinbrenner to have a small nervous meltdown and not a small case of buyer’s remorse after the game. He said “Enough is enough.” What, George, can’t stomach getting stomped by a small market team, three games running and five out of six?

Next up for the Orioles is a series with the Detroit Tigers (5-7) at Camden Yards. For the Nats it’s the Marlins (6-6), with Tomo Ohka starting against Dontrelle Willis at RFK. Tickets are available for both games.

One other thing…

The Nats announced their new mascot “Screech” the Eagle. Pictures are forthcoming, but any semblance of similarity to Dustin Diamond is likely superficial.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

more lunch choices

Emily’s post reminded me that I had not yet taken the time to rhapsodize about some of my own favorite lunch spots. I started working downtown again three months ago and have been taking recommendations from my new coworkers. We’ve got the standard assortment of chain places and by-the-pound buffets, but I’ve also been introduced to some more obscure stuff.

Naan & Beyond has become the default choice at the office when we can’t decide what we want for lunch, or when it’s too cold to walk anywhere. It’s an Indian sandwich shop- you get tikka sandwiches, biryani, and samosas there for cheap. During the lunch rush, they’ve got the assembly-line thing down, yelling “chicken tikka chicken tikka sheesh tikka!” at each other while the girl at the end of the line asks each customer whether they want mint or mango chutney with their sandwich.

Perfect Pita has a location a few blocks from my office, as well as two in Alexandria. Their pita is just the right level of chewy and the hummus is strong enough to cure whatever ails you. When I go there for lunch, I usually get the Chicken Hummus Veggie sandwich, which is sort of football-shaped and heavy, and is a big lunch for $6 even with tax. A container of hummus, a container of tzatziki, and 5 pieces of pita was dinner for Tom and me the other night… $8.

Robeks is a chain, but they’ve only got one location in the DC area. They’re known mostly for smoothies and nutritional supplements, but they’ve also got sandwiches and salads and stuff. But none of that is the reason I go there. I’ve become a devotee of the Acai Energy Bowl. Acai is this Brazilian berry that has tons of antioxidants in it, and they mix it up with some bananas, blueberries, and just a little apple juice until it’s thicker than your typical smoothie. There’s granola at the bottom and on top, and then on top of all that is some more banana. I eat this for breakfast probably a little too often. When I walk in there in the mornings, the guys at the counter don’t even bother asking what I want anymore- they just ring it up as soon as I walk in the door. Mmm $5 fruity breakfast- it’s so tasty I have trouble believing that it’s good for me.

Where do you guys go to lunch?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

An Epic Evening

Baseball returned to DC last night at just before 7pm when President Bush sauntered out to the mound and threw out the first pitch (ball, up and away) to catcher Brian Schneider. The Nats played exceedingly well in front of a packed house at RFK last night (some 45,549 of your closest friends!) and won 5-3. Livan Hernandez pitched 8 1/3 innings, he had a one hit shut out going through 8 innings, then gave a three run homer in the ninth, picking up his first win. Chad Cordero bagged his second save. Vinny Castilla nearly hit for the cycle, picking up a triple, a double and a two-run homer, but then he was plunked by Lance Cormier in the 8th on the first pitch of his fourth at bat. It’s a pity, really, since he just needed the single. Overall, a good time at the ballpark.

Good things:

  • Baseball returns to DC
  • Nats win home opener to take sole possession of first place in the NL East
  • The crowd cheered everybody from the assistant groundskeepers all the way up to Frank Robinson and the starting nine.
  • RFK stayed nice and warm for most of the game
  • Taking Metro to the game worked like a charm
  • Despite heavy volume, the Secret Service did a great job keeping the security lines moving. Perhaps they ought to give a seminar to the TSA.

Bad things:

  • Lines for hotdogs ran upwards of an hour at times.
  • Frequently, they ran out of hotdogs. At a baseball game.
  • Scoreboard crew had a rough night
  • They. ran. out. of. hotdogs.
  • The Metro line at the conclusion of the game could only be considered voluminous. I am told that people are still in line for inbound Orange and Blue line trains.
  • Some fans preternatural devotion to The Wave. Yes, section 440, row 3, seat 8, I am speaking directly toward you.
  • Promising people collectible medallions upon their departure and then failing to have enough to go around. C’mon guys, it’s not like you didn’t know that 45,569 tickets had been sold.

We gave up on the Metro last night, choosing to walk the 2 miles from RFK to Union Station along East Capitol Street and then up Massachussetts Avenue. Cabs were nowhere to be found (hint to cabbies, you will make boatloads of money if you hang out by RFK on home game nights…) and the metro line stretched from the station around the corner and at no point was thinner than 15 people. Buses had to get police escorts through the teeming throngs of people.

But it’s Baseball. Live, in DC.

A special shoutout goes to the person who hung the sign that read:

Dear Angelos,
U Stink.
Signed, Everyone

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Opening Day Roundup

That’s right, it’s my favorite religious holiday today, it’s Opening Day for Baseball here in the District. The last time Washington DC observed such a holiday (because we’re not really baseball fans, right Mr. Angelos?) was during the Johnson administration. Whoa, people, it’s been a while. In fact, it’s been so long, the Washington Post has decided to remind us what’s changed in the city since the last game was played here. Pitching tonight will be Liván Hernandez for the Nationals, and don’t think the team’s not excited to come home! They beat up on the Braves last night for an 11-4 victory that left them Tied for First in the NL East!

Parking lots at RFK open at 3pm today, gates open at 4pm today. While food and bottled water will be allowed into RFK tonight, the following things are not: metal, glass or plastic containers, Backpacks or large bags, large flags or banners, poles and staffs, weapons and illegal substances, fireworks, whistles, video cameras and professional cameras with detachable zoom lenses and tripods.

No word if these restrictions will last beyond tonight.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles


Even though tomorrow’s home opener for the Nats is sold out, there are still tickets available for the games on Saturday and Sunday. The Nats have some details about the opening weekend festivities, including the Kids’ Opening Day on Sunday in which your lucky offspring will get to run the bases and hug a guy dressed up in a big plush suit.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

more horizon broadening

I went to lunch today with the very same coworker with whom I shared my thousand year old egg adventure took me to lunch today at Rosa Mexicano after a client visit.

Alas, I am a lightweight and therefore couldn’t enjoy a pomegranate margarita before heading back to work, but I am also a guacamole snob. Therefore, imagine my delight upon tasting guacamole that had been prepared right in front of me in a big stone bowl with a big wooden spoon. I could have had just the guacamole and chips for lunch and been happy.

Instead I had beef enchiladas with molé poblano sauce. I realize I do not seem like someone with more than a Chi-Chi’s level of familiarity with Mexican cuisine, but is it really necessary to ask me if I know what molé sauce is before agreeing to serve it to me? I realize it has chocolate in it, but I also realize that my lunch will not taste like beef with Hershey’s all over it.

In any case, the guacamole will someday achieve world peace, my chocolate-beef-tortilla entree was excellent, the rice was disappointing, and the black beans were too salty. Considering the rice and beans are served as sort of an afterthought to the entree, not too shabby. Now I have to find out if there are happy hour specials so I can drag my metroblogging peeps out there for margaritas and sangria.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Magic Number: One

That’s right, folks, our Washington Wizards are on the doorstep to the playoffs. Sure, for a long time it was a given, but with the way the last couple of weeks have unfolded, you’d have thought we were watching the Clippers instead of a playoff caliber team! But now, with five games left, the Wiz have captured a winning record for the first time since 1998, and are knocking on the door of the playoffs. Their Magic Number is 1, meaning any Wizards win, or NJ Nets loss will put them squarely into the post-season.

It sure is nice to have a playoff caliber team in town, what with Hockey being defunct, the Nationals being brand new, and the Redskins being managed by Dan Snyder…

Of course, there’s always our other, less well known, far more well decorated soccer team: The DC United. They’ve got 4 MLS championships and are currently defending MLS champions. Playing at RFK, they’ll be sharing the field with the Nationals in an expense arrangement to re-configure the field for their home games, at a cost of $40,000 a pop. Of course, I’d move the field for the reigning league champs, too…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Fear and Loathing in DC

That’s right, New York has it’s 50 Most Loathsome, but somehow in DC, we can only come up with 28 Loathsome people. Dude. 28. I can find 28 Loathsome people, and that’s just in one quarter mile of one lane of Beltway traffic during rush hour!

It’s no surprise that snark is the order of the day in this town, given all the political canoodling, protesting, and amazing bitterness that resides here as part of the “ambience” of the city. Here are some folks that ought to have been on that list:

James Carville – Have you ever seen this guy? Have you ever heard him speak? Brilliant, but oh so very loathsome.

Mary Matalin – Hey, they are the most loathsome couple in politics? Who’s the dom and who’s the sub? It’s not even fun to guess.

Abe Pollin – Dude, the guy chased Michael Jordan out of town. That’s pretty loathsome.

The Family Research Council – I feel dirty just writing that.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas – Just ask to see his Long Dong Silver Collection…

Senator Ted Stevens – The guy wants to regulate HBO. Fuck him AND his high horse.

oh, and last but not least…

DCist Art Critic JT Kirkland who seems to think DCist gets about 10 times as much traffic as it actually does.

Damn that snark!

Update: Just a quick update for JT’s benefit, I don’t think you’re the most loathsome person in DC, that honor clearly befits the driver of the Tour Bus who parked his ass on 14th street during rush hour the other day. HE is clearly the most loathsome mofo in DC. You, however, are just loathsome. Oh, and JT, the least you could do is spell my name right. Of course, you are loathsome, I don’t expect much more from you.

Update 2: JT and I are cool now (spelling my name right would be a plus, btw). I no longer find him as loathsome as Stevens, Thomas and Carville. I’m also cool with all of DCist. Jake, however, I am not cool with. So let’s add Jake as an honorary DCasshat instead. Claiming the moral high ground when in fact you possess no ground at all is craptacular, Jake. Don’t treat us as a pity case. We’re your peers, like it or not.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Natural Selection… narrowly avoided.

So there I was, car idling two cars back at a stoplight at Wilson Boulevard and Garfield Street in Arlington. My right turn signal was on, because I was headed to the parking lot next to Hunan One. The light changed, and I moved forward and started my right turn.

Whoosh! As the car started to ease right, a guy on a bicycle zipped past on my right side, narrowly missing an unpleasant meeting with my right front fender. I braked out of reflex and then moved my foot back to the gas to continue the turn, cursing under my breath. I moved further into the turn, and what happened but ANOTHER asshat on a bicycle passed me on the right, this time swerving a little bit to miss my front bumper. It happened so fast I didn’t even have time to honk.

What the hell? If I’d been going just a little bit faster, I’d have squished him and I would have been the bad guy with my big, mean, automobile (an oh-so-intimidating VW Beetle) who ran over that poor, defenseless bicyclist who has the same right to be on the road that I do. Right.

That’s called natural selection, and these asshats barely missed it.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Legacy articles

Quacks Reform

The Treasury Department has a duck. The duck has built a nest in a pile of mulch outside the Treasury building and the Secret Service has erected metal barriers to protect the next until the ducklings hatch near the end of this month. She’s right outside the main entrance, so all the visiting dignitaries pass right by the nest.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs