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Sci-fi Geek Out

For the next two weekends at AFI Silver you can get your inner geek out.

Saturday and Sunday they’ll show Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, back-to-back in the grand old theatre at 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm respectively.

You could also watch The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones there tomorrow night at 6pm and 9pm, run catch a midnight showing of “Revenge of the Sith” somewhere, then go see the rest of the Star Wars mega-saga on Saturday. That would probably guarantee you entrance into the Geek Hall of Fame…

Next weekend is all three Indiana Jones movies, also shown in chronological sequence starting with The Last Crusade.

Cool…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Meet The Neighbors!

That’s right, we’ve got two new cities as part of the Metroblogging Network opening up today:

Philadelphia, our neighbors with the Main Line and Pat & Geno’s to keep us well-fed, not to mention the legacy of Rocky!

and

Berlin, our trans-atlantic friends, also familiar with being a divided Capitol! Now, Sean, about that paid exchange program!

Welcome Berlin and Philly!

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The Long Weekend

Traffic’s been light on 395 this week, likely a sign of people leaving town for the long Independence Day weekend. Lots of folks head out of town for the weekend, but as someone who usually celebrates the Fourth of July with some fervor, this is a good place to be for the day.

You can go see the document that started it all at the National Archives, the Declaration is on Display there along with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. On the 4th, there will be a reading of the Declaration at 10am on the Steps of the Archives on Constitution Ave. The Declaration is one of the most poetic of our founding documents, with such beautiful rhetoric as: “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

And of course, there will be a parade downtown. What’s Independence Day without a parade? I mean really. After you’ve listened to the Declaration, get a good spot along Constitution to watch the marching bands (likely playing JP Sousa’s works) and military demonstration units (including The Old Guard, in Revolutionary Garb) march on the route down Constitution toward the Lincoln Memorial.

Fireworks don’t start until 9 or so over the Mall, so feel free to grab a spot near the Washington Monument and watch the concert that will take place near there, or look for folks from your home state, most Mall-camping groups will be flying a flag of one sort or another.

At 8pm, Barry Bostwick will be hosting the concert on the Capitol Steps, featuring the NSO, Gloria Estefan, the Beach Boys and Ronan “I only sing God Bless America” Tynan. Of course, it all ends with the 1812 Overture, which features LIVE CANNON FIRE. Yes, Live Cannons, and a Symphony Orchestra. How can you go wrong?

And of course, the Fireworks on the Mall. They’ll start around 9:10 or so, and they’ll be some of the most impressive you’ll see, just for the crowds, the ambience and the great photo potential of capturing a bursting firework between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. That right there is worth all the hassle of getting there.

Take Metro, sunscreen, and a good camera. You’ll not regret it. It’s something everyone who lives here should do, at least once while they’re here.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Flush beats a straight

Walking in my door last night after a long swim at the pool, what do I spy in my dinning room but a full fledged poker game! Chips piled high, beer bottles scattered low, and cards flying all around, my housemate, Francis, had Texas Hold ‘em happening on our kitchen table.

Tossing in a $20, I took my chips and started the killing. Leading off with dumb questions (So how do I deal, again?) and bad bets (What? A pair of 3′s didn’t win?) I had fun with Frances’ poker crew till I pulled out the can of Vegas-learned whoop-ass.

In no short order, I cleaned out two of the five players with straights, flushes, and a full house. It was then down to just three and with an all-in before the flop, one player tried to go for gold with a pair of Queens. I had only an ace and 6, but even his all-in didn’t touch my original $20 so I called him. My housemate, the other player left, went all in too, just barely matching the pot. Over went the flop to the river and when the smoke cleared, Francis won with a pair of kings.

Knowing when to fold them, I called it a night, leaving the table with my original $20 as Francis counted up $120 and went to buy beer. Yeah, he’s stocking the beer fridge this month!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Ever Wonder What The Button Does?

The Metro and I go way back. I used to spend a good 90 minutes a day commuting via Metrorail before I got wise and moved closer to the city. I saw all sorts of crazy things: drug deals, a flasher or two, a drunk guy peeing in the corner, a fist fight, but never, ever did someone push the red button on the emergency intercom.

It’s as if there was a decency force-field attached to the little box that says “I don’t care if you’ve been drinking, I don’t care if you’re convinced hemadrones are coming for you, don’t fucking touch this thing unless the train is on fire, some is very near to death, or this train is beneath another train.

Apparently, however, it is just a portal to a car dealership disguised as a train driver. So, next time you’re on a train, and you need a Benz Truck, you go right ahead and push that button to get one from the driver.

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Rights come with responsibilities, even on two wheels.

People who ride bikes in traffic with cars and yet disobey the traffic laws that they and cars are bound by are one of my personal traffic pet peeves. Bicyclists have the same right to be on the road that I do in my car, and they have the very same responsibilities- bicyclists who blow off those responsibilities are part of the traffic problem, not part of the solution.

With that in mind, allow me to present selected highlights from the District’s Bicycle Laws (available in PDF form from DC Government’s site):

Regulation 1201.1:

Every person riding a bicycle on a highway shall be subject to all the duties applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles under this title, except as otherwise expressly provided in this chapter, and except for those duties imposed by this title which, by their nature, can have no reasonable application to a bicycle operator.

Regulation 1201.15:

No person shall operate a bicycle except in obedience to the instructions of official traffic control signals, signs, and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer or other person authorized to direct and control traffic.

Did you know bikes in DC have to be registered? I didn’t…

Regulation 1202.1:

No person shall operate a bicycle in the District unless the bicycle has been validly registered as provided by this chapter and bears a serial number, a valid registration tag, and valid registration plate, as provided by this chapter; or unless it is validly registered in another jurisdiction, when required by applicable law of such jurisdiction, and bears readily visible evidence of being registered.

So stop at the red lights, use hand signals, and stop cutting in front of cars when they’re trying to turn, and then maybe we won’t hate you so much.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Whistle while you work

Sitting here on my 10th floor work-perch, I can hear the whistles of the downtown DC Traffic Enforcement Officers (TEOs). Recruited from the DC parking police, they stand at key traffic intersections during rush hour and direct traffic. Or they should.

As a cyclist, mimicking the apparently hated bicycle couriers, I don

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Summer Moments

Last night I had one of those perfect DC summer moments: cooking shrimp on the grill for some pasta, a beer in my hand, the smoke of the grill combining with the citronella coming off my torches, fireflies flitting and flirting amongst the hedges. That damp heat in the air, the feel of sandal leather under my feet, and sizzle of the shrimp was enough to relax me wholly, and rejoice in the simple joys of summer: barbeque, beer, and life out on the porch.

Even though today feels like soup outside, I may find myself cooking with fire on the back porch and sweating it up with a cold beer in my hand on the back porch, just to enjoy that summer moment again.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Exposed!

If a young lady is to live in a city for several years, she invariably finds herself in situations that may, er, expose her to elements of an unsavory nature.

But in all my sixteen years as a DC resident,
today is the first day that I’ve actually been flashed.

There I was, daydreaming on the 14th Street bus after work. I can be a tad oblivious to the world around me and so was really not intending to stare out the window, but I found myself looking out at the corner of 14th & L, making inadvertent eye contact with a gentleman sitting at the bus shelter.

Before I could right my mistake,
he slowly stood up and very casually…
whipped…
it…
out…
as the bus pulled away.

Ah yes. City living.
I feel like I’ve finally arrived.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Comfy Feet


Comfy Feet

Originally uploaded by tbridge.

As we left the festival, fully intending to go to the BBQ Battle on Penn Ave., we wandered through the Sculpture Garden to find the large fountain an oasis for weary tourists like ourselves. We joined a family from Texas and some Polish visitors by putting our feet in the cool water. Overcome by the desire to go swimming, we gave up on the barbeque (with its concentrated heat on the pavement) for the comfort of the pool (with the cool water).

How had I missed such a wonderful oasis in the middle of the Mall’s desert?

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Omani Weaving


Omani Weaving

Originally uploaded by tbridge.

This weekend, Tiffany and I headed over to the Folk Life Festival to see what we could see. The Forestry Exhibit, while interesting, didn’t do much for me, beyond looking neat.

The Omani exhibit, however, was quite amazing. They had set up on the stage several dancing groups, including some women in the most amazing dress I have ever seen, bedecked in silken shawls and incredible cloth. They had weaving, metalwork, incense and all manner of other exhibits spread across the mall.

Also on display was “Food Culture USA”, which seemed to be a good excuse to have a lot of really good food on the Mall on display. The spices, in particular, were wonderful, as was the Coffee and Tea exhibits. The change in American food culture over the last hundred or so years has been just amazing, and it was great to see them explore that change. I took about 30 great photos, the rest have their own photoset on Flickr

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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First the Chief, Now the Left Fielder?!

Apparently, while the Nats were gone on their road trip, someone engaged in a brazen daylight burglary spree at RFK stadium:

A security videotape captured four men entering the RFK lots in a black Dodge Ram extended cab truck at about 1:15 p.m. Monday and breaking into 11 vehicles, said D.C. Police Inspector Andy Solberg.

They came back on Wednesday and jacked Marlon Byrd’s Escalade, as well, taken his car and damaging a few other players’ cars. The players are, of course, quite furious about the whole thing, and The Post couldn’t print Byrd’s reaction in its expletive-laden entirety. Not that I blame them in the slightest.

And people are saying car theft isn’t a problem in DC? Get real!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Packed Weekend

Looking at my calendar for this weekend, I am shocked at how packed it is with things to do for free or for cheap in the DC area…

Friday:
Choralis’ Summer Festival Concert at The Falls Church, featuring the Bach Magnificat, and the Mozart Requiem. Concert starts at 8 and is the culmonation of the weeklong festival series that helps youth get involved in choral music. Tickets start at $20.

Saturday:
Farmer’s Market in Courthouse: I have basil in my garden, I must get tomatoes and cheese for some excellent caprese, and since it’s going to be hot, some sorbet.

The DC Flickr Gallery Showing at El Tamarindo in Northwest will feature photographer by local photographers showing their works as part of a neat show. 7pm to 1am at El Tamarindo on Georgia Ave.

Sunday:
Folk Life Festival on the Mall. I’ve done photo books from the last few years’ festivals, and I hope this year will be just as photogenic. None of the last few years have been half as good as the Silk Road was the year it was here. That was a truly amazing sight to behold.

Barbeque Battle on Penn Ave. That’s right, the National Pork Championship is on the line this weekend at the Barbecue Battle. Last year’s winner, Smoked Encounters of the Third Swine, has a title to defend, after all. I’m all for grilled meat in public places, man, this is just my kind of thing. Tickets are $10, and proceeds benefit the Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls clubs.

What are you doing this weekend? Whatever it is, please remember to drink lots of water, because it’s gonna be HOT!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Perfect June Afternoon…

Office drones of downtown DC – unite! Get outside now!

I just returned from an early lunch and it’s an amazingly gorgeous day – warm, breezy, perfect. I escaped my drab cube and splurged on sushi, taking it over to one of my favorite downtown spots, Pershing Park.

Sitting in the shade next to the bizarre block of a waterfall is pure bliss. When there’s a strong breeze a lovely cooling spritz of water touches you gently. Ahhh…. nice.

I love that park. At 11:45am there was no one there but an occasional confused tourist (“who the heck is Pershing?”), a little girl in a candy-colored sundress feeding chips to the ducks, and a suit smoking a pipe. Let’s not forget the dragonflies skimming the water. The pond changes color throughout the season (it’s even an ice rink in the winter), and is now rather like pea soup. Some might find that algae taint gross, but I love its emerald intensity. Just wait until the lilac trees surrounding the water bloom and their hot pink petals fall in, making retro prep hues.

I was soooo relaxed… sushi shock…. gentle breeze….
birds tweeting…. Damn the office!! Why did I have to come back??

Hey, it’s a Friday afternoon, summer in DC –
why not skip out early today?
Who’s with me?!?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Republicans Stomp Democrats at RFK

Well, the final score of the game at RFK yesterday was 19-11 in favor of the Majority party. The Washington Post has some video interviews from the game last night, although, I’m not sure why they’re using Aluminum bats instead of wooden bats. That seems to me to be as unAmerican as dislike of Apple Pie or Freedom.

RFK looks largely empty, which is a shame, because really, what better way to see that Congress must be up to no good than to see that they’re using the wrong kind of bats to play the game.

In addition to the video from the Washington Post, someone sent me a link to a set of photos from the game that were tagged on flickr. Enjoy!

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Torture-Free DC

Just so you know, DC is on its way to being a “torture free zone“, as part of a campaign by Council Members Ambrose (Ward 6) and Patterson (Ward 3):

The resolution says the threat or use of torture is a violation of several international treaties, the U.S. Constitution and “our commitment to the rule of law as a protector of the integrity and dignity of the human person.”

Right. DC is going to add its significant legislative clout to the anti-torture laws already on the books as part of the Constitution, Geneva Convention, and US Federal Law.

Between the smoking ban and this, I have to wonder…

Is the City Council out of things to do? I mean, it seems like the Council could be advocating for DC Statehood, or maybe working on those absolutely atrocious test scores in the schools, or the poverty problem that is rampant in DC.

But no, instead of dealing with local issues, they’re declaring DC a torture free zone.

Perhaps they should tell that to Redskins Management.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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More Cheetahs On The Prowl

That’s right, fresh off our first batch of Cheetah cubs, the second litter of cheetah cubs are now on display at the National Zoo, beginning Saturday at 11am until 1pm, then everyday thereafter from 8a to 10a, and 11a to 1p.

In addition, the awkward teenage cheetahs are running around at the agility course at the zoo, at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. No idea if they’re talking about sex, or Wayan’s favorite, the post-breakup Germany. But if you find out, let us know.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Ten Things To Do With Mom

It’s summer in DC, which means your family is coming into town & you have to entertain them. While the museums on the Mall will busy them for a bit, after a while you’ll need more than directions to the Hirshorn to keep them outta the house.

Here’s a few suggests from my own family-fun odyssey in DC keeping my folks happy.


  1. Nuttin like Kickball on the National Mall
  2. For the adventurous – Tuesday Drag Queen Bingo at Chaos
  3. A summer picnic with all your friends too
  4. Listening to Ft. Reno summer concerts
  5. Watching Screen on the Green
  6. Cheering for their favorite Triathlete
  7. Renting a rowboat at Fletcher’s Boat House
  8. Flip cupping with grandma
  9. Showing them the sights in Bike DC
  10. And my fav; people watching in Dupont Circle

Got any suggestions to add?

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I just love that…

Because of all the articles on the ban that’s up for discussion, suddenly ALL our placed ads are for smoking cessation programs. Now, if you’re really interested in quitting, there are all kinds of programs here in DC to do it. Health & Human Services based out of DC has a whole set of guidelines on how it works, and there’s a group at Children’s Hospital in DC that is willing to help.

Give it some thought, think about quitting smoking before it kills you like it did my grandparents.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs