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South of the border south of the city

Whenever my darling girlfriend and I drove past Taqueria Poblano we’d say “we should try that place.” This had gone on for two full years before we finally reached our snapping point last weekend and went there for an early dinner. I’m almost sorry we did, because now I think about all those meals I could have eaten there and cry myself to sleep every night.

Okay, not really, but it’s a close one. The food is superb and the prices are reasonable, which is apparently no secret to the people in the Del Ray area; by the time our food arrived the joint was packed. My darling girlfriend pronounced their salsa “the best ever,” an opinion I do not quite share. Part of the joy of a tomato is the texture and TP makes their salsa as finely chopped as it is delicious and I prefer a chunkier style. This is not to say that we didn’t both damned near ruin our appetite eating it and the equally excellent warm chips.

Feel free to bring your lawn apes and rug rats. To judge by the clientèle on the evening we were there they’re exceedingly family-friendly. While we weren’t the only childless couple there, we were one of the few mono-generational tables.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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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?

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good morning dc

I love living on the east coast. We are the first to know and do in the nation. The leaders if by time zone alone. Leadership that is magnified whenever I head west.

This morning for example, I went for a long run at 6am before most were even awake. Well those in San Francisco anyway.

DC was already leaving me voice and emails before I made the first mile.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Satellite Radio Tax?!

Virginia’s trying to pass a bill that would add a 5% tax on Cable TV, Satellite TV, Satellite Radio and “Wireless”, amongst other various and variegated other little bits of interest. XM is, of course, up in arms over the whole thing and has asked their Virginia based subscribers to write or call their state Senator.

See, it’s not like XM has physical property in Virginia. Their property is instead floating in space, high above the Earth, sending down radio waves. Those of us who paid for the receiver and subscribe to the service, we get to listen in on good radio. So, why exactly does Virginia think it can tax XM for that? Never understood that… Time to write my politician…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Mardi Gras!

It’s Mardi Gras! Everyone quick hurry up and get your sin on, because Lent’s a-comin’!

Well, here in DC, we’ve got Lulu’s Club Mardi Gras with DC 101 sponsoring, so Elliott is likely hammered and slurring his love for Flounder over on M St. this morning. I mean, can’t you just see him slumped over, barely holding on to some guy’s shoulder, pointing at Flounder and slurring out “I llllloooove you, man,” because, well, I can.

Of course, up in Dutch Country, today is Fasnacht Day, which means that giant hole-less doughnuts are fried in fat, then served with hot coffee and honey. Not too shabby. Of course New Orleans has the only game in town, what with the parades, and the beads, and the drinking, and the nudity.

Happy Mardi Gras Everyone! What are you up to tonight?

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On The Matter of Ports…

Lately, there’s been a bit of a tempest in a teapot concerning the purchase of the old P&O Ports company by the Emirate of Dubai, especially given that one of the ports involved is just north of here in Baltimore. The thing is, this whole matter just smacks of racism, and our friends at Metblogs Dubai have a great take on the whole situation.

Given that 70 of the 80 port terminals in the USA are managed by foreign companies, this whole matter has proven that our citizenry, especially out legislatures, are perhaps not as open minded as we’d like to think.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Virginia pancakes of death

In DC a parking space is enough to get you killed. In Virginia it only takes belgian waffles. Aaron Brown was shot and killed by a police officer working an off-duty job after Aaron and his friends allegedly left an IHOP without paying for their food. The usual he-said she-said crap is floating back and forth over this, with the officer claiming he felt his life was in danger. It’s unclear how ventilating the ten-year-old SUV was a better response than, say, not standing in the path of a moving car.

Having taken the class required for armed security guards in Virginia, it’s hard for me to see how this guy isn’t going to be found to have acted wrongly. I’ve got some thoughts based on that which I’ll share after the jump, but before I do I have a question for the Washington Post – exactly what were you thinking in trying to create a poignant moment by talking in the first paragraph about the slain teen’s music textbook…. and specifying that it was about The Grateful Dead?

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St. Thurgood?

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington is considering annointing Thurgood Marshall a saint. His feast day? May 17th, the date of the Brown v. Board of Education landmark Supreme Court Decision. The diocese has recommended Sainthood for Marshall, but two general assemblies must confirm the choice, meaning summer 2007 would be his first shot at the Great Hall of Fame In The Sky.

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Post Adds Support For del.icio.us

Del.icio.us

Has that dialogue box on Washington Post stories always been there? I’m not sure. I remember seeing the Technorati box, with all of the blogs that are blogging about a specific article, but tonight I saw this box added to the articles I was perusing.

If you’re not familiar with the concept behind del.icio.us, it’s a way of tagging articles that you find interesting, and wish to share with others, or hold on to for yourself for a later date. Articles can be tagged with different keywords, so you can search through various feeds based on various keywords. Into RSS? There’s all kinds of options, for different tags, for different individuals and groups of individuals, it’s very slick.

Want to add this article to del.icio.us? Click the plus at the bottom of the entry and select del.icio.us. Spiffy, yeah?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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MUNI in DC?

While the debate on overall WMATA funding continues, there is a secondary debate about adding light rail to the current bus-heavy rail mix.

I am on the fence about light rail. I think the bus is a more efficient and much cheaper option, but I can see how the permanence of investment of light rail can attract much greater secondary investment than the bus at a cheaper cost than heavy rail.

Here in San Fran, where I am this week, light rail (called MUNI) is a great revitilizer of smaller retail districts and does an amazing job at incorporating suburban areas into city life without the need for more cars, highways or parking investment.

While riding it today I was lost in a dream – a light rail loop from H Street NE to downtown to SE Waterfront to Anacostia and back.

Crazy yes, but damn cool too. What’s your light rail dream?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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The moving finger, having writ… projects

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On Thursday evening I went to the post-opening event for the WPA/C Street Art exhibit in Georgetown. After a brief bit of confusion (tip for organizers: if the event is outside and behind the building then some mention of that would be helpful) and impromptu street theatre by the DC police I made it around the corner to see the projection.

I did eventually find the event and let me tell you – no matter how you feel about tagging, seeing it happen with the strokes four stories high is impressive. Don’t worry antiBorfs – this is non-permanent, projection art. The creator of this project is fi5e, otherwise known as Evan Roth, an R&D fellow at the Eyebeam Art & Technology Center. Eyebeam’s focus is on where art and technology meet, and looking through their website is a walk through the greatest hits of the “oh neat!” things that pop up all over the web. The very front page of fi5e’s website includes a video about the making and deploying of several hundred LED ‘throwies,’ something that bOINGbOING readers would have seen mid-February and his NWA “explicit content only” project was highlighted there in early 2005.

Evan was kind enough to talk to me for about twenty minutes, and here’s what I saw and learned.

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“buh-bye” birthday month…

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A belated cheers to everyone who came out to the moody Blue Room Wednesday night for Medusa Promotions’ “It’s No Good” all-Depeche Mode party.

It was a full house, with energetic dancers and a fun ambiance. I camped out in the cosy loft, catching up with old friends, nursing a few appletinis, and watching everyone dance their hot asses off.

Special kudos to brilliant DJs Medusa and Strange. You might think that with only one band represented it would get monotonous, but the music was fresh and vibrant the whole night. That’s great spinning!

Their next event at Blue Room is an all-Cure night on Wednesday, March 29 - I’ll be there, singing “kiss me kiss me kiss me”…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Loving the Metro

I’ve seen some bizarre bizarre things here on the Metro. I’ve seen Hymn Singing Guy, I’ve seen Naked People, I’ve seen a lot of stuff, but by no means have I seen it all. In today’s Post, there’s a great section of Metro stories cut into various vignettes.

I was new into town when I was invited out to a beer tasting at the Brickskellar after work one night. I left my car at Van Dorn and we all went out drinking. The beer was great and the company even better. We left the beer tasting at 11pm and caught one of the last blue line trains back toward Van Dorn. My cousin started to look a bit green long about Pentagon City, and when we hit Braddock Road he went streaming out of the door, got sick immediately into the nearest trash can, and ran back in and caught the train before it pulled out.

I swear, that driver waited for him to finish being sick before closing those doors, and to think day, I am absolutely grateful.

What’s your Metro story?

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Circular Logic

First Chicken. Then Egg.

No, First Egg, Then Chicken!

First we get the land for the stadium, then we get the lease…

Instead, this time it’s First we get the lease for the stadium, then we get the land.

Yet another setback for the Nationals this week as the deal for the land involved in the eminent domain dispute has been put on hold until the ballpark lease is signed and taken care of. Are we ever going to get a stadium?

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old school @ dulles

Yes childrens, our premier international airport still relies on ancient 1960′s technology – the bus – to get folks to Gate C.

The other gates are serviced by new-fangled moving sidewalks but Gate C, where United and my flight to San Francisco are, is still old school. Anyone know when we might get the 21st century to Dulles Gate C?

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A little birthday love…


Jason Cosper and Sean Bonner

Originally uploaded by tjbax.

Metroblogging DC wishes a very happy birthday to one of our two favorite corporate overlords, Sean Bonner! He’s pictured here being taunted with the camera of Friend-of-Metroblogging Jason Cosper.

Many happy returns, and stuff.

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Giving Metrobus some loving

While others might anagram it ME ROT, Metro says it’s finally ready to give Metrobus some loving. Yes, you read that right, Metrobus, the service so neglected that even WMATA board members call it the “poor stepchild” to Metrorail. Anyone who rides the bus as much as I knows it’s not a poor stepchild, it’s the poor bastard stepchild to Metrorail.

Now WMATA says its gonna give Metrobus some loving. Board Chairman Gladys Mack has pledged to make 2006 “the Year of the Metrobus” and the board seems to be backing up her words with action. To quote from WMATA’s press release:

As part of the proposed fiscal 2007 budget, Metro is proposing to save $2.4 million by eliminating 28 late night Friday and Saturday Metrobus routes, 11 weekday and weekend Metrobus routes, and re-investing the $2.4 million on selected bus routes to improve service reliability and reduce crowding.

Metro also wants to spend $2 million on additional relief for crowded buses to cut down bus bunching and improve on-time performance. An additional $3.6 million is needed to enhance bus service along major corridors including breaking up long unreliable routes, creating skip stop service, increasing spacing between downtown bus routes and providing improved traffic and parking management with assistance from local governments.

Maybe its just a coincidence, but I think I’m seeing the first physical signs of that change in attitude – new LNG-powered buses circling NoVA and downtown DC routes. Check out the photo at right. Sleek and sexy, eh?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Judicary Square = Icy Squid Jar?

In a fit of insanity it seems Brit Gene Cowan has decided to do an anagram of all the DC Metro stations. After checking out his work, where he has creations like those below, I’d like to know what he’s drinking. It’s sure not the vodka gimlet I ask for!

  • McPherson Square = Cohn Sperm Square
  • Cleveland Park = VCR Kelp and Ale
  • Friendship Heights = Ripened Fish Thighs
  • Arlington County = Nocturnal Toying

Thanks BoingBoing!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs