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How did this happen?

Snooping around the DC Metblogs Flickr Pool, I came across this interesting photo of the week’s flooding. Now I wonder – how did she loose lose her knickers?

Was she aroused by the downpours, lightening exciting her with flashes illuminating her lover in the night? Was it a need to skinny dip with poor clothes-stash planning? Or did a laundry basket float out of a flooded basement?

What’s your theory?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Who screwed up here?

Take a close look at this photo. Note how that’s a freshly made curb cut, the concrente is still gleaming white. Now note the big-ass Jersey barriers sitting on it.

Just what series of events led to that odd juxtaposition?

Was it a homeowner, impatient with the slow curb-cut process jumping ahead with construction, only to be stopped by the city? Or was it a city action where one department didn’t tell the other what it was doing?

Either way, this curb cut, a few feet from the corner of 17th and P Streets NW will not be in use anytime soon.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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A Summer Hamburger Challenege

Its lunchtime. Are you hungry? Might you want to enjoy

“a place where [you] can escape today’s complicated world and experience the food, fun and friendliness reminiscent of feel-good Americana”?

If so, you will so be in luck. Johnny Rockets is about to open on Connecticut Avenue, just above Dupont Circle, in the old Burrito Brothers space (what ever happened to BB anyway?).

How might Johnny Rockets be different from any other burger joint and earn its title of “the Original Hamburger.” How about this claim off its website:

Johnny Rockets’ hamburgers can be made more than 1 million different ways. Favorite toppings include Tillamook Cheddar cheese, crisp onion rings, grilled onions and all-meat chili.

Hmm.. More than 1 million ways? I think I taste a great lawsuit from a very bored and hungry summer intern.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Downtown Development Buzz

My Metrobus commute gives me a quick glance every morning and night on the continuing development of downtown, in particular 11th Street. With all the crazy construction over the past year, this has added a lot of frustration as traffic grinds to a halt around sites crammed with dump trucks and hard hats, but it’s still exciting to see the city continue to rejuventate.

My current Top Three Downtown Development Sites are:

1) The Hertz building at 11th and New York Avenue. Finally this disgusting grey eyesore has been closed and the Caterpillars are chewing it up. Let’s hope something more aesthetically pleasing goes up in its place.

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O Leksiy? YA LEKSIY!

The Wizards have taken Oleksiy Percherov with the 18th pick in the NBA draft. Standing a monstrous 7 feet tall, he’ll be a forward, and not a center. Best quote so far seems to come from the Washington Post:

Percherov averaged 11.2 points in 23 games for Paris Basket Racing in the France Pro A league.


France has a Pro Basketball League? And a team called “Paris Basket Racing”?!

And Percherov could only score 11 points a game against the French?!

And we picked him in the first round? Okay guys, whatever you say…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Blue Line Betties and Orange Line Oscars Finally Meet

Metro Opens Dates

The Metro is one of those great spots to people watch in DC. Between the tourists and the interns and the hill rats and other downtown workers, there’s always someone to lock eyes with just for a second. Now there’s a place for all of those missed metro connections: Metro Opens Dates.

Organized by line, you can post your Metro Missed Connections on their free boards. Dave from Crystal City writes:

“To the girl who fainted on the blue line this morning. Once you get your breath back drop me a line here. Your cute. I didn’t see what book you were reading, but I like to read as well. We can use that as a foundation. Dave”

Charley from Springfield writes:

I see you get on at Crystal City with a worried look on your face every morning. Your like a sad Jennifer Aniston as you stare down at your blackberry. I can only assume every morning you receive a depressing email that you read on your way to work. Cheer up my friend, you have a rather large coach bag that should make you smile.

Missed a Metro Connection? Check it out. Thanks much to Ben for suggesting this to us! Have a site you want us to see? Suggest it!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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BSO @ Strathmore announces Summer Series

Baltimore Symphony @ Strathmore

Going to hear the Symphony just got really affordable. The Baltimore Symphony just announced their special summer series on Thursday nights in July at Strathmore Hall in suburban Maryland. The hall itself is a musical wonder, and now that all seats are $25 for the concerts, it’s easy to hear excellent music without breaking the piggy bank.

The Series is focusing on “Classical Hits” with concerts featuring the best of the Baroque, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Beethoven. The Baroque concert makes me quivery just looking at what’s on the program, including the Bach/Elgar Fantasia and Fugue and the Bach/Stokowski Toccata and Fugue in D minor, which are epic masterworks of the Baroque and will likely sound divine in the acoustics at Strathmore. The final concert will feature Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which expresses such magnificent joy that it is to be heard to be believed. Check out the concerts and enjoy the incredible music this summer without mortgaging your house or having to drive to Charm City to hear them.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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The War Tapes come to DC

No, they’re not some 21st century version of the Pentagon Papers; it’s an independent movie assembled from video taken by 10 soldiers in Iraq who were sent cameras by the filmmakers. It’s also not a screed from either side; the filmmakers claim that their intent is to let the soldiers speak for themselves.

From their FAQ

If you’re asking whether TWT is pro- or anti- war, it’s neither. The soldiers with cameras have different beliefs about whether we should still be in Iraq. The filmmakers all respect those differences and this movie is not afraid to show them. You’ll see one soldier joining because of 9/11, and another saying its all about money and oil.

This film is not an objective or partisan film – it’s not trying to answer, “is this the right war?” Instead, TWT is trying to answer: “what is war for the soldiers who live it?”

Local screenings open June 30th at the Landmark E St Cinema. Looks to be good.

555 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
(entrance on E Street between 10th and 11th Street)
(202) 452-7672

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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2200 Evacuated in Montgomery County

Lake Needwood

Lake Needwood is 25 feet over its banks and the dam that created the artificial lake is now seeping water. Montgomery County has evacuated the 2200+ people who live below the lake in some of the surrounding housing areas. If the dam were to burst, 19 feet of water could fill the low-lying areas near the lake itself and represent a serious disaster for the area, yet another in a string of issues cause by the nearly 15″ of rain that DC’s gotten in the past six days.

Here’s hoping the Dam holds….

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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And now its official – Smoke Free DC is a health issue

While we’ve debated Smoke Free DC before, and some fools people continue to say its about “choice”, U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona has just issue a definitive report about second-hand smoke. To quote the WashPost article:

Secondhand smoke dramatically increases the risk of heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmokers and can be controlled only by making indoor spaces smoke-free, according to a comprehensive report issued yesterday by U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona.

“The health effects of secondhand smoke exposure are more pervasive than we previously thought,” Carmona said. “The scientific evidence is now indisputable: Secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults.”

Hear that you pro-smoke people? Let me repeat it for you again: “The scientific evidence is now indisputable: Secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard..”

So, without further delay or deliberation, let us be Smoke Free DC.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Metro Sanctioned iPod Maps


A little birdie pointed us to the swank new Metro-issued iPod Maps, which are tailored for the upcoming events on the Fourth of July (hence the Smithsonian Station being marked as Closed on the maps) and there are different versions for the various Nano/Photo/Video iPods that are on the market. They’ve even put up a (PC-Only) instruction movie for installing the images on the iPod. For the Mac users, I’ve added instructions to this entry in the Extended Entries, with luck, Metro will cotton to doing multiple instructions sets for all computers.

The maps look alright on the iPod screen, but the images themselves could use some real work. The fonts are jaggy and a bit hard to read, and the blue line appears orange through the DC metro area, which is rather a shame and I’ll bet a bit confusing to those who might not be familiar with the system otherwise. Generally, though, glad to see WMATA on the ball!

One question, though, has Smithsonian Station always been closed on the Fourth? I can’t remember…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs Continue reading

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Rage & Road Savagery in the Heart of the District

It took me 90 minutes to go 8 miles today. I’m going to repeat that, because it bears repeating. 8 miles. 90 minutes. That’s a little over five miles an hour, all the way home.

I left my garage at 12th and F tonight, turned slowly on to F St heading west toward 15th. Folks, it took me more than half an hour to cross 14th Street. That’s two flipping blocks. In half an hour. None of the intersections had their usual traffic control, allowing buses and cars to block the box for rotation after rotation of the lights. Does a little rain cause us to so grossly lose our human courtesies? Is your hurry really that much more fucking important than mine? We all want to go home. It’s been a rough goddamn week and I’m sure a lot of people are going home to water damage and all manner of frustration, but that’s no reason to turn the roads into Lord of the Flies with your giant SUVs and Tour Buses blocking the box in rush hour. That’s only going to make life worse.

I totally lost my zen on the way home tonight, and I think no amount of alcohol or food or philosophy is going to bring me back into balance until we get a nice sunny day instead of this nasty day-in/day-out rain, which appears to be straight out of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain (DCMB posted a Q&A with Robinson back in November) which drops 20″ of rain on DC in a day or two, which seems to be what we’re approaching over the last week.

What happens to a city when it’s demoralized? Is that what we’re seeing? Is this the slow and painful grinding away of what’s left of our civility until we all slowly snap? I really don’t think I can take another day of rain. Apparently, neither can a lot of the city, as we’re losing trees left and right and even George’s house is showing some wear in the process. Is this how climate change starts? Rain after rain after rain?

I just know I’m cracking up.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Rent Control Legislation Signed

Mayor Williams signed new Rent Control into effect today for the first time in two decades. The compromise between landlords and tenants, “abolish[es] the city’s antiquated system of rent ceilings and replace it with legal restrictions that limit future rent increases to 2 percent of current rent plus inflation, or no more than 10 percent a year.” What I’d really like to know is, who represented who? Did we have orphans and grandmothers on the tenants side, and cigar-chomping businessmen on the other? Was it this stereotypical? The Post makes it seem like there’s a tenants union and a landlords union that get together and hammer out their differences in some smoky backroom somewhere near the Mayor’s office.

Not sure it’s that simple. There’s also a 30% increase limit between tenants, and provisions to protect the disabled and the elderly to a no more than 5% increase annually.

Anyone want to bet we’re going to see a lot 10% rent increases?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Columbia Heights and Lows

Columbia Heights Yahoo Groups is off on another beautiful tangent again, one that’s worth a few minutes of your work day leisure time. Started off with this short description of a robbery

There were three black males in their early 20s. They held a gun in the cab driver’s face, but thankfully did not shoot. Even though they were handed cash, they also demanded my husband’s wallet. Then they ran down the alleys toward the housing complex on Columbia.

the discussion has spiraled out into a grand display of neighborly love where moral quandaries take on Twilight Zone dimensions. Case in point, this fun quote:

I said when a rich white woman smokes a cigarette in her SUV and a poor black woman smokes a joint in front of her baby – I don’t see them as different.

Wanna enjoy the display yourself? Go on your own merry adventure here.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Flexcar and Zipcar for the CarFreeDC crowd.

If you’re chronologically challenged in such a way that it causes you trouble getting your rental back to the agency, perhaps you should be using one of the short-term rental car options instead. We’ve got a strong ZipCar and FlexCar presence in the area and there’s a number of specials to choose from.

If you’re the aforementioned time-challenged person and live in the District itself, the best option seems to be Flexcar’s “Bicycle Commuters and WABA Members” sign-up promition. Punch in the code “V40WABA” in the online application and get $40 in usage credit if you use the service within 60 days. Fax in a Washington Area Bicyclist Association membership card and get another $35 in credit. With WABA memberships costing $35 that’s a pretty good deal if you have any interest in being a member.

If you reside in Alexandria you’ll want to use the AlexandriaRideshare benefit which is even better. Usable on either Flexcar or Zipcar (if you have a preference), it’s good for up to $105 in reimbursements for a calendar year.

Both of these options have the advantage for non-car-owners that they include insurance in the price, obviating the need to buy the insane insurance waver options from ThrifEnterMo or whoever. And best of all, when you’re done you just drive it back to its space and park it… a space that’s still open at 6:02PM.

UPDATE: There’s a Zipcar promotion as well – enter 25NOW as your promo code and get $25 free in your account. That’s double-dip potential for Alexandria folks.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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SHRMer learns an important lesson about motorcades

I had lunch today with some recruiting bloggers I’ve met through my other project, and one of them mentioned an interesting anecdote from the night before.

A recruiter in town for the SHRM conference was delayed on the sidewalk across the street from his hotel due to an oncoming motorcade. When this nasty rain we’ve been having returned with a vengeance, he decided to take his chances with the Secret Service rather than get wet. Oh, that’s a GREAT idea. Needless to say, he was promptly stopped and detained.

Here’s a hint to our out-of-town guests: DC is a great town, with lots of cool things to see and do. But this ain’t Disneyland- people actually work here, and actual heads-of-state ride through all the time. It isn’t a parade, there for your entertainment. It’s a motorcade designed for protection, and the people guarding it aren’t afraid to shoot you if they have to. There’s a reason the locals stay on the sidewalk when they’re told to, dude.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs