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Metro: Open Tellers

This is the line at WMATA Metro Center sales office right now. A dozen deep as the noon rush looks to buy cards and passes.

How is this for a customer pleasing move: open more teller windows during the lunch rush.

Having your automated Smartcard machine working would not hurt either.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Stripclubs Sue Prince George’s County

Hoping to block new regulations in effect today, three strip clubs in Prince George’s County have sued to get the regulations set aside in Federal Court. The new regulations required a stage of 18″ and a 6′ gap between the dancers and the patrons of such an establishment, and of course I could see how this would affect dancers and their tips and profits.

Just think, guys, it could be much much much worse. Just check out this article from Metblogs Lahore. They’re banning “vulgar dances” there, the definition of which might just be showing off their calves and maybe even their arms.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Who Didn’t Get the Memo?

Someone down at the DDOT didn’t get the memo. It’s no longer the MCI Center. It’s now the Chinatown Killer. Woops, I mean the suburban Verizon Center.

Wait; doesn’t this sign give you a little hope? Hope that maybe the conglomerate that just bought rights to assault you with an ad every time a place is mentioned might be wasting its money?

That and old-skol street cred. Anyone still remember what was there before it was a basketball stadium?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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What are the odds?

Tom and I are partial-season ticket holders for the Nationals. Last night’s game against the Phillies is one of the games in our package, but Tom was unable to go. A friend of mine had planned to go with me, but at the last minute, we decided that we didn’t feel like sitting out in the rain all night. A coworker of mine, Tony, said that he and his roommate Trey would like to go and brave the rain, so gave them our tickets, happy that they weren’t going to waste. We have excellent seats, after all.

Trey arrived at our office shortly before it was time to leave, and after some banter about the Virginia Tech hat he was wearing, I lent him my Nats cap for the game. The boys happily set out for the game while my friend and I headed to Luna in Shirlington for some comfort food.

When I arrived at the office this morning, as I passed Tony’s desk, he stopped me to tell me a story.

Tony had agreed to take the tickets and go to the game with Trey knowing that Trey didn’t really have any money to buy baseball tickets, but had told Trey he’d pay for them. The face value of the tickets was a little higher than Tony would ordinarily pay for on the spur of the moment, and even though I didn’t really expect to be paid for them, the guys still felt like they ought to do something.

When they got to the seats at the park, Trey said, “I know! I’ll catch a foul ball for Tiff!”

Right Trey, that’s exactly what you’re going to do. Right.

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

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A Drink At Lunch

The Three Martini Lunch. A DC Tradition for so many years. It represents all that is smoky backroom Washington: grizzled old fat men in suits that cost as much as used cars, dirty martinis that are strong enough to fill molotov cocktails, steaks the size of your head.

Is the era of the Three Martini Lunch gone by us? Are there no more lunches at Signatures on Penn Ave that take the equivalent of a night at the Opera and cost as much as the GDP of a small African nation? Modern Drunkard Magazine encourages us to revive the lost art of the martini lunch, in order to save not just our productivity, but our very mortal souls:

Institutionalization of the martini lunch would bring vast changes. Disgruntled, shotgun-wielding lunatics in dress-shirts mowing down their supervisors and co-workers would fade into history. Bickering, shouting, and disasters like disciplinary probation would all but disappear.

I couldn’t agree more. Bartender? Pour me a martini to go with that sandwich.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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DC Hack Inspector Strikes Again!

How’s that for a sight never seen before: A DC Hack Inspector giving a taxi driver a ticket.

Yeah, I didn’t know we had hack inspectors either, definitely not by the way DC taxi drivers try to cheat us every damn trip or gouge the tourists mercilessly. But we do.

Six even, apparently. I talked with D.C. Walters, Hack Inspector, for a good 30 minutes on his job and the city’s taxi system. Here’s a few tips I learned:

  1. If you think you’ve been cheated, and its 9-5 M-F, call the Taxi Commission Hotline – they’ll send a hack inspector to investigate.
  2. If you’re think the ride is too much other times, cal the cops. They’ll care, I’m sure.
  3. There are supposed to be a dozen hack inspectors, but due to past budget cuts, there are only six now.
  4. The Taxi Cab Commission is supposed to increase the number of hack inspectors to 16.. soon
  5. DC hack inspectors have no comment on the zone system, no matter how hard you try to get them to come out for or against it.
  6. Taxis can get tickets from hack inspectors for sitting at a designated taxi stand – if its rush hour and there are no standing/no parking signs

Oh, just in case you’re in need, Inspector Walters can be reached on 202.210.7465 during normal business hours.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Happy Birthday, Lewis Black

lbbig.jpg Happy Birthday to local son and generally hilarious mofo Lewis Black, who turns 58 today.

To stir the pot, I’d like to present you with a couple of choice Lewis Black quotes about his hometown:

“I’m from Silver Spring, but I tell people I’m from Washington, DC. Because if you tell people you’re from Silver Spring, they think you’re a pussy.”

And of course:

“Its only claim to fame is that it’s the largest unincorporated city in America. In other words, we were too lazy to govern ourselves. The town motto was, ‘I’d like to vote, but I don’t feel like driving.’”

His latest HBO special, Lewis Black: Red, White, and Screwed was filmed right here at the Warner Theater downtown. Tom and I went to the filming, and you can read his comments from the MBDC archives.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Flickr Adds Geotagging

Flickr TaggingEver-popular online photo server Flickr has launched a sweet new Geotagging feature that takes advantage of locational data that you can put into your stream.

Check out this awesome map of DC with spots that show off some of the locations that have been photographed by all you DC shutter bugs! Great shots of the Capitol, of the monuments and Mall, of DC’s districts and wards all over town. Isn’t this awesome?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Dremo’s Last Days?

When I first moved here, it was Ningaloo, and I played pool on the tables there in the summertime, drank beer out of pitchers and flirted with the bartendress. Then it was closed, and it eventually became Dr. Dremo, or just Dremo’s. Good beer on tap, old video games, interesting interior decor, and famously, no air conditioning. Now they’re down to what could be the last days of Dremo:

Dremo’s lease runs out at the end of August ’06. The developer’s plans are up for review at two Arlington county meetings: project planning meeting Sept 5 ’06 and the county board meeting September 16 ’06. We are guessing we are safe until Sept 16th. If the plans are approved, then the sale will take place and we will have to get out. What we don’t know, is when we will have to get out. It could be Sept 1st, it could be January 1st. We don’t know.

It would suck to lose such an august member of the Beer Bar Family in the DC area, air conditioning or no, just to put up yet more condos. Please go out and support Dremo at the Arlington County Council Meeting on the 16th.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Salsa dancing is good for social justice

A friend who is new to town tipped me to the salsa nights held by the Guatemala Human Rights Commission. For $5, you get a salsa lesson, drink specials, and door prizes. Your super-cheap salsa lesson fee will benefit the GHRC’s mission to end political violence, violence against women, and other human rights abuses in Guatemala.

Shaking your ass for a good cause. What could be better?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Metro Fires Politicking Driver

Last week, we wrote about the the bus driver who loved some Vitamin C, and promoted Vincent Orange for Mayor on his bus route, asking his riders to think about the votes on September 12th. While I can support his civic-mindedness, and certainly his drive to educate DC’s voting populace about the upcoming race, his devotion to his candidate has indirectly cost him his job. After the Post’s article on Sidney Davis, he was suspended for improper behavior on the job, and now he’s been fired for failing to disclose a criminal record.

Davis has been out of prison since 1992, and crime-free, so it strikes me that Metro’s decision, while to the letter, policy-wise, will do it more harm than good. We hope they reconsider, as it appears that aside from Davis’ proselytizing for Vincent Orange, he’s been a good driver, and we all know how rare that is on the Metrobus system. WMATA has released Dan Tangherlini’s response to Vincent Orange (PDF) who had petitioned for Davis to be given only disciplinary action, not a dismissal. In addition, WMATA’s Lisa Farbstein has said that the Post and other news sources have “missed the point” with regard to their stories.

So, what is the point? That their driver was fired for failing to disclose a criminal record, something that apparently they were not checking on their own? How “routine” was the personnel file review, if it resulted from the Post’s initial story on Davis? Goes to show, if they’re looking to fire you, they’ll find just about any reason under the sun to do it.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Cheap DC Accommodations

So you and your family wanna see the Nation’s Capitol, but you are concerned about he cost of hotels. You are worried that after you pay $100 a night, minimum, for accommodation, you’ll be eating Ramen noodles for months to pay off the credit cards.

May I offer you an alternative: Urban RV Living

See this mini-RV? That was parked out in front of my downtown office building two nights in a row, windows covered in A/C cold condensation as a tourist family slept cheap in the city.

Best location perk: they parked 20 feet from Starbucks and 2 blocks from the White House.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Bite Me, Thomson Creek Windows

You may have heard their ads on the radio, or seen their ads on WTOP.com or WashingtonPost.com, they have a big media buy in the DC area right now for the windows and shades. But here’s what happened when I tried to get some new windows for my condo.

After doing a bunch of looking around, and asking friends for recommendations, I’ve been calling places and getting appointments and quotes. Today, I called Thomson Creek. The woman who I spoke with asked for my information, which I gave out, but then started prying, “Is there a Mrs. Bridge?” Um. Yes. Her name is Tiffany. “And when will you both be available for a meeting?” Well, she works downtown, I work from home. I’m glad to meet with your salesperson whenever… and that’s when she cuts me off.

They don’t do meetings with just one person, if you’re married.

What the fuck is that? I just want the quote for the windows, I don’t need you to try to manipulate my spouse against me out of some stylistic choice. I just want to know what you’ll charge me for 9 windows! Now, I respect that it’s their legal right to run their business however they want, I just want to point out that when you have two people working in the same household, and on different schedules, you’re not going to get their business if you insist that you have the meetings on your terms instead of those of your clients.

Screw you, Thomson Creek, that’s a dumb and fucked up policy.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Bridge Fall Down, Go Boom

Bridge Comes Down

The Washington Post has a great video piece on last night’s demolition of the old span of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, including an interview with Daniel Ruefly, who got to start the chain reaction of explosions that destroyed the old span of the bridge. I didn’t make it out to the detonation last night, demoralized after a Pub Quiz meltdown in the last round. Did you see the detonation? What did you think?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Turtle racing!


While darling girlfriend and I were looking for someplace to damage our livers kill some time in oldtown on Saturday night we started to walk past Austin Grill…. and saw the giant turtle.

Since normally this is the kind of thing that we start seeing after the imbibing we had to go in.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that our daily dose of weird was coming to us courtesy of the Alexandria-Olympic branch of The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, a charitable organization that serves the needs of children of all races and creeds. So of course they were doing this from a bar.

Seriously – the giant turtle was to help promote the impending 2nd annual Turbo Turtle Trek. At 2pm on September 3rd they’ll release about 10,000 rubber turtles into the great wave pool at Cameron Run Water Park, each with a number that identifies who “adopted” it for $5. Prizes range from an airfare-included trip to St Thomas to 25 personal training sessions to Nats and Redskins tickets – 11 in all. We, of course, threw down our $5 each.

There’s no support for online signup but you can stop in the office between 11am and 6pm this week to make your entry or, better yet, show up on Sunday after 11am and buy one there. There’ll be carnival activities but the real show’s gotta be 10,000 rubber turtles in the wave pool. I’ve gotta miss it – I’ll be visiting one of our sister cities – but I’m counting on someone to go take pictures.

And in case you’re wondering, St Thomas has leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles so it’s a wonderfully apropos 1st prize. I’ll send y’all a postcard when I win.

Alexandria-Olympic Branch
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington
401 North Payne Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Phone: 703.549.3078

Great Waves at Cameron Run Regional Park
4001 Eisenhower Avenue,
Alexandria, VA


This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Want Cheap Drugs? DC.GOV Can Help

That’s right, if you are a’ hankering for your V1agra or Cali*s and you’d rather not buy it from the plentiful email pitchmen, the District’s website can direct you to a better way: import it from Canada.

To quote the DC Examiner:

On the D.C. government’s home page, www.dc.gov, is a link to Minnesota’s RxConnect program, which “provides information on safety and cost-saving tips and access to low-cost medication from Canada.” In addition, some medications ordered through Canadian companies can be filled by affiliate pharmacies in Britain, offering even more price options.

Yes, of course importing drugs from Canada is technically illegal. If we didn’t overpay the pharmaceutical mafia industry, we would have more affordable healthcare.

And we all know that’s the first step towards sanity affordability communism.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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How do you know you’re in the wrong bar?

If you are single guy in DC, on the prowl for new supermodels for your harem, there is one sign you do not want to see on your way to the bathroom.

Granted, I don’t want to be stepping over drunk GW students either, but I was hoping that “Baby Changing” would not be a service offered at the bar I wandered into last night.

No, I do not remember which one, it was that hopeless good of a night. I just remember finding this sign an affront to my sensibilities.

That and a reminder that while my Mom is ready for grandkids, I’m still trying to figure out how to find someone to practice with.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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passports needed to drink?!

At lunch today an Italian was told that his Italian drivers license was not sufficient to prove his age to drink.

The (bitchy) server said she needed a US Government ID or a foreign passport for her alcohol age check. She claimed that this is a new law in DC.

DC servers, have you heard of this? Is this right? Is this new?

Back when I waited tables a few years ago I do not remember this rule. If it is the law, what a pain in the ass.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Lyle and his Large Band

Another summer, another Lyle Lovett appearance at WolfTrap. It’s usually one of the highlights of the year and one concert I never miss. I can almost hear the eye-rolling out in our readership – my experience in trying to convey my love for his work is often similar to what this writer describes. “Who? Isn’t he country? Yuck.” Then they put their Melissa Etheridge CD back on, to “rock out.”

For those of us who looked beyond LL’s country roots the rewards have been great. His stuff is often quirky & funny, sometimes heartbreaking(“Nobody knows me”) and compelling. Odds are that you’ve enjoyed a few of his songs without even realizing it – almost certainly you’ve heard his duet with Randy Newman from Toy Story, “You’ve Got a Friend In Me.” All that aside, even if you (*gasp*) were to decide you didn’t care for his work, I’d be astonished if anyone couldn’t enjoy seeing Lyle Lovett in concert.

Why? Because even aside from the variety in musical style that the night contains – from some swing-tinged to bluegrass to soulful crooning to gospel spiritual – a Lyle Lovett concert is almost as much a showcase of all the other performers on stage as it is a performance of LL’s music. At various points in the show you’re given the opportunity to enjoy the solo work of the fiddle, drums, steel guitar, piano, and bass. That’s not counting the amount of time given to his backup singers, particularly Francine Reed who does two songs on her own.

In addition to the amount of time most of the musicians get to shine on their own, the lineup from song to song can change drastically. Sometimes the entire 18 person ensemble is working at once, sometimes it’s just the trio pictured above. The show opened with just Lyle singing and Jeff White playing the mandolin. It’s abundantly clear that there’s not a person on that stage who isn’t excellent at what they do and it seems certain they’re all enjoying the hell out of themselves.

So were all of us out in the audience.

If you were at the show or already are a Lovett fan you might be interested in this excellent New Yorker article about Lyle Lovett that I came across while looking up how to spell a few of his band’s names. It’s a good read. If you’re reluctant but I’ve convinced you to give him a stab I recommend the older album “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band,” which contains “The Blues Walk,” the song that first hooked me on Lyle Lovett when I saw him perform it on Leno. “Pontiac” is also a good choice, which the crowd-favorite “If I had a boat” leading it off and followed immediately with the amusing “Give back my heart.”

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs