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Someplace I will never f***ing go

Image courtesy of scumbag adjerks who I’ll be damned if I’m going to give a link to. You can google ‘science club’ if you have some self-hate issues to work out.

Hey Science Club, I’d link to your website in this rant but I’m not willing to subject my readers to the same goddamned popup advertisements you inflicted on me. That’s right – I went to your website because I saw it mentioned somewhere and it popped up TWO windows advertising crap unrelated to your business. Wow, a good deal on my mortgage? I’m SO glad you polluted my screen with that when I went to see what kind of beer you had on tap.

Forget it. Ads on the coasters is one thing, but trying to make money off me when I’m deciding if I’m coming to your bar in the first place? Doing it by cluttering up my desktop? Maybe you could find someone who’d pay you to add some kind of drive-by browser infection too – I hear there’s money in spam.

Chime in with your suggestion for non-scummy places around L & 19th Street. Ie, not Science Club.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Share your DC… invite more tourists!

The Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation has launched ShareYourDC as part of a larger research project to figure out how best to promote DC as a travel and convention destination. While I doubt that those of us who don’t own lunch counters and street kiosks would say that we feel an acute need for more tourists, it’s very true that tourism and convention business is a huge chunk of the DC area’s economy. I am also very in favor of any initiative that would lead to an influx of tourists who understand that there is more to see here than things made of marble.

So go to ShareYourDC, answer the surveys, and share your photos of your favorite things about DC. (I’d rather have an upload form than have to email my photos, though, guys. How about a Flickr group? Join the 21st century… the water’s great.)

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Do You Need a Parking Meter Hero?

Do you need a need a hero? Someone you can hold out ’til the morning light?

Then this is your hero. This is the street-wise Hercules, the man to fight the rising parking ticket odds.

He is racing on the thunder and slicing with heat. He is the superman to sweep parking meters off their feet.

Through the wind and the chill and the rain, he’s gonna be larger than life.

He is your hero.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Metro: A Series of Unfortunate Events


Remember when I got all temporally mixed up and mistakenly said “yesterday” yesterday about a Red Line track fire at Farragut North? Now I can say it and be correct: Fire Reported Inside Farragut North Metro Station. Third time since last Friday, and the Metro’s closed between Metro Center and Dupont Circle. As you can see from the alert ticker screenshot above, delays are affecting all lines in both directions, possibly due also to the reports of smoke at West Falls Church and the Braddock Rd Metro bomb scare. Not to mention the Farragut Square bus fire. All in one morning.

Not a good day or a good week for WMATA. Me, I think I’m walking to work today.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Studio’s This is How It Goes

Here’s a disclaimer, and you can decide whether or not to take it into account when reading this review. I’m fond of Neil LaBute’s work, and have been since I first saw the movie version of In the Company of Men almost ten years ago. So when I tell you that I think the play is good and worth seeing, you can ponder whether or not I’m just predisposed to like it. After all, the Washington Post’s Peter Marks was less than generous to the material and not too impressed.

Personally I think it’s got enough interesting characters and behavior to maintain interest, even if Marks is right and the character’s motivations are slimly explained. I don’t disagree with him, I just happen to think it doesn’t really matter. People often make choices based on slim reasoning beyond immediate self-interest and I don’t think there’s any behavior in the play that necessarily needs further elaboration. Show me a character handing someone they have never met $100 and I need some explanation as to why they’d do such a thing. Show me a character stealing $1 off a countertop when they know there’s no chance of getting caught and you don’t need to explain it to me – you’ve just demonstrated to me that they’re kinda slimy. I don’t think I’m revealing anything too surprising if I tell you there’s some slimy represented in This is How It Goes.

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Thanks for the Pollution, Williams Construction Services

Mmmmm…. Doesn’t that look good? Don’t you wanna get up close and personal to that exhaust pipe and inhale? Absorb that particulate pollution directly.

Or do you want to get up close and personal with Williams Construction Services of Manassas Virginia?

Do you want to put that exhaust pipe into their offices and let them breathe the filth they are spraying into our air?

This air pollution is the worst too, it was unnecessary. The truck was idling without driver or use present.

It’s activities like this that give us summer days in January and Code Red days in August.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Where There’s Smoke, There’s Delays on the Red Line

It hasn’t been a good week for Farragut North on the Red Line. Just a day Four days after a debris fire on the Glenmont-bound tracks caused delays and single-tracking Monday Friday morning, we now have reports of smoke this morning at the same station, causing yet more single-tracking on the Shady Grove tracks between Judiciary Square and Dupont Circle, which is practically all of the Downtown segment of the Red Line.

(Don’t worry, Metro’s going to hire a contractor! He’ll save us!)

Watch WMATA’s advisories page for the situation. Anyone reading get stuck down there? Post a comment when you get back up into the daylight.

Update: I have just emerged from Dupont Circle, and the Red Line appears to be running normally again. Yay!

Update: I must have been stuck in some sort of temporal anomaly, because I thought the first fire was yesterday, when it was actually last Friday. Sorry, DC, and sorry, space-time continuum. I will try harder not to make your heads ache with my poor grasp of fourth dimension awareness.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Fenty Upstages School Board?

With the weekend’s DC-area murder toll at 6, it was clear that Mayor Fenty and his Police Chief, Cathy Lazier, needed to do something to address the violence that spiked in the Shaw neighborhood, as well as in Southeast. So, he and the Chief unveiled at a 10am conference a cry for help from DC residents in identifying the perpetrators of this weekend’s gruesome crimes.

But why 10am? Why not 8am if it was really important? Or, maybe 1pm to catch the evening news? No, it was at 10am to pre-empt the DC School Board’s Reform Announcement and swipe all the attention away from the School Board’s response to Mayor Fenty’s desire to take control of the schools for himself. Or, at least, that’s what the Post’s DC Wire blog says is the case. Are you telling me that major news outfits are spread so thin they couldn’t do both? I’m not so sure… Clearly there are more reporters in DC than just one for each citywide beat?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Pay Phoning Home from Lauriol Plaza

Check this out. It’s a pay phone! When was the last time you saw, much less used, one?

This archaic bit of technology isn’t even in a convenient for conversation location – its in the men’s bathroom at Lauriol Plaza.

While I’ve had my share of bathroom cell phone calls, I think the days of a pay phone bathroom call are long gone.

Have you used one, recently? (pay phones, not bathrooms)

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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A small DC blogging world after all

How small is the DC blogging community? I am not back it the USA 24 hours before I run into AOL Joe at a random Dupont Circle house party .

As the name suggests, Joe blogs for the area’s largest consumer IT company and he seems to be everywhere.

From a Six Apart meeting to the Blogger Summit, Joe is stalking me. Is he stalking you too?

And just how small is the DC blogging community? Have you been to a blogger meet-up to find out?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Dinner at Viridian

A few weeks ago Jen was ahead of my darling girlfriend and I – we noticed her and her darling husband walking about twenty paces ahead of us on NW 8th St by Cafe Belga. This week it seems we’re leading her: we had dinner at Viridian last night, where she had brunch today. As she said, it’s right next to Studio Theater, where we were going to see “This is How It Goes.” I’ll tell you about that later, but let’s make this a Viridian kind of day, shall we?

Between the miseries of my employment and my personal idiocy – which caused me to leave the tickets at home, necessitating a lot more redundant driving than anyone should have to do – I was running a little late, so my darling girlfriend and our theater-going companions were there before me. While waiting for their chronologically-challenged companion they enjoyed the 5pm to 7pm $5 bar selections. There’s a sparkling, white, and red wine choice, all from Spain, as well as rail drinks and beers, all $5. There were also a few appetizer options, a cheese plate and sea scallops among them. Also on the special list were the two items I was too late to get a chance to enjoy more than one bite each of: mussels with celery, carrots, and chorrizo in saffron white wine cream sauce and an parisian saffron gnocchi. The mussels were a pefect texture and the gnocchi was delish. The gnocchi is normally an entree selection on the regular menu and I think I might opt for it next time we return.

Return we will, as all of the entrees we opted for were superb. My darling girlfriend had pan-roasted duck breast with bleu cheese potato gratin and toasted pistascio, I had boneless center cut pork loin with pear carpaccio and a pinot noir reduction and our companions had the seared barramundi with beet rissoto and the NY strip loin with arugula salad. All of them were great. Our service was a little off near the end, but nowhere near the way that Jen’s was – we just had a little longer of a wait before we could ask for the check than I would have necessarily liked.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Blurring the Boundaries

The unnervingly direct stare of Jessie Mann penetrates the viewer. Take a few minutes in Adamson Gallery at 14th and P, and see what I mean. Titled “Self Possessed,” it’s a small showing of twenty-seven prints, on display until February 24th.

The photographs are the result of a partnership between Jessie Mann (as model, though in some shots you see her with a shutter release) and Len Prince (as photographer). The Post review touched on the show’s teasing the boundaries between photographer and muse, creator and subject. Having posed for a photographer in my day, I understand how the partnership can be more complex than “hold your head like this; look over there and think of something sad.” It’s really a covenant you are entering into with another creative person – “I will convey your message, but you will immortalize my essence” – there has to be absolute trust to create something that indelible. It’s a powerful bond that’s very evident in this exhibit.

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Brunch at Viridian

There are several “new” restaurants that I’ve been wanting to try for so long that they are now no longer really to be classified as “new” – Viridian has been at the top of the list for a while and I finally had a reason to go today for brunch after a gallery visit with friends.

A few doors down from Studio Theater at the epicenter of 14th and P, Viridian takes advantage of expansive windows and clean mimimal decor to really fit into the gallery aesthetic that is fast taking over that once sad corner of DC. It has a sort of airy, upscale feel undercut by the artistic types wandering in from the galleries and the theater, a place where little old ladies in fur and tattoo-ed urbanites mingle peacefully. At least, this afternoon!

I’m not sure how well the seemingly vast space translates at night, but it made for a pleasant brunch experience, basking in the sun streaming in through those wide windows. There’s a good selection of classic cocktails to ease into your morning- Bloody Mary, Mimosa, Bellini – and a menu covering kicked-up basics like build-your-own omelet or vanilla french toast, then branching out into intriguing selections such as blue crab with grits or smoked trout sandwich. There’s an emphasis on fresh, local, organic – the new buzzwords around here of late in the DC restaurant revolution.

We were pleased with everything we ordered and happy enough to want to return to try dinner, but I hate to say the service, though extremely friendly, was a bit lacking on the uptake – it was by no means crowded and I saw more than one diner craning their necks around vainly trying to meet a server’s eye. One of our party had to wait quite a bit for her simple salad while the three others were served first, explained as due to “computer trouble.”

Oh well, we weren’t too annoyed due to the fact that everything was good, we were enjoying each other’s company, and it was a lazy afternoon. Nothing like art, alcohol, and breakfast food to detox from a stressful week…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Good Thing They Know His Nickname!

While each and every murder is a tragedy in DC, apparently each and every murder investigation is also a bad comedy. From the Washington Post:

D.C. police said yesterday they know the nickname of the man who allegedly killed a 17-year-old girl at a Northwest Washington nightclub over the weekend but have not been able to find him.

Oh. I’m so glad that you know his nickname is “Flunky McShootsemdead” now could you stop with the hijinx and find and arrest the guy? Don’t just tell us you know what his friends call him, give us a name, a picture, and get the people involved! Otherwise, you’ll be realizing the dreams of the infamous Frank J and his struggle with the Donald Rumsfeld Strangler, which is published in part below the cut.

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The Tracks Ahead

I’m not going to talk about the bitter cold this morning. It’s too depressing to even think about. Instead, I’m going to write about Metro’s precarious position, which is only slightly less painful. Our transit system, now in the hands of its fourth chief in 12 months, is suffering from planning difficulty for its expansion to Dulles, suffering from derailments and accidents that are literally killing people, is behind on its budget, to the point where another fare hike will likely be in the cards for the next few months.

Metro’s cutting back on bus services to area neighborhoods, in some cases cutting routes altogether and severing the transit lines that bind this community. Extended service has turned into a bit of a joke, as few trains run late until after the bars close. Worse still, the Board that runs Metro turned away its single greatest champion and the only shining light in its plan: Dan Tangherlini. The calculated snub by board members, including Arlington’s own Chris Zimmerman, likely was the breaking point at which Tangherlini realized all his hard work wasn’t appreciated by the board and he was unlikely to become the permanent chief.

Stories like Jeff Harrell’s status quo Metro are more and more the common tale for Metro: “For reasons passing understanding, Metro likes to run short trains on the blue line during rush hour. Like really short. Like four cars short. Like “Let the midget sit on your shoulders so we can cram one more person aboard” short.” But with Metro squandering money left and right, it doesn’t look like we’ll see more eight car trains on the Blue line, or the Red line or the Yellow or Green lines any time soon. Instead, we’ll all be packed in like sardines, on cars that may well derail, settling for trains every ten minutes during rush, and paying $10+ for a day’s parking at the garages that are supposed to help unclog the roads.

Metro’s at a tough spot in its history, and it’s got a long way to go in my eyes before it’s out of the woods. Good luck, John Catoe, new manager of WMATA, there is much you have to do to prove that you’re fit for your $200k+ salary.

Edit: No sooner do I post this than I read about a fire at Farragut North this morning. We may be in more trouble than I had thought.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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The Metblogs Post I Never Foresaw…

Supreme Court

Originally uploaded by justindc.

On the list of topics I never, ever would have thought about writing for metblogs, comparison of legal documents’ aesthetics is at the top of them. How is it that Alexandria’s Subpoenas are so much prettier than Arlington’s? When I witnessed a drunk driver get in an accident in the fall, I was subpoenaed to testify in court about what I saw that night. I got a yellow carbon copy from Arlington containing a smudged listing of the case name and number and when I had to appear. It was pretty worthless. About two weeks ago, I got hit by a drunk in Alexandria, who then left the scene. Today, my subpoena arrived. It was in an envelope, it bore the seal of the state of Virginia, it gave good concise and clear instructions about where and when to be.

How is that these legal docs are so different?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Free fighting and cholesterol poisoning for students

Yeah, I’m just bitter I can’t take advantage. I just got an email from the Caps with this information in it.

The Washington Capitals, Papa John’s and DC101 have teamed up to create Papa John’s College Night, which will debut this Saturday at Verizon Center when the Capitals take on the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. To add to the excitement, the Caps are offering the first 368 students in line at Verizon Center (7th and G streets entrance only) with a valid college ID a free admission to the Capitals game and a coupon for a free large Papa John’s pizza.

If you’re just in the area, you might also want to walk over to RFD if you have an ID. “After the game local restaurant RFD (7th Street between H and I streets) will have specials for students who are 21 and older.” I presume they won’t demand proof you were actually at the game.

And no, I have no idea why it would be 368.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Mayor Fenty’s Free Movie Theatre

Major Hat Tip to Marc Fisher of the Post for this fun tidbit: “D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s office has invited 120 homeless people to a screening of “The Pursuit of Happyness,” the Hollywood flick about a homeless man who becomes a fancy stockbroker. The homeless people will gather tomorrow morning to see the Will Smith vehicle at Union Station.”

So, is Mayor Fenty’s idea of handling the homeless problem to provide free motivational services? Really? Personally, if we’re going the motivational speaker route, I think there are perhaps other speakers that might do well. Maybe this google search is where the Mayor should start his next project?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Congress Gives DC “Practice” Vote.

Think of it like a learner’s permit. Or a training bra. Or maybe like training wheels.

The House of Representatives has awarded DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton a symbolic vote in floor matters for the first time since 1993. As part of the Committee of the Whole, both Norton and the representatives from American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam will get to cast a vote when the House is meeting in that fashion.

If, like me, you haven’t the slightest what the Committee of the Whole is, let me get out our old friend Thomas to do some ‘splainin’:

The Committee of the Whole is not a House committee in the usual sense, but a committee consisting of all members of the House of Representatives — a parliamentary construct to expedite House action. … Procedures in the Committee of the Whole expedite the consideration of legislation because of its smaller quorum requirement, the prohibition of certain motions, and five-minute rule for debate on amendments. These procedures allow more members to participate in the debate on a measure and offer amendments than the procedure in the full House.

After the House adopts a resolution setting the guidelines for considering a bill, the House convenes as the Committee of the Whole, and the Speaker passes the gavel to a chairman, a member of the majority party selected by the Speaker, who presides over the Committee while it is considering the bill. …

The Committee of the Whole cannot pass a bill. Instead, when it is done amending the measure, “the committee rises” and its Chair reports its recommendations on the bill back to the full House, where it is voted on (pass or fail), or recommitted (sent back to the legislative committee from which it was reported).

So, Delegate Holmes Norton can now vote in the Cmte of the Whole, which can debate bills, but not enact them into law. So, DC is pretty much without real representation. Still.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs