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A bad sign at Bebo


Both Tom and I have discussed how much we love Bebo Tratoria, Roberto Donna’s restaurant in Crystal City. For those of us whose love for Galileo always exceeded our wallets, it was a real grodsend. It was also a nice change from the run-down look Galileo was sporting in its last year. The last two times I was in there – visits that were several months apart – there was a door in the bar that had its perimeter sealed with black duct tape. Maybe that’s okay in Subway, but with a per-person tab approaching $100 before wine it is just unacceptable.

So imagine my distress when I visited the Bebo restroom on my most recent visit last month and saw this. Is this the start of the same downward maintenance slide? I have sympathy – I know a little something about working with mirror and have broken enough of them to insure bad luck into the next millennium. That looks like someone tightened down something a little too hard at the faucet and a custom cut that size will run into the hundreds, so I understand not necessarily being thrilled to do the fix.

However I think I can speak for any customer in saying that when I see poor maintenance in the bathroom I wonder where else is sub-standard. Your food is too good to be surrounded with distractions like this, Mr Donna.

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The Hardest Working Scalpers In America


presidents

Originally uploaded by tbridge.

Coming off the Metro tonight at Stadium/Armory, I walked up to the most beautiful rendition of Take Me Out To the Ballgame, played by a man with the most amazing silver dreads and a sax that had seen many many notes played on its tarnished brass keys. Then, once he was done playing I moved along 19th St toward the stadium, and saw the group of scalpers trying to ply their wares.

They have, quite possibly, the hardest job in DC right now, trying to drum up interest in tickets that aren’t worth their face value before the game, let alone after the game’s started. They have a nearly impossible job in trying to get anything like face value back on the tickets, unless of course the Giants and Barry Bonds are in town, or if it’s the Phillies or the Mets, but this week it’s the Dodgers, and no one’s buying.

Good luck, hardworking scalpers. You’ve got your work cut out for you.

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Photographing DC

DC Sunset

Chris Scholl sent us his Guide to Shooting Washington DC, which in and of itself is interesting, both for what it chooses to recommend, and what it chooses to ignore.

It focuses primarily on the usual places, the Mall, Embassy Row, Dupont Circle, the Museums and the monuments. Where’s the love for places like Lincoln Park in Capitol Hill? Old Town Alexandria? Union Station? Nothing at all in Southeast? Hains Point (at least til the Emerging Man is moved…) and Rock Creek Park (especially that bridge!) are left off the list.

I love this town’s incredible photographic wealth, and to see most of it ignored in a guide is frustrating. But, there are some great tips about how to shoot in this town which can be applied all over the place. Get out, explore, photograph this town. It’s pretty. It deserves it.

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Deaf Pedestrian: Honk or Holler?

What do you make of this sign: “Deaf Pedestrian”? What might that mean to you? Would you slow down? Would you be extra cautious? Would you even notice, or care if you did?

This deaf pedestrian sign is in my new Petworth neighbourhood and there is one off Florida Avenue at 15th. Where else might there be one? And is it respected?

Better yet, how do you respect a “deaf pedestrian” sign? Honking or hollering would be out. Might flashing lights or waving your arms be in? I ask this not as an ass, but as a hearing pedestrian and driver wondering what are the rules?

Are there specific Washington DC road rules when you see a deaf pedestrian sign? And why aren’t there deaf pedestrian signs all up and down Florida Avenue outside Gallaudet University? So many answers I desire to hear…

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Chihuly Boat

IMG_1178.JPG This here is a Chihuly boat installation sitting in the USBG National Garden regional pond. Dale Chihuly, a noted glass sculptor, has been doing glass-filled boats since 1995, inspired by Finnish children who would gather blown glass he had thrown into the Nuutajoki River.

You can view this particular blown glass boat in the National Garden till October 2007, as part of the USBG’s “Celebrating America’s Public Gardens” exhibit (well worth visiting for the variety of setups from public gardens all over the USA), and see more Chihuly boats here.

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Spider Crane to the Office Move Rescue

My company moved. We had much stuff, papers and files in metal cabinets. Hanging file folders I thought best for the shredder.

I was not in charge though, so now we have these file cabinets in our new office. “How did they get there?” You might ask. “Spider Crane” I would answer.

The Spider Crane is a funky office move facilitator. It is a pneumatic suction crane that picks up metal cabinets by attaching two suction cups to the offending vertical files and picks it up enough to get a dolly underneath. Not glamours, but effective.

And you can witness more of the Spider Crane in its own Flickr Action Set.

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Did you “suit up” today on E Street?

Seen on E Street NW near 5th Street

Like my Dad used to caution me, when it’s raining, you wear a raincoat. He didn’t mean a real raincoat, of course. Southerners speak in metaphor and I knew what he meant.

Someone apparently found it necessary to don a raincoat over on E Street NW. I suppose there are less romantic places to get busy than near the homeless shelter but I certainly haven’t been forward enough to bring anyone there.

To the guy who hit it and his lucky female and/or male companion: Thank you for picking up after yourself, at least for the contents of the wrapper. Next time, though, even in the heat of the moment, in the throes of your E Street passion, please take the time to pick up the wrapper. It will show that special someone that chivalry is still alive.

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Everyone’s got the Shakes, part two.

Moving on from Shakespeare re-imagined into Shakespeare-inspired, the Studio Theater is staging Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I’m excited to get a chance to see this performed on stage – I love the movie version with Gary Oldman, though Tim Roth is the real meat there, I think.

If you don’t know it, R&GAD’s story runs parallel to Hamlet but only intersects with the play in a few places. Otherwise we follow Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (or was that Guildenstern and Rosencrantz? Mocking their interchangability in Hamlet, even they seem unable to keep track of who is who) as they make their way to Denmark in responce to the Queen’s summons to come help her apparently fruit-loopy son. There’s commentary on the nature of chance, battles of the question game – no rhetoric or repeats, please – and their interactions with the Players from Hamlet are great.

I’m stoked.

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See Dave Attell or D.L. Hughley… for FREE

Dave Attell and D.L. Hughley are each taping HBO specials at the Lincoln Theater next weekend- Attell on Friday, June 1 and Hughley on Sunday, June 3rd. The production company is looking for audience members for both, and the tickets are FREE. The catch is, you have to win the ticket lottery to get them. How do you enter the ticket lottery? I’m so glad you asked, because I’ve got the scoop.

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Everyone’s got the Shakes, part one.

Most prominent of the current All Bard, All The Time phenomenon is the Shakespeare Theatre’s annual free-for-all, this year again presenting Love’s Labor Lost. I’m always a little skeptical of modernizations of Shake’s work, at least when the original language is preserved. Sure, retelling The Taming of the Shrew in a high school can be effective when you reset the entire work and write your own dialog. But for every effective modern setting, Elizabethan prose staging of Romeo and Juliet you get a horrific Hamlet. If WaPo reviewer Peter Marks is to be believed, however, this one’s in the successful camp. I’m sojourning with some of our western Metblogs cities, however, do I won’t be back to see it till the 31st. I can say with absolute certainty, however, that it’s certain to be worth more than you paid to see it.

There’s three locations to get those free tickets, plus the web. If you work downtown and your arrival time is a little flexible you’re probably best off hitting the WaPo location. It’s the earliest opening at 8:30 am so you can queue up and if you fail there’s another shot for you at Noon at the other two locations. Get your sweetie to try the online source in the morning while you’re waiting at WaPo so you can double your chances.

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Memoirs of the Cherry Blossom Festival

It’s been a while since I last wrote about a photo, due in part to laziness as well as not seeing any photos that really motivate my blogging fingers. Today I decided to put an end to my drought and make an effort to scour through the archives of Flickr.

This great shot by Flickrite Nestor’s Blurrylife may have been more relative to our city about a month ago, but hey, I’m a sucker for a good portrait. I love the fact that D.C. is tied to Japan (a country I’m fascinated with) by its gifting of the cherry blossom trees, and how we celebrate it every year. It’s such a great way to welcome spring and put an end to our horrid winter. The flowers are blooming, things are turning green, and everyone is happy, much like this geisha.

I love the detail of this photo, its timelessness, and how you’re drawn into her eyes. You know she’s got a story to tell and I’d sure love to hear it.

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Congressman Fights Crime. Literally.

congressmancrimefighter.pngPickpocketed near his Georgetown home, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen went running after his robber. He managed to grab the attention of several DC Police officers, who joined in the hunt and apprehended an 18-year old suspect.

That’s what you get for messing with New Jersey, man, it’s a minor miracle the mugger-to-be didn’t find himself on the receiving end of a Tony Soprano-style Curb Job.

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Caption Contest Winner: Holmes & Fenty Photo

And we have a winner for the Metroblogging DC Caption Contest! By a very close vote that I may not completely understand, here is the photo/caption combo:

“I am not saying that there would be consequences for the failure for this legislation but tell me – do you really want to risk this? I mean c’mon – she knows where you park, she knows where to find a crowbar and either way you’re still stuck with her till the district residents vote otherwise.” By Jared.

.

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Costco: Cardboard Box Connection

While randomly shopping with the clock-stopping hottie, I came across this amazing find for anyone moving: Costco has mountains of boxes right by the cash registers, free for the taking.

When I was packing to move into the new abode, Costco became a cardboard box goldmine.

The Costco employees helped me dig out the right kind of boxes, sturdy ones not pre-made to be product display cases. I was able to scrounge about half my boxes and all the funky-shaped boxes I needed in this pile o’ dead trees.

If you wanna do the same, I have only one tip: guard your finds. Two other customers tried to swipe my cardboard while I was searching – the suburban thieves!

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Got Water?

The Washington Post is reporting today that it’s probably not a good idea to start a fire in D.C. any time soon, whether it’s on purpose or accidental. If, for example, you leave a candle burning in your living room and your damn cat knocks it over, the fire department will have to try four hydrants before it finds one that works. In the meantime, Furball might really, really regret what she did and wonder why she’s so stupid…and then start to wonder what that smell is.

That’s right, D.C. Fire Chief Dennis Rubin is estimating that at least 25% of the city’s fire hydrants are worthless. Please note two key words in the previous sentence: at and least! What does that mean? Are 50% of our hydrants out of order? 75%? All of them?! Don’t get me wrong, I love living in DC, but I have to question once again, “Where are my tax dollars going?”

To quote Rubin, “It’s like a sucker punch when firefighters are fighting a fire and go to a hydrant that doesn’t work.”

To quote me, “It’s like a roundhouse kick to the groin from Chuck Norris when your house burns to the ground because the powers that be have no idea how to run their city!”

I’m going to go home and throw all of my candles away, and if I had a cat, I’d throw it away too.

Fire hydrant photo by Bill Adler

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Ditching Work for Sport

It’s a packed house over here at Ireland’s Four Courts as Liverpool and AC Milan face off in the finals of the Champions Leagues. Milan’s up 1-nil at the half, scoring a goal on a deflected penalty kick, causing half the bar to cheer and the other half to groan.

The last time I saw a pub this packed at half-past three was the World Cup. Irish accents, British accents, American flat vowels, they’re all here, along with the rapid patter of Spanish and Portuguese.

Skip out on the rest of the day and head here, or Lucky Bar, or Elephant and Castle and catch the second half.

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It’s Ticket Time, Folks

capnjack.pngMemorial Day Weekend. Blockbuster Movies. While everyone’s stuck in traffic tomorrow night getting an early start on the long weekend, I’ll be eating popcorn in the Balcony at the Uptown watching the new Pirates of the Carribean movie. You know you want to ditch the early escape traffic and do the same, so grab some tickets for the 8pm show, and we’ll see you there.

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19 Robberies in 1st District since Friday

robberies.png Since Friday, there have been 19 robberies in the 1st Police District, which covers the area around the Capitol, and down to the Anacostia, and as far north as the junction of New York and Florida Avenues. The 19 robberies over the weekend add up to 60 robberies, without gun, and 19 armed robberies, with gun, a 20% increase from the same time last year. And while violent crime, as a whole, is down just about a percent, without the rash of robberies over the weekend, we might be looking at something like a 20% decrease in crime across the First District.

So, what happened this past week to spike a 20% increase in robberies? We can’t blame this strictly on youth violence, we can’t blame it on much of anything, really, it seems. So, what’s with the spike in crime? If you can find the hints in the Crime Map and tell me what you’re seeing that I’m not, say so in the comments.

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Persistent pixels

‘Lord Andrews’ says it much better than I ever could, so I will for the most part present without comment this excellent article about persistent MySpace and Facebook profiles for people who are now long dead, the Virginia Tech victims amongst them.

An excerpt:

I have witnessed this phenomenon firsthand: a year ago, Ben, an acquaintance of mine at Virginia Commonwealth University, killed himself by jumping off a twenty story building. Before long, Ben was only the name of a person on Myspace; the real human was long since gone, but his profile was never deleted. Before he died, Ben gave the profile password to his best friend, who used it to send out news of the boy’s death and funeral arrangements to his entire social network. It was strange, receiving a message from a man announcing that he was dead. Later that summer, I encountered a memorial to him at an anime convention where he used to work – eight of his Myspace photos were printed out on 8×11″ glossy photo paper and pasted to a display board. It seemed very surreal at the time; it was the first occasion I thought to consider the implications of these funereal web pages.

Ben has been dead for almost a year now, but people are still talking to him online. His “wall” is covered in chatter: “Happy birthday”, “how are you”, “we miss you”, “our prayers are with you” and “we hope you’re in a better place” are all standard fare. A girl named Jenny wrote Ben an entire paragraph

Read the whole thing. You’ll be glad you did.

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