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Colorado Kitchen Sunday Brunch

Were you hungry this morning? Live in northern Northwest DC? Then Colorado Kitchen is for you.

At 14th and Kennedy Street, on Colorado Avenue, the aptly named Colorado Kitchen servers up tasty treats on the weekends, like homemade donuts and poached eggs on lobster.

But be quick if you want to eat before noon. Colorado Kitchen opens at 11am and the line forms at 10:30am. If you are not in the first 25 people or so, you will have to wait for the second wave of seating and not get your food until around noon.

Still, the food is worth the wait, the donuts come out piping hot and will be fought over when they hit your table.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Rockstars at the Book Festival

Don’s post about the Book Festival inspired me to go check out which authors would be in attendance. In past years, Bridge Household favorites Neil Gaiman and Neal Stephenson have been in attendance, so I generally think it’s a pretty worth event (and yes, Neil Gaiman is enough of a rockstar that people will wait until well after midnight for his signature.

I knew Judith “Miss Manners” Martin would be there to do a signing of her new travel book… but somehow I had failed to be aware that Jack Prelutsky would be here, in mah very own DC, to sign books.

Who is Jack Prelutsky, I hear you ask? He’s a freakin’ genius, as far as my brother and I are concerned. When we were kids, we had a paperback copy of his The New Kid on the Block. It eventually disintegrated from our repeated readings, accompanied by gales of laughter at such gems as “Ebeneezer Bleezer’s Ice Cream Store” and “Yubbazubbies.” But my personal favorite began:

Homework, Oh Homework
I hate you, you stink
I wish I could wash you away in the sink.

Maybe I’ll make my way down there this weekend. My brother is moving away to Wyoming next month, and he needs a housewarming gift.

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The Bookfest is here

The countdown timer on the LOC webpage says it’s under 12 hours now till the Bookfest kicks off, and while I’m probably above-average (or below average, if you ask my lower back as I pack and move this weekend) in my book fetishism, I have to say two things in response to this.

One, really, we’re calling midnight the start time? Are there a lot of events tonight at midnight? Will Joyce Carol Oats and Terry Pratchett be rolling at the LOC-sponsored rave tonight? Someone warn Holly Black to stay off the brown acid, one of the brains behind the Spiderwick Chronicles doesn’t need yet more trippy imagery in her head.

Two, a countdown timer? Again, big book fiend here, but is anyone really counting the minutes to this shindig? You’re watching too many Halo 3 commercials, folks. “Saturday” would have done well enough. Toss an exclamation point in if you really feel the need.

The main page advertising the event is here but personally what I am always interested in at a book fair is the authors, who are listed by category here and alphabetically by name here. If you’re an autograph hound – or just one of us with a somewhat constrained schedule – the signing schedule is here. All the other non-time-sensitive stuff is listed out by pavilion over here.

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Metro Malarkey

It’s human nature to complain about prices going up whether it’s the cost of housing, a gallon of gas, or a loaf bread. It’s well founded too, I mean who wants to pay more for something especially if you see little to no personal return? Does your car run better or go farther on a tank of gas if it costs $3.10 vs $3.05 per gallon? Why pay the extra nickel?

The answer is usually because that extra money is going into the cost of maintaining the system (or so we hope) and also due to the cost of other things going up. A loaf of bread used to cost 10 cents back in the good ol’ days, but the salary of the bread factory employees, the cost of the bread ingredients, and the cost to ship the bread to the store were far less.

Recently Metro’s General Manager John Catoe Jr. presented a plan to raise the fare of riding the subway, riding the bus, and parking fees, designed to “close a projected shortfall” and wouldn’t you know it, people are complaining. The plan is proposing bus fares to be increased from $1.25 to $1.50 (a quarter!) and parking fees to go up from $3.50 to $4.00 (fifty cents!).

One of the complaints is that urban riders, those who pay to park at Metro lots, are bearing more of the brunt of the increase. It’s just not fair! The fare isn’t fair! Why do we have to pay an extra fifty cents when the bus riders only have to pay an extra quarter? Jim Graham, our Ward 1 Council member, argues that the poor, disadvantaged people of DC can’t afford the extra quarter and will not support any proposal that raises the bus fare for his people. He argues that instead the parking fees should be raised even more since “the market rate for parking is much higher.”

I’m calling “boo hoo” on all of this. Not to sound insensitive, but we haven’t had a Metro fare increase in years that I know of and it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Tracks need repair, parking lots need repainting, employees want raises, gas prices are higher…it all adds up. Let’s say you ride the bus 30 times per month. Even if you are extremely poor, can you not afford an extra $7.50 per month? Or if you park in a Metro lot 20 times per month, it’s only going to set you back another $10.

I guess it’s not a question of if Metro fares will be increased, it’s a matter of how much and who will pay more, our “poor” citizens or our urban commuters? Either way, I’m sure people will find a way to deal with the extra costs whether it means working a couple of extra hours, carpooling with coworkers, or even canceling your HBO service. That is a sacrifice I could never make.

Photo by Grundlepuck

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Go For A Walk!

This Saturday, you really need to go for a walk. Fall weather is here, meaning that you’re in the rare God-it’s-awesome-outside conditions that only seem to happen in late September/early October and then again from late March through early May. It’s “Walking Town DC” Day on Saturday, and there are 45 walking tours in DC that day, featuring “The Spies of Georgetown” and “The History of Brookland” and “More than Monuments.”

Better still? All the tours are free. Bring your cameras, though, and take photos for the contest, which could net you a season ticket to Arena Stage’s next season, and publication in the next See DC brochure.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Breaking News: DMV Sucks. (Shock! Horror! Startlement!)

IMG_1474.JPG I’m sure you’re all clamoring to be regaled today with yet another DMV entry after Don’s, so I am happy to oblige with this quick tip: when converting an out-of-state driver’s license at the DC DMV service center in Georgetown, said license is not considered a valid primary ID. Yeah, you read that right. See those requirements here. Real clear, right?

And if the lady at the desk says that “there is no birthday on that license” even though there is a birthday on the license, there is no birthday on the license. And we just wasted a morning because we didn’t bring a passport and our health insurance cards don’t have birth dates on them.

No Profanity, now!

Related Family Guy video, with some racial overtones:

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The Modernist @ Blue Room Bourbon

Back in the day, I loved me some Blue Room. It was my best back-up plan as almost always scored a phone number or a kiss. Then I met the Betrothed Butterbean and my life changed.

So did the Blue Room. It’s gone, replaced with Bourbon. But just like I am the same guy, now with a new focus, Blue Room didn’t undergo too much change to be Bourbon. In fact, when the BB and I went there last night, we failed to see any difference. They even kept the massive chandelier!

Bourbon has changed it style a mite bit. Last night was The Modernist meet-up, “another evening of intellectual / libidinal stimulation.” And with free Belvedere Vodka for the first hour, everyone got the libidinal stimulation going, even the two clueless & overdressed sorority girls who came in for one round of non-vodka shots.

The intellectual stimulation was high-brow, with The Modernist promoter even throwing out “pretentious” as Porochista Khakpour read from her debut novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects and denied romantic relationships with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Sadly, she did not comment on the Iranian President’s sartorial sacrilege. It may have enlightened a few fashion victims in the room that it’s still a little early to break out the winter leather boots.

Still, the Blue Room Bourbon did not disappoint. Talent was impressive and wanting. Men were even hit on while going for free vodkas, with their girlfriends standing next to them! So men, leave the newspapers and head over to Bourbon on a Thursday night.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Moving adventures part two: the DMV

“If you got time to lean, you got time to clean” is one of the two things I most remember hearing at my first job, though there were many variations. “I bet that piece of floor will hold itself down without you, why don’t you go straighten some things up” and “you’re starting to collect dust, go wipe down the counters” were two other flavors of the goad.

The other principle didn’t have any clever flavors, and I only heard it once, when I argued with “you’re late” by saying I’d been there on time. “You’re on-time when you’re here and ready to work. Showing up for your shift on time and then spending ten minutes in back drinking coffee or putting on your tie is no different from walking in the door ten minutes late.” I don’t wear a tie to work anymore – thank grod – or wait on walk-in customers, but I still remember that lesson.

Well, nobody gave the folks at the Tyson’s Corner DMV that lesson, or at least not most of them. I showed up at the 8am opening time so I could do the trifecta of plate transfer, renewal, and address change before tomorrow’s move. You can, in fact, do most of this online if you don’t have any esoteric requests. The address change is pretty minor – they’ll send you a little card to keep with your driver’s license if you don’t want to get a new one at the $10 charge. As it happens I wanted to get the car done quickly so Arlington wouldn’t give me any crap about parking and I had some vanity plates from a car I sold that I wanted to transfer over.

So I put myself in my seat at 8:03 and waited for my number & letter combo to be called. There were a fair number of people milling about behind the counter that weren’t waiting on folks – only 3 windows seemed to be in operation, in fact – but there’s always a lot of that, or seems to be, anytime you’re waiting to be seen and are feeling hurried. A few of the folks in question, however, spent all their time at specific windows, and seemed to be doing things there. On more careful examination I realized they were prepping their windows to open. One was counting a cash drawer. Another was cleaning every apparent inch of countertop in her work area with an aerosol can and paper towels. Another had some papers she was shuffling.

Our of curiosity I took out my pad and made notes based on the big clock hanging behind them.

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Mens Room Reading at Work

Are you this lucky in your office building? Does your mens bathroom have reading material in the stalls?

I love this community operated perk at my new place of business. Daily newspapers to pass the time on the throne.

Today its the Express, but other days its the Times or the Journal. A great library in the bathroom that should make you jealous.

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Questionable marketing?

I’ve caught a few episodes of the Showtime series Dexter and intend to catch up – not only is it set in my hometown of Miami, but its pretty entertaining as well. With season two kicking off this Sunday, Showtime is launching a big push to promote the show and are having in-place events at fourteen cities. The one for our fair city is being held at Union Station. Apparently they involve “Dexter’s red fountains.” I’m not sure what that means, but with a show that revolves around a serial killer odds seem slim it’s entirely wholesome and free of innuendo.

I’m not free to go over to witness the ‘festivities’ when they happen today sometime between 11 and 5p, but if one of you does and take some pictures then you can join the Flickr group that Showtime has set up and add your photos. They’ll be giving some things out, apparently including a DVD with the first episode. “The first one is always free” is a tactic I am sure I have heard of somewhere else…

I’m half tempted to think that a promotion for a show about a serial killer is inappropriate in a city that has at times competed strongly for murder capital of the nation, but I honestly can’t find it in myself to be bugged by it. Maybe it’s because I like the show, maybe it’s because I know the central character tries to harness his murderous impulses in a constructive way, maybe… I just can’t bring myself to care about fiction when there’s enough yuck promoted in reality.

If any of you see any of this, let us know what it was all about or if the giveaways were of any interest.

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Moving is painful

My darling girlfriend and I are in the process of moving, one of life’s lesser joys. I’ve got a few stories to tell, though several of them are hers, since she’s shouldered the burden of dealing with most of the utility companies. I don’t really suggest changing jobs a few weeks before a major move but I have to say it’s a great trump card when trying to convince your partner to pick up some of your slack. “Gosh honey, could you do that? I just don’t feel like it’s a good message to send for me to be on the phone so much on my third day.” Grod love her, she’s good to me.

One of the first hurdles we jumped was a mover for her. Being a long-time bachelor myself I’ve got more computer toys, saws, and books than furniture. She, however, is bringing the majority of the heavy gear to the new place, so she was determined to hire someone. Whoo-boy! I knew a fellow who once quipped that “finding an unbiased drug study is even harder than finding a sober Kennedy,” but drug policy is a snap compared to determining is a mover is trustworthy and fairly priced.

We spoke to several, including ones suggested by fellow metblogs authors, but in the end went with someone used by one of her coworkers, Charles in Charge. Others seemed good, but the biggest deciding factor in the end was that CiC didn’t want to charge a minimum travel time. We felt that was kinda unreasonable from a mover whose office was one mile away to move objects between two houses that are… let’s see what Google says…. 1584 feet apart. So paying for two hours of travel stuck in our craw.

I’ll give you a review when it’s done. Here’s hoping.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Police Action in Petworth with Officer No-Photo

petworth police action

For all the lead-foot morning commuters on New Hampshire Avenue NW, this is your final warning. The speed limit is 25 miles per hour, and no matter if you think that’s too slow or not, these two DC MPD will issue you a speeding ticket.

They were at Sherman Avenue this morning, promising also to be on New Hampshire above Grant Circle, and will be ready to ruin Speed Racer mornings all week long. The cops are more than happy to give speeding drivers a sloooow ticket writing experience, hefty fines, and points on a license.

I’m am happy for the police presence in Petworth, and I’m also happy they’re cracking down on the New Hampshire Avenue raceway, but I wasn’t happy with the response to photographing their speeding ticket sidewalk scene.

See the grinning on the officer in the florescent vest? The one on the right in the photo above? When I said I was going to photograph him pulling over a speeder, a celebration of good police work in my neighbourhood, he wasn’t happy any more. He said that the act of pulling a driver over was a “police action” and photography wasn’t allowed.

Whoa! Apparently Officer No-Photo didn’t know who he was talking to, and didn’t realize that photography in public, and especially photography of law enforcement officers in action, in public, is a well documented First Amendment right.

So while I love the police presence, and enjoy watching this police action every morning, Officer No-Photo needs to brush up on his 1st Amendment rights. Photography is free on our streets, nationwide.

If he’s there tomorrow, and I’m not in my own rush to work, I’ll stop and give him a photographer’s rights refresher.

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Petworth Eyesore in the Washington Post

In another victory for citizen journalism (I hope), the constant coverage of the Petworth Eyesore by the Prince of Petworth and me may have finally paid off with a front page article in the Washington Post: New Rowhouse Rooflines Raising Eyebrows in D.C.

Paul Schwartzman took up the challenge of Petworth’s stunningly bad roofline additions, “pop-ups”, that are blighting the neighborhood with visual pollution with deft and due diligence, even getting the Pertwoth Eyesore owner to comment:

Anthony Cornish, the developer who is converting the single-family home to a condominium, said he used siding for the third floor because “brick is more expensive.”

The property needed a wholesale alteration, he said, because he is constructing two duplexes and wants it to look like an apartment building.

As for aesthetics, Cornish said the building, when it is complete, will be far superior to the dilapidated, vacant property he bought last year for $425,000. “To each his own,” he said of those who object to such additions. “If they don’t like it, they should have gone and bought it themselves.”

If the neighbourhood knew he was going to deface our community with his “pop-up” which looks like its going to pop-off, I am sure we would have. For everyone who lives here says just this:

“It makes me so sick I want to scream,” said Avis Anderson, a neighborhood resident and a real estate broker

If you want to scream too, the Petworth Eyesore is at 4143 New Hampshire Avenue, at Upshur. Don’t worry, you will not miss it.

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They Were Looking For An Echo

“We used to practice in the subways, in lobbies and in halls,
even in the doorway, singing doo-wops to the walls…”

– The Persuasions, “Looking for an Echo

I was running late, but I stopped anyway.

It’d taken longer to get the cats to the vet up in Seven Locks, then back home, and the speeding ticket I got didn’t help, either. I missed the train at Courthouse, so it was almost three by the time I got to Metro Center, and I rushed off the train, only to stop. To hell with the meeting.

Three older African-American gentlemen were singing doo-wop on the middle of the lower platform. I’d seen them before on the corner above the 13th & G exit at Metro Center, but this time they were inside the station. The way they’d positioned themselves, they were able to take advantage of Metro’s ridiculously awful acoustics, pushing their crystal clear motown sound into a small space right under the red line platform, a perfect theatrical space for their vocalizations.

There was an appreciative audience of about 20 on the platform, waiting for the orange line train back to Vienna, standing and nodding their heads. I crossed by the men, and on hearing their tight harmonies, I stopped, and I listened. I remembered the piece from the Washington Post about Joshua Bell and his violin, and I relished their voices, even though I was getting later by the second, it didn’t matter.

Thanks guys for reminding me why I love DC, again.

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DC Webcam Time Lapse

One of my favorite public Washington webcams is the NPS DC Air Quality Webcam installed in the Netherlands Carillon, facing towards the National Mall. It’s on a 15 minute refresh schedule, which gives you ninety-six unique images for every 24 hour period, so I wrote up a little script to fetch the webcam image every fifteen minutes from Monday to Friday, then combined the fetched images at the end of the week to make this little time lapse:

Turned out okay, though the final FLV from Google Video took a fairly large bit rate hit — I didn’t have jaggies like that in the original MP4 export. I’m looking forward to do more time lapses as the seasons change; anyone have suggestions for other such DC webcams I can fetch image sequences from on an automated schedule?

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DC’s Smallest Concert Venue


You know you’re somewhere between performing on the street with an open guitar case and signing a Quincy Jones recording deal when you’re playing at the miniature stage at the Potbelly Sandwich Works on Connecticut Avenue in Dupont Circle. Blink and you’ll miss it, the stage is so small, and if you’re over six feet tall you’ll have to crouch up there like an elderly woman with osteoporosis. Your music will be piped all throughout the restaurant, and if you’re lucky someone might actually look up towards the rafters and realize where the music is coming from. I have to say, it sure was nice listening to some acoustic Sade today while I ate my Italian on wheat.

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Love It or Hate It, Say Goodbye

It was a sad day for me when the Washington Post reported that the AMC Loews Dupont 5 Theater would be closing its doors for good on January 13, 2008. You see that’s my neighborhood theater and it takes me less than 10 minutes to walk there, so despite the uncomfortable seats, small screening rooms, and unfriendly staff, I’m truly going to miss it.

The trend in theaters has been moving from smaller venues to giant megaplexes – places where big groups of noisy people can go and see the latest blockbuster movies and sit in luxurious stadium style seating. With the Dupont Theater leaving, the only other choice (that I know of) for seeing whacky foreign films will be at the E Street Cinema, which is a great theater but not the easiest to get to.

When I asked my friends if they’d heard about the theater closing their reaction was either, “What?! No way! That sucks and is so not fair,” to “Eh, who cares. That place was a dump.”

What’s your reaction?

Photo by cyaneyed

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Columbia Heights Eviction Follow-up

DPW Eviction Clean-up

Remember last week’s shocking Columbia Heights Tenant Eviction?

No matter if you were shocked or not about people being evicted in Washington DC, (I wasn’t), I think we can all be shocked at the amount of possessions casually tossed on the sidewalk and into the street.

My photo doesn’t really do it justice, but Prince of Petworth has a photo that does.

And his readers report that DPW:

“sent 4 street sweepers, two dump trucks, a bull dozer, a dumpster loader and a crew of about 25. From 10 p.m. to 3:30 a.m., the city was cleaning up the street.”

They also say it was the home of a lady who passed away a few years ago and the grandson squatted in the house till it was taken from the family.

So sad.

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Goodbye, RFK


Originally uploaded by philliefan_99.

Yesterday’s trip to RFK was, hopefully, the last one I’ll ever make for a baseball game. The field has been deteriorating through August and September, and the threadbare grass of the outfield forced the groundskeepers to move the Nats’ curly W from dead center, where the grass is all dead, to left-center where a vestige of green remains. The symbolism of the dilapidated grass as metaphor for crumbling stadium shouldn’t be lost on anyone. RFK was a terrible place to watch a game, and judging from the players, a terrible place to play the game, too. So, it was with a great deal of joy that we wished RFK goodbye.

The house, while not as packed as on Opening Day 2005, a respectable 40,000 or so were there to wish the team into the off-season, though there are still a few more games on the road remaining. The biggest cheers of the day came with the introduction of Frank Howard of the Senators, and the biggest boos when Teddy Roosevelt was gypped in the President’s Race (despite the valorous attempts to the contrary by the Nats Bullpen), and the loudest applause came when three long banners were unveiled in left center by fans, proclaiming “Short Still Stinks,” a reference to Senators owner Bob Short who moved the team to Texas in 1971.

The Nats won, though, 5-3 in hold your breath fashion. Cordero looked rough in the 9th, not quite as lights out as he was in seasons past. I was really hoping to see more of Maxwell, as his late-season callup has been full of surprises, but I suspect we’ll see him more next season. Here’s to an off-season full of good trades and pickups.

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Epoch Times Revenge

Good morning random Foggy Bottom resident. This is how you’ll find you car this morning – covered in Epoch Times newspapers.

I don’t think that the papers are a specific sign to you, its just the GW student body’s way of saying that school is back in session.

If you live in Foggy Bottom, you’re used to sights like this on a Saturday already. The visualization of a long, Friday night drunk-a-thon in odd street litter the following day.

Enjoy, and please, do recycle.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs