The Features

On The Water: American History’s Latest

Model Tradeship 2
Model Tradeship 2 courtesy of Me

Right next to the exhibit on the first floor dedicated to America’s transportation systems is the National Museum of American History‘s latest exhibit: On the Water. As much as transportation over land has changed the United States, the maritime elements of our economy has done the same. Divided into seven slices of time, some of which overlap, the exhibit focuses on the coastal and riverfront parts of the United States from 1450 through to the present. Read on for a preview.

Continue reading

The Features, We Love Arts

Artomatic 2009 Opens!

Photo courtesy of
‘Twirling Fire at Artomatic’
courtesy of ‘starbuck77′

The building at 55 M St SE, right above the Nationals Park entrance of Navy Yard Metro still hasn’t become much. With area development on hold due to the economy, the completed, but unoccupied, monolith along the Capitol Riverfront is a perfect host for this year’s Artomatic. This the tenth anniversary of the roving art show that takes place in the District’s most ad-hoc gallery. This year, it covers 8 floors of the building, with several performance artist spaces, as well as the traditional art-mounted-on-plywood.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

The Art of Stampeding

artomatic by Tracy Lee

In case you’ve been in a coma, haven’t checked your e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or RSS feeds for the past few months, let me be the first to tell you that there’s this little thing called Artomatic opening tonight.  This year they’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of one of DC’s biggest art events, a place where professional artists and wannabe professional artists or otherwise creative people hang their work on painted plywood, set it on the floor, or perform it for you on stage.

Continue reading

Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, The Features

Eat Like Me: May’s Best Dishes

Photo courtesy of
‘Cotton Candy Mojito’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

Months and months ago, I stumbled upon this post on local foodie blog The Arugula Files. In the post, Mary  reviews New York’s Blue Hill at Stone Creek restaurant, describing the highlights of her meal. She writes, “Because of the drive (five hours from DC), I probably won’t go back to Blue Hill, but I’ll food dream® about that egg forever.” And then it clicked, food dream was the perfect name for the feeling I get about certain food dishes that I eat and then look back on wistfully.

To qualify as a dish that makes me food dream, I actually have to, at some point, look back on that dish and sigh, wishing I had it. It’s a combination of longing + craving, I think. I realize not a whole lot of people feel this strongly about food, but those who do, know this exact feeling. And with my busy eating schedule (hey, at least three times a day!) I run into a reasonable amount of dishes each month that make me food dream. So I thought it would be fun to share all the dishes I’ve had this month that I’m currently food dreaming about, from start to finish, opening cocktail to dessert.  So, for what it’s worth, here is the month of May in Katie’s food dreams. Continue reading

Downtown, Music, News, The Daily Feed

Matt & Kim Play Rock & Roll Hotel in June for Free

Photo courtesy of
‘matt & kim’
courtesy of ‘TraCataldo’

You can get a free ticket to see Major Lazer (feat. Diplo & Switch) and Matt & Kim for suffering through a Bacardi sales pitch (warning, site plays music, requires flash, and may cause impotence and seizures) for a show that will be June 20th at Rock & Roll Hotel. A great price to see this pair of electropop wonders!

Food and Drink, News, The Daily Feed

Burger Beat: Obama at Five Guys

Photo courtesy of
‘When life gives you lemons…’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

First it was Ray’s Hell Burger, now it’s the Five Guys over by Nats Park, according to Mark Knoller of CBS:

“Obama’s lunch order: one cheeseburger and one fries for me. lemme get the jalapenos and tomatoes and mustard. “thats it for me.””

He bought lunch for some of his entourage, and Brian Williams of NBC paid his own way. So, Michelle Obama’s been to Good Stuff, The President has been to Ray’s Hell Burger and now to Five Guys. Can we suggest Palena in Cleveland Park, Mr. President, for date night?

(Seriously though, no one gave a shit what President Bush ate, and we’re all suddenly fawning all over ourselves because the President likes a good hamburger. Has news gone too far? Are we really just that obsessed with the guy? It’s kinda like stalking in some weird, peculiar and yet somehow completely awesome way. I just like that the President’s leaving the White House once in a while to engage with the city around him. That’s pretty awesome in and of itself.)

All Politics is Local, News, The Daily Feed

Referendum Hearing Set

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘erin m’

As a follow-up to Tom’s Daily Feed and my FeatureWaPo reports that the DC Board of Elections has set a June 10 date for a hearing on the proposed marriage referendum that was filed earlier this week.  The Board is said to be expediting the application process in order to give pro-referendum groups enough time to collect signatures, if the item is approved.  They will  have only until early July to get the requisite 21,000 signatures for their item to be put on the ballot.

We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Design for Living

Design for Living

Robert Sella as Leo, Gretchen Egolf as Gilda and Tom Story as Otto in Noel Coward’s Design for Living, directed by Michael Kahn. Photo by Scott Suchman.

I postponed this review (sometimes being “new media” is convenient) because I wanted to make a 100% confident statement about the Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Design for Living: you should go.

The only problem I experienced with the production was a few noticeable hiccups with forgotten or flubbed lines. They were minor but sufficiently distracting to reduce some of my enjoyment of the production. With another week and a few days under their belt I have no doubt they’ve put that problem behind them.

Beyond that, this play was a delight.There’s a lot to recommend it, but maybe the best reason to go is so that when Tom Story wins the Helen Hayes award for lead performance next year you’ll have seen why for yourself. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

Foodie Round-Up (May 25-29)

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘lorigoldberg’

I don’t know about you, but Fridays are fast becoming my “I need caffeine STAT” days. So, all the news fit to eat in the District, your-author-is-hopped-up-on-chai-tea edition. We’ve got Chef Ripert, new salad choices at Chop’t, the 9:30 cupcake, and paella! Continue reading

The Daily Feed

The Real World: DC, It’s Real

Photo courtesy of
‘Hawk ‘n’ Dove’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

Oh it’s coming! That’s right, it is now said to be likely that DC will be home to the latest and possibly greatest season of The Real World. (I mean, come on, Brooklyn was a bit of a bust. ) The production company of the show, Bunim-Murray, is seeking a number of production assistants in DC who must “be willing to get releases signed by people appearing on camera and locations.” This long-clamored for arrival of the original reality TV show, now in its 23rd season, comes shortly after Bravos announcement that its next installment of the “Real”  Housewives will take place in DC as well. Where will The Real World: DC inhabitants reside? Thoughts?

News, People, The Daily Feed

Blago’s Condo

Photo courtesy of
‘Gov. “Hot Rod” Blagojevich @ Illinois State University’
courtesy of ‘soundfromwayout’

After failing to sell Obama’s vacant senate seat, Rod Blago is trying his hand at real estate in the DC area.  He and his wife have listed their DuPoint Circle condo for $570,000.  So, if anyone is looking for a “spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bath” with “hardwood floors throughout, balcony [and] fireplace” and doesn’t mind the stench of scumbag, there’s an apartment out there for you!

The Daily Feed

This Weekend: Folk Music Fest

Photo courtesy of
‘A step back in time’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

Tomorrow and Sunday, come rain or shine (and its looking like shine – 80* and sunny!) The Folklore Society of Greater Washington will present its 29th Annual Washington Folk Festival.  The event, which features dozens of performers on 7 stages, will take place from noon to 7 p.m. both days at Glen Echo Park in Maryland. There will also be many artisans present as well, peddling their wares — everything from homemade soap to Swedish painting to “Wine Bottle Art” (my favorite kind of art). Though there is limited parking at the site, GEICO is apparently providing satellite parking and a shuttle from their campus near the Friendship Heights Metro Station.

Monumental, The Features, WTF?!

Monumental: The Zero Milestone

Photo courtesy of
‘Washington, DC’
courtesy of ‘iguerra’

You might’ve spotted this small obelisk on the Ellipse, as it sits there just opposite the White House on the north end. It was supposed to be something much like the American Meridian: designed to be a measuring point for all of the highways in the United States. Instead? It’s just the measuring point for the highways in the District of Columbia (yeah, I know, what highways?). But why a milestone at all? The system of highways was dependent upon common reference measures in order to handle guidebooks and maps, as well as establishing distances between locations. Thus, if they were measured from a common location, which could be surveyed and plotted appropriately, better travel guides and directions could be created.

The milestone dates back to the post World War I era, when expansion of the highway system was just beginning. In 1919, an advocate for the early highway system, Dr. S. M. Johnson, proposed a single national marker, based on the Roman system, from which all roads would be measured. He wrote to the Army Motor Transportation Corps, “The system of highways radiating from Washington to all the boundaries of the national domain and all parts of the Western hemisphere will do vastly more for national unity and for human unity than even the roads of the Roman Empire.” His letter was successful, and after an act of Congress, a temporary marker was erected before a large convoy of vehicles would take the Lincoln Highway from DC west to San Francisco on July 7th, 1919.

President Harding would dedicate the permanent marker that now rests on the Ellipse in June of 1923. It would be the first of many to follow, including milestones in San Diego (for the Lee Highway), Nashville, and other major cities on the national highway system that existed prior to the Eisenhower Interstate System that we know today. US 1′s milestone is in Key West, Florida. Our milemarker is a short obelisk with a bronze 16 point compass rose, atop it, inscribed with some of the journeys that began from it in 1919 and 1920.

So, our milestone stands proud, just south of the White House, on the site of the Jefferson Pier, on one of the great meridians of Washington. Though its purpose is past, it reminds us that context, and where you measure your roads from, is ever-shifting beneath us. You can read more about the first national truck convoys, or about those involved with the milestone, courtesy of the Department of Transportation.

The Daily Feed

DOT Photography

DOT re photography
Originally uploaded by erin m

You may have read about the initial incident over at DOT a month or so ago, where security for the picturesque new headquarters are harassing anyone who might try to photograph the art installations in front of the building. There’s a new wrinkle today, as the ACLU has issued a letter (click on the above to read it) to the General Counsel of the DOT requesting a clarification of the policy and what it’s based on. If you want a full treatment of the policy as it stands, check out the DC Photo Rights Flickr Group’s lengthy and thorough treatment of the situation.

Photography isn’t a crime. We’re not terrorists, we’re artists. Training your security staff to threaten and detain photographers is a waste of time and of tax dollars.

Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Sports Fix, The District

The New King of the Kastles

Murphy Jensen by Max

The inaugural season of the Washington Kastles, DC’s very own World TeamTennis team, was wildly successful, selling 94% of their seats and all of their boxes, an amazing feat by any standards.  In response to this great demand, their second season proves to be even bigger and better.  The Kastles Stadium (currently under construction) will again be located in the heart of downtown on the corner of 11th & H Streets NW, will be expanded to nearly 3,000 seats, and will also host an additional “marquee player game” as well as the WTT Championship Finals.  The icing on the cake however is the addition of their new head coach, ex pro and TV personality, Murphy Jensen.

I had a chance to sit down with Jensen to discuss what he hopes to bring to the team this season.  If you know anything about Murphy and his exuberant, gung ho personality, it may come as no surprise that interviewing him was like herding cats.  Cats on a Red Bull diet.  What I’d imagined to be a well executed, fifteen minute set of questions and answers, turned into an hour long chat with one of the most high energy individuals I’ve ever met.  During our conversation we covered topics ranging from his excitement to be a part of the Kastles, his comedy travel show Murphy’s Guide,  his advice on shaving your head, the first time he drove a Porsche, playing tennis with “41″, and of course what he loves about DC.  Many of his responses were as if they came from a politician in that they were long-winded and never really answered my question, but in the end I left the Kastles office thinking to myself, “That is one awesome dude.”

Continue reading

The Daily Feed, WMATA

Like This is News to Us

Photo courtesy of
‘Metro – All Aboard – 9-16-08′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Surprise, surprise.

Guess what? Metro’s not putting in vendors after all. (Thanks to Hank Silverberg at WTOP for the tip.) And apparently, the plan fronted today only included proposals for spaces to sell flowers, newspapers and dry cleaning services. (Dry cleaning? Keep Roy Pearson away!)

Oh, and to everyone’s non-surprise, food vendors were also rejected. I wonder why?

The board told General Manager Joe Catoe to go re-think his plans and they’ll (maybe) revisit the issue next month.

And in other news, pigs still don’t fly.

The Daily Feed

Banjo Insanity at SOVA tonight

Photo courtesy of
‘Sova Menu’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Sitting in the Library of Congress listening to some sweet lunchtime fiddle music, reminded me that tonight is one of my other favorite fiddle-related events: weekly bluegrass at SOVA espresso and wine tonight. SOVA is a gem of a coffee shop on the eastern end of H Street NE, just a few doors down from the newly opened H Street Country Club. Tonight’s tunes will feature The Extension Agent & Friends. SOVA has a recently expanded menu and beer and wine selection, so you can have one of many delicious adult beverages along with your bluegrass.

Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Shopping With A Side of Brunch

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Spodie Odie’

New York-based handbag designer Jennifer Baum Lagdameo of Ananas Collection returns to her native Washington, DC with fellow clothing designer Anya Ponorovskaya. Fashion-forward Washingtonians can stop by Firefly Restaurant on June 13th, where Ananas and Anya Ponorovskaya are holding a lovely sample sale, offering 50-75% off past season styles.

But that’s not all, with your handbag, you’ll also get food, of course! Ananas (pineapple) mimosas will be available and shoppers can nosh on the latest additions to Chef Danny Bortnick’s spring brunch menu, including favorites like snake eyes – 2 soft-cooked eggs baked in a bread basket, country sausage, red eye gravy and potatoes and green eggs and ham – spinach, gruyère and Virginia ham quiche.

Firefly is located at 1310 New Hampshire Avenue, NW. The sample sale will take place in the restaurant’s lounge. Cash is preferred but credit cards will be accepted. Oh, and would you like some charity with your shopping and food? Of course. For every bag and clothing item sold, 5% of the proceeds will be contributed to ‘Team Firefly’ for their fundraising efforts for the Breast Cancer 3-Day held in October.  And for every ananas mimosa sold, $1 will also be donated to the cause.

The Daily Feed, WMATA

The Best Transit Manager in the Nation!

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Karon’

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has named Metro’s own John Catoe as the best public transportation manager of 2009.  APTA has credited Catoe for managing Metro well during Inauguration craziness, as well as improving safety system-wide in the wake of several Metro-related pedestrian fatalities.  Metro has started calling itself “The Best Ride in the Nation”, and with this honor, it doesn’t seem so off-base.

What do you think?  Has your commute gotten significantly better since January 2007, when Catoe began at Metro?

All Politics is Local, Life in the Capital, News, The Features

Prop 8 and You: How California’s Marriage Debate Affects DC

Photo courtesy of
‘DC “No on 8″ March’
courtesy of ‘ann gav’

Proposition 8 is not a strictly Californian issue. It is an initiative of national consequence and its underlying strategic principles are redefining the same-sex marriage debate in DC. To restate the obvious, the results of the Prop 8 vote flew in the face of political convention. The population of a relatively liberal and historically gay-friendly state voted for a heterosexual definition of marriage. To many, it signaled a break between popular ideology and the viewpoints of elected officials.

The result of the Prop 8, along with the passage of similar ballot initiatives in Florida and Arizona, has lead many gay marriage opponents to believe that they’ve found their adversaries’ Achilles’ heel:  when put to the question, populations will vote against legalizing homosexual marriage. With  momentum in DC gathering for legalization, this idea has already begun manifesting itself.  As Tom reported this morning, a group called “Stand 4 Marriage D.C.” has applied for a marriage definition referendum with the Board of Elections.  If the application is approved, they will need to collect over 20,000 signatures to have it placed on the ballot next year.

Continue reading