The Features

Memorial Day 2010

Photo courtesy of
‘”Flags In” at Arlington National Cemetery’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

As people whose idea of fun is to express opinions on a website, we are keenly aware of the value of liberty in all its forms, including freedom of speech, our collective favorite. We pause to remember the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in service of the nation that guarantees that liberty.

The staff of We Love DC wishes you a safe and relaxing Memorial Day.

The Daily Feed

Losing business and making money… at the executive level anyway

Photo courtesy of
’67A #1′
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

The Post Guild, the union representing Washington Post workers, has released a biting letter criticizing Publisher Katherine Weymouth for receiving half a million dollars in bonuses for 2009. When WaPo ombudsman Andrew Alexander mentioned it in March he lead his piece with the news that Post Co. chair Donald Graham had forgone any bonuses or salary increases, getting to Weymouth’s accepting of a bonus and 10% salary increase farther down in the column. The bonus is “based on 2009 performance goals” though exactly what those are he doesn’t mention.

If we go by Alexander’s May column the answer would seem to be “only declining in circulation by about 6%.” Raw numbers are worse than that, but Alexander points out that’s because the Post sold a lot of commemorative papers because of Obama’ in the previous six-month time. “The decline is more modest when looking only at home delivery circulation, where The Post dropped by 6.4 percent weekdays and 5.7 percent Sundays.”

Alexander  omitted what an earlier WaPo column pointed out: only 18% of the paper’s circulation is newsstand sales, so narrowing that number down to “only”  home delivery, the majority of the paper’s sales, doesn’t seem like a lot of consolation.

Armed with that 82% home delivery number, though, you can get some fun numbers.  Sunday circulation rate of 800,000 means 656,000 people get it at home. Daily it’s 578,500 total and 474,370 at home. Apply the $0.10 rate hike to those home subscriber numbers  and you’re up 41.3M – more than enough to cover the 16.2M they actually paid in bonuses to their executives, according to the Post Guild.

What are you whining about, Guild? They only took 40% of that for themselves!

The Daily Feed

Survey finds DC drivers among the least knowledgable

Photo courtesy of
‘Fancy #1′
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

The results of the 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test place the District of Columbia as having the third least knowledgeable drivers in the United States. DC squeaks in right above New Jersey and New York at the very bottom of the list. The top three states were Kansas, Oregon and South Dakota.

The test was comprised of 20 questions on basic rules of the road, derived mostly from DMV exams. Some questions also addressed subjects such as distracted driving. Nationwide scores were down from the 2009 survey.

From a CNN piece on the results:

Nearly three out of four couldn’t identify safe following distances and some 85% incorrectly responded to questions about what to do when approaching a steady yellow light. This signals that licensed drivers lack knowledge of fundamental road rules, GMAC Insurance said.

I’d suggest that questions about navigating traffic circles and pulling over for motorcades also be included. Those Kansas drivers seem very confused about those things once they get to DC, even if they are ranked #1.

For comparison, Virginia ranked #28 and Maryland at #20.


Monumental: Bladensburg Peace Cross

Peace Cross Bladensburg MD by Ron 911

Sitting at the intersection of Bladensburg Road, Baltimore Avenue and the National Defense Highway just over the border into Prince George’s County is the Bladensburg Peace Cross, a forty-foot stone cross, notes those from Prince George’s county who fought and died in World War I. Inscribed with their names, and the quote from Woodrow Wilson, “The right is more precious than peace. We shall fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts. To such a task we dedicate our lives,” the monument is a towering landmark just outside the District.

This weekend is Memorial Day, when we commemorate those who served our country and gave their lives in service of a nation, giving their “last fullest measure of devotion,” in service of family and friends. This is a weekend where we remember all who have died in service of nation, in addition to barbequing, watching baseball, and carrying on.

The Bladensburg Peace Cross was erected by the citizens of Prince George’s County in 1922, and was dedicated on July 13th, 1923. Ceremonies were held at the cross, and with the assistance fo the American Legion of Bladensburg, Snyder-Farmer post, which included survivors of The Great War, Fourth Maryland regiment. Representative Stephen W. Gambrill of Maryland spoke, lauding the efforts and honoring the sacrifice of those who died, saying: “You men of Prince Georges county fought for the sacred right of all to live in peace and

Enjoy the weekend, toast the departed and their memory. We’ll be back on Memorial Day with light coverage.

The Daily Feed

Friday Happy Hour: Beer Floats at Againn

Photo courtesy of
‘Guinness Float’
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’

I like beer on it’s own just fine.  I’d never bothered to try beer cocktails or anything of the sort, but I’ve been changing my mind lately.  Beer is a great thing, but why not get a little creative with it?

That’s why I was excited when the staff at Againn invited me over to try their newest menu item, the beer float.  It’s basically the same thing as a root beer float, just with the root beer replace by real beer. Againn offers two floats, one with stout flavored ice cream in Tetly’s Pale Ale, and the second with vanilla bean flavored ice cream in Guinness.

The ice creams are made in house by pastry Chef Genevieve So and are specifically designed to compliment the beers. Beverage director Caterina Abbruzetti told me that the floats are there to cater to the summer lunch crowd as a cool, refreshing meal in a glass.

I was particularly partial to Guinness float.  The vanilla ice cream was an excellent compliment to the already lactic stout and really brought out the coffee notes in the beer. It was almost desert like. Againn’s beer floats are a different way to experience beer, and definitely something worth drinking this weekend.  I think it’d be particularly nice in the sun on restaurant’s patio.

The Daily Feed, We Green DC

5 Ways to Green Your Yard and Garden

Photo courtesy of
‘The Lawnmower Man (197/365)’
courtesy of ‘NomadicLass’

You may think that grass and veggies are inherently green, but a new guide tells you how to make yours even greener.

The Climate-Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming from the Ground Up, tells you how to lock carbon dioxide in the soil so it doesn’t heat the atmosphere.

“Gardening practices alone won’t solve global warming, but they can move us in the right direction, just like installing super efficient light bulbs and using reusable bags,” said Karen Perry Stillerman, a DC-based senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists Food and Environment Program, which released the guide.

Tips include avoiding chemicals and motorized equipment, planting trees and shrubs so they shade your house and block wind, minimizing fertilizer and water use on your lawn, composting, and planting winter crops.

All Politics is Local, The Features

ABCs of ANCs: Your Advisory Neighborhood Commission

Photo courtesy of
‘My First ANC Meeting!’
courtesy of ‘Wayan Vota’

If you live in the District or read about District politics, you’ve probably heard the term ANC. You may have read a news story about how a local ANC is holding up a liquor license application, or how a certain commissioner is known to be a curmudgeon who hates all forms of change. Beyond these stereotypes, the ANC system doesn’t always get much attention. However, the mission of the District’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions is to provide a direct conduit between the government and citizens, so it’s something worth learning more about. This ABCs of ANCs will be an ongoing feature here, and this first part serves as a bit of a primer on the system.

So what is an ANC? An Advisory Neighborhood Commission is a government body representing a subdivision of a ward. Each commission is made up of ANC Commissioners, who in turn represent a Single Member District (SMD). A SMD is a sub-division of the ANC, generally consisting of around 2,000 residents.

Whew. It wouldn’t be government if there weren’t a dozen or so acronyms involved, right?

You are lumped in with about 2,000 other people and you elect someone from your area to serve on the local ANC. Most ANCs have five or six commissioners.

So what do they do?

According to the official ANC web site, “The Advisory Neighborhood Commissions consider a wide range of policies and programs affecting their neighborhoods, including traffic, parking, recreation, street improvements, liquor licenses, zoning, economic development, police protection, sanitation and trash collection, and the District’s annual budget.” Considering that encompasses just about everything in the world, let’s put it this way: ANC’s serve as the voice of a community, and have a bit of pull when it comes to negotiating in certain areas, most notably with development issues and liquor licenses. The Board of Zoning Adjustment and the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration give strong consideration to the opinions of ANCs. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Your Soda is Being Taxed!

Photo courtesy of
‘That’s an awful lot of high fructose corn syrup in one place!’
courtesy of ‘Librarianguish’

The sweet taste of your favorite soft drink now comes at a price in the District.  The controversial soda tax is a reality. Despite protests from  lovers of cola and several businesses the new bill will add a 6 percent sales tax to ALL sodas, sports drinks and other sweetened nonalcoholic beverages. Soda tax advocates like Ward 3 Councilmember Mary M. Cheh should be elated with the new bill. On her website you can find 10 Myths About the Soda Tax. The “myths” range from “Residents would lose jobs because of a soda tax” to “Baristas would have to calculate the tax if sugar is added to beverages.”  Soda tax supporters also get a boost from the (very fit) First Lady Michelle Obama who champions ending the childhood obesity epidemic in America.

Despite its ambitious and healthy goals most businesses aren’t buying it. Ben’s Chili Bowl, along with several retailers, strongly opposed the measure.

Apparently, “more than one of every five Washingtonians is dangerously overweight”, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says. So perhaps the soda tax will decrease childhood obesity or move the nation’s capital in a new healthier direction. Or maybe the tax will simply leave us craving more sugary soft drinks. Only time (and further protest) will tell. For now, I’m off to get a Big Gulp.

The Daily Feed

Jazz in the Garden Kicks Off Tonight

Photo courtesy of
‘I’ve never figured this out’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

Today’s weather forecast doesn’t exactly scream outdoor concert, but neither rain, nor thunder, nor obscene humidity can keep Jazz in the Garden from its appointed slot. The free concert series kicks off its 10th season this evening at 5:30pm with jazz vocalist Leslie Summey. The concert will take place in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, though if the nasty forecast holds, Ms. Summey will be singing in the Pavilion Café. Don’t worry – sangria is still on the menu this year, and will be served whether the concert is indoors or out.

If you can’t make it tonight, the rest of this summer’s lineup is looking fabulous, with a little something for everyone.

Entertainment, Fun & Games, Music, The Daily Feed

Live Jazz All Weekend!

Photo courtesy of
‘Live Jazz’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

I make it no secret that I believe Jazz is an underappreciated portion of American music history by the millennial generation. With that said, I shared with you one man’s love for the trombone and how he brought it to the forefront of band leadership. Now, I ask you to give something a try (if you’ve never done so before) … go see some live Jazz.

I leave you with two options for the weekend if you’ll be sticking around the District:

1) Doc Scantlin and the Imperial Palms Orchestra – Doc means business. His band is considered a Jazz institution in the area, having been around for a decade now. Their specialties include anything from the 1920′s, 30′s and 40′s. Their final performance at the Carlyle Club (where they play live every Friday unless their on break or on tour) until June 18 is tonight at 8 pm. Tickets are required but the Carlyle Club is a dinner club as well, so come and make an evening of it. I’ll be there! Ticket information is available on the Carlyle Club’s website.

2) The Kaleidoscope Orchestra – The Orchestra is just one of many acts performing at this year’s 33rd Annual City of Alexandria Memorial Day Jazz Festival on Monday. The entire event is from 1 to 7 and features some of the top Jazz acts in and around the area. They include: The Jazz Ambassadors Dixieland Band, the Joe Baione Trio, WAMMIE Award winner Al Williams, straight ahead jazz group and the Washington Area Music Association’s Best Jazz Group for 2009, the Larry Brown Quintet. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

West Wing Junkies Rejoice

Photo courtesy of
‘Through the fence…’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

A few years ago, I happened upon a box set deal for the West Wing and it was super cheap, but then came today’s Gold Box to just blow that out of the water: The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection. It’s available for $99 today on Amazon, and frankly there’s been no better show for DC than the West Wing. If you’ve been putting off picking it up, now’s the time to stop procrastinating. Did I mention the shipping was free, too?

Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Big Sam’s Funky Nation

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘gas_station_sushi’

It’s rare in Jazz music to see a trombone player in the role of band leader. Some of the greatest and most remembered names in Jazz among the vast majority of Americans include: Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk. None of those players ever once led a band with trombone in hand.

While there are notable Jazz greats who played the slide trombone while commanding a room and conducting a band, it still remains common place to have a trumpet be the focal point. Big Sam leads on trombone.

Big Sam was always a big boy. In the 6th grade, he was 6 foot tall and 200 pounds while playing little league basketball. When the time came that he grew out of playing the sport – literally – Sam approached his school’s band leader and asked him what instrument they needed someone to play.

Sam’s band leader replied, “The trombone.”

“What’s that?” Sam said. That’s all it took to hook him.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Flags In: Arlington Cemetery Begins Memorial Day Observances

Photo courtesy of
‘Arlington National Cemetery – Quiet Watch – 7-19-09′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Memorial Day weekend is not just about cooking out and beautiful spring weather here in the District. If you want to take a moment to take in some of the sights and sounds of remembrance, it’s worth the time to travel across the river and a walk through Arlington Cemetery. One of the most important additions to the fields of memorials for this holiday weekend is the small American flags that are placed near each of the 350,000 headstones throughout the cemetery.

Yesterday, more than 1,500 members of the Army’s “Old Guard” and other service branches spent the time to complete the task at hand. This “Flags In” ceremony has been an annual observance since 1948, and the flags will remain through the weekend until being removed before it opens on the morning of Tuesday, June 1.

capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

NHL to Announce Caps, Pens for 2011 Winter Classic

Photo courtesy of
‘Pre-game Festivities at Heinz Field’
courtesy of ‘marc.benton’

According to one of my sources, the NHL will be announcing two outdoor games for the 2010-2011 NHL season. And yes, it looks like the Capitals will be part of the festivities. Rumored to be a participant since last summer, the Washington Capitals will be facing the Pittsburgh Penguins this coming New Year’s Day at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field. (The other game is an all-Canadian affair between the Canadiens and Flames in Calgary, sometime in February.)

Honey, I know what I want for Christmas this year!

The Daily Feed

Metro to Spend Almost $1b on Giant Kawasaki Motorcycles!!

Photo courtesy of
‘Motocross #11′
courtesy of ‘Vincent Luigi Molino’

Metro announced today that they have approved a contract worth $886m for Kawasaki! The money will go towards 428 giant, super duper fast motorcycles that can hold an enormous amount of people each. Of all of the ideas to improve the rail system, I think going with giant motorcycles is the best idea yet. I can’t wait to hear what the 1 trillion HP engines sound like on these babies when you open them up at full throttle! I wonder if the train operator can get these bad boys to do wheelies?

What’s that? Kawasaki builds rail cars too?? Ah, Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. You can see the confusion. So that means…they aren’t giant freaking motorcycles? Damn. Well, still cool. As long as they have sidecars.

Metro plans to replace 300 of their old Series 1000 cars with this new purchase and provide 128 new cars for the super Dulles rail extension. (Which speaking of, have you seen that project? It’s like they’re trying to finish it by Memorial Day or something!) This allows them to both fulfill the needs of the rail extension project and make Metro a significantly safer system, complying with the NTSB recommendation to give the old dangerous cars the boot. This should replace all Series 1000 cars out there.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Metro Board Approves Fare Hike Behind Closed Doors

Photo courtesy of
‘You can never go back’
courtesy of ‘spiggycat’

The Metro Board of Directors unanimously approved major fare hikes during an extended lunch break today. The lunch, not open to the media, lasted 3 hours and resulted in the budget agreement. The budget will be given final approval on June 24. From the looks of it, base fares will increase as expected to $1.60 with a $0.20 peak-of-the-peak surcharge. Bus fare will increase to $1.50.

According to reports, there will be no service cuts for the next fiscal year budget. This is a hopeful development, however at this point little is known about the final agreement. Budget negotiations during a closed-door lunch is not a good example of transparency, and leaves many questions about how the final decisions were reached.

The Daily Feed

Sometimes You Really Want to Rock Some Switchfoot

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘hopes_unbroken’

I have a new motto for craigslist – “Where Time Goes to Die.” Browsing through the musicians section on a personal equipment quest I found the following gem: SWITCHFOOT cover band. (Fairfax area).

Hello there. I’m looking for some fellow musicians and switchfoot fans to get together with and jam out. I’m a drummer so we’ll need to find 1+ electric guitarists, vocals, bassist, and possibly a keyboardist. Please be familiar with the music. You don’t need to know any specific parts for now or even play the songs exactly the same, but I’m a big fan of their music and you should be too.

This leads to all sorts of questions, most of them involving determining how somebody rocks out to Switchfoot (for all intents and purposes, they’re just the Non-Canadian Nickelback). Now, show me a Fastball cover band, I’m all for it. Until then, a word of warning to craigslisters: being too specific in your ad may just lead to stuff like me finding it and posting it for the good of the peanut gallery.

The Daily Feed

Hot Ticket: Holy Fuck @ Rock N Roll Hotel 5/31/10

Holy Fuck at RNR Hotel

Warning: This post is a minefield of F-bombs.

The 9:30 Club’s 30th Anniversary, DC star-studded, extravaganza isn’t the only cool as fuck thing going on in DC on Memorial Day Monday. Inventive as fuck, Canadian, electronic non-traditionalists, Holy Fuck will be bringing their fucking amazing live show to the fucking Rock N Roll Hotel on fucking Monday night.

Holy Fuck make fucking awesome dance music while shunning the majority of traditional electronic tools and techniques. They are a live electronica jam band that has featured a rotating line-up of talented fuckers over the years. With their fucking great new album ‘Latin’, the band has settled into a regular line-up and the result is a cleaner, more focused, dance-your-fucking-ass-off sound. Imagine the music of the Chemical Brothers or Crystal Method made with instruments (both real and improvised) instead of relying on sequencers and other technology and you are getting close. This concert promises to be one of the most fucking original shows you’ll see all fucking year.

Holy Fuck
w/ Nice Nice & Vita Ruins
@ Rock & Roll Hotel
$12 adv / $14 door

Life in the Capital, People, The Features, We Love Arts

Theater of Controversy

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘erin m’

“Be sure that you go to the author to get at his meaning, not to find yours.” -Salman Rushdie

Recently I did something that I’ve rarely done in my life as a theater lover – I walked out of a production at intermission. Was I offended by a controversial subject? Well no, I did make it through Jerry Springer: The Opera after all. I was merely bored out of my mind by densely esoteric content. I didn’t become enraged and demand the play close, I merely chalked it up to a difference in artistic preferences. But I still left, and afterwards it upset me that I’d allowed myself to close my mind, and I started thinking about local theater controversy. As a former theater professional it was ingrained in me that we have a responsibility to open minds through art. But what happens when the audience won’t listen? Are DC audiences more likely to be vocal or take offense? How do theater companies handle that reaction, especially as its based on content and not value?

I set out to talk to three artistic directors of companies at various levels of development and experience with negative audience reaction to content- Allison Arkell Stockman at Constellation Theatre Company, Kate Bryer at Imagination Stage, and Ari Roth at Theater J – to get their thoughts. Not surprisingly, a common theme emerged, one which as a theater lover worries me greatly. When we move away from an audience’s desire to learn and instead towards its desire for safe entertainment, we’re in trouble as a society.

Continue reading

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, People, Special Events, The Daily Feed

DC’s Best Highschool Baseball Players Hit Nationals Park

Photo courtesy of
‘Take me out to the Ballgame.’
courtesy of ‘Paul Frederiksen’

This Saturday’s Congressional Bank Classic brings out D.C.’s premier highschool baseball players and team in a day long celebration of America’s game at Nationals ballpark. Featured events include a St. Albans v. Maret School match up, the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) Championship game between Wilson v. McKinley Tech, a citywide all-star game and the main Championship game between the two earlier game winners.

The event starts at 9:30am and goes until 8:30pm.  Admission and parking are free.