We Love Drinks authors Kirk and I were really spoiled this year. In 2010 with wine, beer and cocktails alike we saw a resurgence of the desire to enjoy and educate ourselves in the world of libation. Sure we still like a shot from a dive bar but we also love craft cocktails. It’s not a drunk town, it’s a drinks town!
In addition to the old favorites, a number of new places opened up. We found ourselves covering everything we could despite busy day jobs (it certainly improved my tolerance level. shut up, pesky liver, wine is good for you!). There was the continuation of the wine bar explosion with cosy Dickson Wine Bar, DC’s raging beer love with Biergarten Haus and the promise of DC Brau, luscious cocktail smoothies at Fruit Bat, the rough-and-tumble American Ice Co. – I know we missed a few, and I’m going to do my best to stay on top of 2011. We’ve got burning questions in the coming year – will the winter opening of Jack Rose get me to hang out in Adams Morgan again, or will the Bier Baron successfully revive the faded Brickskellar space (and reputation)?
Anything you’d like to see covered? Interested in joining our merry drinks band? Drop me a line, I’d love to know.
courtesy of ‘Steve Snodgrass’
I learned a lot about myself this month. I learned that white anchovies are the way to my heart if maybe not the best way to a second date. I finally, officially learned that there is a reason I’m not stick thin — because fatty food tastes good. I learned I like whiskey more than I thought (sorry parents!). And I learned that eating at a Waffle House and a Hooters in the same day does not spring me in to spontaneous white trashedness. I also ate a whole lot this month, so it was pretty tough to narrow down everything I loved. As a result, you’ll notice the honorable mention category down at the bottom for those few dishes that came in a close second in the race to the top.
Personally, the question “What are you doing New Year’s?” spurs the infinitely more pressing question of “What am I wearing New Year’s?” For the ladies, metallics are de rigueur for this festive holiday, and with this season’s embrace of “the daytime sequin,” sparkly options abound in all but the stodgiest of major retailers. In short: a shimmery, glimmery look should be easy to come by, even if you’ve waited until the midnight hour to hit the stores.
Your best bet for a strategic shopping session? Take Georgetown by storm in the next day or two (infinitely more manageable and less terrifying than Tysons at this time of year). I’d begin in North Georgetown: pop into Urban Chic (1626 Wisconsin Ave) for trendy, “evening-out” looks from the likes of Milly, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Alice & Olivia. The staff there is uber-friendly and helpful, and the boutique is offering 20% off all dresses from now until NYE to boot. A recent visit on a lunch break had me drooling over a metallic-thread strapless mini by Shoshanna, a silvery slip dress by Parker, and a navy sequin shift by Alice & Olivia — all pitch-perfect picks for watching the ball drop. Don’t be discouraged if they’ve sold out of your size already (a frequent problem there, in my opinion) — we have a number of other pit-stops on our agenda. (Do, however, check out their eye-catching collection of be-jeweled Deepa Gurnani headbands before heading out the door. They’ll add holiday cheer to any ol’ get-up.)
When I think back on favorite reviews this year, it’s the challenges that resonate strongest. As a former actor who’s “jumped the stalls” to become a critic, it can sometimes be difficult, knowing how hard it is to bleed your heart out on stage only to be cut up in a review. But I believe strongly in being honest and thoughtful about your opinion, no matter how stridently others may disagree with you (and to stay civil when they do!). After all, feeling passionate about theater is an emotion we should all nurture.
Fellow We Love DC theater reviewers Don and Patrick feel the same. We love theater, and strive to see as much as we can to bring you our thoughtful critiques. Though the three of us have different backgrounds – Patrick and I from both behind the curtain and onstage, Don in the audience – it’s the common desire to spread the word on the best theater in DC that drives us to write. We hope you’ve enjoyed our reviews in 2010, and we’ve pulled together a selection of our favorites to look back on and enjoy.
Let’s start with Don (who never pulls any punches!), then get Patrick’s view on his first quarter reviewing with us (we didn’t scare him away!), and I’ll caboose (because it takes me the longest to make up my mind…).
Via Legal Times comes this story about a DC lawyer who was arrested for “disorderly conduct” (after insulting a police officer), was asked to pay $35 at the station and forfeit the right to a hearing or be taken to the District’s central cellblock. He did so in order to avoid being taken, as they say, downtown, but is now suing the DC government, and the specific officers personally, on the basis that the “post and forfeit” procedure is neither bail nor fine and is therefore unconstitutional. The suit demands $1.2 million in damages for the lawyer and an additional $700,000 for his wife.
You might be rolling your eyes at this point at the idea of a lawyer kicking up that kind of a fuss over a $35 fee; this is the town that brought us the Infamous Pants Lawsuit, after all. But when I read the LT item, the lawyer’s name, Hamilton P. Fox III, sounded familiar, so I did what any self-respecting web writer would do: I Googled.
Hamilton Fox was an assistant prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. He was an investigator on the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct in the 1983 Congressional page scandal. He was a defense attorney on appeal for Jonathan Pollard, the naval intelligence employee convicted of spying for Israel. My point is: this guy actually DOES have better things to do than sue the District over $35. And this IS the risk one takes as a police officer in the District: that the guy you arrest under broad discretionary authority that may or may not stand up to judicial scrutiny might actually have the legal chops to call you on it. Continue reading →
“Hey, you interested in tickets to the Winter Classic?”
It was a question I never actually thought I’d hear. Sure, the answer was a no-brainer – of course my wife and I wanted to go to this year’s outdoor matchup between our favored Penguins and our hometown Capitals. Need more be said?
Since that simple back-and-forth flurry of emails with my friend back in August, I’ve been on pins and needles in anticipation for the game coming up this Saturday at Heinz Field in our old stomping grounds of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Long-time readers here obviously know of my acute love of hockey in general and the Penguins in particular. Through the last few years, I’ve developed a grudgingly healthy respect of the Washington Capitals as well and it hasn’t hurt being able to cover the team for this site over the last year, either. Attending the 2011 Winter Classic, however, goes beyond a simple hockey game or even the intense rivalry between the two teams. It’s a chance to enjoy hockey in its nearly purest form – outside on ice – and the fact it includes the two teams of my adult sports fan life is simply a bonus.
It maybe the holidays for many of us here in DC but for the Wizards it was all business as the team was close to full strength after a holiday road trip in Texas. After losses to San Antonio and Houston, the team remains win-less on the road perhaps a return to Chinatown to take on the Indianapolis Pacers would turn things around. The Pacers traveled to Washington, DC with a road losing streak of their own- a six game stretch without a road win.
Well it looked like the home cooking helped. With John Wall, Andray Blatche, and JaVale McGee back on the floor the Wizards topped the Pacers 104-90.
The third annual Military Bowl (slash Eagle Bank Bowl) will be getting underway within the next few hours, and if you’re either planning on watching at home or actually at RFK Stadium on this balmy December day, you are in luck for the best game in the short history of the bowl. We reviewed some of the cultural background of the two schools involved – University of Maryland and East Carolina University – earlier this month. Now it’s time to get down to the gridiron preview to take a look at what’s in store and how the squads match-up on the field of play.
As a way to say thanks to our loyal readers, We Love DC will be giving away a pair of tickets to a 9:30 Club concert to one lucky reader each week. Check back here every Wednesday morning at 9am to find out what tickets we’re giving away and leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!
Up for grabs this week we’ve got a pair of tickets to see The Pietasters and friends burn up the stage at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, January 8th. When I caught The Pietasters’ micro-set at 9:30 Club’s 30th Anniversary party I was mightily impressed at their class-act presentation and on-point ska delivery. How far these local rude-boys have come from their scrappy “open for anyone who’ll have us” roots. We’re proud of ya boys! Ska seems to be experiencing a ground-swell with all of the national acts that have come through recently, but this show should be the topper as it is a local hero showcase with The Pietasters, HR of Bad Brains, and The Shifters ready to lay down the law.
For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 9am and 4pm today. One entry per email address, please. If today doesn’t turn out to be your lucky day, check back here each Wednesday for a chance to win tickets to other great concerts.
Last year, when we created the reader’s survey, we found out that you guys really like to read about food. I felt validated, and proud of what we’d created for food here at We Love DC. Pretty soon after that, though, I got a new demanding day job, where I wasn’t able to write much. I let the food coverage dwindle, but was continually bothered that I wasn’t able to write. I racked my brain for a new food writer for We Love DC, and thought back to Ashley Messick, who I profiled in February. I loved her blog From Komi to Marvin, where she ate her way through the 100 Best Restaurant List from Washingtonian. I knew that she had eaten a TON in this city, had a good palate, and a funny wit about her.
After a little sweet talking she agreed to join our team, and I was thrilled to bring her on to get our food coverage back on track. So I have to say, Ashley was maybe my favorite thing of 2010′s We Love Food, but since it has to be an entry, not a person, here are our greatest hits from 2010, brought to you by Ashley and Katie. (Side note: We are, again, looking to expand our food writing team, if you’re interested in joining us, let me know via email.) Continue reading →
It was just a game. In December. And for the Caps, it was a good one.
Washington continued its climb out of its November/December funk, claiming a 3-0 victory over Montreal at Verizon Center on Tuesday night. Semyon Varlamov picked up his sixth win, and second shutout, of the year with 25 saves while out-dueling Carey Price and setting the tone for what turned out to be a solid defensive effort for Washington.
“No, not really. We wanted to beat Montreal because they play Tampa next,” coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked if beating Les Habitantes made the win more special. “We figure if we can beat them then all of a sudden they go down there and are more desperate and hopefully come up with a good couple of games in Florida. No, because if we are sitting here in April and we play whatever team and we don’t have success, it is going to mean nothing and you guys [the press] are going to be all over us again.”
Last week I recapped this year in music with a countdown of the 10 best concerts in the DC area. This exercise was so much fun that the We Love DC music writers decided to revisit a few more music-related posts of 2010. This time we are turning the spotlight on ourselves a bit by picking our favorite pieces of music writing from the past year. Rachel and I poured over all of our music profiles, reviews, and interviews from 2010 and we each picked a few favorites. I also picked out a some of my favorite photos to pretty up the joint. Enjoy.
It was an amazing year in Washington for local sports franchises. There was playoff drama for the Capitals, bench drama for the Redskins, player drama for the Nationals, draft drama for the Wizards and even a spotlight for some Washington sports media. We narrowed it down to the top five events of the year: Continue reading →
Now is the winter of our discontent. While we may have just narrowly escaped a blizzard, it’s still colder than a polar bear’s pajamas on the shady side of an iceberg. So while you could go outside with your camera gear, brave this miserable weather, and take blurry photos of Christmas lights, I recommend staying indoors and experimenting with your immediate surroundings.
One of my favorite old photography tricks is to shoot something that is completely out of its element, like a fish out of water if you will. For example, this shark should be eating baby seals off the coast of South Africa, not tickling the ivories with his coffee stained teeth. He should be terrorizing other fish in the ocean, not playing “Happy Birthday” on a Yamaha. I blame this odd behavior on global warming, or in our case, global cooling.
So wrap yourself up in a Snuggie, grab your camera gear, and show that shark who’s boss. Before you know it the cherry blossoms will be blooming.
I try not to beat the drum too hard for charity, because constant demands for donations and stuff tend to be tedious, but this one is too good not to talk about. So What’s the Deal and We Love DC (and also ARLNow.com, K Street Kate and EatMore DrinkMore) have teamed up with area charities to hold an awesome Raffle & Silent Auction.
A $5 donation to DCCK through their charity page at So What’s the Deal gets you a raffle ticket, and $10 gets you three. The prizes? Pretty awesome: $20 gift cert to Ping Pong Dim Sum, $10 at Lounge 201, $25 to Playbill Cafe, a subscription to Washingtonian Magazine, tickets on the Boomerang Bus, a dozen cupcakes from Curbside Cupakes, a $50 gift cert to Vapiano, and still more.
Better yet? The blog that raises the most charity gets their donation matched by So What’s the Deal. Go grab a raffle ticket. $10 means lunch to you, but it could be a job for someone through DC Central Kitchen.
We’re hoping that everyone is having a great post-Christmas pre-New Year’s Monday. As you may have noticed, we’re running a bit light this week as we all prepare for 2011. Posting will be fairly light as all our people come back from their holiday breaks, but you can count on at least two features a day and probably a smattering of news and events as it happens.
We’re planning some awesome stuff for the New Year, and we’re gonna get a head start now. We’re around this week, but maybe not quite as much.
I love Twitter. I didn’t understand it when I first started using it in 2006, but what makes Twitter great is the quick bites of usefulness in any situation, and that’s the sort of thing that governs our Twitter use policy here at We Love DC. The Post is also claiming some love for the Tweets, and has put out their first DC Tweeps twitter contest, which lets you vote on your favorite Twitter personalities. We’re honored to be nominated in the “Favorite local blogger” category, and even more psyched that Katie “@isitdinneryet” Test is nominated in the “Favorite foodie” category.
We know and love a lot of great local blogs and people that are up for these Tweeps awards, so endorsing in other categories is right out, but feel free to argue for your favorite people in the comments.
Shake of that post-Holiday hang-over and warm up from this winter chill by catching the awe-inspiring Clutch perform at The National down in Richmond tonight. The boys from Germantown love them some winter touring and tonight kicks off the latest in their long tradition of short winter tours.
I have been a fan of Clutch for many years and have seen these blues-stoner-metal masters put on some truly spectacular shows. Most recently, I got a brief taste of their current live show at the 9:30 Club 30th Anniversary Concert. Needless to say but Clutch’s hurricane-force mini-set that day completely blew me away and showed off an epic quality of Clutch that has me thinking this already phenomenal band has reached the next level of performance. While I lament the fact that they are not playing their traditional Christmas-time show at the 9:30 Club this year, Clutch could not have picked a better venue than The National in Richmond as a substitute. I expect full force, psych-metal annihilation in that high-ceilinged theater tonight. Don’t miss it!
w/ Kylesa, Righteous Fool, Hex Machine
@ The National
There are little things to cheer for when your season is all but over. For example, a good one is “ruining any chance your friends’ rooting interest can make the playoffs.” In that sense, you can consider Sunday’s 20-17 overtime victory over the Jaguars a success in the event any of your Florida friends were thinking about January postseason action. Ok, so, technically the Jags aren’t eliminated yet, but, come on, little victories. Skins fans need that.
Click through for a look back at the good and the bad of yesterday afternoon’s action in Jacksonville.