We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: July 2 – 4

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘cruffo’

It’s that time again – for us to rub it in your faces what exciting lives we all live and give you the opportunity to live vicariously through us or try to grab ahold of that desperate desire to BE us & steal our weekend plans. This week with extra violence!

Tom: We’re headed out west for a couple weeks to celebrate my sister’s wedding in the bay area, but were I here, I’d be stocking up and getting ready for the Fourth!  I’d be using DCRA’s fireworks map to find some smash-boom-bang for early on in the evening, and then I’d likely be heading to Cardozo High to watch the fireworks. While it’s great to watch on the Mall, I far prefer some of the alternate vistas this city has to offer, especially from its rooftops. The Key Bridge is also a great spot to watch.  Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Marissa: Long weekend and celebrating the birth of our nation! Saturday I might just be crazy enough to try to get a table at the newly opened Graffiato since the restaurant scene has been all abuzz about it. Sunday I’ll be going all-American and spending the afternoon at the Nationals Game (hint: there’s a double-header on Saturday if you’re interested, and a home game on the 4th as well). As for the 4th of July, I might buck up, pack a picnic and head to the Mall since I’m pretty sure they don’t let GW alums onto the University’s rooftops all willy-nilly to watch fireworks. Plus the Capitol Fourth Concert sounds good. Happy fourth of July!

Photo courtesy of
‘Folk Life Festival 10 – Cups and Petals – 07-05-10′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Mosley: Quite the weekend for me!  Two of my favorite things are this weekend: Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the 4th of July Fireworks on the Mall.  I’m planning on spending most of Saturday down at the Folklife Festival, taking in culture from Columbia and digging the Rhythm and Blues.  Pictures will be forth coming (check out the past few years).  Then Saturday night, planning on seeing Tron at AFI in Silver Spring; this will be one of many of my favorite 80s movies they are showing throughout the summer.  Sunday I’m planning on kayaking on the Eastern Branch (AKA: the Anacostia).  The Anacostia is awesome to kayak on; few people, a ton of wildlife, and sights not often seen.  I launch out of Bladensburg and can get as far south as RFK and Kingman Island.  I’ll finish up the long weekend with a BBQ on the 4th, and heading over to the Mount Vernon trail to shoot pictures of the fireworks (see past years here).  I love being down around the crowd for the fireworks; it’s always so much fun!
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Sports Fix

Homestand Preview: What a difference a week makes

Photo courtesy of
‘Presidents Race!’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

Some weeks, you’re George, some weeks, you’re Teddy.

The Nationals (40-41) return home on Friday night after a 2-4 road trip, and carrying a 3-game losing streak, having been swept in Los Angeles. Things have not quite gone as imagined during the aftermath of Jim Riggleman’s Sarah Palin-esque departure.  Ahead of the All-Star Break, the Nationals play 11 games in 10 days starting Friday night.

These 11 games before the All-Star Break are pretty critical to the season, but there’s many reasons for hope, Natstown. Let’s look at what we’re up against, shall we?

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The Daily Feed

Food Truck Tracker

Photo courtesy of
‘CapMac ‘n Cheese’
courtesy of ‘justgrimes’

Today’s food truck trivia tidbit is from CapMacDC: in an average week, they go through 250 pounds of pasta. Holy macaroni that’s a lot of pasta.

Go make a small dent in those 250 lbs of noodles this afternoon. Or check out where the other food trucks are rolling nearby.
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The Daily Feed

Update on Yesterday’s Fire at Hook/Tacklebox

Photo courtesy of
‘Georgetown Fire’
courtesy of ‘brownpau’

As we reported yesterday, a fire broke out at Hook and Tackle Box restaurants in Georgetown in the early afternoon. According to a media release that was circulated last night, the cause of the fire is still undetermined, but it’s believed that the fire started on the loading dock behind Hook.  The owner of the restaurants, Jonatahan Umbel, is waiting for results from the DCFD’s official investigation of the fire.

There is no specific date for when the restaurants might re-open.

Umbel gave a statement in the media release: “The most important thing to me is that our patrons and staff are safe and no one was harmed. We want to thank the DC fire department, which was quick and responsive to prevent any injuries to our staff, neighbors and diners. Unfortunately, both Hook and Tackle Box Georgetown are going to be closed for repairs indefinitely. We will be working feverishly to repair the buildings to have them open for business for our loyal patrons. During this difficult time, Tackle Box’s Cleveland Park location will be open for business and we ask our fans to support our brand so that we may be back on our feet in Georgetown soon.”

On behalf of We Love DC, our thoughts go out to Umbel and his staff at Hook and Tackle Box.

We Love Music

We Love Music: Fucked Up @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 6/27/11

All photos by Rachel Rasby

The smell of Cocoa Puffs crushed underfoot. Silhouettes of back-hair illuminated by a spotlight. Clouds of sweat puffing around the stage. Most of my memories of Fucked Up’s performance on Monday night at the Rock and Roll Hotel aren’t particularly pleasant. But who likes their shows ‘pleasant’ anyway? Yeah, it was kind of a sweaty mess at the front of the stage – a crowd five fans deep, jumping relentlessly up and down throughout the set. But Fucked Up supplied an undeniably, infectiously energetic soundtrack for us to go wild to.

Leading by example, Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham rushed on stage and proceeded to rip open a huge bag of store-brand Cocoa Puffs all over the audience. Okay, consider my attention grabbed. Damian was one of those frontmen that’s always doing something to keep your attention, whether he’s spinning his mic around by its cord, leaning into the crowd to yell about the Crusades, or just stomping around on stage. I enjoyed the show from start to finish; I can see why their live shows have gotten them so much buzz. They made the mostly-full Rock and Roll Hotel feel like a summer festival.
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Downtown, News, The Daily Feed

Woman Falls To Her Death At W Hotel’s POV Bar

Horrible news this morning of a woman falling from the 10 story W Hotel POV rooftop bar last night to her death. Eyewitnesses report that the not yet identified woman had been drinking at the bar and that she climbed over the rooftop patio’s fence.

Secret Service was on hand last night and all lanes of 15th St. NW were shut down from New York Avenue south to Pennsylvania Avenue. These roads have since reopened.

Just awful news.

The Daily Feed

Get some damned insurance

It’s open enrollment for Blue Cross/Blue Shield for DC residents. So if you don’t have access to insurance where you work this is a deal for you, bub. Price-wise it’s a big winner too, with pretty low copays.

This isn’t the sort of thing we’d normally post about here, but this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I know our readership trends young – at least compared to me – and it’s a time in your life where you’re really tempted to think you don’t need insurance. And statistically you may not… unless you do.

About ten years ago a good friend of mine was in good health and around 23. In good health till he had appendicitis and ended up needing surgery on very short notice, anyway. Lacking insurance he found himself with a hefty bill that he was paying off for years, long after he had gotten insurance through other avenues. What it ended up costing him would have covered fifty years worth of premiums.

So please, get covered if it’s within your ability and don’t dawdle – they’re capping enrollment at 2,500 folks.

The Daily Feed

Fire Breaks out at Hook in Georgetown

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘brownpau’

A fire broke out at Hook in Georgetown this afternoon. DC firefighters have already extinguished the blaze and reported no injuries. According the DCfireems Twitter account, there is smoke and water damage to Hook’s sister restaurant, Tacklebox and the Saloun.

The Georgetowner tweeted earlier, “According to sources, Fire behind Tackle Box and Hook started from still lit cigarette butt… #georgetown DC.” The source of the fire has not been confirmed.

According to Paulo Ordoveza, a photographer for We Love DC, when he arrived on the scene “DCFD was breaking the upstairs windows at Hook to let smoke out.” He spoke with some of the Hook and Tacklebox staff who said that the fire didn’t start in Hook, rather it started in the structure directly behind the restaurant. Both Tacklebox and Hook were damaged in the fire.

As of 1:40 PM, M street NW remains closed from the Key bridge down Wisconsin Avenue.

Food and Drink, Night Life, The Features

Lost Society Opening on U Street

Photo courtesy of
‘Steak, Lost Society’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

Last Thursday I was a guest at the media preview for “boutique steakhouse” Lost Society, occupying the top two floors of a classic corner building at 14th and U Streets. I’ve long awaited this building’s renovation, as it’s been a blight on a corner of what should be prime real estate. I’m happy to report that Lost Society will counter-balance the chains planned for the bottom floor (as a local resident, not too happy with yet another Subway!).

Opening this Friday, July 1, the space is interesting in that it’s divided into “decor vignettes” – changing the mood as you turn each corner. The second floor is dominated by a double-sided bar, which is in turn flanked by a series of booths with a view overlooking 14th Street that can be enclosed by privacy curtains, a line of pub tables with a grey velvet banquette, a lounge area with purple couches and leather chairs, and finally a whimsical alcove wallpapered with flirtatious Gibson Girls. You wouldn’t feel out of place wearing a smoking jacket. Let’s take a look.  Continue reading

Adventures, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, News, People, The District

A Top 10 List We Can Be Proud Not To Be On

Keep it Clean

Travel + Leisure readers have spoken and our nation’s capital is not one of the top ten dirtiest cities in America. In the publication’s annual America’s Favorite Cities survey, participants gauged “dirty” in a variety of ways: litter, air pollution, even the taste of local tap water and the publication found New Orleans, Philadelphia, Memphis, New York City, and our neighbor to the north Baltimore, wanting for cleanliness.  That’s not to say that DC didn’t appear on the more comprehensive list; in fact, it was ranked 15th on the list.

The America’s Dirtiest Cities list is only one of the many compiled from reader’s responses about 35 U.S. urban destinations. The publication breaks down responses by those according to visitors and those according to residents. DC ranked well in the historical sites/monuments (duh!), museums/galleries (duh again!), business hotels, public transportation/pedestrian friendliness, etc. We didn’t do so well when it comes to all-in-one retreats, affordable hotels and relaxing retreats.

What I find most insightful and funny about the survey’s results is where visitor and resident opinions align. For instance, both groups give DC high marks when it comes to culture, but pan the city on local food specialities (coffee, barbecue, micro brews, etc.) and new year’s eve celebrations. Things get funny when it comes to ranking DC inhabitants; while we get high marks for intelligence and diversity, both groups ranked us below 25 when it comes to stylishness, friendliness and attractiveness.

The Daily Feed

Food Truck Tracker

Photo courtesy of
‘Pleasant Pops Food Truck’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Today you’re getting multiple food truck trivia tidbits from Pleasant Pops. First off, the owners of the truck, Brian and Roger met in college freshman year at UNC all because they were both on the rowing team. The pair came up with the name for their truck because they started in Mt. Pleasant.

And, in case you were wondering about how they make their pops, they try to use fresh fruit from local farmers markets whenever possible and use locally sourced, organic milk from Trickling Springs Creamery in PA.

Cool down with one of their pops today and check out where the other trucks are rollin’.
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Entertainment, Fun & Games, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Rx Bandits

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!

This week we are giving away a pair of tickets to see Rx Bandits perform at 9:30 Club on Saturday, July 9th. I haven’t really followed Rx Bandits since they emerged from the ska-punk scene back in the day, but from the tour preview below, it looks and sounds like they have developed into a more sonically daring group with a harder edge. What you’ll also see in the preview below is that this is actually a pretty nice triple-bill with Maps & Atlases and Zechs Marquise (a band who have a great referential name and an awesome sound that I will be tracking down more of ASAP). Also as you can read on the image above, this is Rx Bandits’ final tour, so these free tickets are probably your last chance to catch them until the inevitable reunion tour ten to fifteen years from now.

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. Tickets for this concert are available on Ticketfly.

For the rules of this giveaway…
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The Daily Feed

An Old Times deal

Steven Culp, Holly Twyford and Tracy Lynn Middendorf on the set of the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Old Times, directed by Michael Kahn. Photo by Scott Suchman.

If you’d like to get out to see what the big deal is all about, whether you’re curious about the show or the set, Travelzoo has a pretty sweet deal on tickets for Old Times before the sun ends on July 3rd. It’s a good show at any price. At $19 it’s a steal.

Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The Merchant of Venice

Derek Smith as Antonio, Mark Nelson as Shylock and Julia Coffey as Portia in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of The Merchant of Venice, directed by Ethan McSweeny. Photo by Scott Suchman.

We come to a performance of The Merchant of Venice with a lot of preconceptions. One of them has to do with the title itself. It doesn’t refer to its most famous character, I remember a brilliant English professor beating into my brain. “Shylock isn’t the merchant,” he said repeatedly, “Antonio is.”

Antonio? Wait, who? That confusion wasn’t resolved by many productions I’ve seen, where either played as a straight villain or as a decent man tortured by institutional prejudice, Shylock reigned as the central focus. But as seductive as he is, especially to the modern sensibility that wants so badly to reconcile the beauty and insight of Shakespeare with the cruel racism inherent in many lines, protagonist he isn’t.

One of the chief joys of director Ethan McSweeny’s sprawling production now playing at the Shakespeare Theatre Company is the restoration of Antonio as the merchant of Venice. Derek Smith’s economical portrayal, containing the character’s melancholy and self-loathing within the cool veneer of commerce and charisma, is revelatory. And it’s made possible in large part by the risk of placing the action in a Venice that resembles 1920′s New York City, so that the merchants sip espresso after espresso like Little Italy denizens and the Rialto Bridge becomes a magnificent staircase suggesting a subway overpass.

By setting the action here, somehow it becomes more Venetian – the bustle of business, the hint of corruption, the glamorous sheen that barely hides a seedy decay. Sweeney nails the big picture, but gives equal weight to the quiet moments. There’s so much rich interplay in this production it’s hard to know where to look. Not all of it is perfectly realized, but there’s much to admire.

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Food and Drink

First Look: 901 Restaurant and Bar

901 001
The first three adjectives that come to mind when describing 901 Restaurant and Bar? Elegant, chic and modern. The building looks (and is) brand new with its dark red brick. On the inside you have clean lines, dim lighting, and different “sections” named after neighborhoods in DC for the dining area and private dining rooms.

The first point won here came from the hostess, who was very friendly and welcoming in her greeting. Too often I feel like I have to track someone down for attention…not at all the case 901.

The cocktail list is quite creative, or at least the names are. My two favorites are the Pinapple Mojito, which bills itself as “fruity without being Frou-Frou”
(Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum & Pineapple Juice, lime sugar & mint), and Bang, which comes with Belvedere Vodka, Chambord, Champagne & raspberries.
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Food and Drink, The Features

The 2011 RAMMY Awards

Photo courtesy of
‘Todd Gray of Equinox, Chef of the Year’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

This past Sunday restauranteurs, chefs and restaurant staff filled the Marriott hotel in Woodley Park in honor of the 2011 Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMMY) Awards. The awards honored some of the best in the restaurant industry (though there were several restaurants whose praises went unsung during the night). If you missed the live tweeting, you’ll find the full list of winners after the jump.
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capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Caps Re-sign Laich to Six-Year Deal


The Caps have announced this morning that they have re-signed centerman Brooks Laich to a six-year contract worth an estimated $27 million. Laich would have been an unrestricted free agent if a deal hadn’t been struck by Friday, July 1; letting Laich go could’ve been a step backwards for the team.

Fortunately, the Caps stepped up and held on to one of their more dynamic on-ice leaders. The center had made it known that he preferred to stick around the DC area, fully intending to return to the Caps locker room in the fall. Today, that’s a surety for at least the next six years.

“My intent the whole time was to return. That was the only option. We got to a point where it got very close to the draft and I really wanted to get the deal done so I knew for sure I’d be going back to Washington,” Laich told Caps media senior writer Mike Vogel. “You never know could happen at the draft; they could have made trades or gone in another direction. I didn’t want to lose Washington.”

“He was important to our team,” said General Manager George McPhee in the Caps press release. “We had to sort out what kind of commitment he wanted to make and what kind of commitment we wanted to make. But as we got further along in the process and really got a more comprehensive view of contracts in the league and where he fits with those players and those contracts, it seemed like he was right in line with a lot of them.”

Laich’s continued presence will keep the Caps’ veteran center line intact, joining Niklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson up the middle.

History, The Daily Feed

Smithsonian Snapshot: Nakhla Meteorite

Nakhla metorite; photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution

On June 28, 1911, the Nakhla meteorite fell to Earth at approximately 9 a.m. in the Nakhla region of Alexandria, Egypt. Many people witnessed its explosion in the upper atmosphere before the meteorite dropped in about 40 pieces totaling 22 pounds; the fragments were buried in the ground up to a meter deep.

In August 1911, the Smithsonian received two samples of Nakhla; in 1962, it received the 480-gram piece of the meteorite shown in this photograph. By the 1970s, the Smithsonian had acquired a total of 650 grams of Nakhla’s fragments.

Nakhlites, Martian meteorites named for Nakhla, are igneous rocks that are rich in augite and were formed from basaltic magma about 1.3 billion years ago. Their crystallization ages, compared to a crater-count chronology of different regions on Mars, suggest the Nakhlites formed on the large volcanic regions of Tharsis, Elysium or Syrtis Major Planum.

It has been shown that the Nakhlites were suffused with liquid water around 620 million years ago and that they were ejected from Mars around 10.75 million years ago by an asteroid impact. They fell to Earth within the past 10,000 years.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is on display at the National Museum of Natural History.

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

courtesy of ‘yostinator’

Wow; talk about an impressive portrait! There’s very little, if anything, wrong with this shot. Framed nicely and tack sharp, this image is all about the small details it shows: the woman’s two color eye shadow; the sprinkling of assorted paints on her chest and upper lip; and the different feathers of her headdress. Even her expression is one of slight mystery; is she just between breaths from dancing or is something else going on? Or is it something mundane? This is a shot a person could get lost in for hours, and it would not be wasted time. Excellent work yostinator!

If you’ve got photos you want to share, we’ve got a webpage to show the world! Just add them to the We Love DC Flickr group, and they too could show up in one of our stories.