Music, Talkin' Transit, The Features, WMATA

Metro’s Music Man

Jason Mendelson: Photo Credit - Maryanne Drury

Photo Credit: Maryanne Drury

The same love felt in Billy Strayhorn’s ode to the of the rails of New York City in the jazz standard “Take the ‘A’ Train” is still alive and well today a few hundred miles south here in Washington.  While the Duke Ellington orchestra is no longer around to send their musical echoes into the night, recent Tampa transplant and current Alexandria resident Jason Mendelson aims to commemorate DC’s own transportation network with his very own collection of songs for each (and eventually) every Metro station.

Embarking last November on his epic Metro musical mission, Mendelson has already released the first volume of Metro songs with the second already in the works, which you can listen to here.  While the flashing red lights along the edge of the Metro platform will likely never double for footlights, WeLoveDC had a chance to recently talk to the man behind the music himself.
Eat Like Me, History, The Daily Feed

Smithsonian Snapshot: The Ubiquitous Lunch Box

Lunch Box collection; Image courtesy Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Beginning in the 1950s, television transformed the lunch box from an ordinary food conveyor into a storyteller. The screen-like sides of the lunch box offered kids a new form of self-expression. Since then, the lunch containers carted to and from offices and school classrooms have reflected American culture. Certainly, no meal received more cultural “attention” than lunch.

Box makers paid for the right to use TV shows to promote lunch box sales. The studios used boxes to gain market exposure. And children acquired a new statement of their power and influence in the emerging world of mass-marketed consumer goods.

This selection of boxes and their drink containers from the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History explores that colorful heritage. And to spice up what may be a loooong day at the office, share with us what your favorite lunch box was while growing up!

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Self-Portrait in the metro
Self-Portrait in the metro by pablo.raw

Self portraiture is a challenge at times, but to capture both the self and the environment creatively takes a clever mind. Enter pablo.raw. His photo from the metro isn’t about the subway tunnel on which he’s focusing, but about his act of taking a picture. Placing himself out of the focused area emphasizes his role in the product, and is a truer portrait of him as an individual – he’s doing the photographer’s job. It’s creative and masterfully executed – a portrait of a creative mind at work.

The Daily Feed

Bar Code: Unclear on the Concept

Barcode flier

Oh Bar Code.

I know you’re excited about the celebration for the end of Ramadan, and that you want nothing more than to offer awesome celebrations to those partying it up for Eid al-Fitr, but you maybe want to do something other than offer free jello shots and a free bottle of Belvedere for groups of six ladies.

Do you also have a bacon and pulled pork bar for guests to frequent? Or maybe a “Draw the Prophet” contest planned?

Well, at least there wasn’t a scantily clad girl on the flier? Thanks much to Elahe Izadi of WAMU for pointing this out.

Special Events

Fashion Goes Out in Georgetown on September 8th

Photo courtesy of
‘Fashion Week’
courtesy of ‘kineyas’

Fashion’s Night Out, the global retail and fashion event now it its third year, is what a “Hands Across America” might be if it were more Blahnik than Birkenstocks. On the same night around the world, shops stay open late and host parties, feature designers, and generally contribute to getting people out on their city’s local high streets to shop in person, particularly supporting local retail and independent design.

In the DC area, there are some FNO events taking place at Tysons Corner and Union Station, but the greatest concentration of activity will be around Georgetown.

Last year, the businesses in Georgetown decided to host the first FNO in DC – and they found that the event was so successful that they are doing even more this year. Georgetown’s FNO has an official website which lists each of the events and participating venues. There are over 90 shops, restaurants, and businesses already signed up to participate with more joining on as the date draws more nigh.
Continue reading

We Love Food

We Love Food: Santa Fe Cafe

Kip Laramie
Santa Fe Cafe Owner Kipp Laramie by MichaelTRuhl

In the heart of hilly Rosslyn amid the skyscrapers and the steel, the Santa Fe Cafe is an oasis for spicy food lovers. Offering authentic New Mexican food, the restaurant has maintained a presence in Arlington for over 20 years on Wilson Boulevard two blocks from the Rosslyn Metro station. Continue reading

Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 8/26-8/28

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

Hurricane Irene: She came; she rained; she left. While not the harbinger of the End of Days, as every weatherman led us to believe, I do think it hit us with the strength of a “Category Nuisance” storm. So enough to mess up plans and make a bummer of a weekend. But we got through it and that’s what counts. From everyone in the We Love DC family, we hope you have power at your home and no tree in/on your car. And though you probably don’t want to, here’s a look at what some people saw this weekend. Continue reading

News, The Features

Crowdmapping Irene

Hurricane Irene radar profile at 5pm Saturday

As we get into the stronger part of the storm, news gets more and more important about what’s closed and what’s not, what’s been damaged and what’s fine, and the state of things. We’re working with some friends who are using crowd sourcing reports to build maps of the DC area outages.

If you want to make a report, you can tweet it with #dcirene2011 or emailing, or by submitting a form with the report.  They’re also using Ushahidi in the App Store and Android Market to work with your mobile phone, as well as the crowd map.

While Metro’s doing better than expected, there are still quite a lot of power outages in the area. Let us know how you’re faring!  We’ve got a few more instructions for mobile participation below the cut.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Things that Win the Internet

John Wilkes Booth on Yelp

The day before yesterday, I ran across a hilarious review of Ford’s Theater courtesy of one “Abe L.” who gave Ford’s a 1-star review back on the 10th of August. This afternoon I went looking for the original and spotted instead a 5-star review courtesy of one “John B” that made my afternoon:

Listen notte to the imposters which have so frequently left a commentary here!  They are frauds and charalatans, and ah demand JUSTICE.  In the meanwhile, as the judicial system rolls about and persecutes the charade which those before me have so delicately tried to balance themselves within, ah thinke ah wille leave a brieffe description upon this place’s experience with me.

Sometimes, I just love the Internet.

The Daily Feed

Friday Happy Hour: New Belgium Clutch

Local beer nerds have been atwitter for months over the long-anticipated arrival of beers from New Belgium Brewing in the DC market. In particular, there seemed to be a lot of curioristy about two newer beers in the brewery’s Lips of Faith big-bottle series, Clutch and Kick.

I like a lot of the beers I have tried from the Lips of Faith series and when I was at ChurchKey on Wednesday wanted to try one I had never had. They had the dark sour ale Clutch available which sounded very interesting, and so I gave it a try. The beer surprised me immediately by being more chocolately and less sour than I was expecting. There is a sour element which makes the beer brighter than many traditional American stouts, but it is very approachable even to those who do not consider themselves fans of more Flemish sour styles. As the beer warmed a little, I found it opened up and became a bit richer and more nuanced, so if you order it in a bar you might want to hold it in your hands for a bit before drinking.

Ultimately, Clutch is not my favorite of the New Belgium beers I have tried. I prefer the La Folie and the Le Fleur Misseur of the ones currently in production. Clutch is solid, but when I want a sour beer (and, really, I usually do) I want the sour quality to be more defining. I look forward to tasting the Kick sometime soon, but that cranberry-pumpkin beer in a bottle with jack o’ lanterns on the front feels a little more autumn than I am ready for right now while I squeeze the last bit out of summer. Ask me about Kick again in October and I will probably love it.

There will be a release party for the Clutch beer on Monday at Red Palace, notable because it will feature the Maryland-based band Clutch who collaborated on the creation of the beer. The New Belgium beers are available at a number of bars now and will be showing up on more menus and store shelves within the coming days. Currently, most places only have 22oz bottles, but smaller bottles and draft kegs will be their way over the fall.


Monumental: Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial

Photo courtesy of
‘The ultimate measure of a man…………’
courtesy of ‘LaTur’

On Sunday (UPDATE: now sometime in September or October), the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial will be dedicated. As this will be the first major memorial dedicated in the Mall area since the National World War II Memorial in 2004, I thought it would be interesting to review the monument and solicit our readers’ views. For those interested in going to the dedication, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation has a FAQ page on the dedication ceremony and a handy walking directions pamphlet.

To quickly sum up my opinion: excellent, and long overdue, idea for a memorial, but it is poorly executed. Let me explain. I’ll be slightly kinder than Courtland Milloy but not by much and in some areas less (BTW: props to you, sir, on the Star Wars reference! Makings of a Millennial this one has.). Continue reading

We Love Arts

Theater last-chances and possible cancellations

Just a quick pre-weekend roundup on what’s going away and what may or may not be threatened by the weather.

We’re not aware of anyone officially cancelling anything as of yet; several places have made affirmative statements they’re going on with the show.

Shakespeare Theater Company’s Free-for-All is still on. They’ve promised to update via Twitter and Facebook so the simplest thing to to is open up their twitter feed before you head out. If you’re feeling twitchy you have till Sep 4. If you’re a brave one this may be your chance to wait in a smaller line. With current projections having the ugly weather starting after 6p you’ll only be  outside for part of it… if that’s right.

Capital Weather Gang says you shouldn’t be anxious about today or tonight’s weather, so there’s no reason not to go see the show if you’re interested. And if you’re adventurous I think you should go.

As should surprise nobody, Cherry Red not only will be going ahead with the Aristocrats! but have taken inspiration from the adversity. So earthquake, hurricane, now fire and vengeance. If there was an airplane involved we’d have every 70s disaster movie trope covered. Just in case, keep an eye on Ian’s twitter feed for updates if you’re planning on going.

Studio Theater’s POP! closes this weekend with the last scheduled show on Sunday. Jenn was underwhelmed and, having just seen it Wednesday night, I second that “meh.” It’s a well-produced show with some standout acting (alongside some almost inexcusable hammery) and a few catchy songs, but it adds up to a forgettable whole. But if you’re interested these are your last few chances to see it.

Studio, sadly, isn’t big with the twitter but they do update sometimes and used it to verify their continued survival after the earthquake. So it’s possible they’ll be good about announcing there if they cancel shows for weather. However I’d still call their main line at 202-332-3300 before heading out if you’re at all uncertain.

Arena says the show will go on but they’re gonna let you wiggle out of it if you don’t want to get rained on. The linked Capital Weather Gang post above says the peak effects will be in the evening so your 2pm Oklahoma! seats are probably pretty safe. The 8p Saturday show is likely the only one that’s going to be really impacted (unless there’s power outages persisting on Sunday…)

The Features

Irene’s Comin’

Irene's Coming

All week long I’ve been watching the models from NOAA (and marveling what groups like Storm Pulse can do with them) with a little bit of dread. While Irene does not look like it will directly hit the District, the storm is 580 miles wide, and that means there’s a broad swath of the area that’s going to get slammed by high winds, a bunch of rain, and a storm surge in the Chesapeake that will backup into the Potomac and Anacostia watersheds.

The storm is likely to arrive starting Saturday in the late morning, and last through the night into Sunday.  Ocean City has been ordered to evacuate, and much of the Delmarva Peninsula looks to get hit the worst, and coastal flooding along the Potomac looks like a certainty. Rainfall totals in the District, as of late yesterday, were slated in the 1/2″ to 4″ range, depending on location, with the peninsula looking for totals well above that.

So, now what?

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

The Nats Bulllpen Implodes in 8-1 Loss to Arizona

Photo courtesy of
‘The bullpen looks on’
courtesy of ‘randomduck’

Thurdsay night’s game versus the first place Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t go the way starting pitcher John Lannan wanted it to. The left-handed pitcher gave up seven hits and two runs in six innings against the top team in the National League West, including a two-run bomb homerun to center fielder Chris Young.

That at-bat weighed heavy on Lannan’s mind after the game which ended in an 8-1 loss when a bullpen implosion followed his exit.

“You’ve just got to bear down and keep it as close as you can,” Lannan said. “You can only control what you can control and that’s just throwing strikes. Right now, I’m not thinking too much about what’s going on offensively. I know that these guys are going to come through but you know you just got to do what you can do and that’s what I’ve been doing.” Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends – August 26th through 28th

11-04-01 - Cherry Blossoms - Flashback of Mom

Mosley: Fun filled weekend for me!  One of my photographs (above) was selected as a semi-finalists for the DC State Fair Photo Contest.  I could win a blue ribbon.  A ribbon!  And it could be blue!  Tough competition though, so keep your fingers crossed for me.  And since I’m going to be waiting with bated breath in Columbia Heights, I might as well enjoy Columbia Heights Day and the DC State Fair.  I’m sure I will be eating many fried foods I shouldn’t be eating.  And the night will be caped by seeing Highlander at the AFI in Silver Spring (You know it won the Academy Award? For “Best Movie Ever Made”!).  As for Sunday, assuming Irene doesn’t change things up, I’m planning on braving the crowds to see the dedication of the King Memorial on the Tidal Basin.  Assuming security isn’t crazy, I’m eyeing a spot by the Jefferson, hoping it stays open to the public.  If we do get sweep up by the hurricane, I plan on holding out, with lots of beer, in my apartment in Thomas Circle.  It’s a good back up plan.

Tom: This weekend could go a bunch of different ways thanks to the storm that’s heading up the Eastern Seaboard. We have a friend coming down from Pittsburgh Friday, so I figure there’s a good chance we’ll take him out and show him a good time. I suspect that we’ll likely see the new MLK Memorial on the mall, but also hit up some highlights of DC Food & Fun. Saturday we’re headed out to Leesburg to congregate with a few other talented sysadmin types and enjoy some great beer at Fireworks. Columbia Heights Day is also on my radar, and there may well be a Hurricane party on Sunday at a friend’s in Fairfax, which means I need to find some glassware and passionfruit juice in a hurry.

Continue reading

Food and Drink

Opening Soon: 5 Restaurants I’m Anxiously Awaiting


Courtesy Eliser: Dinner Menu

Ok, so if you’re the least bit familiar with restaurants and the supposed opening dates in DC, you know that they are almost never met due to permitting delays, construction delays, staffing delays…you get it. Still, the eternal optimist, these are the five restaurants I can’t wait to try when they open later this year. (Note: I better not have to wait until 2012 to see you!)

1) Elisir:

The fine dining, Italian restaurant brought to us by Enzo Fargione will join the culinary heaven that is Penn Quarter. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Chef Fargione was previously the chef at K Street’s Teatro Goldoni. Publicist Janet Donovan tells me that the restaurant will open sometime in the Fall — so I’m crossing my fingers for late September/early October. Elisir’s Facebook page is getting more and more active, which is always a good sign. You can check it out for construction and menu updates.

427 11th St NW

ETA: Fall 2011

Continue reading