Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Red

Edward Gero as Mark Rothko and Patrick Andrews as Ken in the 2011 Goodman Theatre production of Red. Directed by Robert Falls. Photo by Liz Lauren.

De Kooning. Pollock. Rothko. Giants of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Killers of Surrealism, only to be swept aside themselves by Pop Art. At least, that’s how the legend goes (even Rothko would disagree with the precise classifications). But is a revolutionary’s story compelling if it doesn’t end in a young, glorious death? In Red, playwright John Logan sets up his genius protagonist to play defense against the onslaught of age and change. His Mark Rothko is engaged in a constant struggle against accusations of hypocrisy and potential irrelevance, while his paintings stand silent, their internal monologues quietly stealing the scene.

A joint production between Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and Arena Stage, Red is an exploration of an important moment in the life of artist Mark Rothko (played by Ed Gero). He took on a commission in the late 1950′s to produce murals for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building, itself a gorgeous modernist tower designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. We’re supposed to feel somewhat shocked that Rothko would paint for this much money, would consent to house his paintings in a consumerist palace (as if Michelangelo never did anything similar for the Medici, but conveniently forgetting our art history, let’s say it is shocking). Rothko claimed to want his murals to disquiet the diners. The commission was certainly one of the most lucrative of its day. Red encapsulates that struggle between art and consumerism (on the verge of Pop Art’s embrace of it) in the relationship between Rothko and his young assistant, and if it did nothing else, the battle between the two would still make for a fascinating and unnerving evening. Continue reading

Business and Money

The USDA Loan and other Real Estate Issues in the D.C. Area

Photo courtesy of juggernautco
Comparables: 1633 Hermitage
courtesy of juggernautco

Many of you that frequent We Love D.C. know me as the writer for the Redskins, Nationals, and other sports, but in the day time and sometimes at nights I am a licensed Realtor in the state of Virginia with Weichert, Realtors. What we have in this area is a truly fascinating market. National interest rates are low and prices are still down compared to before the bubble burst. This area is more insulated than other parts of the country because of the number of jobs in this area with the federal government or connected to the government.

The market in this area is a lot healthier than in other parts of the country but due to perception and in many cases reality people are afraid to list their homes. That has caused the market absorption rate in most places in and around the nation’s capital to be right around two months. Some areas it is even under a month. The market absorption rate is the rate in which all current listings would go off the market if no more listings were added to the market. For example there are 33 active listings and 10 that are currently under contract in my zip code of 22033. This is better inventory than most of the area but it is still low and gives us a market absorption rate of 3.3 months.

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Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Photo courtesy of pablo.raw
courtesy of pablo.raw

I decided to do something completely different for the Featured Photo segment today. What you see above is called a sterographic projection, or polar panorama. By using a photo editing program, like Photoshop, a photographer can take a regular, 360 degree panoramic photo and turn it into a little planet. If you have the skill to do it, you can make some fascinating photographs.

Pablo creates a unique world here of a statue in the National Gallery of Art. It’s as if the goddess Gaia has been born from Khaos and looks on the blank slate of a world that she is about to give form.

Entertainment, Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Derrick Rose Takes Out His Anger On The Wizards

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
Derrick Rose
courtesy of Keith Allison

Reigning MVP Derrick Rose was in a mood.

Sunday night he blamed himself for a loss against the Miami Heat that left him angry, emotional, and determined to make it up in the next game he’d play.

Unfortunately for the Washington Wizards they were that next game. Rose looked like a madman on the court in a 35 point performance as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Wizards 98-88.

The Wizards tried everything they could to stop Rose and the Bulls but it was to no avail. The loss left Wizards coach Randy Wittman a little testy, transferring his frustration to the press after the game. When asked about the team’s Pick and Roll strategy against Rose he answered to the reporter asking the question , “Did you of that question all day? If you have a new strategy, call my office tomorrow. We tried four different things. The way he played tonight, I don’t know if there’s anything we would have thrown out there that could have of. So did he dice it up? Yea, is that what you want me to say?”

I hope Wittman doesn’t read the column I wrote about him.

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The Daily Feed

We Love the Anacostia River

Photo courtesy of mosley.brian
Anacostia River – Rolling On the River – 5-30-09
courtesy of mosley.brian

There’s a great video (after the jump) of Gabe Horchler of Cheverly MD. Mr. Horchler (the father of one of my friends from Cheverly) has been commuting to work on the Anacostia River for the past 14 years. The video is full of breath taking shots of the river and a great narrative by Gabe. It definitely makes you think about the river and what it means to our city.

I can attest to how amazing the Anacostia is. Back in 2009 I spent a lot of time kayaking along the river, launching out of Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Unlike the Potomac, few people are on the river; this allows a small sanctuary for wildlife to thrive. I’ve seen Great Blue Herons, beavers, snakes, Ospreys, Egrets, and even a Bald Eagle. It can be an amazing experience; I highly recommend going out if you can.

Check out the video after the jump along with a bunch of photos taken along the River. Continue reading

The Daily Feed, WMATA

Dupont Metro South Entrance Closing until November

Photo courtesy of dracisk
dupont circle
courtesy of dracisk

If you use the South Entrance of the Dupont Circle Metro Station, well, I hope you like walking. You’ll be doing more of it, soon. Starting Wednesday, the South Entrance will be closed for 9 months while WMATA replaces the 185-foot spans that rise 85 feet to street level. The company that makes the particular escalators used in that entrance have been out of business for some time, which has made finding parts of the escalators difficult. Given that the spans are some of WMATA’s least reliable, that’s a combo that means replacement and not repair.

WMATA will be putting standard escalators in place and widening the current entrance space to handle these new, wider escalator bays, and the entrance will be closed until November of this year.  Farragut North’s northern entrance is just 0.5mi to the south, and the North Entrance of Dupont Circle will remain open during the work. In the case of emergency, Metro will leave one exit escalator span in place during the work for emergency egress, along with a new spiral staircase. The North Entrance of the station will have additional on-call escalator techs in case of failure.

Sports Fix, The Features

Randy Wittman: The Coach Washington Deserves, But Not The One It Needs

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
Randy Wittman
courtesy of Keith Allison

“Why’s Randy coaching, Dad?”

“Because we had to fire Flip.”

“He didn’t do anything wrong.”

Flip Saunders may have not done anything wrong, but he certainly didn’t do anything right. In one way Flip will be the fall guy for another failed Wizards season, but in another way Flip was never the answer at coach, leaving with a 51-130 coaching record in Washington.

Time after time I’ve seen that sleepy-eyed look at press conferences. Time after time I’ve heard him expound on how players are holding on to the ball too much or how they throw the game plan out the window after they fall behind. Perhaps the problems were easier said than done.

You can say Flip took on a job he didn’t sign up for. He was suppose to help squeeze one more season from the old guard of Arenas, Butler, and Jamison. He wasn’t originally brought in to coach a team full of first and second year players.

In reality Flip never had control of the locker room. It got out of hand to the point Gilbert was offering firearms to his teammates. Flip was then left with a class of kids who tuned him out.

Regardless of the reason, Flip is out and Randy Wittman is in- but will that be a difference?

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The Daily Feed

Food Truck Tracker

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
DC Empanadas – La Venganza de Tio Shawn
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Who are you kidding anymore? It’s late January and your resolution to lift more weights and less sandwiches into your maw has gone out the window. So why not get a big ole food truck lunch? Besides, walking to and fro will be some good exercise.
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Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Euan Morton as Launce, Oliver the dog as Crab and Adam Green as Speed in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by PJ Paparelli. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Ah, love. The kind that makes you stalk your lover, lie to your best friend, steal someone else’s girl. We’re talking young, hormone-addled, angst-ridden love. Add in some fervent karaoke singing, late night fast food binges and way beyond last call drinking, and it’s love in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Rarely performed (STC’s artistic fellow Laura Henry notes in Asides that it’s only been staged twenty-four times in London and five times in New York City), Two Gentlemen is commonly thought of as difficult to produce. It’s an early play in the canon, containing many characters and plot devices that seem half-baked next to their later manifestations. There’s also the question of that pesky final scene – which moves from the threat of violence and rape to forgiveness all too quickly – often tinkered with to make it more palatable. It’s always been a prime candidate for conceptual settings and modernization.

Director PJ Paparelli goes for a pastiche of teen movie metaphor in the current production. It’s a risky choice to add in neon corporate logos and U2 cover songs. That kind of concept can, and often does, fall flat. But here, a kind of pure earnest beauty marries text and concept. Kick your cynicism to the curb, and remember that time when love meant losing everything, including even your self-respect, and yet you just didn’t care that it wasn’t cool.
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Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 1/27-1/29

Photo courtesy of pablo.raw
Year of the Dragon I
courtesy of pablo.raw

Happy Lunar New Year! Welcome to the Year of the Dragon. Granted the Chinese New Year started last Monday, but the parade in Chinatown was held yesterday, so I feel it is official, official. Hope this second new year brings you all good fortune and cheer. In honor of the New Year, we have a double helping of photos from the Flickr pool. Not even counting the parade, it was a happening weekend, and it was just too hard to narrow the photos down. Enjoy! Continue reading

Downtown, Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: February 2012

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner; Photo courtesy National Geographic

As spring looms on the horizon, so does National Geographic Live’s new season. For the third year in a row, the National Geographic Museum is offering WeLoveDC readers a monthly chance to enjoy one of their premier events. We’re giving away two pairs of tickets to readers and entering is simple. Look through the great programs coming up in February and pick two you’d like to attend. Then in the comment field, simply enter your choices. (Make sure you use your first name and a valid email address!) Winners for February will be chosen at random in the afternoon on Tuesday, January 31.

All programs (unless otherwise noted) will take place in Grosvenor Auditorium at 1600 M Street, NW.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.nglive.org, via telephone at (202) 857-7700, or in person at the National Geographic ticket office between 9 am and 5 pm. Free parking is available in the National Geographic underground garage for all programs that begin after 6 pm.

Uncovering Hidden World ($20)
Tuesday, Feb. 7; 7:30 pm

As a staff photographer with National Geographic, Jodi Cobb has worked in more than 60 countries—celebrating the best of the human spirit and spotlighting some of its worst abuses.

She is best known for lifting the curtain on worlds closed to outsiders, such as Japan’s geisha, Saudi Arabian women, the grim underworld of human trafficking. Experience a retrospective of her most important work as she also shares images and stories from her most recent assignment, a story on twins for the January 2012 issue of National Geographic. Continue reading

The Features

Elegy for a Diner

Photo courtesy of Paige Weaver
courtesy of Paige Weaver

I’ve been trying to come to terms with this all day. I’ve been sitting on this post for a few hours, but it seems right now to post it. Since we moved to Brookland, our weekend haunt has been the beautiful steel diner on Bladensburg road, the Capital City Diner. I first set foot in the diner about two years ago, as we were looking at houses, and I sat down for the most amazing patty melt and milkshake I’ve had in this fair city. Since then, it’s been our Saturday and Sunday morning breakfast location. Seeing Cheryl, Matt, Frank and Sylvia each weekend has become a highlight in my week. Sunday, the Diner will close, but not before throwing one last hurrah this weekend.

When I heard today, I drove over to the Diner to get the news from owner Matt Ashburn. I was greeted at the door by Cheryl, who immediately wrapped me in a bear hug. That’s pretty much when I lost it. Cap City has been a weekend home for us. We brought Matt and Cheryl homemade jam, farm peaches, and cranberry relish, and they kept us topped up on coffee and Diet Coke, including one memorable occasion when despite being out of soda, Cheryl ran up the street to get us some.

Capital City Diner has been an oasis for us, and one of my DC Talismans, a place that I go when I need to feel that something in this world is in perfect order. The letter up on their website cites rising costs and nearby competition from a national chain that rhymes with Lenny’s. The end of the Diner may well be attributable to Harry Thomas Jr., who worked hard to bring the chain restaurant to Trinidad after seeing the Diner thrive. While perhaps bringing more business to Bladensburg Road near Trinidad is good for the local economy, something Thomas wasn’t exactly known for, his last good act might have killed the thing I loved most in the District.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Friday Happy Hour: Sunburner

My friend and I were heading more or less home for the night, but it was uncommonly mild and a bit early, so we decided to stroll a few blocks out of the way to get a drink before turning in. The last couple of times we had tried to slip into Tabard Inn, it had been crowded with people seeking the cozy confines on cold nights – but on this warmer evening we were able to easily grab spots at the bar.

It being a Thursday, the super sweet Chantal Tseng was behind the bar – in pigtails and argyle knee socks, no less. She made each of us one of her four featured drinks of the night. I received the Sunburner.

Chantal told us she was on “a blood orange kick,” and the Sunburner certainly was part of that. The citrus purée had a thickness that gave the drink a pleasantly rich and silky mouthfeel. The overall composition was not very sweet, but instead vegetal and dry in a really gratifying and unexpected way.

Stopping in for that one drink quickly slipped into a few more (including more blood orange) – every one of them delightful.

The Daily Feed

Food Tweet of the Week


Courtest Chef Tony Maciante

So I’m venturing out of DC for this Tweet of the Week and north to Bethesda. At Chef Tony’s the rotating menu is seafood focused. The only thing Chef Tony Marciante might care about almost as much as food is social media.

On his website banner you can see a caricature, plus all the ways to get in touch with Chef Tony: Twitter, Facebook, email, “I-phone” and even YouTube. Chef  even even describes himself as “Social Media Guy & High Tech Chef/Restaurant Owner, TV Business Show Co-Host, …student of life, teacher to some, love me someinternet marketing.” He actually sounds more like a social media pro, telling me “100%, iPhone never leaves my side”

My favorite tweet is after the jump.

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We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: Jan 27 – 29

Photo courtesy of kimberlyfaye
courtesy of kimberlyfaye

If you’re not already building an Ark then maybe you need something to do with yourself the next few days. Well, we have some ideas to run past you.

Mosley: Birthday weekend!  And I plan on starting the festivities tonight: it’s the last night to see Girl With the Dragon Tattoo at the Lincoln Theatre.  I’ve never been in the theater and I’m interested in seeing the space more than the movie.  Saturday day I’m planning on leaving up in the air: maybe I’ll hit Chocolate City Brewery and DC Brau’s growler hours; or maybe I’ll spend the day walking around somewhere new to take pictures; or maybe something else I haven’t thought of yet.  I don’t know!  But Saturday night will be at the Hamilton for my birthday party; I rather like the space, and they have a beer and food menu to m Continue reading

Sports Fix

Nationals add Lidge to Strengthen Already Deep Bullpen

Photo courtesy of afagen
Brad Lidge
courtesy of afagen

The Nationals missed out on Prince Fielder when the Tigers swooped in at the last minute to offer a 9 year $214 million dollar contract. That doesn’t mean the off-season is over and it certainly doesn’t mean Mike Rizzo is done trying to improve the Nats. Since the Nats failed to strengthen a weakness they have concentrated this off-season on strengthening their strength. The Nationals pitching staff last season allowed 3.99 runs a game which was seventh best in the NL, and had the sixth best ERA in the league at 3.58.

Breaking that down further the Nationals starters had an ERA of 3.80 and the relievers an ERA of 3.20. The National League average is an ERA of 3.94 for starters and 3.59 for relievers. As a whole the Nationals starters were 0.14 runs per nine innings better than league average and the relievers 0.39 runs per nine innings better. The entire Nationals pitching staff was above average in 2011, but the bullpen was the strength of the Nationals pitching staff.

The addition of Lidge is important as it adds depth to what already appeared to be a deep bullpen. If Lidge can remain healthy he adds yet another weapon to a Nationals bullpen that was already full of lethal pitchers. In trying to understand what this means for the depth of the Nationals bullpen it is fun to look at the best case and the worst case scenarios.

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Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

Rogue Sessions with Spike Gjerde

Rogue24 by RJ Cooper
Photo courtesy of Angie Salame

I write this while in a full blown food coma (#foodieproblems) with a delightful pain and taste bud/sensory overload, but more over,  faced with writer’s dilemma,  trying to find a way to describe the past four hours of absolute mastery that just went down at Rogue 24. Long -24 course and 8 drinks- story short, Spike Gjerde had me at hog jowl. Rogue 24 had me upon entrance. What the hell does that mean you ask. Well, in case you have been living under a rock, RJ Cooper’s illustrious Rogue 24 has been debuting Rogue Sessions,  a ten week pop-up celebrating some of the nation’s finest chefs as RJ Cooper recovers from heart surgery, with ticket sales benefiting Share Our Strength. It is all a wonderful affair of chef love, community giving, and culinary creativity.

Straight off the press, I was interested in seeing Chef Spike Gjerde go Rogue. His farm-to-table concept in Baltimore, Woodberry Kitchen, is one of my favorite restaurants around, but not the kind of place you find Rogue-esque molecular gastronomy. At Woodberry Kitchen, Chef Spike works closely with farmers and growers throughout the Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic regions to supply the restaurant with the freshest ingredients available, and brought that local fever to the Rogue Session. Throughout the meal, Chef Spike proved over and over that he could break barriers and remain true to seasonal and local flavors, delivering amazing dishes that were packed with a subtle elegance and charm you would have thought he was working in that space for years.

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