The Daily Feed

Bikeshare goes monthly, adds a discounted helmet

Photo courtesy of Tony DeFilippo
courtesy of Tony DeFilippo

With Bike to Work day just a couple weeks out, if you’ve been thinking of joining the cyclist craze in DC, now would be your easy option. Before, your options for joining Bikeshare were a spendy $75 annual membership, or a $25 monthly, or $15 week membership. If you’ve dipped your foot in the biking waters and want to get onboard, but don’t have the ducats to pay up front, there’s a new installment plan for the annual membership that comes out to $7/mo, which is a lot more pleasant on the wallet in the short term. 

Also – for those existing members looking for a reason to re-up, CaBi is making a helmet available for $16 for its renewing and new members through their online store. If your helmet is starting to get long in the tooth, or if you’ve been in a dust-up with it, it’s probably time to replace it.

Biking may seem like something only hipsters on fixies do, but there’s an incredibly vibrant and diverse biking community here in DC, so give it a shot. Bikes don’t need $4/gal gasoline, just a few extra calories off your ass.

Sports Fix, The Features

New Uniforms, Same Result: A Look Back At The Wizards 2012 Season

Photo courtesy of BrianMKA
Pregame huddle
courtesy of BrianMKA

Despite ending the season with a six game winning streak, including two wins against the Miami Heat, there were not any confetti or streamers falling onto the floor of the Verizon Center after the Washington Wizards ended their season with a 104-70 win over the Heat. A two seed heading into the playoffs, Miami chose to rest their big three for both games against Washington. On Thursday night both Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were inactive, Miami opted to start the likes of Juwan Howard instead. The Heat had no problem falling to a 46-20 record to end the season. With a reciprocal 20-46 record, the Wizards are once again in the basement of the NBA, hoping for the lotto balls to fall their way. Despite a young athletic group and an infusion of talent from last year’s draft, the Wizards managed to do only slightly better than last year’s winning percentage. Instead of celebrating a win to end the season, the team continues on in the midst of a long rebuilding phase and for that there is no need for streamers at the end of the game.

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Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 4/27-4/29

Photo courtesy of Karon
Iwo Jima Memorial
courtesy of Karon

If we’ve got to work this week, let’s go ahead and get it started! I’m ready for it to be Friday, as I’ve got tickets for the Friday night’s Nationals game against the Phillies. All Philly fans be on notice: we’re coming for ya! But before Friday can come, we’ve got to get through Monday (and a few other days). And we can’t have Monday without a Flashback. So here it is.

Now, on to Tuesday! Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

The Best Week in DC Sports just got better

Photo courtesy of BrianMKA
Harper glare
courtesy of BrianMKA

The Wizards finished their season with six straight wins, D.C. United is 2nd in the Eastern Conference after a hot start, the Redskins have drafted Robert Griffin III to be their next quarterback, the Capitals won a pivotal Game 7 against Boston to advance to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and lastly, the Nationals have started their season 14-5 and have the best pitching staff in the National League and possibly all of baseball.

Late today, the Nationals announced that Ryan Zimmerman would be joining Brad Lidge, Michael Morse, Drew Storen and Chien-Ming Wang on the DL, and that Bryce Harper would make his major league debut tomorrow night at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles.  So far, Harper’s not lighting up the AAA league quite as he had with the lower levels of the minor leagues, but it’s hard to deny the talent of the youngest member of the elite athletes club of Washington.

Can Harper make a difference at the Major League level? That depends on the Bryce Harper we get. This is one of those wonderful moments where a team has decided, “Alright, screw it, let’s give the kid a chance.” There’s no guarantee that Harper’s ready, though the expectations for him are nothing short of towering. Will he have a Strasburg moment tomorrow night in Dodger Stadium? Can he bring some offense to left field, where the Nationals have struggled to put anything in the offense column?

DC sports fans have been waiting for answers to these pressing questions since the summer of 2010 when the Nationals took Harper with the top pick of the draft. Will he be the next Ken Griffey Jr., or will he be the next Todd Van Poppel? It all starts tomorrow night at 9:10pm. Don’t miss it.

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Friday Happy Hour: Special-Edition Burial at Sea

One of the many benefits of the recent flourishing of cool small breweries in the area has been the interesting collaborations that result when they put their creative energies together. One such beer, Burial at Sea, came about when DC Brau teamed up with Baltimore’s Oliver Breweries to create an English Dark Mild Ale which was released earlier this year.

Add to that collaboration a third level: Aging that beer in barrels from various distilleries including, though the work of the staff of Jack Rose and Boubon in Adams Morgan, a special edition version of Burial at Sea aged in Bulleit Rye barrels. This aged batch of the beer was released at Bourbon this week during a special event with Mr. Tom Bulleit himself from the distillery on hand – as well as the founders of DC Brau and a festive crowd that turned out on a Wednesday night to enjoy the limited offering.
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Music, Opinion, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Field Trip: What I learned at Coachella 2012

Coachella at dusk, photo by Martin Silbiger

Last weekend I spent a sunny, super-hot, music-filled 3 days at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, in Indio, California, just outside of Palm Springs. The festival, which has taken place since 1999, features five main stages/tents set up with music of many genres playing from as early as noon each day until after 1am, and art installations spread throughout the festival grounds. This was my fifth year attending the festival. I’ve never written about the experience before, so I thought I’d compile a few things I have learned from the Coachella experience. (While these are based on my experience at Coachella, they can be applied to most big music festivals with success too…)

1. Hydration is key. Temperatures for weekend two of Coachella 2012 got to a high of 106. I think the hottest I felt was during Yuck‘s 3:15pm set on the Outdoor Stage on Friday. I felt approximately like a baked potato, wrapped in foil, on the surface of the sun. I credit spf 110 spray (yes, they make spf that strong), drinking copious amounts of water, iced lemonade and some powerade to my ability to have fun and stay standing, dancing, and running around for 13 hours a day, for the 3-day festival.

2. Ask people who they’re excited to see. Taking recommendations from people on what bands to see can be a great thing. There is nothing quite as magical as discovering a band you didn’t know, or haven’t listened to yet and finding out how amazing they are. And if they’re not your thing, you just run off to the next stage or tent and listen to something else. This is how I came to see some of my favorite acts of the festival! Other Lives and Wild Beasts are a couple of these.

3. Don’t be too shy to dance! Here’s a tip- no one gives a @#$! how you dance, or how silly you look. Everyone is there to have a good time, and they’re paying attention to the band/dj. Let loose- you’ll have more fun!

Kasabian @ Coachella 2012, photo by author

4. It’s ok to hang in the back for a set, but get close to the front for at least one band you like! It isn’t easy to get up front for big acts, and sometimes it isn’t even enjoyable. But it’s certainly a different experience being up close vs. being in the back for a set. There are upsides and downsides to both. Sometimes you just need air and space that being in the back or middle allows. But being close up can be a much more interactive and exciting experience. I was right up front for Atari Teenage Riot, and the energy was awesome. Also I got in the front row for Kasabian, which was super exciting! I didn’t expect Kasabian fans to be so insane- I got crowd-surfers passed over my head, and got bruises in the pattern of the guardrail on my knees. But it was exhilarating and super-fun! Definitely a unique experience. (Truth be told, you may decide being right up front isn’t for you- it’s not for everyone. And to get in the front row you usually have to camp out in that spot for quite a while, and may miss other bands on other stages- that is the compromise.)

 5. Make a plan, but be flexible. When going to a big festival, there are a ton of bands playing, and it’s just a fact- you won’t see them all. Make a plan of attack- who do you have to see, who do you kind of want to see, etc. If you don’t plan it out a little, you’ll risk missing someone you wanted to see. At Coachella this is key, because there are 5 stages, schedule conflicts galore. With a little planning you can make the most out of your time. Compromise is key, and with flexibility you can also check out bands you haven’t seen or heard before, which is one of the most amazing parts of a festival for me- finding new awesome music.

Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: American Cream Ale

Photo courtesy of Kevin H.
Liquid Light and Gold
courtesy of Kevin H.

This is another in a series of articles about homebrewing in the DC area by Carl Weaver of Want to learn about making your own beer? Keep an eye out for Friday homebrew features.

I recently decided to try a homebrew recipe for American cream ale. It reminded me of a guy I worked with who would walk from desk to desk in the office every afternoon and say, “It’s almost Genny time,” humorously referring to Genesee Cream Ale. Bob was fun to drink with. He was an older guy and naturally charming to everyone he met. He also had a penchant for drinking out of ten-ounce glasses, which I found interesting, if odd. “Give me a shorty,” he would tell the bartender.

Bob drank Genesee quite often and I drank it with him on occasion, so this beer kit I bought is more about reminiscing than it is about the particular style. Even if it is not my favorite, Genesee is an American original.

This style is light and slightly malty, not very bitter at all. It is an easy-drinking beer but has a good amount of alcohol, measuring in probably between five and six percent. That is a little high for what you might call a session beer, but not terribly so. I can imagine knocking out a couple of these with Hank Hill and the boys. A slight sweetness comes from the corn sugar, but the sugar is really there to boost the alcohol, so you get to taste what the hungry yeast cells never got to before they gave up the ghost. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: April 27-29

Photo courtesy of cruffo
2011 CAN Softball Tournament
courtesy of cruffo

Rachel: This is shaping up to be a pretty fun weekend. A dear friend of mine who used to reside in the District but has since moved will be making her triumphant return. This means we’ll be at Churchkey. On Saturday I’ll FINALLY get to go to The State Theater in Falls Church for the first time to see The Clarks (one of Pittsburgh’s finest rock bands around). Then the weekend will be rounded out by some quality time on the diamond at 39th and Calvert for some Glover Park Co-Ed Softball. Not too shabby. Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

DC Food Bloggers Bake Sale for Share Our Strength

Across the country, nearly one in five children will struggle with hunger this year, according to Share Our Strength. That’s more than 16 million children in the U.S. who do not get enough to eat. In DC alone from 2009 to 2010, 37.4 percent of households with children said they couldn’t afford enough food, according to DC Hunger Solutions.

To help drive down these statistics and child hunger, some of the DC bloggers are hosting a bake sale today as part of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. All you have to do is stop by and purchase some baked goods to help a good cause.

Here are the details:

Who: DC Food Bloggers and Share Our Strength
What: A bake sale with all proceeds going to the No Kid Hungry Campaign
When: Thursday, April 26, 2-6 PM
Where: 1150 15th Street NW, Washington Post building on the first floor

capitals hockey

Won’t Admit Defeat: Caps 2, Bruins 1 (OT)

Credit: John McDonnell / The Washington Post

The previous six games in the series between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals were decided by one goal, so there was no reason to expect game seven would be any different. The Caps and Bruins did not disappoint, taking another close game to the overtime period, where Joel Ward, added by the Caps in the offseason specifically for his past playoff heroics, backhanded a rebound past Tim Thomas to send the Caps to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the defending Stanley Cup champions to the golf course.
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Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: God of Carnage

Photos: Scott Suchman

At the start of Signature Theatre’s God of Carnage, we find ourselves in the immaculate living room of the Novak family. The modern style and elegance of the whole scene looks as if it was ripped out of a catalog: fresh flowers, a beautiful city skyline, smiling faces from those that are inhabiting the space.

The serenity and beauty of the scene is but a fleeting moment in Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award winning play, the chaos that unfolds will leave the room in a completely different state: floor covered with papers, feathers, and shoes; cigars and glasses of liquor strewn about; actors with scowls that have been stripped of all manners and outward politeness.

This short one-act (approximately 80 minutes) is essentially a strip-show of political correctness where the characters take off layers of social manners piece by piece. What we end up with are subjects that bare-all to the audience.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Wombats @ 9:30 Club — 4/23/12

Ever get the feeling that a band has toured too much recently? That they have developed a bit of a tired tour routine that could be freshened up a bit by some time off or some new material?

Unfortunately, such was the case with The Wombats, visiting the 9:30 Club Monday night from Liverpool, UK, promoting material from a pretty good second album, This Modern Glitch. Despite a lot of really clever post-punk songs, The Wombats couldn’t maintain enough momentum to keep the attention of the room, which was not quite 70 percent full, leaving audience members to drift way or to start texting people they would rather be spending their time with. It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that this situation was created at least in part by the fact that The Wombats had stopped in town exactly six months previously.

I consider The Wombats to be a talented trio. I went to their last show and interviewed their drummer beforehand. The Wombats had demonstrated that they are not a flash in the pan, which they easily could have been after the indie success of their breakout single “Let’s Dance to Joy Division.” Instead, they focused on solid song writing and catchy licks to produce a sophomore album that is better than their first, despite the lack of an equally catchy single like the ode to their Manchester post-punk forebears.

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Music, People, The Features

We Love Music: A Q&A with Mary Alouette

Photo Courtesy of Mary Alouette

It’s only been a year since she started playing guitar continuously, but there’s something courageous about Mary Alouette when she performs. She’s vulnerable but confident. It’s alluring.

Alouette grew up with music. Musical theater, pop music, opera, film, indie rock – she draws inspiration from the gamete to produce a modern incarnation of Gypsy Jazz. That’s right, Gypsy Jazz. But we’ll let Aloutte describe the genre in her own words.

Aloutte took some time to speak with We Love DC via e-mail about her upcoming EP release show (Wednesday April 25) at Strathmore Mansion, where she is currently an Artist in Residence.

Rachel: What is it about Gypsy Jazz that you love? What reeled you in?

Mary: Gypsy Jazz is attractive in its hot rhythms, beautiful melodies, and freedom of expression. It was started by guitar legend Django Reinhardt in the 1930′s, who was a Belgian gypsy playing mostly in Paris. There is a special instrumentation and style to the music. The predominant feature has two or three guitars – one or two rhythm guitars and a solo guitar. The rhythm guitars provide the “pompe,” the pulse and heartbeat of the genre. The solo guitar can be simultaneously virtuosic, musical, and passionate. It floats on top of the rhythm guitar. The other usual instruments are double bass and violin or clarinet. In my compositions, I find the heart and soul to be the guitar, and the instrumentation is negligible.

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Entertainment, The Features

A 2012 Helen Hayes Awards (Drama Prom) Diary

Large crowds of peers; suits and dresses of all shapes and sizes; a night full of brief greetings and close encounters. It’s no wonder why DC’s Helen Hayes Awards Gala is affectionately known as Drama Prom. Even though last year’s initial experience had its ups and downs, unlike high school prom you can try for a better time next year!

So I did just that and I had a wonderful time despite some odd similarities. Here’s how Washington’s biggest night in theatre unfolded through my eyes. If you are interested in finding out who walked away with the coveted hardware just scroll down to the bottom of the post.

9:39 AM

I woke up with a shooting pain in my lower back and a stomach feeling less than 100%. Spending the past weekend at Cafe Citron probably wasn’t the best idea. On top of my body ailments the Orange Line decided to break down (big surprise), delaying my commute into the office.

Not a great start to Prom day but I kept a positive attitude a trudged along the work day.

2:39 PM

I couldn’t believe it was happening. Again. A year after my Helen Hayes date woke up with pinkeye and had to bail, my date woke up terribly ill and was unable to attend the festivities. I began to wonder if I have been cursed or if the ghost of Helen Hayes was haunting me.

Luckily fellow arts writer Joanna saved the day and stepped into Jenn’s place, saving me from awkwardly roaming the Helen Hayes Awards alone.

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The Daily Feed

Kiehl’s Opens in Tysons Corner

Kiehl’s second store in the DC area celebrates a grand opening tonight in the Tyson’s Corner mall. The beloved brand’s first store in Virginia joins their Georgetown location to provide obsession-worthy skincare products, sold in charming apothecary-style bottles. In honor of the opening, they have teamed up with NewsBabes, a breast-cancer research charity founded by local television anchorwomen and will be donating a portion of the night’s proceeds. There will also be gift bags for the first 100 shoppers starting at 5:00 and plenty of special Georgetown Cupcakes confections.
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