Adams Morgan, Food and Drink, We Love Drinks

Friday Happy Hour: Roofer’s Union

Welcome to the rest of your spring and summer, people. You’re going to be spending it with me, going out in Adams Morgan. I was skeptical, just like everyone else, when I heard 18th Street was undergoing a bit of revival, but then I went to Roofer’s Union and I finally saw the light.

Good food, good drinks, friendly staff, great concept, you know the deal. The team from Ripple isn’t messing around. The drinks menu reads like my wish list–sour beers, Gansetts (Rhody pride!), amari, quinquinas–and the food is certainly a step above Jumbo Slice. Though one thing they have in common is I’m certainly going to start craving that andouille at three AM.

But what sealed the deal for me was when “Too Afraid To Love You” came on the radio. I was relaxing at the bar with beer before work and realized this would be my new go to spot if I lived around the block. Which is exactly what Adams Morgan had been missing for so long, a low key spot to hang out.

I’ve spent too many nights drinking too many whiskies at Jack Rose, followed by pints next door at Blaguard, and a bleary-eyed brunch at Cashion’s. But that was all that could get me up to Adams Morgan for a long time. Now there’s Smoke & Barrel for even more whiskey and even more pints, Dram & Grain for fancy cocktails, and mainstays of the neighborhood like Bourbon and Tryst. Slowly Adams Morgan is changing from a destination neighborhood to a more central hub, like 14th Street or Shaw.

And Roofer’s Union is going to play a big part in changing Adams Morgan’s image. I really digged everything I had there, the food, the drinks, the vibe, but what stood out to me was the downstairs bar. All the drinks are the same–beer, wine, cocktails–but there’s no food. That means less of a wait during weekend dinner rush and less of a crowd during happy hour. Which is great news for those of us just interested in the drinks and not the crazy Adams Morgan crowd.

Most people will file into the downstairs bar and have a few drinks while waiting for a table to open up upstairs. But if you’re really there for the drinks, downstairs is where you want to camp out all night. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends – Feb 28 – Mar 2

Fedward:  If I didn’t have a day job, I’d start my weekend early Friday with this interview with one of the inventors of the handheld cell phone. Otherwise my weekend looks like a lot of people’s weekends, with a tigelle or twelve from Nathan Anda’s new Red Apron Butcher location in Penn Quarter, and celebrating the DC Repeal of Prohibition with the DB3 cycle of Mockingbird HillEat the Rich, and Southern Efficiency. Sunday we’ll have an early brunch at the Passenger before we cross the river to the Arlington Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse for the DC Film Society’s annual Oscar Party.

Tom: The weather for this weekend looks nothing like I’d hoped for the beginning of March, but you can catch me on Friday afternoon wiling away the hours pretending it’s baseball season as Charlie and Dave return to the airwaves at 1pm on AM 1580. Saturday it looks like all my plans are falling through, so a run to Flip-It in the cold for some fantastic diner breakfast is just what the doctor ordered. After that, a drop-in at Zeke’s Coffee to replenish my dwindling home coffee supplies, before a jog over the Boundary Stone. What’s not to love about a Ward 5 Saturday? Hailo is expanding to Alexandria this weekend and are offering a credit of $20 to new users that sign up with ALX20, so part of me wonders if I shouldn’t cab it down to the Torpedo Factory and brunch at Overwood on Lee Street.

Don: Like Tom, my thoughts for a mild Spring outing are being cruelly crushed by the cold and possibility for ice. A shame, since I’ll have my parents in from out of town and it would be nice to take the kiddo out and about. Instead we’ll have to find indoors activities, like perhaps the building museum. Or maybe over to Barracks Row and the Playseum, a neat place for little ones to ram around. Most of it is a little better for kids slightly older than That Darned Toddler but he likes some of the toys and play areas they have to offer. Mostly my weekend will be a time for me to wonder whether my Darling Wife’s trip to Florida is really work of just a warm weather getaway and look forward to Tuesday’s live Welcome to Nightvale show at the Lincoln Theater, which I have somehow never been to before.

Rebecca: I’m back in town after an extended vacay, so it’s time to paint the town red. Friday I’ll be catching classy, upscale cocktails and dinner with the ladies at Baby Wale. Afterwards we’ll head over to Flash to catch the spins of Robert Dietz, if the line isn’t too long. I’ve been waiting what seems like FOREVER to catch GEMS, a DC “dream pop” group, and finally they’re playing at U Street Music Hall on Saturday night, so I’ll be there. Sunday, I’m in desperate need of fresh, lovely produce (need to counteract that rum punch) so I’ll hit up the Palisades and Dupont Farmers markets.

Week in Review

Week in Review: 2/24-2/27

I’m getting as tired of writing about snow as I am of seeing it but then a photo like this one pops up on my screen and I remember how lovely it can be. Our photographical contributors did good this week, so many great shots. Click through for the rest you’ll be happy you did. Have a great weekend everyone! Continue reading

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

While I’ve talked about negative space before (and here), Bill certainly takes it to another level with his photo above. Taking advantage of the musket fire smoke, rather than minimizing the re-enactors, actually draws attention to them. As well, the ghostly silhouettes of the muskets and bayonets, pointing in all different directions, adds a perfect central element to the photo. And then the smoke at the time top offers wonderfully mysterious patterns that help frame the shot and draw the viewers attention to the bottom. And when your attention gets do to the re-enactors, you start seeing the different expressions on the faces of the men. Truly an excellent shot, though I hope Bill didn’t shoot until he saw the whites of their eyes!

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: White Lies w/ Frankie Rose @ 9:30 Club — 2/22/14

whiteliesShortly after the halfway point in their show at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, White Lies played “Unfinished Business,” their very first single, which was released nearly five years ago now.

The very full club listened respectively and bobbed along in place to the catchy melodies of the song as lead singer Harry McVeigh sang plaintively to the crowd. “You’ve got blood on your hands/And I now it’s mine/I just need more time/So get off your low/let’s dance like we used to.”

That first song serves as a blueprint for the post-punk trio, who perform as a quintet. In a very real way, by sticking to their formula of uplifting melodies but darkly reflective lyrics, White Lies have grown their name recognition and their audiences in the United States tremendously on their latest tour, heralding last year’s album Big TV.

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Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Yellow Face

Yellow Face Theatre JStan Kang, Al Twanmo, Rafael Untalan, Mark Hairston, Tonya Beckman, Jacob Yeh (Photo: C. Stanley Photography)

Correction: This article originally referred to the closing date of Yellow Face as March 9. The production ended on February 23. We apologize for the mistake. 

I had Theater J’s production of Yellow Face in my crosshairs ever since they first announced it would be a part of their 2013-2014 season. It sounded like a natural follow-up show to Signature’s Miss Saigon which I reviewed this past fall. The David Henry Hwang piece is a “based on true events” biographical tale of his life advocating for Asian American actors in the wake of the “yellowface” casting of Jonathan Pryce in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon in the early 90s. With that premise I knew that racial themes would be a big part of the piece, especially when Theater J invited me to speak on a panel about the subject.

However the show was much more than I originally expected. It’s a highly entertaining yet poignant story about the Asian American struggle as an invisible minority despite their reputation as a model minority. Just as films like 12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station are being touted as important films of the past year for their racial themes, I feel that the exploration of race in Yellow Face is important enough to say that this is one of the most important shows to see right now.

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Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 2/21-2/23

The Weekend Flashback is chock full of photo goodness today you guys. There were so many to choose from, I had a tough time. Go check out the rest of them in the We Love DC photo group. Flickr is free so there’s really no excuse for not creating an account and submitting your own photos to the group. We know you got’em and we wanna see them. Click through for the rest. Continue reading

Entertainment, The Daily Feed, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin

Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin. Photo credit Joan Marcus

Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone onstage. Photo credit Joan Marcus

If a musical theatre lover were to create a bucket list, it would be a very safe bet to assume that seeing Patti LuPone or Mandy Patinkin perform live would be on the list. Both of them are Tony-award winners and legends of the stage and screen, with numerous credits to their names, so the opportunity to see LuPone and Patinkin individually on stage is enough to send shockwaves of excitement through any artistic community. To see them perform together, though, is tantamount in the theatrical community to the winning of the powerball lottery or finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. And if a person were lucky enough to see them perform together at a venue like the Eisenhower theatre in the Kennedy Center, and if it were not only every bit as good as you imagined, but even better (if that were possible), it would be a very safe bet that the bucket list would then have be retired completely, as the chance to see anything like it ever again is as rare as Haley’s comet.

Fortunately for the DC community, the above hypothetical situation is a current reality, and an amazing one at that. An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, directed by Patinkin himself with choreography by yet another Tony-award winner, Ann Reinking, and musical direction by Paul Ford, is in town for eight performances only and is worth cancelling all other plans this weekend in order to see this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Continue reading

Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: American Idiot

01 American Idiot NationalThea

The company of American Idiot (Photo by Jeremy Daniel)

Pop hits start and finish this stage musical version of Green Day’s American Idiot. The production, in its third U.S. tour at the National Theatre, opened strong with “American Idiot” and ended with a touching cast rendition of “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” However between the curtain rise and fall is a performance that certainly packs all the moody, angst-filled energy you would expect but suffers from a story that feels too contrived to be anything more than a 90-minute live-action music video.

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We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends, 2/22-23

Are you enjoying your break before the next polar vortex comes through and tries to freeze us all, DC? Here’s what we’ve got planned before the next Ice Age strikes.

Tom: I’m on quarantine duty through Friday, but the second I can break out of this joint, you bet your ass I will. Saturday is Discover Engineering Day at the National Building Museum, and if Charlie were a little bigger, or could hold interest for more than 5 minutes at a go, that’s exactly where we’d be. NBM is working hard to inspire a next generation of engineers, and that’s something I can get behind. With some learning under my belt, it’s all about exploring. Saturday is supposed to be sunny and 60, so we’ll likely head somewhere to eat outside, and one of my favorites there is the Brixton on U Street, who have a wide expanse of space to stare at the treelined streets. Sunday, if I can swing it, and my lungs feel up to it, it’ll be the first outdoor ride of 2014, which will likely take me up to Hyattsville for an Elevation Burger and back.  Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: A Q&A with Graham Colton

Photo Courtesy of Grandstand Media

After passing through the area to play an intimate solo acoustic show at Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville, VA as part of the Buncearoo Presents series this past summer, Graham Colton returns to the DC-area this weekend to promote his newest album Lonely Ones. Colton’s efforts on his latest release are a result of working hard to push himself as an artist and collaborate with trusted friends and musicians.

Catch the DC-area installment of the Lonely Hearts Tour at Jammin’ Java this Sunday, February 23.

With the release of Lonely Ones and the tour you’re currently on, what can you tell us about your artistic reinvention and how would you describe the catalyst that encouraged you to get outside of your comfort zone?

I wouldn’t say it’s a reinvention but more of a snapshot of who I am and where I am now. My life looks and feels totally different than a few years ago and I hope it means I’ve grown a lot. I put my creative trust in my friends in Oklahoma and for the first time didn’t travel to Nashville, LA, or NY to ‘make music.’ These are some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever worked with and all of them know where I’ve come from but wanted to push me into a new space. Continue reading

Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: We Are Proud To Present…

We Are Proud To Present Woolly MammothAndreu Honeycutt, Dawn Ursula, Joe Isenberg, Holly Twyford. Photo courtesy of Stan Barouh.

The experience of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company‘s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 starts as soon as you walk onstage. Yes, onstage. In another effort to explore integrating the audience further into the experience of Woolly’s 34th season (earlier in the season Woolly split the house in half for productions of Detroit), audience members are ushered into the house through the backstage. Drinks are served in the wings and there is a set of risers where patrons can enjoy the show from the back of the stage looking into the house. The new seating configuration for We Are Proud to Present… is very much theater-in-the-round. Placing the audience all around the actors also makes sense for a show where the actors are going back-and-forth between acting in a show and revealing the process of putting on the show. It’s a level of meta-physical that is beyond simple Frank Underwood-like asides.

Jackie Sibblies Drury’s piece isn’t really about the African history lesson described in the title but rather the process of telling that story, and how even true stories can be influenced by the people who tell them. It is within that process that We Are Proud to Present… finds both its most comedic and strikingly powerful moments.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Morrissey @ Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 6/10/14

IMP_Morrissey_Art_V2Late last year, Morrissey published his best-selling Autobiography. The book is full of witty recollections of various experiences in the life of the British crooner, and many of the details dwell on various grievances as the man strikes back against those who have crossed him at various points in his life.

But the book largely has a happy ending. He spends dozens of pages describing the euphoria of his performances in recent years, and how crowds have embraced him and his music from Sweden to Mexico. Morrissey wraps it all up in a cheery giddiness of sorts, reflecting his attitude that the only time he truly feels alive is when he is on the stage.

Fresh off publishing that book and recording a new album in France, Morrissey is set to return to the stage this year, coming to visit Baltimore, Md., at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Tuesday, June 10. Alas, the Mancunian turned Angeleno booked no date in the fair city of D.C., but I.M.P. Productions, owners of the 9:30 Club, are handling promotional duties for the show at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Not much is known about Morrissey’s new album as of yet, but he just released a cover of “Satellite of Love” in honor of one of his heroes Lou Reed, who passed away last year. So perhaps we can expect to hear that, along with several select selections from the new album and his time in The Smiths as well as another dozen or more from across his career.

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Feb. 21, at noon. A presale distributed by the 9:30 Club, however, starts today at 10am, so those in the know may buy a ticket earlier. Either way, portents suggest this will be a good year for Moz, so put on your thinking cap, dive into your love for old movies, and make a push and a rush to make those tickets yours!

w/ Kristeen Young
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Baltimore, Md.
Tuesday, June 10
Doors @7pm
All ages

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

High Dynamic Range, or HDR, photography has been around for a long time but it’s still a bone of contention for many photographers. It started with photographers using multiple negatives to create a more evenly exposed final product, moved on to dodging and burning black and white prints in the darkroom, followed by more advanced color film that was able to capture a greater tonal range, and most recently through multiple exposures and digital editing with computer software. At this point many cameras, of the point and shoot, DSLR, and cell phone variety, have the ability to capture HDR in-camera. This takes it from something only a skilled few can do to something anyone with a knowledge of how to push the right buttons on their equipment can take advantage of.

Whereas most photographs are only able to capture the available light, or lack thereof, HDR allows for a more accurate representation of the overall light intensity of a scene. This is where things tend to get touchy as people argue the merits of being able to capture so much data in a photograph. Despite the fact that the human eye is able to pick up a huge range of light and color many find photographs representing that same thing unappealing. Is it because we’re used to the way photographs are “supposed” to look? Or is it the way that some of these HDR shots are processed, in that they can sometimes look too real and almost stylized — more like a painting or digital rendering than reality? (Discuss.)

Whatever your feelings I think we can all agree that the above photo of the Capitol Dome at sunset by Angela Pan is a wonderful representation of the scene and how HDR can be done well. The colors of the sunset are bright and saturated but not garish while the dome itself looks subtly lit as if by a giant reflector. The lines are crisp and the details are gorgeous. The warm glow coming through the windows draws your attention and you notice the Stars and Stripes drifting in the breeze. Would you know this was an HDR photograph if Ms. Pan didn’t indicate as such in the tags? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s what so great about it — you’re not focusing on the technique she used to capture the image but the image itself. Isn’t that the whole point? Great job, Angela.

Get Out & About, Interviews, People, Special Events, The Features

Speeding Through the Appalachians With Jennifer Pharr Davis

Every year, hundreds of hikers attempt to traverse the 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine. The typical journey takes at least four months. In 2011, long-distance hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis accomplished it in a little over 46 days. She became the trail’s overall speed record holder and the first woman to do so.

Thursday evening, Davis visits the National Geographic Museum to share her story about this incredible achievement. National Geographic is giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky WeLoveDC reader for the event. (See the end of the article for instructions on how to enter.) Davis sat down with WeLoveDC to talk about her accomplishment and time on the trail.

What inspired you to attempt the fastest hike of the Trail?

I had hiked the trail twice before, once in 2005 as a traditional thru-hike taking 4 months, and again in 2008 where I tried to set a new women’s record. I did that, hiking the trail in 58 days and averaging 38 miles per day. But coming off Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia where I finished my hike, I knew instantly that I had a lot left in the tank and that I hadn’t pushed myself to the max. So I immediately starting contemplating the possibility of doing it faster and of possibly trying to break the overall record of 47 days.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Cut Copy @ Echostage, 3/20/14

PrintAs a way to say thanks to our loyal readers, We Love DC will be giving away a pair of tickets to a concert sponsored by or held at the 9:30 Club to one lucky reader periodically. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to find out what tickets we’re giving away, and leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!

Today, we are giving away a pair of tickets to see Cut Copy at Echostage on Thursday, March 20.

This Australian quartet became fast indie favorites after their first album, Bright Like Neon Love, and continue to win praise with their fourth and latest album, Free Your Mind, which was released in November. With their latest songs, the new wavers have become even more chilled out, but they still remain all about making catchy dance music. To my mind, Dan Whitford built upon the perfect formula when he combined his synths with Ben Browning’s bass in particular as well as guitars from Tim Hoey and drums from Mitchell Scott. While I’ve always felt while they owe a debt to New Order, they are by no means imitations, and they are well worth catching live on their latest tour.

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 9am and 4pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but I encourage you to share your favorite song by Cut Copy, because I think they are great! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketmaster.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the Echostage Guest List window one hour before doors open on the night of the concert. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must have a parent’s permission to enter if he/she is under 18 years old.

Cut Copy
Thursday, March 20
doors @7pm
All ages

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: Sep 14 – 17

Well, maybe the 17th. Depends on your employer. I’ll be slaving away in the code mines but a bunch of you who follow the federal schedule will be relaxing. Mentally it’ll still be the weekend for me, though (just kidding, boss!).

Patrick: I kicked off my weekend with a little Africa on V-Day. I’ll be reviewing We Are Proud To Present A Presentation About The Herero Of Namibia, Formerly Known As South-West Africa, From The German Sudwestafrika, Between The Years 1884-1915 over at Woolly Mammoth, aka THE LONGEST PLAY TITLE I HAVE EVER SEEN. I attended the show with that girl you see around DC that wears Google Glass. Sunday I will be checking out another show, Yellow Face over at Theatre J. A fitting show given that I reviewed Miss Saigon earlier this season. After the show I’ll be speaking on a post-show talk-back panel, so of course I have to encourage everyone to come out on Sunday, see the show and listen to me talk about affairs from my perspective!

Fedward: We’re babysitting Niecelets this week, so our weekend started early because of their snow day. We headed off … to our own kitchen for Valentine’s Day dinner, with pacific Salmon and some Righteous Cheese. Saturday we’ll take in a screen valentine at the AFI Silver, in the DC-set The More the Merrier – or maybe we’ll just stay home and watch the Olympic-themed rom com The Cutting Edge, since everybody else is doing it (“toe pick!”). Saturday night we’ll be at the Passenger for the Catoctin Creek 5-year anniversary party (and the official launch of the Passenger’s own rye). Sunday, if the Winter Olympics are happening, it must be time for a Potomac Curling Club open house and a return to glory for the We Love DC curling team. Monday we’ll nurse our bruises and wish a fond farewell to Dino in Cleveland Park (and start the countdown to Dino’s Grotto in Shaw).

Tom: With DC going from Winter Wonderland to Springtime over the next week, it’s time to get ready for gardening season. I’ll be hauling my sorry self down to Frager’s to get the needed tools to get my garden ready, as well as a bunch of garden soil, and some of DC’s finest free compost to do some amending of my current garden and loading up some pots. Then it’s off to The Coffee Bar to page through seed catalogs and dream of springtime. Next week, we’ll be brewing some beer for work, so there’s a decent shot I’ll be over at Right Proper Brewing Company  to get some inspiration ahead of our fermentation.

small hanging out in the dog crate

Don: Since my Darling Wife and I had our first date within a few weeks ahead of valentine’s day we always just celebrate it instead; the restaurants are less crowded. Which is just as well, as That Darned Toddler had us so exhausted that we were sacked out before nine. The rest of the weekend will be – we hope – the last of the confined-to-home crappy weather activities and we started out with the boy’s first blanket fort. It was a no-surprise hit, as we figured any kid who likes to sit in the dog crate would also enjoy a little pillow enclosure.

Week in Review

Week in Review: 2/10-2/13

Happy Valentine’s Day We Love DCers! And for those who don’t celebrate this greeting-card-industry-created-holiday, Happy Friday! If you hadn’t noticed we got some more white stuff recently. Winter is not ready to let go just yet I guess. Our Flickr pool was full of snow-related photos this morning and it’s clear that a lot of people took advantage of their random day off to get outside and have some fun. You’re never too old to enjoy a good snow day. Here’s the Week in Review: Continue reading