Adventures, Education, Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, The District, Throwback Thursday

We Love Throwback Thursday: 04/24/14

3c02388r-1This week’s throwback photo illustrates that even tall people (6′+) can get the short end of the stick. Before 1925 men 6′+ couldn’t join the President’s police force, but eventually were allowed to protect our POTUS despite their “giant-ness.”

With the great weekend weather, let’s get you out of your neighborhood rut and exploring the neighborhoods you’ve heard of but for some particular reason haven’t made it to. And bless WeLoveDC alum, Shannon, for doing the hard work for you with her Where We Live series.

  1. Did you know Takoma Park got its start back in 1883 as a commuter rail suburb of Washington? Me neither! There’s so much more to this awesome, quaint hood. So hop on metro and check it out in Where We Live: Takoma Park.
  2. Step back in the past and see how U Street has changed since Shannon profiled it back in 2010. Where We Live: U Street Definitely worth reading before you
  3. In my weekly Sunday jaunts to the Palisades Farmers market I have some to love the neighborhood, and you’ll understand why with Where We Live: The Palisades.
  4. If you think U Street has changed, then check Where We Live: H Street from 2009 for a complete blast from the past on this transformed DC neighborhood.
  5. Generally speaking, I try to avoid the West End because, cough college students, but it’s rich with history, intrigue and non-college shenanigan awesomeness, Where We Live: West End.
Adventures, Essential DC, Georgetown, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital

11th Annual Georgetown French Market

If you’re looking to play hooky Friday or for an outside activity Saturday, then look no further then Georgetown’s 11th Annual French Market, which brings bits of Paris to Georgetown’s Book Hill neighborhood and runs Friday and Saturday, April 25th & 26th, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For two days, this small strip of Wisconsin Avenue offers a quaint, wonderful stroll full of fashion finds, French fare, home and antique shops, as well as the opportunity to explore the art galleries and listen to live music.

The neighborhood’s delicious restaurants, in particular Patisserie Poupon, Cafe Bonaparte and PAUL Bakery, will be on hand with butter-based pastries, sandwiches, crepes and more. Macaron Bee will be offering complimentary teacakes with any purchase, while wine lovers can score 15% of all wine and enjoy wine tastings at Bacchus Wine Cellar.

There are also some serious shopping discounts to be had from DC boutiques like Dandelion Patch, Ella RueSherman Pickey and Urban Chic. If you’ve got weddings, showers or races coming up, then this is a great opportunity to score that frock you’ve been hunting for. Personally, I’m looking forward to the awesome fresh flowers from the English Rose Garden, as I’ve decided having flowers around my apartment makes me happy.

While this is not a large street fare, it’s a sweet, spring-filled, happy event definitely worth adding to your weekend itinerary.

Adventures, Education, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, The District, Throwback Thursday

We Love Future Friday: 04/11/14

New Bus Rapid Transit proposal from 2010
Yeah so this week’s Throwback Thursday got a tad hindered by me deciding to take the entire day off to enjoy yesterday’s GLORIOUS-ness. I mean who could resist the temperature, the sun, the light breeze, the blossoms, the flowers, the birds…..I could go on and on, but you know exactly what I’m talking about. To remedy the situation I’ve come up with 5 posts that can seriously help shape the future of your DC weekend.

In that spirit, it’s been real hard to find a futuristic photo of DC that doesn’t have the Capitol exploding or zombies running down Pennsylvania Avenue tearing out entrails, so I ran with a vision of DC-VA-MD rapid bus transit routes. This proposal, from WAY back (cough 2010), would have buses “act somewhat like rail in that vehicles would make few stops and run between them fairly quickly. It would most resemble the Metro lines that are currently on or near freeways, since these stations would be close to the freeway and therefore more like park and ride lots with potential for development rather than serving commercial corridors as underground Metro lines do.” Alas, I don’t see this happening, but it does propose a pretty awesome hypothetical DC transit system. Silver line, why hast thou forsaken us?!!!!

Without further adieu, here are 5 articles that should shape your future DC plans – be they not already be predetermined….think on that peoples and Neil deGrasse Tyson!

  1. IMHO the concert of the weekend is The Sounds at the 9:30 Club, and Mickey tells you why in his recent Love Letter To The Sounds.
  2. The weekend is gonna be packed with tourist and have beautiful weather, so here’s our reco on where to escape to in Getaway: Sherpardstown, WV
  3. With spring comes new, of-the-season alcoholic beverages and Aaron’s throws down some ideas for you with Top Drink Picks for Spring.
  4. Get off the tourist beaten path with a hidden DC springtime gem that has serious history. Monumental: White House Rose Garden.
  5. This evening I literally heard another person lament the height limit in DC, so knowing that this will inevitably come up…again….and again….and again…..get your facts straight with DC Mythbusting: The Height Limit. This way you can speak eloquently the next zillion times someones brings it up.
Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, The District

2014 DC March Madness Champion: Capital Weather Gang

2014 DC March Madness Champions
Congratulations to you, Capital Weather Gang, you DC weather of weather people, you forecasters among meteorological forecasters, you are the WeLoveDC 2014 DC March Madness Champions.

In your first round versus the Swachos at American Ice, you showed poise, control and desire. Your Elite Eight game proved a tough and combative match against the #1 seed DC Music Scene and despite the haters and naysayers you pulled off the upset. Which didn’t give you much time to rest up and strategize for your match up against the much loved Half Smoke at Ben’s. But despite its chili cheese goodness, this hot dog could not hold off your appetite for winning. In fact, it probably fueled your fire, as you entered the Championship match against the National Gallery of Art. Who would have known you’d curbstomp those paintings and sculptures, but you did, and you did it with the utmost respect for the Fine Arts.

So congratulations again and the 2015 season begins today.

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Get Out & About, History, Life in the Capital, The District, Throwback Thursday

We Love Throwback Thursdays: 04/03/14

Washington Navy Yard circa 1950

With the groundbreaking of The Wharf, this week’s We Love Throwback Thursday takes a gander back at this rapidly developing Southwest corner of DC. The above photo captures Navy Yard as it existed circa 1950, and looking at the Google, things really haven’t change much from the exterior which, as a fan of refurbished buildings, I’m digging. If you haven’t been down to Navy Yard recently, definitely get there, as a ton is going on.

  1. Get the history behind this neighborhood, learn about its character and see how it’s changed since Shannon covered it back in 2009 with We Where Live: Southwest Waterfront.
  2. Exposed DC is up and running until April 6th at the Longview Gallery. Tom has the details in We Love Arts: Exposed DC Opens Tonight.
  3. Yards Park is on the top of Katie’s Best Picnic Spots in DC. Check that spot and others out for weekend picnic plans.
  4. Been to Bluejacket Brewery? Get to know their Beer Director in Fashion Plate: Greg Engert of Neighborhood Restaurant Group.
  5. Break your gym rut, challenge your core and cure your fear of heights with Trapeze School in DC: What More Can I Say?

Adventures, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, The District, Throwback Thursday

We Love Throwback Thursday: 03/27/14

Pennsylvania Ave. with snow (estimated: 1913-18)

Whoever said DC hardly gets snow needs to take a long look at the Library of Congress archives because there seem to be plenty of photos, like the above shot of Pennsylvania Avenue dated somewhere between 1913-18, showing the white stuff all over our fair city. And I’m not gonna lie, they look to be handling the snow a tad bit better than we do currently. With this photo’s snow a distant memory and I’m hoping it puts some distance between us and the cold weather and, in that vein, this week’s reincarnated posts focus on moving into spring.

  1. You know that know-it-all guy who swears DC was built on a swamp? Yeh, well, he’s wrong. DC Mythbusting: Built On A Swamp?
  2. It’s time (hopefully) to get your gardens ready for the season, so soak up some super useful tips from Meredith Shepard of Love & Carrots.
  3. Maps! Maps! Maps!  We’ve amassed a great collection of DC maps that will be useful for navigation and for decorating your walls.
  4. Ok, we complain about tourists, but deep down we truly love them (cough) and want them to love our city, so pass on DC Mythbusting: Tourist Tips and be sure they have a good time.
  5. If we’re gonna rip on tourists, then we’ve got to rip on ourselves and our Breakdown of the “Sh*t DC Says Video” does just that. You have to laugh at yourself sometimes.
Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Special Events, The District

DC’s 2014 Sweet Sixteen – Cast Your Vote

WeLoveDC_SweetSixteen_2014
In the spirit of March Madness, we’ve decided to create our own Sweet Sixteen bracket to find out who (or what) you think should be DC’s 2014 champion. Culled from a rather large author submitted list, these sixteen contestants represent the heart and soul (and headslaps) of our fair city. We’ve randomly paired them up in eight killer match ups where you get to decide who makes it to the Elite Eight. Voting goes until tomorrow night (the 27th at 12am) with the next round opening up on the 28th.

#1 The DC Music Scene: The 9:30 Club, Black Cat (mainstage and red room), DC9, Rock N’ Hotel, U Street Music Hall, Gypsy Sally’s, Patty Boom Boom, Echo Stage, Flash, DAR, The Hamilton….I could and should go on but there are just WAY too many awesome DC music venues to list. You want an intimate show? You got it. You want a sell out ~20,000 person experience? Done. You want to get your dancing sweat on in a darkish, light parade? Boom! And it’s not just that they’re great places to see music, it’s that they bring in an utterly fantastic array of acts. On any given night, there are nationally known groups, up-and-comers, awesome cover bands and true indie artists showing us their stuff. What. To. Choose?!!!! Did I mention that the venues have awesome food and drink, and that they’re staff are some of the coolest people in DC?

VS.

#16 Swachos at American Ice CompanyThe concept is a simple one, but it’s the execution that makes this salty bar favorite into something that I crave. The house-made queso is rich but not too thick, the jalapeños are spicy, but not overwhelming, and the house pickle brine they’re steeped in has just the right balance of sugar and vinegar to bring out their playful flavor. And then the pork. Oh the pork. The shredded pork is the king’s crown atop this marvelous plate. Wash it down with a DC Brau Citizen and a Bulleit Rye pickleback, and you have my favorite bar meal in the entirety of the city on a warm spring day on their patio. This is a reminder that simple can be good all on its own, when executed with diligence and care.

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Adventures, Education, Essential DC, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, The District, The Mall, Throwback Thursday

We Love Throwback Thursday: 03/20/14

Senate Majority Leader crowns Cherry Blossom Queen.

courtesy of the Library of Congress

In honor of the first day of the 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival, I’ve pulled the above photo from 1939 of then Senate Majority Leader Alben W. Barkley placing festival the crown on the head of Peggy Townsend, Cherry Blossom Queen. Super retro. Super cool. Ah, the good old days. Now let’s reach back to this week in bygone WeLoveDC years to surface five oldie, but goodie articles that will make your week sing.

  1. Get edumacated on the history behind the cherry blossoms with Monumental: Cherry Blossoms 
  2. Learn how Katie (a non-runner) learned to love it by training for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. On Running and Falling In Love. 
  3. Psst…the Tidal Basin isn’t the only spot for cherry blossom viewing. The Insider’s Guide: Cherry Blossom Bliss. 
  4. Farmer’s markets are about to explode with produce and fare as we emerge from winter. Here’s your to-go guide: We Love Food: Farmer’s Market Tips
  5. There’s just something right about spring and poetry. Check out Acacia’s serenade to DC with “I Love DC: An Ode”
Adventures, Entertainment, Food and Drink, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The District

We <3 Snow Days (Part 2): Solid Places To Hunker Down

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 2.40.12 PM

Got cabin fever already? Wow…jeez….yeah…..us too. Here are a few spots to escape to – that is if you can make it there safely. Yes, all listed below are open. I checked. If you’ve got other recos, post ‘em in the comments section or reach out to me @digibec

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Adventures, Fun & Games, Get Out & About, The Daily Feed

We <3 Snow Days (Part 1): How DCers Should Prep For Snow

The snow has begun to fall. Here are some suggestions on how you should prep in the next coming hours.

1. If you have a fireplace, then buy as many Crankleflame logs as possible.

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Adventures, Interviews, People, The Features

My DC in 2013: Ben

In a few short hours, 2013 will end and another year in this city begins.

When Jenn asked me to pen this story a few weeks ago, I wasn’t exactly sure how to approach it. I considered a monthly perspective, then a “best of” format. Perhaps a look at a list of the site’s best offerings from our talented writing pool? Or maybe a review in photos (and steal Mosley’s thunder)?

In the end, I figured I’d do what I do best: sit down, put fingers to keyboard, and reflect. Because in the end, this was a year of reflection for me. I’m not even sure this collection of rambling will make sense to most, but it’s better than nothing, right?

Don’t get me wrong; this was a good year for me overall, if you look at the positives overwhelming the negatives. But looming large over me for a good part of the year has been that of a directional “where do I go now?” struggle that is beginning to resolve as 2014 dawns. Continue reading

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Technology, The District

DC Fall Foliage Gets Digitized & Meaningful


If you’re like me, you’re in love with infographics because they take spreadsheets, lists, tables and large amounts of data and make them meaningful, useful and sometimes – when done right – beautiful. Case and point are two interactive infographics created by Casey Trees that are a leaf peepers dream.

The first infographic, which for me is the more useful of the two, suggests DC routes leaf peepers should take for maximum fall color viewing. On hover over, users are given the route’s length, walk or drive recommendations, number of colored trees along the route, types of trees along the route and expected level of color users will see.Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 10.36.32 AM

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Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, Night Life, The District

Hot Ticket: White Denim @ Rock N Roll Hotel 10/18/13

YouTube Preview Image

I’m straight off the plane from Austin City Limits, where I had planned on catching White Denim on Day 3. Unfortunately, Day 3 was cancelled due to severe flooding and thunderstorms, which was a total bummer, but totally understandable. Fortunately, White Denim is playing this Friday at Rock N Roll Hotel, but you better act fast because tickets to see this awesome American rock band are limited.

White Denim, an Austin grown group, has put out a handful of records since they formed in 2005  with the upcoming Corsicana Lemonade to be released later this month. The group’s tracks are heavily based within the Southern rock genre with prominent percussion and bass riffs and vocal male harmonies. In my opinion the group gives off a Dire Straits and Eagles vibe but with updated, modern influences and signatures.

This show will definitely be a good start to a chill Fall weekend.

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Night Life, Special Events

The 2013 Fashion for Paws Runway Show

Photo credit: Moshe Zusman

 

Cute critters, cupcakes, celebs and clothes, oh my! If you’re looking for something spectacular to do this weekend, then The 2013 Fashion For Paws runway show this Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the National Building Museum is your ticket.

E! News Now anchor and E! News correspondent Ashlan Gorse returns to host over 1,700 guests for a four hour open bar and runaway show to support the Washington Humane Society. Which, by-the-way, is where I got my adorbs orange tabby Archie.

At this year’s event, Congressmen Jim Moran (D-Virginia) and John Campbell (R-California) will be honored with the 2013 Humane Hero Award, which recognizes individuals in media, politics and entertainment who have displayed a passion for animal welfare.

So whether you’re an animal <3er or a fashion enthusiast, get your ticket now!!!

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed

Crashing Panels And Taking Names

Photo courtesy of Dan Dan The Binary Man
TGIF! From Me & Orion :)
courtesy of Dan Dan The Binary Man

This Friday just got even better since a friend of mine showed me “The Panel Crasher.”  The two day old blog documents the exploits of a former Hill staffer/Non-profit associate turned unemployed sequestration victim with a ton of time and no funds as he crashes Think Tank/Hill events, eats their food, pays no attention to their discussions and then makes fun of them on his blog.  There have only been two entries to date, but they feature a problem intern girl, Michael Jordan fashion, a Luke Perry reference and tons of other hilarity.

Adventures, Entertainment, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Penn Quarter, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The District

Start Halloween Early With “A Spooky Adventure” at 901 Restaurant

If you’re looking to make your Halloween costume go beyond the 31st, then Penn Quarter’s 901 Restaurant is your place to make that happen, because this Wednesday, October 17th at 9pm, they’ll be hosting a sultry Halloween soiree with trick-o-treat inspired sips.

Show up in your Halloween-inspired attire and you’ll get a complimentary drink ticket for either a Bloody Bang, a mixture of Emperor Imperial, homemade raspberry puree and champagne, served up on the rocks topped with fresh raspberries and a lemon peel, or a Midnight Aura, a savory mix of Belvedere, lemon, home spiced Asian pear puree, ginger and lemon bitters served in a martini glass.

Tunes will be provided by DJ Steve Starks of Nouveau Riche and 901′s marble tabletops, lounge couches, veiled curtains and candle lit ambiance should make for the ideal setting to get in the Halloween mood.

 

Adventures, Entertainment, Fun & Games, Special Events, The Features

Murder, BBQ, and a Creepy Hospital…and You’re Invited!

Photo courtesy of Tony DeFilippo
Old Naval Hospital – 1
courtesy of Tony DeFilippo

Labyrinth Games & Puzzles shop is doing another mystery party. “The Mystery of Aorta Springs” unfolds on Sunday, October 21 from 5 to 8 pm at the Old Naval Hospital in Southeast DC.

“Lately the town of Aorta Springs, Maryland has been plagued with terrifying trouble. But the crazy rants of a few townsfolk about ‘real’ vampires aren’t stopping Buffy Chaste, the homecoming queen, from celebrating her Halloween birthday! She’s invited you to celebrate with her at a fabulous BBQ at the home of her boyfriend, the reclusive rock superstar Killian Killagan.”

Kathleen Donahue, owner and proprietor of Labyrinth, says the party “is like a live-action Clue mixed with vampire rock and light horror.” When you purchase your tickets, you’ll be given a character role so players can prepare and dress appropriately. During the event, players will receive clues to share and are encouraged to work with other party-goers to solve the mystery. Prizes will be given for Best Costume and Best Mystery Solver. Food will be served, courtesy Inspire BBQ.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Labryinth Games at 202.544.1059. If you mention you saw this article here on WeLoveDC, they’ll even knock $5 off the ticket price of $45! Don’t wait too long; the last mystery party Labyrinth hosted completely sold out.

Adventures, Entertainment, Food and Drink, Life in the Capital, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Happy Hour + Food Trucks @ Capitale

Last Friday I swung by Capitale, located in the former K Street Lounge location, to check out their weekly food truck-nightclub partnership happy hour. Here’s how it works: Every week two different food trucks will park in the club’s valet parking space and will be there to serve only Capitale patrons –  this week it was Basilthyme and Popped Republic. Patrons will be able to grab food from the trucks, bring it inside the club, pair it with beer, cocktails, etc. and experience the club’s eccentric decor.

As for Capitale, I have to admit that I found the decor very perplexing.  The entire place looks and feels like a theatrical setting with fake columns, bookshelves, official seals, chandeliers, books, statues, etc. I’d put the experience on par with going on Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride and I definitely kept expecting the Phantom of the Opera to creep out from around a corner. Regardless, it’s a very comfortable scene with solid drink offerings which when paired with food trucks makes it a one-of-a-kind  happy hour offering.

 

Adventures, Cherry Blossom Festival, Downtown, Special Events, The Features

Celebrating 100 Years of Blossoms

Photo courtesy of katieharbath
Cherry Blossoms
courtesy of katieharbath
It’s cherry blossom time! This year is the Centennial anniversary of Japan’s gifting of the cherry trees to the U.S. and the National Cherry Blossom Festival has planned a whopping five weeks of events to celebrate. While the festival officially kicks off this coming Sunday, some events are already unfolding this week – not to mention we’re smack in the middle of the peak bloom time of the trees.

We’ll provide you a weekly listing of events here on WeLoveDC so you can keep up with all the fantastic offerings. There’s so much going on for the Centennial that we can promise there’s something for everyone! (And don’t forget to drop your photos into our Flickr pool!)

Tonight is the sold-out 2012 Pink Tie Party at the Mayflower Renaissance. Chefs José Andrés and Roy Yamaguchi, innovators in the culinary community, will host the evening, exemplifying the international collaboration and creativity at the heart of the Festival. The sixth annual fundraiser and kick-off to the Centennial Celebration and the “season of the blossoms” will feature area chefs’ spring-, cherry- and blossom-inspired cuisine and cocktails. An auction contributes to the Festival’s fundraising efforts offering everything from weekend getaways and yacht charters to concert, sporting, dining, and theater experiences and blossom- and Japanese-themed jewelry and apparel. Continue reading

Adventures, Downtown, Special Events, The Features, The Hill, We Love Arts

Come for the Murder, Stay for the Masquerade

This Sunday, Labyrinth Games is bring some Louisiana charm liberally mixed with a masquerade, murder, and mystery to the DC area. Kathleen Donahue, the store’s owner, is throwing the doors open to area residents and inviting everyone to join in the fun of a good old-fashioned murder mystery party. The event is this Sunday at The Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital in Southeast from 5 to 8 pm. Just make sure you have a ticket to get in!

“This will be a mix & mingle event with all attendees receiving minor character roles and clues to share with other attendees,” said Donahue. “It will be like live-action Clue! Festival carnival garb (and Mardi Gras masks) are encouraged but not required.” Several area actors will play the roles of the major characters for the evening; just because they’re major doesn’t mean they’re not exempt from being a suspect, either. Continue reading