Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Tabard Inn

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

There are two types of people in D.C.: those who go to Tabard Inn every chance they get, and those that have never been. I have a friend that even uses it as his go-to first date location. And though I like to knock his dating style at any possible point, he really is on to something with this one. It’s casual yet classy, and has that hidden gem feel. Boys, take note. It’s like giving a girl a puppy – she literally won’t be able to resist you.

And calling it a hidden gem is really the best way to describe this particular restaurant. It’s technically located just off Dupont Circle, but isn’t exactly on a high traffic street. And to get to the restaurant you have to wander through the lobby of the hotel, which has a distinct bed and breakfast in rural Maine feel to it. It doesn’t exactly scream high class restaurant. And the restaurant isn’t exactly clearly marked – once through the lobby you hang a left at the stairs, walk through the lounge and head to the hostess podium just outside the bar. She will lead you through the bar and then all the sudden the dining room opens up and it’s like being in some classy lady’s very large kitchen full of some very fun friends.

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Dupont Circle, Essential DC, Food and Drink, Night Life, Special Events, The Features, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: Beer Week

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

DC Beer week is upon us and beer lovers are presented with a plethora of excellent events to attend.  While nearly every single one is appealing, you’re only one person and can only attend so many.  Hence, I’ve created a handy guide to help you choose what to do and where to go. My guide  is by no means exhaustive and I’d encourage you to check out the full list of events before you decide where to go.  There are some really great options, and all that really matters is that you go to at least one of them. But, should you choose to heed my advice, I’ve got three rules to make this Beer Week perfect: attend a beer dinner, find the values, sample the rare goods. I’ve selected a few events to coincide with each rule to help you decide what to attend.

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Adventures, All Politics is Local, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The District, The Hill, The Mall

DDOT Unveils Historic DC Photos

Photo courtesy of
‘MacArthur Marquee’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

After years of scouring, the DDOT historians have posted some fantastic photos of our beloved city from the 1940s thru the 1960s to their Flickr account. The set features cityscapes from all over the district, including an awesome shot from an open air parking lot on H Street NE, a Harlem-esque looking F & 13th Street, and Tenley Circle with streetcar tracks.

My favorite pic is the shot of Rosslyn looking over the Key Bridge to DC taken in 1945.  It’s amazing to think of the now skyscraper filled neighborhood as only having two and three storied buildings. Some may remember one of last remaining relics of that era, Tom Sarris Orleans House, which tragically closed in 2008. That place was definitely a DC insiders go to.

Adventures, Alexandria, Arlington, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Entertainment, Foggy Bottom, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Music, Night Life, Penn Quarter, Petworth, The Great Outdoors, The Hill, The Mall, We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: July 24-25

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Rachel: Well, I’m fresh off a stint in Nashville to audition for American Idol. It didn’t go my way but I learned a lot and am ready to rock out harder than ever before after being “cut” from the program before ever seeing any air-time. I’ve got a gig booked for Saturday night at the Tonic Lounge (located at 2036 G Street NW, near the Foggy Bottom Metro). I’m not the only entertainment on tap, several artists from the DC area will take the stage too. So grab a drink at the bar, stay for the tunes, and if you’re a Glee fan I guarantee a solid new cover added to my repertoire from the second half of last season’s show. Not gonna tell you what it is, you’ll have to stop by to hear it. Show starts at 8 p.m. with a $5 cover. I’ll also have albums on sale with proceeds going to the National Kidney Foundation in honor of my late father who received a heart transplant in 1999. Hope to see you there! It should be a rockin’ good time.

Patrick: Weeks of no social life ends this weekend. Noises Off! opens this Saturday at Keegan Theatre in Dupont Circle. As the stage manager I’ll be in the booth playing the role of incompetent sound technician #1. No seriously, come see the show and watch the actors freak out at me during Act III. The show will run through August so I hope to see everybody there eventually. While I’m running the show I’ll also be trying to figure out where to eat and drink before and after performances- anybody have any suggestions for places I should check out around 17th Street?

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Dupont Circle, Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, People

We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘ep_jhu’

When DC’s first Pride event took place in 1975, there was no AIDS. There was no same-sex marriage. Rocks were thrown at windows of gay businesses. There were no laws protecting LGBT individuals in the workplace. My, how much has changed. As rights have been won and acceptance has grown, the District’s LGBT community has flourished and thrived, as this year’s blockbuster Pride celebration reflected. As the photos here document Capital Pride 2010, which ended yesterday, here’s a look back on 35 years of celebration, change and progress. Continue reading

Dupont Circle, The Daily Feed

Dupont Circle Street Named After Dr. Frank Kameny

Dr. Frank Kameny

Mayor Adrian Fenty has been exercising his power to rename DC streets like no mayor has done before, today dedicating the intersection of 17th & R street NW to Dr. Frank Kameny.

Many people consider Dr. Kameny to be the grandfather of the gay rights movement.  In 1957, a time when being gay was definitely not socially accepted, he was fired from his job as an astronomer at the Army Map Service for his homosexuality.  While many people would have accepted it as truth, as the way the world worked, Kameny chose to fight.  In what was the first civil rights claim based on sexual orientation, he argued his case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court who unfortunately denied his petition.  In 1965 he organized a demonstration in front of the White House, and many of his original picket signs now reside in the Smithsonian Institution (he had one with him today).  In 2006 the Library of Congress acquired his documents that describe his life as a leader in the gay rights movement.  In 2009 his home here in Washington was designated as a DC Historic Landmark.  Also in 2009, in a gesture that makes me smile, the U.S. government formally apologized to Kameny via the Director of the Office of Personnel Management who himself is openly gay.

Times have changed since 1957, largely in part to the courage and dedication of Dr. Kameny.  As the center of DC’s gay community, Dupont Circle is proud to have a street named after him as a reminder of all that he has done to push equal rights for all.

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Dupont Circle, The Daily Feed

Dupont Benches Get Facelift

In 1993, the National Park Service took over maintenance of Dupont Circle which is news to me.  As I strolled through the circle this morning I noticed that they were replacing a section of the circular benches that are often the subject of local area photographers.  I stopped to talk to the workers for a while who were at first skeptical when I asked them to take some pictures, but by the end of our talk they said, “Feel free to come back and take more pictures if you want.”

After a few years of exposure to the elements, the wood begins to rot which is when the NPS springs into action.  I often wondered how they got the wooden slats to bend into their arched form.  As you can see they start with one end of the board, anchor it to the concrete bench, and keep working their way down to the end, clamping it as they go.  They use fir wood due to its durability, which is key when a bunch of people are going to be sitting on it every day.

Thank you, National Park Service, for keeping Dupont Circle in tip top shape!

Dupont Circle, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, People, The District

Legends of DC: Diego D’Ambrosio

Jack Evans, Diego’s Wife, and Mayor Fenty by Max Cook

About five years ago, shortly after I moved to DC from Philadelphia, I was in search of a place to get a haircut as everyone does when they move to a new city.  Those of you who know me are aware that it doesn’t require a great deal of effort to cut my hair, just some electric clippers and a straight blade.  But as a kid, my dad and I went to the same barber for years, and despite not having as much hair as I did when I was eight years old, it’s a tradition that I still enjoy today.  As a resident of Dupont Circle, it didn’t take me long to stumble upon Diego’s Hair Salon at 19th & Q Street NW.  Little did I know that I’d stumbled upon one of DC’s legends.

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Dupont Circle, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: In Darfur

Erika Rose in Theater J's "In Darfur," photo credit: Stan Barouh.

“Plays like this make me so grateful I was born at the time and place I was,” my friend says as we exit Theater J Saturday night. We’d just seen In Darfur by Winter Miller, and as a Western woman who’d spent the day shopping for frivolities, I felt the cold twist of shame in my stomach. But this isn’t a preachy production. Its simplicity provides the horror, and it’s truthful. These things happen. We ignore them. Then we see a simulation of a woman’s legs being cracked apart like a wishbone, and our silence feels culpable.

This is a hard sell, no denying it, but I urge you to go see In Darfur, playing now through April 18. The play is inspired by Miller’s own trip to refugee camps along the Chad-Sudan border, in the company of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times. Strangely, its flaws have to do with that prism of experience, as the two Westerners who serve as our entre to this world – an American journalist and an Argentinian aid worker – are simply not as compelling as the Africans they encounter. But I still urge you to see it, for Erika Rose’s central performance as Darfuri refugee Hawa is absolutely riveting.

The action unfolds in 2004, the aftermath of the initial atrocities committed during the conflict between the Darfur rebel groups, the Sudanese government, and the government-armed militias known as Janjaweed. Hawa, a Darfuri Muslim, has lost her entire family and been brutally raped – she is then further brutalized for being raped. Pregnant and wounded, she becomes the central pawn in hardened journalist Maryka’s (Rahaleh Nassri) quest to get Darfur on the front page, blocked by aid worker Carlos (Lucas Beck) in an ethical battle over whether endangering Hawa’s life to get the story out is worth the price she’ll pay. Continue reading

Dupont Circle, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The District, The Great Outdoors, We Green DC

Clean-up Rock Creek Park

Photo courtesy of
‘Artistic Trash – Unheeded Words – 03-27-10’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Looking for a trashy way to spend your weekend? We’ve got a suggestion.

WeLoveDC is partnering with Trail Voice in two weeks (April 10th) to host a cleanup site in conjunction with the annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup event hosted by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Our cleanup site is at the P Street bridge over Rock Creek – about 4 blocks west of Dupont Circle. 

Register on Trail Voice’s site to volunteer your time.  We encourage you to participate in this event to help spruce up a well-used portion of our inner-city landscape.

The trash clean-up should last from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, but we’re teaming up with a few local vendors who have offered everything from morning yoga stretching to baked goods to help make this environmental sweep a little more fun.

Clean-up site is just west of Dupont Circle in Rock Creek Park from 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon on Saturday, April 10. There is no cost for you to participate. It is recommended that you bring your own work gloves, although some will be available on-site.

Dupont Circle, Fun & Games, News, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The Mall

International Pillow Fight Day

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

I guess that early spring is the time international activity days.  Last week we had Kite Day, which was awesome, and this week we have Pillow Fight Day, which will probably be more awesome, I recommend buy amazon pillows, are the best option for this event. If you struggle with getting your mind to shut off when you’re trying to get comfy and cozy under the sheets, hugging an amazon body pillow may be just what you need. Capitol Improv is organizing a massive gathering on the mall on Saturday to observe pillow fight day.  Thus far, over 1600 people have responded to the Facebook invite. The plan is to gather on the WWII Memorial side of the Washington Monument around noon, at which time a few Capitol Improv folks will engage in a shouting match that will quickly devolve into a pillow fight.  At this point, the general public is welcomed to join in.  After a little while, the fight will be moved to Dupont Circle, where it will continue until everyone gets tired of it.  I missed last years pillow fight which had over 400 participants.  I’m not making the same mistake this year.

Dupont Circle, Entertainment, Fun & Games, Media, People, The Daily Feed, WTF?!

RWDC Live Blog Resumes

Photo courtesy of
‘The Real World DC House’
courtesy of ‘alifayre’

Well, the Olympics are over and I have no excuse: the RWDC Live Blog will resume again, tonight.  Be here at 9:45 with a drink in hand to mock the strangeness of those real folks that drank and grinded (ground?) their way around or city this summer.  Is this voyeuristic? Yes.  Can I wait for it to end? No.

Dupont Circle, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Object as Subject


Eugen Wiškovský, "Šrouby (Bolts)" Gelatin silver print, printed c.1932. Courtesy of Kicken Berlin OHG, Berlin / Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC

I’ve never been a particular fan of still lifes. But The Phillips Collection’s current exhibit Object as Subject: Photographs of the Czech Avant-Garde might just change my mind. It’s a small showing, highlighting some thirty photographs from the 1920’s and ’30’s. Apparently Prague was second only to Paris as a major center of surrealism, and that movement’s influence is strong in the exhibit. Heavy on striking geometric shapes, these photographs provide mini-lessons in composition and light.

Not to mention, everything looks kind of like a crazy industrial album cover. I kept thinking – I really need to visit Prague someday!
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Dupont Circle, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Phillips After Five, Tonight

Man Ray's "Noir et Blanche" courtesy of The Phillips Collection

Man Ray's "Noir et Blanche" courtesy of The Phillips Collection

Theater meets art tonight at The Phillips Collection’s monthly Phillips After Five event, featuring preview scenes from Round House Theatre’s production of Permanent Collection.

In a timely intersection with the Phillips’ current Man Ray exhibit featuring his photographs of African artifacts (closing this wekend!), the play is about a museum director’s “racially charged battle” over an African sculptures exhibit. A discussion on the politics of museum display follows with director Timothy Douglas and Round House producing artistic director Blake Robison, joined by the Phillips’ director Dr. Dorothy Kosinski and exhibit curator Wendy Grossman. That’s an arts powerhouse lineup!

Allyn Johnson will be performing piano pieces by Henry Crowder (Man Ray’s friend) from 5-8pm, the Round House segment is at 6:30pm, and gallery talks on the Man Ray exhibit will be held at 6 and 7pm. The whole event runs from 5-8:30pm with cash bar and tickets are $12. Definitely a great way to say good-bye to the Man Ray exhibit.

Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Media, The Daily Feed, WTF?!

Real World DC Drinking Game!

Photo courtesy of
‘Drink Responsibly’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

And now, to make our Real World viewing experience more enjoyable, I present the RWDC drinking game that I promised last week.  I envision this game developing as the season goes on and we get to know the characters a bit better.  For now, though, I think that this should get us through the next episode.  And, since it’s Wednesday, it’s perfectly legitimate to interpret “drink” as “sip.” The rules are after the break. Enjoy!

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Dupont Circle, The Daily Feed

Free Reusable Tote Bags for your Lunch

Courtesy of the Golden Triangle BID

On the first day back at work since the new DC bag law went into effect, the Golden Triangle BID doesn’t want you to be caught by surprise when you go out to grab something to eat.

The Golden Triangle BID’s staff and Ambassadors are handing out 1,000 free resusable tote bags this month – starting at 12:30 p.m. today – to help DC workers save money and to support the District’s initiative.

Where can you get your free bag?

  • Dupont Circle south Metro entrance area
  • 19th Street between L and M Streets
  • Farragut West Metro entrance
Adams Morgan, Alexandria, Arlington, Dupont Circle, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, Penn Quarter, Petworth, The Features, WTF?!

Surviving the Next Snowpocalypse

Photo courtesy of
‘South Smithsonian Escalators’
courtesy of ‘william couch’

The DC area, this weekend, was something of a post-apocalyptic landscape. Driving down 395 on Saturday, one would have seen abandoned cars spun out at odd angles and their stranded drivers trudging towards some nameless help. Most residents stayed holed up in their homes, living off of the provisions they had dutifully stocked the day before. Basic commodities were impossible to come by and the majority of services simply shut down. As the snow storm abated, DC residents peered from their homes at the changed landscape, and painstakingly began the cleanup, trying to return to normality.

Ok, sure, that is a bit of an over-dramatization, but seriously, 395 did look like something out of 28 Days Later.  This snow, like any snow, threw into sharp relief how woefully unprepared DC area citizens are for wintry weather. So, as a northerner, I take it upon myself to save you all from yourselves before the next snowpocalypse.

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Adams Morgan, Alexandria, Arlington, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Essential DC, Foggy Bottom, Life in the Capital, Penn Quarter, Petworth, The Daily Feed, The Hill, The Mall

Giving Map

Photo courtesy of
‘Salvation Army Christmas Give Away’
courtesy of ‘docentjoyce’

Continuing with our “Good Samaritan” theme, I now provide you with a means by which you may become said Samaritan.  Behold: the WaPo giving map.  This handy application maps out charities in the DC area and sorts them by type.  The list includes everything from homeless shelters, to non-profits for the arts, to religious charities.  So, in the spirit of the season, take a look at the map and find a place in your area that you’re willing to give time or money to.  Make someone’s holiday better.

Alexandria, Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: The Burger Joint

‘DSCF3611.jpg’ courtesy of ‘joelogon’

The Burger Joint (BGR) is the latest in a line of local hamburger shops trying to muscle in on DC-area institution Five Guys by offering a gourmet twist on this American staple. I went to their new Old Town Alexandria location to put these burger peddlers’ wares to the test.

There is no better food than a hamburger. A good steak comes close but really hamburgers take the title with their myriad of configurations. Easily a sit-down meal or a perfect eat-on-the-go, with a few toppings tweaks the hamburger offers all things to all comers (except maybe vegetarians). I have long been a fan of DC hamburger establishments and have been putting new offerings to the test for many years. I guess it all began back when I was accepted to George Washington University back in 1993. While quite happy to have got in, I was secretly celebrating the fact that I would soon be living less than a block from burger heaven, Lindy’s the Bone. Back in those days DC was a tale of two burger shops; Lindy’s Bon Appetit and Five Guys pretty much had you covered. For specialty burger creations it was Lindy’s and for the purist burger experience there was none better than (the now overly-franchised) Five Guys.

In the time I have lived here there have been many new burger contenders. Most notably Hamburger Mary’s (now defunct), ZBurger (not bad), Elevation Burger (yuck), and Ray’s Hell Burger (omfg!). Of those four, really only Hamburger Mary’s and Ray’s Hell Burger stand out and for good reason; Hamburger Mary’s offered truly excellent specialty burgers in a fun and funky sit-down dinner environment; while Ray’s continues to serve-up over-the-top, gourmet burgers in a real, walk-up-order, ‘burger joint’ setting.

The Burger Joint now enters into a field beginning to feel a tad cluttered. After all, Five Guys has expanded all over the city like a fungus, Lindy’s is still quietly rocking the Red Lion basement, and Ray’s is all the rage after the Obama/William’s visit. So how does a new burger shop stand-out amongst such stiff and varied competition? By offering the best pure burger in town, that’s how.
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Dupont Circle, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Intersections

Still from Brain Storm, by Jennifer Wen Ma. Photo courtesy of the artist.

"Brain Storm" by Jennifer Wen Ma, still from video projection. Courtesy of the artist.

There’s something about the approach of the winter season that always makes me want to drift away in a museum, quieting my mind by reflecting on art. A recent sojourn to the Phillips Collection to see the Intersections series did just that, and I encourage you to check it out.

Too often art collections can become hidebound and resistant to change. But this museum’s founder Duncan Phillips referred to his collection as the “experiment station,” welcoming artist interaction with radical installations unusual for their time. Intersections seeks to revisit Phillips’ vision by engaging modern artists to create unique works inspired by permanent pieces in the collection. Utilizing physical space that might otherwise be overlooked, these works will help you look at the surrounding pieces with a fresh eye.

There are currently three works on display as part of this series. Let’s start with a bunch of granite suspended on plain black cord.
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