For the past week I have had the privilege of volunteering as a band coach for Girls Rock! DC camp. It has been a whirlwind, but Girls Rock! DC camp is coming to a close. The end of camp week is finally upon us. For those of you unfamiliar with GRDC, it is a week-long day camp for Washington, DC area girls, ages 8-18. It teaches girl-empowerment and community building through music. During the week girls receive small-group instruction on instruments, turntables or digital music, form bands or DJ teams, and collaborate to write a song or DJ set which they perform in a showcase at the end of the week. The camp is completely volunteer-run. Continue reading
Via the power of the interwebs, I stumbled across this awesome HDR time-lapse by Drew Geraci. The shots were taken over a 3 day period, during which Geraci was stopped 9 times by the National Parks Service and 3 times by DC Metro police; post-production (rendering, editing, etc.) took Geraci only 1 day. This is the photogs first full scale production time-lapse using the new HDR technique that he’s developed from his own personal photography experience.
Personally, I’m loving the locations selected; they really capture the heart of this city. Whoever said that DC is a sleepy town clearly needs to see this as the locations selected, be they thoroughfares, monuments or sites, are packed with pedestrian and vehicular activity. In the 3 plus minute long video, we’re taken on a whirlwind trip around DC through saturated hi-def quality of the shots and kickass crescendoing musical accompaniment. Tre cool.
Happy Friday everyone! In celebration of the end of the week, BLT Steak and WeLoveDC are giving away two seats for this Saturday’s (aka tomorrow’s) South American Asado cooking class. The two hour plus class will be held at BLT Steak, starts at 12:30pm and features in-depth instruction from Executive Chef Victor Albisu on how to prepare exotic and delicious barbecue from South America. Oh, did I mention you also get a filling four-course lunch of the dishes demonstrated during the class? Well, yeah, you do.
BLT holds these executive cooking classes six times a year and seats generally go for $100. So for all you aspiring chefs, this is the perfect opportunity to glean some 5 star tips, tricks and creative methods of preparing foods AND fill your belly with yummy goodness.
To enter for the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address (one entry per email address, please) between 11am and 1pm today. Entrants must be able to attend the class in person, so check your schedules. If you aren’t declared the winner, you can always make your own reservations with Erica Frank at 202-689-8989 or email@example.com.
Huzzah! DC’s very own Dolcezza will be on ABC’s “The View” today at 11am and we’ll get to see owners Robb and Violeta Duncan chumming it up with Whoopi, Sherri, Joy, Elizabeth and Babs. I can only assume they’ll be talking about: 1) Gelato–in particular their seasonal summer flavors (Peach, Pineapple Cilantro, Mojito…) and 2) Dolcezza’s focus on locally produce ingredients and their collaboration with local area farmers.
Society6, an organization that connects artists with unique opportunities and empowers them to make their artwork available for sale without giving up control of their rights, recently completed an innovative project titled “50 And 50.” The idea behind this endeavor was to recruit 50 designers, one per each state, and have them illustrate their state motto using the same color-scheme. The results are modern, yet historical grounded, designs that would make any wall fit for oversized art proud.
Fortunately for us, although not part of 50 states, DC was included in the project and represented by Oliver Munday, whose illustrations and designs have graced bookcovers, TIME, The New York Times, Wired, etc. And for those of us completely naive to DC’s “state” motto, it’s “Justice For All” or as the Romans prefer “Justia Omnibus.” Continue reading
“Planking,” the ridiculous, yet popular practice of lying face down with arms to the side in an unusual or incongruous location, taking a photo of it and posting it online has reach the upper ranks of the Washington DC sports scene. Pictured to above, you see G-Wiz, the beloved Wizards blue thingy, planking on Ted Leonsis desk. No respect, no respect. G-Wiz was also seen planking across The Nats’ Abe Lincoln, the nearby Chipotle and some WMATA turnstiles.
Sports Illustrated has a solid collection of famous athletes, namely former Wizards player Gilbert Arenas and Dwight Howard, who apparently have PLENTY of free time and nothing better to do than take pictures of themselves planking all over their expensive cars, pool tables, exercise equipment, etc. There’s also a planking example courtesy of Redskins rookie receiver Niles Paul.
Travel + Leisure readers have spoken and our nation’s capital is not one of the top ten dirtiest cities in America. In the publication’s annual America’s Favorite Cities survey, participants gauged “dirty” in a variety of ways: litter, air pollution, even the taste of local tap water and the publication found New Orleans, Philadelphia, Memphis, New York City, and our neighbor to the north Baltimore, wanting for cleanliness. That’s not to say that DC didn’t appear on the more comprehensive list; in fact, it was ranked 15th on the list.
The America’s Dirtiest Cities list is only one of the many compiled from reader’s responses about 35 U.S. urban destinations. The publication breaks down responses by those according to visitors and those according to residents. DC ranked well in the historical sites/monuments (duh!), museums/galleries (duh again!), business hotels, public transportation/pedestrian friendliness, etc. We didn’t do so well when it comes to all-in-one retreats, affordable hotels and relaxing retreats.
What I find most insightful and funny about the survey’s results is where visitor and resident opinions align. For instance, both groups give DC high marks when it comes to culture, but pan the city on local food specialities (coffee, barbecue, micro brews, etc.) and new year’s eve celebrations. Things get funny when it comes to ranking DC inhabitants; while we get high marks for intelligence and diversity, both groups ranked us below 25 when it comes to stylishness, friendliness and attractiveness.
Faded, crumbling, unlikely to survive too many more DC winters or 14th Street-area renovations, I love this mural. It raises a million questions.
From the perch of an old row house wall overlooking the Swan Auto parking lot, emerging from a pool? pond? ocean?—two Dr. Seuss-like figures—humans? balding angels? fruit flies?—share a fading yellow apple. Lips locked on the fruit, their eyes are closed passionately. One wears a small bejeweled crown, but otherwise they appear naked. They are LOVERS, says the painting in simple black font, a status reinforced by the word “madreselva” painted in upside-down and backwards letters below. Madreselva means honeysuckle in Spanish, a flower that is supposedly associated with “the bond of love,” or according to other sources, “generosity.” Either way, we are getting a sneak peek at two individuals’ affection through this mustard yellow, circular window…. Or is it a puzzle piece? (What are those little nodes around the frame?)
On October 9th, 2010, Adam Hosinski and Rory Weichbrod, were crossing Rockville Pike in North Bethesda, when they were struck and killed by a driver who was later arrested on DUI charges and convicted of manslaughter.
This Saturday, from 2-7pm, friends and family will gather at The Bullpen, across from Nationals Stadium, to celebrate the lives of these two men, with a memorial concert and fundraiser for two charities (The Special Olympics and Operation Once in a Lifetime) the two were closely involved with. The event was conceived and planned by several of Adam and Rory’s closest friends, specifically the band members of Midnight Spin, close childhood friends and classmates of Hosinski and Weichbrod. According to the victims’ close friend, Kevin Boyle, “The concert is a memorial, a charity fund raiser, and most of all a celebration of the lives of two of the best guys I was lucky enough to have as a part of my life.”
The weather for tomorrow will provide the perfect day to head over to The Bullpen for tons of fun, live music, cornhole, a fast pitch baseball machine, food and drink, but most importantly to remember two DCers taken far too soon.
The event will not require a cover charge.
This little cutie was found Sunday afternoon in an alley near 16th NE. His rescuers describe him as “ridiculously sweet, trusting, quiet, and well-behaved” and as much as they’re enjoying his companionship, they’re hoping to reunite the pup with his family ASAP. If you recognize him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s been 6 weeks since beagle-jack russell mix and kill shelter rescue, Sassafras, escaped from her daytime caretaker in the AdMo area. Since then, her family and dedicated volunteers have hung 2000+ posters, received 4500 phone calls, created a “Find Lost Beagle Sassafras” blog, posted numerous tweets, facebook entries and listserv entries, brought in two professional trackers, and united the DC dog community to help find Sassafras. As a result, there have been numerous reported sightings of Sass with the latest at Rock Creek Cemetery on May 11, but she has yet to be reunited with her family.
In their search to find Sass, the owners have uncovered both the positive and negative facts of recovering their dog, including:
1) The city department charged with disposing of dead animals, does not notify pet owners even if the dead animal has tags and other easy identification.
2) While many area shelters post pictures of animals brought to their shelters online, the DC shelter does not, even though they have the capability. Continue reading
Once a month, on Saturday nights, Christian Hunt can’t be missed. He’s the guy in the bright red suit hosting the Capital City Showcase at the DC Arts Center in Adams Morgan. Hunt is a District native. He was born at Georgetown Hospital and raised in Glover Park.
“It’s funny because there are so many transients here that I’m like a white squirrel, because I was born and raised in DC, still live in DC, and root for all the DC sports teams, though I pretend the Redskins don’t exist. As cheesy as it sounds, DC is my home and it always will be,” Hunt said.
Hunt took a few minutes to give We Love DC the low-down on why he thinks his hometown is “the most beautiful city in the world.” He might have lived in Boston during his college years but according to Hunt, the District is far from being a tourist trap.
Rachel: So tell me about this Capital City Showcase. It’s an evening that showcases a variety of local performance artists. How did the project get started?
Christian: I’ve been performing since I was 10 years old. Whether it was doing plays, playing piano, or singing in chorus, I was always on stage. At the end of college, I started dabbling in stand-up comedy, but when I started working I put it all on the shelf. So after years of not performing at all, I started to get the itch again. I remember being up late and watching infomercials for The Midnight Special, which was a variety show from the 1970’s that featured the best acts of the time. And I thought to myself “Why doesn’t something like this exist anymore?”
I also grew up watching the old DC20 channel, which featured local programming, like all of the kids shows hosted by Captain 20 (if you grew up here you know what I’m talking about). And again I thought “Why is there no real local programming anymore?” So I figured it would be really cool to fill both of those voids with a live variety show that featured all of talent that DC has to offer. And The Capital City Showcase was born.
All photos by the author
A couple years ago the Social Chair and I were sitting at a bar when the couple next to us asked us a question. They said they’d overheard our conversation with the bartender and were looking for a restaurant recommendation, since they were visiting from out of town and wanted to try something other than their usual haunts. We got to talking about where they were from (“Outside Toronto”), and we mentioned that we were leaving in a week to go visit family and friends both in and outside Toronto. It was at this point in a conversation with a Canadian that I would usually get to play my trump card, since my sister lives in a town even most Ontario natives haven’t heard of. But when we told them the name of the town (West Montrose), they got a little wide-eyed. And then they asked, “which house?”
It turned out that these strangers, from “Outside Toronto,” had almost bought that very house, and after they didn’t buy it their friends did. Their friends, in fact, were the couple who sold the house to my sister and brother-in-law (and since my sister’s family is moving to The Hague, it’s for sale again). In this city you never know who you might meet.
Judging by what I’ve seen on Twitter, and a stale rant that has been making the rounds again (which I won’t dignify by linking here), tourist season has fallen hard on some of you (the fact that it arrives at the same time as allergy season also doesn’t help, I’m sure). But I ask your patience as I make this heartfelt plea: please be nice to tourists.
Despite yesterday’s fears, the 9pm high tide came and went without the Georgetown waterfront breach reaching K Street. As of 8:30am this morning, the Georgetown Waterfront is still completely shutdown with very, very limited access. The K Street side of the Waterfront is filled with emergency flood repair vehicles, workmen, Pepco vans, etc., all awaiting instructions from site surveyors. Local buildings continue to monitor their basements and lower level garages for flooding and seepage.
I managed to gain access to the 31st Street walkway that leads to the waterfront, and saw a heavily pumping Potomac river and the front side flooding. While the flood barricades along 31st street were all in tact, I could see where the waterfront walls leading into the fountain area had been breached. At that time the river was below fountain area level, and I could see some evidence of water being pumped out of the fountain pool back into the river.
I was in Union Station this morning, waiting for a train and zoning off, when I noticed a striking difference between the Acela’s DC, Philly, NYC and Boston overhead posters. While all the posters feature a stylized Acela train speeding through each city’s unique skyline and all hang from the rafters in very similar positions, the New York City poster was the only one covered in bird poop, especially towards the bottom of the poster.
Upon noticing this difference, I began looking for some simple explanation for this avian vandalism. Perhaps the NYC poster was simply, and unfortunately, hanging in an already popular bird hang out? No. No birds insight. Perhaps the NYC poster featured some sort of bird attracting color? Nope. Posters were all fairly similar in color scheme.
After surveying the poster scene, I could come to no other conclusion then that the Union station pigeons, sparrows and starling clearly dislike Amtrak’s NYC Acela poster, and NY by association, and they have decided to express their 2nd amendment rights by strategically bombarding it with their poop. Case solved.
Based on a successful charitable model, BabyLove DC provides clothing, products, gear and other necessities to pregnant mothers and their children in DC’s inner city. The group hosts monthly drives to collect new and gently used items, such as baby monitors, crib bedding, bottles, clothing, toys, diaper carriers, etc. All donations must have been purchased within the last 3 years, with certain items (diapers, breast pumps, bottles, cribs and feeding supplies) accepted as new only.
BabyLove’s next drive takes place this Saturday, April 9th from 9am-1pm at Hardy Middle School (34th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, NW) just across from the Social Safeway.
In addition to donations, BabyLove needs volunteers to help sort and repair clothing, and help coordinate and run their drives and charity events. If you’re interested in volunteering or donating, you can contact BabyLove DC at email@example.com
Last week, Mayor Gray and DDOT kicked off Potholepalooza 2011, our city’s intensified efforts to fill those tire-busting, shock killing road hazards. In an effort to let our powers combine, DDOT is asking DC residents to tell them about neighborhood potholes that need fixing. You can target these car nightmares and curse inducing potholes by phoning in (311), going online, tweeting or emailing DDOT.
According to VDOT’s Pothole Hunter Phil Itwick, these little f*ckers are caused by water that gets into the pavement and expands and contracts with the changing temperatures. Mr. Itwick gives a fantastic, and entertaining, explanation on how potholes are fixed on both a temporary and permanent basis. Definitely worth the watch.
Last weekend’s postponed kite festival has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 10th from 10am until 4pm. Check the event’s official website for updates on the day’s activities. If you’re looking for a kite, Sullivan’s Toy Store and Art Supplies (3412 Wisconsin Avenue NW) store has plenty in stock.
Despite chilly temperatures, spring has sprung in our lovely Capitol City. The trees, and not just the cherry trees, are abloom; DC denizens are fully emerging from their winter comas; runners, outdoor enthusiasts and sports teams seem to taken up every nook and cranny of green space or path. The photogs were also out in full force this weekend, and have captured the essence of spring in DC. Continue reading