With the latest blast from the Arctic slated for DC tomorrow night – and forecast to bring single digit temperatures and below-zero wind chills – I thought to myself: how the hell do you dress for that level of cold? I grew up in the Central Valley of California; we didn’t spend a whole lot of time below 32°F, let alone down below zero with the wind chill. My mother’s family, though, grew up on the shores of Lake Superior, and some of them have ventured further north into Alberta, Canada. My uncle would regularly work in Fort McMurray, Alberta, four hours north of Edmonton at 56 degrees north latitude.
I asked them to help us stay warm this week, and they came back with the following:
When I’m hit with an urge to get outdoors, you might find me cruising down Route 29 towards Shenandoah National Park. Shenandoah is the most extensive wilderness space easily accessible to DC, and encircles almost 200,000 untouched acres of Northern Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
The places that I visit most often in the park are Old Rag Mountain, a challenging day hike with rock scrambling sections and breathtaking summit views, and Skyline Drive, a 105-mile undulating, ridge-hugging highway that’s best to drive in the spring or fall when tree colors are changing. I’m sure I’ll be returning to both spots soon, but on an early spring day I convinced a couple of friends to try a destination we’d never been to before.
We got a late start on the day (as we usually do), and overshot our intended noon departure time by almost an hour, sailing down Constitution Ave heading west out of the city. As anyone familiar with I-66 might expect though, we quickly found ourselves in traffic. How that road has backups on it seven days a week I’ll never understand, but it did eventually ease up and we decided that with the sun staying out well past 7:00, we’d still have time to complete the four hour hike as planned.
I am a runner. It feels a bit weird to say that, because only 8 months ago, I couldn’t even run a mile.
It started last August. I had been a bridesmaid in a wedding for an entire weekend, you know the drill – bridesmaids luncheon, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception. All weekend long I had been wearing the tallest of high heels, and the Sunday after the wedding I set out for a short jog, stepped off a curb and pulled my IT Band. Something about extending it and contracting it, and whatever. It ended in pain. I played tough guy for about a month, but after limping around the office for too long, my boss yelled at me and made me go into the doctor. The doctor prescribed physical therapy and I wound up in the good care of Alyssa White at PhysioTherapy Associates. (She is amazing. So is her colleague Sarah, if you’re looking for a good physical therapist.)
Somewhere in my first few weeks of PT, I got the bright idea that I should enter the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile lottery. Just on a whim. One afternoon at work, I decided that it was a brilliant idea and so I just did it. Everyone asks why, especially when the longest I’d ever run was a 5k, and I had no real explanation. I wanted a goal. I wanted to show up each week and exercise my discipline. I wanted to do it because I knew I could.
So I set about creating a team of people and DC small businesses who would help, and the first step was Alyssa and getting my ITB back in shape. The second was finding a decent training program.
‘Just a Hint of Red’
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’
If you were pleasantly asleep last night from 1:30 to 4:30am then you missed the lunar eclipse. No worries because WeLoveDC’s Flickr photo pool, NASA and Huffington Post have you covered with a robust recaps, videos and photos of the celestial event.
The total lunar eclipse coincided with the 2010 winter solstice, an combination of events that had not happened for 400 years and will not happen again until 2094.
courtesy of ‘GollyGforce – on a new quest’
This Saturday, Brightest Young Things hosts a holiday lights bike and car parade where participants decorate their vehicle with bulbs, wreaths, tinsel, antlers, etc. and parade around town from 7-9:30pm.
The parade route starts at Jack’s Boathouse at the Georgetown waterfront at 7pm, heads to Politics and Prose for a celebrity reading of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and then moves over to Chevy Chase’s Comet Ping Pong. The free event is co-sponsored by Flying Dog Brewery.
My biggest question was how do you convert wall plug in lights to run on your bike or car. Thankfully, a Google search easily answered my question.
photo courtesy of flickr user Wendy Copley
Hidden around DC, secretly placed in strategic, calculated locales are small, weatherproof boxes containing logbooks and stamps; only the dedicated group know of their existence and they are constantly trying to follow a trail of secret clues to uncover them. While this may sound like the latest Spy Museum game or a CIA operation, it’s actually hobby called letterboxing and its covertly going on right under our noses in our beloved city.
Here’s how it works. Originating, across the pond, in Dartmoor, England, letterboxing, like its hi-tech sibling geocaching, is a combination of hiking, puzzle solving, treasure hunting and thrill seeking. In this game, “placers” hide small waterproof containers in interesting locales, e.g. along the Capital Crescent Trail, near the Jefferson Memorial, behind a loose Eastern Market brick, etc., and then leave small clues to its whereabouts on websites, or in letterboxing newsletters or through word of mouth. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’
Running every night through October 31st, Washington Walks is hosting spooktacular tours of the haunted pasts surrounding Lafayette Park. Hear tales about the eerie navy hero Stephen Decatur, the foreboding pasts of Henry Adams and his troubled wife Clover, and relive the night of April 14, 1865 when the grim reaper stalked Abraham Lincoln. The tour ends at the most haunted home in the city, the Octagon Museum. That is…if you make it through the entire tour…MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cue Vincent Price.
Be at the 17th Street exit of the Farragut West Metro station at 7:30pm, and for $15 you’ll get a two hour long, insiders look into the ghosts and spirits that haunt downtown DC.
Zozo: International Walk to School Day! from Streetfilms on Vimeo.
Perhaps on your commute today you noticed an increase in the level of munchkins and parents walking around the city. That’s because today is National & International Walk Your Child to School Day.
Beginning in 1997, the Partnership for a Walkable America sponsored the first National Walk Our Children to School Day in Chicago, modeled after the United Kingdom’s lead. The event’s mission was simply a day to bring community leaders and children together to create awareness of the need for communities to be walkable.
In 2010, the event has gone completely global and it’s goals have slightly expanded: To Create Safe Routes, To Engage Kids of All Abilities, To Enhance the Health of Kids and To Improve The Environment.
‘Metropolitan Branch Trail-7′
courtesy of ‘TrailVoice’
The emails came through fast and furious this past weekend as reports of assaults and harassment came through on MPD’s 5th District listserve. A few cases of assault on the Met Branch Trail featured youths harassing riders on the trail, throwing urine on them or pushing them off their bikes. Commander Lamar Greene from the 5th District finally responded today with a note to the listserve: “The fifth district is sending officers through the trail in both uniform and plain clothes in hopes of making more arrest.”
‘Ft Slocum Soccer Ball’
courtesy of ‘Wayan Vota’
As the summer months draw to a close, so begins the Fall soccer season. And for those of us who have played practically all our lives, soccer is in the air. We’re hypersensitive to the lowering of sun’s trajectory, the crisper air, and the smell of freshly cut grass. It all evokes memories of the morning practices and games, when the dawn’s mist slowly lifted from the field.
Fortunately the DC area offers plenty of soccer playing opportunities for any and all levels, and for those who wish to play on coed, men’s or women’s teams. Should your preference be a single sex team, there are two leagues in particular that I believe offer the best soccer playing experiences in the DC area, and they’re recruiting players of all levels for the fall season. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’
Tonight at 6:30pm, The Georgetown North Face’s weekly run features ultra-marathoner Michael Wardian. Wardian has competed a races all over the world, including four wins in DC’s National Marathon, and is a fantastic resource for those interested in marathon running. So despite this dreary wet weather, get your running shoes on and enjoy a run in today’s slightly less humid and hot summer evening.
photo by author.
Alexandria got hit hard by yesterday’s freak storm.The worst hit area seemed to be the North/South stretch of Braddock Road between Old Town and Route 7. That stretch looked like it had been hit by a mini-tornado; trees down, roads closed, cars and homes struck. In the several hours it took me to drive home from DC last night, I got a tour of some pretty spectacular storm damage. Here are some shots I took that I think give a pretty good impression of how strong this storm was.
Stare in awe at the aftermath of nature’s fury.
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?
’10-4-4 – Cherry Blossoms – Warm Blossoms’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’
Last night’s premiere of TopChefDC, filmed in April, has me thinking back to the cooler days of spring when the city was infiltrated with tourists on their yearly pilgrimages to see the cherry blossom. While I long for the chillier weather and the beautiful, cotton candy cherry blossoms, I’m good with our present normal levels of tourists.
Today’s DC Craft lets you add a little bit of cherry blossom to your abode with this reinterpreted cherry blossom vinyl wall decal. The wall decoration comes in 17 potential colors, and features a series of 4 birds perched on blooming branches. Chose pink for the branches, and you’ve got a DC-centric piece of wall art.
‘Beer and burger’
courtesy of ‘Magnus D’
I hope that you’ll grill this weekend. To me, that’s what Memorial Day is all about. I don’t dream of stepping on any family tradition or intruding in any masculine domain by suggesting what you should grill and how you should grill it. That’s counter productive, in my mind. Besides, I’m no grill master, myself. I’ll leave that to better and braver souls. I want to talk to you about what you should drink this weekend. It’s easy just to run out to the grocery and pick up a 12 pack of Bud Light and some cheap white wine for your Memorial Day bar-b-que. In fact, that’s probably what most of America will do on Monday, but most of America won’t enjoy their tasty beverage nearly as much as you will, oh informed reader that follows my advice. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘The Digital Story’
For the third year in a row, the Metropolitan DC area received the #1 ranking for the fittest city in the nation in the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) American Fitness Index.
The ACSM polls residents of the 50 largest metropolitan areas and their rankings are based on a variety of factors including community health policies, preventive health behaviors, federal reports, instances of exercise, health insurance coverage, accessibility to public lands/parks, incidents of co-morbidities, etc. Continue reading
courtesy of ‘dbking’
We’ve got a beautiful weekend, save some scattered t-storms, shaping up for us and we’ve got a “Battle of the Beltways” series kicking off Friday night between the visiting Baltimore Orioles and our hometown Nationals. You’ve got three opportunities to catch the match up this weekend, and it’s sure to be great time with the stadium pack with fans from both sides.
While neither team is at the top of their divisions, both come packed with longtime crowd favorites like Nick Markakis, B-Rob, Zimmer-sapien and Christian Guz-sapien, who are sure to make the game competitive and entertaining.
What I’m really looking forward to is Screech and the Bird strolling around the stadium and taunting each other Phillie Phanatic style. Obviously, sans taser. I’m assuming both birds will join the Presidents in the 4th inning race, where of course some antics will ensue between the two avians to prevent Teddy from winning. Alas poor Teddy, I wanted him to win.
‘Day 229: Lavallette, NJ’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’
The amazing weather this weekend reminded me of the local summer fun to be had at local area beaches. The Good: Sandy waterfronts. Cooling, salty waves. Luscious, vitamin D rays. Fun with family and friends. Dogfish beer. Crab. The Bad: Hours of battling through weekend traffic congestion.
However, bus company DC2NY has come to beachgoers’ rescue with a summer bus service to both Rehoboth and Dewey Beach starting Memorial Day weekend. Riders will enjoy wi-fi, electrical outlets at every seat, a frequent riders reward program and a bottle of water for the journey. There’s not a less stressful way to start your beach weekend then by letting the bus driver tackle the traffic while you facebook with your friends or catch up on your Hulu watching.
‘Buoy Red ’6′ took a pounding’
courtesy of ‘Tony DeFilippo’
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) deployed a “smart” buoy just south of the Wilson Bridge on Friday, May 4. The new device will provide scientists and local area boaters/educators with real-time information about the Chesapeake Bay.
The buoy is part of the the CBIBS (Chesapeake Bay Interpretative Buoy System) program and will collect weather, oceanographic and water-quality observations along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. The program hopes to not only provide relevant data for restoration efforts, but also provide insights about the waterways’ history and encourage stewardship and protection of the Chesapeake Bay.
All of the eight buoys’ measurements, along with historical information, can be accessed at www.buoybay.org (www.buoybay.org/m for mobile devices) and by phone at 877-BUOY-BAY (877-286-9229).
‘Every Food Fits: Don’t Bother Us, We’re Crabby!’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’
Summer is my favorite season, I’ve made no secret of that on this here blog over the years. DC comes alive in the summer, with events galore. And if you’re new to DC, or new to We Love DC, or even an old faithful reader (and we love you for that, truly) I just wanted to take some time to point out that we’ve got you covered for summer.
So here is my short list of things I love about summer in DC and links to articles that we’ve written in the past to help you get the most out of it. (We call this unabashedly re-purposing content.)
So without futher ado: Continue reading