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.

Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, The District

2014 DC’s Championship Match – Cast Your Vote

Untitled

The Championship game is upon us. The Capital Weather Gang and National Gallery of Art have both been going strong since the tournament kick off and have bested some top seed favorites. It will be very interesting to see who pulls off this win and takes the crown as the 2014 DC March Madness Tournament Champion. You’ve got until 11:59pm tonight to cast your vote.

#8 Capital Weather Gang: This gang of weather nerds is the area’s go-to team for (mostly) accurate news and information on the region’s weather. Actually, it’s really one guy surrounded by a bunch of weather-loving people – but to us, they’re the Gang. They do their own forecasts, analyze models, insert physics, and use their own knowledge in formulating forecasts that are more often than not, right on target. They update their blog on WaPo with reader photos and comments, stay on top of updates during big weather events, and are highly interactive. They’re clear without being condescending; they answer all your questions without your even asking. They tell you what they know and what they don’t. They know they’re not perfect and aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong. Best of all? They show you how the science is relevant and uncover its beauty for all to enjoy.

VS.

#14 National Gallery of Art: A perennial powerhouse, the National Gallery isn’t just one of the finest museums in DC, it’s one of the finest in the world. It’s easy to lose yourself in the West Wing’s (no, not THAT West Wing) collection of Dutch masters, although my favorite works in the building are the Rodin sculptures. Ride through the tunnel to the East Wing and take in a Matisse and some Calder mobiles and you’ve got yourself a lovely day. This year’s news sees the National Gallery potentially taking over the Corcoran’s collection (subject to approvals, of course) so expect a higher seed next year if that goes well (and if we repeat this idea).

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?

Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, History, Legacy articles, Life in the Capital, The District

2014 DC’s Final Four – Cast Your Vote

2014 DC March Madness Bracket

Great Goo-Ga-Moo-Ga! The #1 seed – The DC Music Scene – suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Capital Weather Gang. Was the wretched, stay-at-home and batten down the hatches, “why is it snowing at the end of March?!!” weekend weather to blame? Who knows. In the other Elite Eight matchups, Ben’s Half Smokes said “adios” to Lauriol Plaza, Food Trucks trucked over the Annual DC Sports Playoff Collapse, and NGA told the Repeal Day Ball to sober the f*&k up!

The Final Four matchups pit the Half Smoke at Ben’s against #1 seed killers the Capital Weather Gang, and the National Gallery of Art against Food Trucks. It’s food versus meteorology and food versus culture. Get your votes in by April 5th. Vote early and vote often.

#6 Half Smoke at Ben’s: The half smoke, DC’s own sui generis special hotdog, is a marvel, but cover it in lightly spicy chili, with yellow mustard and white onions and you have this amazing diner classic that has dominated the DC food landscape for decades. Having it at the counter at Ben’s on U Street (there is really only one Ben’s, despite what the marquee says in Arlington and at National), with the happiest staff in DC’s restaurants putting on the best of a show? There are few DC things I love so much as going to see Mo and his cadre of amazing people behind the counter. The best part? they’ve all got perfect pitch, and they’re not afraid to sing along with the classic R&B jukebox there. Sit at the bar. Get some cheese fries to go with. You will regret nothing.

VS.

#8 Capital Weather Gang: This gang of weather nerds is the area’s go-to team for (mostly) accurate news and information on the region’s weather. Actually, it’s really one guy surrounded by a bunch of weather-loving people – but to us, they’re the Gang. They do their own forecasts, analyze models, insert physics, and use their own knowledge in formulating forecasts that are more often than not, right on target. They update their blog on WaPo with reader photos and comments, stay on top of updates during big weather events, and are highly interactive. They’re clear without being condescending; they answer all your questions without your even asking. They tell you what they know and what they don’t. They know they’re not perfect and aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong. Best of all? They show you how the science is relevant and uncover its beauty for all to enjoy.

#4 Food Trucks: Long gone are the days when lunch meant the same old deli/buffet or chain sandwich shop offerings day in and day out. Food trucks have taken over. Literally, have you seen Franklin Park at noon? These culinary delights on wheels bring street food fare from all corners of the world, giving us sweet sweet access to arepas, kabobs, lobster rolls, decadent mac n’ cheese, ice cream sandwiches, curries and beyond. Food trucks make lunch an ever changing adventure, as you never quite know what your options are until you roll up to the various food truck congregation points, see the players and make your elections. This is an invaluable source of inspiration and elan during the work week that keep your spirits and/or tastebuds alive. Lunch will never be the same in DC.

VS.

#14 National Gallery of Art: A perennial powerhouse, the National Gallery isn’t just one of the finest museums in DC, it’s one of the finest in the world. It’s easy to lose yourself in the West Wing’s (no, not THAT West Wing) collection of Dutch masters, although my favorite works in the building are the Rodin sculptures. Ride through the tunnel to the East Wing and take in a Matisse and some Calder mobiles and you’ve got yourself a lovely day. This year’s news sees the National Gallery potentially taking over the Corcoran’s collection (subject to approvals, of course) so expect a higher seed next year if that goes well (and if we repeat this idea).

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.

Continue reading

Entertainment, Life in the Capital, Music, Night Life, The District, We Love Music

We Love Music: NO. @ DC9 – 03/20/14

NO

Try to Google “NO.” and you’ll have a hard time finding this LA – Echo Park specifically – based rock group. But keep looking (hint: add “Echo Park”,) the extra 5 seconds of typing/navigation will land you with a band that, after their performance at DC9 last Thursday night, is a strong contender for my artist of the year.

I stumbled across this relatively unknown indie rock group after returning home from another concert and mindlessly turning on my basic cable TV while I fixed myself some noms. Unfortunately, Carson Daly was on. Fortunately, NO. had just begun their set.

Continue reading

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”
Education, Essential DC, History, Legacy articles, Life in the Capital, The District, The Mall, Throwback Thursday

We Love Throwback Thursdays: 03/13/14

While Throwback Thursday or #tbt generally involves posting photos from “a while ago,” we thought it was high time we bring back some of the good ole articles from our 7 years of existence (Damn, how’d that happen?) Each week we’ll feature: 1) five oldie, but goodie articles to get your DC blood pumping, and 2) a super cool, retrospective photo of DC from days gone bye. Above is the block of 3212-3222 Sherman Avenue, NW on May 1909. What’s it look like now? Check it out.

  1. It’s the Lenten season, so perhaps you’re looking for ways to help others. I know I am. Giving Back: A Guide To Volunteering In DC
  2. Perhaps you’re planning a wedding and need venue ideas? Planning A DC Wedding: Venues
  3. With the SMarch we’ve been having, who hasn’t been consuming more booze. The thought of having it delivered to my doorstep as amazeballs. Know The Law: Buying Liquor Online.
  4. Waking up at weird hours due to last weekend’s time change? Check Where To Eat Breakfast When You’re Up With The Sun.
  5. Tourist season is upon us, so read DC Mythbusting: Monumental Myths to lay the smack down and set them out-of-towners right.

 

 

 

Life in the Capital, The District, WTF?!

How To: Appeal Your DC Real Estate Assessment

This past week, DC’s Office of Tax and Revenue sent out the FY 2015 (which begins in October 2014) appraisals for property taxes in the city. That means: if you own a house or a condo or a plot of land, the city assesses the value of that land and property so it can tax it appropriately. Property taxes represent about a third of the annual budgetary pie for the District, and the largest single revenue line item on the city’s budget. This year, I got the assessment from the city and had to go find a place to sit down.

My assessment had gone up 20%, a growth of about $80,000 in assessed value, and at current property tax rates, about $680 in additional taxes. Now, I’m no Tea Partier, and I’m certainly a believer in the necessity of taxation, but it ought to be on a fair market value evaluation of the property, and this new figure just wasn’t coming up as kosher to me.

Fortunately, you can appeal the OTR’s assessment of your home, and the process for that is pretty straight forward. 

Continue reading

Entertainment, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, The District

We Love Music: Phosphorescent @930 Club – 01/22/14

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 1.47.30 PM
Last night, playing in front of a sold out crowd at the 930 Club, Phosphorescent laid down a poignant, vibrant, and captivating show.

Matthew Houck, the sole member of Phosphorsecent, donned a cream white, eagle crested bolero jacket paired with a straw cowboy hat and glistened in front of the stage’s shimmering floor to ceiling metallic curtains. Backed by a seven person band, Houck pulled from his six albums to lay down a serious jam session set along the lines of the Allman Brother’s Jessica and Led Zeppelin’s Kashmirone seriously got lost in the wonderous, free-flowing sounds Houck and his band created.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Concert Round Up, Entertainment, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, Night Life, The District

January 2014 Concert Round Up

Yeah we’re a little late with our monthly concert round-up, but hey even we need a little R n R from concert going and writing. Nevertheless, there are still PLENTY of solid shows left in the month of January, so keeping reading after the jump for recommendations (St. Lucia, Cate Le Bon, Phosphorescent, Delorean, Pixies and MORE) on how you should kick off the first month of your 2014 DC concert goings.

Continue reading

The District, The Great Outdoors, Where We Live, WTF?!

How to Dress for the Cold Snap: Advice from Northerners

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:

Continue reading

People, The District, The Features

My DC in 2013: Jenn

If 2012 was the year of upheaval, then 2013 was the year of recovery. I had a seemingly simple goal: to take time to pause, reflect, and allow my body to heal after a traumatic experience of complete heart block and two operations. I sold my house in Logan Circle, and moved temporarily to Petworth, hiding away in a Batgirl Cave on a street where sweet kids played on their bikes and friendly neighbors cooked out on the sidewalks. It felt like another city, one of families, far away from my usual frantic mid-city pace.

It felt like exile, too.

I’d lived in the same house for twelve years. It seems a luxury in urban living to have had the same address for that long. Then there I was, holding the splintered remains of my former life, feeling raw and broken and alone. Only I wasn’t. My city was still there for me. Eventually I would leave my little sanctuary and move back to Shaw, able to walk by my old house without flinching, happy it was loved by someone new. My mind can now be filled with snapshots of my DC in 2013: of a sunny patio, an audience’s gasp, passionate conversations, and much happiness over friends’ successes. Art, cocktails, and coffee. A lot of coffee. And late nights. Too much, probably, for someone struggling with major arrhythmia. For every moment I tried to rest and heal, I also pushed my body to deny it had failed.

Until finally, I forgave it. Continue reading

People, The District, The Features

My DC in 2013: Rachel

Photo by Emma Beck

When my dad, dog, and grandmothers all passed away in 2009 the world I knew was shattered. We lost my dad and childhood dog Coco that January and my grandmothers that summer. Somehow, in between the chaos, I managed to graduate from American University with a B.A. in print journalism and a minor in music. But the completion of that journey wasn’t a source of pride at the time. The good news is – the haze of it all settled after few years and We Love DC, honestly and truly, helped bring me out of my existential funk.

Here we are now on the last day of 2013. To me, New Year’s Eve has been a bittersweet holiday ever since my dad received a life-saving heart transplant on this date 14 years ago. I was 12 and in the 7th grade at the time. It’s crazy to think about how much has changed since that day. My family got just shy of nine extra years with my dad because of that transplant, and we can’t help but think of that memory each and every New Year’s Eve.

Now you’re probably thinking, “What does all of this stuff have to do with Rachel’s DC in 2013?” Not to worry, I’m getting to that. Continue reading

People, The District, The Features

My DC in 2013: Esther

At the ripe old age of still under 40, I felt like I had a mid-life crisis of sorts in 2013.  This was the year my outside frustrations and internal conflicts collided and I found myself becoming a bit cynical, bitter, and angry at things I couldn’t control and at complete strangers who I assumed were total jerks because they refuse to use their turn signal when switching lanes. Mid-year, it began to dawn on me that I was becoming the very person I was used to showing the middle finger to, and that scared me. I didn’t like being “that” person and I began taking steps to change. As 2013 comes to an end, I am pleased to announce that my mid-life crisis has ebbed and I am on the road to an existential recovery.  And DC itself has been a great therapist in helping me sort out my personal predicaments and move forward towards a more positive me.

I spent the first three months of 2013 outside of DC. I had been cast in two shows at a theatre in a different city and was very excited to leave the winter weather, the hustle and bustle of the beltway, and enjoy some time in a place where the weather was warm and the pace of life a lot slower. And to be honest, I really did enjoy my time away. A break from the rat race of the District was a nice change of pace. The people I met were lovely, the food was amazing, and the lack of traffic was heavenly. But being away also helped me gain perspective on the city in which we live. Continue reading

People, The District, The Features

My DC in 2013: Paul

All of my fondest memories of 2013 have happened in a bar. Whether I was on the good side or the better side of the bar, I’ve loved every minute. I got offered three jobs (including this one!) just going out for a drink. And I took all of them, along with one more, because I want to see as much of this city as I can. Sometimes it can be exhausting and emotionally draining, and it beats the crap out of your body (what’s that, four AM yoga so my neck isn’t stiff as a board tomorrow?), but it’s the best job I’ve ever had

On bad days, tending  bar can feel a bit like lion taming–at least I wish I had a whip whenever someone orders half a dozen mojitos (back, you animals!). And I may have developed bartending-induced ADD. Continue reading

People, The District

My DC in 2013: In a Family Way

Guys, the truth is, I spent most of 2013 with my focus turned inward, ever since late January when the second line appeared on the stick. New bar opening? Whatever, I can’t drink. Food trucks? Sorry, gestational diabetes. Major database release at work? I’m going to be on leave for that entire quarter, suckers… Even the government shutdown barely registered since it started the day after we brought the Bridgelet home from the hospital. All of October is a blur of sleep deprivation and constant feelings of incompetence.

Still, in the middle of doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds and baby showers and midnight feedings and planning for daycare and college funds, I managed to pick my head up once in a while, and when I did, I found my love for DC being renewed all the time.

Some highlights, big and small…  Continue reading