The District

He Loved DC: Marion S. Barry (1936 – 2014)

The news hits you like a ton of bricks, if you’ve ever lived in the District of Columbia: Marion Barry passed away this morning at United Medical Center. Barry was a four-term mayor of the District of Columbia, and a four-time council member for Ward 8, with a career in DC politics spanning 35 years. 

The contentious council member and former mayor was often a polarizing figure, censured for his actions with his constituent service fund, frequently in trouble with the IRS for failing to pay his taxes and with the city for failing to pay his parking tickets, he is best known for his six-month stint in prison related to a drug charge after a videotaped sting operation in the Vista Hotel on M Street (now a Westin Hotel). 

Beyond those charges, and those misdeeds, it is impossible to ignore Barry’s humanitarian streak. His focus on jobs programs for youth brought the Summer Youth Employment Program to fruition during his first term – something many residents of the District say was their very first job. It is also impossible to ignore Barry’s time in the civil rights movement as a co-founder of Pride, Inc, which provided relief for those whose houses were destroyed in the 1968 riots, as well as job training and food for the poor.

It is sometimes impossible for me to resolve the Marion Barry of the civil rights movement and his focus on his constituents in Ward 8, with the Marion Barry of the Vista Hotel, the tax scofflaw, and council misconduct. The extremes for which Barry is known make him out to be larger than life, with impossible conflicts of character. No man better represented the constant fight between the better angels of our nature and our human flaws than did Marion Barry. He was a complicated figure who did much for many of the least of us, but couldn’t keep himself out of trouble.

If while he was alive, Barry’s presence was a target for criticism from the rest of America – some would say the image of Senator Marion Barry was the single greatest argument against statehood for the District – in his passing, he gives one last gift, freeing the city from that association. 

I visited the Wilson Building recently, to see some friends at Councilmember McDuffie’s office, and up on the fifth floor, just past the council chambers, is a set of standees made for the 40th anniversary of the Home Rule Act. There were a number of pictures I’d never seen before from the early days of the city’s new, more free period. In so many of them are a young and vibrant Marion Barry in his shirt-sleeves working on the city. I think I would’ve liked Barry better if that was the one I knew first, instead of the one that made the city into a series of jokes. Thankfully, those jokes are over now. I think that is one last gift he can give us all.

Rest in peace, Mr. Mayor.

The District

All Good Things: A Farewell Tour

For the past six years, it has been our pleasure, our responsibility, and our joy to bring you stories from the Nation’s Capital. Not just the federal city, but from all eight wards, from beyond the city limits, and from our hearts. We’ve learned so much: that DC was not built on a swamp; that you can totally get a case a month of hard spirits shipped to your door; that Tony Mendez was a cool customer; that forts are super cool; and everything in between.

We’ve always been a bit of an anarchic collective: individual writers who came together to form the site organically over a few pints at Fox & Hounds (our beloved Passenger wasn’t due until 2009). Our goal? To share with you our unique experiences and stories about our lives in the District. Some of us had already lived here a long time, while others were just getting started on their DC adventure. We founders created something we’re all passionately grateful for – and we were joined by absolutely amazing writers over those six years since July 4, 2008. More than ten thousand articles have been written, by more than 70 authors, and the presence of We Love DC in our lives has been an exceptional one. In some cases, a life-saving one.

Yet life has changed radically for all of us, and we feel it’s a good time to wrap up the site with a bow.

Wait, not a bow. A Thank You Tour.

When we began We Love DC, it was our chief goal to wear our hearts for this amazing city on our sleeves, and to be unabashedly enthusiastic about the District. It’s hard to understate the transformation in the past six years. DC has added tens of thousands of new residents, breweries and cocktail bars, new schools, yes, new bike lanes and dog parks, but more than that, DC has added energy and vitality. More than that, DC’s pride is on the rise.

We hear our voices amid the choir, and we’re far from alone in praising our home. It’s an extremely gratifying feeling. And we promise a Thank You Tour that celebrates the spirit and love that inspired us from the beginning.

Our plans? We Love DC will continue to publish through late fall. Then the site will become an archive of these marvelous six years. But before we go, there are about a million people to thank, and we’ll do it lovingly. We’re planning a Thank You Tour that’ll include revisiting highlights of the past years, what’s changed since we began, and where we think the city is going. We’ll talk to notable Washingtonians, past We Love DC writers, and re-enunciate why we still love DC.

Oh, and of course: a farewell party. To say thank you, dear friends and readers. Thank you for everything. This next part is going to be fun.

With all our hearts,

Jenn Larsen, Founder
Tom Bridge, Founder
Don Whiteside, Founder
Tiffany Bridge, Founder
John Athayde, Founder
Ben Rome, Founder
Rachel Levitin, Partner
Rebecca Johnson, Partner

Concert Round Up, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Get Out & About, Music, The District

May 2014 Concert Round Up

As usual there’s tons of stellar music in our fair city this month, so Mickey and I have pulled together recommendations that span venues and music genres. Enjoy!

The 1975
Monday, May 12
9:30 Club
SOLD OUT

YouTube Preview Image

You’ve likely heard The 1975′s “Chocolate” all over the radio, but they’re so much more than what the corporate DJs of the world would have you hear. Heralding from Manchester, UK, the quartet’s songs focus on sex, love, drugs, hope, death, and fear – you know all the stuff that’s on a millennials mind. Definitely going to be an energy filled way to kick off the week. — Rebecca

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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, 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

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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.

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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.

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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”
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. 

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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.

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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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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.

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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:

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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