The Daily Feed

More Neighborhood Festivals This Weekend

Photo courtesy of
‘H Street Festival’
courtesy of ‘Edward Hoover’

Two weekends ago we celebrated in Adams Morgan, last weekend it was H Street, and this Saturday we’ve got three more great street festivals: Barracks Row, 17th Street in Dupont, and Clarendon.

Head down to Capitol Hill on Saturday from 11 AM to 5 PM for the Barracks Row Fall Festival.  There will be lots to enjoy here: classic cars, a military chef cooking competition, tours of the barracks, a performance by the Trapeze School of New York, and lots of good food and music.  They still need volunteers too, so sign up if you’re so inclined.

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The Daily Feed

Blue Bus is now Circulator

Georgetown Blue Bus / Circulator Notice

Hey Rosslyn, Georgetown, Dupont: notice anything different transit-wise? As of today, the Georgetown Metro Connection (AKA the “Blue Bus”) has switched over to the DC Circulator (AKA the “Red Bus”). The route and stops are the same, but the buses are different, and now you can use Smartrip. And the really good news is that most of the old Blue Bus drivers have also been moved over to driving Circulators, so they haven’t lost their jobs in the switchover.

One major change to watch out for, however: the Rosslyn stop has moved across 19th St to the Georgetown University shuttle pickup point. That sucks a bit since you now have to cross a street if you’re coming from Rosslyn Metro

More from TBD Neighborhoods.

The Daily Feed

Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk

Photo courtesy of
‘Walk More’
courtesy of ‘spiggycat’

Free, free, free – music to my ears!  This Saturday and Sunday, during the 27th annual Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk, the Textile Museum (check out Art by the Yard:  Women Design Mid-century Britain), the Anderson House, and the Phillips Collection will all be offering free admission.

The Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk is on Saturday, June 5th from 10 AM – 4 PM and on Sunday, June 6th from 1-5 PM. 

For more information call 202-387-4062.

The Daily Feed

Why Hello There

Photo courtesy of
’30/365 – hello cupcake’
courtesy of ‘dracisk’

Everything tastes better when it’s free – especially a delicious cupcake.  How can you get a hold of this free cupcake might you ask?  By sharing your best (or) worst pick-up lines with Dupont’s Hello Cupcake.  The “you had me at hello, cupcake” contest continues now through Valentine’s Day.  At least this time you won’t have to worry about rejection – how sweet!

Dupont Circle, History, The Features, Tourism

Mystery Mansion in Dupont: The Heurich House

Photo courtesy of
‘Hidden Bronze Lion’
courtesy of ‘CathyLovesDC’

Tucked away in plain view, the Heurich House is the most intact late-Victorian home in the country. Right in the middle of the action in Dupont Circle – on a corner you have probably walked by at least a dozen times – you are absolutely transported back in time – easily envisioning the family who lived there enjoying a meal in the German beer tavern-styled breakfast room and needle pointing doll clothes and tapestries in the ladies’ retreat room. The furniture, furnishings, wall and ceiling canvas paintings, and even the gas and electric lighting are all original to the house.

The Heurich House museum was home to Christian Heurich, who was regarded as the patriarch of the American brewing industry. After moving to America from Germany in 1872 at the age of 30, he purchased an old, declining brewery and within 10 years, became the largest and most successful brewer in the nation’s capital.

Nicknamed the “Brewmaster’s Castle,” the Heurich House sounds more like a Brickskellar’s with a spiral tower, but the initial disappointment you’ll have to get over first is: they don’t serve any beer. A more fitting nickname for the mansion might be “Fireproof Fortress.” Continue reading

Dupont Circle, The Features, Where We Live

Where We Live: Dupont Circle

Photo courtesy of
‘a hug on Riggs’
courtesy of ‘NCinDC’

Welcome to Where We Live: Dupont! Dupont Circle is one of the District’s best-known neighborhoods, and there’s so much history and beautiful architecture to love here.  Dupont is home to everyone from recent grads in group houses to young professionals in condos to well-off diplomats with kids, and yes, even some new stars.  I know I’m probably supposed to be unbiased in my descriptions of all these neighborhoods, but to be honest, Dupont’s my favorite.  Read on to find out why.

History: Not much was really going on in the Dupont area until the Civil War.  Up until then it was a rural backwater, but a massive modernization program built streets and sewers in the 1870s, making the area a fashionable new residential district.  In 1871, the circle itself (then known as Pacific Circle) was constructed, and in 1882 Congress decided to use the circle to honor Civil War admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont.  A statue of Du Pont was erected in 1884, and replaced in 1921 with the fountain that we all know and love today.  The traffic signals in the circle were added in 1948 to make it easier for pedestrians to cross, and in 1949 the Connecticut Avenue tunnel was built to separate thru traffic and build a streetcar station.

By the 1870s and 1880s, impressive mansions were built along Massachusetts Avenue, and Connecticut Avenue had more shops and offices.  Much of the area was developed with rowhouses, many of which remain today.  The neighborhood began to decline after the 1968 riots, but in the 1970s some urban pioneersmoved in.  Dupont Circle took on more of a Bohemian character, and the area became a gay enclave.   It is considered the historic center of the gay communityin DC, though many of those original urban pioneers later moved on to Logan Circle or Shaw.  The 1980s and 1990s saw more reinvestment in the neighborhood, and today Dupont Circle is again one of DC’s most desired neighborhoods.

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Downtown, Media, The Daily Feed

Goodbye Vertigo. You will be missed.

The Bookstore, by petite corneille

The Bookstore, by petite corneille

Last days.  Going out of business.  Everything 20% off.

In the current economic climate, it isn’t hard to find a sign like this on stores all over the region.  It’s certainly hard to miss companies like Circuit City going out of business, but big-box stores leaving is just as impersonal and disconnected as their “sales” staff was when you walked in the door.  I can also try to avoid the obvious – and sappy – trap of saying how “sad” it is that a local business is leaving the DC area.

There is only one problem: it is sad.  A bookstore is a amazing thing.  It is a repository of knowledge, and living proof that our First Amendment is a powerful and empowering (and often frightening) statement of rights.  Local bookstores are the embodiment of our desire to constantly better ourselves.  And so we should miss them when they leave us.

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Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Brunch @ Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

Photo courtesy of
‘Kramerbooks Glass House’
courtesy of ‘Wahig’

There are days in DC that I forget we are in a recession. Last Sunday’s brunch at Kramerbooks & Afterwords was one of them. The book shop was stuffed full with people, and every table was filled, the air abuzz with excitement for spring. I was worried that the wait for two would be at least an hour when we walked in, but we actually only waited for 15 minutes! Afterwords Cafe has lots of little parts, the glass house, the outdoor patio, the upstairs – they take advantage of not a lot of space, and stuff it full with people.

Kramerbooks is definitely a DC institution, ranking up there with Ben’s Chili Bowl and the Brickskeller as a place everyone has been at some point while living in the city.  I actually had not, but was eagerly awaiting checking out both the bookstore and the cafe – I had heard mixed reviews, from horrible to mediocre, to a favorite.  I was ready to decide for myself. So… the food? Well… you’ll find out after the break.

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Downtown, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Truly Thrifty

Urbana Interior

Recently, I had lunch in Dupont Circle with my work BFF. We chose Urbana as our spot because of the “Urban Lunchbox” deal they have going on – a full three course meal (+ coffee) for 11.95, with a dollar of that going to Arc of DC. (The Arc is a great organization that aims to improve the quality of life of all persons with developmental disabilities and their families.)

At Urbana, diners get a choice of the salad or soup of the day, plus any of the sandwiches or personal pizzas on the menu, and they’ll finish you up with a cookie for dessert. I LOVED it. The portions were very generous, and the fare healthy and well done. Urbana is chic, the service was impeccable and the deal was a complete steal. Normally, my pizza alone would have cost $13, but with the lunchbox I got salad, said pizza, dessert and coffee for that price.

Plus, I have a crush on every Kimpton Hotel, and Urbana is located in the Hotel Palomar on P street so I even got a peek at the stylish hotel lobby. Everything in that hotel is designed immaculately. Even the plates and dishware were trendy. Click through for a peek at my super-sleek coffee cup. Continue reading