Talkin' Transit, The Daily Feed

Metro Board authorizes new Station Names for map

Photo courtesy of
‘DC Metro Spiral (Names)’
courtesy of ‘thisisbossi’

The Metro board today met to consider some station names and changes to be made ahead of the next redesign of the map and authorized a number of changes to stations you may know and love. Here’s the skinny, straight from Metro:

  • Navy Yard becomes Navy Yard-Ballpark.
  • King Street becomes King St-Old Town.
  • Waterfront-SEU will drop SEU, because the university no longer exists.
  • Forest Glen will be shown on the map with the universal “H” symbol to indicate the location of Holy Cross Hospital.
  • Foggy Bottom and Medical Center will also be shown with “H” symbols reflecting proximity of hospitals.
  • New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U will be renamed “NoMa-Gallaudet U.” “New York Ave” will be shown as a secondary name for one-year to assist customers during the transition.

Four stations were unaltered, due to public familiarity with their names, despite their length:

  • Grosvenor-Strathmore
  • Georgia Ave-Petworth
  • Franconia-Springfield
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

The new names will take effect next year when the June 2012 Metro Map hits the streets.  The cost to rename the stations is estimated to be approximately $400,000, though no formal figure is available.

Food and Drink, Special Events, The Daily Feed

BRABO’s Secret Terrace

Tonight launches a new happy hour in Alexandria, on the rooftop terrace of the Lorien Hotel & Spa. Up til now mainly used for private events off the Presidential Suite, this intimate outdoor lounge with a view of Old Town will now be open on Fridays from 6pm-9pm. The happy hour will include unlimited sangria, charcuterie and cheese, all from BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier, for $25 a person. 

Outside of the $25 ticket, guests can also purchase bottles of wine from the Butcher’s Block to bring up and enjoy if they prefer, in addition to a cash bar as well. Tickets are available in advance or that day, with check-in at the Butcher’s Block at 1600 King Street.

The charcuterie sounds pretty tempting, as I’ve always drooled over the selection of meats and marmalade on display at the Butcher’s Block. And it may be hard to believe but our rooftop happy hour days are numbered! So I’d advise you to sink into a couch, enjoy the sunset, and sip some sangria. Or, a lot of sangria…

The Daily Feed

Collage Artist Megan Coyle

” A Potomac River Afternoon”, Collage, Megan Coyle.

When you think of a collage, I am sure you automatically revert to your younger days – all the fond memories of snipping and glueing and taping while sitting under harsh fluorescents in your elementary school art class.

But, collage artist Megan Coyle’s exhibit, Stories in Paper, which is now on view at The Art League, will most definitely change your perspective on the art form.  Coyle’s work is anything but juvenile,  she creates intricate “paintings” full of textures and layers using an unconventional medium.

Coyle says, “Utilizing this method allows me to create artwork that captures the essence of a painting, but broadens my palette to include textures, pattern, and fragments of photographs from magazines”.

Stories in Paper will be exhibited at The Art League of Old Town Alexandria through August 2nd.

The Daily Feed

Shaking Buildings in Old Town, Related to Earthquake?


Through two separate reports, we’ve heard that at least one building in Old Town experienced very noticeable shaking today right at about the same time as a relatively major earthquake hit Ottawa and Quebec in Canada. People from Toronto, Detroit, New York and Ohio have reported experiencing some effects from this quake. Is it possible it actually caused shaking in Old Town Alexandria in Virginia?

@thelastgoodnight on Twitter reported it happening at 2:00pm today. It was also reported as being experienced on S Alfred St. Did anyone else feel it?

UPDATE 2:41pm: Apparently there was also shaking felt in Greenbelt, MD. Starting to sound less like strange coincidences and more like very small ripples being felt from the quake up north.

The Features, Where We Live

Where We Live: Old Town Alexandria

Photo courtesy of
‘View down King Street’
courtesy of ‘CathyLovesDC’

Alexandria is an independent city in Virginia that measures 15 square miles and includes over 100,000 residents (which is much larger than the typical neighborhood that we profile in Where We Live), and includes distinct neighborhoods like Arlandia, Rosemont, North Ridge, Del Ray, and West End.  This profile will mostly focus on the civic and commercial heart of Alexandria in Old Town, but it should be noted that Alexandria is made up of charming neighborhoods outside of that area that are definitely worth a visit.

History: This is a town with a lot of history.  Here’s the short version– Alexandria was originally a Native American settlement, then a major port, then part of DC in 1789 (only to be retroceded in 1846), then a quiet southern town frequented by tourists in the early twentieth century, then a growing suburb, and finally in the 1960’s the Old Town area was reborn as a commercial center and civic heart of the city (though many original historic buildings were demolished to make room for this ‘progress’).  The long version can be found on the Lyceum’s website about Alexandria history.

Continue reading

Fashionable DC, The District, The Features

Fashionable DC: Stylish and Warm

Photo courtesy of Kelly Collis Fredrick

Winter has arrived in D.C. and if you have lived in Washington for a while you know we are not real pros at surviving the cold and not to mention dealing with snow! I find it is more of challenge to stay stylish during the winter months.

Here are a few items that will keep you warm and looking stylish this winter.  So ditch those Uggs!

Hats and Scarfs

Anthropologie in Georgetown has a great selection of knit hats in a variety of colors and styles that range from $38-$42, they are loose fitting so it will not mess up your hair completely.  And on the flip side if you are having a bad hair day, they are super cute and you can wear them all day.

Another great item is a spin on a classic  – a ruffled scarf.  Anthropologie sells them a bunch of different colors for $98 and I have also spotted some at Bloomingdale’s in Chevy Chase for a lot less at around $40. Continue reading

Alexandria, Food and Drink, Interviews, People, The Features

He Loves DC: Lamar Brown


Earlier this week, I sat down with Lamar Brown, engineer and corporate drone by day and wine connoisseur and entrepreneur by night. His cozy shop just off King Street in Old Town Alexandria, Carafe Wines, is the city’s only “micro-winery,” allowing customers to sample and then bottle their own wines. With grape juices shipped in from vineyards in Chile, California, New Zealand, Italy, France and Washington, to name a few, it may not be the most green method, but he’s created a truly unique niche for delightfully aged wines made right in good old Alexandria.

Having lived in Northern Virginia for 10 years, Lamar had a vision to take his extreme interest and admiration for good wine to the next level. His dream was realized two years ago, and now, he proudly allows his customers to make their own wines and their own private labels.

Nestled between a gorgeous marble bar and a bustling fireplace, I sampled the Rosso Miscele Reserve, a Tuscan-styled wine vented from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and later a dab of the Merlot Reserve, a full-bodied wine with hints of red cherries, toasted oak and herbs. Then we sat down to business and focused on Lamar’s storied history with wine, the DC area, and, of course, what wine pairs best with Matchbox sliders.

What inspired you to start Carafe Wines?
Actually, a love of wines, to be honest. And I saw a cool niche. The whole wine making experience actually originated in Canada. I ran into it there, and I worked with a lot of Canadians to bring the concept to DC. I did some research, and DC area is actually the second most wine-centric area in the country outside of California. So, we sell more bottles per capita than anybody. I thought people would get a cool kick out of being able to make their own wine.

So, why do you think DC is the number two area for wine purchases in America? Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Alexandria Quality of Life “Very Good”

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Ghost_Bear’

Last night, the Alexandria City Council announced the results of their 2009 Community Survey, conducted by the Center for Research and Public Policy (CRPP). One thousand Alexandria residents were asked through a telephone survey about their quality of life, satisfaction with services and other issues.

Over 97% of the respondents rated the overall quality of life in the city as either ‘very good’ or ‘good.’ In a complete non-shocker, the most frequently cited issues of concern was traffic, taxes and poor school systems. Despite taxes being second on that list, 69% said Alexandria should keep services and taxes at the level they are now; only 12% said taxes need to decrease even if service levels are affected.

You can check out the complete report on the City of Alexandria’s website (it’s in PDF format).

Alexandria, Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Vermilion

Wall at Vermilion

"Wall at Vermilion" by jenn larsen, on Flickr

“Mmmm…” a friend sighed contentedly into her glass of hot buttered rum, “liquor pie…”

Brunch with the girls at Vermilion on a chilly afternoon was a mellow affair, lingering over hot toddies in the brick-walled upstairs room. With the place almost all to ourselves, we curled into a corner table and indulged to celebrate a birthday.

Vermilion serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00am – 2:30am, with an eclectic menu that ranges from eggs and french toast to scallops and bifteki. The hot drinks were especially welcome, as was the laid-back service allowing us to savor everything without feeling rushed. And of course, any place that serves lamb sausage ranks high on my happy meter. Continue reading