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.
Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Rasika West End Opens

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Rasika West End Opening
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Your chances of snagging a reservation at Rasika just went up. Last week marked the opening of the newest restaurant in Ashok Bajaj’s empire: Rasika West End. While Rasika’s acclaimed executive chef Vikram Sunderam will oversee the new location, Manish Tyagi has been named the chef de cuisine. According to a press release, Rasika West End will serve up “modern and authentic Indian fare,” including tandoori and dishes prepared on the tawa or “griddle” and sigri or “open barbecue.”

Click through to see more pictures of the new restaurant and start clicking on OpenTable if you want a prime time reservation in the next few weeks.
Continue reading

The Daily Feed

West End Cinema Returns Next Weekend

Photo courtesy of
‘Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats’
courtesy of ‘atomicjeep’

As Samantha mentioned in July, there will once again be a movie theatre in the West End starting next weekend.  West End Cinema will be throwing it doors open next Friday, with four films on the docket: Howl, Budrus, Gerrymandering, and Let Me In.  The new theatre will be running primary first-run independent films, serving tasty cocktails, and running a sweet concession stand.  Look for more as we get closer to next Friday’s launch!

The Daily Feed

West End Movie Theater Is Back

Photo courtesy of
‘Day 238: E Street Cinemas’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

I absolutely love going to see movies.  The more the merrier is my opinion when it comes to movie theater real estate, especially if the theater is quaint and has some personality.

According to The Georgetown Voice and the West End Flyer, the Inner Circle triplex will reopen the West End Theater at 2301 M Street NW this fall.  The Circle West End first opened on April 12, 1985 and later closed in 2004.

When the theater re-opens, it will feature “first-run independent films, art house, documentary, and remastered classic films.”

I will bring the tickets if you get the popcorn (and Twizzlers please)!

Essential DC, Foggy Bottom, Life in the Capital, The District, The Features, Where We Live

Where We Live: West End

Photo courtesy of
‘Schneider Triangle’
courtesy of ‘NCinDC’

Welcome to another installation of Where We Live. This time we’re focusing on the area between Dupont and Georgetown. Some call it Foggy Bottom, others call it GW, but the neighborhood most recently has been calling itself West End.  Read on to hear why this area is among the city’s oldest, but also one of the most rapidly changing, neighborhoods.

History: The area is known as West End because it literally was the west end of Pierre L’Enfant’s original plan for Washington.  It was also known as Foggy Bottom because of the marshy, humid conditions and the concentration of smoke-emitting businesses in the area along the waterfront (so really, it’s more like Smoggy Bottom).  The rowhouses in the neighborhood housed these industrial workers, so the area was home to many Irish and German immigrants back in the 1850s, along with their breweries.

Then the area started changing rapidly.  Columbian College (what we now know as George Washington University) was established near Meridian Hill in 1821, moved to the Foggy Bottom area in 1912, and expanded significantly in the 1920s and 1930s.  The decline of river-oriented industries led to the closing of many waterfront employers, and the area lost a lot of ethnic diversity as industrial workers left the neighborhood.   By the mid-twentieth century, rowhouses were being torn down in favor of high-density apartment buildings, and much of the character of the neighborhood was lost.  We can thank the Foggy Bottom Restoration Association and the DC Restoration Office for preserving the rowhouses that still exist in the area today.  (If you’re interested in more history of the neighborhood, check out this PDF brochure put out by the DC Office of Planning.)

Continue reading

Foggy Bottom, Food and Drink, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: 51st State Tavern

51st state

When I worked in Foggy Bottom, I found it practically impossible to find a bar in Foggy Bottom proper that wasn’t overrun with George Washington and Georgetown students. Too bad I didn’t find The 51st State Tavern until now, because it’s the answer to my happy hour prayers.

Situated in a two story former row house (like oh so many bars in DC) 51st State is the perfect place to grab an incredibly affordable drink with a friend. Located where Penn meets L street, near 26th at that super funky intersection, I finally found the perfect Foggy Bottom/West End after work spot. It’s not crowded, nor is it overrun with frat boys and the girls that follow (at least during HH), and has the perfect short beer list with something for everyone. Continue reading