Foggy Bottom, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

PAUL Opens in Foggy Bottom, Offers Free Pumpkin Tartlets

Pumpkin Tartlet from PAUL
Photo by Jason Colston

Heads up, Foggy Bottom folks: PAUL is opening its fourth DC location today in your neighborhood. That means more baguettes, croissants and other French fare.

To celebrate their opening at 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the first 2,000 patrons at the new location will receive a free pumpkin tartlet with their purchase. So grab a coffee, maybe some baked goods to share with your coworkers and get an early taste of Thanksgiving with a free pumpkin tartlet.

Downtown, Foggy Bottom

We Love Drinks: Wine Riot Comes to DC

Wine Riot DC 8

Big wine tasting events can have a couple of types of bad reputations. There are ones that are stuffy, pretentious, and full of sweater-around-the-shoulders snobs tooling around Napa Valley in their German convertibles. There are others where cackling middle-aged book-club members seem to arrive by the Range Rover load to get sauced in the mid-day sun. We can agree that those are all terrible.
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Foggy Bottom, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: 30 Americans at Corcoran Gallery of Art

Kehinde Wiley, Sleep, 2008. Oil on canvas, 132 x 300 inches. Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami.

At Tuesday night’s preview of 30 Americans, a representative of the Corcoran told the story of how, in 1940, a young, female, African-American artist secretly entered a contest held by the gallery, sending a white friend to drop off the painting because she feared she would not be allowed past the building’s grand front stairs because of the color of her skin. Lois Mailou Jones won the contest and had the prize mailed to her so she would never have to show her face.

Seventy-one years later, Ms. Jones’ painting is held in the Corcoran’s permanent collection and the gallery is hosting a powerful exhibit of contemporary African-American artists which has already generated tremendous excitement in advance of the October 1st public opening.

One of the most-anticipated openings hitting the walls of DC galleries (in a season that is proving to be crowded with buzzed-over exhibits), 30 Americans brings together three decades of influential African-American artists, both household name and lesser-known, in a variety of media. The principle by which they are organized is that all seventy-six works on display (by, in fact, thirty-one American artists) grapple with the concept of identity – particularly but not exclusively race – in modern American life.
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Foggy Bottom, Penn Quarter, Special Events, The Daily Feed

FREE FOOD ALERT: Merzi in Penn Quarter

Merzi Chaat

Appropriately dubbed the “Indian Chipotle”, newcomer Merzi is giving away free food today from 11 a.m. to noon at the Penn Quarter restaurant. I stopped by last night for a sneak preview, and walked away a big fan. The steps are just like Chipotle, pick a base (in this case, Naan, Chaat, Rice or Salad), add beans, add a meat (I recommend the beef, shrimp or chicken), toppings like lettuce and rice, and then a masala or a chutney to finish. My favorite was the green chili chutney, but don’t expect to cuddle up to your coworkers after lunch, it certainly has a kick.

Good news for our gluten-free friends, the owner’s son has a gluten allergy, so the restaurant is particularly conscientious of careful gluten-free preparation and keeps most items entirely gluten free (aside from the naan and the samosas, obviously). Boylan’s bottled sodas and a mango and probiotic yogurt smoothie keep you refreshed. Merzi is located on 7th street between D and E next to Carmine’s, and is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily.

Adventures, Alexandria, Arlington, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Entertainment, Foggy Bottom, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Music, Night Life, Penn Quarter, Petworth, The Great Outdoors, The Hill, The Mall, We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: July 24-25

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Rachel: Well, I’m fresh off a stint in Nashville to audition for American Idol. It didn’t go my way but I learned a lot and am ready to rock out harder than ever before after being “cut” from the program before ever seeing any air-time. I’ve got a gig booked for Saturday night at the Tonic Lounge (located at 2036 G Street NW, near the Foggy Bottom Metro). I’m not the only entertainment on tap, several artists from the DC area will take the stage too. So grab a drink at the bar, stay for the tunes, and if you’re a Glee fan I guarantee a solid new cover added to my repertoire from the second half of last season’s show. Not gonna tell you what it is, you’ll have to stop by to hear it. Show starts at 8 p.m. with a $5 cover. I’ll also have albums on sale with proceeds going to the National Kidney Foundation in honor of my late father who received a heart transplant in 1999. Hope to see you there! It should be a rockin’ good time.

Patrick: Weeks of no social life ends this weekend. Noises Off! opens this Saturday at Keegan Theatre in Dupont Circle. As the stage manager I’ll be in the booth playing the role of incompetent sound technician #1. No seriously, come see the show and watch the actors freak out at me during Act III. The show will run through August so I hope to see everybody there eventually. While I’m running the show I’ll also be trying to figure out where to eat and drink before and after performances- anybody have any suggestions for places I should check out around 17th Street?

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Adams Morgan, Alexandria, Arlington, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Essential DC, Foggy Bottom, Life in the Capital, Penn Quarter, Petworth, The Daily Feed, The Hill, The Mall

Giving Map

Photo courtesy of
‘Salvation Army Christmas Give Away’
courtesy of ‘docentjoyce’

Continuing with our “Good Samaritan” theme, I now provide you with a means by which you may become said Samaritan.  Behold: the WaPo giving map.  This handy application maps out charities in the DC area and sorts them by type.  The list includes everything from homeless shelters, to non-profits for the arts, to religious charities.  So, in the spirit of the season, take a look at the map and find a place in your area that you’re willing to give time or money to.  Make someone’s holiday better.

Foggy Bottom, Music, News, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Public Enemy Spreads Holiday Cheer To Homeless DC Youth

Photo courtesy of
‘Public Enemy’
courtesy of ‘LivePict – LIVEPICT.COM’

DC just got some serious points added to their street cred.

Hip hop bad boys Public Enemy are back and are storming the DC streets tonight via a flat-bed truck (slowly making their way to GW’s Lisner Auditorium). If that doesn’t make you want to shout “FLAVOR FLAAAAAV”, I don’t know what will.

Public Enemy’s evening is set to start at the Sasha Bruce House with a Thanksgiving dinner for the 30+ homeless kids staying in the home as a part of National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Shortly after, they’ll load up that flat bed and start doing what they do best — busting beats and pumping politically incorrect jams.

The flat bed show is scheduled to start around 7:30 pm at the Foggy Bottom intersection of 18th and G Streets NW.

Want VIP access to the show? Easy — bring a winter coat to donate and you’ll get an instant ticket upgrade.

Want to track the truck? The Post’s got the dish of where it should be and around when.

Foggy Bottom, Technology, The Daily Feed, The District

You Abuse It, You Lose It

Photo courtesy of
‘In classroom #1’
courtesy of ‘poplinre’

The GW Hatchet reports that some professors have banned laptops, iPhones and Blackberries because students were using them for non-class related purposes (i.e. Facebook, AIM, email and even gaming).

Now having gone to highschool and college when laptops and smartphones were just becoming mainstream, I didn’t have that type of technological distraction. Instead, we had to rely on old fashioned doodling, note passing and daydreaming. The most technically advanced we got was playing “Drug Wars” on our TI-83 calculators in trig class. I was always so bummed when I got mugged riding the subway in Shaolin.

Point is kids have and will always find ways to distract themselves from learning about Joseph Proust’s theory on atomic theory or Emily Dickinson’s poetic themes of love, nature and death.  Unfortunately, laptops and cellphones take this distraction to a whole new level.

Yes, laptops can be uber useful for note taking, organizing and on the spot research, but their powers seem to be used more for evil than for good. Like Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker “With great power comes great responsibility” and if you’re not going to be responsible with how, when and for what you use your power, then you shouldn’t be allowed to have it in the classroom.

All Politics is Local, Downtown, Foggy Bottom, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The District

Save The Georgetown Circulator

Photo courtesy of
‘Driving, Not Reading!!! :)’
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

The Georgetown Monitor reported yesterday that the DDOT is seriously considering a significant cut to the Circulator’s Georgetown service based on budgetary concerns and ridership totals.  Despite Ward 2 DC Councilman Jack Evans’ protests, City Administrator Neil Albert has apparently already signed off on the plan.

The only hope for keeping the service is for DC residents and businesses to appeal to Mayor Fenty directly.  If you’re interested in joining the petition to prevent further Circulator service cuts to this area, GM has a sample letter you can sign.

***For clarification, the DDOT’s proposal would eliminate the Wisconsin Avenue portion of the Georgetown-Union Station Circulator’s route, specifically from M Street to Whitehaven Street.

Arlington, Downtown, Foggy Bottom, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

Free Food Alert: TACOS!

Photo courtesy of
‘Volcano Taco’
courtesy of ‘brunorepublic’

It’s a full out taco-fest today in DC as the Taco Bell Truck swings through our fair city, making a stop in Foggy Bottom for lunch, and another in Rosslyn for a late afternoon snack.

Today from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. the TBT will be parked outside George Washington University Student Center handing out free tacos.  After that, the TBT will head to Rosslyn near N Moore & 19th st. for a Taco Drop Off around 4:30, but make sure you’re there right at 4:30 as the truck can’t stay much longer in the area than it takes to make the tacos and hand them out.

Kicking off it’s second week of the East Coast tour, the Taco Bell Truck serves up Volcano & Crunchy tacos to the DC area (1 per person).  After DC, its off to NY, Boston, and Philadelphia.

Foggy Bottom, The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

Foggy Bottom Platform Escalator Fail

Foggy Bottom Platform Escalator Fail
Originally uploaded by brownpau

So you know how the Foggy Bottom Station escalators are actually a two-layered system of bottlenecks? Today the platform-to-mezzanine bottleneck was made worse by one of the two up escalators being blocked off (at rush hour with no work being done on it at the time, natch) so that hordes of work-bound Metro riders had to cram on to one single escalator. Good thing there wasn’t a fire. Thanks, Metro!

Essential DC, Foggy Bottom, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Our Time Is Now, Georgetown

Photo courtesy of
‘Georgetown Waterfront’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

In Monday’s print edition of the Express, there was an article called “Reclaim Your Territory” by Fiona Zublin. (If the Express web site wasn’t so darn hard to use, I’d be able to find it and link to you, but I quit after 5 minutes of searching. But that is a whole ‘nother Daily Feed.) The article gleefully stated that since this past weekend was the end of the Georgetown school year, and the summer interns haven’t descended upon DC quite yet, those of you usually skittish of M Street and Wisconsin should head there now to take part in the momentary peace.

I’ll second this suggestion to head to G-town, but up the ante on recommendations. Zublin said to head over to Third Edition and Paulo’s, but I’m going to go farther out on a limb, since I don’t think of Paulo’s as generally mobbed by the GU crowd. I have to admit, some of my most fun nights of going all-out have been at Mr. Smiths, and if I can do that without getting hit on by a 20-year old psych major? Yes, please.

I’m also partial to the Georgetown waterfront, you all know how I feel about things on the water, though after a weird night at the beginning of last summer with a slightly euro-trashy main-chain-wearing crowd, I haven’t returned since. I’d happily give it a go during this down time. So what about you? Any Georgetown bars or places you’d like to hit up while we’ve got a respite from the ususal smattering of denim mini skirts and Miller Lite drinking frat boys?

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.)

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Foggy Bottom, Interviews, People, Special Events, The Features

He Loves DC: Antonio Burrell

Antonio from Commonwealth

It’s been a wild ride for Antonio Burrell, the Chef de Cuisine at CommonWealth Gastropub. Since the opening in August of 2008, the British food joint CommonWealth has fast been popular with foodies and Columbia Heights regulars. I was able to catch up with Burrell, talk through his opinions on the DC food scene, find out what he does in the city on his days off, and discuss what his ideal food day in the city would be composed of.

Katie: How long have you lived in DC?

Antonio: I moved to DC in October of 2000. I actually took two months off and took a nice vacation, stayed in North Carolina played a lot of golf and fished a lot with my Dad. For the first year and a half I lived in Alexandria, but have lived in DC since then.

Name the best part of DC, in your opinion?

I like a great many things about DC, chief among them are the people I have met and its central location to Manhattan and my extended family, who live in North Carolina. However, the best part of DC is all the great cultural things you can do. The Smithsonian Institute Museums are a great way to spend a day, topped off by a nice stroll down the Mall, taking many stops along the way, especially to dip your feet in the fountain at the Korean Memorial.

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Downtown, Entertainment, Foggy Bottom, Night Life, The Daily Feed

New Bar Food: The Ritz-Carlton

Blackberry Caipiroska

I’ve written recently about bar eats, and where the best of the best are. But last night I was invited to an event at the Ritz in Georgetown that redefined some of my favorite bar food. Ritz-Carlton hotels across the nation have redone their bar menu, and I was lucky enough to be one of the first in line to taste. I’m letting you know now: it’s phenomenal. How did the bar food get this good? Well, that’s the fun part. Continue reading

Foggy Bottom, Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Brunch @ Circle Bistro

French Toast at Circle Bistro

Okay, okay, I know, I get it. I’m on a brunch kick. I promise next We Love Food, I’ll write about another meal, I’ll branch out, but really? LOOK AT THAT PHOTO, you can’t not love brunch. Om nom nom nom. That my friends, is the french toast with whipped marscapone from Circle Bistro.

Circle Bistro is located in the Circle Hotel, right off of Washington Circle in Foggy Bottom/West End. My friend Rachel and I headed there a few Sundays ago to partake in my current favorite meal. We walked in about 15-20 minutes early for our reservation (it’s all about the OpenTable points, my friends!), and the manager-type/host was curt and rude, only agreeing to seat us if we were willing to wait for a server to free up to take care of us. He huffed all the way to our table, and was brusque handing us our menus, basically taking it out on us that we were early.

I realize that early guests can be an inconvenience if you’re short on staff. I too have been a hostess at one of the busiest restaurants in Charlotte, and dealt with more than my fair share of difficult table assignments and situations, I get it. But this was easy, we were happy to settle in for a while, brunch is the most relaxed meal possible. But honestly – don’t promise me slow service from the get go, it’s a bad start, and doesn’t make me feel like you are willing to be accommodating. Especially when we were one of four total tables. Color me unimpressed.  I sat down, hoping the food would save the situation. Continue reading

Foggy Bottom, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed

Goodbye to the Rock Creek Parkway Pedestrian Crossing Button Moat

Button Moat IMG_0185

Much gratitude to DC DDOT for paving over what I affectionately call “The Button Moat” around the pedestrian crossing button at Rock Creek Parkway and Virginia Ave NW in Foggy Bottom. (Bigger before-and-after-pictures after the jump.) Continue reading

Foggy Bottom, The Daily Feed

This is going to be cheesy.

Photo courtesy of
‘Reflecting Pool – Caught In the Day’s First Light – 9-30-08’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

The past few days I’ve been in New York City on business, and never before have I been struck with such love for our city. I’ve already aired my grievances about the big apple, but this trip particularly reinforced my love of the capital. Walking off the Acela into Union Station truly felt like coming home. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I spotted the Capitol through the double doors. New York is fine, but DC is where it’s at, yo.

Convenient I should write for a blog called We Love DC, now isn’t it? So I distilled the things I love about DC down into five pictures, for your viewing pleasure. We can call it an Ode To The Things I Love About DC Today… And thus I share it with you… Continue reading

Foggy Bottom, History, Monumental, The Features

Monumental: The American Meridian

American Meridian

Longitude is probably one of the most important scientific solutions of the modern era. It was easy to work off a set of common star charts and figure out how far north or south of the equator you were. Take a couple readings at sunrise, midday and sunset, chart a few stars, and wham there you are. We’ve been measuring that for millenia now. But Longitude was a lot harder. By the early 18th century, it had become such a problem for sea-faring nations that the King of England set forth a prize to determine the best way of calculating it. Enter John Harrison and his clocks. If you can keep accurate enough time, you can determine your longitude. It took decades of engineering, and the promise of riches (in some cases denied, read Dava Sobel’s Longitude, which is a fascinating historiography of the events surrounding the prize.)

The thing about Longitude that is most interesting is that there’s no clear and obvious choice for a prime meridian, the way there is with latitude and the Equator. Thus, common standards of practice evolved, with prime meridians, and associated maps, appearing at Greenwich, Paris, Rome, and various other European centers. Each set of charts was keyed to use with a specific set of longitudes, with no common standard. Thus it was that Thomas Jefferson set the first American Meridian through the center of the Executive Mansion in 1793. This meridian would stay in place through 1850 when it was moved west 8 blocks to 24th Street at the site of the Naval Observatory (now the grounds of the US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery at 24th and D Streets) where it remained the American line of demarcation and measurement until 1884 when we moved to the Greenwich Standard by International Treaty.

But why have an American Meridian when Greenwich’s would do? The only good way to measure longitude was to take a clock, synchronized from Greenwich’s observatory master clock, and sail it across the Atlantic. Sure, that sounds pretty straight forward, but clocks, even as late as the early 19th century were not anything we’d considerate accurate to the second, not to mention had all kinds of mechanical issues even if you sailed them across the sea. Not to mention the fact that two journeys could come up with two totally different longitudes for the final result. Thus, setting a local point of demarcation allowed for a better continuity of result. Continue reading

Entertainment, Foggy Bottom, Special Events, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Bellydance Superstars


"Petite Jamilla" courtesy of Bellydance Superstars

A couple of years ago I took a bellydance class at Joy of Motion, totally on a whim. My instructor was an incredible American Cabaret style performer named Michelle Forner. I’ll never forget the first class when she did a quick routine for us and I thought, “Oh. My. God. There is NO way I will be able to do this.” The technique she displayed, with complete control in isolation of various core muscles, was intimidating and yet enthralling.

I recently decided to take the plunge again and take another bellydance class, this time in American Tribal at Saffron Dance. We’ll see how that goes! The differences between the many styles of bellydance, including the growing fusion between them and other branches of dance (such as urban, goth, bollywood, etc.) are highlighted in this year’s tour of Bellydance Superstars, which I had the luck of seeing Tuesday night at GWU’s Lisner Auditorium. The Superstars will be back in our area this June for Raqs America, and I highly recommend if you have any interest in this dance genre to definitely check it out.

Despite an overblown and cheesy opening voiceover, the 2009 tour titled “The Art of Bellydance” is a good introduction to the amazingly talented resurgence of this dance form in America. Featuring some incredible performers, exquisite costumes (more so for the tribal than the cabaret, which just isn’t to my personal taste), and the brilliant Issam Houshan on drum solo – it was two hours of beauty, pure and simple.

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