The Daily Feed, The Hill

Eastern Market Reopens!

Eastern Market.JPG

When a fire decimated the inside of Eastern Market early in the morning of April 30th, 2007, the city lost one of its own best monuments. Built in 1871, architected by Adolf Cluss, Eastern Market was the city’s first enclosed produce markets, a supermarket before Giant, Safeway or Magruder’s were even a twinkle in their founders’ eyes. After 26 months of restoration and renovation, Eastern Market reopened today, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Mayor Fenty, Congresswoman Norton, Council Chairman Gray, Council members David Catania, Tommy Wells and Kwame Brown, and former Council member Sharon Ambrose.

The new interior of Eastern Market features all of the 2007 vendors, from Canales Meats to Calomiris & Sons fruits. The $22M renovation also features, to the relief and delight of all, Air Conditioning and Restrooms. Chief among the renovations, though, is a full fire sprinkler and alarm system designed to minimize damage and alert the authorities.

We’ll have a bigger feature on Eastern Market this afternoon in the 3pm Feature slot.

Downtown, Essential DC, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed, The Hill, WTF?!

Sound Off: Best food INSIDE Union Station

Photo courtesy of
‘it’s full. yet it’s empty.’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’

I have mixed feelings about Union Station. It’s gorgeous,  yet it’s grubby. It’s full of good stores, yet it has nothing really that interesting.  It’s got good hustle and bustle, yet I hate the lost souls. Seriously, it’s love/hate. I love it but I really hate it. But mostly I think about Union Station and how much space is wasted with bad food. I recently had a discussion on Twitter with my tweeple (I’m getting addicted. We knew this would happen, didn’t we?) about Union Station and the lack of decent food inside.

We settled on Corner Bakery actually being the best option. And that’s fine, I like Corner Bakery (not as much as I love Potbellys!) but isn’t it sad that our epicenter of transportation doesn’t have good uniquely-DC food inside? There’s a decent Gyro to be had downstairs, and I don’t hate Cafe Renee, but ya’ll, it’s basically a food-void, in my opinion. This is distressing to me. So I ask you… Am I missing something? Is there a hidden gem in there that I just don’t know about? Or is Union Station just the way I see it – a black hole of mediocrity?

Food and Drink, The Features, The Hill, We Love Food

We Love Food: Taqueria Nacional

Photo courtesy of
‘Taquira Nacional’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

The first step to healing, is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, people, here is my admission: I am addicted to Taqueria Nacional. Its draw to me is more powerful than Potbelly’s was when I used to work near 17th & L (best Potbelly’s location ever) and those of you who know me know that I adore Potbelly’s. I will forgo any lunch I’ve brought to work faster than you can say “Hey Katie, wanna go to Taqui…” I’ll dash out of conference calls, I’ll leave my boss in a lurch, I’ll do pretty much anything for a pork taco from Taqueria Nacional in the middle of the day. So this We Love Food? This one is personal, cause I’m a regular. A regular with an addiction.

Taqueria Nacional opened in 2007 amidst a flurry of rumors (it’s in an alley, it’s only a takeout window, it only has tacos) in the foodie scene. Clearly we did not have Twitter to quickly spread the truth, and it took a while for everyone to get on the same page – but here it is: Taqueria Nacional is tucked away behind Johnny’s the Half Shell, in the corner of the courtyard of the CSPAN building. It hides as a little standing-room-only takeout shop with a line that usually reaches halfway across the courtyard. Ann Cashion and John Fulchino are behind this little taco place, which bodes well for the new Mexican fare at H Street Country Club (Cashion’s new venture), and the standards are high. The tacos are five bites of heaven, the salads are fresh with high quality lettuce, the agua frescas are creative, and my stomach cheers at the thought of the fried yucca. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Night Life, The Features, The Hill, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: Wisdom

"Wealthy Missionary" cocktail, Wisdom

"Wealthy Missionary cocktail, Wisdom" by Jenn Larsen, on Flickr

When Wisdom owner Erik Holzherr’s Tortoise and the Bare cocktail won the 2009 Artini competition, it took a lot of people by surprise (as in, who is this guy and where exactly is his bar??). I knew I had to get over to sample his concoctions as quickly as I could get someone to venture into the wilds of Pennsylvania Avenue SE with me. 

Inside Wisdom’s shopworn exterior is an enveloping dark and shabbily elegant space, with cosy curtained nooks featuring tin ceiling plates on the walls. Moroccan glass lanterns abound. It’s all very Victorian professor’s idea of a medieval tower by way of the harem.

First up to try was the Wealthy Missionary – with a name like that, how could it not be? It turned out to be a luscious mix of Surreal Ginger Peach Vodka and Stone’s Original Ginger. My metaphors went into overdrive – “it’s a southern summer, a debutante’s ball!” Seriously, this cocktail is off the charts good.

But then I had a sip of my friend’s Pears of Wisdom and couldn’t decide which I liked better. This cocktail, featuring vodka and pear cognac (they make pear cognac??) with elderflower, was just like slipping on a vintage French silk slip and lolling around in a field of flowers…

I warned you about my metaphor overdrive. Continue reading

All Politics is Local, The Daily Feed, The Hill

A Very Very DC Party: 100 Days


There are some parties that pretty much scream “DEEEEEE CEEEEEE” and this is one. There’s a big party tomorrow night over at Brown Rudnick that will be both job fair and 100-Days celebration, complete with audience-compiled report card.

$20 gets you in, and there’s an open bar, which is pretty much the holy grail of DC parties.

But yeah, there’s a saying that you can find just about any excuse to throw a good party, but could you think of a more DC-centric party than this one? Come on out tomorrow night and join a few of us who are going.

Life in the Capital, News, The Features, The Hill, The Mall

A Conversation with Eleanor Holmes Norton

IMG_2874Eleanor Holmes Norton, courtesy of Tom Bridge

This weekend, DC bloggers from DCist, Greater Greater Washington and We Love DC, amongst others, got a chance to sit down with DC’s Delegate to the Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton this past weekend and talk about DC Voting Rights, the recent support for Gay Marriage among the DC Council, and the sorry state of Park Service Parks in the District of Columbia, and about federal funding for transit in the city. Read on for the notes from our conversation with the Congresswoman1 Continue reading

Technology, The Daily Feed, The Hill

Hacking The Government (For Good, Not Evil)

Photo courtesy of
‘Open Government Data Session Tack-on Free For All’
courtesy of ‘illustir’

The hackers and do-gooders at Sunlight Labs are coordinating their first ever Open Government hackathon from March 29th to March 31st. Although the event takes place in Chicago (at PyCon2009 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare hotel) there will also be an online presence, so those of you interested in making that rather large DC employer known as the federal government more open and accessible can still take part.

The nature of the sprint will be fairly freeform, two Sunlight Labs members will be on hand guiding users that want to contribute to opening up the government. Users can come to the sprint without any background and we would help coordinate them and place them on a project where there skills would be useful (there is always a ton of scraping that needs to be done, building mini-web apps to showcase gov’t data, etc.)

The Daily Feed, The Hill

Inspiration DC’s Candid Strangers Project

Photo courtesy of
‘Day 58: Candid Strangers Project’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

I blog a lot about my friend Rebecca, over at Inspiration DC. She writes a local blog full of gorgeous photographs and interesting things around DC that inspire her. Her most recent project, the Candid Strangers project, gives us a peek at the heart and personalities of DC residents in a way I’ve never seen before.

Last weekend, Rebecca tied a disposable camera to a bench in Eastern Market, with a sign asking people to have fun taking pictures with it. Earlier this week she had the pictures developed and has been posting a selection of the pictures people captured on her blog all week – from a dog to an elderly man, it’s interesting to see what people are inspired to take pictures of when given a random opportunity.

Rebecca says, “It was encouraging to have such a great response to this project and to see how everyone interpreted what to take a picture of differently. I’m excited to try this project in different locations around DC and compare the type of photographs I get.”

All Politics is Local, Downtown, Foggy Bottom, Life in the Capital, Night Life, The Daily Feed, The Hill, WTF?!

D.C.’s Big Beer Ban

Participation Lager… Originally uploaded by dharmabumx

Well folks, it seems, much like the application of parking rates, D.C.’s leadership have painted with a large brush in order to solve a detailed problem. On February 9th, the D.C. Council enacted, at the behest of of several ANC members, a ban on the sale of single bottles of beer in several wards in D.C.. The Washington City Paper has an excellent write up on the issue. The local beer aficionado and brewers list (which includes many of the brewers for local brew pubs in the area, local breweries and others), DC-Beer, has lit up discussing the issue. 

In short, to paraphrase the City Paper, too many people in certain areas of the city have been pissing in the wrong people’s yards after a night of drinking and revelry. So far Ward 2 (Georgetown) and 6 (Capitol Hill) are directly affected (can anybody say “staffers”) but has the unintended affect on those who drink beer for taste rather than rote consumption. A number of specialty stores (or those who actually stock something other than the corn-fed varieties, such as Budweiser) are left shipping their stock to the basement to avoid penalties while trying to get responses back from unresponsive commissioners and councilmen. I ask, dear readers, have you been affected by this issue, or have an opinion?

Food and Drink, Fun & Games, The Daily Feed, The Hill

Local Baristas Clean Up

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘box of lettuce’

Congratulations to baristas (baristae?) from Murky Coffee and Peregrine Espresso who swept the top four spots at the Mid Atlantic Regional Barista Competition. Katie and Allie rocked out the top two spots, representing Murky, and David and Jeremy rocked out 3rd and 4th from Peregrine. If you have any doubts about a well-poured cup of coffee in this town, stand assured, our baristas are best.

News, The Daily Feed, The Hill

Fire at the Madison Building?

Photo courtesy of
‘Washington Library of Congress Madison gebouw’
courtesy of ‘DymphieH’

Living in the District blogger Farrelly has just tweeted that there’s a fire at the Madison Building at the Library of Congress. We’re trying to track down information, but if you know anything please let us know in the comments?

Update: Many Thanks to Sam Masten at LOC for his update: “The Madison Building has been evacuated because there was a fire in a trash can on the Ground floor which may have been set. Because of the weather outside people are going to be directed to come into the Jefferson and Adams so be prepared.”

Inaugupocalypse, The Daily Feed, The Hill, WTF?!

The Scene at Union Station

With most of Union Station’s Grand Hall reserved for tonight’s inaugural ball, and the Metro station and rail concourse already packed to capacity, the crowd entering Union Station had to be divided into Metro, Amtrak, and MARC/VRE riders. Confusion reigned outside as the Columbus Circle road was closed off, forcing people to circle around sidewalks and fences and clumps of National Guard and MPD personnel.

How was it for you?

Inaugupocalypse, Life in the Capital, Media, News, Technology, The Daily Feed, The Hill

Senators Byrd, Kennedy Taken to Hospital

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Daquella manera’

CNN is reporting that Senators Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Teddy Kennedy (D-MA) were both taken from the Luncheon at the Capitol (see, Kaspar, got that one right.) after suffering medical emergencies. CNN suggests that Senator Kennedy was having a seizure, and that it was unclear the extent of the medical difficulties that Sen. Byrd was experiencing.

Monumental, The Features, The Hill

Monumental: James Abram Garfield

James A Garfield and the Capitol

You know how you have a favorite president growing up? Like, you get assigned the guy, knowing he’s not one of the big five, but he turns out to be interesting in his own right? Meet mine, James Abram Garfield. I think it was in Mrs. Franti’s third-grade class that we all had to do mini-reports, and I drew James A. Garfield from the hat.

I was totally bummed, but it worked out pretty well in the end. He wasn’t Thomas Jefferson, or Ulysses S. Grant, or even Richard Nixon. Who was this guy?!

James A. Garfield was a general in the Union Army in the Civil War, hailing from just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. He would, during and after the conclusion of the Civil War, serve as the Congressman from Ohio’s 19th District. On the 36th ballot, in 1880, he became the Republican Nominee for President of the United States. The internecine rivalry between the “Half-Breeds” and the “Stalwarts” lead to a controversial convention. The Half-Breeds, hoping to rid the Government of the patronage system that had developed, were pulling for Senator James Blaine, while the Stalwarts were pushing former President Ulysses S. Grant. Garfield would be the compromise candidate, and his Vice President was Chester A. Arthur, a Stalwart. Continue reading

Life in the Capital, The Hill, WTF?!

Somebody Going To Emergency, Somebody’s Going To Jail

Kilmainham Jail (Gaol) by Sean Munson

There’s Politics, there’s politics, and then there’s Rod Blagojevich, Governor of Illinois. He was arrested this morning on a Federal warrant for corruption charges. You can read the press release (PDF) or you can read the whole complaint (PDF).

It reads like a bad novel. Seriously, writers couldn’t make up corruption this blatant, this ridiculous, this hubristic. The blatant “pay for play” and pure escapist’s collusive fantasy, it’s hard to take in without thinking, as my friend PJ does, that Illinois no longer deserves the right to hold free elections.

There are as many as five potential senate candidates listed in the complaint, though none by name. I suspect the big name journalism outfits are attempting to do a game of “who’s goin’ to the pokey” by identifying characteristics from the complaint and attaching them to actual names. This one will likely get uglier and uglier, and may very well taint some of the President Elect’s campaign and advisors before we get too much further.

The Post’s Carrie Johnson has a detailed examination of the situation, and I suspect that this one is going to get much, much uglier before it gets any better.

Just a sampling, so you can see just what kind of Jail this guy belongs in, assuming he doesn’t get strung up by the masses, please check out this choice quote:

“[I]ntercepted phone conversations between ROD BLAGOJEVICH and others indicate that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is contemplating rescinding his commitment of state funds to benefit Children’s Memorial Hospital because Hospital Executive 1 has not made a recent campaign contribution to ROD BLAGOJEVICH.”

Yep. He’s just that sleazy.

All Politics is Local, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The Hill

A Marriage Equality Protest, this Saturday

There seems to be a sizable across-the-nation protest shaping up for this weekend. In our area it’ll be in front of the Capital, of course, but there are sites listed in Baltimore and Richmond as well. Here’s hoping the 2,500 maybe-attending folks listed on the DC protest’s Facebook page will brave the rain and make some noise.

1:30pm Nov 15th
U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool:
100 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002