Essential DC, People, The Features, Where We Live, Why I Still Love DC

Why I (Still) Love DC: Ben

Full disclosure: I really wanted to title this article “Why I (Still) Love DC: Take Two (or Ten)” but Jenn wouldn’t let me. (Something about ruining the pattern or other such reasonable editorial argument.) If you’re a long-time follower of We Love DC, you’ll know I wrote a similarly titled piece back in 2013 after this site’s fifth anniversary.

And then suddenly, here we are not two years later and the party’s over.

Back in the fall, when it was discussed about putting the old gal to rest, I didn’t really want to let it go. I’d hoped that a fresh generation, newer (or older) blood would pick up our baton, and sally forth. But alas–and unlike our lovely Congressmen and Senators on the Hill–our grand lady would not blather on about nothing, limping towards digital obscurity.

And I’m okay with that.

This will be my 647th and final post here at We Love DC. (And, for giggles, that’s about half-a-million words.) I never thought I’d be saying good bye, both to our readers and to the site.

It’s a bittersweet milestone for me, particularly.

2015 marks ten years –half my married life!– since I moved to the Metro DC area. My wife and I escaped a wretched employment outlook in Pittsburgh when the International Spy Museum took a chance and hired me to help run their retail shop. Brenda Young, my manager at the time (and she’s still there, I believe), was a true District resident from Capitol Heights and during our downtime in the office, would tell me all about this city and its secrets. Actually, considering where I worked and who I rubbed shoulders with on a frequent basis, I learned about a lot of secrets in the District…

Anyway, it was during my time there that I stumbled over Tom and his merry band of Metrobloggers. I applied to write, figuring I could bring a ‘fresh-behind-the-ears’ view to the team (only having been here two years at that point). I showed my bona fides and I was in.

And plunged straight into the depths of rebellion. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Daily Feed

Dismemberment Plan: a weekend in tweets


When Dismemberment Plan’s “Emergency & I” was first released in 1999, “tweet” was the sound a bird made. This weekend, as they played three reunion shows in our city’s finest venues (check back at 3 for Brittany’s review!), it became an often hilarious and sometimes poignant way for some fans to experience the event. Many of you might complain that in the age of smartphones, we’ve forgotten how to kick back and just enjoy the music. But as someone who spent Friday and Saturday night’s shows following along from home, and Sunday night’s show sending photos out to friends who couldn’t make it, I’d argue that there’s some communal value in the concert tweet. There’s room for poignancy, humor and nostalgia in those 140 characters, all of which were on display by some of DC’s tweeters this weekend. Below the jump, a collection of our favorites.

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The Features

Photos: MAGfest 9

Magfest 2011

Chances are, you’ve played a video game or two in your day. Maybe you haven’t picked up a controller since Mario made his first (of many, because man she was helpless) attempts to rescue Princess Toadstool. Or maybe you’re a little tired this afternoon because you stayed up too late last night obsessively launching birds at pigs. Me, I picked up an Intellivision controller as soon as I was old enough to grip things, and I’ve been at it ever since.

Which is why I jumped at the opportunity to spend last weekend with 3,000 other people at the Hilton Mark Center in Alexandria for MAGfest 9, an annual four-day celebration of music and gaming.

Continue reading

Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, WMATA

Grand Welcome-Home Moment from a DC Metro Rider!


Four days ago, on a crowded Tokyo Metro train:
<mild jostling>
Me: Sumimasen.
Jostler: Gomen nasai.
<We then trade shallow bows.>

This morning, while exiting a crowded Red Line train delayed by mechanical difficulties at Judiciary Square:
<jostler attempts to overtake between me and my wife>
Me: Excuse me, can I stay with my wife, please?
Jostler: You can’t always get what you want.
<Jostler then attempts to keep pushing way in, fails, then tries to walk-race me and my wife through the crowd to the Metro Center escalators.>

It’s good to be home!

Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The Hill, The Mall

Hill Staffer Hate

Via DC Blogs, we have a WhatLizSaid rant on hill staffers: “This is what your Harvard education has gotten you. Rule your coffee getting domain with an iron fist! “ She’s nice enough to qualify that there are nice, normal staffers, and then there are those staffers, so puffed up by proximity to political power and prestige that they must try to vocally and bodily exert an imagined sense of superiority over DC’s lowly Capite Censi.

Honestly, I can’t recall any runs-in with such brutes, despite living right on the Hill, but then I don’t work in government or play softball/kickball on the Mall, nor do I frequent local bars much. Are the stories true? Is there really such a high population of boorish hill staffers?