Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: A Date with Idina Menzel & The NSO Pops

Photo courtesy of
‘2009 05 17 – 6179 – Washington DC – Kennedy Center’
courtesy of ‘thisisbossi’

Tony award winner Idina Menzel — best known for her portrayal of Elphaba in the original cast of Wicked — is an undisputed face of Broadway today. Since her professional debut as Maureen in Rent over 15 years ago, Ms. Menzel’s voice, stage presence, and personality has grown from a young 20-something eager to grab life by the horns to a wife, mother, and tenured performer who continues to do the same.

What makes Menzel a role model and an icon in the music world isn’t just her powerful voice. What makes Menzel a role model and an icon is her ability to connect with a room full of people she doesn’t know.

Thursday night’s opening Pops performance of “A Date with Idina Menzel” featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Marvin Hamlisch at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall is proof. Continue reading

History, News, The Daily Feed, The Hill, WTF?!

Smallest House in DC for Rent

Photo courtesy of
‘Real Estate For Sale Signs’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Do you ever feel like your pad is just a bit too large? Maybe you’re the type that doesn’t really like a space of their own.  Well, you’re in luck because DC’s smallest (unofficially) house is currently on the market.  For just over $1000/mo, you can enjoy all that this Capitol Hill home’s 252 square feet has to offer. The house is comes complete with a kitchenette, bathroom and backyard that’s actually larger than the interior. Frankly, though, it looks a little silly in between the neighboring normal sized houses, but I suppose that’s part of the charm.  So, if you’re the type of person searching for a unique little (emphasis on little) home, DC has the answer.  Isn’t there a tiny house in Georgetown, too?  I wonder which is smaller.

Mythbusting DC, The Features

DC Mythbusting: To Rent or To Own

Photo courtesy of
‘Real Estate For Sale Signs’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Welcome to another edition of Mythbusting!  A while back, we tackled the myth of DC being home to a transient population, and found out that the District doesn’t really deserve its reputation for no one being from here.  But this month, as I’m moving out of the home that I own and into a larger house that I will rent, it got me thinking: does DC have more renters than the average American city?  Can people just not afford the high property values here?  And which neighborhoods have the most renters?

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Life in the Capital, Where We Live

Your Rent Should Not Go Up This Year

Photo courtesy of
‘For rent’
courtesy of ‘quinn.anya’

If you’ve gotten off the metro in any of the suburbs you’ve probably seen big apartment advertisements offering large giveaways. If that wasn’t enough confirmation for you that the rental market is a soft, perhaps a report on apartments in our region from Marcus & Millichap will help.[pdf, free reg required] There’s some interesting info in that report and if you’re coming up on a lease renewal maybe we can help you use it to get yourself a better deal.

Part of why you see those snazzy banners with equally big offers is that the hardest-hit market is the “class A” asking rents, the higher priced places like Crystal City and along the Connecticut Ave corridor. Not all of the top-price spots have been hit though – some places like Dupont are bucking the trend for now because of their desirability. However overall vacancies are up and it’s unlikely that any region is going to be totally free of a hit; the M&M report says there’s just as many properties coming onto the market this year as last,  meaning more spots to fill.

More interesting is that many of the lower-priced rentals actually have ticked up marginally, perhaps because of people who are more down on their luck and looking for cheaper options. However they also are seeing vacancies rise, so this might be a brief lag about to be followed by more drops.

Let’s dig a little deeper and talk about how it might help you.

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Arlington, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed

The Big (Apartment) Hunt

Photo courtesy of
‘Misc DC – Presidential Flyover – 9-1-08’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

So we’re looking at making THE BIG MOVE, and I need some advice from all you Realtors and leasing agents out there.

My lovely roommate and I are going to be striking out to find a new apartment along the Wilson/Clarendon (metro accessible) stretch and are wondering – how are the prices out there? We had a HORRENDOUS time snagging our current apartment during the summer a few years ago, but are hoping with the economic downturn, and the dead of winter, things might actually play out in our favor.

I’ve noticed so many more advertising yard signs (Parc Rosslyn and Vista, I’m looking at you!) and random people on the street corner doing tricks with big arrow signs than I did last year – so I ask…is it a renter’s market out there? Can we bargain? What is your advice (or experience, if you recently made a move) for apartment shopping during these winter months in a crap economy?