Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks, Interrupted

Photo courtesy of Jenn Larsen
Drinks, Interrupted
courtesy of Jenn Larsen

Imagine your heart breaks. No, I’m not talking about love. Imagine it actually stops working properly. In a matter of days what started out as an innocent fluke turns deadly serious as it just slows down, and then stops. Everything in your life suffers too, all thanks to a tiny electrical glitch. Luckily there are cyborg solutions, and you aren’t completely broken. But gosh, a stiff drink would help during exhausting weeks of treatment, right?

Not so. YOU CAN’T DRINK. During Rickey Month. Now it’s really mayday!

In the scheme of everything else I’ve been through in the past three months, not drinking alcohol while being medically grounded is really not the end of the world. But it certainly does feel like injurious insult. Over the next few weeks, I’m exploring methods of crafting beautiful non-alcoholic cocktails with some of our finest local bartenders. It’s for all you fellow medically grounded folks out there for whom YOU CAN’T DRINK was yet another slap in the face. And frankly, it’s a nice distraction from feeling like I’ve reached the bottom of the glass.

Let’s start at one of my favorite bars, with an old colonial method of preservation that helps add complexity in place of the missing (and much missed) alcohol. Continue reading

Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: …And We Love Bartenders (RIP, KT)

Photo courtesy of furcafe
courtesy of furcafe

A very lovely woman passed away on Tuesday. Her name was KT Robeson. If you met her randomly, you would see she was very statuesque. If you knew her better, you would learn she was sassy and fun — and she loved to dance. She loved to go to places like Marvin, the Black Cat, DC9 and the Rock and Roll Hotel. She also happened to have worked at some of those places.

Like us, she loved music. I personally met her acquaintance because, not too long ago, she worked as a bartender and a manager at the Rock and Roll Hotel and especially DC9. I only ever became a casual friend to her but I enjoyed talking to her. I continued to run into her regularly when she came around to see her true friends and family: her fellow nightlife industry compatriots — the bar owners, bar managers, bartenders, bar backs, bouncers, technicians and DJs who make up that tight-knit community responsible for any successful music venue, dance hall or dive bar with a good ol’ jukebox.

We sometimes take these folks for granted if we don’t work in the industry ourselves because we are all very busy. But they serve as our hosts, entertainers, cooks, protectors, janitors and sometimes our nannies. Sometimes they become our acquaintances, fellow jokesters, confidants or just good listeners. Sometimes they truly become friends. They generally are good people that don’t mind doing a job that essentially ensures *we* get to have a good time.

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The Features

The Ladder of Escape: Miró at the National Gallery of Art

Joan Miró - The Farm, 1921-1922 - oil on canvas / National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mary Hemingway / © 2012 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Whatever your preconceived notions of Miró might be, put them on hold and head to the National Gallery of Art.

The NGA is the sole U.S. venue for Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape. A massive exhibit, it highlights the artist’s political side and undying loyalty to Catalonia throughout a lifetime of hardship under two world wars, the Spanish Civil War, and the Franco dictatorship. I had the chance to visit when it opened on Sunday.

Entering the exhibit, quaint gently slips into surreal. Surrounding The Farm – one of Miró’s most celebrated pieces – we see the painter mature from a sentimental youth into the experimental adult artist Andre Bretón called “the most ‘surrealist’ of us all.”

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Entertainment, The Features

A 2012 Helen Hayes Awards (Drama Prom) Diary

Large crowds of peers; suits and dresses of all shapes and sizes; a night full of brief greetings and close encounters. It’s no wonder why DC’s Helen Hayes Awards Gala is affectionately known as Drama Prom. Even though last year’s initial experience had its ups and downs, unlike high school prom you can try for a better time next year!

So I did just that and I had a wonderful time despite some odd similarities. Here’s how Washington’s biggest night in theatre unfolded through my eyes. If you are interested in finding out who walked away with the coveted hardware just scroll down to the bottom of the post.

9:39 AM

I woke up with a shooting pain in my lower back and a stomach feeling less than 100%. Spending the past weekend at Cafe Citron probably wasn’t the best idea. On top of my body ailments the Orange Line decided to break down (big surprise), delaying my commute into the office.

Not a great start to Prom day but I kept a positive attitude a trudged along the work day.

2:39 PM

I couldn’t believe it was happening. Again. A year after my Helen Hayes date woke up with pinkeye and had to bail, my date woke up terribly ill and was unable to attend the festivities. I began to wonder if I have been cursed or if the ghost of Helen Hayes was haunting me.

Luckily fellow arts writer Joanna saved the day and stepped into Jenn’s place, saving me from awkwardly roaming the Helen Hayes Awards alone.

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We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The Art of Video Games

Photo courtesy of mosley.brian
We Love DC – Art of Video Games – 03-15-12 07
courtesy of mosley.brian

I promise, once you’re done reading this article, you’re going to want to dust off your Atari 2600, or NES, or PS1, or whatever was your first video game system, and play all the games you grew up with. That was my reaction, and I have the couple of hours I lost playing The Legend of Zelda last Saturday to prove it.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum opened their new exhibit, the Art of Video Games, with a big festival this past weekend. If you missed it, don’t worry; the real festival, the exhibit itself, is far from over, as it is going to be running until September 30th. Employing some impressive, and modern, multi-media tools, the museum has put together a truly engaging art exhibit of some very influencial, but generally overlooked, modern art. Namely, video games.  Continue reading

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Dead Milkmen @ U Street Music Hall, 2/18/12

Photo courtesy of xrayspx
courtesy of xrayspx

The Dead Milkmen, Philadelphia’s top punk export, stunned a sold-out crowd at U Street Music Hall with the nervy verve of their declarations against mainstream America along with an amazingly acute understanding of their musical niche and a nod to DC hardcore punkers Fugazi.

Rodney Anonymous and crew tore through about 30 3-minute musical selections in a show at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, Feb. 18, to a largely respectful crowd who formed perhaps the most civil mosh pit in history at the front of the stage as the show reached its halfway point. By its halfway point, the Dead Milkmen had dispensed with some of their comparatively polite standards like “Punk Rock Girl” and “Methodist Coloring Book,” which thumb their nose as social acceptance, as well as new song “Fauxhemia,” which rails gently against things people are “supposed” to like, such as NPR. These songs, while rooted firmly in the Dead Milkmen catalog, hit their targets with a bit more of a slap upside the head than a kick in the ass. Continue reading

Entertainment, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, Media, The District, The Features

Breaking Down The Sh*t DC Says Video

What’s really great about a viral meme based on stereotypes is that it can be easily replicated. The problem about a viral meme based on stereotypes is that it can easily be replicated.

We roared at My New Haircut, laughed at My New Haircut: Asian Edition, groaned at My New Haircut: Irish Edition.

So when Shit Girls Say came out it was only a matter of time before a billion other versions were produced. The meme was even embraced by yoga apparel company Lululemon Athletica and Public Relations Agency Hunter PR.

If you weren’t sure if the meme has hit critical mass or jumped over the shark then hold on to your butts- the meme has gone local with Shit DC Says.

DC’s Living Social blog, SocialStudiesDC, produced the video and it made the rounds all-day yesterday.

Let’s break it down.

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Food and Drink, Night Life, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks (Lots of Them): Repeal Day Ball 2011

Fog Lifters
All photos by the author

We here at We Love DC are unabashed, unequivocal fans of the DC Craft Bartenders Guild and their annual Repeal Day Ball. So much so that, within about 48 hours of the announcement that tickets were on sale (by which I mean within about twelve hours, really), Jenn, Brittany, and I (and the Social Chair, naturally) had all bought our tickets for this year’s ball. It’s the biggest party of the year, it’s focused on craft cocktails, and it’s thrown by bartenders themselves. This idea intrigues me and I would like to subscribe to its newsletter.

The ball (8pm Saturday at Halcyon House) is sold out now, but those of you who are going for the first time are in for a treat. A continual supply of treats, to be honest. I won’t go over all the names (you can do that yourself) and I can’t predict what the drinks will be, but I can provide the voice of experience to get you to the end of the night with your dignity intact and your clothes unstained. Join me, won’t you?

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Downtown, Education, History, Special Events, The District, The Features, The Mall, We Love Arts

The Song of Emil Her Many Horses

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘bhrome’

out of the earth / I sing for them
A Horse nation / I sing for them
out of the earth / I sing for them,
the animals / I sing for them.

~a song by the Teton Sioux

Emil Her Many Horses is, by first appearance, a quiet, unassuming gentleman. A museum specialist in the office of Museum Programs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), he is responsible for the facility’s latest exhibition “A Song for the Horse Nation.” A member of the Ogala Lakota nation of South Dakota, his expertise on the Northern and Southern Plains cultures is well served and seen in the exhibit that opens to the public tomorrow.

NMAI’s latest offering is a touching and brilliant display of how the horse has deeply impacted and affected Native cultures since their introduction to the Americas in the 17th century. “The exhibit tells the history of the horse; that they were here once before, migrated to Europe, and returned as the horse we know today,” explained Her Many Horses. “They changed Native culture. The horse had a major impact on hunting, warfare, travel, spirituality. These were big changes.” Changes that extend beyond the European vision of the animal.

Seen as a beast of burden, a tool, a weapon, the horse was brought and used by European explorers and colonists early in America’s “New World” history. And their introduction, according to many Natives, was probably one of the biggest positive changes brought about by the white man.

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Downtown, News, The Features

DC, Consider Yourself Occupied

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘amreese13’

Since Occupy Wall Street has already inspired an Occupy Omaha and Occupy Ljlubljana, Slovenia, it should come as no surprise that a similar protest has arrived at the nation’s capital.

On Saturday, Occupy DC began its (potentially never-ending) takeover of McPherson Square.

Members hail from the District and, up until this past weekend, met mainly on the internet. Now they’re armed with a cross-street, social media and pizza slices.

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Downtown, Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks Special: Bibiana’s Aged Cocktails

Photo courtesy of

‘Ready to Mix’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

You’re probably familiar with the fact that wine and whiskey are aged in barrels. But cocktails? It may seem like a trend, popping up in bars in London, Portland and New York for the past year or so, but it’s actually a much older revival – aging cocktail ingredients in oak barrels was a popular technique back at the turn of the last century. But for Bibiana‘s general manager Francesco Amodeo, it’s not a matter of trend. It’s practical.

“I was talking to my mother about their cellar at home,” he tells me, referring to the family home on the Amalfi Coast, “what to do with all the barrels?” His grandfather makes wine, and his mother was looking to get rid of the excess refuse. Francesco jumped at the chance to put them to another use. Starting with two sizes, 1 and 5 liter barrels, he’s crafted two cocktails for Bibiana that were just uncorked for the first time Tuesday evening after three months of aging.

Try out the best cocktails as if you were a professional, visit to find tips and recommendations for the preparation of the cocktails.

As they’re produced in small quantities (at least until Francesco’s grandfather finishes crafting a 250 liter barrel for him) they’ll go fast, so get over to taste them. Aging cocktails gives the liquor a beautiful toasty quality, rounding out the flavor. Let’s take a closer look at Francesco’s two drinks and the process.

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Monumental: Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial

Photo courtesy of
‘The ultimate measure of a man…………’
courtesy of ‘LaTur’

On Sunday (UPDATE: now sometime in September or October), the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial will be dedicated. As this will be the first major memorial dedicated in the Mall area since the National World War II Memorial in 2004, I thought it would be interesting to review the monument and solicit our readers’ views. For those interested in going to the dedication, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation has a FAQ page on the dedication ceremony and a handy walking directions pamphlet.

To quickly sum up my opinion: excellent, and long overdue, idea for a memorial, but it is poorly executed. Let me explain. I’ll be slightly kinder than Courtland Milloy but not by much and in some areas less (BTW: props to you, sir, on the Star Wars reference! Makings of a Millennial this one has.). Continue reading

Talkin' Transit, Technology, The Features, We Green DC, WMATA

Mastering Metrobus, or, S.T.R.E.A.M. (SmarTrip Rules Everything Around Me)

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

I’ve been participating in the Zipcar Low Car Diet challenge this month, and something that I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten more transit-dependent is that a lot of intelligent, resourceful people are completely confounded by any bus that’s not the Circulator. If their destination is not close to a Metrorail stop, they drive to it. I humbly submit that this is completely ridiculous; the bus is just not that hard.

However, it IS true that Metrobus lacks the navigational simplicity that Metrorail has. The Metro map gives you a nice sense of the finite nature of Metrorail: there are only 5 lines, and they’re, well, lines; they go to all the stops in order one way, and they go back along the same stops the other way. That’s it. Have you seen the full Metrobus system map? It’s a freaking mess. It’s not even one map; they had to split it into three.

So with the goal of making it all a little less daunting for the novice Metrobus-rider, here are a few things you need to know: Continue reading

The Features

Why I Love DC: Brian Mosley

Photo courtesy of
‘Fall Equinox – Aligned – 9-15-08’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

When I was asked to write this piece, my first thought was “well this could be a long article or this could be very short.” If I listed everything I love about my hometown, I’d have a multi-post series; or I could sum it up with a simple “everything.” But neither would do. So I sat down and started thinking. When is it that I say “I love this city” and mean it? I started to realize that I say that almost every time someone says “I hate this city because.” Sounds wrong right? Normally when people start complaining, everyone piles on. Not me…well, not always me. Continue reading

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Media, Music, People, Technology, The District

Sick DC Time-Lapse

If the above doesn’t work for you here’s a direct link to the District 1.5 : HDR Time-lapse from Drew Geraci.

Via the power of the interwebs, I stumbled across this awesome HDR time-lapse by Drew Geraci. The shots were taken over a 3 day period, during which Geraci was stopped 9 times by the National Parks Service and 3 times by DC Metro police;  post-production (rendering, editing, etc.) took Geraci only 1 day. This is the photogs first full scale production time-lapse using the new HDR technique that he’s developed from his own personal photography experience.

Personally, I’m loving the locations selected; they really capture the heart of this city. Whoever said that DC is a sleepy town clearly needs to see this as the locations selected, be they thoroughfares, monuments or sites, are packed with pedestrian and vehicular activity. In the 3 plus minute long video, we’re taken on a whirlwind trip around DC through saturated hi-def quality of the shots and kickass crescendoing musical accompaniment. Tre cool.

Downtown, Special Events

So You Want to See the National Fireworks on the Mall?

‘2010 – Fourth of July – I Stand with the General’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

So you want to see the National Fireworks on the Mall? But you’ve heard all this about talk about crushing crowds, insane Metro rides home, and a constant threat of rain just before the fireworks are supposed to fly. Yeah, that all happens. But I can help with alternatives and easy to handle ways of dealing with the above problems. Because, really, the fireworks on the Mall are one of the great things about living in this city and everyone should enjoy them.

I’ll go over locations, best ways of getting home, and even a short gallery of pictures. If you want info on security checkpoints to get onto the Mall, and any other info, check out the Park Service’s page on the fireworks. Continue reading

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

The Week in Drinks in Pictures

Tiki Tuesday 7
All photos by the author

If you follow me on Twitter, you might be aware that this has been an eventful week. Literally. Friday the Social Chair and I hosted her birthday party, Sunday we hit our usual brunch, Monday I had a tasting, and Tuesday saw the launch party for Dan Searing’s new book, The Punch Bowl. Plus Tuesday was, as always, Tiki Tuesday at the Passenger. So I was busy.

Instead of picking just one of those, I thought this week would be a perfect opportunity for a photo feature. So here goes.

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We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: On the Town With Dale DeGroff

Dale DeGroff 1
All photos by the author

Monday I attended a talk by noted (some might say legendary, and they might not be wrong) bartender Dale DeGroff. Arranged by and benefitting the Museum of the American Cocktail (also behind the Hotel Cocktail seminar Jenn attended), the talk had the simple title On the Town with Dale DeGroff and an equally simple, but delightful, construction.

The fact that you probably already know what a Cosmopolitan cocktail is, and most likely even have a mental picture of the sort of person you imagine would drink it, owes its existence to King Cocktail. Widely credited as the bartender who made it popular (if not ubiquitous) from behind the bar at the Rainbow Room in the 1980s, DeGroff has a long history both with his leg up in front of the bar and as the all-seeing, all-hearing master of ceremonies behind it. The “On the Town” seminar is a chance for him to tell a sample of the stories he has collected – or been a part of – since he moved to New York four decades ago.

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Essential DC, Life in the Capital, The District, Tourism

It’s Tourist Season: Share the Love

All photos by the author

A couple years ago the Social Chair and I were sitting at a bar when the couple next to us asked us a question. They said they’d overheard our conversation with the bartender and were looking for a restaurant recommendation, since they were visiting from out of town and wanted to try something other than their usual haunts. We got to talking about where they were from (“Outside Toronto”), and we mentioned that we were leaving in a week to go visit family and friends both in and outside Toronto. It was at this point in a conversation with a Canadian that I would usually get to play my trump card, since my sister lives in a town even most Ontario natives haven’t heard of. But when we told them the name of the town (West Montrose), they got a little wide-eyed. And then they asked, “which house?”

It turned out that these strangers, from “Outside Toronto,” had almost bought that very house, and after they didn’t buy it their friends did. Their friends, in fact, were the couple who sold the house to my sister and brother-in-law (and since my sister’s family is moving to The Hague, it’s for sale again). In this city you never know who you might meet.

Judging by what I’ve seen on Twitter, and a stale rant that has been making the rounds again (which I won’t dignify by linking here), tourist season has fallen hard on some of you (the fact that it arrives at the same time as allergy season also doesn’t help, I’m sure). But I ask your patience as I make this heartfelt plea: please be nice to tourists.

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Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, Monumental, People, The Features

Monumental: The National Mall & Memories

Photo by Rachel Levitin

My first physical encounter with the ivory American tower that is the Lincoln Memorial was at the age of 12. When I graduated from my four-year stint at American University at age 22, I maintained and continued to proclaim that the Lincoln Memorial is my favorite place to “sit and do nothing” in D.C.

Its hallowed marble grounds and view of the Reflecting Pool is a unique visual shot only available in D.C. Thousands of visitors flood the site daily. It’s a nice stop for a group photo and the corner stone of an essential plot point in Wedding Crashers but at the age of 23 I have no idea why I still call the Lincoln Memorial my favorite place to “sit and do nothing” in D.C.

When you live in Washington for long enough, the tourist appeal loses its initial flare. Often times, those of us who announce residency for longer than a Presidential term are left to visit historical sites, memorials, landmarks, and museums when family or friends are here from out of town … or we’ve guilt tripped ourselves into venturing out into the District’s finest attraction – the National Mall. Continue reading