Alexandria, Entertainment

Requiem for a Video Store*

Photo by author.

On April 30th the DC metropolitan area loses one of its truly unique businesses when Video Vault in Old Town closes the door on its astonishing collection of movie rental rarities for the last time. Like so many long-running, specialty businesses in the area, Video Vault has finally succumbed to the perfect storm of online competitors and the economic downturn. Add to that Video Vault’s main business being the renting of out-of-print movies on VHS in an age when VCRs are quickly becoming collectors’ items in their own right, and their closing seems almost inevitable.

Like so many of their incredibly rare movies, after April 30th, Video Vault will soon be impossible to find. For the next month however, Video Vault is still open, still renting, and is now selling off their inventory of thousands of ultra-rare movies. If you are a movie fan and have never experienced Video Vault, I highly encourage you to go before the store is gone. Browsing Video Vault is entertainment in itself. They feature specialty sections full of eye-catching oddities, themed displays that are movie-geek mana such as Extreme Asian Horror or the Blind Dead collection, and of course the infamous Cult room; a vault within the Vault that features the titillating and taboo, a wonderful tribute to shock and schlock cinema that is unlike anything DC will ever see again.
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The Daily Feed

Senate Subway, Then and Now

From historical photoblog Shorpy we get this underground gem:

Senate Subway, 1915

That’s the Senate Subway, c. 1915, just two years after it started operation, part of the whole Capitol Subway System. After the jump, you can see how the Senate Subway still uses open-air cars, though somewhat more modernized.

(Update: Well, boy is my face red; the ‘today’ photo after the jump is actually from the House subway, not Senate. You can tell I’ve never ridden either system, not having had the privilege of working on the Hill myself.) Continue reading

The Daily Feed

With or Without Jared, Subs Will Be Everywhere

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Giovanni Spina’

Contain yourselves, my fellow fresh eaters. This Friday through Sunday, our beloved city becomes the temporary home to over 6,000 Subway franchise owners and employees! The Washington Business Journal will make you green with envy with this great snippet:

“Picture 6,000 people getting together talking about the relevance of the slogan “Eat Fresh,” and you’ll have a pretty good idea what’s going to be going on at the Gaylord National Resort this weekend.”

Umm….awesome! But the fun does not stop there. The sub convention will also play host for the 2009 Sub Jammers contest with 150 sub-making-masters competing to be the Subway sub-putter-together champ! Brace yourselves for what is sure to be a wild and wonderful DC weekend. I can smell the Subway bread baking now! The hosting of this event single-handedly legitimizes our standing, and solidifies our position, as the top foodie city in all of the land.

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Where To Set One’s Eyes by Bogotron

Ah, the games we play in life.  I met this girl and I thinks she likes me.  I mean she touched my shoulder as she laughed at my joke and I’ve always heard that if they touch you then you’re in, right?  That Greenpeace volunteer up ahead has a clipboard and is stopping people on the street.  If I put on my sunglasses and ignore them, maybe they won’t ask me for a minute of my time.  These games we play are all about body language, about how we interact with each other, about how we communicate with each other without talking, about how we maneuver through our daily lives.  After all, life is the biggest game of them all.

Bogotron has captured a moment we’ve all experienced before, if not on a daily basis.  You’re crammed on a Metro car full of complete strangers.  The last thing you want to do is talk to them or make them think that it’s OK to talk to you.  Maybe you put on your headphones or maybe you burry your face in your Sudoko book.  Maybe you wear your sunglasses, one of my biggest pet peeves.  You might glance at someone but not for long — wouldn’t want to be caught staring.  You’ve had a hard day at the office and all you can think about is getting home, petting your dog, cracking open a beer, and doing it all again tomorrow.  This is your life, and mine too.

Talkin' Transit

Talkin’ Transit – Metro vs the London Tube

Mind the Gap, courtesy of Jonathtan

If you want perspective on the DC Metro system, sometimes it’s valuable to look at another light rail system somewhere else.   And nothing signifies subways more than the London Tube.  (All New York City fans can feel free to argue this in the comments section.)

The first thing to realize is that DC and the Tube are, in many ways, very much alike.  If you have ever used the Metro, you will be right at home with the Tube ticket vending machines and the entry gates.  And there are just as many escalators in a Tube station as there are in most Metro stations.  Even the platforms look a lot alike, with the textured area right next to the trains to warn the blind of the dangerous area ahead.

There are some great comparisons, and lessons that I think both sides could learn…

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