by June 27, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

From Willis Shawver. Follow him on Twitter at @WShawver or email him at Willis[AT]


The Metro Rule, it never fails. (Luis Gomez Photos)

After living in a city for a while, you start to pick up on some of the unwritten rules that apply to that particular city. I’ve definitely learned a few unwritten rules while living here in the District.

Keep your commute under 30 minutes. Stand on the right, walk on the left. Parking on Connecticut Ave after 7:30 am on a weekday will get you a $100 ticket. Okay, maybe that’s a written rule, but you get the idea.

And what it is the most important rule I’ve learned while living here? The Metro Rule.

I haven’t always lived in the District. When I first moved to the area more than 10 years ago, I lived in a far off place called Fair-A-Fax. It’s a magical place full of things called CostCo, Applebees and McMansions. People do this thing they call “driving.” It’s all very strange. While I might have lived out in the suburbs, I worked in downtown DC. Right across from Camelot. Great lunch buffet, by the way.

To get to work every day, I would drive 15 minutes to the nearest Metro station, park, ride the Metro for 35 minutes and then walk 10 minutes to my office. Then I would do it all again in reverse later that same day. Practically two hours of my day lost to the commute.

Like any good 20-something with a job in the city, I attended my fair share of happy hours and social events after work. Sometimes those social events included drinking. Okay, a lot of those social events included drinking. And the one constant after every event, was the long Metro ride home.

And do you know what Metro stations and Metro cars don’t have? Bathrooms. Henceforth, the Metro Rule was born.

Met·ro Rule (metrō ro͞ol) noun

Definition: The idea that an individual should visit the lavatory before leaving their current location.

Example of Metro Rule: Brian decided it was a good idea to apply the Metro Rule after closing out his tab at the bar.

I truly believe that Metro turnstiles are cursed. As soon as you walk through… BOOM! You’ve got to go. And what’s that? A 15-minute wait for the next Red Line train, AND you’ve got to transfer at Chinatown? This is not looking good my friend. You should have Metro Ruled. Yes, it’s a verb too.

You might say to yourself, “I don’t have to go. I just went!” (Sigh) Your body is lying to you. You do have to go. Or maybe you’re not even taking the Metro. That’s why the rule applies to all modes of transportation. Bus. Bike. Cab. Walking. It doesn’t matter, the rule applies!

There are NO exceptions to the Metro Rule. None. Well, maybe a couple. Long bathroom lines can be a deterrent to the Metro Rule. Proximity to your next destination is also a factor. Are you literally walking next store or just a few blocks away? Ok, fine. Hold it, but you’ve been warned.

Ultimately, the Metro Rule is infallible. When applied consistently and correctly, the rule will bring peace of mind and … relief to those who believe in the power of preemptive peeing.

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by June 27, 2013 at 8:00 am 0

From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]


Crime news from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

Police continue to investigate an attack inside of Manny and Olga’s Pizza at 1841 14th Street NW early Sunday morning. Based on video from the incident posted to, a drag performer is involved in a verbal altercation with two females that turns into a physical fight.

The two females seem to instigate the physical fight after one was spit on, although it is not clear if the video shows the entire incident. The performer is identified by Metro Weekly as Heidi Glüm, whose real name is Miles Denaro (although he uses the last name DeNiro).

The video shows Denaro being pulled by the hair and beaten, and at the end of the clip he is bleeding from a head wound.

As Queerty reported, the video shows other customers and employees are slow to break up the altercation, and some seem to be cheering for the fight to continue. Denaro said he suffered cuts on his arms, hair loss, and a huge gash on his head in the incident. Queerty also published Denaro’s tweets from immediately after the attack, in which he claims he did not want to fight back because the attackers were female. He also used racially offensive language in one of his tweets.


Manny & Olga’s Pizza on 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

According to the Washington Blade, both Denaro and one of the females in the video have filed police reports in the incident. Denaro did not call police at the time of the incident but accused both women of simple assault and a hate crime in a report filed Monday with the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department.

Denaro, 24, says the women were making fun of his shoes and makeup and that led to a verbal altercation that turned physical after one of the women slapped him in the face and he spit on her. His report claims, and the video seems to confirm, that he was punched and kicked repeatedly in the incident.

One of the two women in the video, filed a complaint against Denaro accusing him of biting her in the leg and claiming he gave her HIV. That assault was classified in the report as an aggravated assault.

Denaro admitted to the Blade that he bit the woman, but says he did so in self-defense. Denaro, who is HIV positive (according to the Blade), can be heard in the video saying “you’ve got AIDS now,” but it is unclear if this is related to the bite or blood from head wounds sustained in the attack.

Both reports remain under investigation, and police have not yet made any arrests in the case.

Prior to the attack, Denaro was performing as Heidi Glüm just down the block at the Black Cat’s monthly “Gay/Bash” event. Glüm is scheduled to appear at next month’s event on July 12.

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by June 27, 2013 at 6:00 am 0


Shady Three is by ep_jhu from the Borderstan Flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, Shady Three is by ep_jhu. The photo was taken June 8 in Dupont Circle.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by June 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

Khelan offers up some summer suit options that work in the DC summer heat.

Khelan offers up some summer suit options that work in the DC summer heat.

Above: Thomas Pink Shirt, J.Crew’s Ludlow Summer Suit and Ralph Lauren Tie by khelan on

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT] 

Today, I have some options for suits that work in the DC summer heat (and address the issue of seersucker, once a DC uniform in the summertime).

First, let’s address some do-not-do fashions on the subject of (ill-placed) patriotism on Independence Day. I was in Penn Quarter the other day, and I saw a fashion atrocity that I hope was perpetrated by a tourist and not a resident. This guy was wearing… get this… American flag slacks. As in white stars on a blue background on the right leg and alternating red-and-white stripes on the left leg. Cannot make this sh*t up. It almost made me yearn for a constitutional amendment banning the desecration of Old Glory… or mandating a sense of style. Relax, ACLU’ers, I believe that free speech is a fundamental, inalienable right. However, fashion is most definitely a privilege.

The Loss of Seersucker Thursday

Anyhow, down to business at hand. Not sure if you read Dana Milbank’s Dana Milbank’s Washington Post column last Tuesday, but it was an interesting piece intertwining two of my passions: politics and style.

The article’s intent was clearly to lament the loss of a frivolous, yet important, tradition in the halls of Congress: Seersucker Thursday, which was started by former GOP Senator Trent Lott to create a sense of bipartisan camaraderie and, well, fun in an often humorless institution. And, hey, I’m all for tastefully pushing the sartorial envelope in the workplace.

But the column got me thinking about seersucker in general and I came to this conclusion: Very few guys actually look good in the summer fabric. In fact, it looks downright costumey and (dare I say it?) Colonel Sandersesque on most guys. Don’t get me wrong; I fully appreciate that everyone from Thom Browne to Club Monaco has attempted to make the seersucker suit look cool… no pun intended. But it so rarely does. Am I right?

However, that doesn’t change the fact that many of us have to still wear business formal to the workplace even as the thermostat inches closer, and sometimes past, 100 degrees. And, as I’ve said repeatedly, this column isn’t just my little corner to bitch and moan about the heinous crimes against style. I pose solutions to the problems I often bring up (unless you’re wearing American Flag trousers — there’s no fix, outside of shock therapy, I can think of).

The Perfect Summer Suit

J.Crew’s Ludlow fine-striped suit is quite literally the perfect summer suit (well, at least, the best one I’ve ever worn). It’s cotton, so it breathes better than tropical wool, and doesn’t wrinkle quite as easily as linen. Plus, it’s just this side of off-white (sometimes slate, depending on the light), so it doesn’t look too stark, as pure white suits often can (look, this is still the District, not Miami. Let’s not get too crazy). And the stripes are so wonderfully subtle that you can pair it with literally any color or pattern dress shirt.

Here’s an idea: let’s try a red-striped shirt…maybe this one from Thomas Pink. And a blue knit tie from Polo. Red, (sort-of) white, and blue. Oh hey, I just found a solution for Mr. America, too.

This column first ran July 4, 2012.

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by June 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm 0


Cobalt Manager Mark Rutstein raised the LGBT flag after this morning’s Supreme Court decisions were announced. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Today the U.S. Supreme Court announced decisions that push forward rights for gay Americans: DOMA the federal Defense of Marriage Act, that denies legally married gay Americans a series of health, pension and tax benefits otherwise available to married couples was found unconstitutional; and California Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage, was not reviewed (which is good news in this case).

From Metroweekly: “In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as between a man and a woman as a violation of the Fifth Amendment. In another 5-4 decision, the high court dismissed the Proposition 8 case on standing, meaning same-sex marriages will resume in California.”

Last March supporters and opponents packed the steps of the Supreme Court when the justices heard oral arguments.

In the neighborhood, Cobalt (17th and R NW) opened at noon in anticipation of early revelers. It should be interesting to see 17th Street, and the neighborhood in general, is a merrier place tonight.

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by June 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

From Farrah Joon. Check out her blog, sexandfessenjoon. Email her at farrah[AT], follow her on Twitter @Farrah_Joon.


Trusting hand. (Luis Gomez Photos)

I’ve always been very independent when it comes to men. I don’t trust easily and it’s not because I’ve been so scarred for life, but because I feel like every time I begin to trust one — I get let down.

The fear of vulnerability outnumbers any desire to take a risk.

And I’m actually quite okay with that for now because I truly haven’t met anyone that I can see a future with. So it’s really out of sight out of mind for me… until I realized that there are different degrees of trust in any type of “Romantic” relationship:

  • You trust your partner to stay committed.
  • You trust the guy you are having sex with to refrain from (figuratively) screwing you over.

Regardless, trust is always going to be an issue in any relationship you might have — whether it’s professional, friendship, relationsh*T, etc.

But how do you determine what makes a person trustworthy?

My friends always say “trust is earned”– but how do you know when someone finally earns it?

  • They bring you lunch everyday for a week and you decide that you trust them?
  • Or they put on a condom without you having to ask therefore, you trust them?

I don’t really buy into the notion that “Trust is earned,” I think trust is a feeling. When you “click” with someone it’s because you feel comfortable with them (whether it’s a friend or a lover).

If someone rubs me the wrong way within five minutes of talking to them — it’s likely that I will never be open to trusting that person.  But if I can be comfortable with someone and hold an enjoyable conversation — then I’m likely to trust that person in the future. Make sense?

Of course a lot more plays into my instant reaction to trust or not to trust. Or am I just relying too much on my emotional connection to a person?

Are we all just constantly proving ourselves to each other as a trustworthy counterpart or can someone tell that I will keep their secrets just by looking at my face?

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by June 26, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

From Katie Andriulli. Email her at katie[AT] and follow her on Twitter @kandriulli.

This week we fell in falafelove with the DC Ballers truck.


DC Ballers: Get it soon. (Katie Andriulli)

Food Selection

The “balls” in DC Ballers’ namesake are falafel patties (my third favorite type of ball following meatballs and arancini… I’m Italian, deal with it) but the truck also specializes in hummus, French fries (regular or Greek style with feta, oregano and olive oil) and other Middle Eastern delights including Tabouli (tomato, onion, parsley, mint, and bulgur wheat in a lemon mint dressing) and Israeli salad (tomato, cucumber and parsley in a lemon mint dressing). Carnivores take heed: DC Ballers is meat-free, but the falafels are so hearty you really won’t miss it.

Price Range

Platters (hummus, with or without a falafel, plus Tabouli, Israeli salad and pita) range from $7.50 to $9.50 and sandwiches range from $5.50 to $7. You can also get a side of fries with dipping sauce for $3.50, Greek fries for $5 (well worth the extra $1.50), and hummus, falafel, Israeli salad and Tabouli are all available a la carte for $4 to $5.50. Fresh ginger-mint lemonade, on special, was $2.50.

The Verdict!

  • Wait time: 5/5. There was no line when I arrived promptly at noon, and my food was handed to me (hot!) in less than 60 seconds.
  • Service: 5/5. Efficient and friendly. And they take cards. What more do you need?
  • Bang for your buck: 4.5/5. My order of hummus with falafel came with a sizeable pita, four falafel balls and a TON of hummus, and was filling enough to stretch to two meals, turning my $7.50 lunch turn into two $3.75 lunches, which is pretty magical. The extra $2.50 I paid for their homemade lemonade seemed a little steep, although not inconsistent with what other trucks charge for similar beverages, so I’ll allow it.
  • Deliciousness: 5/5. As a self-described hummus connoisseur, I have probably tried every brand I can get my hands on, but DC Ballers’ puts all of the others to shame. It’s seriously stellar… smooth and creamy with just the right amount of garlic (i.e., lots) and tahini. Game over Sabra. Pack up your individual hummus n’ pretzel cups and saunter on out of here. Thanks for playing.

A really good pita. (Katie Andriulli)

I have had many a falafel in my day as well and I can say with moderate authority that DC Ballers’ are right up there with the best I’ve had… crunchy and flavorful and they didn’t instantly disintegrate once cut into. The tahini sauce drizzled on top (and in an extra container on the side) provided a lovely dipping sauce and compliment to the hummus.

Now, this whole operation could have fallen apart if the pita was second rate, but luckily, the Ballers have that locked down as well. The pita was obviously freshly baked since it was handed to me piping hot in tin foil. It was thick enough to support the weight of my self-made falafel sandwich without being too bready, and I also I loved the za’atar spices sprinkled top, which gave it a little extra zest.

I also sprung for the homemade ginger-mint lemonade, which was quite pleasant, but could have benefitted from a bit more ice, and/or the addition of gin.

Admittedly, after a weekend of eating badly (re: basically an entire 3-pound calzone in one sitting on Sunday… whoops) I could not muster the courage to order the truck’s other signature dish, the French fries, at lunchtime. However, an acquaintance of mine mentioned that she had tried the Greek fries before and that they were pretty stellar and she is generally pretty reliable, so just take her word for it, okay?

  • Overall: 5/5. Assuming your co-workers aren’t vampires, they won’t mind a bit of a garlic smell in the air (or on your breath) so go get Ballin’.

Follow DC Ballers on Twitter @DCBallers and check out their full menu here.

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by June 26, 2013 at 10:30 am 0

On Tuesday at 6 pm a tribute to Michael Jackson was organized by Radio One in front of the Howard Theatre (620 T Street, NW). Some 100 people showed up to a flash mob dance of Jackson’s “Beat It.”

Jackson, know as the “King of Pop,” died June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles. Thriller was Jackson’s most sold album. Fans remembered him in many other places today.

Shaw Main Streets was a co-sponsor of the tribute to Michael Jackson on the fourth anniversary of his death.

by June 26, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

From Joey Gavrilovich. Follow him on Twitter @joeygDC, email him at joey[AT]

"Patty Stonesifer"

Patty Stonesifer (Courtesy Stonesifer)

This is Part II of a conversation with Patty Stonesifer. Part I ran June 5.

In January, the board of Martha’s Table surprised the philanthropic world when they announced that Patty Stonesifer, the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, would become its next president and CEO. Ms. Stonesifer also served as the Chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions, appointed in 2010 by President Obama. In 2012, she completed her term as the Chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents. This is part two of an exclusive Borderstan feature about Patty Stonesifer’s new role.

Now nearly three months in at Martha’s Table, Stonesifer shares that for her, the process of moving from the global foundation world to the local human service world meant recognizing the direct role the surrounding community must continue to play for her organization to succeed.

A big part of this is educating that community on what Martha’s Table does.

A New Way of Reaching People

“Most people think of us as the place that does hot meals in the parks, but that’s only a part of our food and nutrition programs. Most of the poor in the District are not in the parks in the evening, they’re in their homes, and so in addition to prepared meals, the distribution of quality produce and groceries becomes essential.”

The hot meals served in the parks through a volunteer-run mobile food kitchen called McKenna’s Wagon make up about a third of the 60,000 meals Martha’s Table serves a month. The rest are groceries, said Stonesifer. Those groceries have been distributed to families from the organization’s pantry at the 14 and V Streets NW headquarters.

Stonesifer’s vision for the organization involves reaching more families in need of groceries where they live, similar to how McKenna’s Wagon serves the homeless population near city parks.

“Those groceries make up 40,000 meals each month that I think could be 400,000 if we could find the right places and ways to distribute it,” said Stonesifer. Over the past two years, the organization has started distributing to families from four District schools as well as the 14 and V headquarters. Garrison Elementary at 13 and S Street NW is one, and the other three are spread across the District.

For Stonesifer and Martha’s Table, this approach creates a “virtual grocery store” in the schools, and is about more than just charity. “We think that poverty is more complex than that. In my view, this idea of meeting families right there in the schools when they are at the time of the month when they’re often short on groceries and short on cash is a way to meet the need, but also to bring nutrition education into the space, and for parents to learn more about their children’s nutritional experience.”

“I think that kind of program could expand quite dramatically if we’re able to get the resources here. It always comes back to getting new resources.”

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Securing resources for the organization’s success and expansion comes back to how effectively Martha’s Table connects with the community, and Stonesifer speaks of creating more collaborative efforts for the organization going forward like what is being seen now with DC Public Schools. Increasing collaboration and building upon the organization’s existing donor base to expand service comes back to what Patty Stonesifer herself brings to the Table.

“There is no question that the attention that I’ve gotten since taking this job is an asset not just for Martha’s Table, but for the importance of early childcare and education, for the importance of no child going hungry, and for the importance of meeting people’s basic needs,” Stonesifer says, sharing a few of the organization’s key focus areas.

“And I’m lucky that I can talk to the Secretary of Education about early childhood. So if I can be part raising the profile on it, that’s exciting to me.”

But what led Stonesifer to seek out and apply for the position at Martha’s Table was a kind of access she did not have in her previous positions. “I took the job because I wanted to move from theory to practice,” she explains, “that direct understanding of what it means to stand with this mother I sat next to at last night’s parent-teacher meeting, and of what she’s going to face when she gets home later still having to feed her other kids and then be ready for work in the morning. These aren’t trivial issues, and I intend to be a very vocal advocate.”

While her advocacy would undoubtedly reach an audience, that alone, says Stonesifer, will not be enough.

“These issues can’t be addressed by Martha’s Table and the next 10 organizations — they have to be addressed by the citizenry in total. We all have to decide that every working parent should be able to get and afford quality childcare. We have to decide that no child should be hungry. Because we know how to feed children, and we know how to care for children, but what is the political will, and the process, and the funding, and the delivery for breaking the cycle of poverty?

“It’s the people we serve who will have to create more change than anybody else. But they would like to know they have their neighbors and the public behind them, and that the resources they need are within their reach.”

Martha’s Table services more than 1,100 people a day in the District. Get more information.

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by June 26, 2013 at 8:00 am 0


14th and V NW: From AM-PM Carry Out to Diego. (Luis Gomez Photos)

One more restaurant opening on the 14th Street corridor will be happening this summer. Diego will join the latest opening of Piola, Taqueria Nacional, bar di Bari and Kapnos (the last one now scheduled for July 5).

We have been looking at the transformation of the AM-PM Carry Out to Diego at the northwest corner of 14th and V Streets NW; Eatonville and Busboys & Poets  are already at that intersection. Now, after months of dealing with city permits and a lengthy renovation process, the Tex Mex restaurant NW restaurant is gearing up, probably for a late summer opening. Diego is owned by brothers Tony and Michael Askarinam, proprietors of Dupont Italian Kitchen on 17th Street NW.

With two levels, outdoor seating and a Tex-Mex menu it will be hard to wait for it.  Missy Frederick at Eater DC has more details.

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by June 26, 2013 at 6:00 am 0


Thomas Circle at Dusk is by Aaron DeNu from the Borderstan Flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, Thomas Circle at Dusk is by Aaron DeNu. The photo was taken June 13.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by June 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

From John Shannon, who writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics. Email him at john[AT]

Embedding Sustainability As A Core Value

An international team of Volkswagen executives at the LEED Platinum certified VW plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., plant, following the ‘Think Blue’ five-year (2012-2018) global sustainability initiative, have developed a comprehensive, four-stage Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology that now serves as the template for its manufacturing facilities worldwide.

Baseline references in four key performance indicators (KPIs) — energy, water, waste, CO2 and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) — have been established to mark progress.

With Think Blue, VW management aims to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste, and (VOCs) at its manufacturing facilities another 25% by 2018. (Information courtesy of

BMW to Power Leipzig Factory with Wind Energy

In addition to winning many prestigious awards for sustainable production practices, BMW is powering its Leipzig factory with four massive wind turbines located near the vehicle assembly facility which pumps out over 200,000 cars per year. (See BMW Group Dow Jones Sustainability Index Leader for 8th consecutive year.)

Mercedes Benz Making Electric Models Exciting


2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive. (Courtesy AMG)

Mercedes too, has upped the ante of super clean energy and sustainable production practices and the largest selection of all-electric vehicles in the world.

Not all electric drive and hybrid cars need to be boring, perhaps this little blue number will pique your interest.

Mercedes says the 2014 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive will hit 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and seconds later, you will find that it is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour.

AMG’s latest supercar comes with 740 of the quietest horsepower you will ever own and can be recharged in three hours.

The automakers have responded to calls for sustainability in their production facilities and vehicle materials and continue to post huge gains in those areas.

But who would have thought that they could make sustainability so much fun for consumers? I’m getting on the bandwagon all over again.

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by June 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

From Rachel Jones. Email her at rjones[AT] She is  she is the owner of K-9 Divine and a professional dog trainer. 


Nip your dog’s kleptomania in the bud. (Rachel Jones)

Does your dog steal things, such as shoes and socks — and then force you to chase her around to get them back?

Many owners are faced with this problem, which can start as a silly game and result in the dog becoming aggressive about giving things up. Nip your dog’s kleptomania in the bud before it turns into an aggression problem!

A dog that chews on your couch while you’re not home is not a thief. In this article, we are talking about dogs that steal things in front of you and then run away. For most of these dogs, the “thievery” is an attempt to get your attention, as opposed to a real desire to chew on the object.

Your first line of defense is to ignore them when they have stolen something. Many dogs will drop an object and leave it alone once they realize you aren’t going to chase them. Even if you are sure your dog is going to chew something up, try to ignore him for at least 30 seconds after he’s stolen it and see how he reacts. Also, if the object is something of no value, such as an old gym sock, it is better to let him have it than to continue playing the chasing game.

Many trainers teach you to trade a treat for the object, or tell your dog to “drop it” and then give them a treat. In the context of stealing, however, trading for a treat will only prolong the game for life. Remember that your dog wants attention andor food, so she will certainly continue to grab things if she knows it will get her a treat.

The best way to break the cycle forever is to commit to three weeks of having the house bare of anything to steal. This is hard, especially if you have kids, but it will be worth it in the end. If there is nothing around except dog toys and there are several weeks in which you never have to chase around/yell at your dog, he will forget about the game and move on to another activity.

Crating your dog and keeping him supervised constantly will also prevent stealing.

Teach your dog to engage in nice behaviors in order to get your attention, such as sitting, lying down or going in the crate. Set her up for success by removing the possibility of stealing objects, and you will enjoy a peaceful relationship for years to come.

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by June 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0


Borderstan’s RAMMYS Winners. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Kim Vu. He also has his own food blog, DC Wrapped Dates. Follow him at@dcwrappeddates or email him at kim[AT]

Much like last year, Borderstan saw its fair share of winners at the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s annual awards gala, known as the RAMMYs. With the vibrant theme “Restaurants in Bloom,” many finalists, awardees, and gala-goers alike showed up in garlands, boutonnieres and floral prints. It was in this festive atmosphere that our neighborhood was honored multiple times over.

The burgeoning 14th Street Corridor and its rapid transformation into a revitalized restaurant destination was a running theme throughout some of the acceptance speeches, most notably from the team from Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene winner Bar Pilar, who commented “when we first were doing the build-out for Bar Pilar, we had pimps come into the restaurant and ask, ‘what are you doing?’ And we’d say ‘building a restaurant.’ And they’d ask, ‘For who?’ Now we know.”

Neighborhood RAMMY Winners

The following Borderstan restaurants were winners last night:

  • Upscale Casual Restaurant – Estadio
  • Casual Restaurant – C.F. Folks
  • Neighborhood Gathering Place – Nellie’s Sports Bar
  • Hottest Bar Scene – Bar Pilar

Other Nominees

Borderstan also saw its fair share of nominees. Joining Estadio in the Upscale Casual category were fellow 14th Street neighbors Birch and Barley and Cork; and C.F. Folks had to squeeze past Bar Pilar for its Casual Restaurant award. Additional nominations also went to Dupont Circle newcomers Boqueria and DGS Delicatessen, and Estadio’s manager, Justin Guthrie.

Taking home the big prizes last night were Blue Duck Tavern for Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year, Mintwood Place for Best New Restaurant, and Fabio Trabocchi for Chef of the Year. Congrats to all the winners!

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by June 25, 2013 at 11:00 am 16 Comments

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]

People love this city so much, they even make it permanent. (Luis Gomez Photos)

People love this city so much they even make it permanent. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Most Washingtonians can empathize with my biggest pet peeve. It’s a conversation — And it goes something like this:

New person making small talk (not from around here): Where do you live?

Me: DC.

New person: Oh, like Northern Virginia? (Then they probably mention something about how swell it would be to live near a mall like Tysons, which — purely a reflex — makes my eyes roll.)

Me: No. Like, DC.

Then comes the look of confusion.

“Oh I didn’t know people actually live in D.C…”

When I moved to the area four years ago, I didn’t know people actually live in DC, either. In fact, I was told that no one stays in DC for long.

“It’s a transient city,” I would hear.

Someone once described DC as a layover for the young, well-educated and eager types who want to “change the world” or “dip their feet in politics” before moving out to the suburbs to get married and make babies.

That was only four years ago. And the sad thing is, that sentiment still stands.

What is even more upsetting, is that I often hear that phrase, “transient city,” repeated by people who live in this city that I call “home,” not “hub.”

It’s time to put an end to that misconception. Because DC is not a transient city. It’s an amazing place to live — and especially now.

DC is a city in which one can find a job, start a business and start a family.

District residents can eat at a new restaurant every week, catch live music at an endless number of venues and watch theatre in the same neighborhood where the country’s political theatre takes place.

Without leaving city limits we can kayak on two rivers, cheer on five professional sports teams, go on a hike, take a bike ride and walk among the nation’s monuments.

It’s been ranked as one of the nation’s healthiest and wealthiest cities. And, as we can all attest, one of the best cities for happy hour (interpret that ranking as you may).

DC is rich in history and promises a bright future. It’s creative, it’s vibrant and it’s on the move.

Now, what about that list sounds transient?

In the past, the most “desirable” places to live in the District were often too expensive for those not making millions.

Now, areas formerly viewed as “a little too far from downtown” are attracting younger demographics, along with small and local businesses.

Neighborhoods and communities have always existed in the District. But a sense of community — especially among the young who move here without intentions to stay — is really taking root.

What people used to see as abandoned and disjointed sections of the city are seeing a revival in their playgrounds, their public schools and public works.

It would be naive of me to stand here and say that all of DC is perfect. There are still a lot of problems here. Many neighborhoods in the city need more funding, added jobs, better teachers, access to grocery stores and lower crime rates.

But looking at how much things have shifted in the last several years, I see nothing but hope — and love — for the District.

When I look at this city, I don’t see transient, I don’t see temporary.  I see home.

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