by Borderstan.com June 28, 2013 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected]com.

"Scott Leibowitz"

Scott Leibowitz. (Courtesy Scott Leibowitz)

Like all great winning streaks in sports or otherwise, everything at one time or another must come to an end. It is with this in mind that I say goodbye to Borderstan and to those of you who have enjoyed this column over the years (still not sure who that is but it must be somebody).

DC is a city full of people and ideas coming and going, making it easy to get lost in the shuffle and never really putting your feet to the ground. Borderstan allowed me to establish roots not only with my fellow local writers, but with the community at large and for that I am eternally grateful to its founders/owners/best-guys-ever, Luis and Matty. You guys have truly been my DC uncles.

Usually at the end of any season, sportscasters love to wrap up the season with a highlight reel or a montage of top plays. For my last post, I’d just like to share some minor advice with everyone on how to enjoy this city as a true sports town, both by yourself and with your fellow residents.

Without further ado, my last bit of wisdom:

Kickball: Play at Least One Season 

When I hear of people who lived in this town for years and never played, I truly think you may have been a hermit. It is one of the easiest and most social ways to meet people and drink heavily in this city, and you get to wear neon colored shirts while doing. Really not sure how much more you can ask for. Sure, it’s totally silly and sometimes competitive, but I am still good friends with the first teammates I played with, and I never enjoyed Thursdays nights more than during the season.

Jump on the Bandwagon

DC is lucky enough to have a sports team in all of the major leagues. While we all have our own deep allegiances to our hometown teams, making room for one DC team (Nats, Redskins, United, Caps, Wizards) is very doable and will add to your experience here. You will be able to flow with the highs and lows of the city and the gameday experience will be more fun. Plus I’m sure you could use one extra baseball hat anyway, so pick which design you like the most.

Don’t Ask What My job Is

When you meet someone new, don’t let the first three questions be anything about work. This isn’t sports related but one of my biggest DC pet peeves. It’s a terrible way to start a conversation.

Again, thanks for all the great times! Good luck everybody!

Last Call! Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Barack Obama singing Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”
  • The best way to eat milk and cookies.
  • If you go to a baseball game, don’t bring a book.

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by Borderstan.com June 21, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

"crawl"

Always keep on moving as you do a bar crawl. (Luis Gomez Photos)

One of the major advantages of living in a condensed city like good ol’ Washington is the proximity from one activity to the next.

In many of our hometowns the restaurants and bars are located on two blocks next to each other and the selection is limited. However, in the Borderstan area we are spoiled to having a great selection of upscale watering holes to first-class dive bars.

This type of set up leaves DC ripe for a time honored tradition of both college students and young professionals looking to lose an entire day; bar-crawls.

For those that have done one before, you know that a bar-crawl is no ordinary weekend plan. It takes preparation, execution, and a strong desire to make it to the next bar. I have participated in a few in my day.

Here are some tried and true tips for getting the most out of any city bar-crawl

Prepare Wisely

  1. Usually each crawl has a map and the deals available at each place. I recommend not making an exact travel plan but having a general idea in the direction you think you can do the most damage.
  2. The point of the crawl is to explore and walk around so go to areas with high concentrations of participating bars.
  3. Also if you want to pre-game, go on the lighter side, as you have a whole day to drink.

Mid-Way Fill Up

  1. At some point you and your crew will get quite hungry and won’t be able to concentrate. For me last week, this hit my party right near Shake Shack and man did it hit the spot.
  2. Be warned though that if you fill up too much, it could dampen team morale and call for an early exit. I recommend something like Amsterdam Fries for the just right feeling.

One Hour, Tops

  1. The point of the crawl is to go to as many places as you possibly can in one night. Don’t get stuck in a bar longer than hour. Keep the body moving and avoid learning any bartender’s name.
  2. One last, small tip, always use the bathroom of the place you are in and don’t put it off for the next bar. You never know what could happen between locations.

The Bourbon Bash is this Saturday so gather your buddies, sign up, and prepare for what should be a very fun Saturday in Borderstan.

This column first ran October 31, 2012.

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by Borderstan.com June 12, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome, email him at [email protected].

"Sandwich"

Get your perfect sandwich. (Ashley Lusk)

Hey, Borderstan! We are taking an unscheduled break from my usual sports/dude-ish banter to discuss something that is very near and dear to my heart. If you have lived in this city for more than a week, then you will be able to relate to the subject.

Sometimes it’s a lunch necessity, other times it’s a midday thing where you know it will help bring you from the depths of too much coffee. A food credited to royalty has become the standard bearer for the common man, and it’s creation is what’s been on my mind most recently. I am talking about sandwiches, more specifically the construction and ease of obtaining one.

Yes, I know I am not a food blogger. Borderstan is full of much better and more qualified people for debating taste, texture and overall awesomeness. But, when I think of a sandwich, the first words that come to mind are efficiency and ease. I don’t like to be in a new place and not know within an hour of being there where the nearest sandwich shop is located.

Growing up in New Jersey, there was a bodega or local shop on every other corner, so a “sub” was never far away and everyone knew how to order. However, it was not until I was standing in the Bethesda Bagel line watching a clueless couple of blond hair and boat shoes figure out what goes on a bagel with lox (cream cheese, tomato, onion, scallions) that I realized not everyone has the confidence and smoothness to order a sandwich, and this is a problem.

I understand that the customer is always right and no one wants to be pressured into something they don’t want. But as you may not realize, everyone around you is on the move and not ready to sink into your world of hesitation and doubts. So, the next time you want that fat sandwich to rock your lunch world, here are some helpful thoughts.

What Kind of Menu Is It?

There are three types of menus. The set menu, where you pick a style and that’s what you get (Taylors/JJ’s Cheesesteak). The free-for-all, a grocery store condensed so you always get what you want (Subway/Potbellys). Last, the hybrid has a set menu but there is wiggle room for additions (So’s Your Mom and Dupont Market at 18th and S Streets NW, some personal favorites). The more you know what you are getting into, the better prepared you will be.

Know Thyself

Have a go-to sandwich order. I am not saying that every time you walk into a place you have to get the same thing. I am just encouraging you to be prepared for those crazy lunch hour rushes. Some people have extensive zombie apocalypse plans; I have emergency sandwich ordering details.

Make It Personal/Know Your Hour

Don’t be that guy/gal who orders four sandwiches for the group (call that in in advance and pick it up). Also, when you are getting yourself a sandwich and its the crazy lunch hour, be aware of it and everyone’s lives will be easier.

If I had full control of the world, I would make every sandwich place like Wawa with a computerized ordering system with the hoagies coming out in the order they were taken in. Until that happens, I ask that in a city as on the go as ours you stand ready to order, as well as scarf down, a footlong down with pride. Good luck!

This column first ran August 8, 2012.

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by Borderstan.com June 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome, email him at [email protected].

"Games"

Bocce ball at Logan Circle. (Borderstan)

The DC summer is here and the cranking of the air conditioning has begun. We begin to drink more on patios and take the sun dresses out of the back closet (so my girlfriend tells me). This means it is time to put your drink in a coozy and spend your weekends outdoors.

For me, one of the best parts of any summer are the great lawn games. While many of us don’t have a lawn, there are plenty of parks in Borderstan where you can play a wide variety of easy-going, social games.

Here are some of my favorites with the pros and cons:

Cornhole

  • Pros: Cornhole can be played anywhere (sidewalks, roofs, etc.) with a drink in non throwing hand. You can also decorate your boards to add some personality to your game.
  • Cons: Some people are just awesome at this game and can make the game not-so-fun for beginners. Beanbags can break easily.

Bocce

  • Pros: Bocce is easy to learn/become decent at it. Very social and fun for spectators. Game origin dates back to ancient Rome so technically “it’s a classic.”
  • Cons: You need long smooth area to play. Game balls are heavy and with a few drinks can become hazards.

Croquet

  • Pros: TBD.
  • Cons: Have you seen this game? Do you know anything about croquet? When my name is Lord Grantham, maybe I’ll play…

Catch

  • Pros: Everyone can do it. Football/frisbee/baseball… so many options
  • Cons: If you can’t throw, it isn’t much fun.

Of course, there’s always bolo-toss, horseshoes, and frisbee golf. Get your coozy, make some guac and enjoy the summer, Borderstan!

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • The invention of heterosexuality.
  • Joseph Gordon Levitt’s directorial debut looks pretty good.

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by Borderstan.com May 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome, email him at [email protected].

"Redskins"

Not so red. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Every few years or so a discussion about the name “Washington Redskins” makes it into the public sphere, and every time the issue goes away with little or no progress toward changing. The issue is pretty clear and yet, it never moves forward.

The team name and logo is all based on the history of the area and the original intention was to honor the proud native american heritage. However, today (and even back then), the term “redskin” is generally considered offensive. Now it is only a stark reminder of the diminished Native American presence thanks to our European ancestors, aka founders. The controversy has lasted so long it even has its own Wikipedia page. Here is a pretty good wrap up of the issue.

Recently a DC Council member tried to get a resolution passed that would change the name to “Redtails” to honor the Tuskegee Airmen from World War II. The logic being it sounds like “Redskins” and could be easily replaced in the Redskins fight song and color scheme. The issue has a lot of opinions from a lot of sides. The public tends not to care, and with the current owner Dan Snyder change is most likely not going to come from the team.

I understand there is a lot of history with locals with this name, but frankly there is a longer history of it being uglier and, thus, worth the change. The NCAA banned offensive teams mascots from postseason play and it didn’t shake the foundation of college sports. Maybe one day the team will make the right decision, but I have serious doubts.

Some Good News

Finally, Good News: DC cabs are gonna take credit cards. BOOM!

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

David Bowie’s Space Oddity, sung in space. This Canadian astronaut is making space cool again.

New Spock meets Old Spock in this awesome Audi commercial. Yes I am that nerd.

“Whose Line Is It Anyway” is back. Finally, a good show gets revived.

 

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by Borderstan.com May 1, 2013 at 10:00 am 1 Comment

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome, email him at [email protected].

"Elevator"

Going up! (Alejandra Owens)

At the start of this year I changed jobs/offices from a small building in Silver Spring to a very new building downtown on L Street NW. As my old building was only three flights, my elevator experience was minimal including with my undergrad days of high-rise dorms and apartment buildings where anything went.

As with any transition to a new job, I’ve had to learn some new tricks and behaviors in how to “be normal” in a company with around 1,000 employees and five elevators.

Elevators Have Rules, Too

One of the best things I have noticed is the standard elevator behavior people exhibit. While I thought that it might be unique, after some chats with fellow yuppies, we narrowed it down to few golden rules on how to make the most of your elevator rides. Hopefully these make the 30-second rides just a bit more enjoyable

  1. Available Seats/Spots to Stand: The immediate thought everyone has: Where do I stand? Empty is optimal, but usually you are sharing and have to play into that face forward and stare at the doors/oncoming passengers. I never understood that and generally go right to the walls for something to lean on. It works for me. Otherwise in packed “lifts,” I’d say file in as best you can without physical contact
  2. Friendly or Quiet: In a building where it’s just your neighbors/coworkers, being friendly can go a long way down the line when you need that favor. Otherwise, in multiple-tenant buildings I’d stay quiet because you have zero clue how much worse their day is than yours. I’d say most people see the elevator as a cone of silence. Unless its obvious (like someone holding an awesome-smelling lunch), it’s best to keep your comments for Twitter.
  3. Hold the Door: I’m talking to you, dude, who saw me coming around the hall and didn’t hold the elevator for me. It’s just the nice thing to do. It’s the least you can do after eating that last munchkin at the morning meeting.

I think these few guidelines will be a big help to those of you who look like a deer in headlights upon entering. Also, and maybe most importantly, don’t fart in an enclosed space. It’s just the right thing to do.

Whats Grinding My Gears

Washington Capitals playoffs are here! First round against my New York Rangers. Playoff hockey is awesome, if you can afford it, go!

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Remember 1999. It was pretty sweet.
  • Best hockey save of the year. Watch it!
  • We almost had a New Jersey-themed restaurant. Damn.

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by Borderstan.com April 17, 2013 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome, email him at [email protected].

"Cicadas"

When the temperature is right, the cicadas will come. (Screen Shot)

In the very near future, DC is going to meet some visitors who only come around about every 17 years. I remember the last time I saw them. I was in in elementary school and my science teacher, Mrs. Semel, made it seem like the second coming of Albert Einstein.

They were loud, all over the place, and made it seem like I was in a poorly made 1950s science fiction film. I am, of course, talking about the emergence of the cicada, an insect that emerges from hibernation about every 17 years.

For readers who didn’t grow up on the Acela corridor (i.e., Northeast), you are in for some funny weeks. Once the ground turns a certain temperature, cicadas will begin to emerge from below. They will start making their presence known by their incredibly loud noise (think crickets on crack) and the shells they leave behind.

There will be no way to avoid this bother, so here are some helpful hints on how to make the cicada period a bit more enjoyable

  • Ignore their noise, create your own. When I say these guys are gonna be loud, I mean you light sleepers are going to have some restless nights. I feel the best way to fight this fire is with more fire. Throw a cicada theme party and just roll with it. Hopefully a few beverages will help with the sleeping.
  • Crunch crunch, avoid. Cicadas, after some time, shed their outer shell (or something like it, I’m not a scientist) and the ground gets littered with them. My best piece of advice is to avoid them. Yes, that crunch will be fun/weird the first time, but it will get old when your new kicks are covered in cicada goop.
  • Don’t be a hater. They are only here less than every two decades. If only other loud and annoying things came to DC this infrequently (cough Rolling Thunder cough).

If the sight of giant bugs creeps you out like this, then HEAD FOR THE HILLS! Otherwise, get ready and enjoy.

On Boston

My thoughts and prayers are with the city of Boston this week. Unimaginable, but if any city will remain strong and set an example, it is Boston.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Trailer for every romantic comedy, ever!
  • New Daft Punk. SOON
  • How animals eat their food.

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by Borderstan.com April 3, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. email him at [email protected].

"beard"

Wear your beard proud and strong. But is it right for your job? (Luis Gomez Photos)

I’d like to take this column to talk about something a bit gender specific. When it comes to workplace attire, I already know that we gentleman have it much easier than women. Choosing which pair of khakis and which button down shirt to wear is quite easy compared to the array of choices that could be considered “business casual” for women.

However, one issue most men face that I’d like to discuss here is whether to shave or, more simply, “Can a beard be taken seriously in the workplace?”

I have heard and seen many opinions on beards. For one thing, part of today’s modern workplace is being presentable. Sadly, our culture generally frowns on big bushy beards and does not associate them with hardworking or authoritative personalities.

The idea of a clean-shaven man says, “I make money and can afford razor blades.” I mean, would you trust a high-powered lawyer if he looked like Zach Galifianakis?

So to help the men of Borderstan decide whether a beard is the right decision at work (in life, beards are always awesome… just ask the ladies and gay guys), here is a small guide.

Is a Beard Right for You at Work?

  • Do your clients see you daily? If interaction with your clients is an everyday occurrence and your price tag for services has lots of zeros in it, a beard may not be the right choice. I mean how often would you hand a $30,000 check to someone who could double as a lumberjack?
  • Can you grow it well? Just because you don’t want to shave, does nott mean you should be lazy. A complete beard is ESSENTIAL to be taken seriously. If you cant grow bridges (the hair between mustache and chin) then a beard is not for you. Sorry.
  • Are you friendly? Beards say friendly and fuzzy. If you think you are a serious, no jokes, down to business kinda guy, then a beard will just be seen as being lazy or you getting dumped recently. Frankly, I think every man should grow his beard out. It gives your face more personality, and you can think of it as a permanent facial accessory. So if HR doesn’t care, throw away the razor and let it out!

What’s Grinding My Gears

  • Final Four this weekend. Louisville vs. Wichita St, Michigan vs Syracuse. CANT WAIT

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

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by Borderstan.com March 20, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. email him at [email protected].

Playing some hoops. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Playing some hoops. (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s that time of the year again. March tends to be a pretty wild month when you think about it and everyone seems just impatient waiting for the winter to end. From the killing of Julius Caesar to the day everyone becomes Irish, this month is all over the place.

However my favorite maddening tradition this month is, of course, basketball — my NCAA Final Four bracket (aka March Madness).

Every year I go into thinking this is the year I nail all my predictions, and every year I finish very middle of the pack. The odds on a perfect bracket are rough but, frankly, I am just looking to finish better than Obama this year. So to help ya out, Borderstan, here are five easy and simple thoughts to keep in mind when filling out your bracket this week.

Bracketology: Five Things to Remember

  1. DON’T OVERTHINK: So many errors happen because we all want to predict the big upset. That’s what makes them the big upset, the fact that you didn’t see it coming. Your bracket will do better if you stick with your first rational thought.
  2. Seeds are there for a reason: The seeding system isn’t just random. Yes some teams get more love than others but when thinking about who will win, read the seed before making a rash decision.
  3. Where is the game played?:  Regions can make a big difference in the middle rounds. I love picking against smaller schools who have to travel long distances or a contender having to play in their nemesis backyard.
  4. History Isn’t Important: Yes we all know teams like Duke, Kansas, and Indiana. But that doesn’t mean a less-on-the-radar team, like Florida, Louisville, or Gonzaga, can’t make a deep run to the finals.
  5. It really doesn’t matter: No matter how hard you try, you can’t control anything. Finish your bracket on time and hope for the best.  Best case scenario you win of your office/family/friends pool. Worst case you finish last and no one remembers it in a week.

The first game is this Thursday so fill out your brackets soon! Enjoy the Madness, Borderstan!

What Really Grinds My Gears

Did we even just have a real winter? Maybe we need a word for a cold fall that has no snow

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • 50 common misconceptions. Worth watching whole video.
  • Carlesberg friend test. I hope mine would pass.
  • March Madness, explained through Star Wars.

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by Borderstan.com March 6, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

"Hockey"

Hockey on your mind? (Luis Gomez Photos)

As some of you may know, I am adamant enthusiast when it comes to goofy non-serious DC sports leagues — whether its indoor bocce, shuffleboard, or this city’s favorite, kickball. Of course, I am signed up for April; more to come.

You may not realize it, but there is actually a pretty strong undercurrent of serious competitive sports too, ranging from the College Alumni Network leagues to the less well known ice hockey leagues. I am currently playing co-ed basketball and we have been having a good season so far.

Hockey in DC

Now, as DC is a city of out-of-towners, all the transients from cold places (Upper Midwest, New England, states that border Canada) are the backbone of the many competitive ice hockey leagues. Yes, the only rink in the city is where the Washington Capitals play, but outside the district there are a slew of leagues that you can play in.

I warn, though, this is not for the average fan or ice skater, this is a real league with some serious competition. A good friend of mine, Kevin, plays in one such league and I asked him about his experiences over the last few years of playing. Some thoughts….

Lebodome: What are average players like? Age? Important or average Joes?

Kevin: The people vary greatly. Some are married with kids, others recent college grads. For jobs, a lot in various business, a handful of criminal attorneys at the pickup games, construction, real estate, finance, government agencies, the works. Although I don’t know if I’ve ever played with any Hill staffers…

Lebodome: How physical is the game? I used to dominate driveway roller hockey, could I play?

Kevin: Not normal-hockey-physical. Body checks will get you a penalty, more than one they may show you the door. Moderate pushing and shoving is common and expected. Only seen one fight in a little over a year. I think they’ll suspend you, not positive.  Some really good players, depending on the league. Top league has former D-1 players, mine has some former college club players who are real solid. There are about five leagues at Kettler organized by general skill level.

Lebodome: A one-line description of your experience?

Kevin: Serious and competitive on the ice, relaxed and slightly buzzed off the ice.

If watching the Capitals (play poorly) has gotten you excited for some real hockey, there is a lot of choice out there. If you got the equipment and means to get to a rink outside the city, then this is the kind of league for you.

What’s Grinding my Gears

Sequester. I liked not knowing what this word meant. Now I hear it and just roll my eyes.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Washington Nationals cut a guy mid game during spring training. Ouch
  • Bit long, but very cool. Video games themes, middle eastern musicians/instruments
  • Best current U.S. diplomat; the best rebounder in the history of the NBA, Dennis Rodman.

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by Borderstan.com February 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm 4 Comments

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

"Sports"

February: a slow sports month. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Happy post-Super Bowl, no-football-untill-September to everyone! Hope everyone enjoyed the big game, ate lots of food and were with good enough friends to get you through Barack Obama’s planned power outage (I mean, it had to have been his fault, right?).

As the shortest month of the year, I have always seen February as a waste of space on the sports schedule. NBA, NHL, and college hoops are in the meat of their seasons with little urgency or exciting play for the most part.

It’s around this time I like to take stock of the city and see how we are doing. So lets take a look and, using my scale of 1 to 5 (1 being would rather watch new episodes of Wipeout and 5 being I am buying tickets now), let’s see the state of District.

The State of DC Sports

  • Nationals. Pitchers and catchers report to Florida for Spring Training in about a week. The Nationals added a 5th president to the famous President’s Race and we all look forward to a very wobbly Taft losing many races. Star pitcher Gio Gonzalez was named in a steroid report, but we’re unsure if this will have repercussions. The first exhibition game is at the end of March against the New York Yankees…Oh Yea.  Excited: 3.5 more presidents the better
  • Capitals. Last place; not looking like a team at all. Still major questions in goal. Fans receiving weird magazines. Bottom line here: Ovi needs to step it up, and soon, if there will be playoff hockey in the district this year. Excited: 2 worried this funk will last too long
  • Redskins. Rookie of the year honors to RG3. A division title and a win over the Super Bowl Champion Ravens during the season. Lots of players coming back. Excited: 4 as long as RG3 heals well, nothing but upside
  • Wizards. … yea, let’s just move on here.
  • Georgetown/GWU: Gtown is a top 25 team, big wins over Louisville and UCLA, always gets hot come March. George Washington University is still finding their offense in a much improved Atlantic 10. Excited: 5. MARCH MADNESS IS SOON

Not a bad state of the city. There are a lot of things to feel good about as we glide through this short month. Stay warm everyone!

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • New Yorker’s 101 pizza slices. Yum!
  • It has begun. The robots are taking over.
  • Paperman. An amazing Pixar short.

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by Borderstan.com January 23, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

Hockey

Capitals are back! (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s been a big week in DC in the theme of returning. Sure the average person might rank Obama’s 2nd term as the strongest return story of the week, but those who have been avoiding Chinatown in anger and dismay see the bigger picture.

The owners and the players have reached an agreement bringing hockey back to America/Canada, but more importantly the Capitals are back in the Verizon Center. Sure the lockout was long and quite stupid, but some season is better than no season so lets get ready.

I have written about my love for our best pro team in the city (I still stand by this even with the Redskins division title) and could not be more excited to have this back in town. DC has always been a quasi sports town waiting for glory, and no team has taken them closer in the last two decades than the Capitals. Easy to get to stadium, knowledgeable and passionate fans, and plenty of great personalities on the team makes this team easy to root for.

The Full Caps Experience

I was out Saturday night and watched their first game of the season (a bad loss) at Boardroom on Connecticut Avenue and could just feel the excitement of hockey returning. As the season rolls along, here as some helpful hints and thoughts to get the most out of your Washington Capitals experience.

  • Watch For Deals: Thanks to LivingSocial being located across the street from the stadium, as well as other deal websites, there are a few times during the season when there are good ticket deals. It is a short season so there may be less of these but just keep an eye out.
  • Get Pumped: Game experience is not meant for those looking to relax and sit down for a few hours. Game day crowds are loud, vibrant, and electric when it comes to their Capitals. If this doesn’t sound like you, enjoy a happy hour at the slew of fun bars littered around Chinatown.
  • His name is Ovechkin: Every team has its stars (minus the Wizards) and the Caps have Alex Ovechkin. His personality is as big as his game and at this point he probably holds the title for most talented player without a Stanley Cup (NHL playoff finals) appearance. I think he is due.
  • Put on your winter gear, head to Chinatown, and get ready to ROCK THE RED!

What’s in the Hopper?

Super Bowl. Gonna be a great one. Tons of awesome story lines.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • March madness style bracket of best Chappelle Show skits. Awesome.
  • DC cabs must take credit cards by end of March. About damn time.
  • 42. The movie about Jackie Robinson looks great.

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by Borderstan.com January 9, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

"District"

Bowling alleys, DC? (Scott Leibowitz)

I want to start this off by wishing everyone a belated Happy New Year. Glad we all made into 2013 with no help from the Mayans or our elected officials in Congress.

Over the holiday break, I spent a considerable amount of time in my hometown suburb located in the south of North New Jersey and had a fairly quiet week working from home. When I was in school at George Washington University (GWU) and would do these breaks, I would always come back the district and complain (often and loud) that DC  will never be considered truly great till we get some real, 24-hour, full-blown tri-state diners.

Where Are the Bowling Alleys?

I still stand by this statement and refuse to call “The Diner” in Admo an actual diner (my hometown diner menu is a binder with no limits and everything tastes good). Upon this return, I realized DC is missing another key ingredient; casual bowling alleys.

Now, I am no Roy Munson, but I do like to gather with a few friends, a cold pitcher, and chuck heavy balls at pins. It’s relaxing, very social, and the game doesn’t actually matter so need to care about the score.

DC Bowling Alley Options

Growing up there were plenty of places to go, some reeking more of smoke than others (remember indoor smoking?), and no one turned down a night at the lanes. In the entire city of DC there are TWO, thats right TWO, bowling alleys. One is Lucky Strike in Chinatown which is nothing more than a horrible overpriced club with lanes and a dress code (My older brother was once denied access because he had a baseball cap on).

The second is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW and you need a special invite to use it (obviously). GWU used to have one on campus but, after an awkward phone call with their front desk, I discovered it was gutted due to lack of use and replaced with offices for the Career Center.

Why Not Georgetown?

I later discovered there are plans in the works for an alley in Georgetown, but it hit serious road-bumps from their local ANC with concerns of noise and other annoying Georgetown issues.

With that in mind, I call upon the DC entrepreneurs,  the city shakers and landowners of large facilities to give us some lanes. For inspiration, I have channeled my inner Lebowski and hope this gets everyone thinking.

“Obviously you’re not a golfer.” Bowling is a great indoor sport, good all year round unlike golf and kickball.”

“F*ck it dude, let’s go bowling.”  There is nothing better for forgetting an awful day than taking it out on the lanes. A great way to blow off steam, especially for a city as stressed as ours.

“Smokey, this is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.” What rule is there that DC can’t have a bowling alley? Common, elected people, we need these.

Now everyone go home, watch The Big Lebowski a few times, and lets see if we can get the ball rolling on bringing some lanes to DC.

Great Effort Redskins

From 3-6 to a division title, as a rival fan I must admit I was quite impressed with their resolve. Serious concerns about RG3 and what he was doing playing late in that game, but as they say, “You play to win the game!”

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • New Yorker’s 100 lists of lists. Great time-wasting stuff here.
  • Hockey is back! Get your Caps gear back of out storage!
  • For soccer players, the coolest training tool I’ve ever seen.

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by Borderstan.com December 12, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

"sports"

Lebodome  gets to  Column #50. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

I remember like it was yesterday. Thanks to a push from friends and the great owners of this site,  I was going to somehow become “the sports guy” for borderstan.com. I remember after the first few posts thinking that only my mother and brother were reading it, and how would I ever keep this going. Well after 49 posts about kickball, running, and general D.C. sports hilarity (so much material), I am proud to reach the ripe old post number of 50.

I want to thank Matty and Luis for giving me this space, and the rest of the amazing Borderstan team, especially the copy editors (volunteers sifting through my endless typos). To my readers and fellow residents of Borderstan, a hearty thanks and reminder that it’s only a neighborhood if you treat it like it’s one. Open doors for the next pedestrian and always say, Thank You.

The Top 10 Sports Stories of 2012

To get everyone ready for the office and family holiday parties, here is a nice easy run down of (in my humble opinion) the biggest sports stories of 2012. In no particular order:

1. Lebron James wins a championship. In the words of my college friends, “NO ONE CARES!” Win a few more and maybe I won’t find him so obnoxious. Did anyone else notice all those ads before the start of the NBA season with Lebron and his ring with crowds of people loving him now?
2. Fastest Man Ever: Usian Bolt (destroyed 2012 Olympics) or RG3? I would pay anything to see this foot-race….
3. Why is everyone moving to Brooklyn?? First it’s your friend in Logan Circle. Then the NJ Nets, then the NY Islanders. What’s the deal?
4. Livestrong comes to an end. Really tough to watch Lance fall like this. What a fall…
5. Kentucky does it with Freshmen:  NCAA Championship won by a bunch of 18yr olds. What a feat. This title will be stripped by the NCAA in a decade or so for some violation or another…
6. NFL Replacement Referees. This about sums it up. May this never happen again.
7. Happy Valley No More: Penn State in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Hopefully justice is served and future incidents are prevented.
8. Are You From London?? Great show England, thank you for a fun 2012 Summer Olympics. Scowl Face. What was your favorite event?
9. Why is there still NO HOCKEY! That is all
10. Playoffs in College Football — it’s about damned time.

Let’s hope another wonderful year filled with DC team playoff runs, our government functioning, and less time waiting for the Metro. Happy holidays and a very happy new year! Stay safe everyone!

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by Borderstan.com November 28, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,372 4 Comments

"radio"

Radio, anyone? (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

Every few weeks or so now it seems like there is a moderately funny list online with a title like “You know you were a part of 90’s if” or “Thing you will never see again” and I always look at it and think about the good old days. The days of no one having a smart phone and MTV actually being centered around music videos.

One item that I see on these lists that pains me is people remembering their childhood radio stations and how they filled many carpools and roadtrips with sing-a-longs and funny prank calls. Sadly these days, thanks to iPod jacks in cars, Spotify and satellite radio, the traditional AM/FM radio has become nostalgic.

I drive a fairly old and beat up Ford Taurus that has no audio jack so I have come to know and love our local radio stations. Coming from the tri-state area, I have had a long love for radio thanks to disc jockeys like Howard Stern and FunkMaster Flex. DC doesn’t have the wide variety like NYC has, but what we have is pretty good and worth a listen.

What’s on My FM Dial?

Here is just what I have on my FM dial, ranked in order of my listening preferences.

  • 101.1: This is my morning ride to work with Elliot in the Morning. I also have a great respect for this station in general as it was the one that gave Howard Stern his real start and thus appreciates quality humor. Besides Elliot, this station is a very mainstream rock channel with a fine mix of 90’s hits and the occasional classic rock. I will say that this is generally my music taste so I am biased into liking it, but Elliot in the Morning is hilarious and can really fill a long commute.
  • 93.9The next best morning show for me is Russ Parr in the Morning. This hip hop station has a packed morning show that also takes extended breaks for music blocks which can be a nice change of pace at 8 am. I also love this station in the afternoon ride as their 5 to 6 pm block is just a DJ and a mix-tape, no commercials.
  • 99.5: The Z100 of DC; the mega pop station. In the last few months, I’d say I have heard “Gangnum Style” playing at least twice a week. Terrible DJ’s, but when you want to hear “Call Me Maybe,” this is your station.
  • 100.3: The classic rock station. I would like to rate this higher on the list, but frankly their song bank is very limited. I can only listen to “Hotel California” and “Don’t Fear the Reaper” so many times.

I sadly don’t know the AM stations that well and I have never been a NPR person. But, the next time you are in a car or at home and want to jam out, turn on the radio, if you still have a working one, on.

The Wizards Have Not Won A Game Yet!

  • It’s getting ugly.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Congrats to the Nationals. Bryce Harper, NL Rookie of the Year. Davey Johnson, NL Manager of the Year.
  • No hockey can sometimes have serious consequences.
  • Not sure why any NFL coach carries $3,700 in cash on gameday. Thoughts?

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