by Borderstan.com September 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm 1,425 3 Comments

Black Cat, Borderstan, live music, Luis Gomez Photos

It’s a big weekend for live music in Borderstan and beyond. Laura tells you what’s on tap. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Laura Herman of LauraLikesThis. Laura is also a contributor over at Brightest Young Things and you can find her on Twitter @Lmhhabs. Email her at [email protected].

Usually the word “weekend” is music to my ears, but it’s especially true this week when there’s so much music on tap over the next few days (what, did you think I was going to sing?). Here’s a roundup of local Borderstan and DC area picks for what to do, see, eat and hear this weekend.

Thursday, September 8

  • First, leave B-stan (briefly) to stop by Georgetown’s Fashion’s Night Out. More than 100 stores and restaurants will be offering specials, giveaways and other treats. Including Rue 14 (1803A 14th Street NW) in Borderstan. Swing by for outfir consultations, a DJ, finger food and champagne. Fashion’s Night Out is always a good time, so peruse the full list different participants and activities here and get ready to shop ’till you drop…
  • …Drop it like it’s hot on the dance floor, that is. Maybe I’m a little biased since I’m helping to host, but The Blaguard (2003 18th Street NW) will be the.place.to.be. on Thursday night. DJs Ben and Zach of Ridgewood Social Club will be spinning original mash-ups at this inaugural Blaguard Thursday Night fete and there will be drink specials and surprises galore. Plus, I’ll be there! 10 pm. More info and RSVP here.
  • Orrrrrr, you could go see Ghostland Observatory at 9:30 Club (7 pm doors) — one of my faves, can’t wait to see them later this weekend — or swing by U Street Music Hall for a mega dance fest featuring Titsworth and Klever (10 pm).

Friday, September 9

  • Catch a bikram yoga class after work (Jana’s review is spot on).
  • Then, swing by weekly Friday Night Frights (two eps of Tales from the Crypt and drink specials) beginning at 7 pm at Black Cat and then stick around for the Grouplove show at 9 pm. Here’s one of my faves.
  • For something slightly more chill, check out Peter Bjorn at the 9:30 Club. 8 pm doors.

Saturday, September 10

  • FreeeeeeeeeeeeFessssssst! Head out to Merriweather for Virgin Mobile FreeFest, probably the best *free* concert you’ll ever go to. The line up is seriously awesome… this is worth the trek. If you are car-less like me, BYT and some other folks are organizing a bus and spots are going fast. More info here.
  • In the evening, ChurchKey (1337 14 Street NW) is hosting a jazz benefit from 2 to 6 pm featuring North Coast Brewing Company beers and live jazz. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.
  • Then head down the street to Pearl Dive Oyster Bar‘s (1612 14th Street NW) pre-opening charity cocktail party, which begins at 6 pm and benefits juvenile diabetes. $30 advance tickets include passed snacks and support the cause. Cash bar.

Sunday, September 11

  • Pause. Do something that’s meaningful to you 10 years after September 11, 2001.
  • At night, go see Toro y Moi at Black Cat. Their last DC show was crazy sold out, so I’d recommend snagging tix in advance here. 8 pm.

Next Weekend

And finally, save the date for two more fun things happening next week…

by Borderstan.com September 6, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,893 3 Comments

Bikram Yoga, Connecticut Avenue NW, Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos

95+ Degrees at Bikram Yoga on Connecticut Avenue NW. (Jana Petersen)

This is the first post of Jana Petersen’s column on health and wellness. She will be drawing from topical articles, trends and deals to post about various activities and ways to keep healthy in the Borderstan area. You can email her at [email protected]

From Jana Petersen

Yoga mats and coffee cups have historically begged the question: is yoga the latest manifestation of “bobo” culture, or do people invest for the purported benefits? For a while, I had been pretty convinced of the former – and had even questioned whether people carrying yoga mats were actually going to yoga, or whether they were using the mats to roll (pun intended) with the trend.

While I can’t speak for everyone carrying around a yoga mat, I can confidently say that the benefits from Bikram yoga are worth the time, money and 95+ degree heated studio.

Bikram yoga (and yoga overall) had been on the peripheral extracurricular track for me; it was a welcomed break from running, but had never warranted the investment in a monthly membership (#iwishiwerepaidmore), Lululemon merchandise or the use of yoga pants for anything outside of post-binge Thanksgiving day. After some convincing from friends and boss (more to come on that one), I purchased a 10-week trial pass at Bikram Dupont. I could stand a break from running and could probably benefit from the stretches.

The 95+ degree studio didn’t feel like a big deal — until the morning of my first class. Between compulsive trips to refill my Nalgene and preemptive self-mockery, I had covered all of the worst-case scenarios (or so I thought) in my head: Fainting, losing my balance, uncontrollably sweating…

What I had not prepared myself for was the sight of my boss — the same man who had purported the benefits of Bikram yoga was now sitting on a mat in front of me, shirtless and in biker shorts. I was mortified and I could see he was eating his words; the months of “You have to try to Bikram!” had backfired, big time. I (and he) had (wrongly) assumed there would be more than one Bikram studio in Dupont.

All of this said, I’m now months into the “standing tree pose” and the benefits continue to outweigh any initial insecurities, hesitancy and humiliation. Although it’s hard to quantify and articulate exactly the benefits of Bikram — so much is dependent on how hard you push yourself and your body type — there are a few pronounced medical benefits (see below).

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram is the practice of 26 postures and two breathing exercises performed in a heated environment, named after Bikram Choudhury (who knew!). The heated environment helps to loosen muscles, eliminate toxins and improve circulation; the flow of postures within Bikram is aimed to systematically work every part of the body (veins, internal organs, ligaments and muscles).

Benefits of Bikram Yoga

  • Yoga — especially Bikram yoga — loosens the muscles, releasing lactic acid that builds up with muscle use and can cause stiffness, tension, pain and fatigue.
  • Yoga increases the range of motion in joints, resulting in sense of ease and fluidity throughout the body.
  • Yoga stretches the body’s soft tissues, including ligaments and tendons.
  • Yoga can help posture; the series of poses requires lower-abdominal and core strength, which increases likelihood of “sitting and standing tall.”
  • Yoga de-stresses; deep breathing exercises help calm the mind and focus on the “here and now.”

Bikram and Other Types of Yoga

Bikram is the only practice of “hot yoga.” There are a slew of other kinds – but the most popular are Hatha (often called the foundation of other yoga styles, focused on posture, breathing and meditation) and Vinyasa (more focused on strength, power and tone.)

Where to Practice Bikram?

  • Bikram Yoga Dupont (Connecticut Avenue and R street)
  • Hours vary; see schedule here

Borderstanis, where are your favorite Bikram (and other) studios to practice?

by Borderstan.com January 20, 2011 at 10:26 am 1,086 1 Comment

Laura Herman.

Borderstan welcomes Laura Herman, who will be contributing local weekend picks and profiling different events, happy hours, and neighborhood spots each week. Laura is a healthcare consultant by day but a D.C. nightlife, food and drink enthusiast by night. Originally from New Jersey, she moved to town from Boston after graduation. Laura has lived in Borderstan (the Dupont part) since June 2009 and hangs out a lot in the Dupont, U Street and 14th Street areas. She enjoys sitting at the 17th Street dog park on weekends, wishing that she had a dog (which she admits creeps out the actual dog owners). Follow Laura on Twitter @Lmhhabs or send her an email.

The weekend at the end of a four-day workweek always feels like it can’t come soon enough. Even though this week was short, I found myself dreaming about Friday night while I was walking to work on Tuesday morning.

Well, good news — the weekend’s almost here! And even though we’re now in the middle of winter, there’s no shortage of fun things going on in the Borderstan ‘hood this weekend. Here are my picks for this weekend:

Weekends can start on Thursday if you’re lucky or just… motivated. Check out a new happy hour venue this Thursday night while hoping that the forecast of possible evening snow actually comes true. If you haven’t already been, I really like Veritas for a low key drink and conversation.

(more…)

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