I feel stupid. I can’t believe I did it again. I cared. I thought for some reason this season may be different, but no, it was not. Penn State’s disaster and the other usual distractions may have turned the average fan away but I could not tear myself away from college football: I thought college football would be different this year.
Despite no evidence to the contrary, I thought the results of the regular season might actually help determine who plays in which post season bowl and who goes on to the national championship. NOPE. NOT A FAT CHANCE. WHAT WAS I THINKING!
I feel even worse for all of those people at Buffalo Billiards who actually thought that their alma mater may get a chance to play in a post season game. I have ranted about this issue before and there are better writers out there who have the issue pegged (Both these links have great articles explaining why college football is a mess; worth the read).
I write about it here today because I feel that at this point, even the casual “I only care when my alma-matter plays” fan should be pissed that college football, unlike every other collegiate sport, has NO PLAYOFFS to determine a national champion. I cannot, as I think no serious sports fan should, take college football seriously for this fact alone.
In an effort to pull the wool over our eyes, the NCAA will throw out a schedule of meaningless bowls, causing us to wait for a national championship rematch of two teams whose last game was nothing more than a field goal kicking contest. Do not be fooled. This is silly. Instead, suck up your pride and anger, and enjoy a very stacked slate of NBA games on Christmas Day and an exciting conclusion to the NFL season (Packers are going 16-0, they are the real deal).
District Fun Stuff
Thanks. Now that I got that off my chest here are some fun happenings going on the District:
Washington Nationals may get a star. Wow would Albert Pujols sell a lot of seats.
DC has enough weird laws. Now add this one to the list with sport team license plates.
Thought of the Week
The Fax Machine is laughing at snail-mail
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
- Moments in history with the best sports commentator in the business. A must watch.
- Texts from Bennett. Plain awesome.
- What does Amazon.com look like.
Metro Fights Back for the 99%?
TBD certainly took the #OWS (Occupy Wall Streeet) frame of the story and ran with it. As a girl who likes shiny things, I feel for the woman. Even more so after learning, from NBC Washington, it was an engagement ring/family heirloom.
Apparently, while removing her gloves on the Dupont Circle escalator, a woman lost a century-old, expensive diamond and sapphire ring. Metro is looking for it, they report, but have yet to find it. If you found it, do the right thing and turn it in. Otherwise, she may be the happiest person in the world that a ton of escalator work is scheduled for the station in the near future.
Zipcar and Living Social Birthed in Dupont California Pizza Kitchen?
Well, sort of — the company that invested/created both entities was borne out of a lunch meeting in California Pizza Kitchen in DC (now home to Casa Nonna). Revolution is a company owned and operated by founder of AOL and former chair of AOL Time Warner, Steve Case. So after he left AOL Time Warner, The Atlantic says he took a colleague out for pizza. All good things emerge over barbecue chicken pizzas, it turns out.
Moving on From Greig’s Departure from Race
You probably know by now we’re fans of many of the things Greater Greater Washington does. David Alpert takes to their pages to make an impassioned plea for the rare breed of politician who is a good candidate and also a good advocate for their community. Sometimes, it may be necessary to take a chance on a candidate that others call inexperienced in order to embrace a measure of change. Surely the DC residents that took to U Street in celebration of that candidate on a national scale — Obama — can embrace that spirit in order to look at all the candidates fairly and make the best choice for their neighborhood. Or are all those traits necessary? Or, do you love our City Council as is?
Metro’s ‘Aggressive’ Stance on the Red Line
Red Line single tracking is set to begin EVERY WEEKNIGHT at 8 pm between Dupont Circle and Van Ness, reports the Washington Examiner. The rational commuter in me understands that track work is necessary to improve safety and efficiency. The rider in me is pretty ticked off that this ‘improvement’ will take “until the spring” and is on top of other planned single tracking on weekends. But since I would like to stay alive on my travels, and track work is to replace the circuits that failed in the Fort Totten crash, I will just grumble into my crossword puzzle. Plan accordingly, people!
So Bike and Park at a Pretty Rack Instead
Have you noticed the new and improved bike racks around the city? I am partial to the one on M Street NW by the National Geographic building. But as DCist notes, artistic bike racks are popping up all over the district. The racks often tend to be reflective of their neighborhoods (see the dragon in Chinatown) and overall provide some interesting aesthetics for pedestrians and cyclists alike. What’s your favorite?
High Pressure Gas Leak Near Cosmos Club
Insert your own off-color joke here ( ). There, now that we are past that bit of humor, this was pretty serious stuff on Monday. A HazMat unit was deployed and Washington Gas turned off the leak, but it still closed down parts of Massachusetts Avenue, Florida Avenue, 21st, R and Q Streets NW. We Love DC has the recap, but no one seems to know why this happened. Sort of scary!
Reel Fest DC, CapitolBop Partner Up on 11/13
CapitalBop’s Jazz Lofts are unique events, which feature well-known artists performing sets followed by an all-out jam session at the end. This month, the event is paired with radical film festival, Reel Fest DC, with the event serving as the festival’s after-party. Jazz, film and jams — what’s not to like on a Sunday night?
Who Wrote Here?
New blog, DCwriters.org, is here to provide a guide to DC writers’ homes. Washington City Paper tipped me off to the story, and we can claim Sinclar Lewis as a Borderstan resident from his time on Logan Circle. There are many others — John Dos Passos, Langston Hughes and Julia Child to name a few. It’s worth checking out the variety of names and the pictures of their residences, as used in present day.
Little Serow Opens By Komi
Little Serow is not only by Komi, as in near to, but is also literally by Johnny Monis, the owner of Komi. And now it is open (shh, don’t tell)! Washingtonian gives a peek into the space, its vision and the menu. The reservations may be tough to come by, but they’ll text you while you down some drinks around the corner.
Washington Blade Launches Online Photo Archive
The Washington Blade held a party at Cobalt Thursday night to celebrate its new online photo archive and store. The project is still underway with the first phase done. When completed the Blade’s archives will have photos from four decades of coverage of the LGBT movement. You can already view and purchase some photos. Founded in 1969, the Blade’s offices are in the neighborhood on the 1700 block of 14th Street NW.
Grillfish Turns 15!
There’s a Facebook picture going around — it’s a pencil and a cassette tape picture with the text, “Your children will not know why these go together.” It’s enough to make you feel old. Grillfish turning 15 should have a similar effect, but with a tastier payoff. On Monday, October 10, Grillfish will be celebrating their birthday with retro-pricing on most entrees. Hopefully it doesn’t come with a side of the Macarena, but at those prices, a line dance may end up being worth it.
U Street Metro This Weekend
So, it seems that weekend track work may cause some problems for those headed to the bar or shows on U Street. Luckily for you, the The Washington Post has three ways for you to get around the mess that is closing U Street, Shaw and Columbia Heights metro stations for the weekend. Our opinion? Walk from Dupont Circle if the weather is nice, if its not you should take a bus.
What’s Next For DC Cabs?
A new chair of the DC Taxicab Commission recently discussed surcharges at his confirmation hearing. Since a fare hike seems to be on the table, even if it comes with an upgrade in service, area residents have some concerns. Check out the story at The Washington Post; for the resident/rider perspective, check out Jack Jacobson’s group and their Facebook page. For those of you that don’t know, Jack is a local ANC member and a regular taxi cab patron.
Inside Look at Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Festival
The Washington City Paper regularly gets to the heart of DC things you hear about, think it’s interesting and yet know nothing about its origin or history. One of those things is the Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Festival, and City Paper does one hell of a job getting into the head of its creator, Dave Mann. He’s putting on a show (or 125+ shows) again this weekend, and if you don’t want to go after reading Jonathan’s article, well, I give up.
You Didn’t Miss It, It is Real: Steve Jobs Did Die
The visionary that created the iPhone, iTunes, the personal computer and spawned an empire of Apple devotees passed away on Wednesday of cancer. Cancer sucks, but you know what doesn’t suck, not even a little bit? His commencement speech at Stanford in 2005. Too often, sincerity is mistook for glibness or gladhandling, and this speech is a bit of uncommon wisdom from an uncommon man. It is also clearly a man trying to explain his life and make sense of it all to lay down a legacy, but it is his enthusiasm and frankness that stand out, particularly from a private man running a very public company.
From Mike Kohn. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @mike_kohn.
Wednesday: Stuff the Bus for DC Central Kitchen at Birch & Barley
There is still time to Stuff the Bus with healthy foodstuffs for DC Central Kitchen. DC’s largest food charity has teamed up with the restaurant app, Venga, to collect food and donations. DC Central Kitchen provides meals for the homeless from its downtown kitchen and headquarters. The bus will be at various food and restaurant locations around the city through Friday, September 30. One of the local stops is at Birch & Barley, 1337 14th Street NW this Wednesday from 5 to 7 pm. You can always donate online to DCCK if you can’t make it to the bus! Venga is a mobile app featuring exclusive offers from more than100 of DC’s top restaurants.
Change of Pace: Metro Makes Improvements
Yep, you read that right. First, the word from DCist is that everyone will now be able to make payment to your SmarTrip card from the comfort of your own home using the Internet. That’s been a long time coming. And then we saw from the Post that Metro is working “every night” to expand cell phone coverage in its busiest stations. I know I was going through severe withdrawal during my 15-minute metro ride, but no more!
You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here
A couple of closings in the Borderstan ‘hood are rapidly approaching. First, news came from U Street Girl that Mid City Caffe will be closing this Saturday, October 1 (on my birthday, no less!). Mid City opted not to renew its lease, and it won’t be opening elsewhere. MetroWeekly also mentioned on Friday the closing of 1409 Playbill Cafe, blaming the upcoming development along the 14th Street NW corridor and rising rents. The owners do hope to find a new home in the Logan Circle area.
A couple of LBGT organizations are having some big dinners across the next week — it must be a fall thing. The HRC National Dinner will be held next Saturday; it has been sold out for a while now, so hopefully you have your tickets already. If not, make sure you get your name on the wait list. On a more local level, the DC Center will be hosting its annual fall reception next Friday and there are tickets still available.
From Mike Kohn. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @mike_kohn.
Here’s a story I think everyone can relate to.
I left work and motored my way to the metro. It took longer than expected, since I had to weave in and out of pedestrians who blocked the entire path and left me almost no way to get around them. I finally got to the Gallery Place-Chinatown station only to find that the red line was suffering from minor delays (which, I’ll admit, is par for the course these days). The Metro arrived and people pushed their way in, holding the door open for their friends despite repeated requests not to do so.
We pulled out of the station and somehow made it through to Metro Center and then to Farragut North. Despite little room for the growing number of passengers, the angry riders shoved through, preventing the doors from closing until we heard the dreaded phrase from the conductor: “Customers we are offboarding this train.” What should have been a 15- to 20-minute easy metro ride turned into an hour of horror.
I threw a temper tantrum in my head. And swore under my breath. Loudly. A lot.
If you’ve never had something like that happen to you, congratulations! You’re either a liar or I’ll be riding the metro exclusively with you from now on.
There is something about taking public transportation that makes people even more insane than they usual are. Let’s try and curb that with some metro advice:
- Buy a SmarTrip card. Seriously. You’re a resident of Borderstan, so you have no excuse to continue to use paper cards. The only exception to this one is if you have a weekly pass that only comes in the paper format (in which case your responsibility is to write to WMATA and petition them to change it).
- Don’t hold the metro doors. Yes, your stupid friend didn’t get a metro card in advance, but you can either leave him behind or wait for the next train. Holding the doors will tell the computers there’s a mechanical malfunction, and after everyone gets booted off the train, you’ll be universally hated for making others wait.
- Move into the center of the car. There is only so much room, and when you won’t let people move in, they hold the doors like I said not to above. And then you’ll get pissed when you have to get off.
- Hold the pole with your hand and only your hand. It’s bad enough we have to pack in like sardines, but don’t make it worse by forcing me to touch your ass as you press your entire backside into the pole.
- Let me off the train before you get on. I promise, the train isn’t going to leave you. What will prevent you from getting on is the fact that I walked into you because you crowded the doors rather than standing to the side like a patient person.
- Walk left, stand right. This is escalator etiquette, but I’m throwing it in. This is D.C., folks. Everyone is incredibly important, so they have to get where they’re going in a hurry. Don’t stand in their way.
Thanks for the suggestions on last week’s post. You better believe I’ll be putting out the word about them in future columns. Have any other metro tips for our District? Anything else driving you crazy lately? Let me know in the comments.
Way to go team Borderstan! You made it through not one, but two natural disasters this week. You deserve a medal. Or a cookie. Have any crazy stories from your week of horror? Did anyone actually go outside late last night? What did you do to pass the time during Irene? Let us know in the comments — and feel free to throw any photos you might have taken in the Borderstan Flickr pool.
An off-duty cop was involved in a slight altercation at the intersection of 1st and Pierce Streets NW. After driving drunk, the cop shot at the five people in the car, hitting one three times and hitting one other once. It would be bad enough, but two of the people in the car were trans, outraging the LGBT community and calling for Chief Kathy Lanier’s involvement. From the DC Trans Coalition: “This incident is just another in a long line of systemic violence that trans women, and particularly trans women of color, face on a daily basis.” Read more from DCist.
Metro Ups and Downs
Apparently WMATA is intalling some new lighting on the platforms! Seems like a good thing for the dark, dingy waiting areas, but the DCist reader who called it seemed to think it might actually be too bright for the platform. What do you think? Adding to the potential Metro woes, TBD reports on a potential protest from MetroAccess drivers. Apparently the drivers of those small buses that help people with disabilities feel that they work too many hours in unsafe conditions. Just another day in the life of WMATA, right?
Where Has All the Surface Parking Gone?
Sure, it does seem like there are an incredible amount of apartments around here, but what’s even more incredible is that good ones are still always in demand. That’s why the First Baptist Church of Washington is proposing a 9-story 228-unit apartment build at the corner of 17th and O Streets NW. The site is currently surface parking, and between that and the height (yes, we all know how D.C. loves its shorter buildings), the Church may see some opposition. Greater Greater Washington has the full scoop.
Networking for a Cause
In case you’re looking for a networking event that has a cool idea behind, check out the Young Professionals CANstruction Event at the National Building Museum tonight at 6:30. I had the privilege of participating over the weekend in CANstruction, an annual event where architecture firms build structures out of cans to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank, and I’ll be there tomorrow to talk about it. Come check out all the structures and bring some canned good to help the hungry!
From Mike Kohn. Got some news for Mike? Drop him an email or find him on Twitter @mike_kohn.
Temple Garden Open House
We reported a few months back that the Temple Garden, “a local community garden on property owned by the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry at 1733 16th Street NW, will be closing after the 2011 harvest.” The Temple Garden will be hosting an open house next Saturday, July 16 and is inviting the whole neighborhood to come out for tours and samples of the garden’s produce. It’ll be a family friendly event too, so bring the kids. All of the proceeds from the event will go toward the effort of saving the garden. You can learn more about how the community is striving to work with the Temple to preserve the garden on their Facebook page.
From Mike Kohn. Got some news for Mike? Drop him an email or find him on Twitter @mike_kohn.
More Mexico in our Midst?
Apparently the opening of El Centro DF wasn’t enough for our neighborhood. A tip from U Street Girl tells us that we’re soon to have a taco stand nearby at 9th and U Streets NW. Set to be called “El Rey,” expect a garden and a place large enough to hold about 150 people. Not a whole lot of news on the new place, but hey, having new restaurants seems like a good idea, sí?
Jury Deliberating for Dupont Trial
The jury will soon decide the fate of Jorida Davidson, who stands on trial after being accused of voluntary manslaughter as part of a hit-and-run. According to DCist, Davidson hit Kiela Ryan with her SUV in Dupont Circle and then fled the scene last October. Ryan had been celebrating her 25th birthday and was trying to get out of her own car when Davidson struck her. While prosecutors claim Davidson was just plain drunk, the defense holds that her post-traumatic stress disorder from growing up in war-torn Albania flared up just after hitting Ryan and caused her to run. We’ll see what the jury says about this one.
By Michelle Lancaster. Got a hot tip? Tell her on Twitter @MichLancaster.
Police Respond to Mt. Pleasant Barricade Situation
This is so bizarre — sharpshooters and cops arrived Tuesday afternoon in Mt. Pleasant responding to a possible barricade situation. Why do I think it is so odd? Well, he’s apparently barricaded with a “screwdriver” and is not believed to have a gun. Check out the pictures in Washington City Paper to see how the police responded to the distraught man. Hope everyone stays safe.
DC Flag Tattoos a Hit on Flag Day
To bring attention to the still-conspicuously-absent lack of a D.C. vote in Congress, D.C. Flag Tattoo Day was organized last night in Dupont Circle. I have seen some awesome ones, notably on some tasty chefs around the city. District Love organized, and has some great pics already up on their site. Add your own to our Flickr pool!
From Michelle Lancaster. Tell me what I missed, talk to me on Twitter @MichLancaster.
VIDA Fitness U Street Opening June 30
VIDA Fitness says it will open its new U Street facility on June 30. A Facebook posting and email to members says the entire gym will be up and running at the end of the month (June 14 was the original opening date). The location on the 1600 block of U Street is where RESULTS Gym formerly had its flagship location. As for the rooftop pool, the VIDA message says, “The Penthouse Pool Club is still scheduled for August 9th opening. We can’t wait to share this amazing facility with you!”
Weekend Metro Hours Preserved
DCist has important news for all you bridge and tunnel people, as well as the millions of other D.C. residents that rely on Metro to get from place to place on the weekend. WMATA has decided NOT to extend the time between trains on Saturdays and Sundays. It would have saved money, but cost you up to 25 minutes. On to the next big idea!
Don’t Fall Down
Hold on tight boys and girls. The Examiner tells us that Metro is planning on sticking with the manual operational mode that it’s been in since the Fort Totten crash of 2009. The folks at WMATA apparently need another several more years before they can replace all of the potentially faulty safety modules. The only way they can speed up the process is with more shutdowns or fewer hours of service — is anyone excited about either of those options? So be prepared for quite a few more bumpy rides, but just remember, it’s all in the name of safety.
From Michelle Lancaster. Tell me what I missed on Twitter @MichLancaster.
Taylor Gourmet to Open in Logan Circle
Washingtonian has the scoop on the tasty sandwich chain Taylor Gourmet‘s latest location in Logan Circle at 1908 14th Street NW (west side, north of T). This is the current location of Ruff & Ready Furnishings, which is moving. Don’t get too excited for your delicious sandwich, though. Due to a need for extensive renovations, they don’t plan to open until mid to late fall. The good news? They will have a delivery and take-out option with service up to Columbia Heights. Nom nom, indeed.
Summer in DC: No Power, No Escalators?
I swear Metro is in a silent partnership with The Biggest Loser to encourage city residents to take the stairs by having so many escalators out of service. The alternative — that our system cannot keep up with the escalator demand — is not an easy issue to resolve, so I will follow the D.C. maxim of ignoring it until it inconveinces me. Oh wait, as the Washington Examiner reports, it already is. More than one-fifth of Metro’s escalators are out of service on Wednesday in our 90-degree heat. At least you went home to a residence with power, unlike the unfortunate folks left at the mercy of Pepco in NE (check out WUSA’s story and thermometer. It’s bad. I feel bad for our NE friends).
From Michelle Lancaster. Tell me what I missed on Twitter @MichLancaster.
DC Architecture: The Cairo Background
If you’ve lived around Borderstan for long, you’ve seen the Cairo Building flouting height restrictions. If you’re a big architecture nerd like me, you’ve probably wondered about the past of the building. Let this DCist article pique your interest a bit more, and then go read up on the pool gin parties on your own. It’s worth it.
No, the Rapture Did Not Happen
No one on the Borderstan team has been reported missing so far. Despite lots of anticipation, the Rapture did not happen on May 21, 2011 at 6pm as some predicted. So yes, you do have to go back to work to pay for all the drinking you did Friday night. About the only cataclysmic event that happened over the weekend was the eruption of a volcano in Iceland. So far this one doesn’t look like it will interrupt air travel over Europe to the extent the eruption last year did.
More Retail on 14th Street in Logan Circle
It didn’t take long for D.C. fashionistas to find Current Boutique’s newest location at 1809 14th Street, NW — during a visit Saturday afternoon the store was crowded with shoppers. The new store joins two other locations in Old Town and Clarendon in offering name brand clothing and accessories sold on consignment as well as new clothing and accessories. Current Boutique took over the space occupied by Go Mama Go which closed at end of March. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Metro Closures Memorial Day Weekend
If you are not beach-bound for the Memorial Day weekend and have any plans to take Metro you better check the WMATA website for details on station closures and single-tracking scheduled over the three days. The closures will affect service on Blue and Orange line trains between Federal Center SW to Minnesota Ave/Benning Road and the four stations between — Capitol South, Eastern Market, Potomac Ave and Stadium-Armory Metrorail stations — will be closed. In addition, there will be some single-tracking of Red line trains at various points in the system.