by Borderstan.com May 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.

"District"

How is your team doing? (Luis Gomez Photos)

2012 was a landmark year for Districts sports teams. Rookie stars Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris carried the Redskins to an unexpected (but much celebrated) division title. Bryce Harper did the same with the Nationals. DC United returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and fell just short of hosting the MLS Cup.

And, while none of our beloved teams were able to bring a championship back to the District, 2012 was still a very welcome change from recent years of futility.

So how is 2013 shaping up?  Well, it’s a mixed bag so far. Here’s where we stand going into May.

Wizards

The Wizards stumbled out of the gate in 2012, largely because superstar John Wall watched from the bench with a knee injury. When he returned in early January, they sat at the bottom of the league with a record of 5-28. Wall’s return provided the spark the team needed as they won almost half of their remaining games. When the 2013-2014 season picks up later this year the Wizards won’t be championship contenders, but a return to the playoffs is a reasonable goal.

Redskins

I won’t spend much time on the 2013 Redskins as memories of watching RG3 tear ligaments in his knee might drive many of you to tears. The good news is that by all accounts his recovery is going smoothly and he intends to be in the week 1 starting lineup. Regardless of RG3’s knee, the biggest Redskins 2013 storyline might end up being when we start calling them the Redtails.

Nationals

After their surprise run to the division title last year, sportswriters and fans alike have high expectations for the 2013 Nationals. So far, not much has changed from the 2012 version. They shipped Michael Morse off to Seattle but he left A-ha behind, Brycer Harper is still swinging a big bat, and Stephen Strasburg is rounding into form after a couple of rough starts. They’ll need to pick up the pace if they want to match last year’s win total and catch the division leading Braves, but they still have the look of a team that could bring World Series baseball to the District this fall.

DC United

Oh, where to begin? Unable to build off of last year’s magical postseason run, my beloved black and red are off to the worst start in the league. If I focus on the bad I’m going to get depressed, so instead I’ll point out some positives. Attendance is already up 5% over last year (and we haven’t gotten to the warm weather games yet), rumors abound about a possible deal for a new stadium, and you can still find the Bada Bing and Doug the Food Dude trucks in Lot 8 before just about every game.

Capitals

After a lengthy lockout threatened cancellation of the entire season, hockey finally returned to the Verizon Center in January. The extra time off didn’t do the team any favors as they won only 2 of their first 11 games. But unlike the Wizards, the Caps shook off the rust and edged out Winnipeg for the division title. They current hold a 2-1 lead in the opening round best of 7 series against the New York Rangers. Game 4 will be played tonight at 7:30 pm at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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by Borderstan.com March 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.

"Pontius"

Pontius Jersey. (Rachel Nania)

DC sports fans are blessed with some of the most popular and dynamic athletes in the country. Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, John Wall and, of course, Robert Griffin III have all ranked among the leaders in jersey sales in their respective sports.

But there’s another local athlete among the best in his sport, and you may not have even heard of him. I’m talking about DC United‘s star midfielder, Chris Pontius (no, not THAT Chris Pontius).

Drafted out of UC Santa Barbara in 2009, Pontius made an immediate impact on the black and red and finished the season as a rookie of the year finalist. Although United had a rough year in 2010, Pontius’ continued improvement had the team in position to make a run at the playoffs until a broken leg cut his 2011 season short.

Pontius took the leap in 2012, scoring a team high of 12 goals. He was voted the MVP of the MLS All Star Team after their win over English powerhouse Chelsea, and was also named to the MLS Best XI squad at the end of the season. Most importantly, he led DC United back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Not only is Pontius a superstar on the field, but he also loves to take advantage of all the DC social scene has to offer. Follow his twitter account and you’ll see him tweeting about watching the Redskins, Wizards, and Capitals. You may also catch him at a Nationals game, shopping in Georgetown or getting coffee in Chinatown. Your best bet to catch a glimpse of Pontius might be at Open City DC, where he frequently heads for brunch on match days. Still waiting for my invite, Chris…

Ready to catch DC’s next superstar athlete in person? Head out to RFK Stadium on Saturday, March 23, to see DC United take on the Columbus Crew.

And, while I highly recommend watching the team play in person, if you can’t make it out you can always watch at one of these local bars:

  • Touchdown Sports Bar, 1334 U Street NW, an official bar partner of DC United.
  • Lucky Bar: 1221 Connecticut Avenue NW.
  • The Queen Vic: 1206 H Street NE.
  • Public Tenley: 4611 41st Street NW.

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by Borderstan.com February 27, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.

"United"

DC United is ready for its 2013 season. (Kent Barnes)

Just three and a half months after their disappointing playoff loss in the Eastern Conference Finals, DC United kicks off the 2013 Major League Soccer season this Saturday, March 2, at 8 pm. Olsen’s Army opens the season against the very team that ended their 2012 championship hopes, the Houston Dynamo.

After their surprise 2012 playoff run, the team has brought in a slew of talent that they hope will ensure another successful year at RFK Stadium. This includes exciting young Brazilian forward Rafael Teixeira de Souza, nicknamed Gladiator for his “thumbs down” goal celebration.

Although this weekend’s match against the Dynamo is in Houston, the team will be back in the District next Saturday, March 9th, for the home opener against Real Salt Lake. The match starts at 7 pm, but the party will begin a few hours before kickoff with plenty of tailgating in Lot 8.

There are a variety of ticket options available, but the team is expecting a packed house so you should consider ordering your ticket(s) in advance. If you’d prefer to enjoy the match from a comfortable seated position, tickets range from approximately $30 to $60 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. If you’re looking for a wilder fan experience, consider ordering tickets through one of the team’s 4 main supporters groups: The Screaming Eagles, La Barra Brava, La Norte, or the District Ultras.

2013 promises to be an exciting year for District sports fans and you don’t have to wait for the Nationals to show your DC sports pride outside of the confines of the Verizon Center. Vamos United!

Libations and TVs

This weekend’s season opening match will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network, but if you’d rather surround yourself with fellow fans head to one of these bars:

  • Touchdown Sports Bar – 1334 U Street NW. An official bar partner of DC United.
  • Lucky Bar – 1221 Connecticut Avenue NW. Lucky Bar will be showing the game on an assortment of big screen televisions and encourages sports fans to enjoy a legendary “Big Ass Burger” along with their beverage of choice (I’m sold).
  • The Queen Vic – 1206 H Street NE. If you’re heading out of Borderstan and over to H Street for the evening, you can still catch the match and an authentic British menu at another one of DC United’s official bar partners, The Queen Vic.

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by Borderstan.com February 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.

"Love"

Love your sport. (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s that time of year again. Love is in the air, romantic dinners are being planned and employees at Russell Stover, 1-800-Flowers, and Victoria’s Secret are working overtime.

Valentines Day is the designated time of year to show that special someone in your life just how much you care about them. But what if you’re single, or just don’t feel like overpaying for chocolates, flowers and a prix fixe dinner? Embrace and celebrate your love of sports instead.

Are sports perfect? Not even close. They frustrate us, make us argue, complain, shout and, occasionally, even drive us to tears. But so do our husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends.

So Consider This…

  • Sports don’t expect you to cook dinner or do and fold all the laundry.
  • Sports never ask us to do the dishes, vacuum the floor or make the bed.
  • Sports don’t nag, ask you to cuddle or beg for sex when you clearly aren’t in the mood.

If you’re ready to swap the roses and truffles for the love of the game, here’s what the local teams are up to on or around Valentines Day 2013:

  • The resurgent Wizards are on a road trip until next week, but if you don’t mind celebrating a little late you can head to the Verizon Center on Tuesday, February 19, to see the team take on the Toronto Raptors.
  • Just because the Capitals are off to a slow start doesn’t mean you can’t forego a romantic candlelight dinner for a couple of hot dogs and some beer while you watch the team take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, February 14 at 7:30 pm. The team won’t be back in the District until late next week, but you can still give your significant other a taste of the team by ordering him/her a Slapshot Valentine’s Day Gram.
  • Spring Training games don’t get underway until later this month, but Nationals fans will be in the mood to celebrate on Wednesday, February 13 when pitchers and catchers report to Viera Florida to kick off the season.
  • D.C. United is currently down in Florida taking part in the Walt Disney World Pro Classic. After defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-0 last weekend, they take on Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, February 13 and the Montreal Impact on Saturday, February 16.  Both matches can be streamed live on the official Major League Soccer website.

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by Borderstan.com November 28, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,328 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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by Borderstan.com November 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm 0

"DC"

DC United’s quest for the MLS Cup begins this Saturday, November 3 at 8 pm at RFK. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes.

Two weeks ago this Saturday, DC United defeated the Columbus Crew in the final match of the regular season to clinch its first spot in the MLS playoffs since 2007. United treated the crowd to an instant classic, trading goals with the Crew until Lewis Neal punched home the game winner in extra time to send the sold out stadium into a frenzy (seriously, fast forward to 1:07 and watch the beer fly!).

DC United’s quest for the Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup begins this Saturday, November 3 at 8 pm at RFK Stadium against the team’s greatest rivals, New York Red Bulls. (The match was originally scheduled to be played in New Jersey, but Red Bull Arena is currently without power as a result of Hurricane Sandy.) The teams will play two matches, one at each home stadium, and whichever team scores the most goals combined advances to the Eastern Conference finals.

When you head to RFK Stadium on Saturday, be sure to dress appropriately. DC United is planning a “blackout” in celebration of the team’s most important match in five years. If you don’t already have a black shirt or jersey, just stop by the team store before heading through the gates to join Olsen’s Army.

Want to get the party started early? Lot Eight opens at 5:30 pm for your tailgating pleasure. The team is expecting a sell out crowd, so make sure you get your tickets in advance.

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by Borderstan.com October 18, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,040 1 Comment

"DC"

DC United (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Borderstan guest columnist, Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes

Just one week after the Nationals’ season came to an abrupt and disappointing end, another local team is busy gearing up for a shot at post-season glory. That’s right, DC United takes on Columbus Crew this Saturday evening, October 20, at RFK Stadium (2400 East Capitol Street NE). The match kicks off at 7:30 pm and is the team’s last and most important home game of the season.

Following a tough loss in the season opener against Sporting Kansas City, United has managed to stay undefeated on its home field since March. In fact, DC has 11 wins and four ties at RFK under its belt, thus far. This success has the team well-positioned for its first playoff berth since 2007… Which is why this Saturday’s game is so important; a win or a tie against the Crew guarantees United the opportunity to compete for the MLS Cup title.

If you’re worried that soccer is boring and you won’t see enough offense, don’t be! United averages over two goals per game at RFK and has twice put four past the opposing keeper this season. Whether it’s Maicon Santos’ howitzer left foot (my personal favorite), or Chris Pontius weaving through the defense and punching home the score, you’re sure to see fireworks. And there is plenty of fun to be had before the match as the parking lot opens for tailgaters a few hours before kickoff. Bring your friends, food and beverage of choice, or stop by and eat and drink with one of DC United’s passionate groups, such as the Screaming Eagles.

The math is simple for DC United on Saturday: Win and we’re in.

So when you head over to RFK, be ready to sing, bounce and show your DC pride as the most decorated team in Major League Soccer takes a big step towards bringing another title back to the District.

Tickets for this Saturday’s game are available online.

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by Borderstan.com June 15, 2012 at 6:00 am 0

"DC United"

“DC United” is by TheRobbStory from the Borderstan flickr pool.

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

Today’s photo, “DC United” was taken by TheRobbStory on May 6.

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 D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by Borderstan.com May 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

"Borderstan""Bike"

Wednesday bike ride to RFK and D.C. United game. (Luis Gomez Photos)

On the evening of May 16, Olsen’s Army will wind its way through the city on two wheels, chanting, singing and cheering for the Black and Red prior to the team’s match against the Colorado Rapids.

Local bike shop, BicycleSPACE, is hosting a bike ride and rolling tailgating party to Wednesday night’s D.C. United game from its 7th Street, NW location.

Starting at 6pm, the store will lead the ride all the way to RFK Stadium, where participants will find free bike parking and a tented tailgate area, equipped with food and drink. When it’s time for kick-off, everyone will head into the stadium to continue cheering from a large, dedicated section.

Tickets for the ride, tailgate and game are $32 and can be purchased online; more information is available via a video clip from BicycleSPACE.

Support your local team while recognizing National Bike Month!

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by Borderstan.com January 21, 2011 at 5:00 am 0

14th Street NW Logan Circle Washington Blade Luis Gomez Photos

The Washington Blade has a new sign above the door at its location on the 1700 block of 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Michelle Lancaster. Got news for Michelle? Send her an email.

Why is it that the short weeks always feel the longest? But you’ve made it to the end, so take a break and catch up!

Do Not Miss – Saturday Night Sips

Our own Alejandra brings news of Saturday Night Sips at her blog, a delicious fundraiser for Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen. $100 gets you food from local stars, quality cocktails and the warm feeling of having done something good for others.

Utopia Project at 14th and U On Track; ChiDogos May Be Gone This Fall

DCMud reports that the Utopia project at the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW is on track with demolition of selected buildings to begin this fall — just opened ChiDogo on 14th Street being in one of them. According to DCMud, “… also on the chopping block is the United Supreme Council building, the Domino’s location, Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The buildings which house Ace Check Cashing, McDonald’s and El Paraiso are historic and will remain intact.” The development will house 220 rental units and 20,000 square feet of retail space.

(more…)

by Borderstan.com August 21, 2009 at 12:32 am 1,060 0

Here are some suggestions of things to do during the weekend in Borderstan, really close by or in the city.

Sushi Taro, at 1503 17th Street, NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

Sushi Taro, 1503 17th Street, NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

Circa at Dupont, 1601 Connecticut Ave., NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

Circa at Dupont, 1601 Connecticut Avenue NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez.)

Sushi Taro at 1503 17th Street NW always had a reputation for the best sushi around, a place where the Japanese Embassy brought the country’s prime minister when he was in town. After having undergone a renovation that included its menu, the prices went up (it was never cheap). Sushi Taro was a place of no surprises but excellent dishes. That seems to have changed as the reviews are mixed, but give it a try.

Circa at Dupont at 1601 Connecticut Avenue NW is one of those perfect city places: a little bit of everything and everything is good… and good people watching just off Dupont Circle. Great atmosphere for a casual meeting, lunch or dinner. They also have brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

"1460 Wallmountables 2009" at the DC Arts Center, 2438 18th Street, NW. (Image: DC Arts Center)

“1460 Wallmountables 2009” at the DC Arts Center, 2438 18th Street NW. (Image: DC Arts Center.)

"The Ceramics of Paquimé and Mata Ortiz: Tracing a Family Legacy ", at the Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th Street, NW. (Image: Mexican Cultural Institute DC)

“The Ceramics of Paquimé and Mata Ortiz: Tracing a Family Legacy,” at the Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th Street NW. (Image: Mexican Cultural Institute DC.)

“1460 Wallmountables 2009,” is at the DC Arts Center, 2438 18th Street NW. It is a chance to experience DC’s art scene in a very different way, mingle with the artists and purchase some of the fantastic works for sale.

The Ceramics of Paquimé and Mata Ortiz: Tracing a Family Legacy” is showing at the Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th Street NW. “One town, five families, 46 artists, a revived centuries-old tradition: this is the story of Mata Ortiz. Located near the ancient city of Paquimé in northern Chihuahua, Mata Ortiz has gained an international reputation for exquisite pottery. The town’s artists place their individual stamps on methods, materials, and patterns developed at Paquimé and rediscovered by Juan Quezada. The Mexican Cultural Institute is proud to welcome ancient pieces from Paquimé and modern pieces from Mata Ortiz to Washington.”

"Wanda Sykes" at the Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. (Image: Wanda Sykes)

Wanda Sykes is at the Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (Image: Wanda Sykes.)

"Charles Covington, Jr" at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. (Image: The Kennedy Center)

Charles Covington, Jr. is at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. (Image: The Kennedy Center.)

Comedian Wanda Sykes” is appearing Saturday, August 22, at the Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. She has new material and a TV Show.

Charles Covington, Jr is playing Saturday, August 22, at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Covington is “recognized as a virtuoso jazz pianist and jazz organist extraordinaire, enjoys a high reputation among performers all over the world.”

"Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police" at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. (Image: Woodrow Wilson Center Website)

“Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police” is at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (Image: WWC Web site.)

"Woodstock at 40: The Rise of Music Journalism" at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. (Image: Newseum Website)

“Woodstock at 40: The Rise of Music Journalism” is at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (Image: Newseum Web site.)

Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police” is showing at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. “The photo exhibition Prague through the Lens of the Secret Police features a selection of never before seen photographs and films of ‘subjects of interest’ taken secretly by the Czechoslovak State Security Service’s Surveillance Directorate during the ‘normalization’ era of hard-line socialist entrenchment which followed the 1968 Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia.”

Woodstock at 40: The Rise of Music Journalism” is at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. It “features rarely seen photographs and artifacts from the historic music event.” Woodstock “marked a moment when the news media first recognized music and entertainment as a cultural and commercial force.”

"United vs Galaxy" at the RFK Stadium, Saturday, August 22. (Image: DC United Website)

Galaxy vs DC United at the RFK Stadium, Saturday, August 22. (Image: DC United Web site.)

In sports, see the Galaxy vs DC United on Saturday, August 22, 7:30pm at the RFK Stadium. Enjoy a great soccer match this weekend.

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