by May 10, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]

"Mother's Day"

Be creative on Mother’s day. (Luis Gomez Photos)

For those of you too buried in your iPhones and Blackberry phones to have noticed the calendar, Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, May 12.

And, that’s right, we’re now just inside that window when there’s not enough time to order a gift online — but still enough that you should come up with more than just a card.

This is why your nonjudgmental Borderstan family is here to help out with some local gifts for your local moms.

  • Has your mom been working hard this year? Could she stand to have someone pamper her instead of the other way around? Pick up a gift certificate or schedule a massage for her with Sioux Barry, the official Massage Therapist for DC United, at Healing District.
  • Would your mom rather relax with a glass of wine instead of being kneaded? Cork & Fork is one of the very best wine shops in the area. Pick up a bottle or two, or even better, splurge on one of their gift baskets, sure to please the greatest oenophiles in the neighborhood.
  • Is your mom appreciative of the bygone era of handwritten letters and notes on proper stationery? Check out the classic styling of Copenhaver where you’ll be taken care of by very friendly and polite staff while discovering something special and unique.
  • Does your mom have any green space outside? Or at least like to keep a plant or two indoors? Swing by Old City Farm & Guild for a gift that says you gave me life, now let me try to return the favor.
  • If time is getting tight and you just have time to grab a card, Pulp has one of the best selections of cards around. You may find just the right funny or sentimental card to take her mind off you not bringing a gift.
  • And finally, if you’re just reading this Sunday morning before heading out the door, we have a handful of bank ATMs (TD Bank, PNC, BB&T, Wells Fargo, SunTrust) in the area if you just want to slide your warm and loving mother some cold, hard cash.

Happy Mother’s day to all you moms out there.

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by May 9, 2013 at 11:00 am 1,336 0

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

"Mother's Day"

Author Willis Shawver and his mother. (Courtesy Willis Shawver)

Don’t worry. Mother’s Day is this Sunday, so you haven’t missed it. There is still plenty of time to show your mother just how much you care, or to disappoint her like you usually do. So that raises the question, how does an individual properly thank someone for birthing them?

Lucky for you there are lots of ways to express your love and gratitude for Dear ol’ Mom. To help, I’ve ranked some popular Mother’s Day activities that fall somewhere in between “Best Child Ever!” and “You’re dead to me.” Here’s hoping you fall somewhere towards the top of this list.

1. An Open Hearts necklace. Don’t ever question the jewelry designing skills of Jane Seymour. Ever. (JK. Don’t buy an Open Hearts necklace.)

2. Give mom a visit. If you can swing it, seeing your mom in-person on Mother’s Day is a perfect way to celebrate. Take her out to dinner, or even better, brunch! Moms dig brunch. If your mom is local, check out Masa 14 or the Greenhouse at the Jefferson Hotel for some great brunch options here in the neighborhood.

3. Send flowers. Ok. So a trip to see mom is out of the question. No worries. Let a bouquet of flowers brighten her day in your absence. This isn’t Valentine’s Day though, so stay away from the roses. Mom’s like lilacs, irises, tulips, or perhaps some kind of blooming plant. If you’re really trying to impress, pull out all the stops and order her an Edible Arrangement.

4. Send a card. Necklaces, trips, and arranged food can be expensive. Greeting cards, on the other hand, are cheap and easily accessible. Take some extra time to write a personalized, heartfelt message in your card. Degree of difficulty: when was the last time you bought stamps?

5. Call your mother. That thing in your pocket that takes Instagram photos? That’s a phone. It can make actual phone calls. Use it. The least you can do this Mother’s Day is to give your mom a phone call.

6. Send a text. Did you just text “hpE mthRs dy. <3 U!” to your mother? Shame on you.

In conclusion, you should hand deliver your mom an Edible Arrangement with a card attached containing an Open Hearts necklace. Easy enough I think. Whether you travel, send flowers, or call, make sure you do something for mom this year. She’s earned it.

What am I going to do for my mom this Mother’s Day? Blog about it. Duh. Love you, Mom!

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by February 13, 2013 at 11:00 am 0


Never underestimate the power of flowers on Valentine’s Day. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Some content from this article was originally posted by Jana Petersen in February 2012. 

One thing is for sure: never underestimate the power of flowers on Valentine’s Day.

Sure, there are chocolates and jewelry and stuffed animals galore, but fresh flowers make the heart grow fonder.

There are plenty of shops in the neighborhood to pick-up flowers for your Valentine. Here are just some of the options:

And if you need to pick-up a little gift to go with those flowers, consider visiting some of the neighborhood’s local gift shops, such as:

And a homemade valentine from Brand Dave is always a good choice.

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by December 17, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,436 0


The guide for the last minute Holiday gifts that you need. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Melanie Hudson. Email her at melanie[AT] 

What? What’s that you say? It’s December 17 and you forgot about Christmas? Only a fellow procrastinator like me would understand your dilemma – so, relax, Borderstanis, I’ve got you covered.

This year, trade in the airport-gift-shop snow globes and tacky flea market pashminas for gifts with legs: these gift ideas double as outings and are as unique as they are fun. You’ll get credit for thinking of your friends and family, as well as for organizing something better than the office holiday party cruise on the Potomac.

  • For your clever (and discreet) assistant: Take him/her to cozy Tabard Inn (1739 N Street NW) for classic cocktails by the fire and bond over something more interesting than spreadsheets and to-do lists. While it’s not the newest or trendiest choice around, there is good reason it’s as busy now as it ever was. Order the mulled cider, a Sazerac, or one of the expert bartenders’ crafty concoctions perfectly suited to this festive time of year, and confess where you really were that one day you called in “sick.” This ought to make the office a lot more fun.
  • For your long-distance sweetheart visiting on New Year’s Eve: The overwhelming pressure to entertain an out-of-town guest is only slightly less stifling than the immense burden to “have fun” on New Year’s Eve. Conquer both with one click and head to the 9:30 Club (815 V Street NW): on December 31, you can see the very popular alt-rock-country band Drive-By Truckers with special guest and Bonaroo favorite North Mississippi Allstars. After an evening of singing and dancing with your fellow plaid shirt wearing fans – plus a champagne toast at midnight – your honey-dear will want to stick around well into the new year.
  • For your best friend with kids who never spoils herself anymore: Organize a day out for a woman who really needs it – whether she will admit it or not. Take an afternoon shopping tour of Borderstan, either for last-minute gifts (if she is a procrastinator like you!) or to take advantage of post-Christmas sales, that doubles as quality best friend time. There are so many routes to choose from, all lined with home goods, clothing, baby, furniture, paper, food and pet shops galore: 14th Street NW from Thomas Circle to U Street; U Street NW from 9th to 18th Streets; or Connecticut Avenue NW from K Street to Florida Avenue. It will be her favorite gift all year.
  • For your parents (you know, the people you generally take for granted the other 11 months of the year): Something about the festive atmosphere of a French bistro reminds us of the holidays. This year, get out of the house and pretend you’re in Paris with a Christmas Eve meal at Bistro La Bonne (1340 U Street NW) – your treat. On December 24 they will be open from noon until 10 p.m. and are offering a special three-course holiday meal in addition to their regular menu classics like steak frites, cassoulet and mussels. Further impress your family by making a reservation and have Champagne waiting at the table. It’s only once a year you can realistically keep this up, so you might as well make it good.
  • For your neighbors who have the dubious honor of holding your spare key: Say thank you for all those times you locked yourself out or left the iron plugged in or forgot to feed your cat. Take your neighbors’ annual holiday party to the next level and have a half case (or more) of wine or several bottles of spirits delivered straight to their door via 1 West Dupont Circle Wine and Liquor (2012 P Street NW). This huge bottle shop just off Dupont Circle at P Street will deliver for free, and even bring ice which is always the first thing to go. With this generosity, your neighbors will become your friends – and be more likely to overlook the fact you stayed at their party perhaps one drink too long.

And if none of these ideas suit you, it’s always a good idea to give to your favorite local nonprofit in honor of someone you love; most nonprofits will send a card to the honoree acknowledging your gift in their name. It’s a generous way to let someone know you’re thinking of them during this annual season of giving.

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Happy holidays!

by December 13, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,672 0

M.V. Jantzen, Flickr, Sculpture Garden, National Gallery of Art

The ice skating rink in the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art. (M.V. Jantzen on Flickr)

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

Life moves in cycles. When things are going your way for chunks of time, you better damn well expect that the next metro escalator will be broken or be stuck talking to a bland Capitol Hill employee at a holiday party. High and lows, boredom and excitement, I am convinced that the day-to-day nature of our lives moves in a circle. I take this model to what’s going on in the sports world. Sometimes your team goes through long periods of loss or mediocrity, only to then shoot up to the winner’s circle (unless you are the Pittsburgh Pirates).

I consider a great holiday season a decent movie to watch and plenty of Chinese food, but for everyone out there, here is a small guide to bringing a little extra happiness to the sports fan in your lives.

The cycle also applies to excitement. Let’s just clump October/November together as it was nothing more than a standard football time (‘cept the St. Louis Cardinals World Series win, that was great). However, in the last two weeks we have easily seen some of the more exciting news in some time ranging from the NBA orchestrating team trades, the undefeated Green Bay Packers rolling and a huge brawl in an otherwise great day of college hoop upsets.

Overall, December has been quite the month and with the beginning of the NBA season looming, the cycle must be on a high note (January will be meh, besides the Super Bowl, of course).

December is also that other time of year when all of a sudden things get brighter, people are happier, and work productivity hits a wall. I am not a Grinch but also have never really experienced the true joy of the holiday season (my holiday is about an amazing war victory over Greeks). I consider a great holiday season a decent movie to watch and plenty of Chinese food, but for everyone out there, here is a small guide to bringing a little extra happiness to the sports fan in your lives.

Extra Happiness For Your Sports Fans

Show Some Love. Give em a big hug. Everyone needs more hugs. Everyone

Create Memories. Coming from a guy with enough baseball hats to field a little league team, the average sports fan has plenty of team-affiliated apparel to keep them happy. If you want to be the unique person, the gift of game-day tickets is going that extra mile because things are just things. But experiences last forever and you never know what you may see.

Inside Scoop vs. Never Miss a Game. In the 21st Century, much of the everyday life of the sports fan goes through their laptop or some other internet driven device (PS3, XBOX, etc.). For these types of people I’d recommend two things. First, a subscription to ESPN Insider, which gives you access to every writer and stat guy ESPN has to offer. Second, a subscription to either MLB (baseball), NFL or NBA so your favorite fan never misses a game. Either of these are for more devoted fans but shows that your actually know your fan.

Enjoy the Winter. By enjoy the winter I mean get outside with your warm coat, a hat and go ice skating! There are a handful of places to skate in the district. Sure, most of us aren’t too graceful on the ice, but it’s easy going and always a fun time. Throw in some pre-skate eggnog if you are nervous.

For people you don’t really care for, every sports league has fantastic websites full of great little items that I am sure the sports fan in your life would appreciate. For everyone else, cookies and scarfs I hear make nice gifts. Look next week for the sports schedule breakdown of the holiday season.

Thought of the Day

A Marion Barry movie? Hell Yea.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links

  • A response to Rick Perry’s “Strong” ad (which I wont actually link for obvious reasons).
  • Some DC news anchors may need to hold back sometimes.
  • This airport is way too close to the beach.

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