by Borderstan.com October 31, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,002 0

"crawl"

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

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

One of the major advantages of living in a condensed city like good ol’ Washington, is the proximity from one activity to the next. Unlike many of our home towns where the restaurants and bars are located on two blocks next to each other and your selection is limited, in the Borderstan area we are spoiled to having a great selection of up-scale 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, as well as attending last weekend’s Halloween Bar Craw around Dupont Circle. This one is a bit different as everyone is wearing costumes and tends to be a bit friendlier to people dressed as “50 Shades of Grey” or “Rockford Peaches.”

On November 10th, I will be attending the DC Beerathon and have much higher expectations as the locations are great and the beer deal is a good one. It is right in our hood and, to get you ready, here are some tried and true tips for getting the most out of any city bar-crawl

Prepare Wisely

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. The point of the crawl is to explore and walk around so go to areas with high concentrations of participating bars. Also if you want to pre-game, go on the lighter side, as you have a whole day to drink.

Mid-Way Fill Up

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. 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

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.

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. Again, the DC Beerathon is soon so gather your buddies, sign up, and prepare for what should be a very fun Saturday in Borderstan,

As I sit here watching the weather, hope everyone is doing well dealing with Sandy.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Some people are better at dealing with storms than others.
  • Worried about your valuables? Get this.
  • Washington Redskin’s DeAngelo Hall had issues controlling his anger Sunday. Enjoy.
  • Congrats to the San Fransico Giants for winning the 2012 World Series by destroying the Detroit Tigers.

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by Borderstan.com October 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,168 2 Comments

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

"Chesapeake"

Lebodome on the High Seas. (Courtesy Scott Leibowitz)

Despite growing up in a state with plenty of coast line, my nautical experience was limited to beach trips and lake activities. I never had a friend who owned a boat and no one in my family was big into fishing, so the ocean remained just a large salt water pool where you can relax on sand and take in some sun. Last weekend though I finally was able to fulfill a small pipe dream of mine, to steer my own sailboat.

Thanks to a great groupon purchase by my girlfriend, last Sunday we drove an easy 50 minutes outside of DC to Tracey’s Landing, Maryland, right on the Chesapeake Bay. Our voucher bought us a two hour sailing lesson from The Sailing Academy and we couldn’t have asked for more. Thanks to a very friendly instructor, I learned a slew of boating terminology as well some of the physics behind sailing (really makes you appreciate the original explorers from Europe). As my close friends know (and have experienced), I enjoy the feel of a steering wheel and controlling a sailboat was a pretty great feeling as I easily moved the wheel to adjust for wind. We had beautiful weather and plenty of wind, and then finished the day trip with an amazing seafood lunch.

It is these types of trips that make car ownership or friendship with car owners a must in this city. Sure the metro goes to some areas, but the freedom to hit the road and do whatever is a crucial aspect (for me at least) of making DC a great city to live in.

A Word on #Saditude: What a season for our Washington Nationals. Give these guys a hand, they had the best record in 2012 and came up one out short to continuing their season. I was in a bar Friday night with friends watching the horror that was the 9th inning. Every baseball fan knows, if your team  lets your opponent tie it, they will probably lose it eventually. People’s faces were empty and now we must wait till April. Yes you can still be pissed about Strausburg not pitching (I still am…so stupid), lack of hitting, or letting Teddy win all those races. But let’s look at it as a step in the right direction, and that RGIII is SOO fast.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • If you missed this historic jump from space, watch it now. Absolutely incredible.
  • How to make a pumpkin “keg“, just in time for Halloween.
  • Even Barack Obama is an RGIII fan.

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by Borderstan.com September 19, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,160 0

"Borderstan" "Buffalo Billiards"

Buffalo Billiards on 19th Street NW, south of Dupont Circle. (Scott Leibowitz)

Lebodome is on vacation this week. The following column originally ran October 11, 2011.

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

This is now the third bar I have reviewed and I gotta say I am sorta getting the hang of this. I have had some great feedback from you guys, but feel there are lots of hidden gems of bars and places in our neighborhood I should stop by on game-day.

As long as there are TVs, draft beer, and football on, I am willing to check out anywhere. For this week thought I’d venture south and spend the day in Dupont Circle. Enjoy.

Buffalo Billiards, 1330 19th St NW

General Description:When you hear the term “sports bar”, this is definitely what you would have in mind. It’s got wall-to-wall televisions, tons of different great bar games, lots of space, and fairly standard bar drink and food. If your team makes it to a championship game, and you want to watch with your fellow fans, this is the place to do it.

Scott Leibowitz, Buffalo Billiards

Scott Leibowitz

Why I Went There: Convenience in Borderstan. This past Sunday was great weather and a walk through the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market made it quite easy to walk to the south part of the circle for football. I have also been here for a few college games and enjoyed some pretty loud and enthusiastic crowds.

Atmosphere: This is the very spacious and activity filled bar DC needs to be considered a decent sports bar city. First off it is quite large with tons of space, so if you are a group of 25 Cincinnati Bengals fans, there is plenty of room and an available TV. Every game is on somewhere, including the center of the room with a projector screen and six other HDTVs; frankly it’s a lot of stimulation.

Its other big plus is they have so many games and activities including; a dozen billiards tables, shuffle board, darts, ski-ball, foosball, buck-hunter, and that golf video game people like. If your team is getting blown out, chuck some darts. Got a friend or significant other who isn’t a big football fan, there are plenty of games to help their Sunday afternoon enjoyment. (My girlfriend is not like that; instead she blew me out in Fantasy Football this week.)

Food and Beverage: This bar blew their money out on their HDTV’s and tons of games. That said their beer and food menu is not an escape from any other bar in the area or the country. I’d even go as far to say the beer selection, besides Batch 19, was very average (Buds, Millers, Coors, etc.). Menu seemed fairly bar’ish but gotta say for a place this large, table service was nice.

Actual Game Viewing: Tons of space + tons of HDTV + friendly staff = anywhere you sit you can see your game.

Something a Female in My Party Noticed: This was a not just a bunch of dudes watching football. I’d say half the patrons were women, and not just dates, but game invested, wearing their team’s jerseys and cheering all game. This bar is for every fan, every gender.

Overall: If you want a sports viewing bar with tons of games and TVs, this is as good as it gets.  Besides that, not much else but an average bar

Total Pigskins:

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by Borderstan.com August 22, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

"Baseball"

The Diamond Box at Nats Park: The perfect place to watch the baseball game. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.

Over the years I have been fortunate to have the opportunity and privilege to attend many live sporting events, especially baseball.  While ticket prices for games have steadily risen over the years, most stadiums keep their worst seats at an affordable rate for the regular folk and make attending a game an easy decision. Sure, there are field level, luxury box and, probably, deluxe seats I have never heard of but these concepts have always been pipe dreams for me… until last weekend.

Thanks to my amazing girlfriend and her company’s bank, we were given two tickets to last Saturday’s Mets-Nationals game in a PNC Diamond Club Box. Now maybe some of ya’ll have enjoyed this section of Nationals Park before, but it was a first for both of us and we both agreed, it was the best professional baseball game we had ever attended.

On the tickets it said there would be free food and drinks, so we had expectations for some goodies. But when we walked into the giant suite behind home plate, we were amazed at our discovery. The moment we stepped in, we were given disposable wristbands and were whisked into the 1%’s world of luxury and indulgence. Here are some of the highlights.

Food, The Glorious Free Food. This was like being at the cocktail hour of an A-List wedding. Food stations with fresh cut meat, a candy table with recently popped pop corn, and a hot dog making station with all the trimmings were waiting for us. If there hadn’t been TVs showing the game, I would have totally forgotten that there was one on and that that was why I came. On top of all this, the bar was open, wide open. I got my fill of draft Sam Summer and was a very happy spectator.

Waiter Service. Now, I have seen some sections where you have the option of ordering. In the PNC section, there is an army of stadium workers going back and forth with just about anything you want (for free of course), and this is included in the great open bar. When I wanted a hot dog and a beer in the 2nd inning, I certainly didn’t get up. I just ordered it and by the next inning, it was there.

The Crowd. As you can imagine, this whole experience made me a bit like a child in a candy shop as I enjoyed all the perks with a big smile on my face — not the style of a seasoned rich person. I can’t imagine these seats are owned by individuals but rather corporations who give them out often. The two Romney voters next to us were unimpressed by my excitement and wonder, and spent most of the game yelling at people in their view and talking about workout routines. Friendlier people sit in the upper-deck bleachers.

The actual seats were amazing, we saw the whole field and the pitcher before he throws. At the end of the game, the servers were walking around throwing bars of ice cream to everyone; it was grand! To top that, after the game there was a free Third Eye Blind concert at 2nd base which was pretty okay (let’s be honest, they aren’t the Beatles and only have three songs you remember, but those three songs sounded great). I am not sure if I will be able to enjoy normal seats at a game ever again after being spoiled like this.

In the Hopper

FOOTBALL. Done with two of my four4 fantasy league drafts so far. Next week, we are talking football.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • When you get busted for using steroids, don’t do this.
  • I’ve seen Teddy lose races, but not as violently as this one.
  • The ultimate Bill Murray movie clip remix.

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by Borderstan.com August 8, 2012 at 10:00 am 1 Comment

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.

"Sandwich"

Taylor Gourmet. (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 more 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 is a bodega or local shop on every other corner so a “sub” is never far away and everyone knows 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). 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 & 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!

Are You Ready for Some FOOTBALL!

Next post, NFL/Redskins preview. Sign up for your fantasy football leagues now.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

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by Borderstan.com July 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm 1,174 0

"Bars"

Looking for a cool spot at a local sports bar?(Luis Gomez Photos)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.

Modern man has invented some remarkable products to better help us deal with one of the things we can’t control in life: the weather. Advance materials and ways of sewing have brought forth concepts like dry-fit for both hot and cold climates. While I enjoy that and many others, there is only one thing that brings me immense joy and comfort: central air conditioning. And in DC, can you imagine summers without AC?

I shudder to think of a world where people went from place to place, sweating everywhere with no relief except hoping it got dark or a storm would come. Honestly, we praise Henry Ford and Eli Whitney for innovations to the world, but why isn’t the man who invented AC a household name?

If you haven’t noticed the heat recently, maybe you’re a cactus. For the rest of us, it has literally been the hottest (worst) summer in DC ever on record, making doing just about anything outside awful. The idea of even walking to Bethesda Bagel on Connecticut Avenue over the weekend was a serious discussion of “Is there enough shade on the walk?” and “We need enough water for there and back.” One of the only ways to beat the heat (stupid Lebron) is to not go outside and enjoy your AC. It’s like having a car in DC. If you don’t have it, make friends with people who do and never leave their nicely cooled living rooms. I am fortunate enough to have mine cranking as you read this post, but I understand it is a luxury.

Get Out for a Beer and Watch Some Sports

We can’t stay inside forever (as much as we may want to) and sometimes you need a beer or a place to watch a sporting event. So here is just a handful of places in Borderstan with excellent air conditioning. They may not be as good as some other bars as sport watching venues, but if the aim is to stop sweating, stop in these places.

  • Buffalo Billiards: Tons of TVs, tons of space and always pumping AC. Also because it is underground it is not being blasted with rays of sun, which helps.
  • Nellie’s Sports Bar: Great sports bar with fully functioning 21st century central air. Also, there is the option of the outdoors with Nellie’s large rooftop deck — that is, if it is not 105 degrees.
  • Solly’s U St Tavern: Brick building insulates well and blocks heat. Also their AC and HDTVs are in fantastic working order.
  • Your Own Apartment: Stay home. No wait time, always a seat and you can control the temperature.

Beware of any places with large glass windows, huge patios and a constant swinging of the front door. Yes, atmosphere, drink selection and price are important for choosing a bar. But, this time of year only go to places with temperatures similar to a fridge.

In the Hopper

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Inventor of the first “electronic‘ football game has passed away.
  • The History of Rock, in 100 cords. Worth watching all 12 minutes.
  • Cookie Monster’s version of “Call Me Maybe”.

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by Borderstan.com June 13, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,226 1 Comment

"Tennis Balls"

DC is a great place to play tennis. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.

As an around the clock sports enthusiast, a question that has often been asked of me is what is my favorite sport to play (to watch is a whole different discussion). Basketball and hockey are fast-paced and physical, while baseball is a bit slower, but more precise. But the sport that I look forward to the most has always been, even since I was younger, tennis.

I credit my grandpa for instilling in me a love for a game that is all about mental control and consistency, and has no clock ticking against you. The month of June always gets my tennis juices flowing with the French Open and Wimbledon being played at both ends of the month. There is a bonus this summer as the London Olympics will include tennis at the Wimbledon grounds, which will be cool to see players not wearing the usually required all whites.

If you haven’t played since last summer, dust off your racket, check the strings and get out there! There are plenty of people to play with and your friends may want to get back out there as much as you do. Here are just a few tips for hitting the courts and having a great time.

Know Your Level. Not to sounds too competitive, but how good are you? There is an official tennis rating system, but you should generally know how consistent you are. This is important in determining if your tennis date is just a good hit back and forth or a competitive set or two. The more you know your level and play with people around yours, the more fun you will have.

Be Friendly. This is not a high school match, and it isn’t the US Open final either. Some people tend to amp up their intensity in public due to the fans (people walking by) or the players on the court next to you (who are obviously judging you). Don’t be labeled as that intense player who argues about line calls or yells when they win a point (like I used to when I was a teenager). When you get paid to play tennis, then yell a little, but until then, relax.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome. The catch with public courts is that it’s a first come, first serve basis combined with patience. On the nice weekend days, I have walked by courts and seen actual lines to get their turn. In situations like these, it’s the common courtesy move to play about an hour and no more. Remember what your parents taught you: share.

While tennis can sometimes be an “upper-class” sport meant for the country clubs, DC is fortunate enough to have a sprinkling of public courts all over the NW part of the city. Click here for a great interactive map of the city and where to find the nearest courts to you. All are free to use anytime and have no dress code. Then buy a new can of balls, get out your baseball hat and hit the courts on the days it’s not horribly humid.

Shout-Out!! I want to personally thank Borderstan owners Matty and Luis for an amazing DC Pride Parade experience. If you were out there last Saturday, hope you saw the Borderstan cars and I threw you some beads!

 Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Even when the Nationals are in first place, getting dates can be tough.
  • House Hunters isn’t real! What’s next? The tooth fairy?
  • Why did the Wizards have a poor season? The answer is in the shoes.

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by Borderstan.com October 18, 2011 at 11:00 am 0

Lebodome, football, Dupont Circle

Sunday football on Willard Street NW. (Scott Leibowitz)

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

There are some weekends when perfect weather sets the stage for non-stop catching up with friends and long evenings in loud bars. My original plan last Sunday was to enjoy my team’s game on U street – the game wasn’t available on regular cable. However, upon waking up Sunday morning around 11:30, that seemed like an impossible feat.

Luckily, I had a back-up plan in my pocket the whole time. A friend of mine, whom I met through a close college friend, has a very nice and well furbished Dupont apartment, including a full subscription to NFL Countdown (the service that lets you watch any football game, whenever). So, instead of the ambiance of U Street, this week’s bar review is more domestic. Though my friend’s apartment didn’t lend itself to normal bar things – kegs, random people – his place hits the spot.

My Swiss Friend’s Apartment in North Dupont, Willard St

General Description: Heart of Borderstan – with an amazing roof deck and spacious kitchen. Pretty much the ideal place for a handful of middle-20s intelligent, gainfully employed/grad school gentlemen.

Why I Went There: The thought of drinking (more) in a crowded public space didn’t appeal to me. Why go to a crowded bar when I can kick my shoes off in a large living room den?  This seemed like a no brainer.

Atmosphere: Six guys checking their smart phones and/or laptops intermittently for their fantasy scores with the game(s) on in the background. On one TV, my football team streamed through a Playstation3. A second TV showed the local Redskins game (because this scene was inevitable) and a third TV ran NFL Redzone (the 21st century response to shortened attention spans). What a scene – does it get any better?

There was plenty of space and couches for everyone to kick back and yell obscenities. And with an incredible roof deck, we got some halftime rays. Access to the roof deck made the guilt of spending the better part of Sunday afternoon a little bit better.

Food and Beverage: If I was too tired to make it to a bar, clearly I was too tired to really make a good breakfast/brunch, so I did the next best thing and picked up some comfort lunch food at THE BEST deli in the neighborhood, So’s Your Mom at 1831 Columbia Road NW. Little beats the timeless tradition of lox, cream cheese, tomato, onions and scallions on an everything bagel. Throw in a “revive” Vitamin Water and a bag of chips, this lunch brought me back.

Actual Game Viewing: Anytime I can watch a football game and feel like I am sitting in my childhood home, I feel good. The luxury of my friend’s apartment has this too. And between the hours of 1 and 5 pm, I didn’t miss a single exciting play from my game or any others in the league.

Overall: We all need friends like this, who save us from our weekend hangovers and provide safe havens to enjoy our football teams. Big thanks to Stephan, Eric, and John.

Total Pigskins: The lazy in me says 5, but the practical says 2, so lets go with 3.5

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Remember Urkel? Yea well he is now a game show host on Sci-Fi Network. Good news right?
  • Hate your job? This is how you quit in style.
  • Michael Vick hates Washington Redskin cheerleaders.

by Borderstan.com October 11, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,228 0

"Borderstan" "Buffalo Billiards"

Buffalo Billiards on 19th Street NW south of Dupont Circle. (Scott Leibowitz)

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

This is now the third bar I have reviewed and I gotta say I am sorta getting the hang of this. I have had some great feedback from you guys, but feel there are lots of hidden gems of bars and places in our neighborhood I should stop by on game-day.

As long as there are TVs, draft beer, and football on, I am willing to check out anywhere. For this week thought I’d venture south and spend the day in Dupont Circle. Enjoy.

Buffalo Billiards, 1330 19th St NW

General Description:When you hear the term “sports bar”, this is definitely what you would have mind. It’s got wall-to-wall televisions, tons of different great bar games, lots of space, and fairly standard bar drink and food. If your team makes it to a championship game, and you want to watch with your fellow fans, this is the place to do it.

Scott Leibowitz, Buffalo Billiards

Scott Leibowitz

Why I Went There: Convenience in Borderstan. This past Sunday was great weather and a walk through the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market made it quite easy to walk to the south part of the circle for football. I have also been here for a few college games and enjoyed some pretty loud and enthusiastic crowds.

Atmosphere: This is the very spacious and activity filled bar DC needs to be considered a decent sports bar city. First off it is quite large with tons of space, so if you are a group of 25 Cincinnati Bengals fans, there is plenty of room and an available TV. Every game is on somewhere, including the center of the room with a projector screen and six other HDTVs; frankly it’s a lot of stimulation.

Its other big plus is they have so many games and activities including; a dozen billiards tables, shuffle board, darts, ski-ball, foosball, buck-hunter, and that golf video game people like. If your team is getting blown out, chuck some darts. Got a friend or significant other who isn’t a big football fan, there are plenty of games to help their Sunday afternoon enjoyment. (My girlfriend is not like that; instead she blew me out in Fantasy Football this week.)

Food and Beverage: This bar blew their money out on their HDTV’s and tons of games. That said their beer and food menu is not an escape from any other bar in the area or the country. I’d even go as far to say the beer selection, besides Batch 19, was very average (Buds, Millers, Coors, etc.). Menu seemed fairly bar’ish but gotta say for a place this large, table service was nice.

Actual Game Viewing: Tons of space + tons of HDTV + friendly staff = anywhere you sit you can see your game.

Something a Female in My Party Noticed: This was a not just a bunch of dudes watching football. I’d say half the patrons were women, and not just dates, but game invested, wearing their team’s jerseys and cheering all game. This bar is for every fan, every gender.

Overall: If you want a sports viewing bar with tons of games and TVs, this is as good as it gets.  Besides that, not much else but an average bar

Total Pigskins:

   Links! Links! Ice Cold Links

  •     With the Occupy Wall St (also DC), Ben&Jerry’s steps up.
  •     Attention basketball junkies: Forget the NBA, enjoy this documentary on high school ball.
  •     Why is college football so inferior to the NFL? Stuff like this. What a dumb rule.

by Borderstan.com September 7, 2011 at 10:00 am 1,026 3 Comments

Lebodome, NFL, 2011 football season

Ready for football?

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

YES. It is finally here. There was definitely a moment back in May watching Ochocinco bull-riding where it definately looked like there may not be an NFL season. Even our commander-in-chief (a Chicago Bears fan, ha!) almost stepped in to fix the fight between millionaires and billionaires.

However, when push came to shove and the chips were on the table (by chips, I mean prospect of no season at all) both sides cooled and came to a compromise (remember that word Federal government?).

Football is here, and it starts this Thursday with the last two Super Bowl winners facing off: Saints vs. Packers. I hope that you all did well in your one or many fantasy football drafts, and are ready to dominate your leagues with good research and biting insults to your opponents.

This looks to be another good season with lots of fun, bizarre and illegal story lines. One of the things I have always respected while living in DC is how fierce and loyal Redskins fans are, despite its recent poorly run front office. This was and always will be (sorry Caps/Nats) a football town, and you can feel it around the city.

With that said, here are some things to look for as America’s greatest sport (baseball, you know you still own October) kicks off and we begin the 46th season of the National Football League.

The Redskins: how bad can/will they be?  The star quarterback they brought in last year (McNabb) and the 100 million dollar headache (Haynesworth) are gone. They passed on QBs in the draft and are putting their eggs in either untested rookie John Beck or sorta decent veteran Rex Grossman. Coach Shanahan says Grossman is the starter, for now.

If this team wins eight games, I will be shocked. (That said, I hope that running back Tim Hightower scores lots of touchdowns for my fantasy team). The ‘Skins play a tough schedule, including the stacked AFC East, with home games against the New York Jets and New England Patriots. At least the defense will be fun to watch.

Boring Kickoffs. A new rule was made for this year that kickoffs are at the 35-yard line instead of the 30 to prevent some of the more vicious hits that occur in this phase of the game. Yes, player safety should be a high priority, but in the pre-season so far, there are too many touchbacks and less exciting returns. I will miss these plays.

10 Years Later. The first Sunday of the season is September 11 and the league was smart to have the New York Football Giants play the Washington Redskins at 4:15. This weekend will have lots of touching memorials, speeches and stories, especially at games. While we all will be enjoying a full slate of Week 1 games, please take some time to reflect on that day.

So… Are you ready for some football?

Thought of the Week. How are you preparing for Week 1? Any big party plans? I am fan of starting the season at home with friends and lots of guacamole…

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Are the new University of Maryland football jerseys cool or just plain weird? I haven’t decided….
  • Even pro athletes get pulled over for driving 147 mph. This is a good thing.
  • GWU just announced its 2011-12 Men’s Basketball schedule. DC is a better town when it’s not just Gtown playing good ball.
  • Forget Andy Roddick. Say Hello to the new face of American tennis: Donald Young.

by Borderstan.com August 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm 1 Comment

Lebodome, Borderstan, Scott Leibowitz

An unusual end to the summer:  An earthquake, a hurricane and the best baseball game Lebodome has ever attended. (Scott Leibowitz)

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

Maybe we were all having too much fun at happy hours. Maybe it was penance for complaining about the awful heat of July that made it unbearable to take a walk without craving a slurpee. Or maybe, just maybe, as Michelle Bachman joked, it’s because our own District can’t seem to remember the classic kindergarten lesson of “play nice together” (I don’t for a second endorse this. That woman is batsh*t). What the heck happened to our summer and how did it end like this?

For me, my end of summer was so out of whack that I am not sure what kind of adjectives should be used. But like most people, it can be told through the medium of the natural disasters (don’t love that term) we have had recently.

Earthquake: One a perfectly normal Tuesday, I made plans to enjoy some outdoor lunch with fellow Borderstan writer Laura. We grab our lunch and find a quiet seat behind McFadden’s around 25th and K Streets NW. In the midst of a great catch-up session, Laura turns to me and asks if our bench is shaking or if is she going crazy. I noticed that yes, it is a bit, but I blame it on either a metro under us (the Metro doesn’t go to Gtown so not that), squirrels (nope) or a moving truck (nah).

About 15 minutes later someone randomly asks us if we are ok from the earthquake, and we both think he is drunk. We then hit the twitter waves and see that we laughed through a 5.8-er. Of course, we then noticed everyone has cleared the offices and traffic is gridlocked. I almost feel bad — I didn’t notice a freakin’ earthquake. What’s wrong with me?

Irene: So I go home to New Jersey (yeah yeah, insert your comment) last week, and on the Thursday before the storm, I attend easily the best baseball game I have ever seen. The New York Yankees hit 3 grand slams, a feat that has never been done in the history of professional sports. How could life get any better?

I’ll tell you!! Some pissed off woman named Irene showed up and decided she had enough of Jersey and forced me and my extended family to stay in the house and enjoy the best hurricane the state has seen in a century. I will say my small suburb was spared from flooding, power outages and water sports, but it ruined my plans for an amazing live fantasy football draft (it was done online, not the same). Plenty of Jersey is still recovering; luckily we put our pool furniture back outside Monday, but I still don’t have power.

Earthquakes. Hurricanes. What a way to end the summer.  At least we got my favorite season coming up: fall. What’s not to love about playoff baseball, beginning of the NFL and maybe some college football that will be declared ineligible in a few years. Hopefully it doesn’t snow anytime soon.

Thoughts of the Week: What are ya’ll up to for Labor Day? I hope it’s a BBQ…

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • The greatest sporting event comes to NYC this week, the US Open.
  • If you are a fan of “The Wire”, enjoy this.
  • United States children are better than Japanese children… at baseball.

by Borderstan.com August 16, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,783 24 Comments

DC joggers, Lebodome, Luis Gomez Photos

Where do  you jog? (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

For most organized sports, people have great and detailed stories of how they first started. Maybe it was that cute girl who loved basketball players that encouraged you to work on your jump shot, or as a kid you just loved having a catch with your dad so you excelled at little league. However, in all my years (that isn’t many) I have never heard anyone tell me they started running because they just knew it was meant for them or how fun it is. Running is just… well, just running.

In my case, it was because my high school was too small for a football team and I was too slow/uncoordinated to play soccer in the fall, so cross country was the best way to get in shape for winter basketball. Despite hating every practice and meet I participated in, I am quite thankful to have learned the art of going for a jog. It has so many benefits that I won’t list them here (that and I am not qualified to be an expert in health matters).

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by Borderstan.com July 19, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,323 5 Comments

Lebodome, Borderstan, Scott Leibowitz

Lockout! Scott sums up the situation with the NFL and NBA. (Illustration by Luis Gomez)

Scott Leibowitz, Borderstan, Lebodome

Scott Leibowitz

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.

Of course the economy isn’t fixed yet; if it were, the NBA and NFL wouldn’t be in lockouts.

After watching President Obama‘s latest press conference on the budget negotiations, I had a thought that hit me like a linebacker sacking a blind-sided  quaterback (one of my favorite hits in the game):
the current  NBA and NFL lockouts are linked to our federal economy. All of these lockouts and struggles are no coincidence… America needs its football (and hoops) for our economy’s sake.

What is exactly going on? I am not an expert or lawyer so my next two paragraphs are loaded with links explaining both…

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by Borderstan.com July 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm 1,080 2 Comments

Meridan Hill Park, Scott Leibowitz

I walk the line: Sunday afternoon at Meridian Hill Park. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.

Scott Leibowitz

Scott Leibowitz

Backyard Sports to the Sound of the Drums at Meridian Hill Park

Welcome back to the Lebodome…

There are many essentials that make up a true summer in D.C. Going to a Nats game to enjoy the food (instead of the baseball), jazz at the sculpture garden (where you at least know one random person) and, of course, the drum circle Sunday at Meridian Hill Park.

As I have already checked off the first two from my list, I decided it was time to sweat for a few hours outside, listening to some beats. Last week, Editor Luis Gomez wrote a great article on the park’s diversity. And I found this Washington Post article explaining the tradition of the music, so I won’t go too much into the actual drumming as I ain’t Ringo. I was at the park to enjoy the activities, the people watching and the music.

Meridan Hill Park, Scott Leibowitz

The main green on the north side of Meridian Hill Park. (Scott Leibowitz)

One of the very first things you notice in this park is it is long, meaning plenty of green space for all kinds of outdoor/backyard games — but there is a bit of a risk. There is a lovely string of benches on both sides of the middle green, so if you are playing anything, you are part of the showcase (which is amazing for people watching).

For most of the afternoon, I found myself watching Frisbees fly around while enjoying the great variety of dogs taking walks. The park is also great for bocce — a section is just dirt, making it perfect for good rolls.

I also saw fantastic jugglers, a competitive game of Bolo Toss (Ladder Toss) and, my personal favorite of the day, the gymnast/Cirque De Soleil group climbing on top of each other. My roommate also tells me later in the afternoon when it cools down the park has very competitive short field soccer.

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by Borderstan.com July 6, 2011 at 10:30 am 1,242 10 Comments

Scott Leibowitz joins the Borderstan.com writing team.

Editor’s note: Borderstan.com welcomes a new contributor, Scott Leibowitz. In his own words: “Scott may not be the trendiest, but since age 8 when he realized going pro wasn’t an option, he has watched Sportscenter every morning and rooted for his beloved New York sports teams (despite being from Jersey). Schooled in Foggy Bottom, he plans people’s financial futures by day and enjoys his front lawn of 18th Street Adams Morgan by night. His father the basketball coach taught him his game, and he is always open for a quality discussion on the pros and cons of the designated hitter rule or anything else.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

From Scott Leibowitz. Find me on Twitter @Lebodome.

Hello, Borderstan! How’s it going? My name is Scott and I am new to Borderstan.com. I am here to bring a little sports and outdoor activities into your digital reading space. I am from New Jersey living in D.C., and working for a small financial services company from my room right on the 18th Street strip of Adams Morgan.

My goal is to make this column a mix of sports topics from Borderstan, D.C. and the rest of the world. The focus will be on Borderstan-area activities, including sport leagues, bars to enjoy games and good running routes. I hope to chronicle some of the things I see from my window, as well as a healthy dispensing of Internet links. Feel free to comment or follow me on Twitter at Lebodome.

Old Business Before New Business: I Love June

With the excitement and fun of fireworks, barbecues, and humidity, the time around July 4th is probably one of the best chunks of days on the calendar, especially as it kicks into the deep part of summer.

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