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by Borderstan.com June 12, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

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

"Sandwich"

Get your perfect sandwich. (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 too much 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 was a bodega or local shop on every other corner, so a “sub” was never far away and everyone knew 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/JJ’s Cheesesteak). 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 and 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!

This column first ran August 8, 2012.

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by Borderstan.com May 1, 2013 at 10:00 am 1 Comment

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

"Elevator"

Going up! (Alejandra Owens)

At the start of this year I changed jobs/offices from a small building in Silver Spring to a very new building downtown on L Street NW. As my old building was only three flights, my elevator experience was minimal including with my undergrad days of high-rise dorms and apartment buildings where anything went.

As with any transition to a new job, I’ve had to learn some new tricks and behaviors in how to “be normal” in a company with around 1,000 employees and five elevators.

Elevators Have Rules, Too

One of the best things I have noticed is the standard elevator behavior people exhibit. While I thought that it might be unique, after some chats with fellow yuppies, we narrowed it down to few golden rules on how to make the most of your elevator rides. Hopefully these make the 30-second rides just a bit more enjoyable

  1. Available Seats/Spots to Stand: The immediate thought everyone has: Where do I stand? Empty is optimal, but usually you are sharing and have to play into that face forward and stare at the doors/oncoming passengers. I never understood that and generally go right to the walls for something to lean on. It works for me. Otherwise in packed “lifts,” I’d say file in as best you can without physical contact
  2. Friendly or Quiet: In a building where it’s just your neighbors/coworkers, being friendly can go a long way down the line when you need that favor. Otherwise, in multiple-tenant buildings I’d stay quiet because you have zero clue how much worse their day is than yours. I’d say most people see the elevator as a cone of silence. Unless its obvious (like someone holding an awesome-smelling lunch), it’s best to keep your comments for Twitter.
  3. Hold the Door: I’m talking to you, dude, who saw me coming around the hall and didn’t hold the elevator for me. It’s just the nice thing to do. It’s the least you can do after eating that last munchkin at the morning meeting.

I think these few guidelines will be a big help to those of you who look like a deer in headlights upon entering. Also, and maybe most importantly, don’t fart in an enclosed space. It’s just the right thing to do.

Whats Grinding My Gears

Washington Capitals playoffs are here! First round against my New York Rangers. Playoff hockey is awesome, if you can afford it, go!

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Remember 1999. It was pretty sweet.
  • Best hockey save of the year. Watch it!
  • We almost had a New Jersey-themed restaurant. Damn.

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by Borderstan.com April 17, 2013 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

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

"Cicadas"

When the temperature is right, the cicadas will come. (Screen Shot)

In the very near future, DC is going to meet some visitors who only come around about every 17 years. I remember the last time I saw them. I was in in elementary school and my science teacher, Mrs. Semel, made it seem like the second coming of Albert Einstein.

They were loud, all over the place, and made it seem like I was in a poorly made 1950s science fiction film. I am, of course, talking about the emergence of the cicada, an insect that emerges from hibernation about every 17 years.

For readers who didn’t grow up on the Acela corridor (i.e., Northeast), you are in for some funny weeks. Once the ground turns a certain temperature, cicadas will begin to emerge from below. They will start making their presence known by their incredibly loud noise (think crickets on crack) and the shells they leave behind.

There will be no way to avoid this bother, so here are some helpful hints on how to make the cicada period a bit more enjoyable

  • Ignore their noise, create your own. When I say these guys are gonna be loud, I mean you light sleepers are going to have some restless nights. I feel the best way to fight this fire is with more fire. Throw a cicada theme party and just roll with it. Hopefully a few beverages will help with the sleeping.
  • Crunch crunch, avoid. Cicadas, after some time, shed their outer shell (or something like it, I’m not a scientist) and the ground gets littered with them. My best piece of advice is to avoid them. Yes, that crunch will be fun/weird the first time, but it will get old when your new kicks are covered in cicada goop.
  • Don’t be a hater. They are only here less than every two decades. If only other loud and annoying things came to DC this infrequently (cough Rolling Thunder cough).

If the sight of giant bugs creeps you out like this, then HEAD FOR THE HILLS! Otherwise, get ready and enjoy.

On Boston

My thoughts and prayers are with the city of Boston this week. Unimaginable, but if any city will remain strong and set an example, it is Boston.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Trailer for every romantic comedy, ever!
  • New Daft Punk. SOON
  • How animals eat their food.

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by Borderstan.com April 3, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

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

"beard"

Wear your beard proud and strong. But is it right for your job? (Luis Gomez Photos)

I’d like to take this column to talk about something a bit gender specific. When it comes to workplace attire, I already know that we gentleman have it much easier than women. Choosing which pair of khakis and which button down shirt to wear is quite easy compared to the array of choices that could be considered “business casual” for women.

However, one issue most men face that I’d like to discuss here is whether to shave or, more simply, “Can a beard be taken seriously in the workplace?”

I have heard and seen many opinions on beards. For one thing, part of today’s modern workplace is being presentable. Sadly, our culture generally frowns on big bushy beards and does not associate them with hardworking or authoritative personalities.

The idea of a clean-shaven man says, “I make money and can afford razor blades.” I mean, would you trust a high-powered lawyer if he looked like Zach Galifianakis?

So to help the men of Borderstan decide whether a beard is the right decision at work (in life, beards are always awesome… just ask the ladies and gay guys), here is a small guide.

Is a Beard Right for You at Work?

  • Do your clients see you daily? If interaction with your clients is an everyday occurrence and your price tag for services has lots of zeros in it, a beard may not be the right choice. I mean how often would you hand a $30,000 check to someone who could double as a lumberjack?
  • Can you grow it well? Just because you don’t want to shave, does nott mean you should be lazy. A complete beard is ESSENTIAL to be taken seriously. If you cant grow bridges (the hair between mustache and chin) then a beard is not for you. Sorry.
  • Are you friendly? Beards say friendly and fuzzy. If you think you are a serious, no jokes, down to business kinda guy, then a beard will just be seen as being lazy or you getting dumped recently. Frankly, I think every man should grow his beard out. It gives your face more personality, and you can think of it as a permanent facial accessory. So if HR doesn’t care, throw away the razor and let it out!

What’s Grinding My Gears

  • Final Four this weekend. Louisville vs. Wichita St, Michigan vs Syracuse. CANT WAIT

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

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by Borderstan.com March 20, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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

Playing some hoops. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Playing some hoops. (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s that time of the year again. March tends to be a pretty wild month when you think about it and everyone seems just impatient waiting for the winter to end. From the killing of Julius Caesar to the day everyone becomes Irish, this month is all over the place.

However my favorite maddening tradition this month is, of course, basketball — my NCAA Final Four bracket (aka March Madness).

Every year I go into thinking this is the year I nail all my predictions, and every year I finish very middle of the pack. The odds on a perfect bracket are rough but, frankly, I am just looking to finish better than Obama this year. So to help ya out, Borderstan, here are five easy and simple thoughts to keep in mind when filling out your bracket this week.

Bracketology: Five Things to Remember

  1. DON’T OVERTHINK: So many errors happen because we all want to predict the big upset. That’s what makes them the big upset, the fact that you didn’t see it coming. Your bracket will do better if you stick with your first rational thought.
  2. Seeds are there for a reason: The seeding system isn’t just random. Yes some teams get more love than others but when thinking about who will win, read the seed before making a rash decision.
  3. Where is the game played?:  Regions can make a big difference in the middle rounds. I love picking against smaller schools who have to travel long distances or a contender having to play in their nemesis backyard.
  4. History Isn’t Important: Yes we all know teams like Duke, Kansas, and Indiana. But that doesn’t mean a less-on-the-radar team, like Florida, Louisville, or Gonzaga, can’t make a deep run to the finals.
  5. It really doesn’t matter: No matter how hard you try, you can’t control anything. Finish your bracket on time and hope for the best.  Best case scenario you win of your office/family/friends pool. Worst case you finish last and no one remembers it in a week.

The first game is this Thursday so fill out your brackets soon! Enjoy the Madness, Borderstan!

What Really Grinds My Gears

Did we even just have a real winter? Maybe we need a word for a cold fall that has no snow

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • 50 common misconceptions. Worth watching whole video.
  • Carlesberg friend test. I hope mine would pass.
  • March Madness, explained through Star Wars.

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by Borderstan.com March 15, 2013 at 10:30 am 1 Comment

Whiskey

The DC Whiskey Walk was last Saturday. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Lauren Levine and Scott Leibowitz.

On Saturday March 9, we set out on a lovely sunny winter’s day to taste the finest Irish whiskey DC has to offer. Thankfully, the first ever DC Whiskey Walk was very well organized, with registration including a map and punch card system that made tasting and moving bar-to-bar easy and efficient. The friendly registration table prepared us for an afternoon of drinking with a live bagpiper and plenty of green beaded necklaces to go around.

While the many bar crawls in DC attract a crowd of 21- to 25-year-olds, this walk brought in residents of all ages. Each of the eight bars offered one unique whiskey as well as other drink and food specials. The mood was festive, as it was a gorgeous sunny day, making it pleasant to stroll from bar to bar throughout the Dupont area. We were especially thankful for the few bars, likes James Hoban’s and Irish Whiskey Public House, which offered outdoor seating.

Meet the Pickleback

For us, the highlight of the day was learning about the “pickleback” — a shot of whiskey followed by pickle juice. A fellow whiskey walker tipped us off to it at Madhatter and with an enthusiastic endorsement from the Madhatter bartender, we gave it a shot (pun intended). Though the taste was unique, it had some of us wanting actual pickles.

Is there a future for whiskey walks? Time will tell. The level of attendance was hard to guess because participants were spread across eight bars. It was not as social as other District drinking events are, and we found it difficult to meet new people. Maybe we needed more whiskey.

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by Borderstan.com March 7, 2013 at 9:27 am 0

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

"Whiskey"

Saturday: DC Whiskey Walk. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Eight popular District bars are teaming up for a tasting tour of fine Irish whiskeys during the first annual DC Whiskey Walk on Saturday, March 9.

Participants will enjoy a different 1-ounce pour of a leading Irish whiskey included in their ticket price as they go from venue to venue. All the bars are in the Borderstan neighborhood including favorites like Buffalo Billiards and BoardRoom.

Impressively, the proceeds of this fun afternoon will go to Becky’s Fund and the Washington Literary Center so come out for a whiskey filled afternoon. Borderstan will be there and have a great recap for you after the fact.

Eight bars. 12 whiskeys. What more could you want on a Saturday afternoon. See ya there!

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by Borderstan.com March 6, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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

"Hockey"

Hockey on your mind? (Luis Gomez Photos)

As some of you may know, I am adamant enthusiast when it comes to goofy non-serious DC sports leagues — whether its indoor bocce, shuffleboard, or this city’s favorite, kickball. Of course, I am signed up for April; more to come.

You may not realize it, but there is actually a pretty strong undercurrent of serious competitive sports too, ranging from the College Alumni Network leagues to the less well known ice hockey leagues. I am currently playing co-ed basketball and we have been having a good season so far.

Hockey in DC

Now, as DC is a city of out-of-towners, all the transients from cold places (Upper Midwest, New England, states that border Canada) are the backbone of the many competitive ice hockey leagues. Yes, the only rink in the city is where the Washington Capitals play, but outside the district there are a slew of leagues that you can play in.

I warn, though, this is not for the average fan or ice skater, this is a real league with some serious competition. A good friend of mine, Kevin, plays in one such league and I asked him about his experiences over the last few years of playing. Some thoughts….

Lebodome: What are average players like? Age? Important or average Joes?

Kevin: The people vary greatly. Some are married with kids, others recent college grads. For jobs, a lot in various business, a handful of criminal attorneys at the pickup games, construction, real estate, finance, government agencies, the works. Although I don’t know if I’ve ever played with any Hill staffers…

Lebodome: How physical is the game? I used to dominate driveway roller hockey, could I play?

Kevin: Not normal-hockey-physical. Body checks will get you a penalty, more than one they may show you the door. Moderate pushing and shoving is common and expected. Only seen one fight in a little over a year. I think they’ll suspend you, not positive.  Some really good players, depending on the league. Top league has former D-1 players, mine has some former college club players who are real solid. There are about five leagues at Kettler organized by general skill level.

Lebodome: A one-line description of your experience?

Kevin: Serious and competitive on the ice, relaxed and slightly buzzed off the ice.

If watching the Capitals (play poorly) has gotten you excited for some real hockey, there is a lot of choice out there. If you got the equipment and means to get to a rink outside the city, then this is the kind of league for you.

What’s Grinding my Gears

Sequester. I liked not knowing what this word meant. Now I hear it and just roll my eyes.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Washington Nationals cut a guy mid game during spring training. Ouch
  • Bit long, but very cool. Video games themes, middle eastern musicians/instruments
  • Best current U.S. diplomat; the best rebounder in the history of the NBA, Dennis Rodman.

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by Borderstan.com February 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm 4 Comments

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

"Sports"

February: a slow sports month. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Happy post-Super Bowl, no-football-untill-September to everyone! Hope everyone enjoyed the big game, ate lots of food and were with good enough friends to get you through Barack Obama’s planned power outage (I mean, it had to have been his fault, right?).

As the shortest month of the year, I have always seen February as a waste of space on the sports schedule. NBA, NHL, and college hoops are in the meat of their seasons with little urgency or exciting play for the most part.

It’s around this time I like to take stock of the city and see how we are doing. So lets take a look and, using my scale of 1 to 5 (1 being would rather watch new episodes of Wipeout and 5 being I am buying tickets now), let’s see the state of District.

The State of DC Sports

  • Nationals. Pitchers and catchers report to Florida for Spring Training in about a week. The Nationals added a 5th president to the famous President’s Race and we all look forward to a very wobbly Taft losing many races. Star pitcher Gio Gonzalez was named in a steroid report, but we’re unsure if this will have repercussions. The first exhibition game is at the end of March against the New York Yankees…Oh Yea.  Excited: 3.5 more presidents the better
  • Capitals. Last place; not looking like a team at all. Still major questions in goal. Fans receiving weird magazines. Bottom line here: Ovi needs to step it up, and soon, if there will be playoff hockey in the district this year. Excited: 2 worried this funk will last too long
  • Redskins. Rookie of the year honors to RG3. A division title and a win over the Super Bowl Champion Ravens during the season. Lots of players coming back. Excited: 4 as long as RG3 heals well, nothing but upside
  • Wizards. … yea, let’s just move on here.
  • Georgetown/GWU: Gtown is a top 25 team, big wins over Louisville and UCLA, always gets hot come March. George Washington University is still finding their offense in a much improved Atlantic 10. Excited: 5. MARCH MADNESS IS SOON

Not a bad state of the city. There are a lot of things to feel good about as we glide through this short month. Stay warm everyone!

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • New Yorker’s 101 pizza slices. Yum!
  • It has begun. The robots are taking over.
  • Paperman. An amazing Pixar short.

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by Borderstan.com January 9, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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

"District"

Bowling alleys, DC? (Scott Leibowitz)

I want to start this off by wishing everyone a belated Happy New Year. Glad we all made into 2013 with no help from the Mayans or our elected officials in Congress.

Over the holiday break, I spent a considerable amount of time in my hometown suburb located in the south of North New Jersey and had a fairly quiet week working from home. When I was in school at George Washington University (GWU) and would do these breaks, I would always come back the district and complain (often and loud) that DC  will never be considered truly great till we get some real, 24-hour, full-blown tri-state diners.

Where Are the Bowling Alleys?

I still stand by this statement and refuse to call “The Diner” in Admo an actual diner (my hometown diner menu is a binder with no limits and everything tastes good). Upon this return, I realized DC is missing another key ingredient; casual bowling alleys.

Now, I am no Roy Munson, but I do like to gather with a few friends, a cold pitcher, and chuck heavy balls at pins. It’s relaxing, very social, and the game doesn’t actually matter so need to care about the score.

DC Bowling Alley Options

Growing up there were plenty of places to go, some reeking more of smoke than others (remember indoor smoking?), and no one turned down a night at the lanes. In the entire city of DC there are TWO, thats right TWO, bowling alleys. One is Lucky Strike in Chinatown which is nothing more than a horrible overpriced club with lanes and a dress code (My older brother was once denied access because he had a baseball cap on).

The second is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW and you need a special invite to use it (obviously). GWU used to have one on campus but, after an awkward phone call with their front desk, I discovered it was gutted due to lack of use and replaced with offices for the Career Center.

Why Not Georgetown?

I later discovered there are plans in the works for an alley in Georgetown, but it hit serious road-bumps from their local ANC with concerns of noise and other annoying Georgetown issues.

With that in mind, I call upon the DC entrepreneurs,  the city shakers and landowners of large facilities to give us some lanes. For inspiration, I have channeled my inner Lebowski and hope this gets everyone thinking.

“Obviously you’re not a golfer.” Bowling is a great indoor sport, good all year round unlike golf and kickball.”

“F*ck it dude, let’s go bowling.”  There is nothing better for forgetting an awful day than taking it out on the lanes. A great way to blow off steam, especially for a city as stressed as ours.

“Smokey, this is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.” What rule is there that DC can’t have a bowling alley? Common, elected people, we need these.

Now everyone go home, watch The Big Lebowski a few times, and lets see if we can get the ball rolling on bringing some lanes to DC.

Great Effort Redskins

From 3-6 to a division title, as a rival fan I must admit I was quite impressed with their resolve. Serious concerns about RG3 and what he was doing playing late in that game, but as they say, “You play to win the game!”

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • New Yorker’s 100 lists of lists. Great time-wasting stuff here.
  • Hockey is back! Get your Caps gear back of out storage!
  • For soccer players, the coolest training tool I’ve ever seen.

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by Borderstan.com December 12, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

"sports"

Lebodome  gets to  Column #50. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

I remember like it was yesterday. Thanks to a push from friends and the great owners of this site,  I was going to somehow become “the sports guy” for borderstan.com. I remember after the first few posts thinking that only my mother and brother were reading it, and how would I ever keep this going. Well after 49 posts about kickball, running, and general D.C. sports hilarity (so much material), I am proud to reach the ripe old post number of 50.

I want to thank Matty and Luis for giving me this space, and the rest of the amazing Borderstan team, especially the copy editors (volunteers sifting through my endless typos). To my readers and fellow residents of Borderstan, a hearty thanks and reminder that it’s only a neighborhood if you treat it like it’s one. Open doors for the next pedestrian and always say, Thank You.

The Top 10 Sports Stories of 2012

To get everyone ready for the office and family holiday parties, here is a nice easy run down of (in my humble opinion) the biggest sports stories of 2012. In no particular order:

1. Lebron James wins a championship. In the words of my college friends, “NO ONE CARES!” Win a few more and maybe I won’t find him so obnoxious. Did anyone else notice all those ads before the start of the NBA season with Lebron and his ring with crowds of people loving him now?
2. Fastest Man Ever: Usian Bolt (destroyed 2012 Olympics) or RG3? I would pay anything to see this foot-race….
3. Why is everyone moving to Brooklyn?? First it’s your friend in Logan Circle. Then the NJ Nets, then the NY Islanders. What’s the deal?
4. Livestrong comes to an end. Really tough to watch Lance fall like this. What a fall…
5. Kentucky does it with Freshmen:  NCAA Championship won by a bunch of 18yr olds. What a feat. This title will be stripped by the NCAA in a decade or so for some violation or another…
6. NFL Replacement Referees. This about sums it up. May this never happen again.
7. Happy Valley No More: Penn State in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Hopefully justice is served and future incidents are prevented.
8. Are You From London?? Great show England, thank you for a fun 2012 Summer Olympics. Scowl Face. What was your favorite event?
9. Why is there still NO HOCKEY! That is all
10. Playoffs in College Football — it’s about damned time.

Let’s hope another wonderful year filled with DC team playoff runs, our government functioning, and less time waiting for the Metro. Happy holidays and a very happy new year! Stay safe everyone!

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by Borderstan.com August 9, 2011 at 8:00 am 3 Comments

Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Scott Leibowitz, Borderstan

The Legg Mason Tennis Class was last week at Carter at the Tennis Center on 16th Street NW. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.

Live Tennis: Dramatic Theater or Actual Sporting Event?

Summer is great for so many reasons: the weather is nice, people are friendlier, clothes are lighter and slurpees taste better. However, one of my favorite parts of the summer is the week-to-week build up in this country to easily one of the best sporting events of the year. I am talking about professional tennis and the dramatic lead-up of small tournaments nationwide culminating with the US Open in New York City. As D.C. residents, for the last 40 years we have had front row seats to this build up with The Legg Mason Classic in Rock Creek Park.

Thanks to my grandpa, all my life I have had the pleasure of attending the US Open regularly, and for the past six years I have been attending The Legg Mason Classic to wet my tennis taste buds. For the second straight weekend, my girlfriend took me to a sporting event (she must really like me) and despite her very strong sports credentials, she could not see the fun in pro tennis. At first I thought maybe she just wasn’t a true fan and didn’t see the beauty in it. But then I thought to myself…

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by Borderstan.com August 2, 2011 at 7:55 am 0

Nationals Park, Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals have played at Nationals Park since opening day in 2008. Prior to that, they played at RFK Stadium for three seasons. Located at 1500 South Capitol Street SE, it seats 41,000 fans. (Scott Liebowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.

What is the best way to measure one U.S. city against another? Is it public transportation, homegrown culture, or nightlife? While sure these things are important, I’d venture to say that some of this country’s best cities are the ones home to great baseball teams. Thus, based on that gauge, D.C. is… well… pending a championship run, doomed for a life of “just okay.”

Let’s take a few steps back. D.C.’s last baseball team, the old Washington Senators, were so bad that their unofficial tag line was, “Washington Senators: First in War, First in Peace, and last in the American League.” (In 1960, the Senators moved to Minnesota where they currently have die-hard fans.) Where do the Nats come in? After years of nothing but Redskins football, in 2004, D.C. began an aggressive anti-Canadian campaign and stole the Montreal Expos  in the middle of the night (kidding, the league helped too). Baseball returned to the nation’s capital and here we are today.

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by Borderstan.com July 26, 2011 at 8:30 am 1,450 10 Comments

DC Kickball, Lebodome, Stead Park

Which type of kickballer are you? (Courtesy DC Kickball)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.

The groups of people walking the streets with neon color t-shirts. Your favorite bar turned into a flip cup basement party on a Wednesday. Canceling group dinner plans because someone passed out around 8 pm. Most D.C. residents, at one point or another have been a part of or have been affected by a D.C. kickball league.

I am currently in my fourth season on the same team, so I like to think of myself as a veteran. For me, it’s a great group of people enjoying some easy-going nonsense that is later accompanied by a good evening. Over the seasons I have noticed some trends and some general categories of types of players and behaviors. I could have gone further in depth, but if you were to meet a random selection of five players it would probably look something like this:

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by Borderstan.com July 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm 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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