by May 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm 1 Comment

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


Get ready for the game! (Luis Gomez Photos)

Although the baseball season started back in April, we’ve finally reached what I consider the perfect time of year to attend a game. The weather is warm but not too hot, the players have shaken off the off season rust, and summer is finally here.

So you’ve got a free Saturday and you’re ready to go to a Nationals game. Here are some helpful hints to maximize your experience.

1. Getting to the Stadium

Most people either take the Metro or drive. If you take the Metro you’ll need to hop on the Green line to the Navy Yard station. If you’ve ridden the Metro on game day before you know that the trains turn into sardine cans around Gallery Place and L’Enfant Plaza. If you don’t want to spend the entire ride smashed up against the guy who doesn’t shower on weekends, try catching the Green line at the U Street station before they come on board.

If you’re lucky enough to be attending a game with a designated driver, don’t waste your beer money on a garage right beside the stadium! Lot W is only a 10-minute walk from the stadium, and costs $10.

2. Pre-Game

So you’ve arrived at the stadium and you have some time to kill. Head to The Bullpen to get yourself in the right…state of mind. There you’ll find live music, interactive games, and of course, beer. Best of all, you’re right across the street from the main entrance to the stadium. Hang out for a while, and then head into the park for some baseball.

3. Game Time

Now it’s time to find your seats and get yourself mentally prepared for the all important next step:  game day food. Nationals Stadium has some of the best food options in all of sports. Don’t want a plain old hot dog? Head to Section 109 or 140 for a famous half smoke and some chili cheese fries at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Ready for a vacation? Try some ribs and jerk chicken at Jammin’ Island Outpost in Section 143. And that’s just the beginning. Nationals Park is also home to Shake Shack, Steak of the Union, El Verano Taqueria, and a host of other delicious options.

Once you’ve satisfied your hunger, head back to your seat and take in the view. Depending on your seat you may have a view of the Capitol dome (or more likely, a parking deck or construction crane). Nationals stadium is a beautiful park, and is famous for having a great view of the action regardless of where you sit. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a the train whistle each time a Nat hits a home run.

It’s time for the 7th inning stretch, which means preparing yourself for the new tradition of singing A-ha’s Take On Me. It started as first baseman Michael Morse’s walkout song, and has since become our Sweet Caroline. Don’t be afraid to show off your falsetto when it’s time for “two.”

At this point the game is almost over, but you still have time to grab a treat before the Nats close out the win. Embrace your inner child and head to the Frozen Rope, Turkey Hill Ice Cream, or Sweet Spot for a sundae in a Nationals mini helmet.

Hopefully these tips help you maximize your Nationals experience. And if you’re looking for a great way to end the day, head to the park on Saturday June 8th for a free Blues Traveler concert following the game.

Go Nats!

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by May 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 April 18, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

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


Instagram picture of The Nats Stadium by Willis Shawver

The basic necessities of life: food, shelter, clothing, and… Wi-Fi?

Before you roll your eyes, think back to the last time the Wi-Fi in your apartment stopped working. How about that time you visited your Aunt who still has dial-up? Gives me the chills just thinking about it.

Alright, so maybe Wi-Fi isn’t a basic necessity but it has become a service our society is increasingly dependent upon. Whether you’re at the corner coffee shop or your Aunt’s house, our modern-day world demands accessible and dependable Wi-Fi. Even at sporting events.

As reported by the Examiner, the Washington Nationals announced this week that they are investing in a major upgrade to their ballpark Wi-Fi services. Nationals Park has offered Wi-Fi access to fans since the stadium opened in 2008, but increased demand on bandwidth has left the current Wi-Fi service unable to keep up.

This increased Wi-Fi capacity will allow the Nationals to offer fans premium services like the ability to order concessions from their wireless devices. Fans could also check out in-game promotions, access exclusive Nationals videos, or get up-to-the-minute game statistics.

You’ll no longer have to flag down a vendor to order your $8 dollar beer. No more waiting in a long line for your overpriced nachos. With a few swipes of your finger, that cold beer and nachos can be all yours. No human contact involved!

How does the song go?

“Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out with my phone.

Give me some Twitter and Facebook apps,

I don’t care if I never get back,

Let me Like, Like, Like my own status,

If we can’t download it’s a shame.

For it’s one, two, thr-… wait sorry, you have to see this Instagram I just took.”

Admittedly, there is a certain amount of frustration when you’re trying to use your smartphone in large stadiums. But is it really a bad thing to have unreliable internet service at sporting events? You might actually be forced to… you know… watch the game. Or even (shutter) talk to the person sitting beside you.

Next time you’re out in the neighborhood and in need of Wi-Fi access, use this interactive map to find free hotspots. There are also plenty of smartphone apps on the market to help you get your Wi-Fi fix.

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by February 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

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


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 January 16, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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


What kind of fan are you? (Luis Gomez Photos)

Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty sports fan? Few would dispute the fact that 2012 was a game-changing year for the DC sports scene, as four out of our five major teams made the playoffs. But how you truly feel about what happened this year depends on how you answer that initial question.

Optimist or Pessimist?

  • The optimistic Nationals fan spent the summer with a serious case of “Natitude,” and watched the team coast to its first division title and the best record in Major League Baseball.
  • The pessimistic Nationals fan is still in shock that the team blew a four-run ninth inning lead and lost to the Cardinals. Moreover, fans can’t stop wondering what could have been if the team didn’t elect to shut down star pitcher Stephen Strasburg before the playoffs even started.
  • The optimistic DC United fan was thrilled that the team ended a five-year playoff drought and only lost one match at RFK Stadium all season long. More importantly, they’re excited that the new ownership group is dedicated to keeping the team in the District for years to come.
  • The pessimistic DC United fan is disappointed that the team fell just short of reaching the MLS Cup and continues to wonder when/if the team will finally announce some concrete progress in the ongoing quest for a new stadium.
  • The optimistic Redskins fan is still riding high from the victory over the Cowboys in the regular season finale that propelled the team to its first division title since last millennium.
  • The pessimistic Redskins fan wishes they could have read about RG3 in the previous paragraph, but instead wonders what the future holds for their superstar quarterback after he tore his ACL and LCL in last week’s playoff game against the Seahawks.
  • The optimistic Borderstan sports fan constantly celebrates the fact that our neighborhood has the best selection of bars in the city where you can catch the big game.
  • The pessimistic Borderstan sports fan needs to get up and get another drink.

If you’re a glass half-full sports fan, 2012 was undoubtedly a fantastic year.  District teams were finally relevant again, attendance rose and hundreds of thousands of local fans had much to celebrate.

If you’re a glass half-empty fan… well… at least the Caps are back this weekend.

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by November 28, 2012 at 9:00 am 2,019 4 Comments


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 October 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,968 2 Comments

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


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 October 3, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,488 0


LivingSocial’s Craft Beer Festival on Saturday. (Lauren Levine)

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

When I attended GWU, I had the privilege of studying abroad one semester in a small town in southwest Germany called Freiburg. While I was able to enjoy many of the fun and interesting parts of German culture, due to scheduling and other circumstances, I was unable to attend what is high on my short list of world events I’d like to attend once in my life (World Cup, Wimbledon, Summer Olympics).

Sadly, I did not make it to Munich for Oktoberfest, a 16 day beer drinking festival. One day I hope to strap on some leiderhosen and attend this incredible event, but in the mean time I must settle for what’s in my backyard, and in DC last Saturday, LivingSocial hosted a craft beer and food truck festival at the Half Street Fairgrounds next to Nats Park.

I attended this beerfest with my girlfriend and had strong expectations for a fairly fun scene of debauchery and live music from a band I didn’t even think was real. What we experienced in the pregame area (the Bullpen) next to Nats Park was a large percentage of the city’s Yuppies mixed with patience and a dress code all over the spectrum. Here is what you missed:

  • Lines, Lines, and More Lines: 100-plus breweries all had a tiny tent with one or two pours. Every participant was given a 5 once glass and access to every brewery. Due to the high volume of people, the only way to do it was to get a drink, and then immediately get on another line because it would take that long to get another one. Next year needs either fewer tickets to be sold or bigger glasses for beer. This did lead to us getting gradually tipsy, which had a nice feeling to it, but I could pass on that many lines.
  • Fall Outing or Prep School Graduation: Beerfest in warm weather screams casual and comfy. Yet there was a lot of fancy button downs and ladies with heavy makeup and long skirts. I wore a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt and, no joke, I received over a dozen comments from strangers complimenting my style (not something I am used to).
  • Band or Annoying Top 40: The event promoted itself strongly with The Dan Band (fake wedding band in Old School) but had blaring annoying techno going the whole time. I know Living Social likes to be for young people and such, but we can appreciate electric guitars just as much as dupstep.

Overall it was a fine Saturday afternoon in Navy Yard. If it comes back, I am bringing a bag of pretzels and my own mug.


The Nats are IN THE PLAYOFFS. Go buy a W hat already — there’s plenty of room on the Nats bandwagon. Playoffs begin next week; the matchup is to be determined, but, man, the Nats are lookin’ good!

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • I watch a lot of baseball and I have never seen this.
  • Only Redskin players get hurt during warm ups.
  • 300 pound NFL player doing floor gymnastics, awesome.

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by August 22, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,570 0


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 June 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,616 2 Comments

"DC Nationals Stadium"

Four reasons you  should head to Nationals Park. (Scott Leibowitz)

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

I have put it off as long as I could. For two months now, I have dumped everything and anything Washington Nationals into the links section of my column, hoping that this current season would start to resemble the previous ones. I figured I was making the safe bet and not getting excited about a team which only a few short years ago couldn’t even spell their own team name correctly.

Maybe I was just bitter about DC stealing away a team from the great city of Montreal (I wonder if anyone in Canada noticed). Quite frankly, I just wasn’t ready for a DC sports team to put all the pieces together and actually put out a great product.

I am not about to declare that they are gonna win the World Series, but after years of patience and building, this team is ready to not only compete, but more importantly, to be a contender. The on-the-field product is worth the ticket price.

Well Borderstan, I was wrong. So wrong, that I feel we should all ignite, unleash, let loose or whatever you want… your NATITUDE! At a recent stint at the batting cages, between rounds with some friends, we were discussing whether it was worth the time, effort and money to see a Nats game now — or is it a just a fad.

So as you think to yourself this summer, “Hey, should I go to that Nats game Saturday afternoon,” here is a list of rebuttals for all your doubts.

Why You Should Go to a Nats Game

Ick, it’s at the Navy Yard: No, it’s not now NW DC. But in 10 years this place is gonna explode with all the investment in bars and apartment buildings they are putting up. Think Georgetown waterfront area, without all the snooty Georgetown locals wondering if you took the Metro there. The stadium is right on the Metro Green Line, it’s very scenic and the stadium is right next to the Metro stop.

Baseball is Pricey: All major sporting events are pricey these days. This complaint is totally valid as stadium food and drink are pretty steep (think $7 beer). Don’t worry, though. Right outside the stadium are a half-a-dozen makeshift bars that open hours before the game. Expect normal prices, ample cornhole games and an outside relaxed bar environment. In terms of tickets, there are plenty of decent ones in the $20 range.

THEY ARE GOOD NOW: I am not making this up. The Nats have got hitting, defense and some awesome pitching. I am not about to declare that they are gonna go all the way, but after years of patience and building, this team is ready to not only compete, but more importantly, to be a contender. The on-the-field product is worth the ticket price.

Presidents Race: Of all the goofy stadium traditions in baseball, I just can’t seem to get enough of the Presidents Race. I hope that one day poor Teddy (as in President Theodore Roosevelt) will win. I was lucky enough two weeks ago (when I went to the Yankees-Nats game that went 14 innings) to see two races, because the game was so long. Despite having a mini-cycle, Teddy came in last both times.

I understand some people just don’t like baseball or have the patience or attention to sit and watch a 3-hour game that moves a bit slow. But expand your horizons, drink a few beers and watch four presidents with huge heads run around a baseball field (also, the baseball is good too).

What’s in the Hopper?

Lebron and the Miami Heat won. Big woop. The guy is mega talented. Call me when the NBA resembles quality basketball again and not just a 2-on-2 street game.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • “That’s a clown question bro”. DC finally has a saying of its own.
  • Wimbledon is currently on, so wear your all whites and enjoy classy tennis.
  • What DC sports league should I join? Props to Washington City Paper for a great graph.

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by May 11, 2012 at 6:00 am 1,191 0

"Borderstan""Ball Game"

"Ball Game" is by Jen Morrissey from the Borderstan flickr pool.

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

Today’s photo, “Ball Game” was Jen Morrissey at the Nationals Park on May 3.

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 April 18, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,683 0

Great, Falls, Virginia, Potomac, River

The Potomac River at Great Falls, Virginia. (Scott Leibowitz)

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

As the weather begins its turn from delightfully warm to overwhelmingly balmy, the move of city folk to outdoor space is easy to spot as the green areas such as Dupont Circle, Meridian Hill Park and the National Mall get a little crowded. Frankly, it’s a bit of a limited selection when looking for green space in our concrete jungle. Thankfully, the National Park Service exists to maintain our pristine and beautiful landscape around us, like the Chesapeake Bay and the waters that run into it. With that in mind, I encourage everyone in Borderstan at some point this spring or summer to visit Great Falls in Virginia.

If you read my space regularly, you will have noticed the trend of day trips on the weekends to get out of the city. I am a huge fan of taking a day, getting past the Beltway, and seeing where you can go and what’s out there. Now of course I understand that I have the luxury of my car, but if you live in this town and either don’t have/know someone with a ZipCar account or a car itself, you are not good at friending for benefits. It makes living in this city good to great so get on it if you haven’t already (I mean I know some people are nice to me just for my Ford Taurus, I don’t mind).

Great Falls is just serene. It is an easy 30-minute drive, $5 dollar parking, and then the activities are up to you. Running, picnicking, rafting, bird watching, this place has got it all. Many people go there for the extensive and varied hiking trails that lead in all different directions. Here are just some of the highlights:

Oh, The People You Will See: Now here in Borderstan there are plenty of great places for people watching. Great Falls has all that and more. My girlfriend and I must have spent an easy hour sitting quietly on a bench enjoying the fresh air, seeing a pretty great sampling of the American experience. Favorite thing: people who dress up formally for the outdoors; it is totally okay to wear shorts, people.

Rapid Watching: There is something peaceful about watching water move. Maybe it’s the forces of nature right before your eyes, but I could watch the Potomac River hit massive boulders for hours. There are also brave souls who kayak these waters and watching them navigate is quite a scene.

Picnic Heaven: Massive amount of picnic space. Public grills that only require your own bag of charcoal. No alcohol as it’s a national park, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grill some dogs and enjoy the crisp clean air.

So the next time the city has you boxed in, the Red Line has maintenance, or you want to avoid large clumps of tourists taking pictures of monuments, take a drive to Great Falls and go hike.

This Week’s Thought

If you aren’t watching the NHL playoffs, you are missing out. This year has turned into one of the most physical and violent playoffs I have ever seen. Tune in for the mayhem.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Our local Washington Nationals are doing so well, even the New York Times is writing about them.
  • John Kerry and huge Obama face cut-out. Funny.
  • I am saying it here. The implications and possible snowball effect of 3-D Tupac is extremely worrisome.
  • Woman have a hard enough time breaking into professional sports. Here is another step backwards. Credit here goes to a new blogger and old friend. Read her stuff; it’s original and on point.

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by March 27, 2012 at 10:30 am 1,569 0

"Borderstan" "Nationals"

Nationals Park: Ready to play! (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

It’s official. Winter is over. Yup, that was way too easy. I think I only wore my winter boots once and, frankly, I definitely did it for the sake of wearing them (knowing my luck, we’ll get 10 inches in mid-April).  For those who aren’t sure that our planet’s climate is changing, you obviously live under a rock.

For everyone else in Borderstan, spring means renewal, fresh flowers, and of course, DC kickball (got a new team this season, new offense name, and I am excited). BTW, if you missed it check out In the Lebodome: The Five People You Meet at DC Kickball.

One other spring activity that comes to mind is America’s first pastime, baseball. If you haven’t heard, and judging by last year attendance and the general stature of the team you probably haven’t, our good old Washington Nationals are finally ready to be a team worth mentioning.

They’ve got some pitching, a few bats for the middle of the order, and actual defense.  Most importantly, the division seems in flux. With baseball’s new playoff system, there is actually a slim chance that DC could see it’s first-ever October baseball! As someone who watched their inaugural season at RFK for $5 a seat, this is quite a step up.  Sure, the Phillies and the newly named Miami Marlins will be good, but this baseball season, anything can happen.

Opening day in DC is April 12 against the Cinncinati Reds but they also have a home exhibition game April 5 against the Boston Red Sox. Tickets are always available, its right on the green line, and the food/drinks are quite tasty/bit pricey. So, dust off your “W” hat, look up Navy Yard on your Metro map app, and get excited because baseball will be back soon.

In case you were curious how the rest of the town is doing…

Capitals, Hockey: Ovi is still Ovi but this team is hanging on the edge between playoffs and going golfing in April. If they do somehow make it, expect a first round blowout to the dominant New York Rangers or Sidney Crosby’s revived Pittsburgh Penguins. On the bright side, Ovi has a humerous March Madness bracket.

Wizards, Basketball: Woof. No doubt that the best basketball team in the district this year was the Georgetown Hoyas. Just read this article from USA Today describing Washington as the place where coaches come to get fired. Quite telling, I thought.

Redskins, Football: DC is already getting excited for their franchise quarterback.   And who knows? Maybe with all of the new talent they signed, and Rex Grossman not running the offense, they may compete. As every local fan tells me, they did beat the Super Bowl champion Giants twice last season. I thought this small scandal was a bit strange, unsure how to react. Would love a fresh take on this…

D.C. United, Soccer: Saw this. Trying to get excited. Looking to see a game soon, review to come.

What’s on My Mind

I saw Hunger Games (didn’t read the book) and liked it. As long as this series doesn’t become the next Harry Potter in terms of fandom, I’m looking forward to more movies.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • The next great foodtruck is coming soon.
  • Great “60 Minutes” piece on the best tennis player on Earth, Novak Djokovic
  • I had 3 out of 4 Final Four teams, not bad. Enjoy the finals this weekend

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by January 4, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,592 0

Nationals Stadium, Luis Gomez, One Photograph A Day

Could the Nats get a slugger in 2012 to fill those empty seats? (Luis Gomez, “Baseball Season”)

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

Oh, New Year’s.  The hype of a birthday party but with the results usually reserved for hometown reunions; too much to drink in unfamiliar places with tons of strangers. That aside, I had a wonderful new years break all over Route I-95 from Camden, New Jersey to NYC and Boston — and was thankful that it fell on a weekend giving us a short week back to the grind.

But, as the weather turns frigid (it’s snowing as I write this), what can we look forward to next year? What can DC hope to accomplish in 20-dozen?

Make Navy Yard Matter

I mean this in two ways. First, there is a rumor floating around (and these things do change often), that monster slugger Prince Fielder is in talks with the Nationals. This is a game changer for a team that showed signs of life last year, and is desperately seeking a bat to help them compete with the Phillies. This would automatically give the Nats a serious attendance boost in 2012, and a shot at the NL East (okay, maybe not, but I know I’d go just to watch Prince).

Second, even though the area around Navy Yard is getting better, we have to keep up the momentum.  Hopefully soon, developers and nightlife investors will be able to patch together some fun bars and good restaurants in that area. Then we can replace Georgetown’s waterfront and M street areas with a spot more Metro accessible.

Don’t Let Bikers Run DC (But Do Use BikeShare)

I am somewhat ambivalent to the biking cause in DC, as some of you may recall from a previous column — I still think bike lanes could be a great place for joggers. (As for utilizing bike lane lanes, DC politicians do it with their cars.) However, I do recommend using Capital Bikeshare more when it gets warmer. This is a pretty amazing and still under-utilized piece of infrastructure in DC. Biking is a great alternative to get to more places in the city without a car — and without depending on the inconsistent subway and bus system.

If You Want to See Winners, Go Caps!

The Caps are the best team in DC, hockey or otherwise. The Redskins did their predictable late season swan dive while lying about fan attendance. The Wizards have yet to win a game (I will be attending their Friday game vs. the Knicks, review to come). The Caps may have to fight hard for a playoff spot, but their fans are passionate and their games are always exciting. Even nosebleed seats are great and right on the red line so “Rock the Red,” as they say.

Vote for Barack Obama Again

Way better than whatever Iowa decides.

Of course there are more, but it’s a start to what I think should make a 2012 great (that and we need a diner in Borderstan, a real 24-hour diner). Hope everyone had a great New Year celebration, finished strong in their fantasy leagues (for me, two 4th Place finishes and one 10th Place, not great), and starts off the year well in all ways.

Thought of the Week

NFL Playoffs start Saturday. Can’t Wait.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • What the hell is a hybrid shark? What kind of mileage does it get?
  • Wow. Things in Mexico are not improving.
  • Only “technical glitches” happen to DC. teams. Poor Wizards.

by August 2, 2011 at 7:55 am 1,623 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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