Tag Archives: DC

Culinary Adventures Thanks to Twitter!

6 Jan

You probably already know that Twitter is an awesome tool. But did you know it is a super awesome tool and can hook you up with cool opportunities? (Props to those who already do…)

In less than two hours I’ll be dining at one of DC’s best restaurants – 1789 – thanks to the generosity of Chef Dan. Based on @OneVanillaBean‘s blog post re-capping her experience the other day I know I’m in for a treat.

Here’s to Chef Dan for being so kind and a great night of dining with @Carolinefjones. Details on our meal tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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WMATA Holiday Cheer (No, Really)

14 Dec

It’s not often I find a reason to laud anything related to WMATA, but this morning I found myself singing a different tune (literally) because the Farragut West metro station has been turned into a center of holiday cheer. Honest to goodness I swear on my life, people were smiling and in great spirits leaving the station. No, really. I bore witness to this once thought impossible feat.

What could prompt people to audibly say something nice about metro during the morning commute? Well, sometime in the past week or so holiday decorations appeared at the station -ribbon wrapped around rails, bows, candy cane poles, and a wreath or two. But, this morning the #WMATA employees had taken it up a notch with the addition of icicle lights to the booth and MUSIC!

That’s right – I exited that station to the merry sounds of Christmas music and lights! While it’s nothing grandiose, I really appreciate the effort to spread some cheer. If I had to guess, I think it’s the fantastic WMATA employee who usually stands in front of the gates and says good morning to all the customers. She is awesome and if she is responsible for the decorations she is doubly awesome.

Does anyone else have decorations at their metro stations?

 

Vampire Weekend + UStream

12 Sep

Last night we trekked it out to Merriweather Post Pavilion for Vampire Weekend. The company, tailgate, music, and atmosphere made the show one of my top concerts to date. Coming from me this a rather bold statement since I’ve seen a number of unbelievable bands live. But Vampire Weekend delivered with a non-stop, high-energy, two-hour set.

Merriweather is no Wolftrap, but at least you can tailgate in the parking lot. We brought one our traditional picnic spreads:

From Chef Val:

  • White Bean Dip
  • Quionia Salad

From Chef Dan:

  • Mozarella, Basil, Tomato, and Prosciutto Sandwiches
  • Watermelon slices with a lime mint syrup
  • Choclate Chip Cookies with a hint of Cinnamon

From Bartender Jason:

  • Wine x a lot

Really the only sad part of the whole affair was @Carolinefjones’ absence. Thankfully, technology rocks and I was able to UStream part of the concert. I’ll just put it out there now – the recording is um, rough. More of less the only real draw here is the fact I was able to stream from my phone. Regardless, I thought I would share anyway!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vampire Weekend, posted with vodpod

Update: Our photo made DCist!

Day trip: North Beach

16 Aug

I’ve been itching to go on a road trip. Not for any particular reason. Just a desire to escape the city for the day. Thankfully, a few friends felt the same way and we planned a trip to North Beach, Maryland to satisfy our travel bug this past weekend.

Our decision to check out North Beach hinged on two key points: 1) It’s only 45 minutes away and 2) Washingtonian recently deemed it akin to Key West. So Saturday morning we packed up the cooler, turned on a little Vampire Weekend, and headed out!

Upon arrival, it quickly became apparent that The Washingtonian had perhaps overstated the likeness of North Beach to Key West. I’m used to wide open beaches with miles of sand and waves for as far as the eye can see. North Beach consisted on two small strips of sand, rocks, trash in the water, and a teenager monitoring access to the beach.

After paying for beach passes (a first for me), we found a spot and settled in. Lucky for us we arrived early enough to spread out. For those arriving after noon the choices for parking your towel were limited. So if you ever go, go early!

Despite my beach neighbors’ incessant chattering about their desire to never work and affinity for singing along to bad R&B – the afternoon was relaxing. We had escaped the city, we could smell Bay air, and sand was under our toes.

The town was also fun to explore – we treated ourselves to Sweet Sue’s and checked out the finds at Nice and Fleazy Antiques. I fell in love with a box of wooden letter stamps and found two “V’s” to add to my initial collection. Purchasing the letters pretty much made the day a success in my book.

All in all, North Beach is nice, quick escape for the day, but certainly no beach vacation.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Third Time is Always a Charm

25 Jul

Thanks to Brain Williams (my nightly news anchor crush) I was introduced to Deer Tick about a year ago and instantly fell in love. In a word, the music is gritty. But it’s also soulful, sinful, and at times serene.

Last Thursday I saw the band live for the third time at the Rock & Roll Hotel. The show lived up to all my expectations despite the unbearable heat and pushy crowd. The show started with a series of songs from War Elephant and Born on Flag Day before moving into songs from the new album The Black Dirt Sessions. Highlights included These Old Shoes, Baltimore Blues No. 1, Ashamed, and Smith Hill.

The only true disappointment came when the band finished without playing Dirty Dishes (my all time fav song). Thankfully I’ve heard it live twice including an acapella style version at Black Cat.

I wasn’t able to capture much video during the show since we stood in the back by the fan, but I did record Ashamed (below). I also recommend this great link the band tweeted to their set in NYC at Maxwell’s from NYC Taper. You can download the whole set live as an Mp3. FANTASTIC.

Sculpture Garden Fountain Running

5 Jul

Food, wine, and fun at Jazz is a weekly tradition. Photo by TeddieN.

Jazz in the Sculpture Garden is one of my favorite summer DC traditions. The fact that we can lounge on the National Mall sipping wine, munching on snacks, enjoying live music, and kicking back after a long week for free is remarkable. If you have never attended, I recommend joining us next Friday especially after what happened this week – fountain running and crazy announcements. That’s right, fountain running. I think it’s primed to be a new DC sport.

The crowd at Jazz is tame for a bunch of 20-somethings averaging a bottle of wine per person. At the end of the day, people respect the park and privilege to picnic for an evening.

But this week, Jazz took a turn toward mayhem with the introduction of fountain running. I firmly believe fountain running started because of the pre-event announcement telling everyone not to get in the fountain. You can “dip your toes in,” but you can not, under any circumstances, get in the fountain. Thanks for letting us know Sculpture Garden. You just gave all of us a grand idea!

Honestly, traipsing through the fountain has NEVER crossed my mind. EVER. One, the park is crowded. I don’t want to fight my way up to the water. Two, it’s probably gross. Who knows what sort of creatures live in there. Three, what if I get my clothes all wet? Yuck.

I’ve never seen anyone  get in the fountain in the four years I’ve attended Jazz. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened. I’m just saying it has never been a “problem.” Not this week (which seems ironic considering it wasn’t even hot).

This week, about half a dozen couples charged across the fountain at the conclusion of Jazz to the delight  of everyone in the park. I don’t know who started it since I was on the outskirts of the fountain, but once the the first couple took the plunge everyone followed suit.

With the crowd chanting and cheering, pair after pair charged across to the other side, some more successfully than others. I witnessed a number of trips, falls, and flops during the excursion, which only egged on the crowd more. And, it wasn’t just young adults breaking the rules. A mother even ran through with her child in tow.

Of course, the fountain running was not appreciated by the park and the announcement to vacant quickly followed. But this wasn’t any announcement. Oh no. This was the announcement of all announcements. Why?

1. The girl making the announcement threw her voice in the hopes we would take her more seriously.

2. She kept telling us to exit immediately in her crazy voice. Over, and over, and over, and over.

3. She even tried to convince us to leave by telling us to put on our shoes.

4. Two of the exits were closed, but we needed to EXIT IMMEDIATELY.

5. No one bothered to move for at least 30 minutes.

The announcement was so great, I even have a little audio clip for you to experience a taste of the evening. You’re welcome!

My 15 mins of Top Chef Fame?

24 Jun

Shortly after @dmbosstone posted his re-cap of last night’s Top Chef DC: Hail to the Chef my inbox started filling up with new messages. Odd right?

WRONG!

It turns out I am mildly famous in the DC blogging world today! We Love DC’s Patrick Pho selected my profound, 140-character insight tweeted out during the show last night as his “Tweet of the Day.” SCORE!

If you watched, you already know that this week’s challenge was to make a healthy school lunch for the students at Alice Deal Middle School. Like Patrick, I also loved this challenge because I believe that our society needs to do a better job teaching healthy eating habits at a young age.

However, in true Top Chef fashion all of the menus seemed out of place for the school lunchroom. Last time I checked the types of ingredients  being tossed around the Top Chef kitchen are only used when feeding the Romanov kids.

Which leads me to my now famous tweet:

valerieelstontweet

You read that right – sherry. As in the alcoholic substance sometimes used to cook with and create that awesome “flame affect” when you pour it in the pan. Just a standard ingredient on every school lunch menu where the lunch ladies have time to braise the main course.

Oh well, I was impressed with some of the dishes turned out on a $2.68 budget per child.

Now that we are Twitter friends, I’m trying to convince Patrick that a viewing party is in order! We can live tweet it up and have our very own quick fire challenge. I think it’s what the people want…