Thursday, July 30, 2009

The sorry state of our front yard

The evening before I caught my flight to Merida, an article in Sunday's New York Times caught my attention; as I am sure it captured the attention of anyone who holds DC near and dear to their heart.

Walk down to the National Mall and you will see (and smell) a land in desperate need of help. The Mall is notoriously known as America's front yard, and my friends, our front yard looks like a junk yard; worn and tired. A picture speaks a thousand words, and this recent AP photo speaks volumes as to just how much work is needed to restore our beloved National Mall.

"The Obama administration recently steered $55 million in economic stimulus money toward repairs, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that was only a down payment on the nearly $400 million needed to fix up a national park that draws more visitors than Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite combined." [NYT]
The Mall is a national park which sees 8 times more (25million) visitors per year than any other national park; yet it receives no where near the same funding and as DC has no representation in the Senate, the Mall has no representation. The Mall quite is quite literally being forced to fight for its life.
The Trust for the National Mall has made some amazing strides, gaining much public attention and funding for the Mall's restoration. The Trust is working to improve the state of the Mall and plans to raise $500 million in about 5 years.
These are great efforts, but more is needed. The National Mall is DC's face, and DC is in much need of a face lift.
To get involved with the Trust for the National Mall, visit their website;

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Adios Estados Unidos!

Farewell Washington. I leave you for the week as I jet down to the Yucatan. My week will consist of exploring authentic Mexico, fresh ceviche beach side, diving at Akumal (the above picture from a previous trip) and of course some tequila...muy bueno!

Enjoying the Splendors of Blue Ridge

With Barton Seaver at the helm, Glover Park's Blue Ridge is a true dining delight.
The restaurant opened early this summer to the joy of DC residents and sustainable food advocates alike. Blue Ridge draws inspiration from the mountains which it is named for; understated communal tables acquired from Eastern Market, refurbished church pews, modern (and fantastic) light fixtures and hardwood floors. The atmosphere is perfect for an enjoyable dining experience, and is paired quite nicely with a great wine selection; including many well priced wines and local Virginia wines. Emphasizing local food and sustainable as well, Blue Ridge is all about one thing; quality food.
Barton Seaver's famed Grilled calamari with basil-walnut pesto is a total knock out. Whether you choose fresh seafood, heirloom tomatoes, chicken pot pie or the fried green tomato BLT, you will not be disappointed. I will be returning VERY soon.

Screen on the Green: Dog Days of Summer

The second Screen on the Green of the summer will be this Monday, July 27th.
Venture to the National Mall to watch Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon at 8pm.
Image; DCist.

Fall: The Look

Fall lies just around the corner, as do Fall looks.
This Fall I am looking forward to classic cool; minimalism, classic silhouettes and crisp polish.
Perfect examples are Victoria Beckham in voluminous white trousers courtesy of Stuart Vevers for the label Loewe. Then we see Sienna Miller in chic military-inspired top and pleated pants from Loewe as well. Also the futuristic R&B singer Janelle Monae in the very retro boyish look in Deadstock boyfriend jeans.


Adam is the upcoming adorable story of a lonely man with Asperger's Syndrome. The film stars Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne and was written by Max Mayer. This unlikely love story was a Sundance winner and is slated to hit the big screen August 7th.
The film promises to be a low key, authentic and sweet story and if that is not enough just go to stare at Hugh Dancy and how utterly gorgeous he is- as the New York Times describes him, "delicate features and Byronic curls...a natural heir to the heartthrob throne."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Listening to the Ice...

The glimmer, the mystic, the killer cocktail concoctions that is Old Town's own PX.
The speakeasy that joins Eric Hilton's the Gibson, shares some similarities; the idea, the seriously killer cocktails...however PX aims to keep it intimate and idyllic.
PX is the brainchild of the team behind Restaurant Eve and the Majestic and is in its own world as far as typical bars go. The speakeasy's man at the helm is Todd Thrasher, DC's own cocktail king.
The team has taken often sleepy Old Town by storm in the past few years and has redesigned the standards of Old Town dining.
Look for the blue light on a side street of busy King, knock and await the pride creep up stairs and enter into dimly lit quarters.The hostess seats you in a quiet, yet communal area and presents you with your treasure of the evening; the menu.
Beware, attempts to sip a vast array of concoctions will leave your mind quite hazy...
By far the most enjoyable aspect of PX is the chance to witness the true skill of mixology.
The concoctions created are pure liquid art and a true delight.
Aside from the killer cocktails, PX is a place unlike any other; a cozy spot where you can sit down, enjoy a drink and actually hold a conversation.
PX now offers online reservations, click here to reserve your spot now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Days, Retro Nights

Summer evening inspiration from the one, the only Kate Moss.
I'm loving this retro 70s look for summer nights.

Columbia Firehouse

In related news, Old Town's newest restaurant (which isn't exactly a new spot) has received much buzz in DC. Michael Babin and Neighborhood Restaurant Group's Columbia Firehouse has settled in quite nicely to the historic Old Town firehouse. After checking out the newly re-dubbed Firehouse, it is well worth a trip. The menu consists of chop-house fare, in a beautifully rustic and intimate surrounding.
Located at 109 South Saint Asaph Street in Old Town Alexandria VA 22314. There are a limited number of reservations accepted nightly, call 703.683.1776.

BGR the Burger Joint

Bethesda's BGR the Burger Joint's opening in Old Town is rapidly approaching. Perhaps you have noticed the giant BGR sign donning the new location on Washington (GW Parkway) right off of King Street. BGR is slated to open in August and promises to give beloved Alexandria king of the burger, Five Guys, a run for their money.
Don't let the words "burger joint" fool you...BGR isn't your typical fast food joint; rather more of a burger joint made slow. The menu will be identical to the Bethesda location, including four different cuts of prime, dry-aged beef for burgers, turkey burgers, lamb burgers, and much talked about lobster burgers.

Supporting Local Farmer's Markets

It's Saturday, so you know what that means...farmer's market time!
Personally, I love sipping on coffee as I peruse fresh flowers, pass by aromatic fruits and witness the bountiful produce and bold, beautiful colors.
Washington has always offered a lovely array of Saturday markets to choose from, but now it seems as the farmer's market trend has taken a full hold of DC residents as consumers begin the understand the benefit of eating local for farmers, the local economy and for your body!
You chose; Old Town in Alexandria(a whopping 5:30am-10:30) Adam's Morgan (8am-2pm) Chevy Chase (9am-1pm) Columbia Heights (8:30-1:30pm) Eastern Market (7am-4pm)

To find your local farmer's market check out this list from the Washington Post.


DC Restaurant Week August 24th-30th

This just in; DC's Restaurant Week will be August 24th through the 30th.
The list of restaurants participating will be released on Monday.
Prepare your stomachs!
Georgetown's Hook.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hirshhorn After Hours

Every-so-often the Hirshhorn Gallery hosts Hirshhorn After Hours, a party set amongst contemporary greatness; its latest will be held tomorrow, July 24th 8pm-midnight.
No surprise it is sold out, however if you are a ticket holder you will be entertained by the Night Hawks, Sizzie b & Nyko Skyye with special guest Dahlu. If attended you will also be able to view the installments in a whole new light- at night; Strange Bodies, Black Box: Guido Van der Werve and Directions: Walead Beshty: Legibility on Color Backgrounds.
While tickets may be sold out, there is a way around that little speed bump if you are truly determined to enjoy the evening. If you join the Museum's Annual Circle you can not only partake in After Hours but also receive access to the VIP Lounge which features drinks by Emperor Vodka and yummy treats from the ultra exotic Mie N Yu.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sartorialist (The Book)

I am surely not alone when I say this; the Sartorialist is a style bible and inspiration. Scott "Sartorialist" Schuman's site has become the quintessential spot to see and be seen in the fashion world. Schuman has been piecing together the book since January and is set for US release August 12th.

You can pre-order the paperback version here or the limited edition hard cover version here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Calling Summer Sun

Summer inspiration which speaks volumes.
Perhaps we can coax the sun to appear here in DC?
Garance Dore.

Screen on the Green

The day has finally come; the first Screen on the Green of the summer!
The film de jour this evening will be Stephen Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Film starts at sunset (8pm) Despite the cloudy weather currently here in the District the show will go on, except in the case of severe weather.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Treasure Ahoy! at Treasury

Last week, 14th Street warmly welcomed Treasury; the concept vintage boutique created by the duo behind Listopad, Katerina Herodotou and Cathy Chung. Treasury has found a sweet spot in a bustling area between Logan Circle to the U Street Corridor, right above Som Records and nestled in between Cafe Saint Ex and Bar Pilar. The boutique itself is brimming with character; from the exposed brick lining the walls to the clothing adorning them. Not yet full week after their grand opening, the neighborhood has fully embraced the boutique (and the blogosphere for that matter.) Treasury is unassuming and an utter original in an era of style straight off the factory conveyor belt. A mix of something old, something new without forgetting their emphasis on an Eco-conscious lifestyle. In Treasury, the clothing speaks for itself. After perusing the goods, I couldn't find anything without its own unique story; from the vintage jewelry decorating the walls to the bold red jumpsuit just screaming for you to take it home! Herodotou and Chung carefully handpick each piece from estate sales, auctions and everywhere in between; much like finding a needle in a haystack. Above all the duo stress the importance of responsible consumerism. Supporting local businesses while finding vintage gems, perfect for shoppers who love the hunt.
Treasury is open Thursdays 5pm-9pm, Fridays and Saturdays 12pm-8pm and Sundays 12pm-6pm. Located at 1843 14th Street, between S and T Streets. (202) 506-6908.

Cross-posted ReadySetDC

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Comeback of the Century: Rollerblades

That's right, I said it....and I am sticking to it.
Ahh, Rollerblades (technically in-line skates, as Rollerblade is the brand)
I admit, I am not above chuckling upon seeing a goofy fellow head to toe in blading gear (almost worse than after work white sneakers...almost)
Rollerblades are due for a comeback.
After saying this, imagine how ecstatic I was when I saw that the people over at DC's own Durkl are craving a Rollerblade come back too!
As for now, it's a lonely road for the renegade Blader.

Design Central

The Corcoran will host designer Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein and interior designers Calvin Tsao and Zach McKown of TSAO & McKOWN Architects on July 24th from 10am-11:15am. All three won in their respected categories at the National Design Awards. The event titled, Design X Details: Materials and Their Effects will be free of charge...that's right, free! Call (202) 639 -1770 for advanced registration. Thanks at Project Beltway's Rachel Cothran for the tip!

The event is a part of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's Celebration of the 10th Annual National Design Awards. "The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Design Awards with free public programs that explore the intersection between design and the world around us."

Third Thursday

If the Cap Club is not your bag, head up to the U Street Corridor for Third Thursdays. On the third Thursday of each month, the shops of U Street invite you to come, be social and support local businesses.
Urban boutique, Redeem will welcome DC artist J. Coleman, the wonder behind those Eatonville (Busboys newest venture) murals. Kicking off at 6pm, J. Coleman will premiere 13 new pieces and will mix up the scene with Object from Brooklyn, fusing art and music.
Redeem is located between Logan Circle and U Street at 1734 14th St NW.
Thanks at Fashion.Washington. for the tip!

I will be wandering around U Street with pals over at ReadySetDC
to check out not only Redeem, but to take my first look at Treasury (can you say excited??)

Ol' Blue Eyes

The famed annual summer fiesta, also known as the Capitol Club's Sinatra Soiree will take place tonight. You still have a little over 2 hours to purchase tickets online here, before they increase to $100 at the door. FamousDC dishes that over 1,000 tickets have been sold already.
If venturing to the National Building Museum to pay tribute to ol' blue eyes, prepare yourself for some uber preppy attire.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Day in the Park

Join Andrea Rodgers and Alexandria's Paws, Purrs and Exotics animal shelter to benefit the Washington Humane Society this Saturday, July 18th.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Making Old, New Again

In the spirit of celebrating vintage apparel at the opening of Treasury, here is a list of 8 online vintage shops to entertain you. Mixing a little old with a little new is a perfect combo!
And, don't forget today is the grand opening of DC's own Treasury on 14th Street.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bonjour Weekend!

This weekend promises to be a fantastic summer weekend, from the Virginia Food & Wine Festival to beach getaways to Bastille Day celebrations to visiting historic Annapolis; our area offers fantastic summer treats and retreats.
So kick up your sandals (like these Roger Vivier flats) and indulge in summer rays!

(Images; Annapolis Virginia Wine Festival)

Check out the Annapolis Sailing School to become a maritime pro (or at least to have some fun on the water!)

And don't forget to check out Jack White's newest venture, as he mans the drums for the Dead Weather 9:30 Club on Monday and Tuesday; but hurry Monday is already sold out!
Doors open at 7pm.
Their album Horehound drops July 14th (US)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Reminder: Virginia Food & Wine Festival

A reminder; the Virginia Food & Wine Festival kicks off tomorrow.
I'm heading down on Saturday with girlfriends and am anticipating some fantastic wines!
Purchase tickets here.

Happy 260th Birthday Alexandria!

As tradition states, the city of Alexandria withholds their 4th of July celebrations until the 11th, which so happens to be Alexandria's 260th birthday!
Head down to Oronoco Bay Park Saturday, July 11th to listen to the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky's famous 1812 overture, complete with cannon. The fireworks begin 9:30 p.m.


Green Cup Polo and so much more

On Saturday, July 18th, the Green Cup Polo event will certainly make mother earth smile. The Capitol Polo Club will open its gates in order to benefit three environmental organizations; ACORE (American Council On Renewable Energy), EPIC (Equestrian Partners in Conservation), and EarthEcho International.
Green Cup invites you to Hudson restaurant Friday, July 10th at 6:30 to kick off this year's festivities. You can sip on Ecotinis whilst you mingle with polo players and the host committees.
Then on Sunday, July 12th at 1pm Green Cup also invites you to lounge by the pool and enjoy polo fun at the Liason rooftop pool party.
All of these fantastic events support ACORE, EPIC and EarthEcho.
Click here to purchase tickets to Green Cup Polo.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Warm welcome; Washington's own Bliss Spa

A major perk of the W Hotel coming our way, is the included addition of our own Bliss Spa.
Tomorrow Bliss Spa opens with a "Skin"-auguration as DJ Neekola will spin at a lobby happy hour celebrating the opening of the W Hotel.
DC prepare to indulge yourself and relax your worries away at Bliss Spa.

Trademark Bliss® touches under a translucent film mural of blue sky with clouds await at the reception, as Bliss-isms welcome at every turn: jazzy bluesy tunes, a luxe nail lounge, pampering treatment rooms featuring a textured cherry blossom wall covering with globe-drop pendant, and retail boutique. [W]

One person's trash, is another's Treasury

From the fantastic duo behind Listopad, comes Treasury.
Treasury opens this weekend, so be sure to check it out!

Update; Screen on the Green Flicks

This just in; HBO, Comcast and Trust for the National Mall have just annouced the Screen on the Green line-up for this summer.
July 20th- Close Encounters of the Third Kind
July 27th- Dog Day Afternoon
August 3rd- On the Waterfront
August 10th- Rebel Without a Cause

For more information check out the Screen on the Green blog.
The first Screen on the Green begins at sunset on July 20th. Cannot wait!

Faire la fête Bastille

This Saturday, July 11th Planete Chic and Darlington House invite you to celebrate Bastille Day in an eco-friendly and fashionable way featuring music from French DJ Sebastien C.
Saturday, July 11 - 9pm / 3am
@ The Darlington House
Click here to get in on the action!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The American (and tasty) Diplomat

This 4th of July don't forget to indulge in the oh-so American favorite, the diplomat of American snacks; the hot dog.
Dan Barry of the New York Times recently wrote a piece wonderfully titled, "Ambassador Hotdog."

"In the formal language of diplomacy, perhaps, the presentation of a hot dog may say: “On behalf of the United States of America, may we offer you this tubular delight of meat, meat byproducts, curing agents and spices?” But what it really says is: “How ya doin’? Wanna beer? Such is the democratic charm of the hot dog."

Only in America would we celebrate the birth of a nation with a hot dog eating contest at Nathans Famous Frankfurters.

So, go forth Washingtonians and celebrate the red, white and....uh, yellow!

A perfect picnic

This 4th of July weekend would be a prime occasion to try out Alexandria's Butcher's Block market picnic packs. Butcher's Block is Robert Wiedmaier's (of Brasserie Beck) newest venture in Old Town, along with Brabo and Brabo Tasting Room.
Butcher's Block offers two options;

"The Fourth of July Sandwich Pack ($45) includes two gourmet sandwiches, chips, fresh Lucques olives and cornichons, housemade brownies or cookies, bottled water, and a choice of a bottle of wine or a pint bottle of beer. The Fourth of July Cheese and Charcuterie Pack ($60) includes a choice of two cheeses, Columbus Crespone dry salami, fresh Lucques olives and cornichons, a freshly baked baguette, bottled water, and a choice of one bottle of wine or one pint bottle of beer." [Metrocurean]

Fourth of July or not, I will surely be planning some summer picnics along the Potomac with friends...which will of course include Butcher's Block goodies!

Your very own Peter Blake (sort of)

British Pop Art icon, Peter Blake has created a darling print for Stella McCartney's collection for net-a-porter. So darling, just looking at them makes me envision skipping along a beach boardwalk.

Check out web site. where Blake explains the inspiration behind the kicks.[via The Moment]

BYT Summer Camp 4th of July Style

Brightest Young Things celebrates America's birth with the Fat Camp edition of their poolside summer Saturdays. Featuring Fatback DJs. Show your patriotism kicking off this Saturday, July 4th at noon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Last Chance; Artomatic

If you have not had the chance to check out Artomatic yet, the time is now. Artomatic, the month long art festival known for its electic mix of everything from graffiti art to photography, wraps up this Sunday, July 5th.
This Friday, Artomatic presents Art in Fashion 2009.
Beginning at 8pm, the event is a fashion free for all, with carnival like apparel and nothing for the average bear.

Some notable Artomatic events thus far;
The benefactor (below) where several Artomatic received a small gesture on the behalf of a visitor. A charming show of appreciation from visitor to the artist.

Here are some images of several pieces courtesy of the Washington Post.
Top; a diptych by painter Jessica Van Brakle, Brian Lusher's "Presidents," and down at the bottom, glass pipettes by Stephen Reveley.

I wish I needed glasses...

Maybe I will wander around without lenses...wonder if anyone would notice.
The model is the designer, Anna Laub, the creative director behind PRISM London.
The frames are beautifully structured with insane attention to detail.
The frames drop into stores July 2009 ( now) check out the full collection online here.
Damn my eyes man...

Gotta DO good, to GET good

Last weekend 35,000 Virgin FreeFest tickets were given away...that's right free of charge. Now Virgin is ready to give away the VIP tickets, but you must earn it! The Free I.P. Program goes a little something like this; volunteer 13hours to help homeless youth and receive one VIP ticket. Note:there are only 230 tickets available.
Click here to volunteer.

Foodies Rejoice

Metrocurean has it in on many fantastic new dining spots headed this way. Check out the full list here, some of my favorites include:

1. Moros, a Mediterranean restaurant from chef Ed Witt is reportedly slated for Georgetown.
2.Birch & Barley
Replacing Dakota Cowgirl is Birch & Barley a neighborhood beer centric spot boasting 500 beers.
3.Columbia Firehouse
109 St. Asaph St., Alexandria
The Neighborhood Restaurant Group renovates the building once home to Alexandria's local fire station. Look for all-American fare.
4.Cuba Libre Restaurant
Cuba Libre, a Cuban restaurant which channels Old Havana circa the 1950s heads to DC.
5. J&G Steakhouse
W Hotel
Famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is at the helm of J&G Steakhouse at the new W Hotel, which is slated to open in July in the old Hotel Washington.
6.Point of View
W Hotel
I am most excited for this little gem. Point of View sits atop the new W Hotel, boasting incredible views and a chic bar with an impressive cocktail program
. Point of View will Sasha Petraske of Manhattan's Milk and Honey and Little Branch and DC's own Justin Guthrie, formerly of Central.