Posted by Kate V. Comfort / Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Both Jeremy Hoffman, chef de cuisine at Old Town Alexandria’s Restaurant Eve, and Brent Kroll, the wine director at Neighborhood Restaurant Group, who oversees all NRG restos, including Vermilion, Evening Star and Rustico are finalists in Eater’s annual Young Guns Awards. [Eater]
ScratchDC, the ingredient delivery service, has expanded operations to Arlington and Alexandria. Now, Northern Virginians can also have everything they need to whip up their next chicken tikka masala or other unique or extravagant at-home feasts delivered right to the door. [ScratchDC]
New iPhone app , Pizza Compass, to answer all your pizza-related prayers.[Eater]
Oysters function as so much more than just an aphrodisiac. See possibilities of how they can help tidy up the Chesapeake. [WaPo]
Posted by Jasmine Lee / Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
After work, slide on over to Old Town Alexandria for an artsy remix of your regular Thursday night.
Remember the Second Thursday Art Night Series at the Torpedo Factory? Well, starting tomorrow the series’ spin off hits the city. On the second Thursday of each month between now and October, Old Town will be painted (not literally, please!) with a new creative style that will inspire a variety of activities, including hands-on art, exhibitions, live music, contests with special prizes and shopping.
This week things kick off with a pop art and polka dot theme called “Pop Dot.” Here’s a rundown of what you have to look forward to:
The Spot the Dot scavenger hunt and polka dot costume contest will be great way to start your night. You might as well go crazy with it because that enthusiasm could win you a prize! Plus, there will be a DIY button-making station to give your costume an extra bit of flair. The Brian Litz Duo will serenade Torpedo Factory visitors with live jazz.
From 6-8 p.m. in the Target Gallery will be the opening reception for the new “Beyond Function“ exhibition. Sixty artists competed for a spot and 14 were chosen, including one all the way from Italy. “Beyond Function” displays useful pieces (like the briefcase on the right) “seeking to be valued for their aesthetic quality over their usefulness.”
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Art League Gallery, there will be two events. One is the opening reception for Noah Williams’ “One Man’s Trash.” Williams puts the old trash-to-treasure adage to work, creating sculpture made from unwanted materials such as bottle caps, feathers, tires and scrap metal. He’ll be on site for the reception. The other event is the Art League’s May All-Media Membership Show, which presents the work of the group’s members. Lauren Shell Dickens, the Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Corcoran, juried their art.
In the main hall, you’re invited to experience the One Million Bones (OMB) installation featuring ceramic bones handcrafted by students from NoVA. Their work is part of the one million bones being made around the world, in an effort to bring attention to the genocide in Sudan, the Congo, Burma and Somalia. On June 8, one million bones will be on display for all to see at the National Mall.
Other festivities include music and fun at the Athenaeum ($10 admission), polka music at the Alexandria Visitors Center and an 8 p.m. closing time for many Old Town boutiques.
Visit secondthursdayoldtown.com for more info and to find out next month’s theme!
May 9, 6-9 p.m.
Second Thursday Old Town
Old Town Alexandria
Free / secondthursdayoldtown.com
Posted by Ryan Cornell / Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Can you tell the difference between “bammas” and “jonx”? Do you often use the word, “cised,” in everyday conversation? We’ve swam through gallons of the Urban Dictionary cesspool to bring you the alphabet of Northern Virginia, with definitions from the online slangopedia.
Beltway Bandit: ”An unnecessary consultant, especially one hired at government expense.
Though Ken isn’t ashamed of his job as a certificate paper consultant for the government, his friends acknowledge behind his back that he’s just a beltway bandit.”
Community, Bedroom: ”A suburban community/town with little to no major employment center(s) to call its own. People only seem to sleep there when they’re not working 80 Hrs./wk closer in to the city where the jobs are. The only commercial space is retail & services for the residents (banks, groceries, malls, etc.) Residents often choose bedroom communities because of affordablility relative to living closer to the city, lower perceived crime, and schools with students that look just like their kids.
This commute’s killin’ me, but I can only afford a house in this bedroom community.”
Posted by Lindsey Jenkins / Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Three new coffee shops are heading for NoVA with one opened yesterday and two more planned. We first previewed the shops in the April Hot Spot cover story, and here are the updates, opening dates and construction woes.
Open now: M.E. Swing Coffee Roasters Read the rest of this entry »
Del Ray’s M.E. Swing opened yesterday with the brand’s first fully functional cafe, after opening a roastery in Washington, D.C. in 1916. Already planning for the warmer months, owner Mark Warmuth is putting iced coffee on tap. ”We use a cold brew process,” says Warmuth, explaining: “we pre-grind the coffee and let it steep in cold water for up to 12 hours.” Swing then uses that mixture as a base for the iced coffee on tap (a semi traditional tap system) to dispense it into a mug. M.E. Swing has also been experimenting with different pour-over methods, like a Hario V60 ceramic coffee dripper. A grand opening celebration is planned for next Saturday, May 18. / 501 E. Monroe Ave., Alexandria.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Angela Bobo / Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Make those April showers a thing of the past and usher in a little sunshine with your own May flowers. Floral prints are exploding on clothes left and right this season, but you can take a different approach by adding a dash of beautiful blooms to your accessories. We hand-picked the best blossoms from these top Etsy shops to help you make the perfect spring statement.
Posted by Octavia Silva / Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Families are often depicted on television and they usually have a great core mom character. I picked four lovely TV sitcom moms that both comforted me and made me laugh throughout adolescence. Happy Mother’s Day!
Burglars Hit 10 McLean Homes; Air Force Chief of Sex Assault Prevention Charged with Sexual Battery; Man Jumps onto Tracks at Courthouse Metro Station; Fairfax County Struggles Between Urban and Suburban Development; Girl with Brain Cancer Gets Surprise from Her Prince Charming; Student Suspended for Pointing Pencil Like Gun
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Burglars Hit 10 Homes Within Hours in McLean
Air Force Chief of Sex Assault Prevention Charged with Sexual Battery
Man Jumps onto Tracks at Courthouse Metro Station
Fairfax County Struggles Between Urban and Suburban Development
Little Girl with Brain Cancer Gets Surprise of a Lifetime from Her “Prince Charming”
Va. Boy Suspended for Pointing Pencil Like Gun
(Compiled by Jasmine Lee)
Posted by Tim Regan / Monday, May 6th, 2013
You read that right. There’s a new way to eat an apple, and it isn’t one of those seen-on-Reddit things that inevitably end up on Buzzfeed. Haha, no, just kidding. That’s exactly the course this video from Foodbeast took:
By Tim Regan
Margot MacDonald strains the loose leaves out of her freshly brewed tea and takes a small, pensive sip. Like most Clarendon 20-somethings on a Friday morning, she’s hanging out at Northside Social, the coffee shop where she spends a lot of her time. MacDonald is reassuringly human—shy, even—but when she sings, she transforms into an embodiment of confidence. And she has all the reason to be confident.
For MacDonald, 22, musical ambition started young. By age 7, she had written her first song. At 9, she sang with the Washington Opera. She debuted her first CD, “Rising,” as a 13-year-old. Three more albums and eight Washington Area Music Association awards later, she’s currently on the cusp of a new album and a new sound. Last year, she raised $15,000 through Indiegogo, and not all of those donations came from Northern Virginia. If that money is any indication, MacDonald’s sound has something to it. “I’m only playing small venues outside of D.C.,” she says, cradling her tea, “but [my music] is something different that I think appeals to a lot of different people.”
Like her musical influences Kimbra and Imogen Heap, MacDonald strives to create sounds that audiences don’t often hear. Her latest yet-to-be-named album, due out later this year, melds traditional instruments like drums and guitars with a sound that borders on unconventional: half-filled bottles, a loop pedal and beatbox-y percussion sounds made by MacDonald herself. She likens her style to “chocolate covered pretzels,” she explains. “A little sweet, a little savory. With some crunch.”
MacDonald’s music is a labor of love. She sometimes spends an entire week on one track alone, mostly due to the intricacies of the loop pedal. “Doing 16 vocal tracks per song takes longer,” she says, adding, “but I’m being a bit of a perfectionist with this album.” During concerts she loops her own voice on itself—sometimes two dozen times—to create complex rhythms and sounds from the stage. And on stage is where she was meant to be. “I can never practice like I perform,” she says with a smile.
It’s almost as if MacDonald never stops singing, only taking breaks for those brief, necessary moments of real life. On Sundays, she’s hosting Northside Social’s open mic nights. During the rest of the week, she’s in the studio, or hopping between gigs at venues here in town and in cities like New York and Baltimore.
As for the future, MacDonald is up for anything. Though she has plenty of local support, she wouldn’t mind hitting the road and roughing it a little in New York. When asked if she expects her music career to blossom into something huge, she takes a long, contemplative pause.
“Hopefully,” she says. But for the young singer-songwriter who lands shows at venues like Wolf Trap and Strathmore in Maryland, the road ahead looks promising.
Advice queries from Northern Virginians, or people who’ve been to Northern Virginia one time.
By Susan Anspach / Illustration by Matt Mignanelli
Does my enjoyment and active watching of VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” make me a worse person? If I must watch it, is detached, ironic observation morally preferable to forming emotional connections to the celebrities?
If reality TV’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. Staring agog at the littered scraps of other people’s public careers is an American tradition! I was away at camp the summer “Survivor” aired its first season; not having seen a single episode, I still knew the first and last names of the winner plus the details of his subsequent tax evasion. And who do you think leaked them? No one ever went on a reality show because he wanted to keep a low profile.
As for your show, I did watch an episode (purchased it, actually, for culture) but felt I couldn’t draw any conclusions of substance from 22 minutes. There’s an arc to a series, and a beauty. A brief glance just raised questions, like, Bob’s not a patient, right?, and, Are they sure about that? Did they double-check? Cause something about that guy looks loose. Anyway, I’m not bragging. I’m not above “Celebrity Rehab.” Anything you can name I can stoop lower. “Man vs. Wild”? “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” “The Bachelorette”? “Bridalplasty.” “Temptation Island”? “Temptation Island, Season Two.” Ostensibly there’s a place where society will someday draw the line; for now all we can say for sure is it’s not at exploiting the Amish, or waxing 4-year-olds’ eyebrows. At its core, your show’s about the health-improvement efforts of consenting adults. Just watch out for nosebleeds up there on your moral high ground. One commercial break slips into the next and before you know it you’re watching back-to-backs of “Sister Wives” in Crocs and an oversize parka with stains.
I need your help—I’m pretty sure I’m on Level 3 of “Inception.” Yesterday went by very quickly, and today went by really, really, really slowly. My question is, which is the better reality: fast-forward, the Dave Coulier “Think he needs a hurry up”-style from the 1980s TV show “Out of Control,” or the Adam Sandler remote-control style from “Click”?
In the second one, would I have to be Adam Sandler? Like, would I be doomed to make the same movie and public appearances singing “The Chanukah Song” the rest of my life? Would I have to hang out with Rob Schneider? On the other hand, Wikipedia tells us “Out of Control” aired in a time before “Full House,” and I don’t like to think about a time when there wasn’t “Full House.” There’s a YouTube video of Tom Hanks reciting a slam poem about “Full House” and it’s my favorite thing on the Internet. What’s the TV reality that lets you live inside one episode of “Full House” to the next? The one with The Beach Boys! The other one with The Beach Boys! Now I ask you: Did you have basic cable in ‘90s? If yes, that’s the time travel you’re looking for.
I get really mad at the taxi drivers who never yield to pedestrians. How can I stop the rage?
Cab drivers! Where’s the love? No one’s cab story ever ends: And upon safely arriving, we exchanged a tip of the hat, a chuckle and an agreed-upon fare. It’s always: I chucked a wadded twenty at that dude and got out of there fast; or, I bounced at a red light when I realized he was a kidnapper disguised as a cabbie (a D.C. friend’s true story, and memorable night!).
Here’s my advice: Think about a time you wronged one of them. Like there was this one time I flew to Puerto Rico on a night flight that lost everyone’s luggage. The baggage of literally every person on the plane. Dealing with it was one lost-and-found attendant and one circa-1980s computer. We were not first in line. Three hours later we finally stumbled outside, where a cabbie quoted us $15 for our trip to the hotel. He changed his mind, though, when we got there, upping the tab to $45, and you could say that was a slip on his part. A lapse in fine reasoning. Because not only did we not pay him the $45, we said things we can’t take back. Names were named, perils threatened. We struck fear in that man’s heart and his unborn children’s hearts. So you see? Somewhere in San Juan that cabbie’s writing Abby (¿Abbí?) on the ills of tourist passengers and why their black hearts are soured against his mother. It evens out in the end.
Life as a tall person is hard. It’s not all “taking things off of whatever shelf I want,” or seeing over bathroom stalls indiscriminately … when I drop something, it is WAY farther to the ground to pick it up. And airline travel? Only if you’re willing to fork over that exit row moolah. So how do I “shorten up” my game to fit in better to this Lollipop Guild of a world? I do not play basketball. Or volleyball.
A slow clap for you, sir. I laud your bravery, and conviction. Any non-athlete who’s ever special-ordered a shoe size (right here) knows nothing wrecks a day at the beach like a “casual” match of volleyball between “friends,” one where both teams have had their eye on you since the coin toss. They are in it to win it, and have no time for your (my) maladroit lurching through the sand. You do what you do and stick to your guns.
There are more ways than one. Double bass, blending in well in Sweden, the American presidency—all more within your reach when tall! Have you considered the theater? There are so many lead roles for tall men! I don’t like to boast but I brought home the part of man-god Oberon in the sixth grade because there weren’t any middle-school boys taller than me. Height takes you places. Like the stars, or the elementary-school cafeteria on parents’ night.
Would you rather have corduroy skin or muffin hands that grow back every time you eat them? (It should be understood that the muffins have functional opposable thumbs.)
Is this a trick question? I can’t think of a single pro for the one, or con for the other. But maybe it’s a trick. Like maybe the muffins have raisins, or maybe I’m gluten-intolerant? What’s your game, player? I go muffins with the condition I get to pick muffin type and specify the rate of regrowth. “Somewhat functional”? So like I can’t play the accordion? Who needs it? You can keep your opposable—I’ve got breakfast hands.
You didn’t ask my advice but I’m giving it to you: If you pose this question to someone else and they pick corduroy, don’t sleep in a house alone with that guy at night. In a world rich with linens and blue jeans, where has corduroy gotten us lately? It pills, it fades—it’s suicide in the rain. I’m getting the sense this is one of those questions wrapped up inside a question, and I’m not good enough to suss out what it is. So, muffins. Or whatever muffins are a metaphor for. Best of luck.
You get what you pay for.
Solicit free advice anytime, anywhere, from @CitySprawlNVMag.