Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Retail for City Center DC

Hugo Boss, Kate Spade, Zadig & Voltaire, and Burberry will open in City Center DC.
City Center DC continues to rack up the high end retail options. Four more more stores have declared their presence with new signage in the windows of two of the newly constructed buildings.

  • Kate Spade New York: If Kate Brosnahan Spade's life were made into a movie, she would be played by Téa Leoni, right? Uncanny resemblance. Kate Spade is mostly known for handbags, but has developed lines of clothing, shoes, and accessories for women, as well. Fun fact: They're partnering with Gap later this year to produce Spade-designed clothing for kids. Adjust your xmas lists accordingly, children.
  • Hugo Boss: This popular company produces four distinctly branded lines of casual and business clothes for men, women, and children. They already operate a store in the District, in Georgetown. Not so fun fact: Hugo Boss vastly increased sales in the 1930s and 40s by doing robust business with the National Socialist Party including outfitting the SS and Hitler Youth.
  • Burberry: Whenever I hear Burberry, I think of their awesome, Burberry-beige trench coats. $2,000 trench coats. I mean, the main point of this post is that I will be exclusively window shopping at all of these stores.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

US VegWeek + Puppet Underground

Mellow Mushroom in Adams Morgan is one of many restaurants offering VegWeek specials.
I'm a little late on this, but wanted to note that US VegWeek is this week! Takoma Park-based Compassion Over Killing started VegWeek in 2009 and the goal is to celebrate the benefits of vegetarian foods and a vegetarian diet. It's not coincidence that it falls on the same week as Earth Day (today!). There are a ton of restaurants in DC --and beyond-- that are participating in US VegWeek, including a few on the 42 bus line. Just check out this page for a map view of participating venues. More events, from the organizers:

Plus Smoke & Barrel, The Muse (at Corcoran), Busboy & Poets, Mellow Mushroom, Pete’s Apizza, and many more restaurants are offering specials.  You’ll find it all mapped out on US  

Puppet Underground is hosting TONIGHT at Haydee's

Also wanted to note that Puppet Underground has two events in April! This fun and awesome group has been bringing thought-provoking, good-times puppetry & theatre to Mount Pleasant for the past few years and they're not done. The first event is tonight at Haydee's (again, sorry for the late notice!) and the next is on April 29. Please check them out if you haven't had a chance. Good stuff! From the organizers:

Come dance it up with Puppet Underground at our live music fundraiser!:

Rude Mechanical Orchestra
Son Cosita Seria

Tuesday, April 22nd
At Haydee's Restaurant
3102 Mt Pleasant St NW

We are SO excited to host the legendary Rude Mechanical Orchestra, the raucous activist marching band and dance troupe from NYC! They will be bringing a 15-piece band, playing a set that may include a spritz of klezmer, some Balkan and Brazilian notes, plenty of funk, some Latin beats, a little jazz and a Le Tigre cover, all of it served up with a patina of punk. 

Also playing is the ever fabulous Son Cosita Seria, Puppet Underground's unofficial House Band. Playing Son Jarocho, traditional string music from the state of Veracruz in southeastern Mexico that combines Spanish, indigenous, and West African roots, Son Cosita Seria's complex rhythms and zapateado (percussive dancing) will have you partying all night!

What Are We Raising Money for?
We are supporting the social justice work of both the Rude Mechanical Orchestra and Son Cosita Seria. We are raising money for RMO to continue their work serving the efforts of progressive and radical groups and causes, providing musical support to many grassroots efforts inside and outside of NYC. We are raising money for Son Cosita Seria to buy more Son Jarocho instruments from Veracruz to support their community workshops here in DC and to continue to provide musical support to local, national and international social justice actions and events.

We're thrilled to present an awesome new play by Der Vorfuhreffekt Theater (the folks who brought you "The 7 Person Chair Pyramid High Wire Act"):

"Three Kinds of Wildness"
Tuesday, April 29th
At St. Stephen's Church
1525 Newton St NW

In the maze of tunnels that make up the deepest gold mine in the world, there exists an underground city—home to an ice baron, a telegraph inventor, and a doctor who’s dubious about the inherent value of the human heartbeat. The inventor’s daughter hears so much that it’s as if she can’t hear anything. The ice baron returns from debtor’s prison and becomes mayor. The mayor has a secretary who once gave birth to a pile of rabbit parts. The doctor seems certain that all of her patients are miners, though no one can remember the last time anyone saw a miner. The inventor hires a specialist, who arrives just in time for the Great Civic Parade, to which, of course, you’re all invited. Perhaps you might want to wear red?

Der Vorfuhreffekt Theater is on the forefront of the DIY devised theater movement. They create high quality theater by low tech means, integrating puppetry, light play and other fun stage tricks in their quest to tell irreverent, funny and ultimately moving stories. We REALLY recommend you make it out to see this one!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Fun Post: New Orleans

Two weeks ago I visited New Orleans for the first time. Since I'm from the south, I had lots of preconceived ideas --all positive-- about what life was like in this midsize city (pop. 379,000) with the outsized reputation. All the positives were confirmed. Awesome, friendly people as residents (with their own version of southern hospitality), a fantastic collection of diverse and distinct neighborhoods, crazy, engaging architecture, easily accessible public transit and yes, they know how to show you a good time. Did I mention I was there for WrestleMania XXX?

That's XXX as in the 30th iteration. WrestleMania has been on my to-do list since I was a kid. In some ways I'm still kind of child-like, but the difference between now and then is that I can pay for things like trips to WrestleMania. So, I did. And it was so worth it. Not sure I'd go again (questionable if any others would live up to this one), but I'm totally sold on New Orleans and I definitely want to return there for more food, more self guided walking tours (i.e. getting lost), more Mississippi River, and more Bourbon Street. Here's the best of what I saw, in photos.
Summary: Eat, Sleep, Break the Streak + YES! YES! YES!
French Quarter house and bicycle.
Quiet street with colorful houses.
The buses and streetcars meant I didn't need a rental car.
Streetcar tracks on the way to Carrollton neighborhood.
There were like, A LOT of 90s cover bands. This band played Ginuwine b/w Pearl Jam.
Not Miami.
The mighty Mississippi. Calm and beautiful.
Got to meet one of my heroes: Tia Torres of Villalobos Rescue Center. Much love.
Don't let anyone tell you can't get vegan food in NoLa. This place is the bomb.
And don't let anyone tell you can't get GREAT coffee service in NoLa...
French Quarter shopping district.
This place is just huge.
Sort of like a mini-Eastern Market except there are multiple booths selling alligator. To eat.
The Saint Louis Cathedral
Open container seems like a bad idea until you hang out on Bourbon St, where it just... works. Everyone was cool.

Loved this town.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

H&M, Lobster Shack Coming to Dupont

A trio of news pieces for Dupont:

Willie T's Lobster Shack is looking to open at 1511 Connecticut Ave NW. This space was (for a loooong time) home to Marvelous Market. That local chain has now closed all but one of its stores. However, the owners of Marvelous Market are the same owners of Willie T's Lobster Shack. No word yet on an opening date, but look for it this summer.

Boutique pet store, the Cheeky Puppy has opened its doors at 1709 Connecticut Ave NW. Cheeky Puppy opened on April 1 and bills itself as the "go-to resource for modern, design-conscious pet lovers." 

This is actually more "Farragut Square" news, but very much walkable from Dupont. We learned in January that Swedish clothing retailer H&M was planning to open at 1133 Connecticut Ave NW. The 28,000 square foot space was last occupied by Filene's Basement. H&M is currently building out and hiring staff, so the opening will come sooner than later. This stretch of Connecticut Ave has quite a few other clothiers including Brooks Brothers, Gap, Rizik'z, Victoria's Secret, Men's Warehouse, Dress Barn, and Ann Taylor.