Thursday, May 27, 2010

Things to Do: Free Saturdays @ The Corcoran

A friend recently shared with me that the Corcoran Gallery of Art is introducing a promotion called Free Summer Saturdays beginning May 29 and ending September 4, 2010.  Since, it's a private museum and not part of the Smithsonian which are always free, this is the prime time to take advantage.   

Last time I was at the Corcoran was for the 1869 Society's Annual Artini fundraiser in March.  It's a beautiful museum with many diverse works of art.  During the summer, they will offer free guided tours, demonstrations and programs for families (for free or at minimal cost).  I already see a few that I'll be registering for. 

If you've never been to the Corcoran or haven't been in a while, this is the perfect chance for you to take advantage of seeing amazing art for the low cost of nothing.  They also have a full service cafe so make a day, or even a date, out of it.

Corcoran Gallery of Art
500 Seventeenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things to Do: Linganore Wine Festival

One of my favorite local wine events, the Linganore Wine Festival, will begin its summer series this weekend, May 29-30.  If you're in town for the Memorial Day holiday, I'd strongly advise you to check it out.  If you can't make this one, the next festivals will be held in June, July, August and October.

The wine festival will be held at the Linganore Winecellars Vineyard in Mt. Airy, MD which isn't too far from Frederick, MD (about an hour outside of DC and 20 minutes from Baltimore).

The wine festival is $15 for adults, $10 for children 18-20, and FREE for those under 18.  For adults, you will receive a wine glass and have the option to sample nearly 20 different wines.  You can also purchase wine for your drinking pleasure while you relax and listen to the musical entertainment. 

My personal favs are the blueberry and raspberry wines, they're amazing and I'd especially recommend them if you like sweet, dessert wines.  In addition to the wine tastings, there will be food and art vendors.  If you'd prefer to bring your own food that's fine, you just can't bring any outside alcoholic beverages.  Make sure to bring chairs and/or blankets.

The first musical performance typically begins at noon, but it's suggested you get there around 11, because the earlier the better.  This festival always has a huge turnout so it's better to get there early to get situated in a good spot then to sit in traffic and miss all of the fun.

For more information about this festival and those upcoming, visit Cheers!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Things to Do: Summer Fun

Recently, I was speaking with a group of people and they were asking me for suggestions of places to go in DC.  While, I'm not quite an expert on the DC social scene, I'm trying, I've been around long enough to have a few favorites.

During the warmer months there are so many things to do like Jazz in The Garden at the National Gallery of Art, Wine Festivals, Twilight Tours in and around the city, and paddle boating on the Potomac, just to name a few. It's easy to get stuck in simply going to happy hours and to dinners, but DC has so much more to offer.  

Here's a listing of some fun things to do that are free or low cost and perfect for a date or for an outing with friends.
1.) Linganore Wine Festival (May, June, July, August, October)
2.) Screen on the Green
3.) Laffs on the Harbor
4.) Kayak Tours (Try Jacks Boat House)
5.) Walking Tours (i.e. Monticello, Old Town Alexandria, Annapolis)
6.) Putt Putt golfing (Try Cameron Run in Alexandria)
7.) Visit a Museum (Smithsonian Museums are FREE!)
8.) Kennedy Center Millenium Stage (FREE Performance Daily)
9.) Stroll & have a picnic in Rock Creek Park
10.) Roof Top Parties (Beacon Hotel, Marvin's, The Liasion Hotel)

Also, very important but wasn't included in my top 10, would be volunteering.  Sure it may not be a traditional thing to do of choice but it's a great way to get involved in your community.  Do it as a date or with friends.  I wouldn't advise this as a first date but it's also a great way to learn more about someone you're interested in to see how they react to certain situations.

Feel free to add any other upcoming events and things like you like to do!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Things to Do: Taste of 12 (Fri, May 21)

Last year was my first year going to an event benefitting the Capital Area Food Bank.  This year's event entitled "Taste of 12" will be held on Friday, May 21, 2010 from 11:30-1:30PM at the Verizon Center. 

Each year, they get several of the top restaurants in DC (i.e. Oyamel, Matchbox, Jaleo, Gifford's Ice Cream)  to come together and allow people to sample their various specialities. 

You don't have to RSVP or pre-pay, just simply show up with $12, either cash and charge.  I would recommend cash because the credit card line last year was much longer and delayed our progress in getting to the food.  For your $12, you get 6 tickets which you take to the restaurants of your choice.  Last year, I sampled some of everything from shrimp ceviche to crab cakes to a citrus chicken dish.  They also had a couple of vendors that provided dessert, refreshing ice cream and frozen coffees if I recall correctly.

If you work downtown, this is a great chance to get out of the office and enjoy some of the best restaurants DC has to offer and the best part is the proceeds go directly to the Capital Area Food Bank.  I'll be there, will you?

For more information, visit

Taste of 12
Verizon Center
601 F Street NW
Washington, DC

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Things To Do: Bar 7

It's official my new favorite after work happy hour spot in the DMV (DC, MD, VA) is Bar 7.  If you've been in DC for a while, you'll know the location as the old Juste Lounge.  If not, it's on 7th Street NW and it faces the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and is around the corner from Lux Lounge.

On Friday nights, local promoter Cheeky Sasso hosts a happy hour there.  The first time I went it was open bar from 5-7, so needless to say folks were in there getting it in.  The second time, although they advertised it as having an open bar, they only gave out one free drink, hey that's still better than nothing.  I wonder how long that's going to last.

When you walk in it's a shotgun-esque type of structure, very narrow across but very long in length.  The walls are exposed brick and there's plenty of seating at the bar and along the walls, if you get there early.  The bartenders are very friendly and service is extremely fast compared to some of the other urban lounges.  I've been there with two completely different sets of friends and we all agreed the best part of Bar 7 is the DJ.  All I know people were in there dancing at like 7:30 in their work clothes, the music was just that good. 

As far as the crowd is concerned, it's a nice, laid back young, professional crowd.  There's plenty of eye candy and it doesn't have that meat market feel like some of the other local spots, not going to name any names.  If you've never been to Bar 7, I'd definitely recommend trying it out.  If you go on a Friday, hey you might see me there.  Cheers!

Bar 7
1015 1/2 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Friday, May 7, 2010

Savvy Tips: Happy Hour at Starbucks

No, Starbucks is not selling adult beverages.  That would be interesting though.  From now through May 16th, Starbucks is offering a special "happy hour" promotion on their delicious frappuccinos.  Just in time for the warm weather.

Visit any location from 3:00PM - 5:00PM and you'll get 1/2 off on your purchase of a frappuccino. I'm not a coffee drinker, and usually only go to Starbucks when people give me giftcards there.  Going there daily can get kind of pricey or so I hear which makes this a great time to take advantage of this deal.

Just thought I'd share in case you hadn't heard.  Enjoy!

For more info:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Things To Do: Maryland Small Arms Range

The other weekend I took a trip to the Maryland Small Arms Range (MSAR).

It was my first time going and I'd been wanting to go to that shooting range since one of my twitter friends/high school classmates mentioned that they had Ladies Night on Mondays. They offer FREE entrance, usually a $15 fee, for unaccompanied ladies on Mondays, you just have to pay for the gun, ammo, and the particulars (safety glasses, earplugs, targets.

I threw on some casual clothing and headed to the place. The address says it's located in Upper Marlboro (MD), but I would consider the area Clinton. It definitely was a little confusing to find but we finally made it. When we arrived, it was evident that everyone else had the same idea as us so we had to wait for about 30 minutes. The crowd was very diverse. There were a few couples, some rednecks, some thugs, some weapon-aficionados, but everyone was there with the same purpose to do a little shooting. The time we had to wait gave us a chance to explore the facility.

Come to find out, the shooting range was only a small element of the MSAR. When you walk in, it's like a mini-warehouse of guns, knives, clothing and protective gear, and everything weapons-related you could imagine. They displayed all of the guns they had available for rent. While I was investing online, I made my mind up that I wanted a Reuger just because it was old-school and classy looking, hey I'm a girly girl so I was all about shooting something small and cute. The guy at the desk dashed my hopes and dreams by saying he wouldn't recommend it for a first-time, hey he would know better than me, so we switched to a Sig Sauer 380. He gave me red headphones to match my top, so that made me feel a little better about not having the gun I wanted.

When we got into the actual area where the shooting takes places, I thought I was going to go deaf or have a heart attack. Depite having on these serious headphones, I could hear every single shot fired and couldn't help but jump. My ex loaded the gun, we put up a target and got to shooting. My aim was a little off as shown by my marks/mismarks on the target but it I don't think I did too bad for a first-timer.

All in all, we had a great time. I came out with my ears ringing a little but we had fun and I look forward to going again.

Sidebar: The photo above is me. I had planned on doing an infamous Charlie's Angels pose when I got in there but the feeling of holding an actual loaded gun, kept me from doing so. Maybe next time.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Things to Do: Susan G. Komen Global Race

Unless you've been living under a rock you've heard all about the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure.  On Saturday, June 5, I will be volunteering for my fourth consecutive year.  The picture to the left is me with one of my linesisters at last year's race.

Each year, I've volunteered in different capacities.  One year I distributed t-shirts and chips (to time the racers), another year I handed out medals at the finish line to breast cancer survivors, and last year I volunteered at the incentive distribution center (for those who raised over a certain amount. They received gifts ranging from coupons for free drinks to Caribou Coffee to Macy's giftcards).  This year, I'm assisting with some pre-race events as well as volunteering the morning of the race.  My shift ends at 9AM, so hopefully I'll also be able to walk this year.

Volunteering each year for this worthy cause and seeing the thousands of breast cancer survivors, both men and women, walking in their pink shirts is truly a sight to behold.  As long as I'm able, I plan to continue to support this organization and all that they do.  Hopefully, one day soon they will find a cure.

If you are interested in volunteering for the DC Race, please visit:

I know times are hard but I'm also making a plea for donations, you could call it a plea or a shamless plug if you'd like but as long as the donations start coming in it doesn't matter.  Whatever you could spare, whether $5 or $10, any amount will make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.  My goal is to raise $250+ this year and this can only be done with the support of others. Please visit my personal page to learn more.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Two Cents: Basketball Wives

I planned on leaving this show alone but I felt compelled to comment on it. 

My main concern with one of VH1's latest reality shows, Basketball Wives, is that among the entire cast there is only ONE true wife.  The one wife, Jennifer Williams, is married to a gremlin of a man who is a former NBA player.  Another of the women, Evelyn, was engaged to a basketball player for several years and they broke up fairly recently.

Then you have Royce a former dancer for the Orlando & Miami basketball teams and most known for her role as Dwight Howard's baby's mama.  While, Royce's been acting very immature as of late (everyone's seen the video of her dancing for Ludacris at the 2010 All Star Weekend), I refuse to talk bad about her.  Maybe it's because we went to FAMU together and this person she's become isn't who I remember.  There's Gloria who is engaged to a current NBA player and they have 2 adorable little boys.  There's not much drama concerning her as there is about her sister who was with Gilbert Arenas and allegedly cheated on him with Shaq.  Word on the street is she's the reason why he and Shaunie got divorced.  Speaking of Shaunie, the cast wouldn't be complete without her as the show was her idea.  She was only on the first episode if I remember correctly so I really have nothing to say about her.  There are other characters but they are not very memorable and not even worth mentioning.

As of now, like most of the reality shows on VH1, Basketball Wives seems very shallow.  All they do is constantly talk about their relationships with athletes and their struggles with infidelity, that's getting a little old.  Tell us something we don't know.  I'd be more interested in hearing Jennifer talk about what she's doing to hold her married together than see her curse out yet another groupie for messing with her man.  Most of them are beautiful women and they've chosen to live this lifestyle.  The way I see it is they can either suck it up or move on. #justsaying