Friday, December 23, 2011

Things to Do: Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

I know it's been a while since I posted anything, please forgive my absence. What can I say, life has been hectic but I promise to get back into the swing of things in the new year.

But anywho, last weekend I went to and participated in my very first Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. I'd heard people joke about them but didn't know anyone who had gone to one. When my friend invited me to one that a group of his friends were hosting, I had no idea what to expect.

Prior to the night's festivities, I have to say it was quite challenging to find an ugly sweater. If I would've had more notice, I definitely would have scoured eBay for their worst offenders. Instead, I figured I'd try my luck looking at places like Ross, TJ Maxx, Old Navy, and Burlington Coat Factory, you would think they would have some ugly Christmas sweaters, but they didn't. Finally, I gave in and went to a local thrift store. Within a matter of minutes of browsing the sweater selection I found my perfect ugly sweater.

When I met up with the group, there were nothing but laughs. They began the evening with a White Elephant exchange, then headed to Clarendon for dinner and ended the night in the basement of Eleventh Street Lounge where they played mainly old school rap and hip-hop, who knew? Our ugly sweater crew definitely made us stand out among the crowd and everyone was so amused by our outfits. Mission accomplished!

Check out the photos we took over the course of an evening while wearing our collectively ugly sweaters. A great time was had by all and I look forward to stepping up my ugly sweater game next year.
















Thursday, December 8, 2011

Things to Do: Shakespeare Theatre's 'Much Ado About Nothing'

Just passing along some information...

Join the STC for its second Young Prose Night of the season on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 7:30PM! See a performance of the romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, and mingle at a preshow reception sponsored by On Tap Magazine and Blue Moon beer.

About the show: Everyone can see that Beatrice and Benedick are meant for each other except Beatrice and Benedick. Hero and Claudio, themselves newly betrothed, conspire to trick them into announcing their feelings and falling for each other. Meanwhile, a bitter and troublesome Don John schemes to destroy Claudio and Hero’s engagement by besmirching Hero’s honor.

Tickets: $20 for those 35 years of age and younger for the pre-show party on 12/14 and $15 for other nights.

To purchase tickets, call 202.547.1122 or visit http://ShakespeareTheatre.org and use promo code 'PROSE'.

Sidney Harman Hall
610 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
202.547.1122

Friday, November 11, 2011

Things to Do: Pray the Devil Back to Hell Screening

Recently, I came across the movie screening/ fundraiser for the film Pray The Devil Back to Hell. I'd actually heard of it a few years ago as my previous job held a screening of it along with commentary from the writer Abigail Disney, yes she's related to Walt. Unfortunately, I was too busy working the event I didn't have the opportunity to see it. To learn more about the film, click here

Join Refugees International Young Humanitarian Circle for this film screening on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 from 6:30-8:30 PM at Napoleon Bistro and Lounge. The cost of admission is $30 and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Refugees International, and includes complimentary champagne, hors d’oeuvres and popcorn.

For more information, contact Ashley Wright at 202.828.0110 ext. 209 or by email at Ashley@refugeesinternational.org.

Seating is limited so reserve your space today!

Napoleon Bistro and Lounge
1847 Columbia Road, NW
Washington, DC 20009

RSVP:
Register at refugeesinternational.org/YHC by 5PM on November 25

Monday, November 7, 2011

Savvy Shopping: $1.99 Holiday Card Deal

Truthfully, I'm not a huge fan of VistaPrint, never have been, mainly because of the cheesy, free business cards I see people have made through them (sorry if I offended anyone). Over the weekend I came across an amazing deal for holiday cards. The promo said 20 personalized holiday cards for only $1.99.

I figured I'd just visit the link provided and see what the options available were. Surprisingly they had hundreds of holiday cards and every one of them was customizable outside, inside and on the back. I just knew there had to be a catch, that my almost free cards would end up being $20-30, no catch. They do have several option listed where they try to upsell you, but if you're just looking for cards, simply bypass all of the offers.

With customization on the front, inside and on the back where I included my photo and a message, it was still only $1.99 and the shipping $6, not bad. I usually pay $15-20 for 20 boxed cards each year at Target or Hallmark. These were half of that and are fully customized so I won't need to spend countless hours, writing messages and signing each of them. You truly can't beat this deal!

My Advice: Since it's still early in the season, I'd highly recommend you jump on this deal so you can pay the least amount for shipping and still receive your holiday cards prior to December.


Use this link to instantly save $5 on your first order. Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

SOLESISTERS Film Project

Just received this. Seems like an interesting project, just thought I'd share.

Be Part of Cynthia Salzman Mondell's SOLESISTERS Film Project

Please share your pictures and videos of:
a) Your Shoes
b) Your Friends or Family's shoes
c) Foot traffic of places you visit

The only requirement is that it must be women's shoes, from toddlers to great-grandma's and all that fall between. Variety always draws excitement, so get creative! These can be sent in any file format and everyone whose work is used will receive a credit. We can't wait to showcase your creations in our "Shoefessional" at the Dallas Museum of Art during the Late Night Events featuring Jean Paul Gaultier.


PR Contact:
Valen Chavez
Media Projects Inc.
Sole Sisters Film
Dallas, Texas
214.826.3863

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things to Do: FotoWeek DC

It's almost that time again for FotoWeekDC. This annual, week-long event began in 2008 as a way for DC photographers, both professionals and amateurs, to showcase their work. This year's event event will be held November 5-12, with a launch party on the 4th. (see below for more info)

This year's "FotoWeek Hub" will be located at 1800 L Street NW (where the old Border's was at the corner of 18th & L Street NW). I actually walked by this morning and saw them setting up, can't wait to check it. Another exciting part about FotoWeekDC is it's FREE! Just one of the many perks of living in the Washington, DC area.

Here's more information about the event taken from their website.

With over 50,000 square feet of space, FotoWeek Central will host 14 individual photography exhibitions. Four additional satellite locations include FotoSpace, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, George Washington University, and the Pepco Edison Place Art Gallery. Additionally, many FotoWeekDC partners will have events in conjunction with the festival, listed on our FotoWeekDC Schedule of Events.

Expect to see the very best in photojournalism, commercial photography and art photography. All Exhibitions are free and open to the public. Continue to visit our website as additional exhibitions, programs, pop-up events, and partners are being added daily!

For more information, visit: http://www.fotoweekdc.org/index.php

FotoWeek Launch Party - Friday, November 4, 2011
The Festival begins at 5 pm at FotoWeek Central with the exclusive preview opening of this year’s exciting exhibitions. At 8:30pm, we’ll move to the Corcoran Gallery of Art as the celebration continues with FatBack DJs and monumental projections. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served at both venues. It’s a Two-for-One evening with a
DOUBLE party not to be missed. One ticket provides entry to both AMAZING EVENTS to mingle with DC’s photo luminaries. For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/savvy1102b

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Things to Do: Gaia at the Corcoran

Being a member of the Corcoran's 1869 Society, a group of young professionals interested in the arts ages 25-42, has many benefits! Not only do you receive complimentary access to the museum and discounts at the cafe and bookstore, but you receive first-hand notice about the numerous events that are hosted at the Corcoran. My favorite annual event is Artini and another great event geared towards the younger crowd is Gaia. The next Gaia event is coming up in November, see below for more information.

Gaia at the Corcoran: A Musical Performance Experience

Saturday, November 19, 2011
7:30 – 11:00 PM

Gaia is a DC-based group of musicians, singers, dancers, and DJs who collectively bring you a transcendent and interactive experience. Actively incorporating the art and architecture of the Corcoran with dance and projections, Gaia invites you into the middle of their performance. It is part concert, part nightclub, part performance art. Odds are you have not seen anything quite like it.

MUSIC
Soul - Tamara Wellons
Trip Hop - Avenue To
Vibe Conductor - DJ Stylus
Congas and Jembe - Tom Pipkin
Flute and Tenor Sax - Kolai

DANCE
Urban Artistry

VIDEO ART
D'Blend - Juan Botero & Lina Almansa

Cost:
Corcoran Members - $30
Non-members - $40
Corcoran Students - $20

For more information, click here.

Corcoran Gallery of Art
500 Seventeenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
202.639.1700
www.corcoran.org

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things to Do: The Phillips Collection Birthday Bash

Just wanted to share this exciting event with you all. The Phillips Collections, is a quaint museum that has found a special place in my heart. In celebration of their 90th Anniversary they are hosting a Birthday Bash on Saturday, November 5 from 10:00AM - 8:00PM. The best part is it's FREE! If you've never been I highly recommend it. See below for more information.

PHILLIPS EXTENDS HOURS AND OFFERS FREE ADMISSION FOR
90TH ANNIVERSARY BIRTHDAY BASH ON NOVEMBER 5

On the day D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has proclaimed “Phillips Collection Day,” celebrate the museum’s 90th anniversary with a day of free activities, gallery talks, and live music.

Highlights include:

  • Free admission to Degas’s Dancers at the Barre: Point and Counterpoint
  • Cupcake party favors while supplies last (10 a.m.–noon)
  • Hands-on art-making inspired by Will Ryman’s outdoor sculpture of colossal pink roses (10 a.m.–2 p.m.)
  • Hourly gallery talks on Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party and European Masterworks (11 a.m.–6 p.m.)
  • “Happy Birthday” sing-along led by on-air talent from ABC7/WJLA-TV (noon)
  • Ballet students from the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington D.C. practicing in the Degas exhibition (12:30–3 p.m.)
  • Interactive self-guide to the collection by illustrator Elizabeth Graeber
  • Musical performances throughout the day, featuring Parisian-inspired accordionist Manny Bobenrieth, The Capital Hearings a cappella group, Teiber Trio, Tommy Cecil Quartet, Yvonne Johnson Trio, and DJ Neville C.
  • Cash bar with wine, beer, champagne, and light snacks (4:15–8 p.m.)
The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street, NW

Washington, DC 20009
202-387-2151
http://phillipscollection.org

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Amazing Deals via Groupon

So it seems Groupon is branching out from it's usual daily deals for local products and services and is now offering online deals for miscellaneous products such as big screen TVs and exercise equipment. Check out some of the deals below.


AeroPilates Premier 299 Reformer or AeroPilates Pro XP 556 Reformer for $249

Learn more:

http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3974614-10872943?url=http%3A//www.groupon.com/deals/gg-stamina-products





32" Panasonic 1080p LED HDTV ($440) or TV and Home Theater System ($665)

Learn more:

http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3974614-10872943?url=http%3A//www.groupon.com/deals/gg-altec-lansing-octiv-duo

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Things to Do: Gentleman Jack ART, BEATS+LYRICS

Sad that I'll be missing this event this year because I've gone for the last 2 years and had a great time. Since, I won't be there I hope you can go in my absence. Have fun for me! Make sure to RSVP using the link provided below and get there early to ensure your admittance!

Another bit of advice, ladies wear comfortable shoes because there's no seating and after dancing (after a few Gentleman Jack cocktails trust me you'll be dancing) your feet will need a break.

Gentleman Jack presents ART, BEATS + LYRICS


Not to be missed, the event of the year - free drinks, live music, hot DJs, street art, beautiful people in the most beautiful location in Washington, D.C.

Art and music were once the voice of the people. It was an underground movement driven by the need for expression. Somewhere along the way, art became available only to the elite and music profited only the few. At that point artist lost control of their creation.

Gentleman Jack's Art, Beats + Lyrics is taking it back. Exploring Hip Hop and highlighting urban art forms expressed through photography, graffiti, paintings, multimedia, DJing and live music.

FREE with RSVP. EARLY ARRIVAL SUGGESTED.

Friday October 7, 2011
7:00PM - 12:00AM
21 & UP

Andrew W Mellon Auditorium
301 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20240
http://www.mellonauditorium.com

RSVP at http://www.gentlemanjackabl.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Things to Do: Africa Underground "No Boundaries"

Just came across this and had to share. Looks interesting...

National Museum of African Art Launches Third Installment of Africa Underground- "No Boundaries"


Africa Underground is back with an evening of delights at the National Museum of African Art, Friday, September 30, from 7 to 11 p.m. Coming on the heels of a hugely successful second installment of African Underground in May, this edition will also see the museum's doors held open after hours, giving revelers the chance to enjoy refreshments, dance, and experience the museum's exhibitions, ambiance and performances from around the continent.

The first and second Africa Undergrounds sold out in days, and this installment will include several exciting new elements including entertainment by the bands 'Sahel' and 'Eme & Heteru', fashions by world renowned designer Korto Momolou, with 'Afrobeat' face painting by lunchbox theory and music spun by DJ Underdog throughout the night.

The Sahel, a stretch of land between African desert and rainforest, is an ancient symbol of trade and travel where people from various continents have throughout time exchanged goods, ideas and cultures. Like the Sahel much of the worlds contemporary dance music is a product of distinct African roots with middle eastern and European influences; blended colors of culture on the canvas of African rhythms. SAHEL are a band of musicians from diverse backgrounds who believe in honoring multicultural evolution by performing currently relevant music like Zouk, Mbalax, Saba Reggae and Salsa. SAHEL is inspired by tradition and dedication to the progress of music that moves the world.

Eme & Heteru are a band lead by singer/songwriter, Eme Awa who have been part of the Washington, D.C. live music scene for the past ten years. They combine the rich styles, melodies and rhythms from East, South and West Africa in addition to Reggae to create their unique sound, a combination of Afrobeat and reggae music Eme Awa calls "AfroRoots Music." He has had four Wammie nominations and will also play music from Central Nigeria to compliment the museum's exhibition Central Nigeria Unmasked."

Cost: $25

Advance online purchase only, one free drink with ticket purchaseLink
Must be 21 to be admitted (IDs will be checked at the door).

For more information:
visit: http://africa.si.edu/underground/

email: africanartevents@si.edu
phone: 202.633.4651

Monday, September 19, 2011

Things to Do: FELA! at the Shakespeare Theatre

Last week I had the privilege of attending the opening week of FELA! in DC. It had been nearly two years since I'd first heard of the Broadway musical surrounding the life and music of Nigerian artist Fela Kuti. I'd planned on seeing it with some friends but we somehow never got around to making the short trek to NYC to see it.

Fast forward to earlier in the spring, I saw an announcement that FELA! would be traveling to DC and I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. FELA! will be running through October 9 at the
Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall.

We arrived about 15 minutes before the show and were immediately seated in the first row of the mezzanine. I typically prefer orchestra seating but that was all that was left at the time plus I got the seats at a significant discount, and they offered an amazing view of the vibrant set so I was pleased.


The show started slightly after 8:00 at which time we were greeted by a group of performers walking through the theatre. It was their intention to give the impression we had been teleported back in time to the Shrine nightclub in Nigeria when Fela was a musical icon.

From that moment on, everyone was captivated by the actor who portrayed Fela Kuti as well as the entire cast, from the band to the signing and dancing performers. My friend and I were amazed at some of their dances and how they remained energetic throughout the entire 2.5 hour performance. I don't want to give up too much about the lively performance but I'll say there was quite a bit of audience participation and everyone had a chance interact with the performers.

I highly recommend that everyone, over the age of 18 (there were some mature parts) go see FELA!. It was such an amazing experience! Honestly, I can't remember the last time I felt so energized after seeing a theatrical performance. Make sure you go out and see it and let me know what you think!

Special Offer: Purchase tickets online or by phone and use code 'FELATHANKS' to save 10%. For more information, visit: http://www.shakespearetheatre.org

Thursday, September 15, 2011

DC Central Kitchen Stuff the Bus Campaign


DC Central Kitchen is looking for people to join them in their mission to "Stuff the Bus".  From September 17-30, they will have a classic 1975 Ford school bus parked in various locations around DC where they will be collecting donations of nonperishable food.  

If you don't have time to track the bus down, you can also buy from their bus' virtual farmers market. One Hundred percent (100%) of the food and proceeds will be given to DC Central Kitchen, a community kitchen that provides home-made meals to thousands of local at-risk individuals while offering culinary job training to once homeless and hungry adults.  

Their goal is to collect 5,000 pounds of food, but they can't do it without our support. Several local celebrities are supporting this worthy cause including: Ryan Zimmerman, Darrell Green, Mike Isabella, Spike Mendelsohn, Cokie Roberts, Ed Henry, Jonathan Karl, Mary Beth Albright, Geoff Tracy and Jose Andres

To learn more about DC Central Kitchen and their mission, visit www.stuffthebus.com for additional details, bus schedule, and celebrity photos.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Things to do: Stomp Out Sickle Cell Walk


Just received the following about a walk this weekend, please see below...
We've started the countdown before the Stomp Out Sickle Cell Walk, which will be on Saturday, September 17! We look forward to seeing you if you've already registered. If not, please REGISTER NOW! Online registration will end on Thursday, September 15 at 11:59 PM. We strongly encourage online registration, although onsite registration will be available.

Remember, the SOS Walk/Run will take place on September 17, 8 AM at Freedom Plaza in downtown DC, near the White House. We will walk down famous Pennsylvania Ave in a certified 5K route which will return us to the Plaza to end. We'll have entertainment, prizes, and information tables at Freedom Plaza, along with a blood drive hosted by Children's National Medical Center and registration for organ and bone marrow donation.

Please come out and make your voice heard! Join us as we walk on this historic and well-visited corridor to raise awareness of sickle cell disease and our need for a cure.

All of the details are at www.soswalk.org. Register for $20 per person, and ask others to make a donation. You also have the opportunity to sponsor a walker and memorialize your loved ones on a custom-made sign (deadline Wednesday, Sept 15).

We can't make a difference without you, so please register today! If you have any questions, please contact us at info@soswalk.org.

Learn more: www.soswalk.org
 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Things to Do: Getting To Your Happy HOUR - Tues. 9/13

Join Divas MPH on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 from 6:30-9:00PM at SOVA Espresso & Wine Bar for the Getting To Your Happy HOUR!

RSVP by Monday, September 12th and receive a FREE Getting To Your Happy Kit! 
Click here to register for this FREE event: http://bit.ly/gethappyhour

See below for more information about Divas MPH...

Blues & Birthday Cake
A Labor of Love, Divas, MPH Turns Two!

Two years, 09.09.09, our baby, Divas, MPH (Making our People Healthier) arrived into this world to help women achieve and maintain total health and wellness – mind, body, and spirit.  Born out of a passion for public health and changing the communities in which live, Divas, MPH made a commitment on this day to develop and deliver innovative programming to address the health needs of women in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, Atlanta, Georgia, and globally through the use of social media.

The launch event for Divas, MPH was held on September 9, 2009, during Infant Mortality Awareness Month honoring film producer, attorney, and author Tonya Lewis Lee for her work as the national spokeswoman for the “A Healthy Baby Begins with You” Campaign funded by the Office of Minority Health. Divas, MPH hosted a screening for “Crisis in the Cribs,” a documentary produced for the campaign and directed by Mrs. Lee.  Over 150 young men and women, public health professionals, and members of the medical community attended the event.  The response to the event was overwhelming and clearly demonstrated a community need for the type of women’s health & wellness programming we were looking to provide.

Since that day, Divas, MPH has been working tirelessly to provide innovative programs to educate, empower, and mobilize women to create healthy communities.


Learn more about Divas MPH, here.

SOVA Espresso & Wine Bar
1359 H Street Northeast
Washington D.C., DC 20002
202.397.3080

Friday, September 9, 2011

Things to Do: Puccini's Tosca - Kennedy Center Opera

Do you like opera and are you between the ages of 18-35?  If so, you should check out Puccini's Tosca at the Kennedy Center, it runs from September 10-24 in the Opera House. See below for more information as well as a special deal I came across.

A little about the performance...Floria Tosca, a beautiful opera diva, tries to save her lover's life by giving herself to the dreaded chief of police, Baron Scarpia. The situation turns deadly, and even Scarpia's murder may not stop his diabolical plan. One of the most popular operas in the repertoire, Puccini's Tosca has attracted thousands of new fans with its timeless and thrilling arias, including "Vissi d'arte," "E lucevan le stelle," and "Recondita armonia." The touching emotion of Puccini's music goes straight to the heart and pulls the listener into its world. Listen to an audio preview of Tosca that highlights the sheer beauty of Puccini's lyrical gift.

Tosca's irresistible combination of passion, tenderness, pathos, and despair is brought to life on stage by Patricia Racette, Alan Held, and Frank Porretta, with Plácido Domingo conducting.**

**DEAL ALERT**
Save up to 68% on Orchestra Seats. 


A limited number of $35, $50, and $75 Generation O tickets are now available for performances on September 12, 14, and 23. Tickets regularly up to $300. Purchase now— GenO seats will sell out quickly! (If you're not familiar with Generation O, it's Washington National Opera's program for students and young professionals between the ages of 18 and 35!)
Purchase tickets online or mention code "132176" when calling the Box Office @ 202.467.4600.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things to Do: Fundraiser for the Lung Cancer Alliance


 
While I usually don't post events outside of the Washington, DC area or the DMV, I was recently forwarded information about a fundraiser that will occur in Baltimore next week.  See more information below, I hope you can support this worthy event.

Ciao Bella Italian Restaurant Presents:
"HELLO BEAUTIFUL!"
beautiful people. beautiful cuisine. a beautiful cause.


OFFICIAL FUNDRAISER FOR LUNG CANCER ALLIANCE

Thursday, September 15, 2011
6:00 - 9:00 PM
A Social Mixer for Radio/TV Personality
APRIL WATTS
And the Beautiful People of Baltimore
Ciao Bella means "Hello Beautiful" in Italian. At Ciao Bella Reasaurant, everyone and everything is beautiful. That includes you!

Ciao Bella Italian Restaurant
236 S High Street Little Italy
Baltimore, MD
ENJOY LIVE JAZZ w/ DEANDREY HOWARD TRIO

Hors D'oeuvres :: Sensational Entrees :: Wine Selections

Valet Parking Available

Hosted by April Watts, Tony Gambino, & Ego Marketing LLC (Amber Chapman and Alisa Reese).

Suggested Donation: $5 (not required).

Ciao Bella will donate 20% of its profits from the evening to Lung Cancer Alliance.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Things to Do: 1869 Society Cultural Cocktails

I'm a member of the Corcoran's 1869 Society and wanted to share this upcoming event...

Kick off the fall with an evening of culture and cocktails... and clues! Go on a scavenger hunt through the galleries, where you'll discover the Corcoran's internationally-recognized collection and the special exhibition Chris Martin: Painting Big. Take a break and enjoy beer, wine, and hors d'oeuvres while mingling amidst three 26-foot-tall canvases Martin created specifically for the Corcoran's grand atrium.

Completed scavenger hunt questionnaires will be entered into a drawing for two tickets to NOW at Night, a fundraiser for the Corcoran's contemporary art program on Friday, October 21. Get your tickets early at a special rate of $100; prices increase September 19. For more information, visit
www.corcoran.org/nowatnight.

Thursday, September 15

6:30 - 8:30PM
1869 Society Members: FREE
Non-1869 Society Members: $20

To register for Cultural Cocktails, please click here or call 202.639.1770.

Friday, September 2, 2011

FREE tickets to The Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center to give away free tickets!!! In celebration of its 40th birthday, the Kennedy Center in Washington is giving away free tickets to every performance taking place in the 2011-2012 season and is starting an effort to reach more young people (18-30), military families and community organizations.

Beginning Thursday, September 1st at 10AM., people can enter online to win a pair of tickets to a performance. In total, more than 1,200 free tickets will be distributed from a random drawing after the entry period closes on September 19th.

The ticket giveaway serves as the beginning of the center's MyTix program. It will offer discounted, complimentary and last-minute tickets to select performances. MyTix members also will receive ticket alerts and discounts on food and drinks. Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein funded the program to broaden the center's audience.

To learn more and for your chance to win free tickets visit: http://www.kennedy-center.org/
kc40

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thing to Do: From the Bay, For the Bay

Just came across this and wanted to share. I'm a seafood lover, but then again I grew up in Maryland so that's a give in. If you can go out this week to support this worthy cause please do.

Bay, For the Bay Dine Out
October 2-9, 2011

From October 2-9, participating restaurants will be featuring fresh, locally caught Maryland Seafood. Each of the participating restaurants is donating $1 for every Maryland seafood dinner that is sold during this week to the Oyster Recovery Partnership.

To see a listing of participating restaurants, click here.

P.S. I highly recommend Acadiana, Dino, Smith Commons, and Oceanaire, they are all participating!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Restaurant Review: Sou'Wester

Since the purpose of Restaurant Week is to try new restaurants out for a fraction of the cost, every time that week rolls around I take full advantage. This go around my second restaurant choice proved to be much better than my first which was when I went to Vidalia. I decided to finally try out Sou'Wester which is located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel located in Southwest quadrant of Washington, DC, hence the name.

It was a beautiful day so I jumped at the chance to sit outside. The patio area overlooked a grassy area where the
y were just dismantling from a wedding. It was very quiet and peaceful back there, so much so it was hard to tell you were still in the city.

The waiter came
over introduced himself and welcomed us to the restaurant. They had an extensive wine list but I decided to stick with a glass of Riesling while I decided on what I wanted to eat. Honestly, practically everything looked good on the menu and it took me a little while to decide on my three courses. I love when places offer most, if not all, of their regular menu during Restaurant Week.

For my appetizer, I started off with a wedge salad but this wasn't your run of the mill wedge salad. It was drenched in a buttermilk ranch dressing and topped with lots of fresh bacon. I'm sure it had twice the calories of a salad that would have been good for me, but I settled on eating something that was good to me instead.


Next, I had the grilled North Carolina shrimp with Anson Mills Grits, Roasted Tomato, Pearl Onions, Felts Country Ham Sauces for the entree. It was just the right portion after having that hearty salad. From the first taste of the shrimp and grits, I knew it was a winner. Prior to having the shrimp and grits at Sou'Wester, Art & Soul was my hands down favorite. Now Sou'Wester has taken #1. The grits were incredibly creamy, the shrimp was fresh and I'm sure I tasted some andouille sausage in there which was a perfect complement to an already excellent dish.


By this time, I was full and didn't think I could eat another bite but that was until I saw what came out. The blackberry cornbread buckle (similar to a cobbler) was served with a side of sweet corn ice cream. I was a special place in my heart for blackberry cobbler and I'm glad to say this dish didn't disappoint. It was baked to perfection. I truly appreciated how they put the ice cream on the side so that it didn't melt into the dish and detract from its rich taste.

Overall, Sou'Wester impressed me from their very accommodating waiters to their superior food and atmosphere. Everything I had was an A+ and it will definitely be going on my list of places I must take guests who are visiting Washington, DC. If you haven't been there, it's a definite must!

Sou'Wester
1330 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20024

202.554.8588
http://www.mandarinoriental.com/washington/dining/souwester/

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things to Do: Fashion Night Out Saks & March of Dimes

Just received an email about an event being held during the national event Fashion's Night Out on September 8. This event is a little different from many of the others being held in that it's promoting a charitable organization, the March of Dimes. See below for the press release.

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE TYSONS GALLERIA CELEBRATES FASHION’S NIGHT OUT…IN GOOD TASTE AND HEALTH @SAKS FOR FASHION’S NIGHT OUT

Once a year, the entire fashion world goes out for a nationwide late night of style, makeovers, music and more. On Thursday, September 8, from 4 to 7 PM, Saks Fifth Avenue Tysons Galleria celebrates Fashion’s Night Out with DC Magazine, the March of Dimes, the Office of Minority Health and A Healthy Baby Begins With You celebrity spokeswoman Tonya Lewis Lee to celebrate the beauty of healthy living at a celebration dubbed “In Good Taste and Health.”

Party-goers will shop the newest fall collections, bid on unique experiences and rare items, sample gourmet goodies as top chefs prepare folate-filled food live. Saks Fifth Avenue is proud to donate 10% of the evening sales and all auction proceeds to March of Dimes.

From 5 to 6 pm, Laurent Amzallag, former trainer for Oprah Winfrey's Live Your Best Life tour and Dr. Jen Faber, owner of Kinetic Health Alternatives who has served as chiropractor to Lady Gaga's dancers, deliver fitness tips that everyone can incorporate into daily life, on the first floor of the store.

Throughout the evening on the second floor, attendees will enjoy mini makeovers while student health ambassadors give you tips on healthy living. Sample gourmet goodies from top area restaurants, including Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, Bar Manager Jo-Jo Valenzuela from Jack Rose Dining and Vegan Chef Levita Mondie. Saks will also unveil the newly launched collection from B By Brian Atwood. Party-goers can immortalize themselves trying out the new and much anticipated shoe line, tag themselves on Facebook and take home pictures of themselves from the B by Brian Atwood Photo Booth.

Beginning at 6 PM, the finale of the party will take place on the third floor, where attendees will learn how to prepare healthy gourmet foods filled with folic acid. Tonya Lewis Lee will partner with: Former Top Chef Contestants Tamesha Warren of The Oval Room; Timothy Dean of Prime Steak House and T.D. Burger, LLC; and Vegan Chef Levita Mondie.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health created A Healthy Baby Begins with You to educate men and women about the high rates of infant mortality especially among African Americans and to raise awareness about the importance of healthy choices for good reproductive health. African American women, across the socioeconomic spectrum, fare worse in birth outcomes and the problem of infant mortality in the black community transcends education, income and class.

“Professional and wealthy black women may not realize that infant mortality can affect them too, and that the risks can be reduced,” says OMH’s A Healthy Baby Begins with You celebrity spokeswoman, Tonya Lewis Lee, who is also an author, producer, and wife of filmmaker Spike Lee. “We know that preconception health and care, including good nutrition and fitness, are fundamental to reducing this health disparity and the benefits of wellness last a life time. To be healthy is to be beautiful.”

Interested attendees can RSVP to rsvptysons@s5a.com or call 703.269.1206 for more information.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Restaurant Review: Vidalia

Over the last few years I'd heard so many great things about Vidalia. When I learned summer Restaurant Week (RW) for DC had been officially announced, I quickly made my reservations and had Vidalia in my top 3.

I ended up meeting an old friend there for lunch on a Friday afternoon. When I walked up to the door, I opened it and proceeded down a flight of stairs to the restaurant. Not really a fan of restaurants that are underground but it was fairly well lit, despite not having any natural light.

Prior to going, I'd perused the menu and was happy to see most of their usual appetizers and entrees were being offered for RW. I don't like when restaurants severely limit their options or create special dishes just for RW. It's happened before that I really liked something and went back to have it again but was told it was only something they had for the week.

Moving forward, I was seated at a small 2-seater table with my friend. As soon as I sat down the waiter came over to take my order. He came over another 3 times, while we were both clearly trying to decide one what we wanted. Eventually, I just selected something because I felt so rushed.

For the appetizer, I had the Berkshire Pork Posole. It definitely wasn't at all what I expected. It had the potential to be good if it had been seasoned adequately. I added salt and pepper in hopes of saving it, no luck. Next I had the Cornmeal Crusted Catfish. Fried catfish is one of the few fried things that I eat and also cook, so I know what I like. I figured it was Southern style, fried catfish so it had to be good right? Yeah, not so much. It also lacked taste and I ended up leaving half of it on my plate. I will say the crayfish and andouille sausage that was underneath the catfish wasn't bad, at least it had some flavor. Lastly, I the red velvet cheesecake came out. I love, love, love all things red velvet so I hoped this would redeem an already lackluster meal. That was a negative. The dessert was a small round piece of dry red velvet cake (it was actually pink) with a round, fluffy piece of cheesecake, which was more like a tasteless whipped cream sitting on top.

By this time I was ready to go and before I could say anything, the waiter was there placing our check on the table. Crazy thing is we weren't even just sitting there being squatters because we both had to get back to work. Guess he was in a hurry to turn our table, so much so he stepped on the back of my sandal as I was leaving. I turned around, no apology nothing.

Saying I was disappointed in Vidalia would be an understatement. It was even more so because each of the dishes were so nicely plated, proving looks can definitely be deceiving. Too bad such care didn't go into the recipes themselves. See the photos below. The photo on the far right was my friend's rib dish. The meat was very tender but also lacking in the taste department.
















I wonder if Vidalia's former head chef was the driving force behind their success. I've heard nothing but great reviews about his new restaurant, Rogue 24, which opened this summer. Hope it's better than Vidalia, but then again, I'm fairly certain it has to be!



Vidalia

1990 M Street, NW
Washington D.C., DC 20036
202.659.1990

http://www.vidaliadc.com/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Restaurant Review: Bobby's Burger Palace

As I write this, I'm still fantasizing over how good the food was at the newly opened Bobby's Burger Palace (BBP). On Tuesday, August 16, Bobby Flay's latest burger joint opened at the corner of 21st and K Streets NW in Washington, DC.

I learned last week that the restaurant was slated to open on August 16th but when I called to confirm, I was told the opening was likely to be pushed back. To my surprise during lunch time yesterday, I saw that one of my Foursquare connections had checked in there. When I did a search online I saw people talking about how long the lines were but how they were excited to have the chance to meet Bobby Flay who was on-hand for the grand opening to mix and mingle.

Since I couldn't leave work mid-afternoon to wait in line for a burger, I ended up going immediately after work with 2 of my co-workers. I was shocked that the line had died down, I was expecting it to still be down the street but fortunately for us it wasn't. We ended up waiting in line for about 20-25 minutes, which was much better than I anticipated.

The Inside.
The inside of the restaurant was pretty much as I'd expected it to be, bright, vibrant, eclectic and even a bit retro. The last Bobby Flay restaurant I went to was Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. BBP is no where as grand as Mesa Grill but I could see some similarities.

The Order. We all ordered burgers and for our sides the regular fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings. I had hoped to polish off my meal with the frozen cactus pear margarita but apparently they didn't have their liquor license yet (I was told they should have it by Thursday, 8/18) so of course they also couldn't serve their spiked milkshakes. Oh well. But I didn't let that get me down, just gave me another reason why I must go back.

I, along with a coworker, ordered the Bobby's Blue Burger. It was a ground beef burger topped with lettuce, tomatoes, crumbles of blue cheese and my fav two large strips of bacon. The other coworker had the Santa Fe burger.

So we took a seat, placed our numbers in front of us, and waited for them to deliver each of our meals. The manager, Lawrence, came over while we waited and explained to us each of the sauces (Burger Sauce, Jalapeno Ketchup, Chipotle Ketchup along with the usual condiments) along with making small talk about the restaurant. He did share with us that we'd missed meeting Bobby Flay by only 30 minutes.

The Sides. When the food came out, since I'm one of those weird people who like to eat everything separately, I slowly enjoyed each of the fries (both were crispy on the outside and soft in the middle with a hint of sea salt) and then moved on to the onion rings. I never eat onion rings but these were absolutely delicious. They were lightly breaded and the onion was slightly sweet which made for a pleasant surprise.

The Burgers. After like 5 minutes, I finally cut my burger in half and went to town. My burger was so juicy and flavorful the blue cheese and the other toppings seemed to be just an added incentive. Advice: It was a bit messy so make sure when you eat there you're not wearing white. The thing I liked most is although there were plenty of sauces available (the "Burger Sauce" is my personal fav) my burger didn't need any of them to top it off. It was perfect as-is!

Lawrence came back over to check on us and asked us which of the burgers did we wish we'd ordered. At first we thought it was just a random question, next thing you know we had a hot Miami burger in front of us. The Miami burger was made like a Cuban sandwich. It was beef patty, topped with ham, cheese, pickles, mayo and mustard and the hamburger bun was pressed like a panini.

While I loved my Bobby Blue, that Miami Burger just did something to me. The sauces combined with the pickles and ham, whew just the thought of how it tasted makes me want to go back again and again. Yes! it was really that good, I even made noises to express my satisfaction.

The photos I too
k of the meal via my iPhone don't even do it justice. The service was spectacular, the venue was very welcoming and had a communal feel and most importantly the food was amazing! Next time I may even ask to be "Crunchified", it's when they put potato chips on top of your burger.
Link
Make sure when you go, you ask for the BBP Rewards card which enables you to rack up points toward a free burger, sandwich or salad. I have no doubt I'll be using mine often, which means I need to put in an extra workout each week. Since they will be serving drinks soon, beer, wine, and margaritas (all under $5), I'm sure this will make for a great happy hour spot.

Bobby's Burger Palace

2121 K Street, NW

Washington, DC 20037
202.974.6260

www.bobbysburgerpalace.com

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Things to Do: The Phillips Collection August 2011

I went to the Phillips Collection for Phillips After 5 for the first time last month, see my post on it here. Usually, it only occurs the first Thursday of every month but during the month of August they are doing it, and doing it big, every Thursday all month long. See below for a listing of the upcoming Phillips After 5 events, all equally exciting.

Migrations
August 18, 2011
5:00 – 8:30PM
Critically acclaimed D.C.-based dance company Step Afrika! reprises two 15-minute excerpts from its performance series The Migration: Reflection on Jacob Lawrence. Find your own inspiration in Lawrence's The Migration Series during gallery talks about his artistic process. All evening enjoy global jazz by Project Natale and a rum tasting by Dan Searing.

Food Truck Fiesta
August 25, 2011

5:00 – 8:30PM
The Phillips, FoodTruckFiesta.com, and Hillyer Art Space team up to bring you a delicious and unforgettable evening. D.C. food truck favorites, including Red Hook Lobster Pound and DC Empanadas, line the streets around the museum. Go on an art scavenger hunt to be eligible for a drawing with great prizes and food truck coupons. A tequila tasting, jazz by Mark Marella, and gallery talks on Left Behind: Selected Gifts from the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection round out the evening.

Evening in Moscow
September 1, 2011
5:00 – 8:30PM
Celebrate Kandinsky’s native Russia with Eastern European music from the Alexandria Kleztet, gallery talks on Moscow's influence on Kandinsky, and Russian-inspired food and cash bar. Take a break in the auditorium, where oscar-nominated short films in animation will be screened throughout the evening. Enter the raffle for a chance to win tickets and all-access passes to the DC Shorts Film Festival.


Admission: $12; free for members. Cash bar.
RSVPs are required: http://tinyurl.com/savvypaf

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st St NW
Washington, DC 20009
202.387.2151
http://www.phillipscollection.org

Monday, August 15, 2011

Things to Do: Riot Act Comedy Theater

Last week, I was scrolling through my timeline and came across a contest for free tickets for a new comedy club called Riot Act that was opening up in DC. I entered to win and was notified a few days later that I'd gotten tickets for their pre-opening night on Wednesday, August 10. Unfortunately, I already had plans by then so I couldn't make it.

Fast forward to the next day, one of my new favorite websites, Venga, had a promotion where they were giving out 50 tickets per day for Riot Act's opening weekend. So I decided to try my luck again. Since I also shared the promotion via Facebook and Twitter I ended up receiving a second tickets for the Saturday 10:30pm performance.

We got there early because you never know what the parking situation is going to look like in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area, but fortunately we lucked out. The Riot Act Comedy Theater is located at the corner of 8th and E Streets NW.

When we walked in we were warmly greeted by all of the staff and were handed our tickets. They had a bustling bar on the main level with plenty of hi-tops and stools for seating but we decided to head downstairs to check out the showroom to stake our claim to some seats.

There was another bar downstairs that was way less crowded but since we could order in the showroom we decided to just take a seat while they were so plentiful. A host showed us to our table which was on the second row in front of the stage. There was one to the left of the stage but I know how comedians are, so I didn't want to take a chance at getting dragged into the act.

As soon as we were seated our waitress came over, introduced herself and was there to serve us. Our drinks came within 5 minutes and the pulled pork sliders I ordered arrives within 10. How's that for speedy service!


By 10:25 all of the seats were filled, even the other 2 seats at our table. I didn't mind sharing a table because it was a comedy show not some intimate, romantic dinner.

The show began around 10:35 and there were 3 performances, each one equally inappropriate but I love that kind of humor so I laughed the entire time. It started with an MC, Jimmy Meritt, who was absolutely hilarious. Up next was John Betz, Jr who was equally as funny. He even took time out at the end to hawk his comedy DVD that he happily proclaimed "I made myself."

The headliner, Charles Fleischer, came on around 11:30. We he first walked out I didn't know what to expect. He was older and kind of strange looking but after 5 minutes I caught onto his style. During his 45 minute performance, he picked on the 12 people who were seated in the front row, just as I suspected would happen. By the end of the performance he made his way to a keyboard that was on stage and effortlessly made a song out of what each of his "victims" did for a living. He rounded out the performance by also playing the harmonica. I truly was not ready!

Something worth noting, unlike other comedy clubs in the area they didn't require a minimum purchase, so there weren't any people there harassing you throughout the entire show to buy something. So glad they don't operate like that.

Overall, I was impressed with Riot Act. The venue is centrally located, the staff was warm and inviting, the food and drinks were tasty. Usually opening weekends are a little shaky but not at Riot Act. Everyone was professional and on-point. What more could you ask for?

Promotion Alert: When you buy a Riot Act t-shirt, you will get in free for their Tuesday night, Open Mic performances. Not bad!


Some of their upcoming acts include: Todd Rex, Dick Gregory (yes the Dick Gregory), Michael Brooks, and Paul Mooney. For a complete listing and more information, check out their website http://www.riotactcomedy.com/.

I'll definitely be back. Hope to see you there!

Riot Act Comedy
801 E. Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
202.697.4900
Twitter: @riotactcomedy
Facebook: http://facebook.com/riotactdc


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Things to Do: Fashionable Life 9/8/11

Join the ladies of LilyPad for Fashionable Life on Thursday, September 8, 2011. Below is more information about the event taken from their website.

event details

The Fashionable Life is an event designed by young, professional DC women for young, professional DC women. It's the intimate, luxurious, and innovative beauty and fashion happy hour that we deserve.
As working women in DC we work hard to play hard. We spent years in school, interned our butts off and are finally on our way to achieving the lives of our dreams. And right now we're in that delightful space where we have friends, fun, jobs, and nothing to spend our money on but ourselves and our student loans.
The Fashionable Life aims to bring a great group of women together to laugh, talk, and network while indulging in delightful dishes prepared by a personal chef, cocktails crafted just for us, and manicures, massages, makeovers and one-on-one time with some of DC's hottest stylists. The girls at LilyPad sat down and thought about everything we wanted for an amazing evening out. Then we called up our friends and made it happen. We hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do, and that each event brings you closer to living The Fashionable Life.

when: September 8th, 2011 at 6 pm–9 pm
where: Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Ct NW, Washington, DC 20008

Monday, August 8, 2011

Truckeroo is Back!!!

In case you missed Truckeroo in July, it's back for August and is supposed to continue monthly through October. Make sure you swing by Das Bullpen at the National's Stadium (Half St.and M Street SE across from the Navy Yard Metro station) on Friday, August 12 from 11:00AM - 11:00PM for this expo of food trucks.


At last month's Truckeroo, there were over 25 food trucks. My friend and I arrived around 7:00 and walked around to check out all of the vendors.


We decided to get in line for Takorean. They had the longest line by far, so we figured it had to be good? I have to say I wasn't completely sold. The bulgogi taco was pretty tasty but the chicken lacked seasoning. I was hoping to try the pork one as well, but after an hour and 15 minutes of waiting as soon as we reached the window, they had sold out. I wish I could say they were worth the wait, but I can't. Hey, you win some, you lose some.


We also tried the arepas from Sabora. The line was by far shorter and the arepa with a side of Latin slaw was delicious. I like the arepas at Cube Libra but this one was definitely heartier and less expensive. I'll be adding Sabora to my Twitter timeline so I can definitely take advantage of the next time they are parked by my office.


My advice is to go with a group of friends and each of you wait in line for something different. This way you have a chance to divide and conquer. Also, bring cash (there's a Bank of America ATM about 2 blocks away). Many of the food trucks were not accepting credit cards so cash is King there.


Volunteers Needed
The food trucks need volunteer canvassers on August 12th. Food provided. Please email them at volunteer@dcfoodtrucks.org.