musings…over *cool* random ish

The DC Metro Club

Posted in Perks by msdisdain on July 25, 2008

Considering how cut-throat and retarded much of the vehicular traffic is in the DC metropolitan area as are the pedestrians that seem to enjoy darting out in front of your car on a major thoroughfare, it’s about time I joined the city’s elite and rode its metro system instead and rode it in style: with the metro smarttrip card.  We’ll get into the specifics but first, the social lore behind this pass to the city.  Have you ever watched the fluid traffic on the left hand side of the exit gates at any metro system?  In this one, business commuters in suits and ties accompanied by a soft beeping jingle every few seconds mark the move of this school of fish.  Anyone with a regular fare card has to put it in the slot and wait for it to spit back out. This two second glitch in the system causes abrupt traffic, and the suit-and-tie line comes, for a second, to a screeching halt.  Members of this school resemble salmon swimming upstream almost hopping over eachother trying to beep through the gates – the same fish that walk up the long escalators on the lefthand side and cough and scoff if anyone is standing in the way.  These are the rules of the school.  And when you have one of these smart trip cards, why, it’s almost like belonging to a special club.    For $5 you can save yourself ten cents a ride on a renewable card that, if lost or stolen, can still be replaced if registered.  Added bonus?  You can make the gate beep and get your elitist rush on like everybody else.

in order to be cool on public metro transport, you need one of these.

in order to be cool on public metro transport, you need one of these.

P.S.  I’ve got to go downstairs and buy a copy of The Washingtonian and update this, but thanks to DC’s Green Initiative, there is a restaurant of notable quality which gives 15% off dinner tabs running $40 and up…When you show you’re SmartTrip.  More gate beeping privileges thanks to the DC Metro System.

all my satisfaction

Posted in Scene by msdisdain on July 18, 2008

I’m beginning to dig this whole relocation thing already:

On Tuesday, I accidentally got dragged out to see Amos Lee open for Al Green at Wolf Trap (Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts – http://www.wolftrap.org) and fell in love with the venue, its surroundings and the loads and loads of sauced up happy people straight up enjoying music for its merit. Dancing under the stars with Al Green sounding the same and sensuous when he sings “I-I-I-I…I’m sooooo in love with you” captures generations over years and well yeah, everyone was up dancing, dialing their cell phones, taking video, pictures and well, the Rev still sounds just as sexy as he did years ago.

Since then have discovered the following upcoming events!

July 27 ~ Roots, Rock, Reggae Festival 2008 ft. Stephen, Damian Jr Gong & Ziggy Marley, Barrington Levy & Soja // July 30 – August 7 ~ Les Miserables // August 5 ~ Face of America: Hawai’i Revisited featuring Halau o Kekuhi, The Brothers Cazimero and Ledward Ka’apana // August 10 ~ B.B. King // August 11 ~ Herbie Hancock

The Filene Center - Indoor/Outdoor Theatre

The Filene Center - Indoor/Outdoor Theatre

Wolf Trap is a National Park for the Performing Arts and sits on approx. 100 acres of Virginia farmland (Vienna, just outside of DC). The Filene Center is an indoor/outdoor theatre with lawn seats (that are, in my opinion, much more comfortable not to mention cheaper) overlooking a large stage surrounded with decent in-house seating all of which can fit a max capacity of 6,800 people. The Center’s season runs from the end of May to the beginning of September and includes a range of events from theater, opera, dance, and folk music, to blues, soul reggae, pop and even orchestral performances (~90 events/yr). The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works in conjunction with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service, which maintains the grounds. The Foundation does all the ticket sales, publicity, marketing and fundraising for these events and keeps tickets at a fairly decent price. Averages are around $25 for lawn tickets and mid-$40s for in-house seating.

I mean work happy hours with $2 Coronas at The Front Page in DuPont is nice, but quality concerts where you pay less to sit on a lawn under the stars on your own blanket with your own booze, food and good company are simply that. Priceless.

it’s also really funny to be sauced on the shuttle back to the metro station [$1.50 one-way / $3.00 roundtrip] with other really sauced grown up men and grown up women; a decent reminder that things are ingenious and synchronistic, and all we really need to do is hop on for the ride.

peace! :]

ps: do you know how many babies have been made since Al Green started singing

Al Green

Al Green

…and on the way to the bathroom, I ran into Amos Lee. He says Hi.

Steph Disdain & Amos Lee

Steph Disdain & Amos Lee

Disneyland Groceries

Posted in Eats by msdisdain on July 16, 2008

The days are longer on the east coast, and they go by far too quickly.

I drove past the national headquarters of the NRA today on my way to a grocery store that i can only describe as being ‘disneyland for hungry adults’.

Looks like an adult funhouse

Looks like an adult funhouse

Fully decked out with a castle and obscenely large parking lot, Wegman’s in Fairfax, VA makes shopping “kid-fun” again, and it’s not just for the haut-couture. The bottom floor is reserved entirely for the wine shoppe.

Wegmans entire 1st flr is a wine shoppe

Wegman's entire bottom flr is a wine shoppe

The first floor, which is the size equivalent of your neighboorhood costco is a split. The first half serves an a la carte restaurant: sub sandwhiches, pizza, pasta salads, lasagna, ribs and pretty much absolutely anything your stomach can think of, outfitted with restaurant-quality tables and chairs stretching to a third indoor veranda (the castle, really) which overlooks the entire grocery store: rows and rows of spotlights onto colors and greens and vegetables and isles, an organized grid with the quiet tinkering of people with wagons on individual missions.

Funhouse Du Jour!

Fun Food House Du Jour!

More Food FunHouse Du Jour

More Food FunHouse Du Jour

The produce department was fun, especially when it rained all over everything. We made a game of splitting up and grabbing individual produce items, like the gala apples, measuring them out on the scale, punching in the code on the computer and taking the sticker and putting it barcode-up on the bag. Now I know this isn’t a new concept, but making shopping for produce fun like that makes me, well, want to buy more produce! The scale and computers are like little beacons in an bright, colorful and even organic vegetable garden that screams “not only are you going to have fun eating me, but you’ll dig the buy-me process too! Check it out! Push all these BUTTONS!!!”

Produce!

Produce!

Grocery shopping was so fun, we joined the Wegman Shopper’s Club and might even come on a lunch date here someday. Then do more grocery shopping. At the crux of it all was this: What made it nice wasn’t just the price or the lush sea of food delicately placed and elegantly presented for the glutton in you. Because Wegman’s is located well outside of the city, everyone was civil and maybe even almost-friendly.

I neglected to mention the choo-choo train that went around in circles on a track suspended 15 ft in the air, directly above you so that when you buy that gallon of milk, a toy train comes blaring around and you stop not only to notice that there is a choochoo train blaring up above you, but that all the other adults around you have stopped to watch it too. :]