Stupid sun rain and other Friday links

Oh, hi weather. This isn’t a tease or anything. It’s sunny, but pouring. Oh wait, it’s sunny again — I guess I can venture outside. Nope! Windstorm and downpour — despite there being almost no cloud cover. I am sure there is some kind of atmospheric explanation for this phenomenon (err, climate change?), but frankly I don’t have time for learning. All I know is it’s stupid and shouldn’t be tolerated. Speaking of intolerable, you are stuck with another IronCityspy post as Spy is in the midst of interviews and various networking engagements. Let’s see if I can scrounge up any interesting links for you all:

Oh good -- sun rain

Spy will be back next week — happy Friday!


George Mason goes viral

My humble alma mater, George Mason University, has been riding some pretty good publicity lately. They were officially ruled no longer a commuter school(thank God for that), have Virginia’s first LEED Gold hotel (yay?), can count on Bill Murray’s fandom and have a basketball team that very likely will be ranked in the top 25 this week (assuming we don’t blow it against some crappy competition). To take advantage of this last point, GMU released a really awesomely bad viral video below. Now it’s not the greatest thing ever created, but I certainly give an A for effort. I especially like it at the 1:46 mark:

Not bad right?

I think what makes me so happy is Mason realizes it’s position and doesn’t attempt to sugar-coat it. It’s the little brother of the local schools (alright, let’s face it, the severly retarded little brother that the rest of the family doesn’t really like to talk about — or feed). They aren’t going to get anywhere pretending they have the athletic clout of a Georgetown or Maryland, and thankfully they seem to realize this. But just like the academics and campus itself, the program has grown tremendously in just the 8 or so years I’ve been aware of it.

The final four was a really neat way to end my senior year, and something I’ll always cherish. But to me, the more substantial take away is the steady growth I’ve seen this program make. Any team can make a shock run in the college tournament — but a great program should contend for the postseason every year. I am proud to say all evidence seems to be pointing up — now please God don’t let us lose to James Madison.


DC weather forecast is a harbinger for end of days

This morning I made the unfortunate decision to have a look at DC’s weekly weather forecast over on TBD. This is what I found:

Just the beginning

Jesus what is going on with Wednesday?!?!?! Armageddon has to be at hand — I honestly can think of no other plausible explanation.  I mean why else would a random 20 degree shift (note: 10 minutes earlier it was a 30 degree difference) from the day before, only to then plummet back the original temperature? I mean, I am not exactly the most religious person out there, but let’s just say I won’t be shocked if I see the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man walking down New Hampshire on Wednesday.

All kidding aside, I don’t think I’ll ever get used the Russian roulette climate that seems to permeate here. It’s incredibly difficult to get one’s body acclimated to a certain season, if less than 8 hours later nature whiplashes to the complete opposite. Enjoy the brief respite on Wednesday, I guarantee your immune system won’t.


Tip of the cap to Kevin for warning us all.

This post is late thanks to the Metro

Dear Reader(s),

The post you were going to get today was set to be grand. It was supposed to have it all; intrigue, drama, excitement, adventure, romance, et al.  Your beloved IronCityspy woke up early this morning to ensure the dozen or so of you would have a brand new entry to greet your day. Then this happened:

Typical day on the Red Line

Thankfully I was able to save a transcript of this morning:

8:25 a.m [IronCityspy]: “What a glorious Winter morning! [checks watch] Aces, I’ll be 10 minutes early for work today! [Begins to whistle].

8:31 a.m. [IronCityspy enters Dupont Metro, all escalators are broken]: “Well this is highly irregular… I am sure this is just some sort of preventative maintenance for all of our safety!”

8:33 a.m. Metro leaves Dupont Station en route to Shady Grove

835 a.m. Metro arrives at Woodley Park

836 a.m. Metro abruptly stops in-between Woodley Park and Cleveland Park. [Train conductor]: “We’ll be moving shortly — there is a small issue on the track ahead”.

8:45 a.m. [Train conductor, shouting]: “THERE IS A SITUATION AHEAD. WE NEED TO TURN AROUND AND HEAD BACK TO DUPONT. REMAIN SEATED!!!”. Fellow passengers appear to either be praying or making some sort of final preparations.

8:48 a.m. Train safely arrives at Dupont Station. [Train conductor]: “This train will continue on to Shady Grove. Do not leave train”. [New passengers heading in the direction of Shady Grove pile on].

8:53 a.m. [Train Conductor] “Attention passengers, this train is headed towards Glenmont. All headed to Shady Grove please disembark”

8:54 a.m. [IronCityspy has aneurysm]

So if you are keeping count at home, DC’s public transportation took 30 minutes to get me to the exact spot I started from. And what was the issue that caused the the train conductors to prepare for the rapture? Why a small insulator fire on the track. I don’t even know what a  metro insulator is, but I am willing to bet my life wasn’t exactly hanging on the precipice.

Metro, as a rule I try not to complain about you too much. I knew when I signed up to live here that I’d be dealing with the clown college of the urban transportation systems. But you caused my beloved readers to miss out on a masterpiece — something I can not forgive.


Werner Herzog reads Where’s Waldo and DC news roundup

Confession. I was so busy this afternoon that I forgot about I SPY. I know, I know. How could one forget a thing that enlightens so many??? Well, fear not. SPY has returned bearing gifts, namely 5 lines of marginally interesting news and a video of Werner’s Herzog reading Where’s Waldo. What can I say, the bar is low. Enjoy:


His reading of Madeline is also excellent. AND here is some DCish news:

  • National map of shame. It basically lists one awful thing each state excels at. DC didn’t make the map. Why? Because we top too many categories. Seriously. Go for the gold!!! (DCist)
  • Vactican tells people to “be themselves” on the internet. Well, unless you molest children, then you can just be a Cardinal (Kotaku)
  • WMATA is taking suggestions for a new metro car layout. Do I hear slip n’ slide??? (WaPo)
  • It might…SNOW TOMORROW!!! AHHHHH! CHAOS!!! I think that’s the appropriate DC response (NBC)
  • Track work on the red line. rinse. repeat. (TBD)

Alexandria Restaurant Week THIS WEEK and new DC restaurants opening in 2011!

This post will not be long since I have many things to do today and my night last night was approximately THIS:

Superbowl! Yes, I know we aren’t the lovable underdog. Deal with it. In other news, this week is Alexandria Restaurant week!!! It technically started on Friday (sorry) but it lasts until January 30th. ALSO, unlike DC restaurant week where the deals are not always the most economic, you can get a $35 meal for two or a $35 prix-fixe meal for one. Now, a $35 meal for two is really not bad. DETAILS HERE

via food porn daily

Also, We Love DC compiled a list of all the slated new restaurants opening in 2011. SO MANY DELICIOUS things. I wouldn’t dare compile my own list because theirs is glorious and exhaustive. They divided it into two parts:

Part 1
Part 2

Finally, did you hear that a Cooper’s Hawk was found in the Library of Congress????! Another reason why Library of Congress is made my 30 days of DC list. While normal local libraries have pigeons, we have majestic hawks. I assume he was there looking for treasure hidden in the declaration of independence. Or campaigning against the bald eagle for title of national bird.

Jesus. That was a terrible joke. Forgive me, it’s Monday and cold.

Baby for sale on DC Craiglist: Here’s some other stuff I found

A firesale????

So as many of you may know, someone attempted to sell a baby on craigslist a few weeks back. The Post broke the story and printed a copy of the ad, which read like this:

We had a kid but we just can’t handle it right now in our lives. she is up to date on her vaccinations medical records will be provided. we have been calling her Juliet but you can rename her if you want. sorry if you think this is wrong but we think the best way of insuring a happy life for her is to give her to an affluent couple that wants to have kids enough [sic] to pay for it. pics on request.

Yikes. The police raided the home but found no baby. The story just ends there. Have no idea what happened. NBC? After reflecting on this ridiculousness for about 5 seconds, I figured I had two options: I could either (a) post a thought-provoking piece on the slippery slope of informal craigslist transactions, OR (b) take 10 minutes and try to find something better than a baby selling on DC craigslist. I obviously chose the CHALLENGE. Here is what I found for sale in 10 minutes… Continue reading

The weather outside is frightful and Hans is missing

And no, there is no fire. No delightful. I am currently at school for my first day of courses. We did not get a 2-hour delay so I slid into class at 9am, literally slid, because the ice is RIDICULOUS outside. Ironcityspy wore his converse shoes like an idiot, so hopefully he planned his walk to work carefully. An injured co-SPY is of little use to ispythingsdc.

Perilous Route (by Heather Farrell/TBD)

Anyways, the ice and ice-snow have also motivated a public service announcement. Granted, I am not confident in the effectiveness of such SPY alerts. The SPY alert on discarded Christmas trees simply prompted DC to take all the trees and pile them into massive tree pyramids also on the side of the street, reminiscent of the massive snow piles after snowpocalypse, or perhaps more aptly, bodies after a holocaust. The sad, decaying remains of a holiday season.

The beginnings of a tree pile

Anyways, in the spirit of public service, I did want to announce that HANS IS MISSING!!! I know. It’s terrible. Who is Hans, you ask? Well he is the twin brother of FRANZ:

A nutcracker family is broken! Yes, nutcracker twin Hans at Trio Diner on 17th Street went missing on New Years Eve. I suspect it was the rat king. Or a bunch of drunk idiots that thought it would be awesome to bring a massive nutcracker to their party. Either way, Franz has written this heartfelt note:

Poor guy. It is tough enough that Christmas is over and he has been relegated to a superficial window decoration rather than an actual instrument to crack nuts. Now his Christmas friend is gone. Could you imagine going back to storage without a friend?

So, if you happen to come upon a life sized nutcracker, begging for change in the streets, at a soup kitchen, or held in virtual house arrest by his captor, contact Trio at or 202-232-6305. They miss Hans.

A moment of silence for the closing of a happy hour legend

Beloved reader(s), the Mayflower Hotel’s Town and Country bar is closing. This is the saddest of news. The Mayflower Hotel, nicknamed the “Grand Dame” of DC hotels, is a local legend. Truman stayed there during the White House renovations, FDR  wrote his inaugural address there, Lewinsky stayed there during the Clinton scandal, and, most recently, Spitzer was caught with a hooker there. It is the spirit and the scandal of Washington, and the Town and Country is nothing less.

The buck stops at the Mayflower

I have been to the Town and Country countless times and it is exactly what you picture a DC politico bar to be: dark wood, big comfy leather chairs and couches, low light, and huge glasses of wine. You can spend your time chatting with friends or simply people-watching for someone famous in a shadowy corner. They also give you a complementary bowls of nuts and fancy pretzels to snack on, which for a poor SPY with a low alcohol tolerance, is a necessity. It is an ideal post-work relaxation spot, attended by all ages.

The Town and Country

Town and Country’s bartender, Sam Lek, has also achieved local fame. According to USA Today, he was  profiled by Esquire in October, his cocktail recipes featured in the New York Times, was named a Washington Post bartender of the month, and runs a charity, Sam Relief, for his home country of Cambodia. He has worked at Town and Country for 35 years and in the wake of its closing, he has said the bar was his life.

Sam Lek courtesy of City's Best

Apparently, Sam will still work for the Mayflower but at a different place. The Town and Country will be replaced by Thomas Pink, a clothing retailer, and maybe something else. It is part of a huge Mayflower renovation plan. I don’t have any comment on the merits of this plan, but T&C, you will be missed.

The bar reportedly closes on January 15, 2011.