Nerd gear has never been so stylish

It’s mid-August. It’s the time of year when stores start bringing out their fall collections, students begin orientation, and cicadas, nature’s favorite mistake, die en mass along the streets. Cold is coming, yet temperatures are at their highest, a sort of pièce de résistance of the summer season. When I was a kid, the only upside to this August death march was school supplies. So sure, I lost my freedom, but at least I had a brand new golden retriever puppy folder and horse pencil case in prison.

Fast forward years later, and it is basically the same low bar. Except this time the supplies are better and their accessories more expensive. In honor of fall, I have outlined some of the best laptop and cell phone cases around. So for those starting school, a new job, their own company or just want to spice up their gear, here are the stylish new accessories that I covet the most. Enjoy:

clockwise from the top: Asos, Modcloth, Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Marc Jacobs, Urban Outfitters, PackandSmooch (via Etsy), Lollington (via Etsy)

clockwise from the top: Grovemade, Scott Wilson for Uncommon, Budi Satria Kwan for Threadless, EgoorEngland (via Etsy), Yellena James for Uncommon, Hector Mansilla for Threadless, ChrisandYaya (via Etsy), khudgins (via Etsy) (it’s an android cover!)

The links go directly to the product. Oh, and for those that are upset that these are mostly iphone covers, I just want to say that I literally spent HOURS looking for others. Designers love apple, so HTC, blackberry and all other cell phone compatriots are few and far between. However, I would suggest searching “Etsy Handmade” for your particular phone case. Etsy specializes in handmade products and they have tons of things if you have the time.

Hooray for nerd gear!

The perfect last minute gift spot and the fate of Go Mama Go!

We have all been there. You are late for an event, hair askew, one shoe on, when it suddenly occurs to you that you have no gift. DAMMIT. Sure if it’s a cocktail party, no problem. Bottle of wine. Done. But for other parties or err, weddings, you need a gift and a card and you need it fast. In these situations, I turn to the ROW. The row consists of Pulp, Cork Market, Home Rule, and Go Mama Go! on 14th street. They are all next door to one another that exact order. Here is what you do…

Home Rule, Cork Market (via readysetdc), Go Mama Go (via thingsandstuff) Continue reading

Does Georgetown need “rebranding”?

The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) thinks so. As reported by the Washington City Paper, Georgetown BID has hired the Arlington-based consultancy, The Roan Group, to look into what “Georgetown” means to people. The study includes researching the typical Georgetown customer and conducting surveys filled with questions like “If Georgetown was a color, what would it be?” (answer: salmon) and “if Georgetown was an animal, what would it be?” (answer: salmon… or Jack the Bulldog).

Salmon Two Ways

God. Survey participants have rightly expressed confusion over the point of the questions and, more importantly, the point of “rebranding.” Is Georgetown’s reputation misleading? Will a new “brand,” like NoMa or MidCity, help? Is Georgetown even doing that badly?

Apparently the whole furor is over the closing of 35 out of 500 storefronts in 2009. It is a high number, but a bit misleading. Not only were we in a recession, but many of these vacated storefronts have actually already been leased. For example, the article states that Madewell is replacing Puma (awesome), UGG is replacing Diesel (awful), Brooks Brothers is replacing Pottery Barn (draw), and NYC Serendipity desserts is taking Nathan’s old spot (intriguing). The counter argument? The Shops at Georgetown Park mall.

The Shops at Georgetown Park. Appropriately empty

Yes, the mall is terrible. The storefronts are half empty. However, the mall’s troubles have NOTHING to do with Georgetown’s brand. The mall was the subject of a legal battle for many years, which deterred new outfits and left high maintenance costs. In June 2010, it was finally bought for $61 million by Angelo, Gordon and Co. Jones Lang LaSalle  is in charge of managing and revamping the new mall, but has not released any details of its plans. Although rumors abound, including talk of making it outdoors


Georgetown (via Georgetown Real Estate)

However, the difficulties of Georgetown Park Mall aside, Georgetown is THE indisputable place to shop in DC. If you don’t want to go to a shopping mall, you go to Georgetown. Its stores span socioeconomic brackets. This is its “brand.” Georgetown’s shopping reputation coexists with Georgetown the school and Georgetown the political powerhouse. We commonfolk do not get these things confused.

Instead of the brand, Georgetown BID should focus on actual problems that impair business. I don’t know, things such as the lack of affordable parking, the lack of a shop directory, no metro access, inadequate store signs, overly narrow sidewalks, and heavy traffic. Old Town Alexandria has signs that point down a side street and tell you what’s down there. Georgetown could do that even!

But more importantly, what animal do YOU think that Georgetown is???!

So many politicos, yet so few books

I have thought about this numerous times. DC is a city of nerds. It’s a city of people devoted to political issues, the public, helping other nations. People who give up highly paid salaries to pursue their passion and thereby read about it all the time. So, my reader, where are the used/rare bookstores?? More importantly, where are the used bookstores near ME? Dupont has one: Second Story Books. Adam’s Morgan has one: Idle Time Books. But are there any others…

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