A lovely 14th Street vintage furniture roundup

GoodWood via apartmenttherapy.com

Morning DC friends. So, for some reason traveling abroad always leaves me coveting vintage furniture. It’s just something about the worn wood, mix of local and colonial influences, the allure of the impulse buy that leaves me needing that 1800s Indonesian ottoman. Is it really antique? Don’t know. Don’t care really. I just imagine a Dutch explorer sitting on it in some ungodly hot tropical place, exporting local culture while importing Christianity and smallpox, and think how perfectly it would look beside all the little books in my studio.

So yes, with antiques on my mind, I present the U Street antique store roundup. As I mentioned in my Ruff and Ready post, U Street is a vintage furniture haven where you can purchase affordable things that are not Mary Todd Lincoln colonial style or Louis XIV imperial style or a zillion dollars. The stores are also within walking distance of one another. There are 3 main stores (photos after the jump!):

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Peking Duck by way of Falls Church

Greetings from Jakarta!!! First off, apologies if this post is awful. I have spent a total of 27 hours in a plane over the past 3 days and have no concept of…anything. So, so tired. So yes, the writing will be terrible. And yes, I am posting on Peking Duck because I was in China and they have those there. Oh, not creative enough for you? Well I’m sorry if sometimes your CLOWN gets jetlagged and can’t perform. The circus can’t always be in town. Deal with it.

Anyways, I am craving Peking Duck at the moment because I am in the Far East and Peking Duck is PERFECT. The duck, the skin, the cucumber, spring onion, plum sauce and tortilla (Chinese tortilla? I don’t know, its not like I have learned anything here) all combine in such simple and brilliant flavors. It looks like this:

So good. And few in DC do it better than Peking Gourmet Inn. Peking Gourmet Inn opened in 1978 and is a DC legend. Also, like most good ethnic food, its located in a strip mall outside the District and is not metro accessible. From the outside, all the windows are curtained so you can’t see in (I thought it was closed when I first went), which hides its surprisingly spacious interior.

But unlike other strip mall places, Peking Gourmet Inn has walls filled with photos of famous people who have eaten there. It has been featured on the Food Network, blogs, newspapers. Everywhere really. And why you ask? Well, because of this:

The duck. You see, the duck is an experience. A professional duck carver brings the whole duck to your table, where it is meticulously carved, slices of duck on one side, skin on the other, no dryness in the meat and cooked perfectly. The spring onions that accompany it are grown on site.

So, no, it’s not fusion, it’s not a unique interpretation, it’s simply Peking Duck as you know it, but done the way Peking Duck should be. With each ingredient given individual attention. So you should go. You will inevitably crave it. Trust.

  • Peking Gourmet Inn, 6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041
  • http://www.pekinggourmet.com/

Boobquake DC 2010 (Updated)

This is just a quick little note (because I convinced myself it was going to rain and planned nothing today) that tomorrow, April 26th is Boobquake.

Boobquake is an internet PHENOMENON. In what started as a little joke by a Purdue University blogger, it is basically a response to Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi, an Iranian cleric, who stated that scandalously dressed women cause earthquakes during a prayer service last Monday. Yes, you read that right. EARTHQUAKES. Jesus. Or I guess, Mohammed. Can I say that? Whatever. Anyways, in Pat Robertson-ian fashion, Sadeghi contends that women, by dressing provocatively, lead men astray, which causes sin and thereby causes earthquakes. Of course we do.

Jen McCreight via CNN

So, Jen McCreight from Purdue felt that the hypothesis deserved a solid test. Why don’t all the women of the world dress slutty on one single day and see if our combined sluttiness can literally move mountains?? Why not indeed. “Boobquake” was born. It has over 50,000 guests on Facebook.

So if you don’t have a job or don’t mind looking like a skank at the office, dress down tomorrow and join the cause. I may even surfboard it up. I mean, it’s all for science! OH and to feminists that think this exercise is degrading to women, look. It is a publicity stunt to test a hypothesis that, unfortunately, does not believe sexy men can lead women astray (since everything is the woman’s fault always) or that gays even exist (in Iran at least).

(Though that does pose some questions. I mean, does sodomy affect the Richter scale? Or does each sin get it’s own natural disaster? Like boobs = earthquakes, gays = hurricanes? Another test may be in order, gay community I’m looking at you….)


Mind the Gap: the 14th Street Zoning Dilemma

So I guess this is an unconventional day for my little blog. First, a non-local news post and now a somewhat serious post (gasp!) about neighborhood politics. I know, but bear with me. This is a neighborhood blog after all.

So my U Street area, known in zoning speak as the Uptown Arts Overlay District, has gotten it’s fair share of press in recent years. The New York Times wrote about it last month. Restaurants like Marvin, Masa 14, and Birch & Barley have received strong reviews across the board, rents have skyrocketed. But I feel with all the hype, people forget one thing: that it’s not quite “there” yet. So yes, 14th street has  a great deal of this:

Churchkey (photo from New York Times)

But it also has great swaths of this:

14th Street (Ohad photography)

In effect, gaps. Sure the vacant storefronts are charming in their own way (we know  they give hipsters a sense of place) but they also reflect the area’s transitioning nature.

It’s these gaps that make the recent Zoning Commission decision so puzzling. Namely, on April 5th, the Commission ruled that the amount of linear storefront space devoted to bars and restaurants within the Uptown Arts Overlay District cannot exceed 25%.  Given that the area is at 24.88% right now, the ruling basically prohibits new bars and restaurants (save those currently pending). Ridiculous? Perhaps. But it becomes even more bizarre once you see what the Uptown Arts Overlay District encompasses:

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Good morning from WASA! NW residents told to not drink tap water until further notice

Man. Such a crappy news morning for the District. The DC voting rights bill is basically dead in the water over gun rights, it’s 4/20 so all these stupid stoner jokes are floating around, AND now apparently DC water isn’t safe to drink because of chlorine levels. This is the quarantined NW area:

View Chlorine Spike 4/20/10 in a larger map

So, it does not include my region of U Street/North Dupont. However, I DID comment to IronCitySpy a couple days ago that my apartment tap water tasted like a swimming pool, which basically means I discovered this problem and that I should become a scientist. Oh, and for those in the blast zone, just remember, at least you’re not in Cleveland. Their river caught on fire….TWICE. (Warning: the Cleveland link is a video)

God hiking equipment is awesome, why not use it (Part II)

Afternoon reader(s). What a day! Look outside! Doesn’t it make you want to go CAMPING??? … Maybe? … please … for Earth Day?

Okay. For those of you that thought “yes!! what an idea! Wait. I have no tent, no idea where to go, god, SO tired, do I really want to spend time organizing this?? I mean I could just go sit in an outdoor patio with a beer then read in a park, a park is nature-y right? RIGHT???” then I sympathize. Because although I love hiking, camping just stresses me out. Like the planning and the renting and the driving and the possibility (especially around the District) that although I imagine this:

I could easily end up with this:

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Earth Day and other events in the District

Now I know I normally do not comment on events. It’s because I am NEVER aware of anything in time for people to actually plan for things. However, since it’s Earth Day on Thursday (go planet!) and the DC international film festival and I am sort of “between” jobs (cough), I figured I would help you plan your week. You know, list 4 things to check out and 4 things to miss….

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Food trucks and fish tacos in the name of journalism

Good morning readers. Figured I would start the terribleness that is Monday morning with a post about something delicious. Namely, gourmet food trucks.

So hot right now. For those that don’t know, these trucks roam around DC tweeting their locations, building hipster armies of followers with their witty foods and phrases. The most famous in DC is Fojol, i.e. the “traveling culinary carnival” or, as most people know them, the costumed Indian food truck guys. Many trucks have been in DC since early last year, but since tweet-following requires a degree of planning that I truly do not possess, I only finally visited one this weekend. It’s called Sauca and I ran into it by chance:

Sauca has only been open 2 months. It is owned by an former global investment banker, driven by a former international communications officer and it’s foods are inspired by different international cuisines. So, butter chicken from India, Pork Bahn Mi from Vietnam, and dessert waffles from Belgium, among others. The menu changes. In the name of investigative journalism, I ordered a Mexicali fish taco. DELICIOUS. It looked like this:

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Travel Channel’s Food Wars battled DC jumbo slice places and… wait, what?

Could they have possibly made pizza look LESS appetizing?


 OK. So travel channel has this show Food Wars where the host goes to different cities to settle local rivalries about famous food items. Basically, two establishments battle one another over a food, locals are interviewed, and the winner is decided by a panel of judges. The food is as you would expect in places, cheesesteaks in philly, hot wings in Buffalo, BBQ in Texas, and… jumbo slice in DC? Wait, what? 


We got effing JUMBO SLICE??? Jesus. Of course DC’s mark on the U.S. culinary landscape would be wasted-face pizza. Although the judges DID have to eat it sober, which is more than I would ever do.  

Anyways, the battle was between Pizza Mart and Jumbo Slice Pizza. Don’t worry, I had no idea which ones those were either. I mean, reading comprehension and jumbo slice don’t really go together. So, I actually researched it and discovered I had eaten at both probably a million times. Their signs look like this…  

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Underground dentist operation busted in Falls Church. Hope Obamacare has dental…

“Need a root canal? Don’t have insurance? One option for Northern Virginians was allegedly a woman’s basement office hidden behind a refrigerator…”

Could be the one of the best leads EVER. Basically, a Falls Church woman opened up a dentist office in the basement behind her fridge and gave someone a root canal. Then the patient, after developing an infection, realized something was up and went to the police who busted the operation.

Hmmmmm, if only there were some hints prior to the infection that Dr. Fridge might not be legit. The amoxycillin next to the chex mix perhaps? Or maybe the basement office HIDDEN BEHIND A REFRIGERATOR? Just throwing it out there.

You can read the rest of the article from the washington post here. Remember to floss!

Thanks to Matt for the tip!