The Great Zombie DC Invasion of 2010 and other possible invasions (POLL)

smile! (via DCist)

So this past Saturday, Zombies  invaded our nation’s capital. They invaded from 3pm to 7pm according to facebook (yes, zombies use facebook), occasionally stopping to eat snacks and watch soccer. They also seemed quite fatigued from the heat. Now I am not a zombie expert, but are the undead heat-sensitive? Based on this guy, it seems that way:

Zombie trading his pride for a water bottle

It also got me thinking of invasions. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like the undead. They are menacing, yet slow enough that I could snap a photo and make a daring escape, instantly becoming both the town’s greatest hero and journalist. However, I don’t know if they would make my list of top invasions. And so, I throw the question to you dear reader. Which invasion would you support:

[polldaddy poll=3403509]

Judging the Hat-tastic Royal Ascot 2010

So I was going to write on something DC related, I really was. However, as I was checking, my go-to blog for judging celebrity outfits, I happened upon the AMAZINGNESS that was the Royal Ascot.   

The Royal Ascot is a horse race. It occurred this past weekend. But no readers, it is not just any horse race, it is THE snootiest of snooty horse races. Yes, of course it’s British. The Queen was in attendance, the photos show absolutely no minorities, and the dress code for the invite-only “Royal Enclosure” area is as follows:   

Her Majesty’s Representative wishes to point out that only formal day dress with a hat or substantial fascinator will be acceptable. Off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch and miniskirts are considered unsuitable. Gentlemen are required to wear either black or grey morning dress, including a waistcoat, with a top hat.    

A goddamn top hat. You couldn’t MAKE this up. Oh? And what is a substantial fascinator you ask? Not sure, but I am assuming it is something like THIS:   

1) Life is like a box of HAT


 YES, that was worn. Along with these 7 others to be judged for the title of Grand Hat Supreme. And they are….   

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Top Chef DC premiers today and the ‘chef’testant house is sold (UPDATED)

So, as most of you should know, Top Chef DC premiers tonight on Bravo at 9pm. SO excited. SO hoping I like one of the local contenders and can support them unconditionally for the entirety of the show. I am also very curious as to which  DC culinary landmarks they will  showcase. Any guesses (other than Ben’s), my dear readers?

Anyways, in a real estate move that I hope was intentional, the Top Chef house was also sold today. You know, the house that the ‘chef’testants live in.


Why sad? Mostly because by “house” I mean “mansion,” and by “mansion” I mean “ideal home of SPY.” The mansion is located in Kalorama, a neighborhood always associated with Adams Morgan but definitely shouldn’t be given its abundance of money and lack of Big Slice and Tom Tom. Here are some pictures:

COVET.  The full listing and more pictures can be found here. The house was originally listed at $4 million, well $3.98 million (because that sounds so much more affordable!) and sold for $3.6 million. Such a shame, because with a $3.6 million dollar loan, donated furniture, a volunteer caterer and donated bar, SPY could have thrown a wonderful and witty fancy party. Oh, and the loan would have to be interest-free. You know, one of those free multi-million dollar loans banks give to wonderful personalities who can’t swing a grant. Yeah. I’m poor.

Happy Top Chef day!

(Ah! The premier is at 9pm. The encore is at 11pm. Misread the announcement. Apologies, apologies)

I challenge you, hipster Seersucker Social

self-described "alt-retro socialites" socializing

How? HOW is it so easy to predict these things? Honestly, if someone played a word association game for “fancy hipster garden party” here is what I would have come up with: vintage bicycle, ironic mustache, suspenders, snifter, fancy hats, faux fur. As a test, I also asked ironcityspy his opinion, to which he replied “the Great Gatsby.” Or as we know it, the 2010 DC Dandies and Quaintrelles’ Seersucker Social:

(photos courtesy of DCist)

The Dandies and Quaintrelles is a DC fashion club and the event was this past weekend. Sigh. So much…TRY. Look, I am not saying some of these people don’t look awesome. I mean, who doesn’t admire this commitment? But there is something about the concept: the trendy faux-antique photos from last year’s tweed ride, the finger sandwiches, the croquet, the ray bans, the fact that half of DC owns seersucker for serious, that makes it so… predictable.

The Decemberists would be proud

Afterwards, I half expect them all to ride their tandem bicycles to a food truck, take some vintage-contemporary juxtaposition photos with said truck, and ultimately end up at the Gibson laughing over fancy cocktails.

So with that in mind, my DC fashion avant-guard: I challenge you.

DCspy, the man in black

I challenge you to surprise me. That’s it. Muster your fashion-forwardness and come up with a costume party I could never predict through word association. If you succeed, I will give credit where credit is due and be less curmudgeonly towards your hipster-sensibilities. If you do not, throwback costumes, bicycles and PBR remain fair game.

Good luck, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England. I will be watching.



Small National Zoo mammals gear up for the World Cup!!!

Too…much…adorableness. The small mammal house at the National Zoo celebrated the start of the World Cup with some props, peanut butter, and photos. Courtesy of DCist via the National Zoo:

Tamarin free kick....

prehensile-tailed porcupine free kick

...saved by the porcupine keeper!

... while the tenrec has a wardrobe malfunction!

... and mongoose loves cone!

I could go on for hours. The rest of the pictures, which include meerkats, naked mole rats and friends, can be found here. Happy Weekend!!!

Happy World Oceans Day!!!!!!

The best of sea creatures ready for the party

Happy World Oceans Day DC!!!! Yes, there is a World Oceans Day, and it was established in 1992 by the UN to honor all the fish, crustaceans and mammals of the sea as well as bringing attention to all the terrible things we do to the sea (cough, BP oil spill).

HOWEVER, in honor of World Oceans Day the Baltimore Aquarium is having events all month to feature sustainable fisheries and things (as an aside, my go-to guide has always been this. USE it). The final Baltimore event is a “Beyond the Boardwalk: On Tap,” which is $55 and has samples of local, sustainable seafood as well as microbrews from the area. DC’s own National Aquarium also has an America’s Aquatic Treasures exhibit:

Entrance to the sad little DC aquarium

The DC aquarium was always the saddest of aquariums. Located in the Commerce Department basement, the coral in exhibits was just plaster painted as coral and water was often on the floor. In the small cramped setting there was this bizarrely brightly painted mural, which reminded me of being in a Wes Anderson movie or something. However, per their website, they have RENOVATED! Huzzah. I have always liked this underdog of aquariums, so VISIT.

OR just go to a Jaleo location for their annual DC Paella Festival, and eat cute little sea creatures with rice. Not sure if the dishes are sustainable (they should be, giving the timing), but paella is delicious and sea-related so I threw it into the post.

DCist paella picture

OH. But one thing you shouldn’t do? Boycott BP gas stations. Yes, the spill is a DISASTER and although BP should pay 1000 times over for it, it’s looking like it won’t cost them much.  And no, big oil, the ocean will not “just take care of itself,” (Exhibit A) no, it doesn’t “naturally leak oil so it’s okay” (I’m serious, that was a defense). HOWEVER. Boycotting is a bad plan. Most gas stations are independently owned and operated, which means you are just shooting the messenger.

Look. If you don’t want oil spills in the gulf, don’t use oil from the gulf. And if you must use oil from the gulf, don’t let oil companies self regulate. And that’s that.

DC gets all Jazzed up: June 1-13th

Ok kids. It’s the annual DC Jazz Festival and you should go. Because for all the criticism DC gets about it’s lack of art scene, conservatism, trend-unawareness etc., one of the things we do have, and have always had, is jazz. Duke Ellington, Shirley Horn, Billy Taylor, and Frank Wess (among others) all hailed from our town, while jazz clubs are scattered all about the city if you know where to look.  I know I will be stopping by.

DCspy attends a musical event

The DC Jazz Festival is the city’s biggest jazz show. For the past five years it has been called the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, a name planners changed this year in order to focus more on the city’s jazz legacy rather than the individual. The festival, like most things, has hit tough economic times this year, dropping their large concert on the Mall as well as their closing concert at Voice of America. However, these large events have been replaced by a proliferation of small ones, many of which are free (or like $5) and take place everywhere from museums, to bars, to supper clubs, to concert halls. The entire schedule is here.

There are 4+ events PER DAY. DCist also lists their favorite event each day and a runner up (full list here). I would look at the full list and the DCist one since I know very little about jazz so can’t give an educated recommendation to you all. But here are some of DCist’s FREE top picks:

Included in the top picks are also ticketed events (not listed), but the most expensive tickets seem to be around $40, which really isn’t bad for the quality and the venue. Most are around $20. I mean, $20 and you can go to a supper club and have food and listen to wonderful jazz!!! Perfect date. So GO.

Big plans for the Dupont Underground and a bit of afternoon news

I know, you are confused. “But SPY,” you say, “today isn’t Friday,  why are you doing news”?? Well, half of it is for me. I had limited internet access in the Far East, so wanted to see what was happening around town. Also, I MAY have forgotten to post on Friday due to airplanes and deliverable due dates (yes, I do have an actual job) so this is sort of compensating. Also, this Dupont Underground thing is super interesting.

The Dupont Underground by Mika Altskan

Basically, there is an 100,000 square foot stretch of abandoned trolley tracks beneath Dupont Circle that the city is planning to turn into an art/cafe space. Per the website:

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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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