Restaurant Week and Food Porn: August 16-22, 2010

Watch out blue bloods, Restaurant Week is upon us! Yes, August 16-22, 2010 marks the start of the 16th Biannual DC Restaurant Week, the beloved time of year when we common folk are welcomed into fanciest of fancy DC restaurants, such as Bourbon Steak, Vidalia, Adour, and 2941, through strategically fixed price meals and sponsorships.  


You MUST click the larger version of these photos (via foodporndaily) 

Over 200 DC area restaurants are participating this year, offering a $20.10 three-course price-fixed lunch menu and a $35.10 three-course price-fixed dinner menu. Tax, tip and beverages are not included. All the restaurant and reservation information is listed on open table, and is admittedly quite daunting. However, just do your research and make your reservations early. There have to be some places you’ve been dying to try. 


Oh and me? I am actually missing the ENTIRE restaurant week because I will be on vacation. I KNOW. Same old staring in the window of Komi, bitterly watching the wine and laughter of its patrons. So just do restaurant week for me. I will live vicariously. 

Finally, the food pictures. They are from foodporndaily, i.e. the most delicious looking internet blog ever created. Although not DC pics, I figured that would help set the restaurant mood. Unlike the food “porn” cookie photo I attempted to take on my iphone, which just depressed me further.

saddest cookie in the cubicle

Happy Restaurant Week!

(UPDATE: Apparently the restaurant links did not work at first. Stupid stupid internet. They work now. Thanks to Matt for the heads up. Apologies!)

A peek inside the most expensive house on the DC market

According to the  Georgetown Dish, 3400-3410 Prospect St NW, the “Halcyon House,” is the most expensive house on the DC market. It is in Georgetown (no surprise). It is listed on Sotheby’s for $19.5 million (Jesus God that’s expensive but, no surprise). I passed it every day in undergrad at Georgetown (no supr… wait WHAT?). It’s true Hoyas. The front of the property looks like this:

SPY's winter home

Recognize it? Yes, the most expensive house in DC is at 34th and Prospect, across the street from what was the crap-tastic Philly Cheesesteak Factory. The mansion is actually a bit “clown car” in my opinion. Sure, the front of the house is large, but would you assume it’s a 22,173 sqft lot with a twelve car garage, 9 bathrooms, a solarium, a swimming pool with a wet bar, a servants house, and things like THIS:   


Backyard (overlooking the Potomac), art studio, pool, plaque 

Me neither. The second photo is the art studio, which is perfect for all that after-work sculpting I do. Actually, I recall walking by the house in college, thinking “nope, too colonial,” and heading over to Booeymongers for a sandwich snack.  Anyways, the house was apparently built in 1787 by the first US Secretary of the Navy under George Washington. That was also the last time they seemed to have updated the decor:   


YIKES. Very Mary Todd. Not what you want. Look Sothebys, just go out, find a certain SPY, give her a grant, and get some STYLE in there. I will decorate like 6 rooms (because the entire house is far too much effort) in exchange for money to throw a fancy indoor-outdoor party in your “art studio” and backyard. Because, let’s be honest, we all know an artist is not going to buy this house. Everybody wins!

*Thanks to Sotheby’s for the photos! You can find them (and more) here.   

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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So apparently M Street Spa gives happy endings

Yes! SPIES in the news!  

DCist loves spies

DCist reports that M Street Spa in Dupont (at 19th and M Streets NW), was busted last week for prostitution. A sting operation arrested two people, an employee for soliciting ladies of the night and an owner for basically running a whorehouse.  M Street Spa is next to Naturally Yogurt, House of Kabob, and Camelot the strip club. Hmm, which one would be a clue??  

Oh, and I know what you are thinking. No, despite my skills with a magnifying glass, your beloved SPY was not involved in this sting operation. Some people are just too naturally classy to make a convincing ho.  

Undercover SPY in a what looks like a whore-barn

However, if given the chance, I would have solved the mystery instantly.  I mean it’s a spa,  on the 3rd floor of a townhouse, next to a strip club and has NO yelp reviews? Seriously, what place has no yelp reviews?  

No word as to what will happen to the owner and employee. If I pay attention to the story later, I will let you know. However, it’s highly unlikely. I am lazy and never claimed to be a journalist.

Cat “tweeting” and why civilization will destroy itself

Oh Jesus. Every once in awhile things are invented for the seemingly sole purpose of showing us why humanity is doomed. Things like segways, the KFC double-down, Justin Beiber, baby cages, dog snuggies, fake ponytails and now THIS:

twitter collar on a stuffed cat because no cat would ever wear it

The cat twitter collar. Yes, it is what you think it is. It’s a stupid collar that you attach to cats that has a sensor that can tell what the cat is doing and tweets some stupid message. Like if it the cat is eating it tweets, “mmm. this fish is delicious!” and if the cat is sleeping is says “swoooo twiwerd” in a baby voice and millions of cat people lovingly squeal because Snookins is “talking.”

Mazel Tov Snookins

God, I feel you Snookins. Because, for him, this is nothing new. His life has been one of torture. Cat leashes, cat “spas” (because cats love strangers!), cat photo ops, creepy snuggle sessions with “mother,” so honestly, why not cat twitter?

THIS is why civilization will destroy itself. It’s only a matter of time. It’s pretty much the premise of the movie Idiocracy (great concept and terrible movie by the way). Basically, stupid people reproduce at a faster rate than smart people because smart people weigh the consequences, which will inevitably result in stupid people running the planet and watering all our crops with Gatorade instead of water because it has electrolytes.

Cat twitter just brought us one step closer. Bravo.

(Oh and if you have free time, TIME magazine just listed its 50 worst inventions of all time. worth a read here)

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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Why did Mark Souder cheat? DC made him do it

In one of what seems like 27352604 pro-abstinence, pro-bible, anti-gay (apologies, pro-”family”) cheating scandals, Mark Souder (IN-3), cheated on his god-fearing wife with a female staffer. Sigh. Here we go again. The tears, the appeals for JC’s forgiveness, the blathering on about losing sight of some ambiguously-defined values, and of course the explanation of WHY.

Ah yes, the eternal, CRAZY question of why an unattractive, arrogant politician surrounded by younger people that care far too much about about his opinion, would trade in fidelity with his wife back in Indiana to sleep with a young piece on the side. Hm, let’s think. Could it be because he was an unattractive, arrogant politician surrounded by…. no, no that’s not it. Sex addict? No, that would mean it was his fault. I know, how about the “poisonous environment of DC?” That’s it! Per Souder’s resignation:

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D.C. Church makes U.S. List of Most-Endangered Historic Sites

Ah, Wednesday. The week is halfway over, the Wizards got John Wall (i.e. the killer of NCAA brackets), and I am trying desperately to see Jakarta before I leave on Friday. However, as I was googling various ways to see Jakarta’s historical sites, as Jakarta is officially the most pedestrian unfriendly city in the PLANET, I came across this Washington Post article on one of DC’s own landmarks: The Metropolitan A.M.E. Church.

Photo by Ricky Carioti-Washington Post

The Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church is on M Street near 15th Street NW. The oldest continuously black-owned property in DC’s original 10-mile area, it is about to be named one of the nation’s most endangered historic sites by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Fredrick Douglass prayed there,  Rosa Park’s funeral service was held there,  Booker T. Washington and Eleanor Roosevelt spoke there; it was a center for integrated worship in a time where segregation was very much alive.

Scaffolded and sandwiched between offices

And have I been there?  Sigh. No, I haven’t. I don’t know what it is about people that makes us go to every length imaginable to see even the most mediocre of sights in a foreign city, while never really thinking of discovering our own. It’s not like when I moved to DC, I couldn’t have benefited from a guidebook. I just never thought to buy one. I mean, I was a local, why would I need to?

But now, looking at the church’s predicament, I feel like I neglected my town. Metropolitan A.M.E needs $11 million to repair the water damage, collapsed roof and a whole host of other problems in order to stay open. $11 million it doesn’t have. So yes, I think I am going to visit, give my meager donation and show some support. You should too.

You should also look at the other 10 nominees to the most-endangered list. One of which, the Wilderness Battlefield, is also close to home and in danger of being torn up by… you guessed it, Walmart. Because who needs history when you can buy guns and cheese puffs at bargain basement prices?

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….)