Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall in the Quarter

Happy Halloween!
Fall has definitely arrived in Penn Quarter.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Crowds still coming

Over an hour since the rally came to and end, and the crowds haven't slowed down.

7th street still packed.

Rally is over!

The rally is over . . . and here come the crowds.

Stay Inside

If you haven't ventured outside yet today, STAY INSIDE.

Still an hour left in the rally, and the crowds in Penn Quarter are intense.

Here is a shot of 7th Street:

More photos are available from TBD here.

Friday, October 29, 2010 Reviews Crime & Punishment Museum's day tripper reviewed Penn Quarter's Crime and Punishment Museum, and finds it to be "worth every penny" of the $19.95 entrance fee.

You can find the review here.

The museum is also having a special halloween event.

Penn Quarter Weekend

This weekend won't be a great one for driving, considering all that is going on; however, Penn Quarter residents can still find their way out of town (just watch for throngs of pedestrians).

The following events are a sampling of what is going on this weekend:
     - Rally to Restore Sanity
     - Marine Corps Marathon (full list of marathon street closures is here)
     - Howard University Homecoming and Parade
     - Red Bull Sound Clash
     - Halloween

Here is a map of street closures (via DCist):

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Inside the Washington International Horse Show

PQ Insider was at the Washington International Horse Show taking place at the Verizon Center last night.  It was sparsley populated, but surprisingly fun.

The Verizon Center was completely transformed into a rural horse farm. 

There were two jumping competitions and a polo match between the U.S. Military and the military of other countries (who knew the military had a polo team?):

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The President is in Penn Quarter

We can tell by the police (and media) presence that President Obama has arrived at The Daily Show.

They have set up a tent in front of the stage entrance on 6th street-- presumably where the President entered the building.

Inside the National Journal Party

Last night, National Journal celebrated their re-launch at their new headquarters on E street (in the Clara Barton building).

PQ Insider was there.  The gathering was a small one, with maybe 50 people in attendance at any one time.  The wine was good, and the food consisted simply of passed hors d'oeuvres (though they were delicious passed hors d'oeuvres).

The only notable person we spotted was Major Garrett, who recently left Fox News Channel for National Journal.

Copies of their latest issue featuring President Obama littered the room:

Main entrance to Saturday's rally is in the heart of Penn Quarter

The Washington Post reports that the main entrance to this weekend's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the Mall will be 7th Street.

"Certain streets" will be closed to vehicles.

As one Lafayette resident said, "Let's get supplies to barricade ourselves in."

Tomorrow a good day to try Cuba Libre

You haven't yet tried Penn Quarter's newest restaurant, Cuba Libre?  Thursday, October 28th might be the day for you.  100% of food sales at dinner on that day benefit the Trust for the National Mall.

Here's the invitation:

Plot to bomb a D.C. hotel?

You have probably heard by now that the FBI has arrested Farooque Ahmed for plotting to bomb several metro stations, all of which were in Virginia.  However, the indictment also mentions a plot to bomb a Washington, D.C. hotel, but doesn't mention which one.  Though you'd have to imagine the most desirable for a terrorist would have to be a Penn Quarter hotel.

"Just as we ask the public to remain vigilant about possible terrorists among us, the FBI remains committed to rooting out and dismantling those groups and organizations who seek to cause harm to U.S. citizens," said Acting FBI Assistant Director in Charge John G. Perren.

Washington Life reviews the new and improved 701 Penn Restaurant

Washington Life Magazine reviews the recently (kind of) renovated 701 Penn and gives it a fairly favorable review, saying the menu is "reinvigorated":

On any given night, 701 anchors the power dining scene on Pennsylvania Avenue. With a recent face-lift, restaurateur has also freshened up the kitchen, adding Chef .

The sophistication of the restaurant remains the same. Witt’s standout dishes include the Arugula Pappardelle with shenandoah lamb ragu, marisa cheese, or the Rockfish Tartare with green gazpacho. The menu has plenty of warm fall dishes, and you can get them for a steal with the $35 prix fixe theater menu. Or, sit at the bar to grab them ala carte and try 701’s classic cocktails.

The chef’s use of local meat producers ensures an eco-friendly approach to cooking that is quickly becoming standard at DC’s best restaurants. Bajaj says he chose Witt because of, “His cooking skills, [and] passion for using farm to table approach in cooking.”

Stop by for a reinvigorated menu full of delectable seasonal cooking

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear schedule released

The schedule for this weekend's Rally to Restore Santiy and/or Fear has been released (via metromix) and is as follows (subject, of course, to last minute changes):

Pre-Pre Show - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Video montages and music will play on Jumbotrons to entertain the audience

Pre Show - 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

12:00-12:40 - The Roots will play for the crowd
12:40-12:57 - A comedian (TBA) will warm up the crowd
12:57-1:00 - Video countdown and intros

Main Show 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

1:00-1:05 - Singing of the National Anthem by special musical guest (TBA)
1:05-1:20 - Jon Stewart welcomes the crowd
1:20-1:30 - Stephen Colbert enters
1:30-1:35 - Benediction by actor Don Novello ("Father Guido Sarducci")
1:35-1:40 - Poem reading by actor Sam Waterson ("Law and Order")
1:40-1:50 - Performance by Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and Mavis Staples
1:50-2:15 - Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert perform together
2:15-2:20 - Performance by Sheyrl Crow
2:20-2:30 - Brief statements from special guests (TBA), both live and taped
2:30-2:40 - Performance by special musical guest (TBA)
2:40-2:50 - Sanity and Fear Awards
2:50-3:00 - Final statements by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

President Obama to the Daily Show

Traffic Alert - While F street and 6th Street near the Verizon Center are already closed for the Washington International Horse Show, expect more delays during rush hour today.

USAToday reports that the Daily Show interview with President Obama will be taped at 5:35pm. 

We do not know if President Obama will go to Sidney Harman Hall (where the Daily Show is being taped this week), but rumors are that he is.  that means his motorcade and entourage will cause quite a stir in the area.  When President Obama attended a Georgetown Basketball game at the Verizon center, 6th street was closed.  If the Daily Show instead heads to the White House, they may leave quite a bit earlier.

F street in front of Sidney Harman Hall is currently is occupied by temporary horse stables.  We do not know how that will impact the President's visit.

Reloading your SmartTrip Card from home is under development--finally.

SmartTrip has come a long way.  Finally giving commuters a 25 cent discount for using one (so it actually makes sense to buy the thing) and now--finally-- it is "under development" to allow consumers to reload their SmartTrip cards from the internet. 

It's always been a huge surprise you had to use the machines in metro stations (as you can hear your train pulling away) and even though the SmartTrips are registered, they cannot be loaded online.

WMATA now states on their website that allowing metro riders to load their cards from home is "under development."  Don't hold your breath on how long it will take to be "developed."

Menu and Website up for Merzi

It's a small, unassuming place--particularly in the shadows of Carmine's and Oyamel--but Merzi, a fast food Indian joint, is opening up on 7th street between D and E.  The restaurant's website is up with a menu.  Let us know what you think.

Penn Quarter is the first and flagship location of Merzi, which is to become a chain.

Still no concrete date on an opening, but we'll let you know as soon as we hear something--likely to be announced on the restaurant's twitter page.

Here is how the concept works, according to their "101" on the Merzi website:
  1. 1. Pick one of the following for the base for your meal: naan, rice, salad or chaat.
  2. 2. Pick one of the following: Black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, or onion-pepper mix.
  3. 3. Choose your meat (or not!).
  4. 4. Pick whichever fresh vegetables you like.
  5. 5. Choose one of our warm sauces or cool chutneys to throw on top of it all.
  6. 6. Choose a drink and ask for a samosa or potato tikka at the register.
  7. 7. Grab a fork (or just grab your naan roll) and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wagamama Backs Out

Here we are, October 2010, and Wagamama has backed out of leasing the space on 7th street.  The Lansburgh has put up a Retail For Lease sign in the window.  

Let us know what you'd like to see there in the comments section.  Personally, we'd like to see a Harris Teeter Express. 
It has been widely rumored that Carmine's CEO Jeffrey Blank wants to bring an Artie's Deli to the space if Wagamama backed out--which it now has.  Will he follow through?

We know this is a wide topic of conversation, as we can tell by the note someone wrote on the window with lipstick that says "when, oh when?" 

We remember way back in 2009 when Wagamama 2010 showed up on the window in the space previously occupied by Olsson's Books.

F Street and 6th Street CLOSED

Don't forget F Street (between 6th and 7th) and 6th Street (between E and G) are CLOSED because of the Washington International Horse Show.

Despite the number of cars that tried to go through there today--even though it was clearly closed--police are NOT allowing traffic through these streets.

Also keep in mind that this is making traffic heavier on 5th, 7th, G, H, and D streets.

Penn Quarter Election Night Parties

This is Washington, after all, and everyone wants to get into a good election night party.  So where to go in our charming neighborhood?

Minority Leader John Boehner is having an invitation-only party at the Grand Hyatt.  RSVP here.  Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi will be at the Liaison Hotel (via CQPolitics).

Politico has a very exclusive event at the Newseum.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich will be attending an event (and afterparty) at the Ronald Reagan Center.

And perhaps the most exclusive event is the Republican celebration at the W Hotel (via Politico).

Other than that, it looks like a much quieter night in Penn Quarter compared to 2008.  Leave any other parties you know of in the comments section.

Penn Quarter Farmers Market closes December 23rd

For those of you ready to see it go (and 8th street to open on Thursdays once again) or those that are sad to see the fresh produce dissapear from our Penn Quarter streets, the 8th Street Thursdays Farmer's Market is set to close for the season on December 23rd.  So you still have some time yet for fresh meat and those homemade soaps.

It will be back April 1st, 2011.  Thursdays 3pm to 7pm.

Tickets Gone for Daily Show in D.C.

Tickets are sold out for the Daily Show taping at Sidney Harmon Hall in Penn Quarter.  However, you can still sign up on the Daily Show's ticket page in case tickets become available.

You can also see our previous post about procuring them on craigslist--for a price.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Crowded Weekend for Penn Quarter

As if Halloween wasn't enough to bring the crowds to Penn Quarter this weekend, the joint Comedy Central Rallies The Rally to Restore Sanity and The Rally to Keep Fear Alive will both be in Penn Quarter as well as the Washington International Horse Show.

The Horse Show is at the Verizon center and F Street and part of 6th Street will be closed.  Coincidentally, the Daily Show is being taped at Sydney Harmon Hall just across F street from the Verizon Center.  The rallies (now joint) will be held on the Mall.

Should be quite a weekend for our little neighborhood.

Oyamel NOT a Dollhouse, despite miscommunication

That little skeleton dog was commissioned by Oyamel owner Jose Andres.  The only problem, reports Rachel Tepper of NBC Washington, is that Andres actually comissioned a skeleton dog that is two FEET tall, not two inches, to sit at the door. 

Why he'd want either is still unknown.

Washington Post Reviews Carmine's

The Washington Post finally reviews Penn Quarter's newest restaurant, Carmine's, giving it two stars:

"I'd be more excited about Carmine's if the bread basket had more character and the cheese on its Caesar didn't resemble flavored sawdust. And while I appreciate the kitchen's generosity, it would be nice to have some scaled-back dishes to accommodate light eaters or solo diners. I felt wasteful eating fewer than half of the 12 baked clams in an appetizer by myself one afternoon; as good as the gratineed seafood was, I wasn't going to let out a suit to finish it."

Let us know what you think of Carmine's in the comments section.


Last Friday, Justice Alito was seen having lunch at Rasika with Academy-Award Nominated actress Marsha Mason (of "The Goodbye Girl" and "Cinderella Libery" fame).

Later that evening, First Lady Michelle Obama also dropped into Rasika for dinner -- quite the hotspot.  She was reportedly with two unknown female friends.  The Washington Examiner reports that hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons was there on Thursday.

Actress Olivia Newton John was spotted the same day having lunch at Jaleo just around the corner.  She had a vegetable sandwich with a beat salad.  And, of course, Flan for dessert.

Daily Show Taping in Penn Quarter

You may have seen the trucks, but Roll Call now confirms that the Daily Show will be taping at Sidney Harman Hall this week.
Roll call also reports that the tickets (which are non-transferrable and not to be sold, according to Comedy Central), are going for quite a bit on Craigslist, including vital organs:

One Stewart fan is hoping to trade a guest bedroom in exchange for one ticket. “Cash in on this free room offer, either this coming week or anytime in the future for that matter,” the ad reads. Another Daily Show devotee offers cash and vital organs, writing, “also have two healthy kidneys ... just saying.”