Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Portrait Gallery removes artwork after outcry

TBD reports that the Portrait Gallery is removing a piece of art from its current exhibit entitled Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.

The Portrait Gallery describes the exhibit:

"This is the first major museum exhibition to focus on sexual difference in the making of modern American portraiture. “Hide/Seek” considers such themes as the role of sexual difference in depicting modern America; how artists explored the fluidity of sexuality and gender; how major themes in modern art—especially abstraction—were influenced by social marginalization; and how art reflected society’s evolving and changing attitudes toward sexuality, desire, and romantic attachment."
The artwork removed was A Fire in My Belly, a video by artist David Wojnarowicz.  The video shows Jesus on the cross with ants crawling all over his body and face.

The piece was removed after outcry following a report by CNS news that described the exhibit as one that includes imagery of genitalia, homoerotic situations, and Christ covered in ants.

New X9 Express Bus

On December 19, Metro is introducing a new express bus that will go from the Capitol Heights Metro Station to Metro Center.

Why does this matter to you?

Well, the bus will stop at 7th and H in the heart of Penn Quarter (as well as 11th and 13th streets (and 9th street on the way back)) and will be an easy way to get to the many restaurants and bars on H Street N.E.  The bus will stop at 8th and 14th Street on H Street N.E.

It will also stop at Benning Road and 19th Street N.E., which is about a 15 minute walk to RFK stadium.

Free Tickets for the Military

Give to your country, get something back.

MASN, the network that will be carrying the BB&T Classic (previous post), is giving away 1500 free tickets to members of the military.

“For the fourth straight holiday season, MASN will honor the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform by distributing 1500 BB&T Classic tickets to military families” said MASN spokesman Todd Webster.  “It’s one small way to express our gratitude to our servicemen and women, but also an important part of our commitment to giving back to communities throughout the mid-Atlantic region.”

If you are a member of the military, get your free tickets here.

Penn Quarter Crime Report

It's the end of the month, and time for the crime report.

November 2010 was better than November 2009

There was a homicide near 1st and Constitution N.W. and a robbery with a gun near 3rd and K N.W.  There were 17 robberies without a gun

This month, there were 11 assaults with a dangerous weapon other than a gun, and 2 assaults with a gun

Totals: 126 property crimes and 28 incidents of violent crime.  A map of the violent crime:

Free Lunch at Merzi

You may have seen our previous post that Merzi is opening tomorrow, December 1st.

To celebrate, Merzi is giving out a free meal to everyone that comes between 11am and 12pm tomorrow

Early lunch, anyone?

BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center on Sunday

College basketball season is here, and the BB&T Classic is this Sunday at the Verizon Center.

The first game is at 2:45pm and the last game is at 8pm.  The match-up is:

American University Eagles vs. Florida Gators

George Washington Colonials vs. U.S. Navel Academy Midshipmen

Maryland Terrapins vs. Temple Owls.

The tournament benefits the Children's Charity Foundation, which has distributed $8.1 million to Washington-area charities since 1994.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Merzi to open Wednesday!

Merzi, the fast food Indian restaurant on 7th street, is opening on Wednesday!

After a lot of construction, the paper is off the windows.  The menu went up online about a month ago.

Merzi had a soft opening tonight and everyone inside looks very happy!

Click here to study up on how Merzi works before you head in!

Update: Free lunch at Merzi tomorrow from 11am to 12pm to celebrate their grand opening.

Escalator problems?

Has anyone noticed the terrible sounds coming out of the escalators at the Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter metro stop?

It sounds like something grinding underneath.

This is particularly troubling after Metro's report on elevators and escalators, which detailed a litany of problems with brakes and lubricant (or the lack of).

Not to mention the recent brake failure at L'Enfant Plaza that injured 6 people.

And the injury in our neighborhood at Gallery Place that may have been brake failure or may have been clumsiness.

Hill Country not even close

Hill Country BBQ, the 250-seat restaurant coming to 7th Street, was originally supposed to open in July 2010.  Then the owners said that the end of 2010 would be a "best case scenario."

A quick peek in the keyhole makes it clear that Hill Country is not even close to opening:

The place is still gutted, even after they were previously slapped with a violation of their building permit for working after hours.

PQ Insider has contacted Hill Country to try and get a new opening-date estimate, we will let you know as soon as we hear something.

Souvenir Shop closing

The souvenir shop that opened days before Inauguration two years ago (though it feels like yesterday) is apparently closing.

After months of signs saying they are closing soon, having a going-out-of-business sale, etc. etc., the shop has finally put up a big sign that says "FINAL DAYS."

So go grab all the souvenirs you can while it lasts.  Of course, there will still be a multitude of other shops, including Joe's new shop on F street that took the place of Central Liquors (which moved to E street).

More importantly to Penn Quarter residents, what is going to take this prime location next to Carmine's?  The space is big and the last thing we need is a huge vacant space directly across the street from the already vacant Wagamama space.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Buses can talk

Courtesy WMATA
The throngs of pedestrians in Penn Quarter can be a challenge when you're driving.  During crowded times, they also cause traffic to back up down our two-lane downtown roads as cars wait for pedestrians to cross to be able to turn.

This can be especially challenging--and dangerous--for Metro Bus drivers.

WMATA is now piloting a program with talking buses.  You read right.

As the buses turn into an intersection, the bus sounds an audible alert to pedestrians in the area that says "Pedestrians, bus is turning."

The audible signals sense the noise around them and automatically adjust the volume.  So in a quiet neighborhood at night it won't be as loud as in Penn Quarter after a Caps game.

Don't worry - it also alerts the bus driver.  The audible alert inside the bus says "Caution, look both ways." 

“Accident and incident avoidance is the primary focus of our safety program,” said Jim Dougherty, WMATA Chief Safety Officer. “This warning device has proven to be effective in other cities at alerting pedestrians that a bus is approaching and reminding operators to be aware of their surroundings at intersections. Sometimes a little warning is all it takes to prevent a tragedy.” 

WMATA is starting the program with only 10 buses (will they be Penn Quarter buses?).  The alerts on currently on buses in Cleveland, and pilot programs are underway in Richmond, Toronto, and Nashville.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday in Penn Quarter

Happy Black Friday!

If you are looking to shop today, but not venture too far, we have compiled a list of the Black Friday deals in stores around Penn Quarter.

Macy's has specials in all departments, available here.

Forever 21 has specials starting as low as $3.  A list is available here.

Johnson & Murphy is having a Thanksgiving Sale that seems not to be limited to today.  It is for a limited time, though they don't disclose how limited.  Deals for men and women, particularly in vests, scarves, jackets, and luggage.  Women get the footwear deals, unfortunately men are stuck paying full price.

H&M has selections available from $5, though we highly doubt their new Lanvin collection will be on sale (see our previous post about that).  But if you hurry, they are holding a charity auction where you could maybe grab some Lanvin collection deals online.

Urban Outfitters also has deals, including 40% off on men's outerwear.

Banana Republic is offering 25% off online, but there will also be deals in the store.

Ann Taylor has 40% off your entire purchase - well worth venturing out to the store - but the deal is also available online.  The same deal is available at Ann Taylor Loft.

Let us know any other deals you know or see in the comments section - Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

After Thanksgiving with the Washington Post

The Washington Post featured an article today about what to do after Thanksgiving.  One of the suggestions was a food tour of Penn Quarter.  Our neighborhood has quickly become the restaurant capitol of this city--and it's getting better by the day.

The Post also says that Penn Quarter restaurants are busy: "Penn Quarter offers some of the city's best - and busiest - eateries for such dining; the relatively slow nights after Thanksgiving are perfect for attempting such a feat."

Here is the Post's suggested tour of Penn Quarter:

If Thanksgiving is a strictly adult affair this year - just a few siblings, spouses, maybe Mom and Dad - after the feast consider showing them how Washingtonians dine. Pricey, shareable small plates are part of the culture here, so why not share a few different plates at a few different hot spots? Penn Quarter offers some of the city's best - and busiest - eateries for such dining; the relatively slow nights after Thanksgiving are perfect for attempting such a feat.
Where to eat: Start with a cocktail at the cozy lounge at PS 7's (777 I St. NW;www.ps7restaurant.com). "Mixtress" of ceremonies Gina Chersevani maintains a drink menu that's long on creativity and flavor; the Gnome's Water blends light-as-air cucumber water, lime and gin, while the new Sav U'R is made with Cap'n Crunch cereal, milk and rye bourbon ( trust her).
Next, make a beeline for Rasika (633 D St. NW; www.rasikarestaurant.com), where Indian food is elevated to high art. Head to the bar to order a couple of rounds of one of the city's most memorable dishes: palak chaat, a spicy salad of flash-fried spinach drizzled in sweet and savory chutney. (If you decide to stay for dinner, time it so you take advantage of the restaurant's three-course pre-theater dinner menu, which rings up at just $30 a head before 6:30 p.m.)
Finish out your meal with more small plates at Jaleo (480 Seventh St. NW;www.jaleo.com), which, even after all these years, is a mainstay of the Washington dining scene. Again, head for the bar; if you go Friday before 7 p.m., you can indulge in sangria and some of the staples of Jaleo's menu - figs wrapped in bacon, crunchy potatoes topped with spicy aioli - for $4 apiece. You would be remiss, however, if you didn't veer from the happy hour menu to order the dreamy apple-manchego salad.
Finally, end the evening at Co Co. Sala (929 F St. NW; www.cocosala.com), where dessert can be a five-course meal in and of itself. It'll set you back $30 for such an indulgence; for $20, you can trim some calories with a mere three courses of sweets such as strawberry shortcake with basil foam and cocoa nibs, or an oh-so-trendy whoopie pie duo laced with the flavors of bourbon and passion fruit.
Where to play: If you need a break from the gorging, make a stop at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Eighth and F streets NW; www.americanart.si.edu, free), which stays open till 7 p.m. and extends its morning hours this weekend. There, the big attraction is the major exhibition "Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell From the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg."On the silly side, Madame Tussauds (1001 F St. NW; www.madametussauds.com, $18-$20 for adults; $15 for kids) lets you shake hands with the presidents, put your arm around Rihanna and get a close-up look at Kim Kardashian's famous posterior (perfect Christmas Card photo op, we think). Get tickets online before you go to save 15 percent, and through Saturday, veterans with ID get into the museum free.
If you go: Take Metro if you can (Green Line to Archives or Red Line to Gallery Place). Friday and Saturday may feel like holidays, but you'll have to pay D.C. parking meters as usual till 10 p.m.

Happy Thanksgiving

We are all family here in Penn Quarter. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Restaurants

Living the true urban lifestyle and not cooking at home this Thanksgiving?

Here are some Penn Quarter restaurants that will be open and serving on Thanksgiving that still have reservations available:

425 7th Street N.W.
(Make Reservations)

701 Penn Ave N.W.
(Make Reservations)

633 D Street N.W.
(Make Reservations)

1100 New York Ave N.W.
(Make Reservations)

And although it's not really in Penn Quarter, we think it'd make a great Thanksgiving meal:

Georgia Brown's
950 15th Street N.W.

Though they don't take reservations online for Thanksgiving Day.  Their phone number is 202-393-4499.

Happy Turkey Day!

A gin and tonic please, Wolf

Wolf Blitzer bartending
Penn Quarter's Cuba Libre opened its doors for veteran CNN camera man Jerry Thompson.

Thompson was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, and an event at Cuba Libre was organized to raise money to build a trust for his three children, The Hill reports.

Wolf Blitzer was a guest bartender at the event, along with local news anchor Wendy Rieger

There was also a silent auction, featuring many items from Thompson's friends in the media, such as a tour of Meet the Press, a personalized Larry King voicemail and signed suspenders and stays at vacation homes in Deep Creek, Myrtle Beach and Kill Devil Hills.

Teri Schultz of NPR flew in from Belgium for the event.

When Thompson entered the room with his young son, the over 400 attendees started chanting "JerryJerry!"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lanvin collection arrives at H&M - crowds amass overnight

The highly anticipated Lanvin collection arrives at H&M today and people are clearly excited.

PQ Insider was there at 2:30 a.m. last night and people were already lined up down the street.

There are 30 pieces and 15 accessories for women and 25 pieces and 10 accessories for men. Prices range from $99 to $349.

H&M opened at 8 a.m. instead of its usual 10 a.m. to accommodate the demand.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Redline open! But GRAND opening to come

Penn Quarter's newest restaurant, Redline, is now open.  They held an event last night to introduce folks to the place, but a grand opening will occur on December 2nd (PQ Insider will keep you updated on that). 

Biznow detailed the event, and said to expect a line out the door once you taste their ahi tuna spring rolls, Peruvian chicken kabobs, hamburger sliders, and braised short ribs skewers.

That's right, beer taps built into the table at Redline.

Silver bells, silver bells . . . it's Christmas time in the city.

Crews put up lights to cheer up 7th Street

7th street is lit up and showing off its holiday cheer! 

Crews worked to put up Christmas lights starting Monday night and 7th street is now lit.  Quite a sight down the street.

Slurpee Summit

PQ Insider was at the Slurpee Summit last night.

Despite anything being worth a free slurpee, 7-eleven went all out.

In the old convention center parking lot, a huge stage was set up for Blues Traveler and five slurpee trucks dispensed free slurpees for all.  The slurpees were, of course, red, white, and blue.  There also gave away free t-shirts and other small items.

There were ice sculptures of slurpees in the parking lot:

Even President Obama was there!  Sorta . . .

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Be careful on metro

Life in Mount Vernon Square reports an alleged mugging at the Gallery Place metro station today.  The mugger was a woman in her 30's.

Gallery Place has had its share of crime.  With robberies on the street above the station, pickpockets and disappearing purses, and even a couple assaults with a knife in the station in August. 

The Archives/Navy Memorial stop has not seen the same problems, either in volume or seriousness of the offense.

Free Cupcakes!

If you haven't tried Penn Quarters newest cupcakery yet, tomorrow might be your chance.

Crumbs will be giving away 1,000 free cupcakes tomorrow (Friday, November 19th) starting at 7 a.m.  Details are available here.

Crumbs opened last Saturday, but will be celebrating tomorrow.

Slurpee update

You may have seen our previous post about the slurpee summit in the old convention center parking lot today.

The slurpee truck has already stopped at Union Station--where they ran out of slurpees! 

PQ Insider caught up with the driver who said to expect FIVE slurpy trucks at City Center this afternoon from 4pm to 8pm to join Blues Traveler for the slurpee summit.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


More stars at Rasika . . .

Tennis star Andre Agassi and wife/Tennis Star Stefi Graff were spotted at Rasika on Monday with Rennae Stubbs and Steve Miller of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

According to Yeas and Nays, they arrived late -- about 10:45pm -- and left after midnight. 

Slurpee Summit to Penn Quarter

You may have seen the news story the day after the election about President Obama suggesting that Republicans have a Slurpee with him, calling it a "very delicious drink" (and PQ Insider agrees).

Well, Slurpee is listening.  Slurpee will be bringing trucks to Washington according to Yeas & Nays

Tomorrow (Thursday, November 18th), the Slurpee trucks will be at Union Station from 10a.m. to 2p.m.  

Then they will move to Penn Quarter and the band Blues Traveler will join them in the old Convention Center parking lot from 4pm to 8pm.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All aboard: new Megabus routes and 10,000 free seats

Megabus has announced that beginning December 15, 2010 it will increase service to a number of cities from Washington, D.C.

Megabus currently picks up and drops off passengers in the parking lot at 10th and H street N.W. (the old convention center).

The new cities that are now accessible by Megabus include:
  • Boston
  • Buffalo
  • Charlotte
  • Harrisburg
  • Hampton, VA
  • Knoxville
  • Pittsburgh
  • Richmond
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • Toronto, Canada
"The overwhelming popularity of megabus.com inspires us to expand our service reach again and from what better city than our Nation's Capital," said Dale Moser, president of Megabus.

Prices will range as normal from $1 upwards.  All buses have free wifi and power outlets.

To celebrate this expansion, megabus is giving out 10,000 free seats for travel between December 15th, 2010 and January 15th, 2011.  The free seats are available on the new expansion routes to and from Washington -- just use the promo code ILUVDC when you book!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Redline: a grand opening and an open bar

You may have noticed the new awning where Indebleu used to be.  Redline is a new upscale sports bar that is opening up right in that space right across from the Verizon Center.

Several renderings of what the new spot will look like are available here.

To celebrate their grand opening they are having a 2-hour open bar event this Thursday for $39.  The invitation is here.

Glittarazzi reports the restaurant is expected to have a 130-seat sports bar and an 86-seat restaurant.  The tables will have built-in beer taps and there will be 40 TVs plus a projection screen. 

The food?  "American food with a French flair," from Chef Fabrice Reymond, who came from Hook.

Teaism Carrotmobbed

You may have seen our previous post on the planned carrotmobbing of Teaism on 8th Street.

Teaism was rewarded by using the carrot not the stick on Saturday morning with a carrotmobbing.

There were about 100 people in attendance, and Teaism gave coupons to those who arrived first.

"The event really brought awareness about the Paid Sick Days law as well as those workers who are currently excluded," Courtney Chappell, the Director of Advocacy for the D.C. Employment Justice Center, told PQ Insider.

Tommy Wells gave the Golden Carrot Award.
Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells was in attendance, and he gave the Golden Carrot Award to Teaism owners Michelle Brown and Linda Neumann.

Metro listens

What would you like to see on the new metro rail cars?
As metro moves to replace its very old 1000 series trains with the new 7000 series, they are turning to metro riders to get their opinion.

During the next 18 months, WMATA will be asking riders for their input on a range of design decisions, such as wall and floor covering materials, signage displays and locations, lighting and handheld bar styles. 

They will also be asking train operators for their input on the operator's cab and will be looking to the engineers for input to keep the trains running (please listen to the engineers!).

“The whole approach is customer-driven to ensure that the new cars are a reflection of what our customers want, and also to project a forward-looking transit car fitting for our nation’s capital,” said Metro General Manager Richard Sarles. “We will build on the information that we gathered previously for the train car specification, and test concepts, learn about amenity preferences and validate our work throughout the entire design process until we begin manufacturing the cars.”

An industrial transportation designer will still be retained to provide design assistance and serve as the agency’s advocate with Kawasaki, the train car manufacturer.

Today's Groupon for the Newseum

The Groupon deal today is one that may be of interest to Penn Quarter residents who haven't yet made it to the Newseum

The tickets which normally sell for $19 are on sale for $10.  You can get yours here.

Remember that Newseum tickets are good for TWO days.  The coupon expires in February, 2011, so get yours so you can enjoy the Presidential Dogs Exhibit for a discount!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gallery Place on TV?

This screenshot from an AT&T commercial advertising the Blackberry Torch clearly shows that the subway station is labeled Gallery Pl-Chinatown Station-DC.

Only the subway station shown clearly is not the Gallery Place station.

Did AT&T just throw that in there so locals would talk about it?   Well, it's a national commercial and even the youtube link shows it as Gallery Place - so they aren't changing it city by city.

It clearly wasn't filmed in the Gallery Place station.  Or made to look like it.

So who knows why they labeled it that station?  They do have a very large store that sits atop that station.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deal of the century

There is a listing on Zillow.com for the rental deal of the century.

A 2 bedroom with 2.5 bathrooms in The Lexington--1,200 square feet--for only $1,600 a month.

Check it out here.

Oh, and all utilities are included.  be cool.

Beautiful night in Penn Quarter

A beautiful night and people are out and about in Penn Quarter.

The skating rink at the Sculpture Garden is bustling with people.  Perhaps a cupcake at Crumbs afterwards?

National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden Ice Skating Rink

Crumbs Opening Day

Crumbs is pretty crowded on its Opening Day.

Free coffee with your order for the first 2 weeks!

Long-awaited Crumbs finally opens

Crumbs is open!

Let us know what you think. It will be open until 11pm tonight.

Crumbs Opening Day!

Crumbs Opens TODAY

After a lot of speculation, Crumbs opens TODAY at 9am.

Confirmed both by FourSquare and Twitter:
Hey DC Crumbs Fans! Don't forget to come visit us at 604 11th Street NW, TOMORROW, Nov 13th for our F Street location opening @9AM.

Let use know what you think!

They open at 9am and close at 11pm.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Free Movie Tickets!

TBD's The Arch Campbell Show is giving away free tickets to a screening of Faster (starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) at 7:30pm on November 22nd at Regal Gallery Place.  That's right, two days before its release to the public.

To get your free tickets, go to gofobo.com and enter the code TBDN3DY.

TBD is also giving away tickets to Tangled 3D, a Disney film, for a 7pm showing on November 17th at Regal Gallery Place.  Request your pass by writing your name and address to arch@tbd.com.  However, only one free pass per household.

Changes at Zola

The Washington Post reports of changes coming to Zola.

They have introduced an extensive new bar menu (though it's available in the main restaurant as well). 

They have also hired a new pastry chef (dessert menu is available here) and wine director--and with it a new cocktail menu. 

Let us know your thoughts on the new menus in the comments section.

Bon Jovi at the Verizon Center

Today is the day that Bon Jovi tickets go on sale for a show on February 27th (at 7:30pm).
Bon Jovi is ready for D.C.

You can get tickets here.  And you better hurry.

Tickets range from $19.50 to $149.50. 

However, there are several special promotions, such as the Ultimate Bon Jovi Experience, which for $1,525 gets you a front row seat, a collectible chair, autographed tour photos, and entry into a pre-party.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Crumbs shows up on Foursquare

Crumbs bakery has shown up on social-networking site Foursquare and confirmed their November 13th opening date.  They will be opening at 9 a.m. this Saturday.

Thereafter, anyone who checks in on Foursquare on a Friday will receive a free medium coffee.

According to their twitter feed, they often give other Foursquare deals, too -- including a free cupcake for the mayor.

$6 Tickets at the Crime & Punishment Museum

Every Sunday through December 19th, locals (and locals only) can go to the Crime and Punishment Museum on 7th street for $6.  That's a marked discount from their usual $19.95 entrance fee.

Visitors must have a local I.D. and visit on Sunday to take advantage of the $6 tickets.

For those who aren't locals, a $2 off coupon (hey it's something) is available here.  Also, tickets are a couple dollars cheaper if you buy them online.

In November and December, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays, and the last ticket is sold at 6 p.m.

Norman Rockwell all the time

The Washington Post reports that the Normal Rockwell exhibit, which displays works by the artists from the private collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, has been so successful that attendance at the museum has increased by 30%.

As a result, the good people at the National Portrait Gallery, where the exhibit is being displayed, are extending their hours for the upcoming holidays.  Of course, the Gallery is already open until 7:00pm--some two hours later than most museums in the area--so they will be opening earlier than usual to accommodate the crowds.

The hours will be as follows:

Thanksgiving Weekend (November 26-28):
          10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Christmas/New Year's Holiday (December 26 - January 2)
         10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day from everyone here at PQ Insider.

We are very thankful for those who have sacrificed for our great nation.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Teaism will be carrotmobbed this Saturday.
WeLoveDc.com reports that Teaism is set to be carrotmobbed this Saturday, the 13th, at 10am.

Set to be what?

Carrotmobbed.  According to carrotmob.org, carrotmobbing is "a network of consumers who buy products in order to reward businesses who are making the most socially responsible decisions."  The term comes from the phrase "use the carrot, not the stick."

According to the facebook event publicizing the event, consumers want to reward Teaism for providing paid sick leave to its employees, despite the fact that restaurant employees are exempted from D.C.'s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act.

For more, see dc.carrotmob.org.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Let us know about any celebrity sightings in Penn Quarter!  You can email us or it leave a note in the comment section.

Thursday night, Tina Fey will accept the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.

The Washington Examiner reports that several celebrity attendees have already arrived in Washington.  Jennifer Hudson was spotted at DCA yesterday afternoon and many other celebrities are expected to attend including
Fred Armisen, Steve Carell, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Hamm, Jane Krakowski, Steve Martin, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Tracy Morgan, Amy Poehler and Betty White.

While many of them will probably stay in the West End and Georgetown, I'm sure some are staying in Penn Quarter -- and they'd be dumb not to show up here to eat.

Hotel Monaco Bought

This may be old news, but it escaped us - Hotel Monaco has been bought by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, a Real Estate Investment Trust that specializes in hotels.  The hotel will continue to be managed by Kimpton, however.

Pebblebrook reportedly bought the hotel for for $74 Million.  They also own the Doubletree in Bethesda and three other hotels in California, Georgia, and Minnesota.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Anyone have any idea why the boards that cover the space to be  Hill Country BBQ have been painted black?

We got nothin'.

The boards have been up for months, but they were recently painted black.

A quick peek inside makes clear they are far from opening.

Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, and Rachel Ray to Penn Quarter?

Next weekend is the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show at the Washington Convention Center.

Guests in attendance include Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, and Rachel Ray.

The questions is: where will they eat while they are here?  Surely they will venture down to try some of Penn Quarter's finest restaurants.

When Rachel Ray formerly filmed her $40 A Day show in Washington, she stopped by Teaism and Jaleo.  As well as Clyde's -- albeit the Georgetown location.

Leave comments or email us with celebrity sightings!

Friday, November 5, 2010

More credit card friendly parking meters coming uptown

DDOT released a statement saying they are installing 1150 new parking meters that will accept credit cards.

“This is a next step towards a complete revamp of our parking system over the next 12 months,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein.

The majority of these meters are expected to be downtown, where there is higher parking turnover.

With the Fenty Administration increasing the time you must pay to park until 10:00pm on many streets downtown, we think that credit card meters will make it much easier to get around Penn Quarter (who uses change these days?).

In the "near future," DDOT is expected to roll out a system that debits a device in your car for parking, similar to Arlington's iPark system.  That way, you don't pay for time after you've left the spot.

These new meters get the high tech improvements rolling.  “The new meters are also a piece of a comprehensive Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) architecture that that will tie together all of our assets with adaptive controls that change dynamically, and provide real time information to the public, and DDOT. From our signal system, to the Circulator Bus, to the parking system, all proactively communicating," said Klein.