Archive | June, 2012

Being Social: the Weekend of 6.28.12

28 Jun

The time has finally come.  It’s convention season for this geek! I’m off to Bronycon in NYC (actually the Meadowlands), and you have permission to beat me if I don’t blog about how awesome it is.  After this is Otakon, which is so close that any self-respecting geek should consider attending.

If you’ll be in the District this weekend, watch out! Bizarre Foods is coming to DC!  Sadly, they are looking for local flavour, not the crazy stuff I like to see.  Ah well. You might get on film if you hang out by food trucks Common Good Soup Kitchen, Mr. P’s, Florida Avenue Grill or La Chiquita in Takoma Park.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall has started up again, and will run through July 8th.  It always includes a bunch of exhibits, as well as fair foods. This year features a massive AIDS memorial quilt (nearly 48,000 panels), the USDA, Anacostia River arts, as well as a Chuck Brown Tribute Day [dc.about.com]

On Saturday the Great American Festival is being held at the distant National Harbour.  Acts include Eve 6, Ozomatli, The Dance Party, Lost in Paris and See-I, DJs including Skratch & Sniff, DJ Chris Styles, and DJ Pat Premier, and from the DC area’s most popular food vendors including Famous Dave’s BBQ and the Hard Times Café. [LindyPromo]


And of course this week is Independence Day, with events going on from now until the 4th to celebrate!  Events include cruises, concerts, fireworks and parades!  Just do a search and you’ll find tons to do.

——

Ongoing Geekdom:

  • Iwo Jima Sunset Parades are Tuesdays until August 14th, from 7-8pm.
  • The National Gallery of Art has once more begun its ‘Jazz in the Garden’ series.  This has jazz bands that play in the Sculpture Gardens and is quite the relaxing and entertaining affair.  Check it out if you get a chance!  It will be held every Friday evening from 5:00 to 8:30, through August 31st.
  • The Art of Video Games, which exhibits video games voted on by fans, is open at the American Art Museum through September 30th.  It starts with lectures by famous developers (many are sold out, though they will be livestreamed!), a GameFest, and video game movies like King of Kong.  If you haven’t seen it, go.  It’s so dorkfully win.

—-

Geek Look Ahead:

June

  • June 30 will also play host to Bit Gen Gamer Fest 7 in Baltimore, a video game music concert festival.  If I weren’t going to Bronycon, this sounds pretty awesome.
July

August

September

October

  • Taste of DC‘s main event will be on Pennsylvania Ave on October 6-8.

November

  • NekoCon is November 2-4.  Apparently it starts on the 2th.  I love the Japanese.
  • 9-11 November will be Anime USA here in the District. It’s by the zoo, so totally accessible. I’ve already pre-reg’d!
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Being Social: the Weekend of 6.22.12

22 Jun

With the heat rising, DC is getting ready for the 4th of July holiday, and festivals are going on all over the place.  For example, the annual National Capital Barbecue Battle is back, with food, demos, music and activities.  It’ll be on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW between 9th & 14th St.  Also returning is the DC Caribbean Carnival, though it was a bit shaky to plan, and it’s now in Bladensburg, Maryland.  There will be local Steelbands, costumes and live entertainment.

Saturday
9am-12pm
If you’ve got wheels, check out Skate of the Union!  It’s pretty much a Grand Prix Race Course that opens up for skaters & skate boarders. Please register if you’re interested in attending. [PoP]

4pm
For the solstice, the French Embassy has an annual massive festival, La Fete de la Musique. Tickets are $10 or more.

12pm-5pm
Another food festival has appeared! Go to the Old Town Alexandria food and wine festival and enjoy! [Metromix]


8-10pm
Check out the Regional US Air Guitar championships at the 9:30 Club!

This week
If there are any tickets left, Scissor Sisters will be performing at the 930 club Monday and Tuesday!

While we don’t talk about it a lot, DC does have a high rate of AIDS infections.  Thankfully, there are tons of clinics for those worried, and there will be free testing on National Aids Day on Wednesday!  Do everyone a favour and get tested if you have even a slight worry.

——

Ongoing Geekdom:

  • The Silverdocs Film Festival is back, and will be showing 100 free films, and special programs at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. The festival runs through June 24.
  • The National Gallery of Art has once more begun its ‘Jazz in the Garden’ series.  This has jazz bands that play in the Sculpture Gardens and is quite the relaxing and entertaining affair.  Check it out if you get a chance!  It will be held every Friday evening from 5:00 to 8:30, through August 31st.
  • The Art of Video Games, which exhibits video games voted on by fans, is open at the American Art Museum through September 30th.  It starts with lectures by famous developers (many are sold out, though they will be livestreamed!), a GameFest, and video game movies like King of Kong.  If you haven’t seen it, go.  It’s so dorkfully win.

—-

Geek Look Ahead:

June

  • Bronycon will be in NYC (actually the Meadowlands) June 30-July1. I’ll be there, cosplaying it up! Note me if you want to room share, cosplay with me, or just meet up!
  • June 30 will also play host to Bit Gen Gamer Fest 7 in Baltimore, a video game music concert festival.  If I weren’t going to Bronycon, this sounds pretty awesome.
July

August

September

October

  • Taste of DC‘s main event will be on Pennsylvania Ave on October 6-8.

November

  • NekoCon is November 2-4.  Apparently it starts on the 2th.  I love the Japanese.
  • 9-11 November will be Anime USA here in the District. It’s by the zoo, so totally accessible. I’ve already pre-reg’d!

Being Social: the Weekend of 6.15.12

15 Jun

Finally! An on-time issue of the weekly geek events!  This week there appears to be a lot to do!  Of course there is another Taste of, this time the Taste of Reston.  It goes all weekend, and tastings start at $1. [dc.about.com]  This weekend also marks the end of Virginia Yoga Week, which offers free and discounted courses! [WaPo]

Anime Mid-Atlantic is also going on, although this Anime convention is a bit further away. Otherwise, this weekend we have:

Typical Red Line art, indeed.

Friday

6-9pm

The Red Line DC Project will have a film screening.  It focuses on graffiti as art here in the District. [PoP]

Saturday

Today is the official not-Juneteenth (June 19th), so we get to party on Saturday!  There is a Juneteenth Celebration in Upper Marlboro, but for those that want to stay within the safe zone, the Kogod Courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery will host a festival from 1130am to 3pm.It will include historical reenactments, a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, storytelling, live music, crafts, and a genealogical workshop. This event is also free, but advance registration is required for the workshop. [TheDistrict]

I still wish they actually used soap boxes ><

830am-6pm
Washington Soap Box Derby
June 16, 2012. Watch racers ages 8-17 compete in an All American Soap Box Derby on Capitol Hill. [dc.about.com]

9am-4pm

New Belgium Brewery Tour de Fat will occur at the Potomac Yards, and it will include bicycles, beer, and some sort of festival. [DCist]

9am-2pm

So there is this “Truck Touch” event where you can see all the “neat” trucks that DC uses.  I think I lauded the cherry picker last year.  If you like machines… maybe you’d want to go? [theDistrict]

Folk is expensive ><

6-10pm

There’s a Takoma Park Folk festival and bar crawl going on! It’s meant to be a beautiful night, so why not enjoy it in a different part of town? Tickets are $25 and support the folkiness. [PoP]

Sunday

It’s Father’s Day!  Visit with or call your father if you are able, and show him some love.

12-4pm

And if you’re the ‘father’ of the house, why not get another ‘child’ at the Georgetown Pet Adoption Event!

130pm

There is a special Father’s edition of the DC Record Fair, where you can get your Vinyl on! [WaPo]

This week: 
The Silverdocs Film Festival is back, and will be showing 100 free films, and special programs at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. The festival runs through June 24.

——

Ongoing Geekdom:

  • The Freer and Sackler gallery will carry on the Awesome that was the Cherry Blossom festival, and features Hokusai: 36 Views of Mount Fuji!! I have to go. I tried seeing it at the British Museum, but it was traveling, and now’s my chance! It’s open until June 17.
  • The National Gallery of Art has once more begun its ‘Jazz in the Garden’ series.  This has jazz bands that play in the Sculpture Gardens and is quite the relaxing and entertaining affair.  Check it out if you get a chance!  It will be held every Friday evening from 5:00 to 8:30, through August 31st.
  • The Art of Video Games, which exhibits video games voted on by fans, is open at the American Art Museum through September 30th.  It starts with lectures by famous developers (many are sold out, though they will be livestreamed!), a GameFest, and video game movies like King of Kong.  If you haven’t seen it, go.  It’s so dorkfully win.

—-

Geek Look Ahead:

June

  • Bronycon will be in NYC (actually the Meadowlands) June 30-July1. I’ll be there, cosplaying it up! Note me if you want to room share, cosplay with me, or just meet up!
  • June 30 will also play host to Bit Gen Gamer Fest 7 in Baltimore, a video game music concert festival.  If I weren’t going to Bronycon, this sounds pretty awesome.
July

August

September

October

November

  • NekoCon is November 2-4.  Apparently it starts on the 2th.  I love the Japanese.
  • 9-11 November will be Anime USA here in the District. It’s by the zoo, so totally accessible. I’ve already pre-reg’d!

8-Bit Crusaders

12 Jun

No, not the crazy religious group – it’s the Cutie Mark Crusaders! Blog crossover! Gasp!

(Art by DTCX97 on DeviantArt!)

But they’re so cute doing the Mario (yes, that link has sound)! ❤

Being Social: the Weekend of 6.9.12

9 Jun

Again, my apologies for posting late.  This week I have a cold ><

The Capital Pride celebration is hitting its peak this weekend, with the parade (at 4:30 today!) and street festival on Sunday, as well as a lot of after parties.  So get out there now and celebrate!

I also totally missed the start of Capital Beer Week!  There are still three days left, and tons of beer specials all over the city. It’s pretty fun to try out the new brews, especially to support DC Brau, so check it out!  Of course that means that this weekend is the beer festival SAVOR, but if you don’t have tickets, you’ll miss out. It usually sells out the day of release. My bad.  I’ll work harder to let you know next year!

DC Brau

(Image Credit: Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

The National Gallery of Art has once more begun its ‘Jazz in the Garden’ series.  This has jazz bands that play in the Sculpture Gardens and is quite the relaxing and entertaining affair.  Check it out if you get a chance!  It will be held every Friday evening from 5:00 to 8:30, through August 31st.

Saturday

830-1130pm

Ok, other than these festivals, there’s not much to do.  Unless you want to go to Great American Square Dance Revival.  No partner or costume required – just bring $5 to help us pay the band and the hall. Optional: a drink or snack to share, potluck-style, and a water bottle. St. Stephens is a short walk from the Columbia Heights station on the green line. [PoP]

930pm

There is also the annual RIGHT ROUND 80s Alt-Pop Dance Night w/ DJ lil’e.  Tickets are $7.

——

Ongoing Geekdom:

  • Artisphere is exhibiting Elevator to the Moon: Retro-Future Visions of Space, which features contemporary artists’ works based on 20th century predictions of what the future of space travel would be.   There is also an opening reception on the 5th that could be neat. It runs through June 9.
  • In addition, through June 10 the DC Jazz festival will be going on. I’m not into Jazz, but if you are, there’s a lot to do there. [DC.about.com]
  • The Freer and Sackler gallery will carry on the Awesome that was the Cherry Blossom festival, and features Hokusai: 36 Views of Mount Fuji!! I have to go. I tried seeing it at the British Museum, but it was travelling, and now’s my chance! Anyone want to go with me?  It’s open until June 17.
  • The Art of Video Games, which exhibits video games voted on by fans, is open at the American Art Museum through September 30th.  It starts with lectures by famous developers (many are sold out, though they will be livestreamed!), a GameFest, and video game movies like King of Kong.  If you haven’t seen it, go.  It’s so dorkfully win.

—-

Geek Look Ahead:

June

  • Bronycon will be in NYC (actually the Meadowlands) June 30-July1. I’ll be there, cosplaying it up! Note me if you want to room share, cosplay with me, or just meet up!
  • June 30 will also play host to Bit Gen Gamer Fest 7 in Baltimore, a video game music concert festival.  If I weren’t going to Bronycon, this sounds pretty awesome.
July

August

September

October

November

  • NekoCon is November 2-4.  Apparently it starts on the 2th.  I love the Japanese.
  • 9-11 November will be Anime USA here in the District. It’s by the zoo, so totally accessible. I’ve already pre-reg’d!

Tasty Interlude: Rochester Plate Sauce!

4 Jun

Ah, the Garbage Plate. A Rochester, NY staple of cheap eats aficionados and drunk college students wanting something to sop up their booze-filled stomachs.  Many a late night I had eaten these plates.  Consisting of heaping piles of home fries, macaroni salad, and cheeseburgers drowned in a rich, greasy meat sauce, this record holding fatty meal often averages over three days’ fat intake. One plate of this stuff is insanely greasy, filling, and delicious – and is often too much for one person to handle.  I proudly would finish one off by myself, besting many of my male friends. (Of course, my diminutive figure is misleading!)

While New York City has bagels and Chicago has pizza, Rochester has the Garbage Plate, originally created by Nick Tahou’s and duplicated across the city and region.  However, this culinary beast is rarely recreated well outside of its hometown. Enter Rochester Plate Sauce by Hot Top Foods, which has taken on the daunting task of making the key secret ingredient in this dish – the greasy, spicy meat sauce that tops the garbage plate.  I somehow garnered this company’s attention, and was able to sample some for your reading pleasure. While the meal may not be eye candy, it is pretty darn tasty.

The sauce comes shipped in a very well packed box. Within the sauce box are three packets, and I found one packet was more than enough for two Garbage Plates. With a sheet of instructions included, the preparation seems complex.  Partially due to the fact that the Plate has many purists and loyal fans, the reproduction of this plate outside of Rochester is pretty much nonexistent.  The recipe included helps the home cook to recreate a semblance of an authentic plate.  I will provide the instructions, and the shortcuts. Trust me, the shortcuts work wonders, but I tried it whole hog for the demo.

Part 1: Home fries.

Shortcut: Frozen home fries or French fries (I prefer shoestring). Bake until done.

Instructions: Cube potato, boil until just getting tender. Pan fry in oil with onion until browned.


Part 2: Mac salad

Shortcut 1: Store bought

Shortcut 2: Easy Mac – cook without the cheese sauce. Add a bit of chopped celery onion, mayo and mustard at the end.

Instructions: Cook up mac, add celery, onion, mayo and other preferred flavourings. Cool.

Part 3: Burger

Shortcut: Omit, or make the dog type of plate by microwaving your hot dogs

Instructions: cook burger and melt American white cheese on top

Part 4: Sauce

Shortcut: Rochester Plate Sauce – microwave or boil for a couple of minutes.

Shortcut 2: Use pasta sauce. Add in a lot of red chili flakes. If you are ambitious, fry up ground meat and add to sauce.  This really doesn’t taste authentic, but you can pretend.  Still, with this new Rochester Plate Sauce, trying to create a sub-par sauce without that distinctive flavor is much more difficult.

Instructions: SECRET!

Assembling the plate is not very artistic. The ones from Nick Tahou’s are always a sloppy pile of deliciousness. I tried to make mine look nicer. My traditional plate has a ton of Frank’s hot sauce and some mustard on it. Others add ketchup, but I don’t. Some put more raw onion on top, but it’s more of a luxury to me.

Then we have the final product! To eat, cut off a bit of meat, stir everything around and enjoy!  Don’t feel bad if you can’t finish it, though.  Leave that to the experts.



I have to say that the concept of portable plate sauce is pretty awesome. Not only is it a very easy way to complete a homemade garbage plate, but having the sauce also makes me want to make the meal! Trust me, I do get the craving every once in a while.  As I’m about a seven hour  drive from ROC  (that’s Rochester), this is a great alternative to going up there for the real thing.  And now, you too can try a Garbage Plate,  just like any ROC expatriate.

The sauce itself did have the greasy sheen on top that is typical of a Garbage plate, and it was not excessive to worry me. The colour actually looks a bit more red and vibrant than many of the website’s pictures – it is not just a brown pile of deliciousness. The consistency surprised me – while it is a meat sauce, the meat is extremely fine, almost adding a gritty texture to the sauce.  I have been told by the manufacturer that this is being refined – and I can’t wait to see how it can get better!  It also had a bit of an irony aftertaste, attributed to secret ingredients and preservatives.  To the consumer, I would recommend adding your own ground meat.  The sauce is a bit spicy, but not up to my standards; I had to add a lot of Frank’s Hot Sauce (my personal bit of heaven, though others prefer Tabasco) to it.


I would recommend folks try this if they are adventurous foodies who have never experienced a Rochester Plate.  Expat Rochesterians may also enjoy having such a simple way to top off a food that reminds them of home.  I know that when I have mine, I think of late night eating contests, grease soaked fingers and games of drunken Super Monkey Ball.  How about you?

If you’re interested, visit www.platesauce.com to order your box of plate deliciousness, and get ready for some Rochester memory waves!  And a special thank you to them to treating me to their tasty wares :3

Being Social: the Weekend of 6.2.12

3 Jun

Sorry for the late post… a good friend of mine was leaving the country, so we had to send him off on a good note!

It’s June, which means it’s LGBT ‘Gay’ Pride month! Washington, DC has a pretty epic Capital Pride celebration, with a lot of dancing, a huge parade, a drag race, and tons more. It’s crazy fun, and especially since gay marriage is legal in the district, it gets better every year! Upcoming events include Jell-O wrestling, drag kickball, charity work and auctions!

This weekend there will be a Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park. The free festival features hundreds of musicians, storytellers, dancers, and craft vendors representing the rich cultural diversity of the Washington area. [DC.about.com]

In addition, through June 10 the DC Jazz festival will be going on. I’m not into Jazz, but if you are, there’s a lot to do there. [DC.about.com]

Other than that, there’s not a lot going on this weekend. Unless you want to celebrate Zebra day at the National Zoo, or:

Saturday
11am-4pm
The newest Taste of is in Georgetown. Try more tasty foods and enjoy live entertainment, with tickets being a quite reasonable 5 for $25.

Sunday
730pm
Radiohead will be doing a show at the Verizon Center, if you’re interested in them. [theDistrict]

——

Ongoing Geekdom:

  • Artisphere is exhibiting Elevator to the Moon: Retro-Future Visions of Space, which features contemporary artists’ works based on 20th century predictions of what the future of space travel would be.   There is also an opening reception on the 5th that could be neat. It runs through June 9.
  • The Freer and Sackler gallery will carry on the Awesome that was the Cherry Blossom festival, and features Hokusai: 36 Views of Mount Fuji!! I have to go. I tried seeing it at the British Museum, but it was travelling, and now’s my chance! Anyone want to go with me?  It’s open until June 17.
  • The Art of Video Games, which exhibits video games voted on by fans, is open at the American Art Museum through September 30th.  It starts with lectures by famous developers (many are sold out, though they will be livestreamed!), a GameFest, and video game movies like King of Kong.  If you haven’t seen it, go.  It’s so dorkfully win.

—-

Geek Look Ahead:

June

  • June 8-10 will have AnimeNext in New Jersey
  • Anime Mid-Atlantic is a bit further away, but it’s another big Anime Convention, if you’re in need of some geek time! June 15-17
  • Bronycon will be in NYC (actually the Meadowlands) June 30-July1. I’ll be there, cosplaying it up! Note me if you want to room share, cosplay with me, or just meet up!
  • June 30 will also play host to Bit Gen Gamer Fest 7 in Baltimore, a video game music concert festival.  If I weren’t going to Bronycon, this sounds pretty awesome.
July
  • Otakon July 27-29: Become by friend now and we can split a room in this Baltimore-based anime extravaganza!

August

September

October

November

  • NekoCon is November 2-4.  Apparently it starts on the 2th.  I love the Japanese.