Ed Note (12/5): Winternational, the last item below, has been resecheduled to Jan 9, 2014 due to weather related concerns.
Tomorrow night is the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on The Ellipse in front of the White House – the festivities begin at 5 pm with live coverage starting at 4:30 pm on the Internet (tickets are required for entry to the live event). We love this annual event and the musical repertoire it brings especially this year’s line up which includes two of our favorites, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin. Remember to plan accordingly if you are or are not going because traffic jams up in downtown DC for hours and blocks surrounding the event. Taking the Metro (not the bus), bicycling, or walking can be a real time saver tomorrow afternoon/night.
We also want to point out Winternational, an event from 4 pm to 7 pm on the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center’s plaza at 13th and Pennsylvania Ave NW. From an e-mail:
On the Plaza, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Now rescheduled to 1/9/2014
On the evening of the National Christmas Tree Lighting,we invite you and your family, friends and colleagues to learn about and experience the holidays and traditions from a global perspective. Open to the public, this event will feature:
- Cultural performance stage
- Gingerbread cookie decorating station
- Complimentary cookies, hot cocoa and apple cider
- Cultural exhibitors
Join us as we explore the different ways in which the world celebrates the winter season through food, culture, customs and traditions.
Free and Open to the Public
By e-mail we were notified of the next Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association breakfast meeting. RSVP by Noon tomorrow (Friday, December 6) is requested. Please indicate if you heard of this meeting from Penn Quarter Living:
Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association Breakfast Meeting
Tuesday, December 10, 8:30 am
Hill Country Barbecue Market
410 Seventh Street, NW
Metro: Archives-Navy Mem’l-Penn Quarter – Green & Yellow Lines
Gallery Pl-Chinatown, exit 7th and F streets – Red Line
Continental Breakfast 8:30 – 8:55 am
Announcements 9:00 am
Speaker 9:15 am
Jamie Henson - DDOT Project Director for the North-South Corridor Planning Study
Bourbon/whiskey seems to be the liquor of choice these days. One name that is first on the lips of every one I know as the best is Pappy van Winkle. Most people have never tried it. Most bars can’t stock it. So why is it considered the best? Thanks to a tip from Eater, now you can find out for yourself at Shelly’s Back Room (1331 F St., NW). They have stocked several bottles of different ages. Hurry, they’re sure to go quick.
Here’s what we were reading recently about neighborhood news in DC. Have something to add? Leave it in the comments!
Have any tips? Send them in confidentiality to: pqliving [at] gmail.com
Penn Quarter - During the curtain calls for performances of “A Christmas Carol,” the company will collect monetary donations on behalf of the Washington-based non-profit Covenant House Washington. Patrons also can make donations through the Ford’s Theatre Box Office. All donation checks should be made payable to “Covenant House Washington.” “A Christmas Carol” plays at Ford’s Theatre from November 21, 2013, through January 1, 2014. [Ford's Theatre - A Christmas Carol] & [Covenant House DC website]
National Mall/Downtown – The National Christmas Tree lighting is on Friday, December 6 at 5 pm. The downside? Expect major traffic delays for the evening rush in and around downtown that day. The upside? Aretha Franklin is singing at the opening lighting ceremony. [National Christmas Tree website]
National Mall - A guy jumps from an upper level of the atrium in the National Museum of the American Indian and dies. [WaPo]
On a recent trip to Barmini (855 E St., NW), we were celebrating the conclusion of some big work projects and asked our server what would be a particularly special way to mark the occasion. He suggested that we try a glass from their rare and exclusive wines list. Due to some new technology, places like Barmini can now offer guests a glass of very special wine without forcing the purchase of the whole bottle. We selected the Chateau d’Yquem, having heard from wine friends that this is considered the creme de la creme. It did not disappoint. Next time you are at Barmini, be sure to check out the list. It’s still pretty pricey for just a glass, but well worth it to be able to sample some spectacular wines. As we enter the holiday season, here’s a toast to all of you! Cheers! Salut! Sante! Prost!…
It has been a few years since we last posted about over-the-air (OTA) TV in PQ, that’s because the channels have mostly stabilized and so we don’t worry much about it any longer. Back in 2007 we complained about our favorite music video station going off the air, and in 2009 when it looked like the Retro-Television station was off the air for good we even considered cable.
Things have changed a lot in the intervening years. The popularity and selection of Netflix streaming, combined Amazon Instant Video, and then services we like but use less often, such as Hulu, Vudu, Crackle, and even RedBox (for discs, not their streaming service which we haven’t tried yet), all mean that we’re watching less broadcast television.
Yet despite all of our on-demand options, we still do flip through the channels and more often then not, we find something we like. And before we get into what that is, a word about our setup. We’re using a extremely affordable indoor/outdoor amplified TV antenna, which is pointed something like west-northwest. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the OTA TV experience is finding, then tweaking, the best direction for your antenna to face.
With that setup we pick up about 50 channels, of which we actually watch about 20 or so. You’ve got your standard stations like NBC (4.1), Fox (5.1), ABC (7.1), CBS (9.1 — this one is the least reliable for reception on our setup), WETA PBS (26.1 through 26.4), and the CW (50.1). We watch these mostly for morning news broadcasts, sports on the weekends, or in the case of WETA, British dramas & mysteries.
The main channels we find ourselves watching are:
- ION Television (66.1) – Great if you are a fan of Monk, Criminal Minds, or Flashpoint, but also good for late night and mid-day movies if you happen to be home sick or unable to sleep
- Movies! (20.2) — A poor-man’s Turner Classic Movies, this station has quickly become our first stop when flipping channels, it’s easy to get lost in All About Eve, Hell is for Heroes, Marathon Man, or any other number of movie classics. They also play shorts between some films (we told you, poor-man’s TCM)
- MeTV (7.2) — This was one of two replacements for our old favorite, Retro-Television Network (RTN), MeTV plays most of the same types of old shows including The Rifleman, Emergency!, and the Rockford Files. MeTV holds a special place in our hearts, however, as the first (and so far only) OTA station to broadcast Columbo, although only once a week (Sunday night at 8 pm, if you are interested)
- Cozi TV(4.2) — Cozi is the second partial replacement of the old RTN, playing some old shows (McCloud, I Spy, Charlie’s Angels) and a mix of movies (Jaws: the Revenge, The Last Picture Show, A Few Good Men)
Although CBS (9.1) and its sub-channels don’t come in very well for us, we should mention that the sub-channels there are also pretty good. Bounce TV (9.2) bills itself as the “first African American broadcast network” and we’ve found some pretty good movies to watch here (D.C. Cab being our favorite) when the station comes in; also 9.3 is an around the clock weather station with constant forecasts, radar, and updates.
We’re not trying to sell anyone on cutting the cord, many of you probably like the ease and convenience of cable, and of course exclusive content like sporting events. OTA requires you to be a bit more hands-on with your tv viewing, and to learn to live with atmospheric disruptions. Still, if you find yourself watching on-demand services for the majority of your viewing, we think you’ll find that OTA TV, at least in DC, has now reached the point where we no longer feel like we’ve given something up by not having cable.
Today we learned more details about Flight, a new wine bar, that plans to open its doors at 777 6th Street NW next month (December 2013) in Penn Quarter/Chinatown. We first reported on Flight in April of this year and the long vacant retail bay on the east side of 6th Street is now coming to fruition. Details about this new DC wine bar follow in the press release below:
FLIGHT WINE BAR SET TO OPEN IN PENN QUARTER
New York couple returns to Washington to pursue passion for wine; Bradley Curtis to be opening chef
WASHINGTON, November 22, 2013 – Flight Wine Bar, owned and operated by husband and wife team, Swati Bose and Kabir Amir, is due to open in Penn Quarter at 777 6th Street, NW, Washington, DC in December 2013. Bose and Amir will open with an approachable wine list featuring over 30 options by the glass including lesser known varietals and labels from around the world. A selection of domestic and international beers, boutique spirits and a weekly wine-based cocktail will also be on the menu. The 60-seat wine bar will also serve shareable plates designed to complement the diverse wine list. Chef Bradley Curtis, formerly of DGS Delicatessen, Zaytinya and Graffiato will helm the kitchen. Edit Lab, designers of Daikaya and Red Hen, among others, have designed the space.