What’s in a Name? Silver Line Metro Asks for Stations’ Names

With plans for the opening of the Silver Line slated for as early as next year, Metro and Fairfax County are asking for public suggestions for the proposed eight new stations.

Construction on the 23-mile line extending to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County has been been a long time coming. Work on the track began in 2008, but escalating cost and delays have set the project back. Phase I of the construction will extend 11.6 miles between Stadium-Armory and Wiehle Avenue in Reston, Va. Phase II, expected for completion in 2016, will extend service another 11.5 miles from Reston to Herndon, the airport and into Loudoun County. In total, the Silver Line will make stops at 29 stations, 11 of them new.

In order to name the eight new stations in Fairfax County and to increase awareness about the Silver Line project, WMATA has set up a survey for respondents to provide their opinion about the line’s development. The survey will be open until 5 p.m. on March 21st. Creativity is restricted to no longer than 19 characters, so let the name debate begin.

Campus Sartorialist: February

Although it’s only February, the stylish students of Georgetown University are taking full advantage of the unusually warm weather. They’re doing away with coats and scarves in order to show off a variety of fashionable looks.

Alex Rice (MSB ’15) and Stephanie Cai (MSB ’15), a dynamic roommate duo, depict the best of the East and West Coast.  Alex looks flawless in her laid back Cali ensemble and Stephanie is simply adorable in a knitted sweater and ballet flats – classic NYC.

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D.C. Streetcars Strike Back

Ever wondered what went down in the Car Barn before Georgetown professors and students began making use of it? Well, the next time you’re sitting in class, minutes away from dozing off, think about how less than 50 years ago, the Car Barn didn’t house any classrooms. Rather, it housed streetcars that were undergoing maintenance. Also, it was actually super close to becoming a Union Station.

So why the mention of the building that many students dread walking to? Streetcars, that’s why. The first streetcars in D.C. appeared in 1862 and were literally horse powered. After a little under 100 years of operation, streetcars were replaced by buses and the Metrorail system. Now, fifty years after that fateful decision, D.C. residents welcome the return of a streetcar system.

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Mardi Gras: D.C. is your New Orleans

Today is Fat Tuesday, which means it’s also Mardi Gras. It is a day for your glutinous habits to win over before the Lent season begins. While Georgetown is certainly no New Orleans, we still expect to see beads, masks, and lots of purple and green. D.C. is here to help you to celebrate the day with several Mardi Gras events.

  • Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade: The parade starts at 8 p.m. and runs along Wilson Boulevard. It is the 15th consecutive year for this parade, which showcases more than 40 regional groups. It will be filled with music, floats, fire trucks, and best of all, 25 cases of Mardi Gras beads. Catch a necklace and you will have good luck for the year. Anyone can go, and it is free!
  • Annual Bourbon Street Bash: If you’re looking for live music and authentic New Orleans cuisine, this is the event for you. It lasts from 4 p.m. until midnight, and is $5 at the door. Listen to some New Orleans musical favorites, and receive beads and masks at the door. The event is at Rumors (19th & M St. NW).
  • Pancake Races: The National Cathedral is celebrating this final day before Lent with Mardi Gras pancake races following Tuesday’s noon Eucharist. All are welcome to come and compete on the west front grounds of the Cathedral. The grand prize will be the Golden Skillet.
  • Ash Wednesday: Once your day of celebration is over, all Catholics can attend mass at Dahlgren Chapel on Wednesday. Mass times include 8 am, 12:10 pm, 5 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11 pm. Take an hour out of your day to honor the start of Lent.

A Case Study in Town-Gown Relations

After the D.C. Zoning Commission delayed judgment on Georgetown’s 2010 Campus Plan until April, relations between neighbors and students continued down their path of public frustration. Unfortunately, the hostile relations seem set to continue until the final judgment comes after a date for the hearing is set on April 30.

But, as the Washington City Paper pointed out last week, Georgetown’s situation is not unique, among universities either nationally or locally. Yet, the paper points out, poor town-gown relations have a unique situation in the District.

In addition to Georgetown’s problems, parking battles have flared around The George Washington University’s Mount Vernon campus and American University. The District’s historically poor relations between campuses and neighborhoods reveal a lot about the District’s internal politics. According to the Paper, “Washington is also a place that has never, unlike some other big cities, been quite comfortable with becoming a bustling, urban center. Ours is a town where there’s no agreed-upon answer to the basic question of whether we really want to allow a bunch of quiet-seeking residents to stifle a university’s growth.”

Furthermore, the District’s poor town-gown relations at Georgetown, GW and American are intricately related to the fact that neighbors enjoy an amazing amount of say in local politics, especially on issues concerning zoning regulations, parking rules and the like. At American, neighbors objected to minute details over the construction of a new dormitory — from the color of stone to the amount of trees surrounding the building.

D.C.’s town-gown relations are not so unique in other respects. Though our political environment may be different than in other towns, students in close proximity with other neighbors causes inevitable problems. Several neighbors interviewed complained of vomit on their stoops, finding drunken students on their front lawns and vandalism on their homes during weekend nights. All in all, given the structure of local politics and student demographics, struggles between the university and neighbors seem posed to continue. While the City Paper hesitates to pick a side in the current dispute over the Campus Plan, it does highlight neighbor concerns, both legitimate and ridiculous.

Photo credit: Washington City Paper

Sunday Night Wrapup: Happenings on the Hill

With President’s Day tomorrow, the weekend is far from over. However, many of you have probably spent the past few days traveling and enjoying the long weekend, so Sunday Night Wrapup is here to catch you up on all the news that you’ve missed.

  • This past Friday Congress voted to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits. President Obama said he would sign the bill as soon as it was passed. Overall this means that there will be a tax holiday for the rest of the year.
  • The FBI arrested 29 year-old male Amine El Khalifi Friday when they learned of his plans to bomb the U.S. Capitol. He attempted to be the first suicide bomber in the US by strapping what he thought was an explosive vest to his chest. The FBI had been investigating him for a long time coming, and arrested him in Alexandria, Virginia before he acted.
  • The Hoyas had a big win on the road over Providence Saturday night, beating them 63-53. They kept the Friars to shooting under 26 percent, and Hollis Thompson led his team with 13 points and 10 rebounds. They play their second consecutive away game Tuesday night against Big East team Seaton Hall.
  • Michelle Obama surprised White House visitors with a meet and greet on Thursday. She brought along the Obamas’ dog Bo to the 80-minute long session, and spent little time discussing politics. This marks the 4th time that Michelle has surprised White House visitors.
  • Lin-sanity: Everyone is loving Jeremy Lin. This Harvard grad and current New York Knick’s point guard scored 28 points today to defeat the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. After only 6 games, Lin has 164 points. NBA fans are comparing his early success to some of the NBA greats.

Best Bets: Feeling Presidential

Still looking for things to fill the three-day weekend? We’ve got you covered with this week’s Best Bets to ensure that you have an awesome President’s Day Weekend!

FRIDAY

Are you a scary movie fanatic? If so, head out to the Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW) for Friday Night Frights from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. They’re showing two episodes of the HBO American horror anthology, Tales from the Crypt. Admission is free and, if you’re over 21, there are some awesome drink specials. Black Cat is only three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Metro Station which makes it a convenient hot spot for all Georgetown students. Bring some friends because you won’t want to walk home alone after a night of terror.

SATURDAY

You don’t have to go far to have a great Saturday night – in fact, you can stay right on campus (which is convenient given the frigid winter weather). Head over to Bulldog Alley in the Leavey Center from 9:00pm to 1:30am for a Murder Mystery party and the showing of the movie Clue. Come prepared with your best detective skills to try to piece together the mystery as you search for the murderer. Dress in 1920’s themed attire in order to better immerse yourself in your role.

SUNDAY

The Next Big Thing Tour, which features over twenty local alternative and punk acts, has its next stop at the 9:30 Club (815 V. St. NW). The concert starts at 11:00 a.m. and lasts all day with a new act every twenty to thirty minutes. Stop by, even if for only a little while – you never know when one of these undiscovered bands will make it big. Tickets are $15 and are only available at the door the day of the concert.

MONDAY

It’s well worth it to trek out to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to watch what’s being touted as “the largest parade celebrating Washington’s birthday in the USA!” The parade features bands, floats, wagons, horses, historic reenactment units, youth groups and special performances. Take the Yellow Line to the Eisenhower Avenue Metro Station, where a DASH bus will shuttle people downtown to the parade between 11am to 4pm, free of charge. During the day, everyone will have free admission to various historic Alexandria sites.

Photo: princeofpetworth.com

GUSA Takes Youtube (Updated)

Now that GUSA elections are in full swing, the walls of Red Square are three layers deep in campaign flyers and candidates are releasing their campaign videos. Past classics have ranged from 2007’s  Vote in a Box to last year’s Most Interesting Man at Georgetown. So what does this year have to offer? With seven official tickets in the race (plus Chicken Madness’ inevitable write-in campaign), we’ve got a lot of videos to look at.

Murph and Mike We were surprised by Murphy Kate Delaney’s rap skills – she’s not the next Kanye, but she’s decent (and VP Mike Appau is pretty solid too). The lines, “Who’s Murphy my dude?/Match my bows with my shoes/Mikey’s straight out of Ghana/Like a Georgetown Obama” were a moment of genius. And we were honored by the shoutout in the beginning – “So I ball so hard, everybody’s trying to vote me/But first the Hoya needs to quote me.”

Sax|Crouch Tyler Sax and Michael Crouch’s campaign emphasizes the voice of the students, and their video shows them joining quite a few of Georgetown’s clubs, from WGTB to Groove Theory. While we get the impression that these guys spend literally all of their time together (besties!), they’re showing off a fundamental aspect of their campaign platform. Also, they’re not the best dancers in the world.

John and Lauren It’s “halftime at Georgetown,” and this sendup of Chrysler’s Super Bowl commercial features John Morris and Lauren Weber for only 9 seconds of a 2-minute video. Instead, we get a voiceover from a deep-voiced stranger, talking about how “this campus can’t be knocked down with one punch.” The sweeping panoramas of campus are pretty, but we’re left wondering what their campaign is actually about.
(Ed note: Lauren Weber is a member of The Hoya’s board of directors.)

Clara and Vail This is one of the few videos that clearly states the candidates’ campaign platform. Clara Gustafson and Vail Kohnert-Yount outline their goals for GUSA over some peppy flute music. The freeze frame after they jump off a bench in the Observatory garden is a nice touch.

Colton and Maggie Speaking from Gaston Hall, Colton Malkerson and Maggie Cleary also outline the points of their platform. They also give a thorough record of their experience on GUSA. It’s a clear video, but we wish it had some music, dancing or panoramas of campus – something to spice it up a bit.

Dan and Markel A parody of a Hermain Cain ad, the campaign manager for Dan LaMagna and Markel Starks boasts about how his team will “put the student back in Georgetown University Student Association.” The music is a bit loud, but it’s a line for line sendup of the original (minus the “We would NOT f***ing be here right now.”). Bonus: They’re the only ticket with a video solely dedicated to the VP candidate.

Tisa Walsh While Nate Tisa and Shelia Walsh don’t appear to have released any video campaign just yet, we’re hoping it’s because there’s something epic in the works. We’ll update if/when that happens. Nate Tisa and Sheila Walsh released their campaign video yesterday, adding a Georgetown-centric video to the “Sh*t ____s Say” meme. While we’re a little confused by the fixation on peer advisors (is reforming that program part of their platform?), the “last night at Brown House…” line made us laugh.

Friday Fixat10ns: It Is Still February?

Trees Without Leaves from ecgarbi on 8tracks.

Is it just me or does February seem to be dragging on a bit long this year? Check out these chill tunes to get you through the last kick of winter.

Beth/Rest – Bon Iver Basically any of Bon Iver’s tunes would fit in this playlist. I just picked this one because my name’s in it. I have a hunch that he spends long amounts of time writing about ex-girlfriends in a log cabin somewhere as part of his creative process.

Oh Annie – The Morning Benders These guys are inextricably end-of-winter/springish. That association might be due to the timing of their last album’s release — which happened to be around this time of year. This one has a lull to it, though, that reminds me of that feeling of laying in bed after waking up from an only mildly satisfying nap.

Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying – Ray Charles  The sun is out today and despite cold mornings, spring is sort of on its way. So don’t let the sun catch you crying when it gets warm eventually. Ray Charles fits any season.

Surgeon – St. Vincent The frantic push at the end of the song perfectly encapsulates wanting winter (or anything) to end.

Wait – M83  Um, this is the perfect nap song.

Wishful Thinking – Wilco One of my favorite tunes from Wilco, partially because of the wistful quality to the build-up in the beginning and the poignant lyrics.  Feels like a cozy sweater.

I Remember – Araabmuzik Frosty, techno-y remix of a Kaskade song. Very February.

Polish Girl – Neon Indian A tad more upbeat than the rest but the repetition of the lyric “You fail to remember” captures that sense of impatience that the other songs also embody.

 

D.C. Ramblings: Dupont Circle

Whether you’re looking for a new favorite restaurant, a good laugh or a different crowd than what you’ll find in Georgetown’s bars, the Dupont Circle area is a breath of fresh air. Literally. I hate to admit, but Dupont Circle is one of the areas of the city I know the least about. I’ve always viewed it as a stepping-stone to other parts of the city, especially since the GUTS bus conveniently drops off right by the metro. I also used to think that besides restaurants, there really wasn’t much to do there. However, if you’re looking for some lively nightlife, Dupont actually may be one of your best bets in the city, and it’s only a twenty-minute walk (crazy right?).

I have to give a shout out to my editor for this little dive bar, but Café Japone located on P St. before the circle, is one of the most fun Karaoke spots I’ve ever been too. It has an extensive song selection; I leafed through the book for about an hour while the place was packed with people from all walks of life having a good time, and didn’t even make it a quarter of the way through the book. The best part is, the sake bombs were incredibly cheap. The first time I went it was around fifteen dollars for three Sapporo’s and a decanter of warm sake. Three of us were able to squeeze out about ten drinks. This place is great for groups, and if you start the night out here, you’re close to a lot of other great bars, even Adams Morgan if you so felt compelled.

The next stop, past the circle and down Connecticut Ave, The Big Hunt (near N St.), is one of the cooler bars in the city, especially if you would classify yourself as edgy, hip, modern or you wear non-prescription thick-rimmed glasses and think pocket squares should have never gone out of style. This “hipster bar” (I use the term lovingly, I love pocket squares) has four floors chock full of eclectic memorabilia, a great deck for outdoor drinking in the warmer months and boasts itself to be one of the oldest “beer” bars in D.C. Suit vests also seem to be very effective here.

Farther down Connecticut Avenue is one of my favorite places in the city, D.C. Improv. I like this place so much that I’ve mentioned it twice on 4E (once before in a Best Bets post). The first time I went here I saw Flip Orley hypnotize a guy on stage who became so enthralled with the hair of the woman sitting next to him, that he asked her if he could “pet” her. Not to mention that smiling and laughing make you live longer, so at the least, check this place out for your health. It’s a great first date option, guys, and you don’t even have to be funny to get her to laugh.

Two words: Shake Shack. This new sensation is gradually working its way up to D.C. superstardom, soon to be as highly sought after as mumbo sauce (some people also call it mambo sauce – there’s even a go-go band that shares the name) and Jumbo Slice. Last time I checked, Five Guys doesn’t have milkshakes, and Good Stuff Eatery is all the way out in Capitol Hill (until it opens up in Georgetown) so check out this burger joint.

I haven’t even covered half of the great places you can go in Dupont Circle, but these are a start. Go check it out for yourself if you haven’t already.

Photo: http://douglasdevelopment.com/projects/shake-shack