More than Just Deals

by Michelle Cassidy

It looks like daily deals are about to get a luxury upgrade in the District. Two weeks ago, The Guide explored the origins of Livingsocial, a startup co-founded by Georgetown grad Tim O’Shaughnessy (MSB ’04). The D.C.-based deals giant already operates around the world, but now they’re doing something totally new.

Livingsocial’s new storefront at 918 F Street NW will be the site of a new direction for the company, according to DCist. Where they have previously focused on online vouchers and “adventures” like skeet shooting, sailing lessons and skydiving, the new venue will serve as a permanent space for lessons, pop-up restaurants and concerts.

Their new facility has taken over the old National Union Building, which has been around since 1890. They have converted the building into a four-story playhouse with classrooms that can be used for anything from dance lessons to painting classes. There’s also a commercial-grade kitchen that will host local restauranteurs and cooking instruction alike.

D.C. Top Chef Mike Isabella will be the first to host a pop-up restaurant in the space. Later this year he will be opening a new restaurant called Bandolero in Georgetown (on M Street, where Hook used to be before a fire this summer). But he’s hosting a preview of the menu in the Livingsocial space. It’s not quite the deal you would expect from their daily coupons, with seats at the preview going for $119 a person. But that doesn’t seem to be limiting the interest, as Isabella’s event is already sold out — looks like we’ll have to wait until the real thing opens to check out the menu.

It’s more than just fancy food though. There will be mixology classes and live music at the downstairs bar, with an acoustic set by O.A.R. scheduled for this Sunday as the first performance. Though Livingsocial’s new storefront may not have all the deals we’re used to seeing from them, we’re looking forward to what kinds of events might come out of this new location.

Photo: Benjamin R. Freed via DCist

Tips for a Lonely Heart

by Martin Hussey

Happy Valentine’s Day, lonely hearts of Georgetown. Welcome to the one day each year that seems destined to make all of the otherwise happy single people pine for any taste of a relationship in our lives. Even for the most content of the single people, Valentine’s Day often seems like a struggle. Yesterday, 4E profiled a few last minute Valentine’s ideas for those of us with dates, but today, I write to everybody else. I write to the single ladies and the lonely boys. Here’s a list of things you can do to make your Valentine’s Day less lonely, whether you want to completely forget about the romantic holiday or embrace it.

Commiserate with others For those over 21, there are a couple of anti-Valentine’s parties going on around the District. Birch & Barley/ChurchKey (1337 14th St. NW), a Logan Circle bar, is hosting one with a dozen rare beers from around the world made with pungent and spicy hops. A few blocks up 14th Street will reveal another anti-Valentine’s party at Bar Pilar (1833 14th St. NW), this time featuring break-up songs, bitter drinks and sour desserts.

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Cupcakes for Your Sweetheart

by Bethany Imondi

It seems that everyone has a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. When you’re a part of a couple, February 14th is another cause for celebration with your favorite person. Whether it be celebrated with a fancy restaurant dinner, watching romantic comedies or receiving teddy bears and rose bouquets, the holiday is beloved by those in pairs. For singletons, though, the day might as well be called “Singles’ Awareness Day.”

But regardless of the differences in feelings about Valentine’s Day, there really is no contest when it comes to the holiday’s sweets. Conversation hearts and anything chocolate-related are as iconic of the day as is Cupid. But while a box of candy or chocolate hearts are the typical go-to treats, the District’s plethora of cupcakeries affords another way to satisfy any sweet tooth. Whether you celebrate today with someone special or looking for a way to celebrate yourself, here’s a roundup of local cupcake shops and their Valentine’s Day specials.

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Last Minute Valentine

by Michelle Cassidy

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. While some hyperorganized couples have had plans set since Christmas break, there are plenty of people scrambling to pull together a romantic Tuesday evening at the last minute. Lucky for you, 4E is here to help. We’ve assembled some last minute Valentine’s Day suggestions that will make it look like you’ve been planning for weeks, instead of 24 hours before the big day.

Take it Outside The forecast for tomorrow calls for warmer weather than we’ve had for the last couple days, so how about a romantic picnic? Pack a blanket, some snacks and some hot chocolate (or champagne) and find somewhere private. Head up to the Observatory garden or down to the waterfront and set up camp. Be sure to bring an umbrella in case of rain, or be prepared to recreate a famous romantic moment.

Top Chef It may be too late to get a reservation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share a delicious dinner. Get yourself up to Safeway and grab ingredients for a dinner for two. Even if you’re not a skilled cook, it’s the thought that counts! And it’s a much better alternative to a Leo’s date.

Movie Night Get a selection of romantic movies and some popcorn, and spend the night in. Movies like Casablanca, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Titanic and The Princess Bride are all great options (but there are tons more out there).

Head Downtown There are plenty of date-appropriate spots downtown (and no, we’re not necessarily talking about the monuments). The Botanic Garden has a permanent rose exhibit, perfect for February 14th. If flowers aren’t your thing, the ice rink in the Sculpture Garden is still open too.

An Old Standby There’s a reason that flowers and chocolate are the traditional Valentine’s Day gift. Head down to Dean & Deluca on M Street to pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers and some fancy chocolates. If that’s a little pricey for you, Safeway also has a nice selection of both.

Photo: washingtonpost.com

CPAC’ing the Heat

by Beth Garbitelli

CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) rolled into town last Thursday,  attracting participants from across the political spectrum.

“We bought our own registration tickets and spent the day at the conference, observing events such as, ‘Why are U.S. taxpayers spending billions to promote abortion and homosexuality worldwide?'” Gina Bull (SFS ’12) said in an e-mail. ” It was a[n]…eye-opening peek into conservative ideology.”

Bull and fellow Georgetown student Rachel Nethery (COL ’12) joined about fifteen other students from local schools to attend some of the lectures at CPAC. They organized a  “mic-check” during a session on the Occupy movement but changed their plans when they realized they could hit former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s keynote address instead.

“Mic-checks” are a tactic implemented frequently by Occupy protesters to disrupt speeches by using coordinated shouting of a phrase. Occupiers feel the mic-checks help to present alternate view points.

Although Bull did not get into the ballroom, the portion of students who managed to beat the lines got a chance to stage a protest. Check out the video from BuzzFeed here. And check out some of the lecture titles from the 2012 Program here. 

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Sunday Night Wrapup: Dance with Somebody

by Kaitlyn Morio

Between the Republican presidential campaign trail, the Grammy Awards and Georgetown basketball wins, it’s been quite the weekend. But if you’ve too been busy listening to Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits on repeat to catch up on the rest of the news, Sunday Night Wrapup is here to remind you what happened this weekend.
  • Republican front-runner Mitt Romney won the Maine caucus on Saturday with 39 percent of the vote ahead of Ron Paul, who finished second with 36 percent.
  • R&B icon Whitney Houston died unexpectedly on Saturday afternoon at the age of 48. The cause of death has not yet been released, and it may be six to eight weeks before the results of toxicology reports are available. Houston’s only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was rushed to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Sunday morning to be treated for anxiety following her mother’s death.
  • After a disappointing loss to Syracuse on Wednesday night in overtime, the Hoyas successfully rebounded and defeated St. John’s this Sunday at the Verizon Center in a 71-61 victory.
  • Although the 54th Grammy Awards haven’t ended yet, there have already been some big wins tonight. Adele’s 21 won Best Pop Vocal Album, Taylor Swift’s “Mean” won Best Country Song, the Foo Fighter’s “Wasting Light” won Best Rock Album, and Skrillex’s Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites won for Best Dance/Electronica Album. Check out the winners as they are announced here.

Get Your Book Fix

by Beth Garbitelli

Photo: Flickr user JSDesign

Rest in peace Barnes and Noble, dear old book megastore of M Street, a ‘goddamn piazza’ where books were sold wholesale, like cans of olive oil at a price club.  (thank you infinitely relevant scriptwriting of Nora Ephron).

Now that the staple alternative to the campus bookstore’s meager stacks has bit the bullet, here are a few other stores around the District worth checking out that have more character than the go-to chains.

 

Bridge Street Books (2814 Pennsylvania Ave NW) 

If you keep hoofing on M Street, you’ll reach this gem. Bridge Street is two stories full of great classic works and smart non-fiction. Some professors at Georgetown request that you get certain books here over the campus store since it’s independent. One caveat is lack of space. There aren’t any chairs or tables that you can work or read at. The store’s proximity is its biggest draw.

Kramerbooks (1517 Connecticut Avenue NW )

Kramerbooks is hands down my favorite bookstore in the District.  The book selection features rows upon rows of quality literature from the last two centuries. They also have a decent offering of non-fiction, some essays and poetry. Added bonus of Kramerbooks is the attached cafe where they serve up delicious main plates and some truly special desserts. Try the peach cobbler.

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Best Bets: Live Jazz and Rare Vinyls

 

FRIDAY:

Take in the smooth jazz piano sounds of Johnny O’Neal (who played the role of his primary influence, Art Tatum, in the Academy Award-winning film Ray) tonight at Twins Jazz (1344 U St. NW). Tickets cost $20, but it’s well worth the price to hear O’Neal’s tender ballads and expert piano-playing. For a preview, check out this video.

SATURDAY:

If running in your underwear in February for a good cause sounds like something you’d like to do sometime, Cupid’s Undie Run is for you. The run begins at 319 Pennsylvania Av. SE, and participants will do a 1.1-mile loop around the Capitol, with the $30 registration fees and other donations benefiting the Children’s Tumor Foundation. All festivities, pre- and post-race, will be held at The Pour House, a Capitol Hill hot-spot during the workweek. Pre-race festivities begin at noon, before the 2 p.m. run. The run this year will be extra exciting, with rain, snow, wind, and near-freezing temperatures expected.

SUNDAY:

For the vinyl aficionados in the District, the D.C. Records Fair at the Riot Act Comedy Club (801 E St. NW) is sure to be the highlight of the weekend. Featuring six local DJ’s, plenty of drinks, and thousands of old records, the fair is moving for the first time to a larger location to accomodate its growing following. Past editions of the fair have been advertised as a great event to find exceptionally rare vinyls. For the super-rare music, show up at 11 a.m. for early bird shopping — regular shopping starts at noon for a $2 cover charge, but bring additional money for drinks and vinyls.

We Are the Preppiest

by Martin Hussey

Photo from The Huffington Post

Finally, a college ranking that makes sense. After Georgetown was profiled as one of the ten most hipster colleges in the country, we have now made the cut as one of the preppiest colleges in the country as well, according to The Huffington Post. And how couldn’t we? Even as I write this post in the ICC, I see at least four girls clutching Vineyard Vines bags, three people wearing Sperry’s, and even more preppy scarves, coats and boots.

The Huffington Post points out that our surroundings are conducive to the preppiness as well. Georgetown, after all, is frequented by the very people that we as prepsters try to become — Senators, Presidents, D.C. socialites, etc. — and by the stores where we as prepsters love to shop, including Vineyard Vines, Lacoste and Rugby.

So what’s the most telling sign of our preppiness? The Huffington Post notes that “all it takes is one trip to The Tombs … to realize students here like to imagine they’re living in a real life version of the Social Network.” Is it possible, then, that we are too preppy?

Other schools that made the cut included the University of Virginia, Boston College, Wheaton College, Cornell, Ohio State and Alabama.

Friday Fixat10ns: Youth Knows No Pain

by Beth Garbitelli

Youth Knows No Pain from ecgarbi on 8tracks.

Weather has been abysmal, we lost to ‘Cuse in OT and people are still hating on our campus plan. Oh and midterms. Shake it off. We’ve got one thing on our side — time. Youth ain’t wasted on the young. Unleash your inner M.I.A and get your swagger back with this mix.

Youth Knows No Pain – Lykke Li Forget angst. Being young is the ultimate trump card as songstress Lykke Li has already figured out.

Golden Years – David Bowie As Mr. Bowie proclaims, ‘nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years.’ Kudos if you know what movie this song is featured in.

School Spirit – Kayne West Healthiest ego in showbiz right here, everybody.  Kanye is a take “everything 10 steps at a time LOL!” type of guy. Just follow his example. Yep, that’s a direct quote from his Twitter.

Up, Up, And Away – Kid Cudi I can attest that this song is the best wake-up-and-walk-to-public-transportation song ever. To complete the picture strut confidently, sip a coffee beverage. and ignore/skip Cudi’s weird talking part at the end about the ‘man in the moon.’

Don’t Stop Me Now –  Queen Freddie Mercury! The man OWNS this song.

Call It What You Want – Foster the People ‘But what I’ve got can’t be bought’. That’s called swagger. Okay, random aside- this song’s reference to knives disturbs me, which reminds me of the lyrics about shooting kids in their song Pumped Up Kicks. So….yeah FTP, why are you telling people they better run faster than your bullets? A little creepy. Actually, a lot creepy.

Heart Of The City – Jay-Z Just, this whole song. ‘Sensitive thugs, ya’ll need hugs.’ That is all.

I Can’t Get Next To You – The Temptations In honesty, this song is about not being able to get that ONE thing you really want. It’s about being incomplete. But, all that aside, these dudes don’t seem to have an ego problem as evidenced by some of their claims. Its a good message to end on; listen to all these ego-boosting jams but maybe you can’t always get everything you want. You can still turn a green sky blue though.