D.C. Ramblings: Georgetown

by Kyle Short

When most people think of a “walking city,” they immediately think of New York, forgetting D.C.’s wide thoroughfares, its eclectic jumble of Greek and modern architecture and its burgeoning nightlife. D.C., much like New York, is a city of different people joined together with the common goal of surviving in the city. When someone says they’re from D.C., natives love to ask, “but where are you from originally?” It’s relevant, as we’re a city of congressmen, students and tourists, all of which shows in our buildings, our bars and our favorite hangout spots (the closest of these noteworthy hubs gracing the streets of Georgetown). Just a short walk away, M street offers students a great escape from the drudgery of classes, study groups and homework. While it may seem obvious, as most students have most likely adventured to M Street at some point in their career, there are a lot of unexplored options that M Street and the surrounding areas have to offer (although Guards, Thirds, and Rhino are all fun). Try seeing Georgetown during the day, and not just the shops on M and Wisconsin, because there’s a whole other city out there.

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Here and Now

4E reached out to Alex Villec (COL ’13) for a statement on Congresswoman Giffords’ resignation. Villec interned for Giffords and  witnessed the shooting last January which left the Congresswoman in a coma.

As gridlock and partisan intransigence define business in Washington, Congresswoman Giffords’ miraculous recovery points to something different. Her story isn’t just uplifting because it calls attention to deficits in civility and pragmatism that weigh down our debates. For me, what happened on January 8th magnifies the question of how we ought to spend our fleeting gift of life. I’ve started to consider whether we too often overlook chances to create value in the here and now. In a minute, you can try something new, make a friend, or put a smile on someone’s face. When resumes and cover letters make the next five years look like a scary black hole, try to remember that it only takes a second to make somebody’s day better. Beyond fighting for future generations, that’s what Gabby does every day, and I think it’s worth bearing in mind.

File Photo: Meagan Kelly/The Hoya

Raccoon Walk

by Beth Garbitelli

According to the Washington Post Going Out Guide (usually quite a reliable resource in the wasteland of the Internets), this Saturday, children from around the area are invited to “a look at the world of these mysterious masked mammals as they roam the neighborhood.” 

Is it just me or does this sound like the most unsafe activity for children….like, ever? Raccoons are mean and they carry Rabies. We’re talking vicious, snarly wild animals (see above) not biscuit-chomping Meeko of Pocahontas.

A Word from POTUS

File Photo: Chris Bien/The Hoya

by Beth Garbitelli

You can’t watch the NFL Playoffs every night, I guess. The State of the Union address provided some quality primetime viewing on the otherwise non-event Tuesday night television schedule and we hope you tuned in. Why? Well, because it kinda sorta might have been the most important speech Mr. Prez has given in quite some time.

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School or sNOw school?

by Erin Collins

Earlier today we posted about how to deal with the current lack of winter, but the second anniversary of Snowpocalypse is quickly approaching, and who doesn’t wish that another  snowstorm would hit D.C. to relieve us of classes? We all fall asleep hoping to wake up to an email informing us that Georgetown has closed due to the District’s lack of snowplows. But honestly, when do we get to see Healy buried in white again?

Recent Georgetown graduates Brandon Brauer (MSB ’10), Ben Zeidler (COL ’09) and Mike McCormick (MSB ’11) have developed an app that calculates your school’s probability of a snow day. The “sNOw School” app predicts the likelihood of a snow day by combining an original algorithm, local weather forecasts and your school’s snow day history. It is now available at the Apple, Kindle Fire and Android stores.

This app serves high schools and universities in the D.C., Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore  areas, so Georgetown students are in luck. After purchasing this app, students select their school, and then the app displays the forecast and snowfall in their area.

Besides the mini-snow storm Georgetown experienced last Friday, chances of a snow day at Georgetown appear grim. But don’t lose hope just yet – even when the skies are clear, this app provides the chances of a snowstorm in your area. And for all you optimists out there, the app allows you to manually adjust the forecast to see how more snow at different times can affect the chances of a snow day.

We no longer have to rely on wearing our pajamas inside out, sleeping with a spoon under our pillow, or snow dances. Thanks to our fellow Hoya’s hard work, snow days are no longer just a guessing game.

So, for all of you “sNOw school” users, when will we get our next snow day? (Ed. note: feel free to place bets in the comments. Anyone who guesses correctly wins a prize!)

Check out the app at http://www.snowschoolapp.com/

No Snow, Not Closing, Coping

by Michelle Cassidy

It seems that we’re facing a fairly mild winter in D.C. – despite this past weekend’s snowy excitement, temperatures are predicted to be in the 40’s and 50’s for the rest of the week. Walking around in a t-shirt and shorts in late January is kind of fun, we admit it. But we also miss some of the qualities of a real East coast winter.  Here are a few strategies to help you cope with the unseasonable warmth.

  • Get out of here! While Georgetown’s campus isn’t a winter wonderland at the moment, you don’t have to go too far to find one. Outdoor Ed is running Wednesday night ski trips to Ski Liberty in southern Pennsylvania. If you hurry, you can grab one of the last spots for this Wednesday’s trip. Already have plans for tomorrow night? No worries, Ski Nights last until the end of February.

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Happy Birthday Georgetown!

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by Michelle Cassidy

Today marked Georgetown’s 223rd birthday (we don’t even want to imagine the fire hazard posed by the candles on that cake), and the Campaign for Georgetown released a couple of commemorative treats online . There’s a tumblr where you can post notes and photos to the school on her special day; we’ve featured a few of our favorites here. An interactive timeline is also up over at the Campaign for Georgetown website. There are a few fun pieces of Georgetown history in the timeline, like President George Washington’s visit to Old North, a photo of our very first basketball team in 1907 (and our NCAA win 77 years later) and the conversion of the Hilltop Café into The Tombs. If only the Healy Pub were around today – we would love to share a celebratory drink with Georgetown tonight!

 

DC’s War on Rats

by Martin Hussey

We’re all used to the ubiquitous sightings of Chihuahua-sized rats crossing our paths late at night, but Georgetown’s continuing rat problem — a population increasing since at least 2010 — is, for the moment, being eclipsed by a growing political crisis for the District fueled by surging rat populations at the Occupy D.C. protests and by statements that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli made to Rush Limbaugh on his conservative radio show.

Cuccinelli sparked a firestorm of conservative blog activity after he alleged on Limbaugh’s Jan. 12 radio show that the District’s 2010 Wildlife Protection Act would lead to D.C. rats being exported to Virginia. Limbaugh repeated the claim last week, prompting national scrutiny about the D.C. policy enacted to treat the pesky animals humanely. (The law, in fact, does exempt rats, meaning that pest controllers can still kill them.) In response to the claims, Maryland Del. Pat McDonough plans to introduce a law to protect Maryland from any future imports of D.C. rats into the state. However, all of the recent chatter may be for naught, as The Washington Post reports that there have been no documented cases of rat-smuggling from D.C. into either Virginia or Maryland.

While the District fights off Cuccinelli’s and Limbaugh’s false claims of rat-smuggling, the D.C. Department of Health is starting a new battle against the rats occupying Occupy D.C. downtown. Last week, Mayor Vincent Gray asked the National Park Service to remove the encampments at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza due to exploding rat populations near the sites. Protestors’ response to the threat of eviction? Georgetown rats are bigger than Occupy rats, and there is no plan to evict Georgetown residents.

Old Punk, New Scene – Text Message

Photo: Rita Pearson/The Hoya

by Rita Pearson

Text Message, an indie rock band made up of Georgetown students Joe Romano (COL ’12), John Romano (COL ’14) and Mike Jaroski (COL ’12) kicked off Saturday night’s show at the Rock N Roll Hotel. They opened for local bands the Electric 11’s and Blue Pintowith songs from their upcoming sophomore album, called Lake Opposite. They’re influenced primarily by alternative rock bands, such as Sonic Youth and the D.C.-based Fugazi.

“We’re trying to hit the right spots,” John Romano said. “There are a handful of music venues in D.C., like the Rock N Roll Hotel, that we try to play in. Unfortunately there aren’t many places around campus.”

“The D.C. music scene is nothing like the late 80’s or early 90’s, but I wouldn’t say it’s dead,” Joe said. “However, D.C. is transient – a lot of the bands are on tour, so people are always coming in and out.”

In the 1980’s and 90’s, D.C. was home to a thriving and influential punk scene. Venues like the 9:30 Club, Madam’s Organ, and The Bayou (a Georgetown nightclub that has since been replaced by the Loews Cinema on K Street) were central to the punk community. The U Street/Shaw neighborhood in particular played an important role in the burgeoning D.C. music scene. The Black Cat, a U Street club co-founded by Dave Grohl in 1993, has hosted bands like Arcade Fire, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Death Cab for Cutie. Text Message will be taking the stage at The Black Cat this Sunday.

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Sunday Night Wrapup: It Snowed!

Photo via Flickr user ep_jhu

by Bethany Imondi

In case you’ve been hiding in Lau for the past two days or are just starting to make sense of things again after a few wild nights, here’s what you missed this weekend:

  • On Saturday, our 12th-ranked men’s basketball team lived up to its “Heart Attack Hoyas” moniker with a last-minute  52-50 victory over Rutgers at Verizon Center.
  • The body of a man who had been living in the woods adjacent to the university’s Canal Street entrance for the past 25 years was discovered early Thursday afternoon. The Metropolitan Police Department is currently investigating the man’s death.
  • Joe Paterno, former Penn State football coach and the winningest coach in major college football, died early Sunday morning after losing his battle with lung cancer.
  • With the help of Baltimore Ravens’ kicker Billy Cundiff, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots advanced to Indianapolis to play in this year’s Super Bowl. The Patriots defeated the Ravens, 23-20, in Sunday’s AFC championship game at Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium.
  • And thanks to the San Francisco 49ers’ fumbled punt return in overtime of the NFC championship game, the New York Giants defeated the 49ers, 20-17, in San Francisco to advance to the Super Bowl. The February 5 game will be a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, in which the Giants ended the Patriots’ undefeated season with a 17-14 upset.