Metro Goghs With a New SmarTrip Design

Van Gogh SmarTripThe Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has recently released limited-edition Vincent Van Gogh Commemorative Metro SmarTrip cards!

The Commemorative Card was released in partnership with The Phillips Collection to celebrate their special Van Gogh Repetitions exhibit, running until January 2014. The new batch of nifty SmarTrip Cards (which you can buy for only $10) feature four famous Van Gogh images: “The Bedroom at Arles”, “The Road Menders”, “Madame Roulin Rocking the Cradle”, and “The Postman Joseph Roulin”.VANGOGHcards

The collaborative release isn’t the only exciting endeavor that Metro D.C. has been up to; recently, it has unveiled several new SmarTrip changes to make usage quicker and more efficient. These include “Auto Reload” features that automatically add cash every time Card balances drop below $10, a lowered price of $2 per Card and new SmarTrip dispensers in Metro locations.

Both Metro D.C. and The Phillips Collection are pleased with the Van Gogh collaboration. According to Lynn Bowersox, Metro assistant general manager for customer service, communications and marketing, “The Phillips Collection is one of the great destinations that is convenient for Metro riders and we are proud to share this wonderful artwork with our customers.”

What do you think of the new SmarTrip Cards? Plan on taking a trip to Dupont Circle to check out the Phillips Collection Exhibit? Weirded out that Van Gogh chopped off his own ear? Hit us up in the comments below.

Photos: WMATA, Wikipedia, Fairfax County

The Georgetown Guide to Champagne Brunching

champagne brunching

There are a lot of things that make Georgetown a unique place to go to school. We have a very distinct culture and one of the special quirks that adds to that culture is our affinity for brunch. Champagne brunch to be more specific. Endless champagne brunch to be even more specific.

Thankfully, 4E is here to give you a guide to the best brunches; brunches boasting better breakfasts and bountiful bubbly! But first, here are some things to keep in mind for responsible brunching.

General Tips

1. Make a reservation at least 3 days in advance; Saturdays and Sundays get crowded at any brunch place, so be sure to call ahead of time!

2. Be sure to check the tipping policy of the place you go to. You’ll likely be brunching in a larger group. Most places charge 20% gratuity as a flat rate for groups over 6.

3. Use brunch as an excuse to look nice. If you’re going to take part in a classy tradition, better look the part. It’s kind of fun!

4. Don’t get too eager. There’s nothing quite like a mid-day hangover from sugary orange juice and overly-carbonated champagne. It’s not very pleasant.

5. Check out LivingSocial for deals! Sometimes you can find some good bargains on great places that are usually more expensive.

6. Pick a good place! 4E has a few suggestions for you below (bottomless brunch only):

Chadwick’s (Chaddy’s)

Neighborhood K Street: 3205 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Price Range for Bottomless Brunch $22-$26 (without tax and tip)

Pros It’s an easy walk from campus and it’s a Georgetown staple

Cons The food isn’t as good as other places for brunch and you definitely need a reservation in advance, due to it’s popularity.

Southern Hospitality Brunch (SoHo) 

Neighborhood Adams Morgan (SoHo in AdMo!): 1815 Adams Mill Rd, Washington, DC 20009

Price Range for Bottomless Brunch $25-$35 (without tax and tip)

Pros The food is absolutely delicious, featuring southern comfort food: savory Mac&Cheese, Fried Chicken Benedict, Jambalaya and many other well-made dishes.

Cons It’s a little bit expensive. Bottomless mimosas are $14 and then most entrees are $12-$20, so you have to pick your battles.

 

Scion Brunch

Neighborhood Dupont Circle: 2100 P St NW, Washington, DC 20037

Price Range for Bottomless Brunch $22-$30 (without tax and tip)

Pros Their drink menu looks delicious: Ginger Mango Mimosa, Poinsettias, Beermosas and many more options await you! There’s also a fresh fruit buffet!

Cons The food options are good (certainly better than some places like Sign of the Whale) but are nothing to rave about. The $13 bottomless mimosas can do the trick though with a $7 entree.

Wonderland Ballroom Brunch

Neighborhood Columbia Heights: 1101 Kenyon St NW, Washington, DC 20010

Cost $14-$22 (without tax and tip)

Pros Best bang for your buck! Almost none of the entrees exceeds $10 and endless mimosas are $11

Cons Columbia Heights is a metro ride away, which is difficult on weekends due to the lack of GUTS busses. But hey, the weather’s getting better! A walk across the bridge will build up your appetite.

Be responsible and stay classy!

Big Miss Steak

UM WHAT

A steakhouse is a pretty easy concept to grasp, right? Well, that’s what I thought until I read about a new steakhouse opening up in DuPont called STK that is, wait for it … a “female-oriented steakhouse”.

I have so many questions and concerns:

1. It’s a restaurant, not a public bathroom or a french noun. Since when were steakhouses specified by gender?

2. This commercial It just baffles me and makes me just the slightest bit uncomfortable. As a woman (at least, that’s what my birth certificate says … ), I would say that this doesn’t make me want to go to this restaurant for fear of being challenged to an arm wrestling match when I’m just trying to have a nice meal.

3. Jonathan Segal In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Segal, the CEO of the One Group (who owns the restaurant), says that the idea “was to create a steakhouse for women” and “if you cater to a female market, men will follow happily and empty their wallets into your tills.”

So … your “female-oriented” steakhouse is really just a ploy to get more men in there? I would say that if that’s your end goal, it successfully classifies it as “male-oriented”. But maybe that’s just me.

4. “Research”  In the same Wall Street Journal interview, they state “Via his team’s research, Mr. Segal discovered that women liked steakhouses.” Uh, did this really take a research team to discover? Who doesn’t like steakhouses? I’m just perplexed by all of this, hence the aggressive use of italics to make my point and express my incredulity.

5. Why is this weather so absurd? I’m sorry, that’s not about this ridiculous steakhouse, but it’s still something that baffles me. Freezing rain cancels classes, then people are wearing shorts and now we live in a wind-tunnel and are expecting snow this weekend. Someone fix this so I can know what to actually wear outside. Thanks.

 

There is nothing I love more than a good cut of rib-eye served medium rare with fresh horseradish (dang, now I’m hungry), but I don’t think I could ever muster up the ability to set foot in STK. What about you, my 4E readers, could you?

PhotoTripAtlas

DCTC: Shipping Out to U Street

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Welcome back to the D.C. Travel Companion, where we try to help you find the cheapest way to expand your horizons, get out of the “Georgetown Bubble” and explore D.C.! Coming up this Monday we have a great guide to the sights, activities and food available in the U Street neighborhood, so what better way to kick things off than showing you how to get there!

U Street can be a far walk, so the G2 bus (highlighted here last week) or Metro are two easy and affordable ways to get close to there; in this edition of DCTC, I’ll focus on the Metro route.

If you aren’t on campus, or are going out on the weekends, the G2 MetroBus (to Dupont directly from the front gates) or the Circulator are great options to get you close to U Street. The Circulator runs every 10 minutes and has stops on M St./34th St. and M St./Potomac St to Dupont for only $1 (use SmarTrip or exact change). You can find a full list of stops here.

If you are traveling on any day besides Sunday, the Rosslyn Metro Station or the DuPont Circle Metro Station can get you directly to U Street using the GUTS bus. The GUTS Bus is an easy and free option to get to these Metro stations during the week.

Once you’re at a station:

From The Dupont Metro Station

Cost $1.70 with a SmarTrip, $2.70 with a paper fare card (Unless during rush hour! Check times)

Metro Route Once at the Dupont Circle Metro Station, you have two options to get to U Street. You first catch the Red Line towards Glenmont, and get off at Gallery Place-Chinatown. From there, you will switch lines, and this is where you have two choices. Option 1 is to take the Yellow Line towards Fort Totten and ride it until the U Street Metro Station (est. travel time is 18 minutes). Option 2 is to take the Green Line towards Greenbelt and ride until U Street (est. travel time is 25 minutes). Either check the in-station schedule or the WMATA website to decide which route will best serve you.

From The Rosslyn Metro Station

Cost $2.25 with a SmarTrip, $3.25 with a paper fare card (Unless during rush hour! Check times)

Route 1 There are two ways to get to U Street from Rosslyn.  One route starts by taking the Blue Line towards Largo Town Center.   At L’Enfant Plaza, switch to the Green Line towards Greenbelt, and ride it until the U Street Station (est. travel time is 24 minutes).

Route 2 The second route starts off on the Blue Line towards Francona-Springfield, which you take until the Pentagon Metro Station. There, you switch over to the Yellow Line towards Fort Totten and take it to U Street (est. travel time is 28 minutes). Again, be sure to check out the Metro schedule to see which route will work best while you are traveling. 

Now that you know how to get to U Street, be sure to check back for the guide to U Street so you know what to do once you get there. Happy travelling, Hoyas, and see you back here next week!

Photo: SoulOfAmerica, Blog.NJ, Flickr

DCTC is a weekly post that is designed to help Georgetown students break the bubble by highlighting a different form of public transportation.

DCTC: The G2 MetroBus

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Welcome to the D.C. Travel Companion, designed to help you break the bubble in the cheapest and most convenient way possible! Here in the District, we have a large number of public transportation systems, but you may not know how to use them or where they can get you. We at 4E are here to help you with that! Every Monday, we will be highlighting a different method of transportation to help you experience new restaurants, entertainment venues and fun activities!

While we were on break, the G2 MetroBus line went live again! This convenient method of transportation comes directly to the front gates of campus and goes all the way to Howard University, stopping in Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, and LeDroit Park along the way.

Cost $1.60 with SmarTrip card, $1.80 without. Be sure to have exact change!

When The G2, unlike the GUTS buses, runs seven days a week, which effectively makes it one of the most accessible forms of travel for us Georgetown students. You can find a schedule of the bus times here.

Where can the G2 get me?

Dupont Circle There are tons of great things to do in Dupont, whether it’s eating or catching Metro to go somewhere else, but you can also check out the Phillips Collection, which is America’s first museum of modern art. For ticketed exhibitions, it’s free if you’re 18 and under (like me and many other freshman) and only $10 with proof that you are a student! But for just the general museum collection (which is still pretty great), it is free with a requested donation from Tuesday to Friday! Check out more information here.

Logan Circle We’re always looking for fun places to eat when we’re getting sick of Leo’s or want to take a date to somewhere a little more interesting or removed from the Georgetown area. The G2 bus takes you to Logan Circle, where you can find the Thai Tanic Restaurant. It’s very affordable and has a wide range of Thai and other ethnic cuisines. The portions are fairly big, so it’s a great place to go with a group. As a warning to those with more sensitive palates, the food is fairly spicy, so let the waiter know if you’d like it a little more mild.

LeDroit Park In LeDroit Park, you can find another great spot for an afternoon away from campus: Bistro Bohem. This great little restaurant has some great European dishes and a cafe menu open every day. The Bistro opens every day at 5 p.m. and the cafe opens weekdays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Howard University At the final stop on the G2 is Howard University. Whether you’re visiting a friend at school or just exploring the area, Duffy’s Irish Restaurant and Pub is a great stop for some nightlife or to watch the game on the weekend. With a full bar, a jukebox, happy hour and great dive bar food, you’ll happily ride the G2 all the way out there for some R&R.

~Happy traveling, Hoyas! See you next week with some more travelling tips!

Photo: SoulOfAmerica, Blog.NJ, Flickr

 

Hot Spots to Cool Off: Mr. Yogato

If you can’t already tell by this steamy morning, it’s going to be HOT today. (The Weather Channel is predicting 98.) So, today 4E is inaugurating a new series for the summer: everyday forecast to be 95 and above and we show you a great spot to cool off.

This is going to be the first day over 95 of the summer, so we figured we’d showcase our favorite fro-yo place outside of Georgetown (and it even rivals our local establishments.) And with what we though would be the best place to cool off on this steamiest of Washington days.

Mr. Yogato isn’t so much a fro-yo shop as it is an entertainment experience. You walk in, look at the giant white board on the wall, try your hand at the trivia of the day, the challenge of the day and the voice of the day to see if you can get any discounts. When 4E checked it out, you could order like Butters from South Park, answer a wordplay trivia question or pick 6 countries with a “P” in them what didn’t start with “P” — and for some reason neither Cape Verde nor Sao Tome and Principe counted.

Even though their criteria for what is and isn’t a country needs to be revised significantly, after your trivia or funny voice, you get your hand at four different flavors available each day (though they’ve concocted 25, including pink guava and pear cinnamon) served with your choice of 40 toppings. Regardless of the infinite choices available to you, the fro-yo is excellent — the perfect mixture of tangy, sweet and creamy. After the lengthy ordering process, hang around and play Tetris while watching other customers undergo the torturous process of thinking of 6 countries with a “P” in them that aren’t Sao Tome and Principe or Cape Verde.

Despite the fact that 4E was jipped out of a 5 percent discount, this is the ideal place to avoid the sweat and cool off. Yogato is cool (fro-yo), out of the sun (it’s below street level), fun (we could have ordered our fro-yo like Butters from South Park) and has a hip clientele (it’s on 17th Street!)

Mr. Yogato
1515 17th St. NW
Washington, DC
Accessible via GUTS, Metrobus G2 (the closest bus stop to Yogato from Georgetown), Metro Red Line or Capital Bikeshare (our favorite)

Photo credit: Michelle Cassidy/The Hoya

Metro+ Changes: Coming Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Metro riders are about to see the culmination of a project more than a year in the making that aims to improve rush hour service across the Metrorail system. Rush+, as WMATA has termed it, will add trains in overcrowded segments of the Metro system to alleviate crowding, especially on the Orange Line from Downtown D.C. to Northern Virginia through Rosslyn.

To help riders with the upcoming changes, WMATA has put together a handy-dandy website with a clickable Metro map to discuss the upcoming changes to the system. The changes include:

  • Three additional Orange Line trains in each direction during rush hour, but each of the new trains will run between Vienna and Largo Town Center, not New Carrollton (as most Orange Line trains do).
  • Three fewer Blue Line trains in each direction during rush hour, but the three lost trains will be rerouted onto the Yellow Line, so riders from Pentagon south won’t see any decrease in service. Also, keep in mind the three additional Orange Line trains running to Largo. In all, only one station will see a decrease in service — Arlington Cemetery.
  • Three additional Yellow Line trains in each direction during rush hout, but those trains will run from Franconia-Springfield (replacing lost Blue Line service) to Greenbelt.

All in all, Orange Line stations in Northern Virginia and Green/Yellow Line stations in D.C. will see increased rush hour service. Only Arlington Cemetery station will see decreased service, and all other stations retain their normal service during rush hour (including Dupont and Rosslyn).

For Georgetown students, whose stations won’t see any new service, the biggest change to the Metro system will be with updated signage and snazzy new Metro maps (which are already installed in the trains).

First Taxis, Now Metro?

As if increasing cab fares in the District weren’t bad enough, there has been some talk within WMATA (no we’re not the only ones fond of acronyms), of imposing a flat fare on Metro. I’m sure those of you from other cities who are used to flat fares (New York, Boston, St. Louis) may like the idea, but it actually could end up hurting those living in the city.

To put this in perspective, lets say next year if you want to go to a basketball game and decide that cab fares are more expensive and you want to take the metro, it would cost you $1.95 to get to Metro Center from either DuPont Circle or Rosslyn during regular hours ($2.15 at the most during rush hour, but the check WMATA website to see peak hours and off peak hours fares). Using rider statistics and current rates, WMATA estimates that in order for a flat rate to be effective, the fair would have to be $2.90 for all riders, which is higher than in other cities with flat rates (it’s $2.20 in New York). This would make your trip nintey-five cents more expensive for each leg of the trip.

But if ninety-five cents doesn’t seem like that much thank about it this way. If you had gone to all the home games this year and took the metro there and back, it would have been $28.50 more expensive under the flat rate (that’s at least four pitchers at Booey’s on Half Price Wednesday), and its more likely than not that the flat rate would be more expensive.

While it would make figuring out how much to put on your smartcard or metro ticket easier, it just isn’t cost effective for those in the city. It would mean that higher fares for us who don’t have to travel as far would be subsidizing those coming from farther away, and the Metro reaches out pretty far into the more rural areas surrounding D.C. This may end up not even mattering, as its only an idea that WMATA is considering, but next time one of your friends complains about Metro prices, be thankful, because it could be worse.

Photo: thedctraveler.com

 

Thursday Night D.C.

We’re past hump day and its not Friday yet, but you still want to go out. Thirds isn’t what it used to be. Your friends have 8 a.m. Friday labs. So what do you do?

This Thursday, I initially would have suggested seeing Nero, who I missed at Ultra earlier this year, at the 9:30 Club. Unfortunately, like most 9:30 performances recently, the show sold out relatively quickly. For those of you are heartbroken as I am, there are still other great things to do in the city tonight. While it may not be on a crowded dance floor, dancing to music that when the drop comes, you can’t help grinning from ear-to-ear at the options in the District this week.

District Underground doesn’t have a listed event, but you can bet that some of those people that join me in missing the Nero concert will be dancing to some pretty heavy electronic/dub on the crowded dance floor downstairs. The District is in Adams Morgan, so after you’ve worked up an appetite from fist pumps and crazy dance floor antics, there are a lot of great late night options, check out my other post on Adams Morgan.

If you’re in the mood to make music, or want to attempt to perform renditions of your favorite songs, there is always Karaoke. While my knowledge of D.C. Karaoke is limited, I have been to Peyote Café in Adams Morgan and Café Japone, which I’ve mention before in a post about the Dupont Circle area. If you can get past how dingy Peyote Café is, and how expensive their beer is, it really is a great place to hangout on a Thursday night. If you’re looking for cheap drinks though, you really can’t beat Café Japone. Also, what is up with every karaoke establishment calling themselves a cafe?

Black Cat, 1811 14th St Nw, a couple blocks Down from U St, is having what they call, “Drink and a Movie.” If you still want to go out, but don’t feel like dancing or shouting over a crowded bar, this may be a cool change of pace, and with drink specials, it’s totally acceptable to be drunk at a movie.

Hopefully it continues to stay warm outside so you have more incentive to get off campus. There are so many great things happening in D.C. tonight, so these suggestions are by no means the only great things going down. But go forth and experience the city because you’ll regret it if you don’t.

Photo: http://soundlogik.com/nero-welcome-reality-lp/