Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 25, 2015

Posts in "Be Merry"

May 1, 2015

NoVa Invades Atlas District for Tag Team Beer Dinner

Granville Moore’s (1238 H St. NE) on May 4 is hosting fellow “Beer Program of the Year” nominee Mad Fox Brewing Company for a collaborative four-course dinner.

The intimate affair, scheduled to kick off with a “happy half-hour” at 6:30 p.m., is expected to feature complementary food and drink pairings arranged by the barley-and-hops loving establishments.

Per organizers, the projected carte includes:

  • Spice-rubbed duck breast with Reynard foie gras spread, charred peach and celery salad, spiced pecans and white balsamic paired with Reynard Black Saison.
  • Smoked corn & mustard mussels and frites with tomatoes and tarragon paired with Mad Fox’s new seasonal saison.
  • Orange Whip-brined roasted chicken with butter-braised radishes, artichoke puree and spring vegetables paired with Orange Whip IPA.
  • Homboldt Fog cheese, assorted jams, beer mustard and toast points paired with Mad Fox’s Oaked Diabolik.

Tickets for the boozy love fest are $58.50 per person (tax and tip included).

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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April 12, 2015

And the Morris Dancers Pressed On …

The Morris Dancers would not be denied. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The Morris Dancers would not be denied. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Accordion music drifted over the reflecting pool as police wrapped up their press conference about the horrific shooting hours earlier on the West Front of the Capitol. Washington, D.C.’s Morris Dance Cherry Blossom Day of Dance would not be denied.

Saturday was a beautiful day in Washington. It was 70 degrees and sunny. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom. The Capitals clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the NHL playoffs. And the Morris Dancers headed to Capitol Hill for their annual spring revelry and celebration of a folk dance that dates to 15th century England.  “You’re happy. We’re happy. We’re dancing. You’re watching. It’s a win-win situation!” they proclaimed in a flyer.  Full story

February 3, 2015

George, Ellen or Groucho? National Portrait Gallery Asks for Votes

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

The National Portrait Gallery is going to put one of three comedians — George Carlin, Ellen DeGeneres or Groucho Marx — up on its “Recognize” wall, and it wants the public to weigh in.

Announcing, “this is no laughing matter for the Smithsonian museum,” the curators of American culture want to display one of the three funny folk on its relatively new feature that highlights “one important person in our collection as chosen by readers of Smithsonian.com.”

So who’ll it be? The man who outlined the seven dirty words you can’t say on TV?

https://

The woman who broke Twitter with her selfies at the Oscars?

https://

Or the guy who had no idea how an elephant got in his pajamas?

https://

Vote until Feb. 15.

 

Correction, 9:30 a.m.:

An earlier version of this story misidentified the gallery sponsoring the “Recognize” wall.

 

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 17, 2014

Liver Let Die, Foie La La Ducks Controversy

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

The second annual Foie La La competition is under way on H Street Northeast, with nine establishments going beak to beak for the hearts and minds (and livers?) of diners with a taste for foie gras.

The eat-off, which started on Dec. 15 and runs through Christmas, has attracted attention from the folks at PETA, who aren’t too keen on the consumption of animal protein, much less duck livers, much, much less the sense of humor the organizers have employed in publicity material. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 3:24 p.m.
Be Merry, Eat

December 5, 2014

Hill, K Street: Grab a Drink, Get Your Party On

Time to sort through your holiday party invites. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Time to sort through your holiday party invites. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If you’ve been stuck in the Capitol cramming on the “cromnibus” and missing the whole holiday mingling circuit, then it’s time to grab a drink and get your party on.

Some of the hottest December shindigs are still to come, offering a rare respite from the partisan vitriol and legislative gridlock. These are opportunities for some serious bipartisan collaboration, though the invites — or lack of — can be challenging to navigate. Full story

November 5, 2014

A Shot and a Beer and Midterm Cheer

On election night 2014, the Capitol Hill neighborhood was a subdued, quiet place.

Republicans were ecstatic, of course, and celebrated their House and Senate gains at Union Station and Republican National Committee headquarters. But outside such political party-time destinations, Capitol Hill was very much like the small town many people describe it as — half-asleep on an Autumn Tuesday night.

Eastern Market’s North Hall, frequently a gathering place for political fundraisers, was empty at 10 p.m. A homeless man in a wheelchair, covered in blankets, sat outside its side entrance. Across the street at Tunnicliff’s Tavern, one of the city’s oldest pubs, a cozy, medium-sized crowd milled around in conversation, some of it lightly about politics, most of it centered on sports. (The Washington Wizards beat the New York Knicks in New York.)

At Boundary Road on H Street Northeast, a mostly bar-seated crowd enjoyed the house special: a shot of Old Overholt rye and a can of National Bohemian beer for six dollars upon showing one’s “I Voted, Yo Vote” sticker. Boundary Road mercifully spares its patrons from television viewing. No one, even those with “I Voted, Yo Vote” stickers seemed to miss it, although everyone was politely discussing the returns among musings about the newfound popularity of rye and whether the new restaurant down the street, Driftwood, was worth a visit.

On Barracks Row, the victory party at Molly Malone’s for new Ward 6 councilmember-elect Charles Allen was breaking up by 10:30 p.m. Not much else was going on up and down Eighth Street Southeast. Most restaurants had stopped serving long ago. Two Marines walked up to Chatt’s Liquors, saw it was closed, and moved on in search of an open establishment.

Just another Tuesday night of wild abandon.

Related:

Senate Republicans Jubilant at Election Party

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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September 4, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Tunes of The Week: The Atlas Brew Works Celebrates 1 Year

Has it really been a year? Atlas Brew Works co-owners Justin Cox, right and Will Durgin will party this weekend to celebrate the milestone. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Has it really been a year? Atlas Brew Works honchos Justin Cox, right and Will Durgin will party this weekend to celebrate the milestone. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Local beer makers Atlas Brew Works is celebrating its one-year on Saturday with a fiesta at its Ivy City HQ, complete with its signature beers, local foods and live music from area bands the Bumper Jacksons, Sunwolf and Baltimore-based Unstable Heights.

Tickets are $10 for the 1-5 p.m. party, and can be purchased here. In the meantime, here’s a sampling of the music to help prepare you for some weekend beer drinkin’.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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August 29, 2014

Congressional Cemetery’s Day of the Dog: It Could Get Ruff

Congressional Cemetery. It's gone to the dogs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Congressional Cemetery. It’s gone to the dogs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional Cemetery will help usher out the dogs days of summer with its Day of the Dog, welcoming local breweries, food trucks, dogs and the people who serve them on Saturday.

The free event, which lasts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is just the latest good-vibe party to swoop in on the final resting place for so many Capitol Hill denizens. Last week, the cemetery’s latest 5K, Flee the British, brought the historically minded running crowd over for a race on the 200th anniversary of the burning of Washington by the British army. The British muskets that doubled as the starting gun were a nice touch, as was “Dolly Madison” fleeing the redcoats in a golf cart. There were even redcoat hecklers. “Run, you cowardly Washingtonians!” one said from a hillock full of family mausoleums.

"Dolly Madison" attempts to get away from a marauding British soldier and save Gilbert Stuart's portrait of George Washington. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

“Dolly Madison” attempts to get away from a marauding British soldier and save Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Washington Post writer Joel Achenbach recently recounted how weird a conflict the War of 1812, including that “we are a little vague on the question of who won,” and “we have a decent idea of when it happened, because of the name, but given the critical events of August 1814, the conflict possibly should be called ‘the War of Approximately 1812.'”

In other words, the Flee the British race and Day of the Dog fits in perfectly for a quirky cemetery that last year employed a herd of live goats to dispose of the poison ivy and invasive weeds that threatened the grounds.

Release the goats! (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Release the goats! (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Every so often someone gripes about how appropriate it is to host such things at a cemetery. Pish posh. They’re probably the same sticks in the mud who groused about the Brits’ recent Twitter ribbing about the 200th anniversary of the burning, “a rather unfortunate event in UK/US relations” as the British Embassy’s press people dubbed it. Unfortunate, too, when so many people don’t get the joke.

But back to Congressional Cemetery. Amid the beer (Atlas Brew Works and Port City Brewing will be on hand), dog costume contest, raffle drawing for gate prizes and overall bonhomie, it’s a decent way to spend a Saturday.

When they stick me in the ground, I hope it’s in as lively a place as this.

 Related:

The Ghosts Who Stare at Goats or All-You-Can-Eat at Congressional Cemetery

Dog Days at Congressional Cemetery

Cemetery’s Sales Pitch: We Want Your Body

June 30, 2014

Washington’s Independence Day Patriotic Palooza

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Independence Day in Washington is like Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pa., a patriotic palooza. As if the stakes couldn’t be higher on the grandest stage at the capital of the free world, we could, possibly, be treated to yacht rock legend Michael McDonald singing “Sweet Freedom” with the Muppets as a follow-up act.

Of all the major holidays, D.C. really shines (or smokes, or swelters) on Independence Day, with the capital city coming alive with fireworks, concerts, Major League Baseball and even a fairground with midway rides.

Sure, the National Mall is the big gathering spot in D.C. for watching the fireworks come Friday evening, with the temporary concert venue on the West Front of the Capitol all set to blast tunes from everyone from McDonald to the Muppets to Frankie Valli for the Capitol Fourth celebration. What a fool believes! But the Mall and the Capitol grounds are not the only places to watch the pyrotechnics, not by a long shot.

Any higher ground vantage point, whether it’s Meridian Hill Park or the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Monument in Rosslyn, Va., or the roof of a pal’s apartment building will offer all the views with fewer sweaty souls jostling for precious few spots.

The fireworks and Capitol Fourth are a small component of the festivities, though.

The Washington Nationals, fresh from a Midwestern road swing in Milwaukee and Chicago, are back for a homestead against the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. On Friday, the Nats will play the Cubs in an 11:05 a.m. game that will feature lots and lots of flags and many beer cans emblazoned with Old Glory. Fireworks are usually to be had. Such an early game lets everyone get out in plenty of time to find their ways to the Mall, Capitol or that pal’s apartment building.

And let’s not forget about the D.C. Capital Fair at beloved RFK Stadium, which started June 27 and extends through Sunday. We might not be a state or have a vote in Congress, but we’ve got a fair, complete with a ferris wheel, a petting zoo and wolf show (no word on whether Nats outfielder Jayson Werth will be attending) and illusionists, hypnotists and plenty of greasy food. This week through Thursday, the fair runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Starting Friday and going through Sunday, it runs from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Yacht rock, baseball, things blowing up in the night sky, fried food and carnies. What’s more American than that?

June 10, 2014

How Hard Could It Be to See Kinky Friedman Perform in D.C.?

Alas, Kinky Friedman won’t be the next agriculture commissioner from the great state of Texas, having lost the Democratic primary runoff last month. But that just frees up the troubadour/mystery novelist/humorist/friend to unwanted dogs for Wednesday night’s Washington Jewish Music Festival gig at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, where the Kinkster will, between ditties, likely talk about marijuana.

Friedman said he made the agriculture commissioner race a “non-binding referendum on lifting the prohibition on pot and hemp,” a stance that dovetails with his Seeds of Change tour. Even though he lost his runoff to Democrat Jim Hogan, 54 percent to 46 percent, he doesn’t think the issue of marijuana and hemp legalization is going away.

“I think the children of the world look to Texas. Y’know, they don’t care if Nebraska legalizes or Massachusetts legalizes. But if Texas does, that would, I think, effectively end the war on drugs and we might stop making criminals out of people who aren’t really criminals. So it’s up to Texans to decide: Do they want to be seceders or do they want to be leaders?” Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 3:05 p.m.
Be Merry, Music

June 2, 2014

Beer, Bikes and Doughnuts — Like You Need Anything Else

Cox, right and Durgin will host a Brooklyn Brewery Mash event at their Atlas digs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cox, right, and Durgin will host a Brooklyn Brewery Mash event at their Atlas digs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This is a good week if you like to drink beer, ride a bike and eat doughnuts and Nashville hot chicken.

First, the beer. The Brooklyn Brewery Mash Tour is in full swing here in Washington, with its emphasis on local beer, local grub and local hanging out. Full story

May 29, 2014

Fat Tire’s Tour de Fat Rolls Toward Capitol Hill

There are worse ways to spend a Saturday than riding your bike and drinking beer. Thanks to the New Belgium Brewing Company, one may do both come this weekend, at the 2014 Tour de Fat at Yards Park on the Anacostia riverfront.

Starting with a 10 a.m. registration time on Saturday, cyclists/imbibers can hang out, listen to music, partake in a costume contest, engage in a slow ride race and drink any of the Colorado-based brewers’ many varieties of beer, such as the classic Fat Tire or seasonals and specials like 1554 Black Lager or Carnie Blood Orange Saison.

There’ll be plenty of tunes from the likes of The Reals and Reggie Watts, as well as entertainment from folks like The Handsome Little Devils.

May 5, 2014

Wisdom Gets a Case of the Mondays

As Kurt Vonnegut would say, “Goodbye, Blue Monday!” Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Wisdom cocktail bar on Capitol Hill has decided to start opening on Mondays.

The announcement of extended drinking hours show just what’s at stake. “To celebrate (and because we are unstable) we will be doing CHRISTMAS IN MAY. We will be playing random XMAS movies for your enjoyment/annoyment. Order a cocktail and unwarp a surprise gift (one per visit),” the announcement from Wisdom says. In a nod to celebrating the day Mexican forces defeated the French in Mexico a long time ago, they promise that patrons will “enjoy Tequila in ways that you never imagined …”

For anyone who’s dropped by Erik Holzherr’s spirits-infused imaginarium at 1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE or belongs to the Wisdom gin club, it’s no idle chatter.

By Jason Dick Posted at 2:23 p.m.
Be Merry, Drink

May 2, 2014

Calendar: A Tale of Congressional Taste Buds

It was the best of food, it was the worst of food, it was the age of pepperoni rolls, it was the age of cherry cobbler, it was the epoch of apigigi, it was the epoch of chimichangas, it was the season of bacon, it was the season of Italian beef, it was the spring of pear tarts, it was the winter of shrimp and grits. Basically, it’s time for Taste of America.

On Wednesday, Roll Call hosts its Taste of America Kickoff Party at Capitol Lounge, 229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Every year, in conjunction with the Congressional Baseball Game, states and their D.C. ambassadors duke it out for bragging rights on just whose favorite comfort food reigns supreme.

On Wednesday, we’ll hang out at the Lounge from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., play some trivia, drink some beer and officially open the ballots for the fourth annual noshing competition. The event is free, and with it being so close to the Capitol, how could you not come? You can catch up on special orders on Benghazi later on. That’s what transcripts are for.

Last year, West Virginia’s pepperoni roll beat out an Elite Eight consisting of: Iowa bacon, Arizona chimichangas, Illinois Italian beef, Maryland crab cakes, South Carolina shrimp and grits, Oregon pear tarts and Georgia peach cobbler.

Previous winners Utah cherry cobbler, from 2012, and Northern Mariana Islands apigigi, from 2011, had lost in the earlier rounds of the March-Madness-like bracket. Online voting is similar to Major League Baseball’s method for picking all stars. Each week will bring another round of winners, and losers, and the Elite Eight will be served up at the Congressional Baseball Game on June 25 at Nationals Park, where the winner will be announced as well.

So stay hungry, oh partisans of Boston Cream Pie, oh apologists for crab cakes, half-smokes and bratwurst. Be ready to vote early and often. You never know when another apigigi will become the next Cinderella foodstuff.

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:16 p.m.
Be Merry, Drink, Eat

April 25, 2014

Calendar: How Will Life After Leibovich Affect the WHCD?

It is the year of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner AL 1, or one year After Leibovich. While he wasn’t the first, Mark Leibovich’s “This Town” skewered the event and its accompanying cocktail parties, brunches and satellite offerings so hard that it’s worth wondering whether life at Nerd Prom will be different.

Will anyone enthusiastically tweet that they can’t believe they just saw Psy? Will the BuzzFeed Bowties and Burgers alterna-dinner at Jack Rose Saloon suffer a sophomore slump? Will Tammy Haddad change the mimosa schedule? Will news organizations now ignore people who had cameos in “House of Cards”? Will any celebrity selfies not be sponsored by Samsung?

We’ll see. While Leibovich’s chronicle certainly cut deep, it’s unlikely it will change much behavior. The spectacle of the WHCD has always been ripe for snark, self-consciousness and self-righteousness. Even the term Nerd Prom is a form of faux self-deprecation, an attempt to show that one understands just how declassé the whole affair is, even while jetting from soiree to soiree, from the French Embassy to David Bradley’s house.

So go forth and enjoy the pre-pre-parties, pre-parties, dinner, alternative parties, post-parties, post-dinner hangover cure brunches and the rest. There’s nothing wrong with having a good time, even as some of the events will seem like a 1970s disaster movie: Lots of talented people who used to be in the spotlight working it hard, waiting for the ship to be hit by a tidal wave.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to opt out of some of the week’s festivities, keep in mind a couple of things happening on Capitol Hill. This is the last week for the venerable Pour House, one of Pennsylvania Avenue’s last legit dive bars, which is pouring its last brew on April 30. There’s even a countdown clock on the Pour House website to show you just many hours and seconds you have for one last round of skeeball. The place that used to be Poli-Tiki will transition yet again, this time to a more upscale venue dreamed up by the folks behind nearby wine bar Sonoma.

On the night of the WHCD itself, local band Typefighter will be playing at the Rock and Roll Hotel at 1353 H St. NE for its “The End of Everything” album release party. Helping the crowd warm up will be another local outfit, Shark Week, which features Roll Call’s own Daniel Newhauser, a House leadership reporter by day, rock and roll drummer by night, with a little DC Ducks fanboy worked in on the side.

Doors open at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 8 p.m. It’s 12 bucks in advance and at the door. No rubber chicken dinner will be served.

And the day after features the Race for Hope Washington, D.C., 5K, which raises money for brain tumor research. For more information, go to braintumorcommunity.org.

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