Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Posts in "Where Roll Call Dares"

October 23, 2015

Farewell, My Lovely Crime and Punishment Museum

Some electrifying headgear. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Some electrifying headgear. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The Crime and Punishment Museum had to blow after getting the bum’s rush from its downtown D.C. joint. “Sadly, due to unforseen circumstances,” the sign said.

Where Roll Call Dares Logo(Thumbnail)

Who bumped the CPM? The chin was they didn’t have the cabbage to stay in primo real estate. Without a big butter and egg man, they had to go, pronto, dateline Sept. 30. Full story

September 14, 2015

Getting on the Big Bus, an Alternative Commute

Tourists on the top deck of a double decker tour bus wait in a cool drizzle for the bus tour to depart Union Station in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tourists wait for the Big Bus to depart Union Station. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Where Roll Call Dares Logo(Thumbnail)There are worse ways to get around Washington than riding the Big Bus.

Poncho-frocked tourists typically are the only ones trekking about on D.C.’s double-deckered tour buses. Frazzled locals, meanwhile, cram into rising-fare Metro trains that come with the added excitement of death by smoke inhalation, multiple stabbing wounds, derailment or the banality of chronic delays and overcrowded discomfort. Full story

July 30, 2015

Farewell, My Indigestion: Bidding Adieu to Restaurant Associates

But if youll eat it, you never have to prove your courage in any other way.”

— Gen. Corman, “Apocalypse Now”

It is the end of an era. Restaurant Associates, a paragon of institutional food service, is leaving the House side of the Capitol complex. House administrators, facing the end of Restaurant Associates’ contract, changed course, opting for new blood.

That new blood will come from Sodexo, which will arrive with promises of Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts. The transition, from the Ford Deli to the House Restaurant, will be complete on Aug. 10. Full story

April 30, 2015

Getting the Run of the Place at Congressional Cemetery

Historic Congressional Cemetery's annual Day of the Dog features beer, dogs and even a foot race for humans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Historic Congressional Cemetery’s annual Day of the Dog features beer, dogs, and even a footrace for humans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Where Roll Call Dares Logo(Thumbnail)Even the dead need a cold beer now and then. Hence the “City of Silence” coozies Historic Congressional Cemetery sells for five bucks a pop.

On Saturday, those resting in peace at the cemetery on the edge of Capitol Hill will be able to kick back with a temperature-protected brew as their two- and four-legged neighbors gather for the latest Day of the Dog. Food trucks, two local breweries — Atlas and Port City — and local pet vendors and services will be on paw for the celebration of all things canine. Full story

February 27, 2015

What to See and Do in Selma

The city of Selma prepares for the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The city of Selma prepares for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SELMA, Ala., — Every year, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., makes a pilgrimage here to walk the Edmund Pettus Bridge, tracing the fateful steps he took on March 7, 1965, when he and others marching in favor of voting rights were savagely beaten by state troopers and thugs.

Friends, activists and fellow members of Congress have frequently joined him over the years, but not in the numbers expected for the upcoming 50th anniversary, when about 100 of his colleagues and President Barack Obama are expected to help him mark the half-century mark since “Bloody Sunday.” If you’re heading there yourself, here are a few things to check out, including places where the Selma to Montgomery March was planned, as well as a great spot for a proper Southern breakfast. Full story

February 26, 2015

The Selma to Montgomery Bicycle Ride: Civil Rights and Bamas

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ala. — A partial list of things not present at the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march: A drone mini-copter, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” Viola Liuzzo’s roadside memorial.

As Alabama, and the country, prepares to recognize the 50th anniversary of the 50-plus mile voting rights march, as well as the tragic events such as the March 7 “Bloody Sunday,” when protesters led by now-Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Hosea Williams were beaten by state troopers at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Montgomery Bicycle Club did its part by sponsoring a Feb. 21 ride traversing the march route, which is now a national historic trail. Full story

January 28, 2015

A Mild Journey to the Heart of Pentagon City (Video)

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

“You can’t be subtle in this town.”

— Hunter S. Thompson, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

We were somewhere around Pentagon City on the edge of Interstate 395 when the drug enforcers began to take hold. I remember saying something like, “I had no idea the DEA had a museum; maybe we should go …” And suddenly, there was a terrible mall all around us and the sky was full of what looked like squat office buildings — all glass and concrete and blocking out the sunlight — and the sound of the Metro, which ran underneath the Pentagon City Mall and the Pentagon Centre and the Drug Enforcement Agency Museum at 700 Army Navy Drive in Arlington, Va.

“You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s visited this museum,” said my companion (for the purposes of this chronicle, let’s call him Dr. Red Ladies) as we entered the DEA Museum’s revolving door. Full story

September 15, 2014

A Hard Rock Day’s Night

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

If there is an epicenter of the Washington Tourist-Industrial Complex, it may very well be the Hard Rock Cafe in Penn Quarter.

At the peak of tourism season, during the warm spring and summer months, the self-styled “Embassy of Rock and Roll” caters to an audience that is 90 percent visitor and 10 percent local, according to the establishment’s management team. In business at 999 E St. NW since 1990, the embassy is strategically located next to Ford’s Theater, the (for now) FBI headquarters, the Washington Welcome Center and, of course, a Cosi.

“People come to Hard Rock for an experience,” said A.J. Laban III, general manager of the D.C. outpost of the 43-year-old international hospitality provider. Laban was speaking at a recent dinner touting the Hard Rock Cafe’s new menu. “This is the biggest overhaul of the menu since we opened in London in 1971,” he said, citing the deleting of some 17 items, including such customer favorites as the Rock Your World chicken pineapple quesadilla and the Haystack Chicken Salad, all for the good of the enterprise. Full story

July 21, 2014

Segs in the City: They’re Just Not That Into You


There are things worse than being small, electric and self-balancing in Washington. Such as: Being small, electric and self-balancing and having your tour guide’s speech regulated in Washington.

Lucky for the city of monuments and tour guides, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently struck down silly requirements that tour guides pass a test and pay a fee to see if they know Teddy Roosevelt from Franklin Roosevelt. I wonder, isn’t life hard enough without regulations? If journalists have freedom of speech, why not Segs in the City?

Is it that Washingtonians had an innate aversion to Segways, or was it more than that? I wondered: In a city such as D.C., with its infinite possibilities, had Segway tours become too much to endure? The answer is no, thanks to Segs in the City and their friends forever at the Institute of Justice, who sued to get rid of that D.C. rite of passage. Full story

June 23, 2014

Madame Tussauds’ Terrifying D.C. Presence

Greatness and Gilbert. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Greatness and Gilbert. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The most terrifying thing about the Madame Tussauds D.C. wax museum outpost is the fact that designers grouped ex-Washington Wizard Gilbert Arenas with Babe Ruth and Jesse Owens. Of all the indignities to endure, the Sultan of Swat and the man who showed up Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympic Games have to share a platform with a guy whose claim to fame is bringing a gun to the Wizards’ locker room.

Madame Tussauds is an international tourist attraction, branching out from its original 19th century London location to far-flung locales such as Las Vegas; Bangkok; Orlando, Fla.; and Washington. The D.C. branch is a mash of American pop culture and politics, with a twist of Washington-specific history. Marilyn Monroe greets you at the entrance, followed by Richard M. Nixon and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a neat encapsulation of what, or whom, people want to see. Full story

May 19, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake; or, the Wait

Call me cupcake skeptical. Some days ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or nothing to do on a Saturday, and nothing particular to interest me otherwise, I thought I would stand in line at the original Georgetown Cupcake.

“Do you have an out of town guest with you?” a friend tweeted at me.

No, but therein lies the nature of my quest — to visit the intersection of Washington tourism and pop culture and to do the things that no self-respecting Washingtonian would do, but perhaps has been tempted to.

“I’m guessing 22 minutes,” my companion, self-described disgruntled Washingtonian (and former Roll Call scribe) Amanda Becker predicted as we took our place in The Line.

The Line. It’s the first thing one notices about Georgetown Cupcake at the intersection of 33rd and M streets Northwest. The corner storefront itself is quaint. The Line, though, is anything but.

Uphill 33rd Street it goes, 50 or so deep.

I ask, “Is that 22 minutes to the door? Or 22 minutes from our place here to custody of cupcakes?”

“Cupcakes,” Becker said.

Becker is not someone I would describe as an optimist, but she seemed fairly certain of her outlook. In addition, her professional life as a journalist requires her to make cool-headed judgements on a range of tricky topics. Either that, or the The Line at Georgetown Cupcake was a test of Spartan mettle and hellish endurance she could not have imagined in even her most analytical calculations.

Full story

April 28, 2014

Tourism Most Fowl: DC Ducks

The journey begins at Union Station. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The journey begins at Union Station. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

I have never met a self-respecting Washingtonian who has taken a DC Ducks tour.

This was no deal breaker.

The people who make their lives in Washington exist in sometimes uneasy concert with the tourists who journey here year-round to see the nation’s capital and its attendant attractions: museums, monuments, government edifices.

In places such as the Capitol or the National Mall, these two tribes occupy the same space. But on ventures like the DC Ducks tour, never the twain shall meet.

But what if they did?

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...