librarian, postcard painter, loves etegami and japanese food.
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Ode to the New Mexico Breakfast

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We went to Santa Fe last week, thinking we would enjoy some clear blue skies and some beautiful hikes and some of those 20-mile vistas you just can’t get on the East Coast. What we didn’t bargain for is that the highlight of our trip would be the breakfast table. It was like our world had suddenly flipped and — what the? — the morning meal became the thing we looked forward to. I realize a statement like this is going to make some people upset, but I think New Mexico might be — apologies to San Francisco, Austin, Portland, etc. — the Greatest Breakfast Place on Earth. (Also, relatedly, Home to the Greatest Hangover Food on Earth.) Every morning, we’d go out hard and ingest a terrifying amount of food — enough food to power us through the day and make lunch a moot point. Enough eggs and cheese to make my arteries groan. Enough green chiles to make me wonder why we don’t have green chiles every morning.  The winner of the week? A very close call, but if we had to pick, we’ll go with this griddled polenta with fresh corn, crumbled chorizo, scrambled eggs, cilantro, and red chiles, from Pasqual’s on Water Street. (The closest thing we could find to a recipe was here.) Santa Fe, we miss you already. – Andy

Always a good sign when you see Tapatio on the breakfast table. (Yellow mustard, though? That’s a real puzzler.) This was at the Tune-up Cafe on Hickox, owned, we were told, by someone from El Salvador. We ate their twice, and would have eaten there every morning if there weren’t SO DAMNED MANY GOOD BREAKFAST OPTIONS IN THIS CITY.

Tecolote (on Cerrillos Rd.) was strenuously recommended to us by a New Mexican friend and, boy, did it ever deliver. A little outside of town, almost diner-style, with a world-class slogan: Great Breakfast, No Toast. I mean, come on! That alone would have been enough. What you’re looking at here is Jenny’s breakfast burrito, topped with cheddar and green chiles, with a side of beans. Looking at this now, I am weeping. We also ordered the Carne y Huevos, which consisted of two eggs, over easy, served on pork that had been cooked for hours (days?) in red chiles — spicy and incredibly delicious.

Our second morning at Pasqual’s, we decided to try something different. I got the smoked trout on a gruyere potato pancake with two poached eggs and a side of tomatillo salsa. Jenny got the homemade granola. The kids each got papas fritas — spicy, roasted, cripsy potatoes, garnished with jack cheese, sour cream, and chives, and served with two warm tortillas and some green chiles on the side. Nobody said we ate healthy. But if this meal took a day off my life, I am good with that.

Our last breakfast, we went back to the Tune Up Cafe, which was walking distance from where we were staying. (A huge thank you to our spirit guides, Toni and David.) You can sit outside, and eat on picnic tables covered with bright, floral-printed oilcloth. Seriously could not be better. Second time, I ordered the Huevos Salvadorenos, which I’d never heard of before, and which is always a reason to give something a shot. Eggs with scallions and tomatoes, fried bananas — not plantains — with crema, a warm flour tortilla, and the creamiest refried beans in human history. Coffee and watermelon agua fresca. And we’re still standing.

P.S. Not pictured here: SO MUCH STUFF.

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labontea
2577 days ago
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Oh I want to go back to Santa Fe! The breakfasts! (And the scenery and all that...)
washington, dc
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Japanese-style cucumber salad with a very versatile sesame dressing

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cucumber-sesame-dressing.jpg

The weather has finally gotten warm around these parts after a very cold spring, and we're eating more summertime food now. This is one of our favorite salad-type dishes. The sesame dressing is very versatile, and you can use it for any manner of things, but here I've just used it with cucumber.

Tip: the longer you let it rest before serving, the saltier the cucumber will get, so if you want to serve it as a salad you'd want to combine the cucumber with the dressing just before serving. On the other hand, if you let it marinate in the refrigerator the cucumber becomes assertive enough to eat with plain rice as part of a Japanese meal.

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labontea
2595 days ago
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In other news, I want to make this this weeken
washington, dc
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UPDATED: Paula Deen Apologizes: “Inappropriate, Hurtful Language Is Totally Unacceptable”

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Credit: CelebNMusic.

Saying that she wants to “learn and grow” from the accusation, revealed in a deposition, that she used the term “nigger” and reminisced about plantation images of black people serving white guests, Paula Deen today issued a 45-second video apology in which she acknowledged “I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way,” without acknowledging the truth of any specific allegations, and implored viewers to extend their forgiveness to her:

As I wrote yesterday, what was striking both about some of the accusations she faced, and her sworn testimony in the deposition, was that Deen seemed more afraid of getting caught out being racist or being accused of having caused offense than of the idea that she might have caused someone else pain. To indulge in a bit of Southern nostalgia myself (though from the perspective of a character who saw the South for the hypocritical slave economy that it was), Deen is engaging in the same sort of self-justifying behavior Rhett Butler saw in Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind: “You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.”

Deen’s desperate to be forgiven, which in this context means not facing a boycott or loss of business. But this apology gets at the problem with the kinds of requests for forgiveness celebrities issue whenever they’re caught saying something they shouldn’t. Deen may want to “learn and grow,” but you’d think in the past couple of days she could have come up with some concrete actions she’ll take as evidence of that growth, money she’ll donate (much as Kickstarter did in the wake of their pickup-artist controversy), or a sensitivity training she might sign herself up for. One of the reasons Brett Ratner earned so much credibility in the wake of some stupidly homophobic comments he made was that he went out and donated his time to shoot an ad campaign for GLAAD. He and Kickstarter both made contributions that outweighed the harm they’d she’d done in the first place. And that kind of substantive action really ought to be the standard for forgiveness when wealthy people with enormous platforms cause harm to people like their employees or collaborators who have much less power than they do. Deen may want to be forgiven, but there’s no reason anyone should gratify her until she demonstrates that she’s making real efforts to become a different person and to establish a different environment in her businesses. Paula Deen isn’t entitled to our goodwill just because she wants it. Or as Rhett told Scarlett, “You think that by saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ all the past can be corrected.” That would be convenient for people like Deen. But it’s not how the world works.

Update

Deen’s apparently removed the video and replaced it with this one:

And it continues the kind of self-pitying insistence that she’s a victim of the media’s prejudices. Deen says, “I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are. I’ve spent the best of 24 years to help myself and others.” If anything, this video should make everyone less interested in accepting Deen’s apology until her actions, as well as her words, “come from the deepest part of my heart.”

Update

Tim Malloy at The Wrap reports that the Food Network will not renew Deen’s contract when it expires this month.



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labontea
2601 days ago
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"Deen is engaging in the same sort of self-justifying behavior Rhett Butler saw in Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind: “You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.”"
washington, dc
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Washington Post Going Out Guide: "Showtime Lounge in Bloomingdale: Come for the jukebox, stay for a beer"

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See this Washington Post Going Out Guide article on Showtime -- you can click on the link to see the images!

Showtime Lounge in Bloomingdale: Come for the jukebox, stay for a beer


Washington music fans know Paul Vivari as DJ Soul Call Paul, the man who spins ’50s R&B, ’60s funk and girl groups at Big Bad City and other dance parties. But tonight, Bloomingdale residents will meet him in another capacity: bar owner.

Vivari’s tiny new tavern, Showtime Lounge, will open at 8 p.m. at 113 Rhode Island Ave. NW, across the street from Boundary Stone. The focus at this low-ceilinged one-room bar is on cheap drinks and great music coming from one of the city’s best jukeboxes. “The city used to be full of dive bars – little neighborhood places like this,” he says.

Let’s start with the drinks. Four draft beers, including DC Brau Public Ale and Bells Oberon wheat ale, flow from a 1930s water tank. Natty Boh, Tecate and Corona Light cans start at $3. (There will be some “craft beer” options, Vivari says, but they might not be available tonight.) He’s also pouring $4 glasses of wine, straight out of the box.
His expertly curated jukebox is stacked with 100 R&B and soul CDs that span the decades from Duke Ellington to Motown, with a focus on D.C. artists, such as Link Wray and Shrine Records. There are plenty of other famous names, too: Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James, James Brown, the Marvelettes, and Ike and Tina Turner. Instead of just sticking CD track lists in the jukebox, Vivari created hand-bound books, almost like karaoke books, that list every available song, and will sit on tables around the room. “Getting to put your own jukebox together,” Vivari says with a laugh, is “the culmination of decades of being a music nerd. I’ll be playing with [the music selection] for the rest of my life.”
Something else to note: The jukebox is completely free. (Convenient, since the bar is cash-only.)
Showtime inherited its name from the previous occupant, Showtime Hair Design, that closed in January 2012. Vivari lives upstairs, and when he got the option to take over the space, “it was too convenient to pass up,” he says. Vivari, who has worked at bars around 14th and U streets, including the Black Cat, wasn’t sure if he wanted to open a bar or a record store. Instead, he opened a record-focused bar that pays tribute to D.C. The walls feature murals of famous Washington musicians and record label logos, drawn by artist Laura Harris. The bathroom is plastered with pages from old Redskins game day programs, inherited from Vivari’s grandfather, a longtime season ticket holder. And if you look at the “weird, British colonial wallpaper,” the large booths and the wood trim, you’ll notice it’s just the right shade of burgundy and gold.
Eventually, Vivari says Showtime will open at 7 or 8 a.m., serving coffee to neighborhood commuters. “There’s a bus stop right outside,” he points out. But for now, the bar looks like the low-key, low-priced hangout that Bloomingdale needs, and a place where music fans will want to linger.
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labontea
2622 days ago
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I like the sound (ha!) of their jukebox!
washington, dc
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hannahdraper
2622 days ago
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2 blocks from my house. Hope to try it out tonight. :)
Washington, DC

Impending Cicada Plague a Great Excuse to Work From Home

di
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They've already inundated the D.C. area, and as soon as the ground gets warm enough, the cicadas will begin to smother New York as well. It will be pretty disgusting (and loud) for a while, but there is one silver lining. "I made arrangements with my office so I can telecommute," a Virginia woman who is deathly afraid of bugs tells the Washington Post. Apparently this is an acceptable work-from-home excuse, so just tell your boss you suffer from crippling entomophobia and enjoy not showering. 

Read more posts by Dan Amira

Filed Under: cicada plague ,excuses

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labontea
2633 days ago
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Is DC really "inundated" with cicadas? I haven't seen or heard any.
washington, dc
2633 days ago
Supposedly they are all South of us right now, but are headed our way. We'll see, I guess.
labontea
2632 days ago
I feel sort of excited about it, but I'm weird. When I lived in Japan we had cicadas every summer, I sort of like the sound.
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High Schooler Protests ‘Slut-Shaming’ Abstinence Assembly Despite Alleged Threats From Her Principal

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High school senior Katelyn Campbell

A West Virginia high school student is filing an injunction against her principal, who she claims is threatening to punish her for speaking out against a an factually inaccurate abstinence assembly at her school. Katelyn Campbell, who is the student body vice president at George Washington High School, alleges her principal threatened to call the college where she’s been accepted to report that she has “bad character.”

George Washington High School recently hosted a an conservative speaker, Pam Stenzel, who travels around the country to advocate an abstinence-only approach to teen sexuality. Stenzel has a long history of using inflammatory rhetoric to convince young people that they will face dire consequences for becoming sexually active. At GW’s assembly, Stenzel allegedly told students that “if you take birth control, your mother probably hates you” and “I could look at any one of you in the eyes right now and tell if you’re going to be promiscuous.” She also asserted that condoms aren’t safe, and every instance of sexual contact will lead to a sexually transmitted infection.

Campbell refused to attend the assembly, which was funded by a conservative religious organization called “Believe in West Virginia” and advertised with fliers that proclaimed “God’s plan for sexual purity.” Instead, she filed a complaint with the ACLU and began to speak out about her objections to this type of school-sponsored event. Campbell called Stenzel’s presentation “slut shaming” and said that it made many students uncomfortable.

GW Principal George Aulenbacher, on the other hand, didn’t see anything wrong with hosting Stenzel. “The only way to guarantee safety is abstinence. Sometimes, that can be a touchy topic, but I was not offended by her,” he told the West Virginia Gazette last week.

But it didn’t end with a simple difference of opinion among Campbell and her principal. The high school senior alleges that Aulenbacher threatened to call Wellesley College, where Campbell has been accepted to study in the fall, after she spoke to the press about her objections to the assembly. According to Campbell, her principal said, “How would you feel if I called your college and told them what bad character you have and what a backstabber you are?” Campbell alleges that Aulenbacher continued to berate her in his office, eventually driving her to tears. “He threatened me and my future in order to put forth his own personal agenda and make teachers and students feel they cant speak up because of fear of retaliation,” she said of the incident.

Despite being threatened, Campbell is not backing down. She hopes that filing this injunction will protect her freedom of speech to continue advocating for comprehensive sexual health resources for West Virginia’s youth. “West Virginia has the ninth highest pregnancy rate in the U.S.,” Campbell told the Gazette. “I should be able to be informed in my school what birth control is and how I can get it. With the policy at GW, under George Aulenbacher, information about birth control and sex education has been suppressed. Our nurse wasn’t allowed to talk about where you can get birth control for free in the city of Charleston.”

Campbell’s complaints about her high school reflect a problematic trend across the country. There are serious consequences when figures like Stenzel repeatedly tell young Americans that contraception isn’t safe. Partly because of the scientific misinformation that often pervades abstinence-only curricula, an estimated 60 percent of young adults are misinformed about birth control’s effectiveness — and some of those teens choose not to use it because they assume it won’t make any difference. Predictably, the states that lack adequate sex ed requirements are also the states that have the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs.

Some of Campbell’s fellow students at GW High School are also rallying for her cause. They plan to take up the issue at a local board of education meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday evening.

Update

Via Twitter, Wellesley College has confirmed that Campbell doesn’t need to worry about her spot next year:




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labontea
2666 days ago
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This girl is awesome.
washington, dc
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2 public comments
tyrantlizard
2655 days ago
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The world is terrible, etc. but hey, this girl is awesome.
A Canadian in Boston
Orpho
2655 days ago
True! Also congrats to Wellesley for being, you know, basically decent.
Courtney
2666 days ago
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Fuck yeah, this girl.
Portland, OR
kway
2666 days ago
Also, I feel like Wellesley would be like "thanks for confirming why we picked her,"
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