Around Town: Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology @ National Geographic Museum

‘I like Indiana.’ ‘We named the dog Indiana.’


A cool looking exhibit has arrived at the National Geographic Museum.

All about Indiana Jones and a look at the field and science of archaeology.

There will be props, concept art and costumes from the four Indiana Jones movies and an introduction video from Harrison Ford.

The adventure starts with an interactive hand-held device, with info, photos and videos. It guides you along the “Indy Trail”, through various zones of the exhibit.

I often intend on visiting the National Geographic Museum more often, this will be an excellent excuse.

The exhibit will be there throughout the rest of the year, but don’t wait too long!


Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology
National Geographic Museum (1145 17th Street NW)
May 14, 2015-January 3, 2016
$15 Adults; $10 Children; $12 subscribers/military/seniors
Free for Annual Pass members

Around Town: VinoFest 2015 @ Storey Park — 5/9/15

Dwight Weidenhamer (right) was one of the capable wine consultants at VinoFest 2015.

VinoFest is a devilishly simple concept — set up a stage for some bands and curate a range of alluring wines for festival visitors to sample in an accessible place with good elbow room.

And so VinoFest 2015 welcomed a lot of wine and music lovers to Storey Park (1005 First St. NE, DC), essentially a parking lot waiting for mixed use development to occur in NoMa, in its second annual edition on Saturday, May 9. The lot proved spacious, the bands proved entertaining and the wines proved delicious to the hundreds and hundreds of revelers who dropped by.

The festival opened at 3pm for VIP ticketholders and then at 5pm to regular ticketholders. The VIP ticketholders certainly got the better deal. During the first two hours of access, they were able to hit the wine-sampling tent for unlimited small pours of the offerings. After 5pm, guests cashed in an allotted ticket to get a sample of wines from Spain, Australia, California and elsewhere around the world. By 630pm, the lines for wine samples were quite long, proving the popularity of the festival for wine-starved party hoppers.


With the assistance of wine consultant Dwight Weidenhamer, my party sampled several rather nice wines perfect for the hot summer-like weather. We initially enjoyed the Fritz de Katz Riesling, from Mosel, Germany, which had a wonderfully crisp texture and a medium body.

We also welcomed SeaGlass sauvignon blanc from Santa Barbara, Calif., a slightly acidic, tart wine that nonetheless offered some delightful refuge from the hot day.

Ultimately, however, we were completely won over by the sparkling wines. The Fleuraison Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, made from white Arien grapes from the La Mancha region of Spain, was refreshing with a taste of flowers and a touch of butter. Our absolute favorite proved to be a big surprise — Summer Breeze, a U.S. bottled sparkling wine of Brazilian grapes billed as a “crackling white.” Deliciously dry and cideresque, this wine drew us back for multiple tastings.


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Around Town: Return of the Summer Drive-In Series @ Union Market, 6/5/15


Press release:

‘On Friday, June 5, 2015, Union Market will bring back its wildly popular drive-in movie series. Best known for honoring themed movies, the June 2015 series will “flashback” every Friday, rolling out films that salute the ‘80s and ‘90s decades. The June line-up will feature blockbuster hits Jurassic Park, Pretty Woman, Space Jam and Beverly Hills Cop. Union Market’s June Drive-In Series is supported by Shinola, the makers of handcrafted, American-built watches, bicycles, leather goods and journals.

The classic American pastime will take place in Union Market’s spacious parking lot, projected on the two-story front wall. The fare is $10 per car, or free in the picnic area for walk-ups & bikers on a first come, first serve basis. Car passes can be purchased here, with a portion of ticket sales benefitting the Wheatley Education Campus, located in DC’s nearby Trinidad neighborhood. Patrons can either tune in through a car radio or listen over the market’s loud speakers.

The DC Rollergirls will return to this year’s series, on-hand delivering speedy snacks and drinks on wheels. All 40 Union Market vendors will remain open for service, and cinephiles craving a salty-sweet mashup will enjoy complimentary Shinola Cola and popcorn throughout the evening.’

Movie Line-up

  • Friday, June 5 – Jurassic Park
  • Friday, June 12 – Pretty Woman
  • Friday, June 19 – Space Jam
  • Friday, June 26 – Beverly Hills Cop


Summer Drive-In Series
Union Market Parking Lot (13905 5th St. NE)
Starts Friday, June 5
Gates at 6:00pm (close at 7:45pm)
Film at 8:00pm
Car pass $10 (Walk-ups Free – first come/first serve) Passes here
21+ to drink

Music Park: Palma Violets @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 5/11/15

431_Chilli Shades HR
The Palma Violets threw down in an intensely focused and highly energetic show Monday night at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

The British quartet had few words to share with the audience, but they let their music do the talking for them as they pounded through an hour-long screeching rock symphony, each song often banging along frenetically to dissolve in a din of lights and drums.

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Around Town: Grand Opening @ Vida Fitness Penthouse Pool Club — 5/7/15

The Penthouse Pool Club by Vida Fitness, Yards location, at dusk.

A hop, skip and a jump away from the Nationals Park stadium, Vida Fitness has opened its new Penthouse Pool Club (1212 4th St., SE, DC). There, Vida hosted a grand opening party for the summer 2015 pool season on Thursday, May 7, kicking off a comfortably upscale experience for club members.

DJ Finn spun some tracks over the crystal blue water of the Vida pool as guests sampled margaritas made with the Vida Tequila. The event served to showcase the amenities of the Penthouse Pool Club, which include a bar with a grill offering a full menu. The bar offers cocktails, beer and wine, and among the cocktails was the MargaVIDA — a tart blend of Vida blanco tequila, Grand Marnier, house-made sour, fresh-squeezed lime juice and fresh orange juice.

The menu, designed by Chef Spike Mendelsohn, includes salads (Watermelon Feta Salad, West Coast Kale Salad, others), sandwiches (Bacon Cheddar Burger, Lamb Burger, etc.), seafood (shrimp cocktail, ceviche, etc.) and additional offerings (hummus, mushroom quesadilla, etc.).

The bar at the Penthouse Pool Club

Guests can rent daybeds alongside the pool, or even on it, for a price, and of course they can rent private cabanas as well, which offer individual televisions and other creature comforts. Servers roamed the daybeds, taking bar and grill orders while guests lounged about.

From the roof at the Yards location, guests can enjoy views of the cityscape around them and peer down into the streets to see visitors to Bluejacket and other surrounding destinations. The luxuries of the Penthouse Pool Club are akin to those you would find in a Vegas resort, and the environment has quite a different feel than what many of us may have grown accustomed to in DC.

Vida Fitness offers a second location of its rooftop Penthouse Pool Club at its U Street location (1612 U St. NW, DC). The fitness club invites applications for membership through its website at

Daybeds and cabana for rent at the Penthouse Pool Club

Interview: William Martin Doyle of Palma Violets (@ Rock and Roll Hotel, 5/11/15)

Palma Violets (Photo courtesy Press Here)

Palma Violets perform at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Monday, May 11, in support of their new album, Danger in the Club, which just came out last week. In anticipation of the show, Mickey McCarter chatted with Palma Violets drummer William Martin Doyle, and he was everything you would expect in a member of the Palma Violets — quick witted, convivial and down to earth! I asked him about the new album, touring and his reputation as part of a great live band.

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Sports Park: Nationals “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” on Mother’s Day, 5/10/15

Nationals Park: Cardinals at Nationals

Check out the Nats this Sunday!

Nationals’ Press Release: ‘Major League Baseball has announced the winners of the 2015 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. The Honorary Bat Girl for the Washington Nationals is Tracy Lustig of Alexandria, Va. She will be recognized on the field and will be responsible for delivering the lineup card before the team plays the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, May 10.

On Mother’s Day, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms, along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Games will feature a pink-stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game ball. Many MLB players also will use pink bats, and pink Louisville Slugger bats, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many authenticated, game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games will be auctioned exclusively on to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

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Food Park: Grand Opening @ SpinFire Pizza — 5/5/15

SpinFire Pizza co-owners Fouad Qre item and Pierre Garçon by Joy
SpinFire co-owners Fouad Qreitem and Pierre Garçon (Photo by Joy Asico)

The gregarious and gracious Pierre Garçon, Washington Redskins wide receiver, greeted guests personally inside his new SpinFire pizzeria (1501 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.) during its grand opening party Tuesday evening.

The renowned football player was joined by his partner in the pizza business, Fouad Qreitem (founder of Paisano’s Pizza), as well as fellow Redskins Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Grant. The Redskins teammates were happy to sign autographs on footballs and pictures, charming more than 500 people who passed through the doors of the pizzeria, the second SpinFire location.

SpinFire offers specialized individual pizzas, salads and calzones at a very reasonable price, starting at $9 for most selections. The pizzeria centers on a process by which its pizzas are made in 90 seconds in its specialized pizza ovens. Guests also can enjoy gelato, fountain drinks and several bottled beers from local Port City Brewing Company (3950 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria, Va.)

During the grand opening celebration, I had the opportunity to sample several of the “classic” pizzas off the ready-to-order menu, and they were delicious. I tried the Meat Lovers Pizza — with classic red sauce, shredded mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, smoked ham and oregano — and the Prosciutto Arugula Pizza — with arugula, prosciutto, olive oil, fresh mozzarella, ricotta and citrus vinaigrette. The Meat Lovers was heavy and filling while the Prosciutto Arugula was light and zesty. Both pizzas bore a crispy crust and a softer middle, an apparent signature of their 90-second cooking process.

SpinFire’s Meat Lovers Pizza

SpinFire’s Prosciutto Arugula

I also enjoyed sampling several gelatos, including standouts cookies and cream, peanut butter cup and stracciatella.

With its rapid pizza firing, and convenient Metro-friendly location in a block that’s really been booming with the additions of restaurants like the Heavy Seas Alehouse, SpinFire is sure to be a hit for lunch and dinner alike for anyone working in or passing through Rosslyn.

The first SpinFire opened in Ashburn, Va., in October 2014; this second eatery opened last month in Rosslyn. For more information and to see the full menu, visit

Garcon and Kerrigan posed for photos and sign ed autograps for partygoers by Joy Asico
Teammates Garçon, Kerrigan and Grant signed autographs and posed for photos with partygoers. (Photo by Joy Asico)