O Street Menagerie

This Saturday, I was in Georgetown to photograph Hannah of Heiner Contemporary and Penny of Marston Luce (two dogs). On my way over to Wisconsin Ave., I noticed a dolphin door knocker, not dissimilar to the duck one I saw in Middleburg on Thursday. I snapped a photo, only to notice how many animal door knockers were on the block. It turns out that there were at least 12 animal door knockers on O Street. I included a few others I thought were interesting. Lions are very popular.

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Georgetowner Extra: Delivery in Middleburg, Va.

Distribution is an interesting part of my job at the Georgetowner. When I get to drive around and do the Northern Virginia delivery, I see where many of our readers live and what they do, which can help with brainstorming ideas for articles. Delivering to Middleburg is another thing entirely, because the lifestyle is so different there. I thought I’d share where our papers are in Middleburg so readers can find them and enjoy some of the great things the town offers.

My first stop was at the National Sporting Library and Museum. The Museum is currently displaying the work of artist Abbott Handerson Thayer in an exhibit titled, “A Beautiful Law of Nature”. Our art contributor, Ari Post, worked to create the exhibit’s catalogue. Thayer’s work will be on display through May 26. More details here.

National Sporting Library
National Sporting Library

Next, I delivered to the offices of the Middleburg Spring Races. The offices are filled with neat photographs and memorabilia from races past. I wish I had more time to poke around. I loved their duck door knocker—where can I find one?—and office hours. This year’s races will be held on Saturday, April 20.

Middleburg Spring Races Office Hours
Middleburg Spring Races Office Hours
Duck doorknocker
Duck door knocker at the offices of the Middleburg Spring Races

I also stopped at Market Salamander, where I ran into market owner Sheila Johnson, who is also president of the Washington Mystics and cofounder of Black Entertainment Television. I had never visited the market before, and I told Ms. Johnson I was very impressed with the facilities and available foods. Ms. Johnson gave me a scone to eat on the ride back to D.C. Very tasty.

Owner Sheila Johnson at Market Salamander in Middleburg, Va.
Market owner Sheila Johnson at Market Salamander in Middleburg, Va.
Market Salamander in Middleburg, Va.
Market Salamander in Middleburg, Va.

I liked Highcliffe Clothiers a lot. The store’s selection carries a lot of things shoppers cannot find in Washington like colorful tweed jackets and… a lot of other things. I dashed in and out, so another visit will be in my future to take it all in.

___ ___ shows me a blazer at Highcliffe Clothier in Middleburg, Va.
Custom clothing expert Mark Metzger shows me a blazer at Highcliffe Clothiers in Middleburg, Va.

My eyes were instantly drawn to a rack of Harris Tweed jackets on sale. Store owner Mark Metzger had me try on one from Highcliffe’s private label collection.

Highcliffe Clothier
Highcliffe Clothiers’ private label. Great jacket.
Beautiful color, but unfit for a Georgetown alumnus.
Beautiful color, but unfit for a Georgetown alumnus.

Great fit (sleeves need to be lengthened). Great fabric. Great color, except that as a GU alumnus, I won’t be wearing an orange sportcoat in the near future. As Metzger said as I put it on, “That’s a lot of jacket.”

Lastly, I saw a cool truck with a cool dog in it.

As I always say, "The South: It's closer than you think."
As I always say, “The South: It’s closer than you think.”

You can find the newest issue of the Georgetowner in many businesses in McLean, Middleburg, Tysons and Vienna, Va.

All photos by me
If you are interested in having issues of the Georgetowner delivered to your business in Northern Virginia, please email me at nico (at) georgetowner (dot) com.

Let’s Go Nats: A New Season Begins

Davey Johnson and Bryce Harper share a laugh during the Nats' Opening Day ceremonies Monday.
Davey Johnson and Bryce Harper share a laugh during the Nats’ Opening Day ceremonies Mon. 4/1/13

What can I say? I love those Nats. I can get behind the ‘Skins, Caps and Wizards franchises because they’re my hometown teams, but watching these guys is just more fun to me. It almost feels funny that they’ve shed their underdog status after all these years and emerged as a contender (knock on wood).

This Monday, I had the privilege to cover Opening Day for the Georgetowner as a photographer. I left the Woodley Park Station with my colleague Gary Tischler at around 10:30 a.m. in order to be let into the Media Entrance before the Opening Day ceremonies at home plate at 11:30 a.m. As usual, the Metro ride was packed with scarlet-clad fans.

I’ve met Gary out of the office a few times for coffee at Tryst in Adams Morgan, but I’ve never covered anything with him before. This guy is unafraid to make friends with anyone, from the Channel 9 news team to D.C. Mayor Vince Gray. You can’t faze him.

After the team introduced what seemed like every member of the stadium staff, a new banner was revealed In celebration of the team’s NL East victory last season over the jumbotron. I think it’s a little much. The Caps made a habit of putting up a banner for every division championship in the Verizon Center, and they haven’t been able to put a Stanley Cup one up among them. In high school, banners were for championships only.

Opening Day was a little hectic. Not on the field, of course. The ballpark was packed. It’s not your average baseball game, and it was no surprise there wasn’t a game scheduled for Tuesday so the park could recover.

The photo included here is one of many I took, which you can see with Gary’s article. I’m grateful to have so many opportunities to use my camera for work, and am especially proud of this shot of Davey’s chompers. I think that’s Denard Span in the background.

Tonight, I might say Gio Gonzalez outplayed the entire Marlins offense in near-subzero temperatures.

I know I will be at the April 20 game at CitiField, but not if I’ll be at any before then. In any event, 7:05 p.m. games will be on the tube at Possum Alley for the duration.

Photo by me for The Georgetowner

Desaparecidos at 9:30 Club

Desaparecidos plays to a sold out 9:30 Club on their short East Coast tour. Photo by Nico Dodd.
Desaparecidos plays to a sold out 9:30 Club on their short East Coast tour. Photo by Nico Dodd.

At this point in his career, Conor Oberst has any number of entities he can tour with, from indie alternative Bright Eyes, the southern rock Mystic Valley Band, to his solo performances (not to mention Monsters of Folk). Desaparecidos is his post-hardcore punk outfit. Each of these incarnations attracts the same enthusiastic fan base which makes the performances as memorable as Oberst himself does. The band’s sold out show at 9:30 Club was an opportunity to hear the ambitious songwriter on overdrive.

Per artist request, there was no professional photography admitted. I left my DSLR in the car. At a previous concert, Oberst spoke out against smartphones at shows. He wants his audience undistracted and in the moment with him.

With Desaparecidos, Oberst pushes his political leanings to to forefront. A recording of Ted Nugent comically rambling about politics played before the band took the stage to the theme of the A-Team. Over a heavier sound, Oberst’s vocals let loose with more energy than an average Bright Eyes show. He made a short speech in support of Bradley Manning and hacktivists, inviting the latter to take away the “golden parachutes” of bankers at Goldman Sachs. The band’s themes are mostly socio-economical. I am curious what influence his Jesuit education at Creighton Prep had on his views.

For their encore, the band covered the Clash classic “Spanish Bombs”, a song whose revolutionary lyrics ring true with the rest of the band’s catalogue. Oberst dove into the audience to end the show.

The opening acts, States & Kingdoms and Joyce Manor, were on opposite ends of the punk age spectrum and put on top notch performances.

States & Kingdoms is a supergroup comprised of members of Rival Schools, Thursday, Retisonic, Small Brown Bike and Atlantic/Pacific. Grounded by stellar drumming, the band jammed through a dynamic set that drew from shoegaze and prog rock. Slide guitar and keyboard allowed them this stylistic breadth. Despite lacking vocals, southern-tinged guitar solos left the audience wanting more. I could have listened to them for another hour.

On the other end of the age spectrum, Joyce Manor immediately initiated a mosh pit and nonstop crowd surfing. Joyce Manor’s sound is part of a harder pop punk sound adopted by bands like the Menzingers. The band’s So-Cal playfulness was at odds with the aged maturity of both Desa and S&K, but it made the night that much more relaxed and loose. Lead singer Barry Johnson’s stage presence showed a lot of heart. I am excited to see what the future holds for them.

Ben Harbert’s Extended Rock Orchestra at the Velvet Lounge

Ben Harbert, Benjamin Harbert's Extended Rock Orchestra Velvet Lounge

On Saturday, Oct. 6, Ben Harbert lead a group in his arrangements of Erik Satie’s “Furniture Music” at the Velvet Lounge. The 100-year-old pieces were commissioned by then-DC Resident Agnes Meyer, who was a journalist, author, and VP of the Washington Post as well as wife of Eugene Meyer, the first president of the World Bank.

The group’s performance was part of a showcase that evening hosted by Twin Lakes Records. The showcase was affiliated with the Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Music Fest.

Harbert was a professor of mine at Georgetown. His approach to music is surgically methodical, and his group’s precision was impressive. He often demonstrated on guitar in class, but it was great to finally see him perform live.
Ben Harbert, Benjamin Harbert's Extended Rock Orchestra Velvet LoungeBen Harbert, Benjamin Harbert's Extended Rock Orchestra Velvet Lounge

Animal Collective at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective played their second show ever at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The crowd was small, but enthusiastic. It rained during the opening acts. Coincidentally, my friends and I were seated near the band members’ family and friends, all of whom are live locally in the DC/Baltimore metropolitan areas. I never thought I’d ever see septuagenarians dancing to AnCo. They all looked happy to be there.

As you can see by these photos, the stage was set up like a giant mouth that lit up in different colors. I have never seen anything like it before. Very Halloween-y. I’ve posted some photos here to show the different looks. The last one is my favorite. The setlist is also below.

Animal Collective at Merriweather Post PavilionAnimal Collective at Merriweather Post PavilionAnimal Collective at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Rosie Oh
Today’s Supernatural
Wide Eyed
Lion in a Coma
New Town Burnout
Monkey RIches
Brother Sport

My Girls

Jordan 45 on Wisc. Ave

Saw this guy at Wisc. & Prospect wearing a Jordan 45 jersey. For those of us scratching our heads, MJ wore number 45 during his short baseball career and afterwards on the Bulls during the 1994-95 NBA season. In a way, the jersey is a local reference since Jordan’s second “comeback” was on the Wizards.