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Showing posts from June, 2010

Two Ben's Restaurants Rushing To Penn Branch?!

Ben's would be right at home here, in good ole Penn Branch! (Compiled from a photo from Wikipedia ) [*Second Edition] Negotiations with the D.C. Government to open TWO Ben’s restaurants here, in the River East neighborhood of Penn Branch , are “on the fast track”, according to Ben's Next Door proprietor, Mr. Kamal Ben Ali . According to Mr. Ben Ali, the Government is acting as quickly as possible to move the application and licensing process forward for a second Ben's Chili Bowl, styled like the U Street landmark, AND a new Ben's Next Door bar and grill, both to be located at Penn Branch Center. In the interim, the Ben’s restaurant family is researching how best to appeal to the Penn Branch area. “The desire for [family-oriented] sitdown restaurants”, says Mr. Ben Ali, is of primary interest to the (presently unnamed) area representatives they are talking to, and that interest is shaping, “on a conceptual level”, what a Ben’s Next Door at Penn Branch Center mi

You Can See My BC From Barry Farm! It's Huge!

What's the point of having a BC, if there isn't someone sitting on it, drinking steaming, hot coffee ..or eating a freakolicious Buffalo Chicken Sub? That's how the Brangler rolls... Big Chair Coffee n' Grill Open Daily 7am-9pm

With Ghana's Shoe In Our Tookus, U.S. Leaves FIFA World Cup

Landon Donovan at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. (Photo from Wikipedia ) Ending a second valiant effort to establish American supremacy at the FIFA World Cup, with unbelievably skilled playing by Clint Dempsey (the first American to appear in a European final) and Landon Donovan, Ghana's Black Stars run off with a 2-1 victory over the U.S. Soccer Team. After a 1-0 win over Algeria, American soccer fans were celebrating what many of us hoped would be the conquest of the 'other football', but, it seems Ghana's renowned toughness may have put that dream on ice, at least for a while, with today's match . This is the Yanks' second trip to the FIFA Cup. We will be back. Mel Dyer

Angst And Angus In Bennisota

It's STEAK, River East! Run for your lives! (Photo from Wikipedia ) It bothers me that the opening of something so ordinary and Middle American as a simple steakhouse in River East could generate so much resentment and gentrification paranoia among our neighbors, considering that River East has been deprived of this kind of mid-upscale retail for so long. We are already hearing, "That ain't for us!", "What THEY think they doing putting that here?" and "**** that white ****! I'm going to Clinton!" It's in line at the bank. It's on the subway. It's everywhere. Before *RAY's THE STEAKS opened in the colorfully chaotic and rapidly developing Benning Road-Minnesota Avenue area of East River Park , we were grumbling about not having the kind of sit-down restaurants in River East that other parts of D.C. enjoy. When DENNY's opened, just up the street, we were all atwitter with how refreshing it would be to take our familes to

I Pity The Fool, Who Hasn't Seen This Movie!

"Joe (Smokin' Aces) Carnahan's The A-Team picks up the TV series' original setup; the A-Team is a U. S. Army special forces unit, who go on a covert mission in Iraq to steal something important for the government, but, get sent to prison, when their commanding officer dies, taking the truth about their mission with him. Now, upgrade all that with inter-agency government conspiracies, huge explosions, aerial dogfights with F-22 Raptors, high-speed car-chases, a crazy attempt to fly a TANK that's been dropped out of an exploding airplane, kicking back with the guys, more explosions and Jessica Biel in tight outfits, ..and you're scratching the surface. It gets WAY better..." I pity the fool, who doesn't read my review of The A-Team! I pity the fool! Mel Dyer

USA Raising The Stakes In The World Cup

Johnny-come-latelies we may be, the United States is getting serious about its soccer. Today in Pretoria, South Africa, with a 1-0 win over Algeria, the United States rockets to the second round at the World Cup! Could news like this curb our Nation's Capitol's longstanding disdain for this globally celebrated sport? The story here... Mel Dyer

Did You Catch Blogging While Brown?

It really bugs me that I missed Blogging While Brown , and, if you missed it, you are probably as bummed as I am. The time to start preparing for the next one is right now, and the following link will tell you what to expect... Ping. That's the sound of relevance hitting your brain. Mel Dyer

Try Getting A Futon In There...Not Gonna Happen

Problems facing the penitentiary system of Costa Rica will be very familiar to us...a link . President Laura Chinchilla is making the prosecution of drug-related crimes, even non-violent ones, a top priority of her administration, and the country's prisons are finding it all difficult to manage. Mel Dyer

Enough Caffeine To Wake The Dead!

[Originally published, 2/1/10] Forget the COFFEE at Big Chair Coffee ! The food is unbelievable! Anacostia's BIG CHAIR COFFEE & GRILL is now THE east-of-river place to grab breakfast! The Bacon and Sausage Omelette (and I'm really not an egg-lover) is phenomenal--a spicy, juicy fiesta in your mouth! What I love about this dish is that the amazing spices light up your tongue, without overpowering the spiciness of the sausage or the smokey flavor of the bacon--genius! If you can't park, this is totally worth calling-in and orbitting the block for--seven or eight minutes, and you got crazy, freakolicious breakfast! Don't get me started on the BUFFALO CHICKEN SUB ! You will want to wear this thing around your neck , it's so GOOD! And yeah--the coffee 's great, too! That's kind of a given, considering it's coming from the same folks, who gave us MURKY COFFEE (a Dyer family favorite) on Capitol Hill! Great, great stuff! River East's only true co

At Ease With Our Own

Brangler Oppossum (above) is the only thing gathering in these hills, my friends. (Originally published, July 23th, 2009) If it seems some Penn Branch folk are always bellyaching about the lack of quailty retail in our neighborhood, don’t judge us too harshly. It’s more than just bellyaching. Prior to the Reagan Era 80s and the Inflation that preceded it, this neighborhood had plenty! I remember drugstore diners with GREAT coffee, movies at the Hyland Theatre (at the Hyland Cinema , once located next to the Pope Funeral Home) and, with valet, at Coral Hill . There were even several restaurants, a cocktail lounge or two, a bowling alley, ..and all right here, in and around Penn Branch. I remember seeing my neighbors at these places and the feeling of relaxed belonging and protection it gave me. I remember hearing my father laugh about bumping into Mr. Such N. Such at that cocktail lounge, and how, after the encounter, he’d decided that Such N. Such probably wasn’t such a bad guy, after

That's Not A Handgun...That's A Space Station

Above: President Felipe Calderon of Mexico, looking a little like my late papa here. I was one of the people, who was not at all surprised, when Mexican president, Felipe Calderon , told a joint session of Congress that eighty percent of the seventy-five thousand guns seized by Mexican law enforcement, over the last three years, have been traced right here to the United States of America. According to the Associated Press , Calderon, after urging U.S. legislators to strengthen gun laws, warned that over ninety percent of the guns used by [Mexican] drug traffickers come from north of Mexico's border. I was not surprised because I know what "guns used by drug traffickers" means, and you probably do, too. Even if you think you don't. Don't get caught up in the political crap-storm brewing over the ninety percent part. The guns being used by the drug traffickers President Calderon spoke of are small arms-- handguns --the same our local papers tell us are being

Arugula: Why President Obama Probably Won't Throw The Podium At You,..Today!

Above: That's President Obama being cordial with Mr. George Bush. Maybe, he'll punch a baby for you, tomorrow--wouldn't count on that, though. I don't know about you, but, I am getting a little tired of all the speculation, criticism and, now, deconstruction of why, when and if President Barack Obama is capable of showing anger or strength in some spectacular, public way. I am getting tired of it, because the President has already addressed this issue in his book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance , first published way, way back in 1995, ..when Eurodance duo La Bouche 's "Be My Lover" was burning down clubs all over America. Anybody here read the Jonathan Capehart article, Rage: Why Obama Won't And Can't Give You What You Want ? There seems to be this expectation that, at some point, President Obama MUST blow his top, like a black cop in an 80s action flick. He must! If President Obama doesn't turn into a Dann