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Events / Chicago / Wars / Food Travel / Festivals / Washington / Music Festivals / → All Tags
All we should have to say to convince you to attend the first weekend of Chicago's Taste of Chicago is "Midwest's Largest Food Festival." Yes, this shindig based around celebrating giant turkey legs, pulled pork sandwiches and vienna dogs incorporates all the greatest indigestion-inducing foods with some of the muggiest days of the year. And it couldn't get any better. Arm yourself with wet naps and head to Grant Park from June 26 through July 5; the busiest days happen right around the Fourth, so this weekend should be some good eating.
Food Travel / Pizza / Adams Morgan / Washington / → All Tags
As we mentioned when discussing Portland's crazy late-night donuts, every city worth its table salt has an iconic 3 am drunk eating spot, and in DC that spot is Jumbo Slice, or more accurately, the several pizza places along 18th Street in Adams Morgan.
The oversize slice purveyors stay open until after all the bars close, which makes them perfectly poised to pick up business from the inebriated masses. In recent years, the pizza parlors have even grown to look like something of an after-party scene, with post-bar revelers milling about while furiously chowing down on the cheap.
Italy has gelato and Japan its mochi ice cream, but is America about to become the United States of Frozen Yogurt? For people living in New York City and southern California, the explosion of the Pinkberry fro yo chain and its rivals over the last couple years is old news. But a small item in the NY Daily News about Malia and Sasha Obama's new favorite food could make Pinkberry a national household name.
According to the piece, the Obama girls "grew to love Pinkberry frozen yogurt on the campaign trail, says Star, but there isn’t a Pinkberry store within 200 miles of D.C., so the White House chef has learned to replicate the recipe." Apparently they've even begun requesting special, non-existent flavors of Pinkberry fro yo like cucumber (yum!) and honey.
The Pinkberry shops are already mini tourist destinations in themselves, and last week marked the beginning of Pinkberry's bicycle delivery service within NYC. Perhaps now they'll focus on DC and laterthe world, even if their sort of fro yo is already pretty ubiquitous in Asia. In this hemisphere, however, it's a special treat and so we'd take a daytrip to DC if they could whip us up a batch of cucumber.
[Pinkberry photo: Jaunted; Globe image: Wikipedia Commons]
Film Festivals / Free / Movie Travel / Recession / Screen on the Green / HBO / Facebook / Washington / → All Tags
Looks like free outdoor movies are joining music festivals on the list of things that won't live through the recession. HBO has announced that it's pulling the plug on DC's popular Screen on the Green series, which brings out thousands every summer for free classic movie screenings on the National Mall.
In what could be construed as a diss to DC, HBO will continue to sponsor this year's Bryant Park Film Festival, which is basically the exact same event, but in Manhattan, and kicks off with a showing of The Sting on June 15th. Given that DC already copes with a minor New York inferiority complex, Washingtonians are not happy, and nearly 2,000 of them have joined the Save Screen on the Green facebook page.
No word yet on whether Obama plans to bailout the film festival, but rumor has it The Kennedy Center is planning to step in with its own summer film series on their terrace level·also a picturesque spot, although considerably smaller than the Mall.
Events / New York City / Washington / Tokyo / Festivals / → All Tags
· Tokyo: To escape the bright lights, big city hubbub of downtown Tokyo, many head for a walk in the Asakusa historical neighborhood, where traditional houses instead of glass skyscrapers line the streets.
This weekend there'll be more than leisurely walking however, as the Asakusa Sanja Matsuri Festival rambles through the area with dancing, music, opulent costumes, and women and children carrying shrines from the temple. The best part is that it's totally free and lasts from today through Sunday. For more information on times and how to reach the area, check out Japan Tourism's website.
Active Travel / Biking / New York City / Wisconsin / Washington / Mississippi / Florida / → All Tags
Have you checked the pressure on your bike tires yet this spring? When it comes to backing your bicycle out of the cobwebs, it's important to give it a check-up and make sure you're not running on flats. This is exactly what the League of American Bicyclists is doing, except that they're looking over cities to check out the facilities and attitudes towards cyclists in preparation for the season.
In fact, they've just released their list of the country's most bicycle-friendly states, topped by Washington and Wisconsin. Both of these states do have some pretty sweet seasons aside from winter, and so we're not surprised that they look most favorably on those who choose to take to the streets on nicer days.
As far as biggest movers on the list, Mississippi rose 23 spots to claim 24th most bicycle-friendly state, while Florida dropped 12 spots to number 32. We're confused about New York's 41st position however, as 2008 brought the arrival of many controversial bicycle lanes in Manhattan and this summer welcomes free bike rental at the South Street Seaport. Of course, the body checking incident during last summer's Critical Mass ride through Times Square probably didn't help New York on this one.
· Washington, Wisconsin on a roll as most bike-friendly states [USA Today]
· Bike Around Downtown NY [Downtown Alliance]
· Bicycle Travel Coverage [Jaunted]
Events / Vienna / Sydney / Washington / → All Tags
· Washington DC: We sincerely hope you aren't forgetting that this Sunday is Mother's Day, and luckily those wishing for a short city escape can head to the Spring Garden Party at George Washington's Mount Vernon home. Provided that the weather is nice, there will be activities on both May 9 and 10, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If your mother appreciates old-fashioned hospitality and history, she'll be delighted with "18th-century-style musical groups," garden tours, colonial games and dancing, and early American gardening demonstrations. For more information, check out the About.com information page.
For all of you who headed out in the middle of winter for the Washington DC party of the year, also known as the presidential election, but didn't have enough time or personal space to enjoy the rest of the sites of the city, spring may just be the perfect time to plot a return.
Along with the millions of blooming cherry blossoms on the Mall, the National Gallery of Art will have the "Multiverse," a light show with 41,000 LEDs rocking out to rhythmic patterns in a 200-foot-long tunnel between the museum's wings.
Bad Fare / New York / Washington / D.C. / → All Tags
Jaunted Bad Fare: $54 OW, NYC-Washington, D.C.
We are not impressed with United's recently published sale fares between New York and D.C. They're offering some good deals to Asia as part of the same sale, but the one in our backyard is full of restrictions. $54 OW sounds like a steal, except it's limited to off-peak Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Great, do we have to pat our heads and rub our tummies at the same time to get the special super saver discount as well?
Even the miserable regional service on Amtrak starts at $63 OW. Really makes you long for the days when Delta would roll out and extra plane, just for you, if there wasn't a seat on their D.C. shuttle. Now, they're happy to point you in the direction of the bar where you can wait for your next flight.
[Image via amyscoop/Flickr]
· Previous Bad Fares [Jaunted]
· Delta Cancels Guaranteed Seat Policy [USAT]