Get To Know: NATASHA DIGGS (NYC) - Coming To The Lodge this Saturday

Natasha spinning w/Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest)

By Marcus K. Dowling

Of the many things for which New York City-based DJ Natasha Diggs is known, her skill at spinning 45 RPM records is one of those specialized disc jockey skills upon which the art of #realDJing is built. As a selector of those songs, she’s gifted too and brings that talent to The Lodge at Red Rocks on Saturday March 7th. Representing New York City’s Mobile Mondays crew (a top-tier group that includes the likes of Just Blaze and classic disco spinner Joey Carvello), she brings an encyclopedic musical knowledge and unique skill at blending genres to the decks this coming Saturday night.

World renowned, Diggs has DJ’ed alongside names like Erykah Badu in locales including Tokyo, Sydney, Beijing, Prague and Berlin. As well, the selector has also played on the same billings as DJ legends like Kenny Dope, DJ Spinna, Cut Chemist, Spinderella and DJ Scratch. With that list-as-resume, expect a soulful, funky and crowd-pleasing blend of everything from disco, rock, hip-hop, house and much more.

Joining alongside the well-respected Diggs is DC’s own (and Biz Markie-trained) 90s hip-hop specialist Miss H.E.R. The Hampton, VA-native brings a knowledgeable awareness to the turntables, naming not just Markie, but 9th Wonder and the crew at DC’s Beat Refinery as inspirations.

If that’s not enough, here are a few other tremendous reasons to check out Natasha Diggs and Miss H.E.R. as The Lodge at Red Rocks celebrates Women’s History Month. 

  • Q-Tip has named Diggs a resident DJ at his Brooklyn-based (and Giant Step produced) party #OFFLINE at world-class nightclub, Output.
  • With an eye towards presenting and developing future generations of talent, Natasha’s all girls jam "Us Girls" (which she co-founded) showcases and creates networking opportunities for NYC-based female DJs and artists.
  • New York City’s Mobile Mondays crew (with which Diggs is affiliated) includes the likes of Just Blaze and classic disco spinner Joey Carvello
  • Independent, underground and mainstream co-signs dot Diggs’ background. These include (but are not limited to) Triple J National Radio in Australia, one-time independent stalwart East Village Radio, DJ Evil Dee’s Beatminerz Radio and The Lord Sear All Out Show on Shade 45 (Sirius Radio).
  • Award-winning pizza and Red Bull slushies highlight the Lodge at Red Rocks menu
  • The Lodge’s large dance floor has a mezzanine that uniquely overlooks and wraps around the DJ booth and dance floor. As well, a heated rooftop provides a clear night-time view of the Capitol building and Washington Monument.
  • And of course, the event has no cover!

Natasha Diggs will be playing alongside DJ Miss H.E.R. this Saturday at The Lodge at Red Rocks. Doors open at 9pm. No Cover. More event details HERE.

Photo by Tim Blackwell (ShotsFired)

Frederik de Pue abruptly closes Menu MBK on Saturday


Less than a year after he transformed his struggling Penn Quarter seafood restaurant into an ambitious market and bistro called Menu MBK, Frederik de Pue closed the operation on Saturday, apparently at the demand of his partners who were looking for a higher return on investment.

Less than a year after he transformed his struggling Penn Quarter seafood restaurant into an ambitious market and bistro called Menu MBK, Frederik de Pue closed the operation on Saturday, apparently at the demand of his partners who were looking for a higher return on investment.

Frederik de Pue abruptly closed Menu MBK over the weekend after apparently failing to satisfy investors. (Photo courtesy of Greg Powers).

The abrupt closing will have no effect on Table, de Pue's refined, neighborhood restaurant in Shaw, nor his 42° Catering company in Rockville, both of which will remain open.

"For me, it's a sour feeling," the Belgium-born chef said Sunday about Menu's quick demise. "I gave it everything."

Menu MBK — named for its multi-format concept of market, bistro and kitchen — was supposed to be de Pue's solution to the under-performing Azur, his seafood restaurant that closed after six months in the same space. Menu's revenues continued to grow each month, the chef said, but not fast enough to satisfy his investors, who also own the building leased to de Pue. The investors will apparently find a new, presumably more profitable tenant or sell the building.

In early September, de Pue hired Dave Hansen, a veteran restaurant rehabilitator, to manage operations and inject new ideas into Menu. Hansen said he accepted the position because he wanted a creative outlet, helping to grow de Pue's portfolio of restaurants. Hansen had grown tired of playing the heavy, the hired gun who goes into a restaurant group and closes a property. Terminating employees has taken a toll on him, he said.

But on Saturday at the end of service, Hansen found himself back in that familiar position: He rounded up Menu's 40-plus employees and told them the restaurant was closed for good.  Some staffers will be absorbed into de Pue's other projects, Hansen said.

Both de Pue and Hansen have theories on why Menu MBK didn't measure up to expectations. The chef said the massive, 6,000-square-foot building simply requires more staff than other restaurants, which in turn requires more diners every night. Hansen thought the problem could be traced to the design of the building. Many locals thought Menu MBK was a market only.

"You could poll everyone on Eighth Street," Hansen said, "and most would not know there was a restaurant above" the market.

If there's a silver lining in the storm cloud over de Pue's head, it's that Menu's closing will free him up to return full-time to the Table kitchen.

"That's really where I have fun," the chef said. "I just want to do what I actually love doing, which is cooking."

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-...

New DC Restaurant to Charge For "Artisanal" Ice Cubes


New restaurant in Washington DC has declared they're going to charge for artisanal ice cubes. 

Second State, a restaurant that opens tomorrow in downtown DC,* is planning on charging $1 for their artisanal ice cubes. 

"It's worth it," says bar manager Phil Clark. "When it goes into a cocktail, it's crystal clear. It's purified water, so there's no minerally taste."

Second State is apparently Pennsylvania-themed (hence the name). 


Note: heavily edited for work safe read, better more entertaining NSFW post is sourced from Jezebel HERE

Source: http://kitchenette.jezebel.com/new-restaur...

Here’s How Much It Costs to Rent an Apartment Next to a Metro Station


While the Urban Institute’s comprehensive study on DC housing costs on Tuesday stated what most of us already know—that DC rent is damn high and getting higher—the effects of a surging residential market are felt more on the blocks with the best public transportation access. Again, this isn’t a big shock: with nearly 40 percent of DC residents relying on public transportation to get to work, it’s logical that the housing closest to Metro stations comes at a premium.

The Urban Institute’s research found that citywide, 64 percent of rental units now cost more than $1,000 per month, while 35 percent go for at least $1,500 a month. However, when apartments sit on top of train stations, the typical rent for a one-bedroom unit often approaches $2,000 a month, according to RadPad, an online apartment-hunting service that combed listings around the Metro stations with the most rental activity.

The findings aren’t that startling for a metro area in which more than 50 percent of renters spend at least 30 percent of their monthy earnings on housing, but there is a bit of sticker shock to reinforce the fact that rental costs continue to surge. RadPad’s map tops out at the Foggy Bottom-GWU station, where nearby one-bedrooms average $2,723 per month. Dupont Circle, at $2,443, and Mount Vernon Square, at $2,402, are next.

The spiking rents extend beyond the urban core, but tend to drop as the Metro lines push out. A one-bedroom near the NoMa-Gallaudet station runs $2,238; the next station up, Brookland, runs $1,551 a month.

Of course, this map is skewed from sourcing only one company’s listings—that’s possibly why there’s a $998 difference between Anacostia and Congress Heights—but it does reinforce much of what the Urban Institue found in its report and hints that the chunk of people who spend upward of 30 percent of their incomes on rent will continue to expand.

Source: http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/openhou...

Eaters Look Inside Doi Moi DC, Opening Tonight

Here's a glimpse of what diners can expect when Doi Moi opens tonight on 14th Street: all white everything with pops of color from imported Vietnamese tiles, a monk mural, iced Vietnamese coffee brewed with Blue Bottle Coffee, and Thai fried bananas.

This is the third restaurant from proprietor Mark Kuller and chef/partnerHaidar Karoum, the team behind Proof and Estadio. Kuller and Karoum traveled extensively across Thailand and Vietnam to research the regional dishes for Doi Moi's menu, including bun ho hue, a spicy lemongrass, beef and pork noodle soup; ga roti, a Vietnamese-style lemongrass and spice-roasted chicken; and khao soi gai, a Chiang Mai chicken and noodle curry. See the rest of Eaters look HERE.

Source: http://dc.eater.com/archives/2013/08/27/a-...

Complex Magazine's Best and Worst Bars of DC

Congratulations to Marvin for being number 1 on Complex Magazines 25 Best bars in DC list. Its really hard to argue this one. And the staff is just as much responsible for that number 1 spot as anything else. Go high five someone from there today. Cheers!


And congratulations to McFadden's for continually holding down Complex Magazine's yearly top spot for the 25 Douchiest Bars in DC. You guys are really doing your thing over there and making it easy for everyone else to stand tall. For that, I thank you.

Source: http://www.complex.com/city-guide/2013/08/...