Monday, May 9, 2011

Clarendon's 3: A Great Place to Party

Nightlife hung out with about 30 of our closest friends on Saturday night at 3 in Clarendon for a private event. We were extremely impressed with the execution.

Nightlife wasn't privy to the details of the setup, but we were pleasantly surprised at 3's ability to provide fantastic service and great food for such a large group. We were reminded that Mike was the server assigned to the group, and he did a fantastic job. Keeping drinks filled can definitely be a challenge with such a large group, but from what Nightlife can remember of the night, we never once ran out of drinks.

There was a large table of food set up for the party. This wasn't a sit-down dinner. Nightlife vividly remembers the bacon-wrapped shrimp. They were huge. (Bacon is a popular theme at this restaurant.) There were plenty of other food selections - spinach dip, meats and cheeses, some chicken-on-a-stick-looking thing. All of it was good.

And 3 has an interesting selection of alcohol. Aside from their selection of about 80 beers, 3 has a unique line of specialty liquors. Several of the ladies enjoyed a "Candy Land Margarita," which boasts a Sour Patch Kids-infused tequila. If you thought 

PatrĂ³n Tequila 

was smooth, then you should definitely try this stuff. 

Nightlife tried the Vanilla Bean-infused Jim Beam, and longed for the Bacon Bloody Mary (who doesn't love bacon?!). There's also a "Big Kid Chocolate Milk" that uses the Vanilla Beam and a "Winter Blues" that uses Acai Berry Vodka and blueberry puree. 

We checked in with the girls in charge of the event. "[The staff was] really easy to work with... everything went very smoothly," they said. "The waiter was AWESOME. I loved him," one exclaimed.

Based on this experience, we'd strongly encourage you to put 3 on your short list if you're looking to plan a party. With great service, awesome food, and a unique drink selection, 3 definitely has a lot going for it.

Thor thunders into theaters...

Storming the box office this weekend, Marvel Studios' Thor brought in $66 million, knocking Fast Five from the top spot. (Fast Five currently has the highest grossing opening weekend  of any movie in 2011.)

The title character is played by Chris Hemsworth, who's known for his television roles in Home and Away and others. His father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the 9 Realms, cast Thor out of Asgard for his arrogance after he travels to Jotunheim to attack the Frost Giants.

The cast is rounded out with Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, an idealistic scientist whose research is stolen by Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) of the Strategic Homelang Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division - SHIELD for short.

Banished to Earth, Thor meets and falls for Jane Foster. While on Earth, Thor's brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) learns a long-kept family secret and attempts to assume the throne in the wake of their father's illness. With the help of friends, Thor is able to return to Asgard and set things right.

There's plenty of action, a little bit of romance, and the continuation of the Marvel realm and the existence of SHIELD (Iron Man I & II... and upcoming in The Avengers and Nick Fury).

Nightlife was surprised. We weren't initially thrilled with the prospect of seeing Thor, but it wasn't bad. As far as summer action flicks go, this one gives viewers plenty of action and some pretty good special effects. The comic book franchise is definitely a money maker for Hollywood studios, as the theme has provided results nearly every time (except The Green Hornet, which sucked).

Check out the reviews of Thor on Rotten Tomatoes and decide. Nightlife suggests you check it out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Republican Presidential Debate-Watching Party Tonight

This just hit Nightlife's inbox:

Join Young Americans for Liberty TONIGHT to watch the first GOP debate on the big screen!
The presidential election season is about to kick off in full force with the first televised debate between the Republican candidates in South Carolina on Fox.  Come join your friends at Young Americans for Liberty for a watching party at Bailey's in Ballston!

This happy hour event will be from 8 to 11 p.m. TODAY, May 5, 2010!  The debate will be shown on several big screen TVs, and some excellent happy hour drink and snack specials will be available.  

RSVP on Facebook here; the address is 4238 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington.

Reasons to come:
  1. Bailey's is just off the Orange Line at the Ballston stop
  2. It's the kick-off of the 2012 Presidential election
  3. Your favorite YAL peeps will be there
  4. Free pool and ping pong
  5. It's Cinco de Mayo!
We hope to see you tonight!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Mexicali Blues!

Everyone knows Cinco de Mayo isn't celebrated widely in Mexico. In American culture, it's just another reason to sit around and drink tequila. But we're not complaining.

Mexicali Blues is a great place to celebrate for obvious reasons. But here's a post from their Facebook page:
Mexicali Blues is synonymous with Cinco de Mayo and this year we want you to "Feel Good About Feeling Good!" We will be having a raffle and 50% of your ticket purchase will be donated to the Red Cross to help with the Tsunami Relief. Prizes:T-shirts, Nano I-Pods, GPS, Cameras and more! Ticket prices are $2 for one ticket and $5 for 3. Be there, have fun and HELP OUT!! Must be present to win. We can't wait!
So join in with our friends at Mexicali Blues for a good time and a great cause. Maybe Nightlife will see you there!

Blues happy hour runs from 4pm to 7pm, and the specials include: 

  • $5 house margarita all day, everyday
  • $2 drafts - serving Negro Modelo & Modelo Especial 
  • $1 off all drinks
  • $2.50 Coronas
  • $4 rail drinks, including margaritas
  • Buy one appetizer, get one free 

The Features at Rock N Roll Hotel

Nightlife survived last night in NE as we rocked out with The Features at the Rock N Roll Hotel. The set began promptly a 9pm, and The Features played for about 40 minutes. Much to Nightlife's surprise, they were the opening act to J Roddy Walston & The Business, a Chattanooga-turned-Baltimore group.

Terrible iPhone Quality; Roger Dabbs (l), Matt Pelham (r)
Nightlife unfortunately had to call it a night before J Roddy took the stage, so we didn't get to rock out the entire night.

While The Features were as energized as ever, we were slightly disappointed at the length of the set. Having grown up in the Nashville music scene, Nightlife is used to The Features being the headlining act. But they played a mix of older tunes ("The Way It's Meant To Be") and stuff from the new album ("Golden Comb'), which drops at the end of July.

The crowd was sparse at the beginning, with only a few dozen people in attendance. We suspect the early start time and mid-week performance were contributing factors. By the end of the set, however, the room was packed and enthusiastic.

The DC crowd is a little different than Nashville show attendees. The Rock N Roll Hotel is smack in the middle of an up-and-coming hipster neighborhood, and the back of the room looked like a few fraternities thought Dave Matthews Band was going to take the stage. The crowd was somewhat eclectic.

Nightlife encourages you to check out their website... and we've included this live version of "Golden Comb" for your enjoyment:

Also, you can find a lot of their live stuff thanks to an old friend by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Features in DC Tonight!

Nightlife has been a fan of The Features since we discovered them in Nashville in 2004. They've had their share of ups and downs over the years, but the band has steadily increased name recognition and expanded their fan base. Tonight, they're playing in D.C. at the Rock N Roll Hotel on H Street. Nightlife's going. You should, too.

Here's a snippet from the Entertainment section of today's Washington Examiner:
"It is nice that they're interested enough in what we're doing to take some sort of part in it, considering their status," said Features singer-guitarist Matt Pelham. "We're grateful for it, but at the same time, we're definitely our own band and don't really care to get wrapped up or too involved in it." 
The Features, which includes Roger Dabbs, Mark Bond and Rollum Haas, perform at the Rock N Roll Hotel on Wednesday. The group has a new album coming out in July titled "Wilderness," a mix of songs that bring to mind anyone from Interpol to the Strokes to, yes, Kings of Leon. 
"I think overall, I don't think we were shooting for anything specific," Pelham said of "Wilderness," the band's follow-up to 2009's "Some Kind of Salvation." "It is more just a collection of songs we've been working on. It's pretty eclectic overall. It's all over the place, really." 
The Features formed in the mid-'90s, but did not release their first full-length album until "Exhibit A" in 2004. Pelham said the band's sound is difficult to categorize. 
"I feel like we've always fallen into this gray area as a band," he said. "We don't fall into a category that kind-of-cool bands end up being in. But we're a little too weird for the mainstream. We sort of walk this line. We're in the middle somewhere." 
Pelham also explained that the Features' songwriting is more straightforward, less abstract and atmospheric than that of their hipster brethren.

Tickets are $10, and the doors open at 8pm. Cross the Potomac Ocean and join us. Check The Features out on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Foxfield Races Recap

Nightlife skipped town this weekend to attend Foxfield Races in Charlottesville, Virginia. Admittedly, this was Nightlife's first time at this particular horse race, and the weather couldn't have been any better. Despite a horrible polo-and-flip-flop-shaped sun burn, we survived the weekend with few scratches.

46 East Lawn
Due to poor planning, I arrived in Charlottesville sans a ticket. I combed Craig's List looking for a spare and finally found a willing seller. After several hours of waiting, I tracked the lucky seller down at a Harry Potter festival on campus Friday afternoon. (Obviously not Foxfield material, she'd rather spend her weekend learning spells and mixing up things out of her mother's kitchen.) Relief.

While on the grounds at the University of Virginia, Nightlife stopped by 46 East Lawn, which holds some significance to some people somewhere. Picture snapped. The current inhabitant is Evans Jay Finger, a Kappa Sig in his 4th year from Houston, Texas. He is also a member of the Mystic order of Eli Banana, est. 1878. We also took a peek at Edgar Allen Poe's dorm room, where the poet and author lived until creditors ran him out of town in 1827.

From there, the Nightlife crew made its way back to the hotel (near "The Corner") and decided Mellow Mushroom was the place to go for dinner. It was packed, but with a couple dozen beers on tap and an infinite number of pizza selections, we knew we couldn't go wrong. After a couple hours at the bar, we called it a night early, so we could rest up for an epic Saturday experience.

Saturday began around 7am. We dragged ourselves out of bed and made our way to breakfast, met up with the rest of the gang, and made the trek to Foxfield.

Nightlife wants to take a moment to thank our gracious hosts, who allowed the Nightlife crew to invade their family tradition and spend time with a great group of people. Thank you - you know who you are.

If there's one thing we learned from race day it's get there early. You don't want to be the guy trying to back your big ass truck bed in between two established parties at 11am. It's unacceptable.

These girls were wearing the exact same dress!
Mimosas. Corn hole. Shotgunning. Finger foods. Port-a-Johns. Flip flops. Pastels. Nightlife doesn't remember much. Maybe there was a horse, we're not sure. The food was great. The drinks were strong. And the bathroom accommodations... well, let's just say it was like Nightlife's last trip to some unnamed third world country. We suggest you take care of your serious business before you leave the hotel room. And ladies, bring your own toilet paper.

At the end of the races, Nightlife headed back to the hotel room for a quick nap before hitting the streets to continue the party. Charlottesville has many great bars near campus, and the drink prices are unbelievable. It was nice to be back in a college town.

Foxfield attendees drank late into the night before stumbling back to their dorms or hotel rooms.

It turns out there were horses at Foxfield!
The next morning, the Nightlife crew stopped into The Virginian for brunch ($3 Bloody Marys & Screwdrivers). The breakfast BLT was served on skillet toasted bread with an egg. The restaurant was packed with young people working through their hangover.

All in all, our first experience at Foxfield races was a tremendous success. Nightlife is back - safe and sound - in Arlington and will resume regular operations tomorrow.