An Ode to Craigslist

Have you ever heard of the blog, Listed District? It’s where blogger Ellen Richardson, who has been profiled in Refinery29 and Urban Turf and others, lists out her favorite Craigslist finds from the D.C. area.

I have long been a proponent of Craigslist shopping and selling. In fact, in true Listed District style, I listed my vintage bar cart for sale just yesterday. She’s a beauty, no?

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I’ve wheeled more cocktails around in this cart than I care to remember. It’s been my staple party service since 2006. I’m sad to see her go, but there is no room for her in the new apartment. I’m hoping she finds a good, cocktail-loving home.

By far, my most perfect Craigslist score is my couch. I bought it for $150 when I moved into my first apartment, and it’s been with me ever since. It’s the perfect apartment size couch. Big enough to lie down on (though my feet do pop off the ends), but small enough to not overpower the room.

couch

It even came already covered in the adorable black and white fabric! It was the best $150 I ever spent. Hands down.

With the move this week, I’m not looking to add any new items to my ever-growing pile of stuff. However, I couldn’t help taking a quick look at CL to see what gems were lurking out there.

Check out this fun metal shelf.

I love this mirror too. Admittedly, I’m a little obsessed with mirrors. They help add some dimension to my mini Georgetown apartment. I own at least 6.

This vintage leather coffee table would be great with some leather conditioner, a new piece of hardware, and a fresh coat of  white paint. Perfect for a sunny room!

What about you? What’s your favorite Craigslist score?

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Gettin Gin-ny With It

Ok, lame title, but I couldn’t think of a better way to describe how I spent last Saturday. I recently found out that Washington has it’s very own gin distillery, New Columbia Distillers. People have been talking about the craft breweries that have been popping up around town, like this one, this one, and this one, but I only just discovered the gin.

Not only do I love a good G+T on a hot summer day, it should also be noted that as a native Washingtonian, I get really excited when we attract new, different businesses in this town. Living in a city that’s entirely centered around the government is super boring, so I love that people are diversifying the economy here. They are breathing much-needed new life into the city and making it a little cooler and more fun to live here. Way to go, New Columbia!

Anyway, I got on the Green Hat Gin website (that’s their brand) a few weeks ago to see what it’s all about. Upon quick inspection, I found out that you can sign up to volunteer to help them bottle on weekends. It’s free to volunteer, and you know I need weekend activities that don’t involve me spending money. Clearly, I was intrigued, so I signed up online and last weekend my number got called.

It’s a pretty easy process, and they let you do a little bit of everything. It took about 2 hours, but it went by quickly because they gave me a few gin and tonics for my trouble. Not too shabby!

The whole volunteer process starts with what they call the gin cow. That huge silver canister to the left is full of gin, and they raise it up so that it drips into the machine with the funny looking udders below.

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Once the cow is full, then it’s go time. We dispensed the gin into the bottles, corked it, labeled it, and sealed it to go off to be sold.

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Here I am in the final step of the process, blow-drying the plastic top onto the bottle. Notice the beads of sweat on my brow, I was working hard!

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And, here is the finished product from my batch. If you happen to pick up a bottle from batch 43, you’ll know it was hand bottled by yours truly (and a band of other volunteers).

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The lovely owners gave us a discount on our work, so I took home a bottle for safe keeping. I was thinking of using to make this punch that I had at a party a few weeks ago. Or, I could try my hand at some of these.

So how about it? Have any of you had my hometown gin before?

Looking for a Wine Down

Last week, a friend and I were catching up over drinks. We were in search of a D.C. restaurant that offers half-price wine night. And on a Wednesday night, that’s a tough ask! I decided that I would start a handy list of half-price wine nights for all of you who want to drink in style, on the cheap.

I feel that it’s important to stipulate the two criteria I used to craft this list, so you understand how I determined what should and shouldn’t be included.

  1. It has to be an ALL night wine night. Half-price wine until 7 is happy hour, and in my book, it doesn’t count.
  2. Also, it has to be *somewhat* fancy. I’m not talking Citronelle (may she rest in peace), but it does have to have some ambiance. After all, if you want to go to BlackFinn, you should just drink beer. Period.

So here’s what I’ve found so far.

Sunday (for the “I don’t want my weekend to end” type person)

Clydes in Georgetown has half price wine all day.

BlackJack on 14th street has happy hour all day – food and drink specials to boot!

Monday

Veritas in Dupont Circle (they do it on Sunday as well).

Dino in Cleveland park has “wine madness” on Sundays and Mondays – 33% off all wines 50 or more.  

Chef Geoff’s  has half price all night on Mondays in both their downtown and Wesley Heights locations.

I’m making an exception to the rules to include Circa in Dupont because I love that place. They have half price wine until 9pm, so it’s a little better than your ordinary happy hour.

Peacock Cafe in Georgetown has half price all bottles all day. They continue the special with select bottles on Tuesdays as well.

Tuesday

A personal favorite – St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar – has half price wine and appetizers all night. Cleveland Park location only.

Town Hall in Glover Park is another Tuesday night option.

Wednesday

Paolo’s in Georgetown. Half price off their whole list, all night.

Cleveland Park Bar and Grill does the same thing. Check out their wine list to strategize your purchase.

Policy on 14th street has half price wine all night.

Friday and Saturday 

Bobby Van’s on New York Avenue has half price bottles on Friday and Saturday nights. SAY WHAT? No one EVER has drink specials on the weekend. This is a great find!

I could not for the life of me find anything on Thursday night. That’s not entirely surprising, but now that I found out that I can drink on the cheap at Bobby Van’s on Friday and Saturday nights, I’m thinking all bets are off!

As far as I’m concerned, this is a running list. Are there any of your favorites that I’ve missed? Let me know!

Bargain Culture at the Phillips After 5

I’ve been trying to get to the Phillips after 5 for years now, but the timing has never worked. However, I vowed in my New Years resolutions to be better at trying some of the fun free (and/or discount) activities that Washington has to offer, so this seemed like a good first stop. The current exhibition is by Per Kirkeby – a Danish artist with a keen interest in geology that is reflected throughout his paintings.

I co-opted a good friend, who spent time in Copenhagen completing her Masters in Design from the Corcoran, to come with me. She and I rolled in to the gallery around 5:30 last Thursday, and it was already packed! I had no idea it was that popular. As a side note, you should check out her fabulous fabric collection. I’m particularly partial to this one that will be coming to a chair my living room in the near future.

We toured the gallery first, participated in the Lego challenge that was being run by the staff  (see my creation below), and then headed to the cocktail party.

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All-in-all I had a great time. If you are interested in attending in the future, here are all the things that you need to know about attending Phillips After 5.

1. Tickets should be purchased in advance. Tickets were $12, and available for purchase online. Apparently, the event often sells out, so definitely buy tickets in advance. Plus, it makes it easier to check in when you get there.

2. Drinks are not included. This was a bummer since I’d just shelled out 12 bucks to get into the place BUT since I am now a benevolent supporter of the arts, I got over it. Drink tickets were $5 for wine and beer. You could also get soft drinks for $2.50, but where’s the fun in that?

3. Dudes go. I was thinking that the ratio of women to men would be closer to 95:5, but I was totally wrong. For you single ladies, there were pretty good odds there. In fact, I ran into an old friend from high school who as there with a bunch of co-workers (all male), and apparently they go all the time. Very promising.

4. Good people watching. It was quite an eclectic conglomeration of people. Lots of first dates as well. I must admit those were pretty amusing to watch, especially the really weird matches. There was definitely a mom fix-up or two floating around.

5. Oh yeah, and there’s art. In addition to the exhibition, which I must admit was more lively and colorful than I was expecting, the Phillips has a lovely collection of modern art. The price of entry gets you into the general collection, so you are free to tour the other works they have. On Phillips after 5 days, they also have additional lectures and gallery talks, and even the occasional beer tasting!

Price of entry: $12.00

Wine: $5.00

Metro ride to the exhibit: $1.60

Ride home: Free (thanks to my fabulous aforementioned designer friend).

Total cost for a lovely, cultured evening out: $18.60