Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Don’t miss the chance to tour D.C. by bicycle this fall.

Capital Bikeshare, which has more than 300 stations around the District, will add 60 new rental locations this fall. Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tony Webster under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Capital Bikeshare, which has more than 300 stations around the District, will add 60 new rental locations this fall. Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tony Webster under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Capital Bikeshare will unveil almost 60 new bike rental locations around the District, the Washington Post reported Monday.

The bikeshare’s expansion was delayed by more than a year when its manufacturer, Montreal-based company Public Bike System Co., went bankrupt in 2014. Capital Bikeshare will be getting its new equipment from a New York-based company called Motivate.

According to The Post, the District is purchasing 40 bike stations and more than 400 bikes for $2.5 million.

Capital Bikeshare, which launched in 2010, currently rents out more than 3,000 bikes from more than 300 stations and services more than 29,000 members.

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This post was written by Senior Staff Writer Josh Solomon. 

Next door to Nooshi and around the corner from “old Chipotle,” the newly opened Olivia’s Diner dances between a fanciful eatery – its marble bar is accessorized with martini glasses and premium liquors – and late-night hangout.

Olivia’s was advertised as a 24-hour diner, but the joint, with its dimly lit leather booths, hasn’t drummed up the business to stay open all night just yet, its manager said. If Olivia’s decides to expand its wacky hours, it could become a staple for late-night revelers and those in need of a study break – especially because most restaurants in the area, like Tonic and Circa, close much earlier.

For now, I hope that by the time the school year swings around, the diner has its identity figured out.

Diners expecting disco fries or matzah ball soup are in for a treat or a shock: Instead of diner grub, you’ll be treated to fine decor and quasi-gourmet eats. If you can embrace this combination – let’s call it American fusion, where tater tots, turkey pot pie and spicy shrimp salad are all on the menu – Olivia’s could be a spot for many occasions. And in place of the Clip Art pictures of eggs and pancakes that often adorn diner menus,  there are Julia Child quotes at the bottom of each page. (“People who love to eat are always the best people.”)

An $8 burger from Olivia's Diner near Dupont Circle. Photo by Senior Staff Writer Josh Solomon.

An $8 burger from Olivia’s Diner near Dupont Circle. Photo by Senior Staff Writer Josh Solomon.

Unlike The Diner in Adams Morgan, Olivia’s has an overall more upscale feel. Its burgers come with a mission statement: Olivia’s gets its beef from naturally-raised cows, blends three different cuts (chuck, short rib and brisket) and cooks the beef on a cast iron skillet. The joint is owned by Tri Nguyen (also co-owner of Pete’s New Haven Style Pizza)

Despite being responsibly sourced, the burgers are nothing special. A medium-cooked three-pound burger ($8, without additions) was borderline well-done, not particularly juicy and the patty barely stayed together.

Its buttery brioche bun was delicious, but the experience was stifled by a tomato slice that tasted old and the smoked paprika aioli was a salty $1 addition that didn’t stack up to sauces served for free at Good Stuff Eatery.

After you unroll your napkin, which resembles a Bounty paper towel, you uncover heavy, fine-looking silverware – nothing says American fusion more than paper towel-wrapped, glitzy silverware.

Other meals you can attack with these tools are the Jackson’s Southern Fried Chicken ($15) with aged cheddar mac n’ cheese and green beans or the Bubba’s Smothered Pork Chop ($16) with caramelized onion gravy, sautéed mushrooms, gratin potatoes and seasonal vegetables, options that reminded me of a diner’s typical breadth.

Regardless of the restaurant’s current conflicted status, breakfast is served all day and much can be forgiven. You can order one pancake ($3 to $4) or four ($9 to $13) and find yourself confronted with frisbee-sized discs. If you forget the fact that Olivia’s charges $1.50 for a “side of pure Vermont maple syrup,” the pancakes are perfect alternative to endless late-night Crepeaway orders – though Olivia’s has no plans to accept GWorld.

The cinnamon bun pancake is pre-seasoned with cinnamon, and a cream cheese frosting is glazed over the plate-sized pancake. Served thin and a little crispy, its flavors remain bold and sweet enough – while being a cheap four bucks for a fairly filling size – to qualify as bomb food any time of day.

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Good news, Jumbo Slice.

TripAdvisor named D.C. as number six on its list of top 10 cities for pizza on Wednesday.

According to a press release on the travel website, the criteria for the rankings were: the quality of restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor, the quantity of pizzerias and their reviews and “the ratio of pizza restaurants and reviews compared to all restaurants for the city.”

TripAdvisor also listed restaurants We the Pizza, Matchbox Pizza and Pizzeria Paradiso as D.C.’s “must-try pizzerias.”

Chicago was placed No. 1 and New York City earned second place. San Francisco edged out D.C. for the top five.

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Rapper Nicki Minaj will perform at Jiffy Lube Live outside D.C., following the release of her album "The Pinkprint." Photo by Wikimedia Commons User Fer Morrell used under a CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Rapper Nicki Minaj will perform at Jiffy Lube Live outside D.C., following the release of her album “The Pinkprint.” Photo by Wikimedia Commons User Fer Morrell used under a CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Nicki Minaj’s song “Anaconda” may not have received a video of the year nomination for the MTV Video Music Awards, but fans can still see her perform the hit when her “Pinkprint” tour stops near D.C. Wednesday night.

Though the rapper feuded on Twitter with Taylor Swift  — who played at Nationals Park last week  — over the snub, she’ll hit the Jiffy Lube Live theater in Virginia to play tracks off of her latest album, “The Pinkprint.”

Minaj will be joined by hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, who collaborated with her on the songs “No Flex Zone” and “Throw Some Mo’,” as well as her rapper-boyfriend Meek Mill.

While in town, Minaj might make a visit to the White House — even if she performs her verse from the 2012 Lil Wayne song “Mercy,” in which she rapped that she would vote for then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Minaj said that the lyrics were meant to be sarcastic and sent her “love and support” to President Barack Obama.

If you want to spend the night dancing to “Feeling Myself” and “The Night is Still Young,” you can still grab a pair of tickets — prices range from about $30 to about $200.

 

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“Trainwreck,” Amy Schumer’s cinematic ode to funny, slutty, unapologetically human women, is a must-see.

Promotional poster for "Trainwreck."

Promotional poster for “Trainwreck. Courtesy of Universival Studios”

The film follows Amy Townsend, a booze-happy writer who kicks men out of her “sick” apartment before the morning light, as she interviews acclaimed sports doctor Aaron Conners, played by Bill Hader (“Saturday Night Live,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “The Skeleton Twins”), who happens to be the object of her first real affection.

It would be easy to chalk the film up as raunchy, but it’s also sweet, sad and occasionally, uncomfortably real. Townsend’s father, played by Colin Quinn, is a dying alcoholic whose infidelity and promiscuity are the catalyst for Townsend’s behavior and her sister’s bitterness.

At its core, the film is a comedy, and I was doubled over laughing along with the rest of the packed theater during scenes like when Amy feigns being asleep during sex or a montage of men leaving her apartment that  ends with an unfortunate early-morning sojourn on the Staten Island Ferry.

Schumer’s first foray on the big screen also tackles sex scenes with comedic, raw finesse, much like Lena Dunham’s “Girls,” which “Trainwreck” director Judd Apatow co-writes and co-produces.

At the beginning of “Trainwreck,” John Cena, better known for his WWE stardom than his acting chops, throws himself into his role as Steven, Townsends main muscular squeeze, and delivers some of the film’s funniest lines. Comedy Central sweetheart Dave Attell plays Noam, a homeless man with whom Townsend has a snarky rapport. Mike Birbiglia, a Georgetown University alumnus who got his start at the Improv Comedy Club, plays Townsend’s sweater-clad brother-in-law.

Schumer’s brand of cinematic feminism razes to the ground the stereotypes that are usually superglued to mainstream romantic comedies. On a walk through Central Park with her younger sister Kim, played by Brie Larson, Townsend hyperventilates at the thought of potential deal-breakers in her new-found relationship with Aaron, a guy she actually likes.

For example, jokes about tampons and menstrual cycles made me want to call Schumer on the phone – or at least tweet at her – and thank her for this fearless screenplay about real human girl stuff. As movie-goers, how long were we going to have to put up with Jonah Hill flicks filled with phallic jokes and references?

The movie isn’t perfect. Some hiccups include lines by her editor at S’Nuff magazine, Dianna, a painfully exaggerated version of Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada,” and the scenes about her father’s death and funeral could use another edit.

“Trainwreck” also stumbles when it comes to jokes about race, though they seemed more like watered-down versions of “Inside Amy Schumer” commentary than genuine insensitivity.

Despite its imperfections, it’s a film that makes you laugh, makes you think and sheds an even brighter light on women-driven comedies – much like Schumer herself.

In the final scene, which involves the New York Knicks and a trampoline, Townsend admits to her doctor-boyfriend, “I am in terrible physical shape,” and he unabashedly, adorably agrees. Nobody is pretending she is anything but herself.

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The National Gallery of Art added additional works from the Corcoran Gallery of Art to its collection. Hatchet File Photo

The National Gallery of Art added additional works from the Corcoran Gallery of Art to its collection. Hatchet File Photo

The National Gallery of Art announced on Twitter Saturday that it is now displaying additional paintings from the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s collection.

The art museum tweeted an image of a painting by artist Albert Bierstadt and said that it would release images and locations of the paintings soon.

In October 2014, the Corcoran began redistributing half of its 17,000-piece collection to the National Gallery. The rest was divided among other galleries and museums that could store the art.

In February, the National Gallery announced that it had acquired more than 6,000 works from the Corcoran collection, including works by artists like Edward Hopper and Edgar Degas.

From September to May, the National Gallery showcased almost 30 paintings acquired from the Corcoran in an exhibition called “American Masterworks from the Corcoran.”


 

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Saturday, July 18, 2015 6:06 p.m.

GW releases its own emoji

You’ll have to wait until next June to download the new avocado and shark emoji, but you can now get GW-themed emoji on your phone.

To celebrate World Emoji Day on Friday, GW Marketing and Creative Services released four of its own animated characters to represent the University.

The new emoji include a GW ornamental gate, a hippo, a colonial hat and the Tempietto — the rotunda located in Kogan plaza.

But you won’t be able to download the emoji to your keyboard — they are only available on the Marketing and Creative Services website as images that you can save to your camera roll and send as photos.

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Friday, July 17, 2015 3:22 p.m.

Janelle Monáe to headline Alumni Weekend

Janelle Monáe has won six Grammy's. Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bobamnertiopsis under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license

Janelle Monáe has won six Grammy’s. Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bobamnertiopsis under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license

Updated: July 17, 2015 at 4:58 p.m.

Janelle Monáe, the suave songstress behind “Yoga” and “Tightrope” will headline Alumni Weekend this year. The Kansas native will perform at 9 p.m. on September 26 at the Smith Center.

Monáe has been nominated for six Grammys and is known for her high-energy performances. “Q.U.E.E.N.,” which she collaborated with Erykah Badu on, and her song “Dance Apocalyptic,” are tributes to her shamelessly funky style.

Monáe, who is also featured on Fun.’s 2012 hit “We Are Young,” moves between genres: On “Yoga,” she sounds like up-and-comer rapper Tink, but on the soulful “Primetime,” she croons.

“The Electric Lady” is known for her quirky, androgynous style and donning black and white tuxedos. She is an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights and the city of Boston dubbed October 16 “Janelle Monáe Day” to honor her social leadership.

Alumni registration for the weekend opens the week of July 20.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported alumni registration for the weekend will open on July 20. Registration for the weekend will open the week of July 20.

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If you’ve ever walked into the blue building on the corner of 18th Street and Kalorama Road, you probably headed downstairs for Korean food and karaoke at Muzette. But upstairs is Himalayan Heritage, an Indian restaurant tastier and cheaper than Taj India in Georgetown.

The decor at Heritage restaurant is pretty, if not a little cheesy: Gold Buddha and Ganesh figures line the deep red walls, a thatched roof hangs over a few tables and white tablecloths and heavy silverware are disorienting once you realize nothing on the menu costs more than $20.

The entrees are the most expensive items, as usual: $15 chicken tikka, $16 chicken tandoori and lamb ko jhir – lamb marinated in yogurt and spices, grilled then sauteed – for the same price. My dates (two former roommates) ordered chicken masala and “sizzling” shrimp, jumbo shrimp marinated in honey mustard and cooked in a tandoor oven.

We sat down at 8:40 p.m. and waited about an hour for dinner, which felt a little too long in a restaurant that was two-thirds empty. Luckily, we had a lot to catch up on, but I couldn’t help noticing a few second dates around us who seemed to grow impatient. Instead, we had the two stars of the evening to preoccupy us: vegetarian mo and mojitos.

The mo, the Nepalese word for dumplings, were shaped like little volcanoes, steamed perfectly, stuffed with cabbage and carrot and served with a creamy chutney, which is like a curried take on Thai peanut sauce. For just $6, the serving was massive: We each ate four.

The mojitos ($8 each) were deceptively strong, topped with fresh mint and a cool way to relieve us of the spicy red sauce that came with the garlic naan ($3).

For dinner, I settled on two vegetable samosas ($5) and $7 stuffed chatamari, a flat bread made with rice flour and filled with with minced chicken, egg, tomato, cilantro and scallion. But I could have done without the chatamari– after the dumplings and samosas, I was just as stuffed as the doughy appetizers.

Himalayan Heritage is located at 2305 18th St. NW.

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GW could soon be sharing its namesake with a D.C. Megabus.

A survey launched on Megabus’ website Tuesday allows people to vote on naming a bus to represent every state where the travel company operates — and “George Washington” is listed as a possible name for the D.C. bus.

Sean Hughes, the director of corporate affairs for Megabus in North America, said that both GW and the former president’s connections to D.C. played a role in making the name a contender.

“Obviously George Washington was an important figure in history and a lot of our passengers are college students,” Hughes said. “I would say both things fell into consideration.”

The option could also be an incentive for GW students to participate in the vote, Hughes said.

“We love to have the GW students weigh in and I’d think they’d be voting for a certain name, if you will,” he said.

The other options for the D.C. bus name — which would be printed on the front door of the bus — are “Cherry Blossom” and “Capital City.”

Voting closes on August 17 and the results of the vote will be released on social media around Labor Day, Hughes said.

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