Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fallen in Love (AKA More Girls on Bicycles)

*Thanks to KD, who surely understands my adoration for women on pedals. Please know that I will attempt to make this the sappiest public thing I've ever written.

Despite the fact I can only stand her voice for 3 songs in succession every 4-7 days, I gotta say I'm in love with Corinne Bailey Rae. At least in a star-crush sorta way. (Is she a star yet? Don't watch TV much, so someone let me know if they have her ringtones for sale). My Corinne Bailey star-crush-love-habit has grown from a puppy-like smile-when-I-hear-yo-songs-girl to *speechless*, upon seeing the video for "Put your records on." Thank you internet, and thank you Al Gore.

Ms. Corinne, oh giver of pleasin' tunes, not to mention happy summer imagery in the form of nymphishly sessy womenfriends breezily pedaling their vintage 3-speeds down dirt roads to nowhere...words cannot convey the pleasures that I now feel. If I were only so lucky to be coming from the other direction, haggard from a long day of droning in an office with terrible air quality, sweat stains mocking aesthetics and my own humanity. Such a sight this would be, were God to bless my unworthy eyes with such delightful late-July treats. Alas, thanks Bailey Rae for showing that grown women CAN ride bicycles and still be fly, singing songs for MTV2 and drawing royalties enough to sustain yacht vacations off the coast of St. Kitts.

Today's entry has been brought to you by global warming, bicycle streamers, and handlebar baskets full of mangoes.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


So here's probably the first of many long-awaited posts about high-perfomrance cars that don't use oil. Oxymoron? Not really. (Those of you that don't care about cars, don't worry we'll get to the sexiness and stylishness and violence of it all soon enough.)

Ever witnessed a game changer? You got a funny sensation that nothing would ever be the same again? It's sort of like when Audi recently rewrote racing history by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the diesel R10, powered by a synthetic fuel made from natural gas. (Minus 2 points for not being biodiesel, but plus 1 for using Gas-to-Liquids technology).

Well, here's another game changer....

"Dear Mr. Traditional Motorhead,

I know you think the sound of that naturally-aspirated aluminum-blocked V8 is what made you fall in love with the car, but in reality it was probably either the look or the performance. So yes, throaty growls from 2mpg tractor motors do have a certain...effect on a person. BUT this time it's different. Ooh goody-goody.


Non-traditional Motorhead"

I love cars. And motorcycles. And boats and bicycles and elephants and trains. Nothing new here. All types of transportation pique Emilito's interest, from Wild Mongolian Warrior Horses of Death to the very first crude 1870's Otto-cycle prototypes to the latest peek at our Jetson-like collective pastfutures (a 'la GATTACA :: trailer). Sadly, your friendly host on this journey through the history of go was born in an era of ape-like humans that mistakenly got us all hooked on fossil fuels. We must thank the internal combustion engine for those sounds of love; there is nothing like the thugga-chugga of a crude industrial Lister diesel ((LISTEN)), or the high-pitched wail of a Ferrari Formula 1 V12 ((LISTEN)).

That said, the stuff coming from the tailpipe has gone from being cool (age 10) to extremely and utterly wacktastically corny, real stupid-like (age 29). "Emissions are for losers" is a bumpersticker I've never seen but would make me smile in agreement. Even if those emissions are from biodiesel or eco-ethanol/butanol, they're still emissions. I would've thought humanity had evolved beyond that by now. Here though, it seems as though we have what just, just might be a look into the future of emotionally-charged human transport. It's clear I've sold my researching soul to Google, as well as my directionally-challenged Google Earth. The logical next step is to cars powered by electricity that blow the doors off conventional fossil runabouts, again, brought to you in part by Google. What are these guys on? Whatever it is, I like it.

So yes, the Tesla. See the video, go to the site, think about what we might be seeing here real hard like. Try to wrap your mind around it (helps to know that "power" shouldn't necessarily be equated with loud engines and inefficient operation). Imagine the ramifications of its potential success. Remember it's not the only car of this type, there are and will be more. Let's go a step further; someone put Pharrell or Kanye or Jay or Weezy in one of these and call up Jarvis Stewart to get his friends at Toyota moving on an all-electric Supra for 2009, Corolla for 2010, and Bentley super luxury land-yacht for 2011. Oh, and all of these could be charged at home using a Honda solar unit.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Review: The Red and The Black

The Red and The Black is a nice new bar and restaurant(?) on DC's mythical H Street, Northeast. The thoroughfare is, of course one of those places that was deeply and negatively impacted by the 1968 riots. It's still largely African-American and might scare a few of you, what with the crackheads and prostitutes and all. Fear not, gentle suburbanite, for gentrification moves swiftly in the Washington of today. From 3rd Street west to Bladensburg Road, one can find glimmers of hope in new restaurants, coffeeshops, stores, and a few nightclubs. Many of them are Black owned and doing pretty well (at least on H Street Day). This one isn't, but it seems to fit and definitely doesn't cater to the trendy types you'd find at say, Tabaq. I'm not sure what it is, but there's something about H Street that has drawn the best of the bayou north in recent months. At the last H Street Festival, I bought an awesome piece of artwork from a New Orleans artist displaced by Katrina; sorry I can't remember the guy's name. As some authentic Louisiana blues blared in the background, I exchanged my $25 for a lottery cage filled with the smiling faces of 9 white baby heads, just their faces. Oh, and a few little baby doll arms, one proudly holding a silver plastic hand grenade. It's entitled "Made in China" and was listed as a "Wal-Mart special." It may be possessed, who knows. Come to one of our parties and you'll see it hanging in the garage beside the John Deere sign.

But back to the bar.... I was there on a slowish Tuesday night to see an indie rock band called "The Slack Republic." The venue is perfectly suited for such a performance, and the band had a great time it seems. Upstairs is small and intimate, the overall theme being that of a New Orleans "funhouse" (in all flavors of the word). The colors are dark but happy (is that possible?)- lots of red lights and paint, old photos, a squeaking wooden floor, pots of jambalaya. The beer list is expanding, but they've already got some the favorites that you don't find everywhere. On this night, Bilal Salaam happened to be explaining the virtues of Chimay ale to an unknowing tourist who'd apparently stumbled into this spot while looking for someplace else. Dude's slurred speech made me think he was having a good time. The staff at The Red and The Black is down-to-earth and friendly, and the internet jukebox is honestly the best one I've seen in the city. The folks at Cue Bar pool hall need to visit these guys because theirs is probably the worst. (Despite the lack of musical virtue, I still frequent this spot every Friday after work; an hour of pool is $12, and they too have a good beer selection.)
has too many familiar faces, and you don't wanna trek all the way out to Clarendon or Hyattsville or, God-forbid Adams Morgan, check out H Street, Northeast. There are quite a few other bars in the neighborhood; a full bar-crawl review can be found here. My next visit is to the spot next door, a literal house of odditties called The Palace of Wonders :: WashPost Review. Oh, and before you head over there, watch this. Thanks.

Visit :: The Red & The Black