I just read that Vinoteca is going to install a bocce court!  I'm a big fan of bocce even though I don't like to play games.  I know that's a strange contradiction but really…there's always a book out there calling my name.

U St. Girl  also has a great post on new businesses opening on/around the U St. corridor.  Can I crow (once again..I know it's slightly obnoxious but I can't help it) about how I love U St.? 

I checked out Dodge City last weekend and the previous weekend.  I wanted to see if I was going to become a regular.  It had a very different vibe from Friday to Saturday night.  The previous Friday was full of tattooed boys, a couple of hipster girls and 90's music.  This Saturday it was ONLY girls in cutsie dresses, not a hipster in sight and funk/70's music.  I think I'm going to have to visit again before I make a decision. 

I'm officially beach bound after a home inspection on Wed. night.  I can't wait to get outta here!  This morning when I went to the gym, I almost suffocated on the stench of the city.  Seriously, my first smell of the day was rotten fish.  Ugh.  I don't know why ALL of DC has to smell like trash but it does.  I'm so glad the heat is going to break mid week.

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Living in DC in the summer is always trying but this year it's a doozy.  It's literally a concrete jungle as the temperature lingers in the 90's with no relief in sight.  The heat induced torpor is obvious from the slow movements of DC residents to the state of the real estate market. 

The big headline today is that "May New Home Sales Fall 33%, Surprising Everyone."  Umm..it doesn't surprise me.  I think everyone in the industry has been expecting this development.  In my mind, the beginning of the year was bound to be decent.  What I really wondered (as did everyone) was the state our business for the rest of the year. I think this stat backs up a lot of fears that have been percolating in the real estate industry.

As always, DC is insulated from some of the bumps in the road.  People make a lot of money in DC. Most of my clients wouldn't/didn't benefit from the tax credit.  The clients that could benefit took advantage of the credit.  The others are still looking.  I've seen interest in viewing property drop significantly as the summer months started.  It's like everyone is on vacation already.  I still have clients searching but at least 3 to 4 sets of buyers have decided to wait until the Fall.   Yet the Opens I've been holding have been well attended. 

It seems a lot of agents are having this experience.  I was talking to a former client two weeks ago that bought in January.  She mentioned an agent that does a lot of business in her building was removing his listings from the market until the Fall.  Nothing was happening and he decided to pull the listings so the DOM (days on market) didn't accumulate. 

Meanwhile, well priced condos in prime locations are still a hot commodity.  Take a look at Urban Turf's post about a 2 bedroom in Dupont for $324,900.  Over 40 people viewed it last weekend and they are receiving multiple offers.  That's a great indication the market is alive and well.  Buyers will be active regardless of the weather or state of the industry if it's a great location and well priced.  The DC 5K first time buyers tax credit doesn't hurt either. 

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It was everything I expected and more!  I loved the whole concept.  An intimate, dimly lit room with good music.  Cocktails with special ice cubes carved by hand in cool glassware.   Fun, random conversation with your fellow drinkers.  Perfect pairings. 

We started with a glass of champagne.  This instantly wins me over because I think everyone should start their evenings with a glass of champagne.  This is concept I picked up from my brother when he worked at Cypress in Charleston, SC.  Any place that starts your evening with a glass of champagne is allllll right, by golly.   

Then Derek made us a "Soyer au Champagne" which a grown up version of a float.  It had handmade Remy Martin gelato, champagne and brandy.  Sounds like a strange mix but it tasted amazing.  While we were discussing what normally gets paired with classic floats (hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries), a perfect, baby Kobe beef burger was delivered.  Yum.

Next, Katie mixed a few cocktails for us.  Since she's familiar with our cocktail preferences, she made a different cocktail for each of us.  She made me a "Corpse Reviver #2", my friend a perfect dry gin Martini named the "Fifty-Fifty" and my husband  received a bourbon drink called a "Fancy Free."  Mine was made with gin.  It was so good I completely overlooked the fact that I usually detest gin.   Each was taste tested by Derek to make sure it was up to the strict Columbia Room standards.  Needless to say, you're not getting a bad cocktail in this joint. 

Usually, this is where the fun stops.  We had a little extra time before the next reservation so we also had a round of gimlets.  Once again, it was top notch. 

When our drinks were finished and our stuff gathered, we paid our tab and ended our cocktail adventure.  I'll definitely be going back for another round as soon as possible.   

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Columbia Room

Tomorrow, I'm going to the Columbia Room for the first time and I'm really excited!  What's the Columbia Room you ask?  It's the coolest "cocktail club" in DC.  If you're into fancy drinks, this is the place for you from what I've read and heard. (Read a review here.)

The Columbia Room is the brain child of Derek Brown, a DC sommelier/mixologist star.  My friend Katie has recently taken over the management position and I'm going to check out her new digs.  

My intro to the fine art of mixology was with Katie when we visited the Gibson for the first time. When I heard reports of it's speak-easy atmosphere and intriguing cocktails, my curiosity was piqued.  The drinks were amazing and I was hooked.  Derek Brown was the man behind the beverages at the Gibson too.  Coincidence?  Nope.  I think it's all part of his grand plan to put intricate cocktails on the culinary map. 

Who knew that first cocktail would lead to a new career for Katie?  As a former restaurateur, I always love when someone discovers the beauty of fine food and drink.  I'm thrilled for her and I can't wait to experience the Columbia Room in all it's glory.  Cheers!

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My clients at 3883 Conn Ave, NW are renting their furnished condo for 6-8 months.  It's a great location in Cleveland Park.  It's a 10 minute walk to the Metro, shops and restaurants.  The unit has a garage parking and cable TV included in the rental price of $2800.  The building has fabulous amenities like a concierge service, a rooftop pool and grill, and an exercise room.  The lease would start on July 1, 2010.  Please contact me at jaangotti@comcast.net or 202.285.4238 if you know anybody that's interested in the rental.  Click here for more pictures.

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