September 25, 2015
by The OJBG Team

Attack of the Falling Acorns – Carmen S.

When people talk about Autumn and the things they love about it, dodging falling acorns is usually not on the list. Oh sure, I love wearing hoodies and football games and the scenery and the Pumpkin Spice Life, but there’s something about falling acorns that really does it for me.

See, people who aren’t from Washington DC think it’s so awesome that we live here, some even going so far to say, “WHOA, you actually live IN DC??” We’re placed on a pedestal for some reason, so when I get the awed, wide eyed stares and relentless questions about life in DC, I’m often confused because this is home… and while home is comfortable and nice, home is boring! But then, in comes Autumn…

Along with the delicious chill in the air and the beautiful changing colors, it’s the acorns that make our tree-lined streets of DC just a touch more exciting. Ever pretend that your living room floor was lava so you jumped from couch to chair to couch as a kid? Well, I’m no kid, but I pretend that acorns are crazy falling bombs that I have to dodge!! I hear one hit the ground behind me and I breathe a sigh of relief knowing I’ve just survived, but then I tell myself that I have to get through the falling mine-field ahead! I hear one crashing through the leaves and I take a crazy diving leap back just in time as the sidewalk explodes in front of me. When the dust clears and I continue on my way, I smile and think, “You know, this place is pretty awesome.”

September 2, 2015
by The OJBG Team

Picture It … Brooklyn, 1995 | Nina H.

 They say “history repeats itself”, not sure who “they” are, but they are right.  We see this in all aspects of culture in today’s society. Whether it’s the bringing back of Polaroid cameras, the new obsession with the VHS camcorder app, or even the choker necklaces and rainbow colored hair, the 90’s have made its return.

 The 90’s was where fashion was timeless, the music was legendary and the television series and movies were original.  Despite the evolution of fashion, music and movies, I am constantly on the hunt for vintage Gucci from that time, purchasing all of my favorite albums from that era on iTunes, and have a biased opinion of the new “Jurassic Park”. There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t see something that is reflective of that era in our present day culture.

 Just last week, I sat at a lounge in Brooklyn and the vibe gave me 1995 old school house party.  Despite being 6 in 95’, I’ve studied the music, film and fashion to a point where I have an understanding of what the culture felt like during that time. Ironically the topic about how much they missed that era of music came up, as New York  is known for their legendary Hip Hop , Reggae and Soca.  The live band took the hint and we danced all night to the music of that era including everyone’s favorite Chaka Demus and Pliers’s “Murder She Wrote.”

 Although history repeats itself, the 90’s seemed to be an era that everyone loved, enjoys reminiscing about and continues to reference.  I don’t think the question is will we ever escape the 90’s, the real question is do we want to?

July 6, 2015
by The OJBG Team

Beer & Burgers (not) | Sarah Hirsch

On the Fourth of July, the holiday of beer, burgers and blowing things up, I did what any cool 19 year old would do…I went to the movies with my parents. We watched other people blow things up in Spy with the brilliant Melissa McCarthy. (Seriously. That woman is magic. Go and buy a ticket right now. Go.)

I could have gone to a farm in the middle of nowhere (very American) with my twin brother and a bunch of people I didn’t know, but I honestly just didn’t feel like trying to learn everyone’s names.


Prior to the PG-13 rated fun, I did something even more badass. I made them dinner. My brother did too, but that doesn’t count because he’s not cool like you and I.

Here is what I (ugh, and the boy) made:

Recipe: Spicy Shrimp Kabobs

What you need:

Sauce - ¼ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of lemon juice, ¼ cup of tomato sauce (or pureed tomatoes w/ oregano), 1 tsp of mustard (I used Dijon), 1 tbsp of paprika, 1 tbsp of chili powder, 1 tbsp of garlic powder, 1 tbsp of honey

Other stuff - 1 bag of cooked shrimp, 1 mango, 1 avocado, a medium/large pan, spoon or spatula, a patriotic demeanor, kabob sticks

First, leave the frozen shrimp in a container in the fridge to thaw over night.If you forget, like I did, DON’T PANIC. Just fill a pot with hot water, empty the bag and let those babies soak. While the shellfish are thawing, get your sauce ready! First mix the olive oil, lemon juice and tomato sauce, then add all your spicy powders, honey and mustard. If you want even less added sugar (as I did – no need to sugar crash before the cray-zay fun begins.), take a tomato, dice it and put that sucka in the food processor (a blender works too.) I added some oregano for more flavor.

Now for the other Supremes to your Diana Ross Shrimp – Mango and Avocado. Slice and dice those babies and put them on a plate for later. Check on your shrimp to see how they’re doin’. When they are thawed completely, shell them. Once that it done, it’s time for some heat! 

Get your pan on the stove, put some sauce up in there and put on medium to low heat. Put as many shrimp as you want and mix it all together. Keep the shrimp in there until you believe they’ve absorbed enough of the salt and spice and everything nice.

Whoo! Pat yourself on the back. You just did some grown up cooking type shit. Go you.

For the finale, either plate all the fixings in a decorative manner and allow the dinner guests (your loved ones) to make their own kabob. OR – Put them together your own damn self.

The finished product:


Now go make some kabobs and see a movie with your parental type figures. Whether they are a mother or father, aunt or uncle, brother, grandma, neighbor, friend – let them know you appreciate them. It’s incredible how happy my one decision this July 4th, made my parents.

What did you do for Independence Day?

July 6, 2015
by The OJBG Team

July 4th | Alex Siegman

Hi y’all! As I’m sure you know, sometimes circumstances just aren’t conducive to patriotic celebration. This year I headed back to my home in Florida to celebrate the holiday with my dad.

Unfortunately, my dad was in the hospital for most of the weekend (he’s fine, he works there!) and the rest of my family was abroad doin’ their own thing (summer camp, backpacking trips, etc.) To make matters even more interesting, the night of the 4th brought severe thunderstorms!

So I’m here to give y’all some tips about how you can celebrate 4th of July on your own in any circumstance!

1)   Chinese food is always a great option if you’re stuck without food on any national holiday.

2)   Let’s face it, Xbox can only entertain you for so long, but fear not! You can never underestimate the power of a jigsaw puzzle – they are fun, challenging, and a great time-killer.

3)   If the weather isn’t conducive, you can usually find a television station that is broadcasting fireworks from a major city such as New York or Los Angeles.

4)   Shark Week, the Discovery Channel’s annual event, often begins on July 5th, but there are some great lead-up shows on the night of the 4th!

5)   There’s no better time to cuddle up with your pet during a fireworks show – pet’s hate the noise, but love your company!

Never forget to have fun and be safe on the 4th of July! Go America!

July 6, 2015
by The OJBG Team

The Fourth of July

Hey guys, my name is John Ghadar. I hope you all had an amazing Fourth of July! Not everyone takes the Fourth of July as seriously as others. Some people just go out for some drinks, others stay home and watch fireworks with their friends and family, then there’s those people that goes absolutely crazy for the 24 hour period that is the Fourth of July.  If you ask me a good Fourth gets you mixed up with all of them.

I started my night around 8 pm with my friend Maddy. We went to Velvet which is a dive bar on U street where one of our friends works.  Once we got there we each had a beer and went onto the roof to set off some fireworks. Maddy got roman candles and I had a firework called a “Laser Dragon” needless to say we were excited to use them. We set them all off and people at Nellie’s, a bar across the street, started cheering at us and we cheered back. Then a lady from the bar next door came onto her roof and told us to stop, luckily we used all our fireworks right before she came up so we were happy to go back inside to the air conditioning.

After we hung out for a little longer we met up with my best friend Marcus. Remember before when I was talking about those people who go crazy for the 4th? Marcus is definitely one of those people. Everything he wore had the USA flag on it I’m talking shirt, pants, sunglasses, backpack, bandana, everything. You could’ve seen him coming from a mile away if you didn’t hear him singing the national anthem first. We went to a party in DuPont Circle where my sister and some of our other friends were so we could all spend the last hour of the Fourth together. The party was on the roof of an apartment building so we could see people setting off fireworks in every direction. At around 2 am some of us headed back to my house to go to sleep, all in all I got to spend my night with some of my best friends so I couldn’t have asked for a better Fourth of July!

June 30, 2015
by The OJBG Team

Folklife Festival, Cont’d

Hi y’all! My name is Alex Siegman – surely you have seen some of my previous blog posts! As you know, this Sunday I visited the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and while I was there, I took some video on my iPhone. I’m back now to share a little teaser with you in the hope that you will be motivated to come out and visit the festival this week! Enjoy!


Click here to view!

June 29, 2015
by The OJBG Team

2015 Folklife Festival | Alex Siegman

Every year the Smithsonian Folklife Festival takes over the National Mall for two weeks in late June and early July.

 Sunday I braced the grey skies and walked from Foggy Bottom down to the National Mall, just in front of the Capitol Building, where I was met by thousands of visitors – mostly young families and children plodding around on the grass.

 In a promotional video, Richard Kurin, the Director at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, described the annual event as “[A] living, cultural heritage exposition,” and his description was right on queue.

 When I first arrived at 11 am I listened to members of the Ballumbrosio family from the Afro-Peruvian band “Tutuma” and the family from the Cumbia-Amazonica band “Los Wembler’s” speak about passing songs and musical style throughout generations.

 Next I listened in on Wilde Moran discuss his personal story as a rancher in Peru, who, during his honeymoon in the United States, decided that he wanted to move here and open their own ranch in Gainesville, VA.

 After listening to Moran, the smell of chicken and potatoes made its way to the stage, and I joined in line to watch The Catacora sisters from Tradiciones Carumenas demonstrate how they make a traditional cornmeal soup, after which I bought myself a smorgasbord of delicious, traditional Peruvian foodstuffs.

 To end my day, I walked over to the center of the National Mall, with the Capitol Building directly in front of me, and watched the Wachiperi men of the Peruvian Amazon demonstrate their archery skills!

 All in all, the festival was a fantastic experience! I got to see real members of real cultures around the world demonstrate their crafts, tell their stories, and share their food. The festival continues next week, and I highly recommend you stop by!

June 22, 2015
by The OJBG Team


 AFI DOCS, the international documentary festival, has been held in Washington D.C. every summer for the past thirteen years. This years’ festival featured over 59 feature films and 27 shorts exhibited at seven different landmark theaters throughout downtown DC and Silver Springs, MD.

The ambiance was one of mixed intentions throughout the festival. There was the sentiment of entertainment that accompanies the joy that is the magic of film, but there was also a sense of pressing importance as socially and politically charged issues were abound in the films.

From the life of the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to gun rights to the immense pressures placed on high-school athletes, the films presented an extraordinary pallet of social and political issues to those inhabiting the country’s capital, raising awareness through film on the doorsteps of those in charge of  policies in our government.

For instance, the film “Of Men and War,” directed by Laurent Bécue-Renard, tells the story of the effects of PTSD on returning American combat soldiers who had served in the Middle East, was screened at the Landmark theater, only five blocks from The White House!

As a psychology major in university I am forever conscience of the issues of mental health on communities, and with thousands of men and women coming home to their respective hometowns from tours of service, SO MUCH needs to be done in efforts to provide the proper support and preventative measures for these soldiers.

With each and every visitor passionate about at least one social or political issue, nearly all of the films drew crowds that, after the films end, were visibly engaged in politically and socially charged conversations. In that sense, the AFI DOCS were a great success, bringing to light innumerable social issues that need to be debated about, starting conversations that our government should have began long ago.

If only I had unlimited time, I would have undoubtedly watched every film and short. Nonetheless, the festival concluded Sunday night with a difficult decision to be made – should I see “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon,” or “Larry Kramer In Love & Anger”? One is the story of the renowned and crude-humored magazine, the other, the story of the historic writer and AIDS activist Larry Kramer.

In full disclosure, I chose to see the story of the National Lampoon. As a long-time Chevy Chase fan I felt that I had no real choice. Alas, the Naval Heritage Center on Pennsylvania Ave was packed with visitors anxious to end the week on a lighthearted note, and the film was fascinatingly informative and entertaining. I have not one ill word for any of the films screened over these five days, and I would be hard-pressed to find anyone to do so.



June 15, 2015
by The OJBG Team

40th Annual Pride Parade Looks Back to Move Forward

More than 150,000 people, gay and straight alike, gathered around DuPont Circle on Saturday afternoon for the 40th annual Capital Pride Parade.

The parade featured 187 different contingents ranging from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C. to NOVA Pride to The Field School. The diverse lineup of youth groups, non-profits, and everything in-between reflected the theme of this year’s celebration, “Flashback,” meant to reflect on the progress that the LGBTA community has made since the first DC Pride in 1975.

At 4:30 pm OUT Riders Women’s Motorcycle Club lead the parade from 22nd and P streets, NW as cheers from the crowd rose above the noise of roaring engines, starting the parade with a heartfelt and exuberant sendoff.

In a press release, Executive Director of the Capital Pride Alliance, Ryan Bos, related the importance of this year’s parade. “The LGBTA community in DC and around the nation has made tremendous progress in the fight for equality since that first DC Pride in 1975,” said Ryan Bos, long-time friend of Orange Juice in Bishop’s Garden. “It’s important to glance back, look forward, and acknowledge those who have provided support, challenged us to become better, and inspired us to strive to accomplish more.”

That progress and inspiration is what lead to children in strollers enjoying the festive colors and sounds alongside elders in wheelchairs celebrating the progress the LGBTA community has made over the years, all contributing to a tangible sense of pride and joy in the air.

The parade finished just after 8 pm as the CapPride float crossed 14th and R streets to an enormous crowd, but there was certainly no sense of finality with the parades end. 40 years has taken us a long way, but there is much more progress to be made, and nobody plans to slow down until pride brings forth equality.


*See more of Otessa’s involvement in Capital Pride

April 29, 2015
by The OJBG Team

Is 2015 the Year of the Web Series?

by Steph

There is a hearty debate amongst film, television, online platforms/content providers and web series creators themselves going on right now. Is web series an art form that will be mainstreamed and monetized? Will that kill the creativity when sponsors, execs and ads get involved? Some dismiss the genre entirely. Are they missing the best content out there? Might we see the same trend happen as when cable started delivering the drama and character development that the film industry wasn’t providing? Here’s some evidence that 2015 will be the year of web series.

1. Technology is providing creators with professional tools – and not just phone cameras. Celtx used to be a free screenwriting tool. Now you can storyboard shots, breakdown scenes, create your shot lists, organize your shooting days, and look at call sheets on your smartphone.

2. Are Web Series just something to watch while waiting for another show to return? The headline of the below article suggests so. But on closer examination, the article points out something else. “Transparent helped elevate’s original programming from an Internet footnote to Golden Globe Award-winner for best TV series – and its portrait of a parent (Jeffrey Tambor) who transitions brought conversations about transgender lives into mainstream media.” There was doubt or at least uncertainty in the beginning that online providers could produce great content. Hello, House of Cards.

A final consideration:

3. Will High Maintenance be the breakthrough for legitimizing Web Series? High Maintenance was first picked up by Vimeo. Then not shortly thereafter, it was acquired by HBO. Everything about this show is great, the writing, acting and casting. This acquistion is important because other web series making news were in comedy and going to Comedy Central. Now web series has succeeded in another genre. It will certainly given pause to some naysayers who shun web series.

This will definitely be a hot topic of conversation at this year’s DC Web Fest on Saturday, May 2. You can still get tickets at And if this whole web series thing has got your creative juices flowing and you want to learn more about it, we are offering this cool Web Series Start-Up Kit. You’re automatically entered to win with your ticket purchase. Winners will be announced at the festival.

The Web Series Start-Up Kit includes:

-Hat and T-shirt from our sponsor the DC Film Office
-1 hour consult with Otessa Ghadar
-Textbook on creating a web series, The Wild West of Film
- Promo code for Skillshare class on how to make a web series

Curious to know your thoughts as well.