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French Fried Wi-Fi: Dupont Circle To National Harbor

September 22nd, 2012 · Tags:Cities · Hotels · Restaurant · Wi-Fi

It’s been a weird week for PingWi-Fi on social media, but we keep on keeping on. On Twitter, I received a vague message from a college professor buddy of mine. Seemed legit. I clicked on the link and it requested that I log in on Twitter.

It should have said “sucker.” After all these years and warnings and thousands of hotspots … I too had been phished. But, in my defense, a college professor fell for it before me.

So, if you are one of our followers on Twitter and you saw weird, vague links to videos sent from @PingWiFi … it wasn’t me. Hopefully things are corrected now.

Then … on Facebook, I was blindsided too. This time by someone I knew, ranting about something .. not really sure. Easy fix. Delete post. Block. Done.

So … that’s the housekeeping for the day … Now we are out and doing what we do. Exploring the Internet, one coffee cup at a time. Today is a repeat performance at the very cool, be-seen, street-side brunch that is Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe. How could a writer not warm up to this place? There are books and book types and great people watching and plays on words … and a perhaps-Republican breakfast in a bastion of liberalism. (Eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, black coffee …)

I don’t know if famous people come here or if everyone here just resembles someone. I am not and I do not … but i showed up anyway. On the cusp of DuPont Circle, on 19th, Afterwords hosted my recent rendezvous with an old college buddy and former journalist (in a previous blog entry).





During that visit with a fellow Texas Tech Red Raider journalism grad,so shocked was I by one of his seemingly conservative viewpoints (that paralleled mine) that I forgot to check the joint for Wi-Fi.


“We won’t get fooled again.”


Today, I am on it. Guess what. No Wi-Fi network detected for Kramers or Afterword. Ha … Kudos to one of the networks (password protected as it should be btw …) called “Pretty Fly For Wi-Fi.” Touche!


So … since I had already decide to blog live at Kramer’s I had to scramble (egg joke over easy) … and I hopped on line using the Wi-Fi Hotspot from The Dupont Circle Hotel. Thanks guys … Good looking out!



Dupont Circle Hotel gets 6 pings for letting me be me!


Hmmm … what to do the rest of the day! I think today I will head to the memorial of one of the greatest Republican presidents ever. he may be the best Republican president ever … certainly in the top five. Hard to believe I have never been to the Lincoln Memorial in previous DC visits. But, it makes perfect sense to do so today on the anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation (1862) and just a few days after the anniversary of The Battle of Antietam (Sept. 17, 1862), the bloodiest day in American military history. Wow.




Wonder what the guys who fought for either side back then would think of a presidential campaign that targets one candidate for his being successful in business as a negative thing. Or one that desperately builds its “cool image” by brewing cliche, trendy beer in the basement. Heady times for heady voters.


I digress …


Last night, I ventured over to National Harbor to check out the wonderful Gaylord resort/convention center. I should head back today, there appears to be a SeaDoo trade show or something like that. Hey Wi-Fi can cut a wake.


Bet your swim fins I tried to get up on the Wi-Fi network at Gaylord … but alas … I was not an official guest this time and did not have privileges. So, i shot a few photos and headed over to the water. Cool … National Harbor has lots of brand new eateries, retails shops, funky sculptures and they were preparing for an outdoor free screening of Apollo 13 as the sunset turned a nice purple. This is my kind of place.




OH … Gaylord … that reminds me … a quick story from The Dirty Gig, if you will. I have no idea where the Gaylord name comes from when referring to the posh hotel chain. Probably a family name somewhere, and I care not to Google. Did you know there is a “gaylord” in the shipping world? I just learned this on the current job. It refers to a large, 4X4 cardboard or plastic crate that can be filled with goods, junk, trash or whatever for transporting. On the current Dirty Gig, we have used hundreds and hundreds of them … some filled with wet papers and some with dry papers … thus we refer to “dry gaylords” and “wet gaylords.” Ha … the other day a guy on the job got his words confused and all jumbled. He aksed me where we were storing the “gay drylords.” Do you think I let that slide … ha … no way.




Anywho …


While strolling along the scene at National Harbor, I poked my head in an old favorite – the boutique hotel Aloft … part of the same family as The W, if memory serves. So swank, so cool … LOVE the pool table in the lobby, and all the “pit group” seating for hanging out. We will be back! And yes … sampled their Wi-Fi successfully.


Incidentally, Aoft is one of the very first properties we reviewed here on PingWF :


PingWF On Aloft




But man does not live by Wi-Fi alone. For sustenance, I spotted a place after my own heart — Ketchup! I would have bet the farm that they offered burgers and they did. So, being the rebel, I ordered a meatloaf sandwich that was pretty good. I won’t mince words nor mash taters, though. The french fries sucked … pretty greasy. But … I thought it was cool that ketchup being the brand identity, they offered six flavors of ketchup … my favorite the white truffle. However … if in fact you name your restaurant after a condiment, it would probably be a good idea, perhaps a given, that you should put fresh sauces in the squeeze bottles regularly. Ha … the ketchup flavored like “maple syrple” had coagulated and formed a plug in he nozzle, kind of like a dormant volcano. (That description … poetry, I say …j/k) The root beer flavored ketchup was pretty interesting.


But, was there Wi-Fi for my fries?


“Nay not so!”


The waiter or assistant manager or whoever probably shared a little too much information. Apparently, that was not all they had been sharing. He said, “Uh, well, we had to shut down the Wi-Fi … people were getting on and taking credit card numbers.” Yes, we hate it when that happens too.



Ketchup … I gave them three pings partly because I prefer their spelling to “catsup” … and I thought it was a pretty fun idea. Needs more follow through and fresh ketchup. I mean … as they taught me in my stint as a PR manager at Burson-Marsteller, “your brand is your most valuable asset.”


Know what I sayin?