Archive for the ‘Washington DC’ Category
My new post up on UrbanTurf.com is about the frustrations of not having cell phone service in your apartment, and asks whether management companies should disclose information about the availability of phone service in their listings.
I’ve already mentioned my obsession with the old trolley tickets that were issued weekly in D.C. during the 1930s-50s. (We used one of the designs for our Save the Date card for our wedding.) But I adore the ones issued during the cherry blossom season in the 1930s. And since I’m gearing up for the Cherry Blossom run and the trees are starting to bloom in the city (hooray spring!), I thought I’d gather a sampling of them here. Aren’t they gorgeous?
You can find hundreds of old tickets online at Richard Cook’s fabulous Glen Echo/Cabin John history page.
Current obsession: My wonderful brother, in his effort to help me design some of my wedding stationary, uncovered a digital treasure trove of old Capital Transit passes. Each pass was issued weekly, and used to ride the trolleys that traveled through D.C. in the 1930s through the 50s. And they’re all fabulously unique. Here are a few from Glen Echo Park, where we’re going to be getting hitched next summer (and one from Christmas, because, hey, it’s that time of year). Aren’t they just the coolest?
I checked out my first roller derby this weekend, cheering on Bikini Killer (aka Jen) and the Cherry Blossom Bombshells in a very close match (is it a match? I feel like Zoolander) against the D.C. DemonCats.
It was so close, in fact, that I came close to brawling on the sidelines with a few overzealous fans from the opposing team (I think you can hear me say “shut your mouth” in the video). Now, I just need to pick out a roller derby name and learn to skate. Oh wait, there’s a Roller Derby name generator:
My brand-new Roller Derby Name is Belle Cantankerous.
Take MIA PSYCHO’S ROLLER DERBY NAME GENERATOR today!
Well then, there we go.
In my effort to make the most of D.C.’s cultural offerings, I’ve started trying to catch more museums while they’re open after hours, and as it so happens, have been taking in a lot of portraits in the process, and remembering how much I love them. Jenna and I raced through the Portrait Gallery a few weeks ago (one of my favorite museums in Washington), and I loved, loved, the fantastic collection of amazing women featured in “Women of our Time.” Click through the gallery, it’s fantastic.
Also at the Portrait Gallery was the gorgeous testament to how magazines really succeed – when the pictures appearing alongside the text fill in the back story while simultaneously allowing you to envision yourself in its context. “Feature Photography” includes many images I recognized from my favorite magazines, including the scary portraits by Martin Schoeller (I once opened up a New Yorker on the treadmill which had this huge up-close shot of Dan Rather, and I nearly fell off and slammed my face into the machine).
Tonight, I took in the Richard Avedon “Portraits of Power” exhibit at the Corcoran gallery (my first visit, admittedly) where I got to see that fantastic shot of Kay Graham again (white background above) alongside the huge body of work that Avedon took throughout his lifetime. Succinctly: they were stunning. A master of allowing photographs to contextualize a story without even needing any words beyond captions, the gallery juxtaposes images of racists alongside freedom riders, activists alongside generals, and most harrowing, a Napalm victim alongside the most decorated soldier to serve in Vietnam. There’s also the two amazing series: “The Family” for Rolling Stone in 1973, and “Democracy” for the New Yorker 2004, which Avedon was shooting when he died. Looking at the latter only days after the inauguration, the portrait of Barack Obama seems almost out of place alongside images of Karl Rove, John Kerry, and Billionaries for Bush. How far we’ve come.
But the most entertaining element was the huge projection screen photo booth set up, Avedon-style, in the center hall of the museum. Called the Corcoran Portrait Project, it creates an online gallery of images that are taken there by visitors each day. Some of the shots – self-portraits mind you – are really quite beautiful. (See if you can find anyone you recognize in the image below.)
I’m as excited as anyone about the upcoming inauguration, but I’m starting to get kind of pissed off at the rampant use of Obama’s brilliant iconography and slogan to sell just about anything in Washington these days. Given, the man didn’t trademark the words “Hope,” or “Change,” but I can’t help but think it dilutes the message – and is almost patronizing to what was a tremendous campaign – when you try and sell soda, or furniture, using the same phrasing. For example:
This is just one of an entire series of Ikea ads that are plastered throughout the Farragut North Metro station in D.C.
These ads were lining my Metro station – Van Ness – and my art director notes how strikingly similar the new Pepsi logo is to the Obama “O.”
And here’s the headline from an email I just got from a furniture company (that I honestly don’t even know the first thing about). The blantant “O” symbol is borderline copyright infringement and pretty ridiculous really. Interesting though, how all three ad “campaigns” are using yellow to offset the obvious red, white and blue.
Out this month: My latest piece in DC Magazine on the hoops that caterers must jump through to get ready for the inauguration. I love this photo and I adore the headline, but my favorite part was the anecdote that I got from one of the caterers who has worked the event since Kennedy took office. Apparently, the snowfall on inauguration day was such that the caterer had to carry Jackie into the D.C. armory for the inaugural ball.
I’m in the midst of researching an article about inauguration galas, and just came across these amazing old photographs of the D.C. Armory building, where President Kennedy had his inaugural ball in 1961. I was just at the armory for the first time a few weeks ago (buying up far too many Christmas gifts from the Nat Geo warehouse sale) and sadly, the building has fallen into disrepair. But it’s wonderful knowing that Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein, Gene Kelly, Nat King Cole, Tony Curtis and Ethyl Merman all performed there that evening. I’m so looking forward to when the inauguration festivities begin here.
Photo: Magnum Photography Archives
Just out: I have a new article in D.C. Magazine about what area caterers are planning for the round of inaugural balls this January. There’s a surprising range: menus culled from Lincoln-era recipes or deconstructed foam-based entrees dubbed “molecular gastronomy.” Yum.