Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Shadows and silhouettes can do so much for a photograph. They can provide depth; they can help to focus the attention of the viewer; they can provide dramatic subject matters. They can also make for complex photos; ones that force the viewer to take a little extra time to process what they’re seeing.

Stephen’s photo above is such a complex shot. With the predominant color of the photo being this featureless black, it forces the viewer to seek out clear details in order to understand what they are looking at. And once the viewer sees the corner of the sign on the left side of the image, the photo unfolds in the mind’s eye: an underground Metro platform; the black blobs take shape as people; and the blurred gray becomes an incoming train. The central focus of the photo, the sharply defined silhouetted commuter, suddenly stands out and you wonder how you didn’t see it immediately. This is excellent work!

Entertainment, Interviews, People, She/He Loves DC, The Features

He Loves DC: Jody Avirgan

Photo Courtesy of Jody Avirgan and Ask Roulette

Photo Courtesy of Jody Avirgan and Ask Roulette

She/He Loves DC is a series highlighting the people who love this city just as much as we do.

Jody Avirgan likes questions more than answers. As a result of that, he is now the host of a unique conversation series called Ask Roulette. The live show encourages strangers to ask each others questions on stage. And, for the first time, the New York based show is coming to DC. The show is scheduled for Friday, August 9 at Politics and Prose with special guests Clinton Yates on The Washington Post, Dave Weigel  of Slate, and Linda Holmes of NPR’s Monkey See.

According to Avirgan, “Ask Roulette is a little hard to envision but the crux of it is that audience members show up with a question they want to ask a stranger. All the questions get put in a box then randomly selected. When you come on stage, you answer a question from a stranger, then turn around and ask a stranger your question. There are also special guests at each event. Questions are long, short, serious, silly, whatever. Any question goes. And of course you can just watch.”

When Avirgan’s not spending time on Ask Roulette, he works as a producer for NPR’s New York station WNYC radio. But not so long ago, Avirgan grew up in DC.

What is it about DC that makes it home to you? 

Well, my parents are there, still living in the same house, so there are inherent memories of home tied up with any time I come back. But I really do like the fact that, to most Americans, DC is an abstraction — a company town filled with hired political guns. The disconnect between that vision and the DC I know – one full of real people and everyday pleasures, makes it that much more special. It’s like we’re all in on a secret together.

Continue reading

Entertainment, Special Events, We Love Arts

Fringe 2013: Week Three in Review

It’s been one wild ride for our intrepid team as we immersed ourselves in the Capital Fringe Festival this year. Here are the last few shows for Patrick and Joanna from the final weekend, and look for everyone’s final thoughts on the whole festival experience later. We need a theater detox first. Buttons off!

Recapped: OkStupid’s Secret Math Lab, Nephrectomy, Legal Tender, A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup

OkStupid’s Secret Math Lab
Reviewer: Patrick

As a sad, lonely reviewer I’m often asked, “Patrick, have you ever tried online dating?” Of course I have. I believe almost everybody in today’s digital generation has tried online dating to varying degrees of success. In a world of online pizza delivery, instant navigation, and the answer to almost any trivia answer right at our fingertips, why can’t we figure out a way to streamline love? Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Taylor Jordan Earns First MLB Win as Nats Down Mets 14-1

Photo courtesy of MudflapDC
Nats v Dodgers-7
courtesy of MudflapDC

After a six game losing streak ripped through one and a fifth of the Nats rotation and Jordan Zimmermann got torched for five runs in the first game of a double header on Friday the Nats needed good starting pitching. Who would’ve ever thought that three of the best pitching performances of this home stand would belong to Ross Ohlendorf, Dan Haren, and Taylor Jordan. In the final three games of a four game series against the Mets the Nationals back of the rotation and spot starter allowed three combined runs.

Today’s performance by Taylor Jordan earned him his first MLB win as he started off the game perfect through three innings with three strikeouts and several soft fly outs to the shallow part of the outfield. After the three perfect innings Jordan faced a bit of adversity as he allowed a lead-off single to Mets’ left fielder Eric Young Jr. before striking out Satin and getting Daniel Murphy on a ground ball to LaRoche. He then allowed back to back singles to Marlon Byrd that scored Eric Young Jr. and Ike Davis before striking out John Buck to end the inning.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Dan Haren Shines as Nats Down Mets 4-1

When the Nats signed Dan Haren they thought the floor was going to be what he gave the Angels in 2012, 4.33 ERA over 30 starts. Perfectly acceptable for a fifth starter. What they got was much much worse. In his 18 starts coming into today’s game Dan Haren had a 5.79 ERA over 98 innings and worse than that the Nats were 4-14 when he pitched. This was not the Dan Haren they signed up for, but a strange thing happened at the ballpark today. Nats fans saw a ghost.

Instead of the common “keeping the team in the game” start the Nats wanted from Dan Haren on a consistent basis Nats fans were treated to the dominating classic Dan Haren. The pitcher who is fifth all time in career K/BB ratio and has had a borderline Hall of Fame career up to this point. The Dan Haren that has pitched at Nats Park and for the Nationals much of this season is not the real Dan Haren. A seven inning one run on three hits and one walk with six strikeouts is much closer to the pitcher Dan Haren has been for most of his career as a starter with the A’s, Diamondbacks, and Angels.

Continue reading

Week in Review

Week In Review: 7/22-7/25

Raise your hand if you thought this was a sleepy, nondescript week…yep, I thought so. In trying to figure out what to talk about here, I realized that nothing much of note happened. Sure there was that kid in that other country and the moron running for mayor in that large metropolitan city, but those really aren’t that important; they were more of sideshows. So here’s hoping that the weekend is more action-packed!

One thing that wasn’t sleepy are the photos in today’s Week In Review. Sit back, blow off that last bit of Friday afternoon work, and enjoy these most excellent works of photography. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: July 26-28

Joanna: Is this weekend just a mirror image of last weekend for me? Sort of, but with a decidedly sadder bent. I’m still seeing Fringe shows, still getting tent bar beer, and still going to Corcoran. But this time I plan to finish up the gallery’s expansive War/Photography exhibit and take a look at War Games. I’m also catching the war crimes documentary The Act of Killing during its short DC run at E Street Cinema. Won’t that all be horribly depressing, you ask? Yes, yes it will be. I should round it out with a trip to the Holocaust Museum, but I’ll probably be too busy crying in the fetal position.

Patrick: The weekend kicks off with me seeing the last Fringe show of the summer, have you been keeping up with the lovely reviews we are all writing? After that I’m heading out to Centreville for a birthday party which can only be described as a hike. Saturday I’ll be at Jiffy Lube Live to see Dave Matthews Band for the 36th time. No really it’s the 36th time. Sunday I’ll be at E-Street to catch Fruitvale Station, I’ve heard lots of good stuff about it and I won’t be surprised to see this one make an Oscar run at the end of the year.

Max: Another summer weekend to look forward to, beginning with a much belated trip to the Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar. On Saturday, I’ll be hosting a couple of out of town Mets fans to a game at Nationals Park. No comments on a recent “slump” necessary. And Sunday, I’ll be following through on my Mother’s Day present by joining my parents on the Jiffy Lube Live lawn for the Miranda Lambert concert. It’s my first country concert, and I’m pretty excited.

Tom: Get me outta here! We’re wheels up tonight for the Oregon coast. It’s a shame, though, since this is a perfect weekend in DC for a long bike ride, or a trip to Gravelly Point with A. Litteri subs, or a night atop one of DC’s great roof decks. Enjoy, DC, we’ll be back soon enough.

Rachel: This weekend is my favorite weekend of the year — it’s tournament weekend for the Glover Park Co-Ed Softball League! My team the Near Misses has the ninth seed out of ten and will start playing on the sandlot at 39th and Calvert at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the goal of getting to play Sunday. It’s a rigorous weekend full of competition, comradery, and lots of good times. Needless to say, come Monday morning, I will have woken up from the best sleep I’ll have all year. The sun, drinks, and play wears me out in the best of ways.

Don: Who needs plans when the weather shows such improvement? “Sit outside when possible and enjoy the thunderstorms through the window if they show up” is my primary goal. There may be some last minute Fringe-ing or just a little lolling about at the Baldacchino tent, but I’m playing that by ear. Thankfully the much-improved Fringe site will let me see what’s up for offer on Saturday and Sunday. Combined with the multiple updates from our brilliant team I’m sure I can find something that won’t disappoint. Or I could just search for the nudity, as the Fringe site amusingly allows, though I have the internet and would rather just limit myself to dance and storytelling. If I want to enjoy the sun and drink away the pain Stubhub shows over 5,000 tickets for Sunday’s Mets game

Jenn: With all the crazy Fringe activity, don’t you dare overlook an old beauty queen like The Rocky Horror Show. Last night I dashed straight to Studio Theatre from the airport to catch the madness, and was delighted to find it as sick and twisted as ever. It’s really hard to believe its original stage debut was back in 1973! Mitchell Jarvis makes for a divine Frank N. Furter. If you’re looking to enjoy a freak show of sex, drugs, and glam rock-n-roll, you can’t do any better than that this weekend. I’m going to enjoy the slow emptying out that starts to happen in DC around this time of summer vacations, and loll around on some outdoor patios sipping gin Rickeys as the Rickey Month contest drips into its final week.

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: YES @ Warner Theatre – 7/24/13

Progressive rock band Yes stopped at the Warner Theatre Wednesday night, taking the very crowded hall on a journey through mystical rock symphonies that usually ended with a roaring standing ovation from their admirers.

Seriously, there was so much energy among the audience, which largely behaved and listened attentively while Yes revisited three classic albums — Close to the Edge, Going for the One and The Yes Album (in that order). But particularly toward the end of the show for the classic “I’ve Seen All Good People,” the audience could no longer contain itself and broke out into dancing in the aisles.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

The Nats Waste Another Quality Strasburg Start, Fall 4-2 to Pittsburgh

Stephen Strasburg
Stephen Strasburg
courtesy of MudflapDC

The Nationals managed to prevent a shut-out game versus the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night but wasted a quality start by right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg falling 4-2 in game three of a four game series. In the team’s season-high sixth consecutive loss, the Nats starter threw eight innings and gave up two hits and one run – a homerun to Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez in the second inning – while striking out a season-high twelve batters on 118 pitches and 80 strikes.

Continue reading

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

The Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is an excellent oasis along the Anacostia River. Known for the beautiful lotus flowers that grow there, the gardens also offer an abundance of wildlife. From multiple types of heron and other birds, to frogs and turtles, even to woodchucks; it’s hard to find anywhere else inside DC that has such a diversity of life…besides the zoo. And if you ever go to the Aquatic Gardens, one of the first things you’ll see are the dragonflies.

Elyse got a great close up, where we can make out the face of the insect. A true macro photograph, all of the fine details of the bug pop out: the transparent wings, the elongated body, and large eyes. In fact, those eyes, which seem to be looking right into the camera, are what make this photo so powerful. And the background is blurred perfectly, which helps to focus our attention right where it should be, on the dragonfly. Truly, excellent work.

Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: YES @ Warner Theatre, 7/24/13

Yes (Photo by Rob Shanahan)

Yes (Photo by Rob Shanahan)

Progressive rock band YES is on an ambitious tour of the United States, performing three classic albums in their entirety in a number of shows, including a stop tonight at the Warner Theatre in DC.

In one concert, the band will perform their highly regarded albums, The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One. The band is hitting the road with much of its classic lineup, including bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes. Joined by new singer Jon Davison, they have been selling out big shows in Los Angeles, New York and other major cities.

I personally am excited to dive into the rich history of this band, which has declared they are still going to continue to make albums. Howe is one of the greatest living guitarists today; Downes is an innovator who also took his synths to The Buggles (beginning the band’s long and fruitful relationship with producer Trevor Horn).

The influence of the progressive rock movement Yes helped to launch can be seen today in bands from Muse to LCD Soundsystem. Catch the show tonight and hear for yourself!

Warner Theatre
Wednesday, July 24
Show @ 8pm
All ages

Entertainment, Special Events, We Love Arts

Fringe 2013: Week Two in Review (Part 3)

Sex, politics, and social media invites make for a very “official DC” finish to our week two round up of the Capital Fringe Festival. Ok, there are also puppets and Shakespeare. Work with it! Soldier through our previous reviews with Patrick, Joanna, Kristin, and Jenn, and look for our final thoughts on the whole mad business next week.

Recapped: The Clocks, STATUS – A Social Media Experiment, Romeo & Juliet, Married Sex, The Politician

The Clocks
Reviewer: Jenn

Not A Robot Theatre Company’s mission is to “explore the possibilities and conflicts that arise from human and object interactions.” That pretty much sold me on attending their performance of The Clocks. It’s a shame that the venue they’ve been slotted into is the very traditional Studio 4, because this mash-up of sound, projection, and puppetry really ought to be in a challenging industrial space that disorients the viewer into a dreamlike state. But, don’t let that be a block to your suspension of disbelief. Jacy Barber and Jason Patrick Wells have created something unique, a delicately quirky exploration of memory that’s performed with the straightforward naivete of children’s purposeful games of make-believe. And it is challenging. At first I didn’t know what to make of the poker-faced duo and their cardboard cutouts, the repetitive movements, the sad puppet who slowly became more real than anything else. By the time the two slow-dance with all the awkward charm of youth, you realize that you’ve accepted their world of childlike simplicity. Despite having to work against the space to create the intended immersive world of magic and pain, The Clocks is a very interesting theatrical experiment.  Continue reading

Entertainment, Special Events, We Love Arts

Fringe 2013: Week Two in Review (Part 2)

Continuing on with our coverage of the Capital Fringe Festival‘s second week with Patrick, Joanna, Kristin, and Jenn getting splattered by blood and learning how to dance naked under hot sweaty lights. It’s Fringe, people, what else do you expect?

Recapped: Dementia Melodies: “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over,” Polaroid Stories, 43 and a 1/2: The Greatest Deaths of Shakespeare’s Tragedies, I tried to be normal once, it didn’t take., A Guide to Dancing Naked, Social Media Expert

Dementia Melodies: “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over” 
Reviewer: Joanna

Solo performer Steve Little presents some of the lessons he’s learned from playing music in the dementia ward of an elder care home. I may be biased because of my own experience singing in the geriatric psychiatric ward of a hospital, but I found his stories incredibly touching. While comedic moments poke fun at aging and our own fear of death, more serious tales question the connection between music and mortality. Continue reading

Entertainment, Special Events, We Love Arts

Fringe 2013: Week Two in Review

Are you fringe-ified yet? The Capital Fringe Festival is well underway, and our weekly round-ups continue. Check in with Patrick, Joanna, Kristin, and Jenn as they tweet on the fly and share their thoughts on this year’s experimental madness. If last week didn’t stop them from indulging in sweaty, passionate theater, then nothing will.

Recapped: A Commedia Romeo and Juliet, The Elephant in My Closet, The Afflicted, What’s in the BOX?!, The Tragical Mirth of Marriage & Love: Short Scenes by Anton Chekhov, How to Have It All: The Musical 

A Commedia Romeo and Juliet
Reviewer: Joanna

Commedia dell’Arte company Faction of Fools doesn’t disappoint with this comedic retelling of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, which captures the notable funny moments in the Bard’s original work while adding a commedia flair that promises a lot of laughs. In an ambitious attempt to play all characters with only five actors, the small cast moves constantly and never lets the energy waver. At the same time, this adaptation retains Shakespeare’s tragic ending and stays true to the original text. So while it’s not the most original show at Fringe this year, it’s certainly one of most entertaining.

The Elephant in My Closet
Reviewer: Jenn

David Lee Nelson has a shocking revelation for his father. As he builds up his courage to reveal the ultimate filial divide, the audience squirms in sympathy with this likable, appealing actor. He has a guilty secret. He’s turned to the other side. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Nats Drop Series Opener to Pirates Fall to Three Games Under

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
Davey Johnson, Dan Haren
courtesy of Keith Allison

If one could coalesce the 2013 Nats season into one player that player would be Dan Haren. Haren in 2013 has a 4.83 K/BB ratio. Higher than his career average of 4.04, and Haren is in the top five all time in that stat along with pitchers like Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, and Mariano Rivero. Yet Haren has his career worse ERA and has given up a league leading 21 homeruns. At the same time Dan Haren is pitching better than his career numbers, and yet having the worst season of his career. It is oddity one could only find on the 2013 Nats.

Describe the Nats to a stranger in this way. A team with three starting pitchers with a 3.01 ERA or lower, a set-up man and closer with sub-3.00 ERAs, and seven of eight position players with higher than league average OPS and five of those seven higher than .800. Those are real Washington Nationals stats, but the picture painted in ones mind is not of a team three games under .500, or of a team that has lost eight of its last ten and hasn’t won a game since the all-star break.

Continue reading


Monumental: Washington Monument’s New Lighting

Flickr VideoWashington Monument Lighting
courtesy of pablo.raw

I mentioned it a few months ago, but it bears repeating: I’ve been following the Washington Monument’s scaffolding with rapt attention. And for the last two weeks we’ve had the added bonus of the Monument’s new lighting. While there have been a number of people praising the new look, I wanted to do a review of some of the great photos that have been in our pool for the past two weeks. And there have been some fascinating shots that our photographers have gotten. Please sit back and enjoy the temporary change to our city’s skyline. Continue reading

Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 7/19-7/21

There didn’t seem to be much of a break in the heat this weekend, so the Dog Days keep on biting. And the rest of the week sounds hot, with scattered summer (meaning random) rain showers. Which all just means “fun.”

On the plus side, we’ve got another great Weekend Flashback, packed with some awesome photos. Check it out from your nicely AC’ed office. Continue reading

Sports Fix

Dodgers club Zimmermann, beat Nationals

The one piece of good news for the assembled Nats fans on South Capitol Street Sunday is that it did not rain sulphur from the sky.

That was about the only piece of good news, though, as the Dodgers ran roughshod over Jordan Zimmermann in the first two innings. Zimmermann had been a bright light for the Nationals through the first half of the season, but that bulb blew out in the 2nd, as the Dodgers batted around and scored 7 runs. Zimmermann was forced from the game, having given up 9 hits and 7 runs, after his shortest and worst outing of the season.

The Dodgers sent 11 men to the plate during that drubbing, which saw a pair of homers, a pair of walks, two singles and a double before a nice catch from Bryce Harper in deep center managed to end the shared waking nightmare that 34,758 hot fans experienced for twenty awful minutes. Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp each had home runs, both at approximately 380 feet, off Zimmermann early in the inning. Just three batters into the second, the game was over for the Nationals, even if we had to watch as the rest of it played out.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Nats Drop First Game Back After Break To Dodgers

Strasburg Delivers
courtesy of ameschen

The Nationals started the second-half of the season on a rough note falling 3-2 against the Los Angeles Dodgers despite a strong seven innings from right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg on Friday night. Even Manager Davey Johnson appeared a bit deflated after his squad let the tie-game get away from them in the top of the ninth. “Tomorrow’s another day,” he said as he ended his post-game press conference.

Continue reading