Entertainment, Special Events, We Love Arts

Fringe 2013: Week One in Review

The chaotic artsy madness that is the Capital Fringe Festival is well underway. Patrick, Joanna, Kristin and Jenn are dashing from venue to venue, soaking up some experimental theater (and just soaking). We’re sharing our thoughts on Twitter as we go, and have some thoughts on how to get the most out of your experience. Here’s part one of our massive brain dump from the first week.

Recapped: Kubrilesque, Dark House, Our Boys, The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs: The Musical, Apples & Oranges, Impossible to Translate But I’ll Try

Reviewer: Patrick

If you are expecting Kurbrick references, you’ll find them here. If you are expecting something classy, go elsewhere. Between the catcalls and the music that is blasted at you to let you know somebody is about to take off their clothes, I felt kinda trashy. Continue reading

Special Events

Fourth of July Fireworks Viewing Locations

Oh, the 4th of July fireworks on the Mall! If you ask me, this is one of the great things about living in DC. And yet, I know most people either avoid them completely, or, are so overwhelmed by the idea of how many people come out for them, they decide staying home and watch the display on TV. Well, I’m here to tell you seeing them in person is the best, even with the crowds!

A few years ago, I put together this handy post on seeing the fireworks; it’s still quite good and worth a read. However, I’ve decided that what’s needed is something more visual. So, I packed decades of Mall fireworks excursions, and a few years of photos, into this handy Google Map (it’s after the jump, as well). And if you want some nice photos, here are my 4th of July shots from the past few years. Continue reading

People, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Rosemary Feit Covey’s Red Handed

Sometimes we experience works of art that embody both beauty and horror. The old word for this, now sadly devalued, was “awesome.” I hope artist Rosemary Feit Covey will forgive me for using that word to describe her current complete gallery installation, Red Handed. It is simply awesome.

Recently I visited Morton Fine Art to watch as Covey installed the work under the gentle eye of curator Amy Morton, spreading vinyl pieces across the floor. Even in that unfinished state before opening, it had undeniable power. Swirling vortexes of bald, nude figures, mouths open and arms red to the fingertips, soon covered the floor. I stepped gingerly over their faces, having no other option but to participate in their torture. It’s impossible to look away from the unsettling mass of bodies under your feet. It feels disrespectful. Jarring.

Guilty. Continue reading

Downtown, Essential DC, History, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

Celebrating 125 Years of National Geographic

The National Geographic Society was founded 125 years ago. Its purpose? To expand and share geographic and scientific knowledge through the spirit of exploration. That mission continues to drive National Geographic amidst more than a century of technological and scientific innovations. And for the next year, visitors to the Society’s Museum here in DC can celebrate and enjoy the most iconic moments in the organization’s history.

The exhibition opens with a colorful celebration of the Society’s iconic magazine. The entry arch is constructed entirely of hundreds of past issues in a variety of languages, a fitting tribute to the simple golden square that symbolizes the publication. As visitors walk down a short hallway, they are greeted with a colorful display that shows off the cover of every issue of National Geographic, including placeholders for the future editions to be published during the exhibition’s year-long run.

After a short look at the Society’s founding members—using an interactive portrait—the exhibition opens up to encompass the three areas of the organization’s focus in exploration: land, sea, and sky. The galleries are covered in colorful images that highlight fascinating stories throughout the Society’s history. Science and exploration are the primary focus, including ancient civilizations and cultures, paleontology, wildlife, oceans, and the environment. Continue reading

Entertainment, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Special Events

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo At LivingSocial BeerFest

This past weekend I was invited to celebrate Cinco De Mayo with beer instead of the traditional tequila. Sunday afternoon I went down to the Half Street Fairgrounds by Nats Park and walked around the final day of LivingSocial’s BeerFest. Craft beers, crazy party games, and a silent disco certainly made my Sunday Funday a good one.

Take a look at some photos I snapped at the festival below.

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Special Events

Listen to Your Mother

Listen to Your Mother Cast / Courtesy LTYM DC

Listen to Your Mother Cast / Courtesy LTYM DC

Full disclosure: I went to Synetic Theater on Sunday afternoon firstly to see my friend Lauren perform and secondly because my mom said so. She likes stories about motherhood, and couldn’t be there herself. So mist and cold be damned.

Listen to Your Mother is a national program started by Ann Imig to “give Mother’s Day a voice” by inviting writers to read/perform selected personal essays about motherhood. The 2nd annual DC show took place Sunday at Synetic Theater.

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Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live – May/June 2013

NGS Picture ID:1034497

The first American team ascends Mount Everest in 1963. (Photo courtesy National Geographic)

National Geographic Live’s spring programming winds down in May with several great events. As usual, our friends at the National Geographic Museum are offering two pairs of tickets to our readers. To be considered for the random drawing, enter your name and which two events you’d most like to see in the comments area. On Tuesday, April 30 at noon we’ll draw two names and get you set up with one of your chosen events. (Note that there are two events listed below that are ineligible for the drawing; the evening with Buzz Aldrin and the Beer Tasting.)

For those unable to attend these great programs, you can now view them online a few days after the live event. All programs are at the Grosvenor Auditorium at the National Geographic Museum on 17 and M Street, NW; parking is free for program attendees after 6 pm.

Isabel Allende: A Portrait in Sepia ($22)
May 1, 7:30 pm
Spend an evening with one of the world’s greatest writers when Isabel Allende, author of The House of the Spirits and most recently Portrait in Sepia, comes to National Geographic. A Chilean author whose books established her as a feminist force in Latin America’s male-dominated literary world, Allende spins stories of family, politics, and human rights that transfix audiences. She’ll converse with National Geographic Traveler’s Don George, editor of the new travel anthology, Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers, which features her work.

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Special Events, We Love Drinks, We Love Music

DC Toasts the Black Mixology Club

At this point you know how we feel about Dale DeGroff, Derek Brown, Garrett Peck, and the Museum of the American Cocktail.  You also know how we like fancy parties with good drinks. So I’ll be brief: all those people (and more) are organizing DC Toasts the Black Mixology Club, a benefit for the Museum, May 10 at the Howard Theatre. The Chuck Brown Band will perform.

The discount for early ticket sales has been extended through tonight. Regular tickets at the early access price are $65; VIP tickets with early admission are $90. For more information, check out the Washingtonian’s Best Bites Blog, this Kojo Nnamdi interview with some of the organizers, or the event’s about us page.

That is all.

Entertainment, History, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

The Real Pirates of National Geographic

There are pirates in Washington.

If you doubt, head over to the National Geographic Museum between now and September 2; the Jolly Roger flag hanging from the flagpole should convince you. If you need more persuasive evidence, head inside and wander through the museum’s latest exhibit Real Pirates.

From fore to aft, this exhibit rolls up the past, present, and future of the pirate vessel Whydah. Originally designed and used as a slave ship along the American-African slave routes, the Whydah was captured by pirate captain Sam Bellamy and used in his fleet to pillage more than fifty prizes across the Carribean. On a course for a New England harbor, the Whydah, her captain, and her crew ran into a violent nor’easter near Cape Cod and sank beneath the waves. With it went a hold full of pirate treasure and most of the men on board.

National Geographic chose to feature the Whydah exhibit for a number of reasons. According to Richard McWalters, Director of Museum Operations, the story of the Whydah crosses three seafaring trades: slavery, piracy, and recovery. Through the shipwreck’s history, visitors are exposed to the realities of the slave trade and its vessels, the life of a pirate crew during the eighteenth century, and the technology, dedication, and innovation of today’s salvage explorers. Continue reading

Entertainment, Special Events, The Features

A 2013 Helen Hayes Awards (Drama Prom) Diary


Yesterday I spent the night with Helen and she did not disappoint. For many in the DC theater scene, the past week was spent searching for dresses (especially those with pockets), getting manis & pedis, and making sure that hair was nothing less than perfect. It was all for the 29th Annual Helen Hayes Awards, Washington’s biggest night in theater where the arts community honors the past year of shows.

If you want a list of the winners you can find those here. Instead I offer you a tradition three years running: my complete breakdown of my day (and night) with Helen.

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Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Night Life, Special Events

The 2013 Fashion for Paws Runway Show

Photo credit: Moshe Zusman


Cute critters, cupcakes, celebs and clothes, oh my! If you’re looking for something spectacular to do this weekend, then The 2013 Fashion For Paws runway show this Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the National Building Museum is your ticket.

E! News Now anchor and E! News correspondent Ashlan Gorse returns to host over 1,700 guests for a four hour open bar and runaway show to support the Washington Humane Society. Which, by-the-way, is where I got my adorbs orange tabby Archie.

At this year’s event, Congressmen Jim Moran (D-Virginia) and John Campbell (R-California) will be honored with the 2013 Humane Hero Award, which recognizes individuals in media, politics and entertainment who have displayed a passion for animal welfare.

So whether you’re an animal <3er or a fashion enthusiast, get your ticket now!!!

Downtown, Interviews, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

Behind the National Geographic Story (With Alice Gabriner)

Roman Frontiers

From “Roman Frontiers”; used with permission. The Porta Nigra, or “black gate,” still dominates Trier, Germany. A hundred feet tall, it was built in the second century as part of a wall system four miles long. Trier was a major city in the late Roman Empire, even serving as a regional capital under several emperors. “The light was so good from my hotel room that I put up a tripod and started taking pictures. The gate is surrounded by modern elements like power lines and a gas station, so I captured a variety of ways of looking at it. This was a way of combining both the old and the new.”

Tonight, National Geographic is pulling back the curtain of sorts. One of the organization’s acclaimed draws is its fantastic use of photography to illustrate various articles and exhibits. Many photographers, from amateur to professional, dream of a day when they see one or more of their photos published in the iconic gold-bordered magazine.

National Geographic magazine Senior Photo Editor Alice Gabriner will share with a select crowd at the museum’s Grosvenor Auditorium her process. (The program is sold out for the evening.) Guests will discover firsthand the work that goes in to curating a National Geographic photo show through an insiders tour, as well as a private viewing of Beyond the Story: National Geographic Unpublished 2012, an upcoming photography exhibition featuring unpublished images by photographers on assignment for National Geographic magazine last year.

I had the opportunity to talk briefly with Gabriner before the program this evening. She graciously took a few moments to answer some questions and shared some photos from upcoming projects. Continue reading

Education, Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live Giveaway – Feb/Mar 2013

Photo courtesy of BurnAway
Essick discussing his photo in the special Nat Geo exhibit upstairs
courtesy of BurnAway

The National Geographic Live series began a couple weeks ago, so our apologies for getting this to you a little late. Nonetheless, the good folks over at the NG Museum are giving away two pairs of tickets to our readers for (almost) any one of their great programs over the next few weeks. Entering is easy: in the comment field below, give us your name and two of the programs from the following list you’d like to see. We’ll randomly draw two commenters and provide each with a pair of tickets to one of the programs they selected! The drawing will occur around noon on Tuesday, 2/19 and winners notified that afternoon.

All events are at the Grosvenor Auditorium at the National Geographic Museum, located at the corner of 16th and M Streets, NW. Parking is free for programs starting after 6 pm. If you’d like to attend and don’t win, you can contact the box office to purchase tickets.

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness ($22)
Feb 20, 7:30 pm

Spend an evening with Alexandra Fuller, an award-winning writer and National Geographic contributor who has converted the experience of growing up amidst war and revolution into a powerful literary voice. Raised in Zimbabwe by English expats, Fuller’s coming-of-age experience during that country’s independence struggle provided material for two compelling memoirs, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. Join us for a moving exploration of Africa—and beyond—in a conversation hosted by National Geographic Traveler editor at large Don George.

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Entertainment, Music, Special Events, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Win before you can buy: Sweetlife Festival 2013!


The lineup for the 2013 Sweetlife Festival was announced yesterday, and features internationally acclaimed acts Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Passion Pit, as well as up-and-coming artists, including DC’s own Shark Week! Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of GA lawn tickets to the festival, before you can buy them! The festival will be held at Merriweather Post Pavilion on May 11th. (#sweetlife2013)

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the 2013 Sweetlife Festival, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the will-call window of the Merriweather Post Pavilion on the day of the festival. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must have a parent’s permission to enter if he/she is under 18 years old.

Comment away!

Entertainment, Inaugupocalypse, Life in the Capital, Night Life, Special Events, The Features

Inaugural Ball Flashback: The We Love DC Crew Hits The Town On Inauguration Night

We all know Washington, DC is a city that likes to drink and party. Add The President and you have a good reason to grab a tux or gown and brave the cold. That’s what many of our We Love DC crew did as they hit up the Official and Unofficial parties celebrating the  Inauguration of Barack Obama. Here’s what they saw and heard.

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Entertainment, Inaugupocalypse, Life in the Capital, Night Life, Special Events, The Features

The Inaugural Parade: Photos, Drinks, and Empty Metro Cars

Four years ago I trudged down to The Mall and stood in the cold to see Barack Obama get sworn in as President of the United States of America. This time around I avoided The Mall and checked out the Inaugural Parade instead. I still ended up waiting outside in the cold but it wasn’t that bad.

Read on for lots of photos from the parade route.

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Downtown, History, Interviews, People, Special Events, The Features

Crossing the Northwest Passage the Modern Way: Kite Skiing

Courtesy Sarah McNair-Landry and National Geographic

On December 6, an adventurous brother-sister team visits the National Geographic Museum to share about their experience kite skiing over two thousand miles through Canada’s arctic archipelago. Eric and Sarah McNair-Landry grew up with the Arctic Ocean and sled dogs in their backyard and have trekked across the polar regions since they were teenagers. Their journey saw them fend off polar bears and coping with extreme weather conditions along the way.

Their expedition traces the 1906 Roald Amundsen route through the Northwest Passage. That was the first time that it was actually successfully navigated by anyone following centuries of explorers hoping to discover a way through from the Atlantic to the Pacific north of Canada. The journey began in Tuktoyaktuk, located in Canada’s Northwest Territories and traveled east through Kugluktuk, Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak, and Arctic Bay, before finally reaching the finish line at Pond Inlet on Baffin Island.

Sarah stopped by WeLoveDC to talk about their experience. Continue reading

All Politics is Local, Featured Photo, Life in the Capital, News, People, Special Events, The Features

Election Flashback: Party At The White House

Whenever something big happens politically, locals always have an urge to flock to The White House. Even though President Obama was in Chicago to celebrate his victory over Mitt Romney in last night’s Presidential Election, people from all over decided that the best place for them to celebrate was at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Sure other neighborhoods celebrated with dancing and fireworks, but there’s nothing like reveling in front of the home of the President. When Obama clinched the Electoral College I grabbed my camera and drove down to see the crowds and they did not disappoint. Most of them were young, probably intoxicated college students who held up signs and climbed trees. Phones were out either for calling loved ones, taking photos, or checking in on Foursquare. Over 200 people were checked-in at The White House when I checked-in.

Here are a few images I took as I swam through the crowds.

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Downtown, Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: Nov/Dec 2012

Photo courtesy of Enzofloyd
Emperador courtesy of Enzofloyd

As the year winds down, so does the Fall National Geographic Live programming. This fall has been packed with great programs and showcases, with still more to come. Thanks to National Geographic once again for offering two pairs of tickets to our readers, providing access to any one of the great programs listed below. To enter, simply put what two programs you’d most like to see in the comment section; make sure you use a valid email address and use your first name. Entries will be taken through Friday noon and winners will be chosen at random and contacted Friday afternoon.

Unless otherwise indicated, all programs are at the Grosvenor Auditorium, located in the National Geographic Museum building at 1600 M Street NW. Parking is free after 6 pm for those attending evening programs.

11/13; 7 pm

Think geography is just reading maps and memorizing names of places? Don’t tell that to Daniel Raven-Ellison. A self-described “guerrilla geographer” and Nat Geo Emerging Explorer, Raven-Ellison believes in encouraging people to experience the world around them in a more meaningful, surprising way, such as taking a photo every eight steps as they travel across the urban landscape. His Mission: Explore books challenge kids to take action to improve their worlds. Come along for the adventure, as this innovative, entertaining educator redefines what you think geography is—and shows how “guerrilla” artists, explorers, gardeners, and others use geography to find solutions. Reception follows. Continue reading