The Daily Feed, The Mall, WTF?!

Truck Crashes into Hirshhorn

We’ve gotten word that a delivery truck has crashed into the Hirshhorn. Driver sustained serious injuries, but not life-threatening. Minor damage to the building; the truck broke through flower pot barriers and hit a window at the entrance, shattering it.

Update from DC Fire/EMS Twitter: update – loaded UPS truck crashed into front entrance of Hirshorn – driver pri 2 – serious – perimeter expanded – expect some traffic closur

More from WUSA9, WTOP, WJLA, FOX5, and Post Now.

News, The Daily Feed, The Mall

That’s a Nice Screen, Be a Shame if Anything Happened To It…

Photo courtesy of
‘Going to the Mattresses’
courtesy of ‘Amberture’

There’s a reason that community activism is done best by communities instead of organizations. It feels right to work together for a common cause to demonstrate solidarity of opinion and effort, instead of just being hit up for money. That’s exactly what the save the screen on the green guys did this morning. Instead of providing me with the tools to contact HBO and request that they keep up this valuable community feature, or asking my help in identifying sponsors to help defray event costs, they came straight for my wallet this morning:

HBO hasn’t yet decided whether or not they’ll host “Screen on the Green” this year, so we’re back in action. Fans like you have already helped, “liking” us on Facebook and tweeting about our cause.

But we need your support. We need $2,000 to upgrade our website and prepare it for our next letter writing campaign.

Will you chip in $20 to help build our website and save “Screen on the Green”?

Look, I love Screen on the Green, too, and we were one of the first sites to break the news last year when HBO pulled the plug, but what I want was community outreach, not a hand in my wallet so you can build a website. I want this to be an event that returns year after year, too, but that isn’t built off solicitations and exhortations without giving me the opportunity to help you with my labor and efforts.

So really, bite me.

Adventures, Fun & Games, People, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors, The Mall

Volunteer at DC Triathlon

Photo courtesy of
‘Triathlon Bike Transition Area’
courtesy of ‘Dru Bloomfield – At Home in Scottsdale’

The 2010 Washington DC Triathlon is looking for a few good men and women to sign up for a variety of volunteer positions, Thursday, June 17 through Race Day, Sunday, June 20th.

This is a great way to get first hand experience with Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and feel the pulse and spirit that these events bring with them. Did I mention that volunteers get a free t-shirt? Woot!

Adventures, Entertainment, Fun & Games, History, Technology, The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors, The Hill, The Mall

DC Podcast Tours Led By Middle Schoolers

Photo courtesy of
‘Ksenya 06′
courtesy of ‘yospyn’

WOW!  Alexandria’s Sandburg Middle School has developed ten awesome DC podcast tours that offer fabulous insights into our city’s neighborhoods, monuments, museums and local shops/restaurants.  Each podcast is accompanied by a informational guide that includes the closest metro stop, address, entrance fees and relevant website. How useful! The tours and voice overs are all performed by Sandburg students, and can be easily downloaded to your ipod or mp3 player. What a stellar find and what a stellar way for students and DCers to learn about our nation’s capital.

News, The Daily Feed, The District, The Mall

Reflecting Pool Upgrade Scheduled To Begin In 2010

Icky Pool
Photo by Hilary Levitin

The Reflecting Pool could be closed for up to two years due to a face lift scheduled to start after this summer’s tourism season, according to the Washington Examiner.

Paths surrounding the pool were eroded over time due to an exorbitant amount of tourists and residents alike passing by on a daily basis. Plus, let’s face it, the water floating around is a less-to-be-desired cesspool at this point.

Building plans for the renovation project include adding a paved, 13-foot-wide walking path on the pool’s perimeter  and changes to the pool’s water system.

Dupont Circle, Fun & Games, News, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The Mall

International Pillow Fight Day

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

I guess that early spring is the time international activity days.  Last week we had Kite Day, which was awesome, and this week we have Pillow Fight Day, which will probably be more awesome.  Capitol Improv is organizing a massive gathering on the mall on Saturday to observe pillow fight day.  Thus far, over 1600 people have responded to the Facebook invite. The plan is to gather on the WWII Memorial side of the Washington Monument around noon, at which time a few Capitol Improv folks will engage in a shouting match that will quickly devolve into a pillow fight.  At this point, the general public is welcomed to join in.  After a little while, the fight will be moved to Dupont Circle, where it will continue until everyone gets tired of it.  I missed last years pillow fight which had over 400 participants.  I’m not making the same mistake this year.

Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, People, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The Mall

Photos From The Smithsonian Kite Festival

Circle

The National Mall is a place I don’t visit nearly often enough. Today was an exception to that. A childhood friend of mine surprised me with a call Friday afternoon saying she’d be in town for the weekend and wanted to picnic on the Mall — during the KITE FESTIVAL!

Thanks to her, I got to play tourist for a day (something I haven’t done for a very long time). Here are some highlights from the Smithsonian’s Kite Festival and parading about the National Mall after the page break Continue reading

The District, The Features, The Mall, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Josef Albers

Josef Albers, “Homage to the Square: Glow,” (1966). From the Hirshhorn’s collection.

“We must teach each other… education is not first giving answers but giving questions.”  – Josef Albers

Abstract art is void of narrative.  The composition often speaks only through the viewers mind.  A type of understanding through speculation, providing the sort of simple canvas that the imagination needs in order to thrive.

Josef Albers (1888-1976) was a master of the subjective canvas, an explorer of color and an ambassador for the abstract form.

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The Daily Feed, The District, The Mall, Tourism

Michelle Obama Donates Inaugural Gown

Photo courtesy of
‘Michelle Obama Donates Inaugural Gown’
courtesy of ‘tbridge’

In a ceremony in the NMAH’s Flag Hall this morning, First Lady Michelle Obama donated her Jason Wu-designed chiffon and Swarovski crystal gown to the Smithsonian as part of their new “A First Lady’s Debut” Exhibit that opens tomorrow. Featuring gowns from the last 50 years of Inaugurations, from Mamie Eisenhower through to Michelle Obama,

Designer Jason Wu, 28, was on hand to meet the First Lady for the first time, and today thanked her for “letting my story become a small part of the events,” surrounding the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Wu emigrated from Taiwan when he was just 9 years old, studied in New York and Paris before opening his own studio in Manhattan 4 years ago. He is the youngest designer to outfit the First Lady for the Inauguration.

The exhibit is open to the public starting tomorrow morning.

Michelle Obama and Jason Wu with her Inaugural Gown Michelle Obama Applauds Huntington High School Students 

Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough introduces Michelle Obama Jason Wu speaks about his Inaugural Design

Entertainment, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, News, The Daily Feed, The District, The Mall, WTF?!

Screen On The Green In Danger … Again

Photo courtesy of
‘Screen on the Green’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

Screen on the Green is in danger for a second year now. HBO has yet to determine their 2010 budget, which  means no one has any idea whether or not Screen on the Green will be back this summer.

Want to support the effort and keep Screen on the Green a running DC tradition? Screen on the Green supporter and founder of the Save the Screen on the Green Facebook group Jesse Rauch is asking fans to vote for Screen on the Green as Best Festival in CityPaper’s annual Best of D.C. contest. You can cast your vote at the CityPaper’s webiste.

Want to stay updated on the latest news concerning Screen on the Green? Check out the Facebook group.

News, The Daily Feed, The Mall

The “Nuns Impact On History” Comes To The Smithsonian

Photo courtesy of
‘These look like nice nuns’
courtesy of ‘Valerie Everett’

Ever wonder what nun’s do in their spare time? Wonder no more! The International Gallery at the Smithsonian opened a new exhibit on Friday featuring the stories of 12 Catholic sisters who arrived in New Orleans in 1727.

The exhibit demonstrates the overall impact of Catholic nuns had in the shaping of our nation’s culture and the evolution of social service over the past 300 years.

A wide-range of displays are featured, including: a letter from President Thomas Jefferson assuring the women that their work could continue following the Louisiana Purchase, the role of the sisters in treating soldiers on the front lines in the Civil War, the founding of the Mayo Clinic and other historically documented events.

“Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America,” is on a three-year tour and will be open to the public until April 25.

Entertainment, History, The Daily Feed, The Mall

2010 Cherry Blossom Festival. Will the snow be gone by then?

Photo courtesy of
‘Cherry Blossoms look like snow’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

Covered in 20″ of snow, it’s hard to imagine the beautiful spring weather common during the Cherry Blossom Festival, but let’s try anyways.

The 2010 festival will run from March 27 to April 11, and marks the 98th anniversary of Japan’s cherry tree gifting. Activity planning is underway with the opening night to take place at the National Building Museum, fireworks at the southwest waterfront on April 3, the parade on April 11 and many more events in the works.

Night Life, The Features, The Mall

National Sculpture Garden: Skate At Your Own Risk

DSC00715

I thought ice skating on the National Mall was supposed to be fun. Funny is more like it. Real funny. Why? Because everything that could’ve gone wrong did.

My friend had entrusted me with the plan making for the evening. It was Saturday night. During the winter. “What could be better than ice skating in the National Sculpture Garden?” I thought. I quickly learned — anything else is apparently BETTER — but I wouldn’t have traded the night for anything else.

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Adams Morgan, Alexandria, Arlington, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Essential DC, Foggy Bottom, Life in the Capital, Penn Quarter, Petworth, The Daily Feed, The Hill, The Mall

Giving Map

Photo courtesy of
‘Salvation Army Christmas Give Away’
courtesy of ‘docentjoyce’

Continuing with our “Good Samaritan” theme, I now provide you with a means by which you may become said Samaritan.  Behold: the WaPo giving map.  This handy application maps out charities in the DC area and sorts them by type.  The list includes everything from homeless shelters, to non-profits for the arts, to religious charities.  So, in the spirit of the season, take a look at the map and find a place in your area that you’re willing to give time or money to.  Make someone’s holiday better.

The Features, The Mall, Tourism

Decorating for the Holidays

Photo courtesy of
‘Ribbon Cutting’
courtesy of ‘tbridge’

The holidays are a time of excess, from decorations and food to parades and retail displays. We splurge on gifts, we make rich feasts for friends and family; we gather close to the people we love, seeking comfort in midwinter. The Smithsonian invited Santa & Mrs. Clause and Twinkle the Elf to the National Museum of American History to open a new small exhibit on the Holidays. Focused on Parades of all seasons, from Tournament of Roses through to Macy’s Thanksgiving, and the retail window displays of department stores (something of a relic to those of us under 40) all across the US, the new exhibit has photos and artifacts from holiday celebrations across the country.

The exhibit is fairly small, just a couple rooms, but what’s contained therein will snap you right out of your Fall Funk and propel you right into Holiday prep. On Wednesday, I was grumpy as hell, seeing the Wal-mart Christmas ads on television already, but last night, that disappointment was absent. Was it the joy in the kids’ eyes, watching Mrs. Claus read a story? Maybe it melted my grinchy heart. Holidays on Display runs for a whole year, on the Third floor, on the West side of the museum.

There’s a companion volume of the same name put out by the museum that has some fascinating history that’s DC-specific, including whole sections on the displays at Woodward & Lothrop, which were deeply memorable. Look for an interview with Mr. Bird in the coming weeks.

Adventures, Life in the Capital, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The District, The Great Outdoors, The Hill, The Mall, We Green DC

National Public Lands Day 09/26

Photo courtesy of
‘Cleaning Up the Potomac’
courtesy of ‘mtngirl9999′

Looking for something to do Saturday? How about volunteering at a local National Public Lands Day site.

Tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of this event to preserve and protect America’s natural heritage.  Last year brought out more than 120,000 volunteers at over 1,800 locations to assist public land managers with hands-on projects.

You can find 6 events taking place in DC at various locations, like: Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens, Rock Creek Park, Kingman and Heritage Memorial Park, the Lincoln Memorial, President’s Park and National Mall & Memorial Parks.

The Features, The Mall

Giving Back: Honoring Tremendous American Heroes

Honor Flight 9/19
All photos courtesy of Karl Johnson

There was something noticeably different about Reagan National Airport on Saturday, September 19th. Outside, it was an absolutely gorgeous fall day in DC with the sun shining as brightly as it possibly could. But the sun, in all of its glory, was not the brightest part of this memorable Saturday; not even close. Inside of the “A” terminal, at gate 9, the red, white and blue balloons and streamers were hung. A three piece band, assembled behind the check-in desk, played one proud patriotic song after another, including the official song for each branch of the U.S. military. Nearly a hundred people of all walks of life gathered around the jet way, excitedly cheering and clapping, waving American flags, and anxiously awaiting their arrival.

But who were they? Who could possibly deserve such dramatic fanfare on a Saturday morning at DCA? Maybe Colin Powell and Bill Clinton decided to take a commercial flight into DC just for kicks? Nope. Way Better. These people, volunteers, airport employees, passengers and even U.S. Senators, were there to welcome a group of absolutely tremendous American heroes. They were all here to welcome almost 400 heroes to the home of their very own memorial. The one they fought for. The one their friends gave their lives for. After almost 65 years, these World War II veterans were getting the chance to see America’s ever-lasting symbol of recognition of their service, dedication and ultimate sacrifices.

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All Politics is Local, Downtown, The Daily Feed, The District, The Mall, WMATA

Wisconsin Avenue Circulator Route Is No More

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

As reported earlier this month, the in peril Wisconsin Avenue section of the Georgetown-Union Station Circulator route has officially been cut.  According to the DDOT, the  new Georgetown routing will be Washington Circle to K Street (under the Whitehurst Freeway), right on Wisconsin Avenue, right on M Street, right on Pennsylvania Avenue, returning to Washington Circle and on to Union station.  The rerouting will also cut all the Circulator stops on the north side of M Street, as the new route will only operate eastbound on M Street.

Other Circulator service changes involve discontinuing the Smithsonian-National Mall from October 4, 2009 until April 3, 2010.  As well as added stops to the Union Station-Navy Yard and Woodley Park/Adams Morgan-McPherson Square Metro routes.

Entertainment, History, Special Events, The Features, The Great Outdoors, The Mall, We Green DC

Host a National Park Premiere Party

photo courtesy of pbs.org

photo courtesy of pbs.org

This Sunday evening, September 27 at 8pm, the long awaited Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea premieres on PBS. The documentary stories the inspiring individuals who dedicated themselves to establishing our National Park System and to protecting America’s cultural, natural and historic heritage.  The series will air a new episode every night next week with the concluding episode on Friday, October 2.

To spread the word about this awesome documentary and get park lovers to share their parks stories with friends and family, the DC-based non-profit, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is organizing nation-wide viewing parties for the Sunday premiere, and they’ve made it super easy to host your own get-together with customized evites, your own personalized party page, helpful party tips and innovative ways to share this documentary with people around the country.  “Our goal is to inspire all Americans to dedicate themselves to protecting and preserving our national parks,” says Tom Kiernan, NPCA President, “so that the parks can be enjoyed, explored, and cherished by our children, our grandchildren, and by all future generations.”

Register to host a (private or public) party, and you’ll be entered in a raffle to win 1 of 5 signed copies of award-winning, conservation photographer Ian Shive‘s The National Parks: Our American Landscape.  This new, visually stunning photo journey highlights the beauty and majesty of our national parks from Alaska’s Denali to Florida’s Everglades.  RSVP’ed guests will also be entered in the drawing, and you, as the host, will get a bonus entry for every guest.  Woot! Continue reading

All Politics is Local, Inaugupocalypse, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The Hill, The Mall

9/12 Rally Crowd Estimates: Two Million?


(Picture 075 uploaded by DrrDot)

The Glenn Beck/FreedomWorks 9/12 DC Taxpayer Rally was on Saturday, with conservative Tea Party activists congregating in Washington to protest various things like healthcare reform, federal taxation, government deficit spending, and the President being a Stalinist Nazi Fascist Kenyan Hitler. They drew a healthy-sized crowd, by many accounts much larger than the 30,000 names registered online by FreedomWorks. DCFD estimates are said to be in the 50,000-70,000 range.

Given these numbers it seemed a bit unrealistic for a much-cited article from the right-wing Daily Mail to claim “up to two million.” This AP photo does show an impressive crowd gathered from the edge of the Capitol Lower Terrace to just west of East Capitol Circle/1st St NW/SW, filling up the entire Capitol lawn:

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