‘Hirshhorn Museum Shop’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’
The Hirshhorn is set to get a bit of an update in the form of a new, ultra-contemporary bookstore. Rumor has it that Museum Director, Richard Koshalek has called upon artist Doug Aitken to work on the preliminary design of the permanent installation. Although the project remains in the schematic phase at this time, Aitken’s concept renderings show a kaleidoscope-type room with numerous sharp angles, creating a vision of light through the usage of the principles of refraction.
Furthermore, Aitken’s artistic eye may also be used to update the exterior of the Museum – the artist has proposed a 360 degree wrap-around video installation that would hypothetically span the entire concrete shell.
The Bookstore, by petite corneille
Last days. Going out of business. Everything 20% off.
In the current economic climate, it isn’t hard to find a sign like this on stores all over the region. It’s certainly hard to miss companies like Circuit City going out of business, but big-box stores leaving is just as impersonal and disconnected as their “sales” staff was when you walked in the door. I can also try to avoid the obvious – and sappy – trap of saying how “sad” it is that a local business is leaving the DC area.
There is only one problem: it is sad. A bookstore is a amazing thing. It is a repository of knowledge, and living proof that our First Amendment is a powerful and empowering (and often frightening) statement of rights. Local bookstores are the embodiment of our desire to constantly better ourselves. And so we should miss them when they leave us.
‘Kramerbooks Glass House’
courtesy of ‘Wahig’
There are days in DC that I forget we are in a recession. Last Sunday’s brunch at Kramerbooks & Afterwords was one of them. The book shop was stuffed full with people, and every table was filled, the air abuzz with excitement for spring. I was worried that the wait for two would be at least an hour when we walked in, but we actually only waited for 15 minutes! Afterwords Cafe has lots of little parts, the glass house, the outdoor patio, the upstairs – they take advantage of not a lot of space, and stuff it full with people.
Kramerbooks is definitely a DC institution, ranking up there with Ben’s Chili Bowl and the Brickskeller as a place everyone has been at some point while living in the city. I actually had not, but was eagerly awaiting checking out both the bookstore and the cafe – I had heard mixed reviews, from horrible to mediocre, to a favorite. I was ready to decide for myself. So… the food? Well… you’ll find out after the break.