The Features, Tourism

Gone Hunting (for Photos)

IMG_69269Students at work in Adams Morgan by Corinne Whiting

When you think DC, you don’t typically think “safari.” (Heck, with Tai Shan leaving us yesterday, now even the National Zoo seems far less exotic to explore.) But thanks to local photographer-entrepreneur E. David Luria, locals and visitors alike get the chance to go on a different type of hunt: the pursuit for the perfect photo.

I’ve been lucky enough to tag along on two of David’s tours with Washington Photo Safari. One was on a very sticky day that attracted a lot of map-wielding tourists to must-see spots like the White House, Vietnam Memorial and Lincoln Reflecting Pool. The second, on a morning so cold that a few wayward students kept disappearing inside for long coffee breaks, drew visitors and locals to the lively Adams Morgan zone. I enjoyed both safaris for the spontaneous chats with curious city newcomers as well as longtime residents who gladly shared their shutterbug expertise. I also appreciated David’s kind encouragement, grandfatherly jokes and the way in which he made every member of our slightly ragtag, eclectic photography team feel included.

But my favorite part? The license these tours gave me to screech to a snail’s pace for a few hours, studying the details of my city as if seeing it all for the first time. I pointed my lens at monuments, memorials, doorknobs, tattered murals, cracking sidewalks, shiny car hoods and intricate African weavings, finding beauty in places normally eclipsed by my rushed daily routine.

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The Daily Feed

Ritz Camera closeouts start tomorrow

Photo courtesy of
‘Day 60: Going Out of Business’
courtesy of ‘quinn.anya’

I spent several years of my young life working in Uncle Chuck’s Camera Emporium Wolf Camera, so on my priority list going into a Ritz Camera ranks somewhere between… swapping hankerchiefs with SARS carriers and stabbing myself in the face.

However, Dealmac reveals that the closeout sales start tomorrow. They’re closing almost half their stores as part of their chapter 11 restructuring and apparently will be discounting items to get them off the shelves. Personally I’m not optimistic the deals will be that great or include many worthwhile things; I imagine that anything that can be moved will likely be shuffled out to more profitable stores – they still have about 400 that will continue to do business. However it should not be a repeat of the Circuit City nonsense where a 3rd party liquidator peddles things at list prices that are above what you’d pay anywhere – these sales are still through Ritz themselves as they try to reorg.

If you want to give it a shot I’ve culled all the closing stores from our surrounding area from the (annoyingly not-sorted-by-state list) PDF linked in the Dealmac article. It looks like all the ones in our area are closing, but check the list below the jump before you head out just to be sure. Continue reading