Adventures, Interviews, People, The Features

My DC in 2013: Ben

In a few short hours, 2013 will end and another year in this city begins.

When Jenn asked me to pen this story a few weeks ago, I wasn’t exactly sure how to approach it. I considered a monthly perspective, then a “best of” format. Perhaps a look at a list of the site’s best offerings from our talented writing pool? Or maybe a review in photos (and steal Mosley’s thunder)?

In the end, I figured I’d do what I do best: sit down, put fingers to keyboard, and reflect. Because in the end, this was a year of reflection for me. I’m not even sure this collection of rambling will make sense to most, but it’s better than nothing, right?

Don’t get me wrong; this was a good year for me overall, if you look at the positives overwhelming the negatives. But looming large over me for a good part of the year has been that of a directional “where do I go now?” struggle that is beginning to resolve as 2014 dawns. Continue reading

Life in the Capital, Real World DC, Special Events, The District, Thrifty District

Planning a DC Wedding: Venues

Photo courtesy of Karon
Random Find
courtesy of Karon
The Social Chair returns to tell us all about finding a DC venue for a DC wedding.

After narrowing down the date for our wedding, Fedward and I began the long process of finding the perfect location. Alas, not enough of you voted for us to win a wedding, so our dream venue of the National Building Museum was quickly out of the running. What could be more DC than one of the locations of the Inaugural Balls?

There are a ton of resources for finding a venue in DC. Our best resource? Friends. DC is filled with event venues. Ask around. Many businesses rent their spaces for private events. We joined forces with another recently engaged couple and shared Google docs with places we’d scouted.
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Downtown, Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: February 2012

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner; Photo courtesy National Geographic

As spring looms on the horizon, so does National Geographic Live’s new season. For the third year in a row, the National Geographic Museum is offering WeLoveDC readers a monthly chance to enjoy one of their premier events. We’re giving away two pairs of tickets to readers and entering is simple. Look through the great programs coming up in February and pick two you’d like to attend. Then in the comment field, simply enter your choices. (Make sure you use your first name and a valid email address!) Winners for February will be chosen at random in the afternoon on Tuesday, January 31.

All programs (unless otherwise noted) will take place in Grosvenor Auditorium at 1600 M Street, NW.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.nglive.org, via telephone at (202) 857-7700, or in person at the National Geographic ticket office between 9 am and 5 pm. Free parking is available in the National Geographic underground garage for all programs that begin after 6 pm.

Uncovering Hidden World ($20)
Tuesday, Feb. 7; 7:30 pm

As a staff photographer with National Geographic, Jodi Cobb has worked in more than 60 countries—celebrating the best of the human spirit and spotlighting some of its worst abuses.

She is best known for lifting the curtain on worlds closed to outsiders, such as Japan’s geisha, Saudi Arabian women, the grim underworld of human trafficking. Experience a retrospective of her most important work as she also shares images and stories from her most recent assignment, a story on twins for the January 2012 issue of National Geographic. Continue reading

Downtown, Penn Quarter, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Stalin’s Spies: an ISM Event

Photo courtesy of
‘The Secret’
courtesy of ‘bhrome’

This Friday at 4:30 pm, the International Spy Museum, in cooperation with the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, is hosting an event on Stalin-era espionage. The free event includes the opportunity to view unique artifacts from the life of one of the Soviet Union’s most famous spies, Dmitri Bystrolyotov, as well as a chance to interact with the Museum’s historians and several panel experts.

Dmitri was the Soviet Union’s real life James Bond, earning a reputation as one of the greatest Soviet Spies of all time. He was a sailor, doctor, lawyer and artist recruited by Stalin for his dashing good looks and ease with languages to seduce secrets from willing targets during the 1920s and 30s. However, after falling out of Stalin’s favor, Dmitri was sentenced to the Gulag for 16 years.

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Downtown, Special Events, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: October 2011

Demon Fish; photo courtesy National Geographic

The National Geographic Live series is back for the fall and we here at WeLoveDC want to share their great lineup of programming with you once again. Thanks to the generosity of our friends at NatGeo, we’ll be again offering two pairs of tickets for our readers to go and experience some great talks, lectures, and programs over at the National Geographic Museum.

For October, there’s some amazing photography programs, authors, and speakers – some of whom you’ll see interviewed here on the site in the coming weeks. If you’d like to win a pair of tickets to an October program, simply list the two events you’d like to attend in comments before noon Friday, September 30. Make sure you use a legitimate email address and your first name. We’ll contact two winners (as determined by random.org) on Friday afternoon. Note that not all programs are eligible for the drawing.

If you’re interested in attending one of these events, visit NatGeo’s website or their box office (800-647-5463), located at 17th and M Street, NW. Keep in mind that parking in NatGeo’s underground lot is free for any programs beginning after 6 pm.

Here’s October’s offerings… Continue reading

Special Events, The Daily Feed, We Love Drinks, We Love Food

Upcoming: Operation Smile’s Grin Gala

Photo courtesy of
‘Lauren Graham and Peter Krause’
courtesy of ‘greginhollywood’

Got plans Saturday night?

The Grin Gala, now in its fourth year, is a benefit for Operation Smile. It is described as “an evening of cocktails, dancing and silent auction.” Lauren Graham, pictured above, is this year’s honorary host. Tickets come in two varieties: general admission ($120, of which $95 is tax deductible), and VIP ($240, of which $215 is tax deductible).

VIP access includes an early reception on the Chamber of Commerce rooftop with top DC chefs and mixologists including Chef Todd Gray and Mixologist Simo Ahmadi from Equinox; Chef Peter Smith from PS 7; Chef Victor Albisu and Mixologist Troy Bock from BLT Steakhouse; and Mixologist Stephen Warner from Columbia Firehouse.

The Social Chair and I will be there as invited guests. Look for us there Saturday night, and a wrap-up of the cocktails and food here next week!

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

National Geographic Live: May 2011

©Sunny Khalsa; courtesy National Geographic

May winds down the Spring 2011 National Geographic Live series of programs. If you’re looking for something to do in the evenings, we highly suggest you check out some of their offerings this season. And to provide further incentive, we are providing two lucky readers with a pair of tickets to an event of their choice this coming month!

To enter the drawing, simply comment below using your first name and a legit email address, listing the two events from the following program list you’d like to attend. (Note that there is one event not eligible and we’ve noted it for you.) Sometime after noon on Wednesday (May 4) we’ll randomly select two winners to receive a pair of tickets (each) to one of their selections.

(For ticket information, visit online or call the box office at (800) 647-5463.)

Music On…Photography Moby ($18) (SOLD OUT)
May 9, 7:30 pm
Moby has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, played over 3,000 concerts in his career, and has had his music included in hundreds of films, such as Heat and The Beach. He has been taking photographs for as long as he’s been making music. See his riveting images and be among the first to learn about his much-anticipated new project.

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

National Geographic Live: April 2011

Hidden Alaska, ©Michael Melford; used with permission by National Geographic

April brings another full month of programs at NatGeo for their popular National Geographic Live! series. If you’re looking for something to do in the evenings, we highly suggest you check out some of their offerings this season. And to provide further incentive, we are providing two lucky readers with a pair of tickets to an event of their choice this coming month!

To enter the drawing, simply comment below using your first name and a legit email address, listing the two events from the following program list you’d like to attend. (Note that there is one event not eligible and we’ve noted it for you.) Sometime after noon on Friday (April 1) we’ll randomly select two winners to receive a pair of tickets (each) to one of their selections. You’ve got until 11 am on Friday to enter!

(For ticket information, visit online or call the box office at (800) 647-5463.)

Hidden Alaska ($18)
April 5, 7:30 pm
Michael Melford, veteran National Geographic photographer, has documented some of the world’s most pristine places. For a magazine story and new National Geographic book Hidden Alaska, he traveled to Bristol Bay, Alaska—both an important salmon breeding ground and location of enormous copper and gold deposits—where residents are being forced to choose between incompatible futures.
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Special Events, We Love Arts

NatGeoLive: March 2011

The Eagle Hunter's Son, ©Eden Film Stromberg Productions, used with permission by National Geographic

First of all, a very big “thank you!” to all our readers. National Geographic took a chance last year with WeLoveDC in letting us give away event tickets through our site and WOW did you guys exceed expectations! So on behalf of WeLoveDC and National Geographic, thank you for supporting the NatGeo Live program.

With that kind of preamble, it’s probably apparent that yes, once again we’ll be doing random drawings every month for our readers to attend a NatGeoLive event of their choice (with exceptions). The 2011 season is packing quite the wallop from what my sources tell me, so get ready for another great lineup of screenings, talks, tastings, and more. (For ticket information, visit online or call the box office at (800) 647-5463.)

To enter the drawing, simply comment below using your first name and a legit email address, listing the two events from the following program list you’d like to attend. (Note that there are a few events not eligible and we’ve noted them for you.) Sometime Monday (Feb 28) in the afternoon we’ll randomly select two winners to receive a pair of tickets (each) to one of their selections. You’ve got until noon on Monday to enter!

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Adventures, capitals hockey, History, Special Events, Sports Fix, The Features

Road to the Winter Classic (Part I)

Goin' to the Winter Classic!
‘Goin’ to the Winter Classic!’
courtesy of ‘bhrome’

“Hey, you interested in tickets to the Winter Classic?”

It was a question I never actually thought I’d hear. Sure, the answer was a no-brainer – of course my wife and I wanted to go to this year’s outdoor matchup between our favored Penguins and our hometown Capitals. Need more be said?

Since that simple back-and-forth flurry of emails with my friend back in August, I’ve been on pins and needles in anticipation for the game coming up this Saturday at Heinz Field in our old stomping grounds of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Long-time readers here obviously know of my acute love of hockey in general and the Penguins in particular. Through the last few years, I’ve developed a grudgingly healthy respect of the Washington Capitals as well and it hasn’t hurt being able to cover the team for this site over the last year, either. Attending the 2011 Winter Classic, however, goes beyond a simple hockey game or even the intense rivalry between the two teams. It’s a chance to enjoy hockey in its nearly purest form – outside on ice – and the fact it includes the two teams of my adult sports fan life is simply a bonus.

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Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: November 2010

Courtesy White House Photographic Office and National Geographic

It’s just about November and National Geographic continues their great Fall lineup of NatGeo Live events. And once again, the folks at the National Geographic Museum are making available another two pairs of tickets to any of the listed events below, with the exception of the sold out “Sharing Tea with Greg Mortenson”. To enter, simply comment below with which two events you’d most like to attend, using your first name and a legit email address; we’ll randomly draw two winners sometime after noon on Friday, Oct 29.

If you’re interested in attending one of these events, visit NatGeo’s website or their box office, located at 17th and M Street, NW. Keep in mind that parking in NatGeo’s underground lot is free for any programs beginning after 6 p.m. Continue reading

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Night Life, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: October 2010

Diving Bahamas Caves by Wes C. Skiles; courtesy National Geographic

It’s fall and the National Geographic Museum has one heavy lineup ready for DC. National Geographic Live! is a series of dynamic lectures, live concerts, and compelling films presented at the Society’s headquarters on M Street between 16th and 17th Streets. We present to you the complete October lineup AND a chance to win a pair of tickets to one of the listed events!

National Geographic has provided us two pairs of tickets to give away; all you need to do for a chance to win our random drawing is comment with what two events you’d most like to see, using your first name and a legitimate email address by noon on Monday, Oct 4. We’ll draw the winners that afternoon!

NOTE: All programs will be at Grosvenor Auditorium at 1600 M Street, NW. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (202) 857-7700, or in person at the National Geographic ticket office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Free parking is available in the National Geographic underground garage for all programs that begin after 6 p.m.

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Entertainment, Essential DC, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: May 2010

Adventures Among Ants, by Mark Moffett

©Mark Moffett, courtesy National Geographic

The 2010 National Geographic Live series continues in May with a mix of lectures, authors, and food. The National Geographic Museum is offering up another two pairs of tickets for WeLoveDC readers, unless otherwise noted. Simply comment below (PLEASE use a legit email address and your first name) with what two events – in preferred order – you’d like to attend. We’ll do a random drawing on Monday, May 3 at 2 pm and get the winners set up with their first (or second, if your first choice is full) selection. Keep in mind that tickets are for single events only; both food events are unfortunately not eligible for the free tickets.

In the Empire of Ice ($18)
May 4, 7:30 pm

For a National Geographic-supported expedition, writer Gretel Ehrlich circumnavigated the Arctic Circle to document the indigenous cultures inhabiting its starkly beautiful landscapes, as advancing climate change threatens traditional ways of life. In her new book, Empire of Ice: Encounters in a Changing Landscape, and in this presentation, she tells the story of her journey to explore the “ecology of culture.”

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We Green DC

Big Earth Day Events Blowout

Photo courtesy of
‘Tree in the puddle’
courtesy of ‘fromcaliw/love’

It’s the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and green events are springing up citywide — an amazing number and variety. Highlighted are movies, drinks and more drinks, a special dinner, a “Song of the Earth” concert, an outdoor music festival, cleanups, a fundraiser to snug up homes for low-income residents, a walk for water, and even a seminar on making paper from junk mail.

And that’s just what happens next week. Events between now and the middle of next week appear in Part 1 (just in case you missed it).

Catch a Party and a Flick: No Impact Man
Thursday, April 22
6:30 and 8:15 p.m. (screenings); 6:45 – 10 p.m. (reception)
DC / U St.
AED Globe Theater (Formerly Visions), 1927 Florida Avenue, NW
$16 (film and reception)

Come see No Impact Man and attend the reception before or after your 90-minute screening. The film tells the story of Colin Beavan, a newly self-proclaimed environmentalist who could no long avoid pointing the finger at himself.

He left behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, electricity, non-local food, or material consumption. See the effect on him and his less-than-earth-friendly family.
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Downtown, Entertainment, Special Events, The Features

National Geographic Live: April 2010

2501 Migrants: A Journey, courtesy of the filmmakers and National Geographic

The 2010 National Geographic Live series continues in April with a mix of music, movies, and food. The National Geographic Museum is offering up another two pairs of tickets for WeLoveDC readers, unless otherwise noted. Simply comment below (PLEASE use a legit email address and your first name) with what two events – in preferred order – you’d like to attend. We’ll do a random drawing on Wednesday, April 7 at 10 a.m. and get the winners set up with their first (or second, if your first choice is full) selection. Keep in mind that tickets are for single events only.

2501 Migrants: A Journey ($10)
April 7, 7 pm

This 2008 Mexican film documents Oaxacan artist Alejandro Santiago’s creative response to the impact of migration on rural Mexico. A discussion with the filmmaker, seven-time award-winning director Yolanda Cruz, will follow the film. Washington, D.C. premiere.

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Downtown, Entertainment, Essential DC, Special Events, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: March 2010

America's Endangered Species, ©Joel Sartore; courtesy of the National Geographic Museum

The spring season of National Geographic Live – a series of dynamic lectures, concerts, films and more – continues this month, with more great offerings.

Thanks to the awesome response from last month, the National Geographic Museum is offering up two pairs of tickets to our readers for any of the following events. Simply comment below (PLEASE use a legit email address and your first name) with what two events – in preferred order – you’d like to attend. We’ll do a random drawing on Friday (March 12) at 10 a.m. and get the winners set up with their first (or second, if your first choice is full) selection. Keep in mind that tickets are for single events only.

Note that the photography exhibitions that open this month do not require tickets and are free for visitors to enjoy.

Okay, enough about rules. Check out the March offerings after the jump.

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Food and Drink, The Features

WeLoveDC DRINKS: Fresh Squeezed Wisdom

Photo courtesy of
‘Wisdom #51′
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

In the calm before the storm (what? there’s another blizzard coming?), we were able to take a breather and have a little fun out of the house on a day when the brown/green grass was just starting to show itself again.

Good times were had last night at Wisdom Cocktail Parlour in SE DC. Guests who arrived with an ingrained hatred for the taste of gin were quick and surprising converts to the smooth and simple pairing of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

Cocktails in hand, the near-sellout crowd was buzzing with the talk of juices and liquors — with occasional pleas for another educational happy hour mixed-in. It was a moment of true concentration on and excitement for the subject at hand, with no fear or discussion of impending snow.   Continue reading

Adventures, Downtown, Entertainment, Fun & Games, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: February 2010

Photo courtesy National Geographic Society

Chimps of Goualougo; Photo courtesy National Geographic Society

The spring season of National Geographic Live – a series of dynamic lectures, concerts, films and more – kicks off next week.

This year, the National Geographic Society has graciously offered some event tickets to our readers. If you’re interested in winning a pair of tickets to any of the events below, simply remark in comments which two events – in preferred order – you’d like to attend. We’ll do a random drawing on Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 2nd) after 1pm and we’ll get the winners set up with their first (or second, if your first choice is full) selection. Keep in mind that tickets are for single events only, not multi-part series or showings, unless otherwise indicated. (The kung-fu film festival is an exception; you can win tickets for all three movies!)

Okay, enough about rules. Check out the February offerings after the jump. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Crime & Punishment Museum Free Tonight

Photo courtesy of
‘Autopsy’
courtesy of ‘SWP Moblog’

If you’re a fan of the TV show Southland (formerly of NBC, now re-starting at TNT), drop by the Crime & Punishment Museum tonight over in Penn Quarter and meet actor Michael Cudlitz, who plays Officer John Cooper. He’ll be there from 5:15 to 6:15 tonight, and entry to the Museum is free if you use the password “Southland” at the entry.