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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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, 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

Special Events, We Love Arts

2011 All Roads Film Festival at NatGeo

Photo courtesy of
‘National Archives Film Canisters’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Starting tomorrow, the National Geographic Museum hosts the 2011 All Roads Film Festival. The five-day festival showcases nearly 40 films in 24 countries, created to provide an international platform for indigenous and under-represented minority-culture artists to share cultures, stories and perspectives through the power of film and photography. This year’s theme is “Stories That Shape Our World” and National Geographic is giving WeLoveDC readers a chance to win a pair of all-access passes to the festival.

The five-day event also will include a “Global Groove: DJ Dance Party,” hosted by DJ Dave Nada and DJ Underdog, panel discussions by a number of the filmmakers and two photography exhibits. One photography exhibit will feature works from three provocative voices in the photography medium, each at different points in their careers; the second is an exclusive view into two cultures where photography by outsiders has been severely restricted. Several filmmakers will participate in two panel discussions, “Latinos in Modern Media” and “Indigenous Communities, Film and the Environment,” as well as discussions following their film screenings where they will talk about their careers and the continuing innovation of indigenous filmmaking.

If you’d like to win a pair of festival passes, simply drop a comment below (using an email address we can use to contact you). We’ll randomly select a winner at noon tomorrow (Wednesday 9/14). Continue reading

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

NatGeo’s 2010 All Roads Film Festival

Dear Lemon Lima; photo courtesy filmmakers and National Geographic Museum

The National Geographic Society kicks off its All Roads Film Festival on Tuesday, Sept 28, launching a jam-packed fall programming schedule. The six-day event will screen nearly 30 films, an outdoor photography exhibit, a Basement Bhangra Dance Party, and a panel of indigenous filmmakers discussing their art and careers.

All Roads Film Festival Director Francene Blythe is especially excited about this year’s theme, “Inspiring Stories Connecting Cultures.” “Whether the stories are comic or tragic, they will resonate with audiences because they involve characters and stories that are relatable and told with charm, wit and wisdom.” There promises to be something for everyone to enjoy. Continue reading

Entertainment, Food and Drink, Special Events, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks Smackdown! Beer vs. Wine 2

Photo courtesy of
‘Glorious Cheese’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

When last we met for an epic drinks smackdown back in March, fellow WLDC author Kirk and I had our preconceived notions of which paired better with food – wine or beer – challenged and in some cases totally overthrown. I left with a heightened appreciation for beer and a fascination with the subject of food pairings. So when I was invited to attend National Geographic Live’s A Come to Cheeses Moment: Wine vs. Beer event, where beer and wine would duke it out over best pairing with cheese, it took little to convince me.

Wouldn’t you know that earlier in the day I was advised to kick the dairy habit for two weeks thanks to suspected lactose intolerance (my reaction? censored!). So my second drinks smackdown fittingly became farewell to my beloved cheese. Forgive me then if this reads more as an ode to cheese than to drinks! Sigh. I inhaled deeply as I entered the Grosvenor Auditorium at the National Geographic headquarters, redolent with the stinky glorious aroma, ready to say good-bye.

It was a packed house, and we were incredibly lucky in our three distinguished (and humorous) presenters – Steven Jenkins, Joshua Wesson and Nick Funnell. Both Jenkins and Wesson are regular on NPR’s The Splendid Table – Jenkins is the first American to win the prestigious title Chevalier du Taste Fromage and Wesson is the author of Red Wine With Fish and a top sommelier, having opened Best Cellars in 1996. Funnell is the brewmaster for the Great American Restaurants chain and a winner at the Great American Beer Festival. They had an amazing depth of knowledge that I can’t hope to replicate, but I’ll try to give you a taste.

All of the cheese served was from raw milk, and Jenkins did point out that he had chosen obscure cheeses which might be difficult for us to get ourselves (you’ve just been challenged!). The price point of the wine was very reasonable, Wesson indicated, around $15 a bottle. Funnell had picked all local beers at roughly $7 a pint.

So let’s dive in! Continue reading

Food and Drink

Chocolate: Are You Sure Your Love Is True?

DeVries and Abbatiello

Steve DeVries and Biagio Abbatiello prepare to talk chocolate

Chocolate. Most people think they love it. But is it really chocolate they love — or sugar?

That’s a question chocolate maker Steve DeVries might pose. Most chocolate is made industrially and is full of sugar. The normal ratio is two parts sugar to one part cocoa. This sweetness can obscure the delicate and complex flavors of the bean itself.

DeVries found this out firsthand years ago after he bought some cacao beans at a plantation in Mexico. With almost no direction, he brought them home, roasted them until they smelled like brownies, and ground them himself. What DeVries experienced was delicious, “a complexity of flavor I’d never tasted in chocolate before,” he said. “It was like crushing grapes and getting a fine burgundy.” The reason, he discovered, was that chocolate had been overindustrialized.

Now head of Denver-based DeVries Chocolate, he is a bean-to-bar chocolate maker. While most makers buy chocolate and form it into bars with various flavorings, he starts from scratch with the beans themselves.

Last night, DeVries explained the process of making chocolate at the National Geographic Live! event Chocolate: From Bean to Bar on April 14. In addition, Biagio Abbatiello of Biagio Fine Chocolate near Dupont Circle led a tasting of artisanal chocolates from around the world. The pair also sat down with me beforehand to answer extra questions, one of which was, “How is DC as a chocolate town?”
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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, People, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Learn About The Good Stuff

Photo courtesy of
‘a flight of whisk(e)y’
courtesy of ‘sleepyneko’

At 7pm, Thursday, October 22, National Geographic Live gets its drink on with photographer Jim Richardson and whisky expert Dave Broom hosting a guided tasting of Scotland’s finest single malt whiskies.  Co-sponsored by DC’s Brickskeller, the tastings will be paired with Richardson’s  images of the Celtic landscapes, distilleries, and people that produce these world reknown spirits. Obviously you must be 21 or older. View event details at Exploring Scotland’s Whisky Trail.