The Mall

That Day Molly Smith Led a Protest on Gun Control

Molly Smith at Gun March on DC

It wasn’t hard to spot the gun control crowd marching on Washington last Saturday. They were the ones all the tourists were pointing at.

OH: “Who are all those people over there?”
OH: “You think something’s wrong?”
OH: “Oh it’s one of those anti-gun groups.”
OH: “Get out of the picture, Fred!”

In fact, the March on Washington for Gun Control was not one group but a few – groups like One Million Moms for Gun Control and folks from the mayor’s office, plus Arena Stage’s Molly Smith, who organized the whole thing (unaffiliated with the theater).

I ran into the march while headed toward the National Gallery of Art for my birthday. So obviously I took a detour; because nothing says celebrate like partisan politics and national tragedy.
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The Daily Feed, The Mall

The NGA French Galleries Reinstallation

Photo courtesy of jcm_DC
Four Dancers
courtesy of jcm_DC

Last weekend the National Gallery of Art reopened the Nineteenth-Century French Galleries, which contain works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Modigliani and Picasso.

The gallery now organizes the paintings thematically and provides textual panels to help visitors understand the reasoning behind the new groupings. In addition, thirteen of the paintings have been restored.

I went last Saturday and was blown away by both the beauty on display and the enthusiasm of the visitors around me. In fact, I was so amazed by the Cézanne pieces that I ran out of time and missed Monet. However that shouldn’t be a problem: the NGA’s price tag (always free) and nearness to Metro mean I can always…Gauguin. Yes, that’s a little Post-Impressionist humor for your Friday.

The Daily Feed

Stewart’s Rally for Sanity Causes Crowd Size Insanity

Rall for Sanity
Photos courtesy of Author

60,000 people were expected, according to the permit filed with the NPS by Comedy Central, yet 150,000 were planned for when it came to the uber-important decision as to how many portable toilets were needed. Jon Stewart started out the rally with his satirical people count swag of 10,000,000. But how many people really were there? Well, you knew this was coming and we’ve only seen the beginning of the insanity over the sanity. Rough estimates from various sources say somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 people were in attendance for the Rally for Sanity and/or Fear hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Saturday afternoon. Check out this crowd pic. If those numbers are accurate, however, it puts the rally size right around the same size as the Glenn Beck Rally to Restore Honor from a few months ago. Allow the great debate to begin. Who’s more popular? Stewart or Beck? Honor or Sanity?

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The Daily Feed

Make Plans to See ‘Make No Little Plans’

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

Screen on the Green doesn’t start back up until July 12, but in the meantime you can catch a great movie this Wednesday on the Mall.  The National Capital Planning Commission is sponsoring a screening of  “Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City” on the Mall on Wednesday at 8:30.   This documentary about the father of urban planning is sure to draw out history buffs, planners, and anyone else who loved ‘Devil in the White City‘.  And it’s the perfect place to watch a documentary about the man who helped design the National Mall as we know it.  So grab a blanket and pack a picnic and I’ll see you out there Wednesday night!

Entertainment, Fun & Games, Music, The Daily Feed

Live Jazz All Weekend!

Photo courtesy of
‘Live Jazz’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

I make it no secret that I believe Jazz is an underappreciated portion of American music history by the millennial generation. With that said, I shared with you one man’s love for the trombone and how he brought it to the forefront of band leadership. Now, I ask you to give something a try (if you’ve never done so before) … go see some live Jazz.

I leave you with two options for the weekend if you’ll be sticking around the District:

1) Doc Scantlin and the Imperial Palms Orchestra – Doc means business. His band is considered a Jazz institution in the area, having been around for a decade now. Their specialties include anything from the 1920′s, 30′s and 40′s. Their final performance at the Carlyle Club (where they play live every Friday unless their on break or on tour) until June 18 is tonight at 8 pm. Tickets are required but the Carlyle Club is a dinner club as well, so come and make an evening of it. I’ll be there! Ticket information is available on the Carlyle Club’s website.

2) The Kaleidoscope Orchestra – The Orchestra is just one of many acts performing at this year’s 33rd Annual City of Alexandria Memorial Day Jazz Festival on Monday. The entire event is from 1 to 7 and features some of the top Jazz acts in and around the area. They include: The Jazz Ambassadors Dixieland Band, the Joe Baione Trio, WAMMIE Award winner Al Williams, straight ahead jazz group and the Washington Area Music Association’s Best Jazz Group for 2009, the Larry Brown Quintet. Continue reading

Mythbusting DC, The Features

DC Mythbusting: Monumental Myths

Photo courtesy of
‘TJ, from above’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

It’s officially tourist season here in DC, and our once-serene monuments and memorials are again overrun with school groups in matching t-shirts and families pushing strollers the size of SUVs.  They’re here to see the monuments and memorials all over the city, and to educate future generations about the founding of our country and important historic events.  But there are so many myths about the monuments and memorials in the District that can’t possibly be true, so I set out to bust some of them, just in time to set those tourists straight.   Read on to find out whether there’s an extra hand of God on the Iwo Jima memorial, whether the number of horse’s hooves on the ground of a statue relates to how a person died, and what’s really buried beneath the Washington Monument.

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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 Features

Why I Love DC: Rachel

Photo courtesy of
‘Spinning Out of Control’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

I love DC because I get to see my dad everyday. This might sound simple but I assure you it’s not. Dad passed away in January, just days before the historic inauguration of President Obama.

Streets were flooded with tourists while I was attempting to flee the city I’ve grown to love for dear life. But  if it weren’t for my dad, I would’ve never made it to DC in the first place. 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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Mythbusting DC, The Features

DC Mythbusting: The National Mall as Protest Central

Photo courtesy of
‘Iran Protest in DC’
courtesy of ‘spiggycat’

Welcome to another DC Mythbusting! This week, we’ll be discussing the National Mall and its place as the country’s ‘front yard’ for protesting and gathering.  With such a wide open space, in view of both Congress and the President, clearly the National Mall was created to be a place of protest and free speech, right?  And it has always served the role as the gathering place for Americans with something to say?

Not exactly.  While the Mall was envisioned by Pierre L’Enfant as a “people’s park” along a grand avenue, it has been through many iterations before it became what it is today. The author of Grand Avenues states that the Mall was “a public statement of American destiny,” showing a horizon of possibilities from the Capitol (113).  And while L’Enfant planned a grand vista along the axis (which turned out mostly perfectly) along with a singular equestrian statue, it wasn’t really built like that.
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The Daily Feed, The Mall

Have You Seen This Bird?

Parakeet Staring

This here is Pickles, a green and very talkative rose-ringed parakeet last seen in a tree in the Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle. Pickles’ owner Scott likes to take the bird on his shoulder, pirate-style, for walks around the National Mall on weekends, and on nice days, perch Pickles on tree branches in the Gardens to let him get some nature.

Yesterday, Pickles disappeared. Continue reading

Farm Fresh, Food and Drink, Night Life, Penn Quarter, People, Special Events, We Love Food

Farm Fresh: Cafe Atlantico

Cafe Atlantico

WeLoveDC authors Donna (greenie) and Katie (foodie) have paired up to bring you a double-hitting feature about local area restaurants that take on the challenge of being green. Donna will explain the logic behind the environmentally friendly trends and Katie will tell you if the food tastes any good. It’s a rough life, but someone has to do it, right?

It is oh-so-trendy, but not just that, it’s plain good for you and the earth. Farm-to-Table dinners have hit DC hard, so when WLDC author Donna and I were invited to sample Chef Terri Cutrino’s Farmer’s Market Dinners at Cafe Atlantico, we jumped at the chance.

Katie: From a foodie standpoint, these dinners are interesting to me, not just because I’ve finally gotten around to reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma (I’m late, I know), but also because this particular type of dinner and dining can show you what exactly a chef is made of.

Because the ingredients are not picked until Thursday, and the dinner is put together on Friday, it’s a stretch. Sort of Top Chef meets real life, if you will. And the results, I must say are the same, given the short amount of time a Chef has to work on a dish, with specific ingredients, you’re bound to have it be hit or miss – just like Top Chef, you’ll be presented with dishes that shine, and dishes that flop. On our particular night we experienced both. Continue reading

News, Talkin' Transit, The Features, The Mall, We Green DC, WTF?!

Talkin’ Transit: The Great Pedicab Predicament

Photo courtesy of
‘Pedicab’ courtesy of ‘afagen’

Yesterday, we received a late-day heads-up from a reader that there was an issue brewing with the pedicabs that offer rides to tourists and residents along the National Mall.

The entire issue seemed odd, as pedicabs have been operating on the Mall for a couple years now and haven’t had any issues up until yesterday, when they were told they would be arrested and their bikes impounded for soliciting and servicing customers on Madison and Jefferson streets, the two main boundary avenues of the Mall.

If the Park Police was correct, the Mall was going to lose a 100% eco-friendly form of transportation that serves hundreds of riders each week. The cabs provide jobs for the area and a friendly ‘green’ option for people to utilize. Taking away the Mall from them would kill a sizeable portion of the pedicab business.

So I set out to contact Ben Morris, the owner of National Pedicabs (and the company affected by this), and his DC operations manager, Danny Cochrane, as well as Sgt. David Schlosser, the National Park Service’s Public Information Officer, to find out just what the heck was going on.

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The Daily Feed, WTF?!

New Pedicab Policy?

DSC_2432

Update: I’m getting more information now; watch for our Talkin’ Transit feature tomorrow with more details.

According to a heads-up from a reader, the Park Police are now arresting and impounding pedicabs that operate on Madison and Jefferson Streets around the National Mall. This policy goes into effect today and will most likely kill a 100% eco-friendly form of transportation in the heart of the tourist district of the city.

The reason Park Police are giving is that the pedicabs are soliciting business on the mall and advertising…but isn’t that what normal cabs and buses in the same area are doing already with sideboards and logos?

Anyone who has more info on this, share, because at a glance this isn’t looking all that kosher.

Inaugupocalypse, Special Events, Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: Inauguration 2009

Photo courtesy of
‘look!’
courtesy of ‘erin m’

In case you were under a rock yesterday, we had us an Inauguration yesterday. Our 44th President was sworn in on the steps of the Capitol while an estimated two million people witnessed it and the following parade.

Our prolific area photographers were out in force yesterday; many of them you’ll recognize from prior visits to the Flashback. I encourage you to check out our Flickr feed, as all but one of the following shots came from it. And for images around the world, check out a special Flickr section that features some great shots taken by photographers outside our Beltway.

Many, many thanks to our regular pool contributors; you guys made my job extremely hard today with all the great photos. Keep it up!

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