• Stories From Greene Avenue

    “I want to paint Montreal as a rather fantastic city, which it was, because nobody knows today what it was like. And I’m one of the last survivors, or rapidly becoming one.” – Christopher Plummer, actor December 28, 2011, Montreal: Nick’s Restaurant has been a staple on Greene Avenue since Nick Alevisatos first arrived in Montreal from Greece in 1920. At Nick’s place

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  • Ode to DCA

    “These places whose outlook matches and legitimates our own, we tend to honour with the term ‘home’. Our homes do not have to offer us permanent occupancy or store our clothes to merit the name. To speak of home in relation to a building is simply to recognise its harmony with our own prized internal

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  • Perfectly Peregrine

    November 23, 2011, Washington, DC: About once a week, I stop into Peregrine Espresso by Eastern Market on my way out of the city. With each early visit, I grow more envious of my neighbors who spend the morning here, hunched over their laptops, strong coffee in hand, comfortably working in the bright shop surrounded by

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  • Neighborhood Nomad: Sara’s Brooklyn Ballroom

    November 20, 2011, Washington, DC: Sara is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met in the first grade in Baltimore, Md., stayed in close touch after my family moved away, and eventually became college roommates in two adjoining 80-square-foot dorm rooms in Manhattan. When Sara first emailed me this summer about her new

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  • Can You Keep Up With This City?

    “I carry the place around the world in my heart but sometimes I try to shake it off in my dreams.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald on New York November 17, 2011, Washington, DC: Last weekend wore me out. For the past few nights, I’ve come home from work unable to write and unable to think. New

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  • Back to College: Morningside Heights

    “There is no question there is an unseen world; the question is, how far is it from midtown and how late is it open?” -Woody Allen November 13, 2011, New York: I went back to school this weekend. After ten years away from Morningside Heights, I returned to the New York neighborhood in which I lived as

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  • Coffee, Corduroy & Morning Fog

    November 7, 2011, Washington, DC: This morning I am thankful for earlier daylight. I am grateful for a home that smells of coffee and is textured like corduroy. I am appreciative of apple cinnamon oatmeal and morning radio, and a to-go mug and a seat warmer and no need to dress up and this fog…

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  • Sunday Football & The Third Place

    “The character of a third place is determined most of all by its regular clientele and is marked by a playful mood, which contrasts with people’s more serious involvement in other spheres. Though a radically different kind of setting from the home, the third place is remarkably similar to a good home in the psychological

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  • Meet You Anytime You Want…

    “The rhythm of life is small-town and middle-class, which makes the town comfortable. What makes it yeasty is the cosmopolitan worldliness of its people. The man across the street has just gotten off an airplane from Karachi, and the fellow umpiring the kids softball game has spent the day over plans for putting a man

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  • Anniversary of Home

    November 1, 2011, Washington, DC: Today is our anniversary of home. It’s hard to believe it’s been only one year since we moved to Capitol Hill, harder still to believe we’re still so fresh off our short-lived experiment in non-city living. In some ways it feels like we never left Washington. In other ways, of course,

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  • The Trick or Treat Test

    October 31, 2011, Washington, DC: Maybe it’s actually quite simple. Maybe you can size up a neighborhood with a high degree of accuracy just by observing what happens there on Halloween. Good neighborhoods, after all, make for great Halloweens. We value these places tonight for the same reasons we value them every other day of the

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  • Good Morning, Doorman

    October 30, 2011, Washington, DC: Woodley Park and Adams Morgan are next door neighbors separated only by the Duke Ellington bridge that stretches over Rock Creek Park below. The neighborhoods have different personalities, for sure, but in some ways they’re cut from the same cloth of northwest Washington. Still, in January 2008, a move from one

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  • Baltimore’s Federal Hill: Views at Dusk

    October 28, 2011, Washington, DC: Earlier this week, I climbed Federal Hill to watch dusk fall over Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. My return to Baltimore that day had been lackluster at best, but as night fell downtown and the city started to sparkle, I recalled the many good things about living here from 1984-1991. Only in retrospect

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  • Hometowns For Athletes

    October 25, 2011, Washington, DC: Our hometowns can act as our coaches and our training partners, our biggest competitors and our loudest cheerleaders. Before the daylight fades, before the water gets too cold, before we sink deeper into the couch for a reality show, great places egg us on. We hear them speak to us, inspire

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  • Map of Mornings: Dupont Circle

    October 24, 2011, Washington, DC: Saturday morning was a gray morning in Dupont Circle, one of those times everything looks a bit worse for the wear. But if you want color and character in Dupont, there are a few places to begin. My list of bright spots begins with my friend’s old apartment here, the one I

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  • Sweet Home Chicago

    September 30, 2011, Washington, DC: I’m heading back to Chicago today, back to one of my former hometowns. Like the photo taken in my old Chicago apartment pictured above, my recollections of this city are bright and welcoming and familiar and textured. The Chicago I know includes that one-of-a-kind second story apartment off Armitage St.

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  • Map of Mornings: Barracks Row

    September 24, 2011, Washington, DC: Our neighborhood Main Street three blocks from the apartment is up-and-at-’em early this morning, and not only because this area is full of children and dogs. Today is our own fall festival, one of many marking September in Washington. This morning we are showing off Barracks Row as it was always

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