• Monuments at Night

    July 3, 2014, Washington, DC: An old friend I hadn’t seen in about ten years visited Washington for the first time last summer with his family. After a pizza dinner at Matchbox, his young daughter implored us see the “mommy mints” at night. It was the evening before a DC fourth of July and Neil Diamond was rehearsing

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  • The Beauty of Paying Attention

    May 18, 2014, Washington, DC: Sunday morning. Paul Simon plays softly on the record player. I open the front door to retrieve the Sunday Times. I look left and right in awe of the colorful rose bushes that have overtaken in my neighbors’ little yards up and down the block. White tents rise at Eastern Market across

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  • Someplace Happy

    October 26, 2013, Washington, DC: I picked up this letterpress print Sunday afternoon at Eastern Market and I am in love. Melissa of Grey Moggie Press sells them for various DC neighborhoods, from Brookland to Shaw to Logan Circle, and her work is simply beautiful. Some of it is also quite funny. I had to

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  • Staying Put for the 4th

    July 4, 2013, Washington, DC: We’re back home in Washington now for a good stretch, just as many of our neighbors clear out of town for the July 4th holiday and the hot days of mid-summer. I always like being in town for these first few days of July to watch the strange ebb and flow

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  • A Good Summer Rain

    June 7, 2013, Washington, DC: This Friday afternoon rain is the very best kind. The kind that blurs and softens this place so it looks nothing like it did earlier this week when the sky was so blue it was severe against the hard marble buildings that slice into Washington’s skyline. Today’s rain is the

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  • This is Our Anacostia River

    May 24, 2013: As the days lengthen and summer begins, Washington professionals begin a new sort of racing daylight. Starting around Memorial Day, we shut down our computers and bolt from the office with a renewed sense of energy and purpose. Intent on enjoying several hours of sunlight still ahead, we hurry through the downtown

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  • A Tuesday Evening Garden Party

    May 23, 2013, Washington, DC: How delightful it is to put on a summer dress and walk through the neighborhood to a garden party! Because that’s something that happens, well, never, Tuesday night was extra special. It was also one of the first hot summer evenings of the year — not just hot, but only-in-DC steamy — which made

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  • Ode to The Corner Store

    “Why go far afield when within three or four blocks there at the heart of Capitol Hill we had the Capitol of the United States, the Library of Congress, Mr. Johnnie’s Ice Cream and Candy Store, Grubb’s Pharmacy, Sherrill’s Bakery and Restaurant, McPhee’s Men’s Haberdashery, at least four churches, one school, four doctors, a barbershop,

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  • Seven Days Til April (Seriously?)

    March 25, 2013, Washington, DC: DC’s first snow of the winter arrived this morning just in time to coincide with spring break and the National Cherry Blossom Festival. (The blossoms are a little late to the party.) It’s fairly amazing to think how warm and in bloom the city was last year at this time, more

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  • Technicolor Dreaming on Capitol Hill

    March 24, 2013, Washington, DC: Forget that whole bit about spring springing. It’s freezing here! Eastern Market is downright drab today, and it’s not helping that the street musician bundled in a ski coat at the top of the Metro escalator is playing a mopey rendition of “Killing Me Softly” on a flute. Even the thickest

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  • Places We Express Ourselves

    February 11, 2013, Washington, DC: On a trip through the airport this fall, I picked up the magazine Foreign Policy. It’s a publication I rarely read, but this was the Cities Issue, jam packed with articles about the world’s urban landscapes. Statistics about the global population and a piece on “The Rise and Fall and

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  • Our City is Winning. In September.

    “For my part I am never more at home in America than at a baseball game like this in Clark Griffith’s gem of a field, gem small, in beautiful weather in the capital of the country and my side winning.” -From Robert Frost’s 1956 essay on baseball for Sports Illustrated September 4, 2012, Washington, DC:

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  • Living on Capitol Hill: Meet Julia

    July 20, 2012, Washington, DC: Like so many of us, Julia Christian very deliberately selected a place to call home. Bottom line: She loved it there. But unlike those of us with ultra-nomadic tendencies who land far from the nest, Julia chose to return to the very neighborhood in which she grew up. She decided

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