Friday, February 24, 2012

Washington's Birthday

For George Washington's birthday, the university named after him have a little party every year. There's a bonfire, s'mores, hot cider, and a fife and drum corps playing "Yankee Doodle Dandy." You can see the big guy there roasting the first marshmallow, but keeping a safe distance since he's probably pretty flammable. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Advice for Mardi Gras!

Bayou Bakery, Arlington, VA
Celebrate by having sugary fried dough, spicy foods, and strong drinks. It's a long night; pace yourself. Don't do anything to "earn your beads"; that's the clip your mom's gonna see someday on the Travel Channel. There are plenty of beads on the ground. And finally, be careful biting into that kingcake. You don't want to break a tooth on Baby Jesus.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

They're Watching You

What's creepier than Big Brother watching you?  This.  I don't know what kind of tree this is, or if it's native to this region or not, but I'd never seen anything like it until I moved to DC.  Here you can find these trees, covered with hundreds of eyes, all over the city.  Anybody know what they are? 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Free Mandela

In the mid-1980s, as the anti-apartheid movement was gaining strength in South Africa, students at The George Washington University, consistently named by US News and World Report as the most politically active student body in the United States, added their own voices in a small, and--and what's the adjective form of vandalism?--way by inscribing "Free Mandela" into freshly poured concrete.  For years, the inscription was hidden in an alleyway leading into Kogan Courtyard on the GW campus. When Mandela was finally freed in February of 1990, after 27 years in prison, the narrow, cramped passageway next to the fire department was a place of celebration.  In 1999, the slab was carefully removed from the alley and put in a place of honor in the middle of the courtyard, a constant reminder that no matter how far away injustices may occur, every act of opposition counts.  Apathy is as dangerous as apartheid.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Buzzing with Love

Admittedly, I am pretty anti-Valentine's Day, but when one of my besties gave me a very special cupcake, it cheered me up in a million different ways.  DC is obsessed with cupcakes, as you may have heard. I mean, I know every place is these days, but in DC it's a clinical madness about cupcakes. So I've made it my personal responsibility to try them all and report back to you.  The cake above is probably my favorite--a 9:30 cupcake from Buzz Bakery.  The 9:30 is a signature item inspired by the traditional Hostess chocolate cupcakes and the 9:30 Club here in DC.  Usually, they have 9:30 written in white icing if you buy them at the venue, or the classic white squiggle if you get them directly from Buzz.  But this week, for Valentine's, everything's gone red, and the squiggle spells out 'love," the perfect gift from a close friend, or, as another friend points out, it also looks like "alone," which would be equally appropriate for this particular holiday. Hey, I'm not complaining. I have cake. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Clover Adams

Yes, it's been a while! After a month's hiatus, I'm back with daily (or almost daily) shots of the District. This is a memorial for Clover Adams that sits in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Clover was the wife of Henry Adams, the writer.  She was a prominent socialite in DC, and allegedly the model for Isobel Archer in Henry James's novel Portrait of a Lady.  She was on her way to becoming quite a celebrated photographer when she committed suicide by drinking chemicals used to develop prints.  Clover Adams is buried in Rock Creek Park.