The DC Events Calendar Has Moved

The DC Events Calendar Has Moved
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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Looking Forward to the Week Ahead

If all goes according to plan, my week will be bookended with a movie at the Goethe Institute (Monday) and a play at the Shakespeare Theatre Company (Friday).

Otherwise there's not much going on ... maybe because of the lead-in to the Super Bowl? Perhaps it's a good week to see Crazy Heart or A Single Man at the Landmark E Street Cinema.

I'm open to recommendations.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Historic Penn Quarter

Just discovered the research site of the Historical Society of Washington, DC. The Society allows users to search by a number of parameters for historical documents held by its library. Of particular interest is the ability to search based on a city block. As a bonus, a select few photographs are actually made available online. Including this gem:

According to the Society, this photo depicts "View southeast down Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 6th Street to the (unfinished) Capitol." Which places the cameraman directly in front of my (Newseum) building sometime between 1861 and 1862. Whoa.

UPDATE: Some more fantastic pics of my block:

According to the Society: "North side of 500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. 1939. National Guard Armory and Atlas Hotel (in the old National Hotel). Weightman's Row, six houses built by Roger Weightman (later mayor of Washington) in 1816, was sold in 1826 to become the National Hotel (managed by John Gadsby), becoming the best in the city, visited by such as Charles Dickens. Enlarged and remodeled in 1844, the hotel's guests included Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay (who died there in 1852), James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln and Alexander Stephens. The hotel was remodeled again in 1857 and had a major fire in 1921, by which time its popularity had signicantly reduced. Bought by the city in 1929, the building was used as the D.C. Armory. (In 1941, it became a World War II Selective Service System office, and was destroyed in 1942.)"

According to the Society: "1860. General view southeast down Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 6th Street past the National Hotel, to the Capitol, dome under construction. Watercolor painting by A. Meyer."

According to the Society: "1923 - 1927. The National Hotel on the northeast corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street NW."

According to the Society: "1900 - 1909. National Hotel on the northeast corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street NW; view to Capitol."

According to the Society: "1940 - 1942. Long line of customers around the National Hotel on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street NW, waiting for D.C. Automobile Tags."

According to the Society: "1961 - 1962. General view southeast down Pennsylvavia Avenue NW from the 600 block. To the Capitol. Includes, in the 500 block, the D.C. Employment Services Building (under construction) and, adjoining, the D.C. Public Library Administrative Office."

According to the Society: "1889. View northeast down Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 6th Street during flood of 1889 (?). To the Capitol."

UPDATE 2: Cleaned up the captions just a bit. Sorry about all the redundancies.

Spotted: Justice Scalia

Spotted Justice Scalia @ Ford's Theatre.

Apparently he wasn't interested in giving feedback to Obama like another justice I know. Ahem. Alito. Ahem.

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald offers his take here.

UPDATE 2: Glenn's take on Alito @ SOTU. Not Scalia @ Ford's.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Rivalry @ Ford's Theatre (Opening Night Performance)

Full disclosure: my wife works for Ford's Theatre. I'll try to be honest here, but this is by no means an unbiased impression.

In a sort of encore of last season's Living Lincoln series, tonight Ford's Theatre opens a full production of The Rivalry: a three-person play centering on the debates between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln during their Illinois campaign for the U.S. Senate. (The third member of the trio is Douglas's wife, Adele.)

During Living Lincoln, the play was presented on Ford's stage as a reading. Three actors standing before three microphones. The inactive actor retreating slightly for each scene in which he or she did not appear. The austere presentation effectively highlighted the prose of the reknowned oratorial combatants. Such that even without staging, lighting, or costume, the play retained much of its intended effect.

The two strongest performers from the Living Lincoln series - in the roles of Adele and Stephen Douglas - reprise their roles in the full production. I look forward to seeing what each actor - including the new Lincoln - can do with their roles backed by a full production.

What's New?

We met some friends for brunch on Saturday. @ Vermillion in Alexandria. We hadn't met up for months, so, naturally, they asked, "What's new?"


Well, surely something is new. I just couldn't think of anything at the time. And that bothered me. New stuff happens to me all the time. New stuff, frankly, would be hard to avoid here in the nation's capital. Restaurants. Music. Plays. Museums. Etcetera. But I'd like to change my mindset about it. I want to be able to recite, with a moment's notice, exactly what is new. So be it resolved — call it a late New Year's resolution — that I will regularly ask myself that question. Weekly? Monthly? Sure. And if I don't like the answer, I'll make sure to have a better one the next time.

So, what's new now?



Check back soon.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thievery Corporation

Caught Thievery Corporation for the first time last night at the 9:30 Club.

Night #4 of a 5 (five!) night stand.

Hadn't been to a show in ages, but this one made it all worth the wait.

Incredibly positive evening all around.

New Year

Well, hello there 2010.
What a shiny new thing you are. All futuristic and optimistic. The Century's greatest story continues ...
Here's how I rang in my New Year:
An Evening with the Wainwrights. Loudon III. Lucy. And Rufus.
Pretty sick, huh?
Highlights: Rufus testing "Heart of Ice/Heart of Stone" -- Rufus singing "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" to Jörn ... and the audience thinking he asked us to sing along -- "Zebulon" -- Rufus telling the audience that we (not "we" but "Utah" but really "we") are ridiculous ... and then singing "Gay Messiah" -- and a "One Man Guy" family affair ... great way to end the year.

UPDATE: Devastated to find out that Kate McGarrigle died last week. Incredibly sad. My thoughts will be with the family.