Winged Creepers

Birds with human qualities are often Disney characters. The Freer’s “Edo Aviary” — scrolls and other avian paraphernalia from Japan’s Edo era (1615 to 1868) — proves that anthropomorphized birds are, when portrayed realistically, darned unsettling. Kishi Ganku’s 1802 “Eagle,” left, and 1788 “Rooster, Hen and Chicks,” right, “are particularly rich in this way,” says […]

Face Time: Ellen Kassoff Gray

Ellen Kassoff Gray and Todd Gray can add a new title to their résumés: cookbook authors. The foodie power couple (he’s the chef, she’s the GM at Equinox and Muse at the Corcoran Gallery of Art) just released “The New Jewish Table” ($35, St. Martin’s). They chat about its trad recipes (blintzes, brisket, matzo ball […]

Up Close and Very Personal

Tom Mirenda is passionate about orchids. In addition to managing the plants as the Smithsonian Gardens’ orchid specialist, Mirenda keeps a personal collection of 1,000 orchids growing in his garage. “It’s easy to fall in love with the incredible diversity” of orchids, Mirenda says, standing among the blooms of his professional labor at the “Orchids […]

Overnight Success

Recently, a close friend from New York City came for a visit. We were planning our Saturday night out when she asked where we’d be able to eat a great meal in the early a.m. hours. “Home?” I replied. She unsuccessfully tried to hide her shock. Truth is, there’s not much good food available super-late […]

On the Spot: Bill Streever

Bill Streever is intimately familiar with extreme temperatures. To write 2010’s “Cold,” the Alaskan biologist visited some of the world’s chilliest locales. Now he’s back with a book about the polar opposite. “Heat: Adventures in the World’s Fiery Places” is required reading for anyone interested in hot topics such as climate change, thermonuclear weapons and […]

A Special News Update

Stephen Hess found good news where no one would expect to find good news: in the news biz. “People really love being journalists,” says Hess, the author of “Whatever Happened to the Washington Reporters, 1978-2012.” The book — packed with (mostly) satisfied reflections on career paths from hundreds of journalists collected over more than three […]

Taste Testing D.C.

Andrew Zimmern is no stranger to D.C. The fearless host of “Bizarre Foods America” comes here multiple times a year to visit Travel Channel’s headquarters in Chevy Chase. So he wasn’t surprised by the “bizarre” foods he ate last summer as he filmed a D.C.-based episode for the season 7 premiere of his show (Mon., […]

Holey Moly

When District Doughnut made its public debut at the Metro Cooking & Entertaining Show in November, the shop earned a dubious distinction. “We were the most ransacked booth,” says co-owner Greg Menna, citing a superlative bestowed by the CityEats blog. Within the first 30 minutes, all 400 free “bites” (a bite being half of a […]

What's on Tap in the Next Week

There’s always something new brewing when it comes to D.C.’s beer scene. This week, three events usher in the area’s latest labels and pours: Anniversary Ale It’s a second birthday party with an adults-only restriction: To mark its anniversary, Port City will tap the first keg of its limited-edition smoked imperial porter, TWO, from 3 […]

Winning Meals

Sports-venue food in D.C. has improved tremendously over the seven-plus years I’ve lived here. If you know where to look these days, you can get a surprisingly great meal. Case in point: the Verizon Center (601 F St. NW; 202-628-3200), whose Acela Club floor has food stalls with unexpected items, such as “sloppy Janes” with […]