Complete Circuit

Video artist Nam June Paik’s work is well-represented across Washington’s public art collections. His oversized “Electronic Superhighway” (1995-1996) — hundreds of television sets playing video clips that represent different parts of the country, overlaid with a neon outline of the United States— has long been a fixture at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. And in […]

The Year in Yum

Over the past 12 months, a big fear of mine came true: I put on a few pounds. I blame this job and its frequent temptations (sometimes requirements) to go out to eat. However, this year I also completed my fourth marathon — motivated in part by the realization of how often I’ve been eating […]

Chronicle of a Crisis

In October, we passed an unsettling milestone: the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a terrifying 13 days in which President John F. Kennedy steered the nation off the cusp of a thermonuclear war through tense negotiations with Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev, whose nation had hidden missile sites in Cuba. “People who were old […]

On the Spot: Edwin Scholes

It took eight years, 200 commercial flights and 58 boat trips before ornithologist Edwin Scholes and photographer Tim Laman could say they’d made history. The pair are the first to document all 39 species of birds of paradise, famed for their outlandish coloring and bizarre mating dances. (The birds are prime examples of sexual selection, […]

Ritz-Carlton Gingerbread ‘Boutique’

Pastry chefs at the Ritz-Carlton in the West End got in touch with their inner Martha Stewarts (and Bob Vilas) a few weeks ago as they assembled a life-size gingerbread “boutique” for the hotel. The structure, consisting of 560 “bricks” of gingerbread and 35 pounds of royal icing, was assembled on a temporary frame built […]

Doomed? Consume.

Here we are, one day away from Dec. 21, 2012, and it’s difficult to ignore all of the people out there talking about what’s just around the corner. Tomorrow’s date marks the final hours of life in this world as we know it — at least, according to certain people’s interpretations of a certain version […]

The Willard's Christmas Tree

We all can’t stop by the White House to see its 54 decked-out trees this season. We can admire the next best thing, though, just around the corner: the tree in the main lobby of the Willard InterContinental hotel. The 14-footer is outfitted with gold and red baubles, ribbons and lights, as well as two […]

Heightened Tastes

Matchbox’s new location on 14th Street NW (1901 14th St. NW; 202-328-0369) has much of the same menu as its three other local spots. It’s got the same 3.6.9 mini burgers ($9-$23) and the same creative, toppings-packed pizzas. But this Matchbox takes things to another level — literally. Two wood- and glass-walled booths with tables […]

On the Spot: Dreidel Man

Chanukah on the Ellipse, featuring the National Menorah lighting, is the Jewish corollary to the National Christmas Tree Lighting. And it’s got one element its conifer-centric counterpart doesn’t: an anthropomorphic mascot. The blue-and-white Dreidel Man has the beaming visage of an old-fashioned cartoon character and the raw physicality of a Racing President. Rabbi Levi Shemtov, […]

Pull Up a Kitchen Chair

Before Julia Child’s kitchen was moved from public view at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History earlier this year, curators noticed something unusual occurring in front of it. “People would hang out there,” curator Paula Johnson says. “They would just strike up conversations with strangers about their KitchenAid.” “More than in any other exhibition,” curator […]