Nashville, Yall.

Posted on November 16, 2009
Filed Under Everything Else | 3,635 Comments

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I’m in Nashville this weekend celebrating my birthday (which is today! Happy birthday to me!), seeing my sister and my friend Carrie. And lots of trucks (more on that later). I brought down a book I fell in love with at the Georgetown Flea Market and found for a better price on eBay – The Book of Cowboys, by Holling C. Holling. It’s a children’s story book from the 1930s that tells the story of Peter and Barbara Ann, two youngsters from New York who spend a summer with their ranchman Uncle Harry on his ranch in New Mexico, learning all about cowboy life.

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When Peter and Barbara Ann sit down with Uncle Harry and his cowboy friends Slim Sam and Alkali Jones, they notice that the cowboys are nice enough, but they don’t say much. Uncle Harry explains: “It’s an old cowboy habit. They ain’t mad – just tending to business.”

I’m off to Hatch Show Print and some antique stores in downtown Nashville before I head back to the District tonight!

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Hello, Lover.

Posted on November 10, 2009
Filed Under Everything Else | 2,536 Comments

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“Sea Pearl” by Litar

How amazing are these handbags from Ukranian designer Litar?! It’s like Salvadore Dali and The Little Mermaid hooked up after a night of binge absinthe drinking and had a lovechild in the form of these surreal, fantastical, uniquely cool handbags. If I were the wardrobe designer for Carrie Bradshaw in the new SATC movie (remember the eiffel tower bag?), or Sarah Jessica Parker’s stylist for the film’s promotion, I’d get on these right away.

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“Sea Pearl”

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“Mountain Bend”

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“Surrealistic Portfolio”

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“Bellows of Happiness”

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Must Do: DC Tweed Ride Sunday, November 15

Posted on November 9, 2009
Filed Under Events, Only in Washington | 6,214 Comments

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I’m just loving DC right now – there’s a real current of creative energy in the air. For a while it felt like there were a small number of people trying to showcase DC as a unique and interesting city, and now it feels like a big celebratory group effort that’s really hitting its stride. Case in point: next Sunday’s DC Tweed Ride, organized by the ever-stylish Eric Brewer, as an outing of Dandies and Quaintrelles (you know the term dandy; now familiarize yourself with the quaintrelle). Riders, dressed in their finest tweeds and turn-of-the-century best, will assemble between 11-noon at the parking lot behind the Bank of America at 722 H Street, NE for scones and vintage-inspired studio portraits. If you don’t have a suitable bike, show up with some cash in hand – a selection of vintage bikes will be available for sale starting at $125.

The ride ends with a post-ride social at Marvin (2007 14th), with libations from Plymouth Gin, Brit-pop and soul on the turntables, and raffles and prizes for the snappiest dressers. It’s free to register and attend, but true gentlemen and ladies will take part in the portrait-taking and drink-swillin’: that part of the fun supports Arts for the Aging, a fantastic local arts nonprofit.

Let’s have some inspiration, shall we? Tweed Rides have taken place in a number of cities, including San Francisco (photos courtesy dustinj)…

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and London (photos courtesy M.S.J.)…

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A Must-Do: FotoWeekDC

Posted on November 8, 2009
Filed Under Events, Only in Washington | 3,374 Comments

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the FotoWeekDC Thumbnail Exhibition – large-scale contact sheets with every entry to this year’s FotoWeekDC Awards

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably have heard that FotoWeekDC kicked off on Friday. I did something photo-related each night of this (gorgeous) weekend, and I have to say that it’s been one of the most enjoyable weekends I’ve had here in DC in a while. There’s something so honest inspiring and energizing about photography, and the interesting, well-dressed people who enjoy it. This weekend was a visual-stimulation smorgasbord, and it’s just as much about the art on the walls as it is about looking at the people there in the gallery with you. Everyone is looking.

So if you missed out and haven’t done anything FWDC yet, definitely head over to FWDC Central – 5 galleries scattered along M Street in Georgetown. I was completely transfixed by National Geographic’s Dreams in Color (at FWDC Central 1), a set of 22 never-before-exhibited images done in Autochrome, an early, and complicated, color film process that made use of potato starch (!). The resulting images have this dreamy, otherworldly quality that you simply cannot achieve any longer with current techniques. These are seriously amazing and a must-view. I wish I’d taken some photos of them!

Some other images from FotoWeek Central. You have to be sure to stop in to Central 4, which features dozens of amazing photography books that you can look through for as long as you want (I always feel guilty doing this at bookstores):

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Last night I ended my evening at Fight Club (see #9 on this excellent list of FWDC things to see), a gallery/indoor skateboard rink tucked in a (nice, well-lit) alley near the Convention Center. I was blown away by the quality of much of the photography here. Amazing photos from David Alan Harvey, and a series of silver-tinged black & whites by Chris Bickford, whose After the Storm series focuses on the water and culture of the Outer Banks, where I spent many amazing summers growing up.

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Couldn’t resist snapping a photo of one of my favorite sharp-dressed gentlemen friends, Lukas Smith (r) with his friend Scott. And our shoes.

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There are a zillion things to do this week aside from these two venues. Check out Michael Sullivan’s roundup, and see the Burtynsky show at the Corcoran (shameless plug), which is insanely surreal and freakishly beautiful, all in a I-can’t-believe-these-are-photographs kind of way.

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