Want more details? Well, it's a good thing non-food-critic, Sean Quinn was willing to share his thoughts.
Last night, Sean and I attended the media night for Range, Bryan Voltaggio's latest restaurant venture in D.C. The space was absolutely gorgeous and the food? Let's just say I was so busy enjoying it that I didn't stop to take enough photos! The restaurant opens in mid-December and should definitely be on your to-do list. The prices are affordable and the menu -- ranging from ricotta ravioli to pork cheeks -- is a tasty adventure.
Want more details? Well, it's a good thing non-food-critic, Sean Quinn was willing to share his thoughts.
And just when we thought he was done .... more dessert arrived ....
Mornin' kiddos! This past Saturday, Sean and I stopped by the opening night of Submerge DC, the week-long art happening put on by the No Kings Collective (who I recently wrote about in the Washington Post Magazine.) Great time. If you have a free night this week you should make a point to stop by.
A few minutes into our arrival, Sean was already checking out the only vehicle in the place. Meanwhile, I got the No Kings boys (Brandon Hill and Peter Chang) to take a second from running around to take a photo with moi.
Local entrepreneurs Twice as Warm were on the scene, pressing T-shirts on the spot. Across the room, folks were donning 3-D glasses to see the work of XXist.
LOVE this piece by Asad Walker. A true talent. Hope to actually meet him at one of these things some time!
Spray paint pieces by Gregg Deal = awesome.
Imagined conversation between Peter and Sean: "Nice pony tail!" "Nice curls!" "Nice glasses!" "Nice bowling shoes!"
On seeing this piece by Truth Among Liars, I couldn't help thinking this installation probably wasn't cheap to do.
And because I'm SO mature, I tried to blend into the scene ala where's sex-toy Waldo.
And these animal themed glass works by Mericle were among my faves of the night.
All in all, a lovely night. Hope to see you the next time around my lovelies!
Heyo! Here are some shots I took on the fly while following around Peter Chang and Brandon Hill of the No Kings Collective for a feature in Washington Post Magazine. (For legit professional shots, check out this gallery shot by Matt McClain). Enjoy!
There were many moments when the guys would make me nervous by doing something not exactly safe. Below, Hill is mixing paints on an adjacent rooftop that he'll use to finish the lucha libre wrestler (above) he painted in VeraCruz last July.
If I'm not mistaken, Hill's exhibit, "Tough Guys & Dames" is still on display at VeraCruz if you want to catch it. Works include pieces made from salvaged wood, like this crab claw made from skateboard decks.
I also tagged along with the No Kings at this year's Artscape in Baltimore. This table is packed to the brim with wooden blocks Chang pumped out to sell to passersby.
I didn't get any good shots of Hill's pieces, but I did find this video I took of 'em. Very rad stuff.
Chang manning the sales tent at Artscape. I was impressed by his haggling skills.
The guys ran out of business cards after the first day, so they had to improvise.
Chang, a founding member of the Always Rockin' Dance Crew, took a break from selling artistic wares to break dance with his brother and other b-boys. Pretty impressive for such a tall guy!
Chang flipping his little bro, b-boy style.
SNAKE SCARF! SNAKE SCARF! Kudos to Hill for pointing out to me that a couple guys always walk around Artscape wearing snakes like scarves, like it's the most normal thing in the world.
Below, Hill at a potential site for this year's Submerge. Where most see a broken-down building, the No Kings see an opportunity.
Ah, nothing like taking a nap in a bone yard next to a dragon skull.
Such is the life of a Closer Inspection writer. Ben and I's latest assignment took us to Markoff's Haunted Forest where we got the low down on how they've been spooking folks for the last twenty years. Here's some extra bits that didn't fit in the one-pager.
Across from the bone yard -- which features fake human skeletons and real cattle bones -- you'll meet Goat Head. Made from polyurethane foam, the head sits on a mechanical track that is moved back and forth by an operator behind it. The creature’s jaw opens and roars, and his eyes light up. Be wary, folks: He can reach the path you'll be walking on.
I'm also starting to think that knowing where some of these creatures are in the woods is going to make my visit to Markoff's this weekend that much scarier. Like the Wendigo. Holy moly. Just seeing how high his legs are without the torso and head attached is pretty freaky.
You can get an idea of what the Wendigo will look like in the video below, but don't bet on his movements being so tame at Markoff's. Paul Brubacher, VP of operations at Markoff's, tells me they've reprogrammed the beast to be more mobile. "Most of the haunts will have ‘em go slow, and it’s really cheesy," he says. “He’ll be rockin.’ Those posts will be jumping out of the ground by the end of the night. He’s just going to slam down on you.”
How cool is this? In the Markoff workshop, there's a room that houses dozens of skeletons awaiting frightful duties.
Markoff’s orders durable plastic skeletons from Bucky’s Boneyard, a company that sells the lowest grade (called fourth quality) anatomical skeletons. “They’re still complete,” says Brubacher of the skeletons. “But you may have two left arms, or a backwards right foot. But we don’t need perfect.”
I remember the days when my dad would throw a fit if I put a video of him doing something silly on YouTube.
Well, that was before he retired.
Now it seems, all bets are off. He was adamant that I upload this video of he and Tracey's wedding dance last weekend. It starts off sweet and slow, but then it gets a little interesting ...
And just to give you a little perspective on how far Dad came in his dance moves, here's the pair rehearsing just days earlier. Yowsah!
In last Sunday's CI, Ben and I stop by Counter Culture's D.C. training center to learn how to make coffee like fancy baristas. Very cool indeed! (Here are some extra photos online). The coolest technique by far was the Bonmac siphon brewer -- looks like a science experiment (with yummy results!). Seeing photos is one thing, but had to share a clip with you all so you can see it in action. Enjoy!
As a former English major, you can say I'm a bit of a Shakespeare nerd. So I couldn't wait to head down to the Folger Shakespeare Library to check out some of their rare and bizarre collections for Ben and I's Closer Inspection. Bracelets made of hair? Centuries-old books filled with instructions for spells? Sign this girl up!
The best part was undoutedly when Folger director Michael Witmore handed me a small leather-bound book.
"This is a copy of Shakespeare’s poems and you can see from the size -- you should hold this in your hand for a second -- This is the copy that Walt Whitman carried in his pocket. It’s nuts. He signed it."
"Here is this man essentially writing out the blue print for American poetry carrying this book in his pocket," Witmore continued. "It is the direct connection of the English literary Renaissance tradition with American vernacular lyric poetry."
I could tell a nearby curator was about to have a heart attack when Witmore did this (I wasn't wearing gloves and this is a priceless artifact). But how could I not? I got to hold a book that was in Whitman's pocket every day in my palm. Surreal doesn't even begin to describe it.
It's moments like these that remind how lucky I am to do what I do. As a reporter for over half my life, I've gotten to dive into so many different worlds. It's a role I relish and don't think I'll tire of any time soon. Now if there was a way to teach my pup how to transcribe, I'd really be in heaven!
As always, here are some extra tid-bits that couldn't fit in the one pager. Enjoy!
This dagger belonged to Victorian actor Sir Henry Irving and was used during his performances of “Hamlet.”
It wasn’t long before figurines of Shakespearean actors -- such as this 1852 Staffordshire pottery piece of John Philip Kemble -- began to be collected by fans. “Not that this is the Tom Cruise of the 18th century,” says Witmore, “but you can see the media machine developing.”
This 1900 woven gold jeweled belt was worn by actress Helena Modjeska in Paris as she played Cleopatra in “Antony & Cleopatra.”
An 1886 French edition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was hand-painted in 1908 by American artist Pinckney Marcius-Simons. “The imagery is so lucid and extravagant,” says Witmore.
Similarly, contemporary artist Sue Doggett created a one-of-a-kind sketchbook in 1995 of “The Tempest.”
I wanted Ben to get a picture of me holding Whitman's poetry book, but when Witmore left the room, I didn't want to ask the curator to grasp it again, knowing what the answer would be this time. So here I am posing next to it like an idiot. Good times!
To eat at Filomena in Georgetown is quite the experience (prepare for leftovers!). To eat in the "Filomena Kitchen," a small dining room in the restaurant used by VIPS and for special occasions, is quite another. The room, dedicated to owner JoAnna Chiacchieri's mother Filomena for whom the Italian eatery is named, is resplendent with charming family lore. Here's Ben and I's Closer Inspection and accompanying photo gallery. Below, are more knicknack facts
Chiacchieri told me that didn't make print, but are still quite interesting.
A tricycle Chiacchieri rode as a child sits next to a pair of skates she and her four siblings shared. They’d be strapped on to the wearer’s shoes and adjusted to the appropriate size by a skate key.
This teddy bear isn’t just any stuffed animal to Chiacchieri. “That was the first gift I got from a boy,” she says. “Back in my day that was a big deal.”
Filomena was not only an excellent cook, but she had a knack for crotchet. She stitched these shoes for all of her children and made delicate hats for the girls.
While these aren’t usually on display, Chiacchieri has hung onto her mom’s pasta cutters. They’d be hand-rolled to seal and crimp the edges of pasta (like ravioli).
This Murano glass chandelier hung in Filomena’s kitchen. “There were many family dinners under this lamp. It looks so much like my mom,” says Chiacchieri.
This old weather vane was kept inside near a window. “The children came out when it was good weather,“ explains Chiacchieri. “When it rained, the witch came out.”
She's not very good at transcribing or typing. She also barks at the printer. Nevertheless, Page is an extremely welcome addition to the Kris Coronado writing team.
For those who know me, I've been wanting to have a dog for a while. I grew up with a black lab (Cole) and want my kids (whenever I have those!) to do the same. Finally, Sean agreed it was time. Within a week of deciding we wanted to get a dog, we noticed Page (previously named Pageant, but yeah you can see why we changed it!) on the Washington Humane Society Web site. We were smitten. A day later, we got to meet her in person by paying a visit to her foster home. We took her on a walk and there was no question. Three days later, we brought her home and she's been doing great.
Apparently, she's already a local celeb of sorts due to her cuteness. Thatta girl!
She already loves her doggy bed and likes to sit at my feet while I'm writing. Unfortunately she hasn't been able to help with writer's block.
Page is also a rockstar at running up and down her doggy ramp from the porch to the yard. She got it on the first day. Was hoping to get a video of her doing it, but she does it so quickly, by the time I hit record she's already up there! A good problem to have.
Have a rubber chicken lying around the house? It's a perfect puppy toy!
I also took Page to meet her vet yesterday, the lovely Miss Katie, and she did wonderfully. So proud of her already. Woot woot!