DC at Night

DC at Night

Friday, November 7, 2014

Goodbye to The Prices Do DC

All things must come to an end.

Today is the last post I am planning to write for The Prices Do DC. I will also be ending our 3 other DC companion blogs - Counter Culture in the Capital, DC Book Looks, and DC Screen Scene.

I began The Prices Do DC when my wife Judy and I retired and moved to Crystal City 3-and-a-half years ago. I started it as a way to record all the interesting things we were doing in Washington. And we were doing, and will continue to do, a lot. Over the years, the blog evolved into the form you see here, but the essence was still always our DC activities.

At the same time, I began an educational consulting career. here in DC. Now, I plan to devote more time to that endeavor and so I am halting my DC blogging.

Over its history, The Prices Do DC obtained 126,527 page views. I thank each and every person who took the time to check out our page. I hope you enjoyed what you read as much as Judy and I did publishing it for you.

Although this is the end of The Prices Do DC, it isn't the end of my blogging. Our DC doings will now be chronicled in the new blog Been There, Done That DC. I will continue to write my blog There's Always a Price to Pay. I will continue curating my blogs The Merry Muckrakers Rag and Rock of Agers. In the near future, I will also be adding a blog about teaching and education. I hope you will join us at those sites on a regular basis. Writers always need readers.

When I was little, I used to watch The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans show. They had a great singing sign-off: Happy trails to you, until we meet again. I think that's appropriate here. So, until we meet again (or even for the 1st time), happy trails (and good reading) to you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sandra Cisneros Talks Dia de Los Muertos

Cisneros signs books for admirers 
Sandra Cisneros, the author of the classic The House on Mango Street who now lives in Mexico, believes she has an ideal slogan for her new land."Mexico - it's a good place to die," Cisneros says with a laugh.

"There, the dead co-exist with the living every day. The past and the present come together and mix," she explained.

Raised in Chicago as a Mexican-American celebrating the language and the ways of her native land to the south, Cisneros says that she has come to believe that death is "letting go".  However, much is left for those who survive, she quickly adds.

"When a parent dies, suddenly you have a spirit ally that is with you always," she said. "I know that sounds new age-y, but it is our miseducation that has caused us to rename it superstition."

Cisneros was present in the room when her mother died. "There was a moving, a shimmering around the room. I had a feeling that was tender and sweet, not like my mother at all," she said, eliciting laughter from the audience.

"I became a writer because my mother was an unhappy mother," Cisneros said. Her mother was "an artistic soul" who was constantly going to cultural centers and events, she explained. "I used to think it was for our sake, but I realize now it was for her," the author, who was one of 7 children, said.

One of those cultural centers was the library. "To me the library was a wonderful house ... a house of ideas ... a house of silence," Cisneros said.

As a writer, Cisneros said she writes "whatever comes. I write this, I write that. The only reason I finish anything is because somebody in New York gives me a deadline. I began writing when I was most lonely in middle school. I wasn't the pretty girl ... I wasn't the smart girl ... I was the new girl with the bad haircut because my mother was always cutting my bangs crooked."

Cisneros indicated that she has no intention to stop writing. "Each book gets me closer to the path I am supposed to be walking," she said.

Sandra Cisneros' Ofrenda for Her Mother
 @The Museum of American History


This Day of the Dead altar departs from the traditional public Mexican altar by featuring my mother’s personal space – her garden and bedroom – and personal objects as part of an homage remembering her as a dynamic creative being in her own right. Gathering the items here, some from my grandmother and great-grandmother, helped me look deeply and see my mother as a woman with her own life apart from her family and children. In the end, it served, as art often does, to transform grief to celebration. Thanks to my mother’s deep hunger to become an artist, she opened the path for me. This altar is my gracias to her.
- Sandra Cisneros






Monday, November 3, 2014

Dinosaur Prowls DC @National Geographic Museum

Welcome to this week's Monday Must-See, Must-Do post. On Mondays, we offer an entry about some current exhibit, event, or dining experience in DC you should take in. Sometimes, we will write the post. Sometimes, it will be taken from another publication. But no matter who is the writer, we believe Monday Must-See, Must-Do will showcase something you shouldn't miss. 




When the dinosaur hall at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum closed this April to undergo a $48 million renovation, Washingtonians lost a valuable provider of their Jurassic fix. That exhibit won’t be finished until 2019, but fear not, dinosaur obsessives—the National Geographic Museum has opened its own exhibit featuring a prehistoric carnivore so ferocious that scientists now say it could tear the Smithsonian’s puny Tyrannosaurus rex to pieces.
“Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous” showcases a 50-foot-long skeletal model of its eponymous dinosaur, crafted after the discovery of new fossils found in the Moroccan desert and painstaking analysis of past remains and records. It’s the biggest known predatory dinosaur ever, nine feet longer than the largest T. rex on record. Sure, the two species were separated by about 35 million years—but that doesn’t mean we can’t fantasize about a good ol’ fashioned dino brawl, as the makers of 2001’s Jurassic Park III did when they had them square off in that oft-ignored sequel. (For the record, Spinosaurus won.)
To continue reading this story, which 1st appeared in the After Hours blog of The Washingtonian, click here.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Why Do Students Give Their Teachers Apples?

DC's Smithsonian museums (there are 17 of them here in the city) are among America's most visited and treasured places. But the Smithsonian also publishes a series of some of the most interesting, fact-filled blogs appearing anywhere on the internet. Each Sunday, The Prices Do DC re-posts an entry either about the Smithsonian or that 1st appeared in 1 of the institution's blogs. Hope you enjoy and maybe we'll see you soon at the Smithsonian.



The apple, that innocent bud of an Americana autumn, has pulled off one of the greatest cons of all time. As students across the country prepare to greet a new school year and teacher with a polished bit of produce, the apple cements its place in the patriotic foods pantheon despite its dodgy past.

A clever bit of biology, well documented in Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire, and a tireless cheer campaign of fall orchard visits and doctor-endorsed slogans saved the apple from its bitter beginnings in early America. Though its standing in society today is rivaled only by bald eagles and baseball, the apple’s journey to ubiquity was tumultuous.


To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in Smithsonian.Com, click here.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Do Ghosts Really Prowl DC-Area College Campuses?

Each week in our Saturday Supplement we re-post an entry of interest to both residents of the Washington area and visitors to DC that first appeared in another publication.


Many people might argue that the scariest thing about college these days is the cost. But colleges and universities across the country have long been the subject of a different kind of fear - the terror engendered by tales of encountering ghosts and other strange phenomena in the halls and classrooms of higher learner.

Of course, DC colleges are part of this supernatural tradition. As we bid goodbye to Halloween 2014, here are terror tales from 5 area colleges. WARNING: If you are attending 1 of these institutions or have relatives or friends who are, read at you own risk.

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in In The Capital, click here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Devil in DC

Welcome to this week's Friday Flashback. Each Friday in the Flashback we offer a post about some part of the past and its relationship to DC. Sometimes, we will write a new entry. Others times, we will showcase articles that previously appeared in The Prices Do DC or some other online publications. But no matter who does the writing, you can trust that you will learn something important from the Flashback. 



Satan has long been a staple of Halloween horror. And there is no greater the-Devil-made-me-do-it classic than The Exorcist, both the terrifying novel by William Blatty and the shocking movie by William Friedkin.

In both the book and film, DC, or more specifically the Georgetown section of the city, plays a major role.

For those who have spent four decades avoiding the story, it centers around the Devil possessing 12-year-old Regan, played in the movie by Linda Blair, and the attempts by Catholic priests to exercise the demon from her.

Blatty,a Georgetown University graduate, based the story on the reported exorcism of a young boy that took place in 1949 in Mount Rainier, Md. That story was written in the Washington Post by staff reporter Bill Brinkley.

A Jesuit at Georgetown told Blatty of the priest that performed the exorcism, which took two months to complete. Blatty was able to contact the priest in St. Louis and Father William Bowdern, whose hair had reportedly turned shock white during the ordeal, said that what he had witnessed was "the real thing." Blatty used only a few details for his novel, which sold 13 million copies in its initial release.

The Exorcist stairs
Blatty wrote the screenplay for Friedkin's film, which was set in the upscale neighborhood of Georgetown. Several scenes were also filmed at Georgetown University. The most famous site was the steep stairs which Karras the priest was propelled down during the exorcism ritual.

Fans of the film still visit the 75 steps at Prospect and 36th Street that lead down to M Street. Other sites still recognizable from the film include:
  • The exterior of the Prospect Street home near the steps
  • the Key Bridge
  • Dahlgren Chapel on the Georgetown campus
  • a bridge over the C&O canal 
The controversial film, during which the possessed Regan cursed, had her head spin completely around, vomited foul green goop, and masturbated with a crucifix, opened exclusively in Washington DC in January of 1974. Film critic Tom Shales of the Post described local police efforts to make sure no one under 17 saw the movie. 

Today, both Blatty and Friedkin appeared at a special screening in Georgetown to discuss the novel, the film, the sequels and the aftermath. Prior to the program, Blatty, now 85, sat down for an interview with Post writer Dan Zak.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It

There's More to the Story
  • The real life accounts that served as the basis for The Exorcist. (from Smithsonian.Com)
  • 30 things you probably didn't know about The Exorcist films. (from Vulture)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Make Mad Scientist Dr. Moreau Part of Your Hallloween


If you haven't yet made your Halloween weekends plans and you would rather observe your horror than participate in it, you will want to consider Synetic Theater's production of The Island of Dr. Moreau.

There are only 3 more performances scheduled for Synetic's reimagining of the classic mad scientist tale conceived by early science fiction master  H. G. Wells, whose major works deal with humanity's inability to cope with technology and the modern world.

There are many reasons to see the production. Here are just 4.

  1. You will get a rare chance to see Synetic's founding artistic director Paata Tsikurishvili perform as actor, as well as director. Tsikurishvili portrays Moreau.
  2. The Synetic performance offers the finest Halloween season movements seen since the rhythmic zombies in Michael Jackson's iconic video "Thriller."
  3. The play will let you ponder some of the great mysteries inherent in Halloween - the nature of good and evil, the difference between man and monster, the relationship between science and morality.
  4. There is blood (a lot of it), as well as the brilliantly choreographed fight scenes which Synetic is deservedly so well known for.
In his director's notes Tsikurishvili calls "the prescience of the story's themes as relevant and troubling today at the beginning of the 21st century as they were at the close of the 19th."

"Stem cell research, genetic manipulation, even plastic surgery - the human need and capacity for relentless, artificial, and accelerated improvement has become seemingly limitless," the director contends. "Wells recognized this capability in use, before it even fully existed, in our compulsion to control, manipulate and master."

"Dr. Moreau attempts this on his island (with his experiments) and its utter futility has a terrible irony since many of  these honest attempts to create, improve, and benefit ultimately cause nothing but destruction. This is the tragedy of Wells' tale. Dr. Moreau is a visionary, but, at the same time, his great intellect is warped by a complete loss of feeling and empathy," he added.

You might argue that since Synetic is located in the underground of Crystal City where we live, we might be biased in calling the company our DC favorite offering continual praise for so many of its productions. If that's the case, here are what others are saying:


"If you are looking for that edgynear-perfect evening out this Halloween season, it doesn't matter whether you've got a date to impress or a feisty teenager who loves gore-you really must check out Synetic Theater's The Island of Dr. Moreau."
- Broadwayworld.com

"[Paata] Tsikurishvili is as mesmerizing as ever." 
- The Washington Post

"Overall, Synetic's Moreau is an island of impeccably rendered terror, a hell house on the sea. Performances and production design work together flawlessly to create this creepy little delight. It's the perfect night of theatre for the Halloween season." 
- DC Theatre Scene

"The Island of Dr. Moreau exhibits both sensational performances and relevant themes. Combined with enthusiastic performances by dancers and actors alike, Synetic's most recent production is a show worth experiencing."
- Maryland Theatre Guide

"Long applause to Synetic for what it continues to do;  at times reaching beyond its past to find new sources of inspiration with words to digest." 
- DC Metro Theatre Arts

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

For Halloween, Spend a Ghoulish Night (or Day) @The Smithsonian


From stiletto daggers and sexy witches to devilish hydras and sea serpents, there's no end of scary stuff to spook yourself and your date silly here at the Smithsonian. 


Costumes are encouraged and if you don't feel safe going out on Halloween, stay home and make a virtual appearance

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in Smithsonian. Com. click here.




Halloween Highlights Arise from the Museum Vaults

From the decorations in our homes to the sweets we make (or buy), Halloween is a holiday filled with tricks and treats, fun and, sometimes, a little fright. We've embraced All Hallow's Eve as a night to dress up and join with fiends... I mean friends, to celebrate things that go bump in the night. 

Here at the museum, we have a wonderful collection of objects used at Halloween. See if you recognize any of these pieces from years past. 

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in the Oh, Say Can You See? blog of the Smithsonian, click here.

From Homemade Halloween Treats 
to Colorfully Packaged Candies



Object Project interns Caitlin Kearney and Kamilah Stinnett explore the origins of packaged candy, a modern convenience that signaled the shift toward Halloween as a widespread commercial holiday. Object Project, opening July 2015, will explore everyday things that transformed daily life.
Did you know that the average jack-o'-lantern bucket holds about 250 pieces of candy? That's 9,000 calories and about three pounds of sugar, according to the California Milk Processor Board. Good grief! No wonder some parents scramble to ration their kids' Halloween haul.

But the treats that fill those grinning plastic pumpkins on Halloween didn't always come in crinkly wrappers with familiar names like Baby Ruth, introduced in 1920, and M&M's, first sold in 1941. During our time at the museum, we've researched packaged, premade food items for Object Project. The exhibition will give visitors a look at—er, taste of—the history behind objects that have changed daily life, including the social demands and technological advances that brought about these changes.

Tp continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in the Oh, Say Can You See? blog of the Smithsonian, click here. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Forget the Halloween Monsters, This Year's Big Fear Is Something That's Able to Lurk Inside Us

2014 will certainly be viewed as one of the most frightening Halloween seasons ever. But it is not ghastly ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and gremlins that are causing outbreaks of crazed, panic fears. Instead, it is something much more real and, in reality, potentially much more deadly.

In many parts of America, the Season of the Witch has been transformed into the Scary Season of Ebola.

Those fears do not surprise former Under Secretary of Science and Technology for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Tara O'Toole. "Epidemics always engender visceral fear," O'Toole says. "This is something that can come into your home and everybody is vulnerable to it. Face it, it's pretty freaky bleeding from your eyes."

But while O'Toole understands that fear can drive a lot of the reaction to an epidemic like Ebola, a calm, reasoned, scientifically- and medically-sound approach is what America now needs.

Dr. O'Toole was one member of a group of distinguished medical and security experts which discussed the current Ebola crisis this week at the Heritage Foundation.

The panel agreed that while the outbreaks in Africa are disconcerting, America will be able to handle problems that arise in this country.

"The rest of the medical system learned a lot from Texas (where the only victim of the disease to die in America was treated)," O'Toole said. "We were probably making a lot of mistakes in infectious diseases all along, but if you make a mistake with Ebola (care) you're going to get in big trouble. We ought to able to protect our health care workers."

For its own safety, American must help the stricken nations combat Ebola on the African continent, the panel concurred. "If we do not contain this in Africa, it will become a part of life and you will wonder every time you get a fever," O'Toole said.

But while she is optimistic about the end of this current crisis, she said the United States must do more to protect itself and others from other future outbreaks of deadly, infectious diseases.

"Our national defense is going to depend on biology is a big way," the doctor maintained. "We're going to have a lot more epidemics."

O'Toole said current world conditions make such events inevitable. For example, 70 million people are being added to the world's population every year, many of them living in mega cities where crowded conditions make it ideal for diseases to rapidly spread. Then there is the ease of modern travel. Unlike days gone by, people can now fly around the world in 24 hours.

"We are going to be more vulnerable to epidemics and we must get better at managing them," she said.

O'Toole said that while early action is crucial to halting epidemics, that is difficult to do, especially in remote areas of the world. ""It's very hard to see the beginning. It's not lights and sirens; it's not like these things explode," she said. "By the time you begin treatment, they are already bigger than you would like to see," she said.

Like the others on the panel, O'Toole believes that a vaccine for Ebola should have been ready by the time of this current outbreak since there were promising results as much as 14 years ago. But she understands the reality of why such a vaccine isn't ready yet.

"We fund heavily when the problem occurs and then the money goes away," she said.

Money also plays a huge role in the fact that an Ebola vaccine hasn't been released by private pharmaceutical companies. "We're not talking about pills you take every day for the rest of your life. This is something you might take for 2 weeks and it's over. You just don't make much money out of it," she noted.

And even though she agreed with the panel consensus that such options as travel bans and unwarranted quarantining would't work (and could actually worsen treatment conditions), she understands why such options are attractive to many people and some politicians.

"We're always looking for someone to blame," she said. "People want to know who they can lock up to make themselves safe."

Extra! Extra! Read All About It

There's More to the Story
  • America's Ebola epidemic currently consists of 1 person with Ebola. (from Think Progress)
  • 4 totally Ebola-free things Americans are terrified will give them Ebola. (from Think Progress)
  • Why outbreaks breed hysteria. (from The Atlantic)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bring Out the High Heels; DC Drag Race Is Back

Welcome to this week's Monday Must-See, Must-Do post. On Mondays, we offer an entry about some current exhibit, event, or dining experience in DC you should take in. Sometimes, we will write the post. Sometimes, it will be taken from another publication. But no matter who is the writer, we believe Monday Must-See, Must-Do will showcase something you shouldn't miss. 


Each year on the Tuesday before Halloween, the Dupont Circle neighborhood is the site of one of DC's most-fun annual activities - The 17th Street High Heel Race.

Although the actual race doesn't start until 9 p.m., you want to arrive early as crowds of thousands begin arriving by 6 to view the site of almost 100 drag queens in every type of costume sashaying and prancing up and down a blocked-off 17th Street again and again. 

Many of the crowd pour out into the street to get their picture taken with the obliging queens, while others simply hoot, holler, and applaud.

In short, a gay time is had by all. Here are some photos from the last 2 years of the race.







Sunday, October 26, 2014

Creepy Artifacts @The Smithsonian

DC's Smithsonian museums (there are 17 of them here in the city) are among America's most visited and treasured places. But the Smithsonian also publishes a series of some of the most interesting, fact-filled blogs appearing anywhere on the internet. Each Sunday, The Prices Do DC re-posts an entry either about the Smithsonian or that 1st appeared in 1 of the institution's blogs. Hope you enjoy and maybe we'll see you soon at the Smithsonian.



As Halloween approaches, we asked museum staff to share objects from the Smithsonian collections that evoke the holiday's spooky spirit. 

The result? Some diverse objects that creep us out just a little, which is part of why we love them.

To continue reading this story, which 1st appeared in Oh, Say Can You See in Smithsonian.Com, click here.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

RG3PO, Flattened Zoe Barnes, and More: DC-Centric Halloween Costumes


Each week in our Saturday Supplement we re-post an entry of interest to both residents of the Washington area and visitors to DC that first appeared in another publication.

Now starting on Halloween - at quarterback - RG3PO
Halloween is next weekend, which means you're probably going to spend the weekend frantically trying to gather materials for a last-minute costume. 

If you're still looking for ideas for a costume that only people in D.C. will get, well, you're in luck. We present to you the secondDCist guide to D.C.-centric Halloween costumes.

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in the DCist, click here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ghosts in the White House

Welcome to this week's Friday Flashback. Each Friday in the Flashback we offer a post about some part of the past and its relationship to DC. Sometimes, we will write a new entry. Others times, we will showcase articles that previously appeared in The Prices Do DC or some other online publications. But no matter who does the writing, you can trust that you will learn something important from the Flashback. 



The most famous address in America–1600 Pennsylvania Avenue–is also perhaps the country’s most famous haunted house.

Presidents, first ladies, White House staff members and guests have reported feeling ghostly presences, hearing unexplained noises and even running into actual apparitions–even on the way out of the bathtub, in one particularly famous case. 

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in History.Com, click here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Documentary Shows Snowden, Scary US Security

Laura Poitras explains her film as Dana Priest listens
In early January, 2013 filmmaker Laura Poitras received an email from someone who identified himself as Citizenfour. The emailer promised to prove that America was using electronic and phone communications intercepts to engage in a level of spying that was almost unimaginable and had long been denied by government agencies.

Over the next 5 months, as she engaged in carefully encrypted conversations with Citizenfour, Poitras, who was already working on a documentary on government spying, exercised extreme caution.

"He didn't seem like a crazy person," she says. "But I did worry about entrapment."

Poitras had reason to worry. She had been detained several times by authorities upon entering the country and questioned about her 2 previous documentaries My Country, My Country and The Oath, both of which examined American post-9/11 foreign policy.

Finally, Citizenfour agreed to meet in Hong Kong with Poitras and fellow journalist Glen Greenwald. It was there, in a Hong Kong hotel room, that Edward Snowden, a private security contractor for the National Security Administration, began revealing shocking disclosures about the reach and extent of NSA's surveillance of private communications.

While Snowden talked and Greenwald scribbled, Poitras kept her camera pointed and created the engaging, engrossing documentary Citizenfour. 
Snowden explaining to reporter Greenwald

One day before the film went into general release, Poitras appeared at a special premier showing at the Landmark Theater here to discuss her latest work.

Poitras said one of her original goals in filming Snowden was "to find out who this person is who had taken things to the point of no return".

"He was calm and articulate. He had made this choice (to come forward), but there really was a palpable sense of fear," Poitras told the theater-filling crowd.

Poitras said as a filmmaker-journalist she realized that while she would be filming in a cinema verite style, she would also need to create something compelling enough "to be watched in 5 years, in 10 years."

"There are probably a lot of (government) people who aren't happy with this film," she said. But asked by an audience remember if the NSA spying made America a low-level police state, Poitras said she didn't believe it was. "I'm able to do the work that I do, so that indicates that we are not. But the dangers are always there," she explained.

Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, who has written extensively on security issues, served as moderator and asked Poitras if Citizenfour will complete her work on post-911 reporting.

"I wish we could all move into something else," Poitras said. "I was hoping the moral drift would move back to what we are supposed to stand for."

And then, of course, there was the big question - was Snowden, who remains in exile in Russia with his girlfriend, a heroic whistleblower or a dangerous traitor to his country?

"He felt that what the government was doing was something the public should have a right to discuss," Poitras said. "I wanted to show his reasoning, his motivations, and his decision. It is up to people to decide."

Extra! Extra! Read All About It

There's More to the Story

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Does Washington's Football Team Need a New Name?

With a 2-5 record, Washington's National Football League team is obviously experiencing difficulties on the field. But there is an equally ominous situation off the field as well.

The problem is the continuing controversy over the team's nickname. Many Native Americans, national and local politicians, and a growing number of sports writers and broadcasters contend the name Redskins is racist and demeaning and must be changed.

Stalwart fans argue that the name is both a tribute to Indian warriors and historical and therefore should remain. Team owner Daniel Snyder agrees with those fans and has vowed never to change the name.

In a recent Newseum Now program, George Solomon, former assistant managing editor for the Washington Post and the current director of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland, and Jacqueline Johnson Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, a nonprofit organization representing American Indian and Alaska tribal governments and communities, talked about the ongoing controversy.

The event came just days after a petition was filed with the Federal Communications Commission, asking that agency to ban the use of the team nickname on radio and TV as indecent and unfit for the nation's public airwaves.

"This is really about basic respect. It (the team nickname) is a racial slur," Pata said. "It is a reminder of a dark piece of (American) history and that is why it is harmful. The word doesn't have a great history with American Indians. It's a term that reminds that there was a bounty and a bidding war on those 'redskins.' It is part of the genocide of the Native Americans."

While there have been legal battles over the name for decades, the issue has come to the forefront in the past few years.

Columnists like Mike Wise of The Washington Post, Dave Zirin of The National Observer, and Christine Brennan of USA Today have all decided not to use the name Redksins when they write about the Washington football team.

Solomon said news organizations "constantly look at changes in society" in deciding proper writing style.

"You can go to the 5th floor (of the Newseum) and see all the history of newspapers. What you see from the mid 1800s is much different than you see today," he added. " I think it is the responsibility of newspapers to look at all aspects of society. That's what news organizations ought to do."

Solomon noted that the editorial board of The Washington Post had decided not to use the controversial nickname, but paper sportswriters are free to decided to use or not use it. "It's like a newspaper separation of church and state," he added.

A recent Sports Illustrated Poll indicated that 75 percent of its responding readers weren't upset with the use of the name.

But Pata said those results shouldn't matter.

"Would we still be dealing with slavery because the polls at the time would have supported it?" she asked. "Does that make it right? If you know what it (the term) really means and that it is harmful, especially to Native American youth, should you use it?"

Extra! Extra! Read All About It

There's Always More to the Story
  • Native Americans planning the largest-ever Redskins name protest at Washington Vikings game next month. (from The Washington Post)
  • Will the Minnesota Vikings violate their contract with the University of Minnesota if the name Redskins is used at the game? (from The Washington Post)
  • Actor and Washington football fan Matthew McConaughey wishes Redskins logo wouldn't change. (from The Huffington Post)
  • Watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tackle the Washington controversy. (from The Daily Show)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Getting the Most from The Prices Do DC

Here we are - The Prices Doing DC
Most things change. And that is certainly true of the blog you are now reading.

When we started The Prices Do DC in June of 2011, my wife Judy and I had just retired and moved to Crystal City from South Jersey. We planned the blog as a way to record all we were doing in DC and sharing those things we others. Of course, that is still true. But over the past 3-and-a-half years, the blog has morphed into much more. Here are 6 of the biggest changes we have made.

1) Our DC writing now consists of 4 blogs.
In addition to The Prices Do DC, we now offer 3 companion blogs. They are:

  • Counter Culture in the Capitol (a look at food and great dining spots in DC, with an emphasis on eateries that won't break your budget)
  • DC Book Looks (all things bookish about Washington, its bookstores, and the writers who visit them)
  • DC Screen Scene (what's up with TV shows and movies featuring Washington DC)
2) We now have a Facebook and a Twitter presence.
You can find links to all The Prices Do DC entires, as well as site specific posts and tweets at our social media outreaches.
3) The Prices Do DC now includes a Twitter feed that is updated at least a half dozen times a day.
This is one of 2 reasons where you will always find new content even if you visit the page more than once a day.

4) The Prices Do DC now includes a news-summary powered by Google.
This news summary (located at the top right of the page just above the Twitter feed) is the 2nd reason why there is always new content on the page.

5) We have daily doings links.
You can plan where to go, what to see, and where to eat by using our pages. You can make travel plans if you are living in DC, or in a neighboring state, or coming from another part of the country or the world. You can even tell how to dress by checking our weather widget or which are the best apps to add to your phone for a better DC experience.

6) You can get all the DC news you ever need right from our page.
We have links to the major papers and websites covering the Washington area. We also have links to 7 of the best blogs about DC.

Of course, there is much more to The Prices Do DC. But the above lists the highlights of what we are offering. We encourage you to bookmark our pages and check back frequently. We also urge you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Currently, we are averaging 1,500 hits a week, but we would love to see that number skyrocket.

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And to close here's just a sample of the people we've encountered in DC. Some of them are even readers.



And here is my favorite - The Comedy King of Jello himself.


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Boomer List @The Newseum

Welcome to this week's Monday Must-See, Must-Do post. On Mondays, we offer an entry about some current exhibit, event, or dining experience in DC you should take in. Sometimes, we will write the post. Sometimes, it will be taken from another publication. But no matter who is the writer, we believe Monday Must-See, Must-Do will showcase something you shouldn't miss. 



Few generations have been as discussed and analyzed as the Baby Boomers, defined as anyone born between the years 1946 and 1964.  Now you can learn more about  the lives, contributions, and times of the Boomers by viewing The Boomer List exhibition now on display at the Newseum.

For the exhibition, which will be on display until July 5, photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders chose, photographed, and interviewed 1 person born in each of the 19 years of the baby boom.  


In addition to the 19 portraits, a timeline of historic events that defined the baby boom generation will be displayed including newsmagazines from the Newseum collection plus a copy of Dr. Benjamin Spock’s parental advice book, “Baby and Child Care,” an original 1959 Barbie doll, a 1964 G.I. Joe action figure, a transistor radio and a U.S. Army draft card from 1965.
The artifacts illustrate the news events and pop culture moments that defined the baby boom generation, from its start in 1946 until 1982, when the last boomers turned 18. Visitors are invited to add their baby boom memories to the timeline on post-it notes.
In addition, an interactive kiosk will allow visitors to explore exclusive behind-the-scenes images of Greenfield-Sanders’s photo shoots.
The Boomer list also features a scent station with memorable aromas familiar to the baby boom generation. A first for the Newseum, the station will include whiffs of baby powder, to represent the 76 million-plus babies born between 1946 and 1964; fresh-cut grass, a reminder of the boomers’ move to the suburbs; and incense, evoking the musky smell of rebellion, flower power and love-ins.
Here is a sample of what you will see if you visit:







Extra! Extra! Read All About It

There's Always More to the Story

If you are nostalgic for the apex of the Boomer period (the 1950s and 1960s) here is a sample of items you can purchase in the Newseum's gift shop:








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