• Events

    Happy birthday, NPS!

    Today is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service. NPS has been holding a lot of events in celebration throughout the U.S., and this morning staged their most ambitious. With the help of 1,200 volunteers willing to hold colored umbrellas, they formed the NPS logo and had a helicopter photograph it from above. There was of course quite a bit of time arranging the formation and waiting around for the photo to be taken, in a scenic spot on the west side of the Washington Monument grounds.         When the announcement came and the helicopter was nearby, everybody snapped to attention for the…

  • Events,  Festivals

    Up, up and away at the Flying Circus Airshow

    The weekend weather wasn’t the greatest for hot air ballooning or aerial acrobatics in vintage aircraft but the DC Focused meetup group made the most of its outing to the Flying Circus Airshow and Hot Air Balloon Festival in Bealeton, Virginia. Luckily, we made it out on Saturday morning, as Sunday’s show was canceled because of  low clouds, wind and rain. See more photos here.

  • Arts,  Events

    Portrait of an Artist: Berto Santillan

    Earlier this month, local arts organization Words Beats & Life hosted the latest in a series of “paint jams”–communal mural painting parties in public spaces. More than 25 local artists were on hand for the “Roll Down Get Down” event. Their canvas? The walls and roll-down gates of a strip mall at 1301 Rhode Island Avenue NE. There, I met up with Berto Santillan, an artist who has worked with Words Beats & Life for two years. In addition to murals, Berto is also the artist behind Toka Tattoos in Manassas. (Check out his work on Instagram @tokatattoos.) Berto’s tattoos and murals often incorporate flowers, especially roses, in their designs.…

    Comments Off on Portrait of an Artist: Berto Santillan
  • Events

    Tango on the Plaza

    If you are looking for something romantic to see or do, go to Freedom Plaza on Sunday nights. The Capital Tangueros sponsor tango on the plaza, complete with music and a view of the Capitol. While some people join in wearing shorts and t-shirts, there are a lot of great tango outfits. And the shoes!! All images © Victoria Pickering

  • Events

    A look back at #DemsinPhilly

    Badged with credentials around their necks, thousands of democrats flooded the city of brotherly love this week to witness a moment of great historical consequence: Hillary Clinton’s nomination as the first woman candidate for President of the United States. I was fortunate enough to participate in the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and here’s what I saw: In addition to the Bernie Sanders supporters who protested outside the Wells Fargo Arena where the convention was held, there were other protests downtown. Inside the arena, members of the press prepared for the day’s speeches, which included remarks by former President Bill Clinton. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Michael Steele, former Chairperson of the…

  • Events,  Monuments, Memorials, Statues

    DC’s Pokémon hunt draws hundreds to National Mall

      The hunt for the not-so elusive wild Pokémon hit the National Mall on Saturday, as hundreds of fans of the mobile game came out for a massive PokeWalk. Players split up into three teams and walked the Mall on the trail of Pokémon. Our DC Focused Photography Meetup group was there to document the action.  

    Comments Off on DC’s Pokémon hunt draws hundreds to National Mall
  • Events

    Action at the DNC

    With Philadelphia being a short train ride away, I decided to go up yesterday to see the demonstrations around the Democratic National Convention. The scene was democracy in all its glory – passion, heated debates, and some venom. There were three main demonstrations yesterday: The Bernie rally Near City Hall, there was a large Bernie Sanders rally that went on for several hours. This man summed up the anti-capitalist sentiment of the crowd:     Lots of signs and Bernie or Bust supporters:               Shut Down the DNC This rally started by City Hall, and eventually marched three miles down to the Convention Center.…

  • Arts,  Events

    Phife is Living!

    Words, Beats & Life is a community organization founded in 2000, dedicated to using the “transformative power of hip-hop” to help youth in the community. It’s well known for its arts activities, including massive paint jams that we’ve had fun photographing in 2015 and 2016. In addition to the arts activities, Words, Beats & Life runs many programs and free classes in poetry, DJ’ing, chess, and other activities that fit into their teaching goals of “Skill-Set Mastery, Employability, the Pursuit of a Post-Secondary Education, Community, and Self Mastery” for youths ages 13-23. On Saturday, they sponsored a large festival at Marvin Gaye Park in Anacostia, showcasing many of their activities,…

  • Events

    Folklife Festival

    The Smithsonian Folklife Festival started yesterday, and runs through next weekend (June 29-July 4 and July 7-10). It features Basque culture and the sounds of California. There’s lots to see, but here are some things we especially recommend: Basque Dancing There’s both traditional and contemporary dance:   Rural Basque Sports Want to see some sports that we don’t usually see, that are both creative and really difficult? The anvil lift The object is to do 100 lifts, touching a 10-kilo anvil to the base and then the top plate. The winner was a man doing it solo, in 1 minute 41 seconds. The women did it in teams of two,…

  • Events,  Sports

    Soapbox at the Capitol

    It’s great to see Congress pass at least one bi-partisan resolution, and that’s what it takes to allow the local Soapbox Derby to be run on Constitution Avenue by the Capitol, in an area under the jurisdiction of the Capitol Police. On Saturday, we watched as the cars went speeding downhill:     The race goes right by the Capitol:     At the end of two downhill blocks, the cars roll past the finish line and gradually stop where the street becomes flat: The kids and their helpers spend a lot of time prepping the cars and giving encouragement:     There were three winners of the Derby –…

  • Events

    USCG celebrates 100 years of aviation

    The Coast Guard had a ceremonial flyover on Friday to celebrate its 100 years in aviation. There were nine aircraft in the flyover, representing the range of the current fleet, and some of the aircraft were painted in historical colors. We were able to see them by the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, and along the Anacostia River by Nationals Stadium.          

    Comments Off on USCG celebrates 100 years of aviation