• Architecture

    Hobnobbing with Gargoyles

    On Saturday evening, Exposed DC and Washington National Cathedral hosted Gutters & Gargoyles, a behind-the-scenes photo op into some of the hidden corners of the Cathedral not typically open to the public. Several DC Focused photographers were on hand for the fun, capturing the Cathedral from a variety of angles. Feature image © 2016 angela n.   Gargoyles & Grotesques As Victoria Pickering noted in a post from last year, many of the 112 stone figures that adorn the Cathedral aren’t gargoyles at all. Technically, they’re grotesques. Grotesques are decorative figures while gargoyles incorporate water spouts that protect the building from water damage. Still, whatever you call them, these critters…

  • Celebrations,  Events,  Parades

    Pride and Joy

    The contrast is shocking: the elation of Saturday afternoon’s festivities in Dupont Circle and the anguish of the news from Orlando on Sunday morning. And yet, that should not take away from the overwhelming joy of the Pride Parade. Always a happy occasion, revelers had one more thing to celebrate this year. This was the first Pride Parade that took place after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June of 2015. Here, DC Focused photographers tried to capture some of that sense of happiness. Featured image © 2016 Victoria Pickering.                                      

  • Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals

    20+ Cultures in the Spotlight at Fiesta Asia

    Between 2000 and 2010, the DC region’s Asian population grew by 60 percent. “Chinese are most prevalent in the District and Montgomery County, particularly in Rockville and Potomac,” reported The Washington Post in 2011. “Filipinos are the largest group in Prince George’s and Charles counties. Indians are flocking to Loudoun and Fairfax counties and have become the largest and fastest-growing group of Asians in the area. Koreans are the largest group in Centreville, where 26 percent of the population is Asian.” Cultures from these countries and many more — 20-plus in all — were celebrated at the 11th annual Fiesta Asia Street Festival, which took place on Pennsylvania Avenue on…

    Comments Off on 20+ Cultures in the Spotlight at Fiesta Asia
  • Arts,  Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals,  Music,  Parades

    On this day, it was the District of Funk

    U Street was all about the funk on Saturday — music, dancing in the street, drum lines and tens of thousands of people turning out for the all-day party and music fest known as the Funk Parade. The festival of funk took over the U Street corridor, as old and new DC came together to celebrate the city’s cultural heritage. The Mayor of Funk Town was even there throwing beads to cheering constituents, walking just a few hundred yards ahead of parade participants carrying a gigantic, inflatable joint. The parade slogan, after all, was “roll your funk.” Spread along the corridor from the Howard Theater to 14th Street, the festival included…

  • Cherry blossoms

    Our giant, expanding 2016 #CherryBlossomsDC Roundup

      The cherry blossoms are back, which means it’s time once again for our super-sized cherry blossom photography roundup. Better than last year? You be the judge. But one thing that we will say based on the great contributions to the DC Focused flickr pool is that, perhaps (just perhaps), the reports of flickr’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Want to join the fun? Add your cherry blossom photo to our flickr pool. And be sure to check out the DC Focused Guide to Cherry Blossoms. [Updated: 1:10 a.m., March 30] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line”…

    Comments Off on Our giant, expanding 2016 #CherryBlossomsDC Roundup
  • Two eastern screech owls side by side, one grey, one brown

    Injured raptors find new careers as ambassadors, models

    For raptor whisperers even more impressive than Chris Pratt, one need look no further than our local wildlife organizations. Among them is the nonprofit Raptor Conservancy of Virginia, which rescues and rehabilitates injured and orphaned birds of prey. Their all-volunteer squad is trained to deal with sharp (non-computer-generated) talons and beaks. RCV cares for more than 200 new raptors a year, many of them injured by crashing into windows or getting hit by cars. RCV also helped save an injured bald eagle from the Blue Line tracks, and helped rescue a Cooper’s Hawk stuck in the Library of Congress Main Reading Room. RCV works to release these birds back into the…

  • Uncategorized

    An armadillo, a skunk, and a naked mole rat walk into a bar…

      The National Zoo’s small mammal house just might have DC’s most eclectic collection of wacky hairstyles and odd visages.  Some of its exhibits even feature several species all living together, sort of like the Star Wars cantina. (But with less violence and more fur). Previously on this blog, I’ve mentioned the terrific perks of joining the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) and the FONZ Photo Club.  (For example, FONZ members get to meet panda cub Bei Bei before his public debut!) On a recent Saturday, the Photo Club was invited to shoot at the small mammal house before it opened. The staff even took some critters out of their exhibits so we could meet them face…

  • Uncategorized

    Wet hot Panamanian frogs! (and other rare creatures at the National Zoo)

      Animal photos can be cute and fun, but they might also end up as historical documents for future generations. This is because some species might not be around that long. According to this National Geographic article, a quarter of mammal species, a fifth of reptile species, a sixth of bird species, and more than a third of the world’s frog, toad, and salamander species are at risk of extinction. Many biologists argue that the world is experiencing a mass extinction event, with vertebrate species disappearing at up to 100 times the normal rate. (Before this, the last mass extinction event was 65 million years ago; it wiped out the dinosaurs). Take the Panamanian golden frogs…

  • Uncategorized

    Love the beach but hate the sand? Head to the National Building Museum

      With its Corinthian columns inspired by Michelangelo, and a Great Hall modeled on Rome’s Palazzo della Cancelleria, the National Building Museum atrium is one of DC’s most majestic and elegant spaces. It has hosted inaugural balls from President Cleveland through President Obama, and now, in perhaps its most photogenic role yet, it is the site of a hugely popular ball pit. The National Building Museum’s immersive art installation “The Beach” covers 10,000 square feet, including a 50-foot-wide shoreline, and an “ocean” of almost one million translucent plastic balls. The umbrellas, chairs, walls, and balls are all monochromatic, but when the Beach is filled to capacity with 400 people in their bright summer clothes, it’s a…

  • Weekend Focus

    Weekend Focus: Welcome to the blue hour

      This week’s roundup is brought to you by the colors blue, purple and pink. With a golden sunrise thrown in there for good measure. Featured image, Tidal Basin Blues by Navin Sarma, is part of the DC Focused flickr pool. More images from the pool below. [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””] [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””]

    Comments Off on Weekend Focus: Welcome to the blue hour
  • Uncategorized

    Wildlife rehabilitators nurse critters back to health

      Because of our abundant green spaces (e.g. Rock Creek Park and the National Arboretum), bodies of water (e.g. the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers), and food sources (e.g. that leftover donut someone dropped on the sidewalk), the DC area has a surprising amount of wildlife diversity. Did you know that the District alone is home to about 19 amphibian species, 21 reptile species, 29 mammal species, and 240 bird species? Thanks to the nonprofit Second Chance Wildlife Center in Rockville and City Wildlife in DC, medical care is available for these wild locals. From orphaned baby squirrels, to turtles who’ve been hit by cars, to woodpeckers who’ve been attacked by…

    Comments Off on Wildlife rehabilitators nurse critters back to health
  • Uncategorized

    United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps: Great music and dapper uniforms

    In the 1700s and 1800s, the Marine Corps would communicate commands with drums and bugles, because the powerful cadences and tones could be heard through the din of combat. These days, the talented musicians of “The Commandant’s Own” United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps are still full-fledged Marines, trained in infantry skills. But luckily for us, we need not visit the battlefield to hear them. They regularly perform at ceremonies and concerts in the DC area and all over the world. Visitors to the Library of Congress on December 9 were treated to a terrific holiday concert in the Library’s Great Hall. Who knew “Winter Wonderland” could sound so patriotic?…

    Comments Off on United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps: Great music and dapper uniforms