Don’t lose sleep over outfitting a bed 8
The D.C. area is a hotbed for bobsled 12
Local street artists trade their spray paint for a faster form of tagging 6
FEBRUARY 23, 2014 | A PUBLICATION OF
JASON HORNICK (FOR EXPRESS)
READEXPRESS.COM | @WAPOEXPRESS
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Your Best Shot | Submitted by Diriki Rice of Washington, D.C.
This Definitely Isn’t What Tchaikovsky Had in Mind Animal control officers from the Spotsylvania, Va., Sheriff’s Office came to the rescue of a swan earlier this month that had somehow gotten stuck on a thin sheet of ice floating in the middle of a lake, Fredericksburg Patch reported. To free the bird, rescuers fired a low-powered water cannon into the water underneath it. The swan walked away unharmed. WORSHIP
Bare Your Soul, Butt Cheeks Some churchgoers in Southampton, Va., are letting it all hang out. The White Tail Chapel, which is on the grounds of the White Tail Nudist Resort, attracts people in various states of undress, even in chilly February temperatures, CBS12 reported. “We’re humans, we have scars, we have what we have. It’s learning to love and accept that,” Pastor Allen Parker said. DEATH CARE
Epitaph Writers Struggle To Find Rhymes for ‘Corgi’ Virginia State Del. Israel O’Quinn introduced a bill last month that would allow the state’s pet owners to be buried with their animals under certain circumstances, The Washington Post reported. The practice is currently prohibited under state law. If it passes, the bill would require humans and pets to be buried in separate plots and set apart from traditional gravesites. (EXPRESS)
EYEBALLING IT: While enjoying Chinese New Year festivities on Feb. 2, photographer Diriki Rice snapped a perfectly timed photo of a young reveler who caught an unsuspecting mascot off guard with a high-kick straight to the eye.
Want to see your pic in print? Submit your best shot by joining our Flickr pool at flickr.com/ groups/wapoexpress. Share a photo from the Washington region, and it could appear here.
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WS, T HE NE E T A LIT L W E ASK
for what it’s worth
A Collective Mind-Set Between now and 2020, at least seven museums will open in the D.C. area, funds allowing. Most everyone’s aware of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, but the six below — including the just-announced ICE — are more mysterious.
ICE (Institute for Contemporary Expression) 925 13th St. NW
Randall School/ Rubell project I and Half streets SW
National Museum of the United States Army Fort Belvoir, Va.
National Museum of LGBT History and Culture location to be determined
Museum of Science Fiction location to be determined
unnamed Bible museum 300 D St. SW, formerly the Washington Design Center
WHAT IT IS
A modern art museum, education center and restaurant in the historic, vacant Franklin School.
A modern art museum, education center and restaurant in the historic, vacant Randall School.
Around 185,000 square feet of, depending on your viewpoint, glorious Army history or overwrought propaganda.
A hub for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and scholarship.
“A center of gravity where art and science are powered by imagination.”
The Newseum meets The Holy Land Experience (Orlando’s Disneyworld of religion).
Dani Levinas, local art collector and president of MiCash Inc., a purveyor of prepaid debit cards.
Don and Mera Rubell, Miamibased art collectors and owners of the Capitol Skyline Hotel, famed for its pool parties.
The Army, which REALLY wants a national museum because the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force each have one.
Former Smithsonian researcher Tim Gold and his husband, furniture mogul Mitchell Gold.
A ragtag fleet of volunteers on a quest for home. An Indiegogo campaign to raise money for a preview location ends March 9.
David Green, founder of Hobby Lobby, and son Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby.
ICE will be a “kunsthalle” — German for “art gallery specifically for cutting-edge temporary exhibitions.”
The Rubells are known for giving emerging artists as much attention as established ones.
The oldest branch of the U.S. armed forces desires that everyone know how much it’s contributed to society.
Among the museum’s many aims: to be a safe space for LGBT youth to feel accepted.
The 3,000-square-foot preview museum will host events and test exhibition concepts.
The museum will serve as headquarters for the Green Collection, the world’s largest private hoard of Biblical texts.
WHAT YOU’LL SEE
The exhibits may change, but the attached Jose Andres restaurant will probably be open until the end of time.
The Rubell Family Collection — portions of which travel the U.S. and the world — is rich with big names like Basquiat and Koons.
The Army’s collection of military art includes four original Norman Rockwell works.
The Golds have more than 5,000 artifacts, like the sign from closed Dupont bookstore Lambda Rising and mementos from activists’ families.
The prospectus mentions a Stargate (from the “Stargate” franchise), a full-size X-wing fighter (from “Star Wars”) and “Star Trek” props.
The smallest Bible ever. A Bible that went to the moon. The first known New Testament written in Palestinian Aramaic. Elvis’ Bible.
“Not Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
“The other modern art museum in a former D.C. schoolhouse.”
“First in war, last in getting our museum together.”
“We’re here! We have a gift shop! Get used to it!”
“Live long (enough and you might see us open) and prosper (so you can give us money).”
“Full refund if Raptured.”
Logan Circle’s Secret Weapon: STDs (Stickers Targeting Dumbasses)
First the Beatles, Now This
Street stickers are legit art, as you’ll learn on pages 6 and 7. And during one chapter of D.C. history, they were an instrument of vigilante justice. In the 1980s, the Logan Circle Community Association employed an unusual tactic to drive out prostitution: Scare away johns by slapping shaming, hotpink stickers (see left) on their vehicles. “We try to do it while the prostitutes are in the cars with the men, usually during the sex act,” a resident told the Associated Press in 1981.
America’s fifth branch of English fashion retailer Topshop opens this year in Springfield, Va. What store should we steal from the British Isles next? The Irish chain Primark won our tiny Facebook survey. The Walmart-size emporiums hawk clothing so cheap it’s basically free. The drab name masks its polarizing nature as either the apex of cheap chic or the nadir of godless consumerism.
For What It’s Worth is produced by Holly J. Morris, Marissa Payne and Rachel Sadon. Have suggestions for the page? Email us at email@example.com or tweet us @WaPoExpress.
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on the spot
I have some silly DNA songs. I had
Have you ever considered making
Francis Collins is the director of the National Institutes of Health .
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This is an issue that we can all agree on at a time when, in this
We announced [this month] a new model to get 10 pharmaceutical companies to work together with the NIH to identify the next generation of biological targets of disease. We’re focusing on diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Alzheimer’s. BETH MARLOWE (EXPRESS)
What other songs have you written?
Why did you want to bring attention to ﬁghting disease?
Your recent performance had a speciﬁc inspiration, right?
the privilege of leading the Human Genome Project, so you have to sing about that.
country, there seem to be almost no issues that we can all agree on.
No, I’m afraid it’s a regular event.
Was this your ﬁrst performance?
As somebody who has spent a lot of my life enjoying and occasionally participating in music and as a scientist, I like the idea of bringing those things together sometimes. It’s also an opportunity to break the ice a bit if people are feeling science is a little austere.
What inspired you to blend medicine and music?
This month, the director of the National Institutes of Health did something unusual for a government bigwig: He sang on public radio. And played guitar. Francis Collins performed his bluesy original, “Knock Out Disease,” on “The Diane Rehm Show” to highlight the importance of medical research. (Sample lyric: “Disease don’t care if you’re black or white, disease don’t care if you’re left or right.”) We asked him about it.
DIRECTOR OF THE NIH, SINGER/SONGWRITER
“I had the privilege of leading the Human Genome Project, so you have to sing about [DNA].”
DR. FRANCIS COLLINS
People have asked that. I’ve never quite gotten organized enough. Since I’m a government employee, there would probably be a conﬂict of interest.
Greenbelt Dog Park
W W W. C H E R R Y W O O D - D E N T A L . C O M
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takes New Orleans on the road for a co-headlining gig with Dumpstaphunk. Howard Theatre,
THE BEST THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK | COMPILED BY EXPRESS STAFF
‘Portlandia’ Pretentious mixologists aren’t exclusive to Portland, Ore. — but they’re what make IFC’s “Portlandia” so funny. Ex-“SNL” star Fred Armisen, below right, and rocker Carrie Brownstein, below left, are back for a fourth season (Thurs., 10 p.m.) to skewer the city “where young people go to retire.”
620 T St. NW; Wed., 8 p.m., $27.50$62.50; thehowardtheatre.com, 202803-2899. (Shaw-Howard U) SUNDAY
Mark Morris Dance Group Mark Morris is a titan of modern dance, and his Brooklyn-based troupe is world-renowned for creating unpredictable, richly textured performances backed by live music. The group’s appearance at George Mason’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall features compositions by Henry Cowell, Ivor Cutler and some guy named Bach.
States Botanic Garden Conservatory, 100 Maryland Ave. SW; through April 27, free; 202-225-8333, usbg.gov. (Federal Center)
Beck, ‘Morning Phase’
‘Late Night With Seth Meyers’ Jimmy Fallon moved ofﬁces last week, now it’s Seth Meyers’ turn. The longtime anchor of “Saturday Night Live’s” “Weekend Update” moves to NBC’s “Late Night,” (Mon., 12:35 a.m.) where he’ll serve up his signature snark on a nightly basis. “SNL” alum Fred Armisen will lead Meyers’ house band and former “Update” co-anchor Amy Poehler is his ﬁrst guest.
pose as an average American couple in a Virginia suburb. If you’re not caught up, stream Season 1 on Amazon Prime.
4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax; Thur., 8 p.m., $55; 703993-3000, patriotcenter .com.
Kermit Ruﬃns and The BBQ Swingers A ﬁxture on HBO’s “Treme,” jazz trumpeter Kermit Rufﬁns
Randy Rogers Band For their most recent album, “Trouble,” the Randy Rogers Band taps into a more gritty sound than the country group is known for. Rogers’ growl is not unlike the gruff tones of his peer Dierks Bentley — with just an extra dash of redneck ﬂavor. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Fri., 8 p.m., $30; 202265-0930, 930.com. (U Street)
Best Picture Marathon It’s either the best or worst idea ever: Watch all of the Oscar Best Picture nominees in one 24-hour sitting. AMC’s Georgetown location screens all nine on Saturday (and part of Sunday). AMC Loews Georgetown, 3111 K St. NW; Sat., 10 a.m., $60; 202342-6033, amctheatres.com.
‘The Americans’ Hailed as one of the best new dramas of 2013, “The Americans” returns for a second season of Cold War-era intrigue (Wed., 10 p.m., FX). For the uninitiated, the show follows two KGB spies (played by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) who
Either you’ve been living under a rock, or you know all the words to Robin Thicke’s summer mega-hit “Blurred Lines.” He probably has other songs, too. Find out at the Patriot Center. Patriot Center,
It’s been ﬁveand-a-half long years since Beck released his last album, 2008’s “Modern Guilt.” But this week, everyone’s favorite slacker-folkie is back with “Morning Phase,” a mellow set of 13 beautifully crafted songs that serve as a spiritual sequel to Beck’s mostly acoustic 2002 classic “Sea Change.”
George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax; Sun., 4 p.m., $23-$46; 703-993-8888, cfa.gmu.edu
In its latest exhibit, the U.S. Botanic Garden features orchids from around the world set among elaborate topiaries, musical fountains, and even an orchid chandelier. It’s like “Fantasia” come to life. United
The sprawling exhibit “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation,” at the National Museum of Natural History, chronicles Indian Americans’ contributions to the U.S. over the last three centuries. Artifacts include a dress by designer Naeem Khan that was worn by Michelle Obama and a portrait of DJ Rekha, left, who’s credited with popularizing bhangra in America. National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW; opens Thur.-TBA, free; 202-633-1000, mnh.si.edu. (Smithsonian)
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Alive and Stickin’ This sly form of urban street art is on the rise and under the radar On a recent Saturday afternoon near the U Street Metro station, a 30-something guy in an olive-green jacket walked past a police oﬃcer, slapped a homemade sticker on the back of a street sign and strode away, unnoticed. Over the last ﬁve years, this street artist has blanketed greater D.C. with his trademark sticker, a sketch of his left hand bearing the enigmatic phrase “I Will Not,” which has become his pseudonym.
“I want to put my hand on everything, pardon the pun,” iwillnot says. A married father of two who asked to keep his identity a secret, iwillnot is among a legion of sticker artists who are decorating — or vandalizing, depending on your perspective — electric boxes, newspaper boxes and other ﬂat, metal surfaces around the region with miniature works of art. Some of these stickers are individually hand-painted, while others are block or screen printed, or simply made on a home printer. They can be as sleek as commercial logos, but what distinguishes sticker artists from common advertisers is that real artists leave their images up for interpretation,
ABOUT THE PHOTOS: Sticker artists love to hit Express boxes. “They are brightly colored and tend to be in high traffic areas,” local artist iwillnot says. We at Express would prefer that our street boxes stay pristine, but we did ask iwillnot to go to town on one out-of-service box to illustrate this story.
iwillnot says. That’s certainly been the case with his hand. “ S o m e p e o p l e t h i n k I ’m swearing allegiance to something, some people think it’s about detaching yourself from the current sense of urgency or whatever other trendy nonsense has infected the culture,” he says. Sticker art is increasingly ubiquitous in the D.C. area, in part due to the rapid rise of surveillance cameras in the city, says street art expert Alex Goldstein, owner of The Fridge DC art gallery in Capitol Hill. These cameras can easily capture spray-painters, who might spend hours working on a single installation. Sticker artists, on the other hand, can slap up their works in seconds. “They’re a lot less likely to get caught,” Goldstein says. As a result, stickers are popping up in suburban parking lots and train tunnels as well as the city’s center. But somehow, they’ve largely escaped ofﬁcial notice. “I just have never seen them,”
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JASON HORNICK (FOR EXPRESS)
Put a ’Bot on It
“I’d much rather see a bunch of stickers that someone put a little thought or creativity into than just the plain, boring, gray base of a streetlight.” — IW ILLNOT, D.C.-AREA STICKER ARTIST
says Cassandra Ball, the director of D.C.’s grafﬁti abatement program. “I can’t remember ever sending a crew out to take stickers off.” D.C. Department of Public Works spokeswoman Nancee Lyons agrees. “I’ve seen band ﬂyers and posters, but little stickers? I haven’t seen that.” Lyons’ office, at 14th and U streets NW, happens to sit at the epicenter of D.C.’s sticker art explosion. Stickers have been stuck on the bus stop, electrical box and roadwork sign directly in front of the Department of Public Works headquarters. Across the street, a blue sign pointing pedestrians to Meridian Hill Park is plastered with more than 40 stickers, including one depicting a coffee mug that looks like a duck and another showing an astronaut with a television head. Like spray-paint grafﬁti, sticker grafﬁti is destruction of property, punishable with fines of up to $1,000, community service or jail time. But the people behind it see
Look sharp and you’re likely to spot a “Robot Griﬃn III” sticker somewhere in D.C. RGIII is a creation of artist BZA, who calls his works “Memebots” — “visual shells that can encapsulate any personality.” His illustrations start with a basic robot design that he alters to depict a character or celebrity. “I try to keep them really happy, fun, positive,” he says. Other D.C.-ish Memebots: “Bobby Lee Bot,” inspired by Bobby Lee of the Arlington-based reggae band SOJA, and “Robama.” Who’s next? “I haven’t done a sticker of Chuck Brown,” BZA notes. MARISSA PAYNE (EXPRESS)
His Top Sticks:
themselves as artists, not vandals. “Stickers have so much value, even though they’re cheap and small,” explains a local artist who goes by “Moral,” who plasters the city with stickers featuring intricately drawn monster faces. For his part, iwillnot sees stickering as sort of a neighborhood beautiﬁcation project. “I’d much rather see a bunch of stickers that someone put a little thought or creativity into than just the plain, boring, gray base of a streetlight,” he says. “D.C. is already such a gray city. I’m in a battle against the gray.” As other forms of street art are ﬁnding their way into galleries, sticker art has largely stayed on the street. “The problem is, you can’t make any money off of it,” iwillnot says. It took him years to convince The Fridge’s Goldstein to put on a sticker art show. That show finally happened last fall, after iwillnot posted notices on online street art forums, asking artists around the world to mail their work to him. More than 10,000 stickers ﬂooded his P.O. box, and iwillnot spent some 60 hours afﬁxing them to wooden panels for the show. Today you can ﬁnd the installation near the gallery gift shop, but it’s not for sale. “There is no way I could track down 10,000 mostly anonymous
artists and pay them maybe $1 each,” says iwillnot, who volunteered his time to create the show. Small, cheap and abundant, sticker art may be particularly resistant to the commercial forces that threaten to appropriate other facets of street art. “We don’t get a lot of cred, since what we do is so low-risk,” iwillnot says. “But we are as street as it gets.” SADIE DINGFELDER (EXPRESS)
STUCK ONLINE See all five surfaces of our stickercoated Express box , plus detailed shots of the stickers that adorn it, at readexpress.com.
Local artist iwillnot told us about some of his favorite stickers and sticker-makers.
This Chicago-based artist hand-draws all of his stickers, which often juxtapose Dr. Seuss-like characters with punk iconography. “Each one of his stickers is a self-contained little story.”
The chip-toothed avatar of this Portland, Ore.-based artist suggests a person celebrating ignorance. “If you look at the arrow, it seems like he is shooting himself in the head with his own words.”
Arrex, also from Portland, Ore., makes precision diecut stickers. The sticker above features a matte orange layer on a glossy white base. “He produces professional-quality stickers, all at home.”
A professional mixed-media artist in Pennsylvania, Fry hails from the D.C. area and has only produced a single sticker design: these spiffy checkered shoes. “I love the balance and the simplicity of the design.”
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Building a Better Bed You spend about a third of your life snoozing. But if you do so on a lumpy mattress, scratchy sheets and a pillow you’ve had since college, you probably aren’t getting a good rest. Still, navigating the world of beds and bedding can be enough to induce insomnia. What’s a thread count? Why do side sleepers need different pillows than back sleepers? Rest easy — we’ve got tips on every step, from choosing a comfy mattress to curating throw pillows. BETH LUBERECKI (FOR E XPRESS) Laying The Foundation
JASON HORNICK PHOTOS (FOR EXPRESS)
Are you tossing and turning at night, or waking up stiff and sore? You probably need a new mattress. Before you shop, think about how you sleep. Do you lie on your side or back? Do you get hot or cold at night? Then, don’t be afraid to ask the sales rep questions, or to truly get familiar with any mattress you’re considering. “A lot of people test mattresses with their butt, but no one sleeps sitting up,” says Mary Helen Uusimaki, vice president of membership and communications at Alexandria’s International Sleep Products Association. “Bring your pillow, wear comfortable pants and lie there for five to 10 minutes.”
Bed Basics At Vienna’s Valerianne, exotic bedding combos add up to a restful, chic boudoir.
Making Sense of Sheets When it comes to sheets, think beyond just thread count (which measures the number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch of fabric). The material the sheets are made of matters just as much. “You’re best served with natural fibers,” says Aimee Wedlake Lange, owner of Vienna linens shop Valerianne (211 Mill St. NE, Vienna; 703-242-1790). “Invest in the best quality cotton you can. I’m more interested in quality than thread count.” Try to touch sheets before you buy them, then pick what feels best. “People like sheets that are crisp, but sometimes they sacrifice softness,” says Xu of Blissliving Home. Take good care of your nice sheets. “Don’t oversoap them and don’t over-dry them,” says Lange. “Cotton is like hair: Put too much stuff in it, it’s going to dull. If you over-dry it, it’s going to break.” B.L.
The Finishing Touches When it comes to dressing your bed, you don’t have to replicate the exact look you see in a catalog or store. “Think about how you’re truly going to use the bedding before you invest in stuff you don’t need,” says Amy Rutherford, owner of Alexandria shop Red Barn Mercantile (1117 King St.; 703-838-0355), which carries bedding from exotic-print mad John Robshaw and beachy Pine Cone Hill. Some people love the feel of a big, fluffy, down duvet, and the ease with which they can change the look of their bed by switching duvet covers.
Pillows can be like jewelry for your bed. Cool accent poufs come from Valerienne (above) and John Robshaw (right, johnrobshaw .com).
Platform beds look cool and contemporary, but their low profile can make them awkward to get in and out of. A traditional mattress and box spring will be higher, but if the thought of using a bed skirt makes you cringe, try a bed where the side and foot rails are upholstered along with the headboard. “It gives a nice, finished look,” says Alexandria interior designer Stuart Nordin (571-357-1144, stuartnordin.com). If that kind of bed isn’t in your budget, put your bucks into a headboard. “You’ll have unlimited opportunities to dress up your bed,” says Mei Xu, CEO of local bedding company Blissliving Home (blisslivinghome.com). “You can go from a headboard with ornate wood carvings to a casual suede one.”
Others like something simpler, like a quilt or coverlet. Or you could switch between the two depending on the season. The all-white look popular a few years ago has given way to more prints and color. “If you have nothing else going on in terms of pattern in your bedroom, the bed is a great place to add interest,” says Nordin. Pillows serve almost as punctuation marks, but you don’t need a massive pile to make a statement. Try two large square pillows covered in Euro shams and a bolster or rectangular pillow, or ﬁnd one snazzy decorative puff.
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shopping Fruit Ninja WHEN YOUR FACE ISN’T hidden
under 18 scarves and a trapper hat, you can see that winter has made it duller and drier. Goldfaden MD’s new Fresh A Peel ($85, goldfadenmd.com) aims to gently zap flaky patches and hyperpigmentation with a combo of fruit acids and sugar cane extracts. Our tester applied the liquid for two minutes as directed and found the stuff tingly but not harsh. The result was softer, brighter skin. But alas, winter continued.
Green With Hunger
FOUNDED IN LONDON in
Dipping Into Turkish Style From Istanbul to Urfa, Turks relax in historic bathhouses and lounge on divans loaded with colorful poufs. Georgetown’s new Sabun Home (1631 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-506-6103, sabunhome.com) sells that country’s stylish goods for sudsing or cuddling up, including olive oil soaps (above left, $8 each) scented with lavender, thyme and other herbs, and bamboocotton towels (above right, $13-$47 each). The store, named after the Turkish word for soap, also stocks silk ikat pillows ($110) in hot hues.
In Bag Company NOT QUITE BRIEFCASES, not quite purses, Jack and
Fair Footed VIBRANT PERUVIAN FABRICS — the kind normally seen on colorfully robed shepherds in travel books — also headline on Inkkas shoes (inkkas .com), a line of fair-trade lace-ups, slip-ons and high-tops (shown, $75). The brand’s new spring collection ($46-$88) for men, women and kiddos harnesses rainbow combos — think pink and red diamonds with orange stripes and green or purple with magenta zigzags. The resulting kicks could scale Andean mountains or go to brunch in Arlington.
Mulligan’s new unisex bags have countless practical uses (jackandmulligan.com). Manufactured in the U.S. from materials designed to improve with age (nylon, leather) the satchels come with a lifetime guarantee. We recommend the matches-with-everything Theodore Tote ($105) or the Kennedy Duffel as chic schleppers (shown, $95).
Best of the Bunch AJAY KORI got the idea
to start a floral delivery service after spending an exorbitant amount of money sending blooms to his longdistance girlfriend. He and friend Jeff Sheely launched Urban Stems in February, offering affordable bouquets to District dwellers ($35 including delivery, urbanstems.com). Choose from a rotation of buds sourced sustainably from Colombia and Ecuador. Such primo growing conditions mean blossoms last longer.
2004, Leon was meant to be an unassuming restaurant that served well-made fast food from sustainable ingredients. The eatery now has 15 U.K. branches and a line of popular cookbooks. Its latest, “Fast Vegetarian” ($30, Conran Octopus), includes more than 200 vivid pages full of meatfree soup, salad and casserole recipes, including turnip pancakes, root vegetable stew with baked dumplings and roasted vegetables stuffed with mint, feta, chickpeas and spinach.
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A Cool Hundred A National Portrait Gallery exhibit makes a strong case that the U.S. leads in coolness Exhibits Ah, the good old USA. Land of the free and home of the cool. “The coolest people live in America,” says Joel Dinerstein,
co-curator of “American Cool,” a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery that celebrates 100 specimens of hipness. “The idea of ‘cool’ is central to the American self-concept. It embodies a characteristically American maverick individuality.” “And pushing the boundaries of expression is a hallmark of U.S. democracy,” says Frank H. Goodyear III, the exhibition’s
other curator. “Cool” as we know it entered the American lexicon through African-American jazz musicians i n t he 1920s. L egend ha s it tenor saxophonist Lester Young popularized the word, throwing it around while playing shows. Later adopted by the mostly white members of the Beat Generation, the term eventually spread around the world. Today, if you say “cool”
in almost any country, the locals will get what you mean. Of course, not all people are created cool. Having studied the sociological history and meaning of the concept since they were grad students at the University of Texas at Austin in the 1990s, Dinerstein and Goodyear devised a rubric of four “cool” characteristics, at least three of which must be met for a person to qualify. The co-curators looked for these attributes when picking subjects for their show: 1. An original artistic vision carried off with a signature style; 2. The embodiment of cultural rebellion or transgression for a given
generation; 3. Iconic power, or instant visual recognition; and 4. A recognized cultural legacy. Featuring photography by such masters as Diane Arbus, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Annie L eibov it z, “A mer ica n Cool” presents portraits of the 100 people who best embody this truly American concept (a handful of whom were “cool” even before it was cool). Here are ﬁve standouts. ELENA GOUK ASSIAN (FOR E XPRESS)
National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW; Fri. through Sept. 7, free; 202-633-8300, npg.si.edu. (Gallery Place)
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) BY LINDA McCARTNEY, 1967
Hendrix, whose face graces the cover of the “American Cool” exhibition catalog, redefined the art of guitar playing — and even the sound of our national anthem. But his untimely death exposed a darker side of cool, a mysterious complexity that sometimes ends in tragedy for huge talents who don’t quite fit in. “Being ‘cool’ is often a strategy for navigating through a challenging society. It’s how you deal with the s--- in life,” co-curator Joel Dinerstein says. “ ‘Cool’ is not [about being] heroic.” Proof of Coolness: “Are You Experienced,” 1967.
Billie Holiday (1915-1959) BY BOB WILLOUGHBY, 1951 (PRINTED 1991)
A friend of Lester Young’s, Lady Day often headlined at jazz shows but she still had to enter white clubs through the back door. Holiday’s heart-wrenching rendition of “Strange Fruit” exposed American racism like nothing else could: “Southern trees bear a strange fruit/ Blood on the leaves and blood at the root/ Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze/ Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.” Proof of Coolness: “Lady Sings the Blues,” 1956.
James Dean (1931-1955)
BY ROY SCHATT, 1954
While Dinerstein and Goodyear were conducting preliminary interviews with anyone and everyone on the topic of “cool,” James Dean was one of two people who always came up first (Miles Davis was the other). A poster boy for disenfranchised youth, Dean literally lived life in the fast lane while breaking down boundaries in acting and sexuality. Proof of Coolness: “Rebel Without a Cause,” 1955, one of only three feature films Dean made.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
BY SAMUEL HOLLYER, CIRCA 1855
Read about more portraits of the coolest Americans featured in the exhibit — including Frederick Douglass, Elivs Presley and Benicio del Toro — at readexpress.com.
Joan Didion (1934- ) BY JULIAN WASSER, 1970
PHOTOS FROM NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION. JIMI HENDRIX IMAGE COPYRIGHT PAUL McCARTNEY. JOAN DIDION IMAGE COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND CRAIG KRULL GALLERY.
A firm believer in the sociocultural power of the media and a champion of literary journalism, Didion mapped new territory for writers. Using methods usually confined to fiction writing, she uncovered the ugliness behind the American Dream. Proof of Coolness: “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” 1968.
The father of free verse championed a radical new style of writing while challenging the prudishness of 19thcentury society. The poet’s contemporaries were shocked and appalled by his nonrhyming verses, which audaciously explored “obscene” themes, including sexuality and homoeroticism. Proof of Coolness: “Leaves of Grass,” 1855.
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Fitness Shoving a pushcart loaded down with hundreds of pounds of weights is tough. What’s even harder is being quizzed while you’re doing it, says Mike Kohn. So when people would ask him what exactly he was up to, he’d just tell them, “I have this weird way I exercise.” They’d never believe the real answer: He was in training for the Olympic bobsled team. Kohn, 41, competed in the sport for two decades, winning an Olympic bronze medal in 2002 along the way. Although he planned to step away from bobsled after his appearance in the Vancouver Games in 2010, Kohn couldn’t quit. He’s in Sochi as assistant coach for the men’s team. When he gets home, Kohn will search for new athletes to follow in his fast and powerful footsteps. And if recruits want to pursue their
Olympic bobsled dreams, they need to start developing the strength of a weightlifter, the speed of a sprinter and the grace of a dancer. The good news for locals? The Washington region is one of the best places in the country to prepare for the sport. There’s no bobsled track around here, but there are only 17 of those in the world — and just two in the United States: Lake Placid, N.Y., and Park City, Utah. Luckily for athletes, the technical aspects of bobsled training take a backseat to the strength and conditioning — and most importantly, the coaching. The D.C. area’s reputation as a hotbed for bobsled started with one guy: John Philbin. These days, he’s the strength and conditioning coach for the Nationals. Thirty years ago, the Maryland native was on the Olympic bobsled team; then, he became head coach for the sport. “Going 90 mph on a track of ice — there’s no other ride like it,” says Philbin, still one of bobsled’s great champions. He recruited in the region in the ’80s and ’90s, which is when he roped in Kohn and others. Recently, baseball has distract-
Mike Kohn of Virginia drove his team along the bobsled track at the 2010 Olympics.
“Going 90 mph on a track of ice — there’s no other ride like it.” — JOHN PHILBIN, STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH FOR TJ BURNS
World-class coaches make the D.C. area an ideal training spot for Olympic hopefuls
RICHARD HEATHCOTE (GETTY IMAGES)
Bobsled’s Inside Track
TJ Burns, front, trained with current assistant men’s bobsled coach Mike Kohn, back, and Nationals strength and conditioning coach John Philbin.
The first step to becoming a bobsledder? Score high enough on this test: A 60-meter sprint (or a 45-meter sprint for women). Broad jump. Shot toss. Men throw a 16-pound shot, women a 12-pound shot. Power clean (1 rep max). Back squat (3 rep max).
An impressive performance is a ticket to more training. Philbin has his athletes lift, run and jump, as well as do some nuttier things. That includes “overspeed training,” which involves running with bungee cords, and pushing cars or other heavy objects. Hurdles, box jumps and other plyometric exercises are standard for bobsled training. Burns points to
TEDDY WOLFF (FOR EXPRESS)
The Bobsled Training Schedule
THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS, FORMER OLYMPIC BOBSLEDDER AND THE REASON D.C. IS A TOP PLACE TO TRAIN FOR THE SPORT
scars along his shins from missed attempts on wooden boxes. Mike Savitch, a native of St. Thomas, competed on the Virgin Islands bobsled team from 1995 to 2002 while working as a personal trainer in D.C. He says his secret weapon was in Georgetown: the “Exorcist” steps. “I ran them four times a week, triple hopping all the way up,” he says. Athletes today are fortunate that
ed Philbin, who closed down his eponymous personal training center in Gaithersburg, Md. But he’s back to thinking about bobsled with the planned mid-March opening of Launch Sports Performance (launchsp.com). Philbin will pitch in at the Rockville facility, which has a notso-subtle bobsled bent. The head strength and conditioning coach is TJ Burns, another one of Philbin’s proteges (and alternate on the 2010 Olympic team). The founder, physical therapist Liz Wheeler, helped Burns get back on track after a knee injury. Launch will welcome athletes of all stripes, Burns says, but he hopes to host specialized bobsled clinics and recruiting events, including a combine with Kohn this summer. It’s a chance for people to see whether they have the potential to develop the power, strength and speed to pursue an Olympic career. One quality that’s trickier to measure is mindset. The sport isn’t for everyone. Philbin describes tipping over as feeling like being trapped in a washing machine. All that craziness is balanced out by the rewards, Burns says: “If you do well, you’re racing for your country. You’re a big kid that gets to go sledding for a living.” “A living” is kind of a stretch considering bobsledders earn virtually nothing. Philbin notes several Nats players could make a bobsled dream team: Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond. “But I think they’d rather make their millions,” he says. If they ever decide they want to earn a gold medal, they should talk to Kohn. VICK Y HALLETT (EXPRESS)
CrossFit has popularized Olympic lifting, says Savitch, who’s now a CrossFit coach. Power moves are crucial for bobsledders, but they usually require dropping the weights, which wasn’t allowed at most gyms back when he was competing. Viewers will be able to see the results of improved training techniques in Sochi, Kohn says. “They’re better than I wished I could be,” he adds. V.H.
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TEDDY WOLFF PHOTOS (FOR EXPRESS)
Left: Vinegar varieties used at Rose’s Luxury include Newcastle Brown Ale, dark and stormy, and Mountain Dew. Right: BJ Lieberman strains a batch of his rosé vinegar.
A local chef and a passionate craftsman raise vinegar’s profile with inventive flavors Trends To make vinegar from scratch you need alcohol, a sample of live bacteria known as a “mother” and cheesecloth to ward off pests. Lots and lots of cheesecloth. “Whoever said you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar is lying,” says BJ Lieberman, the sous chef at Rose’s Luxury who has turned the basement of the Capitol Hill hotspot into a lab fit for Walter White Wine Vinegar. Using an elaborate process that involves bubblers, oscillating fans and pH meters, Lieberman makes Willy Wonka-like ﬂavors of vinegar (Mountain Dew, bourbon-and-ginger ale, Manischewitz-and-Concord grape) that are laced in dishes on
the menu at Rose’s Luxury. Why would Lieberman bother with the laborious process of making vinegar when he can just pluck a bottle off the shelf at a grocery store? “Vinegar is a living thing that you have to taste all the time as it changes,” he says. “That’s what I ﬁnd so cool about it.” Plus, live artisanal vinegars (as opposed to infusing ﬂavor into the pasteurized versions from the supermarket) add an inimitable brightness
Where to Tart In colonial times, vinegar was used to preserve fruit in the off-season, says Dale DeGroff, author of “The Essential Cocktail.” By the 19th century, people realized the resulting liquid — infused with natural fruit flavors — wasn’t half bad. Sugar and honey were added and “shrubs” were born. The taste of a shrub is comparable to a sweet
“Vinegar is a living thing that you have to taste all the time as it changes. That’s what I ﬁnd so cool about it.” — B J LIEBERM A N, SOUS CHEF AT ROSE’S LUXURY, WHO MAKES ARTISANAL VINEGARS IN THE BASEMENT OF THE CAPITOL HILL RESTAURANT
kombucha, with a light sparkle and a slight tartness. Done wrong, a cocktail made with shrubs can be disastrous. “It’s just a little bit dangerous,” DeGroff says, “because vinegar, after all, tastes like vinegar.” Locally, you can find shrubs-doneright at Republic (6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park, Md.; 301-270-3000, republictakoma.com), where a glass of the People’s Punch ($7) includes
The Hollow Apple cocktail at Eat the Rich
HOLLEY SIMMONS (E XPRESS)
Rose’s Luxury, 717 Eighth St. SE; 202-580-8889, rosesluxury.com. (Eastern Market) Glen’s Garden Market, 2001 S St. NW; 202-588-5698, glensgarden market.com. (Dupont Circle) Organic Butcher, 6712 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, Va.; 703-790-8300, theorganicbutcher.com.
to food and drinks and contain probiotics that aid with digestion. Flavored vinegars can be used to deglaze pans or as an alternative to citrus in cocktails. They can be mixed into a vinaigrette and often they’re smooth enough to drink straight from the bottle. Still, vinegar has long been the Art Garfunkel of the culinary world, better known for playing second ﬁddle to a much smoother, more versatile companion than it is for its own unique merits. But Lieberman is championing the piquant liquid’s many benefits. (He even had trucker hats made for the kitchen staff that say “Vinegar is for Lovers.”)
Daniel Liberson, owner of Lindera Farms Vinegar, shares a similar passion. Coincidentally, Liberson has been working as a server at Rose’s Luxury while getting his business off the ground. “BJ and I have developed a quick friendship/rivalry,” Liberson jokes. To hear him talk about his madefrom-scratch vinegars is like listening to a grandmother talk about her granddaughter. And in a way, his vinegars are just as much kin: they’re made using elderﬂowers and mulberries hand-picked from his family’s property in Delaplane, Va. “They grow like weeds out there,” Liberson says. “I get them by the pound and they’re 100 percent local and fresh.” His vinegars are available at retailers including Glen’s Garden Market and the Organic Butcher ($24 for a 7.1-ounce bottle), and Liberson is negotiating to get them used in some of the area’s more revered restaurants and bars, where they’re likely to stick around. “Food trends disseminate from the highest tier of restaurant down to the mid-tier, until ﬁnally you see a foam on a McDonald’s burger,” Liberson says. “The best thing about the vinegar trend is it’s never going to go anywhere, because vinegar was around to begin with.”
a lemon, orange and lime variety; in the tangy Hollow Apple cocktail ($12) from Eat the Rich (1839 Seventh St. NW, 202-316-9396, etrbar .com) made with a green apple shrub; and in the Night Gladiolus cocktail ($10) at Toki Underground (1234 H St. NE; 202-388-3086, tokiunderground.com), which uses a rice wine vinegar infused with ginger, lemongrass, pomegranate, honey and bird’s eye chilies. H.S.
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fun & games ACROSS 1 Partners of cones 5 Bicycle-wheel component 10 “___ the night before Christmas ...” 14 Off-color 19 Aweather’s opposite 20 It’s tough to break one 21 Hebrides language 22 Like London in 1666 23 Get rich via opportunism 26 Muscular strength 27 Slow but victorious racer 28 Shakes awake 29 Omelet ingredients 30 It’s picked in Maui
THE NEST IS YET TO COME 31 Sounds from the nose 32 Santa’s little helper 33 Natty or dashing 37 Hair on one’s chinny-chin-chin 38 Helps financially, as a college 41 Give great pleasure to 42 Easter flower 43 Was bold enough 46 Revealing cry 47 Swimmer’s regimen 48 Execute perfectly 50 Organ that responds to stimulation 52 Bratty kid 53 Eagles and hawks, e.g. 58 Biblical verb
Last Week’s Solution
59 Grow together 61 Permission paper 63 March 15, to Brutus 64 Lyric composition 65 Mythological king of Crete 66 Steinbeck title closer 68 Resist 71 Go over with a fine-tooth comb 74 Fast grower, population-wise 79 Malcolm X’s faith 81 Boys with many badges 83 P on fraternity row 84 Salon artists 86 Opponent of 27-Across 87 Gone prostrate 88 Army bunk 89 Like a ballerina
91 Dick and Jane’s dog 93 The time being 94 Giza tourist attraction 96 New parents, for instance 98 Imparted knowledge 99 Literary “before” 100 Narrow grooves 101 Wander 102 It is enough, according to some 104 Summer attire 105 Athenian statesman 110 They cover attics 112 Return, as a bird 114 Infection causing a hoarse cough 115 Many solarsystem objects 116 WWI attacker 117 Back up, as files 118 More than sufficiently 119 Word with litmus or taste 120 Most have comfortable seats 121 Semiprecious stone DOWN 1 Huck Finn’s ride 2 Fat watcher’s spread 3 Word describing Abby 4 Paving stone 5 Abu Dhabi poohbah
6 Do a grammar exercise 7 Bassoon¡s cousin 8 Sisters, uncles and others 9 Everlasting 10 Perk for professors 11 Took by force 12 Some braying beasts 13 Tennis-match units 14 Four-year degrees (Abbr.) 15 Away from home 16 Like Hermes, messenger for Zeus 17 Bit of sediment 18 Bow-wood trees 24 ___ of Commons 25 Like a busy chimney sweep 31 Loam and marl 32 Put a stop to 33 Piece of history? 34 Remember this when in San Antonio 35 Phi Beta ___ 36 “___ a long story” 37 Fly without an engine 38 Common Market inits., once 39 “On ___ authority?” 40 Arranges by type 44 Square mileage, e.g.
I N N E XT W E E K’S
Who cares about Best Actress? We want to know who wins Best Dressed. We pick winners in the Oscar categories that actually matter.
45 Actors Alejandro and Fernando 48 Japanese immigrant’s children 49 Joan of ___ 51 Three-___ landing 53 Dorm-room furniture 54 Spacious window 55 Where to find pickets
56 Takes part in a cabal 57 Dos’ followers, on a music scale 60 Faithful and true 62 Overdo it on Broadway 65 Car-lot sticker stat. 67 Bad ___ (German spa) 68 Floppy, compact and others 69 Prevent, at the bar
EDITED BY ROB LEE
70 Escape 72 Profit, once 73 Miss America’s hip hugger 74 Regatta entrants 75 “___ American Cousin” 76 Long-armed zoo creature 77 Any-way link 78 Nine-piece band 80 “Winnie the Pooh” author 82 Daily duty
85 Many a firstgrader’s age 87 Ferrigno of “The Incredible Hulk” 90 Seals in a sepulchre 91 Will of Hollywood 92 Metaphor for dense fog 93 The very bottom 95 Mad as a wet hen 97 Police datum 98 Mystical cards 100 Coastal area
101 Gain access to 102 Black-andwhite sea creature 103 100, for an I.Q. 104 Get off ___free 105 Laborer 106 Fashion name 107 Crazy bird 108 Sports-channel award 109 Charon crosses it 111 Double agent 113 Wharton grad
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fun & games WUMO | WULFF & MORGENTHALER
WASHINGTON POST DAY AT GEORGE MASON BASKETBALL
GEORGE MASON men’s basketball vs. DUQUESNE
SATURDAY, March 8 • 7:00 p.m.
POOCH CAFE | PAUL GILLIGAN
George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. Doors open one hour prior to game time.
* ONLY $56! 4 reserved seat game tickets • 4 hot dogs • 4 sodas
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Need more Sudoku? Find another puzzle in the weekday Express, the Comics section of The Post every Sunday and in the Style section Monday through Saturday.
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