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ROCK THE MIC! Storyteller Sheldon Scott offers up his prose prowess to the gregarious crowd gathered at Town Danceboutique nightclub for SpeakeasyDC.

Tales From the Quipped

When DC scene-queen Pamela Sorensen found out that Phaidon’s edgy Wallpaper* City Guides lacked an edition on the nation’s capital, she took it to heart. So when the folks at the cool imprint finally decided the time had come for a DC tome, they hit up Sorensen for an insider’s take on what’s hip in the city of change. “I was shocked that it took so long,” she says of the guide hitting the shelves this month. “Washington has had a reputation for being very staid and dull, but over the past five or ten years, there’s been an influx of creative and interesting people, and it’s developed such a bright energy.” Thanks to this new vibe—as well as the booming nightlife and flourishing foodie set—the city is attracting more tourists than ever, and it’s not for its powdered-wig history. “You could come here for a week and not have time to stop, and you might not visit one monument,” she says, citing the District’s rich art, fashion and theater scenes. Nevertheless, you can’t deny one political attraction DC has to offer: the White House, specifically due to the Obamas’ star power. “It’s packed in front of there all the time. People come from all over the world to see Obamas’ house.” We hope DC’s new spot on the radar doesn’t have a term limit. Sorensen is optimistic. “People thought the spotlight would dim by now, but it hasn’t.” Shine on, Washington. –Leila Rafei

THE WRITING ON THE WALLPAPER* Clockwise from left: The National Museum of the American Indian, the Granville Moore bar on H Street and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HQ feature as architecturally edgy in Wallpaper* City Guide Washington, DC. Pamela Sorensen nabbed Phaidon’s eye when she complained DC needed its due.

The Sipper’s Slipper Christian Louboutin and bubbly brand Piper-Heidsieck have partnered on a Cinderella-worthy Champagne glass. The crystal slipper’s been dubbed Le Rituel after the notoriously decadent 1880s-era custom, in which Bolshoi ballerinas poured sparkling wine into their footwear for male admirers. The dancers were no naughtier than Monsieur Louboutin himself. When asked during his recent trip to Tysons Galleria’s Neiman Marcus what he’d craft for Mrs. O, he said: “A pair of crazy shoes she could only wear in the presence of her husband. I’d try to detect when she’s worn them through the morning smile of the president.” Le Rituel and Piper-Heidsieck, $500 at Neiman Marcus. –Shane Martin


The number of Modern art masterpieces holding court in DC that grace the pages of the The Impossible Collection (Assouline, 2009). In this newly printed coffee-table softback, two Christie’s buffs curate the century’s must-haves in a world where money is no object—and Warhols are just a phone call away. Of the 100, the National Gallery of Art and Hirshhorn each claim two, while one resides in a private collection.


GETTING FRAMED Assouline’s The Impossible Collection, just out in softback lists Andre Derain’s Charing Cross Bridge and Brancusi’s Constantin Bird in Space (both in the National Gallery); Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles County Museum on Fire and Sigmar Polke’s Bunnies (both in the Hirshhorn); and an unidentified piece in a local private collection as five of the world’s most amazing Modernist pieces.


A Whole New View

You’ve been longing to channel your inner David Sedaris, but stand-up comedy’s too scary and improv’s too impersonal. The right fit? SpeakeasyDC, a monthly meet-up of storytellers that’s part fun, part therapy—for the teller, at least. Hosting a packed house of 300 every second Tuesday of the month at the chic Town Danceboutique, the group themes spectacular story sessions. December’s is fittingly about the kindness of strangers, while January’s encourages tellers to weave tales about taking a stand. Presenters submit their seven-minute monologues before the show begins, but there’s an open mic for anyone who gets the urge to take to the stage. Need more courage? Sign up for one of SpeakeasyDC’s month-long storytelling classes, where participants find and craft their tales and learn to love the buzz and feedback of holding court at the mic. Times and dates at –Janelle Nanos

Speakeasy and H Street Art  

Two articles: One on Speakeasy DC, the other on a series of new art galleries opening on H Street in Washington, D.C.

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