Favorite Things

  • Free movies are screened in the East Building Auditorium of the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery offerings are wildly eclectic, and have included the Kieslowski Decalogue, L’avventura, and (of course) artists’ documentaries. Seating is general admission, and generally the doors open 30 minutes before screening time, so for a popular film, plan to arrive about 45 minutes ahead.

    National Gallery of Art, East Building
    4th Street & Constitution Avenue, N.W.
    202·737·4215
    Red Line: Gallery Place or Judiciary Square | Green/Yellow Lines: Archives | Silver/Orange/Blue Lines: Federal Triangle

  • American Meridian

    A short walk from the Foggy Bottom station brings you to what is perhaps the city’s smallest monument, a plaque and a strip of granite set in the sidewalk at the southeast corner of H and 24th Sts., N.W. The stone strip establishes the American Meridian, recognized as this country’s zero-longitude point from 1848 to 1884, before the meridian at Greenwich was accepted. The eastern and western borders of Colorado and Wyoming were established from this meridian. It turns out that 18th- and 19th-century cartographers established a number of different meridians through the district, including the one along 16th Street N.W. that gave Meridian Hill Park its name.

  • For a local architecture guide, look for E. J. Applewhite’s wonderfully waspish Washington Itself. Originally published in 1981 by Knopf and reissued by Madison Books in 1993,

    This is a personal guide whose aim is to inform the visitor, entertain the resident, and—at times—admonish some of the guardians of the sacred places…. Each architectural description is presented in the context of what goes on inside the building itself…

    Applewhite covers what he thinks is interesting, and leaves it at that. The pen-and-ink illustrations by Fred H. Greenberg are meticulous.

  • See also my Goodreads shelf of D.C. guidebooks.

  • The staff and stock of Washington’s former Backstage have relocated to an industrial district in Alexandria. Still transit-accessible, the reborn American Backstage Company is still the only place in the metro with a roomful of scripts. And books on technique, and dialect recordings, and used books—everything you need. The company’s costume business also remains one of its mainstays.

    The American Backstage Company
    5380 Eisenhower Avenue
    Alexandria, VA 22304
    703·212·8982
    Blue Line: Van Dorn Street

  • Retailers of stage makeup in Virginia have been closing their doors of late. The last time I needed foundation, I picked it up at Artistic Concepts Group, out in the deep suburbs of Chantilly.

    Artistic Concepts Group
    Suite 850, 3675 Concorde Pkwy
    Chantilly , VA 20151
    703·631·2213

Last updated: Monday, 17 October 2016 12:45

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