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Home Again

Some people take a mid-winter break to go on a ski trip or to laze on a tropical beach.* I, on the other hand, am a devout, committed urbanite, who becomes terrible antsy when I’m not within easy walking distance of the nearest public transit stop.

When February seems like it will never end, I head to a warm city with good restaurants, because dining well is truly the best revenge.

And now I’m back in DC, after a short vacation in warm, tasty New Orleans.

*I’ve also heard that some people go out dancing, other people they’ve just gotta work.

Back in a Week

By the time you read this, I’ll be in a hotel room somewhere warm, ditching my DC winterwear for comfortable summer clothes.

Posting will resume after Valentine’s Day.


Gretel & Hansel — Trailer and Featurette

Gretel & Hansel — A Grim Fairy Tale”

This looks like good scary fun. From the film’s description: “A long time ago in a distant fairytale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.” Sometimes the old stories are the best stories, although I don’t remember the Brothers Grimm ever using the phrase “a nexus of terrifying evil”. Maybe it was in the original German.

Alice Krige, who’s been in everything from Deadwood to Beverly Hills, 90210, plays the Witch.

Here’s a featurette about the movie.

Gretel & Hansel opens on 31 January 2020.

Washington, DC’s Christmas Market

There are some delightful Christmas Markets in the US, but they’ve never become A Thing here, the way they are in Europe.

In Germany and Eastern Europe, which have some of the best Christmas Markets, the party sometimes runs from mid-November through early January, and attracts serious crowds. For the past few years, I’ve arranged my schedule so that I can sample them.

But not this year. Post-flood uncertainties and other after-effects of the Memorial Day Flood* have kept me stuck in Washington since June.

DC does have a tiny Christmas Market at Gallery place, though, and I decided to check it out.

Washington, DC’s Christmas Market is only two blocks long. It runs from 7th Street to 9th Street, in front of the American Art Museum.

Some of the Vendors

The Sentry

Nothing says "Christmas" like a nice filled churro.

Nothing says “Christmas” like a nice filled churro.

All in all, it was a pleasant way to spend 20 minutes on a cool winter afternoon.

* Which I may have mentioned earlier here, and here, and here, and…oh, never mind.  I mentioned them a lot. For me, The Flood was the defining event of 2019.

And it looks like post-flood restoration will be the defining event of 2020.

From the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy’s Sister

Yesterday, Christie’s New York held an auction of items from “The Collection of Lee Bouvier Radziwill”. The socialite, who became Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline Radziwill on her 1959 marriage to the Polish aristocrat Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwill, was best known as the younger sister of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, a circumstance that she didn’t particularly enjoy.

The sale total was $1,266,000.

Here are some of the items from the collection. (Images from Christie’s website.)

A pair of Indian silver-gilt, enamel, and hardstone-mounted censers and covers
20th century
Price realized: $8,125

A Limoges porcelain yellow-ground armorial part dinner service
20th century
Price realized: $10,625

A North European rosewood side chair
Late 19th/early 20th century
Price realized: $2,750

A Victorian ebonized and verre eglomise side table
Circa 1860
Price realized: $4,750

A pair of decalcomania table lamps
Late 19th/20th century
Price realized: $4,750

And the Definitive Bouvier Signature Item

Two pairs of fashion sunglasses, Gucci
Late 20th century
Price realized: $2,750

Back in Two Weeks

I’m on a top-secret mission involving Russian assets, porn stars, election rigging, and corruption at high levels. I can’t say much about it, except that it’s so convoluted that it could take me as much as two whole weeks to resolve.

Postings will resume ~20 May.

“In Peak Bloom” — Sound and Light and Colour and Movement

ARTECHOUSE, one of my favourite hangouts in DC, launched a brilliant new immersive experience last week. It’s called “In Peak Bloom”, and it’s perfectly timed for the arrival of Spring in Washington. You can see a sample of the new show in the above video. The projected HD graphics respond to the movements and gestures of members of the audience, making them participants in this a highly interactive environment.

ARTECHOUSE has outdone Itself with this one.

A little added touch. At the Augmented Reality Cocktail Bar in ARTECHOUSE, the coasters at the bar let you compare the “normal” appearance of a drink, on the left, with the augmented version, on the right.