Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine


The Music Center at Strathmore

The spectacular Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda opened in February, a labor of love for famed architectural designer William Rawn and Chicago-based acoustical consultant Larry Kirkegaard. The most widely known joint venture between these two talented men is Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony. The Strathmore project, which began construction over three years ago, provides an additional home for the Baltimore Symphony and a new venue for the Washington Performing Arts Society. The National Philharmonic, Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras, CityDance Ensemble and the Levine School of Music will also hold performances in the new venue. The Strathmore is relatively small, seating less than 2,000 people, and creates an intimate atmosphere where the audience will hear symphonic music in all its quality and richness from any seat in the house. Just like great halls of the past, The Strathmore is shaped like a shoebox, the most conducive shape to creating a brilliant acoustic sound. The five story glass walls that surround the hall reveal a tree-filled surrounding, which proves to embrace the landscape, rather than overpower it. A great deal of time was put into each detail of the venue, including that it is at the bottom of a hill, in order to disguise its size, and the S-shaped roof mirrors the nature form of the hills it is built upon. When guests arrive to the hall, they are greeted by a glass panorama, which invites them to acknowledge the natural landscape surrounding them as they enjoy music in this acoustic masterpiece. The opening gala on February 5 featured performances by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and sopranos Harolyn Blackwell and Janice Chandler-Eteme.

New Spring Cultural Celebration: Paris on the Potomac

The Washington, D.C. Convention and Tourism Corporation and Cultural Tourism D.C., in partnership with American Experience Foundation and the Embassy of France, is celebrating and honoring the ties between two of the world's greatest capitals, Washington, D.C. and Paris, France. Through Memorial Day, dozens of the city's hotels and restaurants have created exhibitions, performances, themed menus and hotel packages to commemorate French influence in Washington, which was designed by the great French architect Pierre L'Enfant. The celebration will commemorate French, specifically Parisian, influence on Americans from all cultural backgrounds, throughout the country's history. Galleries and museums will mount special exhibits to showcase this event. Look for a celebration of “la vie boheme” at the National Gallery with the “Toulouse Lautrec and Montmarte” exhibit through June 12 and the Phillips Collection's “Modigliani: Beyond the Myth,” showcasing the artist's 14-year career of drawings, paintings and sculpture. Washington's quintessential French restaurant, Brasserie Les Halles, will feature a special prix-fixe meal throughout the celebration and classic French dishes will grace the menus at the Melting Pot, Le Paradou and 1789 restaurants, among others.

Kinkead's Cookbook

Chef Bob Kinkead began as a teenager working summer restaurant jobs on Cape Cod, and now serves as chef and owner of Kinkead's, one of D.C.'s hottest seafood restaurants, and the recently opened Colvin Run Tavern in Tyson's Corner. Situated in Foggy Bottom, Kinkead's has strived to bring diners fresh seafood since 1993. The cookbook features over 120 recipes, including Pepita-Crusted Salmon with Chiles, Corn, Crab, and Shrimp Ragoût; Fried Ipswich Clams with Fried Lemons; Grilled Squid with Creamy Polenta; and Chocolate Daquoise with Cappuccino Sauce. Kinkead also gives tips to navigate fish markets and his secrets to selecting good seafood.


Endangered Species: Restoring our environment and our nation's youth

The much anticipated next installment of “Endangered Species” from the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) premiered at the Public Welfare Foundation on February 16. With the help of founder and former award-winning director Bob Nixon, the documentary was filmed over a 12 year period and recounts the year long work of the ECC, made up of local young adults from under-resourced communities who volunteer to clean up the D.C. wasteland and restore the Anacostia River, some of the most polluted areas in the country. In addition, the student-made film chronicles the restoration of two of our most threatened resources: our environment and our nation's youth. The ECC also strives to return the endangered bald eagle to Washington, and has successfully re-introduced 16 bald eagles to the area and is currently working with the New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation to do the same in the New York Harbor. The students began filming the documentary in 1992 to show people their version of America and to highlight their everyday struggles. The film will air on PBS and should not be missed.




Cloud Dining Lounge: Offering Sharable World Cuisine

Dupont Circle's newest restaurant offers a tantalizing experience in cuisine, music and ambiance. Restaurateurs Savino Recine and John Tsiaoushis have collaborated on a diverse menu of hot and cold tapas from Europe, Asia, Mexico and the Middle East late into the night, complemented by music from around the globe. D.C. designer Walter Gagliano has created an atmosphere where guests will be enveloped by a state of the art lighting system which helps to give the illusion of third dimensional clouds. In addition to the serene, white-themed interior, guests will appreciate enjoying their meal from a comfortable bed draped in sheer curtains. They can also dine at tables featuring glowing translucent surfaces illuminated by “candles” secured underneath while enjoying the continuously projecting lights, with colors changing subtly throughout the evening. A private and luxurious VIP section, aptly named“Cloud 9,” is a great hideaway, while reclining in a full-sized canopied bunk bed, or three sectional beds made of tuffeted white faux leather, and accented with multi-colored cushions.

Donna Lewis: Upper East Side Chic in Alexandria

Tucked away in charming Old Town Alexandria, Donna Lewis Clothier adds a touch of Madison Avenue chic to the D.C. suburbs. Housed in a delightful three-story landmark townhouse, the boutique features such top designers as Attolini, Isaia, Belvest, and Jitrois – a favorite of Catherine Zeta- Jones and Madonna, and emphasizes expert cuts as well as luxurious fabrics. With an attentive and knowledgeable staff, the store also boasts a recently expanded collection of European shoes and accessories, including Drakes cashmere scarves and A. Testoni shoes. Such combinations of classic tailoring with contemporary cuts and colors have attracted many celebrity buyers, including Law & Order's Dick Wolf and Chris Noth, who plan to use the store as a future location for the show. In true New York fashion, customers take full advantage of the topfloor outlet with year round bargains.

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