Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine


Sometimes in April

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hotel Rwanda has received a lot of attention, but to fully understand the complexities of the horrors that occurred during the genocide in Rwanda, see the HBO feature film “Sometimes in April,” which was recently screened at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. Set in the lush countryside of Rwanda and in Washington and Paris, the film looks at the Rwandan genocide and the bravery of its victims through the eyes of one family. Viewers see themselves through the eyes of the protagonist, a strong “Hutu” man married to a “Tutsi” woman, who can not believe his countrymen would be capable of such horrific evil because of absurd“tribal distinctions” that linger in part due to Belgium's colonial “divide and conquer”rule. He, his neighbors and the world watched one of the worst genocidal rampages in history, with nearly a million victims killed in one hundred days. Recently released to video, “Sometimes in April” also explores the world's response to the atrocities and chronicles the country's struggle to find justice and accountability ten years later. The film stars Idris Elba (HBO's “The Wire”) and Debra Winger (Oscar nominee for “Shadowlands,” “Terms of Endearment”and “An Officer and a Gentleman”) as former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Prudence Bushnell. Other cast members include Pamela Nomvete, Carole Karemera, Oris Erhuero, Fraser James and Noah Emmerich. With humanizing performances by all, the film is beautifully written and directed by Raul Peck (“Lumumba”) for HBO and should be required viewing for all politicians, journalists and talking heads.

KUSH, Inc.

KUSH has announced the opening of its Shona Art and Culture Exhibition, featuring a collection of rare and semi-precious hard stone sculptures of Opal, Serpentine, Springstone, and Verdite. These sculptures capture the radiance of Zimbabwe's rich cultural and spiritual identity. KUSH Inc. is a D.C.-based nonprofit using art to raise awareness of contemporary experiences, history and cultures in Africa. The second and third generation artists featured in the exhibition have been carefully chosen to share their distinctive artistic style, reflecting both their Shona heritage and their modern-day African lifestyle. Sales from exhibits benefit the artists and their native communities, as well as support KUSH advocacy and humanitarian endeavors. KUSH is dedicated to the rebuilding of the New Sudan, following a civil war that has taken the lives of 2.5 million people and displaced another 4.5 million. KUSH brought together artists from Zimbabwe and the South Sudan to share their experiences and their dreams for their countries. The collection is on view at the KUSH Gallery, located at 1605 Connecticut Ave. N.W., 3rd Floor.

Alexandria Times Returns

After 207 years, a group of Washington businessmen have revived the Alexandria Times. The newspaper was originally published from 1797-1802 as the Alexandria Times& Advertiser. George Washington was a subscriber and an advertiser of that publication during his final years at Mount Vernon. The paper revealed that Washington “took in the Alexandria papers” under his favorite pear tree at Mount Vernon each morning at 5 a.m., preferring them over the “Georgetown papers” because they were more national and international in scope. “Alexandria is one of the most under-served newspaper markets in the country,” said John Arundel, the paper's editor and publisher. “We found in particular that upmarket readers are not being served well by the weekly here [The Alexandria Journal], which hasn't had a competitor in more than 200 years.” Arundel comes from a long line of newsmen. His father, Arthur W. Arundel, started WAVA, the first all-news radio station in the U.S. in 1961. His brother, Peter Arundel, is publisher of Times Community Newspapers in Northern Virginia, which includes the McLean Times, the Fairfax Times and the Loudoun Times-Mirror. The Alexandria paper will be dropping the name“Advertiser” because it no longer plans to feature advertisements on the front page, as the original paper did.


Merkado: Latin Cuisine with an Asian Twist

That success of Logan Tavern impelled owner David Winer and his partners to open Merkado, a few doors down in the quickly developing area of P Street, N.W., just across from Whole Foods. Merkado is a unique neighborhood bar and restaurant featuring Latin cuisine with an Asian twist. Winer describes its decor as “sophisticated urban cantina crashes into a subtle Asian tea-house” with brightly painted portraits gracing brilliantly-colored orange walls. Winer, also the owner of Grillfi sh restaurant in the West End, hired chef Edward Kim, formerly of Soigne in Baltimore, to design the menu, which is divided into small plates, big plates, side plates and sweet plates, with such items as Wonton Empanadas, Baja California Rolls, Asian Paella, Slow Cooked Pork Mole and a make-your-own-nachos-menu. Diners are raving about the seared white tuna sashimi in miso-sake reduction and truffl es, and the crab and shrimp spring rolls spiced with Wasabi lime mayo. Merkado’s long bar makes a perfect spot to select a drink from the cocktail menu, which includes Latin and Asian beers, premium sakes and a Merkado saketini (plum wine and chilled sake). Currently open only for dinner, the 85-seat restaurant will soon be serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.


Ann Hand Opens Second Store

Later this month, renowned jewelry designer Ann Hand will open her second Washington boutique, just across from the Four Seasons at 2900 M Street, N.W. In addition to her more traditional pieces, the store will offer wooden bead necklaces and other trendy items. Ashley Taylor, Hand's granddaughter, will manage the new store. The Ann Hand collection of jewelry is internationally known for its distinctive style, beauty, and unmatched quality. The White House, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense have all chosen Ann Hand creations as diplomatic gifts for foreign dignitaries. In addition to jewelry, Ann Hand's original boutique at 4885 MacArthur Boulevard., N.W. features a custom designed line of handmade leather goods from Italy, limited edition silk scarves from France, signature candles and a line of designer perfume, created exclusively for Ann Hand in Venice, Italy.

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