Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Dynamic Sonically Shifts! Q&A with LouLou Ghelichkhani of Thievery Corporation.

When we sat down with LouLou Ghelichkhani of THIEVERY CORPORATION at a local coffee shop she touched on Joan Jett, motherhood, Pele and "the universal language of music!"  See what she had to say as DC gears up for Thievery's show at this weekends VIRGIN MOBILE FESTIVAL!


Q: You've said that your experience with Thievery Corporation has been like musical grad school (an education), what did you mean by that and how was that relationship established?

A: We all have things and people we are really passionate about... For me, music has always been both... And yet I never considered it to be a career...when I met Eric and Rob (Thievery Corporation) ... I had no experience, either in the studio or on stage. But throughout the past eleven years, I really feel that I have learned quite a bit about the creative and business aspect of it. Touring is troubleshooting on a daily basis. You learn to pay attention to a lot of details if you are technically inclined that is. The frequencies and the dynamic, sonically shift with every venue and equipment, and your only way to understand it is with exposure....Thievery provided the right exposure to absorb and digest all this information.

Q: Thievery is such a dynamic artistic force.  What's the creative process like with them?

A: Are we talking live or recording?  Recording wise, it's in a constant state of evolution... It could be a beat that triggers a vocal melody that triggers a bass line... Or a bass line that triggers the keys that flirt with a vocal pattern... It all depends on the feel of that moment, or an idea that lingers too long to be ignored. I have done 45 min sessions where the song just felt as natural as the sun, and I have done week sessions that require real focus, attention, work and constant rewriting....  But in general, it's just a simple way to communicate with one another through sounds that lead to something grand.  :)

 Q: "Playing for the gods on a mountain..." is how you described the show you did a few weeks ago at Red Rocks in Colorado.  Share with us what you consider to be your most magical performance to date and why.

A: Well Red Rocks is for sure one my favorite spots .... Jupiter was so bright that night..

Others will have to be:

- Greek Theater, San Fran (I use to dream about it as a kid, my uncle had tales of Led Zeppelin, Bowie and many other idols playing there while he studied there...)

- "Good Vibration tour" in Australia... We played Sydney, Melbourne , Perth and Brisbane ... And while we were in Sydney I had the chance to catch a sold out PJ Harvey show at the Opera House which is famous for it's natural acoustic... All wood... It blew me away!

- Tim Festival in Brazil was incredible... Even though the sound system was awful, we played Rio and San Paolo (One of the most populated cities in the world)...we shared the bill with YYY's, TV on the Radio, and Daft Punk... It was pretty surreal...

Q: We were interested to learn about Sharpsword!  Please tell us more about this tribe of musicians, where the name came from and your interest in other solo projects.

A: SHARPSWORD clan is the translation for my last name Ghelichkhani (Persian/Turkish/Mongolian/Russian heritage).  When I first moved to upstate NY, I did not know any musicians... But I had a real urge to play live shows... I had sketches but no real structure for my songs. So I came up with the idea of having a collective... An open house to all musicians with a few perimeters... I would set up live shows and invite who ever was free (because everyone I gradually met there was already in bands, touring .. The whole 9 yards) to join me if they were in the mood to jam and improvise... As long as we could have one warm up jam the week of the show.... It was a great way to not only meet people but develop a new sound. I played with members of the Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, the Motet (from Denver) , Tiger Cried Beef, Hinkley, Carbonic, Moon Seeds... All incredibly talented musicians. The songs would keep morphing into other songs... It was really cool to listen and be a part of it.

Q: Your daughter is a constant source of inspiration for you.  What are some of the challenges & joys of being an artist and a single parent?

 A: For the most part , being a parent has been an incredible way to rediscover childhood... Which I felt I missed out on growing up during a revolution...   My daughter has given me a different perspective.  As a female musician, we can easily get wrapped up in drama, ego, and superficial nonsense... Being a mom helps me focus on what is important, following my instincts, paying attention to all the little things and "little people"... As soon as I had my daughter, I was able to see and read little thought bubbles above childrens heads... they have the most colorful and humorous way of seeing things! These days, I don't really consider myself a single parent... My partner, who also plays/tours with a few bands, is involved and extremely helpful with raising my daughter. He plays bass and guitar with her. We recently had a family jam session, my nine year old on piano, my man on bass and yours truly on vocals... It was fun!

Q: We love that your father played against Pele with the San Francisco Earthquakes back in the day!  Who were you rooting for during the World Cup this summer?

A: My dad played a friendly match with Pele when he was in the national Iranian team... He was transferred to the states to be part of one of the first Cali team.. San Fran earthquakes... Where my mom popped and had me. Then we went back to Iran ... Right before the revolution in 1979.  I was rooting for the little countries, I had hopes for Costa Rica, Ghana...next time!

Q: You've lived all over the world Iran, Turkey, France, Germany, California, New York, etc...  Is DC home now?

A: For now it is. I love DC... There is something really special here....

Q: Who are you most excited about playing with this Sat., (9/25), at the Virgin Mobile Festival at Merriweather?

A: PAVeMent!!!!! Those basslines drove me crazy in college!  But also Joan Jett (my boyfriend and I both had a crush on her when we were in high school) because she never ceases to ROCK, and LCD Soundsystem... It will be a cool show!

Q: Thievery starts a tour in October with Massive Attack!  It's about time!  Why now?  And why no DC dates?

A: I think it's only natural to put acts that compliment each other on the same bill. Massive Attack and Thievery have both been big influences in the world of electronic music. It just makes sense that they both come together on this tour.  It feels like I have dreamt about this years ago... So Psyched...

As for a DC date... I think it was just a timing / schedule thing... I personally would have loved to do a Massive-Thievery show at the 9:30... One of my favorite clubs ... Amazing sound, no bad seats!  We should meditate on it and see if it gets added as a bonus show... If it does, I get a cut for being Psychic.  :)

Q: If you were to put together a play list of the artists you are currently listening to, who would they be and what 5 songs would be on it?

A: So hard....instead I put artist: favorite track....

- Serge Gainsbourg: "Ballade de Melody Nelson"... The bass baby , the bass ....

- The Clash. Pretty much all the songs... Death and Glory, Guns of Brixton, Rudie can't fail... All infectious!

- The Kills. "Last day of magic"... It's a bit melancholic but I really love the dark tone..

- BrightBlack Morning Light. " everybody daylight" it's an amazing track to listen to during sunrise and sunset... These cats are super cooooool! The heavy slow bass and reverb drenched vocals are an instant buzz .

- Black Lips: Veni Vidi Vici ( diplo remix ) I love these guys... Their songs are full of honesty, and this particular remix is one of those side to side , hip to hip dance tracks.

- Camera Obscura: " French Navy" guilty pleasure super bright sunny song... It's about moving on and realizing that we can't control everything... Makes me smile!

- Artic Monkeys : " Crying Lightning" my daughter and I love the study drums and the guitar on this track... It's pretty heavy, has that pulp fiction vibe...

Of course this list could go on and on if I start going down the classic, I never get enough of Marvin Gaye, Sam Cook, Jackie Mittoo, Scientist, Nancy Sinatra, Francoise Hardy, Hendrix, Pink Floyd....

Music is abundant, it makes you feel good, it's the best substitute for sadness and loneliness, it's a universal language to understand humanity and feel connected!

Peace Out!

Photo Credit: (C)AlexSolmssenPhoto

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Uncork & Pour! Q&A with Rachel Martin, EVP of Boxwood Winery in Middleburg, VA

Rachel Martin, Executive Vice President of Boxwood Winery, manages all aspects of THE BOXWOOD WINERY in Middleburg, Virginia.  The daughter of owners Rita and John Kent Cooke, Martin was appointed to the position in 2005, the year Boxwood Winery was completed.  Martin is devoted to producing fine wines at Boxwood in the Bordeaux tradition with their own Virginia expression and pursues her commitment with a passion.  In fact, Martin, who is a native Virginian, takes “great pride in having an influential role in elevating the Virginia wine industry to national recognition.”


Q: How did you get in to the business of wine and ultimately become the EVP of Boxwood Winery?

A: My parents, Rita and John Kent Cooke purchased Boxwood Farm in Middleburg, Virginia. After recognizing the growth and potential of Virginia as a premium wine region, we went on to plant a vineyard and build a winery on the property.

I accepted the position as EVP once we were established in 2005. In preparation to do so, I went to Napa Valley to study viticulture and enology at Napa Valley College for one year and then to Bordeaux France to study sensory evaluation of wine at the University of Bordeaux the next.

Q: We understand the big news for Boxwood Winery right now is the 2010 Merlot Harvest that starts in Sept. & release the of your 2008 Vintage! Please tell us about them.

A: Harvest this year is just right around the corner. 2010 is promising to be a great vintage for Virginia. Specifically in our vineyard we are noticing our vines maturing enabling them to sustain more fruit and develop a greater complexity in the grapes. The clusters are full with small berries and uniform throughout the vineyard.

Both our Boxwood 2008 and Topiary 2008 will be released in just a few weeks. However, we have had prerelease dinners and three wines were very well received.

Q: You just hosted an amazing event this past Friday called Outstanding in the Field, with award winning Chef R.J. Cooper.  What was involved and when is the next one?

A: Yes, RJ approached me to be involved in the dinner. He had heard great things about our wines and wanted a local approach. The event was held at Ayrshire Farm in Upperville Virginia by Outstanding in the Field. The dinner was held on top of a hill on a farm which raises organic humanely raised meats and vegetables.

Our next dinner is this Friday at The Ashby Inn in Paris Virginia. The Chef is Tarver King and the setting is magnificent. Tarver will be pairing dishes with our wines one of which will be a the Topiary 2008 Vintage.

Q: In addition to your vineyard in Middleburg, Va. (which offers tours by appointment only) you have two wine bars in the Washington, DC area called the Tasting Room (one in Reston, VA & one in Chevy Chase, MD).  We hear you have live music some nights.  What kind of experience can your patrons expect?

A: The Tasting Room Wine Bar’s are a sophisticated environment with a relaxed atmosphere. There is live jazz music Wednesdays and Saturdays and in Chevy Case and guest performances Wednesdays and Saturdays in Reston.

Q: You mentioned that you will be hosting a wine dinner at the Cherwell Boathouse in Oxford, England Oct. 19th.  How often do you host European events and where primarily?

A: We are just beginning to do events outside the USA. Our first will be withThe Oxford Times Wine Club "A Virginia Dinner Tasting" at the Cherwell Boathouse in England.

Q: You will be featured in an upcoming PBS  piece on winethat will air Oct. 5th & 7th on prime time television.  How exciting! What is it about and how did that come about?

A: The feature is on the wine region of Virginia, most notably in the Charlottesville area. Boxwood Winery will be part of that story.

Q: What is your ultimate goal for Boxwood Winery?

A: The Goal for Boxwood Winery is to attain an international reputation as a premium wine.

Q: What's your favorite thing to do in Middleburg horse country?

A: Watching Saturday Twilight Polo matches at THE GREAT MEADOW  in The Plains and any afternoon polo match at Banbury Cross in Middleburg.

Q: What music are you listening to right now?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trust and Chemistry: Q&A with Jessica Louise Dye, Song Writer, Vox & Guitarist for Lightfoot

We recently caught up with Jessica Louise Dye, singer/songwriter for the band Lightfoot, and got her to share her thoughts on gorilla style bake sales, the "group think" , and the lightness of being.  


Q: How did your band come up with the name Lightfoot? 

A: Well, Lightfoot is actually a town in Southern, Virginia.  A historical, run down, town.  Lightfoot has several meanings to me.  Initially it marked a physical location between my past and my previously planned future.  When I started this band I was going through a very difficult time and constantly reminded myself to "be tender, and to step lightly."  And I think having a "lightfoot" embodies the idea of picking up and going where ever, whenever.  It's also a quiet dedication to the lightness of being.  It can mean just about anything to anyone, and I guess above all, that was what I liked most about the name- allowing listeners to find their own story within it.

Q: Lightfoot is recording a full EP!  How many tracks are you laying down and when do you expect to release it?

A: We recently released a demo called "People (Who Throw Kisses) Are Hopelessly Lazy" and are already back in the studio working on an EP.  We hope to have 5 songs to release this fall.  We'll probably do an EP release show to kick off our winter tours.  We're really excited to get on the road and to put some songs off this EP on vinyl.  

Q: How did Lightfoot evolve from a solo project for you into a full band?

A: Trust and chemistry.  It's been a very natural transition.  Erik (guitarist) and I just click.  And we, as a band, all connect in just the right way.  Where as I used to write alone, our process has become very intuitive and organic.  We are writing as a band, and the "group think" effort is not only developing more well rounded songs but it's still capturing the sound I envisioned from the get go.  My band mates are my best friends, my brothers.  The closer we get, the more natural writing and playing becomes.  It's just an extension of the connections we all share.

Q: What's it like being the only female in 5 piece band? 

A: Sometimes I wish I had earmuffs because boys can be gross. I've always been a little bit of a tomboy so there isn't much they can do to bother me anymore.  But joking aside, I think in general there are different obstacles for woman in music to overcome than men.  There's a whole different standard for sexuality and having to fit this super model "sex sells" persona.  I'm not really concerned with that.  I don't want to be referred to as a female guitarist, or a female frontman.  I don't want my gender to box my band or my music in.  I want people to like the music, and I want to be considered a musician, a singer, a band mate.  Period.  No need for gender specification.

Q: Your band is proud of their "can do" mind set.  This is exemplified by the fact that two of your band mates are acting as engineers in the home studio where you are recording.  In what other ways is Lightfoot going to make their winter tour happen? 

A: Lightfoot is incredibly DIY. We have to be, we're broke.  We've done all of our own recordings.  We design all of our own posters.  We wheat paste them too.  We draw up designs and silk screen our shirts (which you should buy so we can go on tour).  We do the packaging for our music.  We do our own PR, and web design.  But we're lucky.  We have close friends who help us bake cupcakes before shows, who nearly cut off their thumbs on table saws making us lighting rigs, who don't complain when we rehearse the same song for 2 hours.  We're really lucky to have supporters.

As far as our upcoming tours, we need to do some serious fundraising.  We have to complete our album, buy a van and get enough Ramon to last us on the road.  It's an expensive endeavor, so we're going to be having gorilla style bake sales, kissing booths and car washes to raise funds.  And just about anything else we can think of.  Perhaps we'll play your dinner party, give you a guitar lesson, sew the buttons back on your favorite sweater.  Anything to get us on the road and home in one piece.

Q: What is the next concert you are looking forward to seeing as a spectator?

A: I was super stoked to see Best Coast and Cloud Nothings in early September but I will be out of town now.  Huge bummer.  So next on my excitement list is Delorean and Small Black (babes!).  Oh, and Jenny and Jonny!  It is no secret I have a huge crush on Jenny Lewis!

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in DC?  

A: This is my guilty pleasure, I like to go to E St. Cinema on weekdays for a 5:00 showing of whatever is most likely to make me cry.  The theater is typically empty at this time of day and I always go alone.  I'm a bad girl so I almost always smuggle a burger and fries from five guys in as well. It's freezing in there so I bring my biggest sweater to cuddle up with.   I order a beer and pig out in the dark theater.  It's bliss.  I do this at least once a week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An H Street Education: Q&A with Margaret Holwill, owner of Holwill & Company, PR/Media Management for The H Street Festival.

When we sat down with Margaret Holwill we got schooled on the rich history of H Street.  For Margaret and so many others, H Street's character is " local, authentic, and unique."


Q: You were eager to mention that in its "hey day" the H St. corridor was Washington's most important shopping district, please tell us more about that.  
    A: We’ve all become so accustomed to glitzy shopping centers that’s it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t that long ago that people shopped at local merchants – exactly what they’re saying now that they prefer. Local, authentic, and unique.  Yes, H Street has always been amazing. It was second only to downtown as the place to go, yet it retained a decidedly neighborhood character.  The 30s, 40s, 50s were something of a golden age for window shopping, having lunch, meeting your friends, looking long and hard before you purchased. Isn’t this social component what people are looking for now?  The personal character of H Street with its small retailers has always fit that model and I think that our attention to that model is what’s driving our success.  Tough economic environments are nothing new, yet H Street prospered through them just as it’s doing now.  The single family homes surrounding it were mostly owner-occupied in its heyday, and that’s the most important thing driving the renaissance now: people truly caring about their own neighborhood. Despite that, there were major anchors. The first Sears department store in the District.  Two large luxury car dealerships in a time when private vehicles were moving from dream to reality for ordinary Americans.  Things that drew destination shoppers while still serving the local community with personal relationships.  H Street has always had astonishing diversity.  Old census records show that the people who lived adjacent to it were a serious melting pot that was reflected  in the shops and restaurants of H Street.  Greeks, Italians, Jews, Muslims, Germans, Jamaicans, and more. When the city’s Central Market at the site of the present National Archives was demolished in 1931, the wholesale market for the entire area moved to Florida Avenue.  Many of Washington’s great buildings were built then using the skills of immigrants. The workers and their families lived and shopped on H Street.  GIs during WWII poured out of Union Station and enjoyed the stores and restaurants, as did the federal work force that surged during the war effort.  Can you imagine how vibrant all of those different people made life on H Street?  Post-War recovery brought America a new prosperity and H Street was an important factor in a new optimistic spirit in Washington.  This community was a wonderful place for everybody as you can hear in the stories of some of the older people who have added to the H Street Main Street’s ongoing oral history projects.  The most difficult period for H Street coincided with the decline of America’s great cities as homeowners moved to suburbs and inner city neighborhoods became rental properties and began to deteriorate.  Vacant building bred despair and the breakdown of the social fabric, culminating in rioting in the late 60s and early 70s in urban centers across the US.  The four days of riots in Washington following the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King were the final death knell for what had once been the prosperous H Street Corridor.  Few buildings were left unscathed and it would be decades before serious renewal would take hold.

    Q: Please share the evolution of the H St. Festival.  

    A: We’re truly blessed that many of our older homeowners and shopkeepers have kept the local character of H Street alive through some tough days.  They’re now being joined by a new generation of residents, many with children, who have invested in the community, and put their time and efforts into the local schools, churches, and civic organizations.  Together they’re making a real difference.  The H Street Festival was small for many years, averaging about 5,000 attendees and attracting many of the people who kept this neighborhood strong.  Thank God they did, because when the newer residents and businesses wanted to participate in their community they had a great framework to join.  Young families and small business owners threw their energies into the local theaters, non-profits, school groups, and athletic programs, adding to the diversity of the neighborhood and the H Street Festival.  The community is increasingly proud of H Street as it emerges from a long period of struggle and moves toward once again being the terrific local entertainment and shopping district that it once was.  It’s becoming again the center of community life for a diverse and interesting area of Washington and attracting visitors from well outside its bounds.  Just like old times!  The involvement of this entire energetic, involved community made it possible to expand the 2009 Festival to offer a greater diversity of entertainment and vendors than ever before. Considerable efforts were made to develop programming that engaged the festival goers and gave them a reason to spend the day not just an hour.  The length of the festival was filled with art cars and their artist owners, performance artists, painting, dancing, and drumming. The festival offered something for everyone, from fashion shows to chess competitions and even a chance to show off your tattoo. We opened up the event as an opportunity to experience the “new” H Street.  Following the success of last year’s Festival, more people are asking to be involved this year and the Festival will be offering an even wider range of activities.  We’re really looking forward to showing you the progress we’re making and hope you have a great time with us on Saturday, September 18, from Noon until 7 PM.

    Q: What's the biggest challenge facing the festival? 

    A: Living with the construction has been an ongoing challenge for the residents and visitors to H Street as well as to the business community. What keeps us all optimistically getting our shoes dirty and threading our way around jersey barriers and heavy equipment is the reward we’re going to get at the conclusion. As we’ve been working on Festival planning, we’re sometimes standing in the middle of H Street dodging traffic, but we look down that fabulous corridor and can already see the progress that’s been made.  Wow!  Will there be a better street in DC for living and playing? Maybe because I’m there every day and night, I see forward movement and it encourages me.  Not just the physical streetscape and the streetcar tracks, but the new businesses popping up in the middle of all the current construction mayhem and the new families moving into the adjacent blocks.  This is a new Street of Dreams.  It has been giving us fits for Festival planning because we’re required by various DC agencies to provide written details and plans well in advance for a festival that will be staged on a street that changes from one day to the next.  We’re fortunate that Anwar Saleem, Executive Director of H Street Main Street, knows city agencies and laws well so he’s been able to work effectively with them to keep it all moving.  Not easy, but we’ve got a terrific Festival Committee of professionals with strong backgrounds in event planning, promotions, graphics, media, and the other fields necessary to produce an event of this size.  Another of our biggest challenges is the explosion in the size of the Festival because of the changes in the business community and demographics of the surrounding neighborhood in just the past few years.  Prior to 2009, the annual attendance at the Festival had been fairly steady at about 5,000.  In 2009, there was a huge surge in interest due to the new residents, plus the businesses and the attention they were attracting in local, regional, and national media.  We really had to scramble to add things to the traditional H Street Festival events to appeal to new residents, families with kids, attendees from around the metro area, and even tourists.  In our dreams, we never expected to get close to the 20,000 people who came, some of whom had never visited H Street before.  Watch the video to see for yourself!

    Q: What's the musical line up for the festival this year?  

    A: We are very fortunate to have a music booking talent like Steve Lambert of the Rock and Roll Hotel working with the Festival to produce full day programs on the 2 live music stages at the Festival.  He listens to thousands of bands and performers each month, booking well over a hundred for the Hotel and other venues.  He has a strong reputation for spotting local talent that’s going somewhere. A local music critic commented to me that he was amazed at how many name bands had appeared at the Hotel early in their careers.  Steve has the “eye” to see that they’ve got something that will later to become widely apparent and these local indie bands go on to bigger venues and greater fame.  Often they come back to pack the Rock and Roll Hotel. You can see them first on H Street.

    A special guest performer is Paul “HR” Hudson, the legendary frontman of Bad Brains. Noted as the pioneers of hardcore punk, Bad Brains was formed in Washington, DC, in 1978. The band quickly developed a very fast and intense punk rock sound, which was both musically complex and developmentally ahead of its time. Since then, HR has become one of the most notorious, iconic, and memorable artists in the history of music. HR’s solo career began in 1983 with the formation of the Human Rights, aka the HR Band.

    Q: We love that it's considered critical to the H Street Festival planning committee that the festival have a true neighborhood connection on every level.  Why is it so important to have a DC-centric event? 

    A: Of all the compliments the 2009 H Street Festival received, the most meaningful to the organizers were the ones that said that it reflected the community itself more than any other festival in DC. I referred above to the three catchwords that I try to emphasize: local, authentic, and unique.  H Street has that character.  Our strongest consumer base walks, bikes, and uses transit to get there and many come several times a week.  If some of our restaurants become less trendy, these are the people from our community who will still come.  With the emphasis that our entertainment venues place on local talent that’s going somewhere, H Street provides a sense of excitement that makes it more than a neighborhood shopping district.  It attracts people from all over the metro area, giving us the critical density that we need to prosper without losing the almost small town ambience of community involvement  that has made this a great place to live.

    Q: Fashionistas reading this now, listen up!  We understand that attendees of the festival will also be treated to a Runway Show. Can you give us more details on that? 

    A: The H Street Festival has had a separate Fashion Stage for years.  The crowds really like this, especially a full-on runway show produced by Ean Williams, Exec. Dir. of DC Fashion Week that opens immediately after the H Street Festival.  We get the first look and last year, the same models and fabulous clothing went on to the huge event later in the week at the French Embassy. The Festival has expanded the use of the Fashion Stage.  H Street merchant, Spoiled and Rotten Kids Boutique and Spa, presents a kids’ fashion show that always delights the crowd, and last year we added a fantasy hairstyles show featuring some of the corridor’s best hairdressers.  A fun addition this year is a Lady Gaga show from the Joy of Motion. They’ll be teaching the choreography to Gaga’s videos at the studio and then selecting some of the best to strut that runway in their Gaga Gear.  Festival attendees are encouraged to come in their best Gaga get-ups. Dressing great for the Festival should not be hard for our friends!  

    Q: Who is eligible to enter the Skin & Ink Tattoo Competition and will festival goers be able to get fresh ink that day? 

    A: This is the Second Annual Skin & Ink Competition and we’re looking for a repeat sensation again this year.  The participants will show their body art on the Fashion Stage runway, competing for trophies and bragging rights.
    No live tattooing will be done but, like last year, there will be temporary tats from some of our local merchants like Dangerously Delicious Pies and Sticky Rice, as well as the limited edition 2010 H Street Festival tattoo.
    Paul Roe of British Ink, the MC of the competition, has a studio on H Street and with his partners, does only fully custom work.  That requires consultations and drawings submitted in advance of the work being done.  Come on!  This is forever.  Not something to do because the mood catches.  If you want something unique (that word again,) take the time to do it right.

     Q: What's your favorite thing to do in DC?

    A: It’s taking the whole family to some of our favorite places on weekends, whether it’s brunch on the patio at the Argonaut where even the dogs can go and the little kids are happy, or heading to Montmartre or Granville Moore’s for a leisurely adult meal.  On a Friday or Saturday night “soaking up a little folk art culture” and dancing in the street to a free outdoor concert by Gallery OonH. A family favorite since my kids were small has been Jimmy T’s on East Capitol.  I’ve lived in the same house all these years, and now both of my daughters live in their own homes less than a mile from me.  How lucky are we?  Yeah, our roots are here - firmly planted.  Three generations now.  Capitol Hill and H Street are home.  I can’t even imagine living anywhere else.