An after hours guide for getting the most out of Washington, D.C.



You didn’t come to a new city to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You came to explore, live it up and try something new. To make every hour count after the sun goes down in Washington, D.C., you’ll need more than a listing of the national monuments.

Here’s where to go (and when) if your weekend hours are anything but 9 to 5.

5 p.m. The Twisted Horn

It’s time to head to the before cocktails, also known as the pregame. Begin at Petworth’s new hot spot, the Twisted Horn. The drink menu is short but delicious, with the kind of craft cocktails you’d expect and also a surprising wine list. Read more…

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Washington Mudslide: The Dramatic Before and After



It’s been nearly a week since a mudslide swept the small town of Oso, Wash., leaving 25 dead — a figure that officials say will sharply rise over the next few days as they continue to search through the rubble for 90 people who are still missing.

Although local authorities said a 1.1 magnitude earthquake preceded the mudslide, officials from the U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday said it was not the cause. The Snohomish County landslide was mostly likely the result high rainfall and soil conditions that made the steep slope unstable — a perfect recipe for the dramatic event. Read more…

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Forks, Washington

A few nice new romance novel images I found:

Forks, Washington
new romance novel
Image by drburtoni
Home of Edward, Bella and Jacob of the Twilight Saga.
This article is about the Stephenie Meyer novels. For the film series, see The Twilight Saga (film series). For other uses, see Twilight (disambiguation).


Complete set of the Twilight series with the spin-off novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
AuthorStephenie Meyer
CountryUnited States
GenreRomance, fantasy, young-adult fiction
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
Media typePrint
Twilight is a series of four vampire-themed fantasy romance novels by American author Stephenie Meyer. It charts a period in the life of Isabella "Bella" Swan, a teenage girl who moves to Forks, Washington, and falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen. The series is told primarily from Bella’s point of view, with the epilogue of Eclipse and Part II of Breaking Dawn being told from the viewpoint of character Jacob Black, a werewolf. The unpublished Midnight Sun is a retelling of the first book, Twilight, from Edward Cullen’s point of view. The novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, which tells the story of a newborn vampire who appeared in Eclipse, was published on June 5, 2010 as a hardcover book and on June 7 as a free online ebook.[1] The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, a definitive encyclopedic reference with nearly 100 full colour illustrations, was released in bookstores on April 12, 2011.[2]
Since the release of the first novel, Twilight, in 2005, the books have gained immense popularity and commercial success around the world. The series is most popular among young adults; the four books have won multiple awards, most notably the 2008 British Book Award for "Children’s Book of the Year" for Breaking Dawn,[3] while the series as a whole won the 2009 Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Book.[4]
As of October 2010, the series has sold over 116 million copies worldwide[5] with translations into at least 38 different languages around the globe.[6][7] The four Twilight books have consecutively set records as the biggest selling novels of 2008 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list[8] and have spent over 235 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list for Children’s Series Books.[9]
The books have been made into The Twilight Saga series of motion pictures by Summit Entertainment. The film adaptations of the first three books were released in 2008, 2009, and 2010. The fourth book is being adapted as two full-length films – the first film was released in November 2011, and the second film is scheduled to be released in November 2012.[10]

Duck’s Tongue & Matrimony Vine Embraced in a Crystal Consommé Pudding
new romance novel
Image by Renée S. Suen
The best thing about eating with a bunch of people who don’t mind offal and new food experiences is to introduce them to something like this! I recall having the duck’s tongue in the consommé jelly and enjoying the cool firm set, semi-saline aspic-like jelly. The deboned tongue was a revelation to a few dining companions, while even more embraced the slightly spiced springy texture of the well washed jelly fish. The latter was quite enjoyable because unlike many of its elastic bandy, tougher dried out cousins, this one was water-saturated to an almost clean-crisp agar-agar finish (I don’t like agar-agar much myself, but for an item that is typically served as one long coil that can easily be choked on, this texture was perfect). A further surprise was when BZ exclaimed how she loves jelly fish (I remember introducing my childhood best friend to it before and she labeled it as "different" – the first time I realized that it was a polite way of saying gross) and slurped up hearty portions of the 3 plates we ordered. Did I mention how I love eating with open minded eaters? Very cool indeed.

The only thing I found off putting for this course was the name. Why is it that some restaurants feel compelled to list all their ingredients as the name of a course (which I don’t have a problem with) – especially one trying to make the item sound all the more over the top grand than it is? Matrimony vine? Embraced?? Crystal consommé pudding? Are we eating fancy looking offal or reading a Harlequin romance novel (JY correct me if I’m wrong as I’ve never read one)? Is some ripply man going to ride out on his white horse and feed these to us? It makes me laugh. Seriously it’s just duck tongue with one goji berry set in gelatinized stock (although I guess imaginations could go wild about the tongue part).

Out for dim sum with DW, BZ, and crew. Here were some of the assortment ordered that I hadn’t captured as a digital photo on previous visits.

Seen in:…

NamSan Love
new romance novel
Image by Pabo76
NamSan Tower, Seoul, Korea 2008.

I first observed the phenomenon of "love padlocks" in Seoul a few years back then thought little of them until recently when I found that they were now appearing on the Brooklyn Bridge.  Curious, I decided to delve more deeply into the topic and discovered that the recent explosion of the "love padlock" trend began in Rome after the release of Federico Moccia’s 2006 teen romance novel and then film Ho voglia di te (I want you). In the book and movie, the main protagonists visit the Ponte Milvio bridge where they write their names on a lock, declare their eternal love, and throw away the key. Inspired by this, young Roman couples also began to lock their love onto the Ponte Milvio to the extent that the lampposts of the bridge nearly collapsed under the weight of the locks.

Over the past several years the practice spread across Italy, then onto other parts of the world most notably Paris, Seoul, Budapest, and Tokyo. While many young lovers celebrate the practice, others particularly in Paris are not so sure. In fact, the New York Times reported that the ubiquity of the locks has become increasingly irritating for Parisians (An Affront to Love, French Style), as it went on to say:

"The pain doesn’t come only from the fact that some bridges, like Pont de l’Archevêché and Pont des Arts, now feel as if they could collapse under the weight of tourists’ undying love but also from the idea that a lock could represent love. Such an idea is abhorrent to many French people.
At the heart of love à la française lies the idea of freedom. To love truly is to want the other free, and this includes the freedom to walk away. Love is not about possession or property. Love is no prison where two people are each other’s slaves. Love is not a commodity, either. Love is not capitalist, it is revolutionary. If anything, true love shows you the way to selflessness.

In his recent book, “In Praise of Love,” the French philosopher Alain Badiou reminds us that love implies constant risk. There is no safe, everlasting love. The idea that you can lock two people’s love once and for all, and toss the key, is a puerile fantasy. For Mr. Badiou, love is inherently hazardous, always on the brink of failure and above all vulnerable. Embrace its fragility, wish your beloved to be free and you might just, only just, have a chance to retain his or her undying gratitude, and love."

I think my heart lies closer to that of the mythical love à la française.  Though I am sure over time the young Seoulites who have locked their love onto the fence at the Seoul Tower may someday come to live with freer hearts. Until then it seems the management of the Tower has advised young lovers not to throw away their keys.

(It should be noted that the while the English here says ‘Do not throw your key away,’ the Korean says ‘자연보호를 위해 열쇠를 던지지 마세요, which translates to ‘Please do not throw (as in to propel through the air) keys in order to protect nature", so actually there’s a bit of minor mistranslation here as the the notice does not really suggest keeping your keys 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!