Artomatic Demonstrates the Creative Power of DC

Washington is not The Swamp. Nor is it House of Cards. And it’s certainly not the sleepy burg with a couple of cool restaurants that The New York Times rediscovers every few years. Instead, it’s something different – a sprawling urban corridor that stretches along I-95 from Richmond to Baltimore, from the blue waters of the Chesapeake to…




The Way We Live Now: Incompetent Dystopia

“Plots set in the future are about what people fear in the present.” ― The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 Dystopia deserves its own category in the bestseller charts. From financial collapse to the close of the millennial party, every novelist in America is working to end the world – on paper, at least. As Lionel Trilling illustrates…




The Rich Are Different Than You and Me

It was a very wet snow, typical for DC, one of those storms lingering on the edge of the rain/snow line. A damp, cold and miserable day. But I went out anyway, not being one to sit inside, no matter the weather. Perhaps that’s why I love photography so much – it gives me an…




The Terranauts: Adam and Eve Under Glass

T.C. Boyle has been writing the same story his entire career. But it’s the oldest story of them all – the story of man’s fall. From his early short stories to his sprawling novels, Boyle explores the tragic nature of existence, in wildly comic fashion, as he reveals all of us to be creatures of our…




Southern Monuments

Monuments tell the story of a people. Overlooking the town of Sylva, North Carolina, stands a Confederate War Memorial. The statue was erected in 1915, at the height of Jim Crow in the South. Bands played and dignitaries came from as far away as Asheville. The copper soldier stands guard atop a stone base in front of the courthouse,…




Seven Principles for a Web Team

I’ve worked on a lot of web teams. I’ve written and edited web content, collaborated with designers and developers on new sites and been responsible for the management of existing sites in government and nonprofit organizations. Every web team has its own principles, even if they’re unwritten. A combination of culture and procedure, these are the guides…




Credentials? We Don’t Need Any Stinking Credentials!

We’re winning. That was my thought watching a dozen women make out in front of the Trump Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. A right-wing blog called the protest “sparsely attended.” Which was true. Participants were outnumbered by a crowd of viewers, which included photographers, police, tourists, friends and security guards. But the protest was just one…




Good Read Alert: The Sympathizer

Fiction requires the suspension of disbelief. Novels aren’t true but they have to feel that way, whether they’re about Hobbits from the Shire or jaded exiles in 1920s Paris. I started Moonglow by Michael Chabon and put it down halfway through. The book strides the line between memoir and novel and succeeds at neither. There’s a scene where Chabon’s grandfather…




Signs of Spring

There are signs of spring in Washington, DC, little splashes of color appearing around the Tidal Basin and elsewhere in the city, despite temperatures that remain in the 40s. I spotted bits of of yellow, pink and white while running between memorials, the bright tones popping out against the muddy grays and browns of late…




Don’t Blame The Swamp. Blame Yourself

During the campaign, Donald Trump vowed to “drain the swamp in Washington.” According to his formulation, this city was filled with nefarious characters who skirt the rules for their own benefit. But what do you call a President who hawks his daughter’s clothing line on national TV? And sends his surrogates out to do the…