Archive for December, 2011

Expand Your Local

Posted in Commentary, Culture, DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , , on December 26, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

One of the most wonderful things about Washington, DC is that there is always something new to discover and someplace to go that you have never been. Whether you have lived in Washington for just a few months, a few years, or even your entire life, there are an abundance of opportunities, experiences and adventures that are to be had. So often, however, those of us that dwell in the DC metro area find ourselves bound by habits and routines of going to the same familiar places. We’ll eat at the same restaurants out of complacency. Likewise, we’ll patronize the same theaters, museums, parks and galleries. We will attend the same festivals in the summer year after year, if for no other reason than it’s what we’ve always done. It is convenient and less scary not to venture beyond our normal paths and neighborhoods that we know so much about. We behave this way because it’s easy and comfortable. It is effortless and doesn’t take much thought to do what we have always done or go where we have always gone. It also means, though, that we continue to see the city through the same lens which we have always seen it. But 2012 we can all challenge ourselves to do something different!

The Substance & Style 2012 challenge to each Washingtonian is to spend an entire day in a ward of the District of Columbia where you do not reside, work or frequently play. Take the time to get to know and enjoy the city in a new way. From Dupont Circle to Fort Dupont, there are numerous parks to picnic, play or relax in. Art galleries like Honfleur and Morton Fine Art are great examples of the numerous galleries on either side of the Anacostia River that offer visitors visual treasurers. The DC Public Library also offers an array of programs and activities in libraries across the city. Cultural Tourism DC’s Neighborhood Heritage Trails provides self-guided walking tours of neighborhoods including Deanwood, Mount Pleasant, Tenleytown and Barracks Row. The walking tours are directed by signs that provide a great deal of history, stories and photos while you walk and create your own memories In every Ward of Washington, there lies something to enjoy and new people to meet. We simply must seek the opportunities to do so.

Visiting the cultural and civic sites in other neighborhoods can be entertaining, educational and empowering as it also is a chance to support many of the small and locally owned businesses that are the heart of the local economy. Building community and sustaining it requires us to make conscious efforts to shop and support local entrepreneurs. Substance and Style’s charge to you is to expand your “local” in 2012. Don’t just cross the street, cross the river. Spend a day on Barracks Row and an evening on U Street NW.  Reach beyond your ward. Celebrate the diversity of the city. Expand your local!


Unleash the Dragon

Posted in Culture with tags on December 20, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

The curtain will rise to reveal a silver screen once again at the Historic Lincoln Theatre, known as the Jewel on U Street. The Lincoln Theatre has announced a four-week partnership with Landmark Theatres to present the much hyped The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Columbia Pictures on Wednesday, December 21. According to notes, David Fincher directs The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on the first novel in Stieg Larsson’s literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy, which altogether have sold 65 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon. The film stars Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård and Robin Wright.

Celebrate the Season

Posted in Culture with tags , , , on December 12, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

As bright as the North Star this holiday season provides local arts organizations a chance to shine in their celebrations of this most wonderful time of the year.  

The Theater Alliance at the H Street Playhouse has brought back their soulful production of Langston Hughes’ vibrant retelling of the Christmas story from an Afro centric point of view in Black Nativity.  Since first being performed on Broadway in December 1961 with an all Black cast the musical that includes traditional Christmas songs with flairs of blues, jazz and gospel has become a holiday tradition in theaters across the country. The production at H Street Playhouse runs through December 31.

On the heels of being recognized with the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award the Dance Institute of Washington and their Founding Artistic Director, Fabian Barnes will present their annual Spirit of Kwanzaa Celebration Concerts on December 28 and 29 in the Columbia Heights Education Campus Auditorium.  The concert is an event designed for audiences young and old to learn about the seven principles of Kwanzaa and highlight the collective greatness of local area singers, dancers, poets and musicians.

done & undun

Posted in Culture with tags on December 2, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

Think you are done with 2011? Wait, not so fast. You won’t officially be done with the year until after you have picked up a copy of the much anticipated new project from The Roots, undun and purchased tickets to one of their two shows on December 29 and 30 at the Fillmore Silver Spring. undun is built as an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999). Through the use of emotives and Redford’s internal dialogues the album seeks to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out ‘on the corner’.


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