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And, as always, feel free to leave comments about specific posts in the comments section at the end, whether you liked it or think I missed the mark.



Hey, Is This Thing On?

So, you see, I meant to post something but then tour season started. And then it was summer, and my air conditioning broke. In there somewhere, the dog ate my homework. 

As you can see, I can't even be troubled to come up with good excuses, so I won't insult you with any more crappy ones. 

But in my defense, I haven't been entirely idle in the last few months (ok, year). I'm pleased to announce that my first book is hitting the shelves shortly. Capitol Hill Haunts is THE comprehensive ghostly history of the Hill, with Demon Cats, phantom bicyclists, and even buried treasure! All stories are 100% true (insofar as I made none of them up) and no ghosts were hurt in the making of the book (I presume). 

Nor is it just tales of the big white building on the cover. Certainly, the Capitol is well haunted, but we take you beyond the federal buildings to the streets of Capitol Hill, and even a little past. The Navy Yard, H Street, Congressional Cemetery, and Gallaudet University all host a ghost or two, and quite a few houses as well. If you're looking to get a good feel for the neighborhood, than what better way then through the eyes of those who never left it?

To celebrate the book, let me welcome one and all to the Argonaut (1433 H Street, NE, just feet away from the haunted H Street Playhose) for our official launch party on Thursday, September 27th at 7 pm. Tickets are on sale now, and each one gets you one (1) beer and a signed and quite possibly beer stained copy of the book when you show up. 

If you just can't wait until then, or want to get all your Christmas shopping done now, feel free to purchase the book online directly from my publisher, the indomitable History Press. You might note that purchases of $35 and over get free shipping, so why not get two? Or read about further Capitol Hill antics with my friend Robert Pohl's excellent Wicked Capitol Hill.

If you're interested in staying abreast of the book, please follow Capitol Hill Haunts on Facebook.

And yes, there might be a post or two here in the near future. And not just about ghosts!


Martin Luther King Memorial Not the Only Misquote on the Mall

Washington and the nation still await the formal dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, but that hasn’t stopped many of us from visiting the newest addition to the Mall. While critiquing new Memorials is a team sport in DC, reaction has been largely positive, and most of us find that the Memorial rounds out our nation’s civic space quite nicely.

However, one element has not been as well received. On my first visit, I was struck by the quote “ “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness” on the side of the high relief statue of Martin Luther King. It was the only discordant note on an otherwise well done Memorial, and struck me as odd for a man who was as well spoken and filled with humility as Dr. King.

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Where to Stay: the Jefferson

One thing locals are often not terribly good at recommending are hotels. We visit museums, dine at restaurants, stroll through neighborhoods, and a myriad of other things that give each city its own feel. What we don't do, is stay at our local hotels.

Well, that's not entirely true. I do stay at hotels, but I do it with large tour groups, and the determining factor has more to do with the ability to feed 97 eighth-graders breakfast and park several giant buses than the details you might find important in a visit here. So, on that note, I will endeavor from time to time to evaluate some local hotels with an eye to help our out of town visitors find a place to stay.

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Arabia 3D: New IMAX showing at Natural History

What do you know about life in Arabia? Camel riding Bedouins? Insta-cities awash in oil wealth? The home of Islam, and all that entails?

All true, but yet no more comprehensive than hanging out with a cowboy and thinking you've got the pulse of America. For a country and a culture that has occupied a prominent role in our foreign policy (and we just might want to keep abreast of right now), many of us know surprisingly little about it.

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Government Shutdown? Still Plenty To Do!

As is the rest of DC. Photo by Maria Helena CareyIf you've got plans to visit Washington in the coming weeks, and are concerned about the possibility of a Federal government shutdown, don't change them, just have a backup plan.

While a lot of the big ticket items will be closed, there's still plenty to do and see in DC. Frankly, some of these less visited venues are more interesting that the high-draw options, and you could plan a perfectly good trip around them alone. So let's take a look at a few:

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