The first running of the Potomac Hunt Races took place in 1952, and the event has been an annual tradition in Montgomery County ever since. The event celebrates steeplechase racing—a form of competition that originated in 18th-century Ireland, when riders would dash across uneven terrain and use towering church steeples as their beacons. Today, regular two- to four-mile tracks have become the battlegrounds for steeplechase events, and horses equipped with on-board GPS systems have made church steeples obsolete. Potomac Hunt Races carries on the tradition of this modern-day version of steeplechase racing, while implementing a tradition of its own: donating a portion of the proceeds from each year's event to charity.
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If the main objective of the glamour photographer is to make the model look attractive, there are probably more challenging subjects than Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera—but that doesn't mean David Blecman is complaining. The Positive Negatives founder and longtime shutterbug—he was named the photo editor of his county newspaper before his 20th birthday more than 30 years ago—has a history of plucking these plum gigs, having snapped pictures of celebrities such as Jimmy Buffett and Gene Simmons and worked for commercial clients including Sears, JCPenney, and Bath & Body Works.
At his studio, Blecman applies his skills toward shooting everything from headshots for models and actors to portraits of kids and teens. He also shares his expertise during workshops that cover both photography and modeling, so students can know what it feels like to be on both sides of a lens without giving their neighbors a turn with the binoculars.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
The graceful ease with which a good bartender mixes drinks masks the difficulty of the job, one that requires knowledge and dexterity—not to mention charisma. The seasoned barkeeps at Bartender of America, a TIPS-certified school, know what it takes to be a good bartender and lead their students through deliberate exercises inside a fully simulated tavern environment. Amid ambient sounds and music, novice bartenders dole out maraschino cherries and shake martinis while refining their conversational skills and learning how to identify underage kids by their mustaches. Fully committed students can opt for the entire Bar 101 curriculum, attaining a bartending license and valuable tricks for managing their resume and acing job interviews, while abbreviated classes offer insight into the fundamentals of the trade.
From Old Saigon to Bangalore and everywhere in between, Southeast Asian cuisine embraces distinct foods that overlap in ingredients and cooking methods. Pho D’Lite culls the healthiest all-stars from each region, starting with pho from Vietnam. Swimming with noodles and a variety of toppings and a choice of meat such as chicken, beef, or meatballs, the eatery’s namesake soup shares space on the menu with loaded vermicelli and rice bowls topped with authentic curry and spices. Only the highest quality ingredients infiltrate each dish, including organic tofu, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, and fresh produce.